Fantasy Book: Second On The Right by Elizabeth Los

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 5/9/14 – 5/23/14

Genres: Fantasy

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1492340480

ISBN-13: 978-1492340485

eBook ISBN-13: 978-1310988455




Spawned from an ancient promise, treachery and intrigue follow the protagonists through our world and one lost to the waves. Bound by an invisible bond, they are thrust into a fantastical world of pirates and demons.

James Benedict is a just man haunted by evil. Pushed to the edge, everything stripped from him, a new man arises . . . a man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear it: “Captain Hook”.

Eileen Davis was a timid woman. Through a fateful cruise she finds herself in the company of the Captain of the Mistral Thief. With his guidance, and the meddling of the local barista, she eventually finds her inner strength.

Will the two of them unite through time to fulfill the promise of their ancestors or will tempers ignite leading all to failure?



The night grew its darkest, just before dawn, when every man aboard the Mistral Thief heard a strange triumphant crow. Benedict shot up with a start.  Recognizing the familiar sound, he grabbed hold of his sword and burst out onto the deck. He could make out the figure of the boy, Peter.

He heard the sound of his crew, spooked by the noise of what shouldn’t be on board a ship. They scurried to light the deck lamps. As the light grew stronger, Benedict could see more clearly a petite figure on the mast, hands on hips, weapon at the side. Glancing back to the deck, he saw James coming from below. Benedict decided to hold off on approaching the figure, knowing of James’ desire for revenge. He kept a watchful eye, fully aware of James’ tendency to act on impulse.

“Peter,” James said in a low growl. “Show yourself!” he shouted.

“That crow. I’ve heard that before,” Benedict commented.

Peter alighted onto the railing with such ease and grace it irritated James. He gave a slight bow, as if observing the niceties. Pulling one of two bags from his belt, he held it up in his hand. James held the sheath of his sword with his hook, struggling only momentarily to hurriedly unsheathe it.

Peter laughed and shook his bag, “Need a hand?” He laughed even more, causing chills to run through James.

James advanced towards him, but stopped short. Peter had reached into the bag he had been holding and had removed a rotting hand, with fingers missing. It was all too familiar to James: his right hand. James and Benedict cringed, disgusted at the sight.

Peter tossed it at James, who jumped back in disgusted. The splat of soft, wet flesh hit the wood, matching the feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Laughing, Peter spun up in flight, and landed back down on the deck, retrieving the hand. Pieces had been left behind from its initial fall.

“No? Much happier with a hook, are we? You’re welcome,” he sneered. “There’s one who would appreciate a hand, yours, in fact.” He floated to the railing to glance at the waters below. “Come, take a look. I promise I won’t bite,” he grinned, taking several steps away to allow James to draw near.

James and Benedict cautiously took a glimpse. What they saw was the shadowy shape of an enormous crocodile.

James said to him, “Impossible.  They can’t grow that large, can they?”

Benedict had no response. He had never seen one that large. In the water, the crocodile, nearly twenty meters long, ticked and hissed. The sounds were eerily similar to a clock.

Benedict and James peered down again at the beast. The crocodile thrashed and clawed its way partially up the side of the Mistral Thief. Sweat dampened James’ brow. Benedict looked at Peter, who was now dangling the remaining portion of what he assumed was James’ right hand over the side of the ship. The crocodile leapt from the water, greatly desiring either the hand of James or James himself.

Both James and Benedict cringed, though it was James that moved away from the railing. The scratching of the crocodile’s claws on the side of the ship seemed to make him tremble. Peter laughed maniacally, and tossed James’ hand to the crocodile.

“You’ve been using it for bait?” James looked at Peter, horror and disgust evident on his face. “This is all a game to you.”

Pan. He hasn’t aged. Should I tell James? Benedict thought. His eyes shifted in James’ direction. He needs to know.

James pointed his sword at Peter. “What do you want?” He shouted.

Peter unsheathed his knife, circling around the deck. James followed suit. Occasionally, Peter would tap the end of his sword. However, Benedict knew James was a man of indomitable courage. James held his sword steady, firmly in his left hand, his hook slightly hidden behind him. His eyes were cold as steel. At that moment, James appeared to be in complete control of his emotions and actions. Benedict couldn’t help but beam proudly at what he had done for James.

“What do I want?” Peter asked himself thoughtfully. He looked back at James, his eyes glowing faintly red. “I want you to pay,” but he stopped. “Then again, perhaps you are suffering a bit. After all, I’m finding your son to be a delicious addition to my lost boys.” He ended this with a slight hiss.

“I’ve done nothing to you,” James replied. “I believe you’re the one that will pay for taking my family.”

Benedict subtly moved closer to James. He could see how the boy was manipulating James, using the loss of Eileen and Robbie to rile him to the point of pure rage. Benedict knew all too well how easy it was to make James angry.

“Jas,” he said in quiet warning, seeing James’ shoulders rise and fall more frequently.

James voice wavered, “What are you?”

Benedict hesitated to offer his knowledge. What would it serve but to merely fan the flame the boy had started. Quietly he said to James, “Me thinks he’s Pete, a boy I met years ago. Feeds off humans.”

“Explain, please,” James murmured to Benedict, not taking his eyes off Peter.

“Not quite o’ changeling. Thought ta be mere legend, but I’d seen it with me own eyes. A powerful creature, though from what world, I’m not sure. Feeds off tha young, slow and sure ta stay alive. No doubt, yer boy be one he’s feedin’ on,” he explained.

Peter held a penetrating gaze at Benedict. “Oooohh. You’re a rather smart one, aren’t you? But I am at a disadvantage. You seem to know me, but I do not recognize you.” The boy’s face scrunched up in contemplation until he seemed to have an epiphany, “The one who set me free! You’re so…old!”

James looked over at the captain. “You set him free?” he whispered angrily. “Why am I not surprised?”

Benedict did his best to avoid eye contact. He knew he would have to explain all of this later. Perhaps he’ll forget. Not likely though.

“It’s true.” Peter said with a grinned. “I did feed on her. The red hair had to go.” He made a violent motion as he spoke.

“Jas,” Benedict warned, seeing James tense, the muscles in his jaw tightened.

James waved him off, stepping forward.

Peter continued. “Her white skin, so soft and supple. Her screams of terror and pain, delicious. Oh, she was wonderful!” He paused for a moment, then finished, “Particularly the chewy center within.” With the last sentence, his wicked eyes fell on James.

James screamed in anguish. He charged for Peter. Benedict reached out to stop him, but he was too slow. Peter flew up to the top of the mast. James, whose momentum had gotten the better of him, teetered at the rail. The crocodile waited eagerly below. James grunted in an effort to push himself back.

Peter howled in laughter, pointing, mocking and pantomiming actions as if he were James falling over the railing. James ran to the ropes, set to climb. Benedict shouted, but James didn’t hear. Not being heeded, he and a few crewmen pounced on him, holding him down.

“Take him ta me quarters!” he barked at the bo’sun. They held James, who thrashed violently. It took five men to drag James into the captain’s quarters and slam the doors shut. Benedict addressed Peter, “Ye best be leavin’ now, or ye be facin’ my wrath.”

Peter shrugged off the threat. “I have no quarrel with you, old man.” He jumped off the mast, floating high above. “Tell him I’ll be waiting, in Neverland.” And he flew off.

Benedict rubbed his sore eyes. “I’m gettin’ too old fer this.”

At his quarters, Benedict’s hand stopped at the door. James’ screams of rage could be heard from within. Benedict opted to take his time. Making a course adjustment, he continued towards El Tiburón.

Youtube Audio Excerpt


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 About the Author:

 Elizabeth uses writing as therapy, her release from everyday stress. At night, after work and once the children are finally tucked in bed, for the fifth time, she sits at her laptop and lets her imagination flow.

Elizabeth has produced short stories, one of which will be published in an anthology. She’s had fun writing a Sherlock Holmes fan fiction story, A Case of Need, based on the BBC’s Sherlock. By July 2011, her first novel, Second on the Right, had been completed. She spent several years polishing the story in order to provide a high quality product to the public. Second on the Right is her first professional novel.







Master Schedule (OVER):

5/9 Fantastic Indie Authors (Interview)

Stop 2 Fantasy Books List (Guest Post)

5/11 Indy Book Fairy

5/12  Book Freebies, Contests, Sweepstakes, and Giveaways

Stop 2 Coffee & Books & Art

5/13 Bestseller Books and Novels

5/14 Peace Love and Writing

5/15 Dividing by Zero (Interview and Review)

5/16 Cryptic Reads (Review)

5/19 2 Books Lovers Reviews (Review)

5/20 Memories in a Box (Guest Post)

5/21 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Stop 2 Musings of a Book Maven (Guest Post)

5/22 Rose Wynters

5/23 Science Fiction Books and Authors


Mystery Book: A Foolish Plucking by Dee Wilbur

Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 5/1/14 – 5/30/14

Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery




In their book, A Foolish Plucking, Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates, writing as Dee Wilbur, are again telling the truth about Richmond, Texas (as well as a few lies). They’ve expanded Jon Miller’s area of operations to include Liberty, Texas, Dee’s home town. She demanded equal time with Richmond so much of the story is centered in Liberty. But not to limit themselves, they’ve also had some of the story take place in Victoria, Texas. You can’t confine a great man like Jon Miller.

–It’s all fun and games ‘til someone gets a conviction–

Gary is a lush and a womanizer. On that everyone agrees. But is he a murderer? The police sure think so. Gary denies it, and the police don’t have a corpse. But they do have the big fight at the country club, his wife’s blood behind the bed, in the shower drain, and in the back of her Escalade, and Gary’s lack of an alibi. The jury agrees with the police.

Gary’s mistress leaves Dayton with Gary’s child and moves to Richmond, to be nearby for her once a month visits with him in the Vance Unit (a Texas State Prison in Sugar Land). She hears of Jon through Lulu, her new boss, and enlists his aid in trying to get Gary a new trial.

In the meantime Jon and Sandy are dealing with a family problem. Why haven’t Jon’s brother and sister-in-law ever shown up at any of their events. It isn’t because Sandy’s cooking is bad.

All in all it stirs up a nice little brew of a mystery that’ll keep you busy for an afternoon or two.



A tall, striking brunette dressed in jeans and a bright green sweater walked in the front door of Lulu’s Flower Shop on Morton Street in historic downtown Richmond, taking the sign out of the window as she entered.

Hey, what are you doing?” bellowed a voice from the rear of the store.

It says ‘Help Wanted Experienced Floral Arranger, Apply Within.’ Well, that’s me. I’m Melissa Kynett, formerly from Dayton, now from Richmond. I worked for ten years picking up posies and puttin’ ’em in a basket before I moved here.”

I’m Lulu, and I own this shop. Let’s see what you can do.”

I need a casket spray in fall colors, no chrysanthemums, ,” Lulu continued, sizing up the young woman. “And a dozen red roses for a centerpiece. They’ve got to be ready to go out the back door in thirty minutes. I’m gonna go next door and get a sandwich. Be sure to answer the phone and listen for the bell that sounds when a customer comes in.”

Nothing like a trial by fire,” Melissa said, picking up the clippers and glancing around the work room.

If you’re good, you should have no trouble. If you’re not good, I don’t want you. Be back in a little while. Try not to waste too much. Good luck.”


Twenty-five minutes later, Lulu returned. Melissa sat behind the desk reading a paperback novel.

What’s the matter? Couldn’t cut it?” sniped Lulu.

Look before you leap, or yap,” said Melissa.

A beautiful casket spray of greens, golds, yellows, and browns lay on the cutting table. A square, gold box held one dozen red roses in four rows of three. The arrangement was stunningly elegant in its simplicity.

O.K. You got the job. Two weeks of paid vacation; one week available after six months.”

I’ll take it, but I get to take one Friday a month off,” she answered, too overconfidently for one who had just gotten a job. “If I have to, I’ll work another day or do something else to make up for it.”

Why do you need the Friday off?”

It’s a long story.”

I got time. You can tell me as we deliver these. You’ll need to start learning where places are so you can do the deliveries,” said Lulu. “Now what makes you think you need one Friday off each month?”

I lived in Dayton, Texas, most of my life. I worked as a florist, and then I had a little shop of my own. There was this guy, really good looking who would come into my shop several times a year to buy flowers for his wife. One thing led to another after my boyfriend jilted me, I started going out with this guy.

Well, then my old boyfriend came back through town, and we had a one-night stand for old times’ sake. Wouldn’t you know it, he brought me a present. I got the clap, and gave it to Gary, who bought the flowers for his wife. So along with the roses, he gave her an STD, as the socially elite call it. We all got treated with a bunch of high-test antibiotics and got to talk to the public health epidemiologist. And we all got over it, but she was pretty pissed off at him for a long time. Said she was positive she got it from him.

About a year after our shared health experience, Gary’s wife disappeared,” Melissa continued.

Yeah, I heard about it. Didn’t he kill her after the Valentine’s Day dance? It made Fox and CNN. The case went on, it seemed like forever. I remember when his mistress was interviewed on T.V. Yipes, that was you,” Lulu said, looking at her passenger more closely.

Yeah, pouring my heart out. I never really did think he did it, but they found her blood in the bathtub drain, on the wall behind the bed, and in the back end of her SUV. They said the DNA matched perfectly. They never did find the body, and Gary maintains to this day that he didn’t do it.

About a month or so after Gary was charged, I turned up pregnant. Seems he’d given me another present. The guy’s always giving me something. Since he’s taken up residence at the Vance Prison Unit in Sugarland, I moved to Richmond with my daughter.”




About the Authors:

Dee Wilbur


Dee Wilbur is the pen name of Charles Yates and Dee Pipes.

A Texas native, Charles (Wilbur) Yates, Jr., was reared in a small Texas town, Rosenberg. He graduated from Rice University in Houston with a B.A. and Ph.D. in Biology. He received the M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He was in the private practice of radiology for thirty years before retiring in 2001. He has been married to his wife Sally for fifty years. They have four adult sons and eight grandchildren. He now tends his garden in Richmond, Texas.

Also a Texas native, Beatrice (Dee) Pipes grew up in another small Texas town, Liberty. Her degree from Rice University is a B.A. in English. She holds two patents from her work at Compaq Computer Corporation. She currently runs a company that helps other companies with marketing, project management, and other tasks. She has been married to her husband Bryan for over thirty-five years.




 Master Schedule (OVER):

 5/1 Fantastic Indie Author’s Interview

Stop 2 Indy Book Fairy

5/2 Musings Of A Book Maven

Stop 2 Peace Love and Writing

5/5 Coffee & Books & Art

5/6 Literary Chanteuse

5/7 Bestseller Books

5/8 Cryptic Reads (Review)

5/9 Book Freebies, Contests, Sweeps, and Giveaways

5/12 Memories In A Box

5/13 The Best Indie Books to Read (Guest Post)

Stop 2 The Complete Indie Authors Resource Site

5/14 Horror and Mystery Books

Stop 2 Science Fiction Books and Authors

5/15 Cheap and Free Kindle Books

5/16 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Stop 2 Book Talk (Review)

5/19 Literary Winner

5/20 Sweetie’s Contemporary Romance Love

5/21 Hardcore Books, Video Games, and Readers

5/22 Raven Easter Eggs

5/23 Rose Wynters

5/26 Sun Mountain Reviews

5/27 The Cat’s Pajamas Book Haven (Review)

Stop 2 My Reading Loft (Guest Post)

5/28 A Little Bit of R & R (Review)

5/29 Bestselling Thrillers

5/30 Kay Lalone (Review)


Suspense Book: Hold Still by Lisa Regan @Lisalregan

Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 4/28/14 – 5/5/14

Genres: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense


After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER.  The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol.  In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita’s case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.

Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation.  Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years.  Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them.

The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads.  Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces.  She doesn’t want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case.

To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.



Jocelyn glanced at the house. The screen door was cracked just a little; and there was a flash of a plastic, yellow Shop Rite bag peeking out. She peered back at Olivia and paused a long moment to see if Olivia would wake up now that the car had stopped moving. But the snoring continued unabated. Jocelyn turned away from Olivia, catching her own smile in the rearview mirror. Just looking at Olivia made her grin. Most of the time, she didn’t realize she was doing it. It amazed her that this tiny person could be such a powerhouse of joy.

Unless she doesn’t have her blanket, Jocelyn thought wryly.

Jocelyn took a quick look up and down the street, gauging how long it would take her to sprint to Martina’s door and back. It shouldn’t take more than ten seconds. As a rule, she never left Olivia alone in the car—not even when she was paying for gas—but the door was only twenty feet away. It would be faster to run for it than to unfasten Olivia’s seat belt and carry her to and fro.

Jocelyn slipped her seat belt off and got out, closing the door softly behind her. She sprinted up the steps and snatched the bag from between the doors. As she turned back to her car, she saw the figure, just a blur in her periphery. Then her Ford Explorer drove off down Chew Avenue with Olivia in the back seat.

Jocelyn leapt off the steps and ran into the street.

“Olivia!” she screamed.

She had never run so fast, and was only vaguely aware of the other cars whizzing past, beeping and swerving to avoid her, expletives rolling out of the mouths of passing motorists. The Explorer made the first right onto North 21st Street and Jocelyn followed, arms and legs pumping, feet slapping the pavement, her heartbeat thundering in her ears. She reached for her gun but quickly remembered she didn’t have it. It was her day off.


She was losing ground as the Explorer turned right onto Conlyn and out of her sight.


Every muscle in her body strained and screamed, her lungs burning. She turned the corner and almost wept with relief. The Explorer was stopped behind someone who had double-parked in the middle of the street. There wasn’t enough room for it to pass. The other car’s blinkers were on, the driver nowhere to be seen. For once, Philadelphia’s narrow side streets were a blessing instead of a curse.

Breathing heavily, Jocelyn approached the Explorer from the drivers’ side and opened the door. She didn’t look; instead she grabbed and grabbed until she had a handful of clothing. She pulled a skinny, punk kid—maybe nineteen or twenty—out of the car by his collar.

His face was pimpled with a patchy five o’clock shadow. His white-blond hair was greasy, a shock of it falling across his coal-dark eyes as he glared at her. “Hey, what the hell are you—”

The whole world went silent. Jocelyn knew the kid was speaking, but she couldn’t hear anything. Her field of vision narrowed to his face. And when he met her eyes, for a brief, fleeting second, he looked afraid. Then Jocelyn hit him. She hit him again and again. He fought back, but his ineffectual punches glanced off her body; no match for her rage. By the time she was done, she had a few bruises and her right wrist throbbed, but she didn’t remember the particulars. She only remembered hitting him until he lay at her feet, unmoving. Her vehicle had rolled forward a few feet, bumping the rear of the car that was double-parked. A few people had come out of their homes. They stood on the pavement and on porches, staring open-mouthed.

Jocelyn’s hearing returned slowly. Her labored breath was deafening. She left the kid on the ground and pulled open the back door of the Explorer. There sat Olivia in her car seat, face flushed with sleep. Her little round face was relaxed, her mouth open. A strand of brown hair stuck to one of her cheeks. She sighed softly in her sleep, one tiny hand clutching Lulu, the pink beanie bear that accompanied them everywhere.

“Oh God,” Jocelyn gasped. She put her Explorer in park and then sat in the back, weeping uncontrollably. She dialed 911 on her cell phone.

“911. Where’s your emergency?”


“Miss? Where’s your emergency?”

“Philadelphia. I want to report a carjacking.”



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About the Author:

Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine and was runner up in Best Novel in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2013.


Author Website

Amazon Author Page





Master Schedule (OVER):

4/28 Fantastic Indie Author’s Interview

Stop 2 Indy Book Fairy

4/29 Memories in a Box

Stop 2 Musings of a Book Maven

Stop 3 Peace Love and Writing

4/30 Bestseller Books

Stop 2 Coffee & Books & Art

5/1 Literary Chanteuse

Stop 2 Rose Wynters

5/2 Lizzie in Wonderland (Review)

Stop 2: 2 Book Lovers Reviews (Review)

5/5 Dividing by Zero (Review and Interview)

Stop 2 Cryptic Reads

Stop 3 Bestselling Thrillers

Self-Help Featured Book: Transition To A Healthier You: How I Lost Over 140 Pounds, and You Can TOO! By Tanisha Shanee

Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Genres: Self-Help, Inspiration, Health

Book Blurb/Synopsis: Diets are common. People explore the weight loss industry for quick, fast results. After finding out I was over 350 Pounds, I said enough with this lifestyle – it is time for a change. Developing a plan, I focused on becoming healthy vs. another diet. This book is designed to help others in identifying their strengths and assist them in identifying their true potential to drop bad habits and develop healthy ones. Through my own journey, I was able to lose 100 pounds in 362 days and to date, I have lost over 140 pounds – you can too!

Buy Links:


Book Patch


About the Author:

Tanisha Shanee’ was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, with her mother, Vernette and sister, Tinikea. Tanisha possess a BA, a MBA, and is pursuing her PhD in Organizational Management from Capella University. She joined Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in 2004 while a student at the College of New Rochelle. She enjoys relaxing, cooking, and when she is not meeting with clients, she enjoys watching Big Bang Theory, or spending time with her niece.

“My goal is to help people worldwide to fight the battle of obesity. Diets do not work. I lost the weight without diets or weight loss surgery. It is possible!”

Connect With The Author:

Author’s Facebook

Success Weight Healthy Living Program Facebook


Suspense: God On Trial By Sabri Bebawi @DrSabriBebawi

Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 4/21/14 – 5/19/14

Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction, Philosophy


Convinced that God is a negative force, tormenting the helpless human race, an ailing English professor becomes determined to put the deity on trial. But when he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, he soon succumbs to the damning madness and brutally stabs and kills his wife. And in the deadly manhunt that ensues, he is ultimately shot dead by the police. This prompts his grieving sister to follow through his life’s mission to bring God to justice.


He’s now back home in California. It is another night. That tantalizing sensation overtakes his natural senses again. Growing up, he always felt a sense of discomfort that was unrelated to his illnesses, and he still feels it now. He never has been able to identify the source of his severe and unusual discomfort. He wonders whether it was his family, religion in general, or society, with its unscrupulous culture.
He thinks of his parents. “Sadly, They were at odds,” he hears himself utter. “And rightfully so.”
His mother was at home, taking care of five kids, and his father was either working or endlessly playing. His mother had a tender soul. She was simple, affectionate, and caring, and loved her children dearly. The child in him sees her before him as a pretty young woman with fair skin, brown hair, and large brown eyes. She stands by his bed; she is neither too tall nor too short and neither too slim nor too heavy, but she is mysterious. Though his mother probably never knew it, she has had an immense impact on his life that continues with him until this moment of certain hallucination.
He becomes fully awake. It is 2:25 a.m. He gets up and decides to make a cup of espresso forte. After breaking a couple of coffee cups, spilling coffee all over his kitchen counter and floor, and mumbling a few expletives, he cleans up. Now he is calm; now he will taste the fruit of his coffee-making adventure; he places the cup on his desk and starts to write.

I’m not sure my parents’ odd relationship had any effect on me. I was a happy child tormented by religion and religious people’s hallucinations. I was tormented by Egyptian hypocrisy. I’ve seen a great deal of hypocrisy, child abuse, infidelity, abuse of women, and abuse by the government, churches, and mosques.

He hears the voice of his mother; during his childhood she always read to him in bed before he went to sleep. Now she reads from the Bible. In both her wisdom and lack of awareness, she reads from the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelations. This exposure to apocalyptic writing at a very young age has had a profound effect on him.
Being imaginative, and in this phantasmagoric state, he now experiences the same fright he experienced as a child. He returns to bed and suddenly falls asleep but is soon awoken by one of his many epileptic seizures. His body shakes uncontrollably, and his tremors seem to have a mind of their own.
As his attack gradually dissipates, he thinks of the savagery of God and questions why a peaceful God would be so cruel and nasty. These thoughts make him feel even more terrified. Since childhood he has been petrified of that entity referred to as “God.”
At age seven or eight, he developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’d repeat the phrase “God forgive me” to himself all day until he went to bed. He kept this a secret because he had no idea how his mother, siblings, or Zakia would react. He remembers that he often went to Zakia, who was a Muslim, and asked her to hold him. She would oblige, and he would feel protected, even from that savage God.
He gets out of bed. It is 3:42 a.m. He makes another cup of espresso forte and sits at his desk, thinking. Again he writes.

This phase simply shaped my feelings about whether God does indeed exist. I often thought I’d be better than him or her or it, for I would not be as cruel, brutal, or malicious. Today I am an agnostic, and I can’t get myself to understand why anyone would believe in such a God as depicted in the holy books, including the Bible.
In addition to the Bible, there were other sources of great damage. Egypt is an Islamic country. I was exposed to and forced to learn about Islam and its holy book, the Quran, which is like the Bible in its catastrophic content. I was forced to learn about the Islamic laws, Sharia, even though I was a Coptic. I did so in schools, and I did so in everyday affairs. I was even forced to memorize and recite verses from the Quran, which also had a negative impact on me.
The daily prayers announced over loudspeakers, and coming from all directions, were a frightening experience for me. Everywhere in Egypt, between each mosque there is a mosque, and even that wasn’t enough. The radio broadcasted Quran readings repeatedly. Even today the memory of these sounds brings a deep downheartedness to my soul.
I remember Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who’s in a North Carolina prison now for conspiring to commit terrorism. His mosque was right behind our house. I remember Abdel-Rahman’s Friday sermons. He’d curse the Christians, Jews, and Americans (I don’t know why he cursed Americans) publically over a loudspeaker that echoed miles away. The sheikh would scream in a screeching, deafening voice, “May God burn them and displace their children, and may God burn their houses.” The congregation would repeat, “Amen.” And the pattern would continue.
This persisted for a long time. We were so used to it, however, that it didn’t bother us much. The amazing thing is that Sheikh Abdel-Rahman was a friend of my father’s. He often visited my father at his law firm and spent hours talking with him. My father considered him a harmless, kind man.
Well, for once my father was wrong. The sheikh always has been a terrorist, and he put his evil spirit into action. Fortunately he’s in prison now. I hope he never gets out.
He stops writing for a minute and wonders how the United States allowed that savage man to enter this country. Where was American intelligence? Didn’t they know how radical Abdel-Rahman was? This was simply bizarre. But the United States government overlooks such things so often that he wonders whether the word intelligence is fitting at all.
His mind is racing, and he grows exhausted with the burden of thoughts. Hoping for a few minutes of sleep, he goes back to bed. His hope materializes, or perhaps he thinks so; at the very least, he is semi-asleep.

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About the Author:

The middle of five children, Sabri Bebawi was born in 1956 in the town of Fayoum, Egypt, where he attended law school at Cairo University. He then left Egypt for the United Kingdom. He was invited by Oxford University, where he spent some time, and never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took refuge in the country he loved most, the United States.

In California he studied communications at California State University, Fullerton, then obtained a master’s degree there in English education. Later he worked at many colleges and universities teaching English as a second language, freshman English, journalism, and educational technology. He did further graduate work at UCLA and obtained a PhD in education and distance learning from Capella University.

Although English is his third language, he has published many works in English on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels, and this is his first attempt. As English is a foreign language to him, the task of writing a novel has been challenging.

As a child, Bebawi struggled to make sense of religions and their contradictions; in fact he grew up terrified of the word God. As he grew older and studied law, as well as all the holy books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the word became just that—a word.





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