“Up ahead, moonlight sparkled on marble-and-granite monuments to forgotten lives. The Mexican National Cemetery was cursed more than most. What did my countrymen expect when they threw a bunch of American bones in mass graves, including mine? Because I suffered my unresolved death and entered Nowhere from Mexico City, my dusty remnants were strewn here, places even I couldn’t find. Leave it to the United States government to build the most haunted place on the planet and saddle Mexico with its identity.”

–From I Am Number 13 by Andra Watkins

Andra Watkins is a New York Times best selling author. She is author of five books: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis (Word Hermit Press LLC, 2014), Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace (Word Hermit Press LLC, 2015; NY Times best seller, week of 18 October 2015); Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time (Word Hermit Press LLC, 2015); Hard to Die (Word Hermit Press LLC, 2016); and her latest, I Am Number 13 (Word Hermit Press LLC, 2018.)

Watkins is a popular motivational speaker and has been booked throughout the United States and internationally in Ecuador and the United Kingdom. She has appeared at Nashville’s Southern Festival of Books and on the faculty of the acclaimed Pike’s Peak Writers Conference. She was also selected as writer-in-residence at Stiwdio Maelor in Corris, Wales; the Trelex Residency in Trelex, Switzerland; and Buinho Creative Hub in Messejana, Portugal. She lives with her husband in Charleston, South Carolina.

Book Description:

When Emmaline Cagney’s father dies on her graduation day, she foregoes college and heads to Honduras to volunteer with Nicaraguan refugees. It’s 1986. The Sandinista-Contra war rages in the jungles all around her. But when General James Wilkinson reenters her life during a hurricane, can she trust him? Or should she flee?

Because of his unsolved death, Wilkinson is stuck in an in-between world called Nowhere, a place he’s always used for his evil designs. Will he stick to his mission to help the Contras? Or will he ditch his mission to finally possess Emmaline?

As they fight to keep refugees safe and American involvement with the Contras secret from Congress, Em and Wilkinson careen toward a showdown that outstrips space and time, a place where nothing she knew about herself is true. And Em must confront the one person she never wanted to see again: her craven mother. Will Emmaline outwit the two people who peddled her childhood innocence before she runs out of time?

I Am Number 13 is the third book in the Nowhere Series, a speculative blend of riveting suspense, forgotten history, and a dash of paranormal fiction. If you like edge-of-your-seat action, compelling characters, and white-knuckle emotion, you’ll love the latest installment in Andra Watkins’ page-turning series.

Interview:

Welcome, Andra!  So excited about your new book, I Am Number 13. Jenny Sanford, former First Lady of South Carolina and NYT best selling author, calls your book “Teeming with creativity, Andra writes with grit, wit and lots of heart. She is an earnest, humble storyteller. Can you tell us a little about the main characters in your book?

Andra: I Am Number 13 features the Biggest Scoundrel America Ever Produced. James Wilkinson worked for the first 5 Presidents of the United States while he took millions of dollars in today’s money to sell our secrets to a foreign enemy. He committed treason his entire career and was never caught. His Spanish patrons called him “Agent Number 13.”

Emmaline Cagney takes a gap year to volunteer with refugees in Honduras. She’s mourning her father’s death and overwhelmed by decimated immigrant lives all around her. When James Wilkinson comes back into her life during a hurricane, he causes her to question everything she thought she knew. Will she survive his hold over her? Or will he destroy her?

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Andra: I Am Number 13 starts during a violent hurricane and keeps the reader churned up from the first page. When Emmaline discovers another person’s handwriting in her journal, she’s catapulted into a world she never fathomed, one she may not survive.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

Andra: Word Hermit Press takes care of editing, though I have a say in who edits my work. I write fiction and memoir, and I like to have different types of editors for each genre.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Andra: Yes! I’ve been traveling around the United States this fall, and every group gravitates toward I Am Number 13. It’s my most magnetic cover. People are usually floored when I tell them it was completely designed by artificial intelligence!

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

Andra: I wanted to major in musical theater, but my mother was afraid I’d wind up starring in porn films. To make her happy, I majored in accounting and got my CPA license. I practiced tax accounting for over a decade, but I was miserable. I didn’t rediscover creative writing until my forties. It’s never, ever too late to pursue a dream.

Do your novels carry a message?

Andra: My novels are about immortality. History is written by the winners; the losers are usually relegated to footnotes or forgotten entirely. I enjoy delving into little-taught stories and characters from history and weaving new stories for them.

But if a reader wants to turn pages and immerse herself in a thrilling story, my books do that, too. My Nowhere stories are tough to classify, but adventurous readers love them.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

Andra: You can get my books directly from Ingram Lightning Source/Word Hermit Press! Changes at Amazon are killing small authors and presses. Why should they get to decide who tells stories? Follow this link to check out ALL my titles and purchase them direct from the printer to your eager hands: https://aerbook.com/store/wordhermitpress/Andra_Watkins/175125

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