Depth of Deception by Alexander Galant
Welcome fellow readers to my final stop on the book tour hosted by Virtual Book Tour Cafe’! I have a guest blog and review to share with you, and hope you’ll enjoy learning more about Depth of Deception and the author Alexander Galant.
The year is 1982, and a beautiful young woman, dressed in Edwardian clothing, is found floating unconscious in the North Atlantic with a 1912 boarding pass to the RMS Titanic. Over in England, Callum Toughill, an insurance investigator, is assigned the case of a missing brooch that was stolen during a horrific, unsolved murder in 1909 Glasgow. He is chosen because it was his own grandfather who had botched the original investigation. Despite the painful family memory and likelihood that all evidence will be long gone, Callum dives in. As he begins to uncover the tangled truth that the missing brooch may have ended up on the ill-fated RMS Titanic, someone is one step ahead, trying to stop him. Miraculously the mysterious young woman, nicknamed ‘Myra’ because of the inscription on her locket, survives and awakes in a Manhattan hospital with no memory of who she is. Myra’s vague recollections are from the gilded age of 1912 and she is lost in the alien, harsh world of 1982. A respected and wealthy Titanic survivor named Edward Hoffman assists in exposing her as a fake, but the plan backfires and stirs up more details in Myra’s memory which include the fact that Edward may be her son. Is it a bizarre case of time-travel or an elaborate hoax?
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Practical advice for beginning writers.
What advice can I give to beginning writers that hasn’t been covered on the many writers blogs out there? Well, earlier in this virtual book tour, I said I learned that every writer should know their legal rights and that I would elaborate in another blog. Here it is:
A few years ago I was involved in a writing project with a good friend and fellow screenwriter. He managed to secure a good deal and his manager was going to represent us all. That in itself proved to be a conflict of interest. The manager e-mailed drafts of many contracts and other agreements. I did not study law so I didn’t understand the wording of it all. My good friend and collaborator told me what it all meant in a nutshell over the phone. Still I wasn’t sure. I thought I should get someone to look it over. The problem was I didn’t have extra money kicking around to pay a lawyer for legal advice. Add to that my co-writer calling me up the very next day, frantically stating, “If you don’t sign that by 5pm today, they’re going to replace you. I’m just trying to watch your back. If you don’t sign, you’ll be left out in the cold.”
I wish I knew then what I know now: it is your legal right to have adequate time to have a lawyer look at anything that will be legally binding. If anyone puts an unreasonable time limit on it or tries any sort of pressuring, it’s usually because they have something to hide and don’t want a lawyer to find it. But this was my friend of over ten years. We had worked so hard together for so long. He knew I had a family to support. He said he was watching my back. He wouldn’t screw me. Right? Wrong! No lawyer would have allowed me to sign these documents. But it was too late. I signed in good faith and that faith was totally misplaced.
To add insult to injury, one of the many contracts I had with him was a collaboration agreement, where he had me sign and fax only the signature page. Never do this! Sign the last page but insist that everyone initial every page and everyone needs to get a copy of the whole signed document with initials. Why? Because my ‘friend and partner’ changed the wording of another page that originally had us sharing the copyright at 50-50% to him owning 100%, which I discovered much later when I inquired about something else. He had my signature on the last page that made it appear that I agreed to that. Greed does strange things to people and friendship offers no protection from it.
Gone are the days of a handshake partnership, because in the end it comes down to your word against theirs and if there is nothing in writing, there is no protection for either party.
So, where could I have gone? There is the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in NYC that has a list of organizations within the USA, Canada & Australia that provide legal information to writers and artists: (http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/44-places-where-writers-and-other.html) There is also the Authors Guild Advocacy (www.authorsguild.org) that has a variety of services and resources.
There are economical ways out there to help you protect yourself. I thought it would cost too much at the time. But in the end, not having a lawyer has cost me more. Far, far more.
Author of Depth of Deception (A Titanic Murder Mystery)
If you liked the Titanic movie, you will surely enjoy reading Depth of Deception. It’s an imaginative twist on the original disaster. It brings the past and present together in ways you won’t anticipate.
Most of the characters and events are based on the true story. They are historically correct and researched in-depth to bring you a solid mix of fact and fiction.
Time travel is even a possibility. The mystery and murders will capture your attention until the end. Someone will go to any lengths, at any price, to protect their secret.
I learned more reading this modern-day historical depiction than you ever can from watching the three-plus hour feature film. Every chapter was spellbinding. I’d recommend Depth of Deception to any history or movie buff, or reader looking for an exciting mystery.
Edward glanced over to the opposite end of the room where the 1/144 scale model of the Titanic sat under glass. The RMS Titanic had been an obsession of his for most of his life. Most considered it unhealthy, but it was quite understandable since seventy years ago this month he and his family barely escaped from the sinking of the Titanic. While most survivors tried to forget the events of that horrendous night, Edward knew the truth: Those who survived the sinking of Titanic … never really escaped from it.
Edward felt himself shiver and glanced about. All warmth was drained from the room as clouds drowned out the rising sun. Edward’s gaze drifted to the television set. A prank? To what end? What purpose would the death of this poor woman serve? Edward turned back to the model of the ship. How ironic that this is happening now.
. . .
Three hundred miles away, on a different television screen, the image of the mysterious woman being wheeled on a gurney through the double doors of a hospital’s Emergency entrance was shown. From the television speaker, the voice of the reporter talked over the image on the screen, “The woman was found alone adrift on a wooden deck chair of a ship. She had no identification and only had a book and a child’s teddy bear clutched in her hands …”
The unsteady camera zoomed into the unconscious face of the woman.
His glass of brandy smashed on the hardwood floor. It couldn’t be!
Callum raced awkwardly from the Black Dragon Pub to the Church of St. George & St. Michael. He half expected to find Father Landon with his throat cut, his grandfather’s iron box missing, and the church in flames.
When he arrived at the Rectory, he discovered Father Landon making sandwiches in his kitchen.
“I have to get you out of here,” Callum said with urgency, peeking out the window through the orange curtains as a car drove by.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Father Landon said as he sliced some cheddar cheese. “The Lord watches over me. Besides, tomorrow’s Good Friday. I have a sermon to prepare. You need to sit for a moment and gather your wits.”
“You don’t understand,” Callum interrupted. “Something terrible has happened … You’re not going to believe what happened …”
“Belief is part of my job description,” Father Landon said as he cut the sandwich.
“I don’t even know where to begin!”
“Your ally in the police force was murdered and you’ve now been wrongfully accused of committing that crime.”
“No … worse …” Callum began. “The Detective Chief Inspector who … what? How did you know?”
“I have a television in the other room.”
“You watch the telly?”
“This is a Rectory, not a medieval monastery,” smiled the priest.
Callum slumped down on the chair. Slowly it was beginning to sink in that he was out of options. “How did this get so insane? I have to get out of here. They’re going to be looking for me.”
“I know,” replied Father Landon as he handed him a lunch bag with the sandwiches. “You’ll need to eat while you drive.”
“I wish there were more people like you,” Callum smiled meekly at the generosity. “I don’t even know where to go now. I’m ready to give up.”
“Then they win,” Father Landon replied.
“Who are ‘They’?”
“Whoever murdered Agatha Gilcrest, blamed an innocent man for that crime, ruined your grandfather’s name and started the same cycle of blood all over again. History is repeating itself. It’s time for you to stop it.”
“How? This person seems to have unlimited resources and operates above the law. All of my allies are being killed off one by one. I’m alone now.”
“You are never alone. And whoever this evil person is, they are not above all law.”
Callum sighed. He knew this priest would dish out some sort of fortune cookie philosophy, but Callum was a realist. There was no room in his life or line of work for blind faith.
“Whoever this evil is,” Father Landon began, “they’re afraid of you.”
“Afraid of me? I don’t think so. Right now I’m scared shi … silly.”
“Somewhere along the way, you have uncovered something — some dark secret that has made them come out of hiding after seventy years. Something that they’re willing to kill for, to keep it in the dark. You must bring them into the light,” said Father Landon, resting his hand on the old iron box. “The alternative is to spend the rest of your life running from this evil and the law, branded a murderer.”
“I’m not a crusader. I’m an insurance investigator,” Callum said dejectedly. “What you’re asking is impossible.”
“You are the grandson of Inspector John Toughill,” Father Landon said with authority. “It’s time to bring the justice he sacrificed for. Your job is to take care of what is possible, and trust God with the impossible …”
“I’m sorry, Father,” Callum replied sheepishly. “I don’t believe in miracles … certainly not after what has happened over the last few days.”
“Because you’ve lost your faith.”
“I don’t think I ever had it,” Callum mumbled. “What is faith, anyway?”
“For one who has no faith no explanation is possible. But if you have faith, no explanation is needed.”
Alexander Galant was the historical researcher for the novel ‘Dracula the Un-Dead‘, which was on the New York Times Best Sellers list in October 2009. Alexander also co-wrote the screenplay adaptation that was optioned briefly by Jan de Bont and adapted the novel into a dramatic stage reading for the Toronto book launch of Dracula the Un-Dead, which brought out the highest turnout for any event on the book tour.
Alexander has also written and directed several short films including “The Jigsaw Puzzle“, which won the Festival Buzz Award (most talked-about film) in the New York Independent Film Festival; “First Light“, Winner Bronze Remi Award for Fantasy Horror at the WorldFest Houston, USA, Special Commendation Award at the Festival of Fantastic Films, UK, and Best Technical Achievement from the International Festival of Cinema and Technology; “The Missing Piece“, Winner Silver Remi Award for Suspense Thriller at the WorldFest Houston, USA; and co-wrote and directed “Star Wars: Blasted Behavior“, a finalist in the Atom Films/LucasFilm Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge (George Lucas was one of the judges), which also won the Best Foreign Sci-Fi Film Award at the New York International Film Festival and continues to make the festival circuit this year.
Alexander’s love of historical details can also be seen in some of the stage productions he has directed, such as the silent film era of “Singin’ in the Rain” (Act-Co Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in Live Theatre), a 50-year span in “Love Letters” and the World War II Amsterdam annex for “The Diary of Anne Frank“.
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