Friday, May 24, 2013

Terminus by Joshua Graham

Title of Book: TERMINUS
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Author: Joshua Graham
Publisher: Redhaven Books


How far must an angel fall to find his destiny?
Having witnessed one too many senseless deaths, Nikolai, a disillusioned Reaper 3rd Class, resigns his commission with the Angel Forces after a tedious century of gathering souls.
Immediately, another division recruits him with the promise of a more rewarding career, and issues his initial assignments: To bring down a few very dangerous threats to the human race.  In the process, Nikolai falls in love with one of his targets—Hope Matheson, a woman who will lead thousands astray.
Caught between conflicting agendas, Nikolai chooses to “fall” from his celestial state and become mortal in order to circumvent angel law and be with her.  But for angels and humans alike, things are not always as they appear.  Still a target, the threat against Hope’s life intensifies.
Now, in order to save her, Nikolai must rally the last remnants of his failing supernatural abilities to prevent her assassination, as well as the destruction of an entire city by a nuclear terrorist strike.
But his time and power are running out…

Terminus is a perspective-altering saga that delves into ageless themes of redemption, destiny, and the eternal power of love.
Mr. Breeze is back; so is Michael Ryan and Rover, the magical dog.
MR. BREEZE fans can rejoice. REVELATION, Morrie Richfield’s much-anticipated sequel to his novel MR. BREEZE, has arrived. Readers new to the strange but inspiring tale of a super being and his attempt to set mankind on a straight and moral path for its very survival can immerse themselves in what critics and readers alike are calling an “inspirational fantasy” with important lessons for all of us.
In MR. BREEZE, published in 2011, Richfield introduced readers to Zackary, aka Zack, aka Mr. Breeze, an ancient being who claimed to be mankind’s creator and who still exerts a powerful force on the human race and its very existence. Zack appeared on earth as a powerful man who did miraculous deeds. He chose journalist Michael Ryan to tell his story in a book that, he hoped, would show mankind how to stop its self-destructive ways and bring paradise on earth. With man’s fate hanging in the balance, Zack disappeared, leaving humans to their fate and Michael wondering what his role really is.
REVELATION moves the action two years into the future. The situation looks bleak. Mankind has slipped back into its old, destructive ways and Michael has become a dissolute recluse. There are people who view Michael as a savior and others who see him as a threat to be eliminated.
Along this strange trip, Michael meets new friends and reunites with old companions, the most significant of which is Rover, an abused dog whom Zack endowed with superpowers. Rover becomes Zack’s messenger to Michael, as Michael tries to get Zack’s original message out to the world: If mankind doesn’t straighten out, he will destroy the human race.
Richfield plays down the description of REVELATION as an “inspirational fantasy.” He calls it a “self-help book, a textbook, a reality series on paper. It is what we see when we look in the mirror.”
If MR. BREEZE focused on Zack and his message, REVELATION focuses on Michael, following his struggle to understand his role in Zack’s master plan and to find his soul, Richfield says. “Michael’s final revelation is that we just don’t learn. Without the threat of destruction, we go back to our old ways. Our time is almost up and we need to do something. We need to show Mr. Breeze the human race deserves a chance to continue to exist.”
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Chapter 1

AS A REAPER OF THE THIRD LEGION, Nikolai—Nick, as he preferred to be called these days—had attended to more human deaths over the last thousand years than he cared to.  Countless lives and memories snuffed out like the wick of a candle.  It had all become routine, meaningless.

The ability to traverse the entire planet in the blink of a human eye had long grown commonplace, its charm lost somewhere between King Malcolm II’s victory in The Battle of Mortlach and Guttenberg’s invention of moveable type.  These days he spent most of his time assigned to the northern hemisphere, one of the least active territories on earth.

As for leaving the planet, he typically only did that on days when he escorted a soul to the Terminus.
A day like today.

Nick waited while the OR surgeon continued trying to save the little girl from multiple gunshot wounds.

“My husband was killed,” the beautiful woman standing in the door said, her voice breaking. “She’s all I have.”

“We can’t keep her going like this,” the surgeon said gently.

“She’s not even five.

“I’m truly sorry.  But it’s time to let her go.”

“No!”  The mother rushed forward, knocking over a metal tray and all its equipment as she reached out to her daughter. The nurse caught hold of her arms and held her back.

“Please, don’t let the last few moments of your daughter’s life end like this.  Let her go with some dignity,” the surgeon said.

Nick tuned out the mother’s voice as she got hold of herself.  Having to watch this sort of thing was perhaps the worst part of his punishment.  Far worse than his demotion.Worse than when he was a guardian a millennium ago. He’d seen tens of thousands die horrific deaths on battlegrounds in the physical realm—even intervened and partaken in sanctioned kills himself. But at least he’d been helping rid the planet of those who’d deserved it.

This was much worse.

Nick’s reflection didn’t show in the mirror, but in it he could see the surgeon calling the time of death and switching off the EKG machine, the little girl lying pale and still, the lovely mother weeping.

And now the warm golden light that only Nick could perceive filled the room, enveloping the body.  It was about to happen.

The little girl’s ethereal form sat up and separated from her expired mortal body.  She looked to her mother, confused.

“Mama?  Why’re you crying?”

Her mother didn’t respond.  How could she?

Callous as Nick’s heart had grown over the years, these moments always wrenched it.

“It’s okay, little girl.”

She turned to him and stepped off the operating table.  Had she been older, she might have reacted with panic as most do when they see the blood on the sheets, the surroundings, the grief-stricken loved ones standing over their body.  But she was too young to understand.  She smiled and tried to touch her mother’s head.  Her hand passed right through it. She giggled and did it again.

“That’s funny, Mommy.”

Nick hated this.  He should never have to take a child this young and innocent to the Terminus.  He forced a smile and approached her.

“What’s your name, love?”

“Chloe.”  Again she giggled, now prancing around the OR passing her hands through cabinets, walls, chairs, her mother.  “Funny!”

Nick put his hand on her shoulder and her smile faded.  This was the part he hated most.  An expression common to people much older than Chloe replaced it.  A look of recognition.Finality.

She’s too young.

She looked back to her mother, still weeping over the empty shell that had been Chloe’s body.  Then she turned back to Nick with tears in her eyes.

“It’s time to leave, isn’t it?”

“Come, say goodbye to your mum.  She’ll feel it, and it’ll make her happy—if only for a moment.”

“Okay.”  She reached up, put her tiny hand in Nick’s.  Like an electrical current, a twinge that originated from the core of her spirit flowed into his.  By now he should have been used to it, but he wasn’t.

“Come on, then.”

Chloe didn’t seem to pay any mind to the fact that her mother could neither see nor hear her.  She leaned over and kissed her mother’s auburn hair, tried to stroke it without her hand passing through.

“It’s okay, Mommy.”

And in that moment, her mother stopped crying, sniffled, and looked up, her eyes incongruously hopeful.


Chloe choked back a little sob and tried to wrap her arms around her mother’s neck.

“I love you, Mommy.  Have to go bye-bye now.”

Her mother blinked.  Nick waited a couple of seconds, then gave Chloe’s shoulder a gentle squeeze.

“The last bit, love.  Go on.”

She nodded, understanding what he meant—spirits always seemed to know this instinctively when first separated from their bodies.  Placing her forehead against her mother’s, she joined her with shut eyes and poured out the very last of her mortal memories, the essence of their all too brief life together.

No matter how many times Tamara had tried to explain the human need for closure, to Nick’s mind it was still sentimental. Nonetheless, he waited patiently for Chloe’s spirit to converge for a moment with that of her mother’s.

Her mother smiled, her eyes closed.  It was only a moment, but she seemed at peace.  When she began to cry again, Chloe kissed the top of her head and returned to Nick, sadness briefly tugging the corners of her mouth down.  Then her eyes and face began to glow.

She took Nick’s hand.

Her mother’s tears and sobs penetrated the emotional barrier he tried to forge.  His hand began to glow—how simple it would have been to use his healing ability and restore the little girl’s mortal life.  Just one touch.

But it was not allowed.

Nick had learned—the hard way, in England, a century ago.   But what good was such an ability if it could not be used where needed?

What’s the point of my existence, for that matter?

He started walking out of the room, an entirely human and unnecessary habit he’d developed from mingling with mortals over the years.

“Ready, Chloe?”

“I miss her.”

“She’ll miss you a lot more.”

“How come?”

“Because mortals don’t know what it’s like on this side.”  For them, time was a driving tyrant: linear, merciless, flowing in one and only one direction.  Why would anyone want to go through a short pittance of a life with all its sorrows—seventy, maybe ninety years—only to grow feeble and stupid towards the end?  At least Chloe had been spared that.

Yet something about this premature departure troubled him unreasonably.  He’d reaped the souls of children before, never liked doing it, but in Chloe’s case the pain was quite a bit more acute.
As memories from the past surfaced, Nick without thinking released Chloe’s hand and floated freely in the room. Before he knew it, he found himself standing beside her mother.  The auburn hair falling over emerald eyes shimmering with tears made her look achingly beautiful.

Her weeping subsided. Her lips moved ever so subtly.

She was praying.

Again without thinking, Nick stretched out his hand, gently reached toward her face with his fingertips, taking pains not to touch her so she wouldn’t perceive his presence.

Or would she?

She gasped with a start, her face lighting up.

Damn.  Nick had inadvertently touched her hair and revealed himself.


He instantly slipped out of her perception.  It had lasted only a second, but she had felt his presence.  Seen his face.

She bolted to her feet and looked around the room, returned to her seat when she saw no one.

“Let’s go, Chloe.”  Nick took her hand.

“What happened?”

“She’ll be all right.”  He led Chloe to the door, hoping he hadn’t just lied to her.

Chloe turned back to see her mother, waved, and said, “Bye-bye, Mama.”

Nick, against his better judgment, turned and looked at the mother too.  Any trace of that brief moment of euphoria mortals experience the first time they encounter an angel had been replaced by deep grief.  He’d seen such pain far too  often, but this was the strongest he’d felt it himself in a long time.

Human emotions.

As though they were his own.

He hated it.  Hated the fact that he was starting to feel them again.

They were alien, perverse, just…wrong!

With a shudder, he held Chloe’s hand and crossed the divide.


How would you rate the first chapter of Terminus?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for featuring my book!

    TERMINUS can be found for Kindle and Paperback here: and for
    Nook and paperback here:
    and for Kobo here: