Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Great Thirst Part Six — Protected is now live! And Part Seven is in pre-order!

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The Great Thirst is almost complete! Here’s a snippet from Part Six:

“David, where are you?” Drew’s voice came over David’s satellite phone, scratchy and indistinct. He had been out to the village again with a small team, trying to be sure the cartel was not looking for the expedition or questioning the shooting incident.
David gave him the co-ordinates of the ball court, but he had to repeat it three times before Drew acknowledged.
“What’s wrong, Drew?” David asked. “Your signal is awful. We told everyone at the base camp where we were going.”
“…Not at … base camp.”
“Then the GPS should – where are you?” David demanded. David pulled his phone back and stared at it. “I’m not getting GPS on you. Is there a threat?”
“Red lights … all directions,” Drew said. “… No contact … base camp … no GPS … finished … village … started back … can’t raise anybody …”
“Try your phones and the corundum chips,” David ordered the others.
Keith already had his phone out. “Talia?” he said, holding his corundum pendant close. “Are you guys okay?”
“We’re fine,” Talia replied. Her signal was clear and strong. “Why?”
“Drew’s signal’s getting blocked,” Keith answered. “He’s on his way back to you but something’s wrong. Be careful.”
“Wait a minute ‘til I have someone check around the camp to be sure,” she replied. After a moment she spoke again. “Drew’s team here relayed reports that everything is quiet and normal.”
“Hey, look, it’s one of those cool rubber balls,” Jiggly said, pulling a round gray object about the size of a cantaloupe out of the underbrush. He tossed it back and forth in his hands.
“Do we need to go back and make sure everything’s all right?” David asked.
“Talia says everything’s fine there,” Keith said. “Maybe it’s Drew who’s in trouble. Can we find him with the ‘copter?”
“Drew made me personally responsible for your safety,” David answered. “I can’t risk taking all of you with me, if Drew is in trouble, and you’re safe here,”
“Whoa!” Jiggly stopped tossing the ball back and forth as a rumbling sound froze them all.
“What was that?” David unlimbered the machine gun hanging on a strap over his shoulder. The vibration died out and they relaxed.
“What just happened?” Talia demanded over the phone.
“We heard a rumbling, or, more like felt it,” Keith said. “Why?”

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Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Thirst-Part-Six-Archaeological-ebook/dp/B016PP5U4O/

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And be sure to get your preorder of The Great Thirst Part Seven, also 99 cents … for now

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Talia snuck her hand into Keith’s as they parted ways from the tour bus and headed back toward Veracruz.. “Are you really okay?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Keith said.
“You have a weird look in your eyes,” Talia said.
“I have a weird feeling in my head,” Keith said. “Kinda like when Jenny Kaine was in the room at the hotel. This guy … is he demon-possessed, or what, exactly?”
“I’m not sure. Keith, you threw up and passed out with Jenny Kaine,” Talia said softly.
“Not gonna happen this time,” Keith said. “Feel … stronger. Ready … but not now.”
“Ready for what?”
“Tell me, why are we bringing these two?” Anne demanded. “Are you putting assets in danger again?”
“These assets happen to be, indirectly, my employers,” Drew said. “In spite of the fact that you and I would prefer to just put a bullet in the head of whoever is back there in the cargo bin, these two have bigger fish to fry. We need to know what the plan is, for … umm … all the sub-assets. The only possible source of information we have, since we can’t hog-tie any … anyone else … is Angel.”
“We have to try to question him,” Talia said. “He’s a wild card at this point. I don’t have any idea why he’s involved. I can’t plan how to protect against a threat if I don’t know who’s doing the threatening and why.”
“What do you expect us to do? Torture him?” Anne asked.
“We need him to talk,” Talia replied. “I’m praying for wisdom about how to make that happen.”
Spanish erupted from behind them. Talia said something sharp in reply and the words choked off.
“Do I want to know?” Keith asked.
“He said, using many more words, that we wouldn’t dare do anything to him,” Talia said. “I quoted part of a Psalm to him.”
“Which Psalm?” Keith asked.
“Psalm 35:7,8,” Talia replied. “Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the LORD pursuing them. Let destruction come upon him unawares; And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.”
“Okay,” Keith said. “I’m just gonna pray now, too.”
The jeep went silent. Even Angel did not speak again.

Amazon Preorder: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Thirst-Part-Seven-Archaeological-ebook/dp/B016QKSLMQ/

Smashwords Preorder: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/585608

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A Visit to Chocolate Town (San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán — an Olmec site) From the Great Thirst Part Six

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If Keith had to assign a Bradley Central report on this trip, he had an idea what the favorite part of this day would be. The museum had just added on a welcome center outside the gift shop where they could try small samples of cocoa as the original Olmecs might have drunk it. The kids loved the tiny versions of tecomates, the round, decorated pottery jars for drinking it.

They counterfeited cocoa beans?” Tom exclaimed, reading the various posters about the history of cocoa.

“Yeah, because they used them for money,” Rikki replied. “That is unreal. They hollowed out those little beans and filled them with sand.”

“They made their cocoa foamy!” someone else said. “How’d they do that without an espresso machine?”

The display included Inca and Aztec uses of cacao beans, since so little was known about how the Olmec did it. At first they made faces at some of the varieties, especially the unflavored brew, but most of them still tried the different dried flower essences, vanilla, honey, maize, and lime.

Keith saw Talia sneak out of her aunt and uncle’s lecture and tour three times to get more of the chili-flavored kind. He refused to even taste it, but it was fun to feel the baby dance extra fast after those multiple chocolate doses had hit Talia’s system.

“Maybe I should stop,” Talia lamented.

“Maybe you should.” Keith laughed.

“But they’re such little cups. And it’s so good!”

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From The Great Thirst Part Six — Eva takes Keith and Talia to meet her son Angel

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“You’ve made your point,” Drew said to his wife.
“Obviously I haven’t,” Anne snapped. “She’s risking your two biggest assets in this mission on lunch with a drug cartel insider. Instead of being able to at least admit that, she tries to makes this about me!”
Drew looked from Eva to Anne and then risked a glance at Talia and Keith. “Your call,” he said to Keith.
“No. Really, it’s not his call. We need to get these two back to the camp, and then we need to move it,” Anne said, pointing at Keith and Talia.
“Angel!” Eva gasped. The others turned in the direction she was staring and saw a slight, heavily-tattooed Mexican boy walking toward them. His eyes widened as he took in the distraught look on his mother’s face and he started to backpedal.
“Stop!” Anne shouted. “We need to talk to you.”
Eva screamed something in Spanish.
“Eva, no!” Talia cried. “He’s not in danger. Why would you tell him that?”
Anne strode toward Angel. “Just calm down, kid. Your mother’s overreacting. We don’t mean you any harm.”
Angel spewed a flood of harsh-sounding Spanish and retreated farther. Anne sprinted after him.
“Stay down!” Drew shouted at Keith. Keith enfolded Talia against his chest and crouched over her as shots rang out. Eva shrieked and sobbed, fighting against one of Drew’s people as she tried to pull her behind cover. Drew and four of his men made a human wall around them and hustled them to the Rover. Drew sat beside Keith and Talia with his gun resting on his thigh.
“Where’s Eva?” Talia cried.
“Peg Talbot is taking her to a separate location,” Drew said through gritted teeth.
“What about Anne?” Keith asked.
“Anne and Angel exchanged shots,” Drew said. “I’m not sure what their status is. My people who stayed behind will clean up and report as soon as they can.”
“Clean up?” Talia repeated, a quiver in her voice.
“Look, you people can tell me all you want that everybody is a priority,” Drew exploded. “But my employees, and outsiders who never should have had access to you – they take their own risks. Don’t concern yourself about Anne. She did her job.”
Keith heard a crackle and he saw Talia start and touch her ear.
“Cleanup complete,” the voice said. “Two returning to base, two to backup location.”
“Give me those things,” Drew commanded, holding out his hand. Keith and Talia surrendered the earwigs. “That wasn’t for your ears.”
“That’s wrong,” Talia said shakily. “The count is one person short.”
“No, it’s not,” Drew said tersely. “Everyone who’s alive is on the move. We transport bodies, but we don’t count them.”

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