After an early career in journalism, K. H. Brent chose the world of business to make his mark. Now he's back, having penned Promised Land- The Host Rises the first in a series of action-adventure novels set in the near future and mirroring current events so well it might be considered non-fiction. Brent lives with his family outside of Toronto, Ontario and is currently working on a children's book featuring two dogs named Georgia Bear and Sabi.
$10 Digital Dash!
An electronic version of Promised Land: The Host Rises, formatted to your specification. This is the one to go to if you really want to help out with our pre-selling goal of five hundred books.
$40 The Grat Pack
A paperback copy of Promised Land: The Host Rises with the paperback hand numbered and signed, with a personal message of gratitude to you from the author. These are the first paperbacks to be published and I can't wait to give you one! Oh, yeah... you get a PL-THR coffee cup too. We toyed with hers and his "Promised Land" and "The Host Rises" underwear... but for forty bucks you get a coffee cup.
2 copies + ebook included
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$100 The Limited
A limited edition, hardcover copy of Promised Land: The Host Rises, hand-signed and numbered nby the author, with a personal message of thanks for shelling out the big bucks! Includes a digital version of the novel as well. You'll also receive a corresponding, hand-signed and numbered original print inspired by the novel from midwestern artist Cristopher Hogg.
4 copies + ebook included
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$120 The Look Ahead
Paperback editions of not only The Host Rises but also book two in the series: The Ten Thousand, and Book Three: The Book of Hope as they come to print. All copies signed with a personalized message from the author. Digital versions included. Talk about a pre-order!
6 copies + ebook included
$500 The Vanity Pack
Limited edition, hardcover versions of the first three novels in the Promised Land series beginning with The Host Rises, all hand signed with a personalized message from the author. PLUS- a character named after you to appear in book three- The Book of Hope (Sorry folks, The Ten Thousand is almost complete). Sent as they come to print. Digital versions included.
25 copies + ebook included
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Book One of the Promised Land Series
Angels or Aliens? What is the Host? They have the power of life and death over all of us. Have they come to save or exterminate?Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/RzIFU 1569 views
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What if something was able to utilize superior technology to hold the entire world hostage? What if it could kill anyone or everyone in the blink of an eye? What if it used this advantage not to inflict harm, but instead to end war and force humanity to confront its greatest challenges?
The ethical questions raised around such omnipotence challenges the reader into contemplating the motives of our story's catalyst- the Host.
There is mystery surrounding the nature of the Host. Are they angels, aliens or something else entirely?
Humanity has unwittingly placed itself on the edge of extinction when the Host arrives. Wielding that very threat, the entity forces nations to use their military budgets to fund the research and projects that will prevent the collapse of civilization. For many, the Host represents a future golden age of science and productivity.
Others, motivated by religious belief or patriotism, work to neutralize the Host's grip and reestablish the old order.
The Host is committed to fulfilling the highest of human values but is also capable of mass murder in enforcing it. Has Humankind traded security for a guilded slavery?
These efforts and events drive the novel twisting and turning to its wild conclusion.
Promised Land: The Host Rises is the first of a series that will encompass the next few centuries in humanity's future. The first installment is set a generation from today, detailing events surrounding the appearance of the Host into the world. The second novel, titled The Ten Thousand, describes events taking place during years three through five of The Peace. In The Book of Hope, we are transported thirty five years further into the future to see how it has all turned out through the eyes of Hope Harriman.
PL-THR is divided into four distinct segments. The Prologue is set three years prior to The Peace and provides an action-packed setting to introduce two of the primary characters.
Part One is composed of eight chapters detailing the state of the world before the Host, its sudden appearance and assumption of control. Most of the various characters and their respective communities are introduced.
Part Two contains twelve chapters commencing a year after The Peace. It explores the actions of the characters as they either assist the Host or attempt to destroy it.
The Epilogue wraps up the state of all the primary characters one month after a shattering event changes everyone's lives forever.
There are many elements of Promised Land: The Host Rises that would attract readers across disparate genres. The book takes a look the result of political and religious extremism extrapolated twenty years into the future. Given the events of 2016, what looked like a fantastic turn seems chillingly prescient. Those who enjoy the twists and turns of a political thriller would love this one's machinations.
Action/adventure in the footsteps of Ian Flemming would also be an appropriate description. The protagonists meet at a hostage rescue set in Brazil. Along the way, there is a trek through Central Asian civil wars and sectarian conflicts, rendezvous with old enemies in Afghanistan, secret missions with rivals under the Caspian Sea, and a fight to the death over the future of our species on the Kansas plain.
Throughout the novel there is an undercurrent of science fiction. The world of Promised Land is filled with both the mundane and fantastical. Everyday tools such as micro-drones, 3-D phones, and full immersion virtual realities to futuristic artificial intelligence constructs, DNA based computers and nanotechnology permeate the story.
Finally, the novel is a romance, affirming the importance of faith and love to humanity.
The book is currently available through iUniverse. I would like to fund a media campaign to correspond with distribution efforts to online retailers such as Amazon as well as brick and mortar establishments such as Chapters and Indigo. The PR campaign will also promote the novel to media for review; more specifically those with strong website followings within the science fiction genre. Another aspect will be the airing of brief, fifteen-second ads for the book ahead of related content on YouTube for an extended period, with the same being done on Twitter and Instagram. Of course, absent a traditional publisher, this costs money and is one reason why I elected to crowdfund with Publishizer (the other reasons being obvious).
One windfall of this campaign is not only to drive book sales but also to introduce potential followers to Twitter (@khbrent1), Facebook (K. H. Brent), and my blog (khbrent.com). I hope to establish myself as a thoughtful commentary on the political, social, and economic issues of the day.
Finally, in order to join the Science Fiction Writers of America, I need to generate $3,000 in sales. This campaign could accomplish that.
1. Aldous Huxley- Brave New World
2. George Orwell- Animal Farm
3. H. G. Wells- War of the Worlds
4. Isaac Asimov- Foundation/I Robot
5. Ian Fleming- The Bond Series
6. Tom Clancy- Everything
7. John le Carre'- Just about everything
8. Arthur C. Clarke- Childhood's End
9. Michael Chrichton- Westworld/Prey
10.Kurt Vonnegut- Cat's Cradle/Mother Night
The Host Rises contains elements from all these works. Fleming, Clancy, and le Carre' are espionage or political writers and Fleming does tend to get some sci-fi in with all the wonderful gadgets. Orwell's work highlights the souring of idealism into cynicism. Wells' and Clarke's books point out the utter helplessness humans would come up against in the face of an alien invasion. Asimov's Foundation reveals the inevitability of institutional decay from within and I Robot is about how the Three Laws don't actually work. Chrichton was one of the first to write about artificial intelligence and the possibilities of altering our reality. Vonnegut was an altered reality... but Cat's Cradle shows that the best laid plans often end up disastrous, and Mother Night showcases the pitfalls of hiding good works behind a mask of evil.
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“The Aztecs are a good team. They lead the NL West. Plus, we had to go up against Tamberlain, and he's their ace," said Cam.
Timothy wasn't consoled. "I know, but I really thought we had a chance when Mexico City put Stanton out there in the seventh. I thought we would get to him."
The two men continued to walk up North Clark towards Grace Street where Timothy lived. After games, they would stroll up to the intersection and then part ways with Timothy going home and Cam taking the bus up to Oak Park.
“Where did you get such a love for the Cubs?” asked Cam. “I mean, I was born here. You’re…”
"Not born here? It's true that I'm not a native Chicagoan, but we are encouraged to assimilate the customs of the local population in order to gain acceptance," explained Tim. "It turns out that I really love to watch sports. I get into them all- da Bears, and da Bulls, and da Blackhawks.”
Cam laughed at Tim’s affectation of a Chicago accent. “That’s pretty good!”
“Thanks! It’s a work in progress. Of all the sports, I love watching baseball the most. It is the most fascinating of games, not like any other. There’s no clock, only twenty-seven opportunities to fail for each team. Where else can you fail twenty-six times and still be the hero on your twenty-seventh chance?”
Cam had heard the baseball is like life sermon before but never an insight such as Tim had just made. That was one of the things Cam liked about Tim- he put a fresh eye on an old world.
“Well tonight we were the goat on the twenty-seventh opportunity,” he joked.
“Yeah... that happens too, more often than not,” agreed Tim, “but that’s why it’s so much fun to watch!”
“Where are you from, Tim?” asked Cam.
The Director hesitated. “I… I don’t really know. It’s one of the things they do to you when you pledge yourself to the service of Our Host. The past is removed from us so as to provide a clean slate for the future.”
Timothy stopped walking and turned to face Cam, smirking.
“Is this one of those questions your little group wants to know about?”
Cam grew indignant. “No Tim, it’s one of those questions I wanted to know about.”
For the first time since they had met, Cam saw the Director caught off kilter.
"I'm sorry Cam. I spend my entire life on guard from everyone. I'm not used to honesty, unless it's from you. Even then, I know that you get pushed hard a lot by your people for information. That's why I try to give you things that I think will make you look good but not hurt Our Host or myself."
The two continued walking on in silence. Cam felt sorry for his friend; Tim always seemed so full of energy about life and the future. Cam thought he was smart and witty; that's why he liked the Director. In his mind, they would have been friends anyway, Host or no Host. Cam did know what it was like to be always on edge, always holding something back from the world. Growing up as one of the Children of God, Cam could understand being forever suspicious of the motives of others; the Children were practically baptized in a glowering paranoia over non-believers. He guessed that was why Tim had chosen him as a friend; in a way, they were both very much alike despite being from enemy camps.
A few minutes later they reached the intersection with Grace Street.
Cam turned to shake the Director’s hand. "Thanks again, Tim. The game was good, the seats were great, and the food was fantastic as always. I hope you had fun too."
Tim smiled wanly. “Yeah, too bad our poor Cubbies lost.” He was silent for a moment. “Hey, you want to see where I live? It’s just right over there.”
Cam's heart jumped, but he didn't quite know why.
“You won’t get in trouble for it?”
Tim looked puzzled. “No, why should I?”
“Well, isn’t it kind of... secret?”
“You mean like a Batcave? No, it's just a place where I shower, eat, and kill some time at when I'm not working," Tim leaned forward and put his hand to the side of his face as if sharing a confidence. He said in a mock whisper, "Laser beams are guarding the entrances, though. Keep zapping the neighbor’s cat.”
Cam smiled broadly. “Yeah, right.”
Tim turned and began walking up Grace Street. “No, seriously, there are laser beams. Don't worry; the interface will shut them off for us. You coming? Consider it reconnaissance."
Cam knew he couldn’t stay long; the bus up to Oak Park would be at least an hour's journey, and he had a nine o'clock class in the morning. If he did at least bring something new back to his parents, it might delay their intent on having him deliver Babel. He had kept insisting to them and the others that Tim's ever-vigilant halo made it almost impossible to put into the Director's food. Anyway, he didn't really want to hurt Tim or the Host for that matter. Cam liked this new world… at least so far. What wasn't to like? He was able to go to Northwestern for free, his dad’s business was booming, and he was best friends with a really important member of the Host who could get tickets to anything. Life was pretty good.
Still, his folks and everyone else kept insisting that he find a way to deliver the package. He even thought a couple of times about telling Tim of the conspiracy but decided against it out of fear for his family’s lives.
Screw them, thought Cam as he followed Tim up the street.
He remained a few steps behind the Director as they made their way along the sidewalk, finally coming to a nondescript bungalow with white siding. It had a small yard in front surrounded by a white picket fence. To Cam, it looked like every other house on the block. Tim opened the gate and stepped through. As they approached the front door, Cam could hear the deadbolts unlock; the most unusual feature of the residence so far. Usually, that required a retinal scan or voice match command. Tim had said the halo would disarm the security system; it must control the door locks as well.
The door opened on its own before them. Cam saw Tim’s halo drop to just a few inches over his head as the Director went through the doorway. He followed Tim through the entrance into a small, already lit room. It looked just like any other family room with a couch, easy chair, and coffee table in the center. A few paintings decorated the walls, but Cam noticed there were no photographs or portraits. Just off the room to the right, he saw a kitchen through a half wall with a bar counter top. The kitchen was small too. He guessed that a bedroom and bath were behind the other doors in the room.
Tim turned and spread his arms in presentation. “Well? All the comforts of home! I guess they figure we don’t need much. Sorry about not having a monitor; there’s always one in my head if I want to watch vids or browse. You want water or juice? I’ve got orange and grape.”
Then Cam saw something he never thought he’d ever see- the halo left its perch over Tim’s head. It floated over to a position above a table in the corner of the room and began to descend. Cam watched it settle into a device on the table and come to rest. He figured the device must be important- some kind of a carriage or charging station for it. The two pieces looked as though they fit together.
Tim grinned at the look of shock on Cam’s face.
“Did you really think it floated over me while I slept?”
“But I thought it was always protecting you?” asked Cam.
"It always is. Right now the defensive mechanisms built into the house are taking its place," responded his friend. "Don't worry; I'm perfectly safe. So you want juice? A snack? I might have cheese and crackers if you like."
“Grape is fine, thanks. Tim, why don’t all of you… the Directors, stay together in one place? It would seem like you would all want that.”
“Safety protocols again. Our Host doesn’t want us all in one place; it would be too easy for a potential threat to try and take us all out at once. So we’re scattered around the city,” replied Tim as he opened the refrigerator door and reached inside. He pulled out a container and sat it on the bar counter. He opened the cabinet door and pulled out two plastic cups.
Cam looked over at the Halo in its resting place. "So even like that, it's still on? Is it still in your head, telling you things?"
Tim walked over and handed Cam one of the cups. “It can be if I want it to be.”
Then Tim reached up and gently touched Cam’s cheek. “But it isn’t right now.”
Cam looked into Tim's eyes and saw his need. He felt it too; he had felt it for so long now but was afraid and ashamed. It was a deep, hidden shame that had always been with him, now overcome by his desire for Timothy- the most wonderful person in his world.
“How did you know?” he asked.
"To me, it was obvious," said Timothy, leaning forward to kiss Cam.
Later, they lay in each other’s arms on Timothy’s small bed. Cam looked at his lover and thought he had never seen a more beautiful creature, like a morning star in the heavens.
Then he remembered something… the Morning Star. Lucifer was the Morning Star; the most beautiful creature in all of God’s creation.
"I have to get going," he said, slipping away from Tim and out of bed. "I have classes in the morning."
“I wish you could stay longer,” said Tim lazily.
“I have to know… are you allowed to do this? Because I am most definitely not. If anyone in the Church found out about this I would be driven out,” said Cam.
“Sex? We aren’t restricted. Our Host realizes that human beings have needs. Most of the time the Directors stay within themselves for it because to go outside becomes… complicated. Marriage is out; in a way we are married to Our Host the same way a nun is married to the Church,” replied the Director. He looked up at Cam who was dressing hastily.
“Oh, you mean sex between men. No, it isn’t a sin, but we don't think in those terms. So long as your actions are not harming others or yourself, it is not condemned." He rose out of bed and walked over to Cam, who by this time had his shoes on and was turning to leave.
“Hey!” said Timothy. He reached out and took both of Cam’s hands, looking him in the eye. “I’ve never been happier.”
“Neither have I,” lied Campbell.
He cried silently during the bus ride home; red-faced and wiping tears away as the other riders stared at him in silence.
The house was dark when Campbell made it inside, everyone already in bed. Looking at his watch, he realized it was almost two.
The crying became sobs, drowned out by running water, as he tried to wash away his sin and shame in the shower.
Before he crawled into bed, Campbell fell to his knees and begged God for forgiveness. He couldn’t sleep.
In the morning, he came downstairs for breakfast. His father had already left for a job. His mother gave him coffee and a kiss as he sat at the kitchen table.
Campbell kept his eyes fixed on the scalding hot mug, holding it tightly in his hands; praying that the pain would be another small penance for his sin.
"I've found a way to deliver Babel," he murmured, head down, eyes fixed on the vapor rising from the mug between his palms.
Ana Maria sat down next to him and touched his forearm. “You have? That’s wonderful! All glory be to God! How?”
“There’s a time of the day when the demon isn’t connected to its halo.”
“Demon? I thought you weren’t convinced.”
Campbell looked up at his mother with hateful, dead eyes.
“I know he is the Evil One, he revealed it to me. They are all demons, Mother. We have to cast them back into the Lake of Fire.”
Ana Maria stood up and laid one hand on top of her son’s head, the other hand palm up to the ceiling. With closed eyes and upturned face, she cried out, "May God give you the strength and will to strike at the Devil and defeat Him. You will be anointed as a soldier of the Lord; fighting the Evil One in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!”
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