By Lynn Hoffman

Paula Sherman embarks upon a one-woman quest to alter the USA, finally changing into nationwide hero and villain, enforcer and outlaw, lover and chief, in this provocative, darkly fascinating story. whilst a bungled armed theft will get Paula's pal killed correct in entrance of her, she unearths herself propelled to nationwide cognizance as her phrases and photograph are stolen and utilized in a pro-handgun election crusade. Mousy little Paula isn't any longer simply an overworked waitress with a stunning making a song voice—she has turn into an emblem for the violence that she detests. The pro-gun propaganda offers her an idea that may rework her, redeem her identify and her photograph, and alter the best way a complete nation talks approximately handgun violence.

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When Tom was alive, he teased her, poked her, pecked at all her illusions. And he loved her singing, went to church to hear her solos, dragged out of bed to sit with her before auditions. In Tom’s world, she was a diva, a voice. If nothing else was very good, no excitement, no sex, no money, no fun, there was always Tom and the dream of the music. And now she’s alone. There is no Tom, and in his place there’s a swarm of stinging, biting guns. A nightmare, Paula thinks, is when your reality gets flayed off of you and another reality is dabbed on with insect precision and dries and 32 ■ L Y N N H O F F M A N hardens and encases you like a Thompson’s turkey.

She will have her moment on the six o’clock news. She asked for Tuesday night off. She’s told her friends, Tom’s friends, everybody. At night, in her flannies, with her cat, she pages back to front through TELESCOPIC SIGHT DIGEST. She has added a few titles to her collection, picking up copies of magazines that ran the ad with her face. She opens one or two of them a night, turns each pages slowly, deliberating on the hidden meanings. The articles about guns make her dizzy, she patches together some meaning from the strange words and reads them anyway.

She squeezes grunts and moans out against clenched teeth, locked jaw. Her fists pound the bed. She thinks she’s dying and quite the opposite will be true. 28 ■ L Y N N H O F F M A N 7. ” The second voice is Paula’s, her words are precise and rehearsed. ” This voice is male, abrupt. ” “Laura Garcia Lane, please” “Yeah, wait a minute. ” Paula is sitting on the edge of her bed, her eyes turned toward the window light. She is wearing jeans, a white button-down collar shirt and horizontally striped socks of blue and gold.

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