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The Edge of Hope

The Edge of Hope

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The Edge of Hope

Lunghezza:
203 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Sep 10, 2014
ISBN:
9781311789198
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

In Book Two of the Timeless series, world leaders converge on a secret base at Menwith Hill, England, attempting to coordinate a fantastic defense against the monstrous threat hurtling toward Earth. Meanwhile, huge chunks of the Ronne Ice Flow sheer off into vital shipping lanes and a towering tsunami floods Somalia, leaving thousands dead or homeless.
Famine and pestilence are now a worldwide affliction. Religious leaders struggle to lay their differences aside to provide whatever aid they can. Indeed, the Earth itself seems bent on destruction as Mount Ontake and other volcanoes erupt with hails of molten lava. What can save mankind from this apocalyptic nightmare?
The Indians called him Wovoka, the great deliverer, the one foretold to save the World from itself. In a battle against the ultimate evil, only he seems strong enough to defeat such an invincible foe. Or, will mankind’s salvation come from a most unlikely source?

Pubblicato:
Sep 10, 2014
ISBN:
9781311789198
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Ann B. Keller has been writing novels, poetry, and screenplays for over fifty years. In addition, Ms. Keller is a veteran of the stage, singing and starring in the lead role as the tomboyish Princess Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress, which gained her an invitation to audition for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has received the National Thespian Award and has appeared in numerous additional theater productions in New York, Michigan and Maryland, including The Admirable Crichton, The Crucible and The Pajama Game. When she is not writing novels, Ms. Keller enjoys bringing the gift of music to all within the sound of her clear, bell-like soprano. She lives in the western suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio with her three active sons. TITLES BY ANN B. KELLER A Chance Encounter A Splinter in Time (Book One of the Timeless Series) Briggen (Book One of the Briggen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Trilogy) Cherish: Collection of Love Stories Crenellations Ever Charming Footsteps Across My Heart For the Love of Kate His Obsession His to Desire Keeper of Her Heart Light of Love Mantasi (Book Three of the Briggen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Trilogy) My Colorado Love O, Sweet Desire Once Inside A Mountain Redding's Choice Secret Yearning So, What Is Love? Talisman Terminal Facet The Devil’s Crescent The Edge of Hope (Book Two of the Timeless Series) The Pembridge Bride The Torrent Seed (Book Two of the Briggen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Trilogy) Treasure of Langtree Lake Vortex of Revelation: The Last Days Vortex of Revelation: The Second Coming

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Anteprima del libro

The Edge of Hope - Ann B. Keller

The Edge of Hope

By

Ann B. Keller

The Edge of Hope

By Ann B. Keller

Smashwords Edition

ISBN: 9781311789198

Copyright 2014 by Ann B. Keller

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Chapter 1

I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and has kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Revelations 3-8

Wednesday, April 12th

Jack Urso cracked open one eye and stared at the unfamiliar ceiling in their Paris hotel room. With a sigh, Jack thrust his fingers through his dark hair and rolled to sit on the edge of the bed.

It had been a long, rough night. Not only had the bed been unforgiving, his muscles had been given a real work out the day before. It wasn’t every day that he found himself fleeing for his life from hundreds of ghosts!

Back in Ohio, Jack was a paranormal investigator. Most of his cases involved minor hauntings, voices whispering in the attic or a shadow in the corner of a room, with rare and exciting cases of poltergeists, who flung toasters across the kitchen, shattered dishes or slammed doors.

It was a unique way to make a living. However, until recently, business had been falling off a little bit. Jack and his partner, Joe Studer, had eyed the balance sheet with growing alarm - that is until the vortices had opened up all over the world.

Each vortex seemed to be a gateway, a swirling portal to another dimension. They resembled large tornadoes laid on their sides, with glistening flashes of light in a large array of colors. Out of their gaping maws had marched soldiers killed in battle, victims of tragic events such as the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, sailors who had drowned at sea, accident victims and thousands of those who had lived before. As the Bible said, the dead were preparing themselves to be judged with the living at the End of Days. How many days or hours they had left, no one knew.

The Vatican in Rome had appealed to Jack, Joe and Jack’s cousin, Father Anthony Milano, for assistance. Jack’s wife, Ann, had come along as well as Anthony’s sister, Kate, and her young daughter, Sydney. They’d also been blessed to acquire the services of Dr. Daniel Porter, a paranormal novelist, who’d made himself invaluable to the team on several occasions.

Thus far, their investigation had led them to the battlefield at Gettysburg where the Civil War had once more come to life, to Washington, DC where they had met and spoken with Abraham Lincoln, and to Rome where they had met early Christians stranded in the present when their vortex left them behind. They’d also met the Meyer sisters, three young girls now orphaned when their father was killed by a charging lion in the Coliseum, an lion who had no doubt been dead for centuries.

No sooner had they recovered from that than the Vatican received an urgent message that the Shroud of Turin was glowing and Christ’s image upon it coming to life. Part of the investigation team had remained behind to study the phenomenon while Jack, Ann and his partner, Joe, flew to France.

On the beaches at Normandy, a massive vortex had opened, divulging thousands of Allied troops, as well as their troop carriers and ships. The German gun emplacements had pounded the forces with shells and machine gun fire. Soon, the beach was littered with the bodies of the dead or dying. Joe had been caught in the cross fire, too. Joe’s wound had been relatively minor, thank God, and they’d rapidly fled the coast for the relative safety of Paris.

Jack glanced at his wife, Ann, lying in the bed behind him and smiled. On this cool April morning, Ann had burrowed under the covers as though she were going into hibernation. Only her flaming red hair and the top half of her small elfin face peeped out over the bedspread.

The child Ann carried and their hectic pace had worn her down. Even in sleep, she seemed to have circles under her eyes. Jack would have allowed her to sleep in, but his cousin, Anthony, deserved a phone call this morning and he wanted Ann’s opinion of the matter first.

Ann? Jack asked, gently nudging his wife with one tanned hand.

Uh uh, Ann replied, pulling the covers up over her head.

I know it’s early, honey, but Anthony asked me a question last night and I have to call him back this morning.

What? Ann asked through the covers. Is it time to get up yet?

Can you hear me in there? Jack wondered.

Yes, Ann yawned. What did he want?

Well, Anthony said things are really heating up in Europe and in the Holy Land. The Pope is going to remain in the Middle East for the Easter holiday and they’re a little concerned.

Ann frowned and pulled the covers down a little. Doesn’t he always speak from the balcony at the Vatican at Easter?

I guess not this year, Jack admitted. Something is happening at an ancient city called Megiddo. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands of men assembling there for what Anthony thinks may be the final conflict.

Armageddon?

Jack nodded.

That’s right. Anthony wanted us to hop on a plane and get down there pronto, Jack explained. With Joe being shot by Nazis yesterday and you looking so tired, I told him no. We’re done and heading home on the next plane out of here.

Immediately, Ann whipped the covers off her head and sat bold upright. Her tangled red hair fell about her small shoulders in wild disarray, making her look like a small rock star. Jack might have chuckled at her appearance, but there was no mistaking the fire of protest in her eyes.

You told him what? Ann angrily demanded.

I told him no, Jack replied.

Ann shook her head in disbelief. Your cousin asked you to help him investigate these - these phenomena, and maybe help save the world, and you refused him?

Well, I thought that under the circumstances, we ought to --

We’re going, Ann flatly declared, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. Call him on his cell phone and find out when our flight leaves.

Aren’t you tired of this? Don’t you want to go home, Ann? Jack insisted.

Ann sighed.

Of course I am and I do, but what kind of home do you think we’ll have once we get there? Ann asked. These vortices are appearing everywhere from the middle of a cow pasture to the ocean, the mountains, and in cities and towns all over the world. We can’t avoid them and we can’t stop them.

What about the baby? Aren’t you worried?

Ann paused for a moment, tenderly caressing her stomach.

A little. I haven’t gained much weight yet, though, and I can still travel pretty well, Ann told him. I get tired faster and I want to eat everything that isn’t nailed down. Other than that, I’m fine.

I’m worried about you, honey. I just want to take both of you home, to our home, Jack added, sliding one arm around Ann’s waist.

Ann nodded, leaning into her husband. I know. Me, too.

Suddenly, there was a knock at their door.

That should be Joe. Let’s see what he thinks about all of this, Jack insisted, eager to have the technician bolster his side of the argument.

Jack walked quickly to the door and swung it open. Joe Studer was a big man with a round face and a great sense of humor. Unfortunately, he wasn’t smiling now.

Hi, Joe briefly greeted them, peering around the door. Do you have your TV on?

No. Why? Jack asked.

Joe didn’t say another word, but rapidly strode to the TV and pushed the button. As Jack closed the door, the set flickered to life and Ann sat on the edge of the bed to watch, while Joe and Jack hovered nearby.

The screen was filled with hundreds of men on horseback, men who wore long Oriental coats, short rolled up hats, and baggy trousers tucked into their boots. Each warrior brandished a long, slightly curved sword that glinted in the sun like rows of deadly metal teeth.

Ann grinned. Oh, I’ve seen this movie! It’s Genghis Khan.

Yeah, that’s him all right, but this is no movie, Joe grimly added.

It’s real? Jack asked incredulously.

Yep. The Mongol horde are once more charging across the Russian steppes. They’re down into China, Persia and Eastern Europe, too.

Jack shook his head in wonder. Genghis Khan had one of the largest empires in history. If he’s allowed to run rampant across the Asian continent, we could be rewriting the history books.

Switch to Channel 23. They have the news in English there, Joe suggested.

Jack changed the channel and sat down beside Ann to watch. Channel 23 had picked up the second Mongol invasion as well and reporters from various sites in China, Russia, and Eastern Europe provided detailed accounts of the conqueror’s wrath.

Unfortunately, that was not the only grim news that morning. A large lake in Cameroon had again started to release clouds of carbon dioxide and over 539 people were dead. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a vortex had revealed the 1917 collision between the munitions ship, the Mount Blanc, and a Norwegian vessel, the Imo. The Mount Blanc had subsequently exploded, sending out a shock wave of air that snapped trees in half and created a tsunami that surged across the sea, killing over 1,600 people and injuring thousands more.

In Japan, an earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale had once more destroyed the port city of Yokohama and firestorms had erupted over the city, fanned by high winds from a typhoon near the Noto Peninsula. Over 98,000 people were dead and it was feared the death toll would only rise as they found more bodies beneath the rubble.

In southern England, dozens of sailing vessels had been wrecked against the coastline as the Great Storm of 1703, the most severe storm ever recorded in the British Isles, once again ravaged the island, killing thousands and leaving a wall of destruction in its wake. The Thames in London was impassable to shipping. Hundreds of sailing ships plowed into each other near London Bridge, forming an impenetrable wall of wood, iron and steel. Crews were struggling to free the craft, but the heavy rain and strong winds severely hampered their efforts. It was feared that the vital Thames River would remain closed until the strange storm had passed.

In the Midwest of the United States, three huge fires had erupted in the cities of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois and Holland, Michigan. As citizens fled in terror, choking the freeways, airports and train stations with thousands of desperate people, strong winds fanned the flames into firestorms, which consumed hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and industrial property. Over ten towns were completely obliterated.

The flames from the great Chicago fire were so intense that they melted sand into glass. Burning embers leaped the waters of Green Bay and jumped the Peshtigo River itself, leveling both sides of the inlet town until all that remained was a stark, charred ruin, a grim memorial to the hundreds of people who had died there.

Ann and Jack shook their heads in denial and tears coursed down Ann’s cheeks, as they saw the full extent of the destruction. The scenes were graphic, bloody and nauseating. Even Joe surreptitiously swiped at his own eyes with the heels of his hands.

Yet, amid this massive destruction, there was cause to celebrate, too. The face of the Virgin Mary had been witnessed by hundreds of people in a waterfall in Kauai and had also appeared to a classroom of children at a girl’s school outside of Madrid. In Fatima, the prayers of the faithful had been answered, and the Lady had reappeared before priests and laymen alike. Hundreds had lowered to their knees in grateful prayer and the lovely image of our Lady had remained for hours.

Two oil tankers off the Alaskan coast had miraculously avoided a devastating collision when an angel suddenly appeared to both of the captains, startling them into awareness and urging them to make the rapid course corrections to avoid an unprecedented disaster. The enormous ships missed by inches. Both experienced seamen credited divine intervention with their avoidance of an oil spill that would have extended for miles along the Alaskan and Canadian coastline.

How can all of this be happening? Ann tearfully asked.

It is a lot to take in, Jack admitted. And most of the news is bad, too.

Most of this stuff happened in the past, right? Joe inquired, scratching the dark whiskers on his face.

Yeah. So?

So, we’re just finding out about it now. If we put all of the horrible disasters -- floods, earthquakes, wars, disease -- everything into one huge bucket, then dumped that bucket over us right now, we’d be pretty wiped out, too, wouldn’t we? Joe proposed.

What are you saying? Jack asked.

For the most part, these things aren’t happening here and now. They’re not happening to modern people, to us. These vortices -- is that what you’re calling them? They just let us see what happened there in the past. As long as the dead stay inside, we’re cool, Joe reasoned.

But they don’t stay inside, do they, Joe? Jack asked. You got shot in the arm by one of those ‘ghosts’ yesterday.

Joe grinned sheepishly. Yeah. Nora isn’t too happy about it.

I can imagine, Ann chuckled.

How does the arm feel today? Jack asked.

Joe shrugged, but then hissed in pain as the gesture tightened the skin over his wounded bicep.

I guess it’s still a little sore, the technician admitted. The doc gave me some pain pills and I took one last night. Wow! Those things really knock you out. I almost didn’t get up on time this morning.

Ann and Jack both grinned.

How are things at home? Jack inquired.

Bad, I guess. The same as everywhere, Joe answered.

Yeah, Jack regretfully agreed.

Nora wants me to come home, Joe added.

Jack and Ann exchanged a worried glance.

All of this weird stuff has her pretty shaken up. Not that I can do much about any of it, but having me there makes Nora feel better, Joe explained.

We understand, Joe, Ann reluctantly agreed. "And you have

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