Sunday, February 11, 2018

Liberty's Pursuit of Happiness

My first novel, Liberty's Pursuit of Happiness, is ready to submit. That means it's been edited by me and others numerous times, I've checked the character arcs and plot timeline, looking for plot points and pinches. Of course I've researched as necessary: traveling by cargo ship, Soi Cowboy in Bangkok, the beach area of Busasn, South Korea, Shambhala, Buddhist healing techniques, the Himalayan mountain range, Nepal's earthquake of 2015, and Fort Scott, Kansas.

(Partial) Synopsis of Liberty's Pursuit of Happiness:
LIBERTY “LIBBY” VALENZA. 26,  joins a university tour to the Himalaya in search
of a genetic link between human and yeti. She knows nothing of science or academia,
but she has to do something to escape her predictable small-town life. SLADE KENWORTH,
tour director and mountain guide exemplifies the life Libby wants, but he has his own
demons from to a childhood trauma. They meet when boarding the cargo ship that will
take them to Asia. He undermines her fragile confidence by suggesting that, as a plus-sized
woman, she is not in shape for the rigors ahead. She determines to prove him wrong.
CODY WILLIAMS, ex-boyfriend, surprises Libby by coming along. He’d rather be
home, and tempts her to return to the familiar and comfortable. ALEJANDRA AGNEW,
wealthy organizer and underwriter of the excursion, has secret plans that, if fulfilled,
will make this the worst tour of  Slade’s career.
Libby begins her career path by writing travel logs for the hometown newspaper,
and from there, she plans to write books. Intent on having adventures with the places
she visits, Libby begins to take reckless chances. Her curiosity and proactiveness attract
and infuriate the guide.Alejandra steps up her plan to sabotage the group’s purpose with
stories of Shambhala, a mythical, mystical city. Slade must help them find it, she says,
because he has been there. Slade declines, stating that it isn’t the perfect society longed
for by a weary world. It is a dark hole of chaos which still haunts his dreams.
In Busan, their first shore leave, Cody plans to set up a scenario that will show him to be
Libby’s hero, but he bungles it.  Slade arrives to save Libby from falling and later, as they
walk along the shore, he kisses her and everything changes.

Slade denies his attraction to the young woman without a clue about how the world works.
Libby trusts too easily, disregards common sense, and seems to flit from one interest to the
next. When Libby is left alone to explore Bangkok, their next stop, two men kidnap her
and t plan to enslave her. Slade finds her and, together, they escape. In Kathmandu, Slade takes
them to a hotel owned by an old girlfriend, QUEENIE. As they go off together, Libby borrows
a bus and lets Cody drive the group on a tour which she leads. Monkeys bouncing off the
windshield end in a bus wreck. Libby, certain she will be sent home, joins the group for one
last night out, but Slade shows up. He relaxes with the group for the first time and, when he
and Libby share a show dance, the kiss they share is anything but goodbye.  

And they haven't yet begun their trek through the Himalaya.

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