In 1917, a woman was killed by an unknown assailant in Linden, New York. The killing was a sensation because Linden was a quiet rural town where nothing, much less murder, happened. The murder was never solved, but over a period of several years, a number of other murders occurred in Linden all attributed to the same killer.
In Shadow ByThe Bridge the author has fictionalized the story of Linden during the period of 1917 through about 1924. It told through the eyes of a young boy growing over the period of years to become an adult; a young boy who was an unintentional eye-witness to the first murder and who suffered as some of the best known and closest friends of his family fell victim to the murderer. The reader is treated to the turmoil, grief and unease caused by such events in the community, and to the burden of grief, regret or even guilt some of the participants carry throughout their lifetimes.
Shadow by the Bridge is an engrossing and grim reminder how far criminalistics has progressed since 1917. The author appears to have diligently researched the story to ensure as much historical accuracy as possible. The reader is invited to share the confusion and lack of closure with the residents of Linden of the time…who had no idea which one of them may be next.
Imagine a world in which there is a rigidly controlled caste system, where one must apply for marriage which may be approved to into a lower or higher caste depending upon your social indiscretions, your intelligence or simply where the government needs workers. Imagine that art is non-existent, that one can be imprisoned simply for being ‘different’, that racial differences are ironed out by controlled manipulating marriages and strictly controlling births. Imagine that no one is allowed to see, read, or know anything the government does not approve; that is, anything that is not part of their prescribed program for ‘your’ wellbeing.
Now, imagine Bristol…a non-entity in this ‘perfect’ world. Bristol is a person without an identity; an “unregistered”, meaning that his birth was illegal so he must live completely outside the prescribed social order. However, Bristol has a talent for art and his art inspires secret admirers.
Now, enters Jude…a boy framed by the police for Bristol’s artwork and sent to prison. He is a boy who never loses faith despite the abuse. A boy the prison warden plans to kill to effect population control in the prison.
Then, then is Samara, Jude’s prison teacher who sees his abuse and the fallacies of her boss, the warden. Samara, inspired by Bristol’s art begins to question society and her place within it.
Denver, Bristol’s sister, never considers disobedience and is fearful Bristol will be caught and executed. She is assigned to a loveless marriage; a marriage with a fateful twist.
This handful of characters come together in an unexpected way that rocks their world, shows them there is more than they’ve been told and gives them hope for the future.
The Unregistered is much more than I hoped for when I began reading it. I found myself engrossed and really emphatic to the characters. This is a fascinating read with potentially serious social implications and a couple of major twists that keeps readers guessing. It should be enjoyed by those who enjoy dystopia and anyone who is into reading about strange overbearing social systems.
A big welcome to Jeff Motes, author of the popular "Once Upon An Apocalypse" series, The Journey Home, The Search and Gathering Home. The daily lives that we live nationally have become so dependent upon electrical energy it is inconceivable the turmoil that would occur if it were unexpectedly interrupted...perhaps permanently. Yet, EMF weapons, solar storms and similar disruptions make interruption more a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'.
An electrical engineer and contractor by training, Jeff marries his electrical expertise and his interest in disaster preparedness together in this series to explore the best and the worst of human nature under survival conditions.
Can you tell us how many books have you written?
I have written three books so far and I'm working on a fourth.
What kind(s) of books do you write?
Hmm… I consider it to be a book to make you think. The theme is Post-Apocalyptic, but it’s imbedded with information and scenarios to spur critical thinking.
What inspired you to write books and when did you start writing?
In 2015, I felt the need to help family and friends understand the need to prepare for difficult times and an uncertain future. I started by making small short posts on Facebook. I started getting lots of questions so I decided to tell a story using three different characters with three different mindsets and levels of preparedness. I hoped this story would prompt my family and friends to think. The response was overwhelming. What had intended to be only a short story took off. Into book 1.
Did where you grew up influence your writing?
Yes. Since my initial audience were all local family and friends, I use our geographical are for the backdrop. It has made for some interesting conversations.
What is there about your writing that especially appeals to readers?
The story is intended to make you think and to provide you with ideas. While the books are not religious teachings, the main characters are Christian. Their faith influences how they react to the events unfolding and the way they interact with each other.
There is a bit of romance thrown in. My mom was reading as I was writing and I still remember the taste of soap so the language is pretty clean.
The characters are strong yet ordinary people. Just like most of us.
Do you write books in series? If so, why?
Yes. The flow of the story required me to do so. Though, much of the ending of Book 3 was written as I finished Book 1.
Tell us about your latest book release.
Once Upon an Apocalypse: Book III Gathering Home was released on August 8th.
Are any books coming up?
Yes. I’m working on the fourth book in the series now.
As an author, what challenges you the most?
Keeping the story informative yet entertaining.
As an author, what bring you the greatest pleasure?
Reader feedback letting me know how deeply they were impacted by the books. I truly believe lives may be saved by these books.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m an electrical engineer and own a small electrical construction business. We work on various commercial and industrial projects in southwest Alabama.
How do you make time to write? Do you have a set writing schedule?
As I can grab it. Sometimes it may be many days between writing. The first book flowed so well I was writing during lunch breaks, breaks in the flow of our work, in my truck while waiting to pick up my son at a school event and sometimes even on my phone sitting in a restaurant.
Do you plan your writing and use an outline or just write as it comes?
Book 1 strictly from flow, though I did have a destination in mind. The others I had milestones that I want the book to reach so I worked toward those markers.
How do you approach cover design?
I tried to tie the cover to a significant scene from the book.
Is social media an important marketing tool for you ? How do you use it?
Actually, it’s the only marketing tool I’m using right now. Mainly through the book series Facebook page.
What is your most effective method for book promotion?
Word of mouth. That has been the primary driving force behind my books.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Just do it. Share what you can as you write so you can get real time feedback. I wrote the first draft of my first book on Facebook daily. The feedback from there is what kept me writing. Had it not been for the daily feedback I would not have written these books.
What is the best advice about writing anyone has ever given you?
To use Felicia Sullivan as my editor. That is the single greatest piece of advice I have received.
What do you like to read?
Books that inform me or teach me something.
Do you write for readers of multiple genres or just one?
I did an interview last year and the host commented it was hard to put my book in a genre. The theme is post-apocalyptic, the characters are of faith and the story doesn’t hide it or bury it, romance keeps the tension and flow moving, and it’s informative. It could be categorized as: Post-Apocalyptic, Christian Fiction, Romance, and as a Prepper Guide.
Thank you, Jeff. No one can read the "Once Upon and Apocalypse" series and not sit up and take notice that the world as they know it can fall apart on a moment's notice. Hopefully, your series will give folks some perspective on the issue.
I wish you good writing and good luck with the series!
Hi folks...I'm into a second career as a fiction author. After more than thirty-seven years of professional managerial experience, scientific background, and a lifetime of practical skills, my love of reading, research and writing has combined into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style.
See the books Clabe has reviewed on Pinterest.
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