First Chapter Reveal: Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz

Miracle Man 7Title: Miracle Man
Author: William R. Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Pages: 428
Genre: Cross-genre Thriller
Format: Paper/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

REVERED REVILED REMARKABLE

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero.

Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history. But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect. Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal. But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

First Chapter:

Prologue

A tall figure wearing a black-hooded slicker walked quickly through the night carrying a large garbage bag. His pale face was wet with rain. He had picked a deserted part of town. Old warehouse buildings were being gutted so they could be converted into apartments for non-existent buyers. There were no stores, no restaurants and no people.

“Who’d wanna live in this shit place?” he muttered to himself. Even the nice neighborhoods of this dismal city had more “For Sale” signs than you could count.

Miracle Man Pacific Book AwardsHe was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened. Life was already hard enough. He shook his head incredulously. She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life. Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone? She should have had some control.

He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.”

But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either. He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it. She was adventurous and creative beyond her years. Freaky and bizarre. He had been enthralled, amazed. The higher she got, the wilder she was. Nothing was out of bounds. Everything was in the game.

And so, they went farther and farther out there. Together. With the help of the chemicals. They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation. How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city. They were so far ahead of all the other kids.

He squinted, and his mind reeled. He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was. And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated. And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources.

He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face. He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved. It didn’t. He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him. He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs.

The puddle-ridden deserted street had three large dumpsters on it. One was almost empty. It seemed huge and metallic and didn’t appeal to him. The second was two-thirds full. He peered into it, but was repulsed by the odor, and he was pretty sure he saw the quick moving figures of rodents foraging in the mess. The third was piled above the brim with construction debris.

Holding the plastic bag, he climbed up on the rusty lip of the third dumpster. Stretching forward, he placed the bag on top of some large garbage bags which were just a few feet inside of the dumpster’s rim. As he climbed down, his body looked bent and crooked and his face was ashen. Tears streamed down his cheeks and bounced off his hands. He barely could annunciate, “Please forgive me,” as he shuffled away, head bowed and snot dripping from his nose.

1

Edith and Peter Austin sat stiffly in the worn wooden chairs of Dr. Ronald Draper’s waiting room as if they were being graded on their posture by the receptionist. Edith’s round cherubic face was framed by graying hair that was neatly swept back and pinned. Her dress was a loose fitting simple floral print that she had purchased at a clearance sale at JC Penny. Their four year old son, Bobby, sat between them, his shiny black dress shoes swinging from legs too short to touch the floor. Edith brushed the boy’s long sandy hair away from his light blue eyes that were intensely focused on the blank wall in front of him. Peter, dressed in his construction foreman’s clothes, yawned deeply having been up since five in the morning, his weathered face wrinkled well beyond his years. Looking down at his heavy work boots, he placed his hand firmly on Edith’s knee to quiet her quivering leg. When they were finally shown into Draper’s office, the receptionist signaled that Bobby should stay with her.

Ronald Draper was the Head of the Department of Child Psychology at Mount Sinai Hospital. A short portly man in his late forties, the few remaining strands of his brown hair were caked with pomade and combed straight across his narrow head. His dark eyes appeared abnormally large as a result of the strong lenses in his eye glasses and his short goatee only accentuated his receding chin. Glancing at his wrist watch while he greeted Peter and Edith, Draper motioned for them to take a seat on the chairs facing his cluttered desk. Draper had been referred by Bobby’s pediatrician when Bobby’s condition didn’t improve.

“Describe to me exactly what you’re concerned about,” Draper said.

Edit cleared her throat. “It started about a year ago. At any time, without warning, Bobby will get quiet and withdrawn. Then he’ll go over to his little chair and sit down, or he’ll lie down on the window seat in the living room. He’ll stare directly in front of him as if in a trance and then his lids will close halfway. His body will be motionless. Maybe his eyes will blink occasionally. That’s it. This can go on for as much as forty minutes each time it happens. When visitors to our house have seen it, they thought Bobby was catatonic.”

Draper looked up from the notes he was taking. “When Bobby comes to, do you ask him about it?”

Edith’s hands fidgeted. “Yes. He says, ‘I was just thinking about some things.’ Then, when I ask him what things, he says, ‘those things I’m reading about.’”

Draper’s eyes narrowed. “Did you say, things he was reading about?”

Edith nodded.

“He’s four, correct?”

Edith nodded again and Draper scribbled more notes.

“Do you question him further?”

“I ask him why he gets so quiet and still. I’ve told him it’s real spooky.”

“And how does he respond to that, Mrs. Austin?”

Edith shook her head. “He says he’s just concentrating.”

“And what other issues are there?”

“Bobby always slept much less than other children, even as an infant. And he never took naps. Then, starting about a year ago, almost every night, he has terrible nightmares. He comes running into our bed crying hysterically. He’s so agitated he’ll be shaking and sometimes even wets himself.”

Draper put his pen down and leaned back in his worn leather chair, which squeaked loudly. “And what did your pediatrician, Dr. Stafford, say about all this?”

As Edith was about to reply, Peter squeezed her hand and said, “Dr. Stafford told us not to worry. He said Bobby’s smart and imaginative and bad dreams are common at this age for kids like him. And he said Bobby’s trances are caused by his lack of sleep, that they’re just a sleep substitute—like some kind of ‘waking nap.’ He told us Bobby will outgrow these problems. We thought the time had come to see a specialist.”

Tapping his pen against his folder, Draper asked Edith and Peter to bring Bobby into his office and wait in the reception area so he could speak with the boy alone. “I’m sure we won’t be long,” he said.

His chin resting in his hand, Draper looked at the four year old who sat in front of him with his long hair and piercing light blue eyes. “So, Robert. I understand that you enjoy reading.”

“It’s the passion of my life, Doctor.”

Draper laughed. “The passion of your life. That’s quite a dramatic statement. And what are you reading now?”

“Well, I only like to read non-fiction, particularly, astronomy, physics, math and chemistry. I’ve also just started reading a book called ‘Gray’s Anatomy.’”

“Gray’s Anatomy?” Draper barely covered his mouth as he yawned, recalling how many times he had met with toddlers who supposedly read the New York Times. In his experience, driven parents were usually the ones who caused their kids’ problems. “That’s a book most medical students dread. It seems awfully advanced for a child of your age.” Walking over to his bookcase, Draper stretched to reach the top shelf and pulled down a heavy tome. Blowing the dust off the binding, he said, “So, is this the book that you’ve been reading?”

Bobby smiled. “Yes, that’s it.”

“How did you get a copy?”

“I asked my Dad to get it for me from the library and he did.”

“And why did you want it?”

“I’m curious about the human body.”

“Oh, is that so? Well, let’s have you read for me, and then I’ll ask you some questions about what you read.”

Smiling smugly as he randomly opened to a page in the middle of the book, Draper put the volume down on a table in front of Bobby. Bobby stood on his toes so that he could see the page. The four year old began to read the tiny print fluently, complete with the proper pronunciation of medical Latin terms. His eyes narrowing, Draper scratched his chin. “Ok, Bobby. Now reading words on a page is one thing. But understanding them is quite another. So tell me the meaning of what you just read.”

Bobby gave Draper a dissertation on not only what he had just read, but how it tied it into aspects of the first five chapters of the book which he had read previously on his own. By memory, Bobby also directed Draper to specific pages of the book identifying what diagrams Draper would find that supported what Bobby was saying.

Glassy eyed, Draper stared at the child as he grabbed the book and put it back on the shelf. “Bobby, that was very interesting. Your reading shows real promise. Now let’s do a few puzzles.”

Pulling out a Rubik’s cube from his desk drawer, Draper asked, “Have you ever seen one of these?”

Bobby shook his head. “What is it?”

Draper handed the cube to Bobby and explained the object of the game. “Just explore it. Take your time—there’s no rush.”

Bobby manipulated the cube with his tiny hands as he examined it from varying angles. “I think I get the idea.”

“OK, Bobby—try to solve it.”

Thirty seconds later, Bobby handed the solved puzzle to Draper.

Draper’s eyes widened as he massaged his eyebrows. “I see. Well, let me mix it up really good this time and have you try again.” Twenty seconds after being handed the cube a second time, Bobby was passing it back to Draper solved again. Beginning to perspire, Draper removed his suit jacket.

“Bobby, we’re going to play a little game. I’m going to slowly say a number, and then another number, and another after that—and so forth, and as I call them out I’m going to write them down. When I’m finished, I’m going to ask you to recite back whatever numbers in the list you can remember. Is that clear?

“Sure Doctor,” replied Bobby.

“Ok, here we go”. At approximately one second intervals, Draper intoned, “729; 302; 128; 297; 186; 136; 423; 114; 169; 322; 873; 455; 388; 962; 666; 293; 725; 318; 131; 406.”

Bobby responded immediately with the full list in perfect order. He then asked Draper if he would like to hear it backwards. “Sure, why not,” replied Draper.

By the time Draper tired of this game, he was up to 80 numbers, each comprised of five digits. Bobby didn’t miss a single one. “Can we stop this game now please, Doctor? It’s getting pretty monotonous, don’t you think?”

Draper loosened his tie. He went through his remaining routines of tests and puzzles designed to gauge a person’s level of abstract mathematical reasoning, theoretical problem solving, linguistic nuances, and vocabulary. Rubbing his now oily face in his hands, he said, “Let’s take a break for a few minutes.”

“Why Doctor? I’m not tired.”

“Well, I am.”

Taking Bobby back to the waiting room, Draper apologized to Peter and Edith for the long period during which he had sequestered Bobby.

“Is everything alright, Doctor?” Edith asked.

“Why don’t you take Bobby to the cafeteria for a snack and meet me back here with him in thirty minutes,” Draper replied.

When the Austins returned to Draper’s office, Draper had two of his colleagues with him. He advised Peter and Edith that his associates would assist him in administering a few IQ tests to Bobby.

Peter’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Draper. “What does that have to do with the nightmares and trances, Doctor? We came here for those issues – not to have Bobby’s intelligence tested.”

“Be patient, please, Mr. Austin. Everything is inter-connected. We’re trying to get a complete picture.”

Draper and his associates, one a Ph.D in psychology and the other a Ph.D in education, administered three different types of intelligence tests to Bobby (utilizing abbreviated versions due to time constraints). First, the Slosson Intelligence Test, then the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Revised (WISC-R) and finally, the Stanford-Binet L-M.

By the time the exams were concluded, Draper’s shirt was untucked and perspiration stains protruded from beneath his arms even though the room was cool. He brought Bobby back to the reception area, and took Peter and Edith into a corner of the room, out of Bobby’s earshot. “Your child isn’t normal. Are any of your other children like this?”

Advertisements

First Chapter Reveal: The Controlled by Becky Komant

The ControlledTitle: The Controlled
Author: Becky Komant
Publisher: BK Press
Pages: 292
Language: English
ISBN-10: 099181150X
ISBN-13: 978-0991811502

Purchase at AMAZON

Sarah Ruiz thought she had it all – until someone entered her life who was hell-bent on destroying her.

Sarah Ruiz is a business owner, a fitness trainer and a mom.  Married to the ever-so-charming and wealthy Alex Ruiz, Sarah appears to have the perfect life.  But behind closed doors, he revealed a side of himself that destroyed her love for him.  With five beautiful children and unable to leave her situation, Sarah knows she must make changes.

Sarah’s journey to freedom take a turn when a man, Gabe Benoit, promises to help her.  Thus starts a whirlwind of romance, intrigue, seduction, blackmail and manipulation.  No matter which way Sarah turns, she is backed into a corner before she can even realize it.  When she finally has promise of a better future, she must use every ounce of her strength to work her way through the web of lies and find truth on her journey to independence.

First Chapter:

Beginnings

Sarah bit her lip to keep from moaning. As the elevator rose, the motion of Alex’s hand got faster and faster. As soon as the doors had closed, Sarah felt his hand slide underneath her skirt. The bellhop’s back was to them, and he didn’t notice as Alex cupped her from behind and let the tips of his fingers stroke her.

As soon as she saw The James Hotel, Sarah was overwhelmed with excitement of not only a fabulous New York holiday but also a lifetime of taking trips like this with her dashing husband. People treated him like royalty. Whether it was his striking Cuban good looks or the aura that surrounded him, he commanded attention, without having to say a word. Now, as he worked magic between her legs, she knew he had command over her, too.

When the elevator came to a halt at the top floor where The Presidential Suite awaited them, he removed his hand as quickly as he had inserted it, leaving her wet and ready to do anything and everything he wanted.

The bellhop left the luggage cart outside the door and tipped his cap to Alex, who handed him a folded bill. The door had a numbered lock, and Alex quickly punched in the code. Sarah was dying to have a peek inside.

“Wow!” she said softly as she looked around. In the center of the room, a large leather sofa faced a lit fireplace. A white shag throw rug sprawled on the floor in front of it. Large, red floor pillows beckoned her to come and stretch out in front of the flame.

A door to the left was slightly open, and Sarah guessed that was the way to the bedroom. To the right was a bar and kitchenette. She lay down in front of the fireplace on one of the pillows while Alex brought in the bags. He peeked briefly into the bedroom and then came and stood over her.

“Oh no you don’t. Come with me this way,” he said. He reached down, grabbed her hand and brought her to her feet.

“Can’t we lay in front of the fire?” Sarah asked. Despite her attraction to the plush carpet and warm blaze, she allowed him to lead her into the bedroom.

Sitting on top of the thick satin comforter was a woman in a see-through purple and black negligee. The lace didn’t quite cover the tops of her thighs, and her long, dark hair fell behind her on a pillow. Her legs were quite long. She had them extended and crossed at the ankle. She sat with her back against the headboard and casually sipped a glass of champagne.

A tray perched next to the bed held two more champagne glasses, a large bowl of raspberries, a dish of fresh whipped cream, and the most luscious chocolate mousse Sarah had ever seen.

Sarah glanced at it all, then looked back at the woman in their bed. Her bed. Shit! Sarah could see her pussy. What the hell is this? she wondered.

“Hello, Victoria,” Alex said.

Victoria smiled and raised her champagne glass in a toast. “Hi, Alex. Hi, Sarah,” she said.

“Who is this?” Sarah looked at Alex. Her confusion turned into a scowl on her beautiful face.

“This is your surprise,” Alex said with a Cheshire Cat grin.

“I’m not sure I understand.”

Alex turned to Sarah. He grabbed the front of her blouse and ripped it open. He put one hand behind her head and pulled her face to his. He kissed her hard.

Sarah, her desire for him already hot from the elevator ride, kissed him back. Then she pulled away.

“Wait. What is this?” she asked again.

“This,” Alex said eagerly as he removed his pants, “is going to be amazing.”

His cock was sticking straight up already. He reached again for Sarah. “Baby, make love to me with Victoria here. Let her help us have a great time.”

He kissed Sarah’s neck and shoulders. She tried to process this. He wanted them all to make love?

“I thought we already had a great time together,” Sarah said.

Alex lifted his face to her and looked her in the eye. He cradled her face between his hands and kissed the tip of her nose.

“Of course we do, baby, but this is an experience that will take our fucking to the next level. I promise, you’ll love it. We’ll be gentle with you, won’t we, Vic?”

Sarah let her eyes wander to the bed, where Victoria still sipped her champagne. What were they going to do? She wondered if anyone she knew had done this kind of thing before. Is this how rich people live?

Sarah looked back at Alex. “Is this what you want?”

Alex laughed softly. “Oh, baby, you have no idea. Do this with me. You’re so sexy.”

Sarah’s head was a little fuzzy from the wine she had enjoyed on the plane. She said, “I’ll be right back,” and went back into the living room of the suite. She walked over to the bar and grabbed a bottle of Jack from the shelf. She twisted off the plastic cap and took a long swig. It burned her throat as she swallowed. She caught her reflection in a mirror above the bar.

“You can do this,” she said to herself. “He is your husband. This is what he wants, so it must be OK.” She wasn’t convinced that it was OK, but her pep talk and the booze gave her the strength to see what awaited her in the bedroom.

Alex was lying naked on the bed next to Victoria. They were close, but not touching one another. Sarah still wore her ripped-open blouse and skirt.

“Strip for me, baby,” Alex said.

Sarah slowly removed her blouse and freed her breasts from the constraint of her bra. She slid her skirt and panties down together. She had no self-consciousness about her body—but she could feel Alex’s eyes burning with passion as he looked at her fresh Brazilian wax.

“You’re beautiful,” he said. “Come here.”

She crawled onto the bed from the foot and slowly made her way toward him, avoiding Victoria’s legs. Victoria got up from the bed and picked up the bowl of raspberries.

“You’re going to let me have my way with you, right?” Alex said. It wasn’t really a question.

Sarah nodded. She had a lump in her throat and was quite sure she couldn’t speak.

Alex flipped her over so she was on her back, lying sideways across the bed. Her head was near where Victoria stood.

Victoria picked up one of the raspberries and dipped it in the whipped cream. She placed it lightly on one of Sarah’s nipples and gently traced the dark circle, leaving a trail of white. The raspberry was cold, and Sarah sucked in her breath. The feeling was amazingly sensual. Victoria dipped the raspberry again and repeated the process on the other breast. She looked Sarah in the eye and licked the raspberry before putting it into her own mouth.

Then she took another raspberry between her fingers and, with the touch of a feather, traced Sarah’s lips. She pushed the berry into Sarah’s mouth and let her finger slip briefly inside, too. Almost involuntarily, Sarah sucked on the woman’s finger.

Am I really doing this? she wondered.

Alex held his cock and began to stroke himself. Victoria leaned over and began to lick the whipped cream from Sarah’s nipples. Sarah lay there, not sure what to do next.

As if reading her mind, Alex said, “Put your hands on Victoria’s back.”

Sarah raised her arms and placed them onto Victoria’s back, and ever so softly moved her hands across the material.

They stayed like that for a minute, with Victoria licking and sucking Sarah’s nipples—until Alex said, “My turn, ladies,” and climbed onto the bed. Victoria stood up and poured herself more champagne.

Alex placed his hands on Sarah’s hips and lifted her on top of his cock, which was harder and longer than Sarah ever remembered it being. Sarah straddled him and slowly slid down.

“Stay right there, baby,” he said to Sarah. Victoria was waiting patiently, having removed her lingerie. He reached up and took Victoria’s hand, inviting her to join them. Without hesitation she placed her legs on either side of Alex’s head and lowered herself onto his hungry tongue.

Sarah and Victoria were now eye to eye, facing each other atop Sarah’s husband.

This is fucked up, Sarah thought.

She arched a suspicious eyebrow at Victoria, who simply smiled back at her. It wasn’t a challenge—she actually looked like a kind woman. That thought made Sarah give her head a shake, and she closed her eyes. She began to rotate her hips in large, leisurely circles on top of Alex, pressing herself hard onto him as she moved. Gyrating like this always brought her to orgasm, and there was no way she was going to go through this night and not allow herself that pleasure.

At some point they shifted positions and Sarah once again found herself supine. Alex was on top of her, driving his hard cock into her with the force of a jackhammer. Victoria went back to playing with Sarah’s breasts, taking breaks to pour champagne into Sarah’s mouth from time to time. Sarah appreciated the fact that Victoria did not try to climb on top of her face the way she had done to Alex. Sarah had no desire to go there.

Victoria delicately placed two raspberries into Sarah’s mouth and whispered, “Don’t eat them.”

She then covered Sarah’s mouth with her own. Using her tongue, she tried to take the raspberries back. They began a wet, slurpy game and, as the champagne and Jack Daniel’s kicked in, Sarah soon found herself in a tantalizing blur of sex and lips and breasts and bodies.

They continued for what seemed like hours. Sarah fought to keep her eyes open as exhaustion overtook her. She vaguely recalled Victoria getting out of the bed and retrieving clothes from a small duffel bag. The last thing Sarah remembered before drifting off to sleep was seeing Victoria pick up a wad of cash from the dresser as she exited the room.

The next morning, Sarah’s head ached with the throb of a hangover—the kind of hangover in which you wonder if the memories flashing through your mind are really of yourself or from a movie you once saw.

Alex was still asleep. She lay there for a full twenty minutes after waking, not wanting to move so he didn’t stir. She slowly got out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom. She felt sticky and dirty. The showerhead was strong, and as she lathered the soap over her body her head began to clear and questions flooded her mind.

How many times had Alex and Victoria been together?

Was she a… prostitute?

Most frightening to her was, Is this what married couples do?

She didn’t like the sadness that permeated her insides or the idea that her love wasn’t enough for him. He said it himself: “Let her help us have a great time.”

She brushed her teeth and studied herself in the mirror. Did she look different now that she was experienced in threesome sex? She didn’t think so. If anything, she looked too young and innocent to know so much about what happens behind the closed doors of The Presidential Suite in New York.

She could hear Alex talking to someone and prayed to God that Victoria wasn’t back. She strained her ears and mercifully heard the hotel room door close and the voices stop. She left the bathroom.

“So did you have fun?” Alex asked her. He offered her a cup of coffee from the food cart brought up by room service.

“Um, did you have fun?” she asked right back.

“Oh, yes. I love you so much. Thank you for being open. I hope it was good for you,” Alex said. He untied his robe and she could see his manhood sticking up again, ready for another round. She felt awful. Yet she wanted to make him happy.

“Alex, why did you marry me?” Sarah asked.

“Why would you ask that?” he said. He took her coffee from her and guided her to the bed. He laid her backward tenderly, one hand behind her head as the other slid up into her robe and came to rest in the space between her breasts.

“I love you,” he said, as his mouth engulfed her own. He kissed her long and hard, languidly moving his tongue around her mouth as his hand massaged her chest.

She kissed him back, feeling her own desire for him grow. She allowed him to remove her robe, and his own, and they spent a long morning making love over every inch of the king-sized bed.

Sarah traced her finger along Alex’s chest, resting and thinking about Victoria.

“Have you ever done that before?” she asked.

“Done what? Made love? Of course,” he joked.

“No. I meant, with two other women.”

“Once,” he said. “It was a long time ago.”

“Did you enjoy it then?” Sarah asked, although she figured she knew the answer.

“Actually it was the worst night of my life,” Alex confessed.

“Why?”

“It was the night my mother died,” he said. Sarah was quiet. The air was heavy, and she felt his body stiffen.

“Would you tell me what happened?” she finally asked.

“One night, I was out at a club and picked up a couple of women. I was eighteen, had a lot of money, we had been drinking, and I actually recall very little of what went on in the back of my car.” Alex began.

“Was this in Cuba?” Sarah asked.

“Yes. I arrived home feeling like a champion. But when I walked in the kitchen, my mother was in a heap on the floor. I rushed to her side. ‘Mama, what happened? What is it?’ I asked. She leaned into me and sobbed. She was out of control. I just held her. I didn’t know what else to do. Then I heard my father’s voice.

“‘It’s Tomas,’ he said.

“‘What do you mean? Papa, what happened?’ I asked him.

“Papa stood and motioned for me to follow. I stood up, but Mama grabbed my leg and dug her nails into my skin.

“She screamed at me, ‘Please do not let them hurt Tomas. Please.’

“‘Why would they hurt Tomas?’ I asked her, but she didn’t answer.

“‘Alejandro! Vamos!’ Papa yelled. He was so angry.”

Sarah glanced at his face. She could tell that the memory of his father’s anger still stung. His eyes were focused out the window, perhaps picturing the scene he carried in his head.

“I looked back at Mama, who was face down on the kitchen floor. I wanted to stay with her, but knew I had to go with my father.

“We got into the car drove into the night. Papa didn’t say a word. My stomach shriveled when I recognized where we were going. There was a car waiting. It was night, but I knew the two men who were standing on the cliff. There was a third figure kneeling between them. He had a black cloth sack over his head, and as we approached I recognized the shirt the man was wearing. It was my brother Tomas.”

Alex paused again and Sarah held her breath, not wanting to move for fear he would stop telling the story. Alex coughed lightly then continued.

“I looked at Papa. I am sure my eyes glowed with fear. Papa shook his finger at me, ‘Not a word,’ he said.

“‘But, Papa,’ I whispered.

“Papa turned to me and grabbed the front of my shirt. He shook me hard. ‘Tomas stole one million American dollars from the cartel. They caught him trying to escape. You and I are here to witness what must take place. We cannot fight it or else all of us will be brought to the same end. Do you hear me? You, me, your sisters, your other brothers, Mama. All of us. He has shamed us all and we must comply. Not. A. Word.’

“I saw something I had never seen before in my father. Terror. I hated him in that moment. I hated what was coming. I hated the powerlessness to save my brother’s life. My father worked for the cartel. There was nothing we could do. The rest was a blur to me.

“I saw the men fling Tomas from the top of the cliff.

“I saw the Cuban night pass by as I stared out the window on the drive home.

“But then, the worst of all, I saw my mother’s lifeless body, hanging from the rafter in the kitchen when we got home.”

Alex stopped speaking. Sarah sat up and looked at him.

“I’m sorry,” she said. She knew those two words couldn’t possibly be enough.

Alex pursed his lips and shook off his emotions. “I left Cuba, determined to start a new life here. One that wasn’t controlled by anyone.”

Sarah wiped her eyes with the edge of the sheet. She noticed Alex’s eyes were dry. The clouded look passed and he reached for her again. “I never told anyone that story,” he said.

“Thank you for telling me,” she said softly, stroking his cheek. She didn’t like the threesome and the way she felt inside as she thought about it, but she had a surge of compassion for this man she married. She sensed that he had been through much more than he told her, and she hoped it would work itself out in time.

The raw sexual pull between Sarah and Alex was unlike anything she’d ever experienced. The animalistic hunger that seeped from him made her desire and fear him at the same time. He was insatiable in bed—always wanting more. She’d never known any man who could get so hard so quickly, and every night she fell asleep spent.

Feelings of shame from the encounter with Victoria lingered. Just when she thought they were gone, she’d recall something that happened that night with a pang in her heart. And if the memories didn’t come back on their own, Alex was sure to relive it for her.

“Oh, baby, remember how great it felt to have me pound your pussy while Victoria licked your hot breasts?” he would ask gruffly while they were in bed. It jarred her from any pleasure she might have been feeling and instantly draped a shroud over her heart.

The third time he brought it up, she happened to be looking at his face as he said it. His eyes were closed, and his mouth twisted into a grimace. Sarah realized he was saying that for his own benefit—to draw himself back to that moment in that room—and the thought turned her stomach. Who was he thinking about when he came inside of me?

She tried to be the perfect wife. She wanted him to see that she could fix the wounds his brother’s betrayal had seared onto his heart. A natural first step, she thought, was to begin a family of their own. She loved children and knew that once he had his own little ones who needed him he’d feel complete.

Three months into her pregnancy with Enrico (or Eric, as they called him), her hopes for a utopian life hit a brick wall. Sarah went up to Fort Lauderdale to shop for baby clothes. She hadn’t told Alex where she was going, hoping to surprise him with the cutest little football jersey ever made. Alex, however, didn’t find it cute.

When she got home, she found him in the kitchen, pacing. He fumed that she had gone out for the day without telling him where she was going.

He raised his voice, yelled some things at her in Spanish, and before she could process the magnitude of his anger, she felt the crack of the back of his hand across her soft cheek. She sank down to her knees on the tile of their perfect kitchen. She raised her eyes to him, one hand holding her cheek and the other protectively on her stomach. The look on his face frightened her so much, she thought she would vomit.

Then she did vomit.

She remained on her hands and knees. He didn’t move, except to inch backward from the puddle. She stared at her fingers as he spat the words for the first time: “You have nothing without me. ”

She continued to stare at her hands, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry. “Why would you do that to me?” she wondered aloud.

“This is my house. If you don’t like it, you know where the door is.” He turned on his heel and left for the evening.

He didn’t bring up Fort Lauderdale again, but that incident was the beginning of a new pattern. Each time Sarah caught a glimpse of the life she dreamed of, cruel words and an occasional backhand buried her dream deeper and deeper into the Miami sand.

Following one such instance, she mentioned leaving him. His laughter was laced with hatred.

“Really? And just where would you go?” He shook his head, laughed again, and went out to one of his clubs. She felt like a child who threatened to run away.

The birth of Enrico brought them together for a time. Alex took great pride in his new son, and Sarah and Enrico were inseparable. His smile filled her with such happiness that before long she was pregnant again. The rest of the kids came closely together—four pregnancies, five children. Her final pregnancy delivered twins, a boy and a girl.

Sarah’s life became all about juggling children and managing Alex’s moods. She came to recognize when Alex’s demeanor was darkening and would be on alert against sending him over the edge. Even so, Alex’s harsh words and rough nature pervaded even the parts of their relationship that were supposed to be the most gentle and intimate.

One morning, shortly after the twins turned two, Alex told her to pack a bag.

“Why?” Sarah asked.

“We’ve got tickets to see Holyfield fight Bates tomorrow night in Dallas. We’re taking a private jet with some business associates of mine. I need you to look real nice. Go get a dress.”

She grabbed her purse and car keys and headed for The Chanel Store. She made a couple of selections and took them to the fitting room.

The first dress was an exquisite one-shoulder gown that fell above her knees. The silk hugged her curves perfectly. Lead-colored sequins twinkled like stars across her body.

Any woman would have been damn proud to carry her figure, but Sarah placed a hand on her stomach and sighed. It wasn’t as tight as it used to be. Head tilted, she stared at her arms, her legs. She turned to see how she looked from behind. She leaned in close and studied the face of the woman whose eyes looked back at her.

“Dammit!” she said finally to the woman in the mirror. One word came to mind. Tired. Her body, her eyes, even her hair, looked tired.

Later in life, Sarah would recall that moment with startling clarity. The moment she knew that if things were ever going to be different, something needed to change. Alex was a good provider—actually, he was a great provider—for his family. When he was calm, they had seemingly normal, fun family times. Yet the volatility of his personality and the disgust she felt each time he brought up the threesome stayed with her. Tenderness had melted away from their lovemaking and she felt dirty after each time. His crude sexual remarks weighed on her soul like sandbags and were starting to noticeably wear on her physical appearance.

“No more,” Sarah said to herself. She knew then that she was not going to be one of those moms who used her kids as an excuse for why her body and life weren’t how they should be. That wasn’t fair to the kids or to herself. She knew what she needed to do, and she was determined that nothing would stand in her way.

That weekend, Divine Providence gave her plan an opening. One of the guys traveling with them was a fitness trainer.

“Can you train me?” she asked him outright, after they had chatted for a while.

“Excuse me?” he said with surprise. “You want to start training?”

“No, I am going to start training. I need a coach. Would you train me?”

“All right,” he said cautiously. “When do you want to begin?”

“As soon as we get home,” she said. “I’m not waiting any longer.

The decision to put less energy into trying to make Alex happy, and more toward training and to her children, ignited her spirit. She knew she would get her body in incredible shape and use her nutrition knowledge to begin her own business, one that would eventually support herself and the kids.

Her muscles remembered well the form they had before her pregnancies, and it wasn’t long before she was in extraordinary condition.

She trained with the guy from the fight for a few months, then left him for someone who was a better fit with her own philosophies toward fitness. She believed strongly in getting fit using a combination of natural ingredients, clean eating habits, and hard work. With encouragement from friends at the gym, she began competing in fitness modeling competitions. Certifications in personal training and sports nutrition allowed her to formally start training clients herself, and she developed a small, but impressive private client base that included a few professional athletes.

Alex was enthusiastic about her training and showed her off to his friends and business connections. Alex saw her achievements as his success. Behind closed doors, he took every opportunity to remind her that without him she wouldn’t be able to afford the trainer, the trips to competitions, or the gym that he had built at their home so that she could see clients. He also continued to take every opportunity to make her feel like nothing more than a sex object—at his beck and call whenever he got hard, which was constantly.

The more clients she gained, the more she knew she could not risk her industry reputation by having Alex throw her out. She was caged.

 

First Chapter Reveal: Gem City Gypsy by Kristin Kuhns Alexandre

Gem City GypsyTitle: Gem City Gypsy
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Author: Kristin Kuhns Alexandre
Publisher: Sisterhood Publications
Pages: 158
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940016029
ISBN-13: 978-1940016023

Purchase at AMAZON

When you read “Gem City Gypsy” you must conceptualize a whole world.

Gypsies.

Socialites.

The Wright Brothers.

The KKK.

Industrialization leading to WWI.

So many vivid elements. The story is about a gypsy girl who must leap over bodies to survive the sinking Lusitania and escape murderous Germans who kill her mentor in Ireland. She later returns to her hometown, recreated as a wealthy woman trying to meld into the upper class.  Neci Star captures our imagination and heart as she claws her way out of one class and into the abyss of another.

Chapter One

She didn’t like the way he looked at her.

Nineteen-year-old Neci Stans scurried around the small cottage, tidying things that looked out of place, and trying not to make eye contact with Graham Moore. She tried to pretend he didn’t make her nervous or self-conscious, because she knew that was exactly what he was trying to do.

He gave her looks. Those looks. Neci had seen gazes like this before, from men just like Graham Moore. Perhaps she was even used to them. She knew what they meant; what they wanted. But unlike other times in her life, Neci felt safe; protected.

She knew this was because of Lord Pool, and how he treated her. The whole reason she was here, safe, and living in Kinsale, Ireland, was because of Lord Pool. She owed him everything. He’d rescued her from more than death, when they both survived the sinking of the Lusitania after it was torpedoed by a German sub. He’d rescued her from a life she didn’t want to live, teaching her to be a proper young lady, to speak correctly; dress correctly; act correctly.

She’d already been on her way, traveling with the Hubbards–as a maidservant–on the Lusitania to what she was sure was a new life and bigger and better things. Things didn’t end up the way she planned. While at first it was terrifying, the end result was even better than she could have planned. Neci was no longer just a “wild gypsy” girl. She had become a proper lady. It was all she had ever wanted.

Lord Pool lost his family in the horrible event. He watched them die, and was helpless to save them. Then an explosion knocked him overboard and he awoke on a small fishing boat to find Neci caring for him.

Neci knew she’d become a substitute for his lost wife and daughter. But she didn’t mind, or care. She was all he had, and he was there to help her achieve her dreams. She had him and her beloved dog, Theda, and they took the place of her family back in the States.

For the past two years they had lived peacefully in Kinsale, Ireland. Neci had escaped the gypsy camp—a rather dramatic escape,  she thought ironically, remember her time floating in the water escaping the sinking Lusitania–and now she had learned the finer things in life from the elegant, refined, and kind-hearted Lord Pool. Graham Moore wasn’t going to change that, even though she was pretty sure he wanted to do just that.

She didn’t care what she had to do. This man she did not trust, with his quick tongue and his fiery eyes, had an agenda. Even though he was ruggedly handsome, despite the horrible war trench scar that ran from his left eye to his chin. It made him look very dangerous, which was appropriate, because Neci knew he was not to be trusted. She could sense it. She had, after all, been born a gypsy girl with a gypsy heart.

“He was in love with my daughter,” Lord Pool had explained one evening soon after Graham arrived, and after he had retired for the evening and Neci was left alone with her mentor. “That is why I allowed him to come visit. He and I have her in common. I never really considered him appropriate for Nelly, as it seemed he was more interested in the family estate and the family money more than my lovely daughter.”

“So why let him stay? And why did he come now?” Neci asked.

“I let him stay because seeing him brings a little bit of her back,” Lord Pool explained gently. “It’s not much, but it’s all I have. And I suppose he thinks he will inherit from me now that I have no family left.”

“But that’s a horrible thing to do,” Neci had proclaimed. “To just show up so he can get in your good graces and inherit your money.” She wanted to cry out, “But you have me,” even though she knew this was not appropriate. She bit her lip to keep from talking.

Lord Pool only laughed. He looked upon Neci as an innocent. She knew this.

“Don’t you worry, Neci. I am a smart man, and I know people. Graham Moore will not be getting any money from me.”

But what could he get–or try to get–from Neci?

She didn’t dare tell Lord Pool about the night before, when Graham had followed her into her bedroom, long after Lord Pool had retired for the evening.

“I beg your pardon,” she said. “What are you doing in here?”

“Just came in for a little visit,” he said, a devilish grin edging up the corners of his sensual mouth.

“This isn’t proper, and you know it. Please leave my quarters.”

“Proper? Let’s be honest, here, Neci,” he said, moving toward her. She backed away until she was trapped by the wall, and could go no further. He continued to advance toward her. “Proper? You’re anything but proper. Underneath that exterior, I sense a hunger in you. A wildness. You’re no lady. You’re a wild girl…no, not a girl. You’re a wild woman.”

He pushed his body up against hers, and she could feel his desire, pressing through his trousers, hard. Strange emotions raced through her.  She didn’t like Graham. Not at all. She sensed he was greedy and selfish, but he was a handsome man with a fine physique. Neci didn’t like the way her body reacted. It seemed a betrayal of all she had been through and struggled to learn.

“I know you want it,” he said, bending forward toward her. He reached a hand up to raise her chin, tilting her head backward until her lips were almost perfectly aligned with his, the back of her head against the wall. “I can see the desire in your eyes.”

Neci shivered and tried to push him away. “I am a lady,” she said vehemently. “If I scream, Lord Pool will hear and come throw you out.”

“But you won’t scream, will you Neci? Because I would tell him that you lured me in here. Tried to seduce me. And who would he believe? You? Or me? I think we both know the answer to that.”

He leaned in closer, and his lips grazed hers. All sorts of fireworks went off inside her stomach, and Neci wanted to scream at her body for the betrayal. She did not like Graham. She did not want to react to him.

“I. Will. Scream,” she whispered.

“Yes, of course you will.” He took his right hand off her chin and moved it to her breasts, running his hand across first the right, then the left, then cupping the firmness of the right one, touching her in a place that no man had ever touched.

He tried to push aside the material covering her breasts, and he stepped back. Neci took advantage of the temporary distance between them and raised her knee hard, connecting with his groin.

Graham went to the ground, quickly retreating into a fetal position, groaning in pain, and she quickly moved around him and out the door.

San Francisco Secrets First Chapter Reveal

San Francisco SecretsTitle: San Francisco Secrets
Author: Greg Messel
Format: Paperback, ebook
Length: 405 pages
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing

Noted novelist and newspaper editor Edgar Watson Howe once said. “A man who can keep a secret may be wise but he is not half as wise as a man with no secrets to keep”

As the spring of 1958 arrives in San Francisco, it seems that baseball player turned private eye, Sam Slater and his fiancée, TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan, are surrounded by people who have secrets.

A prominent doctor, John O’Dell is being blackmailed by someone who has discovered a dark secret from his past. When the private investigator trying to catch the blackmailer is murdered, Dr. O’Dell hires Sam Slater to try to pick up the pieces. Someone is playing for keeps and will do anything to protect their own secrets.

Meanwhile, Amelia begins her new job as an international stewardess which takes her on adventures to New York City, London, Paris and Rome. In hot pursuit is a womanizing older pilot who has his sights set on Amelia.

Their lives get even more complicated when a mysterious woman from Sam’s past returns.

Sam and Amelia’s relationship will be tested as they work together to solve the mystery on the foggy streets of San Francisco.

———————————————

CHAPTER 1
THE STASH
March 6, 1958

On a quiet sunny Thursday afternoon, a quaint, little Spanish-style bank on Macarthur Boulevard in Oakland was robbed.

Two career criminals, Lloyd Wells and Doug McAllister, who were down on their luck, were elated as they pulled off a big score and made their getaway towards San Francisco.

The small neighborhood bank, made of white stucco with a red tile roof, had minimal security provided by an ancient bank guard who seemed to be dozing when the robbers stormed in. In the middle of the afternoon, there were just a few old people putting some money in their passbook savings accounts or cashing their Social Security checks.

Wells and McAllister needed this score badly. They planned to grab their loot and head for the Reno area where McAllister had a small rundown house. The score at the bank would set them up for future exploits in Reno.

Wells was anxious to get out of the Bay Area where he had already had several run-ins with the law. The bank robbery went flawlessly. It was over in just a few minutes with the tellers quickly emptying their cash drawers into McAllister’s bag before the thieves fled.

After making a clean getaway from the bank in Oakland, the pair caught the on-ramp to the Bay Bridge and headed for San Francisco. They kept checking their rearview mirror but there was no one in pursuit, even though they expected a lot of heat after the robbery.

McAllister and Wells wanted to get as far away as possible until things cooled down a bit after the heist. Wells had a plan to stash most of the loot from the robbery and then come back later to retrieve it before they permanently relocated to Reno.

McAllister tried to do a quick count of their haul while Wells drove the car cautiously over the bridge into San Francisco. It all happened so quickly inside the bank, but to his astonishment, it looked like they might have gotten away with as much as $70,000.

Wells drove out to Ocean Beach near the Cliff House on the western edge of the city, where he had parked his light-blue and white 1953 Chevy. He pulled the stolen aqua-colored 1954 Ford into the parking lot by the beach.

The men emptied everything out of the Ford. Wells popped the trunk on his Chevy and retrieved a burlap bag. The men put their black masks, hats, gloves, and two bricks into the bag.

They inspected the interior of the stolen car one last time and then locked it. McAllister looked around and then threw the keys to the Ford as far as he could out onto the sand of Ocean Beach. Wells transferred the bag full of money into the Chevy. The two men got into the car and drove away slowly.

They drove north past the Cliff House on the roadway that snaked along the seaside heading toward the Presidio grounds.

“Pull over here,” McAllister said.

Wells complied. McAllister retrieved the burlap bag and walked to the edge of a cliff near China Beach that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. He gave the bag a few swings and then threw it as far as he could off the cliff. McAllister watched the bag create a large splash as it landed in the ocean below.

When McAllister returned to the car, Wells said, “Time to go visit uncle.”

The men then headed to a house on O’Farrell Street in the heart of San Francisco. Wells’ uncle, Andrew Griffiths, was 85 years old and lived in an old Victorian townhouse that appeared frozen in time.

Wells had always been very fond of his uncle, who had raised him after his troubled parents abandoned him. Andrew Griffiths thought of Lloyd Wells as the son he never had, but he knew in his heart that attempts to keep his nephew on the straight-and-narrow were largely in vain. Griffiths had stopped asking Lloyd about his activities. He had come to the sad conclusion that it was best if he didn’t want to know a lot of details about his nephew’s life.

Wells knew that his uncle’s health was beginning to fail and he was spending more and more time in bed. His uncle’s only child was a daughter, Yvonne, who lived in Vacaville near Sacramento.

As the men parked in front of Uncle Andrew’s house, Wells gave final instructions to his partner.

“When we get in there, I’ll go into the back of the house and keep my uncle busy. There are two high-backed overstuffed antique chairs with green upholstery by the front window,” Wells explained. “Take the bank money and stuff it in the bottom of the two chairs. Just take your pocketknife and carefully pry off the covering on the bottom of the chairs. Put the cash inside and reattach the cloth on the bottom of the chairs. Got it?”

“Got it,” McAllister replied.

“Just make sure the covering on the bottom of the chair is securely fastened so the wad of cash stays put. Put the cash in these paper bags and secure it to the frame of the chair.

“Understand?”

“Yeah, no sweat,” McAllister said.

“It’s important that no one suspects that there is anything stashed in the bottom of the chairs. Those chairs haven’t been moved for a hundred years, so it’s the perfect place to hide our money until we come back to San Francisco and get it. I just want to make sure no one gets wise about what’s in those chairs.”

“Okay. You’re sure you can keep your uncle occupied and he won’t hear me tinkering with the chairs?”

“You could run a herd of cattle down my uncle’s hallway and he wouldn’t hear it. Just be quick about it and I’ll talk with him. I need to make sure he’s taken care of and I’ll explain that I’ll be out of town for a few weeks.”

“Sounds good. I’ll keep enough cash to get us through while we’re waiting for things to calm down,” McAllister replied.

“Right,” Wells responded. “Let’s get to work.”

First Chapter Reveal: Revelation: The Return of Mr. Breeze by Morrie Richfield

Revelation 2Title of Book: REVELATION
Genre: Inspirational Fantasy
Author: Morrie Richfield
Website: www.mrbreezethenovel.com
Publisher: Morrie Richfield

PURCHASE REVELATION HERE

SUMMARY:
Mr. Breeze is back; so is Michael Ryan and Rover, the magical dog.

MR. BREEZE fans can rejoice. REVELATION, Morrie Richfield’s much-anticipated sequel to his novel MR. BREEZE, has arrived. Readers new to the strange but inspiring tale of a super being and his attempt to set mankind on a straight and moral path for its very survival can immerse themselves in what critics and readers alike are calling an “inspirational fantasy” with important lessons for all of us.

In MR. BREEZE, published in 2011, Richfield introduced readers to Zackary, aka Zack, aka Mr. Breeze, an ancient being who claimed to be mankind’s creator and who still exerts a powerful force on the human race and its very existence. Zack appeared on earth as a powerful man who did miraculous deeds. He chose journalist Michael Ryan to tell his story in a book that, he hoped, would show mankind how to stop its self-destructive ways and bring paradise on earth. With man’s fate hanging in the balance, Zack disappeared, leaving humans to their fate and Michael wondering what his role really is.

REVELATION moves the action two years into the future. The situation looks bleak. Mankind has slipped back into its old, destructive ways and Michael has become a dissolute recluse. There are people who view Michael as a savior and others who see him as a threat to be eliminated.

Along this strange trip, Michael meets new friends and reunites with old companions, the most significant of which is Rover, an abused dog whom Zack endowed with superpowers. Rover becomes Zack’s messenger to Michael, as Michael tries to get Zack’s original message out to the world: If mankind doesn’t straighten out, he will destroy the human race.

Richfield plays down the description of REVELATION as an “inspirational fantasy.” He calls it a “self-help book, a textbook, a reality series on paper. It is what we see when we look in the mirror.”

If MR. BREEZE focused on Zack and his message, REVELATION focuses on Michael, following his struggle to understand his role in Zack’s master plan and to find his soul, Richfield says. “Michael’s final revelation is that we just don’t learn. Without the threat of destruction, we go back to our old ways. Our time is almost up and we need to do something. We need to show Mr. Breeze the human race deserves a chance to continue to exist.”
– See more at: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/02/23/pump-up-your-book-presents-revelation-virtual-book-publicity-tour-win-100-visa-card/#sthash.cSEU8eOS.dpuf

Mr. Breeze is back; so is Michael Ryan and Rover, the magical dog.

MR. BREEZE fans can rejoice. REVELATION, Morrie Richfield’s much-anticipated sequel to his novel MR. BREEZE, has arrived. Readers new to the strange but inspiring tale of a super being and his attempt to set mankind on a straight and moral path for its very survival can immerse themselves in what critics and readers alike are calling an “inspirational fantasy” with important lessons for all of us.

In MR. BREEZE, published in 2011, Richfield introduced readers to Zackary, aka Zack, aka Mr. Breeze, an ancient being who claimed to be mankind’s creator and who still exerts a powerful force on the human race and its very existence. Zack appeared on earth as a powerful man who did miraculous deeds. He chose journalist Michael Ryan to tell his story in a book that, he hoped, would show mankind how to stop its self-destructive ways and bring paradise on earth. With man’s fate hanging in the balance, Zack disappeared, leaving humans to their fate and Michael wondering what his role really is.

REVELATION moves the action two years into the future. The situation looks bleak. Mankind has slipped back into its old, destructive ways and Michael has become a dissolute recluse. There are people who view Michael as a savior and others who see him as a threat to be eliminated.

Along this strange trip, Michael meets new friends and reunites with old companions, the most significant of which is Rover, an abused dog whom Zack endowed with superpowers. Rover becomes Zack’s messenger to Michael, as Michael tries to get Zack’s original message out to the world: If mankind doesn’t straighten out, he will destroy the human race.

Richfield plays down the description of REVELATION as an “inspirational fantasy.” He calls it a “self-help book, a textbook, a reality series on paper. It is what we see when we look in the mirror.”

If MR. BREEZE focused on Zack and his message, REVELATION focuses on Michael, following his struggle to understand his role in Zack’s master plan and to find his soul, Richfield says. “Michael’s final revelation is that we just don’t learn. Without the threat of destruction, we go back to our old ways. Our time is almost up and we need to do something. We need to show Mr. Breeze the human race deserves a chance to continue to exist.”

Mr. Breeze is back; so is Michael Ryan and Rover, the magical dog.

MR. BREEZE fans can rejoice. REVELATION, Morrie Richfield’s much-anticipated sequel to his novel MR. BREEZE, has arrived. Readers new to the strange but inspiring tale of a super being and his attempt to set mankind on a straight and moral path for its very survival can immerse themselves in what critics and readers alike are calling an “inspirational fantasy” with important lessons for all of us.

In MR. BREEZE, published in 2011, Richfield introduced readers to Zackary, aka Zack, aka Mr. Breeze, an ancient being who claimed to be mankind’s creator and who still exerts a powerful force on the human race and its very existence. Zack appeared on earth as a powerful man who did miraculous deeds. He chose journalist Michael Ryan to tell his story in a book that, he hoped, would show mankind how to stop its self-destructive ways and bring paradise on earth. With man’s fate hanging in the balance, Zack disappeared, leaving humans to their fate and Michael wondering what his role really is.

REVELATION moves the action two years into the future. The situation looks bleak. Mankind has slipped back into its old, destructive ways and Michael has become a dissolute recluse. There are people who view Michael as a savior and others who see him as a threat to be eliminated.

Along this strange trip, Michael meets new friends and reunites with old companions, the most significant of which is Rover, an abused dog whom Zack endowed with superpowers. Rover becomes Zack’s messenger to Michael, as Michael tries to get Zack’s original message out to the world: If mankind doesn’t straighten out, he will destroy the human race.

Richfield plays down the description of REVELATION as an “inspirational fantasy.” He calls it a “self-help book, a textbook, a reality series on paper. It is what we see when we look in the mirror.”

If MR. BREEZE focused on Zack and his message, REVELATION focuses on Michael, following his struggle to understand his role in Zack’s master plan and to find his soul, Richfield says. “Michael’s final revelation is that we just don’t learn. Without the threat of destruction, we go back to our old ways. Our time is almost up and we need to do something. We need to show Mr. Breeze the human race deserves a chance to continue to exist.”

– See more at: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/02/23/pump-up-your-book-presents-revelation-virtual-book-publicity-tour-win-100-visa-card/#sthash.cSEU8eOS.dpuf

FIRST CHAPTER

Chapter 1

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yes, it is me, Michael Ryan. I’m sure you remember me. After all, for a short time, I was about the most famous man in the world. For those of you who have forgotten, let me fill you in on what has happened in the two years since I last saw Zackary Breeze and Rover.

Of course you must remember Zack Breeze and Rover. Zack as he called himself is this time is our maker. He cured our diseases told us our religions are nothing but of our own making and turned a normal German Sheppard dog whose name is Rover into the second most powerful being on the planet. Let’s not forget that he used me to write his story and threatened our immediate destruction should I refuse.

I wrote the book that Zack asked me to write. It sold more copies than any book in history, and you all read it. I was oh so pleased with myself. I was rich, famous, and revered. You could not open a newspaper or magazine without seeing my name in it somewhere. It was my fifteen minutes of fame, so to speak.

For a time, there seemed to be hope in the world. The wars and fighting stopped—it was as if no one knew if the next shot fired would be the one that would bring the human race to an end. People seemed to like that I was somehow partly responsible for all of these remarkable things that had happened. I was admired by many, but what I did not know at the time was that I was hated by an equal number.

It seemed that once people heard Zack’s words, most of them stopped going to churches, synagogues, mosques, or any public place of worship. They prayed on their front yards and in alleys and at any time they felt the need. Only now, they prayed to Zack, and a somewhat zealous few even prayed to me.

For those fanatics, you see, I was the messenger of God. Through me, they thought they could find salvation, and, boy, did they try. They camped out on my street, in my yard, and even in my neighbors’ yards. They also built structures to honor me out of stuff from my trash and the trash of everyone else on the street. As you can probably imagine, my neighbors were not pleased, and neither was I. I was like a movie star; I couldn’t go out in public without paparazzi on my tail and people asking me to touch them. My fifteen minutes of fame had turned into twenty-four hours a day of hell.

Then the reaction from the religious community came. They finally realized that without worshippers and money, they would not survive. For them, Zack meant the end of their existence, and I became their target for retaliation.

“The devil comes to us in many forms” became their rallying cry, and as for me, I became the devil’s minion. I guess I couldn’t blame them for trying to bring their followers back, but I was astounded by how many people believed them. They quickly forgot what they had seen and what Zack had done. They even managed to convince the majority of the world that Zack cured all of their diseases just so he could fool them into thinking he was our maker.

Let’s also not forget how the pharmaceutical companies chimed in. After all, no more diseases meant no one needed medication, so no more business. They jumped right on that bandwagon and within a few months had almost everyone believing their miraculous cures were temporary. So back on the drugs they went, and back came the profits.

I suppose I should have expected there would be some reaction; after all, I always believed religion was nothing more than a very profitable business whose main currency was either hope or fear. If they could not get your money by making you believe in one, they would threaten you with the other. Just like any other business, they needed their customers to survive.

Suddenly, my home, my yard, and my street became the focal point for the battle between those who thought Zack was our savior and those who thought he was the devil. It was not a pretty sight. At first, there were just signs and lots of chanting, but then came the physical confrontations followed by the police in riot gear. I was a prisoner in my own house—that is, until someone decided to throw a Molotov cocktail through one of my windows and burn my house down.

I barely made it out in one piece, but the fire and the confusion surrounding it gave me a chance to get away without anyone noticing me. At first, they thought I had died in the fire, and the celebrations that ensued over that news were televised a bit too often for my liking. So I decided it was time to keep a very low profile.

That was how I ended up here in northwest Maryland, in a house my old friend Al had rented for me. I still had a few friends left, though most of them would rather I not mention their names.

I’d been living in this house on this quiet street for almost a year. At first, I tried to write, but I just couldn’t find the words. Instead, I settled into a somewhat boring and mundane existence. Then, I had the brilliant idea that smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead might help me make some sense out of all this. So I called on another person I could still call a friend and asked him to send me up a whole bunch of it.

If the UPS driver only knew what she was delivering that day!

Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to tell you about Julie. You remember her; she was the woman I was with when all this started. She was not that thrilled with what Zack had made me realize about myself and was gone about thirty seconds after I was released from the hospital.

I suppose you could say that in many ways, I was living like a recluse. I had my food delivered, and I had not shaved or had a haircut in months. At first, I did it with the hope that it would make it harder for anyone to recognize me, but after a while, I kind of liked the look.

It seemed to fit my new lifestyle and made me feel more authentic as I got high all day with the Dead’s music as my only companion.

My only other activity was looking out of my front windows. The house I was renting was a Cape Cod. It had a porch and big vertical windows across the front. It allowed me to see the comings and goings on the street. It also allowed me to see her.

She lived in the house across the street with her daughter, who had the biggest mouth of all the kids on the street. I could always tell when she was outside. She was a bossy little thing too, always telling the other kids what to do. She was a miniature version of her mother tall, athletic looking with long blondish hair. I was not sure how old the little girl was, and I was equally unsure about her mother’s age.

She looked like she could be in her thirties; she was tall—I guessed her height to be around five feet eight inches. She had long blond hair, which she kept up most of the time, and a physique that must have been the result of a great deal of time in a gym. Her body was as toned and fit as I had ever seen.

It was her beauty and the way she moved that had me mesmerized. I had only seen her face clearly a few times when she walked on my front lawn to retrieve the toys her daughter had thrown. She was absolutely stunning, and she moved with the grace of a dancer; her muscles visibly flexing with every stride she took.

OK, I know I sound like a horny teenage boy, but somehow, I knew there was something very special about her and I was strangely drawn to her.

I would sometimes watch her daughter talking with her and see the little girl pointing toward my house when she spoke. I was not able to hear what they were saying, though I am sure they wondered about the mysterious man who lived here.

I had now spent the last ten months getting high every day, and I think I can safely say I had heard every song the Grateful Dead ever recorded. I had not read a newspaper, watched any television, or even looked at a computer screen since I moved into this house. I was not exactly thrilled by the fact that before I moved here, people were openly burning my photo or hanging me in effigy somewhere on a daily basis. It seemed to make the news constantly.

So, for the first time in my adult life, I had no idea about what was going on in the world. My little world at this point consisted of what was happening inside my house and as far as I could see out my front windows.

All that was about to change though. I had run out of pot, and my contact who had supplied it for me earlier would no longer take my calls.

— Excerpted from Revelation by Morrie Richfield