Title: Solstice Series Boxset
Author: John J Blenkush
Genre: Magical Realism
In this “sweeping saga seemingly about love” a once-maligned and shamed teenager transforms into our planet’s only hope of salvation.
There were times when I was floating around in the pod that I’d slip into wakefulness. Not the full-on kind most people have as they go about their daily activities, but a half-baked consciousness that would allow a thought or two to travel through my brain. These were like micro-bursts of memory. Something someone would experience as postcards from their past.
One reoccurring dream – if you will – was of this little girl, perhaps three or four years old, sitting at a table. She’s reaching out with her right hand, which is holding a rather large black checker. Sitting before her is a large checkerboard, with all the pieces – red and black – appropriately displayed. The game, I assume, has just started. There’s a slight smile on the girl’s face. Long blond hair frames her boyish cheeks, for they are overly large in contrast to the rest of her feminine features. There’s no movement. Just a picture. A still. A moment caught in time. No perspective going forward or backward. But it gives me fodder for thought. If only I can think, which I could not at the time.
But now my brain is awake, ready to seek singlemindedness. To find and heal my cells, my body. But how do I achieve such extreme focus? I remember asking Jungo, “Shouldn’t I be able to go back?” and he replied, “Not to that instant.” I remember him saying time had moved forward, that the moment was gone, and not many could or ever would return to when singlemindedness held authority. And yet, this is exactly where I need to go if I am to heal, per Kriss’shon.
It dawns on me; instant isn’t a constant. It’s fleeting at best. Yet when I had moved the pearls, it took time, more than minutes, perhaps hours. Days? And yet when Jungo found me on the floor weeping, it was as though no time had passed. Was this the secret? Halting time in perspective? From my viewpoint? And in doing so, allowing emotions, thoughts, and even physical ailments to catch up and heal? Could this be the magic of singlemindedness? To still time? As Jungo once told me to do?
I am here, lying on this bed. Jungo’s bed. In a cave. Watching Cherrie and her cohorts dance around a fire. I can’t move. Physically. Can’t talk. But I can think. I can, if I achieve extreme focus, halt my progression of time, allow my body to heal and catch up. But I need pearls. Many pearls to move. Redundancy. And I find them. In the little girl’s hand.
The checkerboard lies before me, painted on the wall of the cave. The blacks are on one side, the reds on the other. The blacks are bad cells needing replacement; the reds, good cells, filled with life-sustaining plasma. I play no one but myself, moving back and forth as if hinged to a swing. The game soon becomes dull, boring, redundant. I move blacks where reds can jump them. I move them from the board. More replace the ones I remove. But I keep repeating the process, over and over and over again.
The cone of my thought stream narrows, closing in, pinching down to a pinhole, squeezing time into a strand as thin as the fiber of a hair. And there, in the stoppage of my time, I feel it; an enormity of wellbeing, a spiritual awakening, surpassed only by physical rejuvenation. I see – or know – the black checkers are falling away. Reds stream in. For an instant – in real time. For hours, days, maybe even weeks – in mind-bending time. My time! Where I find part of me that doesn’t exist anywhere else. And I feel it, the healing. My breathing escalates. My heart is pounding, streaming oxygenated blood into my arteries and on into my capillaries and back to my heart through my veins. It feels as though my heart muscle is about to burst. There are sixty-thousand miles of blood vessels in the body (something I learned in school) and now I needed to use every single inch of them to repair the damage that had been done through ages of neglect.
What makes your featured book a must-read?
“Blenkush has created a universe that stands out from the rest, wrapping his main characters up in narratives that are full of mystery and passion, and inspiration. The writing is immersive and descriptive, his characters truly come alive on the page. The Solstice Series offers fantasy romance aficionados a unique and unforgettable storyline. This series has the ability to grab the reader and never let them go.” -- Red City Reviews.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 11 books featured in the Bracket Busting Bookish Event:
Open Internationally. Runs March 23 – March 30, 2021. Winner will be drawn on March 31, 2021.
John J Blenkush is the author of the critically acclaimed thrillers, REDDITION and STACY’S STORY, (Kirkus Reviews) and the epic Solstice Series. Besides writing, he loves the great outdoors, running marathons, and recreational mountain climbing. He lives with his wife, Nancy, in Northern California.
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