Thursday, May 21, 2009

So Close to Home

So, now I won't wonder so much about fantastic fiction plots and whether they are 'plausible'.

Last night, around 11, my daughter walked into our living room.

"Dude ... did you see the news? These guys tried to blow up a synagogue in Riverdale!"

Seeing as how we live in Riverdale, she got my attention.

Seeing as how we had lunch a few blocks from where the bomb was planted, it really got my attention.

Four men from Newburgh, NY ... a couple of hours upstate ... were arrested last night for attempting domestic terrorism, attempting to detonate car bombs in front of a synagogue and a Jewish center here in the sleepy, suburbs-like far northwest corner of the Bronx - a green oasis of large homes and quiet streets called Riverdale.

The men, reportedly four Black Muslims who were determined to wage jihad on America, had been under surveillance for months after contacting an FBI/NYPD informant. The informant recorded their conversations, even videotaped the men making their plans. Then the informant set up transactions where the men purchased inert C-4 plastic explosive from Federal agents and also purchased inoperable surface-to-air Stinger missles. Their plan included trying to shoot down military aircraft during takeoff and landing at Stewart Air Base in Newburgh.

The suspects were arrested Wednesday night, shortly after planting a mock explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two mock bombs in the backseat of a car outside the Jewish Center, authorities said.

The Riverdale Temple is at 237th Street and Independence in Riverdale. My daughter and I enjoyed a lunch 'date' at the Blue Cafe, 235th Street and Johnson, on Wednesday afternoon, less than four blocks away.

The plot of my new novel, The Sacred Cipher, which will be released on July 31, involves a 'normal' guy who inadvertently falls into a series of events that make him the target of terrorists, endanger his family and lead him into an international firestorm that could trigger nuclear war in the Mideast. Sounds like a good story, right? But stretches the limits of plausibility, right?

Well, how whacked is it to think there may be guys who are planting plastic explosives in a car to blow up the church around the corner from your house?

This is one crazy world ... seems to be a world often devoid of peace.

Thank God, there is a God, whose name is love ... and peace.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eye-to-eye in the Middle East?

Not surprisingly, Monday’s meeting between President Barak Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to be assessed more in light of what was not said in their joint statement than in what was reported.

Obama and Netanyahu said they agreed on the critical need to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. "We don't see closely on this, we see exactly eye to eye on this," Netanyahu said in a joint news conference with Obama at the White House.

Eye-to-eye does not necessarily mean heart-to-heart.

Netanyahu wanted Obama to give the Iranians a three month deadline to come to the table for serious talks on their burgeoning nuclear development program. Clearly, the Israelis are getting tired of Iran’s ingenuous assertions that their nuclear enrichment program is aimed at developing power plants.

On Newsweek’s web site, Dan Ephron reported ( the American government is concerned that a firm deadline would damage its attempts to repair 30 years of tension with Tehran and that it wants to assure the US can arrange meaningful negotiations with the one man who can make binding decisions in Iran - Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini.

Obama and Netanyahu are not the only government leaders with differing views on how to best deal with the Iranians. A Senate Foreign Relations Committee report issued earlier this month, Iran: Where We Are Today, states that some U.S. government officials favor strict deadlines while others believe they would amount to a "recipe for failure."

As if to underscore the tenuous and problematic nature of the talks, the Israeli Embassy in Washington was evacuated at the same time that Netanyahu and Obama were meeting—the result of a bomb scare.

What kind of scare would erupt in the Middle East – and around the world – if Iran developed another kind of bomb … a nuclear bomb? How close is a nuclear confrontation in the Middle East?

Sounds like part of the plot for The Sacred Cipher – coming to a bookstore near you on July 31st.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Terry's May Newsletter

Hi,Thank God it's Spring!

While we’re eagerly awaiting the release of The Sacred Cipher – still slated for July 31st – there’s an awful lot of real news pouring out of Israel and the Middle East.

Israel’s new Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be in Washington this week for a series of meetings with American officials, including a critical one with President Obama. The global importance of these meetings does not center on Israel’s position regarding a Palestinian state, but rather on our government’s willingness to fully understand Israel’s inevitable conflict with a nuclear Iran.

Two weeks ago, Vice President Biden told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington that “Israel has to work for a two-state solution” with the Palestinians. General James Jones, the President’s national security advisor, wired a European leader that “The new administration will convince Israel to compromise on the Palestinian question. We will not push Israel under the wheels of a bus, but we will be more forceful toward Israel than we have been under Bush.”

At the same time, Prime Minister Netanyahu travelled to Egypt to meet with President Hosni Mubark and made s surprise visit to Amman, Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II – both meetings aimed not at resolving the thorny Palestinian question but rather at building upon growing determination among Arab leaders to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Author Joel Rosenberg (The Last Jihad; The Ezekiel Option; The Copper Scroll) was interviewed on CBN News last week. Rosenberg, a communications strategist for Netanyahu in 2000, said on his blog ( the new Prime Minister “understands that the current Iranian leadership are members of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult who believe it is their Allah-given mission to destroy Israel and the U.S. and end Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it.”

There appears to exist a fundamental political and philosophical fracture between the US and Israel on what is the most crucial problem facing those in the Middle East. It is into just such a critical geo-political cauldron that The Sacred Cipher’s story is launched.

Stay tuned!


About 75 days and counting before the release of The Sacred Cipher. And I could use your help.

First, if you plan to purchase The Sacred Cipher, one strategy would be to either pre-order, or wait until launch date, and order from Sales on Amazon are watched closely by people in the book-selling industry and a sales spike on Amazon gets a good bit of industry buzz going.

Another strategy would be to go to your local bookstore and ask if they will be stocking The Sacred Cipher when it is released. If a couple of people in your town/neighborhood/area could visit the same bookstore, they would take notice.

A third strategy to help build the all-important BUZZ for the book would be to engage in some cyber conversation about the book. Below are some websites where you might find readers of similar interest.

An Anti-DaVinci Code Site:Amy Welborn – author … Catholic issues

A Pro-DaVinci Code Site:Dan Brown’s bookstore on Amazon … there is a customer discussion section

Dan Brown’s UK fan club site

Barnes and Noble “Book Clubs” Chat Room

Barnes and Noble’s Community Blog “Unabashedly Bookish”
There are different book clubs reading specific books – fiction; mystery; religion & spirituality

Barnes and Noble Community Room for chat Very active … lots of topics … user info says all views are welcome

Facebook groups:

A Jason Bourne blog that appears fairly current – not overly active

The Book Club Forum … UK … same kinds of chat

Joel Rosenberg

And if you can’t remember the plot, here’s a short reminder:

History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades. When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.

Thanks for all your support.