Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chinooks...and THE TRAZ

Today we went from -30C to +4 in less than 24 hours thanks to a 'chinook'. Although these warm winter winds whipping in over the Rockies are common across the prairies in the southern half of the province of Alberta, this is the first time since I moved to St. Paul 15 years ago that they have reached this far north.

Chinooks are full of sounds...snow sliding off the roof, winds whistling through the tress, snow-melt dripping...

My young Katrina, protagonist in the BackTracker series was the beneficiary of a Christmas Day chinook in THE TRAZ. The melting temperatures lured the bikers off the compound and almost...almost resulted in Katrina's rescue from the clutches of the The Traz gang.

Here's an excerpt from THE TRAZ:

Katrina turned her face to the December sun and closed her eyes against its light. The warmth of the day was not coming from its rays, but traveled in on the Chinook whipping over the Rockies.
There had been a time when she would've wanted a white Christmas. Today, the fact that the hills were brown didn't matter at all. Christmas didn't matter. It was good she was out here away from all the sparkle, music and memories. Good she was with a whole gang of people who hated Christmas.
"What's the matter, woman?" Shrug's voice came at her.
She turned to face him. "Nothin'."
"Thinkin' we should go for a Christmas cruise on the Harley."
"Thought Gator said—"
"What Gator says don't matter anymore."
"Yeah? You think?"
"I know."
"Gator's going to let you do whatever you want?"
"He's toast," Shrug whispered. "We did it, woman. He's out. We're in."
"Head office said so?"
"They ain't any more happy about the Quonset than I am."
"They didn't like that?"
"What they didn't like was the heat it got us from the cops. And the lost deals. Just like I said would happen."
Katrina returned Shrug's grin. "Yeah, I'd love to go for a cruise."

The gang wasn't off the compound for more than ten minutes when Katrina rapped on Shrug's helmet. He turned his head and she pointed to a stream of police cars trailing their biker convoy. Shrug just nodded and kept riding. Not until the howl of sirens joined the flashers did he pull to the shoulder and turn off the bike. One by one the bikers behind them pulled over and cut their engines.
"This has to stop," Shrug muttered as he yanked off his helmet. "Can't even go for a Christmas cruise anymore. Damned Gator. Wouldn't listen, would he?"
Over a dozen heavily armed officers were approaching the gang. "Holy shit! Why so many?" she asked nervously. The chorus of groans that had swept down the line of bikers changed to sharp words as the cops closed in. She pulled her visor over her face and sat taller.
A middle-aged officer strode past the others and stopped abruptly a few metres from Shrug. He stared at Katrina. "What the hell is this?"...

CHINOOKS...and THE TRAZ has been brought to you by FIREWALLS

 "Packed with humanity, crafted with insight." 

 "Schuh has created a character worthy of being called a hero."

 "A tale of comfort and hope that we, too, can slay our own dragons." 

"A gritty, fast paced thriller."

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