From the author: I hope everyone enjoyed the first, of what I hope will be many holiday tales shared around Christmastime. It was supposed to be just a quickie short-story that I would put out on Smashwords as a free download for all, but obviously it grew as I continued to write. Also, time was getting away from me due to my workload at my college.
So I wound up releasing the story in pieces here on my blog and over the course of days it continued to grow and grow. In the end I wound up with not a short-story as planned but a novelette (a story between 7,000 and 20,000 words in length). Not quite long enough to be a novella, but much larger than short-story. Also due to the time-crunch what I posted here was basically a first draft, which would explain any editing errors some of you might have noticed as you read.
However, I'm still not quite done with the story. I'm going to release it as a small novelette this coming Christmas. It will basically be the same story that you read, but there will be an epilogue added to the end as well as original pen and ink illustrations created by me. For those who don't know, I'm also an artist and have done the covers for my other novels that have already been published. I'm aiming for pen and ink in the hopes that it will be easier to upload into e-book form as well as in print. Yes, I intend to make a small paperback version for those who'd like to hold the book in their hands if at all possible. I may also try using charcoal (which would simply be black and white, along with shades of grey). Ideally, I'd use my favorite medium soft pastel, but I wouldn't be able to guarantee the quality of the colors in the printed form or on the computer. However, I will be looking into it. If anyone else out there has had some experience in color artwork in an e-book or in print, please tell us about it in the comment section below.
Now as I've told you all before, Nathan's first novel-length story will be coming out around either October or December of this year (2015). Of course, I will have a number of new blog and e-journal entries for him and the other characters to post here. I'll also be releasing another novel before then titled "The Door", which will be the third in my Para-Earth Series. It will star several of the characters you already met in my holiday novelette, (Sergeant Veronica Ross, a grown-up Julie, and Police Chief Roy Petersen). Alas Jason will not appear having joined his ancestors, but not before he passed the mantle of shaman on his niece. If you'd like to read how this all happened, you can check out "The Bridge" and its sequel "The Ship":
NOTE: Both e-books are just $1.49 each for the next two weeks. After that, the price will got back up to $2.99 a piece. You can also sample the first 30 pages of each story for free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Just click on the title and start reading. I'm providing the links right here:
With all that said, I hope to see more and more of you here as I supply you with more short tales of Nathaniel and his friends. I plan to introduce more characters here as the year goes on, so keep reading and spread the word about this site. Happy New Year to you all, as I step aside and let Nathaniel take the stage...
Nathaniel's Private E-Journal, January 1st, 2005
I'm standing on a deck overlooking the great wide Pacific Ocean. Another year has passed but I am not alone. I am surrounded by members of my extended family located in Aptos, California. Although that's not where I am at this moment. We're standing near the famed Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk having just watched a fabulous fireworks display out on the water.
The Cloudfoots have been part of my life since 1999 when I first met Jason, the patriarch of these wonderful people. As their name implies, they are of Native American descent, specifically they are Seneca one of the five original tribes that formed the Iroquois Confederacy.
Together, Jason and I, along with Otto located his missing niece Julie who had run away from home just two days before Christmas. The moment Jason and I locked eyes, I knew there was something different about him and I was right. He was a shaman, one who knew about the Para-Earths, as Otto has named those alternate realities of this world. Jason also knew right away I'd been to one and had come back changed, but he also knew I was still a good man and our friendship formed.
He's here with me tonight enjoying the love and joy of his children and grandchildren. Jason lost his wife two years ago, for which I was very sorry. She had been a wonderful woman, warm and caring. I'd spent that New Year's Eve with him, to make sure he did not face it alone. Not that I had much reason to worry. Julie and her parents were there as well. It was the first time I'd seen her in 1999 and my how she'd grown. From the pudgy little girl I'd help locate, she was now slightly taller than me and still growing. She also had filled out in more ways than one, especially in the muscle department. I feel sorry for any boy who pissed her off. Not that she seems very interested in them. A part of me suspects her yearnings lie elsewhere. I just hope I never have to compete with her for a date.
Not that such a thing is likely. I've kept to myself more since Veronica and I parted company three years ago. I've found myself thinking about her a lot tonight. Probably it's because of all the police officers watching over tonight's festivities. There was one female officer in particular standing near her patrol car that caught my eye. She looked nothing like Veronica, but the way the officer stood there reminded me so much of my red-headed love.
God she was amazing. It's not often you find someone so passionate and dedicated, not only to you but to her work. But I digress...
A new year stands before us all. I have no idea what surprises this one will have in store for me or those I call 'family'. But I know I will not face this new year alone which is a great comfort. I have people like Jason, Otto, Brian, their families and so many others who's lives touch mine. I think that's been the greatest gift of all. Even though I have outlived so many people who I've loved, I am never truly alone. And because I remember, none of them are ever forgotten.
My existence is a strange one, but at least I find it serves so many others.
Jason is proposing another toast to all so I better wrap this up. A promising new year awaits and I for one am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer.