Welcome to my stop on the Room 3 tour. Reading the first paragraph of the blurb, I was thinking, “hmm, run-of-the-mill kidnapping thriller,” then I moved on to the next few lines!! Scroll down and see for yourself.
Bartender and songwriter Kelli Foster had always kept her eyes trained on the dream of stardom as a means to escape her small-town life. That focus blinded her to threat right in front of her: a bar patron who lulls her into a false sense of security and abducts her for a shadowy organization, taking her to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
Desperate to escape and return to the world she thought she knew, Kelli bides her time, complying with her captors as they force her into a dream world where she must unravel the meaning of a song to free a hostage trapped inside a tree. Failure to free the hostage means only one thing: death, for her and the hostage.
Joined by an important test subject whose sanity unravels almost from the start, Kelli attempts to free them both. When the escape fails, Kelli’s life becomes even more difficult, and she learns that her assumptions about her life – and the world itself – could all be false. As events spiral out of control, Kelli finds herself caught in a battle between godlike beings that hold her fate, and that of the entire Organization, in their hands.
Excerpt 1: This is the first time we see one of Kelli’s visions, following a an injection of the mysterious hallucinogen.
Something rustled in the corn. I whirled, but I knew who it would be before she even appeared. She always found me. “Mimi?”
A little girl appeared from between the rows, pushing the bottoms of the stalks apart. She had blue eyes, dark brown hair, and a smile that could just melt your heart – the kind of smile that never, ever survives into adulthood.
She cocked her head. “How’d you know my name?”
She always asked me that.
“We’ve met, but I’ve told you that before, too.”
She put her hands on her little hips. “How come I don’t remember you?”
“I think it’s this place. It always makes you forget.”
“I don’t like that.”
I looked around. “I don’t like it much, either. But don’t worry about it. I’m here.”
Wheels turned in her head. “But why are you here?”
No clue how to answer that one. “You’re looking for something, right?”
I leaned down, putting my hands on my knees. “What are you looking for, sweetheart?” I already knew the answer, but this had gone down a certain path forever, and the show had to go on.
She rubbed her eyes. “Cici’s gone. I can’t find her.”
Cici. The girl forever searched for Cici. I had no idea if she even existed. “Now where did you last see your sister?” I said.
Her eyes widened, like I’d shown her the secret of the universe. “We did meet, didn’t we, that’s how you know about Cici?”
I nodded. “Where did you see her last?” Knew the answer to this one, too.
She pointed over my shoulder. “There.”
I knew what I’d see when I turned. I’d seen it so many times that I’d even started to see it in my dreams. It didn’t matter, though. Every single time I turned to gaze on it, it knocked me on my proverbial butt: an enormous, gnarled tree, soaring up into the sky. This wasn’t just any tree, though. Somebody had carved a wooden organ out of the trunk, with two levels of wooden keys and wooden pipes rising out of the higher reaches.
The largest keyhole you’ve ever seen had been connected to that organ, its details carved right into the trunk, between the keys and the pipes.
“She’s locked in there, isn’t she?”
About the Author
Born and raised in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Jonathan wrote his first fantasy/sci-fi novel at the age of 13. After studying writing and communication at James Madison University, Jonathan turned his passion for writing into a full-time technical writing career in the DC Metro area, working for companies like Sprint/Nextel, Time Warner Cable, and Sirius XM Radio, where he had an opportunity to combine his love of music with his love of writing. He may have drifted away from fiction at times, but it was always his first love – and he always returned to it. Now living in Bethesda with his wife, two cats, and two quirky guinea pigs for which his publishing company is named, he crafts the kinds of stories that he had always hoped to read but just couldn’t quite find.
Best of luck Jonathan.