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An Inside Look - "Taken"

Title: TAKEN

Author: Philip R. Morehouse

ISBN: ISBN- 9781706444015

Page count: 230

Genre: Fiction; Survival/Adventure

Book Price: $14.99

Kindle Price: $4.99 or Free with Kindle Unlimited membership

Author Bio:

The author was born in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, where he started his life's training on the family-owned farm. His grandfather mentored him throughout his youth, who taught him how to spearfish, set a trap, and stalk big game. These skills back in those days were crucial to the family's survival.

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy, where he received engineering and survival training; then, he was assigned to an amphibious ship that was deployed as a part of the Cuban Blockade Missile Crisis and later rescued Americans from Haiti during the Dominion/Haiti Crisis. He also served an extended hitch during the Vietnam War. After returning home, he married and joined the Army National Guard, serving in various aerial and ground support photography assignments.

Among the many diverse jobs, he also worked as a professional writer and photographer for over 60 years. With his family grown and on their own, he now pursues what he loves the most - writing true-to-life, survival, adventure-type stories from which he draws on his past experiences and extensive research.

Tell us about your book:

"TAKEN" Is a story about a young child (Taylor) who disappears and a mother who wouldn't give up trying to find him - even after it appeared that the police had. This story takes you through a mother's grief and her determination to find her child no matter where the path led. Her search finally leads her to uncover a major human trafficking ring, but not before she also comes up missing. Her quest leads her overseas and then, finally - back home. Ten years had passed before suddenly, Taylor came back home.

How does this book relate to your real-life experiences?

Everyone who has ever raised children has had their child come up missing at one time or another – it would be a missed school bus or simply wandering off in the store while you were shopping. There is no feeling like it when you suddenly realize your child is gone. My wife and I had such an experience – and you never forget that awful helpless feeling when you realize that your child is missing and you don't know which direction to run or who to ask for help. Luckily for most of us, our child is located usually within a few minutes of the incident – our was.

How long did it take to write the book?

It took 21 months from concept to rough draft, initial edits, and final edit to finally have it published on 12/19/2019.

What inspired you to write the book?

I was inspired by my true-to-life experience when one of my children wandered off in a store we were shopping in but was quickly found. I was also inspired by the heartbreaking stories on TV about children who are taken and never found. It is estimated that 840,000 children (one every 40 seconds) are reported missing in the US every year, per the FBI NCIC.

Let's talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

Having a computer and word processor at my disposal, and being retired, I find that I have the time and resources to write, and what better subject to draw on than my past traveling experiences, studies of backwoods events, and folklore? Most recently, something in the news will trigger and form the catalyst from which I draw for some of my stories.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I would hope that they come away with a better sense of their surroundings and at all times where and what their children are doing.

Where can we go to buy your book?

This book is readily available online through as a softcover or a Kindle download or at Barnes & Noble. If any of your bookstores should be out of stock be sure to give them the following number: ISBN- 9781706444015.

Excerpt from this novel:

"It has been 10 years since Valerie Burleson's five-year-old son, Taylor suddenly went missing. Since that day, she has been frozen in time; her life on hold. Every day, after 3 PM, when school lets out, she listens for the door to slam, to hear his voice and his hurried steps down the hall to excitedly tell her all about his newest adventures or of a new friend he's made.

The clock moves slowly ahead – click – click - click - minute by minute, an hour, then two, and a total of three hours pass.

She sighs and puts her sewing down and reaches for her bottle of bourbon which is never far from her reach. Fumbling with the cap, she tells herself, "Tomorrow for sure, he'll be home", as she draws down on the bottle of Maker's Mark. Soon the pain will be gone, and she can sleep, at least for a little while."

"Where could he be?" she wondered as she wrung her hands in the fabric of her apron. A wave of fear creped through her being and, as it did, an audible cry motivated by primal fear involuntarily escaped from the depths of her soul. It was a lonely thing whose sound died on her lips.

She staggered back up the concrete walk and into the house, the door slamming behind her. The sound of it was like a period at the end of a yet unfinished sentence. It signaled the end of life as she'd known it."

"He hated to admit it but, the more he thought about it, the more he feared that likely their son had been "taken" by someone."

"Both of them cleared their throats, still unable to say a word. They had just been shamed by a woman who had no apparent skills as a detective, but yet, had managed to pull off a flawless surveillance, a skillful pursuit, and had discovered the hideout of a kidnapping gang. She had accomplished something they had not been able to do in all the years they had been working her son's case."

"She'd find every last one of them who had "taken" her son and broken up her family and, she'd find those who had done the same to other families – this would become her life's work."

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