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Dee Cope

Dee Cope

Mesa, Arizona

An acclaimed story teller, Dee is an avid student of history with an extensive knowledge of the region, time period, historical conditions and customs that make up the book's plot.

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About the author

Dee is a graduate of Brigham Young University who, prior to
becoming a career educator, served a stint in the Air Force as
an interrogator/translator, and as a Spanish and Arabic instructor. Dee is also a speaker who’s presented to groups as large as 5,000 and been the keynote speaker at seminars, conventions, and youth conferences.  He has taught high school and college in three states and has developed exciting new
techniques that promise to have a very positive impact on the
classroom. Over the years, Dee has written numerous short stories, poems and several novels. For years he has been encouraged to publish his works and now is the time. With his artful ability to make a story compelling, along with his extensive knowledge of the cultural and religious background of the people in ancient Israel, and a comprehensive understanding of the theories used in his book, Dee is highly qualified to write this novel. Education is his profession; writing is his obsession.

Dee has been active in his community and church all his life. A
little league coach for more than twenty years, he is also an avid golfer, and a previous golf course owner.  He s married and he and his wife had five children. Their oldest daughter, the City Finance Manager of Linden, Utah and a flight instructor was killed in 2010 along with her student when their plane crashed. They currently live in Mesa, Arizona.

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Success! The Saga of Sarah and Caleb has already sold 360 pre-orders , was pitched to 97 publishers , and is in discussions with publishers .


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The Saga of Sarah and Caleb

The Integration Attempt

Two Teenagers, frozen to death on a slave ship, are miraculously awakened 2700 years later, and return from inside the earth commissioned to reintegrate before their dying society perishes.

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Thriller
93,000 words
100% complete
14 publishers interested


                       THE SAGA OF SARAH AND CALEB

                           THE INTEGRATION ATTEMPT         


When DAVY CARRINGTON and his fellow campers see the beautiful young woman walk out of the trees at the bottom of the Salt River Canyon in Arizona, they have no way of knowing she had been born more than 2700 years earlier!

The girl, who appears to be around 17 years old, introduces herself saying, “My name is SARAH and my brother is CALEB”.  She doesn’t tell them they are siblings of royalty, born in the Kingdom of Dan, in the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the eighth century B.C., or that, as teenagers twenty-seven centuries earlier, they witnessed the brutal slaying of their mother and many others, when the barbaric Assyrians overran the kingdom and took the entire nation captive.

In 742 B.C, Sarah and Caleb are torn from their lavish home, forced to march hundreds of miles over treacherous terrain and help build slave ships to carry them to new masters in faraway lands.  A violent storm disrupts their ship, killing the crew and leaving the starving slaves adrift on the ocean.  Sarah and Caleb selflessly serve their countrymen, becoming heroes.  As the wandering ship glides north, into freezing waters, Sarah
and Caleb give up their blankets and coverings to protect others.  When the ice-laden ship slips into a ‘hole’ in the sea, entering a much warmer atmosphere, it is too late … Sarah and Caleb are dead – frozen to death.

More than 2700 years later, near present day Globe, Arizona, Davy and his friends go camping the weekend before their senior year of high school, and are startled when two teenagers sneak into their camp.  After an introduction and a brief conversation, the two mysterious youngsters ‘vanish’ into the cliffs. A search the next morning turns up no trace of the ‘visitors’.  Davy, shocked to see Sarah in his class when school begins two days later, is infatuated with the mysterious beauty.  Things only get stranger as he tries to get acquainted.  No one can find the address Sarah gave when she enrolled … neither Sarah nor Caleb have ever eaten pizza, heard of golf, or seen another person dance, and both of them have the ability to ‘disappear’ in the midst of a blinding light. 

TRAVIS KENNEDY, Davy’s jealous rival in golf, is the son of a wealthy State Senator.  When Davy beats Travis to earn a coveted invitation to a pro event, Travis vows to destroy Davy.  He quickly notices Davy spending time with the ‘new girl’ and consults his corrupt father, claiming Sarah and Caleb are ‘weird’.  Senator Kennedy, seeing a scandal that could taint Davy and give his son the prized tournament invitation, calls the feds claiming the two young people are ‘probably terrorists’.  His actions quickly alert MIRIAM CARTER, the head of a special task force on alien infiltration.  Carter recognizes the signs and she and her unit fly to Globe that night in pursuit of Sarah and Caleb, convinced this is her best chance to capture an alien.

Davy and Sarah leave the school opening social when Travis verbally attacks Sarah. With Travis and the feds pursuing them, Sarah tells Davy their story – how they were frozen, but because of their compassion, they were preserved as heroes.  During more than 2700 years living ‘beneath the surface’, without wars
or contentions of any kind, the advanced society made many attempts to reintegrate with their ‘surface brothers’, all with disastrous results. Evolution has deformed their physical appearances but Sarah and Caleb were frozen without change.  After much experimentation, the process of restoring their electrical impulses was discovered, and Sarah and Caleb were
‘defrosted’ and rejuvenated.  With the surface hole gradually closing, Sarah and Caleb are placed in Globe, a final attempt to integrate or face complete anihilation. 

Things quickly spiral out of control.  When Davy and Caleb are captured by Carter, Sarah goes through the portal into their world ‘below’, seeking help to rescue them.   The rescue is successful, but Davy’s family is taken as ‘bait’. A major confrontation occurs, Davy’s parents are murdered, Sarah and Caleb must flee for their lives, and Sarah tells Davy that they can
never see each other again even though they are in love.  Seeking a way to ‘go where Sarah is’ and ‘help save her society’, Davy takes his siblings to Phoenix where he enrolls in various classes he thinks will help him find Sarah and assist her people.  He is stunned and delighted when a new girl appears in class. With a wink she introduces herself.  “My name is Sarah and my brother is Caleb.”  TO BE CONTINUED. (First book in a series)


This book is written in TWO PARTS. Part One, comprising
chapters 1-21, takes place in the kingdom of DAN in the year 742 B.C. when the Assyrians overran the entire land and took the Ten Tribes of Israel, the entire Northern Kingdom of Israel, captive Two teenagers, SARAH and CALEB are siblings, children of the PEKAH - the ruler - of the tribe of Dan. They are spoiled by royalty and quarrel with each other. When Sarah is invited to travel with her parents to TYRE, a coastal city where the Pekah of each tribe is meeting to discuss security measures, she believes she will be meeting her future husband. Instead, the conference is cut short by word that the Assyrians are building up their army along the borders. On the return trip, the caravan is attacked, Sarah witnesses the murder of her mother, and she is taken captive, along with her father. Later, Caleb is brought to the prison camp when the city is overrun. The Assyrians drive them on a death march to the sea where the weary prisoners are forced to build their own slave ships before being sold into slavery. On the sea, a violent storm kills the crew of their ship and Sarah and Caleb work constantly to save the lives of the
captives. The ship drifts, being pulled north by a strong current that leads them into icy waters. To save others from the extreme conditions, Sarah and Caleb give up their coats and blankets. Just as the ship mysteriously slips into a hole in the polar cap, entering a lush, green, warm new world, Sarah and Caleb die - frozen to death.

PART TWO is set in today's time and is centered in and
around Globe, Arizona. After 27 centuries inside the Hollow Earth, with no wars or contentions, the society has advanced quickly and technology far exceeds that of their 'brothers' on the surface. With the hole in the cap closing, and the 'surface beings' destroying the planet with nuclear arms and waste, those below had made many attempts to reintegrate. Evolution and the internal earth conditions had deformed their physical appearances, frightening those from the surface who saw them.  Because Sarah and Caleb were heroes in saving so many, their bodies had been preserved in a frozen state. When the technology to rejuvenate cells was perfected, Sarah and Caleb are 'awakened', trained, and given the mission to integrate with the surface people before it is too late and the entire society perishes.

When Sarah and Caleb 'vanish' into the cliffs in front of four
boys camping in the Salt River Canyon, they immediately stir talk of aliens. The 'time travelers' next appear as students on the first day of class at Globe High School. Davy Carrington, one of the campers, notices Sarah and tries to talk to her, drawing out the jealousy of Travis Kennedy, Davy's sports rival, the son of a State Senator, and the most popular boy in the school. When Travis witnesses some 'weird' things about Sarah and Caleb, he calls his father, claiming they may be terrorists. Senator Kennedy calls Washington, which alerts the government's special task force on alien visitations. The task
force flies to Globe that night, seeking to capture the two young people, putting Davy and his family in jeopardy in the process. When Davy's family is taken as bait to lure out the 'aliens', Sarah must take Davy with her to the capital city below to persuade the elders to intervene to rescue Davy's family. The rescue is a set up, Davy's parents are murdered, and Sarah and Caleb must
flee back to their home in the Hollow Earth, leaving Davy above.

Davy moves his surviving siblings to Phoenix where he begins
studying ways he can help Sarah's people and win back her hear. He is surprised when Sarah and Caleb show up in one of his college classes. There is trouble below and they need his help. TO BE CONTINUED. (This is book ONE of a series).


Anyone who is a fan of books/movies such as Back To The Future, the Time Machine, and J.R.R. Tolkien's novels Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will especially love this book, as will those who have followed the Hollow Earth theories that have existed for thousands of years and popularized by Admiral Richard E. Byrd, who claimed to have entered the 'below surface' world. Today an entire section of society believes the Earth is
hollow and that there is a civilization living beneath us. A YouTube video posted on May 16, 2016 by Scott Campbell of Secure10, revealing photographic evidence of a hole in the polar cap, has had 3.7 million viewers. Everyone curious about the hollow earth theory will love this book. In December, 2013, The Scientific American dedicated an article to the Hollow Earth theory, concluding that "Middle Earth would have a climate similar to Western Europe or Northern Africa."

Time Travel and UFO enthusiasts will also champion the arrival
of this book, one of the first novels to explore the Hollow Earth hypothesis that tackle the questions: who lives there, where did they come from and what are their interactions with us. Besides being a delightful read, full of action and speculation, this book also answers questions about Roswell and other UFO sightings and encounters. Adults, young adults, and even children will be drawn to the characters in the book.


Over the years I have amassed a huge mailing list. Many, many of these individuals have already expressed an interest in helping me promote my books. The links through social media number in the thousands, including people with massive organizations and daily blogs. I am constructing a website to promote each of my books and will use my speaking engagements to introduce them to my audiences. 

I’ve taken my time learning my craft, attempting to achieve mastery to give myself a chance of making writing my second career. I have the time, resources, and skill to promote my books well and the energy and organizational skills to do so in a productive manner.


There are numerous scholarly authored books which actually promote my novel. They bring the topic to light in scientific ways and open the door for the story I have created.  These books include:

World Top Secret: Our Earth is Hollow (Scientific, Scriptural and Historical Evidence that our Earth is Hollow) by Rodney M. Cluff, 2013

Lost Continents and the Hollow Earth, by David Hatcher Childress and Richard Shaver. Feb. 1, 1999

I Remember Lemuria, by Richard Shaver, 1948

Land of No Horizon, by Kevin and Matthew Taylor, 2001

Journey Into the Hollow Earth, by Neil A, June 4, 2012

Secret Exploits of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, by Timothy Green
Beckley and Tim E. Cridland, March 9, 2017

This Hollow Earth, by Eric Norman, 1972

Hollow Earth, by David Standish, July 2, 2007

The Hollow Earth Enigma, by Alec MacLellan, June 1, 1999

Symmes's Theory of Concentric Spheres - Demonstrating that the Earth is hollow, habitable, and widely ope about the poles. October 21, 2012

Also: J.R.R. Tolkien's novels Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, 1955

14 publishers interested
Black Rose Writing logo Black Rose Writing

500 copies • Partial manuscript • Looking for fiction, non-fiction, and children's book genres, all having one thing in common: an individual's originality and hardship.
Black Rose Writing is an independent publishing house that strongly believes in developing a personal relationship with their authors. The Texas-based publishing company doesn't see authors as clients or just another number on a page, but rather as individual people who deserve an honest review of their material and to be paid traditional royalties without ever paying any fees to be published. We are proud members of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association), a recognized ITW (International Thriller Writers) publisher, members of Publishers Marketplace, and currently serving on the Ingram Publisher Advisory Board.

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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Sports & Outdoors

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Odyssey Books logo Odyssey Books

500 copies • Partial manuscript • Looking for fiction, memoir, and narrative non-fiction, as well as novelty and picture books from Aus/NZ authors only.
Odyssey Books is committed to publishing engaging and beautifully written books. Books that stretch the imagination, challenge pre-existing attitudes and beliefs, or take readers to far-flung climes. Books are always a journey. And as our name suggests, we invest in epic journeys, adventurous voyages and intellectual or spiritual quests. Readers are sure to find a book within our range of titles to challenge, inspire, and entertain. Odyssey titles are distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Novella Distribution, and worldwide via Ingram.

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Sunbury Press logo Sunbury Press

250 copies • Partial manuscript.
Sunbury Press, Inc., headquartered in Mechanicsburg, PA is a publisher of hardcover, trade paperback, and eBooks featuring established and emerging authors in many categories. Sunbury's books are sold through leading booksellers worldwide. We are a traditional royalty-paying trade publisher.

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Cranthorpe Millner logo Cranthorpe Millner

250 copies • Partial manuscript.
Cranthorpe Millner operates a hybrid publishing model. This means, should an author pass our editors’ strict filtering system, we can offer different kinds of agreements depending on the author and the manuscript. With some authors, we work under a ‘traditional’ model, whereby we cover the full cost of publication and the author is offered industry-standard royalties (8-10%). To some authors, we offer what we call a partnership or contributory agreement, whereby the author is asked for a financial contribution so that we may share the risk and enter into a partnership together to publish the author’s book. In this case, the author receives around 60-75% royalties.

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i2i Publishing logo i2i Publishing

250 copies • Completed manuscript.
i2i Publishing was founded by Lionel Ross and asks for a small financial contribution towards costs.

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Koehler Books logo Koehler Books

250 copies • Completed manuscript.
Koehler Books is an Indie publisher based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Our team of dedicated professionals promises you a holistic publishing experience where you'll receive our full attention, collaboration, and coaching every step of the way. We offer two publishing models: a traditional non-fee model for the highest quality work, as well as a co-publishing model that includes creative development fees for emerging authors. Our titles are broad-based and include nearly every major non-fiction and fiction genre.

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Lulu Press, Inc. logo Lulu Press, Inc.

Since 2002, Lulu has enabled more than 1 million authors in more than 225 countries and territories to self-publish nearly 2 million publications. Our industry-leading tools, worldwide print network and global community help authors hone their craft and publish printed books and eBooks for FREE. Offering the largest Indie bookstore at and distribution services, you can sell in online bookstores around the world. With Lulu, authors are in control, forever owning the rights to their works, setting their own price and keeping 80 percent of their book profits and 90 percent of eBook profits.

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Mascot Books logo Mascot Books

Mascot Books is a full-service hybrid publisher dedicated to helping authors at all stages of their publishing journey create a high-quality printed or digital book that matches their vision. With comprehensive editorial, design, marketing, production, and distribution services, our authors have the support of an experienced publishing team while still retaining one of the highest royalty percentages in the business.

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Prodigy Gold Books logo Prodigy Gold Books

The History
Prodigy Publishing Group was founded in 2009 and has been steadily publishing distinguishable trade paperback fiction since. Its flagship imprint Prodigy Gold Books is spearheading its journey with a fall 2017 line up that includes four novels by four authors sure to delight readers. Prodigy Gold Books is dedicated to publishing a variety of must-read books on a wide array of topics and genres.

The Mission
Our mission is to showcase established voices and to introduce emerging new ones—both fiction and nonfiction genres.

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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel


Atmosphere Press logo Atmosphere Press

250 copies • Partial manuscript.
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Bookmobile logo Bookmobile

100 copies • Partial manuscript.
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eBooks2go logo eBooks2go

100 copies • Completed manuscript.
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100 copies • Completed manuscript.
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ShieldCrest Publishing logo ShieldCrest Publishing

ShieldCrest are book publishers based in the UK who fill that vital gap for talented authors where mainstream publishers are unwilling to give them that chance. We strive for excellence and invest in our authors and are listed in FreeIndex as the number one independent publisher in the UK for price quality and service rated author satisfaction. We publish books of all genres including; fiction, historical, biographies and children's books.

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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel


I have included two chapters from PART ONE and  three chapters from PART TWO:

                                          PART ONE

                                           742 B.C.

                                        City of Dan

                           Northern Kingdom of Israel

            “I’m going to Tyre,” fifteen-year old Sarah gushed as she slipped from her father’s room, rushing past Caleb, her thirteen-year old brother, taunting him as she swished her long dress and stuck out her tongue.  Then she burst into a huge smile—a proud menacing, teasing grin.

            Sarah had been to Tyre before, of course.  The entire family had; but she had never been there since becoming a “woman”.  This trip would be different!  She would be presented before some of the young men … as a “woman”.  She may even meet the man she will marry!

            Tabitha was Sarah’s best friend—Sarah hated that name ... Tabitha.  Who would name their daughter after a four-legged gazelle …  an animal with long, skinny legs and horns?  It wasn’t lady-like at all.  “Sarah” was a much more beautiful name—it meant “Princess”—and she was one.  Never mind that Tabitha had become a woman nearly two years ago and she was practically married now. Sarah’s time had finally arrived; she noticed the changes in her body—had seen the maturity.  She was ready now to be a wife.  She could feel the urge within her.

             Sarah tossed her long, black hair over her shoulder, batted her eyelashes then stuck out her tongue at Caleb again.

            “I’m going, too.” Caleb shouted in protest, jumping to his feet.

            “Daddy said ‘no’.  You’re staying here.”  Sarah used her most annoying—challenging—voice.  She knew how to make Caleb angry … and she so enjoyed it.  Besides, she had waited so long for this day.  She intended to extract all the pleasure she could.

            “I don’t have to stay here,” Caleb whined, rushing off to his father’s room.

            Zamira, their father, the Governor, was in his private area—an alcove just off the main living quarters in the mansion house.  He loved his children dearly, but wondered why they could never get along.  His wife, Jasmina, said it was natural for siblings to quarrel, but Zamira thought it was something deeper than just adolescent rivalry … more than the customary squabbling of a brother and a sister.  He thought they were spoiled.  And he felt it was all his fault.

            Zamira had been a farmer, just as his father before him and his father before him.  The lush valley around the city of Dan was highly coveted and had been the site of many contentions.  The Amorites, the Assyrians, even their former brethren now living in the land of Judah, to the south, had sought to take it from the Danites … the Israelites, to whom it rightfully belonged.  Through more than two hundred years of fighting, the people of Dan had managed to fend off every attack and preserve their bountiful land.

             It was during one of these fierce battles, when Sarah was just a baby, that Zamira had shown his valiance.  The territory of Dan was the smallest portion divided among the descendants of the twelve brothers—the twelve tribes of Israel—when the land was portioned out—after the great conquering—more than four hundred years ago.  The highly productive farmland—where, unlike the rest of the ‘promised land’, water was not in short supply—nearly burst with vegetation—crops of every kind growing rapidly and abundantly.  Dan had become the breadbasket of Israel.  It was also the northern most point in the entire kingdom—right on the border of Assyria—where the blood-thirsty Hivites once lived.  Two hundred years after the twelve tribes had entered the land once called Canaan—taking possession of all of it—the kingdom split.  It had happened after the death of King Solomon.  Dan had become part of the northern kingdom—or the Kingdom of Israel.

            The split occurred many years before Sarah was born, of course, but she had heard a lot about it.  The inhabitants in the kingdom of Judah wanted to control everything—all the commerce … all the laws … all the government leaders—and complete control of all religious ceremonies.  After the great king’s passing, there had been a revolt—the northern territories refused to accept Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, as their king.  They followed, instead, a man named Jeroboam, who established a new kingdom, with new leaders, and new laws, and a new religion.

            To protect the highly desirable fields of Dan, and to give the people of the new kingdom a God they could worship, Jeroboam ordered that two golden calves be cast from the most pure and precious ore available.  The new kingdom would worship these golden calves.  They would become their Gods, and would protect the people if they prayed to them, Jeroboam had promised them; and thus far they had been delivered every time from the hands of their aggressors.

             Jeroboam placed one of the calves in Beth-el, the capital city in the territory of Ephraim, and the other one he commanded to be brought to the city of Dan.  The golden calves were magnificent and beautiful – the most exquisite of any art in the land.

            With the arrival of the golden calf, the city of Dan instantly became a respected and admired locale.  It was soon a hub for business and commerce from all around the region and throughout the kingdom.  Because it was so close to the pure, cleansing waters of Caesarea Philippi, many travelers, visiting the popular springs, would come through Dan to worship, to make purchases, and visit with the governor.

            Zamira grew up watching soldiers defending the crops and the flocks.  He vowed to always protect and fight for his land.  He was proud to be a Danite.  A field worker since he was very young, Zamira was large in stature and very strong.  People looked to him—since the days of his youth—to protect them.

            Jasmina met Zamira soon after she became a woman.  They were married quickly, and settled on the small property Zamira farmed—on the edge of Dan.  It was a modest tract, but Zamira worked hard, and it produced more than any other acreage its size.  Sarah was born just a year after they were married, and Zamira worked even longer hours to make sure he could support his new family.

            It was during harvest season when an army of Assyrians tried to overpower the people of Dan and take control of their crops, now ripe in the fields.  Zamira quickly organized the town forces and, though he was still not much more than a lad himself, he led them valiantly to battle against the warrior Assyrians.  He refused to relinquish his land.

            The battle was extremely intense—with much bloodshed on both sides.  Each time the Assyrian army began to gain an advantage, Zamira would rally his troops and fight even harder.  At the end of the fourth day, the Assyrian army had suffered tremendous losses and they retreated in defeat.  Zamira was hailed as a hero.  When King Pekah, the King of the entire kingdom, got word of Zamira’s exploits and heard of his valiant leadership, he made the long trip from Beth-el—all the way to Dan.  Never before had the sitting king gone so far from his throne.  Pekah wanted to meet this man Zamira.

             The king met with Zamira and Jasmina, dining in their modest home and remaining in Dan for three days.  He heard a reenactment of the battle with the Assyrians, and witnessed an entire town hail allegiance to the young man who had saved their lives and their homes.  Pekah installed Zamira as the “Pekah”—the Governor—over all the land of Dan.  They moved from the small farm into the Governor’s mansion.  Their lives changed immediately.

            Zamira, Jasmina, and baby Sarah were now living in the spacious governor’s quarters near the religious shrine.  They could hardly believe their good fortune.  They were the leaders—the elite in the community.  The townspeople would bow to them as they passed.  They had wealth and power.  Soon Caleb arrived—the son Zamira had always wanted—and they were a perfect … growing … family.

            Zamira showered every luxury on his children—giving them a lifestyle he had never known—and one few people even dream about.  Now, however, as he looked back on it, he realized the mistake he had made.  His children were soft … they were spoiled.

            “No, Caleb,” Zamira said slowly, “you’ll be staying here.  I need you to tend the animals, take care of the house and help the servants.”

            “What?”  Caleb whimpered.  “That’s not fair!  Why does Sarah get to go if I can’t?”

            “Sarah is older, Caleb.”  Zamira tried to maintain his patience … his control.

            “So what, it’s still not fair!  I’m telling Mom.”  He stamped his foot in frustration.  “She’ll let me go.  I wanna go to Tyre!”

            Tyre was a seaport town over the mountains from Dan.  It was part of Phoenicia—a narrow strip of coastal land that extended from the Philistine territory to the Orantes River.  Zamira had worked out an agreement with Phoenicia to allow trading between the two kingdoms.  Everyone traded in Tyre—the Egyptians … the Babylonians … the merchant ships from the east.  Tyre had trading stations at every port throughout the Mediterranean and from there to the rest of the known world.  It was the home city of Hiram—the former king of Tyre—who had given cedars and gold to King Solomon when he was building the huge temple in Jerusalem.  Tyre was the hub—it was the place to go for anything—and it was a fun, beautiful seaport town.

            In Dan the people ate the fresh fish that were caught in the rivers around the territory—fresh water rivers that originated from Mount Hermon, the tallest peak in all the world—as far as Sarah and Caleb knew.  They also had fish from the Sea of Galilee—when the fishermen would make the journey that far north—selling them in the streets and in the market.  In Tyre—right on the Great Sea—the Mediterranean—the fishing boats brought in fish from the sea every day.  They had grouper and bream and sturgeon, along with tuna and blue fin and swordfish.  They even caught fresh turtle—and sold turtle soup in the inns and markets.  Sarah loved to dine at the inns where they would stay.  She knew they would be bringing home a lot of fish—smoked and dried—packed in cool wrappings to keep them fresh.  Once they returned home, there would be a feast for many in the town.  A Governor’s Ball!  Her father did that every time he went to Tyre or Sidon.  They would be returning at harvest time and the tables would be filled with fresh vegetables and bowls of fruit and mandrakes.  The servants would bake fresh bread.  It would be wonderful.  If she didn’t find her husband on the trip to Tyre, then her father would arrange to have many of the wealthiest young men come to the feast to meet her.

            Right now, however, the most exciting thing in Sarah’s life was Tyre.  Her mother would take her to the shops—to pick from the beautiful fabrics the merchant ships had brought.  She was a woman now!  She would have several new dresses made—from the finest cloth; no more itchy clothes sewn together with camel hair.  She would be elegant—like a Princess.  She could hardly contain her excitement.

            Sarah listened to Caleb argue with their father.  She laughed as he stomped around the room and said he would never work in the fields.  “That’s what servants are for,” Caleb shouted.  He was throwing a tantrum again.  Sarah had used that technique when she was younger and wanted to get her own way – a technique that had worked well with their father.  She now saw how childish it appeared.  She was a woman now; she would not go back to that childish behavior.

            Zamira was perplexed.  He knew he needed to find a way to reach his son—but there was so much work to be done.  The Assyrians had been threatening again.  Just last week, the spies that Zamira had sent out had reported that the Assyrians were amassing great numbers of soldiers near the border.  They were armed with swords, and bows, and scimitars, and each one carried a large shield.

            Zamira had not told the children about the build-up of forces … feeling they were too young to have to worry about such things.  He wanted to protect their childhood as long as he could.

            He had sent a messenger to Beth-el with a note for King Pekah.  The messenger had returned just last night.  The King was sending Jorash, the Captain of the Army, to Trye to meet with Zamira and the other governors of the lands, in Zarephath, near the border.  The Governors of Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Zebulon, Issachar, Gad, Reuben, and even Ephraim, the capital, would be in attendance, along with Zamira, of course.  Jorash would bring his entourage … the battle ready officers who would help devise a strategy for protection.

            In an agreement with Phoenicia, Israel had stationed a number of soldiers in Zarepheth, a small town just north of Tyre—on the coast—below Sidon.  They were encamped there and the governors would visit them, with Jorash, and hear their plans to head off an assault by the pesky, persistent Assyrians.

            Sarah had overheard her parents talking about the Assyrians.  She was so tired of hearing about them.  They were always on the border—they were always preparing for war—and the Israelite soldiers would always beat them back whenever they attacked.

            Why don’t they just plant their own crops and stop trying to steal ours, Sarah thought.  She assumed their only reason for attacking was to steal their food.

            In the same conversation, she had overheard her father tell her mother about the important meeting in Zarephath.

            “It’s not a meeting for children,” Zamira had said.

            Sarah’s heart leaped when she heard her mother say, “I think Sarah should go with us.  She’s a woman now.”

            Zamira looked up—his eyebrows arched.  Hadn’t he noticed?  Sarah wondered.  Of course I’m a women.  Look at me!  She ran her hands over herself, feeling the swellings that had grown in her breast.

            “A woman now?”  Zamira questioned.

            “Yes,” Jasmina confirmed, “a very beautiful woman.”

            Her mother knew.  Her mother would convince her father to let her go.  Sarah knew her father was a kind man who would do anything for his family—especially if Jasmina wanted it.  He was a man who was always in control.  Sarah had never seen him angry.

            “Well, she needs to start acting like a woman, then,” Zamira said shortly.

            Sarah felt her stomach fall.  What had her father said?  Was he disappointed in her?  Would he not let her go?    

            “This may be exactly what she needs,” Jasmina softly guided him to the decision she wanted him to make.  “I’ll take her to the shops and to the tailor while you are in Zarephath.  It will be just the women.  Caleb might even miss her while she is gone.”

            Zamira seemed to pause far too long, in Sarah’s mind.  She couldn’t see him from her hiding place, but she could picture him pulling on his ear lobe, his mouth sliding from side to side as he pondered the decisions. He always did the same thing when he was thinking deeply.

            Finally he spoke.  “OK, Sarah goes with us.”

            She nearly shouted right then—exposing her espionage.

            “I’ll bring her to you after the evening meal,” Jasmina said.  “She’ll be thrilled.”

            Thrilled?  Sarah thought.  She could hardly stop fidgeting as she picked at her food, nibbling at each bite nervously.  Her parents seemed too preoccupied to notice—probably thinking about the silly Assyrians again.  Sarah was so glad she didn’t have to worry about them—she never would!  She would marry a man—a strong, handsome man—who would take care of her … and love her … and protect her …  and if the Assyrians bothered them, he would beat them … just as her father had always done.  Maybe she and her husband would move to Tyre.  She had never heard of the Assyrians trying to harm the Phoenicians … or anyone who lived on the coast.  There was so much to think about now that she was a woman.  So many plans to make … her head was spinning with excitement!

            Jasmina pulled her aside after the meal and told her to go see her father – that he wanted to speak with her.

            Sarah tried to act surprised and curious, but she feared her mother could see through her façade—that she would question why Sarah wasn’t more concerned about the purpose of the meeting; but Jasmina said nothing—just directed her to the alcove.

            “Daddy wants to see me?”  Sarah played the role of bewildered young woman as best she could.

            “Yes, dear,” Jasmina told her.  “Now go on in … he’s waiting for you.”

            The small alcove off the living quarters was where Zamira conducted most of his official business.  There was a formal office in the palatial section of the mansion, of course —near the shrine of the golden calf.  It was more spacious and decorated in elaborate detail and golden luxury.  Visiting dignitaries were brought there for meetings and negotiation.  For daily business, however, Zamira preferred being close to his family as much as possible.

            Sarah loved it when visiting royalty came to see him.  When she was young, they brought gifts and candy from faraway places.  She would play in the palace meeting room and all the visitors would give her treats—or toys—from China or India or Egypt.

            The smell of Zamira’s office reminded Sarah of her youth.  She would sit at a small table while her father conducted his business.  The aroma of the hot tea the servant would serve and the odors of the men who came to see him combined to tickle her nose.  Many of the men smelled very badly—a foul stench that pierced her and forced her from the room.  She once told a man visiting from Egypt that he needed to go to Caesarea Philippi and wash up.  He father had scolded in the harshest tones he had ever used with her.  That was the only time she could remember hearing him address her so brusquely, and she had cried all afternoon.  That evening Zamira had come to her bed and held her, talking to her softly for a long time.  Then, before he left, he gave her a bottle of water that smelled absolutely divine!

            “Use this,” he told her, “when someone has a bad odor.  Just open it and smell the water instead of the person.  That will make your nose feel better.”

            Sarah used the special water a lot!  She loved her father.  He was always thinking of things to make her life better.  When she married, she wanted a man just like him.

            Marriage!  The word leaped from her mind and settled in her breast.  She was excited again—her childhood memories sent to the back.  She had seen the boys in the city growing into young men.  They were handsome.  She was beautiful to them … she could tell.  They looked at her in a different way now.  They looked at ALL of her … not just her face—their eyes following the curves of her new body.  She liked it when they stared.  She felt … desirable.

            And, now, she was a woman.

            But none of the boys from Dan would be her husband. They weren’t royalty … and she was the Pekah’s daughter.  She would marry only royalty.  She planned to meet her husband during the trip to Tyre.  The young men—coming there to attend the meeting with their fathers and uncles—were part of the royal line … leaders of the kingdom.  One of them would be her prince … she was convinced.  They would fall in love and then marry, and he would take her away on a honeymoon.  Soon she’d be a mother—in her own palace.

            “You’re mother tells me you are a woman now,” Zamira addressed her in a more formal manner—different from the playful, coddling nature he had always enjoyed when around her.

            “Yes, Father,” Sarah replied, “for more than a month.”  She beamed as she spoke.

            “I see.”  Zamira fidgeted in his chair.  Such talk made him uncomfortable.  Jasmina would chide him at times—poking gentle fun at the great warrior—the defender of the people and the land—who could witness the most horrible atrocities on the battlefield with nary a flinch, but could not speak of the natural cycles of the  body without turning red and losing his speech.

            “Then you shall travel with us to Tyre.”  It was more a proclamation than an invitation.  “Your Mother and I will be traveling with a caravan to some meetings I have in Zarephath.  A group of merchants taking their wares to the coast to export will also go with us.  I will expect you to be on your best behavior.  Your Mother will have many duties and she will be unable to watch you all the time.”

            “Father,” Sarah tried to sound hurt by his comments, “I am a woman now, remember?  I no longer need to be watched and disciplined.”

            “I hope that is so, my daughter.”

            “It is, father,” she assured him.  “I may find my husband at Tyre, don’t you think?”

            Husband?  Zamira had never given much thought to that event, but surely the day would arrive—apparently very soon—and there would definitely be many eligible young men at Tyre for the meetings.

            “So you may,” Zamira said, nodding his head slightly, accepting the fact that his little girl had grown up right before his eyes.

            Sarah beamed.  She interpreted his comment to be a confirmation. 

            “We shall be leaving in one week,” Zamira stated.  “You will need to help your Mother make preparations.”

            Her smile faded.  She didn’t want to do all those silly things needed for the trip … drying food—mending tents—gathering goats to bring along for the milk.  Didn’t they have servants for such things?  Why should a Princess have to do work?  

            “Oh Father,” Sarah pleaded, “can’t Mother and I go to Caesarea Philippi for a few days?  I am a woman now.  I need to cleanse myself.  I need to look my best for the trip to Tyre.”

            Zamira had only one daughter—and he loved her unconditionally.  He had been captivated by the little child from the moment she was first placed into his arms.  He had always given in to her wishes far too easily.  He knew that.

            “You help your Mother for three days then I will arrange for the two of you to go to Caesarea Philippi.  We will pick you up from there on our way to Tyre.”

            “Oh, Father!”  Sarah sprung to her feet and threw her arms around Zamira’s neck.  “I love you, Father,” she proclaimed, then danced out the door—her feet seeming to barely touch the stone floor—her toes propelling her upward in repeated graceful leaps.

            Zamira smiled.  “Maybe she IS maturing,” he said to himself.

            Then he heard her taunt to Caleb.

            “I’m going to Tyre,” he heard Sarah blurt out.  A moment later, Caleb was in the alcove.



             Zamira had been taking his family to Caesarea Philippi since he first became the Pekah of Dan.  Sarah knew the area well.  The cold, crystal clear waters, draining off nearby Mt. Hermon, spilled over the small, gentle falls and collected in large pools where bathers would wash and children would frolic.  It was the perfect escape from the tortuous, scorching summer heat.  As a child, Sarah and Caleb would climb the ragged cliffs beyond the waters—discovering caves and pretending to find wild, ferocious animals sleeping there.  Those were some of the best times she ever had with her brother.  He wasn’t annoying when they were there—he was fun.  It always seemed that when they returned home, everything changed.  Caleb was bossy and, because he was a boy, he was included in things that Sarah found interesting—but could not attend.  She thought that was totally unfair.  Caleb went to school with the other boys, while Sarah had to learn from a servant.  She was far smarter than Caleb, but she wasn’t a boy.  Many times she had wished she could prove to them that she was smart … that girls could be smart, too.  And she wished so badly that she could go to school and be around other children, instead of spending her days with the servants.

            But she didn’t have those thoughts today!  Now, she was a woman!  Now, she would be mingling with the other women at Caesarea Philippi.  Now, she was preparing to go to Tyre … and Caleb was the one left home.  She was even glad he was not with her at the waters this time, too.  She wasn’t interested in playing games, or discovering caves, or climbing cliffs.  She was preparing for the most important trip of her life!  She was preparing to meet her husband!

            The caravan crawled down the highway, coming into view of Caesarea Philippi three days after Jasmina and Sarah had arrived, just as Zamira had promised.  The Governor rode on a mule—because he was the Pekah.  Mules were the royal animals.  The great King … Solomon … had imported them more than two hundred years earlier and only the highest officials in the land were given the privilege—the honor—of riding on a mule.

             “Look at all the camels,” Sarah gasped as the caravan approached.

            “This is a very important journey, my dear,” Jasmina told her.  “All the producers have gathered their goods—the farmers have collected their flocks—everyone wants to take their goods to the merchant ships in Tyre so they’ll have money to buy grain and other goods when they return at harvest time.”

            “All this talk about money … it seems so … ugly!”  Sarah didn’t grasp the economics of the region—or of life.  She had never known want.  She had never been required to labor for her keep.  She had lived a very privileged life.

             “You have much to learn, Sarah,” Jasmina said sternly.  “If you are to be the wife of a royal, you will have to understand much of what happens in the kingdom.”

            “Do you know about crops and money and all that stuff, Mother?”

            “I had to learn,” Jasmina confessed.  She had tried to teach her children about life outside the royal palace, but her lessons always seemed to deteriorate into quarrels and competitions between

Sarah and Caleb.  She could sense a change in Sarah now—a more thoughtful outlook.  She had enjoyed her time at the waters, with her daughter, immensely.  They had grown close in a way that had eluded them in the confines of the palace.

            “How did you learn?” Sarah asked, a maturing sincerity in her voice..

            Jasmina seized on the opportunity.  “Before your Father was appointed Governor, we farmed, like others.  I had to help in the fields as well as doing the household chores and helping to manage the money we earned from our efforts.”

            “What could you do in the fields, Mother?  You’re a woman.”

            “I would glean,” Jasmina confided.

            Sarah had seen the gleaners.  They came through after the reapers had taken off most of the grain.  The gleaners would patiently pick the remaining grain, little by little.  Sarah knew her father had ordered the fields in all of Dan to be gleaned by the hungry and the poor, and to allow them to keep what they harvested.

            “Ewww!”  Sarah wrinkled her nose at the thought of standing in the fields with the poor—the disgusting smell of their bodies—the gnarled fingers and hard, leather-looking skin.

            “I’ll never do that!  I’d rather go hungry,” Sarah said, with her tongue protruding from her mouth, as if she had been forced to taste a particularly nasty morsel of food.

             “You were a tiny baby at the time,” Jasmina explained.  “We needed to feed you.  I would do whatever I needed to do to take care of you.”

            Sarah couldn’t quite comprehend that attitude.  She couldn’t conceive doing something for someone else that would be so unpleasant for her.

            “Why didn’t you have more children, Mother?”  Sarah’s question came from nowhere and caught Jasmina by surprise.  Most families had many children.  They were needed to help with the farms.  A family with only two children was very unusual.

            “We wanted more,” Jasmina’s voice was somber—reflexive.  “Your Father wanted many sons and daughters, but after Caleb was born I could never conceive again.  It has been a source of great sadness to me … a trial I must bear and live with every day—that I could not give my husband the children he wanted.”

             Sarah felt compassion—her heart aching for the gentle woman before her.  Sarah was sure she would make her husband proud—that she would bare him many sons and daughters—for many years.

            “What is it like, Mother?”  Sarah whispered, a tinge of urgency in her speech.

             “What, my child?”  Jasmina looked at her oddly—confused by the vague question.

            “Bearing children … and conceiving,” Sarah’s wide eyes looked piercingly at her Mother.

            Jasmina blinked.  She should have expected this question.  Sarah had always been a very curious child with few inhibitions; and she had always been blunt.  It was a characteristic Jasmina admired, thinking it would serve her well in future years—get her through many trials and challenges in life that would overwhelm a weaker person.

            “We shall have that discussion when the time arrives,” Jasmina said, ducking the question, feeling guilty for doing so.  “Right now, however, the caravan is here and we must get ready to travel.”  She sighed inside, grateful for a long line of loaded camels, which had rescued her for the moment … postponing a conversation she knew she would have to have very soon.

                                    FROM PART TWO


            The houses of Globe-Miami line the walls of a meandering canyon that follows the flow of the Gila River in Central Arizona.  Once the center of a booming economy—a hub for employment and industry—the neighboring communities were now mostly ghost towns.  The rival high schools had long ago lost their dominance in state athletics, and hiring good teachers at the rundown schools was always a challenge on the ever-shrinking budget.

            Having the state’s top two high school golfers in the same area—the same school—was an anomaly—creating a stir that interested everyone in town.  It was the topic of conversation at diners and gas stations.  A national magazine had sent a reporter to the area to do a feature article on the rivalry—focusing on the self-taught golfer who had unseated the wealthy country club kid.  Travis felt slighted by the approach the writer took—growing green with envy as the Davy Carrington story dominated the four-page article.  The world seemed to be rallying behind the poor kid with the beat up bag, and Travis was being painted as the antagonist.  If he won, he would be judged as taking the opportunity away from one who needed it more than he did.

            Travis and Davy had been good friends when they were younger.  Globe only had one school for grades K through five—Copper Rim Elementary—so the rich and poor all attended together.  When Travis began playing golf, at age nine, Davy’s friendship became expendable.  Davy encouraged his friend’s new passion—sharing tips he had read in the magazines at the library.  Davy, himself, wouldn’t step onto a real course, however, until he was sixteen.  By then the two were merely acquaintances—passing cordial greetings as they met in the hall or around town.  They ran in completely different circles now – strangers in their own school.

            Davy had a strong physique—developed from the many chores he had been assigned at home since his childhood—but he wasn’t a natural athlete.  He had been given few chances to develop what skills he did possess.  Travis, on the other hand, was smooth and polished.  Travis had excelled in Little League baseball and played on the Jr. High basketball team, while Davy’s chores—the needs at home—prevented him from participation.  Hitting the used golf balls with the bag of beat up clubs was his favorite pastime.  Now, he was known across the country—had been the object of a lead story in a national magazine—and was on the verge of realizing a dream—a college education … and not at

Gila Pueblo College, the tiny community campus located at the end of Six Shooter Canyon south of Globe.

             Davy easily won the tournament, increasing his margin of victory to thirteen strokes.  Travis finished fifth—seventeen shots behind—after a disastrous final round.

             Davy passed on the party many of the others attended that evening.  He didn’t really have the finances to participate—and he avoided circumstances that had the potential to jeopardize his scholarship hopes.  He rode home to Globe, with his parents, instead.

            “Some of the guys want to go camping before school starts back up,” Davy mentioned as they wound up the steep incline outside of Superior, the rust colored cliffs looming over them on both sides of the highway.

            “Where are you going?”  His Mother always had the twenty questions ready.  Davy was seventeen, but she still protected him like a mother hen with her chick.  Davy didn’t really mind.  He knew he’d soon be out of the house … on his own … and he would miss her fawning.

            “A new place we found on the map.  It’s up in the canyon, but hard to get to—probably hasn’t been camped before.”   Salt River Canyon—forty-five miles north of Globe—was a sheer walled, scenic gorge cut through the rugged mountains that divided the state.  The clear running stream, with its occasional white water rapids, lined with tall pines, was a favorite destination for local outdoorsmen seeking to get out of the valley heat.

            “Who all is going?”  Leah asked.  Only eighteen questions to go Davy thought, smiling.

            “Just the four of us … Brett, Barry, Fernando and me.”  Davy knew she would call some of the other Moms.  She trusted Davy completely, but always wanted to coordinate an emergency plan in case the boys didn’t arrive back as scheduled.

            “What about Travis?”  She cocked her head slightly—glancing into the back seat as she asked.

            “Nah, Mom, it’s not a golf thing.  Travis doesn’t hang around with us except on the golf course.”

            “Does he have a girlfriend?”

             “Probably, but that has nothing to do with it.”  Davy knew Travis could have any girl at school anytime he wanted.  He was handsome …and he was rich … a hard combination to beat.

             “Will there be girls on this campout?”  Leah avoided Davy’s eyes.

            “No, Mom.”


             “Rubbing only.”


             “Nope.”  It was the standard inquiry.  Donald and Leah knew Davy never drank or used drugs.  A house rule—whenever he was out at night he was to come in and give his Mother a goodnight kiss—no matter what time he came in—had provided them the confidence they had in him.  Davy always thought it was their way to verify he had made it in on time.  Leah used the ritual to confirm her son’s activity never involved smoking or drinking—two things she could have smelled on him easily; and she was sure she could have detected a behavioral change if he had been using drugs.  Davy had never disappointed her … and he had never caught on to her scheme.

            “What will you be doing?”  The questions continued.

            “Playing golf,” Davy joked.  Leah turned her focus back to Davy’s face.

            “Just kidding, Mom,” Davy smiled.  “We’ll be camping … sitting on logs and boulders … eating snakes we kill, you know, the usual.”

            “Ooh, Davy, you better not be eating any snakes.”

            “Just camping, Mom.”

            “I don’t think you should go anywhere there might be snakes.”

            “We can’t even camp in our backyard then,” he said, reminding her of the rattlesnake he and Donald had killed on their property less than a year ago.

            “When are you coming back?”

            “Saturday—school starts on Thursday.”  He sighed, then added.  “One more year!”

            “Yeah,” Leah groaned.  “One more year.”  She was missing him already.



            Brett Flanders whisked the four wheel drive Explorer under a stand of trees, the limbs scraping across the roof of the new vehicle.  They were at the bottom of the Salt River Canyon—off the road—pushing through the underbrush as far as possible to cut down on the hiking required to reach their preplanned campsite.  He jammed the accelerator down and ran the long white SUV up against an immovable boulder.  They had been off-road for a couple miles—blazing their own trail in some of the most rugged terrains in the canyon.

            “This is as far as I can get us.” He said, bouncing against the immovable boulder.

             Brett was the odd one in this group.  His father owned the local Ford dealership and Brett had access to most any vehicle on the lot.  Although he came from wealth, he never showed it or flaunted it.

             The other three were from families barely above the poverty line.  All four of them had been best friends for years.  They took the moniker “The Force” when they were twelve—a tribute to their infatuation with Star Wars.  Camping had become their Jedi experience.  They had slept in tents or under the stars at least once a month since Brett got his driver’s license and access to the company cars.

             Davy jumped out when the Explorer stopped, and immediately spread the aerial map out on the small hood.

            “Looks like about a three mile hike,” Davy said, tapping his finger on a remote spot—“a good sized meadow surrounded by cliffs and trees.”

            “You sure we’ve never been there before,” Barry Jones asked.  Barry was the heaviest of the “Force members.  He loved sleeping outdoors—cooking over an open fire—telling stories by star light.  He detested hiking.

            “You’ll make it, big fella,” Davy assured him with a slap on the back, “and you’ll be telling your grandchildren about it.”

            “You’re assuming a girl will marry him, Carrington,” Brett joked.  “You know what assume means.”

            “It better be good,” Barry voiced.  He was a gregarious young man who seldom stopped talking.  His wide grin was a fixture.  He pictured himself with his own Comedy Central Special in a few years.

             “I don’t think people actually go there, Barry,” Brett scrunched up his face as he spoke.  “It’s too remote.  So no one knows if it is good or not!”

             “Probably hasn’t had a visitor since Geronimo roamed these parts,” Davy added.

            “Make sure the canteens are full,” Barry admonished, checking his.

             Fernando Brewer was the fourth member of “The Force.”  He was named after the

ABBA song—his parents being avid fans of Stevie Nix.  He was the brain of the group—the others often chiding him for his studious nature.  “Did you bring your slide rule?” was the oft repeated joke when they got lost or injured, or thirsty … all of which had happened more than once.

            They had chosen this particular spot for the final campout of the summer because it met their latest requirements.  It was remote—it had trees for shelter and fuel—and, where there were trees, they supposed there would be water nearby.  They were going to explore a “virgin area” and find out what was there.

             “I’m hitting the trail … try to keep up,” Davy encouraged, adjusting his backpack snuggly on his shoulders and setting out towards a narrow gap in the hills.  He was ten steps ahead of the others already.

            The hike was mildly difficult.  They had done harder, but this was too severe to be taken lightly.  Davy led the way—singing and calling back to the others—the conversation and the music nonstop between them.  Barry kept them entertained with his latest routine.

            “How come a chicken coop only has two doors?” he called out, using his best stand up voice.

            No one responded.  They gave him a puzzled look.

            “Cuz if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan!”  Barry laughed the loudest.  “Get it?” he pleaded, “a chicken coop … a chicken sedan?”

            Davy smiled broadly.  “Got it, Bare,” he said.  It was funny.  What a great group.  He lived for these times with “The Force”—and he knew he was going to miss them when he left for college.

            “Hey, hey,” Barry called, trying to keep the others from getting too far ahead of him.  “Would you call a Jamaican proctologist … a … Pokemon?”

             That brought a giggle from everyone.  The only encouragement Barry needed.  He had saved his jokes for the hike—to keep pace to his speed—and it was working.  Davy had slowed a bit, unwilling to out walk the entertainment, which proceeded nonstop as the hike continued.

            An hour later, they passed over a small rise and a moon shaped meadow opened up, surrounded by scrub oaks, pinon trees and lots of cholla and palo verdes.  The unusually wet monsoon season had ended a few weeks earlier, leaving the desert pleasantly green.  The aroma of chaparral and creosote filled their senses.  Barry caught a wandering tarantula, and was talking to it like an old friend as it crawled up his arm.  The boys were in their element.  There were no signs of any other human presence in the area.  Unlike many places they had been, there were no wrappers, can or bottles littering the wilderness, and no initials or graffiti carved into the rocks lining their trail.  The area was pristine—they felt a reverence—like they were trekking in newly discovered territory.

            “Company halt,” Davy joked, tossing his backpack to the ground at the entrance to the meadow.  “This is gonna hafta be it.”

             “I’ll get a fire going,” Barry volunteered, “if you guys will fetch some wood and kindling.”  The large boy was sweating and tired.  Anything to avoid more hiking was definitely his plan.

            They pitched camp at the edge of the meadow—plenty of shade from the morning sun from the stand of palo verdes, and a clear view of the night sky above the grassy flatland.

            Fernando started unpacking the food, Barry rolled some rocks into a circle for the fire pit, Brett laid out the tent, and Davy set off for some fuel for the fire.  It was an organized program they had followed many times.

             At the top of a small hump near the meadow, Davy found some dead trees, fallen from wind or age.  He grabbed one and drug it backwards down the hill to the camp.  He trudged back up to bring some more.  He loaded his arms with small pieces, then turned towards the direction he had come.  He had a perfect view of the entire meadow below him.  Something was wrong—strange.  He hauled the load of wood to the camp, dropping it hear the axe Brett had stuck in the dead log.  Without speaking, Davy started across the meadow.

            “Where you going?”  Barry asked, curious, but not enough to follow him.

            Davy didn’t answer; he kept walking, at a brisk pace, heading for the center of the meadow.

            The meadow was probably two hundred yards across and almost circular in shape.  By the time Davy reached the center, the other boys had all stopped their activities and were staring after him.

            They watched as Davy walked around in a large circle in the middle of the meadow.  Several times he stopped—looked towards the sky—then put his head down and walked some more.  Occasionally he bent to the ground—his body nearly disappearing in the tall grass.

            “What’s with him,” Brett asked, to no one in particular.

            “Got me,” Barry mumbled.

            “Possessed,” was Fernando’s opinion, trying to sound funny.

            Davy looked back at the boys—a puzzled look on his face.

            “Come look at this,” he shouted, waving his arms at them.

            “Must be something out there—or else he’s lost and can’t find his way back to camp.”  Fernando was laughing alone at his attempted humor.

            They trudged through the grass towards Davy, their curiosity growing with each step.

            “This better be good, Carrington,” Barry hollered back as they headed towards him, “or you’re carrying me back.”

            he thought of Davy hauling the 240 pound boy through the meadow brought a chuckle from the group.

             Davy was standing still, his hands on his hips, looking at the ground, when the others broke through, into an area where the tall grass was only a few inches high and a bright, rich green in color.

            “So what’s so ….”  Brett started to ask, then sucked in his words—looking at the ground.

            They all stopped as if they had hit a wall.

            What the heck …” Barry said, the last one to arrive.

            “I noticed it from the hill.  You can’t see it unless you’re up above, the grass around it’s too tall.”

            The boys knelt to the ground and felt the grass.  The blades were thicker and a shade of green they had never seen before.  And it was a perfectly circular ring.

            “I stepped it off,” Davy told them.  “It’s exactly sixty feet across—in every direction.  It’s cylindrical—perfectly!”

            “Wow, Carrington … cylindrical … big word,” Barry chided.

             “How could something grow like this—and be so different from the grass around it?”

            Davy interrupted Brett.  “It’s not how it grew—it’s WHO grew it this way.  This is no natural occurrence—no accident.  There’s no evidence of anyone having been in here in decades, but someone did this.  Someone made a perfect circle and created a species of grass I’ve never seen before … and I’ve been on a hundred golf courses.”

            “And whoever did it got in here without a trace and left without leaving a trace.”  Fernando was still staring at the ground.

            “Pull up some of the grass,” Fernando instructed them.

             “What?”  The other three all asked in unison, as if from a script.

            “Fill your pockets with the grass,” he said, tugging a handful from the turf.  “I can analyze it under the microscope when we get back and maybe come up with some answers.”

            “OK, Einstein,” Davy laughed.  “Everyone get a pocketful of grass.  Can you imagine what our parents would think if they heard us saying that?”  They laughed together, thinking of the looks on their parents’ faces if they told them they had pockets full of ‘grass’.

            There was no shortage of possibilities they bounced off each other as they trudged back to camp, their pockets full of grass.

            “Why were you looking at the sky earlier?” Brett asked Davy.

            Davy shrugged.  “Where else could it have come from?  I figure whoever did it must have come in from the air—but lightning wouldn’t create something like that.  It was too symmetrical.”

            “OK, this is getting weird,” Brett chided.  “Cylindrical? Symmetrical?  We got a year of high school left, buddy.  Don’t drown me in your college vocab just yet.”

            The boys chuckled.

            “Seriously, though,” Davy said, “you know the hike we made to get in here.  There’s no way you could reach this place from the north—the mountains are too steep.  So I think something landed here.”

            “A military test?”  Fernando wondered out loud.

             “Or a UFO—some alien craft.”  Barry started humming the Outer Limits theme after offering his opinion.

            “Get real, Jones,” Brett shoved him.  They acted like it was a ridiculous thing to think; but each one of them felt a tinge of apprehension.  Something had caused that grass to change—something very large and very heavy—something that didn’t come in over the ground.


            The campfire flared a little higher than normal and no one felt much like sleeping, though they were all tired.  They sat as close to the flame as possible—the rash of stars shining brightly above them.  They talked about girls … and sports … and girls again.  They picked out constellations, discussed colleges … and talked about girls some more.

            None of the guys in “The Force” had a steady girlfriend.  Part of their pact—an agreement they had made with each other three years ago, when they first started high school—was to always have each other’s back.  They all had goals—plans for the future—plans for ‘after Globe’ … after they had escaped the little valley hemmed in by the tailings from Inspiration Mine—the nearby abandoned copper mine in the center of Miami, whose slag had created a gigantic mountain of waste that lined the city—an eyesore visible to the visitor as soon as he popped out of the canyon and dropped into town.

             “The Force” members would not let the others fail in their goals.  They had sworn their allegiance to the pact they had made.  If someone started to slip—to deviate from the goals he had established during their freshman year—the others were obligated to pull him up—to set him back on course.  One of the biggest distractions … the biggest detriment to their plans—they had all agreed—would be a steady girlfriend.  Consequently, though they had all dated socially … in face, dated most of the girls their age in the shrinking school … they had all avoided the “steady girl” trap.  There was plenty of time for that—plenty of time for dating - and a lot more to choose from—in their life after Globe—their life in college.

            It was past 1:00 a.m. and Barry was rattling through another set of jokes, the fire flickering lowly, sending sparks sailing high into the night air—like fireworks on July 4th, when the boys were finally getting drowsy enough to concede their unspoken fears to a greater need … sleep.

            Their tent was set up about twenty yards from the fire—far enough to keep the irritating smoke from pouring in on them.

            Davy stood up first.  He stretched and turned towards the tent—not saying anything to the others.  No one looked up; they kept their weary eyes on the fire, Fernando poking at it with a stick, stirring up more sparks.

            Davy stepped towards the tent, yawning.

             “AHH!”  He suddenly shouted—a chortling, blood-curdling yell.  “What the ….”

            His scream startled the other three, who snapped out of their trance.  Each boy jumped to his feet … their hearts pounding.

             Davy stood … frozen in place, his eyes stretched so wide open they appeared to be bulging from his head.   A young woman was standing at the tent door.

            “Good evening,” the girl said.  She was speaking English, but with a very heavy accent—one Davy did not recognize.  She was stunning in her appearance—slim and dark haired, her features lit up mysteriously by the flickering firelight.

             Davy couldn’t move.  He didn’t speak.  The wide eyes on the others confirmed their sudden fear as well.  The stories and anxiety they had shared around the campfire were now manifest on their faces.

            “I’m sorry,” the girl said.  “I saw your fire.  I wanted to see who was here.”  She was looking at Davy with curious eyes—scanning him, he felt, from top to bottom—like an X-ray machine peering into his soul.  “I did not plan for you to see me,” she added.

            Davy could tell she was physically beautiful—but in an unusual way.  Her thick black hair framed a snowy white face.  Her eyes were large—maybe oversized … too large, perhaps … like they could see too much.  Her forehead was long, Davy thought, but possibly because her hair was parted in the middle and hung straight down on each side, exposing her entire face.  She appeared to be about Davy’s age—but mature, at the same time.

            “What … who … what ….”  Davy’s voice was shaky and his coherence minimal.  His heart was pounding so hard he was certain she could hear it beating through his shirt. 

            “We were just here … um … in the neighborhood.”  The girl seemed to struggle to find the exact words she wanted.

            Davy almost laughed.  In the neighborhood?   He tried to speak, but his tongue still failed him.  He just kept staring at the young woman.

            She said WE, Davy suddenly realized.  Is someone else here?  Are they part of a cult?

            “I scared you,” the girl said.  “I’m sorry.”

            Just then the tent flap flew open and a young man stepped out into the dying light.  Her boyfriend, Davy thought.  They were up here camping, too.  I guess this place isn’t so remote after all.

            When the other boys saw the young man climb out of their tent, they jumped again.

            “What … what were you doing in our tent?”  Davy’s voice was back … barely.  A couple of lovers … or thieves?  They had been in HIS tent.

            The boy looked at the girl then at Davy.  He appeared to be a bit younger than the girl—but in the dark it was hard to tell.  He, too, had large oval eyes—black saucers in the absence of light.  He was shorter than Davy but slightly taller than the girl.  For the first time, Davy noticed their clothing.  It seemed to lay on them perfectly—neatly caressing their bodies.  Davy had not seen anything like it before.  The girl wore a dress that fell past her knees.  The boy had on an exquisite jumpsuit—a one piece overall of the same color as the girl’s dress.  The texture looked soft and shiny and seemed to mold to their bodies.  Davy wanted to reach out and touch it—feel it.  Fortunately, his hands felt glued to his sides.

            “This is my brother,” the girl seemed to perceive Davy’s question.  “We have not seen a fabric house of this type before … not in many years.  We were curious.  We wanted to look in it.  We should not have come.  I apologize again.”

            She grabbed the boy’s hand and they walked around the tent towards the back—moving away from the fire.  Davy admired their smooth pace—more of a glide than a walk, he thought, their carriage emitting an aura of dignity … or royalty.  

            The two strangers stepped into the trees, quickly disappearing into the darkness.

            “Wait,” Davy shouted as they vanished.  “Who are you?”

            He couldn’t see them.  He couldn’t even hear their footsteps, but he knew they must be climbing the hill already.

            “My name is Sarah,” the girl’s voice called back.  “And my brother is Caleb.”

             And then, there was silence.

  • Update #18 - PROOFS APPROVED! Sept. 27, 2018

    The proofs were approved this morning and printing of the first batch will begin. The official launch of the novel is scheduled for April of …

  • Update #17 - GREAT NEWS Sept. 20, 2018

    This was a great day - the day we've been waiting for.  Two great things happened today. 

    First, the artwork was received and approved …

  • Update #16 - CORRECTION Sept. 8, 2018

    In the update sent out a few minutes ago, it was incorrectly stated that your ebook came from Actually, the ebook came directly from …

  • Update #15 - CLAIM YOUR EBOOK! Sept. 8, 2018

    A week ago I sent an ebook to everyone! Many of you have not yet claimed them. Go back to your inbox and find the email …

  • Update #14 - Ebook is ready Aug. 31, 2018

    The ebook is completely edited and formatted and will be shipped to each one of you on September 3rd. I am excited to get feedback …

  • Update #13 - LAST CHANCE UPDATE Aug. 28, 2018

    Less than 36 hours left on the campaign. Thank you to everyone who has helped me accomplish so much. There is still a small window …

  • Update #12 - A HUGE THANK YOU and a Final Plea Aug. 25, 2018

    Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign. The Lord has truly blessed me with amazing love from family, friends and others who have pre-ordered …

  • Update #11 - ONE MORE WEEK SPECIAL Aug. 21, 2018

    Just seven days left! Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped make this a success. If you read the information on the publishizer page you …

  • Update #10 - Into the second half!! Aug. 17, 2018

    I wanted to share with everyone a letter I received from a notable publishing company today a week after I sent them the full manuscript. I have …

  • Update #9 - Publishers calling! Aug. 17, 2018

    Our total stands at 298 tonight, so close to 300.  We've had several publishers calling and we have a conference call with one of them …

  • Update #8 - Final Two Weeks Aug. 14, 2018

    I hope everyone is excited about the contest! The drawing will be held on the 31st!.

     We just passed the half way mark and we're …

  • Update #7 - Contest Announcement! Aug. 10, 2018

    We are nearly half way through the campaign - the perfect time to announce a CONTEST. The winner will see his or her NAME appear IN THE BOOK as one of …

  • Update #6 - Milestones! Aug. 7, 2018

    Hello friends!

    It was an exciting few days as we passed two significant milestones. First we reached 100 pre-orders, then quickly blew right past the 250 …

  • Update #5 - Thank you update Aug. 4, 2018

    To all of you who have supported us in this journey, many, many thanks. A special thank you to Beth and Cary Tuckfield, and to …

  • Update #4 - Weekend Update Aug. 3, 2018

    A HUGE thank you to everyone who has helped me so far. I even received a call from Australia yesterday. We had a nice discussion about SARAH …

  • Update #3 - First Milestone Reached Aug. 2, 2018

    Publishizer has various milestones they track and the first one is 50 book pre orders, which was reached yesterday. My thank you seems so inefficient …

  • Update #2 - Sarah and Caleb News July 31, 2018

    Day Two of the campaign. Just a note to address a couple questions I have been asked:

    1) When will the book be available?  Once the …

  • Update #1 - THE CAMPAIGN HAS BEGUN! July 31, 2018

    The Saga of Sarah and Caleb is available for pre order and the first day was a good one. More than 35 orders came in, …

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  • Dee Cope
    on July 30, 2018, 4:54 p.m.

    so excited to read this book. Thank you for writing it.

  • Beth Tuckfield
    on July 31, 2018, 2:11 a.m.

    This looks like a great book. Can't wait to read it!

  • Jeff Marler
    on July 31, 2018, 5:08 a.m.

    I'm hoping things work out for you regarding this endeavor. Respectfully, Jeff B. Marler

  • Tanya Knight
    on Aug. 2, 2018, 2:16 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading the book, told my neighbors and will tell my coworkers when work resumes.

  • Dan Carpenter
    on Aug. 4, 2018, 3:33 p.m.

    Hey Nephew! Way to Go! couldn't be happier for you, (UNLESS the book is made into a movie), Dan.

  • Ted Carpenter
    on Aug. 13, 2018, 5:29 p.m.

    Best of Luck Denny! We are hoping this is a wonderfully successful endeavor for you and hope to see you soon. - Ted & KayLea & family

  • Wendy Lady
    on Aug. 17, 2018, 10:39 a.m.

    Yay!! So excited to gift these books to my local jr. high students!!