Food Wine Sleep
Many of the "Country Livin' " stories appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette over a one-year period. Originally written for the Peter's Township farm community in Washington County, Pennsylvania, the stories became popular with Post Gazette readers throughout Pittsburgh and the other surrounding counties. These fact-based vignettes are told from the perspective of a 13 year old, city bred teen. They vividly describe his life and times while working a spring, summer and fall in the fertile farm belt just south of Pittsburgh. "Country Livin' " is filled with real people, some who still live in the area. The stories capture humorous and often poignant moments in rural life, as well as the social and cultural values of the area. A central theme involves the antics of an older city teen, a neighbor who worked on the farm the previous summer. Many of the stories focus on the competitiveness of two strong-willed, imaginative teens, adapting to each other and to the demands of farm life. Throughout "Country Livin' " the younger teen conveys his fascination with farm animals-their excellent memories and their unpredictability. Dogs and cats he thinks he understands pretty well, but the "lessons learned" from working with larger farm animals, and a few smaller ones, what he calls "animal quirks," he'll never forget.
After proving herself in the field during the siege on America by the Victus terror organization, a shaken, but determined Pepper McCallan joins the upper ranks of the U.S. Counterterrorism Agency to track down Lilly Wang. Driven to avenge her ten-year-old son's murder at the hands of terrorists, Pepper makes fighting in the combat ring and shooting assault rifles look easy. Beneath her polished veneer, however, her emotions are waging a war against her new identity as she struggles with remorse for the lives she's taken in battle. While in Boston, her emotional state leaves her vulnerable to romantic overtures by her boss. Located in picturesque Western Australia, and well-funded by embezzlement from the Malaysian government, Victus sets out to use insect drones in a novel and devastating way. Lilly Wang is at the center of Victus, believing her analytical skills are valued by its leader, but quickly discovers she must navigate his deadly whims to stay alive. President Cecil Scott's private life is exposed while he simultaneously battles terrorism and his soon-to-be ex-wife. His well-heeled D.C. divorce attorney, Annie Preston, finds herself in a deadly predicament with underworld elements when lovers' identities are at risk of being revealed.
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