Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Author Guest Post: Gary Lindberg, Author of The Shekinah Legacy

Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Gary Lindberg, author of The Shekinah Legacy!

I don't get involved in partisan politics. I vote, but my voting is a private matter. I don't talk about politics with others. I've voted for Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I have come to see politics as increasingly irrelevant, mainly because our two parties tend to neutralize each other through gridlock. It's not that the two sides don't have passion for certain issues - they do. It's that, for all the ranting and whining and cheap political tricks, important things seldom get done. A lot of heat. Very little light.

Not a bad template for a thriller, it would seem. Lots of heat (conflict, screaming, shooting, running). Unfortunately, a lot of thrillers also have very little light. They're all emotion, no intellect. The general thinking seems to be that people who read thrillers aren't interested in thinking. Or learning things. They don't need a plot that actually makes sense as long as the tension is high enough and the action is fast enough and the "thrills" are great enough. It can all be reduced to a formula. This is most obvious in Hollywood movies today.

I'm sure there are moviegoers and thriller readers who are happy enough with this kind of template. I just don't write for those people. I'm interested in writing for readers who experience thrills from intriguing story revelations as much as from action and adventure. Who like to "figure things out" as they go along. Who don't need stories "dumbed down" for them. Who get hooked on ideas as much as gore. Who want to be challenged.

I started writing thrillers because I was bored with many of the books I was reading. I don't claim to do it better, but I'm trying to write intelligent thrillers that are actually about something that will make you think afterwards. My first attempt was The Shekinah Legacy. I hope you'll let me know if I'm on the right track.

About The Author:

Gary Lindberg traveled around the world to research this story. As a writer and film producer/director, he has won over one hundred major national and international awards. He is the co-writer and producer of the Paramount Pictures feature film That Was Then, This Is Now starring Emilio Estevez and Morgan Freeman. The Shekinah Legacy is his first published novel. He lives in Minnesota wit his wife, Gloria, and his Jack Russell terrier Fletcher.


BUY THE BOOK: The Shekinah Legacy

Book Description: The Shekinah Legacy

In this controversial Amazon best-selling thriller, international cable TV journalist Charlotte Ansari and her Asperger's son are caught literally in the crossfire of history when terrorists, the CIA, Mossad and the Vatican all converge in a pulse-pounding search for relics that could forever change the balance of power in the world.

Three decades ago, Charlotte's mother suddenly vanished with no trace. The mystery was never solved. Then suddenly, on the same day that Charlotte's home is attacked by terrorists, her son receives an email from the grandmother that he has never known. The coded message catapults Charlotte and her son on a dangerous mission to India and Kashmir to find the only objects that can save the old woman's life. Unfortunately, Charlotte and her autistic son don't know what they are looking for.

The Shekinah Legacy is a thriller in the tradition of Dan Brown, Steve Berry and James Rollins. In this provocative novel, author Gary Lindberg uses the form of the thriller to explore the limits and perils of belief.

Book Excerpt: The Shekinah Legacy

                                                      Chapter 1

                              From Charlotte Ansari’s Notebook, 2007

Some day you will read this, my Dear, and see more clearly how things came to be. I pray to God that you will forgive me for not having had the wisdom or foresight to prevent the tragedies that befell our little family, though the great sweep of history was against us, as you know.

You may remember that I have always been a compulsive note taker; perhaps that’s why I was drawn to broadcast journalism where my notepad and digital voice recorder were my most faithful companions. My notes are serving me well now.

I have never had trouble finding the start of a story except for this one. The real story, I’m sure, began thousands of years ago, but it seems now that the best lead-in to our story was in Iraq, so I will begin there. Every good news story starts with a teaser to grab the audience, and this one certainly got my attention.

I remember that it was impossibly hot and dry on that Tuesday morning in Baghdad. The wind had stirred up a dust storm so thick that you could stare directly at the sun without hurting your eyes. Everything around us was eerily tinted orange. It was like being stuck in a block of amber looking out. I turned to my cameraman, Curt.

“Oh yeah,” he said, “been in worse dustups than this.” He wrapped the small video camera in a big baggie he got somewhere in the Green Zone. “To keep the grit out,” he explained. “The camera can see fine, but we gotta keep the dust out of its innards.” That’s about as technical as he ever got with me. His job was camera and sound, mine was telling a story.

We had worked on many dangerous assignments together, Curt and I, and we knew how to communicate without words. Sometimes, while we were prepping for an interview, the subject would be more candid than during the shoot. That’s when Curt would start his camera. He was quite adept at aiming the lens while the camera was in a lowered hand. With my hot lavaliere mic picking up every word, we got many remarkable sound bites without the subject ever suspecting.

I smiled when I looked at the tiny patch of gaffer tape Curt used to cover up the telltale red light on the camera that lit up when he was shooting. Without ever mentioning it, I know we both hoped for an unguarded comment from this day’s interviewee Siyyid Muqtada al-Sadr, the influential Shi’ite cleric who controlled the powerful Mahdi Army.

I had worked for two months to get this interview, manipulating every contact I had. Today was the appointed day. Perhaps my celebrity helped gain this opportunity. Who knows? On that morning I believed I was on the brink of another big ratings coup for CCN. Who else could have engineered an interview with the secretive Siyyid during a time of brutal sectarian conflict between the Mahdi militants, SunnĂ­ insurrectionists, Iraqi army and police, and the Americans?

Looking back on it, I am embarrassed by my arrogance and ambition. My career seems so insignificant now. I would give it all up—would give anything at all, even my life—to make things right again. As a journalist I was known for maintaining perspective in my stories, but I lacked that very quality in my personal life. I feel now that I was a fraud as a mother, mostly absent from your life as my mother was from mine. How could I have repeated that sad pattern after feeling the child’s pain myself?

Nevertheless, on that day in Baghdad I could only think about the interview and how it would burnish my crown as the queen of international broadcast journalism. Was I afraid as our military convoy left the Green Zone? I suppose, a little. But mostly I feared the IEDs and their indiscriminate violence. My conceit was so engorged by past successes that I couldn’t imagine enemy combatants not wanting my help to tell their stories. Why would they harm me when I could deliver their points-of-view to millions of viewers worldwide? I felt more protected by my celebrity and my audience than by my flak jacket or the dozen American soldiers who guarded me on the first leg of this journey.

And so we headed out, not knowing how much we didn’t know.

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