So, in the weeks leading up to the release at long last of my five-years-in-the-writing novel Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven (which is scheduled for pre-order in mid-December, with publication February 3, 2015!) I’m going to be posting the cover (coming soon!) along with a few snippets and sneak peeks from the book itself.
This first sneak peek comes from the Prologue and centers on the main character, Elena, during one of her childhood brushes with Death (not as ominous as it sounds, since the novel is a humorous, quirky, poignant story about family, friendship, love, loss, and coming to terms with what it means to live when someone you love dies).
This bit of scene was inspired by an actual event at an actual place from my childhood – The Enchanted Forest in Old Forge, NY (now it’s advertised as “The Enchanted Forest Water Safari” – where the fun never stops!) Back then it was only a “fairytale” based theme park with lots of little tableaus, live entertainment by way of animal shows and acrobats, and a few rides.
One of the rides I loved when I was four or five was a “pony” ride like this one, where you could sit on a real, live pony and ride around in a circle seven or eight times. I’ll let the sneak peek fill in the rest:
From Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, by M. Reed McCall
“Let’s go back to the subject of Death.
Elena’s two youthful run-ins with the Reaper hadn’t caused any permanent emotional scars (though there were a couple of physical ones); instead, she’d carried with her a bone-deep awareness of life’s impermanence, along with a tendency at moments of deep fear or distress to murmur a phrase that broke her father’s heart and earned teasing from certain of her sisters each time she uttered it: “Am I going to die, Pa?”
The first brush with Eternity happened the summer after she’d turned four, at the bustling Adirondack theme park called Fairytale Adventure. She’d been bucked off the live pony-ride – an attraction where children rode tethered ponies round and round a circle for a pre-set length of time. Unbeknownst to anyone, Elena’s pony had been in the harness for too long. A sore had developed near the edge of his saddle. An insect might have landed on the raw place, or perhaps Elena had accidentally touched it. She couldn’t remember.
Whatever it was, that instant had been followed by a jumble of sights, sounds, and not very nice feelings as she’d sailed through the air and landed with a crunching thud a dozen feet away. She’d later learned that her skull had narrowly missed a rock when she’d finally reconnected with earth. She didn’t know any of that at the time, though. She only knew that her shoulder ached something fierce, her collarbone having snapped upon impact.
However, if all else was muddled, the memory of looking up and seeing the worry in Pa’s handsome face had stuck with her, vivid as blood upon snow. He’d scooped her up and carried her tucked against his chest all the way to the park entrance, where they would find their van and go on to the hospital.
As he moved her swiftly through the crowd, that desperate question had slipped out in a whisper. Pa had met her gaze, his striking blue eyes filled with such love for her, and he’d answered in a calm and reassuring voice that no, she wasn’t going to die. And so Elena had nodded in grave acceptance, blinking away any lingering tears. He was her Pa – the best Pa in the whole world – and he always told her the truth.”
There you have it: Sneak Peek #1. Stay tuned for more snippets in the coming weeks, posted ONLY on this blog, for you, my wonderful followers. 🙂