Solve the World by Dante Stack Book Tour and Giveaway :)
Solve the World
by Dante Stack
Genre: YA Dystopian Adventure
Young Jennifer Dash leaves her Louisiana home in search of the key to life. Her quest begins humbly enough amidst the swamps of the Pelican state, but forces beyond her control will propel her past many nations, oceans, cultures, and fairy tales... to the very limits of reason and myth itself. Written as an adventure saga, what begins in a whimper is destined to end with a bang.
In Part One, you'll be submerged into a maelstrom of underground mobs, charming love interests, mythical sea monsters, religious theme parks, and relentless adventure.
Prepare yourself. It's going to be a bumpy ride.
Beware the Pied Piper.
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Excerpt from Chapter 3
First was the smell. The reek of bourbon and filth wafted off of Dolores. “Dolores Burdern at your...” Jenn outstretched her hand waiting for the driver to finish her sentence. “You know they call me just Doll. Doll. Like a toy. Like a toy doll." “Hi, Ms. Burdern. I'm Jenn.”
“Just Doll. Call me... Doll. What's...” Vacant eyes. “Why am I out on the road? That's a tricky question. I'm uh...” Jenn paused realizing she cut-off Doll, and that maybe she had guessed wrong as to what Doll wanted to ask. “You remind me of my daughter.” Jenn smiled, figuring that the comment should be flattering, though she didn't particularly feel
flattered to be thought of as having any resemblance to this woman. “Your daughter. Is she my age?” “Do you believe in the Pied Piper?” “The Pied Piper? Like the old fairy-tale?” Jenn wasn't sure where she had heard the old folk legend, but it was rattling around in her memory banks nonetheless. “I've never thought about it.” “He's real. Let me tell you.” The weird topic would have intrigued Jenn had Doll been a less aloof conversationalist. “Yup. He's real.” “How do you know?” “He took my daughter.” At that, Jenn's stomach dropped. She barely choked out a response. “Really?” “At Hamelin, in Germany. He took 130 children. It's true. The town... is real. It's all real.” Gut
twisting and rolling. Jenn's intuition told her not to question this, not to let the conversation remain. She fell into silence. Doll picked up the space all on her own. “I forget where I was. Some back road like this one. I had driven all night. I happened to have overslept during the day, so I was driving extra long to make up... time... make up time. Sure, I was tired. But I tell you this! I tell you!... I was not boozing or on acid or pills or maryjane or anything, nothing, I was clean then, really, I had to be, for Chloe,
that's my girl, Chloe, yeah... I bet she does look like you now...” Johnny Paxwell was far, far preferable to this. Why did he have to kick her out like that? Jenn imagined herself a hundred miles down the road, enjoying a silent glide through the dark evening. A hundred miles closer to the sea. A hundred miles further away from this Burden. Instead here she was, stuck with crazy-smellbad lady. Doll. She was certainly no Barbie. A picture of one of her old dolls fizzled into Jenn's mind. It was nothing but a head, with almost all its hair ripped out and an eye missing. That's the type of doll this Doll was. Missing significant parts of its being. Jenn's mean thought produced an involuntary chuckle. Doll took notice. “What are you laughing at? Yeah, it was funny. I'm sure it was. If you'd seen me then. There. Dancing like there was no tomorrow. So like I said, I was driving deep into the night. Out of nowhere... Out of nowhere arose this Eeeenormous campfire. It was marvelous. Beautiful. Exquisite. I can see it now. It started like most fires, orange bands dancing in the breeze with blue roots leading to the undergrowth... But... but it changed. Flickered. And it flickered not like regular fire flickers. It flickered a flicker, flicker, flicker, flicker of color. Green. Yes. Green flickers in the center of the night orange sky. Brilliant and vivid. I wanted to be a part of it. I couldn't resist it. It was calling me.” Jenn imagined green fire. She visualized the flames like limbs on a tree, twisting and turning, this way and that. She had to admit the image was seductive. “I pulled over. Got outta the truck. I didn't say hi to no one. I just danced. I just danced. I just danced. I just. Danced. It was so much fun. I hadn't had fun in so long. You don't get to have fun when
you've got a child at home and you're always behind the wheel. You never get time like that. Just time to have fun. To dance.” Doll turned the upper half of her body towards Jenn. They locked eyes. Jenn was too afraid to dart her eyes elsewhere. She was trapped in the crazy lady's gaze. “Now I gotcha..." What did that mean! Jenn held her breath. "Gotcha... that's what the fire said to me. To all of us. You ask me how many people were there with the fire. Hell, I don't know. Maybe a hundred. Maybe a thousand. Maybe ten. Maybe five. I could have even been alone, except that I saw others handcuffed and arrested too. I knew then I wasn't the only one. And I wasn't the only one in the moment either. We were all one, and we were all many. One body with many parts.” Doll coughed a wheezing, guttural cough. But still, even whilst hacking her lungs out, Doll
somehow managed to keep her eyes fixed on the young girl trapped beside her. The young, attractive girl. “Hand me my water bottle, would you?” Happy to do anything that meant she could break from the moment, Jenn grabbed a bottle from a cup holder beside her. It reeked of vodka. Doll grabbed it from her hand and took a big chug. “Thanks, toots.” “Uh, you're welcome.” “We danced and danced. I ripped off all my clothes. Yeah, I was naked. I wanted to show that night flame everything I had.” Long pause. “I saw one guy writhing on the ground sometime after daybreak. A bunch of others lay on the ground too. When they came and took us, I went to the hospital. I had an IV drip for four days afterwards. I was just there, laying in the gurney all day with my hands cuffed to
the bed. Why did they have to handcuff me? What was I going to do?” The story barely made sense. Jenn's curiosity got the best of her. “Wait, what exactly happened? How did you end up in the hospital?” "Oh, it was worse than all that! I did two weeks in prison before being sent to a, and I quote, 'Adjustment Center for the Mentally Unfit'. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I sure as hell hadn't! Can you believe the things people make up? They fed me nothing but Butabarbital for six weeks. SIX WEEKS! And then six months before I was finally out of there. But it was too late by then... too late, too late, too late... My beautiful princess was already gone.” “She disappeared?” “I told you already, the Piper took 'er. That's what happened. It's been a thousand years, so you better believe he doesn't just play his little whistle or flute or kazoo or whatever anymore. He's evolved.” “The fire. Are you saying he was the fire?” “They call it Saint Vitus' Dance. You can look it up. It's historical too. Just like Hamelin.” A road sign read 'Lake Charles 5 miles'. Jenn audibly sighed relief. She would politely get out there and be free of this witchy woman. “So your daughter did disappear?” “People have got to read their histories. It's all there. It's all in the cards, as they like to say ... You would do good for your pretty little face if you read more history. You don't know about St. Vitus' Dance, do you?” “No, ma'am.” “And I bet you didn't know Pied Piper was real, did you?” “No ma'am. You could drop me off anywhere in Lake Charles.” Jenn felt Doll's eyes on her and felt
like she needed to explain herself. “I think I'll stay there tonight. I'm really tired.” “Why don't you stay with me a little while longer? You can sleep here. People say they sleep great when they're with me. You remind me of my daughter.” “I wouldn't be comfortable doing that.” “My daughter left. You can stay. It's like an exchange.” “I'm not your daughter, Doll.” “HE HAD NO RIGHT TO TAKE HER FROM ME!” Jenn tore off her buckle and squirmed to the edge of the truck, her back pressed up against the door. Her fingers felt for the handle. “I'll get out right here at this stop sign coming up, thank you.” Doll said nothing for a moment before muttering, “Just because he's her father.” “Please slow down. The stop sign is right there! Please slow down. STOP!” “WELL, I'M HER MOTHER! I DON'T CARE IF SHE'S AFRAID OF ME!” At 65 miles an hour, Doll sailed through the stop sign. In the midst of the intersection, she turned to Jenn and stated calmly, “I don't care if you're afraid of me.” Jenn was silent. And petrified. She counted in her head. One. Two.
Three. Four. Would she be okay if she jumped out? How hard would she hit the ground? Would Doll follow? Would she run her over? Five. Jenn, pressing against the window, wedged her body weight against the door and suddenly, with decisive terror, kicked Doll hard in the side. Doll screamed and hit the brakes hard. Jenn splattered against the front window, and then collapsed back towards her seat. Six. Seven. Eight. Jenn was frozen.
Nine. Ten. Eleven. Wait – the truck is stopped. The truck is stopped. Jenn squirmed around trying to get her bearings. Her head lay down towards the bottom of the door. Somehow she managed to yank the door open. She fell out like a Barbie doll, landing on her face at a forty-five degree angle. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. Jenn got up. She peered at her kidnapper. Doll sat frozen in her seat. One hand holding her bruised side in place. The other on the steering wheel. Her face remained resolute. Her eyes frozen
somewhere in front of her. Delirious but alive, Jenn took a step. Away from the truck. Away from that dreadful woman. Was she going to chase her? Was the worst not yet over? Was she not yet safe? Was the spirit of the Piper out to snatch her up? Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. Ten paces away, and the truck still remained. Not moving. Nothing. Jenn couldn't see Doll from her angle. She didn't have to. She knew she was still entranced. Staring at a glorious green flame in her mind. Wetness touched her lips. She brought her hand to her lips. Wet indeed. She tried to look at it, but there wasn't enough light to see anything. She put her finger in her mouth and knew. Blood. Blood was
racing down her face. Eighteen. Nineteen. Jenn saw a light maybe half a mile off. She stumbled towards it. So tired. So scared. A drugstore. It's a drugstore. I'll go there. Twenty.
Solve the World
Young Jennifer Dash left her home with ambition. She wanted to discover the purpose of life. Big stuff. But a crazy truck driver, an underground homeless society, and a Catholic theme park with a secret kept Jenn distracted. Now she's finally on the right path. She's joined the crew of the adventure schooner Orion, a ship of scientific geniuses bent on discovering the deepest truths of reality.
Will Jenn find what she's looking for? Or will the madness of a few turn her world upside down?
Long is the way and hard, that out of darkness, leads into light.
Continue the journey. Beware the Pied Piper.
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Solve the World
The world is broken. Can we unbreak it?
Jennifer Dash is hunting for a way to fix the world, and herself. From Fox-masks, to secret orphan bunkers, to a New Zealand skyscraper culling, to a ravenous Wendigo, this third part of Jenn's harrowing adventure takes her past the boundaries of science, and straight into the dragon's lair of mythological nightmares. Can Jenn solve the world before Leviathan awakes?
Continue the Journey.
Beware the Pied Piper.
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords
Dante has lived in multiple places. In each of those places, he has read to his dog. She doesn't seem to mind, but Dante is suspicious that she's not actually very interested in what he has to say. You have to understand, Dante's dog can't read. So he has to read aloud to her. He hopes that you can read for yourself, and that maybe you'll read the things that he's read aloud to his dog. Maybe you'll be more interested in the things Dante has written and read aloud than the dog is.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Some of us just have to tell stories. Whether as a hobby or a career, it just has to happen.
What is your writing process?
Same as everybody else, I'd guess. Write. Take a break to clear your head. Re-write. Rinse and repeat.
How do you approach cover design?
Back in my podcast days, I'd format and design a cover image for every podcast episode I did. This has honed my visual style a bit, and also made the whole process of cover design less intimidating for me. If I know what I want I can go make it myself (my program of choice is canva.com). If I'm clueless as to what the cover should be, I'll seek outside assistance.
What do you read for pleasure?
It all depends on the stress level of my day job at the time. If I feel like I'm accomplishing big things, and/or am overly stressed at work, then I like to read escapist fiction; Stephen King or Ray Bradbury, something like that. If however, spirits are high, I'll usually spend my leisurely time devouring theology or history books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm still plugging away at the first generation kindle I bought way back when.
Describe your desk
Don't have one. Sometimes I sit my laptop on the floor, or on the couch, or the kitchen table, or I'm sitting up in bed.
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