Author Anne Montgomery Didn’t Use to Care Much About Cars

from Anne Montgomery

I have never cared much about cars. Never understood why people spend so much to get the newest, fastest, sleekest version with the most gadgets. The last vehicle I bought came after my mechanic pointed at my ancient Geo Prism and ordered me to drive it one last time.

“Take it to a dealership and turn it in,” he advised. “Get a new car!”

The day I abandoned my Prism in a dealer’s parking lot, I found a vehicle that spoke to me. It was a black Ford Ranger pickup. Slightly used – I think I read 14 thousand miles on the speedometer. Black paint sparkled in the Arizona sun. I drove it around the block.

“That’s the one,” I said to my sweetie pie, who’d accompanied me on my car hunt. Following what felt like half a day of paperwork, I drove my new truck home.

Later, I stood proudly by my recent purchase. My mother squinted at the pickup’s bed where I’d installed a bright silver toolbox to hold my rock collecting gear, camping equipment, and emergency rations on the off chance I might find myself stuck in the wilderness for any length of time.

She stared at me. “Aren’t you afraid of what people will think of you?”

“I am a black pickup kind of girl, Mom.”

She shook her head.

“Really.”

My truck is now going on 19. I love my old truck. We share lots of memories: good, bad, and ugly. Together we’ve had countless adventures into the mountains and deserts, some wondrous, some difficult, and a few rather dangerous, in retrospect. Still, we always made it home. Eventually.

Then, my parents, in their nineties, mercifully decided to give up their car. I had been begging them for years to stop driving. Anyone who’s butted up against that major-life decision understands the complexities inherent in taking the keys away from mom and dad.

“We’ll sell the car,” my mother finally announced.

That vehicle, a blue 2010 Ford Fusion, now sits in my driveway. Though my mom continues to tell anyone who will listen that I took the car, Ryan and I wrote them a check for a little over seven grand.

A funny thing happened when I started driving the Fusion. I liked the built-in bells and whistles. Note that the vehicle is not high end, but compared to my truck, the little car is like owning a rocket ship. We call her Zippy. Now, when I drive my pickup, it feels only slightly more mobile than a covered wagon.

Then I got a letter in the mail: AIRBAG RECALL! I stared at the red triangle depicting a driver facing a steering wheel that had burst into flames. I read the section that said, “Until parts are available …your dealer is authorized to provide you with a rental vehicle.”

Today, a 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum sits in my driveway. The car boasts a power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory, dual integrated bright exhaust, premium leather-wrapped and stitched instrument panel and console rails, and myriad other extras I couldn’t possibly explain. The overall effect is…well…Wow!

I’ve had the rental for several months. It seems Ford is having a great deal of trouble getting the parts to fix the airbag that might explode and shred me with shrapnel. Apparently, 37 million vehicles have been identified as needing the fix, and more are expected to be added to the list. Takata, the maker of the defective airbags, announced it might take five years to install all the replacements.

I wonder sometimes, especially when those comfy leather seats are hugging me in their soft embrace, when I will have to return my pretty sedan. Neither Ford nor the rental company seem to care that the $40,000 vehicle is occupying space in my driveway day after day.

I have never cared much about cars. Never understood why people spend so much to get the newest, fastest, sleekest version with the most gadgets. Until now.

Perhaps Ford will forget about my cute little rental. I’ve grown quite fond of her.

Here is a brief intro to my novel dealing with abuse and it’s aftermath. I hope you’ll take a moment to peek into it.

Two Arizona teens find their fates intertwined. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other?

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl—Rose—running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

BUY LINKS

 

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Let’s Get This Cookbook Party Started!

Let’s Get This Cookbook Party Started
Who doesn’t love the holidays? You get to bond with family and friends, shop till you drop for that perfect gift, decorate the house to your heart’s desire, plan a meal worthy of gracing your table, and attend all those fabulous parties. Wait…hope I didn’t exhaust you already? Yes, we ALL love holidays and celebrations, no matter what time of year they fall, but it can get a little (okay, a lot) overwhelming when it comes time to prepare for those holiday meals and parties when you’re working a full-time job, and taking care of your family’s needs.

How about some relief from the stress and pressure of figuring out what to serve your hungry guests during holiday get-togethers, events, or celebrations?

Cue a holiday-inspired cookbook written by the following thirteen busy authors, of various ages and genres: Carol Browne, HL Carpenter, Sara Daniel, Dominique Eastwick, Leigh Goff, C.D. Hersh, Vonnie Hughes, Alicia Joseph, Emma Lane, Sharon Ledwith, Anne Montgomery, Chris Pavesic, and Sloane Taylor. These wonderful writers have created recipes that will make your life easy and simple when it comes time to prepare tantalizing appetizers, tasty beverages, mouth-watering cookies, and decadent desserts.

The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers is your go-to recipe book for entertaining over the holiday seasons, hosting events, or celebrating that special day. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes have been tested and approved of by the most finicky family members. Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?

So why not have your cake and eat it too? Yes, pun intended. You’ve got nothing to lose, and time to gain when you download The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers. There’s a recipe for every holiday, celebration, or event in your life. Give yourself a gift this holiday season with a cookbook from thirteen writers who share their favorite recipes and tips to help relieve the stress in your busy life.

Download your FREE E-Pub cookbook at Smashwords.

Anne Montgomery: A Light in the Desert.

I’m delighted to introduce you to my author friend Anne Montgomery. Anne is visiting today with her new release A Light in the Desert, an intriguing Soft Thriller novel I think you’ll enjoy.

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a pregnant teenager who bears an odd facial deformity, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

EXCERPT
Most of the two hundred and forty-eight passengers on the Sunset Limited were asleep when David Flowers – weaving slightly as the sleeper car rattled along at fifty miles-per-hour – moved along the passageway en route to the bathroom. At the end of the car he saw Mitchell Bates, a twenty-year Amtrak veteran.

“Don’t forget to get me up when we get to Palm Springs,” the passenger said. “Don’t wanna sleep through my stop.”

“Don’t worry about a thing,” Bates responded, smiling. “That’s what they pay me for.”

Two cars back, Kelly sat wide awake, fingers cupped around her eyes, the outside edges of her hands pressed tightly to the window. She could see the moonlit desert careening by, the scattered mountains black against a star-filled night sky. She felt the gentle rolling of the car: a strangely pleasant feeling. A sense of calm surrounded her, maybe because, for the first time since her father died, there were other people who cared about her. Kelly glanced over at Miranda, still engrossed in a two-month-old, dog-eared issue of Glamour Magazine. Had her mother ever had a friend?

Up in the cab, the engineer watched as the massive headlight bathed the track ahead in bright white light. He’d been on this run hundreds of times. A curve that would lead the train onto a trestle that spanned one of the deeper washes between Phoenix and L.A. was just ahead. The headlight blazed – a star shooting in the darkness – wrapping the track in light as harsh as any clear desert day.

But the damage was under the rails where no light could penetrate.

****

Ramm was driving on the dirt road that would take him back to the cabin. That edgy, too-much-caffeine feeling gripped him again. He should be on the train, the one protecting Kelly. Had he made a mistake contacting the watchers, which meant he had put himself in play again? The community in which he’d worked for so many years was relatively small and there was always the possibility that word had spread about the debacle in Jerusalem. By contacting the watchers, he might have put himself in jeopardy, which could also bring harm to those around him.

Ramm’s head began to pound, the migraine accompanied by a hazy aura. His psychological state was fluctuating. How long could he stay ahead of the problem without medication? What if he blacked out again? What if he was hospitalized and people started checking on him?

Feeling impotent, powerless, Ramm jammed on the breaks. The truck skidded to a stop on the soft shoulder where blacktop and dirt merged at the turnoff. He rubbed his face hard then gripped the steering wheel. When he looked up and peered through the windshield, Ramm blinked several times, confused.

There, in the night sky before him, floating in a spectral light, was Kelly’s face. Ramm squinted, shutting his eyes tight, then looked again. The ghostly image was still there, hovering before him, her troubled visage beckoning him to follow. She merged
with paintings and sculptures – the mother of Jesus in all her quiet grief, the face of Mary on the shimmering white marble of Michelangelo’s St. Peter’s Pieta, on Raphael’s Madonna del Granduca, her desolate melancholy depicted by Masaccio, Veneziano, and countless other artists through time.

Ramm painfully unclenched his hands from around the steering wheel. The suddenness of the bright light caught him off guard. His first reaction was to grab for the loaded Glock he kept under the front seat, but when the glare splashed past him, followed by the steady beat of the passing railcars, he relaxed.

Then, an unexpected wave of heat engulfed Ramm, and he pushed open the cab door and stepped out, breathing deeply, trying to clear his head. The noise hit him like a blow, shattering the desert calm, causing Ramm to reflexively drop to the ground. He lay there listening to the calamitous groaning, a ghastly noise that washed over him like a rogue wave.

To read more from A Light in the Desert please click a vendor’s name:
Sarah Book PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.