Archive for the ‘Books in general’ Category

In 2016, USAID (The United States Agency for International Development is the United States Government agency) reported that nearly 75 percent of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st century are zoonotic (i.e. originated in animals).

 

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There is talk among the scientific community that in the near future, humanity may face another Spanish Flu-level pandemic (the Spanish Flu H1N1 influenza virus killed 50-100 million in 1918 and infected 500 million worldwide)…or even something more extreme that threatens humanity’s survival.

Besides the Spanish Flu, the more recent history of pandemics, including and especially the H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak in 2009, inspired our new release novel Silent Fear (which goes on sale on Halloween on October 31: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/ ). We worked closely with a medical laboratory scientist/microbiologist to get all the medical aspects of the virus in our novel correct. And soon discovered microbiology is a fascinating, and sometimes scary, world underneath the surface…a place where viruses form at the micro level before sometimes spreading worldwide and threatening all of us.

SF Halloween poster

On the TheBlackVault.com website, in an article headed ‘USAID’s Pandemic Influenza and Other Emerging Threats (PIOET) Program‘, they mention: “Notable reminders of how vulnerable the increasingly interconnected world is to the global impact of new emergent diseases include HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, and the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. The speed with which these diseases can emerge and spread presents serious public health, economic, and development concerns.”

The article continues, mentioning how USAID’s “Pandemic Influenza and Other Emerging Threats (PIOET) Unit supports two major lines of work: H5N1 Avian Influenza, and Emerging Pandemic Threats. H5N1 Avian Influenza: Since 2005, USAID has strengthened the capacities of more than 50 countries for monitoring the spread of H5N1 avian influenza among wild bird populations, domestic poultry, and humans, to mount a rapid and effective containment of the virus when it is found, and to help countries prepare operational capacities in the event a pandemic capable virus emerges.”

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So what’s looming in the world right now, virus wise?

Deadly Bird Flu In China Evolves, Spreads To New Regions http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/09/07/549069924/deadly-bird-flu-in-china-evolves-spreads-to-new-regions

This article mentions:

“This past year China had the largest outbreak of a deadly bird flu since the virus was first detected in March 2013.

For the past five years, China has had annual waves of H7N9 outbreaks that peak around January and February.

During the 2017 season, the country reported nearly the same number of cases as all four previous years combined, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report Thursday. The virus cropped up in more geographic regions. And it showed signs of evolving in ways that cause concern.

As NPR reported in April, the virus has picked up mutations that make it more deadly in poultry and less susceptible to antiviral treatments. “Our research shows it can kill all the chickens in our lab within 24 hours,” virologist Guan Yi told NPR.

H7N9 isn’t your run-of-the-mill bird flu. H7N9 is “the influenza virus with the highest potential pandemic risk,” the CDC writes in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In people, H7N9 can cause a severe form of pneumonia and progress into septic shock and multiorgan failure. “We know of only a small number of people who presented with influenza-like symptoms and then recovered without medical attention,” the World Health Organization says.

During the 2017 outbreak, the Chinese government reported 759 cases of H7N9. There were 281 deaths — about a third of those infected. By comparison in 2016 and 2015, the country reported 123 and 226 cases, respectively.”

 

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But wait, there’s more…Oh no!

CNN: The big one is coming, and it’s going to be a flu pandemic https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/04/07/health/flu-pandemic-sanjay-gupta/index.html

Article Excerpts:
  • “Unlike seasonal flu, pandemics occur when a completely new or novel virus emerges
  • Gupta: Developing and deploying a pandemic flu vaccine just 24 weeks faster, would save many lives

(CNN)Experts say we are “due” for one. When it happens, they tell us, it will probably have a greater impact on humanity than anything else currently happening in the world.

And yet, like with most people, it is probably something you haven’t spent much time thinking about. After all, it is human nature to avoid being consumed by hypotheticals until they are staring us squarely in the face.

Such is the case with a highly lethal flu pandemic. And when it comes, it will affect every human alive today.

Pandemic flu is apolitical and does not discriminate between rich and poor. Geographical boundaries are meaningless, and it can circle the globe within hours. In terms of potential impact on mankind, the only thing that comes close is climate change. And, like climate change, pandemic flu is so vast, it can be challenging to wrap your head around it.

When most people hear “flu,” they typically think of seasonal flu. No doubt, seasonal flu can be deadly, especially for the very young and old, as well as those with compromised immune systems.

For most people, however, the seasonal flu virus, which mutates just a little bit every year, is not particularly severe because our immune systems have already probably seen a similar flu virus and thus know how to fight it. It’s called native immunity or protection, and almost all of us have some degree of it.

Babies are more vulnerable because they haven’t been exposed to the seasonal flu and older people because their immune systems may not be functioning as well.

Pandemic flu is a different animal, and you should understand the difference.

Panˈdemik/: pan means “all”; demic (or demographic) means “people.” It is well-named, because pandemic flu spreads easily throughout the world. Unlike seasonal flu, pandemics occur when a completely new or novel virus emerges. This sort of virus can emerge directly from animal reservoirs or be the result of a dramatic series of mutations — so-called reassortment events — in previously circulating viruses.

In either case, the result is something mankind has never seen before: a pathogen that can spread easily from person to defenseless person, our immune systems never primed to launch any sort of defense.”

 

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In our new release novel Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), we have created a fictional scenario inspired by this microbiology and worked closely with a scientist who guided us on our medical sub-plot. Within a murder investigation in a university for the Deaf in London, England, a deadly flu virus (H7N7) outbreak occurs, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world.

In the sealed-off university, we then explore in detail a chaotic virus management story where not only does the virus continue to infect more Deaf students and claim more lives, but a serial killer remains at large and terrorizes those who manage to survive the deadly virus.


Silent Fear Kindle cover

And just today, in an unusual coincidence that sounds all too similar to Silent Fear, news has broken out in the last few hours that four hospital wards in the Devon, England have been forced to close due to an outbreak of the norovirus.

Wards closed as outbreak of norovirus confirmed at North Devon District Hospital http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/wards-closed-outbreak-norovirus-confirmed-690373

13:26, 27 OCT 2017

ARTICLE EXCERPTS:

People are being asked not to visit the hospital if they have had, or been in contact with someone who has had, diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 48 hours, unless their visit is essential.

Four wards at North Devon District Hospital were forced to close due to an outbreak of the vomiting and diarrhoea bug norovirus.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is asking people not to visit the hospital if they have had, or been in contact with someone who has had, diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 48 hours, unless their visit is essential.

Norovirus is a highly contagious gastro-intestinal virus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

Following the spread of this virus in the North Devon community, there is an increase in patients being admitted to NDDH with norovirus.

There have been confirmed cases of norovirus at NDDH this week and four wards were closed to new admissions as a precautionary measure.

The Trust is asking people not to visit the hospital if they have had, or been in contact with someone who has had, diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 48 hours, unless their visit is essential.

When in hospital, people should keep their hands clean using soap and water or the gels provided, and encourage others to do the same.

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Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

If you would like to follow up on this virus outbreak, and other outbreaks around the world, click on this link: http://www.globalincidentmap.com/beta/disease-outbreaks-map 

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Check out Silent Fear on Amazon (it published Halloween, Oct 31, but can be pre-ordered now):

 

See you on the flip side, guys (if you survive the pandemic AND the serial killer in SILENT FEAR!)

James Morcan

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Amazon recently invited us to write about our lives as independent, or indie, authors. To be fair, they extended the invitation to all indie authors whose work is self-published via KDP, or Kindle Direct Publishing, and via CreateSpace, Amazon’s print publishing arm. However, vain as we are, we prefer to consider it an exclusive invitation.

Like most indie authors, we need little excuse to talk about our work, or ourselves for that matter, so here goes.

We are Lance and James Morcan, a New Zealand father-and-son writing team. Lance resides in New Zealand while James is based in Sydney, Australia. Together, we’ve co-authored and self-published more than 20 novels and non-fiction books – all under the banner of our publishing company Sterling Gate Books and all exclusive to Amazon.

 

Lance Morcan    1174474     

Lance and James…the Morcan writing team.

 

We are also screenwriters and have put several adaptations of our novels into development as feature films with our production company Morcan Motion Pictures. These include our international thrillers Silent Fear and The Ninth Orphan, and our historical adventures Fiji, White Spirit and Into the Americas.

Our other novels comprise The Orphan Factory, The Orphan Uprising and World Odyssey. Screenplay adaptations of these are also planned.

Our journeys as indie authors began over a decade ago when we co-wrote our first novels, The Ninth Orphan and Fiji. After receiving countless rejections from London and New York publishers, we decided to put our destiny into our own hands and form our own publishing company. That was in 2011, and it was a smart move. We recommend this course of action to all authors who may be struggling to get noticed.

We spent months researching the best online publishing platform for our work. After considering all the options, we arrived at the resounding conclusion there was, and is, only one platform worth considering – and that’s Amazon.

Why? Well, check out Amazon’s global market share for starters. Its book marketing platform is unrivaled. They’ve cornered the self-publishing market.

Not convinced? Compare Amazon and its DIY print business CreateSpace with other major players such as Lulu, Smashwords, AuthorHouse and Blurb. There’s no comparison.

And then there’s Amazon’s KDP Select (KDPS), which, in a nutshell, requires exclusivity of authors for their eBooks. We opted to commit to KDPS. It’s a decision we’ve never regretted.

The global reach, higher royalties, Kindle Countdown Deals, free promotions and commissions for book borrows (through Kindle Unlimited) were what most attracted us. However, the full benefits of enrolling with KDPS are too many to list here. If you’re interested, Google “benefits of KDP Select” and scan some of the 1,000 plus entries.

Our first experience with a Kindle book set the pattern for us. Following a seven-day freebie, or free promotion, our thriller The Ninth Orphan achieved the #1 ranking, albeit briefly, in the Spy genre on Amazon.com and Amazon UK during the period December 2011 to January 2012. Not bad for first-time, unknown authors from Down Under!

 

The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy Book 1) 

A former #1 bestseller.

 

Writing and brainstorming ideas some 1300 miles apart, separated as we are by the Tasman Sea, aka the Ditch, does present its problems even in this modern era. Unreliable Skype connections, mislaid emails and occasionally faulty WattsApp telephone conferences aside, we get by.

And then there’s the inevitable creative differences. These are accentuated no doubt by the father-son relationship and by the generation gap. However, we view these differences as strengths rather than weaknesses. We are our own toughest critics; we keep each other honest as writers, which helps maintain high standards, and we collectively understand what readers from our respective generations are looking for. That’s the theory anyway. It seems to work!

It seems to work for other father-son writing teams, too. Just last month, bestselling author Stephen King and son Owen King released Sleeping Beauties in what’s described as a “spectacular father/son collaboration.” This supernatural thriller, incidentally, is selling as a Kindle ebook, hardcover and paperback on, you guessed it, Amazon.

                                                                                           

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Another father-son collaboration.

 

Our non-fiction books include The Orphan Conspiracies, which highlights and expands on the 29 conspiracy theories covered in our international thriller series The Orphan Trilogy.

Perhaps our most controversial book is also our latest non-fiction book, Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories: Two Non-Jews Affirm the Historicity of the Nazi Genocide. It’s controversial because it has attracted the ire of Holocaust deniers and so-called revisionists, and has even prompted the publication of books whose sole aim is to denigrate our book.

 

DEBUNKING HOLOCAUST DENIAL THEORIES: Two Non-Jews Affirm the Historicity of the Nazi Genocide                                                                      Book ridicules the deniers.

 

With a foreword by Holocaust survivor Hetty E. Verolme (author of The Children’s House of Belsen), Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories was written in close consultation with Holocaust survivors and World War Two historians. Its message, we believe, is important because the spectre of anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head again.

We have published seven books so far in our Underground Knowledge Series – the most popular being Genius Intelligence, Underground Bases and The Catcher in the Rye Enigma.

The above-mentioned series gave rise to the Underground Knowledge discussion group on Goodreads.com. Designed to encourage debates about important and underreported issues of our era, it’s one of the fastest-growing groups on that Amazon-owned site. The group’s link is https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/142309-underground-knowledge—a-discussion-group  

In addition, we have secured 24 foreign rights agreements for the translation of our books into Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Afrikaans, Norwegian and Dutch with more contracts pending. These are available across a wide number of retailers internationally, including Amazon.

Our current focus is on our new release crime-thriller Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), which was launched as a paperback on Amazon just a week ago. The Kindle eBook version is available via Amazon Pre-orders and will be auto-delivered to buyers’ Kindles on October 31st.

 

Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes)

In Silent Fear, Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives. 

The Amazon link for Silent Fear is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/   

 

Dedicated to the many millions of deaf people around the world, Silent Fear was inspired by the murders of several deaf students at Gallaudet University, one of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions for the deaf, in Washington, D.C.

A decade in the making, it was written under the guidance of leading deaf filmmaker Brent Macpherson whose commentary on the unique aspects of deaf culture the story covers appears at the end of the book. Together, the Morcans and Macpherson are developing a feature film adaptation of Silent Fear.

A film trailer promoting the book and planned film can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bv1vbQxYo

We have also set up Silent World, a new Goodreads discussion group, to promote the book at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/237556-silent-world-a-discussion-group

A final word for any new or would-be authors out there who may feel daunted at the prospect of having to find a home for their book after having shed blood, sweat and tears, over months or possibly years, and who are wondering what the hell to do next. Do your due diligence, of course, and don’t take our word for it, but we recommend the following course of action based on our personal experience.

Take control of your destiny and self-publish. If literary agents and publishing company editors don’t recognise your literary gem or masterpiece, that doesn’t automatically mean readers won’t resonate with it. However, readers won’t be able to respond or resonate if your manuscript remains hidden.

Consider Amazon as your first choice publishing platform, take the bull by the horns and become a KDP Select author. It worked for us!

Lance & James Morcan

 

Author profiles for Lance and James: https://www.amazon.com/Lance-Morcan/e/B005ET3ZUO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_2https://www.amazon.com/James-Morcan/e/B005EPOU48/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

 

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October 3 is a red letter day for Dan Brown fans: that’s when The Da Vinci Code author’s latest thriller, Origin, is launched on Amazon.

 

Origin: (Robert Langdon Book 5) by [Brown, Dan]

Book 5 in the Robert Langdon series.

 

We have an excerpt from Origin  for you below. First, here’s the storyline:

In, Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

In order to evade a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history and ancient religion. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal uncover the clues that will bring them face-to-face with a world-shaking truth that has remained buried – until now.

 

And here’s the promised excerpt from Origin  (courtesy of Amazon):

 

PROLOGUE

As the ancient cogwheel train clawed its way up the dizzying incline, Edmond Kirsch surveyed the jagged mountaintop above him. In the distance, built into the face of a sheer cliff, the massive stone monastery seemed to hang in space, as if magically fused to the vertical precipice.

This timeless sanctuary in Catalonia, Spain, had endured the relentless pull of gravity for more than four centuries, never slipping from its original purpose: to insulate its occupants from the modern world.

Ironically, they will now be the first to learn the truth, Kirsch thought, wondering how they would react. Historically, the most dangerous men on earth were men of God . . . especially when their gods became threatened. And I am about to hurl a flaming spear into a hornets’ nest.

When the train reached the mountaintop, Kirsch saw a solitary figure waiting for him on the platform. The wizened skeleton of a man was draped in the traditional Catholic purple cassock and white rochet, with a zucchetto on his head. Kirsch recognized his host’s rawboned features from photos and felt an unexpected surge of adrenaline.

Valdespino is greeting me personally.

Bishop Antonio Valdespino was a formidable figure in Spain—not only a trusted friend and counselor to the king himself, but one of the country’s most vocal and influential advocates for the preservation of conservative Catholic values and traditional political standards.

“Edmond Kirsch, I assume?” the bishop intoned as Kirsch exited the train.

“Guilty as charged,” Kirsch said, smiling as he reached out to shake his host’s bony hand. “Bishop Valdespino, I want to thank you for arranging this meeting.”

“I appreciate your requesting it.” The bishop’s voice was stronger than Kirsch expected—clear and penetrating, like a bell. “It is not often we are consulted by men of science, especially one of your prominence. This way, please.”

As Valdespino guided Kirsch across the platform, the cold mountain air whipped at the bishop’s cassock.

“I must confess,” Valdespino said, “you look different than I imagined. I was expecting a scientist, but you’re quite . . .” He eyed his guest’s sleek Kiton K50 suit and Barker ostrich shoes with a hint of disdain. “‘Hip,’ I believe, is the word?”

Kirsch smiled politely. The word “hip” went out of style decades ago.

“In reading your list of accomplishments,” the bishop said, “I am still not entirely sure what it is you do.”

“I specialize in game theory and computer modeling.”

“So you make the computer games that the children play?”

Kirsch sensed the bishop was feigning ignorance in an attempt to be quaint. More accurately, Kirsch knew, Valdespino was a frighteningly well-informed student of technology and often warned others of its dangers. “No, sir, actually game theory is a field of mathematics that studies patterns in order to make predictions about the future.”

“Ah yes. I believe I read that you predicted a European monetary crisis some years ago? When nobody listened, you saved the day by inventing a computer program that pulled the EU back from the dead. What was your famous quote? ‘At thirty-three years old, I am the same age as Christ when He performed His resurrection.’”

Kirsch cringed. “A poor analogy, Your Grace. I was young.”

“Young?” The bishop chuckled. “And how old are you now . . . perhaps forty?”

“Just.”

The old man smiled as the strong wind continued to billow his robe. “Well, the meek were supposed to inherit the earth, but instead it has gone to the young—the technically inclined, those who stare into video screens rather than into their own souls. I must admit, I never imagined I would have reason to meet the young man leading the charge. They call you a prophet, you know.”

“Not a very good one in your case, Your Grace,” Kirsch replied. “When I asked if I might meet you and your colleagues privately, I calculated only a twenty percent chance you would accept.”

“And as I told my colleagues, the devout can always benefit from listening to nonbelievers. It is in hearing the voice of the devil that we can better appreciate the voice of God.” The old man smiled. “I am joking, of course. Please forgive my aging sense of humor. My filters fail me from time to time.”

With that, Bishop Valdespino motioned ahead. “The others are waiting. This way, please.”

Kirsch eyed their destination, a colossal citadel of gray stone perched on the edge of a sheer cliff that plunged thousands of feet down into a lush tapestry of wooded foothills. Unnerved by the height, Kirsch averted his eyes from the chasm and followed the bishop along the uneven cliffside path, turning his thoughts to the meeting ahead.

Kirsch had requested an audience with three prominent religious leaders who had just finished attending a conference here.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Since 1893, hundreds of spiritual leaders from nearly thirty world religions had gathered in a different location every few years to spend a week engaged in interfaith dialogue. Participants included a wide array of influential Christian priests, Jewish rabbis, and Islamic mullahs from around the world, along with Hindu pujaris, Buddhist bhikkhus, Jains, Sikhs, and others.

The parliament’s self-proclaimed objective was “to cultivate harmony among the world’s religions, build bridges between diverse spiritualities, and celebrate the intersections of all faith.”

A noble quest, Kirsch thought, despite seeing it as an empty exercise—a meaningless search for random points of correspondence among a hodgepodge of ancient fictions, fables, and myths.

As Bishop Valdespino guided him along the pathway, Kirsch peered down the mountainside with a sardonic thought. Moses climbed a mountain to accept the Word of God . . . and I have climbed a mountain to do quite the opposite.

Kirsch’s motivation for climbing this mountain, he had told himself, was one of ethical obligation, but he knew there was a good dose of hubris fueling this visit— he was eager to feel the gratification of sitting face-to-face with these clerics and foretelling their imminent demise.

You’ve had your run at defining our truth.

“I looked at your curriculum vitae,” the bishop said abruptly, glancing at Kirsch. “I see you’re a product of Harvard University?”

“Undergraduate. Yes.”

“I see. Recently, I read that for the first time in Harvard’s history, the incoming student body consists of more atheists and agnostics than those who identify as followers of any religion. That is quite a telling statistic, Mr. Kirsch.”

What can I tell you, Kirsch wanted to reply, our students keep getting smarter.

The wind whipped harder as they arrived at the ancient stone edifice. Inside the dim light of the building’s entryway, the air was heavy with the thick fragrance of burning frankincense. The two men snaked through a maze of dark corridors, and Kirsch’s eyes fought to adjust as he followed his cloaked host. Finally, they arrived at an unusually small wooden door. The bishop knocked, ducked down, and entered, motioning for his guest to follow.

Uncertain, Kirsch stepped over the threshold.

He found himself in a rectangular chamber whose high walls burgeoned with ancient leather-bound tomes. Additional freestanding bookshelves jutted out of the walls like ribs, interspersed with cast-iron radiators that clanged and hissed, giving the room the eerie sense that it was alive. Kirsch raised his eyes to the ornately balustraded walkway that encircled the second story and knew without a doubt where he was.

The famed library of Montserrat, he realized, startled to have been admitted. This sacred room was rumored to contain uniquely rare texts accessible only to those monks who had devoted their lives to God and who were sequestered here on this mountain.

“You asked for discretion,” the bishop said. “This is our most private space. Few outsiders have ever entered.”

“A generous privilege. Thank you.”

Kirsch followed the bishop to a large wooden table where two elderly men sat waiting. The man on the left looked timeworn, with tired eyes and a matted white beard. He wore a crumpled black suit, white shirt, and fedora.

“This is Rabbi Yehuda Köves,” the bishop said. “He is a prominent Jewish philosopher who has written extensively on Kabbalistic cosmology.”

Kirsch reached across the table and politely shook hands with Rabbi Köves. “A pleasure to meet you, sir,” Kirsch said. “I’ve read your books on Kabbala. I can’t say I understood them, but I’ve read them.”

Köves gave an amiable nod, dabbing at his watery eyes with his handkerchief.

“And here,” the bishop continued, motioning to the other man, “you have the respected allamah, Syed al-Fadl.”

The revered Islamic scholar stood up and smiled broadly. He was short and squat with a jovial face that seemed a mismatch with his dark penetrating eyes. He was dressed in an unassuming white thawb. “And, Mr. Kirsch, I have read your predictions on the future of mankind. I can’t say I agree with them, but I have read them.”

Kirsch gave a gracious smile and shook the man’s hand.

“And our guest, Edmond Kirsch,” the bishop concluded, addressing his two colleagues, “as you know, is a highly regarded computer scientist, game theorist, inventor, and something of a prophet in the technological world. Considering his background, I was puzzled by his request to address the three of us. Therefore, I shall now leave it to Mr. Kirsch to explain why he has come.”

With that, Bishop Valdespino took a seat between his two colleagues, folded his hands, and gazed up expectantly at Kirsch. All three men faced him like a tribunal, creating an ambience more like that of an inquisition than a friendly meeting of scholars. The bishop, Kirsch now realized, had not even set out a chair for him.

Kirsch felt more bemused than intimidated as he studied the three aging men before him. So this is the Holy Trinity I requested. The Three Wise Men.

Pausing a moment to assert his power, Kirsch walked over to the window and gazed out at the breathtaking panorama below. A sunlit patchwork of ancient pastoral lands stretched across a deep valley, giving way to the rugged peaks of the Collserola mountain range. Miles beyond, somewhere out over the Balearic Sea, a menacing bank of storm clouds was now gathering on the horizon.

Fitting, Kirsch thought, sensing the turbulence he would soon cause in this room, and in the world beyond.

“Gentlemen,” he commenced, turning abruptly back toward them. “I believe Bishop Valdespino has already conveyed to you my request for secrecy. Before we continue, I just want to clarify that what I am about to share with you must be kept in the strictest confidence. Simply stated, I am asking for a vow of silence from all of you. Are we in agreement?”

All three men gave nods of tacit acquiescence, which Kirsch knew were probably redundant anyway. They will want to bury this information—not broadcast it.

“I am here today,” Kirsch began, “because I have made a scientific discovery I believe you will find startling. It is something I have pursued for many years, hoping to provide answers to two of the most fundamental questions of our human experience. Now that I have succeeded, I have come to you specifically because I believe this information will affect the world’s faithful in a profound way, quite possibly causing a shift that can only be described as, shall we say—disruptive. At the moment, I am the only person on earth who has the information I am about to reveal to you.”

Kirsch reached into his suit coat and pulled out an oversized smartphone—one that he had designed and built to serve his own unique needs. The phone had a vibrantly colored mosaic case, and he propped it up before the three men like a television. In a moment, he would use the device to dial into an ultrasecure server, enter his forty-seven-character password, and live-stream a presentation for them.

“What you are about to see,” Kirsch said, “is a rough cut of an announcement I hope to share with the world—perhaps in a month or so. But before I do, I wanted to consult with a few of the world’s most influential religious thinkers, to gain insight into how this news will be received by those it affects most.”

The bishop sighed loudly, sounding more bored than concerned. “An intriguing preamble, Mr. Kirsch. You speak as if whatever you are about to show us will shake the foundations of the world’s religions.”

Kirsch glanced around the ancient repository of sacred texts. It will not shake your foundations. It will shatter them.

Kirsch appraised the men before him. What they did not know was that in only three days’ time, Kirsch planned to go public with this presentation in a stunning, meticulously choreographed event. When he did, people across the world would realize that the teachings of all religions did indeed have one thing in common.

They were all dead wrong.

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For an advance read of Origin’s chapter 1 go to: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2017/09/dan-browns-new-novel-origin-prologue-and-chapter-one.html

The Kindle ebook, paperback and hardcover versions of Origin  can be pre-ordered via Amazon now. The ebook will be auto-delivered to buyers’ Kindles on October 3.

Origin’s pending release follows in the wake of today’s launch of Nelson DeMille’s latest thriller, The Cuban Affair.

Other notable thriller novels to be launched in the coming weeks include John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar (October 24), Michael Connelly’s Two Kinds of Truth (October 30), David Baldacci’s End Game (October 31), Lance and James Morcan’s Silent Fear (October 31) and Lee Child’s The Midnight Line (November 7).

As was the case with DeMille’s The Cuban Affair, these novels are all available now as Kindle ebooks on Amazon’s Pre-order program.

 

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We invite you to consider joining Underground Knowledge – a Goodreads discussion group and global community we have created to encourage dialogue about underreported issues of our era.

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/142309-underground-knowledge—a-discussion-group

Underground Knowledge group logo

With over 1,400 members already, Underground Knowledge is one of the most active and lively groups on Goodreads.com – the world’s leading social media site for book readers with 30 million members. The group is fast becoming the go-to place to learn about and discuss controversial facts, concepts and little-known events not generally reported in the mainstream media.

‘Undergrounders’ (our name for the group’s members) include New York Times  bestselling authors, internationally-renowned scientists, leading investigative journalists, economists, social activists, ex-CIA and MI6 intelligence agents turned whistleblowers, neuroscientists and former NASA engineers. There are even Pulitzer Prize nominees.

Become an Undergrounder today and start contributing to this growing movement that’s all about sharing “underground knowledge” with the masses so together we may create a better world… https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/142309-underground-knowledge—a-discussion-group

 

Lance & James Morcan  (group founders)

1088194 

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Dan Brown, Suzanne Collins, Stieg Larsson, Frank Herbert and Umberto Eco are among the bestselling authors whose books feature in a reader popularity list on Goodreads.com, the influential, Amazon-owned literary site for readers, authors and publishers.

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion

Goodreads’ membership, which tops 30 million and rising, has been invited to vote for, or add books (either non-fiction or fiction titles), that contain “underground knowledge” or little-known facts about important issues. The list is inspired by the bookshelf of the Goodreads discussion group Underground Knowledge.

 

To view the Top 100 ‘Underground Knowledge’ books go to: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/82849.Underground_Knowledge#25393264

 

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In a revealing interview John Perkins, bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, published in 2004, has divulged he began writing the book in the 1980’s, but “threats or bribes” always convinced him to stop.

John Perkins

Economic hit man Perkins.

The interview, part of a short documentary, is featured in our ‘Underground Knowledge’ discussion group on the popular literary site Goodreads.com – and it’s well worth a look.

In it, Perkins maintains his function was to convince the political and financial leadership of underdeveloped countries to accept enormous development loans from institutions like the World Bank and USAID. Saddled with debts they could not hope to pay, those countries were forced to acquiesce to political pressure from the United States on a variety of issues. Perkins argues in his book that developing nations were effectively neutralized politically, had their wealth gaps driven wider and economies crippled in the long run.

His definition of economic hit men (EHMs), incidentally, is highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars.

To view the interview in full go to: https://www.goodreads.com/videos/80849-confessions-of-an-economic-hitman—john-perkins-short-documentary

The interview is compelling viewing and the book (below) is compelling reading.

 

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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Membership of our ‘Underground Knowledge’ group has now topped 650, making it one of the fastest growing groups on Goodreads; it’s also one of the most, if not the most, active. To check it out go to: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/142309-29-conspiracy-theories—a-discussion-group

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Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) team announced this week they continue to see strong response from customers to the Kindle Unlimited (KU) book borrows scheme and are adding a bonus of $4.25 million to the previously announced base fund amount of $3 million. This brings the total fund to $7.25 million for the month of December.

KDP released the following report “to share some initial results from the first few months of Kindle Unlimited” with its stable of participating authors and independent publishers:

• Renewal Rates – Authors have chosen to renew their titles in KDP Select at rates in excess of 95% in each month of 2014.
• A La Carte Sales Growth – During the 5 full months since KU launch (August to December 2014), royalties to KDPS authors from a la carte sales have grown faster than a la carte sales on KDP overall or Kindle overall.
• Adding in the payments for KOLL and KU over that time, total royalties to KDPS authors more than doubled when compared to the same period in 2013.
• Total earnings on titles priced $2.99 or greater are growing faster than the overall average. The same is true for titles 150+ pages in length.

A KDP spokesperson says, “To further highlight the KDP Select books that are most popular with customers, we will again award “KDP Select All-Stars” for December to the most-read authors and titles in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. We’ll spotlight each All-Star author and title on applicable detail pages.

“These awards will come with financial bonuses and recipients will be contacted in the next few days. For more information on All-Stars, visit https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2X66QXB12WV2. Anyone with a title in KDP Select—even a debut author with a single title—can qualify if their work becomes a customer favorite. We will also pay a separate bonus for Kindle Owners’ Lending Library loans in Japan.”

The spokesperson says, “We’ve gotten lots of great feedback in the past weeks and months, including a bunch of ideas on how to further improve the structure of the program and make it work better for authors and readers alike. Like everything we do, we’re looking hard at all your feedback and we expect to keep tweaking and improving the program in the future.”

 

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