Jump Zone: Cleo Falls by Wylie Snow
(Jump Zone #1 )
When danger, deception and death are one leap away…
You can’t afford to fall.
#JumpZone by #WylieSnow on Amazon 9/9/13 (Twitter)
All Cleo wants, all she’s ever wanted, is the acceptance of her tribe and the love of her family... and she almost dies trying to earn it. But the man who saved her, who found beauty in her flaws and loved her without condition, has cruelly betrayed her, and she’s dying all over again.Was it all lies? His words, his promises, his kisses? Lost in unfamiliar territory, Cleo will fight the forces that conspire to destroy her homeland, even if she has to do it alone.
Libra longs for freedom—from prison, from pretense, and from his birthright... but he’s caught in a political game where only greed and power can win, and Cleo Rush is the pawn. How much is he willing to sacrifice for liberty? His morals, his principles, the woman he loves? No matter which path he chooses, people will die, their blood on his hands. And it could be hers.
To save themselves and their world, Cleo and Libra must overcome the double tragedy that binds their families in hatred. Together, they might live. Apart, Cleo will fall.
I married a detective, worked in a zoo, explored ship wrecks instead of old ruins, and spent 18 glorious years living on a sunny island.
As for those fantasies...
I also write erotic romance as Wylie Kinson.
I’d always presumed the moments before death would be fuzzy and warm.
They’re not. Death is painful. And cold.
Death is terrifying.
For me, there are no sepia vignettes of my childhood, no sign of my mother’s smiling face to usher me into a blissful afterlife, open armed. There’s nothing to distract me from the fright that slams me every time my mouth fills, every time my head slips under.
No matter how hard I kick or thrash, the current is merciless, dragging me downriver, closer to the edge, closer to the—
I can’t even think the word.
I claw for the surface, flailing desperately for something to grab onto. But there’s nothing. Not a rock, not a log, not even a stray root. Even if by some miracle I don’t drown, there is nothing to save me from the fall.
Seventy feet, straight down.
And the rocks at the bottom… I’ll be smashed.
My chest burns so bad, I want to scream from it. Can’t, don’t dare. I bite down on the inside of my lips to seal them from another mouthful of icy water and taste the copper of my blood. I will my legs to get me to the surface for another breath, but I’m tumbling through the blackness, not sure which way is up.
The rapids twist and toss me, pull me fast and hard as if they’re doing me a favor in getting me to the edge quickly. It’ll be over soon. Yet every agonizing second feels never-ending.
The more my muscles ache from cold, the heavier my limbs become, the slower time goes. Death is a cruel bitch.
My lungs are on fire. And no matter that my eyeballs feel like they’ve been dunked in acid, panic won’t let me close them.
There’s a legend amongst my people of a Ghost Warrior, a survivalist from Old Canada who lost his life in the Polar Wars. They say he guides folks home in their time of need, gives them a second chance. Where is this phantom rescuer for me? Am I not worthy?
I already know the answer…
The pressure in my chest begins to crack me open. I acknowledge my fate, look it in the eye, welcome it. The thought frees me. The simple act of mental acquiescence releases my fear, replaces it with regret. And anger. I’ll never get a chance to make amends to my tribe, to Jaegar or my father, never feel the love I’ve tried so hard, so damned hard, to earn.
Anger fuels my strength, gives me a final burst of energy. My anaesthetized legs push off of something solid. My head breaches the surface.
I scream in Death’s face.
Then water fills me, douses my fire. I am numb, unable to feel my extremities, unable to feel anything. Like a piece of flotsam, the current tosses me over the precipice toward the jagged rocks below. My world goes dark.
JUMP ZONE SURVIVAL QUIZ
In the book Jump Zone: Cleo Falls, the inhabitants of the Taiga forests struggle to survive daily life in the northern wilds.
Take this simple quiz to find out if you’re Taiga material…
How many days can you survive without water:
You’re lost in a northern forest and want to travel due south. Which indicator do you look to for help:
D. all of the above
You should avoid sleeping on the ground for what reason:
A. ouch - you’ll wake up with stiff aching joints
B. the cold hard ground will zap your body heat
C. avoid snake bites
D. forest dirt leaves harsh un-washable stains
Your weak from hunger and the insects are looking awfully yummy. Which should you avoid:
A. slimy ones
B. flying ones
C. brighty colored ones
D. ugly ones
Thunder, lightning! How do you estimate the distance of a storm:
A. Count the seconds between the thunderclaps and lightning strikes and divide that number by five to equal the distance in miles.
B. When you feel the first raindrop, start counting the seconds until you hear a rumble of thunder, which equals the number of miles away.
C. Count the number of lightning strikes in one minute to equal the distance in miles.
D. Who cares! Get yourself under the biggest tree you can find and prepare to get wet.
Oh no, you’re lost! But you know to implement the S.T.O.P. plan. Gosh… what do those letters stand for again?
A. Sing Things Or Pray – when in doubt, hum a hymn
B. Stretch Twirl Oscillate Pivot – keep moving, turn this adventure into an exercise plan
C. Stop Think Observe Plan – don’t do anything rash, think this situation through
D. Solo Time Operating Plan – you’re alone and it’s time to do all those crazy things you saved for when nobody was watching… yeehaw!
You’re still lost, and night is falling. It’s time to build a shelter. Choose your spot:
A. An open, highly visible area – the search party needs to find you.
B. The edge of volcano - best place to keep warm!
C. At the bottom of a dry creek bed – no hair-curling dampness to worry about.
D. Close to a water source – you might get thirsty in the night.
You’re stranded in a forest with only one item from your handbag. What would be the most useful thing? Choose just one:
B. Nail file
1 - B
The average person needs about 2 quarts of water per day to maintain good health. Going without water for 3 days spells death!
2 - D
All of the above! Though moss will grow on the north side of trees, it will be lusher and greener on the south side. Ants frequently build their nests on the south or southeast side of trees to take advantage of the warmth, and if you walk toward the sun precisely at noon, you’ll be headed due south.
3 - B
You’ll preserve your body heat by piling up a bed of grass, leaves or bows and getting yourself a few inches off the ground.
4 - C
Stop with the ick-face. Insects can be a great source of protein (pound for pound, as much as 3 times as much as beef!), but it’s a good idea to stay away from the bright ones, which could potentially signal poison or toxin. Leave the hairy ones and the smelly ones alone, too.
5 - A
As soon as you hear thunder, start counting – one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc… until you see a strike of lightning. Divide by five and that’s roughly how many miles out the storm is. And for heaven’s sake, don’t stand under a tall tree!
6 - C
Stop moving, sit down and relax,
Think about your situation, how you got into it, how might you get out of it,
Observe your surroundings, your supplies and/or tools,
Plan your next move.
7 – A & D
Hopefully, somebody knows you’re missing (you DID tell someone about that wilderness hike, right?) so you should find or build shelter in a spot where the search and rescue team can find you. Though building too close to water can be hazardous (insects, animals coming to drink), it’s a good idea to stay fairly close as you need water to survive.
8 - D
You could probably find uses for all of those items, but surprisingly, a tampon is your best bet. The ‘Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity’ (see what we did there?), is a handy-dandy multi-purpose tool, summed up best by the good folks at The Art of Manliness (click the link, if only for the pictures of a man with a tampon in his mouth!): http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/06/05/survival-tampon/
7-8 correct – you are a survivor!
4-6 correct – you may want to brush up on your outdoor skills before you leave the beaten path.
1-3 correct – Glamping might be more your style.
0 – stay home, lock the doors, you’re not fit to go outside!
JUMP ZONE Recipes
In the book Jump Zone: Cleo Falls, the hero and heroine find themselves trekking for days through the Taiga forest with little to no food supplies, but the wilderness is rich in vegetation and Cleo knows just what to rustle up for dinner.
Dandelions are one of nature’s richest greens. Packed with beta carotene and vitamin A, they are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, thiamine and riboflavin.
* Prepare 8 cups of dandelion greens by washing thoroughly and gently tearing into bite-sized chunk
* Assuming you’re not actually stranded in the wilderness without provisions, you can add finely chopped spring onion, wild dill and sliced tomatoes.
* Dress with a mixture of oil, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and pepper.
* Optional: Throw in some wild blueberries and goat cheese… mmmm!
* If you just so happen to be lost deep in the woods, you can amp up the flavor of the leaves with a handful of pine nuts, wild berries (blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries – whatever is in season), add a few roasted grubs for protein and you’ve got yourself a survival meal.
Campfire Rainbow Trout
* Clean your catch thoroughly. This means beheading and gutting. Yeah, it’s gross, but the fish is going to taste so good, it’s worth it.
* Place on a sheet of foil, season inside and out with sea salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and butter.
* Top with a few lemon slices… or apples or wild berries – it’s all good.
* Wrap tightly in the foil and place it on flat bit of hot embers.
* Turn over the foil packet in 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. It’s done when the fish is opaque and flaky.
* Stranded-in-the-woods option: No foil? Spear onto a sharp stick and roast it over the open flame. Trust me, if you’re lost and hungry, that fish will be mighty tasty without the garlic and butter!
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