New Release Sale #1: $0.99 cents for “A Love Story for a Nation”

Leading up to my new release on September 15, I’m offering two sweet-deals for two great reads. Here’s the first:

“A Love Story for a Nation” – 99 cents on Kindle – NOW through August 31.

REVIEWS: A stellar 4.8 stars on Amazon!  READ REVIEWS and PURCHASE

“5 stars – Stunning novel for All.” – Reviewer D. Urban

“5 stars – Deeply affected me.” – Charlene, Literary R & R

You’ve got nothing to lose except engrossing reading time!

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As nightly raids burn the capital city, the mundane existence of Gerald Sanpatri takes a dramatic shift when Rosia walks into his life bringing laughter and unexpected love. She inspires the ex-writer to once again take up his pen and write the impossible: a love story for an entire nation. A Love Story for a Nation chronicles the explosive and heart-warming journey of one country’s brush with history through the eyes of a courageous man who dared to stand up, smile, and think the unimaginable.

Exclusive Excerpt #2: “A Love Story for a Nation” (99 cent sale day three!)

In this excerpt. We are introduced to the bigger-than-life revolutionary figure Horace. And the wife of our protagonist finds out that he actually used to be a writer.

Exclusive Excerpt:

As the raucous fun and stories continued, a loud call from the street rang out clearly—a familiar voice and a constant barrage of laughing and yelling made its way through the house and onto the river bank.

“Well, well, well. A bunch of rabble-rousers.”

Gomez and Gerald stood to see a large elderly gentlemen, accompanied by three young adults.

“Horace? Is that you? Look everyone, it’s Uncle Horace!” yelled Gomez.

Everyone stood to greet the legendary Reoux figure, who used to live right across the street from Gomez until the regime arrested him during the revolution nearly two decades ago.

“Horace, it’s been so long.”

“I was thinking that myself the other day. A year, I think. I haven’t seen you in a whole year. And Gerald, good to see you.”

“And my wife,” said Gerald, pointing to Rosia.

“Married? Gerald, the old scholarly bachelor married? To such a pretty young wife. What’s wrong with her?”

“I ask myself that every day,” grinned the father-to-be.

Horace grabbed Rosia in a convincing bear-hug.

“Careful. She’s going to have my child.”

“You don’t say!” said Horace. “God in Heaven, please allow the poor child to look like his mother.”

Everyone roared in laughter as Gomez escorted the new arrivals to the blanket area and handed them some cold drinks.

“Oh how I’ve missed this view of paradise. A city on a hill cannot be ignored, right Antoine?” yelled Horace into the black of the evening. “I’m sorry; I haven’t introduced my entourage. See that? You live long enough, you too might have an entourage that follows you wherever you go.”

“Uncle Horace always had a vivid imagination,” said Gomez with a smile.

“I’m not imagining anything. I can’t get rid of these characters. They follow me everywhere.”

“From what we hear, a lot of people follow you,” said Gerald.

“Oh for sure, those damn spies would take up residence in my arse if I let them. Ladies, please pardon my French. I hope the British word somewhat softened the blow. But don’t worry. I gave them the slip when we entered Reoux. This place makes their skin crawl, but it makes me feel alive. Sorry. I still haven’t introduced my friends. This is Hobart, Tana, and Jonah. All students at the National University, if you can believe that.”
The three college students nodded and shook hands with everyone.

“Gomez is my nephew,” continued Horace. “This is his wife, Cecilia, and this, my friends, is Gerald Sanpatri, former author and lecturer at the National University.”

“Oh, so you’re the famous Sanpatri,” said Tana. “My father told me about you.”
Gerald almost shrunk in embarrassment as his wife looked over at him inquisitively.

“Please, no. Where did you hear such nonsense? I’m just a security guard.”

“A guarder of hearts, I say,” said Horace. “Are you writing yet?”

“I haven’t written anything in twenty years. I’m no writer. I just stand on my feet and protect the bank all day.”

“Nothing wrong with saving the greenbacks. Don’t be too hard on Gerald,” Horace said to the three young students. “Survival is the key to happiness. It’s hard to be happy in a pine box.”

Rosia continued to look over at Gerald as if something wasn’t right.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about. And my poor wife seems to be the most in the dark,” said Gerald.

“You were a writer?” Rosia asked him.

“Ooops! The cat is out of the bag,” joked Horace, who took a swig of his drink.

Only 99 cents on Amazon.com

Only 99 cents on Amazon UK

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Need a Mysterious Read for Halloween? The Recluse on Sale for 99 cents!

For a limited time, through October 22, “The Recluse Storyteller” is on sale on Kindle for only 99 cents. It’s a great mysterious read, which will keep you guessing.

But beware, it has no werewolves, zombies, or witches. Nor is it a horror story, so if you’re looking for blood and guts, this ain’t your read.

But if you are looking for something different, something intelligent, something strange and mysterious, the recluse who tells stories is your woman.

Pick up your copy HERE!

The recluse weaves four different stories which eventually links to her own story as well. A little confusion at first will pay off in great dividends as the mysterious stories of the woman collide with each other.

It even has a mysterious cover! Check it out! I hope you enjoy.

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A Steal of a Deal: “Beauty Rising” (my debut novel) only 99 cents through Oct 18.

My first novel, still near and dear to my heart, is on a Kindle Countdown Deal for only 99 cents through October 18.

Get your copy here!

What’s it about? Many have described it as a late-coming-of-age story and that’s certainly true. Here’s some facts about it:

Date First Published: December 2012

Main Characters: Martin Kinny (30ish, still live at home going nowhere type – also overweight, not remarkably attractive); My Phuong (a beautiful, young, troubled Vietnamese woman)

Setting: Contemporary: Thai Nguyen & Hanoi Vietnam; Lyndora, Pennsylvania;

Narration: 1st person from two points of view

Part I: Section narrated by Martin: As his dying, abusive father (a Vietnam vet) asks Martin to take his ashes back to Nam, Martin tries to accomplish it, but ends up flubbing everything, including getting his wallet stolen, which makes him completely at the mercy of Vietnamese society to get back home

Part II: Section narrated by My Phuong: She chronicles how she stole Martin’s wallet, and how that seemingly benign event which she did many times before, ends up throwing her headlong into a series of events that should could have never predicted – including running for her very life.

Part III: Section narrated by Martin: In strange, unexpected ways, the two stories of Martin and My Phuong come together with a lot of uncertainty brewing under the surface.

Other Important Characters:

Martin’s Mother: weary and worn after a lifetime of living with her abusive husband; she resents all things Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Politician: He lures My Phuong into a web of deceit, where she becomes his trapped mistress.

This is an emotional novel which packs a wallop – especially at the end. Anyone who enjoys stories of love, deceit, culture, adventure, travel, or growing-up will find something enjoyable in “Beauty Rising”

Please check it out!

Beauty Rising Mark W Sasse

 

Exclusive Excerpt: A Love Story for a Nation – The Real Enemy

To celebrate my latest novel’s first 99 Cent Sale on Amazon, I’m happy to offer an exclusive excerpt. Here’s a piece where Gerald stares into the face of his true adversary – the man on his country’s money:

“If I was a man, I’d have my revenge.” He leaned against the table. “What revenge would that be?” he asked himself. “Gomez said it himself, if I need someone to blame then just look around. Look around at this crummy house. Cold in the winter. Suffocating in the summer. Holes the size of Reoux rats, who have staked their claim to happiness. This place spawns rats, not humans. Look around! Blame is in the eye of the beholder. It’s so easy to see. You’ve exchanged my happiness for a pile of cash. Is that what you want?” He yelled the last line and violently upturned the table, sending all the loose bills scattering onto the kitchen floor. “Here, rats, come and feast on my fortune. Come and dine on my happiness. Lick the bills and tear a hole through the face of the one who surely is to blame for your wealth and my plight.” Gerald got on all fours and reached for a colorful denomination, lifting it up towards the window light. “There you are, President Antoine. I haven’t had the pleasure of having you in this house very often recently. But look at you now, covering my floor like the shavings of wood in a carpenter’s shop. At death you come. At death you finally show up to stake your claim on our lives. At death you arrive but for what? So I can walk upon you?” Gerald stood up and jumped up and down on the money. “So I can jump on you?  So I can push your greasy face into the rat tracks of my kitchen floor?” He walked all over the money, but stopped quickly to look once again at the bill still in his hand. “But Antoine, you came too late. You came much too late. If you had arrived several months ago, Rosia would be alive. Did you hear that Antoine? Rosia and my son would still be alive if you had come earlier. You have the means of doing good, but you purposely choose evil. You purposefully spit your venom on everyone. I thought we were friends. Compatriots. Brothers. I worked for you. I, Gerald Jon Sanpatri, worked for you. I never opposed you as I should have. And this is how you repay me? I was loyal to you and disloyal to myself, and this is how you repay me?” He stared deeply into the face on the bill. “It’s you! You’re to blame for everything. Everything! Everything!” yelled Gerald loudly and ripped the bill in several pieces, tossing it into the air. “I don’t want your blood money! I don’t want your gifts and flowers! I only want one thing: revenge. I shall have it, or I shall have death.”

SALE ENDS SEPT 26! Pick your copy up HERE!

Amazon UK Store

Kindle Countdown Deal is on! New release “A Love Story for a Nation” – 99 cents – 3 days only!

For the first time ever, my new release, “A Love Story for a Nation,” is dipping below it’s original Kindle price of $3.99. It’s price is being slashed 76% for 3 days only – Sept 24-26. (For Kindle, Kindle app on Ipad, Android, and any other device!)

What are you going to get for 99 cents?

A 5-Star amazing read. But don’t take my word for it.

  • Charlene from Literary R&R says “It deeply affected me.”
  • Inspirational author Dolores Ayotte said, “It is almost impossible to adequately express in words how moved I was by A Love Story for a Nation.”
  • On-line book reviewer S. Wilkerson says “A heart-felt, memorable story.”

And that’s just for starters! Experience the amazing life of writer Gerald Sanpatri as he stands up for his beliefs and pens a love story for an entire nation.

Please share and help get the word out about this amazing deal.  Read reviews and excerpt HERE!

UK Link Here!

Canada Link here!

What can you buy for 99 cents anymore? How about hours of entertainment? Don’t miss your chance.

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The Numbers: 4.8, 25, .99 (Hint: An amazing book deal.)

In a week I’ll be kicking off the biggest promotional book campaign I’ve ever organized.

So I decided to do a pre-sale to help set the stage for what’s to come.

By the numbers, it looks like this:

A book with 4.8 stars on 25 reviews for only $0.99! That’s the making of a great deal!

I’m talking about my third novel, released in 2014 – “The Reach of the Banyan Tree.”

You can pick up your 99 cent Kindle version HERE!

I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback about the book. It’s a story that will appeal to a wide audience:

  • A Love Story
  • Historical (set in 1945 Indochina and 2000 Vietnam)
  • Political intrigue
  • Adventure (the protagonist sets off on a long journey from Hong Kong to Thai Nguyen, northern Vietnam.
  • Romance (It actually has two stories of romance – one in 1945 and one in 2000 – but they are uniquely linked.)
  • Cross-cultural (Americans in Vietnam)
  • Asian culture
  • Generations of one family (3 generations of American men)

If you want to get wrapped up in a different world and experience a love story that is anything but a love story, please check out “The Reach of the Banyan Tree.”

On sale through September 22.

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“Beauty Rising” – Exclusive excerpt. Get the novel for 99 cents thru April 7.

“Beauty Rising” – Exclusive excerpt. Get the novel for 99 cents thru April 7.

There’s still time to pick up a copy of my debut novel published in Dec 2012 for only 99 cents. After April 7, it will settle back in at its regular price after that. 

This little story still has a special place in my heart. I grew fond of both main characters, but I didn’t let that fondness change the story as it needed to be written. Some readers didn’t like what had to be done, but, hey, the story writes itself. I’m just there to fill in the words. So if you like fast-moving prose with some unexpected twists, please check it out!

Buy “Beauty Rising” HERE!

Here’s an exclusive, short excerpt from My Phuong’s perspective:

We drove downtown past the city center and the market, which was boarded up and quiet. We passed the cinema which had a scarce crowd based on the number of vehicles out front. Then we pulled into the courtyard of a large old colonial house. The sign out front read “People’s Council Guest House.” I had spent many nights with many strangers, but for some reason I was nervous. I was used to men coming to me – coming to sing Karaoke and then asking for something more – coming to spend the night in a hotel only to spend the night with me. But this was different. I was no longer on my own turf, and I had no idea what to expect.

We both wore our traditional ao dai, and I must admit we were beautiful. We parked our motorbikes off to the left of the house and entered through the front door. A man dressed in a tux greeted us – it was the first time I ever saw a tux in Vietnam – and pointed us through the main doors into a large hall which was decorated with teak furniture with mother of pearl inlays. Only two men mingled about in the hall. They looked at us when we entered but kept their distance.

“Just be patient,” said Hoa. “They’ll come for us.”

I felt nervous – almost sick in the stomach. I had turned away from this kind of lifestyle only to find myself once again in a high risk situation. We stood there silently, glancing every few seconds to the individuals who whispered in the corner. Finally, one of those men, a tall slender one who walked with his shoulders back and head held high, approached us.

“Miss My Phuong?”

“Yes.”

“Right this way.”

I glanced at Hoa, and she nudged me on with a soft push.

“It’s okay,” she said. “Go ahead.”

He led me to the opposite end of the room, and up the staircase to the first room on the left at the top of the landing. I looked down to where Hoa stood, but she had already gone. I felt very much alone.

“Go on in,” the man said and then turned and made his way back downstairs.

I slowly opened the door and walked into the large suite which was tastefully decorated with vibrant red and green colored paintings depicting various scenes of rural Vietnam. The room included a work space with a large wooden desk, a sitting area with a sofa, loveseat, coffee table, and a large bed with high wooden posts. On the opposite side of the suite stood a man in a business suit. He stared out the window and could only be seen from behind. He had black hair with strands of grey on the side. Closing the door behind me, I walked over to the sofa.

“Hello, sir.”

The man turned around. It was Mr. Duc.

“Hello, My Phuong,” he said.

My heart raced but my mind was blank.

“Please, sit down,” he said as I sat on one end of the sofa and he came over and sat opposite me on the love seat. “It is very nice that I get to see you again. Maybe you are surprised?”

I nodded.
“The American teacher said you were her best English pupil ever, so your English must be very good.”

I nodded.

“There is no need to be so formal, My Phuong. I thought maybe we could be friends, and perhaps you could teach me some English. Mine is only so-so, but I would like to improve. Would you be able to help me?”

“Yes, of course. It would be my honor to help you learn English.”

“Excellent. Could we start tomorrow evening around the same time?”

“Yes.”

“Very good. I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

“Okay.”

“And I suppose you remember the way out?”

“Yes, of course. Goodbye sir.”

That was it. I strained to imagine what was really going on. Hoa had informed me about many things that went on at these get-togethers, but English was never one of them. He wanted help with English. Then I started wondering why he only wanted help with English. Did he not find me attractive? Did I do something wrong? Would Co Thu be furious with me tomorrow? Would I be in danger because I did not meet expectations? My mind twirled and turned as I left the room, descended the staircase and went out the front door. The tall, thin man had already pulled my motorbike around front and was waiting for me as I exited the building.

“Good evening, My Phuong. We will see you tomorrow.”

How did he already know that? I pondered.

Exclusive Excerpt: The Recluse Storyteller (on sale for a limited time)

The kindle version of my second novel, The Recluse Storyteller, is on sale now through April 6 for only 99 cents.

You can pick up a copy: HERE!

I’m happy to give you an exclusive excerpt. If you enjoy, please check out the full story.

Escape from the Margaret Meeting

The Friday evening meeting commenced, and Janice started.

“First, I’d like to thank Mrs. Johnson for hosting us here this evening. I’ve called all of you together, so we could talk freely about my niece, Margaret. Each of us knows her in one way or another, and I wanted to get an opinion from all of you about Margaret and how you think she is doing.”

“Might I ask what prompted you to call us all together to talk about another person? I’m not really comfortable with that,” asked Reverend Davies, who sat next to Michael Cheevers, who crunched his way through a bag of potato chips.

The rest of the room consisted of Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Trumble, and Chester Tomsey.

“Mrs. Trumble, would you like to address this issue?”

“Yes, I most certainly would. Now I’ve never been one to speak ill of someone without cause, and I’ve been greatly tolerant of being the recipient of coarse manners from Margaret, but I have seen her behavior become much stranger and, should I even say, violent recently.”

“Oh, come now,” interjected Chester Tomsey. “We all know that Margaret does not have the most heart-warming of personalities, but she is anything but violent.”

Reverend Davies did not like the start of this. He kept thinking about what Margaret had said when leaning up against the supermarket shelves.

“Mr. Tomsey, is it?” Mrs. Trumble inquired.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And just what is your relationship with Margaret?”

“My firm employs her on a job-by-job basis. She writes and revises technical manuals for us. Actually, she’s a verbal genius.”

“Verbal genius! I think you are talking about the wrong Margaret,” belted out Cheevers with his mouth half-full of chips. “She’s no Margaret Queen of Scots.”

“That was Mary,” said Reverend Davies.

“That’s right, Reverend. She’s no Mary Mother of God either.”

The reverend exhaled heavily and rolled his eyes in Cheevers’ direction as did everyone else.

“Perhaps I shouldn’t have said verbal genius. What I meant was that she has a way with words—written words. I can’t tell you how much grief and stress that she has eliminated from my life. I think you are sorely mistaken if you think she is violent,” said Tomsey, trying to clarify his point.

“And how many times have you actually met her?” pressed Mrs. Trumble.

“None. I’ve never talked with the woman. We do everything over the Internet.”

“Well, I hardly think that makes you an expert on her character and behavior.”

“I’m basing my judgment on the quality and judicious nature of her work. She has an impeccable work record. Punctual. Detailed. Insightful. Any company would be lucky to have her. I know her character because it comes through in her work. If we are to suggest that she is anything but a wonderfully productive member of society, then we are mistaken.”

“And what exactly are we suggesting here?” Cheevers added. “Mrs. Johnson, do you have any beer?”

“No.”

“Mr. Cheevers, please be patient. We are trying to get to the heart of the matter. Mr. Tomsey, your opinions about her work habits are duly noted, but I would like Mrs. Trumble to continue,” voiced Janice with a slight hint of annoyance.

Mrs. Trumble stood up and started addressing every incident and run-in that she ever had with Margaret. Everyone sighed with resignation that they would just need to wait it out. As the address continued, Sam and Pam crawled along the living room wall on all fours. The only person who could have seen them was Mrs. Trumble but not in her state. Sam reached safety first behind the kitchen island and waved Pam over. By the time they reached the door, Cheevers had a small window of opportunity to see them between the corner of the island and the wall of the hallway which led to a spare bedroom, but he was busy licking his fingers and sticking them back into the bag, trying to pick up the last few crumbs on his saliva-wet finger tips. Sam reached up and unlatched the door, quietly opening and closing it. They had spent the whole dinner hour planning their escape once they heard that the meeting was on. Pam even volunteered to cook her world-famous three-egg omelets so that their mother wouldn’t be in the kitchen. As Pam cooked, Sam got the WD-40 out of the hallway drawer and sprayed the front door hinges, so they wouldn’t squeak during their escape. They made it safely into the outdoor hallway.

Exclusive Excerpt: “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” – only 99 cents for a limited time!

I’m happy to offer another exclusive excerpt from my latest novel. This is an excerpt from a chapter called “Discovery.” OSS operative, Charles, has been tracking down the driver of a lost lorry deep in the countryside of Tonkin, French Indochina in the waning moments of WWII. He and his three Viet Minh companions arrive at a village and unearth a terrifying discovery.

If you enjoy the excerpt, please hit the link and download the rest. Only 99 cents on Kindle through March 2.

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Discovery

As the sun began to shake itself awake from the east, Vinh shook Charles out of a deep sleep.

“Ahhh,” he jerked himself vertically, opening his eyes to his trio of companions standing over him.

“Vinh says we must go. We have a long walk to his grandmother’s house. Perhaps we will find Dinh-Hoa there.”

“Alo Cha Le,” said Long with that familiar gusto, seemingly unaffected by last evening’s events.

Charles shook his head back and forth, trying to grasp the short night on his consciousness. He had no more than two hours of sleep.

“Alright. Let’s go.”

Vinh knew his grandparent’s house was the next logical location to go to. At least they could trek back with some oxen and possibly get the truck moving by the morrow. Vinh decided to take the valley route which was twice as long but would give them a chance of finding a vehicle to help them out of their muddy predicament. They traveled up the road for about twenty minutes until they veered off into some rice paddies and cut up over a small hill into one far-flung valley of north eastern Bac Thai. The adults remained silent. Mai had much to contemplate. Charles kept watching her petite-frame in front of him. How agile she was on her feet. How pretty she was. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Long, however, had rediscovered his verboseness and spoke to Charles in a constant drone. Mai didn’t even bother to translate, and Charles responded with a consistent ‘uh-huh’, which seemed to be enough for Long.

After three and half hours of walking, Vinh stopped the quartet on a low-lying clearing overlooking a cluster of trees surrounded by rice paddies of varying elevation.

“Vinh says this is the village.”

The mid-morning sun had begun to command their attention. They descended the hill and started onto a dirt walking path leading into the center of twelve small cement and mortar homes, a typical Vietnamese cluster with an all dirt village square, lined with tall palm trees on both sides that provided shade to the modest dwellings. Chickens scattered themselves throughout the area and several houses had water buffaloes still tied to the side of the dwellings. The village lay still, like an epidemic had erased every living soul, leaving the houses untouched to wrestle through the day by themselves. It was too early for the mid-day rest, and this lack of activity unnerved Vinh to the point of putting his hand over his pistol.

“Where is everyone?” Long asked in an unsettlingly loud tone.

“Shhhh,” Vinh quieted him.

Charles sensed the tension and slid in front of Mai and Long just in case. When they passed the eighth empty house, the walking path turned off to the left, leading to the final four houses of the village, including Vinh’s grandparents’ home. The sight startled them all. Forty or fifty people facing away from them, stood in a silent clump, a trance-like pose, looking towards the last house, which stood at the very edge of a rice paddy—a large expanse leading out to the untouched emerald hills in the distance.

Vinh picked up the pace and hurried down the path, yelling something that Charles couldn’t understand. Two men, then ten, turned around to see the Viet Minh soldier, intensity in his eyes, only able to see the top of the doorway of his family’s home.

The men greeted Vinh in piercing tones, yelling at him excitedly in a bitter way that bordered on rage—the type of rage which fuels mob violence, which takes the law into its own hands. And certainly, there was no law here—dozens of miles from the nearest magistrate who already had been stripped of his authority. This was wild country, with political enemies and ideologies at every turn, strange as it was in a community of farmers. They were no longer immune to the events of the world and stood in the midst of a tragic power-play nearly a hundred years in the making.

“What’s going on?” Charles asked Mai.

“I’m not sure.”

Long hung on Charles’ arm, and Mai tucked herself behind the American as Vinh parted the crowd to see a lone Vietnamese woman sitting on the ground, head down, weeping furiously, mumbling incomprehensible words. It was Vinh’s sister, Tuyet.

“Tuyet! What has happened here?”

She lifted her head, surprised to see her brother.

“Vinh, go away.”

“What is going on?” yelled Vinh.

“Mai?” Charles whispered in her ear.

“I don’t know. She’s telling him to leave. That it’s none of his business.”

Long came up beside his Uncle Vinh and recognized his auntie, whom he hadn’t seen in several years.

“Auntie, what’s wrong?” he wedged himself through the crowd of neighbors, and she welcomed him into her arms, rocking him back and forth, comforting him for a reason not apparent to the youngster.

Tuyet refused to speak with Vinh, holding Long tightly and crying continuously. At long last, one neighbor stepped up and pointed to the side of the house, telling Vinh to go around the corner and look.

“What is it?” Vinh asked.

The man shrugged his shoulders, shook his head, and blended back into the crowd, not wanting to be the one to reveal anything. Vinh, Charles, and Mai walked slowly around the edge of the house with all eyes following them. Urgent whispers spread throughout the horde in grand anticipation. As they rounded the corner, there sat an ox cart with small wheels and an open back. Bamboo slats formed the make-shift railings on the sides and front. On the cart lay cargo of some sort, covered with several red-dyed reed mats. Vinh approached with an empty mind but with a heart that knew better. He stood at the side of the cart, gripping the edge of the mat in trepidation, until he finally lifted it. Upon the cart lay …

To find out what was on the cart and read the rest of this explosive story, click HERE!