#FreeBook #Giveaway in Support of New Book Release Heaven’s Raign The Sha-Li

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In Support of the Feb. 1 release of Heaven’s Raign The Sha-Li, book two of the Heaven’s Raign series, along with three author friends we will be giving away free autographed copies of our books. Giveaway begins Feb. 1.

Author Bibiana Krall will be giving away a copy of Corvus Hall.

Author Ellie Douglas will be giving away a copy of Death O Death Horror Collection Vol. 2.

Author Amanda DeHaven will be giving away a copy of The Color Red: Peace for the Valley.

And I will be giving away a copy of Heaven’s Raign The Sha-Li.

Giveaway details can be found at https://www.derrickmarrow.com/prominent-authors.

Enjoy,

Derrick

#HeavensRaignTheShaLi

#RainReturns

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Heaven’s Raign The Sha-Li (Preview)

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Below is the first chapter of Book Two of the Heaven’s Raign Series titled The Sha-Li. See what Rain and her family are up to now. Enjoy.

 

1          New Beginnings

Rain spins and cleanly beheads a demon while in her ears plays The Roots’ Next Movement, the bass thumping with each beat of her heart. Her sixth smoke as she has begun to call it lately.  She quickly looks around as she stalks her prey.  A dozen demons surround her, pacing, shrieking, hissing, ready for battle, for war.  She doesn’t flinch.  Their attempts at asserting dominance fail as Rain looks on unimpressed.  These fallen and broken ex-angels are not given the benefit of any physical reaction other than a wry smile and a steel glaze.  Their return to their pit is coming.

Elsewhere. “Do you know where Rain is?” Father Thomas asked SMC seemingly out of nowhere.  “I haven’t seen her all day.”

“You know where she is,” SMC responds before kissing Father Thomas on the cheek as she lays in his lap on the couch watching a movie he has no interest in. But she’s his wife and he loves her so he tolerates the non-action, non-life and death situations, sappiness they’re watching on the television in front of them.

Rain takes the Archangel Sword and moves like a cartoonish whirlwind cutting down demons returning them to their unholy place of non-rest. She cuts through the neck of the first demon as it charged recklessly at her.  She spins, beheads the second one rushing at her, pivots, cuts the wing off the third, drops to a knee and cuts the legs off the same demon.  She moves slightly to her left, stands and beheads the fourth demon relentlessly advancing on her position, bends over, beheads the third demon, the one she just cut the legs off of, then turns to face the rest of the demon horde as the black smoke from the four demon she’s vanquished rises and dissipates behind her.

David Allen walks into the room where Father Thomas and SMC are watching tv. “Are you guys finished unpacking?  Do you need anything else?” he asks.

“David we’re fine. You don’t have to keep asking,” replied SMC.  “We just needed a break.  You know a little down time.  Are you done with the security system check?”

Rain spikes the Archangel Sword into the ground. She then motions with both hands for the remaining demons to come and fight.  A demon, suckered into her ploy advances on Rain.  She quickly grabs the Archangel Sword from the ground.

“Yes. It’s all configured, installed and up and running,” replied David Allen.  “I hope this place is starting to feel like home for you two?”\

As the demon closes in Rain doesn’t move.

“It is. Camp Samitah is great.  We’re all moved in.  Everything feels like home.  Thanks again for the move,” said Father Thomas.

The demon horde all rush towards Rain taking the lead of the first.

“No problem. You’re good with the camera system and all the security protocols, how everything works?” asks David Allen.

“David!” said SMC sternly yet lovingly as only a parent could as she stared at him. “We’re good, you can relax.  Everything has been taken care of.  You’ve crossed every t and dotted every i.  We are fine.”

“Ok, if you say so. And I like what you’re calling your new home, Camp Samitah, a throwback to the old covanese.  Feels warm, welcoming.  I like it.”

As she waited to the very last millisecond to give the charging demon a false sense of hope, and so quickly the naked eye could barely register what happened Rain took the head of the demon at the front of the swarm.

“Thanks. I’ll give Father Thomas some credit here, the name was his idea,” said SMC as Father Thomas tried to hold back his smile.

“Cool. You know I had to make sure everything was ok,” said David Allen.  “Not ok.  Perfect.  Now, since you’re all good here do you know where Rain is?  She’s not answering her phone.”

Rain looks over the empty battlefield, which appears as if it was exhaling the black smoke itself, black smoke which was slowly disappearing with every second. Her victory cigar.

Father Thomas looks at SMC and smiles before turning his head back to David Allen. “You know where she is.  She’s where she always is these days.”

“I checked there first. She wasn’t there,” said David Allen.

“She was there,” said SMC. “She just didn’t want to be seen.  She’s always training even when you think she’s not.”

“Stealth mode?” said David Allen both questioning and stating simultaneously.

“Stealth mode,” replied SMC.

“One of these days she’s going to turn invisible,” replied David Allen. “I’m going to go get her then.  If you’re all set up here then we need to talk.  All of us.  We’re going to make that move we talked about pretty soon.”

“What’s pretty soon?” asked Father Thomas.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” asked SMC.

“Yes, tomorrow. Larry’s dad has it all set-up.  He has a contact who will take us to the Sha-Li.  But first we need to do something for the contact,” said David Allen.

“What is it?” asked Father Thomas.

“That’s why we need to get Rain. I’ll answer your question but it is best if we all have this conversation at once with everybody in the same room.  I’m going to go get her now and we’ll be right back.”

“Remember stealth mode,” said Father Thomas.

“Got you.”

David Allen walks out the front door of Father Thomas and SMC’s new home. The juxtaposition of the two sights still astonishes him.  Their home is about twenty minutes outside of Philadelphia.  After the bomb went off in their covanese, while they were away in Italy, Larry Kreith called in another favor from his dad.  It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last.  Neither of the two, Larry Kreith nor his father knew who owed the other more but they both knew they owed each other more than they could count so the son’s request was immediately taken care of.  SMC, Father Thomas, and Rain would not be returning to St. Samitah’s Covanese.  As they packed and left their previous home, the Covanesium only knew they were on a holy sabbatical with no set in stone end date due to the bombing of their covanese.  The Covanesium was told they would check in with their whereabouts once a month but no one really knew nor cared when or if they would actually return thanks to a little help.  They were still part of the Covanesium while effectively being off the grid.

Their new home is set-up on acres of an old long vacated farm, the land still dotted with dandelions and multiple buildings in various states of disrepair. This land hasn’t been used for anything other than a horse stable for many years.  The outer façade of the main house still has the look of a worn-down old farmhouse.  But that’s just the façade as looks can be more than deceiving.  Underneath, every wall, every beam, the entire structure has been redone, rebuilt, and fortified.  They’ve transformed the inside of this old battered building into a warm home for Father Thomas, and SMC, complete with a top-notch state of the art security system.  Rain has her own separate building which has been transformed into her own apartment though she rarely stays there.  She spends most of her time in the main house with Father Thomas and SMC where they keep a room for her when she wasn’t training.  There is a third building which has been restored and updated.  A guesthouse holding four bedrooms for four people; namely David Allen, Larry Kreith, Matieus and extra room for a guest if it is ever needed.  The location worked out perfectly as David Allen and Larry Kreith have their own homes within a mile Camp Samitah which leaves Matieus alone at times with free roam of the house.

Rain is training in one of the old barns. It is the last building completely transformed and rebuilt.  Once you open the barn doors, the building looks like a bigger version of her old dojo in the old covanese.  All four of the buildings in Camp Samitah connect by hidden underground passageways though only Rain tends to use them.  For privacy’s sake.

“Rain, I know you are here,” said David Allen as he carefully opens the barn door.

Rain sneaks up behind David Allen and takes the knife she has in her hand and sticks it in the back of his neck making sure he feels the pinch of the blade but makes sure she doesn’t cut him. “Do not move.  You need me for something D.A.?”

“When did you start calling me D.A.?” he asks as he tries not to move.

“I just thought of it. Everyone goes by initials now.  You don’t like it, I’ll go back to go back to calling you David,” she said as she stepped away from him and slipped the knife into a sheath inside a hidden pocket.  She then took off the virtual reality goggles she had been training with.

David Allen turned around to face Rain. “D.A.’s cool.  I like it but it is old.  Now it is first names.  LeBron.  Steph.”

“What about KD?”

“Touché. Question.  How many did you black smoke this training session?”

“It’s just smoke not black smoke and two dozen or so.”

“Did you take any deaths?”

Rain looked at him cross-eyed.

“Just asking,” he said with Rain looking at him as if dying even in training was unacceptable.  “Ok, on to what I came here for then.  Right now we all need to meet back in the main house.  We need to talk about the thing for Larry’s dad.  It’s finally time.”

“I’ll be right there,” replied Rain.

“Ok. I’m going back then.  See you in a few minutes,” replied David Allen.  As he started to walk out the barn he turns back to Rain, “So you were here earlier too?” he asked.  “Why didn’t you do your reappearing act then?”

“Of course I was. You didn’t say anything so I figured whatever you wanted could wait.  And you’re getting complacent.  I never would have been able to get that close to you before without you knowing.  I was ready to pounce if need be.”

“I’m not getting complacent. You’re getting better.  Scary better.  Almost invisible better.  Now this can’t wait anymore.  Meet us in the living room.  And who said I didn’t know you were there?”

“It’s okay to admit it David Allen. Are we going to wait for Matieus?”

“Don’t have to. He and Larry are already back.  They’re going to meet us in the house.”

“The whole band is back together again. Great, I’ll be right there.”

“And you might want to keep these barn doors locked.”

“Don’t worry if anything comes through those doors that isn’t supposed to, I’ll handle it and they’ll regret it.”

“I’m sure you will,” says David Allen before he exits out the barn doors. Once outside he takes a few steps to the right of the entrance so Rain couldn’t see him and lets out a deep breath, a semi sigh of relief.  He runs his right hand across the back of his neck where Rain held the knife.  “Damn she’s fast,” he says to himself.  He then looks up at the sky.  “Sorry God, I didn’t mean to curse.  I’m still working on it.  But that girl, You picked the right one.  Not that You didn’t know it already but, whew.”  David Allen takes another deep breath and gathers himself then walks to the main house shaking his head along the way.  “I wouldn’t want to be the demon trying to face her in some dark alley.  They have no chance.  I’m glad she’s on our side.  They have absolutely no chance.  And if they were a human being.”  He shakes his head.  “I don’t even want to think about it.”

Rain walks in to the living room of Father Thomas and SMC’s new home to see everyone is already gathered together. To her right is Father Thomas and SMC.  To her left is David Allen, Larry Kreith and Matieus.  Sensing the feeling in the room she sits right down in the first seat she reaches on the couch.

David Allen speaks, “We’re all here and you all know why we are here. Larry’s dad has a mission for us and no one in this room, none of you would let me and Larry here go on our own so here we are.  It is finally time for us to go down this Sha-Li rabbit hole.”

“Of course you weren’t going by yourself,” says Rain. “We’re a team.  More than that we’re family.  We couldn’t let you two guys go running off to the unknown, to whoever these Sha-Li are.”

“Princess we’ve been running off to the unknown since the day you freed us,” said Larry Kreith.

“Well the stakes are higher now,” says SMC. “We all know both of you would lay die your life for Rain if need be, we all would and not just for her but for every other person in this room but right now we can’t afford to lose you two.  It’s not as if we could before all of this but at least then it would have only crushed our hearts and our souls.  Now it would crush us and may mean the end of the world on top of it.  We need you two especially since we don’t know what Annastas is planning.  We couldn’t let you go off on your own all half-cocked.  You know she won’t let the capture of her grandson go quietly.  Even though we haven’t heard from her in a while we all know she is going to think up something.  His dear ole dad has probably cooked up his next plan already.  Make sure you keep that in the back of your mind as we go on to this Sha-Li job.”

“SMC is right. We are on to the Sha-Li but like she said we all need to be aware.  Keep your antennas up.  Now, what is it we need to know about this next mission, to thank Larry’s dad for his generosity?” asks Father Thomas.

“As you all know the task is to get a painting which was stolen from my father,” says Larry Krieth. “It was taken from a secure building with a state of the art security system and armed guards patrolling the floors twenty four seven.  And it was taken by a member of the Sha-Li.”

“How does your dad know it was the Sha-Li who stole the painting?” asked Matieus. “Most people outside of Nepal or Tibet haven’t even heard of the Sha-Li to even know of their existence.  Shoot, even there most people haven’t heard of them outside of maybe a few whispers in the wind.  They are ghosts.”

“Even in their homes the Sha-Li are a secret,” said Larry Kreith. “Now curiously enough though, the Sha-Li are the ones who told my dad it was they who stole the painting.  And even more curiously they paid him for the painting.  The night of the robbery, before the painting was even discovered missing my dad received a phone call.  The person on the other end of the call told him they had taken the painting.  That they were the Sha-Li.  They told him to never mention their name but as payment they left him a bag with three hundred thousand dollars in it.  That’s at least ten times what the painting was worth.  It’s old but it isn’t from one of the well-known famous master painters so it wasn’t worth a fortune to the art world.  It was probably the painting with the least amount of monetary value in the entire building.  My dad liked it though.  Now the person on the phone told him not to report it stolen and told him he would never see it again.  This was over a year ago.  Now if you know my dad he wasn’t going to just let this go, even if he made out better than he could have any other way he isn’t the type to tolerate being stolen from even if he was able to bury the theft from getting known.  It was the principal of the matter.  So on his own he began to quietly do some digging into the Sha-Li.  That research, of what little scant information there is, which most is based on myth and fairy tales, it’s what led him to ask us to recover his painting when I called about the plane to Italy.”

“There’s always some truth to myths and fairy tales,” replied Rain.

“Why would your father ask you to get the painting back?” asked Matieus. “Does he actually know what you two do?”

“We’ve never spoken about it but he knows,” replied Larry Kreith. “He knows more than he’ll ever let on.  But only in reference to me and David.  I’m sure he’s looked into you all but he knows nothing about Rain being half-angel or any of the other more supernatural aspects of this family.  He knows Father Thomas and SMC helped me and David through a rough time and for it we are eternally grateful.  He’s knows your family to us both.  Matieus, he probably knew nothing about you until you stepped on his plane, and he probably doesn’t know much more since your history isn’t trackable.  Which most likely, no which definitely made him more curious but he doesn’t know anything.  Now back to the Sha-Li.  My father didn’t give me any details back then when he initially asked us to take this on but since we’ve been back from Italy he’s had a lot to say.  And luckily or maybe unluckily David and I have had some dealings with the Sha-Li before.”

“What kind of dealings?” asked Rain. “And just so you know those dealing weren’t luck, they never are.”

“You don’t believe in luck Rain?” asked Matieus.

“No. Luck is a person’s way of rationalizing something they can’t fully understand or comprehend.  Or something they don’t want to fully understand.  There is no such thing as luck.  You may not know why things are happening but it isn’t because you got lucky.  I’ve learned there is always a reason why even if the reason has nothing to do with you per se.”

“You’re right about that princess,” replied David Allen. “And to answer your question about our dealings with the Sha-Li, a few years back we were tracking this demon who possessed this little girl.  We tracked her to some house in the suburbs in the Midwest and to keep the story short we exorcised the demon out.  Once the demon was gone the little girl told us where to find her parents so we took her home to them and happily reunited a family.  We didn’t stay long but as the mother took the daughter inside we had a short conversation with the father.  Mostly thank you’s for bringing his daughter back safely and we were happy to do it, that kind of thing.  Now as we were about to walk away the dad stopped us dead in our tracks.  First he tried to give us all the money he had in his pocket.  When we refused he said he had another payment for us.  He said the girl we rescued was a daughter of the Sha-Li.  The father then told us we were now members of said Sha-Li.  Up until recently we haven’t even heard the name Sha-Li mentioned again.  At the time we didn’t know what it meant and we thought nothing of it.  We thought he was saying we were members of his family.  As we were about to walk away from the house the second time the daughter stepped back out the house.  She walked up to both of us and hugged us.  Again we thought nothing of it until she looked us both in the eye and said one day her father would come calling and when he did we would need to answer.  She then ran back inside.  Her father didn’t say anything.  He had no response to what his child just said like it never happened.  He shook our hands and went inside and joined his wife and daughter.  We didn’t even get the dad’s name.  As time went on we would hear whispers every now and then about the Sha-Li.  And when I say every now and then I mean maybe once or twice over the past decade.  So whenever we had some free time which was almost never, we did some digging into the Sha-Li but we never came up with anything substantial other than stories saying they exist and those same stories say they are very secretive to the point very few have even heard the name uttered.  To the point most people either believe they have died off or were just never real in the first place.”

“But you know different,” said Rain.

“We do,” replied Larry Kreith. “And now so do you.”

“You guys tell me everything. Why didn’t you tell me this story before?” asked Rain.

“No reason princess. We just never got around to it.  We have plenty of stories you haven’t heard yet,” replied Larry Krieth.  “And truthfully, this one didn’t have much action besides the exorcism part which was uncommonly easy itself.  It didn’t seem like a good story to tell.  It was kinda boring to be honest with you.  Until lately we never actually thought about it all that much.”

“Does your dad know any of this?” asked SMC.

“No. No one other than the two of us did until now.  The only thing he knows of the Sha-Li is whatever he found out doing his own research after they called,” said Larry Kreith.

“After they stole his painting,” said Matieus.

“Right. We would have told you all this earlier but under the circumstances of our last re-acquaintance we never had time.”

“We also wanted to wait until we had more information to give you to make it at least make some kind of sense,” said David Allen.

“Then how did your father track down the Sha-Li?” asked Father Thomas.

“He didn’t,” replied Larry Keith. “He has no idea where to find them.  We had no idea where to find them.  Finding their whereabouts was part of the job he gave us to get back his painting.”

“Was?” said Father Thomas.

“Yeah was,” replied Larry Kreith. “This is where it gets interesting.”

“This is where,” said Matieus rhetorically.

Larry Kreith responded, “Early today I received a phone call from the Sha-Li.”

“From the father of the little girl you saved?” said SMC.

“One and the same,” replied Larry Krieth.

“How did you know that?” asked Rain.

“Like you said, nothing is luck,” replied SMC. “As I’ve learned everything is tied together somehow someway.”

“What did he want?” asked Rain.

“He said he called because he knew we were looking for him. All six of us.  Then he called us by name.”  Larry Kreith looked around the room at each person and pointed to them as he called out their name as the Sha-Li did.  “Myself Larry Kreith.  David Allen.  Matieus Gordo.  Father Thomas Walker and his wife Sister Mary Catherine Walker.  He didn’t call you Shane so he, they, somehow they absolutely know you are married.  And Raignai Jariel.  He said he would take us to the Sha-Li as we two are already Sha-Li, but before he could take us all, first we would need to do something for them.”

“What do they want done?” asks Rain.

“They need us to rescue one of their members. She was kidnapped by a devil worshipping cult who call themselves the Children of Heylel.”

“Heylel being the Hebrew word for Lucifer,” said Matieus.

“Correct,” replied Larry Kreith. “There’s more to this kid than meets the eye.”

“Right you are sir,” replied Matieus.

“Now this woman is being held captive in one of their follower’s homes by a group of demons,” said Larry Kreith getting back on subject.

“She is being held by demons?” asked SMC. “Why would demons hold someone?  Keeping someone, waiting, it’s not what they do.  They steal bodies and use them for their own pleasure.  They kill.  They torture and infect people but they don’t kidnap people and just hold them.  What’s so special about this lady?”

“I asked the same question,” replied Larry Kreith. “She is supposedly blessed by God Himself.  The Sha-Li said she is some kind of future see-er, seer type of woman.  He said she has ability to hear God’s voice.  That He, The Big Guy talks to her.  Now the kicker is this woman is completely deaf, born with a birth defect which caused her lack of hearing.  But she is able to speak normally as she has listened to God’s words her whole entire life.  And that’s why they took her.  According to the Sha-Li God has been feeding her information and the Sha-Li have been ruining the plans of this Children of Heylel and the plans of other cults and devil worshipping entities around the world from the shadows.  Now since this cult has her the Sha-Li’s line of information is broken but the cult hasn’t been able to infest her, or kill her, or harm her in any way.”

“How do they know she’s not being harmed?” asked Father Thomas.

“They wouldn’t say, only that they know she was ok and unharmed so far,” replied Larry Kreith.

“So the Sha-Li are religious people?” asked Matieus.

“We don’t know,” replied Larry Kreith. “It seems like it but we truly don’t know.”

“If this woman has the ability to hear God’s voice then it’s probably safe to say she also has his protection. It’s why this cult can’t have the demons possess her,” said Father Thomas.

“But if she is really protected how was she able to be kidnapped?” asked Matieus.

Rain answered. “Just because He says you won’t get burned doesn’t mean you won’t go through the fire.”

“Truer words never said,” replied David Allen.

Larry Kreith spoke back up. “There is a catch to all this.  The building where the woman is being held, per the Sha-Li, only Rain can enter.”

“So this is a test,” said Matieus.

“It seem like it is. The question is, is it worth the risk?”

Rain stood up. “Before you all even think about arguing the point back and forth.  Yes.  Yes it is worth the risk.  This moment has been set up and put in motion long before today.  However long ago David and Larry exorcised the demon from this little girl it was the beginning and who knows what transpired to get them there at that specific moment in time.  Two men who were themselves possessed which led them down this path in the first place.  It’s no coincidence they were the ones to do it.  It’s no coincidence they happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Then the same two people, they exorcise a demon out of the Sha-Li’s daughter.  Then the same group of people steal a painting from one of their fathers, etc., etc. until we get to this point now.  Like I said there is no such thing as luck so yes it is worth it.  We are going to the building to rescue this lady.  I may be the only one going in but we are all going.  Everyone in this room.”

“What type of building is it?” asked Matieus. “Some old and abandoned warehouse or some loud club?  Either way is it a place where loud noise and screams can’t be heard?  That would fit the game plan for demons.”

“Actually it’s neither,” replied Larry Kreith. “It’s a house.  A very expensive house.  A multi-million dollar house in of all places”

Rain cuts him off, “in Chestnut Hill?”

“Ding, ding, ding. You win the big prize.  You got it, Chestnut Hill.  Rain I guess you get to go back home.”

“I guess so,” Rain replied. “How is it so much evil hides behind the façade of so much beauty?”

“Because people have been conditioned to not look below the surface,” replied Matieus. “It is one of our major frailties as humans.”

“Definitely more to this kid than meets the eye,” said Larry Kreith. “Now we have little to no time so let’s get to work and formulate a plan.”

Everyone in the room looks at Father Thomas as the gears in his head were already spinning.

 

Thank you reading the preview.  Heaven’s Rain the Sha-Li can be purchased beginning Feb. 1 with pre-orders of the ebook available soon.  A link will be posted as soon as one becomes available.

You will be bale to find this and other books on my website at www.DerrickMarrow.com.

Thank You,

Derrick

Author’s Stuck at The Gate – The Anthem

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They were too busy guarding the gate

They wouldn’t couldn’t notice the gift provided them by fate

In such a rush to turn the crowd away

But hey

 

I’m back on my f’em ish

Hungry and humble but I know I got that ‘it’

Do it myself make them regret their miss

Every jaded turned visionless

 

Too busy chasing what’s now can’t see what’s next

Let the comfort of 10,000 turn down multi-million dollar checks

I see it coming – This is my anthem

The unknown writer’s pamphlet

 

Your no means your loss

This is the life and I understand its part of the cost

Your no means I have to get back to the lab

Even without your no I’m diligently working on my craft

Your no means I have more fuel and motivation

Your no means only it wasn’t the right situation

Your no means my self-confidence has to stay on high

Your no means you couldn’t believe I could fly

Your no means you were too afraid to step out on the limb for the fresher fruit

Some players like to pass while others like to shoot

Your no just means I have to prove you wrong

And maybe write a bard to sing you mistake’s song

To tell the tale of what could have been

As he plays the siren’s song with his Cheshire grin

 

As who walks by the one who could see where others were blinded

I guess everything in its proper timing

Available Now: An Uncomfortable Conversation

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#NowAvailable on Amazon

Amazon Paperback: https://goo.gl/kagX6r

Kindle: https://goo.gl/J2QAZw

Preview: https://wordsbyanthony.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/preview-an-uncomfortable-conversation/

Sometimes you just need to sit look each other in the eye and say what needs to be said.  You’ll also need to listen and respect what the other has to say.

I would love to hear what you think!

Thank you,

Derrick

Enjoy!

Release Date: Friday Feb. 9

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Hello All,

I’d like to announce the release date of my latest book An Uncomfortable Conversation.  It will be available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.  Thank you for all your support in this endeavor.

A preview can be found here: https://wordsbyanthony.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/preview-an-uncomfortable-conversation/

Love you all,

Derrick 😎

Preview: An Uncomfortable Conversation

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Hello All,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my little piece of the internet.  Below you will find a preview, the beginning of my new book An Uncomfortable Conversation.  Fair warning to those who have read my other books or are fans of my writing.  This is very different from what you have read before.  

 

An Uncomfortable Conversation

By Derrick Marrow 

 

Warning and Disclaimer: This is going to be a very tough read for some.  What you will see in the following pages is the truthful interaction between two men.  The publishing of this conversation is meant as the start of the conversation.  Hopefully a conversation you will find yourself joining into as you read through the pages.  It is meant as both a conversation for self-reflection and reflection on the outlook you have for others.  Hopefully you will take a look at your values, your truths and the respect we all should share.  Some of the words, the ideas presented in this dialogue you will agree with and some you will vehemently disagree with.  These are the words of two men who decided they needed to sit down, look each other in the eye and have an open honest conversation.  It might not have been easy but to have a real conversation each participant had to listen to the other person.  Not listen to react and counter argue but listen to understand.  Hopefully as you read you will find yourself sitting at the table with these two people.  Thank you for adding to the discussion.  Here we go.

 

 

Opening Lines of Communication

 

“How did we get here?”

“We got here because you offered to fight me.  As if I was going to take some threat from so random person online serious.”

“And that right there is the problem.  No I didn’t offer to fight you.  I offered you an invitation to talk.  What I said to you was and I quote ‘Enough of this back and forth over social media if you really want to talk we can do it in person.’  Now you took that as a threat and an offer to a fight but physical violence was never intended.  I think your initial response was sad but I can’t control how you perceive words that I never said and I never mentioned anything about fighting.  My question to you though is why?  What would make you think I would want to put my hands on you for something you said to me especially over the internet?  I’m a grown man with kids and bills.  I’m not some internet troll.  You could clearly see my picture, my face in my avatar and me putting my hands on you won’t do anything to make anything better.  It wouldn’t even make me feel better beating you up over something you said online.  Who does that?  But back to my original question.  Why did you think those words were an invitation to fight when no such words were uttered or rather typed?”

 “I read between the lines.  Your reply to my statement was gruff and abrupt.  It cut off the dialogue we were having.  To me the nature of the way the conversation went, I thought you were insinuating you wanted to fight?  And how was I supposed to know the picture was really you.  Do you know how many fake accounts there are in cyber space?  Safety is always my primary concern.  I’ve been in enough situations where exactly what you said turned violent.  When someone says let’s step outside there’s no mention of violence but you know what’s going to happen when you get out there.”

“But there was no outside to go.  We were in completely different places, different cities in different states.  So you read between the lines.  So are you sure you want to do this now.  Are you sure you’re safe.  Safety concerns aren’t a concern right now?  You don’t think I’m going to just go off and punch you now do you?”

“No.  Let’s just say I vetted you before I came here.”

“As you should.  As I did you.  So we’re here to have an honest conversation right?  To pick up where we left off which was nowhere really.”

“Yes.  I think we both have some things we need to say and maybe a few things we need to hear.”

“You know this is going to get heated at some points?  Are you really ready to hear what most people don’t want to.”

“I’m fully aware of what lies ahead today.  If you’re one hundred percent honest with me I’ll be one hundred percent honest with you.”

“I plan on being one hundred percent truthful.  If not this meeting will get us nowhere.”

“As do I.”

“I will not pull any punches.”

“I got it.  You wanted to talk, man to man, face to face, let’s do it.”

“Good.  Well let’s start with the truth right now.  If I wasn’t a black male.  And I’m not even a very imposing one.  I’m not six two, two hundred and fifty pounds.  I’m not built like a linebacker and I don’t cut much of an imposing figure by size.  Maybe by aura but not by sheer size.  But you couldn’t see that online.  So if I wasn’t a black man, or maybe portraying a black man since you weren’t sure if I was really me online, If I wasn’t a black man would you have thought I was asking you to a fight.  If were a woman.  An Asian man.  Another white man as yourself.  Would you have thought the same?”

“Truthfully?  If you were a woman.   No.  If you were an Asian man, no.  Unless your online profile said you were in the Triad or something, then maybe but realistically no.  Now this is going to surprise you a little.  If you were a white man, maybe, probably.  Unless you were an academic, a professor somewhere I would have thought the same thing.”

“I know what an academic is but I’m glad you said that.  Why?  Why out of all the people in the world you would have read into the posts of a white man, maybe, but definitely a black man in a violent nature?  Is that the way you see people?  Do you usually stereotype people based on their skin color?”

“It’s the way I see people online.  Everybody’s a tough guy on line.  Especially when you don’t agree with them.  The anonymity gives people courage to say things they wouldn’t say to your face.  But that’s why we’re here right.  To look into each other’s eyes and say it to their face?”

“To a certain extent yes.  But more importantly, hopefully, we’re here to learn.  I’m here to see things through the prism of your eyes, your upbringing, your history.  So let me ask you this.  The way you see people online, is that the way you see them in real life?”

“To a certain extent yes.  Minus the tough guy part but yeah I’d say so.”

“Do you even see what you’re doing?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean a minute ago you gave a nuanced answer to how you see people.  You didn’t put everyone in one lump sum.  You broke it down into I see my interactions with these people as this but these people as something different.  You simply stated yes you stereotyped me and all black people and all non-academic white people.  I’m, sorry all black males and all non-academic white males.”

“Whether justifiable or not we all fall back on stereotypes.  Can you sit here and tell me you don’t?”

“I can.”

“You’re lying.”

“You don’t even know me nor have you heard what I have to say yet you’re already calling me a liar.  A rational person would at least wait until they knew I lied before assuming I did.”

 “Everyone has stereotypes.  You don’t have to admit it to yourself but everyone does.  It’s an inherent part of life.”

“It’s not a part of life because they are not a part of nature.  Stereotypes are learned behavior taught by other people.  So not me.  I don’t have any stereotypes.  I don’t live my life that way.  And before you continue on with your argument let me explain why.  First I will agree with your point to a certain extent.  Yes, most people fall back on the stereotypes they’ve learned over the years.  But this is why I don’t.  It limits one’s self to look at others and think you know something about them because of a false set of data which is what stereotypes are.”

“Stereotypes are not false data.  They all come from a basis in reality.”

“From a false reality.  Listen, if I look at every white person or brown person or every female or every whatever category or person I’m referencing then I don’t look at you for you.  Who you really are.  I’m never going to give you a chance to be whatever you are because my vision is blurred.  Now once you prove who you are either positive or negative then that is another story.  But that’s the problem with stereotypes.  They are a narrative which ultimately almost never fits the person.”

“So you’re admitting some people fit the stereotype about their group.”

“How many people how you known that fit the stereotype you thought.  I’m talking about people you know, not what’s flashed on a tv screen because you never know the truth or the intricacies of what’s going on there.”

“None to be truthful.  But that’s because I would never let anyone like that in my circle.”

“Anyone like what?  See you’re doing it now.  You’re assuming I’m talking about stereotypical black people.  But there are stereotypes for every race, creed, religion, etcetera etcetera.”

“So you’re telling me you take everybody for who they are, you never had any preconceived notions, not a slight thought of who someone is just by looking at them.  By the way they dress or the way they’re acting?”

“I’m telling you it took me a long time to get there.  It took me many missed opportunities and many mistakes to get there.”

“Opportunities?”

“Not opportunities like this person may have some kind of financial windfall for me but opportunities to learn, to grow.  Women who would have been beautiful mates, a great girlfriend, maybe even a great wife.  Not that I’m mad because I love my wife.  She is a Godsend.  And there are other examples.  Stereotypes are nothing more than racism.”

“Whoa, whoa.  Now you’re taking it too far.”

“No I’m not.  Take out your phone and google racism.  What does it say?”

“Alright, let me look.  Ok, it says racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity.”

“Now google stereotype.”

“It says, stereotype is any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.”

“So both racism and stereotypes deal with a person, a single person looking at another different group of people and believing they know something about them.  Racists believe they are superior and most stereotypes, the damaging ones are where someone believes in something negative about another group enhancing their belief of superiority.  Both are learned behaviors past down from other people.”

“I see where you are going but every stereotype isn’t racist.”

“It may not always be a one-to-one comparison but more often than not they are.  That lady on whatever tv show that was didn’t say I’m going to Jew you down as a positive comment about Jewish finances.”

“She said that on tv and they let it get part their censors.”

“Yes sir but even that illustrates my point.  The people who were doing the checking didn’t even realize it was offensive.  At the minimum both ideals, stereotyping and racism are lazy.  And at the maximum both ideas are dangerous.  Both stop someone, a single person from dealing with another group of people.  And whether you want to admit it or not this country has a problem with both.”

“But not all people are either.”

“You’re right.  There is no such thing as every when it comes to people and that’s not what I’m saying anyway.”

“C’mon man.  Most stereotypes are based on the truth where racism, especially this definition is not.”

“Not true.  Most stereotypes are based on the amalgamation, you like that word don’t you, most stereotypes are based on the amalgamation of chosen aspects of different people bled to form the narrative of the author.  In other words most stereotypes are not true because they infer something from a small minority of people within a group and portray that thing to be the whole group.  Normally the stereotype only fits an infinitesimal number within a group of people and even then it’s patched together from different people to describe a person who never really truly existed.  For every stereotype you name, if you were to get a group of people the stereotype supposedly depicts the overwhelming majority of the people it wouldn’t fit.  You’d be hard pressed to find even one.  And even if you did the overwhelming majority would be pissed you described them as this false stereotype because it doesn’t fit who they are.”

“I could find you some that fit the description in every group.”

“That’s my point exactly though.  You could find me one, maybe.  And for everyone you find I could find you nine hundred and ninety nine thousand that it didn’t fit.  For example, you’re a white man, are all white people racist?”

“No, but there are some that are.”

“How many.  What do you think the ratio is of white racist people to white non-racist people?”

“That’s like asking how many ghetto black people are there?”

“See now you’re getting offended.  But what I’m not going to do is what a lot of black people have had to do all their lives and that is make you feel comfortable.  I’m not here for that and hopefully neither are you.  I’m not here to walk on the other side of the street because Becky doesn’t feel comfortable when she sees me walking down a street.  How do I know she’s scared, because she starts gripping her pocketbook tight.  She didn’t grab her pocketbook when you walked by her but me I’m a black man so she’s scared.  You can lock your car doors when I drive by like I’m going to jump out and grab you.  I’m not here to make you feel comfortable.”

 “Nobody asked you to make me feel comfortable.  So just because I said the word ghetto when referring to black people, that word touched a nerve.  So what if I said?”

 “Said what if you said what?  Go ahead say it.  I know what you want to say.  I give you permission go ahead say it.”

 “Nah, I’m good and believe me when I say I don’t need you permission.”

 “Then why don’t you say it.  What are you afraid of?”

 “I’m not afraid of nothing in this room especially no word.”

 “That’s good I don’t want you to be afraid of anything in this room especially me.  You’re going to respect me but I don’t want you to fear me I’m just here to talk.  But it always goes back to you thinking I have some penchant for violence doesn’t it?”

 Chuckles

 “Nah don’t laugh.  Say the word.  I want you to say it.”

 “I won’t say the word.  It’s disrespectful.  That’s definitely not what we are here for right?  But why is it ok for you to say the word and not for me?”

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Thank you for taking the time to read the preview of my upcoming book An Uncomfortable Conversation.  The full conversation will be available shortly. It is currently going through beta reading and a second round of revisions. Check back here for a release date shortly.  Sometimes you have to look someone in the eye and have an honest talk.  Hope to see you soon!

 

 

Happy New Years!

BDC96754-848C-43C9-8410-AC02950CB830Here I wish you all a Happy New Years!

May 2018 be fruitful.  May all your dreams, the ones you’ve been working so diligently on, may the blood sweat and tears bare results.  May all the seeds you planted in 2017 begin to sprout!

2017 brought many lessons, many trials, many hard times.  May you learn from those and shine in 2018!

To all my author friends (known, semi-known, and unkown) May your sales increase and you fan base grow.  Hopefully onto the big and small screens.

To everyone keep working, keep hustling, keep pounding, it will pay off.  Keep dreaming, keep praying, keep imagining, then return to the hard work!

To the best for us all in 2018!

Happy New Years!

Review: The Color Red by Amanda DeHaven

This was a really interesting read.  Different from my normal page turners nevertheless it was a really good solid book.  A strong story with a Christian message about belief and faith.

Written in a simple straight forward manner, the story about a young girl and her horse set in a rural country setting will warm your heart.  Like us all this girl is searching for direction and this book details and deals with her journey.

If you are looking to read a good Christian book try this one.  It is not overly preach and very touching.  As a city person myself I enjoyed being taking away to nature for a few pages.  Amanda has crafted a light touching poignant escape about a young girls growth in her Christian faith.