Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fire & Ice Book Tours Presents: Special Run by Lena McCoy - Giveaway

If an animal spoke to you, would you listen? Botanist/psychokinetic Katrina Ormstead created a super hash. A variety of marijuana she calls MAGIC. Before she can share her successful medical findings with the scientific community, she’s murdered. There is, however, one witness begging to come forward. Special is Katrina’s wolf-hybrid dog. She saw her mistress die. She wants revenge. Now she has to convince food photographer, animal psychic and Katrina’s best friend Wheat Keigwin of the same thing. Together, dog and woman dedicate themselves to solving the mystery behind Katrina’s death.

“Trust me, if you’re an animal lover, a paranormal fiction follower, a reader of rom-coms, or a murder mystery aficionado, you should really buy this book.” Charlie Bray’s Indi Book Reviews, The Indietribe Newsletter – Read the whole review at: http://eepurl.com/Pd4gv

Guest Blog:

 Why Did I Write Special Run?
First and foremost I wrote Special Run because I had a story to tell. The story came to me in a dream. The urge to write the outline was so powerful when I woke the next morning, the first thing I did was find a pen and pad of paper.
The catalyst for Special Run came when my mother passed away.  I moved back to the family farm to help my dad with daily chores. At the time, Colorado was in the process of legalizing marijuana and my father and I discussed the pros and cons of adding cannabis to our crop base.
Later that evening, surrounded by my childhood mementos, especially old photos of my dog, Special, I fell asleep and dreamed the outline of the story Special Run.
My life leading up to that night, I’m sure, influenced my dreams. I give credit to my parents for encouraging my creative side and allowing me to explore my imaginary world. A family farm is a wonderful place to grow up with unlimited space and time to play out the stories in our fantasy world. Our horses were valiant steeds that carried us into battle or became a trick riders dream. Hay bales were our forts and the windbreaks a dense magical forest.
In a farm/ranch environment I also learned to respect all animals. The animals that worked with us, the animals that fed us and the wildlife that surrounded us. Witnessing the connection between humans and animals – especially farmers and their dogs – gave me an appreciation of the unspoken bond that creatures from both worlds can form.
I still marvel at my dad and the many dogs that graced his life. With no formal training on either side, they worked in perfect harmony: herding cattle, checking the irrigation, protecting each other. Seeing them together was like witnessing a perfectly executed dance between two admiring partners.
After graduating from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, with a Bachelors of Science degree in Agriculture Journalism, my career always included working with the media. Later, I was fortunate to land a position in the field of agriculture. Whether it was feature stories or press releases, I used my creative background to give a voice to cattle producers across the United States.
A major influence during those years and now is Temple Grandin. A professor at Colorado State University, Grandin is a prominent and widely cited proponent of the rights of autistic persons and of animal welfare. Through her teaching, I learned to view animal behavior like human behavior. Observe body language. Listen: is the voice scared, mellow, angry. View the environment: is it cold, hot, noisy, busy.
By learning about animal behavior, I am better able to bring life to my human characters: why do they act the way they do? What is their body language telling the reader? How is the setting affecting their response to a situation?

I have blessed in my life to know many fascinating people. I’ve written numerous ranch histories. I’ve met the man who revolutionized the trucking industry. I’ve met ranch brothers who parachuted out of planes on D-Day. I met the man who told me about his dad inventing the horse trailer. Story after story of people who settled the country. Ordinary people with a story to tell.
I like to think I was given a story to tell. My past and experiences influenced the story, but I also think there was an angel giving me a little push.

“Son of a bitch!” Wheat snapped awake and flung her legs over the side of the bed, her feet moving before they hit the ground.
“Dad!” she screamed as she ran down the hallway. She heard a muffled thump as she came to a stop in front of her parents’ bedroom door.
The door jerked open. “What is it?” Frank asked, his voice urgent, awake, despite the rumpled appearance.
“Are you okay?” Ella’s voice, strong but scared came from behind him.
Wheat moved off down the hall. “It’s Special. We have to get to her!”
“What is it?” Other voices could be heard throughout the house. Teeny, Simon, Leo.
“Don’t go out there alone,” Ella yelled. “Frank! Simon stop your sister!”
Too late.
Wheat slammed through the porch screen door, hitting it so hard it crashed into the house and whipped shut behind her.
Grab a vehicle?
What’s faster?
She forgot shoes. Damn!
“I’m coming. I’m coming,” she chanted to herself, her teeth chattering even in the heat of the night. Special’s screams were still fresh in her head as she threw open the shed door, dropped down on one of the four-wheelers, turned the key and hit the gas. She shot out of the building and saw the black silhouettes of her dad and brother running across the yard. If they were saying anything, she couldn’t hear it over the roar of the engine.
She left them behind, pushed the vehicle to maximum speed. Across the yard, onto a dirt road, then a path, two wheels in the track, the other two chopping over clumps of prairie grass, her mind working out a course. How to avoid the pasture gate. No time to stop.
Wheat turned the handles to the right, dipped down an embankment. There was a wash where the ground was lower, leaving a sizable gap between it and the bottom strand of barbwire. She prayed it was deep enough to let the ATV pass under. She couldn’t see the wire. Even with light from the moon she could only make out the dark shadows of the posts.
The bike stopped jerking, the tires churning the soft dirt in the wash. Wheat pressed herself flat against the seat, her head tucked behind the handle bars, cheek on the fuel tank, expecting to feel the jerk if the handles caught the barb wire. She felt something shock her as the wire grazed her back.
The material on her pajama top caught. Tore as a barb let loose.
She realized she’d been holding her breath, let it out, kept herself tucked forward, less wind resistance.
The bike topped the rise, all four wheels air bound. It hit the ground. Bounced hard. It knocked the breath out of her, but she didn’t take her thumb off the gas.
The vehicle bucked madly, hitting clumps of grass and gopher holes. Wheat squeezed with her thighs like a bull rider. Rode it out. The clinic only yards away.
The thought hit her.
She didn’t have a weapon.
Too late now. She stomped down on the brake, sent the bike into a skid. Leapt off. The bike still rolling. The gravel bit into her bare feet. Her mind raced ahead. What could she use in a fight?
The clinic door was wide open. She heard the chorus of animal noise inside. She reached out and grabbed a branding iron hanging by a nail on the side of the building.
Didn’t hesitate.
How close was her brother?
Her feet slapped the cold tile inside the building and she hit the light switch, arm raised, iron shaft gripped tight.
Brian Donovan stood by the front desk.
She felt the blood rush to her head.
She must look a fright.
To cover her discomfort she scowled at him. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Damn he looked good.
Her ex-lover.

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An agriculture journalist, Lena Jo McCoy has worked in the print-media fields, both newspapers and magazines and has spent most of her life devoted to agriculture. Lena Jo has long admired the works of animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, Cesar Milan as well as the farmers and ranchers she’s written about and is dedicated to the humane treatment of all animals. When she is not playing servant to her two English Bulldogs, Lena Jo finds herself at the computer writing the next story.

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Enter to win one of ten print copies of Special Run. Available to US addresses only. Enter through Goodreads.

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