Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Spotlight with Giveaway: Lightpoints by Peter Kassan

Today I've got an intriguing Urban Fantasy Thiller for you to check out.  There's an excerpt and even a chance to win your very own e-copy!  Woot woot!!!

What if you suddenly discovered you had a sense-and powers-that almost no one else in the world did? When Amanda Lindner Nichols, a 24-year-old graphic artist living with her husband in Queens, New York, is revived from a near-death experience, she discovers she perceives everyone around her as points of light-but not with her eyes. She soon learns she can not only perceive the life energy of others, but she can give and take it. With the help of others like her, she brings her husband Chris to the brink of death and back to bestow on him the same remarkable faculty, and they're the happiest they've been. But not for long. All over the world, people who've been revived from their own near-death experience at just the right moment discover themselves with these same unusual powers. They find ways to use them-some for good and some for evil. When Amanda and Chris encounter a ruthless group of gangsters with the same faculty, tragedy follows-and Amanda faces the greatest challenge of her life.

Genre: Urban Fantasy Thriller
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble and Smashwords
Add it to your Goodreads TBR: Click Here


Amanda got a kiss on the forehead from her dad and gave him a kiss on the cheek in return. She put in her earbuds, started iTunes on her iPhone, and hurried across Grand Central Terminal toward the subway station for the last leg of her commute.

One of her favorite songs, “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, was playing when a guy with wild hair and wilder eyes appeared in front her. She had nearly bumped into him. He took his hand from the folds of his filthy raincoat. He held a huge knife. Staring madly into her eyes, he stabbed her in the chest just below her collarbone. She screamed. He locked eyes with her for a moment and then pulled the knife out and rushed away.

Amanda put her hand where it hurt so much. She felt a hot, sticky wetness. The blood coursed through her fingers in spurts. The pain was greater than any she had ever felt. Her right arm was feeling oddly cold. She felt faint.

The next thing she knew, she was on Grand Central’s hard marble floor. A middle-aged man in a suit and tie was holding both hands on her wound. A circle of people surrounded them. She wondered whether they were encircling her to give her space or just because the spectacle fasci­nated them. Above her, she could see the magnificent mural of the night sky, the one they had painted backwards and then beautifully restored, still backwards, because it was impossible to fix, so they made up a ri­diculous, unscientific excuse. She realized her mind was spinning, and then it seemed the mural was spinning, too.

The pain grew greater and greater. She thought she might be dying, and it terrified her. It didn’t seem fair she would die so young, so ran­domly. Then there were more people touching her, a couple of people in uniforms. She supposed they were paramedics.

“I think we’ve lost her,” one of them said. “I can’t get any pulse.”

She realized her awareness had left her body and she was floating toward the beautiful ceiling. Looking down, she saw her body lying there on the marble floor, saw the paramedics, and saw the people surrounding her. As she rose higher and higher, she saw more and more of the enormous main hall of Grand Central, the many people hurrying in all directions, all but a few oblivious to her. Although she knew what was happening was impossible, it was as real as anything she had ever experienced.

As she looked down, Amanda realized she was, impossibly, both disembodied and in another kind of body, floating above herself both in Grand Central and in another kind of space, another dimension.

Amanda heard a loud, harsh, horrible noise, like a police siren wailing into her ears. She could no longer see herself in Grand Central. Infinite blackness surrounded her. The terrible sound had stopped. The chatter in her mind had also stopped. She felt immensely peaceful.

People who were no longer alive appeared out of the blackness as if from far away. Her grandmother Ellie, who she’d been very close with as a child. Benny, a favorite uncle, who had died last year when he crashed his private plane. Aretha, a close friend from college who had taken her own life. Dylan and Brittany, two friends from high school, who had died in a car crash. Others she knew who had died, people she hadn’t known well, clustered behind them. They were all comforting and reassuring her. Everything was going to be all right.

Amanda sensed herself in a long black tunnel. Across an infinite distance, she saw a minuscule light, indescribably pure and ineffably at­tractive.

She felt herself moving effortlessly, floating or flying, toward the light. As she grew closer, the light became even more intense, more in­comprehensibly beautiful and attractive. It radiated a loving warmth. Wordlessly, without judgment, it asked her to contemplate her time on Earth. She saw the entirety of her life in a panorama of moving images. Some moments were beautiful and happy, others were disappointing, ugly, hurtful, or sad. Although she realized her life was short, it now seemed complete. She had been terrified only moments before, and now she was no longer afraid of dying.

She could actually see the light and feel its loving, inviting warmth. She wanted it to envelope her. She felt a release, a tranquility, a peace. Nothing else was important. Nothing mattered except joining the light. She was ready to die. She was, she realized, all but already dead.

With one strange, fingerless hand of her uncanny, incorporeal body, she reached out to touch the light, just barely touching it. She knew she would merge with it and lose her individual identity. Her dying would be complete.

Then, just at the instant she touched the light, she felt an excruciating pain in her chest in her phantom body and in her physical body on the floor of Grand Central. It was real, visceral, physical. A moment later, she felt the same unendurable pain in her chest a second time, and the light wordlessly told her this was not her time. She felt a devastating sadness and disappointment. She was rushing back the way she had come, away from the light. The people who had already died sadly reaffirmed what the light had conveyed to her. It was not her time to join them.

She was floating high above Grand Central again. She saw herself lying on the floor, her handbag still at her side, the paramedics attending to her, and a gurney and other equipment next to them on the floor. A crowd of people surrounded them as the commuters rushed past. She felt herself rapidly slipping back into her real body. She experienced the pain and wetness where the wild-eyed man had stabbed her, but also felt some kind of compress against her wound, some new, strange sensations inside it. She felt another kind of awareness, a strange and novel one, of everyone around her. She sensed those around her in Grand Central and outside in the street like dazzling points of light, even though her eyes were closed.

It was like seeing the night sky from a mountaintop, or looking out from airplane at night to see all the lights from all the cities and towns, but unconfined by the small window of an airplane or by any horizon. The lights were everywhere around her, receding in all directions, as if she were in the center of a galaxy with eyes that could see in all direc­tions. It was dazzling and beautiful, but it was also distracting, confusing, and disorienting.

What she perceived wasn’t at all the way she had heard auras de­scribed by those who claimed to see them. For one thing, she wasn’t actually seeing them at all. For another, the different energies had differ­ent qualities that reminded her of different colors while not actually having any color. They didn’t surround entire people or flare out from their bodies. The lights of the people she could actually see seemed to radiate from the midpoint of their foreheads, where she’d heard a person’s mystical supposed third eye was supposed to be.

She assumed or perhaps hoped these odd sensations were a kind of hallucination, undoubtedly induced by the shock of her experience and would go away soon.

She half-opened her eyes. “Good,” one of the paramedics said to her. “Stay with us. Hold on. This is going to hurt.”

They carefully lifted her and placed her on the gurney. She heard herself moan in pain and closed her eyes. She could feel them raising the gurney and heard it locking into position.

“Stay with us,” one of the workers said as she felt them wheeling her quickly along the hall and out into the street. “Just hold on.” They continued to speak to her, encouraging her to stay awake, as they raced along.

Amanda sensed they passed through the doors to Grand Central onto the sidewalk and then felt the bumps as they wheeled her off the curb and into the street. She felt another series of painful bumps as they transferred the gurney into the waiting ambulance, jumped in, and pulled its doors shut. A moment later, one of the paramedics covered her face with a mask as the other stuck a needle in her arm. She closed her eyes as she heard the ambulance siren and felt the ambulance pull into traffic.

She realized what had happened. She understood her heart had stopped beating and the paramedics had shocked her heart twice to bring it back into its normal rhythm. She knew if they had not shocked her when they did, she would have died.

She was aware of pain in her chest, in her arm, from the bumps of the ambulance as it sped along, and the pain of a needle in her wrist. The strange, new sense of everyone around her as sources of energy, as points of light she perceived without her eyes, was overwhelming and almost frightening, but she closed her eyes and drifted into an ordinary sort of unconsciousness.

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