Coming Autumn 2020

 

Survival / Adventure / Romance / Action

A fast-paced story inspired by an actual event.

I saw a video on YouTube by a man who had crashed his plane in the remote wilderness of Quebec. He survived because his plane had a parachute. I’d never heard of such a thing, so I did a little research on the subject and found CAPS, which stands for Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. Their website states, “The parachute system is designed to protect occupants in the event of an emergency by lowering the aircraft to the ground after deployment.”

Cool. Right? That’s what I thought.

Matt Lehtinen, the pilot who crashed and was stranded in the remote area of the province, shot a Vlog to capture his experience. He was rescued after only five hours but WOW, what an adventure.

My imagination absorbed the information and the energy from the video and the story took shape within minutes. It took much longer to write: 25 days.

Diane McGyver


 

About this Book

 

Two survivors of a plane crash in the wilderness of Northern Ontario face life-threatening challenges to endure.

A more thorough description to come soon.

 

Prologue

 

(rough draft)

The setting sun shot rays of light beneath the eave of the gazebo, striking Olive’s face, making her squint and move her head to avoid the brightness. A cool breeze brushed her skin and jingled the windchime hanging overhead. She jumped, then forced herself to sit still. Time. She needed time to adjust to home.

“You’re as skittish as a kitten during a thunder storm.” Marleen held out her bottle of beer, but Olive waved it away. “You need something to settle your nerves. Something stronger. I’ll bring the Captain tomorrow.”

“I quit.”

“Thirty-four days in the bush proves you’re not a quitter.”

“Alcohol’s not the answer.”

“If you ask it the right question, it is.” Marleen took a long drink, emptying the bottle. “Mighten have been so tough on you if that man had stuck around for comfort.” She cracked a smile. “He’s fine. Aged well, he did. Tell me again nothing happened while you two were lost because I didn’t believe you the first three times.”

“Nothing happened. He’s a married man.”

“He ain’t dead. Anyway, with the threat of death, I wouldn’t of cared. It might have been our last time. Why waste it on sentiment?”

Olive gazed across the small patch of grass she called the front lawn. The trees beyond the green space soughed in the breeze, a song she’d heard for the past two years. Two years. She’d left her husband and settled here in rural Nova Scotia where she could reconnect with nature, enjoy quiet evenings and work on her novels in peace. Being alone hadn’t bothered her, but the questionable Internet signal was another matter. In the 28 months since leaving her ex, she’d never considered another partner. She’d promised herself she’d never love again. Now, she wasn’t so sure.

“I’ll be fine,” she mumbled.

“You don’t sound fine.”

A tear slipped down her cheek, and she quickly wiped it away.

“Olive, you know you won’t be.”

“I just… I need… I don’t know how to get back to normal.” She sucked in a loud breath, stalling the tears.

“You’re home. You pick up where you left off.”

She squeezed her eyes shut. “For 34 days, normal was surviving. Finding food. Building shelters. Avoiding wolves and bears that threatened to eat us.” She stared at her. “That’s my new default normal. I wake and expect to see trees overhead. John stirring the coals to start the fire. I can’t eat a full meal without thinking of saving half for later.”

“It’s been only two weeks.” She wrapped her arm across her shoulders. “Give it time.”

“I don’t know,” she mumbled. “I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do.”

“Do what you’ve always done in times like this.” Marleen squeezed her. “Write.”

“I’ve tried to get back to The Journey series, but I stare at the page. It’s like someone else wrote it.”

“Then write this story.”

“What story?”

“The story of your survival.” She grinned. “It’s an epic tale. Make it a memoir. You’ll make millions.”

“I can’t. It’s not fair to John. He’s famous. He won’t like it. He’ll think I’m cashing in. He—”

“Excuses.” Marleen rolled her eyes. “He’s why you’ll make millions. Everyone wants to read how Johnathan Stone, the dashing detective of Roads Apart, survived in the wilderness all those weeks.” She snickered. “He’s not exactly outdoor material. He’s a spoilt millionaire who’s been given more chances to redeem himself than stars in the sky. Did he complain if he broke a nail?” She hooted, held the beer bottle over her mouth and savoured the few drops that fell out.

“I can’t.” She slipped her hands into the pockets of her jeans, and her left hand found the blue stone she’d carried since her birthday. She gripped it and slouched against the gazebo wall.

“You can.”

“It doesn’t feel right.”

“Why? Because you can’t tell the truth about him? Will it make him look bad?”

“It’s not that.” Yet, she knew that was a large part of it. “It feels awkward.”

“Then write it with the intention no will read it. Use it as therapy. Don’t publish it. At least you’ll have an account of your adventure while it’s fresh in your mind.”

She nodded reluctantly. “I could do that.”

“And you can be totally honest about him.” She winked. “And detail any hanky-panky that went on.” She set down the bottle. “Let me know when it’s finished. I’ll proofread it.”

“You just want to read it.”

“Of course. Everyone will. I’m sure it’s an amazing tale of adventure, survival, hardship and romance.”

“A romantic survival story.”

“The best kind.”

“It wasn’t like that.”

“Then what’s the problem with writing it?”

She pressed her lips together and thought about her story in book form. Logic told her to write it, get it down on paper so her memory wouldn’t later play tricks on how she remembered what happened. She’d record the ordeal so she wouldn’t worry about remembering it. It’d get it out of her thoughts, boot it out of her dreams. However, she’d never share it with anyone. If she wrote it honestly, no one could know what happened in the woods in northern Ontario.

“Okay. I’ll consider the idea.”

“Wonderful. Make it into a screen play and sell it to Hollywood.” Maureen hooted and clapped her hands. “Wouldn’t it be something if Johnathan Stone starred in the leading role? That would be priceless.”

“More like awkward.”

“He don’t care. His ego wouldn’t allow anyone else to play him. He’d insist a young, beautiful starlet with big boobs play your role, one who couldn’t heat canned beans let alone find her way with a compass.”

“He’s not the same man as when I first met him. He’s grown.”

“Grown a beard.”

She smiled with ease. “That, too. Don’t judge him too harshly. People change when faced with death.”

“Are you saying after 53 years, he has finally matured?”

“It’s never too late.” Olive stood. “It’s getting late. I should get you home.”

“I’ll drive.” Maureen stood, swayed a moment, then caught her balance.

I’ll drive. You drank enough for me and you.” She looped her arm through the bend of her friend’s and guided her from the gazebo. “The last thing I need is for you to get lost on your way home.”

“I wouldn’t mind if I had a handsome man to get lost with.”

“Oh, you’d mind. Just not as much.” Her saving grace was she hadn’t been lost alone in the bush. While there were better men to be lost with, Johnathan Stone proved to be a worthy companion, one she’d never forget.