Sunday, June 8, 2014

Heartbreaking Family Drama Becomes Terrifying When Stalker Begins to Feed on Fear in Approaching Menace by June Shaw...

"Josie. Josie!" The voice seemed like Colin's, but
she couldn't be sure.

"Josie!" Colin screamed.
Remembering her little brother's face and the
machine vital to his survival, she automatically
attuned her ear. The hum had stopped. Josie
will her knees to unbolt. She moved to a wall and
fingered its roughness until her hands crept
across the door frame...
Sound came from her left.
The noise repeated. Colin's rasping sounded
like he was shoking.
"It's okay, Josie," he said between coughs.
"Come on. I'm right here."
She was clunking ice into his special glass when
lightning crashed. Thunder resonated, bounding
against walls.
A shriek rose in Josie's chest. It reached her throat
and froze, Something shattered.

Sound no longer registered. She stared at the window.
lightning flashes were trying to come in. They yearned
to find her. Just like they had found the other girl...
Josie's eyes narrowed. Again she smelt the horrid
crisp burnt odor. Death, when it struck the child
playing so near to her.
Between the open curtains, lightning daggers speared
the sky. Thunder exploded. The world outside and in
Josie's home blackened.
Her scream pried itself loose.

She glanced at the ceiling. What she'd thought was more lightning had been the lights coming back on.
Colin gave a wide-toothed smile and stroked her arm, attempting to coax reassurance. "You remember when I used to be scared of Fred?"
The name called Josie to full senses.
Beyond Colin, a red light flashed. Beeps added more warning.
Josie plied herself from his warmth and dashed to the machine. She reset the knows without having to think, and silenced the clamor.
"It's okay, Fred," Colin said to the dialysis machine that again sent cleansed blood back into him. "If you don't cry anymore, then maybe my sister will feed me some dinner. And maybe I won't have to die of starvation."

Approaching Menace
By June Shaw

Josie Aspen was caught in a life that nobody could plan for. When she was young, she had seen lightning kill a little girl right next to her, while they were in a group...She had never been able to get past the fear of lightning. Then, a failed relationship was just the issue that, when her mother called about her brother, Josie decided to go back home and help care for him.

She didn't realize, however, that it might become her total responsibility. Her father had left their home years ago, but sometimes would drop in unexpectedly. Her mother had been caught up in this cycle and now played the waiting game, substituting dieting, buying clothes and jewelry for herself, and slowly allowing Josie to take over total care of her brother who had kidney failure and needed constant care and dialysis pending, hopefully, someday obtaining a replacement kidney...
She knew the need for organs and knew well
enough what would happen if someone sitting
beside her didn't get one.
She's wondered about the man caller but dismissed
the message once she asked Colin later and he said
the man didn't mention her name; he just asked to
speak to his sister. Someone certainly could have
called the wrong number???
"No, he just said tell you don't worry. He'll be
coming to get you real soon."
...Josie turned cold. Who was coming to get her
and Why?

When she had been so distraught with the storm outside she actually was placed in a flashback situation from fear of the lightning while Colin's equipment failed, Josie became more committed than ever to increase chances that he get a kidney... She started a local campaign for help and support that was going very well, but increased even more her time commitment to her brother's issues.

One other small twist is that Josie has met and fallen in love with a local man. They have talked marriage, but with her family commitments, it would be a problem... and given her trust issues, once she discovered he had a gambling problem, that put her on edge even more!

The drama surrounding Josie intensifies when she loses her job, even though she is able to find another fairly quickly...

And it was about that time that she noticed that a car seemed to be following her...

And small slips of material, which looked like a scarf belonging to her mother, which had been in her car was being sent or left various places... But why send small pieces of it to her???

And that's how the reader begins, along with Josie, to get itchy about what is going on...Not enough to call the police, but still enough to be a constant aggravation to consider...

Soon, she if fully convinced that someone is following her. The thing I found about the book was just in placing the stalker on the edge of the overall life of Josie, which was fully committed, the readers will have the same lull, or involvement in her life issues that, when her life is broken by something from the stalker, it seems to be more disruptive...and slowly builds as each of the other characters are scrutinized for possibly being the one who is working to harm her...

But she wasn't the first, and even when he picked out Josie for special involvement. because of her fear of lightning, he had killed other girls and the whole town was on alert...

Then the next storm was being followed--would it head toward her area...He wanted it to because he would try to get to her at that time...She just wanted the storm to move into other areas and she not have to deal with it...

Tension is high, and readers will even become afraid because there is never a certainly on our part as to who is the stalker... Of course, the major, constant fear of Collin being caught, needing to have dialysis is on top of that endless confusion as to who would want to hurt her...

And then the storm hit and electricity was gone!

Whew! I was riveted!

But I got to say that I loved the ending..

I've got to add a special thanks to the author for using the need for donor giving/home dialysis activities as the main drama. This has been a concern in my own family and having the story provide such in-depth information has been helpful to me and, I hope, should stimulate attention to donation of body parts at time of death to help save somebody who can be saved!


My debut novel was published some time after I became a widow with five children. My ninth grade English teacher ignited my dream of becoming a writer, but my life was busy, my dream long deferred. How exciting it is to see my lifelong dream come to pass.
My mystery series has been compared to writing by Janet Evanovitch and Agatha Christie. It's been called suspenseful and fun. It's certainly been fun for me. Deadly Ink nominated Relative Danger for their David award for Best Mystery of the Year. I'm honored and thrilled--and love to hear from readers.
I've also written a book about my amazing mom that can help anyone getting older. And I've plunged into writing for children with HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PET GHOST. I sure hope you'll explore some of my works. Thanks! June
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