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Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Showcase: Author Helen Stringer

           The author, Helen Stringer, grew up in Liverpool, England, and currently lives in Redwood City in northern California.  While in Liverpool, she was active in the music scene where she edited local music paper MerseySound while researching the life of the Countess of Sefton through her late 19th century diaries for an exhibition on behalf of Merseyside County Museums. 
            After moving to the United States she studied film, winning several student film awards, including a student Emmy and the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers award for Best Entertainment Program for a Western version of “A Christmas Carol,” called A FISTFUL OF HOLLY (subsequently bought by CBS), and was a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies. She then worked as Director of Development for a Los Angeles television production company.  She has also written for the food section of the Los Angeles Times and Victoria magazine and founded and edited the eclectic web magazine The Mediadrome.
            Her first book, SPELLBINDER, was published in 2009 and chronicled the adventures of Belladonna Johnson, a girl who lives with the ghosts of her dead parents until the day when they, and all the ghosts in the world, disappear. This was followed by the sequel, MIDNIGHT GATE, in 2011. This year sees the publication of her latest novel, PARADIGM, set in a future in which everything we have been warned about has come to pass.
            Helen lives and works in an old barn that used to be a ballet school, along with an embarrassing number of cats and the occasional visiting raccoon.

Sam Cooper is seventeen. He drives a cherry red 1968 GTO that he won on a bet, and spends his days exploring the open roads of the great American West. He should be living the teenage dream, but post-collapse America is a hard place to survive. 

The United States is long dead, basic resources are getting scarcer, and no one on Earth has seen the stars since before he was born. Vast tracts of the country are now empty as people huddle together for safety. 

In all this chaos, Sam has survived on his wits and occasional luck. But a visit to the walled and prosperous Century City results in a split-second decision that changes everything. Soon Sam is on the run from the ruthless Carolyn Bast, and by something much more dangerous: MUTHA--a powerful artificial entity that has been watching and waiting for Sam's return from the barren outlands. Sam unknowingly carries the key to something MUTHA can't live without, something so dangerous that others are willing to kill him, or worse, to ensure that the great plex never possesses it. 

Sam can't stay one step ahead of them forever. His only hope is to unravel the secrets of his peculiar past and awaken the incredible power that sleeps within--because even in his beloved GTO, without the truth, Sam will never succeed in outracing the nightmare to come.

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