Washington Irving wrote: “There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”
When I read these words, I could see her, a drab woman, defeated by life, dragging herself through her days in the normal world, but in an abnormal world of strife and danger, she would come alive and inspire others. And so Kate Cummings, the hero of my novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire was born. But born into what world?
I didn’t want to write a book about war, which is a common setting for such a character-driven story, so I created the red death, an unstoppable, bio-engineered disease that ravages Colorado. Martial law is declared, rationing is put into effect, and the entire state is quarantined. During this time when so many are dying, Kate comes alive and gradually pulls others into her sphere of kindness and generosity. First enters Dee Allenby, another woman defeated by normal life, then enter the homeless—the group hardest hit by the militated restrictions. Finally, enters Greg Pullman, a movie-star-handsome reporter who is determined to find out who created the red death and why they did it.
Kate and her friends build a new world, a new normal, to help one another survive, but other characters, such as Jeremy King, a world-class actor who gets caught in the quarantine, and Pippi O’Brian, a local weather girl, think only of their own survival, and they are determined to leave the state even if it kills them.
The world of the red death brings out the worst in some characters while bringing out the best in others. Most of all, the prism of death and survival reflects what each values most. Kate values love. Dee values purpose. Greg values truth. Jeremy values freedom. Pippi, who values nothing, learns to value herself.
ABOUT PAT BERTRAM:
Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a life-long resident (though she has had a couple of brief stays in other states). Bertram writes genre-bending novels that aren’t easily categorized. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published four of Bertram’s books: Light Bringer, Daughter Am I, More Deaths Than One, and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.
More Deaths Than One: Bob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in SE Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. At her new funeral, he sees . . . himself. Is his other self a hoaxer? A doppelganger? Or is something more sinister going on?
Daughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart inherits a farm from her recently murdered grandparents — grand-parents her father claimed had died before she was born — she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead.
Light Bringer: Thirty-seven years after being abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Colorado, Becka Johnson returns to try to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? And why?
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To see more about Pat, go to: http://patbertram.com/