Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Contest! Anyone Have a Tween in the House?

Ever had one of those weeks where you thought you were forgetting something, but couldn't figure out what it was? Well, it's one of those weeks for me - that's why this contest is a day late. I apologize - to you the reader, and to our special guest judge Max Elliot Anderson. Please help me make it up to him by sending in your entries!

First, let me introduce Max and then we'll give all the contest details, including the first chapter of his latest release Legend of the White Wolf.

Max Elliot Anderson literally grew up in the film production business. His father, Ken Anderson, was the founder of Gospel Films in Muskegon, Michigan, and later, Ken Anderson Films. At the age of eight Max was “killed” by a hit-and-run driver, while riding his bike in one of his father’s motion pictures. But, since the film was being shot in black & white, the blood came out of a chocolate syrup bottle.

With a degree in psychology, Mr. Anderson has always been fascinated with the power that audiovisual presentations have to instruct, motivate, and influence the thinking of others.
Mr. Anderson won Best Cinematographer for his work on the feature film, Pilgrim’s Progress. This was also the first feature film for actor Liam Neeson, known for his work in Schindler’s List, Star Wars, and other films. Mr. Anderson has also won national Telly awards for his productions of Youth Haven, a Safe Place for Kids, and Tracy’s Choices. Tracy's Choices was also awarded Best Christian Documentary. Other programs he has produced have won numerous local, regional, state, and national awards.

Mr. Anderson was a producer on the nationally televised PBS special, Gospel at the Symphony that was nominated for an Emmy, and won a Grammy for the double album soundtrack. He has produced, directed, or shot over 500 national television commercials for True Value Hardware Stores. Mr. Anderson owns The Market Place, a client based video production-company for medical and industrial clients. In addition he is the owner of M V P Productions & Distribution. This company was established for the production and distribution of Christian films such as Tracy's Choices.

Mr. Anderson is listed in WHO’S WHO in Finance and Industry, Entertainment, Advertising, The Midwest, Emerging Leaders in America, The World, and WHO’S WHO In America (1999 - present.)

He and his wife Claudia have raised two children, Jim and Sarah.

In addition to his film and production work, Max Elliot Anderson has written thirty-four manuscripts for a chapter adventure series for boys ages eight and up. Seven of these books, Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbott’s Cave, and Legend of the White Wolf have been published.

Visit Max's Web site, and his Books for Boys blog.

Contest Details:

After reading the first chapter of LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF below, write a paragraph, not to exceed 250 words, in which you explain how you think the story goes from here. The winning entry will receive a free, signed copy of LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF. Submit your entry to Tracy at tracyruckman[at]gmail[dot]com by Friday, midnight for your chance to win.

If you've already read the book, please disqualify yourself.

Chapter 1

Brian Fisher had a life that most boys can only dream about. He lived in Montana . His state had places like Great Falls , Big Sky, Black Eagle, and Hungry Horse. Brian lived near Bozeman with his parents. His father worked in the Gallatin National Forest . But the greatest part about living where he did was that people called it the gateway to Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park was a place where Brian and his family went as often as possible.

Brian and his best friend, Tommy Wilson, would be twelve-years-old at the end of the summer. They both looked forward to that except for the fact that school would have to start again then, too.

For now their days were filled with outdoor exploring from morning till night.

“Tell me that story again, will ya?” Tommy asked.
“You mean about the wolf?”

“What other story have I ever asked you to tell?”

“It’s just that you ask for it so many times,” Brian said as he scraped mud from the bottom of his boots with a sharp stick.

“I know, but even after all the times I’ve heard it…I still can’t believe it actually happened.”

“Well it did.”

“You don’t have to get so touchy about it.”

Brian looked up. “I know, but everybody else gives me a hard time. Sometimes I wonder if it happened myself.”

“You mean?”

“No. It did.”

“So, you were only five, right?”

“Were you scared?”

“You bet I was!”

Tommy sat on a nearby rock and listened.

“My parents have always let me explore things,” Brian began. “That’s what I was doing that afternoon. I had gone out into the woods to visit Windwalker.”
“I still don’t know how somebody’s mother names a guy Windwalker.”

“He’s an Indian. Indians pick names from nature or stuff that happens to them.”

“Man, I’d hate it if somebody heard me burp one day and decided to call me Boy Who Belches.”

“It could be worse.”
“Yeah, like the time you fell and rolled all the way down that hill.” He laughed for a moment. “And when you tried to stand up you were so dizzy, fell down and rolled some more.” Tommy started laughing harder. “I can hear it now. ‘We shall call him… ‘Dizzy.’”

Brian smiled. “Let’s get back to the story. I was hiking around a place a lot like where we are now when I heard something crying.”

“What did you think it was?”

“At first I thought it might be a lost baby or something. So I walked toward the sound. I went closer and closer, and when I did, the sound got louder. My heart was pounding and I started breathing like a rabbit that a fox almost caught. I sneaked up to some bushes and pushed them apart.”

“And that’s when you saw it?”

Brian nodded. “It was the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen.”

“Tell me about the leg.”

“Well, what I saw was the cutest little wolf. He had fluffy fir, eyes like two hot coals, and he was completely white.” Then Brian became strangely quiet.

“Then what?”

“You know the rest.”
“I know, but I love when you tell it.”

“The poor little guy had his foot caught in one of those metal traps.”

“The kind that snaps together when you step in it?”

Brian looked at Tommy. “You wanna finish the story or what?”

Tommy shook his head. “I’m sorry. It’s just such a scary story. Every time you tell it I still almost get a heart attack.”
“Like I’ve said before, I’ve never seen a wolf as white as this one, and those eyes. I’ll never forget them.”

“What about the leg?”

“That trap sliced into his skin, right through the fir. His little leg was covered in blood.”

Tommy shivered, like he did every time before when he heard that part.

“I looked around, then I moved in to see if I could help him. He tried to back away. Then he snarled and growled at me.”

“Like he thought you could hurt him more than that trap.”

“I reached down to open the trap, but when I did, he jumped toward me and tried to bite my hand. So I took a stick and jammed it in his mouth. While the little thing was busy biting on that I went for the trap again.”

“And that’s when you heard the other noise?”
Brian slowly nodded. “It was lower and sounded a whole lot worse. I turned to look over my shoulder and when I did…there she was. The scariest-looking wolf I’d ever seen was staring right through me. But I was only six-years-old and didn’t know any better.”

“Didn’t know what?”

“That she was about to jump up and bite my face off, that’s what. So I turned back, opened the trap and the little wolf pulled his leg out. He cried a little more and I think that made his mother even more angry.”

“Then what?”

“Well, his left leg was cut pretty bad, but it didn’t look like the bones were broken.”

“How could you tell?”

“I couldn’t, really. It’s just that he could step on it a little. Then he lifted it and ran on only three legs right past me till he got to his mother. After that he turned around, cocked his head, and just looked back at me.”

“What did the mother do?”

“It was the strangest thing. She put her teeth away.”

“You know, she closed her mouth and stopped growling. I’m not sure, but it almost looked like she was smiling at me with her eyes. She licked his bloody leg…”

Tommy shivered again. “Yuck.”

“Then they disappeared into the brush. I’ve never seen them since.”

“Did you go back home then?”

“First I pulled the chain out of the ground, that was connected to the trap. Then I left.”

“And that’s when old Windwalker saw you.”

“He sure did, and was he ever mad. He thought I was getting ready to set the trap. He told me how painful those things are and that some animals die a terrible death from them. He even told me he’s seen them actually chew off one of their own legs, just to get loose.”

Tommy stood up and raised his hands. “Okay, stop. That’s enough.”

“I told him I didn’t set any traps, only that I found this one with a wolf in it. Then I told him what had happened. I can still remember the look on his face when I told him about the white wolf with red eyes. That’s when he told me the story.”

“The legend of the white wolf?”

Brian nodded.

“Could we go see if he’ll tell it again? I’d like to meet him.”

Brian stood up. He looked off into the rocks and trees. “I wonder if I’ll ever see that white wolf again.”

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