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Maurice H Unger

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When Destinies Collide
by Maurice H Unger   

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Publisher:  PublishAmerica ISBN-10:  1413776043 Type: 


Copyright:  2005

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Hurricane Diane, a monster storm, has targeted Virginia Beach, Virginia as her stepping stone onto the U.S. mainland. Jackie Randolph and her family are unable to evacuate from the resort city before the storm hits. Not only do they experience the harrowing onslaught of this mighty tempest, but they must fight for their lives against a gang of drug traffickers who break into their home at the height of the storm. In a deadly confrontation, Jackie and her father kill two members of the gang, one the brother of the gang leader, Carlos Suarez. Before departing the bloody scene, Carlos swears revenge.

Four years later, Carlos exacts a terrible reprisal against the Randolph family, leaving Jackie and her two brothers to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. An unsuccessful police investigation causes the beautiful and resourceful Jackie to take the initiative in seeking justice. Will her quest end with “an eye for an eye”? Deception and intrigue are Jackie’s companions as she commences her journey, and at the end she understands all too well that When Destinies Collide fate will be the hunter.

A Summer Storm on the Chesapeake Bay
It wasn't supposed to happen that way, at least that's what them weather people said. They said there'd be a chance of late evening thundershowers; otherwise, you know, it was just another hot muggy afternoon, around 95 degrees. Fact is, they warned boaters to watch out for that milk bowl thing—when everything looks the same out there. You can't see no horizon. I've seen it happen when you got a lot of haze and humidity and not much of a surface breeze. 'Course, them weather guessers say it happens when the air and water temperatures are the same, or some sort of concoction like that. You ever heard of the water temperature being 95 degrees out in the bay?
It was two in the afternoon when one of them big cumulonimbus clouds started building—juttin’ its ugly, lopsided head out to the east-northeast. Betcha thought I don't know such fancy words about clouds, but I do.... One of them weather guessers taught me when he was talking to us folks about weather out on the bay. But that old must have been 40,000 feet high, straight up.
It just spawned itself out there on the James River—there between Hampton and Portsmouth, breeding off that hot air, it so thick with moisture that you could cut it with a knife—I swear! The visibility got a lot better, and I easily saw it from my boat, it being parked at Willoughby Bay Marina. Didn't seem to be moving along much at first; just kept on building up them clouds, especially them dark ones, and that's when you could see them lightning bolts dancing around. Right then I knew this would be a spiteful storm. The Coast Guard broadcast over the marine radio about a bad thunderstorm, but it was too late for many of them nearby boaters. Anybody with eyes could see the damn thing was dangerous and knew to get outta the way.
When it started moving, it moved fast, maybe 25 miles an hour. Its speed—no one expected that. And nobody on the water stood a chance if they was in its path. It moved across Willoughby Spit, moving along the west side of this here marina, and it got so doggone dark...and the wind gusts must’ve clocked 100 miles an hour. I saw one small pickup truck do cartwheels in that there parking lot. Then the rain and hail hit. Hail big as golf balls tore the bejesus out of everything.
That monster storm passed through in ten minutes, and then it was over. One minute it was storming like all get out, and the next minute it was as quiet as a mouse in a church pew. I watched it heading down the bay, stirring up whitecaps and trouble. I swear I saw a waterspout out there beyond the Ocean View pier!
I hear tell that storm did some right serious harm out on the bay, but I didn't see none of that.
— A Waterman's Eyewitness Account of the August '97 Storm

Professional Reviews

Lighthouse Literary Review
Jackie Randolph and her family are living through a natural disaster and without warning find themselves in the middle of a horrible crime. Carlos and his gang of drug traffickers take refuge with Jackie’s family but quickly find themselves amidst a woman determined to protect her family. Now the violent Carlos vows vengeance.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It encompasses not just family, courage and loyalty but also revenge and greed. The description of the hurricane was excellent along with the narration of the characters. From the death of Eduardo to the kidnapping of Jackie to the activities at the ranch to the final showdown – I was hooked!

Every event was well-written and the author did a wonderful job of bringing his characters to life. This was important to the story because it often explained why the characters reacted and lived as they did. Full of excitement and an unexpected ending, I was left worried about Jackie and her future. Because their paths had crossed so drastically, I wondered if Jackie would ever be free of Carlos. Great read!

Reviewed by: Ramona

Military Writers Society of America
Reviewer: Bill McDonald – President of the MWSA

Drugs, Hurricanes, and Revenge – This Novel is a real Thriller

U.S. Navy veteran Maurice Unger takes his readers on a thrill ride that is fresh, original and entertaining in his first novel “When Destinies Collide.” It starts off with a family trying to survive a hurricane and a gang of drug smugglers with automatic weapons and then the action just goes up from there.

Well crafted with an interesting use of flashbacks in time so that you can see how things unfold as the author brings you into the now of the story. The use of dialog intermeshed with the occasional thoughts of the characters gives the reader a good sense of what is happening in the story and why.

This is one of those books that grabs you at the beginning and then moves you along until you realize that you are well into the book and are hungry to find out what is going to happen next. Unger uses his writing skills well to tell his story and it was a pleasure to read his book. This is entertainment at its best and if you like action based thrillers then this book is definitely for you! A can’t miss first novel that would play well as a movie.

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