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About The Janus Chronicles

About Book One

The nurse gently handed him to Nora. The new mother cradled the child in her arms.

“He’s beautiful,” she said, looking up at Lucas, who was leaning over the bed.

“Welcome to the world, Sean Jason Kilgore,” he said, his cheeks glistening with tears.

The nurse left the room, giving the family some time alone.

“Our baby has the birthmark,” Nora whispered. “It was one of the first things I checked after they handed him to me and said everything was perfect. It’s on his left thigh and in the shape of a triangle. It looks exactly like the one you have.”

“I know,” agreed Lucas. “I saw it during the delivery. And so once again, it passes from father to son.”

“When he gets older, he’s going to ask what it means,” said Nora.

“And I’ll tell him what my father told me.” Lucas sighed. “We have a few years before he has to be burdened with something that seems impossible when all the implications are considered.”

According to Lucas’s father, their little boy belonged to the world and not just to his parents.

The Mark of Janus is a thought-provoking novel of intrigue and mystery that reveals a centuries’ old secret with the power to disrupt the world’s most fundamental belief.

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Book One Excerpt

Built in the 12th Century the chapel was dominated by the hand-hewn wooden beams and stone foundation that instilled a comfortable feel of permanence. With its cross, the altar was a shining beacon of hope for all those who believed in the majesty of the Holy triumvirate; God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. There was an air of solitude within the building that served as a refuge for all those who visited and sought understanding from their god.

It was warm inside the building on this April morning. Dante Sabatini could feel the sweat running down his chest and back. It glistened on his forehead and coated his hands. He sat alone in the chapel his thoughts focused on Janus, Elijah and Sean Brennan. The file he’d brought into the chapel lay beside him on the pew.

Of average height, Dante had thick, grey close-cropped hair. Deep-set luminous brown eyes were cratered behind high cheekbones and sat alongside a pencil thin nose that flared at the end. A strong jawline exuded power. In his mid-sixties he carried himself with the grace and bearing of man fifteen years his junior; the result of a strictly controlled diet and regular exercise.

He wielded immense but virtually unseen power. Dante was the Prelate or head of the Praetorian Order. Established in 957 by Pope John XII, the Order is a clandestine organization within the Roman Catholic Church. When founded its mandate was to defend the Church against all external and internal attacks, whether philosophical, intellectual, financial or physical.

To this end the Order developed an all-encompassing range of covert activities that ranged from spying and bribery to theft and sanctioned killings. While the Order was effective in all its endeavors a notable expertise had been developed in the art of secret assassinations when deemed necessary by the Vatican. Throughout the centuries an unbroken line of lethal assassins had been produced within its headquarters at the Chateau Valencia, in Spain. It was a point of pride that through the years the secrets, methods, and training regimens were passed down and improved upon from assassin to assassin.

Only the Pope and those in the College of Cardinals are aware of the Order’s existence. It is also known within the Vatican by the code name Fraternity.

Throughout most of its existence the Order’s finances were handled through the College of Cardinals. This ensured the impossibility of independent action. And any thought that the Fraternity would act without the Vatican’s approval was beyond the thinking of those heading the Order.

That had dramatically changed with Dante.

In the almost four decades he’d been Prelate, Dante had radically altered the Order and its relationship with Rome. Under his rule the Order had gone from an instrument of Church policy to an independent organization that answered only to the Prelate. While it theoretically still reported to the Vatican, the Order was a powerful self-financing body that paid little attention to the dictates of the Pope. Dante had bolstered its financial strength with the introduction of self-financing corporations, leading-edge technology, state-of-the-art marketing, and an upgraded system of clandestine operations.

The Order still fulfilled its mandate of protecting the Church but its actions no longer solely reflected the needs of Rome. Any activity undertaken by Dante ensured the Order benefited both financially and politically. His control over the Order was absolute and he’d created an organization that wielded immense, though virtually invisible global power.

The Prelate took great pride in what he’d accomplished. He had built the Praetorian Order into a clandestine financial empire that rivalled any international corporation. At the same time he’d ensured the Church received whatever Fraternity resource was required. Not a man open to compromise, Dante fundamentally believed that Christianity was the only true form of worship and Roman Catholicism the only genuine Church. He viewed all other faiths, regardless of their commitment to God, as blasphemous.

On this day he was deeply troubled. His vast, state-of-the-art technology bureau had intercepted a collection of e-mails between Elijah and Sean Brennan. Dante was aware that Elijah had invited Brennan to visit Janus. The Prelate had dispatched a team of watchers to Inverness. Its function was to relay back whether Brennan arrived in the city and boarded Journey.

When the news came through that Brennan was on his way to Janus Dante realized Elijah was planning something that could pose a major threat for the Roman Catholic Church and therefore for the Order.

If what he thought was correct, then Elijah’s actions represented a new era on Janus. It would destroy the compromise that had existed for centuries between Janus and the Church.

Dante leaned back in the pew. He opened the file. While he was well-versed in the co-joined history of the Church, the Order, and Janus, the Prelate had pulled up the data-encrypted pages from the Fraternity’s central drive and had them printed. The Prelate was a thorough tactician. He believed that in a sea of change it was best to have a boat built of solid information. The chapel, with its natural tranquility was the perfect place to begin solving the problem of Janus. He began to read.

About Book Two

The Spirit’s recent action had forced Sean to hold a mirror to his thoughts. What was it he wanted from life? He was being offered an opportunity at making a difference. Isn’t that what most people desired? Wasn’t the root of true satisfaction when something of value was accomplished and of deep unhappiness when nothing was achieved?

World peace. It was a concept that had captured the minds of the great thinkers throughout the centuries. How could nations, religions, cultures, and individuals be made to put self-interest aside for the greater good?

Could the people of a tiny, uncharted island in the North Atlantic hold the solution? And how would the Spirit bring peace without changing the essential nature of humanity? It would mean, in some cases, reversing thousands of years of history. How could centuries of hate over real and perceived wrongs suddenly be cleansed from the human psyche? Even with the Spirit’s involvement, Sean wondered if it was possible.

The Word of Janus continues a riveting tale of intrigue, betrayal, and good versus evil as one man seeks to understand his legacy and its implications for the world’s future.

Book Two Excerpt

“I cannot impose harmony throughout the globe. That would be a contradiction of the very essence of free will. Peace and understanding have to be arrived at through a collective global will. People have to be shown that far more can be gained through a commitment to nonviolence than through the short-term and illusory advantages of war and aggression.

“All individuals must have the ability to not only explore but also realize their full potential. In doing so, both the person and the global community benefit. Every being should have a place where they can find peace and feel a sense of belonging. If nothing else, there should be the recognition that people have the right to pursue their goals for peaceful self-expression without fear of hostility or ridicule.

“If humanity is to achieve its true potential, it must reach beyond this point without my assistance. Only through self-awareness can this syndrome of violence be conquered and earth’s collective be allowed to reach its true potential.

“Humans have an innate desire to go beyond the current limitation that is both bold and inspiring. There are so many goals to achieve, regardless of the area or the endeavor. Humanity has the ability to stretch every frontier so far beyond what is now accepted as reality.

“There is a capability within every person to exceed whatever targets, regardless of how lofty, human beings set for themselves. I believe passionately in every human’s ability to create a meaningful life that achieves personal aspirations without conflict.

“But the planet must find a way out of the pit it is digging for itself. Its citizens can be led but not dictated to. That is at once humanity’s overriding redeeming quality and its greatest fault.

Therefore, it will take a committed group of people who will show that peace is possible. It must begin between individuals, move on to societies and cultures, and then spread to nations.

“And it is wrong to believe the world can be saved with nations acting independently or in consort with just a few other countries. The answer lies with global cooperation in areas of social justice, equality of opportunity, and eradication of poverty.”

Upcoming Works

The Hope of Janus

The third book in the four-novel Janus Chronicles will be published in the Spring of 2018

Angelica settled herself by breathing through her nose, using the diaphragm, not the chest. This brought air down to the lower portion of her lungs, where the oxygen exchange is most efficient. She could feel her heart rate slow, the muscles relax. The natural tension she had felt earlier had faded into the background.

In a slow, methodical and calm voice Bill relayed news that the front door had opened. The Guardians walked onto the porch, followed by the targets. The targets, along with the Guardians were stepping outside the house. Although they’d gone over it several times, Bill still gave her the range. The Guardians were blocking her line of sight, but that had been expected.
For a brief moment she settled her vision through the scope. Now, there was no more thought. She cradled the stock into her shoulder. The fingers of her right hand, rested alongside the weapon’s trigger.

Her mind had locked itself away, allowing her physical training to focus entirely on the task. The moments ticked by. From somewhere deep inside, she watched herself and unknowingly treasured the sense of ultimate power. Of the three of them, only she knew their lives would be over in a matter of moments.

The Guardians in unison climbed down to the bottom step. She followed the line of sight from the scope. Her breathing was slow and measured. The targets were at the top of the porch. Angelica brought the sight’s red laser up to the man’s chest. She caressingly squeezed the trigger. The bullet tore out of the barrel at a velocity of more than 2,500 ft. per second.
It struck the target in the chest, creating a splash of red as it drove into the heart and exploded. The man was driven backwards, splayed across the porch.