About the Author
Tag Archives: FICTION
Date Published: February 2017
In this sequel to Quantum Roots, the meekish Olan Chapman faces danger as vigilante Samuel Leroy McCoy, a US deputy marshal who upheld law and order in 1876, Dodge City.
The metamorphous holds an eerie transformation, cloaked with rolling sagebrush and horse whinnies from yesteryear, which causes DPA Director, Alexis Grumman to rethink the validity of worm holes.
“Creation is a worm hole,” replies Dr Norman Daly, “Atoms require hadrons to form a nucleus, and each hadron comes through it’s own worm hole. Two quarks form the bi-dimensional plane needed to support the hole. The remaining quark squeezes through this hole, after which the first two quarks follow to shape the hadron to a given genetic, configuration. The hole then closes to divide time from timeless.”
The gunfighter is wanted for multiple killings, a consequence that keeps the slender computer wizard on the run from authorities – and domineering wife, Ivy Chapman.
As in Quantum Roots, aka The Vigilante Sightings, Quantum Roots II is based on mounting evidence that people form from recycled energy.
Other Books in the Quantum Roots Series:
Federal agents, Alexis Grumman and Jeremy Wade track down a current day vigilante, whose fingerprints match those of a Korean War veteran. Author Kyle Keyes uses characters from two previous novels, to promote a theory that particle energy formats with a quantum root system, that can bypass time and space. Keyes believes that such fiction could turn to fact as we move into the age of quantum mechanics. Adventure fans everywhere should delight in this fast paced action story, that brings yesterday’s gun play back to settle cyber-age injustice. Synopsis: Jesse Joe Jacks was born sometime during the snow blizzard of 1923. The Lower Elk County, game warden died from a lightning strike on July 23, 1959, while wearing a sheriff’s star. Olan Chapman came to life in August of 1974 and found a computer career with a center city, electronics firm. Chapman drinks heavy and is haunted by flashbacks of an older sister, lost to an unsolved case of gang rape and murder. Jacks loved nature and lived to protect wildlife. He stood tall and fought to uphold justice. Jacks was also a crack shot with a firearm – any firearm. Chapman attends the theatre, plays piano and at one time led a march against the National Rifle Association. Both men have the same fingerprints, much to the chagrin of Lt General Alexis Grumman who heads the federal department for para-normal activities. Working with special agent, Jeremy Wade, Grumman breaks open the case when Chapman’s fingerprints also match those of the vigilante.
Older Americans often come from whistle stop towns painted by Norman Rockwell. Kyle Keyes grew up in Clayton, a South Jersey borough first founded as Fislerville. Clayton had a small urban district with street lights, but no indoor plumbing. Farmland and outhouses were a sign of the times.
Clayton was so small, that Keye’s aunt doubled as his Sixth Grade school teacher, who once said that Kyle lived with his nose between the bookends. She must have known something.
Keyes went to Temple Tech for concrete and steel design in 1956 and 1957. He never became an engineer, but still has a red, tinker toy motor and his World War II, Erector Set.
The early Sixties found Kyle in the U.S. Army where his top sergeant would daily bark, “You just say morning, trooper. I’ll decide if it’s good or not!”
Keyes wholesaled bakery products to food chains for thirty years,and wrote odd items for local newspapers. He is widowed and currently lives in Florida. He has two children, Kathleen and Daniel. Grand children are now grown and too old for tales about railroads and yesterday’s America. This leaves Keyes no option but to write books.
Se la ve.
PS: Should you need a book autographed, Kyle can usually be found rooting through neighborhood trash cans, one block ahead of the recycle truck.
Fiction, Political Fiction
Date Published: March 2016
Are you fed up with politics, payoffs, corporate mega-profits at a cost to taxpayers, immunization of white collar crime, bribes and favors guiding the decisions made by our elected officials? Have you had ENOUGH of politics? There is only one way to fix it – rewrite the rules. It can be done!
Midwest Book Review “Highly Recommended”
Billionaires and Bagmen: What Happens When A Small Town Takes Them On, offers a surprising solution to the question many people are asking since the Conventions: How can we take our lives back from an over-reaching government, Wall Street power brokers, lobbyist-written laws, the billionaires who buy them off and candidates we don’t like?
His answer is for local governments to simply ignore Big Brother’s rules and write their own. All across America, town by town, regardless of who is president or who big money controls. It’s called Civil Disobedience.
History is full with examples of people refusing to abide by laws they consider unjust or immoral. In Billionaires and Bagmen, Bourhis explores the possibility of a whole town doing just that. This entertaining political thriller, described by the Midwest Book Review as “deftly crafted and compelling,” also a blueprint of how it could be done.
Sean Cogan, a funny, prickly, charismatic economist turned venture capitalist, is convinced that our system is no longer “of, by and for the people,” that all three branches of government are bought and paid for, and that reform efforts are a complete joke. He believes that no matter who happens to be President, we have become a nation held in a vice grip by powerful billionaires, corrupt multinational corporations and their bagmen: the politicians and lobbyists who carry out their agendas.
Billionaires and Bagmen – What Happens When a Small Town Takes Them OnHe gathers up a few old high school friends in their small town and decides to shake things up. Sean convinces them that if something dramatic doesn’t happen now, the very concept of self-government will become obsolete.
He heads to town hall, plunks down $250 and registers an initiative to be put on the November ballot for his hometown of Fairview to declare its independence from everybody. Jen Renton, a gorgeous, burned-out corporate lawyer who has morphed into a Tibetan Buddhist massage therapist; Ollie Waterson, Sean’s political opposite, with an “Don’t Tread On Me!” bumper sticker on his HumVee and a couple other friends become part of his team.
From a savvy newspaper reporter to a secretive former CIA agent who knows how the game is played to the idiot alcoholic mayor of the town who tries to sabotage the initiative to a controversial talk show host with an agenda, things start to spin out of control. Particularly when the powers that be in Washington become concerned that this independence movement could take on a life of its own.
Cogan and his gang plow ahead in spite of the collusion of spies, lobbyists, a controversial talk show host and a whole boatload of other unsavory characters. It’s an exciting, scary and dangerous ride.
The climate for real change ripens. But is it too late?
About the Author
Ray Bourhis is uniquely qualified to be a political pundit and an enemy of unbridled corporate and political corruption. A lawyer practicing out of San Francisco and Santa Barbara, California,Bourhis has been at the forefront of the battle against greed and excessive power for most of his life.
Bourhis grew up in the tough neighborhood of Elmhurst in Queens, New York. He credits an attempt by local street gang members to throw him, at the age of twelve, into a blazing bonfire with helping him develop the survival skills needed to spend his legal career taking on insurance companies.
Bourhis got his BA at Ohio State University. In his senior year, he created the University’s first mascot in eighty-five years with his then girlfriend, Sally Lanyon. Ray and Sally launched the mascot, unannounced, onto the football field in the middle of the marching band’s homecoming half-time show. When he waddled off the field, 82,000 fans chanted, “We want the mascot! We want the mascot!” and the OSU icon, now known as Brutus Buckeye, was born. .
After graduating from Ohio State, he took a job teaching in a rural high school in Appalachia, where he got fired for putting together a pilot project with Senator Robert Kennedy for students to work on Indian Reservations during the summer. Bourhis became one of Kennedy’s key staffers, working with the Senator on his presidential campaign.
Later Bourhis joined the Domestic Peace Corps (VISTA) and was sent to California as a community organizer with the farm workers. His passion for fighting for the underdog ultimately led him to the UC Berkeley School of Law. He decided on law as a career because he wanted to make a difference. Bourhis was inspired by the giants then serving on the Supreme Court, judges who bore little resemblance to those serving on the court today. While at Berkeley he founded a student-funded public interest law firm that was promptly vetoed by the University Board of Regents. The firm later became known as CalPirg (California Public Interest Research Group).
Since law school Bourhis has specialized in representing policyholders in cases involving the wrongful denial of long-term disability (LTD) insurance claims. His firm has set legal precedents and obtained record verdicts and settlements in that field. Again, this reflects his passion for fighting for the underdog.
Bourhis’ Billionaires and Bagmen reflects a lifetime of disdain for what he considers the hijacking of America by an increasingly pro-business Supreme Court that has consistently ruled against “the people” and in favor of multi-national corporations. He believes and hopes that what happens with Sean Cogan and his friends in Fairview may well turn fiction into fact.
In addition to Billionaires and Bagmen, Bourhis is the author of the nonfiction book Insult to Injury and the soon to be released Preemption: A License to Steal Your Medical/ LTD Benefits. He also co-authored The Autobiography of Brutus Buckeye: As Told to His Parents Sally Lanyon and Ray Bourhis, published in 2015 to honor Brutus’ 50th birthday.
Bourhis lives in San Francisco and Montecito, CA.
Contemporary Christian Romance/ Women’s Fiction
Date Published: Jun 10th (digital) / Aug. 9th (print/POD)
Publisher: Anaiah Romance
Gloria Fielder is trying her best to live with sincere faith, but regret for a past decision makes it difficult to live with herself.
Justin Case knows first-hand the consequences of bad choices, but he doesn’t believe in burying past mistakes. He openly shares his testimony with the purpose of showing there is hope and freedom for those who come to Christ.
Justin is the new worship leader for the church service Gloria attends, and he also leads a new Bible study she knows will help her. To complicate matters, once Justin becomes aware of Gloria’s struggle, he seems intent on drawing her out of her self-imposed shell of guilt and regret. If she trusts him with her secret and her heart, will their friendship evolve into something more, or will it simply be her undoing?
© 2016 Penelope Powell
Time heals all wounds…unless you deserve to suffer.
When the thought from her internal mantra struck, Gloria Fielder froze mid-step. As if punctuating the accusation, an icy wind howled, the force of it wrenching the glass door from her grasp and slamming it against the stopper.
“A few more minutes and you would’ve missed us entirely.”
Gloria looked up into the unsmiling face of a rail-thin woman standing sentinel over a group of children. Gloria assumed she was the children’s director, as they were all dressed in the festive colors of Christmas, their bright reds and deep greens reminding her of the candlelight service in progress.
She hesitated, her gaze shifting to the plaster nativity figures less than ten feet away, the babe in particular so…lifelike. Would it be better to leave and apologize later for having missed the program?
“Could you shut the door please? It’s hard to keep everyone’s attention while a draft is blowing through, and it’s almost time for us to begin.” Seeming to barely hang on to her patience, the director’s smile was as tight as her collar.
Being late was bad enough, but being made to feel like she was an annoying interruption was well…worse. Gloria shifted to close the door.
After an inquisitive glance toward Gloria, a chubby boy with flushed cheeks pulled on the director’s sleeve. “Mrs. Parker, when do we get our candles?”
“Patience, Tommy. We need to wait for the lady to go inside the auditorium, don’t we?”
Glancing from the boy to Mrs. Parker, Gloria apologized.
“That’s all right. We’re happy to wait for you to get settled.” Mrs. Parker’s smile stretched.
Gloria glanced back toward the woman, wondering if she meant what she said. She’d grown up in a house where a smile often held duplicity. Committed to stay, she hurried toward the partition crammed with winter coats. She unfurled the red scarf from her neck, then squished it and her coat into the mix.
Hushed giggles drew her gaze back to the director, who was busy giving each child a candle with detailed instructions. Everything about them seemed to contrast her. Was it just last year she wore red, putting on a good front? She wasn’t interested in being that person anymore. The clingy dress and all it represented was exiled to the corner of her closet. Proof she was different.
The past few weeks had been particularly hard. When something like seeing the babe in the manger shook her confidence instead of giving her hope, she questioned her faith as a believer in Christ. The possibility of seeing someone at this service she’d rather avoid tightened her chest with further worry.
“Ma’am, they’re waiting for us to start.” Apparently losing her patience, Mrs. Parker nodded toward the doors going into the auditorium.
Gloria tamped down her misgivings, straightened her shoulders, and walked toward the sanctuary. As she edged around the children to reach for one of the doors, a little girl dressed in an evergreen velvet dress took a candle from a basket and offered it to her.
“Thank you.” Gloria smiled.
The girl’s pink lips curved in reply.
Suddenly, blinking back the unwelcome pressure of tears, she turned and eased through the doors. Assailed by the scent of melting wax and pine, she waited for her eyesight to adjust to the soft glow of dimmed lighting, giving her a chance to scan the room for empty seats.
Soon an usher stood next to her, his face brightening when he smiled. “Is anyone joining you?” His generous teeth gleamed in the darkness.
Just me. She shook her head.
He motioned for her to follow him, then pointed to some empty chairs. As she made a beeline for them, his parting greeting followed. “Merry Christmas.”
Gloria glanced over her shoulder and forced a smile. She wanted to be merry. Wanted to simply feel peace. Wanted a reprieve from the recording in her head. Some days, the indictment playing over and over—tightening the tendrils of regret—putting her back on the treadmill of if-only. Making forgetting impossible.
If time was linear, and the passing of it promised things would get easier, then why hadn’t the grip of shame and sorrow weakened?
She settled into a chair as the children from the lobby entered and dispersed down the center aisle, the sound of their voices rising as they moved toward the front, their song offering her a distraction from her turmoil. With a deep breath, she closed her eyes and tried to escape into the words.
Joy to the World. A feeling she had yet to muster.
After several carols and a reenactment of the birth of Christ, the pastor walked up on the stage.
Bobby Jordan had thinning gray hair, a solid middle-aged build, and the demeanor and voice of an authoritative grandfather. But that was her opinion now that she knew him. Their first meeting was at her office. His friendly and forthright manner reminded her of the old Southern gentlemen at home. He explained he was a pastor hoping to refer church members who were house hunting, said a friend had recommended her.
Her peace of mind wavered at the memory. Fortunately, the uncomfortable connection led to providential results. If she had not been going through such a rough time, and if Bobby had not sought her out, she might never have begun a relationship with Christ. If only she could find a way to reconcile how the two connected without all the bad stuff. She rubbed her forehead.
“Thank you children, you may join your parents,” Bobby said.
Gloria glanced up as Bobby laid a hand on the shoulder of a little boy after dismissing the others to finds their seats.
“This is Johnny, one of our shepherds in tonight’s program. He’s seven. I asked Johnny a question earlier, and I wanted you to hear his response.” Bobby crouched down. “Johnny, what’s Christmas all about?” He tilted a microphone toward Johnny.
“Pweth-sents.” The boy turned toward the audience and smiled, the gap in his front teeth sparking chuckles from the crowd.
“What’s so great about presents?”
Bobby ruffled Johnny’s hair and told him to join his parents. When the laughter trickling through the congregation died down, Bobby stood at the edge of the platform. “Each Christmas, we decorate our homes with nativity scenes and our Christmas trees with lights.”
Gloria swallowed, the nativity from the lobby edging back into her thoughts.
“We send cards, sing carols, and we exchange gifts.” Eyes down, Bobby paused. “I agree with Johnny. Big or small, presents are special, but are they truly free? Certainly, they’re free to the recipients, but to the giver there is always a cost.” Bobby raised his arms. “But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Paul wrote this to the Ephesians. God’s gift of grace. Undeserved favor for us.”
Undeserved. That was certainly her. She’d never measured up to expectations, which was one of the reasons why she worked so hard at her job.
“As recipients, God’s gift of grace costs us nothing because Jesus paid for it. He gave his life, so we might receive forgiveness. Receive life. In this season of giving, in addition to the wrapped packages we place under our trees, let’s give grace to one another. Offer forgiveness when needed, even underserved.” Then Bobby prayed.
As before, the children assembled across the front. Once their candles were lit, they disbursed down each aisle, lighting the candles of people sitting on the end as they went. Music played in the background.
Eyes closed, Gloria focused on Bobby’s words. She prayed the message would wash over her. Because there was hope in knowing Christ had already forgiven her. And she could do the same.
Startled from someone’s touch, Gloria slapped a hand to her chest.
A man barely visible, given the darkness and shadows cast by candlelight, leaned closer. “Sorry to disturb you, but I thought you might want to light your candle.” Highlighting his explanation, he lifted his candle. For one brief moment, a striking, masculine face with eyes so dark they glittered like pools in moonlight stared back at her.
She swallowed, her heart still pounding from having been disturbed. “Sorry.” She fumbled for the candle amongst her things. Finding it, she held it toward him and tilted her wick toward his flame. A cool, woodsy scent wafted toward her, reminiscent of an autumn breeze. She inhaled the refreshing smell and relaxed a bit.
When her candle was lit, the flare illuminated his face once more. He looked up and caught her staring. Embarrassed, she turned away. “Thanks.”
When the lights came up, she hit the aisle, determined to get through the lobby then home. The last thing she wanted to do was linger. Not that she didn’t enjoy talking with people afterward, but tonight she felt fragile.
About the Author
Though her roots are buried deep in the hills of Middle Tennessee, she now lives in Indiana with her family and serves in her local church. She loves to entertain, give life to old things, antiquing, reading and of course writing.
Like the things we experience, I believe good Christian fiction can inspire and change someone’s perspective, and hopefully point them to Christ.
Date Published: April 2016
Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.
Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond.
The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.
… Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.
Praise for Remembrance of Blue Roses:
“A skillful tale that explores relationship nuances and redemption.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Yorker Keith’s Remembrance of Blue Roses is a slow-burning, passionate literary novel that speaks to the romantic in all of us. … A precisely-written, well-crafted literary work that illuminates the many facets of love, obsession and, ultimately, redemption.” — Chanticleer Book Reviews
“A deftly crafted, multi-layered, compelling read from beginning to end, Remembrance of Blue Roses establishes novelist Yorker Keith as an extraordinarily gifted storyteller.” — Midwest Book Review
“Readers who enjoy a sophisticated and well-written book about the complexity of human relationship will definitely enjoy Remembrance of Blue Roses.” — Readers’ Favorite
I have heard a wise man say that love is a form of friendship, and friendship a form of love; the line between the two is misty. I happen to know that this holds true because I have roamed that misty line. Time has passed since then, but I cherish the memory of the blue roses in grace and perpetuity — our blue roses. It all began with a fortuitous encounter.
* * *
On a fine day in early April 1999, I was sketching in the sculpture court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I felt hesitant working in such a public space, but this was a homework assignment for the art class I was taking. The object of my sketch was a sculpture of an adorable young woman, a nude, reclining on a moss-covered rock surrounded by an abundance of flowers. The smooth texture of the white marble sensually expressed her lively body, which shone with bright sunlight beneath the glass ceiling of the court.
My drawing materials were simple, just a number 2 pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of heavy white drawing paper. The assignment was to capture the skin of a figure in as much detail as possible. I had almost completed sketching the woman’s body and was working on the rock and flowers. I was not doing badly, I thought, for a small crowd of museum visitors had gathered around me, showing approving faces and nods.
“Ah, this is excellent!” one man exclaimed.
I recognized the voice and turned to see Hans Schmidt, standing amid the crowd wearing a big grin.
“What a surprise!” he continued. “I didn’t know you had such an artistic talent, Mark. How are you?” He came forward and firmly shook my hand.
I greeted him, then pointed to my drawing. “I’ve been working on this for a while. I wasn’t sure how it would come out. But it’s coming along all right, I guess.”
“I don’t know much about drawing, but this looks great.” He gestured enthusiastically to a young woman next to him. “What do you think?”
“It’s pretty.” Her voice sounded like a bell.
“This is Yukari, my wife.” He guided her toward me, his hand lingering at the small of her back.
I swallowed. I knew Hans was married, but this was my first time to meet his wife. Hans’s wife is Japanese? How lovely she is. Hans, you devil, you’re a lucky man!
“Pleased to meet you.” I gently shook her small refined hand. “I’m Mark Sanders. Hans and I are good friends.”
Hans’s wife appeared to be in her late thirties, or late twenties? I could hardly tell, because Japanese women often looked much younger than their age. She was willowy, of medium height, with a fine complexion, dark eyes, straight nose, and shiny dark brown hair that hung to her shoulders. For a Japanese woman, she had a touch of a Western woman’s body, the round breasts and a curvy waist. Despite her conservative dress, she reminded me of the nude I was sketching — though I quickly banished the thought.
She gazed directly into my eyes with keen curiosity. “Do you come here often to sketch? It’s really nice.”
“Well, yes,” I answered, “I visit this museum often. But to sketch? No, this is the first time. You know what? It’s so embarrassing.”
I dabbed some sweat from my forehead. We three burst out laughing.
“Hans, I’m almost done. Can you come back in ten minutes or so?” I said. “Then we could go to the terrace for a cup of coffee.”
“Sounds terrific,” said Hans. “We’ll be walking around the sculpture court. When you’re done, just join us.”
Hans took Yukari’s arm and started moving leisurely toward other sculptures. She smiled at me and went along with him. Hans tried to hold her closely at her waist, but she discretely slipped away. I didn’t understand what it meant. I presumed that as a Japanese woman she was timid to show open affection.
I hastily added finishing touches to the figure, rock, and flowers. Since the figure had been almost completed, the rest went quickly and easily — or so I felt after having seen Hans and Yukari.
* * *
I had known Hans for some time because both he and I worked at the United Nations New York Headquarters as international civil servants. He was German, aged forty-two, tall and slim, with blond hair, high forehead, and grey eyes. He had a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked as an Economic Affairs Officer in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat, which was the administrative body of the UN. His job there was to maintain and operate a global econometric modeling system, called EGlobe.
We had originally met in a French language class. Being at the UN, we were required to be proficient in at least two of its six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. In my case, I added French to my native English. My French was hardly adequate, though, so I was working my way through the seven-level French program.
In level six I met Hans, who had just started the program from that level. We ate lunch often together in the cafeteria and practiced our French. His grasp of the language was much better than mine. Also, since he used computers heavily for his work, and since I had a good friend, Shem Tov Lancry, an Israeli, in the Information Technology Services Division of the Department of Management, I introduced them, so Hans was able to receive technical advice from Shem Tov.
I packed up my drawing materials, and we three went to the balcony above the Great Hall of the museum, where drinks and desserts were served while musicians played chamber music. We each ordered a glass of red wine.
About the Author
Yorker Keith lives in Manhattan, New York City. He loves literature, theatre, classical music, opera, and art. He holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. His literary works have been recognized four times in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as a finalist or a semifinalist.