Gritty adventure and ancient wisdom collide in this thirteen-thousand-year saga of love and hate. As the world descends from a Golden Age into darkness and suffering, Marcus has been reincarnated an exhausting number of times. Selected to become an Emissary, it is his duty to protect the world's most sacred, long-standing secrets.
When Marcus surreptitiously consumes a serum that allows him to retain his memory from one lifetime to the next, he inadvertently condemns himself to thousands of years of torment, loneliness, and searching. Desperate to always remember his soul mate, Theron, and unsure as to whether or not he was ever truly meant to be an Emissary, Marcus's struggles span lifetimes through ancient Bolivia, Greece, the Mongol Empire, and Shambhala, ever remaining vigilantly alert to the danger of his cruel and powerful nemesis, Helghul.
An epic, thought-provoking tale of reincarnation, the brutality of human existence, and the struggle facing all of humanity.
|Publisher:||Intelligent Design Publishing Inc|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Rene DeFazio has worked as a writer, actor, and producer on film, stage, and commercial projects. One Great Year is Rene’s first novel with fiance and writing partner Tamara Veitch.
Tamara Veitch studied at Simon Fraser University and has worked as a mural artist and a special education teaching assistant. One Great Year is the culmination of a lifetime of learning, living and loving for her and Rene.
Read an Excerpt
ONE GREAT YEAR
By TAMARA VEITCH, RENE DEFAZIO
Greenleaf Book Group PressCopyright © 2014 Intelligent Design Publishing Inc.
All rights reserved.
THE WEARY TRAVELER
Present day, Seattle, Washington
Maxwell Quinn had been reincarnated an exhausting number of times. How many lives had he lived? He could hardly count them. He knew that the evolution of human existence followed patterns that cycled roughly every twenty-six thousand years. Plato had called it the "Great Year" and Quinn knew the ancient concept well. He had lived through the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Ages that had come before and had descended into this dark, brutal Iron Age. Quinn searched the night sky, knowing that the precession of the stars was truly a clock. He hoped that the most difficult time in his obligation was over, give or take a few hundred years.
Quinn rubbed his forehead with the back of his thumb, ruffling his messy black hair. He lit a joint and took a few puffs, brushing a flake of ash from his Lenny Kravitz T-shirt. It helped to slow the constantly spinning filmstrip of his mind. He opened the window a crack and exhaled into the cool Pacific Northwest evening.
Quinn rented a small apartment in the outer suburbs of Seattle. The forested hills and fields filled him with peace. He watched a bulbous black spider outside his window as it repaired its web. It had been there for weeks. He had watched it climb, trap, and mend, over and over, up and down the delicate grid. Quinn observed the microcosm of the greater world and felt at one with the creature.
Quinn had done it all—travel, exploration, rebellion—but now he was tired of trying so hard. He was an old soul, and he was weighed down by the memories of all his lives before. He pushed away the voice that reminded him that lessons remained yet to be learned. Human hibernation was not a viable option, even for him.
Quinn was a loner, an orphan since his fifteenth birthday, when his parents had been killed in an automobile accident. He had gone to live with a bachelor uncle, but the relative hadn't had or wanted children, and since the age of seventeen he had been on his own. He had only his buddy Nate and a few casual friends in his life. At forty-five, love had eluded him. Quinn got by repairing computers from home. He had chosen a job that required little human interaction but which fed his incredible intellect at least slightly. He didn't desire material possessions, and he warily avoided the spotlight and notoriety, ever on the lookout for his adversary, Helghul.
Quinn shifted his attention to the television behind him. After a moment he snapped it off in disgust. He tossed the remote onto the chaotic pile of newspapers and books that had buried his sofa. Television aggravated instead of relaxed him. It was pure hype, supply and demand. The fear-mongering talking heads smiled and reported, barely aware of the words that they read: immense tragedy, war, corruption, political unrest, another big-bottom bimbo or celebrity overdose. Gossip and propaganda were pasted like wallpaper over the truths that protruded and begged for attention underneath. Consumers ate it up and grew fat on it, demanding more. What about the others, the individuals doing good work and seeking to better the world? Quinn refused to watch while they were largely ignored and the dark souls absorbed the spotlight.
Quinn blogged as "The Emissary" and spent hours every day surfing the Internet. The World Wide Web allowed ideas, hopes, and fears to be sent across the globe in a nanosecond. People shared and connected openly, and information was plentiful, though often erroneous. He searched for facts, for breaking scientific discoveries, and for signs that people were continuing to spiritually evolve. He followed changes in the world's weather patterns and kept an extensive spreadsheet on the natural disasters. Tragedy and devastation have a way of waking the soul, and Quinn was hopeful. He considered noteworthy people as they emerged and had boxes of haphazardly labeled information he had collected. He never opened them, relying instead on his comprehensive memory.
Quinn was not only looking for proof that the Dark Age was ending, but he was also tracking other Atitalans—Emissaries like himself from the ancient land who had been sent to guide mankind in its evolution. Many of the Emissaries were healers, musicians, scientists, artists, or teachers. They were the way-showers, laying clues for those who cared enough to seek spiritual growth. He could never identify fellow Emissaries for certain until he met them in person. Their special auras differentiated them like fingerprints but were rarely captured in photos and video, and if the karmic code did show up, the shot was usually discarded as overexposed. Seeing auras was no special skill. Quinn just knew what to look for. The human brain rejects ninety percent of what the eyes see, but he knew how to see.
In Atitala, Quinn's name had been Marcus, and his Marcus-brain—a deep, ancient consciousness—was awake within him, constantly guiding, educating, and urging him to duty. Atitalan Emissaries had been sent to rebuild the world when the last Golden Age had ended. He assumed the others were active and contributing. He was confident that they were not sedentary, disgruntled, and stoned.
They don't know what I know, Quinn justified to himself, taking a hard final drag of his tiny roach. He flicked the dying ember and dropped the scrap in a soda can.
The red light on Quinn's telephone flashed to indicate a message, but he ignored it. It could wait until tomorrow. He refused to carry a cellphone, refused to be constantly accessible—there was a self-importance, an egotism, and a hollow neediness attached to those things. He was not a cardiologist; no one was dying on the table. He had no inflated sense of individual significance, though he could have and perhaps should have.
Quinn positioned himself in front of his keyboard, and The Emissary began his blog for the night. He had it all figured out—the meaning of life, what comes next—and he saw that the answers were all around him. For centuries people had been handed the clues, and yet they continued to ignore them. Maybe his inconsequential blog would reach someone who needed it. Hopefully he was contributing to the ever-evolving collective consciousness. His compulsion to expose humankind to the obvious truths surrounding them would not be denied.
For the first twenty years of his adulthood, Quinn had tried to ignore the obligation that weighed on him. He had traveled the world searching for an elusive spirit, one he had loved deeply beyond all others. Quinn's Marcus-brain urged him to seek out his soulmate, Theron, as he had for centuries. Despite his searching, Theron had not been found—not this time, not yet.
MARCUS AND THERON
Theron lay limp in Marcus's arms, her eyes closed and her breathing ragged. "I thought you left me," she sputtered.
"I will never leave you," he promised.
Their wet skin was freckled with sticking sand. Marcus's chest heaved as he stroked her dripping hair. She was all length and limbs in his arms. He noticed the odd angle of her bloodied leg and protectively squeezed her against his muscular chest. He shuddered with the realization that he had almost lost her.
Above them, in the shadows on the edge of the excavation, stood a fair-haired young man unnoticed in the commotion. Helghul watched his fellow students with eager interest. He had heard Marcus call for assistance, yet he had remained still, fighting the impulse to aid the troubled pair. His conscience beseeched him to help but he had resisted, his mind in turmoil. His will had been torn as he had contemplated what it would mean to be rid of her.
* * *
The day had begun like many others. The sun rose on a gorgeous white sandy coastline. The place was called Atitala, meaning "white island," and was one in a succession of great civilizations. Atitala was the seat of power to a vast empire, which was governed by eleven spiritual leaders called the Elders. The Elders ruled together, led by White Elder.
The Atitalans believed firmly in one creator or, more accurately, a single point of creation, which they called many names, including: God, the Great Spirit, the Eternal White Light, or the Source.
Atitala was stunning, built almost exclusively of white, black, and red stone. The rooftops and columns were embellished ornately with precious metals. There was a Great Hall atop the high plateau at the center, and on the outermost points of east and west were two impressive pyramids.
Marcus and Theron had soared to their destination, swooping through the canopy, steering the crystal glider easily as the leaves brushed past them.
Theron was an unusual beauty; her russet hair blew wildly as they rode. From a distance she looked like a torch, a fireball speeding through the forest. Her narrow green eyes squinted almost closed when she laughed, and days spent on the sunny coast had left her fair skin mottled with freckles. Theron's prominent nose marked her as oddly striking. There was something compelling about her, an allure not contained by her physical shell. She was almost always flush with emotion: passion, fury, competition. Her aura, or karmic code, shone violet, purple, and in rainbows of emotion around her. Despite her sarcastic wit and competitive nature, Theron was magnetic and charming.
In contrast to Theron's fair complexion Marcus's skin was a deep brown, and it looked as though he had been buttered and baked for a feast. His springy black curls were exactly the size of his thick fingers and fell across his forehead and dark brown eyes. Theron had wrapped her arms tightly around his narrow waist as they playfully dipped and weaved through the trees. The duo had channeled their energy into the small transport, and the crystal that had enabled them to fly had grown warm in the pouch at Marcus's hip.
Atlantium crystal was found only in Atitala and, because of its powerful properties, it was carefully protected. It was a power source that, when combined with a disciplined will, allowed the holder to control gravity and movement. It had allowed for miraculous advances in flight and was used in the building of all the great architectural feats of Atitala, including the perfectly designed pyramids. It was an essential tool in the Golden Age and had many other extraordinary capabilities.
Marcus and Theron had arrived at an inland lake at the base of a large quarry. The pool was surrounded by rocky cliffs to the north and dense jungle to the south. The young couple loved to spend time there and almost always had the remote water hole completely to themselves. They often held hands under the water and practiced the mind games and telepathy that all Atitalans learned as children. It was an intimate and familiar way of communicating used only between family members and friends. It was not an unspoken voice, it was not words, exactly; it was more like intentionally transmitted images, feelings, and meaning. Theron and Marcus would spend hours exchanging thoughts and ideas without a sound, immersed in one another's energy.
As they swam, Theron had been actively speaking in detailed mind pictures to Marcus. They had held their breath and glided just under the surface of the sparkling lake. Just as they had reached the steep cliffs adjacent to the atlantium quarry, an enormous boulder splashed dangerously close to them.
The pair had dived as two more large boulders rumbled toward them. The water rippled in anticipation, and the swimmers dove deeper to evade the heavy stones bearing down on them.
Suddenly, a stone broke through the water directly on top of Theron, submerging her and pinning her to the lake bottom. The panic-stricken young man had pursued her down but was unable to move the boulder that pinned her right leg. They had struggled frantically, pushing and tugging to no avail. Theron had watched in horror as Marcus left her and returned to the surface.
Marcus had known that he was almost out of time. The atlantium crystal in his pack was her only hope. The rockslide had opened a small gap where a steep cliff had once been, and the air was thick with dust. The determined man had scrambled up the shore, his feet slipping. His young body was being pushed to its limit as he foraged desperately through his rubble-covered bag for the crystal.
Through the new opening in the cliff, several of the quarry Nephilim5—the giant people who mined the sacred stone—had watched the frenzied man indifferently, uninterested in anything that did not offer material gain or gore. The workforce was welcomed on the island, as all beings were, though they were monitored closely to ensure that the harmony of Atitala was not compromised.
Atlantium crystal in hand, Marcus had returned to the pool, already summoning the inner energy he would need to activate it. Using his own life force, just as he had in flying the glider, Marcus had been able to touch the giant boulder and raise it off his motionless soulmate.
Marcus had pulled Theron from the water and immediately begun resuscitating her. Finally she had sputtered; there had been a freshwater flood and coughing, and the young woman had opened her eyes. She was alive, and Marcus was overwhelmed with gratitude.
"I thought you left me," she had choked, still gasping. She remembered the helplessness she had felt as she had watched him swim away.
"I will never leave you," he had promised, cradling her in his arms, his voice muffled and lost as he had placed his lips to her head. Theron's crushed leg was bloody and bent at an awkward angle, and Marcus held her still to reduce her pain.
From above, Helghul had watched with conflicting relief and disappointment as Marcus emerged with Theron. He had hoped she would drown. He had hoped she would live. He had been at odds as to what he had desired for her, though he had certainly wished that Marcus had died.
* * *
In their younger days Theron, Helghul, and Marcus had been friends. She was funny and clever and had created the most fantastic games and challenges. She was a great student and teacher, and she consistently outperformed everyone. Marcus didn't mind being outshone, but Helghul grew to resent Theron.
Though Theron consistently outdid Helghul, as they matured he concluded that she would be his ideal mate. She was intelligent, unusual, and so powerful in her telepathic and psychic ability that he couldn't help but admire her.
Theron was a phenomenon among her people. Astral travel was a skill that usually took centuries of the Atitalans' exceptionally long lives to develop, but Theron's parents had discovered when she was a child that she had a special talent for moving beyond the material dimension. Without training, she had shed her human vessel, connected only by an invisible umbilical cord, and her spirit had traveled the Astral Grid.
Theron's father had also been a gifted telepath and psychic, and at the time of his death he had been the Elder of the Sixth Chakra, also called the third eye. He had taught his daughter to control and respect her abilities. He had warned her of the dangers that lurked at the edges of the Grid and had urged Theron to stay within view of the Great Light, avoiding the dark Guardians that howled and thundered from the abyss of the outer realm.
Theron was the only student in Helghul's class that he believed to be his equal. He resisted the love that he felt for her, but he acknowledged that theirs would be a powerful alliance. In the early years it had not been clear that she and Marcus were anything more than friends, and it seemed absurd to Helghul that she could ever choose Marcus over him. Certainly she would choose brains and breeding over ease and brawn.
The defining moment came in their late adolescence when, working on a project, Helghul impulsively confessed his love for Theron. But Theron apologetically affirmed that she loved Marcus and hoped to someday become his mate. Helghul's vulnerability was plain, and he quickly looked away. His mind clouded with humiliation.
Theron was empathetic and kind, but no tact could have soothed Helghul's unrequited heart. Ever after he imagined Theron and Marcus were laughing at his vulnerability, and he bitterly retreated from them.
In the years following, Helghul avoided the couple whenever possible—his ego scabrous and infected where her rejection had wounded him. He watched her with begrudging admiration whenever she was near. His jealousy and wish to outdo her twisted into a torturous knot in his gut, filling his third chakra, fueling the fire in his belly and trapping him in the prison of his ego. Helghul's loathing for the irreverent slacker Marcus also consumed him, and he contemplated how the couple would be made to pay for their affront when he became White Elder.
Excerpted from ONE GREAT YEAR by TAMARA VEITCH, RENE DEFAZIO. Copyright © 2014 Intelligent Design Publishing Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One Great Year by Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio is the type of novel that appeals to me. It combines history, religion and philosophy into a grand story about the human race and the elements that connect us all as one species. Reminiscent of the Reincarnationist series by M.J. Rose, One Great Year provides a warmer, less suspenseful approach to reincarnation. I enjoyed Marcus and Theron's love story. Because the plot revolves around reincarnation, it was fascinating to discover, along with Marcus, where Theron would appear next and what type of love they would experience together before they were sent back to the Grid. When Marcus and Theron were together their connection flowed off the pages and felt real and alive. The most disappointing aspect of the story was the ending. It felt rushed and the bad guy reveal felt disconnected from the rest of the plot. That character had been absent from the plot for the majority of the story and there was no evidence of his influence in the previous life stories that were told. Also the authors struggled with the scientific concepts of biological warfare that made it difficult to suspend my disbelief. It lead me to Google to do a bit of research to jog my memory regarding my 7th grade biology class. Despite the rough ending and resolution, I am giving One Great Year a thumbs up. My connection to Theron and Marcus and the beautiful varied types of love they experienced felt real and alive. The novel is a wonderful reminder of the strength of love and how it often comes shining through during the darkest of times. I received this book for free in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This review was originally posted on Second Run Reviews.
I’ll keep this short and simple it’s an okay book. I did well with it in small doses couple of chapters here and there. It is great written novel however it was very descriptive to the point of being boring in certain place. I would think yes we get the point move it along. What kept me coming back though and picking it up was the story of being reincarnated and the characters Marcus, Theron and Helghul. I need to know how their lives past and present intertwined together and how everything would all play out. I did get a bit confused with the use of past and present names until I was a little further into the novel. Overall an okay book and I would pick up another book by this author in the future. ARC courtesy of Greenleaf Book Group via NetGalley
One Great Year 3.5 Stars I loved the concept promised in the book synopsis, so I was excited to be approved for this title. A grand scheme that involves eternal reincarnation to bring your knowledge of events forward, without remembering the lives lived, in order to bring mankind from Iron Age to Enlightenment. Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio created a complex plot, partially from a need to set up the last quarter of the story, where everything comes together to present some conclusions to hanging threads. The use of characters that were so wholly good or bad, with few reasons presented early on to explain their struggles was a problem for me. While Marcus was expected to be a hero: I found him self-absorbed and whiny, to the point that I didn’t blame Theron for forgetting him one little bit. His overwhelming me-me-me attitude was grating: chosen to be an Emissary and tasked with a massive purpose, he often seemed to forget it in lieu of his own personal needs or wants. Theron, for her part is all good: without redeeming faults to make her easy to relate to. Yes, I see the contrast of black and white / good and bad, but for me this distanced the characters even further from my grasp: it was hard to care what happened to them, leaving me emotionally removed. The one interesting character, although he was purely evil without clues to the why until late in the story was Helghul. While his evil was problematic, as a character he did provide some interesting inserts into the story: it was his potion that allowed Marcus to remember the lives gone by, even as he is seeking to foil the plan. The last quarter of the book does bring all of the characters into a solid story, and the background is mixed in with the final conflict to present a reasonably satisfactory ending. I’m glad that I stuck it out despite the issues I found. This is a spiritual fantasy story, and by the end it was actually possible to see that as a premise it is as solid to me as any other religious dogma, if a bit meandering to that end. Mixing in themes of cosmic balance, free will and choice and the realization that nature, life and lives are cyclical all did present as well included and defined, even if that path was a circuitous one. A book that requires several days to read, this was not a book read in one sitting, complexity and similar yet not exact copies of events as each new incarnation unfolds require concentration and perseverance. In the end, that time is well spent with a story that will bring your own thoughts on reincarnation, choice and spirituality to the forefront. I received an eArc copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Fascinating and filled with intense detail, One Great Year by Tamara Veitch and co-author Rene DeFazio is NOT light reading. Be prepared to concentrate, and realize how intriguing the concept of reincarnation can be. Marcus and Theron, young Lovers from a time long since past and a land long thought to have been a myth, have been selected to be “Emissaries” to the future, to retain knowledge, being reincarnated over and over without any memory of their previous lives. Spurned by Theron, Helghul seeks dark magic to also be reincarnated while retaining all memories of each life. When Marcus discovers Helghul’s paln, he, too takes a potion that will enable him to retain the memories of each life. Determined to cause chaos, Helghul becomes the anti-hero to Marcus’ hero. But will the weight of total recall life after life be too much for Marcus as he struggles to find his balance in each life, struggles to find his soulmate, Theron and to keep Helghul’s darkness at bay? Will he ever find the peace of mind and soul that he seeks? The authors have dug deep and made their plot extremely realistic, yet there was a stark nature to living life over and over that quite frankly is one I have never thought of. The “feel” I got from the book was very serious and dark, though I must say, it would appear that intense research into the belief in reincarnation has been done, as evidenced by the endnote references, citing everything from the Bible to Wikipedia. As entertainment, I can recommend this book for serious readers who can take the time to digest what they have read, as it goes far beyond the doomed, or should I say non-existent love triangle between Theron, Marcus and Helghul. The writing is intense, the characters are well-developed and very “human.” The authors have presented a great tale wrapped up in food for thought. There is no room for not paying attention to each page, each life, but a challenge well worth the read! I received an ARC edition in exchange for my honest review from the Greenleaf Book Group.