One Safe Place: A Novel

One Safe Place: A Novel

by Alvin L. A. Horn

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One Safe Place: A Novel by Alvin L. A. Horn

Friends and foes, politicians and lovers intersect in this exciting novel of love, lust, and crime in the Emerald City.

In One Safe Place, lightning strikes of dilemmas and storms of lustful deeds intertwine with the well-thought citizens, as well as the criminal-minded. Under Seattle’s cloudy skies, the morally minded kiss the sexual deviant for advancement of careers and social status. Once again Alvin L.A. Horn rains down love, lust, and crime in the pursuit of clear skies in the Emerald City.

Everyone wants and needs one safe place, and former secret service agent Psalms Black puts thoughts and actions into his social righteousness. He knows how to exact revenge by any means necessary. His sexy lover, Gabrielle Brandywine, used to be the most powerful woman in the world as the Secretary of State of the United States. She still has clout, but has personal issues that can derail Psalms’ desired purpose in life. He and his friends are stealthy and tend to interpret human nature with skillful cleverness. In the mix though, are their own lives and love, and sexual issues must be controlled to complete missions.

Life is complicated when the deviant creep out of waters and from behind snow-capped mountains and mix with politics, sex, and dark money shadows. If evil acts occur like putting hands on a woman, or threatening a child, or harming a friend, you better hope Psalms Black and his friends don’t find out or someone could come up missing, or wish they had. Whether someone is on the right side of morality or if someone steps over the line, everyone wants and needs One Safe Place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476751702
Publisher: Strebor Books
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 601,953
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Before launching his writing career, Alvin L.A. Horn had a fifteen-year stint in the aerospace industry. He also has worked in education, teaching life skills, poetry, and creative writing to at-risk kids. Alvin is a highly acclaimed spoken word artist, which has allowed him to travel and promote his art of words. In addition to his writing career, he does voice-overs for radio and TV and is involved in music, video, and movie productions.

Read an Excerpt

One Safe Place

  • “You stole my wife; you took my daughter. So, ol’ friend, I need for you to get my other kids. I don’t care about their mother; I simply need you to get my other kids.” The tone of the voice had the resonance of a public bathroom toilet flushing and sucking the waste away. “You stole my daughter, and raised her as your own, but it’s cool. Go take more of what’s mine, and keep it. I can assume you’ll keep them safe? Until—”

    “Take more of yours? Keep it?” Tylowe said. His eyes glanced over at his friend, Psalms Black, who sat looking relaxed, but coiled like a snake ready to strike. Tylowe’s expression seemingly asked, “Did you hear this fool’s belligerence?” Tylowe didn’t expect a response, amazed that his ex-friend, Elliot, was still an arrogant ass despite his circumstances.

    Elliot Piste, with the toilet-flushing voice, was an inmate at a correctional facility in British Columbia, Canada. Tylowe Dandridge had married his ex-friend’s wife after he had gone to prison, but first Tylowe had become the principal contributor in putting his former friend in prison. Elliot, the once ultra-handsome black Frenchman originally from Senegal, was Tylowe’s old college classmate. He had a history of treating people whom he should care about ugly, and karma made a bitch out of him from his own ugly ways. Now, years later, Tylowe and Psalms Black, a distant friend of Elliot’s, sat in a visitor’s room across from him.

    Tylowe and Psalms had made the trip to Vancouver from Seattle on their motorcycles. Tylowe had a history of crossing the border and having his life changed. It appeared to be no different this time as he sat across from the man he had helped to put in prison.

    Elliot and Tylowe were buddy-buddy until Elliot crossed one too many lines. Twice a woman had come between them. The first time, Tylowe had his heart ripped apart after trusting the malicious Elliot. The second time, Tylowe had his heart healed when Elliot ripped a woman’s heart apart. Tylowe saved her, and now she was his wife.

    They sat in uncomfortable metal chairs. Elliot sat as if he were sitting in an easy lounger, looking relaxed. He looked at home. He sat sixty-plus pounds heavier than when he had first entered prison. An inactive gut hung low, and man boobs were starting to take over for once-rippling pecs.

    In the past, most men were intimidated by his tall, handsome looks. At one time, he looked as though he were wrapped in dark, African silk hide, but now he was cracking like an old alligator shoe. A once-upon-a-time pretty boy now looked pretty ugly.

    Tylowe stared at Elliot and thought about Denzel Washington in the movie The Hurricane, the story about an innocent boxer kept in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and being unable to fight as the boxer he was. But, prison never defeated Hurricane’s soul. Elliot had let prison beat him down, and he was unremorseful and polluted with unrepentant bile.

    High above any normal ladder height in the visiting room, the windows had rusted. Metal screens crisscrossed, causing filtered dull light to cast dreary sadness. Psalms laughed to himself, and thought, Long prison sentences must equate to slow death of the brain, body, and soul, creeping in like cancer.

    When Tylowe and Psalms had first arrived, the sun was shining, but the clang of metal doors and buzzers must have controlled the weather outside once they were inside. The two men sat across from a cancer and storm.

    Elliot tried to hide that Psalms intimidated him as he always had, even in their legendary days of youth. They were always cordial, yet never friends. Psalms reminded him in a voice lower than the lowest piano key.

    “So Elliot, Tylowe comes here at your behest, and you mentally masturbate your ego to spew your arrogance in his face? How can you expect this man to do anything for you?”

    The tension was so damn thick; a Killer whale would have passed it by even if it tasted like a thousand salmon in one bite. Elliot’s eyes avoided Psalms, keeping Psalms from staring down through his irises and looking for his soul.

    Nasty blood had spilled between Psalms and Elliot, and they had kept the story of what happened between the two of them. Tylowe understood something was amiss, but what it was he didn’t know. Elliot was a nasty asshole with no remorse or retention of civility. Tylowe found out that Elliot had slept with one of Tylowe’s girlfriends back in college, and he and Elliot worked it out. Years later though, Elliot crossed the line again and it caused Tylowe a lifetime of hurt.

    Elliot had two men sitting in front of him who despised him. He tried to keep a relaxed expression on his face, and spoke directly to Tylowe.

    “Look, dude.” Prison vernacular had overtaken his French-American dialect. “You know you’re gonna do it. I can’t blame you for stealing my wife, but you also took my daughter, and she won’t even write me. So go do what you do and play Mr. Hero, and find my other kids.”

    Tylowe and Psalms listened to Elliot give the details of the situation and basic knowledge of the kids he claimed, and about the mother of these kids. The story distressed Tylowe. The thought of his wife and the fact she would find out more about the repulsive life of her ex-husband instigated an internal struggle.

    Elliot, the ex-husband! Tylowe felt insecure with the fact he faced for the first time, physically sitting across from Elliot—the man who used to put his manhood between the thighs of Tylowe’s wife. Tylowe twisted in manly pride, and time had not changed the past anxiety when looking at a man who had caused such pain in Tylowe’s life.

    Married life. Tylowe was approaching the mid-century age with enough money and plenty of free time and material pleasures. The kids were grown and living their life, no longer in need of his parenting. Did he need this challenge to make him feel manlier? Had a cushy life made him less manly? Most men his age started putting feelers in the water, too often turning to younger women for a sense of danger, hoping a young thang might satisfy a desire. That fulfilled desire kept divorce lawyers in business, as desires make men and women bad liars. Did he need to climb dangerous mountains and risk falling? Tylowe played with the questions of his mind and heart, and it created soul acid burn.

    He was an ex-college football and track all-American, but had he gone soft? Looking at the wasteland of a man sitting across from him caused anxiety to bubble under his skin. Why did he bring Psalms, a warrior, along instead of coming alone? Tylowe’s mind skied downhill from Mt. Rainier and right into Lake Washington. He found himself sinking and going nowhere.

    Tower of Power’s horn section led the charge to “You’re Still a Young Man” in his motorcycle helmet’s stereo as he traveled to the prison that day. About a year or so ago, he started to question his life as it had become.

    His body was fuller, but still toned. He’d lost the six-pack, but he had no hanging belly fat. Salt-and-pepper hairs graced his goatee, but the salt hadn’t taken over yet. Women still made eye contact and pushed an aggressive agenda his way even though most knew he was married.

    Meeah, his wife, acted like she loved to love him, but he questioned her true feelings. Why didn’t she look at him like she used to? His mind wavered. He didn’t think he heard sweet, little nothings of endearment anymore. Deep inside he knew she loved him, but to what extent—or was he being simple-minded and self-deluding? Time was messing with his mind.

    With the kids grown and gone, were they the perfect married couple, getting up and doing what they did daily out of sheer habit? He sat in his chair with incomplete thoughts, sinking in to mental quicks and concerned about his worth. Elliot had caused disruption and death to Tylowe’s heart before, and now Tylowe wanted to run back across the border.

    Now, he sat at odds with why he would want to find Elliot’s kids, the half-brother and half-sister of the stepdaughter he loved as his own, Mia. The two men sat and listened to Elliot talking of saving his kids with a coldness of disconnect mixed with logic and sheer smugness.

    Elliot stood and nodded his head toward the exit door. He gave a dismissive motion to leave, and finally looked in Psalms’ direction with a defying stare, as if he felt nothing could happen. Tylowe and Psalms stood.

    “Report back to me when you have my kids.” Elliot’s sewer voice flushed more arrogance in Tylowe’s face.

    Across the room, a chair leg must have slid on the cement floor with a fair amount of weight in the chair because it made a loud, high-pitched squeal. All heads in the room turned except for Tylowe’s. Standing directly in front of Elliot, Tylowe punched him in the mouth with such quickness it would resemble Floyd Mayweather knocking out Manny Pacquiao. Elliot started falling in slow motion sideways in Psalms’ direction. Before hitting the ground, Psalms hit him with a left hook in his liver and kidney area. The punch swung like a sword. Elliot crumpled to the floor in a fetal position.

    His foot twitched. Vomit drooled from between his bloody lips. He looked dead, but he made snoring sounds. People looked away quickly. The other prisoners told the visiting civilians to mind their own business. The guards came to attention.

    “He’ll wake up with a broken jaw, and will piss blood for a while, but he’ll be okay,” Psalms said coolly.

    Tylowe slowly slithered a word out of his mouth as if he were writing his name in snow with a long pee. He said a word that no one who’d ever known him would have thought he’d say, “Son-of-a-B-i-t-c-h!”

    A female guard walked over. A tough, manly look characterized her face and body. Her body language signaled a fake confidence of being something to behold. Psalms assumed someone had told her that.

    Her voice filtered through her nose with some anger. “He must have made an aggressive move, eh, and you two fellows defended yourselves? Eh?” Her questions met with deadpan faces. “Gentlemen, it looks as if your visit is over. Have a lovely day. We’ll make sure your friend here gets back to his cell, after a stop at the infirmary. I understand one of you has a high-ranking U.S. governmental ID. The women prison guards will send you a thank-you card. How about that, eh?”

    The guard looked at the two men. She rolled her lips, then pursed them in an overt attempt to come across as sexy. She failed. She winked. Tylowe and Psalms pierced an analyzing stare at her stupidity. They both turned away and walked toward the exit.

    “Popping him in his mouth, that was eight years too late, but still on time,” Tylowe said.

    “Whatever the timing, it’s going to be a bitch sitting in prison with his jaw wired shut. Any street cred he had in this place will be challenged, unless he has protection. Oh—and uh—you might wanna brush those pieces of teeth out of your knuckles,” Psalms said, and nodded toward Tylowe’s hand.

    Tylowe raised his hand, and saw imbedded teeth in his knuckles. Almost the coolest dude around had lost his suave demeanor by slugging Elliot. His rare burst of anger took over for any pain he should have felt.

    “Let’s go get you a tetanus shot,” Psalms said.

    After some medical attention to Tylowe’s hand, the two caught the train back across the border, leaving their motorcycles in the basement of a building that used to belong to Elliot, but was now owned by Tylowe.

    The headphones over Tylowe’s ears kept the noise of the train out, and song after song played from his favorite band, Incognito. Their groove helped to ease deep thoughts as they glided along the train rails. Near the Canadian-American border, the train crossed over a bridge near an ocean view. It sparkled with sunset reds, causing a trance.

    “Deep waters, I’m drowning...deep waters, slowly drowning.”

    The song had nothing to do directly with his life, or his current obstacles, but maybe it did. His love, his wife, Meeah, was waiting to pick him up at the train station. She and Tylowe were drifting. He smiled at the blue water with red highlights of sunset and thought, When love is good it may seem like you’re floating, but when love is struggling, it can be compared to drifting—drifting apart.

    He turned the music down on his tablet and used it to write what he still had hope in.

    As One

    She is not perfect enough in her own mind

    She is she, and she is all I want, as she is

    But I’m a man with faults and sins

    I’m not perfect


    Because of what’s inside me, and outside of me and plus things outside my control

    I’m too short with this, and I’m too tall with that

    I’m too narrow, but on any given day I’m too wide

    But when she looks to me, talks to me, and touches me

    She makes me all right

    Yet I want to give her more

    Reason being, she gives understanding that we are in this together to learn and overcome

    Her softness is a high that leads me to be better and to do better

    To recognize what is in my power and what is not

    She holds me up high

    Would never tear me down

    For that kind of love

    I seek ways for her to stay in love, and want to give her reasons to forgive my short comings

    Confused at times she may be

    Only because at times I can become lost in direction

    Her response is soft and guiding, non-judgmental

    She is essential to my existence

    My soul is in emotional poverty without her

    Her faith is challenged at times

    Man is always trying to play God

    I need her and God to save me

    She tells me, I’m all she needs and wants

    We are in this world together as one

    The train rolled back into Seattle. Tylowe and Psalms agreed to meet in a day or two to devise a plan.

    Meeah, Tylowe’s wife—the ex-wife of Elliot Piste—picked them up at the train station. They dropped Psalms off at his property. Tylowe had another issue. She asked about the small bandage on his hand, and he blew it off as nothing, no big deal. He had other problems, yet their marriage—was it in trouble? Problems and their priority was a problem in itself.

  • Customer Reviews

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    One Safe Place: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A must read! You will be searching ahead in the book to find out what happens, then come back because you know you've missed a lot. The characters are so well drawn you'll swear you would know them if you ran into them on the street. Characters from Mr. Horn's other books pop up in this book but you don't need to read them before reading One Safe Place, but do get Brush Strokes and Perfect Circle just for the enjoyment of reading them. The action starts in Seattle, heads to Vancouver, BC, to Las Vegas, to DC and parts in between. A throughly enjoyable read, just make sure that you have plenty of time when you start it or you might find yourself calling in sick to work.
    OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
    Everyone Needs a Safe Place   In “One Safe Place,” friends, foes, politicians, and lovers all meet in this novel of love, lust, and crime in the beautiful Emerald City. This novel started out with a lot going on with Psalms Black and his security company, One Safe Place. Psalms and his team resolve issues by any means necessary. The story begins with Psalms and a college friend visiting a former college associate. They obtain information regarding missing children and the story starts there. As the story progresses feelings are made known, old hurts must be dealt with and new romances develop.    I loved the poetry and the sometimes highly erotic scenes. I loved the love they were making.  Everyone needs a safe place to go to and a lot of times that place is found in the one you love.   At times fast paced and other times slow and enticing, Alvin L.A. Horn did a great job of detailing everything. However, some parts were a little too much for my taste.  I did enjoy “One Safe Place” and I loved the ending.  Anyone looking for suspense, eroticism, and action along with poetry will really like this novel.   Reviewed by: Lisa M. 4 stars
    Rhea-Alexis More than 1 year ago
    Once again, AlvinL.A. Horn has created an eclectic mixture of characters and drama in One Safe Place, which is straight out of Washington state and centers around crime, love, family, friends, foes, trust, righting wrongs and protecting. As we embark on these journeys, we collide with thunderous dilemmas and willful deeds that are crime ladened. A former secret service agent Psalms Black has lived his life helping others that were in need. He goes about life helping people come to that one safe place. He exact revenge for them and issues lessons to the offenders. Pair him with the former Secretary of State of the United States, Gabrielle Brandywine and we see the lives of a very powerful couple. While Psalms Black and his people use a multitude of abilities and resources to complete missions bestowed upon them,they grow closer and closer and solidify their bonds and loyalties. These tales of righted wrongs are definitely something to experience.
    LorraineElzia More than 1 year ago
    Prolific, entertaining and intriguing, Alvin L. A. Horn makes us all yearn for our own safe place. Each character is so vividly described that they are recognizable and relatable. It’s as if you have grown up with them since childhood, or as if they were an intricate part of the fabric of your own adult life. The main character, Psalms Black (I love that name), introduces readers to a softer side of an executioner. Through brilliant writing, your mind is forced to question ever manner in which you have viewed normal concepts of everyday life. The entire story has a feel as if we are walking hand in hand with an action hero; feeling what he feels, seeing what he sees, sharing his thought process on every aspect of life which makes up the core of who he is and why. With a rhythmic flow that is artistically place with both fluid plot and poetic prose, the story unfolds like a saxophone solo carrying the melody of a dramatic and sensual encounter. Through skillful concepts, a smooth soundtrack is created with each word in every chapter. Beautiful visual images force the mind to come alive and live within the moment on the edge of one’s seat; thirsty for the next tantalizing episode. Sexy even in areas unintended, and poetic in description and design, One Safe Place flows with a creative storyline unlike anything I have read before. It’s a whisper of a dream that the mind does not want to awaken from and I am truly a new fan to this author’s writing style.
    2012D-Haywood More than 1 year ago
    ¿One Safe Place Sexy, Dangerous, Penetrating, Romantic and Heroes One Safe Place follows in the footsteps of Alvin L.A. Horn’s, Perfect Circle. Follows yes, but this book goes up in intensity and relevance and consequences. I can say there were times when reading One Safe Place I found myself holding my breath, as if I was watching an action packed movie waiting to see what was going to happen next. The author teased you and shocked often throughout the book, and kept erotic intensity the near the boiling point (heat flash warning) Okay without spoiling a scene I will say the flashback to the college sexual escapades took me back what we did back then. (as I was reading, I kept looking up to see if anyone was watching me, and later I went back and read that section again when I was alone). I can say as an avid reader, I was on the edge of the page, so to speak. One Safe Place kept me in vivid clarity of the surroundings putting me in every room and place the story went into. When you read this book, you’ll understand what I’m saying. After reading One Safe Place, I feel readers are going to examine who they are reading because I’m convinced Alvin L.A Horn is one of the best we have. He left no stone unturned.   The writing is clear and flowing, I was never lost, and I never had to go back re-read because something confused me with all that goes on in the book and there is a lot that goes on. The author teases you by sending your thinking one way but what really happens throws you. The characters are bursting with richness of oddities and personality. I love how the author tells you about their youth that is relevant to their present life’s through a series of mini-stories that merger into the main story with no distraction. This book like the previous book Perfect Circle went way beyond the surface of dramas that many deliver with all too unsophisticated ways.   One Safe Place has a twisted side with some violence that is not over the top and fits well because it allowed the story to have heroes, something that maybe in needed in urban communities to get to stop the effect and source. This book has straightforward and enchanting conversations. The sub-characters shine and once again, I’ll say that Suzie Q, I could read a book about her. The Seattle the backdrop sounds like a sexy romantic place to live. For those who like Eric J. Dickey (the Gideon books), James Patterson (the Alex Cross series), and Walter Mosley’s (Leonid McGill series), you’ll be fan of author Alvin L A Horn looking for One Safe Place Dorothy L. Haywood