Thursday, May 24, 2007
Guess the Plot
A Gift of Myrrh
1. Arnie was hoping for a new baseball mitt, but Aunt Fran gives him the lamest birthday present ever. Now Arnie faces the biggest challenge of his young life -- writing a sincere-sounding thank-you note.
2. Diapers would have been nice. Or food or livestock or a freakin' cradle. But when Balthazar shows up with a dopey grin and a bottle of tree resin, what's Mary supposed to do?
3. Four teenage boys turn up naked and dead, their faces coated in oil of Myrrh. The boys are the first clues in a case that will lead Italian Police Detective Abele Porfirio into the heart of one of the most powerful trade unions in Europe.
4. The Fountain of Youth exists, and it falls upon Nando to eliminate all who know about it, including a hippie family in Hawaii, a 12th-century emperor, and a bearded man who's been around since the birth of Jesus.
5. Genevieve has planned her wedding down to the last detail, so when Rodney's ex-girlfriend arrives uninvited, carrying a big lump of hardened tree sap, it's up to the maid-of-honor and a renegade ex-cop-turned-wedding-singer to keep A Gift of Myrrh from becoming A Gift of Murder.
6. Naomi should have been more suspicious when her new boyfriend Balthazar brought a gift of bath oil. When she slips beneath the silky hot water a queer tingle rises up her legs. The embalming process has started, and Naomi, if she gets out of this alive, is done with GreatDates.com.
The greatest gift is not immortality, but the ability to die—especially for someone else.
[Not quite, but close. The top ten greatest gifts:
10. The ability to die for yourself.
8. A housebroken puppy.
7. Roller blades.
5. Two dozen long-stemmed roses.
3. A wide-screen plasma TV.
2. The ability to die for someone else.
1. The Novel Deviations twin-pack.]
Nando knows this. His brother died more than 500 years ago, sacrificed to the gods of an enemy people that soon became Nando's adopted family. Although this same family has long since died out, Nando still owes his love, loyalty, and allegiance to their memory. For their sake, his mission for nearly 200 years has been to eliminate those who know the truth: The Fountain of Youth exists and is buried under layers of concrete on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. [Nando's adopted family have died out. Apparently they didn't drink from the Fountain of Youth. So what is their connection to the Fountain, the connection that leads Nando to believe eliminating those who know about the Fountain will somehow protect his family's memory?] And he has fulfilled his duty, save for two people: his former commanding officer and himself. That officer also happens to be his son-in-law and oldest friend in the world, Johnny—Juan Ponce de Leon, who had other ideas about how to protect their family's memory. Now that a series of paintings has pointed the way back to Johnny, Nando can no longer hide from his responsibilities. [Not clear what that means.]
What Nando does not know is that Johnny hasn't been keeping the secret to himself. Others—ranging from a man Jesus healed in 28 A.D. to a legendary 12-th century emperor to a hippie family running a vegetarian cafe on Kauai—know now and their lives are at risk as well as they stand between Nando and Johnny in a centuries-old feud. [If I were going to get involved in a centuries-old feud, it wouldn't be with someone with a lame name like Nando.] As 2000 years' worth of stories unfold, secrets bigger than the Fountain come to light. [Secrets like Atlantis, the Loch Ness monster, and Canada.] Mortal and immortal alike must decide what is worth living for . . . and what is worth dying for.
"A Gift of Myrrh" is literary fiction and is complete at 99,000 words. Although the novel can stand alone, it is the first book of a planned trilogy. [The others will involve Pizarro and gold, and Cortez and frankincense.] Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
People from the 12th century and from 28 A.D. are still alive . . . because they drank from the Fountain of Youth? Even though Florida was unknown to them at the time? Clear this up in the query.
Nando has eliminated everyone else who knows about the Fountain, except his former commanding officer. How did Nando know who knew about it?
This takes place on Earth? Who are these people who were sacrificing other people to their gods 500 years ago?
I note you don't include Nando's daughter among those who know the secret. Neither her father nor her husband told her?
I can see keeping the Fountain secret to prevent hordes of people from descending on it, but I don't quite grasp Nando's reason.