Destination Mystery Interview

Wow. This year has really flown by, hasn’t it? It’s been a busy and production year, though, and I couldn’t be happier about that. However, 2017 isn’t over yet, and I’m pleased to share that I’ve done one final interview before the new year.

The wonderful and lovely Laura Brennan hosted me on her fantastic podcast, Destination Mystery. I had so much fun chatting with her, and I hope you’ll give it a listen!

The Reckoning: Prologue

Jamison, West Virginia
2014

“Police in Charleston have confirmed the identity of a thirty-one-year-old woman found bludgeoned and dismembered in a hotel dumpster earlier this week, but will not release the name until the victim’s family has been notified. Captain Curtis Abbott declined to speak to the media about the specifics of the investigation, but confirmed that the department is following up on several promising leads.

“When asked if this grisly murder could possibly be linked to a similar murder committed last month, Captain Abbott again declined to comment. He advised the people of Kanawha County to remain calm, but stay vigilant. More on this macabre story as it develops.”

Natalie switched off the television and shuddered. Jeez, she was only a couple years younger than me. She set the remote down on her coffee table and walked into the kitchen. An overflow of garbage was preventing the trash bin lid from closing. Yes, that’s what I need right now, she thought. Some household chores to take my mind off the Charleston slayings.

Natalie tied the bag’s plastic drawstrings into a bow and lifted it out of the bin, then leaned the bag against the wall while she took a buffalo plaid flannel from the back of a dining chair and put it on. She opened the sliding glass door to the backyard and stuck her hand out. A solid gray canopy of angry clouds stretched across the sky, but they had yet to produce any rain. Natalie expected it wouldn’t be long.

She lived in the small suburban town of Jamison, not far from Charleston. Her house was nestled in the heart of Settlers Grove: a quiet, secluded neighborhood at a higher elevation that the locals referred to as ‘the hilltop of doom.’ The nickname stemmed from a geographical phenomenon specific to the area; ‘the calm’ was a weather anomaly prevalent in the early weeks of spring.

During the calm, a silence fell upon Settlers Grove. No wind, no birds chirping, no dogs barking. A heavy rainfall followed, lasting for hours, but when it was over, the sun came out and the sounds of everyday life returned.

The calm has definitely started, she thought. Hope I don’t get soaked.

Natalie grabbed the garbage bag and hurried to the receptacle at the side of the house. She threw the lid open and dropped the bottom-heavy sack inside. As she dragged the receptacle toward the curb, two young men approached. Both were dressed in hooded sweatshirts and baggy jeans, with backpacks slung over their shoulders. She recognized one of them as Jay, a twenty-five-year-old living in a run-down rental property down the street. She’d recently had trouble with him.

One afternoon last week, she had come home from work to find Jay and a couple of his friends snooping around the front of her house. They’d scattered as soon as she pulled into the driveway. Although their behavior was suspicious, they didn’t seem to have disturbed anything on her property.

Days later, however, Natalie received an electronic delivery confirmation from UPS while she was at work, only to discover that the packages were missing from her porch when she got home. With all the houses in the neighborhood spaced a fair distance apart, no one saw anything. The police investigated, questioning Jay at Natalie’s recommendation, but they didn’t find enough evidence to arrest him.

Natalie slowed her pace and waited for the men to pass before continuing to the street. On the way, one of the receptacle’s wheels locked up and scraped along the ground. She knelt down for a closer look—there was something jammed inside the wheel well. With her petite fingers stretched, she reached behind the wheel and dislodged a bulbous rock.

The first drop of rain splashed on top of Natalie’s head. She tossed the stone aside and wiped her hands on her jeans. When she got up, a young man in a white hoodie stood in her periphery.

Natalie gasped.

“Ah, my bad.” The man put a hand on his chest. “I didn’t mean to scare ya. The name’s Thilo. Got a sec?”

Natalie rolled the receptacle into place at the curb. “I’m sorry, I really need to get back inside before the downpour.”

“Yeah, totally, but real quick, though,” he said, stepping toward her. “What’s the deal with calling the police on my boy Jay?”

Natalie moved to the opposite side of the bin. “I think maybe there’s been a misunderstanding.”

Thilo smacked his lips and took another step. “Kind of a bitchy thing to do, don’t you think?”

Natalie glanced toward the front door. Shit. I came out through the back and my keys are inside. “If you’ll excuse me, the rain will be here any minute now, so—”

“You know what I think?” Thilo rolled up his sleeves, revealing a tattoo on his forearm: a snake tangled in the eye sockets of a human skull. “I think maybe you haven’t gotten any in a while, and you were looking for a way to get his attention.”

“Well, don’t worry, girl,” another voice said from behind her. “You’ve got it.”

Natalie spun around to face Jay, standing there with his burgundy hoodie pulled up over his head. A numbing twinge of electricity shot down her spine. Her heart raced. They’ve got me boxed in.

A light, misty rain sprinkled down from the sky as Thilo inched closer. Natalie patted her pockets in search of her cell phone. Dammit, she thought, visualizing it on the kitchen counter. “Look, the calm is starting, and I need to get indoors.”

“Good idea,” Jay said. “Why don’t you invite us in and we can keep this party going.”

Natalie gulped. “Sorry, my husband’s on his way home, and I should get started on dinner, so…”

“Husband, huh?” Jay scratched his patchy goatee. “Can’t say I’ve ever seen a man around your house before.”

“Is that right?” Thilo folded his arms. “Aww, and here I thought we were becoming good friends. Why would you go and ruin it by lying?”

Jay put his hand on her shoulder. Natalie shrugged it off and backed into the garbage receptacle. The rounded plastic edge pressed against her back. “Guys, please. I just want to go back inside.” A silent tear streamed down her face. “I’m sorry about the misunderstanding with the police. It won’t ever happen again.”

Jay placed his hands on either side of the receptacle, pinning Natalie against it. He looked her up and down. “You’re right about that.”

The skies opened up. As a hard rain fell, Natalie screamed for help, but Thilo quickly reached around and covered her mouth from behind. Her eyes widened. Jay shushed her and grabbed her hand, forcing it down toward his beltline. Her fingertips found the cold metal of his belt buckle.

“You see, there’s consequences for calling the police on an innocent man,” Jay said. “But don’t you worry. I’m sure we can work something out.” He opened his zipper.

Natalie closed her eyes. Someone, please help me!

Thick raindrops hammered down on the lid of the receptacle. Without warning, Thilo removed his hand from Natalie’s mouth and screamed out in pain. She opened her eyes. Jay was staring over her shoulder, his jaw quivering. His grip on her wrist loosened.

Natalie shoved Jay backward and ran toward the house. She slipped in the mud in the soaked front yard and fell hard to the ground, the wind knocked out of her. As she struggled to get up and catch her breath, a hulking figure came into view behind Thilo, appearing to hover in midair.

A gloved hand jutted out from its midnight-blue cloak. Its fingers punctured the skin of Thilo’s shoulder, sinking deep into the trapezius muscle. The white cotton fibers of Thilo’s hoodie darkened with the blood gushing from the wound.

Thilo cried out in agony as Jay looked on, frozen in place. A dark trail soiled his jeans from crotch to ankle. The cloaked figure tightened its grip, ripping and pulling until Thilo’s trapezius muscle detached from the bone. Thilo wailed and dropped to the ground, clutching the gaping abyss beside his neck. He writhed around on the asphalt and vomited.

Natalie slid backward on her rear, unable to tear her gaze away from the figure’s hypnotic, pennant-shaped blue eyes. What is that thing?

Jay looked down at Thilo’s bloody shoulder, then turned and ran in the opposite direction. The cloaked figure melted into the ground and popped back up in front of him. Jay smashed into the figure’s broad chest like a cement wall, knocking himself down. He pinched his nostrils and examined the blood on his fingers.

The cloaked figure drifted toward him. It raised its hands and pressed them together in front of its chest, fingers extended and pointed up toward its chin.

“What are you doing?” Jay asked. “Leave me alone!”

Waves of purple lightning coursed down the figure’s arms and formed an undulating ball of energy around its hands. Billowing smoke rose from the tips of its fingers.

“Get the fuck away from me!” Jay scooted backward on his hands and feet. “You hear me?”

In one swift motion, the cloaked figure spread its arms out at its sides. Jay’s body disappeared into a cloud of smoke, leaving behind a mound of pink and white sand in the street.

Natalie screamed.

The cloaked figure turned its head and glided toward her. She covered her eyes and cowered as the rain soaked through her clothes to her skin. “Please don’t hurt me,” she whispered.

“You have no reason to fear him,” a soft, kind voice said. “You’re safe now.”

Natalie opened her eyes with reluctance. Above her stood a fair-skinned woman with long ginger curls, dressed in an olive-green hooded scarf and a lilac gown, sullied with dark stains.

“What’s your name?” the woman asked.

“I… I’m, uh, Natalie.”

“Hello, Natalie. My name’s Lissette, and this is Kelasis.” She swatted the cloaked figure’s arm. “Where are your manners, Kelly? Help her up.”

Kelasis offered his hand to Natalie, but she shook her head and got to her feet. She looked at the pile of sand in the street where Jay’s body had been. “Did you kill him?”

Lissette brushed Natalie’s wet hair off her face. “We sent him somewhere he can never harm anyone again.”

“To a realm where he will most likely be violently killed,” Kelasis added.

Holding Natalie’s gaze, Lissette grinned and jabbed Kelasis with a blind elbow. “Are you okay now, dear?”

“Yes… I think so.”

Kelasis wrapped his cloak around Lissette, shielding her from the rain. “Then we should be going.”

“Yes, you’re right,” Lissette said. “I don’t want to be in this area any longer than necessary.” She shivered. “Too many bad memories.”

~ * * * ~

Natalie slammed the sliding glass door behind her and locked it. She tugged on the handle several times until she was satisfied that it was secured. Water dripped off her body and pooled on the engineered hardwood floor. What the hell just happened?

She swiped her cell phone off the counter and dialed 9-1-1. The rain pounded against the siding of the house, making it difficult to hear the faint ring as she waited for an answer on the other end. Outside the kitchen window, the overflowing gutters spewed like a busted dam.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” a bored voice answered.

“My name is Natalie Clausson. I live at 521 Maple Street, and there’s been an… an altercation outside my house.”

“Did you witness the altercation?”

Natalie ran her hand through her hair. “Yes.”

“Was anyone hurt?”

“Yes. Two men.”

“Are they still there now?”

Natalie walked across the living room to the front door and peered out through a half-moon window. Thilo was slithering away on his stomach, leaving a trail of red smear across the pavement behind him. “One of them is, but he’s badly injured and moving slow.”

“Okay, thank you, Miss Clausson,” the dispatch operator said, typing. “I’m sending someone to your location now. Can you give me any additional details about the altercation before the police arrive?”

“Yeah, it was a…” Natalie looked toward the clumpy pile of wet sand that had formerly been Jay. A slender young man dressed in crimson robes stood in the middle of the street. He turned his head toward her house and locked eyes with her through a pair of black leather goggles with clear lenses.

“Ma’am? Are you still there?”

The young man smiled at Natalie and put a finger to his lips. He raised his hood and walked away.

“Ma’am? Are you all right? Do you need help?”

Natalie ran back into the kitchen, leaned against the pantry door, and slid down to the floor. Rainwater dripped from the ends of her hair and plopped against the tile. She dropped the phone at her side and brought her knees up to her chest.

“Ma’am?”

Preorder The Reckoning on Amazon today!

New to the Noble Trilogy? Start the adventure here!

 

Planet of Ice Available Now

It’s here! It’s here! No, not the new phone books – Planet of Ice! Collaborating with the great mind of Tony Healey on this novel was definitely a highlight of my young literary career, and I hope that you’ll enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Planet of Ice

If you’re new to the Broken Stars series, be sure to check out book one: Age of Destiny. See how Max’s exhilarating adventure across the galaxy began, and how it sets up what’s to come in Planet of Ice.

New Book 1 Cover

I always love to hear what readers think, so if you’d be so kind as to leave a review, I’d appreciate it very much! Thank you for your continued support. There’s more to come in 2016!

Get Age of Destiny Free All Weekend Long

With Planet of Ice’s release on the horizon, series creator Tony Healey is offering Age of Destiny for free on Kindle January 8 – 10. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up volume one in The Broken Stars series and get up to speed before the next installment releases later this month.

New Book 1 Cover

The Terran Union is at war. As the conflict with the Sjan reaches a breaking point, the fate of the stars themselves rests in the hands of Max and his ragtag band of friends; a group of misfits who might just prove to be the galaxy’s last, best hope . . .

Download it at no cost for a limited time

Once you’ve completed Age of Destiny, continue Max’s adventure across the broken stars in Planet of Ice, coming soon to Kindle.

Planet of Ice

When a mysterious message prompts Delta to leave the crew unexpectedly, Max, Kort and K1RB pursue her to a mining colony on Quaris—a distant planet with a seedy reputation. To find Delta, the team must traverse a harsh, unforgiving environment; face certain death at the hands of murderous mercenaries; and uncover the powerful secrets hidden beneath the planet’s frozen crust . . .

My Favorite Book of 2015

While I spent the bulk of my free time last year writing and wasn’t able to consume as many new books as I would’ve liked, selecting my favorite read of 2015 proved to be a no-brainer: Past Dark by Tony Healey.

Past Dark by Tony Healey

I’ve enjoyed Tony’s fine work for the last several years, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to watch him develop and mature as a storyteller. He continues to raise the bar every year, and in 2015 he produced some incredible work, including my pick for best read, Past Dark.

Compared to much of Tony Healey’s other work, Past Dark is a slow burn. It begins as a sentimental, yet bittersweet voyage back to the summer of 1995, a time Chris Peterson spent with his best friends, Ant & Kay. Chris recalls the innocence of youth: Building go-karts, going to carnivals, dealing with bullies, a first kiss… and then something far darker. Yes, once you’ve settled in, Healey flips the script, and you’ll love it!

20 years later, tragedy draws Chris back to the town he grew up in, and old wounds are ripped open. Although Chris had escaped from a turbulent period in his childhood, returning to the scene of where it all began brings back the pain and terrifying memories.

Past Dark is masterfully told, and calls to mind the work of Stephen King. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys traditional horror.

Get your copy on Amazon here.

Tell me your favorite books of 2015 in the comments!

Announcing Planet of Ice

Happy Holidays, everyone! If it seems as though I’ve been quiet as of late, you’re right, and for good reason. I’ve been hard at work on several upcoming writing projects. In fact, this is the busiest I’ve been at any point within the last five years, and I love it!

While I’m not yet ready to divulge everything in progress, I’m very excited today to reveal first details about my next book: Planet of Ice.

Planet of Ice

Some things in life simply go together: peanut butter and chocolate; crackers and cheese; J.J. Abrams and Star Wars (sorry, haters, but flaws aside, The Force Awakens was awesome); and now David K. Hulegaard and Tony Healey.

Written in collaboration with the English best-selling author (and good friend), Planet of Ice is book two in the Broken Stars Sci-Fi series. Working with Tony in this capacity was an absolute pleasure, and as the series creator, his wealth of knowledge and guidance were invaluable. I can’t say enough positive things about the experience.

My goal with Planet of Ice was to handle Tony’s universe with great care, and put my spin on the story and characters while still coloring inside the lines. Tony granted me such creative freedom that my imagination was never restrained or compromised. I never felt afraid to try something bold and make it ‘mine.’ If I ever veered too far off course with an idea, he steered me back on track gently.

The Broken Stars series is about an extraordinary boy named Max, whose destiny is part of a master plan to restore order to the galaxy. In Planet of Ice, we follow him on the next leg of his adventure, and learn more about his team… and those who stand in his way.

When a mysterious message prompts Delta to leave the crew unexpectedly, Max and company pursue her to a mining colony on Quaris—a distant planet with a seedy reputation. To find Delta, the team must traverse a harsh, unforgiving environment; face a network of deadly mercenaries; and uncover powerful secrets beneath the planet’s frozen crust.

Planet of Ice releases in late January 2016. If you’re interested in an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for a review, please contact me for more information.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out book one in the Broken Stars series: Age of Destiny. Tony is a master storyteller, and he has set the stage for an amazing voyage across the galaxy.

I’d like to thank Tony Healey for putting his trust in me, and for allowing me to play in his sandbox. I had a great time doing so, and I hope everyone will enjoy it. And who knows? If all goes well, I may even have my hand in the next installment as well. 🙂

The Jumper Redux Comes to Wattpad

As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, I’ve returned to Wattpad with a whole host of new content. I also said that I wasn’t done, and today I’m happy to report that the next phase of my Wattpad plans commence!

The Jumper

R.C. Dawson Returns

Those of you who’ve followed my work over the last few years may recall that I published a paranormal novella in 2011 titled The Jumper. The book was a lot of fun to write, and thanks to my obsession with Pushing Daisies at the time, a bit of Bryan Fuller influence guided the narrative. Something about combining humor with genuinely tense and spooky moments fit the story so much better than I’d planned on the drawing board.

The Jumper has since gone out of print, but remains a sentimental favorite. So, I figured what better time to reintroduce it to the masses with a 2015 redux? My writing skills have evolved a bit since the original print, so a redux edition provides me with an opportunity to polish and deliver a tighter manuscript.

At full disclosure, I’ll more than likely re-publish it later on down the road, but you don’t have to wait. You can read it in its entirely for FREE! Over the next couple of months, I’ll release a new chapter on Wattpad each Friday. Please feel free to leave comments as the story unfolds and tell me what you think!

The first chapter is live now, and ready for you. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

It’s here…

Today is an exciting day around here! Not only is it my Dad’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!), but after several weeks of edits, revisions, and numerous tweaks, my latest short story Dollhouse is ready to be unleashed upon the world.

I worked with a new designer on the cover, and she absolutely knocked it out of the park. The creepy factor is strong with this one, and captures the tone of the story perfectly. Did you look at the bell? Look closer…

dollhousenew

They bought their dream house. It just didn’t belong to them.
Andy and Kimberly leapt at the chance to purchase a once in a lifetime property that belonged to a famous artist. What they didn’t know is he left behind a masterpiece that’ll change their dream house to a house of horrors. If you hear the bells, it’s already too late.

Dollhouse is available on Kindles everywhere now!

 

 

My Passion Project: Noble Redux

Noble Concept Art by Eve F.
Noble Concept Art by Eve F.

I broke a vow to myself. After spending many hours (and dollars) re-editing the original Noble manuscript in 2011, I promised that I was done tinkering. I promised that I’d put it back on the shelf and never touch it again. I promised that I’d be “happy” with it.

And I was… for a while.

As the years rolled on, I wrote two more books in the series and completed the Noble trilogy. With more experience under my belt, these books contained crisper writing all around, and showcased my storytelling strengths in a much better light.

Knowing that some readers prefer not to enter a series still in progress, I’ll soon introduce new readers to the trilogy through a collection containing all three books. The idea was to give the original novel a spit-shine so it would feel closer in quality to the other two.

My brilliant editor, Jessica Guzman, tackled the project with enthusiasm. However, when I received the edited manuscript back, I realized that the novel needed more than a fresh coat of paint. Although Jessica had worked wonders to clean up my mess, at the end of the day, it was still the product of a first-time novelist—something no amount of editing was ever going to erase.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m so very proud of the book, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I found the time to write it. That said, the pages scream “inexperience,” and because I love the Noble universe so much, and am so invested in its future, it weighed heavy on my mind. Was this really the first impression of my work I wanted to give readers?

While discussing this topic with my wife, she said something that resonated with me (as usual): “Don’t beat yourself up about it. It was your first book. Noble would be a completely different book if you’d written it today.”

The light bulb went off over my head. What would the book look like if I’d written it today? That’s all the convincing I needed. I put all other projects aside and scheduled Noble for a long overdue, full-scale rewrite.

So, I rolled up my sleeves and dove in, rediscovering my first book and looking back on it through the eyes of a proud father. Overhauling the original manuscript provided more than just a chance to fix grammatical errors and passive voice, however. It also presented an opportunity to make adjustments to the story that have always bothered me, as well as address feedback I’d received from readers.

Here’s just a few examples:

  • A new prologue begins the story, starting things off with a bit more intensity and action.
  • Jane Emmett’s voice recording now unfolds over the course of the book instead of all at once at the beginning.
  • Miller’s character now has a bit more teeth. He’s still a softie with best intentions at heart, but he’s no longer playing the role of bumbling detective… although he still loves his apple pie (sorry, angry reviewer).
  • The Carroll’s Cross chapter has been reimagined from the ground up. No more confusing, nonsensical shadow play.
  • The ties to the other books in the series are now more prominent. Where did Gibbard come from? What did the lost civilization’s cathedral look like? Where did Puckett’s special task force originate?

All of that is merely scratching the surface. However, I didn’t fix everything. In effort to preserve some of the original first-time novelist charm, I knowingly left in some of the mistakes, too. There’s still a bit of information dumping, flashbacks within a flashback, clichéd phrases, and deus ex machina.

Why did I leave it? I guess in a strange way, it connects me to that inexperienced version of myself from 2010 without fully erasing his efforts, or the memories he created writing the manuscript. No book is ever perfect, and I wanted it retain some of its character.

So, here I am in 2015, making the same vow I made in 2011: This is it. The End. This Noble redux represents my ultimate vision of the original concept, and with its release, I now put it back on the shelf, happy. Content. Proud.

Noble Redux and Noble Trilogy Collection release this Summer for Kindle.

Noble Blog Series #4: A New Challenger Has Entered the Ring!

SPOILER WARNING: This blog contains references to previous events from the Noble series.

NBS4

Within the opening lines of Noble, we’re introduced to Jane Emmett: A troubled teenager from Ashley Falls. However, her story, like many others in the series, is connected to Alyssa Noble. The main story arc has centered on Alyssa because her existence in the world has driven the motivations of many other forces, both natural and supernatural. Miller, Puckett, the Rayburn family, Icarus, the Seda, the Civil Parrish—Alyssa played a hand in all of their fates.

As far as antagonists go, Alyssa Noble is a bit of an enigma to me, even though I created her. Sure, she’s diabolical, and has left a trail of carnage throughout the series, but at the end of the day, she’s fighting for the survival of her kind by any means necessary. Although she is incapable of expressing it through words, I imagine she is quite lonely. I don’t loathe her. In fact, I have empathy for her.

As crucial as Alyssa is to the plot, we find out in Bloodlines that there are other sinister players lurking in the shadows—watching… waiting. During the raid on a chemist’s lab in Savannah, the team uncovers first traces of a man named Gibbard through a series of old letters. This new lead, while intriguing, is separate from the case they’re investigating, so, Puckett decides to do some digging on his own. By the closing moments of Bloodlines, we have a connection: Rayburn and Gibbard.

As dangerous as Alyssa has been, her perilous ways take a backseat in New World Order, allowing an even deadlier foe to emerge: Father Gibbard. Operating under the radar of the FBI, Gibbard quietly served as architect to a master plan, devoting ninety years of his life to orchestrating the end of the world. The grand finale is set for September 30, 2014… all he needs now is the last piece of the puzzle.

What’s the deal with the name Gibbard?

Some readers may have noticed that this is not the first time Gibbard’s name has shown up in my books. It’s not laziness, I swear. 🙂 In truth, I’ve added a character named Gibbard to each of my books as an homage to Death Cab For Cutie’s front man, Ben Gibbard, who is something of an inspiration for me.

The first appearance of Gibbard’s name popped up in the original Noble. He was the harmless Smith family chauffeur that drove Miller to his meeting with Phillip’s father. And that was my plan, really: Find some innocuous character in the story and sneak the name in as an Easter egg, the same way as Final Fantasy had done with “Cid.” However, that plan backfired when I got to Bloodlines.

If I’m being honest, I had no idea where the story would go next after Bloodlines. It wasn’t until I neared the end that I came up with the idea for New World Order. I realized that with Alyssa dealt with, I needed a new enemy to replace her. Of course, Scythe fit that role handsomely, but I didn’t think that was enough for an entire book. That’s when I reviewed previous events in the story and started brainstorming.

The chemist in Savannah’s story made the most sense. He didn’t make a very compelling antagonist on his own, so I fleshed out a backstory for him. What was his motivation? Was he just following orders? If so, who was giving those orders, and what was their end game? Before I knew it, my imagination had been sparked, and I had enough to expand upon.

The only problem was that the chemist took his orders from Gibbard. I couldn’t go back, though. I was already too in love with the idea. By complete accident, I’d just given a starring role to my innocuous character used to sneak in my signature Easter egg. Whoops.

So, there you have it: The story behind the repeated presence of Gibbard, and his unplanned rise to power in New World Order. A valuable lesson has been learned, and we have likely seen the last of the Gibbard name in my books going forward. I’m sure Ben would prefer it that way as well. 🙂