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SD Hatfield

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To Rise Above
by SD Hatfield   

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Publisher:  Outskirts ISBN-10:  1598004794


Copyright:  April 14, 2006 ISBN-13:  9781598004793

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A man is faced with having to correct the mistakes of his past while dealing with the consequesnces of choices he made.

Marc Johnson thought he was doing the right thing by leaving his past behind. Now that decision has caught up with him; putting his friends and family in danger. As events spiral out of control he is forced to choose between the life he left behind and the life he has built in the ten years since. This is a story that revolves around the rebirth of an ideal and the creation of a modern-day knighthood; but at a cost too high for Marc and his friends to bear. Past love, current love, murder, and intrigue pave the path that Marc must travel to put the past to rest. To rise above his mistakes and deal with the consequences is the only hope he has for a future.

"Hello," I said cradling the phone between my shoulder and ear. Beth threw vegetables at me in an endearing fashion.

"Marc, is that you?" The voice on the other end said. It was familiar, but I couldn't place it right off.

"Yeah, who is this?"

"Marc, it's me Paul, Paul Collins from high school." The last I had heard from Paul was right before I left Michigan, it had been a while, almost ten years.

"Hey Paul! It's been a while. What have you been up to?"

"Well, I just got out of the Marines and I came home to see the family."

"That's great man; I always knew you would do well as a jarhead. Not to be picky, but how did you get my number?" Very few people outside of my family knew where I lived. We made sure of that. It was good to hear from Paul, but there was an edge to his voice. This wasn't a social call.

"I went by your folks today and they gave me the number. I had to get in touch with you. Marc, he's back, and he's trying to find you." The phone almost dropped from its position as I felt the strength leave my legs and arms.

"Paul, are you sure? He wasn't supposed to get out for a long time." Panic started to creep into my voice, Beth was growing annoyed, and I really needed to sit down.

"I'm sure. We talked today. He's trying to recruit me back into the Order. He's starting everything all over again like nothing ever happened. Some of the old guard had even started work on a compound before he got out." The words started flowing out if his mouth as he related their entire conversation to me. I couldn't wait to sit down now; the floor was just as good as any chair. Memories like heat from a fire came rushing at me. "Don't worry Marc. I'll be fine and so will your parents. Now I have one more thing."

"My friend you have already ruined my evening pretty well, what else?"

"He told me that if he didn't find you soon, he was going to find Mason." My body had just started getting feeling again, until he said the name Mason. God, why can't these people just stay away?

"Do you think he can find her?"

"He feels certain about it. It sounds as if he had his people keep track of her after he was sent away. I guess she isn't as good at hiding as you are." There was a tinge of bitterness in his voice, toned down, but still there. "You are going to come back, right?"

"Of course I am. We knew this would happen someday. Listen, I have some explaining to do to my wife, let me get your number and I'll give you a call in the morning. Get some rest. I'll talk to you later."

"Sorry to spoil your night Marc, tell your wife I am sorry, too." With that we both hung up. I stood up to a half crouch and put the phone on the cradle, then slid back down. My head sunk down into my hands and I could guess what was next.

"Marc, honey, what was that all about? What happened? Who was it?" I put my arms around her and as we sat on the floor I knew that I had to tell her everything.

"Beth that was Paul Collins on the phone, one of my best friends from high school; it would seem that a very bad person has started his old tricks again." That was an awful beginning, but it was the best I could muster at this point.

"I think you should tell me everything."

"All right, it was the summer before my senior year of high school..."

Professional Reviews

A well-written, convincing, exciting novel that draws upon inspiration arising from the author's life experiences
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

"To Rise Above" by SD Hatfield is a fast paced action adventure novel that uses current idioms and culture to reinterpret ancient ideals of knighthood and chivalry. Protagonist Marc Johnson must confront and accept the cost of a past association which was sourced in a hunger for ideals but ultimately flowers into evil. All motives and actions are weighed and retribution is exacted -- sometimes unfairly. This is a deftly scripted novel of growth through facing our own worst fears and nightmares. Ultimately Marc's choices boil down to taking responsibility for his mistakes, and dealing courageously with the consequences, meanwhile risking his current life and love. Marc's goal becomes to rise above the past and build a new future secure from the hazards of poisoned ideals. "To Rise Above" is a well-written, convincing, exciting novel that draws upon inspiration arising from the author's life experiences.

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