The Vampire of Rome continues to chug along, with luck I'll get some good quality writing time in this weekend, and work through a sticky point Sebastian and crew seem to have gotten themselves into. Which is worse a mundane betrayal, for riches or advancement, or one done when the person is possessed and death is on the line?
Once again I'm featuring another author, Richard I. Levine, and he's here to talk about his series The Dr. Ray Silver Adventures.
Prophet$ Of Deception marks the 4th installment of the Dr. Ray Silver Adventure series that began with Indie Reader Discovery Award Finalist: Eye of the Redeemer in 2012, and followed by Reader's Favorite 5-star reviewed: Beyond Redemption in 2013, and 5-Star reviewed The Last Angel in Hell in 2014.
Prophet$ Of Deception
It's been three years since Dr. Ray Silver last tempted fate—but when a local news station attack-dog goes after Ray for his outspoken alternative views, and local families begin to shun Ray and Leigh Anne, tensions start to rise. It's not long before Ray finds himself looking for a missing pharmaceutical researcher-turned-whistleblower who might have the answers he's looking for--a task not so easy since she went into hiding after several of her colleagues had fatal "accidents".
There's no telling what lengths Ray will go to in order to get to the truth and there's no telling to what lengths some others will go to keep him from finding those answers.
LabsWhite Plains, New York
Ray checked the time on his cell phone for the third time in five minutes. Making sure he was safely in the shadows, he looked over at the large metal door, lit by a single halogen flood, and spied the red power light on the security camera mounted just above it. A rustling of snow-laden branches from the other side of Haarlem Avenue grabbed his attention as quickly as it did his breath. He watched, frozen in place, exhaling long and hard when he was sure there was nothing there. He watched the condensed vapor rising up from his mouth and wondered if it was visible to the camera. Off in the distance a lone siren broke the predawn silence, at first becoming louder—eliciting protest from a stray dog—then fading off until it and the canine could no longer be heard. He glanced back at his phone. “It’s three o’clock—where is this guy? She said he’d be here at three.”
He heard another rustling followed by a series of short piercing cries of what sounded like a music student torturing the scales and saw the shadows of two cats stretch across the road before melting into the darkness. “Don’t chase after the pussy, you fool. The first rule of dating is, you let her come to you.” Ray gave in to a laugh—his first in a while. At any other time the sounds of the night would have gone unnoticed or perhaps would have tricked a willing subconscious into adding a new dimension to an evolving dream. But with his senses amplified by adrenaline, anything that broke the calm seemed louder than usual and made him uneasy. “If you’re not used to this stuff by now, Ray Silver, you need to give this shit up once and for all.” He narrowed his gaze on the service door as if it might pop open by the force of his will.
No matter how many times he had reviewed the plan, stud ied the online satellite images of the company grounds, or looked over Paige’s drawings of the main building’s interior, Ray was still anxious—anxious enough, in fact, to ignore the throbbing sensation from the gash he’d sustained to his knee when he crested the twelve-foot fence. He cursed himself for not having executed this a week earlier when his anger had fully suppressed his other emotions. He cursed the additional downtime that allowed him to become distracted with the trivia now competing for his attention. “Stop thinking about that stuff.” Ray was convinced he would have been completely focused on the task at hand and easily able to do whatever had to be done in order to get the information needed to exact his pound of flesh…had they not waited. “Too many distractions! Just gotta stay focused. I can still do this. I can. Just gotta stay focused on the mis sion…on why I’m here.”
The mission was designed to finally expose the fraud, cor ruption, and cover-ups, as well as the corporate insiders at gov ernment agencies who were making life-and-death decisions based solely on one critical component: profit. Regardless of the consequences, he wanted to shed light on every ounce of it. And if he got caught, there would be plenty.
Unlike his previous exploits, this mission wasn’t govern ment-sanctioned, nor was it orchestrated by a quasi-indepen dent agency subgroup. This undertaking was self-created. This one was personal. Ray was just a private citizen—a “whack-job alternative health-care provider,” as some in the press had called him—taking the law into his own hands. There wouldn’t be a well-placed handler at the CIA or the NSA standing by to clean things up, not even his son. Even if Jimmy had offered, Ray would never consider jeopardizing his career. He had to admit that without the broad shoulders of Uncle Sam prop ping him up, his bravado felt a lot less bulletproof. Success or failure, this one was entirely his—and Paige’s. And as far as he was concerned, failure wasn’t an option.
The delay had given doubt the opportunity to plant a few seeds of hesitancy—just enough to make him think what his life would be like if Leigh Anne were no longer a part of it. He knew she could only put up with just so much of what she called his “insatiable need to risk life and limb,” of that there was no doubt. Ray had come very close to losing her the last time, and he now worried he would go home to find out she really had had enough. He could only hope she truly understood that what he had to do was every bit as impor tant as their relationship. He hoped that after all was said and done she would be there for him. He knew if he had moved sooner, it wouldn’t have changed the situation at home—but also that he was deceiving himself that he wouldn’t have allowed it to become a distraction. Now that it was, he hoped she would allow herself to be seduced by the insatiable lust he had for her, which always made her feel guilty for even think ing about leaving. “She has every right to be angry. After all, this is the third time I’m breaking a promise to never do anything like this again…and yet here I am.” The extra week spent in the Rockies had given him ample time to relive their debate, second-guess and reconstruct his argument, and question the validity of his solution. “A little late to worry about that now, Ray…put it to bed so you can focus!” He scolded himself for his lack of discipline and for being careless enough to have lost his grip while climbing the ice-covered fence, which made him think of his knee.
Ray looked down at the stain on his torn trousers and then noticed a few drops of blood in the snow. “Shit!” As he quietly dug his heel at the ice crusted surface—covering up his mess just as a cat would work a litter box—he thought about the time when he was ten years old and came home with a rusty nail embedded into his right foot. His mother had nearly fainted when she saw the trail of blood leading from the front door to his bedroom. She screamed about lockjaw before drag ging him off to the doctor’s office for a tetanus shot. “You can’t get tetanus from rust, Ma,” he’d said. Remembering, he shook his head at the old wives’ tale. “Stay focused, damn it!” He tied a handkerchief around his right knee. “If this is going to work, then you need to maintain discipline…and stay focused.” He con tinued to scold but couldn’t keep his mind from wondering, a blessing in disguise as it kept him from thinking about the cold. When the wind kicked up, he again checked the time and cursed. “Damn it, Paige.” The delay challenged his patience, just as the weight of the snow challenged the tree branches along Haarlem Avenue. His mind danced back and forth between Leigh Anne, his children, Paige Motz, and everything in between—replaying almost every bit of minutia Paige had shared. “Where the fuck is this guy? Maybe he’s not coming. Maybe he had second thoughts.”
Had he known his imagination would take advantage of him, just as a politician does a tragedy during campaign season—and he should have known, given his recent past—he would have insisted they stick to the original date. But there had been enough suspicion to believe their plan had been compromised.
“I’m telling you, Ray, we have to push the date back until I get some reassurances from my guy at McTavish.”
“We both know this whole op is risky, but to delay because of an e-mail from a former coworker is not—”
“Several e-mails from a few former coworkers.” She waved a number of pages in the air.
“Giving nothing more than cryptic warnings. You said so yourself. You would think they’d come right out and—”
“Their e-mails could be monitored. They can’t risk it.”
“And how do they know you’re even planning a visit?”
“They don’t. But they’re not stupid. I’ve been asking a lot of questions and perhaps they—”
“Perhaps they told security?”
“Which is why we should hold off until I hear otherwise.”
“OK, fine. And in the meantime, what? Sit here in the middle of the forest…in the freakin’ cold?”
“Just until I hear from Ambrose.”
Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker who was born and raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After working in the auto parts business for several years and a one year wanderlust trip that took him coast to coast and back again, this one time North White Plains, N.Y. volun teer fireman, North Castle, N.Y. auxiliary police officer, and bar tender returned to school and eventually became a chiroprac tor. A cancer survivor who opted for natural intervention he is a strong advocate for the natural healing arts as well as an environment free of man-made chemi cals that are not congruent with the health of the planet or its inhabitants. New York remains in his blood but he’s called the Pacific Northwest home since 1991
Main Character's motivations
We meet Dr Ray Silver in the first book of what has now become a tetralogy. Eye of the Redeemer (2012), Beyond Redemption (2013), The Last Angel In Hell (2014), and now with Prophet$ of Deception (2016). Ray is no Hollywood action hero hunk by any means. He's not the glittery smile, perfect cioffed, golden tanned secret agent who's perfect in every way. He just this “average-joe” chiropractor. When we first meet him in Eye of the Redeemer he's been in practice for 20 years, recently divorced, and both his kids are grown and newly commissioned officers in the United States Navy which is something that had been a family tradition except that Ray was kept out of the service because of a spondylolisthesis. Here's the promo blurb that gives a better idea:
"Newly divorced and with two grown kids off to pursue their Naval careers, all Dr. Raymond Silver wanted to do was move on with his life as peacefully as he could. But unanswered questions, guilt, and an unfulfilled desire to carry on a family tradition to serve his country gnaw away at him. When he sets out on a personal quest to atone for his past and validate his existence, he never imagined that he would be the catalyst for three others longing to do the same. As his life becomes intertwined with a young marine biologist, a nurse and an elderly veteran, this 45 year old “average Joe” chiropractor battles with bureaucrats at the local veterans hospital, becomes the love interest of two beautiful women, and finds himself on a 60 year old naval relic sailing for the Philippines, an accidental key player in a CIA operation to stop a terror group from unleashing a nuclear holocaust."
What is their secret strengths/ weaknesses
Ray’s strength comes from his family. He was raised by parents who instilled the value of doing what is right relative to what is easy. He grew up with a personal code of God, Family, and Country and the belief that all people should be treated with fairness and dignity. So when it comes to his wife and his children they are his motivation to be the best he can be as well as being their first line of defense. But at times it’s those values and that internal drive to protect them that has also been his weakness; the precipitating factor that causes him to get into situations beyond his control.
Any offbeat obscure or 80s references?
In the latest installment of this series (Prophet$ of Deception) Ray, who lives in Hawai’i, is unknowingly calling too much attention to himself as he searches for an infectious disease expert who doesn’t want to be found. At one point he’s confronted by someone who accuses him of being as bad an investigator as Magnum PI.
When did you start to write this one and why?
I actually began storyboarding a completely new concept with different characters immediately after my third novel The Last Angel In Hell was completed. But after repeated starts and stops I came to realize that I missed Ray, his wife Leigh Anne and several of the other characters—afterall, they have been with me since 2011 when I first created them and I wanted to spend a little more time with them. So the opening scene of Prophet$ Of Deception was written about eighteen months ago.
What's next in this series or in your next book?
I have two projects that I want to do and the first will help me with the second. So right now I’m actually reviewing my first book Eye Of The Redeemer. I feel, in fact I know that my writing skills have become much better so I am rereading what was the final draft of the Redeemer manuscript and I want to restructure a number of sentences and edit out any redundancies. Once I clean that up then my next novel is actually a prequel where we get to delve into the life of Ray’s brother who was a Navy SEAL during and immediately after Vietnam. We’ll be looking into his life, the affair he had with a Congressional Aide, and the secret mission that led to his supposed death.
So you’re a full time chiropractor and an author. How do you handle writing and treating patients?
Office hours should be dedicated to the office and all that goes with it--seeing patients, running the business end of things, but I freely admit that when I get time to check emails I tend to get distracted by facebook and twitter. So that can become a time waster if I let it. So I do all my writing when I'm away from the office (nights, weekends--instead of watching television).
Some of your favorite authors?
I’m a history buff and I like biographical accounts but historical fiction is great too. I recently read Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken which chronicled the true ordeal of American Olympian Louis Zamparini and what he went through surviving for several weeks in a raft after his plane crashed into the Pacific as well as his ordeal as a prisoner of the Japanese during the second world war. My all time favorite book is a science fiction tale called Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. I first read it when I was a teenager and I think I read it a dozen times since then. Being an introvert , I was intrigued by the events and challenges that the protagonist, Isherwood Williams, had to face in a world in which almost all of the population had succumbed to some sort of virus. Back in the 80s I read a lot of Joseph Wambaugh and Stephen King. I also like W.E.B. Griffin. The Genres are different but the writing styles of each of those authors easily captured my attention. I often felt as if they had written specifically for me.
Sounds like an exciting series to me, and speaking of exciting series, have I mentioned I've written a few books?
Click on the links and check them out for yourself.
Junior Inquisitor Book One
Amazon - http://goo.gl/D6KrbX
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8
Soulless Monk Book Two
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/NXw3Gr
Amazon - http://goo.gl/p9fBn0
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/5lCyaX
The Witch’s Lair Book Three
Amazon - http://goo.gl/ZRO6Jw
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/MokJnC
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8
Next week I'll be doing some reviews of books I've recently enjoyed, or not. Which books you ask?
Brian S. Leon
And possibly more!
You know you want to find out what I think of these books, so make sure you check in next week.