Huzzah! After over a year of marketing, JRD's psychological thriller The Bat (An Existential Fable) has finally been signed to an indie publishing contract. Although it was JRD's first solicited manuscript, it had been on the shelves for a record time before getting an offer from KDP. Only Tiara (which JRD has no serious intent in selling), like The Bat, has gone unpurchased for over a year.
The major reason why The Bat had been rejected for so long a time was because most publishers felt that readers would automatically think of it as a Batman knockoff. JRD felt that the subtitle (An Existential Fable) would have attracted a more discerning audience. Also, as the author points out, The Bat only appears in about 15-20% of the entire novel. Most of it follows the vigilante epidemic and its effects on New York City. It's more about the effects of the 21st century War on Gangs on society and culture than the gangs and anti-gangs themselves.
Always optimistic, JRD is hoping that KDP may be the one to sell this off to a major publisher or (gasp!) a movie producer.
The next in line will be King of the Hoboes, a women's fiction suspense/thriller. Hezbollah (The Party) has been around longer, but JRD has self-pubbed this through Spoiler Publishing Company as a first and second printing. Part Three is still a work in progress and not quite ready for prime time.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Momia (The Mummy) is a suspense novel set in modern-day Mexico where the citizens are once again caught in the middle of a raging drug war between the Mexican Mafia, Los Federales, the American DEA and Homeland Security. Ricky Valdez is facing the death sentence in northern Coahuila, recently reinstated as a backlash against the epidemic of drug violence. He has been framed by the Government for a string of executions by the Aztec 666, the most vicious of the drug gangs in El Norte. Numerous witnesses claim that an Aztec mummy had been resurrected to carry out the murders. Lieutenant Leo Narvaiz of the Mexican Federal Police has been assigned to the case, and finds himself on a trail of superstition, witchcraft and ritual murder.
Ricky and Mark Valdez are rising stars in the Aztec 666 led by drug lord Tony Ramos. Their beautiful sister, Liliana, is treasured by her brothers and their grandmother, Socorro. The brothers are detested by Socorro and are forbidden to visit her shack in the most impoverished area of Coahuila. The brothers bring money and food to Liliana, and are continually rebuked by their fellow gang members for allowing her to remain in the barrio. Yet they, among many others, dread the supernatural power of the old woman who is said to have the Evil Eye. The bruja has sworn that anyone who attempts to draw Liliana into the narcotics network would suffer a fate worse than death.
It is the aura of terror surrounding the bruja that inspires Tony Ramos to prey upon the locals’ primitive beliefs. He approaches a local lucha libre company and obtains the costume of La Momia. The obsolete gimmick is resurrected as his assassins allow neighbors of their murder victims to see the mummy in the area before the disemboweled corpses are discovered by police. The local communities are paralyzed by terror as the hit list of La Momia grows ever longer. Finally Lt. Narvaiz is assigned to the case, and he immediately begins targeting the Valdez brothers, who he senses to be the weak links in the gang’s infrastructure.
Narvaiz begins interviewing Liliana, and they soon grow romantically attracted to one another. Socorro sees Narvaiz as the answer to her dreams, the kind of man who could rescue Liliana from the poverty of the ghetto and give her the life she deserves. Tony Ramos learns of the situation and demands that her brothers take immediate action to end the relationship. Narvaiz begins refocusing his own investigation, zeroing in on Ramos’ other lieutenants. It causes Ramos to suspect that Narvaiz has made a deal with the brothers, and reminds them that the penalty for cooperating with the authorities is death.
Narvaiz puts together enough circumstantial evidence to have one of Ramos’ top guns indicted as an accomplice in one of La Momia murders. Ramos responds by having Mark Valdez murdered as a warming. Socorro initiates an ancient ritual that conjures up a Satanic demon, manifesting itself as La Momia Azteca of legend. The monster embarks on a string of serial murder, believing Liliana to be the reincarnation of an Aztec princess. It leads to a horrific climax of mayhem and murder as the ancient prophecies are fulfilled at last. For horror buffs, crime enthusiasts and Mexican history enthusiasts, Momia (The Mummy) is a collector’s item.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Philistia is a young adult Christian novel featuring a couple who finds themselves stranded out in the middle of the Judean Desert. It is a time of military conflict throughout the region, and they are taken into custody by the Bethlehem Police. They identify themselves as Samson bar-Manoah and Delilah Sorek, and are arrested for disorderly conduct. Samson is able to disable the police truck en route downtown and the couple are able to make their escape. They wind up in the Palestinian community of Bethlehem in the West Bank where they are taken in by a Muslim family. They experience a culture shock as the family tells them about the conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews throughout the Holy Land. Eventually they learn of Samson’s superhuman strength and convince the couple to seek refuge with their relatives in Gaza.
The conflict begins as the couple begins learning more about the mysterious land where they have found themselves. Delilah is able to locate the ancient Sorek Valley and tries to rediscover her roots with the inhabitants. Samson identifies the Gaza Strip as the Biblical land of Philistia and grows distrustful of the Palestinians, who try and turn him against the Israelis. Word of Samson’s inhuman strength spreads throughout the community as does his propensity for partying. The people in the neighborhood of Ashdod do their best to keep the couple entertained. Only an incident between the Palestinians and the Israelis result in a police action during which Samson takes out a riot squad. He and Delilah are given shelter by Hamas, and eventually indoctrinated into their anti-Zionist philosophy.
The insurgents convince Samson to accompany them on a raid in Jerusalem, and Samson gets split from the group as they make their escape. Samson seeks refuge in the Jewish neighborhood and is taken in by a local family. He realizes an epiphany as the father, a rabbi, engages Samson in a religious discussion. Samson is told the other side of the story of the Palestinian conflict and learns of the conspiracy to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. The rabbi’s older son is convinced that Samson is a paranoid schizophrenic, while the younger son becomes intent on introducing him to a local band of Zionist militants. Samson is introduced to Isidor Horowitz, who convinces him to join their group.
Samson soon learns that Delilah has become a key figure in Hamas, infiltrating the Israeli settlements and abetting saboteurs in carrying out terrorist strikes. He eventually hunts her down and persuades her to join him in withdrawing from the hostilities. They retreat to a Christian community where an evangelical pastor and his family takes them in. There they are exposed to the Christian faith which gives them a fuller view of both their traditions and the modern-day conflict. The couple decides to settle down but Hamas learns of Delilah’s whereabouts and bring her back to Gaza with them.
Delilah is coerced to bring Samson back into the Hamas network, while the Pastor is given a vision of Samson’s purpose in Palestine. He warns Samson that history could repeat itself if he were to have his head shaven and become a captive of the Palestinians. Samson disregards him, is taken prisoner and shorn as a result. The Pastor allows himself to be taken, and he eventually finds his way to Samson’s side in foiling a diabolical Hamas terror attack on Tel Aviv.
This is a fast-paced action-adventure novel bringing Christian traditions together with tomorrow’s headlines. Philistia is a young adult Christian novel you won’t forget.