Friday, April 29, 2016

The Hidden Reality Virtual Book Tour









About the Author

Stephen Martino is neurologist practicing in New Jersey. Though not separating

conjoined twins like Dr. Ben Carson, he is part of an active medical practice and is

currently participating in concussion research and inventing new medical products. When

he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering

them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the

Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to

provide stroke education to the local community, EMS squads and healthcare

professionals.

His latest book is the science fiction/political thriller, The Hidden Reality.

For More Information

 Visit Stephen Martino’s website.

 Connect with Stephen on Goodreads and Twitter.

 

About the Book:

Title: The Hidden Reality

Author: Stephen Martino

Publisher: Light Messages

Pages: 318

Genre: Science Fiction/Political Thriller

In the year 2084, the brilliant inventor, Alex Pella, finds himself at a precarious crossroad

between the pursuit of justice and preservation of his own sanity. While attempting to

undermine an international New World Order government created by the financial

juggernaut known as The New Reality, he must also face the hidden truths about his own

genetic heritage that are slowly destroying him. After receiving an ambiguous message

sent from a former New Reality executive who died 2 years prior, Alex learns that the

only possible means to confront this New World Order is to defeat a long-forgotten

enemy almost 2500 years old.

THE HIDDEN REALITY is the second stand-alone novel in a trilogy starring Alex Pella,

created by New Jersey-based neurologist and entrepreneur Stephen Martino. With his

fusion of history, politics, and science fiction, Martino joins such masters of the thriller

genre as Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Michael Crichton.

Martino’s villain is a corporation run by a cadre of ruthless international bankers known

as The New Reality. Directed by the most corrupt and morally unscrupulous of the

bunch, Myra Keres, the company has economically seized control of the world’s

governments and the population’s personal freedoms in the process. In order to save

humanity from this despot ruler and the unwonted atrocities to which she plans to

perpetuate on the world, Alex Pella must infiltrate the company and face an enemy that

has unknowingly haunted both him and history for almost 2500 years.

Martino says he wrote THE HIDDEN REALITY more than just to entertain the reader. He

wanted to create a modern day Orwellian ANIMAL FARM to allegorically forewarn his

readers of a possible dystopia future that awaits all of mankind if humanity continues to

proceed down its path of self-destruction.

In THE HIDDEN REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics

as genetic cloning, unprecedented economic debt, the rise of big government, and the

threat of a New World Order run by the economic elite, while bringing the reader back

almost 2500 years into the past when the ancient city state nation known as Greece

fought the mighty Persian Empire for world domination.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE

HIDDEN REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today

that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though

fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential

consequences we face as a nation and the world if they are not properly addressed today.”

For More Information

 The Hidden Reality is available at Amazon.

 Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

 Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.




Book Excerpt:

Prologue

October 11, 1786 Landsbut, Bavaria

THE HYPNOTIC MELODY of the whistling wind and the patter of raindrops

hitting the roof ordinarily proved more comforting to Xavier von Zweck than the most

angelic lullaby. On this night, the grandfather clock had just chimed 2:00 a.m., and

Xavier could barely close his eyes, let alone fall asleep.

Insomnia was no friend of his but had become an accustomed bedtime partner

over the past year. Though the night was unusually warm and muggy for a Bavarian

October, Xavier pulled another quilted blanket over his body, covering himself as if he

were trying to make a cocoon.

“Xavier?” his wife mumbled, half asleep. “You’d rest better with the lamp off.”

“Mind your own business,” he quipped. Not wanting to start another argument,

his wife simply turned away and drifted slowly back to sleep as if nothing had occurred.

She had become accustomed to her husband’s quick fits of temper and erratic behavior.

The man she married in her late teens was certainly not the man she had grown to know

over the past year. His gentle, caring demeanor had been transformed into one of

paranoia and fear. Though she cared for him dearly, their relationship dwindled as

quickly as Xavier’s sanity.

If she only knew, Xavier thought. She would not be sleeping so soundly.

He double-checked his bedside table drawer for the tenth time that night to ensure

that his gun was in the proper place. He had loaded the flintlock pistol and stowed it there

in case of any emergency. Assured the gun was where he stored it, Xavier rolled on his

back and looked blankly up at the ceiling. It was such a noble and just cause, he

lamented. The enlightenment we would have brought to Bavaria, if not the world, would

have made the Renaissance pale in comparison. Now they hunt us down like a pack of

dogs, wanting to rid their country of any contrary thoughts or points of view. The

government and church are nothing more than instruments of suppression that hinder

man’s true nature to achieve enlightenment and pursue humanitarianism.

Xavier startled as the front door rattled.

Was it just the wind?

He lifted his head, trying not to make a sound. His breathing became shallow

while his pulse raced. He could feel his heart pound and temples throb. He listened

intently, hoping it was just the storm. Seconds passed like hours. Every raindrop sounded

like raging bulls charging through his home. In his heightened awareness, the wind

seemed to grow to hurricane proportions. His head darted to the bedroom window as a

windblown tree branch only gently scraped across it.

They found me, he trembled. Just as they did all of the other brothers of the order!

Baron Kruigge-Philo, Baron Bassus, Ferdinand Brunswick. All taken. Never seen or

heard of again.

He looked at the window, expecting soldiers to come barging through it.

Nothing.

Xavier slowly began to ease himself back down to bed after a few terrifying

moments.

False alarm.

Just as he was about to breathe relief, the door rattled once again. This time the

sound was unmistakable. This was not the storm or some wayward tree branch. Someone

was out outside trying to get in.

Wearing only his white-laced nightshirt, Xavier sprang to his feet. Grabbing the

fluted lantern from the night table by the base with his right hand and the pistol with the

left, he dashed over to the top of the stairs. From that vantage point he had a clear view of

the front door. Illuminated by ornate lanterns on both sides and burning candles in the

hallway, the door was clearly visible in this moonless night.

Xavier pointed the pistol down the stairs, waiting for any unwanted visitors to

enter his home. Though the ivory and gold festooned weapon was an inaccurate shot, at

close quarters it should prove accurate enough to stop an intruder.

The door rattled once again, and the person outside accompanied the rattling with

seven distinct knocks. There were two doublets and one triplet all separated by a short

interval. Could it be? Xavier hesitantly descended the steps, keeping his pistol pointing at

the door. The knock was unmistakable. It was the secret cadence required to gain access

to the order’s clandestine meetings.

Was it one of his brothers or was this just some sort of rouse the police were using

for him to open the door?

“Cato,” a muffled voice said from behind the door.

Stunned, Xavier stood motionless after he descended the last step on the stairs.

“Cato. Open up,” the muffled voice beckoned once again.

This was no rouse or trick. Only a high-ranking brother in the order would know

his code name. After a brief moment of disbelief, Xavier placed the pistol in his

nightshirt pocket and scurried over to unlatch the lock on the door.

Which of my brothers could it be? There are so few of us left.

He slowly opened the door, peering around the corner just in case this visitor was

accompanied by other unwelcome guests. The man was alone and drenched from head to

toe. His large brimmed top hat concealed his face, making him unrecognizable.

“Cato,” the man asked in a raspy voice, “May I come in?”

“Yes. Yes,” Xavier finally answered, still not able to recognize the man’s identity

or even his voice. “Where are my manners, good sir? Please come in brother.”

As the man walked into the house, Xavier immediately shut the door and fastened

the lock behind him. Though the man was a brother, he needed to secure the house in

case he had been followed.

“Let me take your hat,” Xavier quickly offered.

Obliging his request, the man handed the soggy hat to his host. Water trickled

down from it onto the hardwood floor as Xavier placed it on a coat hook standing next to

the door.

“Spartacus!”

Though the man before him was about twenty pounds lighter, and drenched from

his balding head down to his long blue-buttoned overcoat. Xavier immediately

recognized the man’s identity—Adam Weishaupt. With a slight double chin, cherub-like

cheeks and a dubious smile, he was thought to have been put to death after Duke Karl

Theodor outlawed their order. But the former leader of their order was obviously still

alive and now standing here in his hallway.

“Cato,” Spartacus immediately responded in a rushed and rasped tone. “There is

little time. Do you still have everything?”

“Yes,” Xavier responded, still in disbelief that his brother from the order was still

alive. “I kept everything hidden just like you requested.” Before he could say anything

else, he grabbed Spartacus’s wet shoulders and asked, “How are you old friend? I was

certain Duke Theodor had your head after he disbanded the order.”

Spartacus had little time for pleasantries. “Please, Cato. You must quickly bring

me everything from the order. A new wave of reasoning is about to ignite in Europe

starting in France, and I must be there to foster the initial spark.”

Xavier patted him on the shoulders and smiled in delight. “There’s no rush. Come

and change into something dry. Have a cup of tea. The storm should break soon, and I

will ready you fresh supplies for your journey ahead.”

“I may have been followed,” Spartacus quickly responded.

Xavier’s delight quickly soured at the revelation, though he knew the good of the

order and its message meant more than his anonymity or even his own life.

“Yes. Follow me,” Xavier responded, quickly escorting his friend over to a

wooden chest in an adjacent room. Though he had so many questions to ask, he

understood he would have to wait for answers.

The room was dark and lit only by two candles almost completely melted to their

base. With his lantern held in front of him, Xavier scurried over to the wooden chest and

grabbed one of the brass handles along its side. Spartacus grabbed the other, and with

little effort the two moved the chest to the side, revealing a small trap door underneath.

Xavier lifted the door by a small latch attached to it and brought his lantern closer

so they could both get a better look. In the dim light provided by the lantern, Spartacus

could just make out its contents.

Two large books, each with the order’s distinctive symbol imprinted on their

cover, lay atop a beautifully ornate silver shield. Though the details of the shield’s

artwork were lost in the darkness, the symbols certainly were not: an all-seeing eye

surrounded by a pyramid.

The symbol was none other than that of the Order of the Illuminati.

A loud hammering on the front door caught them both by surprise.

Xavier almost dropped his lantern as he jumped back, nearly stumbling in

response.

Clamoring from the back door in the rear of the house now accompanied the noise

echoing from the front.

“Adam Weishaupt,” a voice bellowed from outside as the incessant banging on

the doors continued. “Open up!”

Xavier quickly put down the lantern and wrapped the shield and two books in the

linen on which they were lying. “I must get you out of here.”

Taking the linen package, he opened up the chest and grabbed a large leather

satchel especially made for these items. Xavier looked at Spartacus while placing the

linen package in the pouch. “You must leave now.”

Before he could say anything further, Spartacus interrupted. “Is this everything?”

“What do you mean?”

“Is this everything?” he reiterated over the clamoring noise.

With each new bang, the doors sounded as if they were going to collapse under

the intense battering.

“Adam Weishaupt,” another voice from the rear of the house began to yell.

Time was dwindling. It would only be a few moments now before one of the

doors would succumb to the beating.

Complicating the commotion, Xavier’s wife came running down the stairs.

Carrying a lantern and wearing her nightshirt and cap, she asked, horrified by the

commotion, “Who are these people, Xavier? And what do they want?”

“Go back up upstairs,” Xavier responded pointing back towards their bedroom.

Another strong pound came from the front door as its hinges began to give way.

Xavier’s wife stood in the hallway, motionless, looking at her husband and then

the door, not knowing what to do.

“Go upstairs,” Xavier insisted with more emphasis.

“Is this everything?” Spartacus emphatically interrupted, taking the leather pouch.

The hinges on the front door continued to loosen and with each new thump the

door opened just a small fraction more. Xavier’s wife began to cry and shiver under the

stress. Though her husband cared for her dearly, he understood that the order’s cause

meant more than even her safety.

He turned to Spartacus, “I have some other papers hidden in the kitchen. Come

with me.”

“Who are these people?” Xavier’s wife cried out.

“We are here under the direct orders of Duke Theodor,” a voice from behind the

front door insisted, the clamoring momentarily stopped. “Adam Weishaupt, come out.”

Xavier’s wife quickly went over to the door and began to fumble with the lock.

She respected the authorities and certainly wanted no trouble with the Duke. Whoever her

husband was harboring at this moment needed to leave.

“No!” shouted Xavier as he turned in disbelief to see his wife begin to unlatch the

door.

He attempted to stop her but Spartacus grabbed him by the shoulder. “The other

papers,” Spartacus shouted. “I must have the other papers!”

“But—” Xavier was cut off as Spartacus shoved him towards the kitchen.

The door to the rear of the house smashed open, leaving pieces of wooden shards

all over the floor. Soldiers in long blue overcoats carrying bayonet rifles in their hands

came barging through and into the storage room. The room was cluttered, wet from the

storm, and blanketed in total darkness, which proved to be Xavier’s best defense.

One of the soldiers began to shout in agony as his companion accidentally

bayoneted his leg upon tripping.

“Move it,” a boisterous voice from the rear urged, grabbing the fallen soldiers and

attempting to bring them to their feet on the slippery floor.

“Take this,” Xavier insisted, removing the pistol out from his nightshirt pocket.

“It will provide only one shot. Make it count.”

Spartacus took the weapon but again insisted, “What about the other papers?”

“There is no time,” Xavier responded, “Go down…”

“Where is he?” a voice echoed from the hallway. “Where are you hiding Adam

Weishaupt?”

A weak voice responded, “Some man just took my husband into the kitchen.”

“I have a horse ready just outside the wine cellar, in a stall I placed there in case

of an emergency.” Xavier continued as he began to perspire under the stress. “There are

two days’ worth of supplies and some money strapped to the saddle.”

“But the papers,” Spartacus insisted. “They must not fall into anyone else’s

hands.”

Two soldiers suddenly appeared next to the kitchen. “We found him!” one of

them yelled.

Xavier quickly handed his friend the lantern and rushed over to the soldiers,

hoping to use his body as a shield and give his friend an extra second to escape. “Go

now!” he insisted.

Spartacus took the lantern and immediately smashed it against the kitchen table

covered in fine linen as Xavier ran over to the soldiers with his arms spread, hoping to

block their pursuit. Flaming oil from the lamp spewed out upon the table and onto the

walls upon impact, catching them on fire.

Xavier looked back in horror as his house was consumed by flames, while his

friend, still holding the base of the lantern, slowly backed away towards the wine cellar.

What’s he doing?

Spartacus knew there was no other option. If the remaining Illuminati papers in

the house somehow became public, it could compromise the entire movement. France

would remain under its tyrannical rule from the king; all of Europe would remain masked

in darkness.

The soldiers began to push past Xavier as he stood motionless. He had grown up

in this home, and was the fourth generation of Zwecks to live there. All his belongings

and generations worth of memories were turning to ash.

The soldiers stopped their pursuit as Spartacus pulled out the pistol Xavier had

given him from his pocket. Taking close aim, he fired. A puff of black smoke

momentarily obscured his vision. The bullet directly hit its mark, piercing the man’s heart

and sending him tumbling backwards.

Mortally wounded, Xavier fell towards the soldiers who did nothing to stop him

from falling on the hard wooden floors. Xavier struck the ground as blood poured from

his chest. Letting out a single grunt, he lost consciousness before he could understand

what had just transpired.

Spartacus ran down into the wine cellar. The reflection from the burning fire in

the kitchen gave him just enough light for him to see his way back towards a set of steps

in the back of the room. Though he had just murdered a close friend and brother of the

order, he had no time to lament or second guess his actions. The importance of the

Illuminati movement far outweighed the significance of one man’s life or worldly

possessions—Xavier’s death was for the greater good of all mankind.

The soldiers followed Spartacus in quick pursuit. With their bayonets pointed

forward, they ran through the fire-lit kitchen and towards the stairs.

Spartacus heard the soldiers in pursuit; they were closing in on him. Pushing up

on a door at the top of the steps, he ascended into a covered barn with an already saddled

horse seemingly awaiting his arrival.

A few already burning lanterns in the stall provided just enough illumination for

him to see. He then quickly unlatched the barn’s only door and mounted the horse. A

bluster of wind blew the door open just as Spartacus began to ride towards it.

Seeing their target attempting to ride away, one of the soldier’s took aim with his

rifle before he ascended the final step of the wine cellar. With only one shot and his

fellow companion still behind him, he knew the bullet needed to count. His orders were

to bring back Adam Weishaupt dead or alive. Dead would work just fine.

The rifle went off with a black puff of smoke.

The bullet passed through Spartacus’s dark overcoat, inflicting only a minor flesh

wound to his thigh. Barely noticing the pain, Spartacus put his head down and rode out

into the night. With the shield and two books safely secured, he knew the course of

mankind would be irrevocably changed from this moment forward.



Giveaway:

Stephen Martino is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and 5

copies of his book, THE HIDDEN REALITY!

Terms & Conditions:

 By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

 One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Amazon Gift Card

and five winners will be chosen to win an autographed copy of his book, The

Hidden Reality

 This giveaway begins April 4 and ends June 30.

 Winners will be contacted via email on July 1.

 Winners have 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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