Another Sneak Peek


Dalton Highway (or Haul Road), Alaska

Have you ever been captivated by thoughts or ideas, becoming so engrossed that you forget about everything else?

That was me yesterday. I completely forgot about Wednesday’s post! (Sorry)

The good news is, I have completed 2 more chapters of our book. And I am happy to say that so far, what I have shared has received positive feedback.

I am still looking for a few more beta readers to preview the book for free before it is released. Please click here to join my email list if you are interested.

Here is another sneak peek, as promised. The following excerpt is a scene from chapter 2, describing a brief background of two main characters, Brian Harrison, and his wife, Sarah:

When Brian and Sarah had first been married, Brian had taken a job as a long haul driver delivering fuel. He was earning a good paycheck, but he often spent days at a time on the road, away from his new bride. His plan was to save up enough money to retire early so that they could travel the world together. Other than the time apart due to his job, their life seemed almost like a fairytale romance. They were truly and completely in love, and very happy.

Brian and Sarah’s dream of raising a family together was already on its way to becoming a reality by the end of their first year of marriage, and everything seemed perfect in their life. Although Brian’s job kept them apart for days at a time, it also afforded them uninterrupted days in between.

Going into the winter months was always a busy time for the fuel companies, making sure the remote towns had a good supply of heating and cooking fuel. There were often times when the roads were impassable, sometimes for several days, due to the frequent snowstorms. So the deliveries were critical for their customers’ survival in the months of sub-zero temperatures.

Brian did not relish the idea of being gone for an entire week, but one of the other drivers had broken his leg and could not make his deliveries. So Brian had been asked to cover the additional route, and knowing that the extra money would be very helpful, he accepted the job.

Since this trip was going to be for an entire week, he asked Sarah to come with him. The cab in the back of his truck had a bed that was large enough for two people, and he thought it would be nice to have Sarah along with him. And since she had always wondered what it was like for her husband to be on the road, she accepted. She said, “It will give us a chance to see what traveling together will be like for when we retire”.

Though being cooped up in a small space was not as comfortable as their home, and the bed was not as soft, the young couple made the most of it, enjoying each other’s company. Sarah greatly enjoyed the scenery and the wildlife they encountered, remarking that it was like an Alaskan safari adventure.

On the fifth day of their trip, as they were about halfway to the next town, a terrible snowstorm hit. This was the kind of unexpected storm that brings extreme winds and heavy wet snow. The roads were getting slippery, making it hard to see the road at times. But the truck was outfitted with heavy duty snow chains that gave good traction, and Brian decided to keep pushing onward. Since they had to slow down, the trip was going to take longer than planned, and Brian was a little anxious about getting the delivery in on time.

Even though it was getting late and he had been driving for almost 16 hours that day, he joked with Sarah about his ability to survive off of his thermos of coffee for at least a couple of days. Sarah was getting tired, so finally Brian suggested she climb in the back and get some sleep. She agreed, saying he should join her for a nap. But he didn’t want to stop. So she climbed into the bed alone and quickly fell asleep to the rhythm of the large diesel engine.

Brian pushed on through the night and into the early morning, and was about 2 miles away from reaching the town of Ashburg. As the truck was winding its way down the last steep hill coming out of the mountain pass, Brian could feel his eyelids growing heavy. He thought about stopping to get some fresh air and stretch his legs, but since he was so close, he decided to keep going. Unfortunately, this was a huge mistake.

The next thing Brian knew, he was jarred awake as the big rig scraped against the guardrail. As he woke up, he instinctively hit the brakes as he tried to get his bearings back. But the truck was already beginning to slide and drift sideways. Brian turned the steering wheel, trying to guide the direction of the slide, but it was too late.

When the truck slammed into the rock cliff on the other side of the road, it lifted up on the driver’s side, and the impact of hitting the hard rock caused the truck to flip over. The steepness of the hill and the speed and weight of the truck caused it to keep sliding forward and back across to the other side of the road, right through the guardrail and down over the embankment. Brian yelled Sarah’s name as he heard her scream, and then everything went dark.

Brian woke up in the hospital the next day. He had a concussion and dislocated shoulder, but otherwise was okay. The truck had been found by one of the locals from Ashburg just after dawn, and with the help of a few more people, they had carried Brian and Sarah into town on sleds pulled behind snowmobiles. 

Even though his head was reeling and he ached in every part of his body, his first thought was of Sarah. He asked the doctor where his wife was and if she was okay. But Brian knew from the look on the doctor’s face that it was not good. The doctor assured Brian they were doing everything they could for her at the moment, and a helicopter had been dispatched to take her into Fairbanks, to the closest major hospital for further treatment. But due to the snowstorm, the helicopter had been delayed.

Sarah had been thrown around inside the cab compartment during the rollover, and by the time the truck had come to a stop, she had sustained several injuries, including a severe break in her lower spine. In addition, she was also suffering from hypothermia, a dangerous condition where the body temperature has fallen far below normal and can cause internal organs to begin shutting down. Sarah was literally in a fight for her life. But remote towns such as Ashburg do not have large medical facilities equipped for such severe conditions, so it was imperative that she be transferred to a major hospital as soon as possible. The doctor feared she would not live long enough to get the help she needed.

“I need to see her” Brian exclaimed. But he was not prepared for what he saw. His beloved wife looked so pale, and the doctor was struggling just to keep her breathing. She didn’t look anything like the vibrant young woman that he knew, and Brain was afraid. Very afraid. In that instant he knew he might lose the love of his life, and to even think of such a possibility put him in a state of panic. Without even knowing why, Brian did something he had seldom ever done…he began to pray. He said, “God, I know I don’t know You that well, and maybe I have no right to ask. But please…save her! She is a good woman, and she is all that I have. This is all my fault. Please don’t let her die because of me! I promise I will do anything You want, just please save her!”

*****

I’ll stop there for today. My head is reeling with ideas and images right now, so I should take advantage of these creative juices and get back to the work.

As mentioned earlier, I will be keeping the list open for 1 more week for those interested in signing up to become beta readers. Each reader will receive a free PDF version of the book, before it is released to the public. If you would like to sign up, just click here.

As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

I’ll be back tomorrow (I actually set an alarm so I won’t forget). Have an awesome day! – Amber

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