Set against the tumultuous history of the twentieth century, Howie follows the life of Howie and the Kretza family from the early 1900’s in Jersey City through two world wars and the challenges of the Great Depression. From the sweltering machine shops of West Side Avenue to the docks on the Hudson, from the exhausting work of commercial fishing to the sprawling Colgate company, this sweeping tale spans decades in the life of a family that keeps punching despite the odds.
George, the patriarch, and his wife, Emma, have four children, all unique and headed in different directions. Howie, under the tutelage of his father and, later, a hard-nosed gym owner, pursues a career as a professional fighter while working backbreaking jobs in a growing city. As his training takes him closer to his first pro fight, Howie must choose between his dream of being a champion and the wishes of a loving mother who doesn’t want to see her son embark upon a career she considers savage.
From one generation to another, from the battlefields of Europe to the war in the Pacific, from the glitz and glitter of Broadway and Hollywood to the coal mines of Carbon County, Pennsylvania, and from the restaurant business in a burgeoning city to a dank prison purported to be haunted by the ghosts of executed Irish laborers called Molly Maguires and at least one demonic entity, Howie will sweep readers through the lives of three generations of colorful and realistic characters guaranteed to elicit a panoply of emotions and a few chills for good measure.
Two-thousand years ago Jesus Christ suffered an agonizing, bloody death, flogged and crucified for being a revolutionary who claimed to be the Son of God. Now, two thousand years later, his wounds are bleeding again, but in a world of hoaxes and computer-generated images, will a boy who bleeds the blood of Christ be enough to bring change where it’s needed the most?
Twelve-year-old Randy Redd is no ordinary kid. He’s a genius who loves all things Biblical, loves debating the proselytes who go from door to door to convert the heathens, and has an understanding of the intricacies of faith beyond even those in the priesthood. On Good Friday, the day of Christ’s crucifixion, a remarkable thing happens. Randy Redd bleeds copiously from his hands and feet, the same as Jesus did two-thousand years ago and levitates as if hanging from an invisible cross.
Modern medicine cannot explain the bleeding, Father Antonio Antonelli, sent by the Vatican to investigate the alleged miracles cannot debunk them, and with the help of Father Jonah Quata, an Episcopal priest with whom Randy has forged an unbreakable bond, Randy tries to come to terms with being the latest stigmatic.
After a close brush with death and the cessation of his bleeding, Randy embarks on a journey to becoming a priest, a journey that will lead him to a dying inner-city parish in an area controlled by a vicious gang lord. What happens to a miracle of God when his faith is tested to the breaking point, and will faith be enough, or will only another miracle suffice to rescue an old church in a dying neighborhood from a modern evil?
It is a good day for an earthquake, or the destruction of a corrupt state government. Four angry and cynical old women have the power to do it, and do not believe in procrastination.
New Jersey has been sinking into a cesspool of political corruption unlike anything ever seen. Taxes are among the highest in the nation and people have had enough, including four old women with remarkable powers guided by an invisible force since the day they were born. Margie, Ursula, Sadie, and Emma have been broken. Everything and everyone they have ever loved has been ripped from their lives. Now, they have discovered each other and agree that caring carries a big price. Led to a strange old house, the four women come face-to-face with the being that has controlled them. It is time to choose. Join with her and pool their powers or suffer the consequences.
I’ve heard it said that life is a sculptor, and every person one meets on the journey from the stroller to the grave is a tool. Some are hammers and some are chisels. One may be an abrasive and another a buffing cloth. They all have one thing in common. They cannot shape without destroying. A chip here and a whack there, a little grinding, some polishing, maybe a good crack with a hammer to knock off a chunk. This is one of the conundrums of life. If we are lucky, our finished selves may be masterpieces, but we are just as likely to be reduced to piles of rubble. There are three possibilities; to become a work of art placed on a pedestal and displayed in a museum to proudly stand before the admiring masses, to be a broken statue never to achieve a place in the annals of art, or to be broken into a pile of dust and stone and tossed in the dumpster. Yes. Life is like a sculptor, but not a very good one. It’s no Michelangelo. The artist named Life has fucked up more times than Micky the Angel ever did or would have if he’d sculpted ten billion statues.
Victoria Strix is eight and a half months pregnant when she learns her husband has been killed on his way home from active duty. While on the beach in Atlantic City, she is attacked, gang-raped, and murdered by a vicious gang. The Ancient One, who most call God, is tired of the screams that have been reaching his ears since the dawn of humanity. Victoria’s child, born in the ocean as she is dying, is transformed into the first human vessel of divine wrath. With powers and the help of Micky, an archangel in training, Victoria’s son James will lock horns with some of the most heinous villains imaginable, including an incarnation of evil deep in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
Is the sky falling? Not quite. But something is.
On a sunny day in June, Rodney Clendenin greets the day and feels a pain in his wrist. It’s a thin, hair-like needle that seems to have fallen from the sky. It is the first of a storm that will cover the globe. No one and no place is safe.
Needles chronicles the tribulations of the human race through the experiences of three people from three different parts of the United States as they face everyone’s greatest fear—the extinction of planet Earth.
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