The Gauntlet

I had someone tell me recently, “I started reading the Surrender Game.”

“Cool.” I smiled. “Thank you for the support. Did you like it?”

“I couldn’t finish it.” They replied. “I didn’t get very far.”

Genuinely curious I asked, “Can you tell me why?”

(I prefer honesty when it comes to reading my stuff)

“Could you… change the content?” They asked.

Slightly confused by the question I said, “Technically I could… but… why would I want to?”

The reader thought on it for a moment, “Liberty pisses me off.”

I laughed, “Well… then the answer is, no. I can’t, and won’t, change the content. You’ll just have to finish it and see if she still pisses you off at the end. Start over and go into it with the mindset that she’s ‘designed’ to piss you off. You might have a better experience.”

(“Liberty Bell is a lot of things, pick your adjective, but she is definitely a character who’s rough charm grows on you, and once you take a liking she is easy to root for. It is nice to have a grounded character in a story with dense lore.”—Literary Titan.)

They said they would give it a second shot, and come back to me later.

I suppose the bottom line is, if Liberty has the power to dredge up actual “feelings” in a reader whether its anger, sadness, microscopic moments of elation or a combination of all three… then, I’ve done my job. Mission accomplished. The goal was to create a character who stands out and leaves a lasting impression.

Even if that impression is something altogether unexpected.

Even if the outcome, is pissing readers off.

I’m tired of cookie cutter, predictable, cliché characters.

Quite possibly why I fell in love with Liberty Bell, and all she stands for. She is not the stereotypical, standardized, predictable heroine/anti-hero we’ve all become accustomed to over the years.

She is flawed, completely unpredictable, and a prisoner of her feelings and emotions.

Not wanting to ever be trapped inside a box, she has to find a way out of the gauntlet, at all costs.

Having spent thirty years molding her reality into something she can easily manage, imagine what she’s capable of when faced with a challenge resulting in two possible outcomes.

Outcomes she doesn’t agree with. Unacceptable outcomes.

How far is someone willing to go to make everything right?

Life is a gauntlet. A maze filled with pitfalls and danger lurking around every corner. Life is difficult. Even if we feel as though we “got our stuff together” and have “everything figured out” life always has different plans for us. The life gauntlet is a challenge. Completely unexpected. Takes us off balance and thrusts us into a whirlwind of chaos.

And despite her mindset, wealth, friends, and position in life, High Intendant Liberty Bell is not immune to the chaos.

The question then becomes do we succumb and surrender to the gauntlet’s power, or face it head on and do everything in “OUR” power to defeat it.

Surrender is easy. Giving up, takes nothing. Expelling little energy, shrugging our shoulders and sighing heavy, “well… I suppose I did what I could.”

Did you? Did you do all you could? Really? For some strange reason… I don’t believe you. Create options where none existed before.

Liberty Bell faces those challenges from page one, and the Surrender Game is a gauntlet. She knows surrender is easy. In fact… it’s almost preferred, considering the alternative. When provided with two distinctive options, which is the best option?

Is there a third option, and if so, does she have the courage to see it through to the end?

When we reach our breaking point is it possible to dig a little deeper?

Is that inner strength hiding inside of us?

I say, yes.

But… that’s just me.

The Surrender Game sequel, The Atlantis Paradox is almost ready for edits. Still some minor work to complete before sending it away. Super excited. I had to return to the drawing board and flesh some stuff out. Redesign everything from the ground up to maintain the flow and feel of the Surrender Game. The Atlantis Paradox is coming soon.

A storm is piling heavy snow in my area once again, and I’ll have some shoveling to do later. Before heading outside to labor through the cold, I’ll continue sipping my coffee and chilling with the dog.

That’s all in the tank for today. I hope you decide to give the Surrender Game and it’s companion novellas a chance. Thank you for the ongoing support.

Before I peace out, here’s the newest review on Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Enjoyed This Read Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2022 Great plot set in a fantastic world with an incredible main character and the excitement of more story to come. Exactly what you want in a book! Read it first on Kindle and then got the paperback to begin my set! You won’t be disappointed!”

Here’s the link if you’re interested. Hope to see you there!!


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