Shannon Kendricks has won for Juneau, the beluga whale, one day of freedom from captivity at the Dickson Research Center in Alaska, and now it is time for Juneau to come home. But she hasn't returned. Worse, she isn't responding to Shannon's increasingly desperate calls. Shannon can communicate directly with Juneau thanks to her encounter with the alien child Essi three years ago. Even as Shannon waits for Juneau in the Underwater Complex at the Dickson, an explosion causes water to roar through the complex and sweeps Shannon out into the ocean. At the same time, her former alien friends, the child she knew as Essi and the mysterious Salesti have returned to Earth. Essi is carrying a virus that could destroy life on this planet. Two aliens chase her - one to take the virus at any cost -- to Essi or to humanity. The other to take the virus safely home to save his own species. Shannon will survive the explosion in startling fashion and soon meets up with her former friends and the new invaders. Has the destruction of the Dickson facility ruined Juneau's chances for freedom? Will Essi survive the race for the virus she carries? Will Shannon be required yet again to sacrifice her own health and possibly her life for the sake of her friends and her world? Just as happened three years ago, not everyone will survive Shannon's latest challenge.
Like her protagonist Shannon Kendricks, Cathy Parker is an attorney, She volunteered as a zoo keeper's aide for eight years and did have a very special beluga buddy, Mauyak. As to encounters with alien children, she is not saying. She was also a radio and print journalist and once was the 'Jill of all trades' for a small satellite paper in Wyoming. She did everything from taking to the photos to writing the articles and op-ed pieces to helping with layout and hauling the newspapers through blizzards once a week. As a result, she saw lambs being born and went on a cattle drive and ate her first (and last) Rocky Mountain Oyster. She has seen mountain gorillas in the wild in Rwanda and orangutans in Borneo and even rocked an orphaned baby orangutan to sleep on her chest. She has volunteered with a chimpanzee sanctuary for former research subjects. So you can see where her heart lies. Currently she is happy at home with her black brindle mastiff and her black cat. All similarities between her cat and Narcissus are purely and probably coincidental.
This excerpt from the sequel to POWER OF THREE speaks to the capability of all of us to give voice to our primal fears. Like many people, I always wondered if I would be able to scream if, for example, I was attacked in a parking lot and desperately needed help.
I am not a screamer; I don't scream on roller coasters, in scary movies [although I am known to jump about a foot out of my chair on occasion at the sudden fright moment of a good movie], not jumping 20 feet into a lake. But when I went bungee jumping, hurtling head first with great speed toward the hard, hard earth -- yes, then without any volition on my part whatsoever, out came that bellow of fear. I was quite surprised at myself. So. I know whereof I write. What about you? Afraid you might not scream when needed? Ever surprised yourself with a good holler?
Up and down the concourse, people screamed. Those involuntary, gut-felt bellows of fear that restrained folks think they’ll never be able to belt out, even when they need to. But then the world crashes in on them and they find that terror yanks those screams right out of their mouths.