Please find below an excerpt from Aftermath Horizon, my latest young adult romantic adventure from Solstice Publishing. Having fallen into a pit inside a deep cave, Beth, the eighteen-year-old heroine, works with her husband to free themselves. The book is filled with humor, excitement, and true love. Reviews have been excellent. If you are looking for a read that will make you feel good all over, this is it.
Although it is impossible to tell night and day in the cave, we wake quite rested some time later. After a little water and jerky, I re-tie the blankets to our pitiful rope. This time we work together, with me throwing the escape rope at exactly the same time he throws our bundle of rods. We score in only three attempts—the ends of the bundle rest on adjacent walls and the rope dangles down the corner where the two sides meet. David then hefts me on his shoulders. “Okay, babe. Don’t make any sudden moves. Make sure those rods can hold your weight. Climb as smoothly as you can.”
I grab the leg of the pants and incrementally add more and more of my weight, wondering the whole time why I just didn’t let go when David fell into this damn hole, but then, who would’ve kept him warm and taken care of his wounds? He could’ve died down here without me being next to him. I shake off my nagging hindsight with a single thought: the past is irrelevant. All that matters now is climbing out of this pit. So I pull myself upward until my feet leave David’s shoulders.
When I reach a point about two meters from the top, I feel the bundle shift. The movement is almost imperceptible but enough to make me freeze in place. I hold my breath as I look up. The left side of the bundle has shifted a few centimeters toward the opening. My heart sinks; my stomach feels queasy. I look down at David and grimace. He can only offer encouragement. “Move slow and easy, honey. Slow and easy.”
Twice more, I reach up, grasping the rope above my head. Squeezing the rope tight between my feet, I push up with my legs and pull down with my arms…slowly and methodically. Only one meter to go. I take a deep, slow breath as I prepare to reach upward once again. The aluminum bundle shifts again, and I hear it scrape against the rock’s sharp edge as it pivots toward the pit. I hear my heart pounding in my ear drums, but I can’t worry about my impending fall. David will do his best to catch me. I stretch my arm out and pull down with constant, steady force as my body moves up another half meter. One more upward reach and I’ll be able to grasp the edge. I stretch my arm out slowly, but the bundle shifts once again. In an instant, the entire apparatus begins to slide toward the abyss.
Here is a typical review (not solicited): “What a privilege to read this book!! It was one of the best, adventurous books I have read in a long time. I didn't want to put it down, I wanted to see what was going to happen at each turn. I can't wait to read it again! Wonderfully written!”
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Thank you for reading,
James L. Hatch