Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Book Spotlight: Gateway of the Sun by Michael J. DeRosa

Gateway of the Sun
by Michael J. DeRosa
YA/Speculative Fiction


What if you were instantly teleported thousands of miles away? Two teenagers accidentally harness mysterious forces in New Hampshire at America’s Stonehenge. All at once they find themselves high up in the Andes Mountains of Peru, where evil savages are about to sacrifice a young virgin girl. Driven by curiosity, they recreate the phenomenon and go on a globe-hopping excellent adventure that rivals Bill and Teds. The paranormal forces whisk them to the archeological wonders of the world; each sacred stone ruins revealing more about spontaneous teleportation, a real but little known occurrence. Why do astronomically aligned megaliths stand on every continent? Who engineered it all? The answers lie at the heart of their adventure, but can they control the phenomena before it’s too late?

Read an extract from the book after the jump

Gateway of the Sun
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Journey
© Michael J. DeRosa

The Sun. A tremendous power, equivalent to the force of a hundred billion hydrogen bombs exploding at once. Energy streams off it like a thousand Zulu warriors dancing in frenzy. Blinding electricity speeds earthward-the sound of it crackling as it blasts through the atmosphere and hits the surface of the planet known as earth with the roar of a great wind. The sharp division between night and day swears to the awesome power of the dawn racing across the earth at a thousand miles per hour.

The entire Eurasian continent lies quietly in slumber, cradled in the darkness of the night. Suddenly the shadows spring to life as if the hand of God touched them. The dawn electrifies China and, in less than an hour, envelops India, greedily consuming all darkness in its path.

It rapidly spreads across Europe-roosters crow and church bells chime good morning. Life awakens from a long night's sleep, to be tossed about in the river of energy that flows from the mighty sun.

The dawn lights Greenwich, England and then thunders across the Atlantic with the speed and force of a tidal wave. It crosses thousands of miles of ocean in less time than the fastest airplane.

If you, the reader, can grasp the sense of this, you will better understand the mystery of the event about to occur. Let us, together, race ahead of the dawn into the silent black of night with the dawn hot on our heels.

It is a hushed, moonless night on Mystery Hill at North Salem, New Hampshire. A local Boy Scout camps under a blanket of stars on the grounds of America's Stonehenge, (an astronomical complex of huge stones built over four thousand years ago). He came to learn about astronomy and observe the summer solstice.

It is June 21st, the longest day of the year. The sun will soon rise and fourteen-year-old Frankie Fatone senses the energy of the approaching dawn.

In the neighboring pup tent, the Scoutmaster's wind-up alarm clock sounds. He reaches out and turns it off. His usually well-hidden metal flask of Southern Comfort drops to the ground as he rolls over, back to sleep.

Frankie hears the alarm but doesn't realize what it is. He removes his earphones and taps them, wondering how that ringing sound got into his song. He glances at his watch and realizes it is almost time to wake up and view the rising sun of the summer solstice. He rises and leaves his tent, carrying a keyboard under his arm.

Buggsie Houghton, another Scout, opens his weary eyes and sees his best friend walking off into the morning mist. "Frankie?" he calls out softly, so as to not awaken everyone. He, glances at his watch and also realizes what time it is. He hurriedly gets up and starts after his pal.

Frankie walks up the stony path. As he nears the top of the hill, he stops at rubble of rocks that form a crude, low-built, stone circle. The square stone in the center makes a perfect seat. He sits down and continues to work on the song he's composing on his keyboard. "The others should be along shortly," he thinks, "and I have the best seat to view the sunrise."

In the darkness, he can only view the shadow of the standing stone about a hundred feet from where he is. But, soon the sun will appear at the top of the giant monolith jutting out of the earth like the blade of a sharp knife.

Buggsie struggled up the rocky incline. "Frankie?" He wondered what his friend is doing up there all alone. But Frankie was so absorbed by his work that he didn't notice his friend come up behind and tap him on the shoulder.

"Aaahh!" cried Frankie, surprised. His cry also startled Buggsie, who screamed, thinking his friend had seen a bear or some other thing. "Buggsie!" Frankie laughed. You scared the life out of me."

"I saw you leave the tent. What are you doing up here?"

"I couldn't sleep. And then I realized it was almost time to come up here anyway."

"Yeah, those sleepyheads better get up here soon. They're going to miss the sunrise."

"I'm working on a new tune, dude! Check it out. It has an awesome beat." Frankie inserted the RAM card into the compact, one-foot-long keyboard. He pressed a button. "Maybe you can help me with some tight lyrics. It's about Christina Hollander, the blonde in our math class."

As the tune reverberated over the rocky slopes of Mystery Hill, the boys discussed the song. Like a distant chorus, the inaudible sound of the oncoming dawn answered in refrain. The song's rhythm increased in intensity and tension built as the sounds of night creatures suddenly stopped and the roar of dawn approached.

"Make it a play faster," Buggsie suggested. So Frankie slowly turned the tempo dial. Faster and faster the song played. And closer approached the dawn.

A bird cried out and took to the air. The wind picked up and the sudden gust blew Buggsie’s cap from his head. If someone could hear the sound of the dawn now, it would be deafening.

Behold! On the horizon, like the dreaded Mongol hordes, thundering like a thousand warrior horsemen, the dawn shattered the silent night. Its first rays hit the standing stone dead center, like a pointed blast of a laser beam. A straight beam of light suddenly appeared without warning or perception of its origin.

It was followed by a booming sound like a chorus of screeching female harpies accompanied by a mist that rose from nowhere. It glowed an eerie green color and everything in the area became blindingly white. Reality lost its very substance and seemed to be carried off by a great tornado into the standing stone.

Frankie clutched wildly at the stone and moaned, frightened. Buggsie cried out, "What's happening...?" His cry echoed up the mountain.

Dawn lit the mountainside. Empty!

End of Extract

Want to read more? Gateway of the Sun is available at amazon

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