Last Chance to Get “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” for FREE!

For the only time ever, “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” is free on Kindle, but only through December 16.

Get it for FREE here!

This has also been my first time ever on Book Bub. I’ll give some overall analysis of my experience later in the week, but I must say, it’s all positive at this point. As I write, the novel has peaked at #13 in the overall Best Sellers (Free) List.

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It’s at #1 in the contemporary romance:

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#2 in historical fiction. (And yes, it actually fits in both of those categories. Read it and find out why.)

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Thanks for your support!

 

 

A Valentine’s Day Exclusive: “Banyan Tree” Romantic Excerpt

My latest novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree, is loosely a historical romance. I hate to categorize it as such because I don’t believe it adequately describes it. But, it does have romance and it does tell a historical story. I thought I’d share a short romantic excerpt in honor of Valentine’s Day 2015. In the scene below, Charles Regal Carson finds a little unexpected love in the midst of chaos in the quiet, remote countryside of French Indochina – July 1945. Enjoy.

***

Charles paused for a moment, and then all was revealed to him. He understood her hesitation and her apprehension. He understood the worried look on her face and her comments about betrayal. The irony of the last two days finally came to light—that love could appear out of the muddy struggle for life in the countryside of Vietnam. He put his right hand in her hair and slightly pulled away, allowing the hair to cascade back down to her head. She closed her eyes and turned her head into his touch. Protocol and procedures were hundreds of miles away in the sleepy camp of Tan Trao. But on this night, on this patch of ground, Charles felt the urgings of his heart like never before. Death seemed a lifetime away, as did Dinh-Hoa and the rifles. He had never met anyone like Mai, and whatever tomorrow would bring, he knew they at least had this moment.

He leaned in towards her, and their lips met for the first time. Mai didn’t think of her husband or Vinh or the revolution; she thought only of the love and respect she had for Charles Regal Carson. Charles pulled her close, picking her petite frame off the ground, slowly caressing her back as they kissed.

There is comfort in shared experience, in the touch of a woman, in the arms of a respectable man. They pushed off the troubles of tomorrow, letting the dawn worry about the future.

Purchase The Reach of the Banyan Tree HERE!

New “Banyan Tree” Review: “Excellent Story, Beautifully Written”

Cathy from Cath’n’ Kindle Book Review recently posted her review of my latest novel, “The Reach of the Banyan Tree.”

She starts off by saying this:

“Mark Sasse never disappoints. He writes with heart and soul and sucks you right into his characters’ world…wherever and whenever it is.”

And ends by saying this:

“It’s an excellent story, beautifully written, quite possibly his best book yet. Highly recommended.”

She says a lot of wonderful things in the middle of those two quotes. Please head on over to her website and check out the entire review. And if it moves you to check out a good read, well I’d be honored to have you read it. Much appreciated!

Read the entire review: HERE!

Win a $200 Amazon Gift Card for Valentine’s Day!

Hey all,

I’ve once again partnered with The Kindle Book Review so you have a chance of winning a great gift card from Amazon – enough to do a good deal of damage!

Plus, it’s a great opportunity to help promote my latest novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree.  

Here it is. Click HERE to enter the giveaway and, hopefully, enjoy a great read. Thanks everyone.

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A New Review – Some Author Comparisons – Some Reasons to Read “Banyan Tree”

Author, blogger, book reviewer – Eileen Granfors – gives a wonderful new book review of my latest, The Reach of the Banyan Tree. She also dropped some author names whom she used as a comparison. I am, of course, humbled by her kind words. She also coaxed out of me a list of 10 books which have inspired me. It’s all on her blog. The opening section of her review is here, but do head on over and read it in its entirety. And if you haven’t checked out “Banyan Tree” yet, I’d be honored. Enjoy.

“Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and Mark Sasse has joined my list of must-read authors in the genre. I would compare his work to that of both James Clavell and John Shors.

Sasse’s plots are intricate, as they should be in historical fiction. The story takes us through several generations, with the concomitant sociological-political-historical details of the time. This alone might suffice to satisfy my curiosity about eras of world history. But Sasse, as an observant writer, also develops setting and character and plot twists.”

Read the entire review HERE!

New Excerpt from “The Reach of the Banyan Tree”

In this excerpt, the small teen, Long, who is large in spirit and hatred for the French colonialists, insists on trying to shoot a rifle and almost ends up shooting an Allied plane. Setting: Tan Trao – Tonkin, French Indochina – July 16, 1945. Enjoy.

“Can I try?”

“We don’t allow skinny school boys to shoot,” said one of the gruff soldiers.

“I’m not a school boy.”

“Well, you should be.”

“I wouldn’t go to a French school if you paid me,” snapped the precocious teen.

“Well that’s good because there aren’t any French schools around here, and I wouldn’t pay you to wipe my boots. What are you? Eight?”

“I’m fourteen, and my uncle says I can join the revolution in eight months.”

“I didn’t know they were allowing babies into the army now,” another soldier jested with him.

“I’m not a baby.”

“You could have fooled me. You have to be taller than a rifle to actually shoot a rifle.”

The gaunt, malnourished, height-challenged youngster scoffed at those petty remarks. He may have been small, but he had the spirit of a warrior who wanted nothing more than to help the revolution. His uncle had taught him a hatred for the French that bred easily amongst the weary-laden souls living in a war-torn colony that had suffocated under eighty years of the foreigners trying to squeeze blood from their Asian turnip. The French, somehow, found a steady stream of income where there was no money or resources, with only the raw-boned determination of the Vietnamese peasants willing to work all day for a bowl of rice gruel. The abuse was all well documented—the rubber plantations that used corvee labor in near slave-like conditions to produce the sap to profit the large French corporations. The French imposed a quota on alcohol that each village was required to purchase whether they wanted it or not and whether it took away from their necessary grain purchases. They opened opium dens, addicting large portions of the male population while forbidding the sale of opiates of any kind in France itself. They purposefully kept the education system unattainable for the vast majority of the population, giving a French education to just enough Annamese to fill the necessary low-level administration posts in order to serve the colony and the French Empire.

“Come on. Let me try one.”

“Go ahead. Teach him a lesson,” said one of the soldiers.

“All right. Here you go.”

He put the outdated French relic on his shoulder and pointed it down-field towards a broken wooden crate with an “x” painted across it.

“Watch this,” said the cocky young man.

His eye lined up along the barrel and pulled the trigger hard but nothing happened.

“You have to pull it back further.”

“I know,” said Long.

“You know about as much as my ox.”

He flinched once and pulled back with his finger as hard as he could. The barrel went flying upward and the shot rang out into the heavens as Long blew back onto the ground.

“What are you shooting at?”

“Must be that plane there,” chimed in another soldier.

On the horizon, the rolling hum of a C-47 pierced the sky.

“Idiot! That’s a friendly plane. It’s the Americans.”

Long hoped that the trajectory of the bullet didn’t find its way into the path of the Allied plane. As he watched it get closer, shouting could be heard in the camp.

“They’re coming! They’re coming!”

“Slim. You better hurry or you’re going to miss it!” yelled Long.

You can pick up a copy of The Reach of the Banyan Tree HERE!

Kindle $2.99  Paperback: $10.79

 

1 Day Left – “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” @ 99 cents

Last chance to pick up a great read at a super great price. After Dec 8th, the Kindle price will re-settle back in at its normal $2.99.

If you like any of the following genres, you should give it a try. It’s a true mix of:

  • historical fiction
  • contemporary romance
  • contemporary fiction
  • love story
  • war and adventure
  • cross-cultural
  • literary fiction

Definitely a little something for everyone. Its story spans from 1945 Indochina at the tail end of WWII the whole way up to modern day.

I hope you enjoy.

Mark

Oh yeah, its in print, too.

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Author Interview by Lit World Interviews

Ronavan of Lit World Interviews published a wonderful interview piece of yours truly. He has some great insight and comments, and hopefully even I say one or two things which are interesting.

Please head over to the web site and read the full interview. Here’s his opening paragraph:

“Colleen Chesesbro, one of our Book Reviewers here at LWI brought author Mark Sasse to my attention after reviewing a book called The Recluse Storyteller(review). I believe her words had the basic meaning of “INTERVIEW THIS MAN!” His writing style blew her away due to its uniqueness. Then she did another review and she was submersed in his descriptions in The Reach of the Banyan Tree(review). With that in mind the first thing I asked Mark Sasse to share with us how he developed his writing style.”

Read the full interview HERE!

And don’t forget, The Reach of the Banyan Tree is only 99 cents on Kindle through December 7. Please pass on the word. Thanks, everyone.

 

New Excerpt from “Banyan Tree” in honor of 99 cent Kindle sale!

The Reach of the Banyan Tree – only 99 cents on Kindle. Now through December 7. Pick up your copy HERE!

And to celebrate this sale, here’s a fun excerpt from one of my favorite characters, the loud brash C.R. Carson. Enjoy!

All the Air Sucked out of the Room

Charles Regal Carson II, CEO and majority owner of Carson Oil Subsidiary, never talked. He yelled everything; a troubadour announcing Christ’s second coming, or so everyone around him had to act. He stood a caricature of every loud-spoken American who ever lived. He had a red, chubby face, with a large beer belly that took up the half of the room not already occupied by his ego. His silver-gray hair, parted on the side and slicked back like a greasy car salesman’s, would have made him seem regal if his ego would have let him stoop that low. A half-chewed cigar would have felt at home in his mouth, and he had the aura of a master black marketeer, comfortably sitting in a dimly lit room at a table with stacks of cash on it. But he made his billions the legal way—paying off cronies and cuddling up to lobbyists. A force of nature who always wore a blue sports jacket with a white collared shirt, unbuttoned at the top, with no tie.

C.R., as everyone called him, had no idle, whether walk, talk, or do. Everything was full-tilt in overdrive. His administrative assistant had been taking stress counseling for three years now, and her therapist insisted that she quit working for the human hurricane. She would have quit, too, if he didn’t pay her so handsomely and piled her perks high enough to offset the abuse she had to endure. Billie went everywhere with C.R., as did his accountant and publicist, Fuller, who had learned to just keep his mouth shut and try not to ruffle the feathers of a bird already engaged in a daily war of survival. It was the oil business, after all, the greasiest of them all.

C.R. and Chip had had their share of disagreements; everyone knew that. When Chip left the company two years ago and ended up in Vietnam, C.R. threatened every sort of banishment and exile possible from a father to a son. He didn’t mean any of it. He rarely meant anything he said; he just talked like he breathed, in and out, not knowing up from down or left from right. He could charm the fur off a malevolent cat on the same day he could coax a frown out of a bride during the processional. He had rare verbal magic, the kind that most people avoided, except for Billie and Fuller. And so it was no shock when he cursed his son for quitting the company. But when he heard that Chip was in prison, he was on his private jet as soon as visas could be secured, ready to take on the Vietnamese bureaucracy and legal system with nothing but a loaded mouth and a pile of cash.

The jet landed without incident at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, and C.R., Billie, and Fuller whisked through immigration to meet an assistant of the chief minister of the Department of the Interior, which had sent a car to pick up the three. A young professional, Nguyen Thi Thanh, charged by the minister to ‘handle’ the ugly American on his visit to his son in prison, waited patiently for them outside the exit. She had no idea what she was about to encounter as she greeted them politely as they walked through the immigration doors and into the airport’s small concourse.

“Mr. Carson, welcome to Vietnam,” she spoke in proper and clear English.

“If you want to be welcoming, you can release my son from prison. He didn’t do anything, and you have no idea what you are dealing with.” C.R. charged right past her. “Where’s the damn car?”

Thanh, completely taken back, drew a complete blank and couldn’t say anything.

“What kind of translator are you? Do you speak English or not? Fuller, what the hell kind of arrangements are these?”

Fuller came up to C.R. and spoke in his relaxed, accommodating manner. Billie introduced herself to Thanh and told her not to mind C.R. and that he didn’t mean any offense. It was the first of many lies that Billie would have to tell about her boss in Vietnam.

Thanh finally composed herself and pointed over to a black Lincoln sedan sitting by the curb.

“The car is over there, sir.”

“Well, it’s about time. Do you think I’m on vacation here? I’m here to save my son from the antiquated, communist legal system that shot the hell out of all the G.I.s I ever knew that were stuck in places like this.”

C.R. made his way towards the car as Fuller and Billie scrambled behind with the suitcases. Thanh looked on the scene in a bewildered manner.

“I’ll never understand how my idiot son could be stupid enough to walk away from his responsibilities and come to a third-world country. Vietnam. A country that killed over 58,000 of our soldiers. I should know. I was here. Right, Fuller?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Which car is it?”

“Here, sir,” spoke the intimidated Thanh.

“Black Lincoln? Well, I am impressed. Somebody got the message.”

“I informed them, sir, that an American car from the airport would show their grace and goodwill towards you and your company.”

“Good job, Billie. It’s about time somebody does something right. Fuller, if it was up to you, we’d probably be in a Yugo.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll try better next time, sir,” said Fuller, juggling the suitcases.

Thanh stood in shock. She had translated for numerous Americans before and had found every single one of them courteous and friendly. She couldn’t understand the vulgar man who put his nose down at everything he saw. The forty-five minute trip to the hotel was a complete rant and rave from C.R., who was on a jet-lag high, wound tighter than usual. Billie and Fuller felt great sympathy for the milquetoast Thanh, who sat in the corner of the limo, sulking and nodding politely at the force of nature.

Eventually, they walked into the lobby of the Hanoi Opera Hilton. All eyes seemed to be on the man who pronounced the supremacy of American neo-colonialism with every foot forward. Charles Regal Carson II was exactly the type of person Vietnamese immigration would have been happy to deny a visa to, except for one important fact: he controlled one of the largest oil companies in the world, the same oil company that in the last year had secretly signed multiple agreements with the Ministry of the Interior to build a dozen oil platforms off the coast of southern Vietnam in the disputed territory of the Spratlys. They had dug their heels in deep with a man who could give the Sicilian mafia a run for their money. Carson Oil had huge investments in China, so the Vietnamese government thought that C.R.’s leverage might be to their benefit as they explored the oil capacities of the disputed territories off their coast. They had not anticipated a personal matter getting in their way. Now they had a mad dog inside their borders, cornered and ready to attack.

PICK UP your Kindle copy for only 99 cents! Very limited time offer! ON SALE HERE!

Banyan Tree – New Excerpt

I have a promotion coming up for The Reach of the Banyan Tree soon (hint, hint,), so I thought I’d post a couple excerpts of the next few days. Thanks for checking them out.

In this excerpt, our protagonist, Chip, is in a difficult situation, not completely of his own doing. A mysterious stranger shows up and hands him a small back booklet – the diary:

The Diary

After Long had left, Chip sat perplexed on his cot, looking at the plain black cover of the booklet in his hand.

Secrets are a tricky matter. One has to ponder long and hard if revealing or discovering them is advantageous or not. Is life better with an unknown ‘sleeping dog,’ or does ultimate truth somehow prevail through the muck and mire, through the pain and suffering, through the years of wondering if it was worth it after all? What would the story of Charles Regal Carson end up meaning for his life? Jail, after all, is one of the most philosophical places on earth. Chip stared at the decrepit walls with his memory—replaying the scenes of his past life over and over again—wrestling his demons with the best that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard could have offered. What unknown plan, brought on by a small black book, could possibly benefit his life?

He knew not. But he would find out as soon as his finger could flip open the cover.

At the five-minute mark, he did it. On the top of the lightly lined paper read the following:

July 16, 1945. Flying into Tonkin.