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The Raptor: The First Book of Cataclysm by @G_A_Fino is a Black Friday Deals pick #darkfantasy #sale
Title: The Raptor: The First Book of Cataclysm
Author: G.A. Finocchiaro
Genre: Dark Fantasy
The world went mad when Tony lost Jacinda. She was the love of his life, an enigmatic musician he thought he knew everything about-but her dark secrets left him with more questions than answers. Unraveling the past with his therapist opened cracks inside his wounded heart and mind, unleashing a night full of terrors. Were they real? Was his mind finally coming undone? The Thirteen, a collective of mythological gods, are hunting Tony. Led by a vicious stranger named Malus, the Thirteen are on the cusp of fulfilling a mysterious plan when Tony falls into their malicious crosshairs. To survive, Tony must dig through his own secrets to unlock the truth, which includes a return to the site of his worst nightmares: Grace Falls, Pennsylvania, where Tony met and lost Jacinda. But Tony's not alone-the five voices in his head are there to guide him.
“I feel so guilty every waking day of my miserable life.”
“Why do you feel so much guilt, Tony?” said the doc. I immediately thought the guy was just effing with me. How could I not feel guilty? Didn’t he have my files—my history—on some printouts stapled to that manila folder laying open on his desk? I took a deep unnecessary sigh and slid back onto the doc’s couch while he waited for my answer.
His perfectly arranged mahogany bookshelf was just a few steps behind the desk, loaded with red and blue hardcover books, like the whole collection of Encyclopedia Britannica—clearly, Doctor Hammond didn’t Google. Together, it wasn’t an uninviting room. It was cozy, especially the couch—was it memory foam?
Marshall always told me that I needed to stop using humor as a defense mechanism. He said it was his “thing,” not mine. I suppose he’s right—jokes were hard to come by these days, and I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. I pushed the people who cared for me so far away that I was hanging on by a solitary thread—and I was holding the scissors.
Seeing a shrink was an embarrassing final step for me. A final step backward that seemed to be the only direction available—albeit conditional. I suppose that’s what happens when your mind fractures like a bowling ball meeting a windshield at sixty miles-per-hour. The state makes you check in from time to time.
My eyes darted around the room as I searched for a focal point. I didn’t feel comfortable spilling my guts to a stranger, let alone looking them in the eyes while I did it. Not after my past. I felt like I had spent way too much time healing and talking and healing and talking, and not enough time living. I was feeling a PTSD flashback from recalling prior PTSD flashbacks.
“I think it’s pretty obvious,” I replied.
“Tony, why are you here?” the doctor asked me from behind his reading glasses. He had a yellow legal pad in his lap and was jotting down furious notes about my recurring dream like he was cramming for a midterm.
“Mandatory check-in. Part of the terms of my release. And because I made a promise to my buddy Marshall,” I said.
“No, I mean, why are you here?” he said. “Today was your first visit with me, despite the referral being dated nearly two years ago. You come in, quickly introduce yourself, and begin to tell me about your dream, and ask for clarification about what it all means.
“Medicine of the mind doesn’t typically work that way. Most patients come to me on a regular basis—some quite frequently, others maybe once or twice a year. We cannot expect to unpack your dreams before we unpack your life and what led you here today.”
“So, you want my life story?” I said. The guy really didn’t want to hear all that, did he? Everyone has baggage. I have luggage.
The doc looked like your average Dr. Freud impersonator, fitted with the stereotypical beard and glasses. “I’ve met plenty of patients who build walls around who they are to hide away the painful parts of their existence. It’s a natural defense mechanism. A way to survive. Please don’t take what I’m about to say next as an insult, but you are not a special case, Tony. There is nothing extraordinary about your current condition that I have not seen before. If you want to lead a healthier life, after all you’ve been through, I suggest we start at the beginning.”
“Far be it for me to make your job any easier,” I quipped, and Doctor Hammond smiled.
“No more walls, Tony.” From the framed photos on his desk, Doctor Hammond had a lovely wife and three kids. I began to wonder how this man had ever met and married a woman—he was as humorless as a wet rag. “You need to be free of your demons.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Okay,” he repeated.
“My name’s Tony. I am 33 years old, and I live in Philadelphia. I am generously five foot, ten inches tall with exceptionally dark hair and eyes—and a face for radio—mayyybee YouTube.”
“That’s not what I meant by start at the beginning,” said the doc.
“I know. Sorry,” I said, and sighed for the thirtieth time. “This time of year has always been difficult for me. I’ve been so depressed for so long that I don’t know where to begin.”
“It is very clear that you’re depressed, Tony.” There was nothing more depressing than being told by a professional that you’re depressed. “Why don’t you start at the beginning of the events that led you here? Why don’t you tell me about her?”
I smiled, humorlessly. “Yeah.”
“Or you could go back further, and tell me about your mother,” he suggested.
“No,” I said sternly. “One ghost is all I’m willing to discuss.”
“Okay. Take me back to the beginning,” the doc said. “Don’t worry about our session. After reading through your files, I made sure to set aside plenty of extra time for us to talk.”
It was time I fixed myself instead of running away.
“Have you ever had that one moment in your life when you realized your destiny?” I said, starting with a free flow of consciousness. “That exact second your life went from meandering around in circles to a clear path forward? The split second before that very moment, your life was meaningless and forgettable, like an old pair of socks, but then something unforeseen happened and thrust your life into a whole new and amazing direction? As if the big bang went off inside you, spreading outward at the speed of light and making that very second the center of your universe? I remember that second. I remember every detail. It was the second I began to live. It was the day I met Jacinda O’Neill.”
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
THE RAPTOR is for fans of novels like “13 Reasons Why” and “Horns”—an emotional, fantastical and horrific journey with monsters, mythology, and otherworldly creatures. A dark, sprawling, coming-of-age love-story that will keep you guessing.
Hailed as a mash-up of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Joe Hill (said no-one ever), G.A. Finocchiaro drives the narrative like a runaway train, spiralling into the head of a hopeless romantic who has lost the love of his life—while being hunted by supernatural godlike beings.
“Don’t sleep on this book, you’ll regret it.” – Amazon Review
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Runs November 26 – December 2, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on December 3, 2021.
G.A. Finocchiaro was born and raised in South Jersey. He is a self-described goofball with a taste for bad jokes and good burgers. Finocchiaro currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
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