Date Published: November 13, 2023
In the year 2043, World Council Edict 1735B proclaimed that all of the world religions were to be outlawed in the interest of public safety. Houses of Worship were labeled centers of dissension and attending any underground religious service was punishable by imprisonment and relocation. To possess any religious artifact or Holy Book was a mandatory death sentence. Jenny Keane is a Believer, a Christian and the proud owner of a Holy Bible given to her by her Grandmother. Michael Keane, her husband, is a former Special Forces Operative. He is not a believer in the holy teachings of any religion. Michael gave up the warrior path to live a cherished, peaceful life with his family. Jenny and the children, while attending an illegal religious service are captured by sadistic One World troops and taken to a reeducation camp. This sets Michael out on a one man rescue mission to bring his family home and nothing short of death will stop him. Against impossible odds he walks a path of revenge and destruction with no negotiation, no rules of engagement and no mercy for his enemies. He is aided by the unseen prayers of the faithful and years of experience in killing his foes.
READ AN EXCERPT BELOW
About the Author
Ryland Harris is a father, a builder and a combat decorated Marine. He resides in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia. He enjoys long hikes in the mountains, designing and building houses and spending time with his children. He shares his life with nine chickens, three goats and a black mouth cur dog.
Excerpt from "The Keeper of the Book"
Michael Keane dreams of his dead mother. She is making
breakfast. Her slight frame is backlit by a buttery morning sun shining through
the kitchen window. It makes her glow, other worldly. Like an angel.
The rich scent of bacon frying wakes Michael. Then tittering
peals of laughter from his three children and the lilting, sweet voice of his
wife, Jenny. Jenny is singing an old church hymn. Wonderful Grace of Jesus.
Mama loved that song. Jenny sang it at her funeral ten years ago in 2031. Ten
years. Time is flying by. Michael rolls over and out of bed. He is happy.
Happier than he’s been in all his 42 years. He stretches right, then left. Ohhhh
man, I just ache. He grunts and groans a little bit, then shakes it off.
They’re just little aches and pains that come every day. Every ache and pain is
a little reminder of his ten years in the highly elite Homeland Security
Department Special Forces Units. Those ten years got him a tiny pension, a
chest full of medals and a body full of scars. He steps in front of the mirror
and stares at his reflection for a moment. His pale green eyes hold the stare
with himself as he scrutinizes the scars on his body. I’m fine with it. At
least I still have most of my hair. He runs his fingers through his full
head of light brownish, blondish hair. I chose it. Nobody made me do it. My
reflection proves I am still here. Still alive.
Michael had been wounded five times over those ten years
with HSD. The worst of it came in the African Campaigns when the whole world
went to war over a rare earth metal mine in Uganda. There was no FBI or CIA or
State Department anymore and no separate branches of the military. They had all
been rendered impotent by the World Council Edicts. By 2033, they had all been
absorbed under each nation’s umbrella version of the Homeland Security
The rich smell of bacon frying makes Michael’s mouth water.
As he reaches for the glass of water on his nightstand, Gypsy, his brindle
mountain cur dog, bounds into the bedroom and launches onto his bed. He leans
down to let her give him a few overly enthusiastic, sloppy kisses.
“Good morning, Gypsy.” Michael winces and turns his face to
the side. “Gypsy, your breath stinks. I mean, really stinks.” She tries to lick
his face again.
“You stink. You been eating deer guts and you’re dirty. Get
off of the bed.” Michael shoos her away, then makes the bed. He smooths the bed
covers and tucks the corners tightly. A legacy of time spent in the military.
Satisfied with the crispness of the bed cover tucks, he pulls on his jeans and
boots. On his way out of the room, he stops at the dresser and takes a tee
shirt out of the top drawer. He pulls it over his head as he makes his way to
the kitchen. The children abandon their card game of Go Fish when they see
Michael. They rush up to surround him. Michael picks the youngest one,
four-year-old Gabriel, up in his arms.
He kisses him on the forehead, “How’s my boy doing today?”
The girls, 11-year-old Bridget and 6-year-old Amber, pull on Michael’s legs.
“Pick us up too!” Amber commands her dad. Michael obeys.
He scoops the girls up and holds all three children in his
arms. They hug him and laugh. Jenny turns from the counter then places a
platter stacked high with blueberry pancakes next to a plate of crisp bacon on
the kitchen table. Jenny is lovely, radiant. Her dark black hair is just
beginning to show the first strands of gray. She hates it. Her mischievous,
sparkling dark green eyes entranced Michael from the first moment he laid eyes
on her fourteen years ago. The ancient Irish, Druidic blood flowing in Jenny’s
veins fuels her passion for life, for family, for love. Michael finds her