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THE PHOTO TRAVELER

By Arthur Gonzalez All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy

Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father. Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.” Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC. When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it. He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want! His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love. For Gavin, life will never be the same.

PROLOGUE

PROLOGUE

What do you do when a sudden gust of wind forces your boat totally off course and into the unknown? When from one moment to the next, the last seventeen years of the life you knew quickly morphs into one you’d never imagined?

Ever since I could remember, I believed there had to be something more to life than the one I’d been thrown into as a child.

I would ask myself if it was wrong for me to feel this way. If I was being naïve to think there was something greater out there. Something that really belonged to me. But what do you do if you feel an unknown force pulsating through your blood, constantly reminding you of it? Are you just supposed to ignore it?

I suppose that most of the time that’s what people teach us to do. You know, “Forget it. Take the easy way out.” Sure. Always the easy way. Never the right one.

That’s what they kept telling me. “You’re kidding yourself if you think you can have a better life. Learn to live with what you’ve got.” Things like that.

Maybe that’s why I started taking photos as soon as I got my hands on my first camera. It was a way I could distance myself from the life I was being forced to live. It let me create images of the world around me, finding life in the most ordinary moments…like when the sun makes a lonely tree sweat and it in turn gives water to a struggling, thirsty grasshopper below. Those things were real. Not the crappy life I’d always been trapped in.

  And then, just a few weeks ago, my life took a turn for the unexpected.

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