I WON AN AWARD (sort of)!!!
Blood and Wisdom has been designated a Finalist in the 2019 mystery category by the Indie Book Awards. Basically, this means that it is one of five runners up, which is close enough to winning an international contest for me to crow about it and celebrate.
Buddha's clone, victim of a conspiracy, or just plain crazy? If only he knew.
Psychotherapist Sid Menk is dragged into a war between spiritual factions vying for control of the planet. Is he Buddha's clone? Has his mentor actually granted him enlightenment? Can the woman by his side kick everyone’s butt?
As kidnappers, rogue monks, and Maori gangsters chase Sid through New Zealand, India, and the redwoods of northern California, his sense of identity dissolves and something amazing takes its place. Armed with newfound insights and abilities, he marshals esoteric energy to match the power of those who seek to exploit him.
The twists and turns of this contemporary fantasy thriller send the reader on a wild ride,and we guarantee that no one will predict the outrageous ending of this contemporary fantasy.
MORE INFO IN "BOOK" SECTION
Blood and Wisdom
A psycho-spiritual murder mystery.
Both novels Published by Wild Rose Press
Available on Amazon - Paperback or Kindle
(Scroll for reviews, blurb, and writing samples)
Early Reviews of B&W:
"The story has great pace, fun characters who you care about, plenty of twists, and narrative 'personality', especially with all of the psychology and spiritual references.
Many good zingers, taut scenes, and punchy, believable dialogue.
The mixture of a hard-boiled story line with a soft-boiled private investigator works well and the psychology--spiritualism element grabbed and held my interest."
C.I. Dennis, author of the Vince Tanzi series
"Verlin Darrow has a sense of plot and style that carries the reader forward into that special place of anxious expectation, the place where putting the book down is unthinkable.
Verlin gets us into the minds of people you wouldn't want to invite for dinner. Fascinating."
Richard House MD, author of Between Now and When
I gazed around. Much like the last time I’d visited the meditation hall, fifty or sixty people held themselves like shoddily made statues of the Buddha on the polished wooden floor, arranged in neat rows. How did they manage to get the spacing so exact? Tape on the floor? I pictured silver duct tape with red Sharpie writing: “sit here,” “sit here,” “sit here.” Then I imagined being the one who had to churn out all the little signs. What a pain. Aria probably made them do all sorts of things like that just so they’d get worn down psychically and accept all her crazy ideas. Spiritual boot camp.
It was great to see my pup—and he was mine, even if an idiot judge made me share him with Adele. Larry went nuts when he raced in, careening from room to room—all four of them. Then he tried to jump into me. Not onto me—into me. He had a strong urge to merge, as my mother used to say about her very Catholic brother. If Larry ever figured out how to do it, the Karl/Larry amalgam would probably be a major upgrade.
I filled her in. The story fell out of me. It was my third go-round, and by now the big yellow marker in my head had highlighted the essential elements. This was the same one that ran a circle around whichever woman on the beach was wearing the skimpiest bikini, so I knew I could trust it.
Quite a few of the redwoods sported carbuncle-like burls at their bases, which my mind sought to turn into faces. I knew evolution favored whoever was a whiz at facial recognition, but all I came up with was a cartoon character or two. I guess my line was doomed to die out sooner than most.
Rachel was solidly built. She could’ve played inside linebacker for a player-strapped high school. It was like hugging a man who happened to have a squishy bosom and smelled like herbal conditioner. She wore black-framed glasses and bright red lipstick. Sometimes she wore bright red glasses and black lipstick. She was a tricky one.
PI Karl Gatlin takes Aria Piper’s case when a threat arrives—“if she doesn’t stop doing Satan’s work…” A few hours later, a headless John Doe bobs up in the wishing well at Aria’s New Age spiritual center near Santa Cruz, California.
With canine Larry by his side and a wise-ass hacker helping out, Karl confronts a ruthless pastor, the dead-eyed leader of a drug gang, and several suspicious members of Aria’s own flock as he hunts for answers. More murders lead to more questions. How could violence on this scale emerge from such a peaceful spiritual community—led by Aria, no less, the kindest, wisest person Karl has ever met? Will Karl’s psychologist training be enough to save his new lover’s life?