Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Gail Pallotta as she interviews the heroine in her book, Stopped Cold. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter her giveaway.
Margaret, I’m so sorry your brother, Sean’s, in the hospital. What happened?
Unknown to any of us, he took a steroid and had a stroke.
I’m sorry. Why did he take it?
Unfortunately, he isn’t talking, so we don’t know. I’m guessing he took it to please Dad.
What?! Would your dad want him to take a drug?
No, of course not, but Dad wants him to be a star quarterback. Maybe he took it so he could throw the football farther. According to Sean’s doctor, steroids are used by athletes to enhance their performance. They can practice longer and get stronger if they take them, but the pills have horrible side effects. One is a stroke.
What’s your dad saying now?
Dad says Sean doesn’t need to be a quarterback and win football games. He just wants him to get well. But, Dad’s always wanted us to come in first in sports, so I’m not sure he really means that. Also, I feel like Sean just passed me a baton in a race.
Oh, I see. What sport do you play?
I’m a swimmer.
Why do you think it’s so important to your dad that you always win?
I’m not sure, but I was talking about it to my friend, Emily. She asked if Dad’s father always wanted him to win. He did, so Emily believes Dad’s just living life as he knows it. I want to make the state swim team, so Dad will have something to tell his friends. That should take any pressure off Sean if he’s well by then. When he wakes up, I’m going to let him know he’s special. My Sunday school teacher says God’s given each of us a gift or gifts to use for Him. We don’t need to be the best. Sean has a talent for the sciences. He could grow up and find the cure for cancer if..if..if he comes out of this.
Well, I’ll be praying for that.
Thank you. That’s what I’ve been doing in the hospital chapel.
That’s good. Prayer is powerful. Where did Sean get the drug?
We don’t know, but I’m going to find out. I have my eyes and ears open listening for clues. I overheard a girl tell a guy to visit an abandoned Buddhist temple in the woods to beef up. I intend to comb that forest until I find it, and see who’s in it.
Isn’t that dangerous?
No, my two friends, Jimmy and Emily, are going with me. We’ll see the drug dealers, but they won’t see us. After we identify the bad guys, we’ll give their names to the undercover detective on the case.
Do you have any other clues?
Yeah, we’ve already snooped around in the woods once and overheard some men talking about selling illegal drugs.
That’s scary. Did you see them? Or better question, did they see you?
No, we hid behind some underbrush with our noses on the ground. We could only see their feet.
I want to hear more about this. Thanks for talking with me today. Keep me posted.
READERS, Gail will give away EITHER a review copy of Stopped Cold OR a Kindle copy of Barely Above Water, winner’s choice. Barely Above Water, a contemporary romance, is a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Award Winner.
About Stopped Cold
Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.
Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school swimming and hanging out with friends—until the day her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking steroids. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital.
Anger sets a fire for retribution inside her, and Margaret vows to make the criminals pay. Even the cop on the case can’t stop her from investigating. Looking for justice, she convinces two friends, Jimmy and Emily to join her in a quest that takes them through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture they discover deep in the woods behind the school. Time and again they walk a treacherous path, and come face-to-face with danger.
All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s a 2013 Grace Awards finalist for an earlier edition of Stopped Cold and a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner. She’s published books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Click https://www.gailpallotta.com/gails-books.html to read more about Stopped Cold.
Buy Stopped Cold
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Twitter – Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords (https://twitter.com/Hopefulwords?lang=en)
and her blog – https://gailpallotta.blogspot.com
Margaret would love it if you follow the twitter page for the high school in Stopped Cold. It’s Meriwether Christian at MeriwetherCS (https://twitter.com/MeriwetherCS)
First Page of Stopped Cold
My first day as a Freshman at Meriwether Christian High School in Mistville, North Carolina, the sun shone on a small plant with pink blossoms on the window sill and gave Mrs. Hornsby’s English class a cheerful look. She stood in front of pine straight back chairs scrunched together in the middle of the room, the tables shoved up against the wall at the end of it.
“Today we’ll form a circle and get acquainted.”
Her voice sounded bubbly and kind, but I wanted to escape to the pool or a beach. She directed us with her hands as we scraped chairs across the laminated floor and took our seats. That’s when I noticed Jimmy Willmore staring at me. As self-conscious as a possum in a dog show, I peered at my lap. Was he checking me out? I raised my head and glanced at him.
He shifted his gaze to the blackboard.
Mrs. Hornsby ran her hand through her short, salt-and-pepper-colored hair then twirled around. “Let’s start with you.” She gestured toward a pretty girl with dainty features and long, blonde hair.
“I’m Sally Dumont, a transfer student from North Wilkes.”
The other kids gave their names, but I let them fade into the background while I thought about Jimmy Willmore. Then it was my turn. “I’m Margaret McWhorter, and I entered Meriwether in middle school.”