Participate In The Book Bowl: 2016 / Comments on Fukushima as Introduction

A short introduction:

Fukushima is a weighty matter/ ISIS threatens to reproduce these results!

Thirty years ago nuclear plants were part of the United States landscape and life was proceeding fairly smoothly. Thirty years ago I wrote the first edition of a novel called, “The Nuclear Catastrophe”. It was published in hard cover and shortly thereafter  the Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor (in Pennsylvania) had a meltdown.which was largely covered up and discounted – except by those who experienced it up close and personal. Chernobyl came and went – Chernobyl is located closer to New York than Fukushima is to Los Angeles. That was the Ukraine and again, not much information was released, but the land affected is still uninhabitable today. Then when the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred, the original novel became an accurate prediction of the future. Following these events with sadness, I wrote “#Betrayal”, a novel of the actions of the government, the Japanese Mafia, all betrayals, large and small. Things are progressively deteriorating. Pacific Ocean wildlife is dying off, Fukushima area cancers are said to be skyrocketing. And ISIS wants to take over the world.I have been successful in looking into the future as outlined above. Please take a moment to read my latest novel which suggests what is coming next: “Nuclear Road Trip – Onward to Destruction”.  ISIS has picked a target and intends to far surpass what happened on 9/11. We will all be affected if we do not secure our nuclear power plants.

“Nuclear Road Trip – Onward to Destruction” fiction based on truth
This story is a prediction of what is in America’s future. ISIS has chosen a target city and plans to far surpass the 9/11 twin towers destruction. What we do today becomes tomorrow. This book is getting ready to happen.

http://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Road-Trip-Onward-Destruction-ebook/dp/B00OME9QO6

BOOK BOWL – 2016

THIS POST COMES FROM: BookMarketingBuzzBlog
A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.

Participate In The Book Bowl: 2016

Over 200 million Americans did not watch the Super Bowl this year. It’s hard to believe that no more than a third of the country is ever fixated on any one thing at any time.

We know with books that even runaway bestsellers are not read by well over 95% of the country.

Popular TV shows that draw 20 million viewers missed 300 million others.

Movies that do $300 million at the box office may have been seen by 25-30 million in theaters, leaving 290 million out in the cold.

Magazines that have readerships of three to four million or the biggest daily newspapers that have a circulation of two million are unread by 99% of America.

Online, even when some video gets 50 million views, chances are a lot of it is repeat views but even if every view represented a person and if all were Americans (they’re not), then more than five-sixths of the country never saw it.

All of this shows what a diverse, fractured, and disunified country we really are when it comes to our cultural arts, sports, politics, news, and faith.

What surprises me is if you get as many as 115 million people to watch an event like the Patriots-Seahawks battle – and the hyped ads and Katy Perry halftime show, why didn’t that number swell even more? If so many people say they are watching the Super Bowl, what turned so many others away from it – and what did they do instead?

I propose next year we throw a Book Bowl. No, it won’t be authors scrimmaging on the football field or literary agents lining up against publishers in a huge arena, but it could be something special.

Let’s take a day to celebrate books and to highlight the industry’s best authors, publishers, bookstores, libraries, literacy organizations, free-speech defenders, and book clubs.

What would some of the events look like? How would we turn this into a game or competition? Would advertisers run commercials – albeit for less than 4.5 million bucks for every 30 seconds – that showcase the same things you see during the championship gridiron match or would the ad fare match the presumed intellectual wit that’s watching the Book Bowl?

To give it a competitive element, I’d feature heated debates on controversial topics that relate to books. Let people go jaw-to-jaw like they’re on a daytime talk show.

You can add in a regional or city element by having authors and representatives from all over the country to participate.

You would have something for everyone when business authors talk to erotic novelists, while faith publishers interact with.

There would be readings by poets, novelists, and nonfiction authors.

Awards would be given out.

The event would have an interactive social media component as well.

Results from various polls and surveys that were researched before the Book Bowl can be announced before a live audience so that reactions could be measured.

Best of all, the Book Bowl could be like a Jerry Lewis telethon, where money could be raised so that literacy could be promoted and censorship fought.

Will you tune in to the Book Bowl?

http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/participate-in-book-bowl-2016.html

Visit http://www.barbarabillig.com for more information on Barbara’s nuclear novels

Don’t miss out on “Nuclear Road Trip – Onward to Destruction”.  http://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Road-Trip-Onward-Destruction-ebook/dp/B00OME9QO6

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Meet: “The Nuclear Road Trip – Onward to Destruction” and get today’s publishing tip!

Last month Benjamin Netanyahu made a  speech to the UN. He, a prominent, famous, well recognized person warned us all. DO NOT TAKE NUCLEAR LIGHTLY. So, please, take the time to read and spread the word of a novelist releasing her third work saying the same thing. It is meant to be fun, enjoyable reading. But it says the same thing.  Thanks in advance.  And here is the Prologue plus the first chapter. If you like it, the link to order it is at the end. My thoughts – just another voice to get the word out to the world. Help, please.

AND…Those of you who pre-order and email your receipt will get a special private report on “how pre-ordering your novel affects success” sent to you only. The details of this are at the end of the blog!

Cover - front hopefulNuclear Road Trip – Onward to Destruction

 

By Barbara Billig and Michelle McKeeth

 

 

Our book is fiction, grounded in reality and fictionalized current events; it will seem extraordinary at times. Right up until it becomes our true current event.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the Author except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Copyright: 2014, by Barbara Billig and Michelle McKeeth

 

Prologue

 

THE FATUOUS BLOWHARD, Erich Schneider, was leaning over his desk, looking into a mirror placed directly in the center. He moved closer, and holding one nostril shut, sniffed deeply. The white powder on the mirror disappeared in a rush, hitting his brain with a jolt. He then inhaled through his other nostril; he loved the feeling of the jolt and the subsequent high.

He leaned back, thinking “aaahhhh,” when claxons began to reverberate loudly in his ears at monitor #3. “What the ???” he thought, jumping up from his chair. He glanced at the #3 monitor and saw the message: ‘RADIATION EXCEEDING MAXIMUM LEVELS OF EMISSIONS FROM STACK’.

He quickly scooped up the mirror, razor blade and the bag of white powder, folded a magazine around them and put the magazine with its contents in a file marked, “Classified.” This he stuffed into a desk drawer which he quickly locked. It was an extra cost for the powdered form, but he could afford it. Erich certainly did not want to do the work himself. It was called being inherently lazy.

Going to the door, he slid the deadbolt open and rushed past his secretary. “No calls, Margaret, not until I make sure this is under control,” he called out as he continued walking.

What is happening, Dr. Schneider?” she shouted anxiously, trying to be heard over the ear-splitting noise. Margaret had heard one too many alarms blaring since she began working for Erich. Each occurrence made her want to quit and move west where there would be far fewer nuclear plants surrounding her – in all directions. The Chicago area was rife with them.

Nothing to be concerned about, Margaret; it is probably just a bad sensor. But I want those damned alarms shut off,” he said brusquely as he turned into the corridor and headed for the main control room. “God, I could use another hit; this place with its constant stress and pressure is getting to me,” he thought to himself.

An employee wearing a white lab coat was coming toward him. As they came abreast of one another, the employee did a tight one-eighty, quickly swinging into step with Erich. “We are lowering the control rods now, Dr. Schneider,” he said loudly, albeit in a reassuring tone, searching Schneider’s face.

Do NOT patronize me, young man,” he stormed. “What is the chance it has a bad sensor?” Dr. Schneider snapped, continuing to make his way quickly to the control room.

Not good. Probably the same old, same old,” the employee answered.

I do not know what they expect of this 44 year old piece of crap. Can you believe they renewed its license to operate until 2028? I cannot. How stupid can they be?” Schneider’s face was red from the fast pace in tandem with his anger. The effects from the cocaine weighed in heavily.

The main control room was ahead and he jerked the door open. “Turn off that damned siren,” shouted Schneider. “We got the message already. There is a problem. Shut that damned thing off!”

The claxons were finally silenced. “Ah,” he sighed, and thought, “The sound of silence really can be wonderful.”

He looked around at the various employees, most in lab coats, in front of the computer banks, dials and gauges.

A young woman stepped forward and said quietly but firmly, “The rods are dropped, sir. We are going to have to shut it down, however.” Her voice sounded almost like a whisper after the noise of the warning horns.

Dr. Schneider looked apoplectic. “Pancorp is going to have a cow. A massive one…and it is going to dump all over me,” he exclaimed. “The bad publicity, the lost revenue from a shutdown, angry customers, and the cost of repairs are bad enough. But the board and the shareholders will be looking for someone to sacrifice. Are you certain?” he asked, a pleading look in his eyes.

Sorry, Doctor, but once again it is definitely a leak in the cooling pipes. They are old and have been patched in so many places already,” she shrugged. “A temporary patch simply will not do; it needs to be permanently repaired. We have to shut it down to remove the damaged section and weld a new pipe in its place. This time the hole is too large. We could replace all the piping, but that requires a permit. It would be really expensive, and the plant would probably be down for a year – at the very least.”

Okay, okay,” he waved his arms in the air, declaring defeat. “No big deal; and we will not be down for a year replacing pipes. I will prepare yet another press release,” Erich looked up, focusing a glare while raising his voice. “No one here is to say a word to the media. Not if you value you jobs,” he said, grim-faced. “In fact, no one, and I mean no one,” he practically growled, “discusses this with anyone outside this plant, including spouses, lovers – hell, even pets! Is that understood?” he demanded, staring in turn at each person in the room. “I am certain I can have you arrested for treason if you do,” he assured them. “And you can enjoy Guantanamo Bay for the rest of your measly little lives,” he turned on his heel and stomped back toward his office.

When Dr. Schneider returned to his office, Margaret was busy answering the plant’s phones. “Reporters are calling and asking what is going on—the alarms can be heard outside the plant,” she told him. “And the General Director of Pancorp called. They are sending five evaluators who work for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the plant. He said to make sure the leak is repaired by the time they arrive. Pancorp wants to look like they care, but in order to downplay the seriousness of the situation, the evaluators have been given two weeks to arrive; they were essentially put on vacation. The plant, however, is to remain closed until they have finished their evaluation; the employees who were told to stay home are on paid leave. And the rest of the employees will stay unless told otherwise.” Margaret moved toward the keyboard of her computer. “I will print out the directive which just arrived by email.”

Dr. Schneider gazed blankly at Margaret for a moment, shaking his head in disbelief. “They are giving them a vacation when we are shut down? What the F?” he thought to himself for the second time that morning. He entered his office and dug out his magazine. He really needed another hit. Maybe two.

 

JAKARTIAN SAT IN the Barnes and Noble Book Store in Joliet, Illinois, west and south of Chicago. He was sipping the cheapest and smallest coffee the store had to offer, which he had loaded with sugar and cream at their expense. He sat watching the doorway. His name was really Jakarta, but felt Jakartian sounded more sophisticated and Jakartian did not make him sound like a city. He, as much as any other person, desired respect.

A dark-skinned man entered and casually glanced around the room before proceeding to the order station. After a few minutes, he had a cup of something hot and walked out the door into the parking lot.

Jakartian casually stood up, and he too left the book store. He followed the dark-skinned man as he continued around a corner within the covered shopping mall, leading him to a more deserted section. There was a vacant unit next to a music store where the dark-skinned man stopped, looking through the glass at nothing.

Jakartian approached and said casually, “Have you decided?”

The man responded, “No. We are still looking at a dirty bomb, or infecting their software, or both.”

You have the contact, though? That came through?” Jakartian asked softly, but firmly for assurance.

Yes. We believe we have someone who will work with us. We have had many discussions.”

Do I need to know who?” Jakartian asked.

No. No names. No email. No phones. They are watching everything. We are contacting each other through drops, just as you were contacted.”

But you can get the virus for the software prepared.” Jakartian made it a statement, not a question as he would not tolerate hesitation.

Again, yes. We have hackers just as everyone else does.”

You know they allow no strange personnel in these nuclear plants. They all have to have security clearances. And they cannot bring in portable devices either, as they are always searched.”

Snowdon had security clearances. How much good did it do them? None. And he was not allowed portable devices either. Everyone thinks a rule makes it happen.”

So what is next?” posed Jakartian.

Look into the water supply for the nuclear plant. Check out how the pipes bring it in and from what source. And get drawings or photos of the blueprints. They are public record. Look for vulnerable areas outside the facility,” replied the man.

All right. Give me a week. Check my drop for the signal telling you I have the material prepared.” Jakartian moved casually away, tossing his empty Barnes and Noble cup into the trash.

The dark-skinned man walked the other direction.

 

 

Chapter One: John and Aadhil on vacation

WHAT DOES ROUTE 66 have to do with anything?” asked John (Rocky) Rockford, a trim, solidly built 6′ 5” tall man who exuded strength, reliability and trustworthiness: a rock among men. “Nowadays, it is no longer traveled with any degree of frequency. It is not even on the maps anymore, although there is a movement to put it back,” John smiled. “Did you know that parts have been overtaken by Interstate 40?”

Lick, lick.

Darn it, Bear, stop licking me!” John grumbled for the umpteenth time, wiping his face with a towel he kept at hand. “Remind me why we brought this dog again?” asked John, although it was a rhetorical question and treated as such by Aadhil, who just grinned at John. Bear licked only John; it was a game they played. Well, Bear played anyway. He licked. John complained. It worked. It was routine. It was funny.

More than thirteen million people now travel Route 66 each year, so that is probably why it will go back on the maps,” responded Aadhil Nazir proudly.

Over the years it has been called, the “Will Rogers Highway,” “The Mother Road” and the “Main Street of America,” continued John, ignoring Aadhil’s comments. “And it stood as a symbol of opportunity, adventure and exploration for all travelers. It represented the golden years, when the world was still fresh and new, possibilities were endless, and life was simpler. It was completed in 1926 – about midway between WWI and WWII – but in 1985, Route 66 was officially decommissioned. The familiar highway markers came down, essentially closing the road. Oh, and it was also known for the song, “Get Your Kicks on Route Sixty-six” That was from the song, and the television show of the early 1960s, ‘Route 66’.” John was smiling with glee.

John was on a roll now. “Route 66 is a historical landmark. Its distance has changed over the years, from 2,448, in 1926 down to 2278 miles in 1947, running from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. It was the first cross-country road built and used extensively for travel, especially during the “dust bowl” years, which is somewhat ironic as it was initially a dusty, unpaved two-lane road. Parts of Interstate 40 eventually rolled right over it, so now there are bypasses and frontage roads. There are still many folks trying to make a living from Route 66 on those bypasses and frontage roads. Indeed, in a recent study done by the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, more than $132,000,000 is spent per annum in communities along historic Route 66, shedding new light on the importance of preserving it. Money speaks,” he finished.

Route 66 was important to Aadhil Nazir. He wanted to better understand his country of choice, and Route 66 represented a major role in the making of the United States. He also wanted a much needed vacation, as did they all, so it had everything to do with him, and ultimately, with all of them.

You have stolen my…my, I forget, but you have stolen it. Parade. That is it. Thief! How do you know so much about Route 66?” he demanded, now accusatory and suspicious. “You did not even want to come this way! Bear. Lick!” Bear obligingly licked John who wiped the slobber from his face with the handy towel while glaring at Aadhil.

Well,” replied John, “you have forced me to take a vacation and travel the dusty trails, so to speak. I, therefore, read a little about it.”

Some people have all the nerves,” replied a disgruntled Aadhil. “But I bet that is all you know.”

You have me there, Aadhil. I‘ve given you everything I memorized from the guide book!”

Good. Steal the parade from someone else in the future,” he blurted.

Aadhil Nazir was Muslim, still fighting for his place in a world. After twelve years of residency in the United States, he knew Muslims were largely disliked and automatically thought of as terrorists. Often he struggled with the concept of how to convey the reality that terrorists were a minority group, and not always Muslim.

Aadhil had very refined and pleasing features, with prominent cheekbones, black hair and nearly black, fathomless eyes. He was also a very good-natured, kind and gentle thirty-one year old man. Many of his colleagues considered him to be far too young to hold the degrees he had earned. Aadhil was a genius who achieved his PhD in nuclear engineering at the ripe old age of twenty-four. He accomplished this feat within a very suspicious country in which he was only now a new citizen, even though he had moved here at nineteen. He was 5’9”, of average build, usually hiding his musculature under Muslim garments. Friends and strangers alike found he always had their backs for a good cause because he was also a loyal and caring person. “This is my parade,” he declared, again wearing a determined look.

Please stop the truck, John. Bear-Lee-a-Dog needs to take care of his business and have some water as he is thirsty,” Aadhil reached into the back seat to pet his yellow labrador retriever, who looked rather dashing in his red mesh ‘Service Dog’ harness.

Did we not just do that?”

Quit telling of the jokes, John. You know he has not done his business since before we left, and he must be thirsty as well. I know I am.”

Once they had stopped, Aadhil let Bear out the back door and began walking a short distance from the road, with Bear glued to his side.

John watched them, smiling fondly. Aadhil’s doctor had suggested to him that a service dog might help Aadhil deal with the stresses of his job. The doctor had written a medical need letter after Bear had been adopted. The medical letter permitted Bear immediate access to any facility or building. But the dog had progressed with more training far beyond his initial service designations. He was, as far as John knew, the only dog allowed within the walls of any of the sacrosanct nuclear power plants in the entire world, making him quite unique.

Bear, beloved as he was, even had his own harnesses in a variety of colors, announcing he was a Service Dog and was entitled to be accepted within any establishment. Aadhil kept Bear’s paperwork in his wallet, just in case he was detained for any reason. He also had several sets of work clothes, each with its own lightweight cooling system so Bear’s core temperature could be maintained between 100̊ and 102̊ while inside any plant. The dog’s work clothes were emblazoned upon the sides with the words, ‘Service Dog’ as well and ‘Do Not Pet’. These work clothes met two important standards. First Bear was clearly designated as a Service Dog, permitting him entry anywhere. And secondly the dog had a sterile uniform which controlled his hair and dander while he was inside a nuclear power plant. The garment was made of a very lightweight mesh with such small holes it appeared to be a solid fabric. It was constructed somewhat like the pads available for human beds which kept the dust mites at bay, but was lighter. The material, which controlled his hair and dander, was developed specially for him, and for the other dogs that might follow in Bear’s footsteps. He had become quite the phenomenon within the nuclear industry.

John was very fond of Bear, but grumbled when the dog licked him, just because he could. And it gave Aadhil a kick. Aadhil was his friend whom he had sponsored for his American Citizenship. He was hoping the two other team members they picked up in Albuquerque did not grumble about Bear when they saw a dog was traveling with them. Bear had earned his seat. Furthermore, as far as John was concerned, if either complained, that person could sit among the baggage for all he cared. When John died, he wanted to come back as a Bear-Lee-a-Dog IV, for someone as amazingly wonderful as Aadhil. Of course, at thirty nine, John hoped to wait awhile.

 

BACK IN THE CAR John and Aadhil were continuing their conversation as they sped along Route 66. “What are you talking about Aadhil?” John grumbled. “Caribou in one sentence and the Morristown, Illinois, nuclear power plant in the next? What do Caribou have to do with Morristown?” John Rockford turned piercing blue eyes to the right, glancing at his passenger. “Caribou. Really. They are in Alaska, and we are on Route 66, which is not even in the general direction of Alaska. By the way, it is a really slow way to travel,” he sighed.

A nervous passenger, Aadhil Nazir, replied, “Please keep your eyes on the road, John. Yes. Caribou. You know…2011,” he said.

That was years ago—Know what?”

Are you trying to be one of the groups that dismisses what happened in 2011?” asked Aadhil, he looked frustrated but slightly comical as the wind from the open window spiked his straight black hair.

No, you are aware I know the significance of 2011. That nuclear disaster in Fukushima was one of the major events of the 21st century, not to be dismissed lightly. But I am on vacation now which is how I know you are not dressed appropriately,” John displayed an impish grin, dimples prominent, as he baited his friend. “He is such an easy target,” he thought.

What is wrong with how I dress?”

Well, you are wearing a t-shirt instead of a Kurta. And jeans? Really? I like your Kurtas and white baggy pants; they look so comfortable.”

I am on vacation, also, remember? And I am American Citizen now,” Aadhil proudly announced, a glint in his eyes. “So I will be wearing of the jeans any time I want, and I want,” he retorted, with a curt nod. “And you are trying to change the subject, my friend. Again.”

The Caribou population has been decimated, John. The herd normally declines an average of 3% per year, which is bad enough as it implies the herd die-off, and it has been declining for a very long time. But since 2011, it has dropped by 28%, for an overall decline of 52% in just 8 years. The largest drop in the herd occurred during 2011 and 2012,” Aadhil informed him, with a look resembling horror upon his face. “This is why Caribou are important. They are very important to us right now because of Fukushima. Studies have shown the airborne radiation has increased from Fukushima,” Aadhil concluded.

What importance does it have right now?” John asked, still confused.

Because of Morristown. Because of its leak.”

John shook his head, frowning. “Well, that situation is under control at the moment. They have closed the plant and fixed that leak; I thought we were on vacation,” was John’s retort. “We are going to be very, very busy once we get there, so we really need this vacation. Now.”

We are, but the Fukushima meltdown had a severe impact upon both sea life and of the wildlife along the Western Coast of the United States. Don’t you wonder what it has doing to the people who live there?” he persisted. “And especially if they have been eating of the local seafood. Morristown uses the same Boiling Water Reactors as Fukushima did, but Morristown is so much older,” he commented, “and it has the leaking of the radioactive particles and gases, which is why we are traveling there now, and why Caribou are important.”

Aadhil slapped his forehead. He was not to be deterred. “The Caribou are important, yes, but what about the children? Who is to think of the children?” he cried.

Aadhil was so upset John pulled off the road and stopped the car, giving him a questioning look.

What about the children? What children? What are you talking about?” John could clearly see Aadhil was agitated and about to panic, so he reached behind the seat and unbuckled Bear, calling him to jump into the front seat. Aadhil promptly wrapped his arms around his dog child.

The children on the Western Coast, especially in Washington, and now even in Nevada. The Caribou and the children. In 2011, right after Fukushima, there was a sudden and dramatic spike in the number of children born with the horrid birth defects; especially the babies born with only the partial brains, or none at all. And almost all died immediately, but the parents suffered.” Aadhil wore a horrified look, and with good cause.

John blanched. He was completely focused upon what Aadhil had to say now, while silently berating himself for getting sucked into this conversation. He was not ignorant of the impact Fukushima had upon the populace; it was not as if he did not work in the industry. But their colleagues both in the United States and in Japan were almost fanatical in not admitting anything was wrong after the Fukushima disaster. Their state of denial was thought to be an effort to protect their jobs. So much money had been invested in nuclear plants the government was determined to continue their operation to generate profits. So somehow various groups associated with nuclear had refused to see all this information while in pursuit of their own goals.

Aadhil continued, his face buried Bear’s in fur. “These occurrences decreased in 2012, but are still happening.”

I am so sorry, Aadhil, and you are right. It is catastrophic!” he exclaimed. “And Morristown, as you correctly pointed out, is a Boiling Water Reactor just like Fukushima. As old as it is, it probably should be permanently shut down.”

Yes,” responded Aadhil tears streaming from his eyes, “and now, children in New Mexico are endangered because of WIPP, the nuclear waste interment pilot project treatment plant that is leaking there.”

Thanks. Aadhil. One of the primary reasons I enjoy our friendship is because you are such a caring person; it is what caused me to want to be your friend. But this denial of consequences from nuclear accidents is a problem within our industry. It is good you have Bear. Perhaps, though, you should work on your emotions a little more, Aadhil. You store so much knowledge in your brain that you often become hyper-focused. That is why I think you don’t want to forget the children. Not even for a moment,” John added, sympathy clearly displayed in his eyes, along with sadness for all those endangered children and their families.

John continued, “Bear has an innate sense for knowing when you need him. I will move his seatbelt and he can stay upfront with us for now. Of course, Bear seems to sense that licking me will make you happy, so I will just …” John grunted while tugging the towel from beneath Bear, “hang on to this,” he smiled, dangling the towel in front of himself. As if on cue—lick, towel, sigh, and a chuckle or two ensued.

John moved Bear’s seat belt to the front seat and then restarted the SUV. They reentered traffic and proceeded along Route 66. “So, my friend, we must set these worries aside for now and move onward. Now, Morristown had a leak, which is very serious as it released radioactive material into the air. So, yes, we need to discover how and why, and fix this situation. Permanently. What you may not know, since I have not mentioned it, is that Pancorp is putting me in charge. I have the authority to do whatever it takes to either fix that plant from head to toe, or to shut it down permanently. This has been weighing heavily on my mind since we were ordered to Illinois by the NRC. We need to focus on Morristown, absolutely, and prevent more of the same.”

But right here, right now, we enjoy our vacation and let work wait until we get there. Trust me,” John said, “it will still be there once we arrive,” John urged. “And they did give us this vacation time, and we have not had a vacation since I cannot even remember when. So we will use it as such. Then we will be relaxed and ready to hit it hard when we get to the Morristown nuclear power plant,” he said, a little more forcefully than intended. “You said this is a vacation, so vacation. And just think of poor Bear,” he gave Bear a sad look. “He has never been on vacation.” Lick. Sigh. Towel.

This is true,” replied a guilty-looking Aadhil Nazir. “Eyes. Road. Thank you.” He gave Bear a big hug while Bear, never allowed to sit up front, enjoyed the sights.

What did you want to stop and see?” John adroitly changed the subject. “Since this is a vacation, after all, and I can see you have been bursting with excitement all morning, where to McDuff?”

Aadhil looked very confused. “Who is McDuff, John?” Aadhil looked at John, a little worried about his sanity.

Small things made Aadhil happy, and John was willing to oblige. They were on Route 66 after all, which was certainly not his idea; he would have rather gone straight to Chicago to sightsee. That would have been a much more relaxing and enjoyable vacation. Chicago was a thriving metropolis.

Why, you are McDuff, Aadhil. It is a joke,” said John, realizing this joke, like so many others, flew right over Aadhil’s head.

Ah. I see,” he said, although he really did not. But that was okay with him since John thought it was funny. They were back on track for now. “Well, when we go to Missouri, we need to stop in Fanning to see the “Route 66 Rocking Chair,” he responded excitedly. “It was completed on April Fool’s Day as a joke and everyone thought it was funny because who would be looking for a rocking chair off Route 66?” he queried.

John could not help himself. “Okay, I’ll bite; what is so special about this rocking chair?” he asked. “They are a dime a dozen.”

No, they are not,” he replied. Aadhil could be rather literal minded at times. “A good one is very expensive.”

Aadhil then looked at John, a huge grin forming upon his youthful face, an unmanly giggle escaping his lips and excitement glowing from his eyes. “This one is 42’1” tall and 20′ 3” wide, and weighs 27,500 pounds. It does the rocking, although they have to keep it tied down as it would be very dangerous if it begins to rock and falls over. It was completed on April 1, 2008. I saw it on an annoying food show where this man eats a ton of food,” he shuddered, “and looked it up. I have been waiting for this for a long while.”

John smiled, a big grin forming upon his face while shaking his head in amusement. “You sound as if you are quoting text, but you are a font of information, Aadhil. And are we planning to sit in this chair?” he asked.

That fat annoying eating machine did, but they had to hoist him up, so I do not know yet. He is famous. We are not. I hope we can. I have my camera, and four of us will be there to see,” he noted. “And the owner said if anyone is to build a bigger one, so will he, and he will call it “Mama Bear,” and the original would be the “Baby Bear.”

That did make John laugh heartily. “More Bears! Will our Bear go to the top if they let us?” Even he was looking forward to seeing the behemoth with Bear sitting on the rocking chair.

We must see first if it is safe for him to be up so far from the ground,” responded Aadhil.

What other sights have you chosen for our vacation?” John asked, giving in to the inevitable. “Or will we be bored until then? And where did you hide your itinerary? I have yet to see one.”

Aadhil pointed at his head. “Here,” he smiled. “is where I keep all good things,” he winked at John. “No, of course we will not suffer boredom. Did you know the original Route 66 was unpaved?” he asked, reverting back to guide book mode. “And for your predilection,” he smiled broadly, “we have The Rock Café, halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The Rock Café had burned to the ground at one point, but it was re-built from sandstone that was removed as Route 66 was being constructed. It was completed the same time as Route 66 was finished in Santa Monica. Now it is historically significant,” he proudly informed John, “And do not forget that most people call you Rocky, so you should be right at home there.”

Ha! How many of these sights you have so carefully chosen are just places for you to eat to fill that bottomless pit you call a stomach?” laughed John.

Aadhil frowned at him. “None, but this one is important to Route 66 and just happens to be someplace where we can have an eat. It is a lucky happenstance, yes? As will be the others,” he gave John an impish grin. “How far have we traveled?” he asked.

About 90 miles. Why?” queried John.

Because the Petrified Forest is 120 miles from Flagstaff, right off Route 66. It should be our first stop because we need to take a break for Bear every two hours,” he pointed out. “We are very close. I hope the restaurant is tasty.”

Really?” exclaimed John. “Are you planning on eating the restaurant, Aadhil?” he joked.

I do not understand you John. Have you the crazies?”

John was chuckling. “No, Aadhil; I was joking because you said you hoped the restaurant is tasty, not the food at the restaurant.”

It is very clear to me that you are trying too hard to be funny, John.”

John was still chuckling but Aadhil continued. “Yes. Well, it is 142 miles from Palo Verde to Route 66 by Flagstaff, and another 120 miles to the Petrified Forest. Even you must be getting hungry, John.”

Well, yes, but please do not tell my friend, Aadhil, or he will start teasing me.”

They both laughed and drove on in companionable silence. They had worked together for seven years and considered themselves close friends.

When they were almost to the desert area known as the Petrified Forest, they stopped at a local pub to enjoy cheeseburgers smothered with grilled onions surrounded by curly fries. John had a beer while Aadhil, as a Muslim, drank water. Of course. Bear-Lee-a-Dog ate his kibble and slurped his water with gusto. His water was bottled by a well-known US manufacturer and cases of it were packed for him when he traveled. His stomach, therefore, would not be exposed to possible upsets from local water sources. After getting a tiny bite of burger as a treat, the dog smiled and thought, “This vacation is pretty much fun.”

While they were eating, John mentioned his sister, Chloe, who had once asked about petrified wood. She wanted to know if it could be burned in the fireplace. “She was born late in my mother’s life, and was only twelve at the time. She was so upset when I told her it really is not wood anymore, but rock. The striated colors come from the various iron and manganese compounds in the rock. On a sunny day these produce vibrant reds and oranges. The wood petrifies to become something else while still maintaining the look of wood.”

She gave me a look full of horror because she thought it was just really old wood which had dried out and become really hard over all the millennia. I think it was a week before she would speak with me again,” he said. “Even now, she still gives me the stink eye as she states, “petrified wood.”

Aadhil looked appropriately sympathetic. Mostly. He could also see her side, and hers was the more charming concept.

They had a fun afternoon sightseeing through the National Monument with Bear. After they exited the park Bear was allowed to go off leash so he could sniff everything around him, and there was a lot to be sniffed. Aadhil even allowed him to briefly chase a squirrel before returning to the truck.

As they both approached the truck, Aadhil attached Bear’s leash, which Aadhil handed to John. “Will you put him in and get him settled? I have a quick phone call to make,” he said by way of explanation.

John nodded and proceeded to open the back door for Bear so he could jump into the truck. He was removing the leash but noticed Aadhil had moved a short distance away. He could hear him speaking to someone. But the conversation was in a foreign language.

End of Chapter 1

The terrorists have chosen a city, a plan is in place. They are sure they can far exceed what happened on 9/11. American will be their country.

If you liked this and would like to get the kindle edition novel delivered to you on December 12 PLUS GET A PRIVATE REPORT ON THE BENEFITS AND HELPFUL HINTS REGARDING PRE-ORDERING then click the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Road-Trip-Onward-Destruction-ebook/dp/B00OME9QO6

Order this book and email the order receipt to:     barbaraandmichelle@gmail.com

You will receive on approximately December 15 a private report on “How a pre-ordering sales campaign affects your chances of success”. Included will be information on the number of presales this novel generated, its sales ranking upon release, and tips on how these sales were achieved. This information will not be published anywhere except in this special private report, available only to those of you who pre-order.

Thanks so much and Happy Reading!

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How to set up a Tweet network and get past the Biggest Mistakes in posting on Twitter

Please visit http://www.barbarabillig.com and vote on "Naming the next nuclear novel". Those who vote will receive the prologue + 1st chapter after the announcement of the winning title!

Please visit http://www.barbarabillig.com and vote on “Naming the next nuclear novel”. Those who vote will receive the prologue + 1st chapter after the announcement of the winning title!

How to set up a Tweet network  and get past the Biggest Mistakes in posting on Twitter

Advertise your book through tweets in a tweet network. Want to get 10 times more exposure just by getting 10 people to retweet to their followers? This can be done in the “organized” approach or the “random” approach. And you should get past the tweeting mistakes that are frequent on twitter.

The ORGANIZED approach

First retweet someone (let’s use@billigbooks -me) who posts frequently on your account. Try and RT a blurb about their book rather than just anything.  Then direct message @billigbooks -who posts frequently on your account (use the twitter “reply” arrow)  and ask them if they would like to do a tweet network for a period of time – 4 weekends, one month, every day, one week, on Sundays,etc.  I say state a time period because I know @billigbooks gets overwhelmed at times so cannot always participate. And state you will each RT the other 1 or 2 times per day.  Pick 10 accounts to do this with that have a good following of at least the number of people you have following you.  Now you have set up 10 accounts that you are agreeing to retweet each other.  If you each have 1000 followers, you will now be reaching 10,000 followers!

The RANDOM approach

Check your “@connect” tab at the top of the tweet page. This shows who has retweeted you. Click on their identifying picture and go to their page. Choose something interesting of theirs to retweet. Keep a list of who has RT’d you and who you have RT’d back – because the page “@connect” keeps changing as you use it. Make sure you return all favors with a retweet of their material, not a thank you.

 Putting in hashtags such as #authorRT is asking for a retweet – but people are not going to send your tweet out to the network – UNLESS – your are also retweeting them. Once you tweet from your home page – your tweet dies unless you have motivated people to retweet it to an ever expanding chain. If 10 people each have 200 followers and they each retweet you – you have reached another 2000 people!

Mistakes to be Avoided

1. Your tweet is not interesting. Who wants to read: @georgeangus @zanebradey @calebcasey22 @edwardkent @Billigbooks @am_sch @GeeksOfThunder @BalletMuzik Thanks for RTs & MTs on #FF! This is totally incomprehensible. Who would retweet this?

2. Your tweet has a shortened reference to another URL and makes no sense: #author of “xyo9jjjmade up” http://bit.ly/rusAVO #ian1 #amreading #historical #romance You are trying to communicate SOMETHING here – but you want to do it without making people take a second step to further open up that something. Most likely they will just move on & ignore you instead of opening up the url that may or may not make sense.  Shortening url’s on twitter does not necessarily give you more letters to message with.  Check it out with and without the shortened url. Make your tweet readable & interesting in and of itself.

3. You fail to respond to someone’s retweet of you or your material. “Thank you” is NOT what is wanted. The person who retweeted you wants some recognition of their tweets – not a thank you. Find something they have tweeted and retweet that. Or- they won’t bother with you again.

4. Not checking your “followers” list. Be sure to check it each day and those who have followed you – follow them.

5. You don’t tweet on a regular basis – tweet a bit every day and make it interesting – people will be looking for you.

6. You don’t send your tweets out at least 3 times a day. The most tweets are read between 3 and 5 pm but there are 4 time zones in the United States. There are millions of tweets. So, to get read – send them in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Various programs can be set to send them out automatically. You aren’t doing this for finger exercise are you?

7. If you can: Tweet about those who RT you. Go to the twitter notifications list and click on the picture of someone who retweeted you.  That will bring up their profile info and tweet about them – one per day is good. More if you have the time.

 

“The Nuclear Catastrophe          http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY                “#Betrayal”                            http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IX1L94Y

These technothrillers are fiction novels based on fact. Should you read them? Should you understand the world we are now living in? Chance favors the prepared mind.

These technothrillers are fiction novels based on fact. Should you read them? Should you understand the world we are now living in? Chance favors the prepared mind.

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110 Tips for Authors: 51-60

Barbara Billig is the author of “The Nuclear Catastrophe”, a fiction novel of suspense

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY

and “#Betrayal”, a technothriller, based on truth.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IX1L94Y

The following is a guest post by:

JULY 1, 2014 BY

MCS BLOG 10Do you need tips or advice on improving your author career? Read on! (If you would like the complete list of 110 Tips for Authors, email AuthorRonKnight@aol.com and label the email, “120 Tips”.)

51: Watch the experts. Look in the bookstore and gaze at the shelves. What do you see? What will be popular next year? Five years from now? Start working on that idea.

52: Exhaust all possibilities. After trying everything you will become limited to which way you should go next. Look at those limited options as useful. With no other ways to go, how can you go wrong?

53: A quick exchange using dialogue to illustrate a scene or plot twist can be more powerful than description.

54: The more you know about your genre and writing, the more value you are to others. The more value you are to others, the more opportunities you will have. The more opportunities you have, the more money you will make.

55: Go through your manuscript and look for overuse of adjectives. Example of an author pushing description down a reader’s throat: “Jeff was wise not to battle the bright, hot, sunny, day, because it was so dusty, yet smoggy.”

After reading this list, don’t forget to join the UP Authors Newsletter for more tips and advice!

56: The description of a scene can be slow and drawn out unless the author is only writing the important essentials. Do not over describe.

57: Grip the reader. Hold the reader. Never let go of the reader. Your book should read like it’s going a hundred miles per hour.

58: Delete all cliché’ phrases. “I’m in the twilight zone.” Or, “He was wondering if this was just a nightmare and he would wake up soon.” Instead, use clever description or dialogue to reveal your character’s feelings.

59: Have a book with you at all times. If you are waiting for something, then you have the opportunity to read.

60: Watch movies with the subtitles on. Understand why lines were written a certain way. Figure out why each word is important to that scene. It will be the same with your book; every word has a significant meaning.

“I need other authors to succeed so that the craft remains alive.” ~ Ron Knight

Which city has the highest population of your readers? Register for FREE at MCS:http://montecarlosolutions.com/

Free marketing book for authors!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/400504

The video every author should watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Zrg8xyg8E&feature=youtu.be

Do you need paper marketing materials or an updated website? Visit Brand Eleven Eleven:www.brand1111.com

If you copy and paste this blog to your blog, email Ron Knight with the link and he will promote to 10,000 followers in different social media groups, sending traffic to your website. Email: authorronknight@aol.com

Ron Knight

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A Fiction Novel of Suspense.

A Fiction Novel of Suspense.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY

A Fiction Novel of Survival

A Fiction Novel of Survival

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IX1L94Y

"#Betrayal" wins in the Best First Chapter category in the 2014 Fiction Challenge from UP Authors awards!

“#Betrayal” wins in the Best First Chapter category in the 2014 Fiction Challenge from UP Authors awards!

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eBook for YOU! Get the controversial “The Nuclear Catastrophe” fiction novel

#1A NewBookCoverImage2

A FICTION NOVEL

that YOU should read ….

Set in Southern California these characters are faced with a terrible disaster that the government promised could NEVER
happen. And now there is an invisible enemy present –

It can’t be seen – it can’t be heard – it can’t be felt –

UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE

Read how these characters faced difficult choices – and decide what you would have done –
or will do.

Kindle Books can be downloaded to a Kindle or to a PC or Tablet, Notebook, or Smartphone

Visit AMAZON.COM to download a free Kindle app that allows this book to be read on a PC,
Tablet, Notebook, or Smartphone.

Click this link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY

I would appreciate your forwarding this to one or two friends who might also enjoy the book. Thanks!!!!

Happy Reading!

Barbara Griffin Billig
Author: The Nuclear Catastrophe (a fiction novel of suspense) and
“#Betrayal” a nuclear fiction novel of suspense# Betrayal kindle edition:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IX1L94Y

Read an excerpt now: http://www.barbarabillig.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/barbarabillig

Available as THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe in Paperback
Posted in barbarabillig, consumers, fiction, kindle books, nuclear, responsibility, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monster Typhoon Heads for Fukushima, Japan, nuclear material

I invite you to go to the latest update of the Monster Typhoon bearing down on the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear plant.  Will the 50 foot waves and 150 mph winds spread the loose radioactive nuclear materials and stored waste onto land and into the sea?

http://thenuclearcatastrophe.blogspot.com

For your enjoyment read:

#Betrayal, a Nuclear Fiction Novel of Survival

Based on truth

Crime, Technothriller, Murder, Romance, Greed, Lies

Dedicated to:

All my supportive social media friends on twitter, facebook, google, pinterest and more, and to the inspiring preppers and survivors, and those writers who are trying to alert us to the dangers in the world.

Understanding yesterday is the basis for preparing for tomorrow. If we have no knowledge and are faced with a decision, that is when we shrug our shoulders and say we don’t know.

Years ago the scientists sold us on nuclear power and said an accident would never happen, it was impossible. Then when there were accidents, scientists told us that they were minor and not worth noting. When the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown occurred in 2011, one scientist wrote that the danger was already over and certainly the United States would not be affected. But the years have passed and now the damages are beginning to be irrefutably noted. The state of Washington had the highest number of fetal deaths in 2011 in the last ten years due to congenital (physical) abnormalities present at birth. The numbers went back in to the normal range in 2012. Deformities in birds are occurring all over the country of Japan, that were never seen before. Certain species in the oceans seem to be in rare decline, possibly headed for extinction?

The question is…..do we, as the population of the world, want this potential danger of nuclear radiation from nuclear power plants to threaten ourselves, our children, our food chains, and our wildlife?

So, to increase understanding and awareness…..to better make us able to make a decision

I have written “#Betrayal” as a fictional story based on truth

Reviews are 4 and 5 star.

2014_Fiction_challenge_awardwinner

On sale this week only for the 4th of July Holiday @ 99 cents

You may read a sample chapter below or on Amazon

 # Betrayalhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IX1L94Y

Also Available for Kindle: The Nuclear Catastrophe

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY (The Nuclear Catastrophe)

Posted in barbarabillig, book review, consumers, fiction, help, kindle books, nuclear, responsibility, romance, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima is not a Japanese nuclear accident…..

Fukushima is not a Japanese nuclear accident – it is a nuclear accident that happened to occur in Japan. The problems that caused the Fukushima accident exist wherever these type reactors operate.

There are many reactors of this type in operation today – probably 45 out of the 104 reactors in the United States.

2:40 AM EST on June 13th, 2014 – Enenews

Japan Official: Bottom of reactor vessel suspected to have “broken off” at Fukushima Unit 2 after the explosion, called “catastrophic development… very grave” — Top US Expert: It’s inconceivable how melted fuel could be extracted

05:25 PM EST on June 12th, 2014 – Enenews

 Japanese Nuclear Expert: Melted reactor cores not in one piece at Fukushima, as gov’t claims — I think nuclear fuel scattered everywhere, stuck to walls — Chernobyl-like sarcophagus may be needed — Nothing has been done, by time they deal with this I’ll be long dead

 

 

The novel “#Betrayal”, was written to bring attention to the terrible aftermath, years later, following a nuclear catastrophe. The hashtag is indicative of more than one type of betrayal. The following is the award winning first chapter. Hope you enjoy.

Image

 

#Betrayal

a nuclear fiction novel of survival

BookCoverPreview (4)

PROLOGUE

 

The white walls and the white linens surrounded her. The bareness of the room was overwhelming, not cozy and comforting. For the moment she was alone. Sara watched the clock click away and wondered if these were the last moments of her life. She wanted some more morphine but was afraid if she increased the dosage she wouldn’t wake up again. She fingered the pump. The pain hit her with an intense wave.

 

As the relaxing drug flooded her body she floated away. Help, she was too young for this! And she thought back…Sara thought back to her first baby who had been born after the devastating San Mirado nuclear catastrophe. When her child was delivered they had wrapped it in a towel and given it to her to hold. They thought she didn’t notice. But she did – she could feel it was too small and too thin. Ben’s baby – their son. Delivered in the presence of Dr. Bernard Parsons.

 

It had been the nuclear catastrophe that could never happen. Her then husband, Ben, had been the supervisor of the local nuclear power plant. He never failed to assure her how safe the nuclear plants were, they had thought of everything in the planning. They were fail safe. They had thought of everything except the earthquake that had frozen the control rods. The control rods that couldn’t be lowered into the core of the nuclear reactor to slow down the speed of the atoms splitting. The control rods which were necessary to keep the reactor from overheating. The reaction kept increasing in speed, releasing more and more heat as more and more atoms split, until a terrible explosion of pent up energy and overheated gases blew the place apart, causing a meltdown and a tremendous release of radiation.

 

People panicked and drove in the wrong directions, clogging the streets, trying to flee. They couldn’t believe their precious phones no longer worked, or the bank automated teller wouldn’t give them any money. The things they took for granted disappeared in an instant and they were not prepared.

 

And now years had passed. She was married to Dr. Bernard Parsons. And now they had Fukushima. The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe that everyone said could never happen. Just as it had been said the nuclear catastrophe could never happen in San Mirado. Would they never learn?

CHAPTER ONE

Dr. Bernard Parsons sat at his desk in his suite of medical offices adjacent to the hospital. His white lab jacket hung open over his open collared dress shirt and neatly pressed pants. He was a handsome man, but the past years involving the San Mirado nuclear disaster had aged him somewhat. He had already done his morning rounds for his patients. He had visited with Sara, his wife, in her private hospital suite, and made sure she was as comfortable as possible. Once again he had been reassuring to her. He was hoping for a miracle. The phone rang several times before Bernard could reach it. It was his direct line which bypassed his secretary and receptionist. “Hello, Bernard Parsons here,” he spoke into the telephone.

Bernard, how are you? Just calling to see what’s happening?” Sam Baxter said. Sam, of Baxter Investments, was a successful businessman in the real estate and investments market. He was the ‘go to’ person for getting ahead with your money. He had five sons from his first wife, who were in business with him. His second wife, Elise, had no children. But it was because he was insistent about her not having a child. And secretly, just to make sure he had his way, he had, as insurance, had a vasectomy. That served two functions. One, he could cheat without the fear of getting stuck with one more kid, blackmail, and/or a divorce. And two, Elise – who was incapable of taking care of anything – was prevented from having the child she constantly talked about wanting. She worried obsessively about who was going to take care of her when she was older.

You have over $50,000 cash in your investment account,” Sam said. “One of your bonds was called at par and you haven’t been spending as much lately, so you should put this to work. We have a good bond, in-house from a trust. The kids who are now in control want to cash everything out now since the father has died. They will sell it below market. The smell of money is driving them to get this done quickly. You can buy it for eighty cents on the dollar – 50,000 in the block.”

So who’s behind the bond? What’s it rated” asked Bernard.

Oh, you know I’m going to go through all the particulars with you. Just wanted to let you stop me dead in the water if you had other plans for the cash,” Sam responded. “It’s a bond for the Moorpark, Ca. school system, rated AA, and insured by Ambac. Moorpark’s a very upscale city, very healthy financially. Yield is 5% tax free.”

As long as it’s not Sacramento,” Bernard said. “Go ahead.” Then he paused slightly, not knowing whether he wanted to broach the subject or not. “How are the kids?”

With a sigh, Sam answered, “Doing well. I have to monitor their transactions and since there are five of them it takes a lot of my time. They’ve brought in a lot of business, got to give them that. But they just don’t believe that things can go wrong. And they resent my looking over their shoulder.”

We will have to have dinner one of these evenings when things settle down at my house,” Bernard said.

How is Sara doing?” Sam asked.

Realistically, not so well. But I’m always hopeful for a remission or a miracle. Listen, gotta run, my nurse has buzzed me several times…patients are waiting. Thanks for calling, Sam.” Bernard hung up the phone and pressed his nurse’s intercom button.

****

Fuji woke up hungry. The drab concrete block walls around him had no decoration and stared back at him silently. He blinked to clear out the sleep from his eyes. Other people were starting to move around, up from their cots. Soon the noise level would move to such high decibels people would gladly go outside to get away from it. But it was cold outside and almost as cold inside.

The government had been giving them rations since they had been evacuated from Fukushima, but they were hardly edible. First the authorities had said it was no problem for them to stay in the area. Then after two weeks they were told the area was very radioactive and there were mandatory orders to evacuate. He wondered how much radiation they had been exposed to.

Fuji thought about what he would do today. They needed a place to live. They had a home near Fukushima, Japan, but now they were no longer allowed to go there. They also needed clothes. Now he had no job. His wife and two children were alternately scared, hungry, bored, angry, and confused. They were sleeping on cots with hundreds of other families in a big warehouse. There were two bathrooms inside, outside were portable toilets, and one makeshift outside shower with only cold water.

Fuji…,” his wife said, “are you awake? I’m going to get the children up and go stand in the food line.”

Okay. I’m going to see if it is possible to shower.”

Have you heard anything? About what’s happening?” Shisa asked.

I’ll try and find out,” he replied. Slowly rising, he got off his cot in his rumpled, soiled clothes and began making his way to a door leading to the outside. A government agent would be there later he had heard. Possibly they would have some clothing to give out. It meant standing in line again for hours to take your turn. Some people had money or had relatives they could stay with. Fuji and his family were poor. They had no nearby relatives. They had no money. And now they had no possessions.

He stopped to piss on the way by closely hugging the wall and hoping no one would notice. At the shower there were only a few men as most people were in the food line. He took his place in line, hoping they wouldn’t run out of soap in the dispenser, or the paper towels, before his turn came. He hoped the sun would warm the cold air. Maybe he could get an extra shirt since there were no coats.

Did you hear anything?” he asked the man in front of him.

No one seems to know anything except we can’t go back now. The earthquake and tidal wave wiped out most of the area, the radiation from nuclear plants contaminated the rest.”

But we can go back?” Fuji said hopefully.

Who knows? There’s not a lot left there. Where did you work?”

I worked at the power plant”, Fuji said.

The nuclear plant? The one that blew up?”

Yes, the Fukushima nuclear plant.”

The other man shook his head and left Fuji standing there as he walked quickly away.

****

Bernard was sitting in his offices after the last patient had left and the employees had gone. There was not much of a push to get home since Sara was in the hospital located beside his medical offices. He would get dinner from the hospital cafeteria and take it up to eat with her. It couldn’t be any worse than what she was being served. Hospitals were famous for their bad food.

Bernard sat and looked over the latest offering from Sam’s company. His kids were pushing second loans on houses secured by real estate. Supposedly it could never go wrong with real estate constantly pushing upward in price. He thought back to the last catastrophe, when the nuclear plant in San Mirado, California, had blown up. Real estate values went to nothing in the area after all the radiation contamination. Didn’t make any difference whether you held the first loan or the second – you were out of luck. The lenders lost their money, the homeowners lost their houses. Insurance didn’t cover radiation disasters.

But, as the kids pointed out, these weren’t in Southern California, but in the suburbs outside San Francisco. He and Sara had moved there after getting married to start a new life together. And the government obviously believed nuclear was clean, safe energy or they would have closed the plants down. Just because there had been an accident in Fukushima didn’t affect the values here.

Bernard pondered whether he believed all this. He and Sara had been in the middle of the last disaster.

Bernard thought about the fact the United States was recognized as a world leader, a world power, perhaps the strongest of all the nations with the most modern technologies. Yet, as a doctor he contemplated why the United States didn’t lead the world in having the lowest mortality rate among infants. And it wasn’t even a close race. With approximately 188 countries reporting, the US was only number 34. And a lot of the countries ahead of the US had no nuclear power.

In fact it had been theorized that the health of the United States population had been compromised by all the above ground nuclear testing starting in the 1940’s, then the underground tests which followed, and the massive leaks of radioactive material. Australia, with no nuclear industry, was ranked 18 in the report.

Interestingly, the Japanese, who had been subjected to two massive nuclear bombs and had 55 operating nuclear plants in a small country, was number 3 in lowest mortality rating. It would be revealing to see what happened to their rating over the next ten to twenty years after their massive Fukushima nuclear accident. But the documentation showed the United States, in those years of testing nuclear bombs in the atmosphere and oceans, had detonated over one hundred million times the bombs which had been dropped on Japan. The US was first in the production of radioactive pollution.

****

Bernard opened the hospital room door softly, to see if Sara was awake. He hoped she was, but if she were sleeping he would return later. Her eyes were closed. Even with no makeup she was still beautiful, her features perfect. She had naturally blond hair and big dark eyes. The lashes were heavily fringed and surrounded those eyes, giving her a dramatic look. Slowly they opened and a smile came to her face. She lifted her arms to him, to touch him. He bent over and kissed her cheek.

I have good news, Sara,” he said quietly.

And what is that?” she asked still smiling.

Well, you have improved in how you are feeling, so we must assume the chemo and radiation have done some good. The tumor hasn’t grown. You could very well be in remission at the moment. But the tumor is inoperable and is still there in your brain. There is a new experimental procedure available. A doctor with your same tumor tried it. He figured it was his only chance to survive. His tumor began to shrink. Duke University has begun a larger study with good results for these glioblastomas.

Is it painful?” she asked.

No, not really. It requires an injection into the tumor, but it’s done with anesthesia. You would have some soreness in the scalp area after, but that’s about it.”

What is being injected?”

Polio virus. They have shown in mice the injection of the live virus into tumors shrinks them. First we would get your polio vaccination updated so you didn’t get polio. Then we would do an injection of the live virus into the tumor in your brain. Hopefully it will work for you as well as it has for this doctor.”

What kind of doctor is he?”

Interestingly enough he is a cardiac surgeon. When he got this brain tumor and was diagnosed with only six months to live he started doing research. This guy wasn’t a smoker; he only drank minimally and kept his health an important part of his life. So why did he get this tumor? He found a medical paper published wherein twenty-two doctors had all gotten this same type tumor in the same side of the head and the same placement. They were all doctors who had radiological studies going on while they were doing surgery.”

That’s rather scary, Bernard, you being a surgeon.”

Does make you think. But anyway, he then found the study with the polio virus injection and decided to make a try. For him, it seems to be working.”

Well, can I have a little break from the hospital before we try something else?”

Why not. I’ll ask your doctor to make a final determination and sign you out. I will discuss this with him and perhaps you can even leave today.”

Sara’s eyes lit up and then tears formed in them. She squeezed Bernard’s hand tightly. “I can’t wait to get out of here.”

****

Sara stared out at the view from the back deck of their home. They lived high in the hills north of San Francisco. She had missed looking out at the bay, the boats coming and going, the sunrises and sunsets. Bernard was close enough to his hospital so commuting wasn’t a problem. And there was no nuclear plant close to them. That had been a factor in their choice of where to live.

She also missed the activities she had shared with her friends. When she became ill, first with the headaches, then nausea, finally vomiting, Bernard had insisted she have a MRI. It had shown the tumor, an aggressive malignant type, located in her brain in an inoperable location. It was hard to talk with her friends about this.

They had called and she had simply chosen not to discuss it. “Let’s not dwell on this,” she said. If Bernard wanted to tell them he could. But their questions were depressing, and certainly she had no answer to the one which was repeated over and over – what are you going to do? Even though the doctors said radiation and chemotherapy had little effect on these tumors she and Bernard decided they would start with that route. Since his offices were at the hospital, it was easier to check in for a stay there while she received treatment. They had no children and had decided they didn’t want to take a chance on bringing a damaged child into the world after their radiation exposure from the San Mirado nuclear catastrophe which had occurred while they were living in Southern California. She thought about all those young Japanese women now heavily exposed to the radiation released when the Fukushima nuclear reactors melted down in 2011…and sighed heavily, thinking back on her own experiences.

But if she were going to continue her life, she had to rise above these thoughts and move on to what she enjoyed. She picked up her tablet and began to type an email to her friends. “I’m out of jail! I’m coming down to visit next week. Call me if you can go out to play. Sara”

This is the end of the first chapter. Thereafter:

The United Nations decrees that an independent team will be sent to Japan to evaluate this situation that threatens to contaminate the world. Bryce Anderson’s company in southern California is selected.. He finds that he is not welcomed with open arms by the country of Japan. In fact someone seems to be trying to kill him.

Bryce hires a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, John Taguchi to gather stories from nuclear refugees. Fuji, a former nuclear power plant worker, and Mr. Nouchi, a farmer and their families are displaced from their homes and work by this accident. The Japanese Mafia, known as the Yakuza, have invested money in these now ruined nuclear plants. They are making threats and demands. Mr. Tanaka, Japanese Minister of Public Affairs is pulled in many directions as he tries to satisfy everyone. Their lives all intertwine in this tale of betrayal. Lies, murder, greed, and power. Whom would you trust?  

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