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Still Breathing – Book Tour & Giveaway

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  November 17, 2018
Designer: Damonza
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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Newly widowed and on the threshold of seventy, Lizzie Warton questions the value of her remaining years. Uncharacteristically, she decides for the first time in her life to do what she wants, instead of what everyone expects.
Against the wishes of family and friends, she sets out for Africa to work at a Ugandan middle school. When she lands at night in the Entebbe airport, her hosts are not there to meet her. Near panic, she hires a local taxi. The driver drugs her, steals everything, and dumps her limp body in a slum. Waking in the dark, she feels someone tugging off her shoes.
Without money, a passport, clothes, or medications, Lizzie is forced to start over and find a way to survive.
Soon she learns that nothing in Africa is as it appears. The grind of daily life in the third-world is beyond anything Lizzie imagined. Nevertheless, encouraged by budding friendships in surprising places, and against every sensible instinct she’s ever developed, Lizzie’s own personal search for meaning becomes the grand adventure of a lifetime.
EXCERPT

     Lizzie carried a towel, some rags, a folded robe, a big bar of deep blue soap, and a pair of flip-flops. Meg walked just ahead of her, lugging a large plastic bucket of warm water in one hand and tapping the ground ahead of them with a long stick.

“We rent this house,” Meg said, “and the owner keeps talking about upgrading to indoor plumbing. That’d be nice but we’re afraid if he does, we won’t be able to afford the rent. So far, it’s just talk.”

They passed long sets of clothes lines near the back perimeter wall and approached a painted enclosure with two wooden doors. Meg pulled open the left side door and stepped inside the closet-sized room, setting her bucket down on the slightly canted cement floor. “As a result, you will have the pleasure of a more traditional clean-up experience.” She grinned at Lizzie. “I know, it’s not exactly the Ritz, but bucket baths have their own rustic charms.”

She repositioned the two small benches in the room, pushing one against a wall and sliding the other into the center of the space. Turning back to Lizzie, still standing at the door, Meg set down the stick and held out her hands. “Here, gimme those, and I’ll set things up.”

Lizzie handed everything to Meg who efficiently arranged the items in a practiced order, using the outer bench and some convenient wooden pegs set into the walls.

“Okay. Let me show you the basics.” Meg crouched over the bucket and pretended to cup handfuls of water and toss them onto one shoulder and then onto the other. “You just kind of get the water going where you need it to go. Then you lather up. Rinse off. Repeat. It’s not complicated.”

She snickered and patted Lizzie’s shoulder as she exited. “Wait’ll you have to do it with cold water. I’ll remind Musaazi to leave another bucket outside the door for an extra rinse.” She winked. “I’m sure you’ll need it after all you’ve been through.”

Lizzie peeked inside the stark, white painted room and her eyes grew wider—there wasn’t any roof! She heard Meg outside explaining the next room in the enclosure, so she ducked back out to catch up.

“This is the bathroom side,” Meg explained. “I know it feels primitive but it’s clean. Just pretend you’re camping in the woods and you’ll be fine. Most women carry TP with them. You’ll get used to it. Here, the boys do a good job of keeping ours stocked.” She smiled as she stepped out so Lizzie could get a look. “And they no longer steal it, so that helps.”

Lizzie stepped into the bathroom, reassured to see a corrugated roof above her. There were a few pegs in the walls and a hole in the cement floor with room for feet on either side. A generous roll of toilet paper was within easy reach, and a small shelf nearby held two more rolls. She heard Meg’s voice continuing so she stepped back out.

“I know this is a lot to deal with, but you’ll be fine. Now, I’m sure you’re anxious to get started. I’m gonna go pull together some breakfast.” She stepped off toward the house, then stopped. “Oh, and just drape your dirty clothes over the bath wall. Musaazi’ll gather ‘em up, and I’ll get ‘em washed. Okay?”

Lizzie felt dazed, but not unpleasantly so. “Okay.”

Meg studied her for a moment, unsure whether to leave. “You’ll get your feet under you soon. I promise.”

Lizzie cocked her head, uncertain.

Meg grinned. “You’re made for this place, Lizzie. I can feel it.”

“Am I?”

“Yep. Despite this beginning, you’re gonna love Uganda.”

 

About the Author

 photo GeneF_5X7_08042016_1_zps8yzjvi5o.jpg

Originally from South Minneapolis, Gene Fournier earned a BA in Philosophy & Literature from St. Louis University followed by a Masters in Film from USC. Gene is a member of the Writers Guild of America West (WGA) and worked as a screenwriter and editor in Hollywood, but sadly, he never got that big break.
Seeking a return to his roots after twelve years in California, he accepted a Director of Media position with a multinational company headquartered in the Midwest. For thirty years he wrote, directed, edited and distributed corporate video programs around the world, managed live presentations, and orchestrated the creative elements for national and international meetings.
Retired now, with his seven children grown, and a dozen grandchildren to distract him, Gene is finally able to write down the stories he’s been carrying in his head all these years.
 
Contact Links
Purchase Links
RABT Book Tours & PR
Women's Fiction Date Published: 7/27/2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white
Women's Fiction Date Published: 7/27/2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white
Women's Fiction Date Published: June 2019 Publisher: Riverpoint Press Laura Beckman’s comfortable suburban life would
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance Date Published: 6/18/2019 Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime…
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance Date Published: 6/18/2019 Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime…

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Still Breathing – Blitz

 

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  November 17, 2018
Designer: Damonza
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
 
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Newly widowed and on the threshold of seventy, Lizzie Warton questions the value of her remaining years. Uncharacteristically, she decides for the first time in her life to do what she wants, instead of what everyone expects.
Against the wishes of family and friends, she sets out for Africa to work at a Ugandan middle school. When she lands at night in the Entebbe airport, her hosts are not there to meet her. Near panic, she hires a local taxi. The driver drugs her, steals everything, and dumps her limp body in a slum. Waking in the dark, she feels someone tugging off her shoes.
Without money, a passport, clothes, or medications, Lizzie is forced to start over and find a way to survive. 


Soon she learns that nothing in Africa is as it appears. The grind of daily life in the third-world is beyond anything Lizzie imagined. Nevertheless, encouraged by budding friendships in surprising places, and against every sensible instinct she’s ever developed, Lizzie’s own personal search for meaning becomes the grand adventure of a lifetime.
Excerpt
      “Hey, muzungu! Over here!”
“Lady, best prices in Owino!”
 “I have jeans. You want jeans? New styles from America!”
“Hey! Pretty white lady! Over here!”
 “Best quality! Best prices! Today, only for you, muzungu!”
“I have a new shipment! Come and see!”
“Muzungu! Lady, what you need?”
Lizzie was sick of the accented voices shouting at her. She had yet to see another white woman in the claustrophobic market. Warned in advance, she had ignored the hands on her arms, the fingers trailing across her fingers, even the nudges to move her toward their shops, but she was fed up with the vendors’ constant calls aimed at her. Still, she doggedly maintained her wooden smile, even though she was gritting her teeth behind it.
At one point, a vendor called out a question in Luganda and someone else answered it. Lizzie was sure it had something to do with her. Laughter broke out and other voices chimed in with more quips. Grinning faces nodded at her as she walked away.
Lizzie shot a questioning look at Mrs. Birungi, who rolled her eyes, even though a smile tugged at her mouth. “It is nothing – just vendor talk. Ignore it. We need to go over that way.” Birungi pointed to a split in the congested path ahead, and steered them to the right.
Afiya pulled abreast of Lizzie a little later as they bobbed through a brief open place in the moving crowd. “They said they not sure if you are white or Ugandan.”
“What?”
“It was joke. Our people always make jokes.”
“How was it a joke?”
“Somebody said you half Ugandan.” The girl suppressed a grin.
“I don’t get it.”
“They said you have white top but Ugandan bottom.” Afiya smiled broadly as she said the line.
Lizzie looked back at her, puzzled.
“This kind bottom.” Afiya patted her own rump. “Word means both things. They admired your…bottom.” Afiya couldn’t help but giggle as she repeated the word.
Lizzie understood and sighed. “Well, I guess that’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” In her mind, a little appreciative thought blossomed at still being noticed in that way, at all. She hastily chided herself and kept walking, but her hips now swayed a tiny bit more, nevertheless.
About the Author

 photo GeneF_5X7_08042016_1_zpssmrgi6sb.jpg

Originally from South Minneapolis, Gene Fournier earned a BA in Philosophy & Literature from St. Louis University followed by a Masters in Film from USC. Gene is a member of the Writers Guild of America west (WGA) and worked as a screenwriter and editor in Hollywood, but sadly, he never got that big break.
Seeking a return to his roots after twelve years in California, he accepted a Director of Media position with a multinational company headquartered in the Midwest. For thirty years he wrote, directed, edited and distributed corporate video programs around the world, managed live presentations, and orchestrated the creative elements for national and international meetings.
Retired now, with his seven children grown, and a dozen grandchildren to distract him, Gene is finally able to write down the stories he’s been carrying in his head all these years.
Contact Links
RABT Book Tours & PR
Women's Fiction Date Published: 7/27/2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white
Women's Fiction Date Published: 7/27/2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white
Women's Fiction Date Published: June 2019 Publisher: Riverpoint Press Laura Beckman’s comfortable suburban life would
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance Date Published: 6/18/2019 Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime…
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance Date Published: 6/18/2019 Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime…

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS