Thursday, June 6, 2019

Will Rise From Ashes NBtM

Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can't lose another loved one.

Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ's fear of driving and Reid's military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ's anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family's present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.

A gray column of ash exploded on the screen. The plume darkened the sky.

“Mom, come look!” Will said, without turning from the TV.

She fidgeted with the mail on the kitchen counter. Then said a bad word. The metal trash lid clanged open, and she grumbled. He tapped a finger on his thigh as he listened to the newscaster.
A few minutes passed. “Mom…”

“One minute,” she called. He turned. She dragged the basket of dirty laundry from their vacation to Yellowstone down the basement steps. Thump, thump, thump.

“But it’s the volcano! On TV!” His pulse flickered. This was important. She needed to see.

“Hang on a sec, Will.”

The clock read 9:03 p.m. Eastern Time, but it still felt like Mountain Time and he wasn’t sleepy. He counted to one second. He knew she didn’t mean that. Her “a sec” or “a minute” could be way longer.

She returned from the basement and opened the window over the kitchen sink. The metallic, vibrating hum of the foghorn sounded in the distance. He rose and added a tally mark to the chart on his clipboard. Soon, he’d need to make his snow charts, too. But it was only August.

“Where are they?” Mom said.

She came through the doorway to the living room with her mug in one hand. It smelled like burnt stinky milk. He covered his nose.

“Mom, watch out!” She almost stepped on his eight red volcano cut-outs lined in a row in front of the TV. His heart kerthumped. He straightened one, so the bottom edge realigned with the rest. There, better.

“So, honey, what is it? Find an interesting documentary to watch?” she finally asked, drawing her gaze to the TV as she stumbled. “Will, the tape and scissors. I need you to pick them up, okay?” She yawned. “We need to go to bed soon.” She leaned over the coffee table and clicked her laptop shut with another curse. “I can’t even track their flight. Where are they?” she repeated to herself.

Her brown eyes were shiny, holding that sad look she got when she thought about Dad. Some expressions confused him, but Mom was easier to understand than others. She was sad a lot these days. Was she sad about his little brother Finn not returning home yet? He approached her and hugged her around the waist. He nudged the top of his head against her ribcage. “It’s okay, Mom. Finn and Uncle Brandon will be here. Maybe their flights were delayed again?”

She exhaled. Coffee breath. His stomach squeezed. Delays. Yuck, he didn’t like delays either.

She said in a whisper, a raspy grating sound, “They should’ve landed by now…the traffic north to Maine from Boston isn’t awful this time of day. Finn’s going to be so wired.”

But he’s not a robot, Will wanted to say, but he knew it was just one of Mom’s weird phrases. The commercials ended. He grabbed her hand. “Look, Mom. Yellowstone! Maybe Finn and Uncle Brandon saw it erupt since we were all just there! How lucky of them to see that, huh?” He pointed to the LIVE symbol in the bottom right corner.

Her mug slipped and fell in a crash, spilling all over his volcanoes.

 My 10 favorite highlights of Yellowstone National Park

I’m a daydreamer and traveler, hiking buff and lover of nature. The backdrop (or inciting incident) in Will Rise from Ashes is the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. So, today, I thought I’d share some of the most awe-inspiring places within this gigantic geothermal wonder of a park that I’ve been fortunate to visit twice (once as a child, and once a few years ago with my own kids). Bring your hiking shoes and camera, and be ready to be wowed at this first National Park of the USA…

Let’s count them down from 10…

10. Mammoth Hot Springs – these calcium carbonate terraces are interesting to see and you’re guaranteed to see some elk!

9. Visitor Education Centers – Learn cool facts about the science behind the geothermal wonders of the park. Impressive! We were equipped with a Junior Ranger guide, an infrared thermometer, and fun stuff to work on and our kids got Junior Ranger badges!

8. Yellowstone Lake – visit the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet elevation in North America.

7. Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley – both sweeping, lush valleys are rich in scenery and wildlife.

6. Yellowstone Falls – found in the “Grand Canyon of Yellowstone,” and at over 300 feet high, Lower Yellowstone Falls is twice as tall as Niagara Falls.

5. Bears, wolves, elk, and wildlife, oh my! – bring the binoculars, keep an ear and eye out, and Yellowstone will gift you with sightings from bird to mammal.

4. Bison jams (no, not jellies) – getting up close and personal with these beautiful creatures is easy. And yes, by jam I mean traffic jam…once one or several or a herd are sighted, the cars stop, and out pop the cameras. We had one walk in the middle of the road right past our car! Just don’t get too close and respect nature from a distance. Bison are not cows. They can hurt you.

3. Grand Prismatic Spring – the largest (and a gloriously colorful) hot spring in the United States (approximately 370 feet wide and 120 feet deep) is also worth a visit! See it walking on a boardwalk, up close and personal (be careful), or on the new trail that gives a bird’s eye view from above.

2. Old Faithful Geyser – yup, it’s as faithful as you think and draws many tourists to its routine eruptions every 90 minutes or so. It shoots nearly 130 feet into the air. Get there early for a good seat and be prepared to be wowed!

1. Morning Glory Pool – this deep, polychromatic hot spring can be reached at the end of the Upper Geyser Basin (3 mile-round trip) walk. Very much worth it as you meander past dozens and dozens of geysers and hot springs. My favorite bubbly wonder in the park!

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

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  1. Thanks for hosting! Readers: do you have a favorite national park or natural destination?

  2. I appreciate you taking the time to give us a great book description and giveaway as well. Thank you so much!

  3. I've enjoyed following the tour and I'm looking forward to checking this one out. Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way :)

  4. Would you ever like to see your book turned into a movie or television show?

  5. I've never been there, maybe one day I will visit