Thursday, March 27, 2014

Your First Small Sample Of My New Book, Leap Of Faith

We're just over two weeks away from the Book Launch Party for Leap of Faith, so I thought now might be a good time to publish the first snippet from it, just to whet everyone's appetite.  This excerpt is taken from the first chapter:

“Hey, I totally forgot to tell you,” I say to Keri-Anne as we take our dinner dishes to the kitchen following a long discussion of last night’s Mad Men.  “I met a guy today who claimed to be a time traveler.” 

“He actually said he was a time traveler?” Keri-Anne replies, her eyes wide and a skeptical look on her face.

“That’s exactly what he said.  ‘I’m actually a time traveler.’  Very matter-of-fact, like he’d just told me he wrestles alligators for a living.”  As I load up the dishwasher, I add, “And then he smiled.”

“C’mon, Maggie,” she responds, squinting at me.  “A time traveler?”

“I swear,” I tell her.  “Those were his exact words.”

“So what did you do?”

“I laughed, like he was joking.  And then I pretended to study Sunnyside’s dessert menu until he left the place.”

“And he had just come up to you, right out of the blue, to tell you this?”

“No,” I reply with mock seriousness, “we had a whole little conversation before that.  He came over to my table while I was waiting for the bill for my lunch, and asked if I could help him find the ROM.  He had a folded up map of Toronto in his hands.”

“An actual paper map?” Keri-Anne asks, surprised.  “Holy!  Maybe he really was a time traveler.  From the 1950s, by the sounds of it.  Did you ask him if he’d heard of Google Maps?   Or cell phones, computers, or that newfangled Internet thing?”

“No,” I laugh, “I just showed him where we were on the map, and where the museum is, and then we talked about the best route for him to take to get there.  He said he was planning to walk, and I told him it wasn’t all that far so he shouldn’t have any problem.”


“And then he thanked me, and was about to leave when he dropped the time traveling bomb on my head,” I tell her, as I start the machine going and motion Keri-Anne toward the living room.  “Sure you don’t want a beer for a change?  Or a glass of wine?”

“No thanks, I’m good with water, same as always.”

I grab a Blue out of the fridge, refill her glass with tap water and follow her to the other room.  She’s taken her usual spot, stretched out on the sofa that she and Gramps used to watch the TV from.  I set her water on the coffee table within easy reach, and then plunk myself down across from her in the recliner and take a long pull on my beer.

After a moment she asks, “Did you at least find out his name?  Before he turned out to be crazy, I mean.”

“Oh, of course I did.  I found out all about him, don’t you know?  His full name is William Christopher McBrewster the third.  He’s a Capricorn who enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, reciting poetry in the nude and rescuing animals from scientific experimentation.  He learned how to time travel from a Tibetan monk who tragically died just seconds after passing his secret on.”

Keri-Anne giggles all the way through my little speech, and then asks, “And did he happen to have a tin foil hat on, by any chance?”

“Not that I noticed.  Seriously, he seemed like a normal enough guy up to that point.  Well-spoken.  Polite.  Pretty good conversationalist, actually.  Mid-30s looking with a slight paunch.  Collared shirt, expensive slacks, nice shoes.  Not exactly what you’d expect from some nut-job off his meds, wandering along Bloor Street.”

I push the recliner back about a quarter of the way and settle myself in.   I might as well get comfortable, as I imagine we’re both going to be here a while.

“Anyway,” I continue, “you know what I always say: the men I meet inevitably end up being married, gay or total psychos.  At least this guy self-classified in the first few minutes, which was pretty considerate of him, when you stop and think about it.”

“OK,” Keri-Anne says, as she sits up to take a sip of water, “but what if he hadn’t?  Self-classified with the time traveler comment, I mean.  Would you have been interested?”

“You mean, would I have said, ‘Well, as a matter of fact, I’m headed to the Royal Ontario Museum myself today.  What say we make an outing of it and stroll there together?’  Is that what you’re asking?”

Smiling, she replies, “I just wondered what you thought of him, that’s all.  You said he looked like he was in his mid-30s.  That’s OK, right?  I mean, that’s within your acceptable age range, isn’t it?”

I laugh.  “‘Acceptable age range.’  As if.  I keep telling you: I don’t have a big long list of qualifications, when it comes to guys.”

“I wonder if Mr. Time Traveler’s married?” she asks, in a whimsical voice.  “Do you think there’s a Mrs. Time Traveler out there, somewhere?”

“Ha.  I definitely don’t have a clue.  We only talked for a few minutes, like I told you.”

“Hmmm.  Was he wearing a wedding ring?  Not that guys don’t sometimes take theirs off when they’re out of the house.”

“Geez, Keri-Anne, who notices whether somebody’s wearing a wedding ring when you only spend, like, two minutes giving them directions?”

“I only asked because… Well, if he’s in his 30s and not married, what could that tell us about him?”

“He might be desperate, which could only have worked to my advantage.  Is that what you’re implying?”

She laughs and shakes her head.

“Don’t worry, I’m not about to leave all this behind,” I inform her, sweeping my right arm up to take in the surroundings I grew up in, “to go traipsing around through time, like some Doctor Who companion.  Besides,” I add, leaning forward to pick up the paperback that’s resting beside the recliner, “I’ve got a really good book right now, so why do I need a man?  He’d just screw up my life, especially if he was going to show up tonight to apologize for a fight we’re going to have next week.”

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