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‘Lake Of Fire’ by Mark Stevens
“What Person Stands Alone?” Mark’s Guest Post

My introduction to the writing of author Mark Stevens and his character, hunting guide, Allison Coil, came courtesy of Samantha, over at publicist ‘Roger Charlie’. Sami has introduced me to some great new books and authors over the months and years, so I aways look forward to her emails.

Lake Of Fire is the fourth book in the ‘Allison Coil’ series and not having read any of the previous stories, I can confirm that on the whole, this worked well as a stand alone novel, despite the groans I may hear from all you confirmed ‘series’ readers out there!

Mark has put together this powerful and impassioned guest post, in support of the ‘Lake Of Fire’ premise, so I’ll let him tell you rest, and I’ll catch you shortly with my full review …

Hi! I’m MARK STEVENS

Image Of Contemporary Author Mark StevensI am the son of two librarians and was raised in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

I graduated from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in the suburbs of Boston and later from Principia College in Illinois.

I have worked as a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston and Los Angeles; as a City Hall reporter for The Rocky Mountain News in Denver;  as a national field producer for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (PBS) and as an education reporter for The Denver Post.  

After my career in journalism, I worked in school public relations before starting my own public relations and strategic communications business.

I live in Denver with my wife and I have two grown daughters.

I am a member of :-

  • Mystery Writers of America
  • Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
  • Colorado Authors League
  • Pike’s Peak Writers
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Western Writers of America

Catch up with the latest news at my website

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with my page at Facebook

Image Of Contemporary Author Mark Stevens

WHAT PERSON STANDS ALONE?

Yes, we are all alone in this world. At least, when it comes right down to it.

We are by ourselves, even when we’re with others. All our thoughts are ours, alone.

But what the collective? Our society? I’m talking about community, a sense of common good.

I grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts where all taxpayers had a say at Town Meeting, an annual gathering of constituents who had a direct impact on the town’s expenditures and direction.

Ancient? Old fashioned? Quaint? Yes and yes and yes.

And heart-warming too. Direct democracy in action? Bring it on. Massachusetts, after all, isn’t a state. It’s one of four states also designated as a “Commonwealth.”

Common good, common purpose, common wealth.

The idea being, of course, that we are individuals but we work together.

Not so for the so-called “sovereigns,” who believe in the ultimate power of the individual and who don’t recognize the authority of government or its rules and laws.

These two extremes inspired Lake of Fire, the fourth novel in the Allison Coil Mystery Series.

Cover Image Of The Book 'Lake Of Fire' By Author Mark StevensA giant wildfire is roaring through Colorado’s Flat Tops Wilderness.

The massive blaze is wiping out Allison Coil’s precious hunting grounds, and the flames have set their sights on the beautiful ranch owned by her boyfriend’s family.

Allison and longtime friend Trudy are shocked to learn that a body has been found in the fire ravaged forest—a friend who was a reclusive environmentalist with an unorthodox idea for the battle against global warming.

Along with reporter Duncan Bloom, Allison burrows into an underground group of anti-government extremists.

As they strike close to home and hurt those closest to her, Allison vows hell might not be punishment enough for this cabal of sinister fanatics.

Check out those all important, ‘must read on’, First Lines.

Read just a few, ‘I need to know more’, Teaser Lines

My interest was kick-started by the profiles of anti-government terrorists in Dan Schultz’s terrific non-fiction book, Dead Run. That book recounted the largest manhunt in Colorado history—500 law enforcement officers who chased the survivalist-murderers of Cortez policeman Dale Claxton into the desert in 1998. Dead Run is a terrific book.

These three men considered themselves “sovereigns.” They do not recognize any common organization, especially government or government officials.

Nobody knows for sure what these three whackos were cooking up, but Schultz makes an excellent case that they had a major target in their sights.

The second source of inspiration for Lake of Fire was Randy Udall, the thoughtful brother of former U.S. Senator Mark Udall. Sadly, Randy died in 2013 while on a hike in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Randy looked for new approaches to the nation’s energy crisis. He cared about how we lived, as a country, and analyzed the big picture. That is, he cared about how we lived together and he believed that we needed to work together to put the planet on a new course.

He didn’t believe it was a good idea, for instance, to vilify the energy industry or its employees even though he was a committed environmentalist and longtime advocate for renewable energy.

So, one mentality works to tear society apart from within. And another approach values working together and reaching consensus, of using data and facts to urge changes in how we live, how we work.

Do you know what the Lake of Fire is? It’s where the truly wicked are destroyed—after death. For the truly wicked, after all, regular old death isn’t enough.

Image Of Contemporary Author Mark Stevens

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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4 comments
  • Despite my hesitation about the storyline based on your earlier entries, I’ll admit this guest post from the author makes it sound far more intriguing. I just don’t know if it’s enough to want to go back and read the prior three books. (too many books, too little time!) It might have worked as a stand-alone for you, but…. you know me and that need to start with book one in a series!

    Thanks to you and the author for this very interesting post! I always enjoy learning what inspires an author’s plot.

    • I can fully appreciate your thinking about wanting to start a series from the beginning, something which you and I know, I very seldom manage, and I do admire you for sticking to your guns.

      Sometimes butting into a series mid-way through just doesn’t work and other times, I get good payback from it. I guess that’s just a risk I both have to and am willing to take!

      Either way, I am really getting into my Blog Tours and author Guest Posts, which although for me may detract a little from actual quality reading time, I both enjoy preparing and, as you said, often create a valuable additional perspective to both book and author.

      Even though I don’t always manage my ‘sequence reading’, I really do appreciate that you take the time to stop by and comment, Thank You 🙂

  • Having read ALL of Mark’s books so far, I feel everything he stated in the interview is truly a part of Mark and his great storytelling.
    Starting with the first book, Mark draws you in to want to read so much more about Alison!! Read them all, and then consider rethinking what you might feel about “series’s”.
    Just one person’s opinion!!!!

    • Please don’t get me wrong, Marilyn.

      It isn’t that I don’t want to read either Mark’s, or any other author’s books, in sequence and as a complete series. For me, it is simply the ‘too many books, so little time’ scenario.

      Whereas, if you check out the previous comment from Kelly, you will see that she only ever reads a series from the beginning, so that she can engage and grow with the characters.

      I always have to hope that I can play catch up with any character interaction and rely on the stories working okay as stand alones, which in the case of ‘Lake Of Fire’, seems to have worked quite well.

      I really enjoy my Blog Tours and author Guest Posts though and Mark’s was certainly very thought provoking, particularly that last, very short paragraph, which I agree with wholeheartedly!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and leave your comment, I always value them all 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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