BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

"I HAVE A VOICE" - Abuse Survivor Helps Victims

Abuse Survivor Helps Victims of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault with “I Have a Voice


Dallas/Fort Worth-Nearly one in every four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood.One in every four girls and nearly one in every six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Domestic violence and sexual assault have plagued our society for years, but only in recent decades have these problems begun to gain the attention they deserve.  Now, Shannon Deitz, author, speaker, and founder of Hopeful Hearts Ministry works to bring further awareness to these serious issues.

Coinciding with Domestic Violence Awareness Month which begins in October, Deitz will launch the third of five videos in the I Have a Voice project to encourage survivors of domestic violence to give voice to their past and to step out of the shame of darkness.  "I firmly believe that until a person speaks out, they cannot experience complete release from the grip of the past," says Deitz. 

Thousands of children and adults suffer silently, never reporting the crime because of fear, shame or unfounded guilt, oftentimes compounded because the violence was suffered at the hands of a family member.  "Being abused by a stranger is bad enough, but being hurt by someone who claims to love them or who is obligated to take care of them is worse," explains Deitz. 


In one of the first videos, Deitz relives the heartrending memories and feelings related to the abuse she endured by her own grandfather.  By allowing herself to be vulnerable and honest during the filming, she believes that others may be stirred to open up about their own "secret" and move past feelings of victimization to focus on the things gained through the adversity.  "Abuse changes things forever, but healing is possible if the choice is made to overcome the victim mentality and work hard to become a survivor," Deitz stresses.

The I Have a Voice project consists of five intensely moving interrelated videos, all with a collective purpose to help survivors:

·  Recognize the abuse they have suffered and expose the truth;
·  Understand they are not alone and the abuse does not define them
·  Overcome being a victim and realize the full potential of their lives.

Each emotionally-charged testimony in the series clearly speaks of the courageous journey back to wholeness as well as the devastating effects of the abuse. 

"Step by step, God gently brought me out of my own depression and self-loathing into a truthful understanding of who I am, who He is and His purpose for my life," says Deitz.  "Now, my heart beats to see others experience that same freedom and to fully comprehend their value to God and to the world."   She adds, "Whether damage was perpetrated through physical violence, sexual assault, or verbal and emotional abuse, the wounded spirit needs plenty of encouragement, love and healing.  I have found that healing in the light of God's love and grace; I want others to find it, too." 


Deitz is the award-winning author of Exposed:  Inexcusable Me, Irreplaceable Him.  She was also recently listed as one of the best authors in Houston by CBS Houston Radio.  For more information about Shannon Deitz and Hopeful Hearts Ministry, please visit www.hopefulheartsministry.com.






Diane Morrow
Vice President of Public Relations
Communications Specialist
P O Box 3113
Corsicana, TX   75151-3113


Posted with permission from Diane Morrow :

Since 1987, The B & B Media Group, Inc. has provided specialized services that achieve the communications and public relations goals of each client.  The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B & B Media Group, Inc., continues to be a proven provider of exceptional services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.*

PEEK INTO FIRST CHAPTER - BILL MYER'S NEW YA FICTION BOOK - THE MACHINE

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

The Machine
Band H Kids (September 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bill Myers is an accomplished writer and film director whose work has won more than sixty national and international awards including the C. S. Lewis Honor Award. Among his best-selling

releases for kids are The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle and The Forbidden Door. He has sold more than eight million books and videos and lives with two cats, two kids, one dog, and one wife near Hollywood, California.


Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
For ages 10 to 14, Truth Seekers is a fast-paced, thoughtful, and funny new series using a 21st century approach to sharing ancient Bible truths.

In book one, The Machine, twin siblings Jake and Jennifer have just lost their mother and are not thrilled about moving to Israel to stay with their seldom seen archaeologist dad. They don't yet understand how "all things work together for good to those who love God." But they will when a machine their father invented points them to the Truth.

Product Details:
List Price: $10.99
Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Series: Truth Seekers
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)

Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433690802
ISBN-13: 978-1433690808

NOTE: Bill Myer is a versatile writer in so many venues. I first became antiquated with his work while my kids were growing up with the McGee and Me film series. Then my boys and I loved to read his series with Agent Dingledorf. Hilarious! Great message, story, with fun characters and FUNNY!!

It's written books for grown ups too! They've all made me think while staying up late navigating his suspenseful journeys! I look forward to reading this brand new series very much! You will too!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: 

It was like a dream, but not really. I mean it was a dream but there were parts that seemed so real—besides the parts where Mom had actually died in real life. Does that make sense? I get those every once in a while, dreams that are more real than real, ever since I was a kid.

Anyway, in the dream Mom was driving our SUV up the steep, winding road to our home in Malibu Canyon.

Jake and I were in the back, sitting in our clearly designated seating areas . . .

Jake in his WARNING: Biological Hazard Zone, complete with empty Cheetos bags, crumpled McDonald wrappers (which had last seen action months ago), his wadded up T-shirt and crusty socks (which had last seen a washer longer than that), and don’t even get me started on the last time he shampooed his hair.

I, on the other hand, sat in the WELCOME: This is How Normal People Live Zone, complete with breathable air and a place to sit without catching some deadly disease. (Jake accuses me of being a Neat Freak. Maybe, but it’s better than being a toxic waste site.)

And where was our dear father in all of this? To be honest, he seldom shows up in my dreams—just like he seldom shows up in our real lives. Oh, he says he loves us and all, but what’s the saying? Actions are louder than words. Anyway, I’ll get to him a little later.

It was the same dream I’d had a hundred times before . . .

I was busy doing homework when I glanced up to see a monster truck coming around the corner in our lane.

“Mom!” I shouted. “Look out!”

“What’s that?” She reached over to turn down the radio—one of her silly Country-Western songs about some girl breaking some guy’s heart.

“Up ahead! Look out!”

But she didn’t look out. And, just like all the other times, I saw the truck heading towards us, blasting its horn. I’m guessing his brakes had failed by the way he was scraping along the mountainside to slow himself. A good idea, except the mountainside was on our side!

Mom had nowhere to go. She swerved to the outer lane then tried to turn back, but she’d run out of road. We crashed through the guardrail and sailed out over the can- yon floor, which was a good two hundred feet below. There was no sound. I could see Mom screaming but heard only silence—except for that Country-Western singer going on about his broken heart.

I spun to Jake but he didn’t even glance up. He was too busy playing his stupid computer game. Then, just when the singer reached the line, Why you stompin’ on my achin’ heart with your high heel boots, we hit the water with a huge splash.

And this is where things get interesting . .

In the real world, on the day Mom died, there was no water at the bottom of the canyon. It was September and the stream had dried up. And while we’re doing a reality check, Jake and I weren’t even in the car that day. Jake had been at the beach being Mr. Cool with a bunch of girls, and I was at home doing my algebra. (I know I’m only seventh grade, but besides being a neat freak, I’m kind of a workaholic.)

But in the dream there was plenty of water and the SUV kept sinking deeper and deeper with all three of us inside. Well, actually four, if you count the Country- Western singer who was now sitting in the front passenger seat, strumming his guitar!

Water poured in and quickly rose.  Mom tried opening her door, but it wouldn’t budge. She hit it with her shoulder over and over again, but the pressure of the water outside was too much. It began swirling around our waists and rising to our chests.

“Jenny,” Mom shouted, “roll down your window!”  “It’ll flood us worse!” I yelled.

“It’s the only way. Roll down your window and swim out!”

“But—”

“Hurry!”

I threw a look to Jake who had conveniently disappeared. (Even in my dreams, he’s a slacker.)

“Hurry!”

I rolled down the window. More water roared in, pounding against my chest and face. I had to turn my head just to breathe. Then I grabbed the sides of the open window with my hands, turned my head away for another quick breath, and pulled myself out into the water.

I kicked and swam until I grabbed the SUV and pulled myself over to Mom’s door. By now the car was completely filled. Our faces were inches apart, separated only by her window.  I yanked at the door handle.  It didn't budge. I tried again. Nothing. My lungs started aching for air, but I kept pulling and tugging as Mom kept pushing and banging.

Still, nothing.

My heart pounded in my ears. My lungs felt like they were on fire. The outside edges of my vision started going white. Mom pounded on the glass. I joined in and hit the window with my fists.  When that didn't work, I tucked in my feet, raised my legs and kicked it. Still nothing. My lungs were screaming for air. My vision grew whiter. I had to get a breath. I pointed to the surface and shouted, “I’ll be back!”

She nodded and I pushed off, my lungs ready to explode. Sparkly lights danced through my head. I was losing consciousness, I was going to pass out, I was—

Then I broke through the surface, coughing and gasping. Cool air soothed my lungs as I gulped in two, three, maybe four breaths. I forced my head to clear, then took one more breath and ducked back down into the water.

It was dark and murky but I could follow the bubbles. The SUV had settled to the bottom of the river. When I reached the roof, I pulled myself over to Mom’s side. She wasn't moving.

“MOM!”

I yanked at the door. I slammed it. I kicked it. I had to get her out. The door gave, ever so slightly. I pulled harder. It moved some more, then it opened with a groaning CREAK.

I grabbed Mom’s arm and pulled, but she was stuck. I spotted her seat belt and reached down to unbuckle it. My lungs were crying out for air again as I pulled her from the car. But we’d barely started before we were jerked to a stop. I  turned  and  saw  that  something  like  a  shadow  had grabbed  her  other  arm.  At first I thought it was the Country-Western singer.  I pulled but it held her tight.  It was like a tug of war game, me on one arm, the shadow man on the other. And the harder I pulled—this was even weirder—but  the  harder  I  pulled,  the  more  he  started turning into this shadowy creature that kept growing bigger and bigger with huge, bat-like wings.

This is a dream, I kept telling myself, this is only a dream!

But my lungs were on fire. My vision was going all white again. This time I would not leave. I’d stay here and die with her if I had to, but I would not leave.

The pounding in my ears grew louder, filling my head . . . along with the song. That’s right, the singer or shadow or whatever it was, had begun singing again. Maybe it had never stopped:

I’ll never let you go . . . you will always be mine . . . always be mine . . . always be mine.

Well, Mr. Shadow could guess again. Dream or no dream, he could not have her.

Always be mine . . . always be mine . . .

My vision was totally white now. My mind shutting down. I could no longer feel my hands or my legs. I knew I was dying, but I would not let go. I loved her too much, I would never let go. The shadow thing may have won, but—

And then I heard a shout. “Augh!”

It sounded like Jake. But that was impossible. What would Jake be doing down here? I heard him again, even louder.

“AUGH!”

LISA HARRIS'S NEW BOOK DANGEROUS PASSAGE 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY



 ABOUT AUTHOR: LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has over twenty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over eight years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves...the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." (Proverbs 31:8)

 When she's not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com. For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit www.theECHOproject.org.

(Sign up for my Author Newsletter to stay informed of all my upcoming releases!
http://t.co/b1B2gptxEE)

 ABOUT BOOK: When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a tattoo of a magnolia on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. But it doesn't take long for them to realize that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. As they venture deep into a sinister world of human trafficking, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities--and their hearts.

Dangerous Passage exposes a fully-realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. Romantic suspense fans will be hooked from the start by Lisa Harris's first installment of the new Southern Crimes series.

Revell is featuring author Lisa Harris at The Book Club Network. They will be giving away 5 copies of this author's new book. 

You must join The Book Club Network to enter the drawing. It's FREE and EASY!! Go to www.bookfun.org ALL entries are made there! Not on this blog post!

Click the Giveaway Link above the book cover. All you have to do is answer ONE of the three questions listed to be entered! That's it. I will post the winners on the Front page of TBCN the first week of October!

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

DAN WALSH & GARY SMALLEY'S NEW BOOK Plus 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY






 About the Authors
Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of several books, including The Discovery and The Reunion. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of 16 books, along with several popular films and videos.
He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling, speaking to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as OprahLarry King LiveExtraThe Today Show, and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 40 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren.

ABOUT BOOK:  For the last five months, Tom Anderson has been without a job, a fact he's been hiding from his wife Jean--and everyone else. He leaves each morning, pretending nothing has changed, and spends his disheartening day rotating through two coffee shops and the library, using their wi-fi to search for a job on the internet. The stress of keeping this secret is beginning to put serious strain on his marriage and it looks like the legacy that began with his father is still at work, slowly destroying the bond between Tom and Jean. Can their mutual trust--and love--be restored?

Combining the literary talents of Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of Gary Smalley, The Restoration Series pulls back the curtain of a family that has laid their foundation on shifting sand, but is slowly rediscovering genuine love and the power of forgiveness.

Revell is featuring authors Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley at The Book Club Network. They will be giving away 5 copies of this author's new book. 

You must join The Book Club Network to enter the drawing. It's FREE and EASY!! Go to www.bookfun.org ALL entries are made there! Not on this blog post!

Click the Giveaway Link above the book cover. All you have to do is answer ONE of the three questions listed to be entered! That's it. I will post the winners on the Front page of TBCN the first week of October!

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

KATHRYN CUSHMAN'S NEW BOOK PLUS 10 Book Giveaway Opportunity


  
ABOUT AUTHOR: KATHRYN CUSHMAN - I graduated from Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but all my life I knew that I wanted to write a novel “some day”. For me, “some day” came in 2003, when I started writing and never looked back.

My first two manuscripts remain firmly ensconced in the back of my closet (the dust bunnies tell me they really are terrific!). My third attempt became my first published novel.

A Promise to Remember and Leaving Yesterday were both finalists for the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. 

On the homefront, I’ve been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for nearly twenty-five years now, and our two daughters are currently braving the worlds of high school and college. 

We’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. It’s a beautiful place and I feel blessed to be here (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves me dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!) 

When I’m not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find me trying my best to keep up with my daughters in their various theater, softball, dance, and filled-with-activity lives.

ABOUT BOOK: A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances

A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running--something that's become far too painful to think on.

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled...that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.

BETHANY HOUSE is featuring author Kathryn Cushman at The Book Club Network. They will be giving away 10 copies of this author's new book. You must join The Book Club Network to enter the drawing. It's FREE and EASY!! Go to www.bookfun.org ALL entries are made there! Not on this blog post!

Click the Giveaway Link above the book cover. All you have to do is answer ONE of the three questions listed to be entered! That's it. I will post the winners on the Front page of TBCN the first week of October!

SEE YOU THERE!!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
www.bookfun.org 

NEW BOOKS NEW CONTEST ENTER TODAY!

EXCITING NEWS!! 
Three new books! Three Accomplished authors! 
CHECK IT OUT!


CLICK BOOK COVER FOR BOOK DESCRIPTION

 DANGEROUS PASSAGE by LISA HARRIS

CLICK ON LINK TO ENTER 5 Book Drawing


 CLICK BOOK COVER FOR BOOK DESCRIPTION
THE PROMISE by DAN WALSH and GARY SMALLEY 

CLICK ON LINK Below to enter 5 Book Drawing.
http://www.bookfun.org/group/revell-books/forum/topics/september-featured-author-dan-walsh-gary-smalley-5-book-giveaway

CLICK BOOK COVER FOR BOOK DESCRIPTION
CHASING HOPE by KATHRYN CUSHMAN

CLICK ON LINK Below to enter 5 Book Drawing
http://www.bookfun.org/group/bethanyhousepublishers/forum/topics/september-featured-author-kathryn-cushman-10-book-giveaway

SEE YOU AT THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK for lots of BOOK FUN!!

You must be a member of The Book Club Network to enter contests. It's FREE and EASY!! JOIN TODAY!! www.bookfun.org

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

THREADS OF CHANGE by JODI BARROWS Book Tour

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Threads of Change
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
by
Jodi Barrows




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Over the past twenty years, Jodi has remarkably touched thousands of quilters throughout the world with her unique method called Square in a Square®. Her point of view provides the quilter with the freedom to create most any quilt design with speed and accuracy.

Jodi has spoken to quilting audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy and S. Africa. She has appeared as a guest on several quilting shows, including TNN’s Aleene’s Creative Living, TNN’s Your Home Studio, Perfecting Patchwork on Family Net TV and a pbs series with Kaye Wood.


Jodi was raised in southwest Kansas, has two grown sons, and is married to Steve, her high school sweetheart.

ABOUT THE BOOK



Conflict develops in the South,
Four granddaughters travel into uncertainty,
And Grandfather sells their precious home.

In the first book of A Quilting Story series, the four cousins-with social graces, charm, and a love for quilting-will face the anguish of life on the frontier in 1856 with every turn along the wagon trail. Raging storms and adversities hit the small band of travelers. Relieved to finally arrive at the abandoned military post at Fort Worth, Texas, they begin the hard work of establishing a new home. When trials follow them, they must decide to become true warriors of their hearts, minds, and souls or fall to the sufferings of prairie life.

Join the four women on a passage of friendship, love, and self-discovery as lives are mended around the quilting frame.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Threads of Change, go HERE.

NOTE: I will post my review when I finish the book. This looks great!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where book Fun Begins!



WHEN MOCKING BIRDS SING BY BILLY COFFEY REVIEWED


When Mocking Birds Sing
By Billy Coffey
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 4, 2013)
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1401688217
ASIN: B00B7QRB7Q
333 pages


About Author: Billy Coffey says: “I write about what I see and wrap a story around it, which often results in characters who realize stumbling through life is okay because it's still moving forward. That seems appropriate, I think. In the end we're all doing the best we can with what we have, smiling through the fear we face, and trying to find the beauty in life's sameness. So I watch and I listen, and what doesn't end up in a book will usually find its way to my blog, What I Learned Today.”

About Book: What marks the boundary between a miracle from God and the imagination of a child?

Leah is a child from Away, isolated from her peers because of her stutter. But then she begins painting scenes that are epic in scope, brilliant in detail, and suffused with rich, prophetic imagery. When the event foreshadowed in the first painting dramatically comes true, the town of Mattingly takes notice.

Leah attributes her ability to foretell the future to an invisible friend she calls the Rainbow Man. Some of the townsfolk are enchanted with her. Others fear her. But there is one thing they all agree on—there is no such thing as the Rainbow Man.

Her father, the town psychologist, is falling apart over his inability to heal his daughter . . . or fix his marriage. And the town minister is unraveled by the notion that a mere child with no formal training may be hearing from God more clearly than he does.

While the town bickers over what to do with this strange child, the content of Leah’s paintings grows darker. Still, Leah insists that the Rainbow Man’s heart is pure. But then a dramatic and tragic turn of events leaves the town reeling and places everyone’s lives in danger. Now the people of Mattingly face a single choice:

Will they cling to what they know . . . or embrace the things Leah believes in that cannot be seen?

What I Think: I was excited to receive an e-book copy of this book from Thomas Nelson to review.  I enjoyed Snow Day so much. It was a slice of life story I enjoyed very much. Couldn’t wait to see where this author would go next.

I like what Billy says about his stories, “I write about what I see and wrap a story around it, which often results in characters who realize stumbling through life is okay because it's still moving forward. That seems appropriate, I think. In the end we're all doing the best we can with what we have, smiling through the fear we face, and trying to find the beauty in life's sameness. So I watch and I listen, and what doesn't end up in a book will usually find its way to my blog, What I Learned Today.”

It’s so true. This author’s books are fun, his characters feel real and captured my heart. They are the kind of characters that become friends you want to hang out with. I also enjoyed the small town setting where everyone knows your name and your business! Grin!

This story was taken from an event that happened in his daughters’ childhood experience. I enjoyed this enchanting book that made the cares of the day disappear! I look forward to this author’s next book!

Nora :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

UNLIMITED by DAVIS BUNN First Wild Card Tour

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!   Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

B&H Books (September 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Davis Bunn is a three-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over forty countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages. Among those titles are The Presence, Winner Take All, and Lion of Babylon.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Simon Orwell is a brilliant student whose life has taken a series of wrong
turns. At the point of giving up on his dreams, he gets a call from an old
professor who has discovered a breakthrough in a device that would create unlimited energy, and he needs Simon's help.

But once he crosses the border, nothing goes as the young man planned.

The professor has been killed and Simon is assaulted and nearly killed by members of a powerful drug cartel.

Now he must take refuge in the only place that will help him, a local
orphanage. There, Simon meets Harold Finch, the orphanage proprietor who walked away from a lucrative career with NASA and consulting

Fortune 500 companies to serve a higher cause.

With Harold's help, Simon sets out on a quest to uncover who killed theprofessor and why. In due time, he will discover secrets to both the world changing device and his own unlimited potential.





Product Details:
List Price: $8.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143367940X
ISBN-13: 978-1433679407

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
A hot, dusty wind buffeted Simon through the Mustang’s open top. He started to pull over and close up the car. But the convertible’s electric motor did not work, and he would have to fight the top by hand. When he had started off that morning, the predawn air had carried a frigid bite. Now his sweatshirt lay in the empty passenger seat, covering the remaining water bottle and his iPod.

The car’s radio worked, but one of the speakers was blown. The iPod’s headphones were hidden beneath the sweatshirt as well. Simon doubted the border authorities cared whether he listened to music on an in-ear system. But he didn’t want to give them any reason to make trouble.

He didn’t know what he had been expecting for a small-town border crossing, but it definitely was not this. An American flag flew over a fortified concrete building. The flag snapped and rippled as Simon pulled forward. In front of him were three trucks and a few vans. One car had Texas plates, one produce truck was from Oklahoma, and the other half-dozen vehicles were Mexican. That was it. The crossing was four lanes in each direction, and all but two were blocked off with yellow traffic cones. The border crossing looked ready to handle an armada. The empty lanes heightened the sense of desolation.

As he waited his turn, a harvest truck rumbled past, bringing sacks of vegetables to the United States. The driver shot Simon a gold-toothed grin through his open window. As though the two of them shared a secret. They were passing through the only hassle-free crossing between Mexico and the USA.

Or so Simon hoped.

To either side of the crossing grew the fence. Simon had heard about the border fence for years. But it was still a jarring sight. Narrow steel girders marched in brutal regularity out of sight in both directions. The pillars were thirty feet high, maybe more, and spaced so the wind whistled between them in a constant piercing whine, like a siren, urging Simon to turn back while he still could. Only he didn’t have a choice. Or he would not have made this journey in the first place.

Simon passed the U.S. checkpoint and drove across the bridge. Below flowed the silted gray waters of the Rio Grande.The Mexican border officer took in the dusty car and Simon’s disheveled appearance and directed him to pull over. Simon heaved a silent sigh and did as he was ordered.

The Mexican customs official was dressed in blue—navy trousers, shirt, hat. He circled Simon’s car slowly before saying,

“Your passport.” He examined it carefully. “What is the purpose of your visit to Mexico, señor?”

“I’m making a presentation to the Ojinaga city council.”

The officer glanced at Simon, then the car, and finally the black duffel bag that filled the rear seat.

“What kind of presentation?”

“My advisor at MIT retired down here last year. We’ve been working on a project together.” He plucked the letter from his shirt pocket and unfolded it along the well-creased lines.

The officer studied it. “Do you read Spanish, Dr . . . . ?”

He started to correct the man, then decided it didn’t matter. The officer had no need to know Simon had dropped out. “Dr. Vasquez, my professor, he translated it.”

“You have cut this very close, señor.” The officer checked his watch. “It says your appointment is in less than two hours.”

“I expected the trip from Boston to take two days. It’s taken four. My car broke down. Twice.”

The officer pointed to the duffel. “What is in the bag?” “Scientific instrumentation.” Simon reached back and unzipped the top.

The Mexican officer frowned over the complicated apparatus. “It looks like a bomb.”

“I know. Or a vacuum cleaner.” He swallowed against a dry throat. “I get that a lot.”

The officer handed back Simon’s passport and letter. “Welcome to Mexico, señor.”

Simon restarted the motor and drove away. He kept his hands tight on the wheel and his eyes on the empty road ahead. There was no need to be afraid. He was not carrying drugs. He was not breaking any law. This time. But the memory of other border crossings kept his heart rate amped to redline as he drove slowly past the snapping flags and the dark federales’ cars.

His attention was caught by a man leaning against a dusty SUV. The Mexican looked odd from every angle. He was not so much round as bulky, like an aging middleweight boxer. Despite the heat, he was dressed in a beige leather jacket that hung on him like a sweaty robe. The man had a fringe of unkempt dark hair and a scraggly beard. He leaned against the black Tahoe with the ease of someone out for a morning stroll. He caught Simon’s eye and grinned, then made a gun of his hand and shot Simon.

Welcome to Mexico.

A hundred meters beyond the border, the screen to his iPod map went blank, then a single word appeared: searching. Simon did not care. He could see his destination up ahead. The city of Ojinaga hovered in the yellow dust. He crossed Highway 10, the east-west artery that ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He drove past an industrial zone carved from the surrounding desert, then joined the city traffic.

Ojinaga grew up around him, a distinctly Mexican blend of poverty and high concrete walls. The city was pretty much as Vasquez had described. Simon’s former professor had dearly loved his hometown. Vasquez had spent his final two years at MIT yearning to return. The mountains he had hiked as a boy rose to Simon’s right, razor peaks that had never been softened by rain. Vasquez had bought a home where he could sit in his backyard and watch the sunset turn them into molten gold. But they looked very ominous to Simon. Like they barred his way forward. Hemming him in with careless brutality.

Between the border and downtown, Simon checked his phone six times. Just as Vasquez had often complained, there was no connection. Landline phone service wasn’t much bet- ter. Skype was impossible. Vasquez had maintained contact by e-mailing in the predawn hours. He had claimed to enjoy the isolation. Simon would have gone nuts.

The last time they had spoken had been almost two weeks earlier, when Vasquez declared he was on the verge of a break- through. After months of frustrating dead ends, Vasquez had finally managed to make their apparatus work. Since then, Simon had received a series of increasingly frantic e-mails, imploring him to come to Mexico to present the device to the city council.

What neither of them ever mentioned was the real reason why Vasquez had taken early retirement and returned to his hometown in the first place. Which was also the reason why Simon had made this trip at all. To apologize for the role he had played in the demise of Vasquez’s career. That was something that had to be done face-to-face.

Simon found a parking spot on the main plaza. Downtown Ojinaga was dominated by a massive central square, big as three football fields. Simon imagined it must have really been some- thing when it was first built. Now it held the same run-down air as the rest of the town. A huge Catholic church anchored the opposite side of the plaza. The trees and grass strips lining the square were parched and brown. Skinny dogs flitted about, snarling at one another. Drunks occupied the concrete benches. Old cars creaked and complained as they drove over topes, the speed bumps lining the roads. In a nearby shop-front window, two women made dough and fed it into a tortilla machine.

The city office building looked ready for demolition. Several windows were cracked. Blinds hung at haphazard angles, giving the facade a sleepy expression. A bored policeman slumped in the shaded entrance. Simon entered just as the church bells tolled the hour.

The guard ran his duffel back through the metal detector three times, while another officer pored over the letter from the city council. Finally they gestured him inside and pointed him down a long corridor.

The door to the council meeting hall was closed. Simon heard voices inside. He debated knocking, but Vasquez had still not arrived. Simon visited the restroom and changed into a clean shirt. He stuffed his dirty one down under the apparatus. He shaved and combed his hair. His eyes looked like they had become imprinted with GPS road maps, so he dug out his eye- drops. Then he took a moment and inspected his reflection.

Simon was tall enough that he had to stoop to fit his face in the mirror. His hair was brownish-blond and worn rakishly long, which went with his strong features and green eyes and pirate’s grin. Only he wasn’t smiling now. There was nothing he could do to repay Vasquez for what happened, except help him get the city’s funding so they could complete the project. Then Simon would flee this poverty-stricken town and try to rebuild his own shattered life.

He returned to the hall, settled onto a hard wooden bench, and pulled out his phone. For once, the phone registered a two- bar signal.

Simon dialed Vasquez and listened to the phone ring. The linoleum floor by his feet was pitted with age. The hallway smelled slightly of cheap disinfectant and a woman’s perfume. Sunlight spilled through tall windows at the end of the corridor, forming a backdrop of brilliance and impenetrable shadows.

When the professor’s voice mail answered, he said, “It’s Simon again. I’m here in the council building. Growing more desperate by the moment.” The door beside him opened, and Simon turned away from the voices that spilled out. “Professor Vasquez, I really hope you’re on your way, because—”

“Excuse me, señor. You are Simon Orwell, the professor’s great friend?”

Simon shut his phone and rose to his feet. “Is he here?”

The two men facing him could not have been more different. One was tall, not as tall as Simon, but he towered over most Mexicans. And handsome. And extremely well groomed. The other was the product of a hard life, stubby and tough as nails. The only thing they shared was a somber expression.

Even before the elegant man said the words, Simon knew. “I am very sorry to have to tell you, Señor Simon. But Professor Vasquez is dead.” “No, that’s . . . What?”

“Allow me to introduce myself. Enrique Morales, I am the mayor of Ojinaga. And this is Pedro Marin, the assistant town manager and my trusted ally.”

“Vasquez is dead?”

“A heart attack. Very sudden.”

“He thought the world of you, Señor Simon.” Pedro spoke remarkably clear English.

The mayor was graceful even when expressing condolences. “Nos lamentanos mucho. We lament with you, Señor Simon, in this dark hour.”

For some reason, Simon found it easier to focus upon the smaller man. “You knew the professor?”

“He was a dear friend. My sister and I and Dr. Harold, per- haps you have heard of him? The professor was very close to us all.”

“You’re sure about Vasquez?”

“Such a tragedy.” The mayor was around his midthirties and had a politician’s desire to remain the center of attention. “You came all the way from Boston, is that not so? We are glad you made it safely. And we regret this news is here to greet you.”

“I . . . we’re scheduled to meet the city council.”

A look flashed between the two men. “I believe they have completed their other business, yes? Pedro will escort you. I must hurry to the city’s outskirts. We are dedicating a new water treatment facility. Long in coming. But so very needed. It is our attempt to aid the poorest citizens of our community. Like the professor’s bold project, no? So very noble.”

Enrique was clearly adept at filling uncomfortable vacuums. “Please join me for dinner tonight. Yes? Splendid. We will meet and we will talk and I will see what I can do to assist you through this dark hour. The restaurant by the church. Nine o’clock.”

Enrique turned and spoke a lightning-swift sentence to Pedro, whose nod of acceptance shaped a half bow. The mayor’s footsteps clipped rapidly down the hall. He tossed quick greetings to several people as he departed, clapped the senior guard on the shoulder, thanked the second guard who opened the door for him, and was gone.

Simon stared into the empty sunlight at the corridor’s end, wishing the floor would just open up and swallow him whole.

Then he realized Pedro was waiting for him. “This way, señor. The council will see you now.”