Thoughts

A Call for ARCs

If you’re following my progress in the Calricaraq series, book 4 Starring Alaska is only a handful of weeks away from being published! With a release date of September 30, 2020, I’m excited for the next phase in this book’s journey.

That’s right — ARC readers!

ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. When you sign up to be an ARC reader you get a (FREE) copy of the new book before release day in exchange for an honest review once the book is published.

I know what you’re thinking. How can you be an ARC reader for Starring Alaska, right? I’m glad you asked. First, since this is a series, how about a bit of background into the books that come before Starring Alaska?

First, there’s Soaring Alone. Not only is this novel the first in the series, it’s the first novel I’ve ever written. In it, Starr Randel is a secondary character. She’s important to the story line, but her role is supportive to the main character, Rachel James.

Looking in, Rachel James has everything a woman could want. Yet she’s plagued with feelings of insecurity and invisibility that have bothered her since childhood. The ultimatum her husband gave her before their son was born only adds to her frustration. When the FBI shows up and throws a wrench into the life she’s barely living, Rachel has to make choices. The family who raised her? Or this other one she’s only just met? Thankfully she has a devoted husband…assuming he can forgive the past she never told him about.

Then, there’s Shooting Sdax. In this second novel, Starr has a much more central role as she moves across the country to be with her fiance, Geoff Stone. What’s supposed to be a fresh start and new love turns sour.

Self-mutilation isn’t a proper coping skill for a mental health professional, but it quiets the voice inside Starr’s mind, blurring the image she doesn’t want to see – for a little while at least. Then Starr’s boyfriend embarks on a mission trip in southwest Alaska with goals to seek and save. Back at home, one of Starr’s clients plots to run away. Another twists his therapy sessions into a drama that prevents Starr from seeing the delusions he can hardly control. Starr’s wounded inner child envisions a party, complete with princess dress and chocolate cupcakes. She pictures a clean, white coffin with a satin pillow to rest her weary head. She beckons Starr to see it too.

As you can see from the blurbs above, the Calricaraq series deals with heavy topics. Mental health issues, romantic difficulties, the wounded inner child, and even suicide. Not exactly the kind of escape one might be looking for in this time of 2020. But, I can’t help it and frankly, won’t apologize for it. I’m just not a light-hearted, romantic-sci-fi-happily-ever-after kind of writer. Secretly, I sometimes wish I was, but that’s a story for a different time.

Back to the series.

Next up is Starring Alaska.

Starr Randel has healed just enough to go home. She has a fiancé who supports her and new life goals, yet she’s mired in the turmoil of past events. She can’t shake the guilt that she’s somehow responsible for the death of one of her clients and Sdax hasn’t made amends following their botched suicide pact. Weeks before her wedding Starr is left to her own devices when Geoff, her fiancé goes from caretaker to cagey. She decides to leave everything behind in an effort to forge ahead. In Alaska, Starr meets relatives she didn’t know she had, but will her apologies be enough to atone for her Grandma Betty’s sins? Will she ever learn the truth about why Betty Rose left her Alaskan family behind?

The thing I love about Starring Alaska is that this is the book that makes the turn toward history and the historical fiction novel I’ve been imagining in my head for a few years now. It’s also bittersweet because this is the last book with Starr in it.

If you’re interested in being an ARC reader for Starring Alaska, please send me an email at vjolenemiller [@] gmail.com and I will gladly send you a digital copy before the September 30th release date. Even though the book is part of a series, you don’t necessarily have to have read the others to follow the story line. That being said, you can purchase all of my books (in Kindle or paperback) on Amazon. If you’d like a signed copy, let me know. I’d be happy to complete a PayPal transaction and mail you a paperback copy for the added cost of $3 for shipping.

The Calricaraq Series

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