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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

{Excerpt & Spotlight} MIND TRACE by Holly McCaghren

Mind Trace
Holly McCaghren
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

What would you do to possess unlimited knowledge and power?

Nineteen year-old Alice McArthur never had a choice. A shy girl from a small town, Alice has gained a reputation for her near-genius programming abilities, even getting the attention of EngineerCorp, a rising electronics empire. With her unique skill-set she is hand-picked to test their network security by hacking into their global mainframe.

But something goes terribly wrong.

The next thing Alice knows, she wakes up on the floor with a migraine, unnatural powers, a server’s worth of data in her head and the realization that this job was not what it seemed.

Now a fugitive from justice and on the run from the evil leader of a corporate empire, Alice doesn’t know who to trust or where to turn. She must find a way to secure her freedom and stop those who would keep her prisoner for life — or worse.

I was born and raised in the Houston, Texas area, and have lived in Texas my whole life! (Gotta love humidity!)

Nothing makes me happier than settling down with a good book, but they aren’t always easy to find! Some of my favorites (in no particular order) include: Jane Eyre, The Blue Sword, Dracula, Ender’s Game, Heir to the Empire, and the Harry Potter series. I love a good scifi/fantasy book, but it certainly isn’t limited to that genre.

My first book was just published via Createspace, called “Mind Trace.” It is a science fiction/adventure novel, appropriate for all ages! It is currently available through (paperback and Kindle), (paperback), and the Createspace store.


On her desk, there was an impressive desktop computer with several LCD monitors attached. As she impatiently waited for the computer to start, she noticed a POE (Power over Ethernet) cord on the edge of the desk had become frayed, and now had several wires exposed.
There was enough voltage in the cables she was using to provide a nasty shock. Alice gave it a considerable berth and vowed to fix it when she was done working for the night. 
The thought left her mind as the computer finally started. She expertly navigated to the website and continued her onslaught of its security.
Time passed by unnoticed as she struggled to find a way through the server's defenses. Alice briefly noticed her eyelids becoming heavy and was surprised to see that it was close to midnight. Rubbing her eyes, she took a moment to rest.
Is any of this worth it? It's probably impossible to crack anyway, and I'm just wasting my time.
Just when she was about to give up on the whole endeavor, Alice remembered something she learned while working on a client's computer a few days before. She leaned forward with renewed interest and began to type furiously.
Having been regularly exposed to the aggressive strategies of computer viruses, Alice had a unique perspective on the matter. The most recent virus she tackled gave her just the inspiration she needed. Expertly modifying the algorithm that it used, she set it loose on the server.
Alice waited for several minutes as nothing happened. She sighed and leaned back in her chair.
Well, it was worth a shot.
Then, to her amazement, a small dialog boxed popped up on her central monitor with the words "ACCESS GRANTED." She had no time to rejoice in her success, however, because it was instantly replaced by another box that said, "FULL SERVER DOWNLOAD COMMENCING…"
She panicked. It seemed like all of it was happening in slow motion. Alice had only wanted to gain access to the server to prove that she could; she had no idea that it would somehow automatically initialize a full database dump to her hard drive! Her screens started to flicker and the lights in the room grew dim.
Without thinking, she sprung forward to sever the connection and her hand fell on the exposed wiring.  She felt lightning hot pain in her hand and up her arm. Just as her right side began to grow numb, her vision darkened.

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