The Forgotten Child Trilogy – Coming Soon!

I can scarcely remember when I started writing this trilogy. I believe it was in December of 2015 that I began dabbling with the idea. I had a strange visual of a tiny person in a white robe, eating a pomegranate while hovering over top of the bed of an old man sleeping. That image was the genesis of this trilogy. I had no idea what it meant or who these people were, but I had so much fun discovering it!

It turns out that the old man sleeping was none other than Manhattan businessman Francis Frick. He’s quite a character as you will see. He’s not the most pleasant person to be around as his daughter Ruthy Frick knows all too well.

And what about that strange flying being eating pomegranates over his bed? Well, her name is Bee. She’s also quite the character, opposite of Mr. Frick in just about every way imaginable. But it seems like their destinies are linked. An otherworldly being, and her faithful companion Ash, will have to deal with Mr Francis Frick if they are to achieve their goal – save a child in history who never mattered – that is, The Forgotten Child.

This is an adventure through time spanning four continents and one-hundred years. From Scotland to Cambodia, from the South Pacific to Africa, from Romania to Manhattan, get ready for a new adventure into the heart of the 20th century. Bee will be your guide, and she’s a lovely little person with which to spend the afternoon.

Official blurb to follow. Book 1 Cover Reveal Tomorrow.

The Forgotten Child Trilogy

BOOK 1: A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far  (RELEASING SOON)

BOOK 2: The African Connection (mid 2018)

BOOK 3: The Forgotten Child  (early 2019)

side by side coming soon

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Only One Way to Go: Down

I was driving a van up a one-way, steep mountain incline. Four of us were on our way to a mountaintop retreat with a van packed with luggage and accessories. I whipped around one steep turn and gunned it in first as I plodded up the hill when a horribly sick sinking feeling struck me: this van was not going to make it. It bogged down and nearly stalled. The power had dissipated. The only thing which was still going higher was the engine temperature. A driving predicament presented itself in vivid tropical terms: to the left was a steep cliff down to a quick death, to the right was walled cliff straight up, to the front was the steep grade my van couldn’t conquer, so only one option remained. Down.

As I looked in my rear view mirror, I didn’t like this option any better than the other three. Well, okay, it was better than the cliff to my left. The mirror revealed a narrow steep path I would have to back down. At the bottom of the grade was a hairpin turn that I would have to make in reverse with a van full of people. If I missed the turn, we would scoot into a large gully. I didn’t like our chances. I wanted better odds, but if I couldn’t get better odds, at least I hoped I had good brakes. I didn’t want to back this down, but there was no other choice. We couldn’t very well stay stuck on the steep grade for eternity.

So with the clutch pushed in, I started backing down, now hoping, trusting, and wishing on the brakes.

Life, from time to time, gives us little moments to increase our awareness of our own humanity. One slight misdirect and it all goes crashing over the cliff. The heart rate increases, the tense eyes are brought tenser by the dour movement of the eyebrows, muscles contract, the voice is slightly raised and urgent, sights and sounds are zoomed into a narrow focus — keep it tight, keep it real, stay focused, a lot rides on this — and you give it all you have to make it right, even if it doesn’t feel right in your gut.

When was the last time you felt like this? When was the last time that circumstances gave you a lesson in humanity, its frailness, its fickleness, its fleet-footed-ness?

In this particular case, I backed the van down to the lip of the curve, and as providence would have it, a van-sized pull-off was on the right. All I had to do was pull up the hill a smidgen, back carefully into the pull-off without my front tire falling off the cliff on the right, and I was on flat ground in the middle of mountain. I could breathe again.

Whatever cliff you are next to, keep the focus, look for the nearest pull-off and remind yourself that it’s a good day to be alive.

Win a Paperback Copy of “Which Half David”

Hello friends. Head on over to Goodreads on the link below and enter to win a paperback copy of my new release, “Which Half David.” It’s an explosive and fun story about a man who seems to conquer the world yet can’t conquer his own soul. If it sounds a little like King David, it’s no coincidence. But this story is set in present day Southeast Asia.

Check it out. And good luck!

Enter to Win “Which Half David”

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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!

Three Generations – One Awesome Vietnam Story

As The Reach of the Banyan Tree gets closer to launch day, I want to highlight the one American family which always seems to be connected to Vietnam – the Carson family.

Charles Carson was a member of the OSS (pre-cursor to the CIA) and parachuted into Tonkin, French Indochina in the summer of 1945, just a month before the Japanese capitulated. His task? Train the Viet Minh resistance fighters to be more effective against the Japanese. But what he doesn’t bargain for is getting dragged into an adventure to find a truck load of missing rifles which in turn brings him face to face with a tough, but beautiful Vietnamese woman. Anything can happen from there.

Charles “C.R.” Carson II spent time in ‘Nam during the 1960s. He fell out with his father and eventually struck it rich with his grandfather in the oil business. He is brash, arrogant, slightly crooked with a good heart – maybe.

Charles “Chip” Carson III arrives in Vietnam in 1998 to do humanitarian work. He falls not only for the country but also for a beautiful young Vietnamese woman named Thuy. He just has to convince her father to let them get married.

Three generations of Carson men, whose stories in Vietnam get connected in the most unexpected and gripping ways.

It’s all about loving and leaving Vietnam.

The adventure begins July 1!