Announcing Marshall Chamberlain’s “The Mountain Place of Knowledge” Virtual Book Tour, June 2010
Join Marshall Chamberlain, author of the adventure/thriller The Mountain Place of Knowledge (The Grace Publishing Group), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in June on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
About Marshall Chamberlain
Marshall Chamberlain authors the Ancestor Series of adventure-Thrillers and other mystery-thrillers. Before taking up the pen, he received graduate degrees from Michigan State University and The American Graduate School of International Management, served as an officer in the USMC, and spent many years in investment banking and finance. He lives on Estero Island, better known as Fort Myers Beach, in an apartment near the water he calls the “Writing Rock.”
About The Mountain Place of Knowledge
Books in the Ancestor Series are adventures into plausible reality, carrying the reader into unique realms of danger and suspense as today’s civilized world is forced to re-evaluate its understanding of Earth history. Scientific mysteries and subtle but familiar metaphysical principles are encountered by stalwart characters as they discover remnants of past, highly advanced civilizations and artifacts of their ancient technology.
Book I in the series, The Mountain Place of Knowledge, is set in Belize: Two U.N. scientists are dispatched to the country to investigate the death of a vacationing agency head. A Scepter instrument is discovered in a burial chamber at the top of an ancient Mayan temple, possessing the power to heal and destroy. A Codex from the chamber leads the scientists to an ancient tree called the Sentinel that contains controls for opening an entrance to the inside of a mountain. A plethora of technical wonders and bizarre experiences befall the two, setting the stage for a clash of nations intent on possessing the secrets of the mountain.
Read an Excerpt!
Zambia: October 20th
they were working near Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. Two years ago the U.N. Institute for the Study of Unusual Phenomena (ISUP) awarded a grant to the Geology Department at Florida State University to analyze rock exposures along fault lines recently created by tectonic plate movements in the Rift Valley region of central Africa. Faulting uncovered remnants of human habitation 180,000 years old, people living like the early Egyptians, definitely out of sequence with present-day historical archeology. The anomaly was even more mysterious because the inhabitants appeared to have died simultaneously, annihilated in place. Analyzing phenomena yielding greater understanding of the planet was at the heart of ISUP’s mission.
It was Dr. John Henry Morgan’s third summer as the leader of the FSU team, consisting of Dr. Mary Ellen Rollins and a crew of graduate students. Morgan represented the geologic side of the business and Mary Ellen the microbiology and paleontology. The graduate students were mostly doctoral candidates versed in the ground sciences, including anthropology and archeology.
“Dr. Morgan. Can you hear me?”
“I hear you, Gallager. I hear you. There’s a horrendous echo down here, remember?”
They were working a fault about forty feet wide and fifty feet deep, one of many projected to soon bridge the major rift zones holding Lake Kaniba to the south and the Zambezi River to the north. The pressure was on to salvage as much as they could of the freshly unearthed remains of these ancient people, tools, and evidence of habitat before the faults flooded out.
“There’s a Western Union delivery from the United Nations. I had to sign for it. It’s addressed to you. Looks important.”
“Sure, Gallager, if it was important they’d call me — I’ll be up.”
It was a time-consuming climb along the makeshift footings cut into the bedrock to a column of chiseled steps leading up and out. Irritated, Morgan had no clue why they would need to contact him directly. His part of the dig was just a small piece of a major project. He was out of the decision-making process, exactly how he liked it. The only time he’d had contact with the U.N. bureaucracy was when ISUP was formed two years ago. Dr. Courtney, his old graduate adviser at ASU, had asked him to consider a position under him as ISUP’s Deputy Director. The process was cut short by the unexpected death of Morgan’s father, and ironically here he was working this project under ISUP’s direction.
Morgan adjusted the samples in his pack and looked up at Gallager standing some fifty feet above at the edge of the fault bank. He wondered why the United Nations hadn’t used e-mail. The U.S. Government had made satellite connectivity to the Internet available to the project. How could something be important if you sent it by Western Union it? It took an extra day for delivery from Lusaka.
As Morgan was climbing out, he saw Mary Ellen join Gallager, hands on hips.
“Do you want me to read it?” she called down, badgering him.
“Yes. Please do, so I don’t have to come out of here. Thank you.”
Morgan held up. Shielding his eyes from the sun, he looked up at them silhouetted against blue sky and cumulus clouds. Mary Ellen was like a five-foot-seven porcelain doll dressed in khaki cargo shorts and a greenish short-sleeve safari shirt. Her black pageboy haircut outlined deeply tanned, feline facial features. He never could understand how she kept her skin so smooth with as much sun-time as she got in the field.
Getting in and out of the trenches was a major undertaking. They went down with everything needed for half a day. Canvas bags of samples were pulled up with ropes, and food and water came down the same way.
“You better come up, John Henry,” she said seriously. “You’re not going to like it.”
It didn’t sound like her usual cajoling, but Morgan wasn’t sure. She could still be fooling around. He knew better than to yell back at her, but saying something so open-ended was irritating. He slapped the dust off the brimmed jungle hat he’d kept with him since his Marine Corp days and glanced back up, but they had moved out of sight. Disregarding the steps, he scuttled up the rocky slope, clawing his way. Heaving over the bank, dusty and sweaty, now more than irritated, he scrambled to his feet in front of them.
“That was quite entertaining,” she said. “I suppose it’s the old Quantico obstacle-course instincts.”
“What did you expect? You tell me I have news I’m not going to like. The first thing in my mind is my mom. You do remember she’s getting worse? What were you thinking?”
Mary Ellen’s face scrunched up. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. It’s not your mother.”
Morgan took the envelope, let out a breath and walked away from them. Nobody wanted to be told they had bad news.
Gallager waited until Morgan was out of range. “I’ve never seen him like that. What’s the story?”
“It’s one of his few hot buttons. His mother’s very sick. His father split when he was in eighth grade. No brothers and sisters.”
Morgan pulled out the message. It was from V.K. Rao, a high ranking U.N. official he’d met two years earlier in New York interviewing for the job Dr. Courtney had offered him.
Dear Dr. Morgan:
We regret to inform you that our colleague and your friend, Professor Donald Courtney, lost his life under questionable circumstances while on vacation in Belize. As you might know, he was visiting a long-time associate, Byron Jacobson, the country’s Minister of Interior and Historic Affairs.
Dr. Courtney contacted me personally about two weeks ago, several days before he was due to depart Belize, with some preliminary ideas for qualifying the area around Richardson Peak in the Mayan Mountains as an ISUP project of potential international significance.
I am not at liberty to discuss the detail of those ideas in this communication. Suffice it to say that one of our own might have met with foul play. His body lies in Belize City. We will bring him home in the next few days. A request for autopsy has been made to his next of kin.
Because Dr. Courtney held you in high regard, and due to the intense screening you endured two years ago as a candidate for the Deputy Director’s position at ISUP, we respectfully request you accept our invitation to confer here in New York as soon as possible. Your expenses, a generous retainer, and travel schedule have been arranged. A first-class ticket on KLM flight 619, departing Lusaka International Airport tomorrow evening at 11:04 p.m. local time, awaits you at KLM. You will arrive at LaGuardia, refreshed we hope, at 7:31 a.m. New York time.
Yours sincerely with great sorrow,
Deputy Secretary General
“Questionable circumstances,” Morgan muttered. “Confer on what?” He put it back in the envelope and continued rummaging through the bush, nursing flashbacks of the professor at Arizona State, and contacts with him over the past two-and-a-half years. The Zambia project had kept them in communication, but a secretive flavor began shrouding their general conversations about ISUP activities. In the beginning the professor had shared bits and pieces of ISUP investigations, but in the last few months he’d clammed up.
Morgan reread the message, his mind continuing to wander. Stumbling over a bed of ground vines, he looked around, and for a moment he wasn’t sure which way was back, but he saw a line of low-cut brush the graduate students kept trimmed, marking the edge of the fault. Mary Ellen and Gallager poked up like stick figures, probably waiting for him to cool down.
He jogged back. “Hey guys, sorry about jumping to conclusions. Gallager, would you excuse us for a minute? I need to talk to Dr. Rollins alone. And you’ll have to get one of the guys to take my position in the fault — but be careful, the rock layer I was working has a film on it I’ve never encountered before. Use the gloves, vacuum seal the samples, and send them on to Lusaka for analysis.”
“No problem. I’ll take Jake off tag-and-storage.”
Gallager moved out of earshot, and Morgan held his hand up to stop Mary Ellen from diving in. She still had sorry written across her face. “Okay, you know Professor Courtney was one of the few friends I had in the world. Take it from me — he was a first class guy. I don’t know what they want, but if it has anything to do with him I’ll cooperate. You knew that already. Right?”
“Of course, that’s just the way you are. I’ve always liked your loyalty, but we have work to do — so you’re going to drop the show on me and take off? Remember you’re a scientist now. You’re not in the military.”
It had been nine years. His office walls at FSU were covered with military paraphernalia hanging along side mementos from geologic fieldtrips. It irked Mary Ellen every time she’d asked about something, and he had to tell her it was classified.
“You’ll do a better job than I would anyway. Please be cool with this. Just do it.”
Mary Ellen wrapped her arms around her shoulders and walked away, kicking at the rocks. “You know what they want.”
Morgan didn’t reply. He didn’t want to think about it.
Marshall Chamberlain’s THE MOUNTAIN PLACE OF KNOWLEDGE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’10 will officially begin on June 1st and end on June 11th. You can visit Marshall’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the month of June to find out more about this great book and its talented author. If you would like to host Marshall, please contact Tracee Gleichner at novelnoise(at)live(dot)com.
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