Friday, December 13, 2013

Gary Ponzo - Saving the World is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

Gary Ponzo Is an Award-Winning and Pushcart-Prize nominated author. He is the author of the Nick Bracco series of thrillers.

Saving the World

Author: Gary Ponzo


Award-Winning author, Gary Ponzo, brings us a mind-bending thriller about Margo Sutter, a proven teenage clairvoyant who hears invisible aliens planning to destroy the planet. The world is in a frenzy debating whether to prepare for the apocalypse or lock up Margo in an institution. When she seeks help from noted psychiatrist Michael Bryant, he’s drawn into a maze of deception, lies and intrigue. Is Margo who she claims to be? A priest friend of Bryant believes Margo is an angel come down to save our souls. An FBI agent believes she’s aligned with the aliens and needs to be killed. As Bryant and Margo flee from the agent’s team of killers, they search for the truth behind the voices and what it means for our future. Who is Margo Sutter? And will she survive long enough for the world to find out? This heart-pounding drama starts on page one and doesn’t stop until the epic conclusion to this suspenseful new thriller.


Chapter 1

The flashing red lights called to him like a lighthouse to a lost sailor.

Michael Bryant rushed toward them, his temples dripping with sweat. His leather shoes clacked on the sidewalk as the approaching storm system spit drops of rain on his face. His pace quickened. He couldn’t lose another one. Not now. Not this soon after the accident that took his family from him.

Bryant dodged the early lunch crowd along Arizona Avenue like a running back, his eyes always on the flashing lights and hoping he wasn’t too late. Yellow tape swung in the breeze between police barricades while uniformed officers waved back the crowd gathering behind the semicircle of police cruisers.

Two news helicopters hovered in the distance, their camera crews recording the night’s lead story. As Bryant ran up to the barricades, a burly policeman headed him off and shoved an open hand into his sternum.

“Sorry, sir,” the officer said. “We need this area cleared.”

“I’m his doctor,” Bryant blurted, finally seeing the front of the car halfway through the entrance to the bank, smoke wafting from the front end. The shattered glass and opened driver’s side door chronicled the event.

“There’s EMTs on site,” the officer said. “We’ve got it covered.”

“No, I’m his psychiatrist. He needs me.” Someone whistled from behind the officer and Bryant got what he needed. A familiar face. Detective Sam Meltzer was squatted behind the wheel well of one of the cruisers and gave another whistle until the officer saw him waving the doctor through. Bryant ducked under the tape and hustled the remaining thirty yards. Meltzer gestured for him to stay down until Bryant was crouched next to him behind the security of the cruiser, still huffing from the five-block sprint.

“Who told you?” Meltzer said.

“His mother,” Bryant said, breathless. “He called her to say goodbye and she called me.”

“So he’s one of yours?”

Bryant nodded. Then Meltzer gave him the look he’d always despised. The look of pity that saturated every face he’d seen for the past four months. The look that said, “I’m sorry about your wife and daughter,” and did nothing but remind him of the phone call. The last time he would ever hear a phone ring without flinching.

“You shouldn’t be here,” Meltzer said. “It’s too soon—”

“I’m familiar with the calendar,” Bryant snapped, taking the sympathy right out of Meltzer’s eyes.

“But I thought you were leaving?”

“I am,” Bryant said, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder toward the bank.

“Some of my patients aren’t all that thrilled with my decision.”

“You think he’s doing this for attention?”


Bryant leaned back against the car and his right arm touched a leg. He looked up and saw a man in a navy blue jumpsuit cradling a rifle over the hood of the car, training his open eye through the sight. His face seemed strained.

“I’ve got an open shot, Detective,” the man said without moving a muscle. Bryant turned to Meltzer, “What’s this?”

“He’s got a gun in there, Mike. I’m sorry, but I can’t afford to let anyone get hurt.”

“He’s only eighteen.”

“He’s got twelve hostages.”

“Has he harmed anyone?”

“Not yet.”

“So tell me, what’s he asking for?”

Meltzer frowned. “He wants us to take all the money from the bank and give it to the poor people of Chandler.”

Bryant rolled his eyes. “Wow, I’m surprised you haven’t killed him already.”

The man in the jumpsuit whispered, “Just tell me when, Detective.”

Bryant wanted to rip the gun from the guy’s hands and pound him with it.

Meltzer must’ve noticed because the detective’s face softened. “Not yet, Roger.” Then he turned to Bryant. “What’s his condition?”



Bryant nodded. A sharp wind sprayed sideways raindrops across his face.

“Is he dangerous?”

Bryant hesitated.


Bryant let out a breath. “Probably.”

“What meds is he taking?”

Bryant looked away and Meltzer cursed under his breath.

“Can’t you ever prescribe medication for any of these kids? Just once?”

“I was trying to correct the distortion his mind had created and medication was simply going to thwart that progress.”

Meltzer looked up. “What’s he doing, Roger?”

“Nothing,” the man said. “Just sitting there.”

“Is he pulling at the hair on the back of his head?” Bryant asked.

The sharpshooter turned away from his rifle sight and looked down at Bryant. “How’d you know?”

Bryant got to his knees and Meltzer grabbed his arm.

“Where are you going?” Meltzer said.

Bryant put one foot under him and leaned into Meltzer. “There’s still time,” he said. “I can get him out of this. I know which buttons to push.”

Meltzer was shaking his head, but his eyes weren’t agreeing with his mind. He simply kept his hand on Bryant’s arm while he seemed to play things through.

“Listen,” Bryant said, “It’s no coincidence that he chose a bank to drive into. His father is Charles Davenport.”

Meltzer’s eyebrows rose.

“Yes, that Charles Davenport. The guy who swindled millions from innocent investors. Now, Jeff is in there telling you to take money from the bank and give it to poor people. He’s trying to right a wrong. He’s not a bad kid, just confused.”

Meltzer released Bryant’s arm and began unbuttoning his shirt.

“What are you doing?” Bryant asked.

“I’m giving you my Kevlar jacket to wear.”

Bryant held up his hands. “No, that won’t work.”

“Why not?”

“Because the minute he suspects I’m hiding something from him, we’re done. His father is a big liar and Jeff despises people who try to deceive him. I stray from the truth even slightly and he’ll know it.”

Now Meltzer’s mouth tightened, wanting to argue, but maybe realizing he was low on options. There was a small chirp. The detective glanced down at the cell phone in his left hand and frowned. He looked up, apologetically. “I gotta take this.”

Bryant froze momentarily at the sound, then righted himself and lifted up enough to peek through the cruiser window. Jeff sat on the floor of the bank, his back up against the teller wall. His head was down in deep thought. Bryant knew the boy couldn’t see or hear anyone right now. His mind was miles away, and there was a gap available for someone who knew what to do with it.

“Yes, honey,” Meltzer said into the phone. There was a pause, then “Listen, sweetie, I’m just a little busy right now.”

Another pause. “I know, baby, I’ll call you right back I promise.”

Meltzer looked up at Bryant with pleading eyes, his index finger in the air.

“I understand, darling, there’s no reason to fret. It’s only a storm system. Nothing more.”

Bryant stood up and listened while Meltzer finished the call. The detective put his phone in his pocket and stood next to Bryant.

“Ever since Kyle was born, she worries about every little thing,” Meltzer said. He looked up at the sky. “This rain cloud’s got people whacked out.

This is Arizona, the Valley of the Sun, but three days without sunshine and people lose control.”

“I’m going in,” Bryant told him.

Meltzer’s silence was all he needed. Bryant glanced at the sharpshooter, then back at the detective. “Tell the cowboy to give me some time.”

Meltzer nodded. “You think you’re in trouble though, you tap your head.

That’ll be the signal for us to get involved. Okay?”

Bryant was around the cruiser now, slowly walking toward the opening created by Jeff Davenport’s car. He was careful to walk with his arms away from his body. Unthreatening.

“Hey, Mike,” Meltzer called to him in a low voice.

Bryant turned to see a harsh look in the detective’s eyes.

“If I turn over a dead body in there,” Meltzer said. “It better not have your face on it.”

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Author's Blog: Strong Scenes
Twitter: @AuthorPonzo
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Author Description: Author Gary Ponzo began his writing career over a decade ago by writing short stories. He quickly discovered a knack for the short form. In just five years he'd published seven short stories in various publications, two of which were nominated for the very prestigious Pushcart Prize.

His first novel, "A Touch of Deceit," took five years to write and one to pick clean. The story was born from his childhood experiences working in his father's candy store in Brooklyn, NY. His father was Sicilian and became friendly with some local members of a different kind of Sicilian family. Since Gary was just fifteen at the time, these family members would make sure he was protected whenever he would work late at night by himself. He soon discovered a side to the mafia not many people knew. It was these relationships which caused him to write about Sicilian FBI agent, Nick Bracco, who recruits his mafia cousin to chase down the world's most feared terrorist.

"A Touch of Deceit," went on to win the 2009 Southwest Writers Novel Contest, Thriller category. He is currently working on the 5th book in the Nick Bracco series as well as trying to create world peace in his spare time. Gary currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Jennifer and two children, Jessica and Kyle.

Author's Book List
A Touch of Malice - A Nick Bracco Thriller
From Award-Winning and Pushcart-Prize nominated author Gary Ponzo comes another Nick Bracco thriller.

"These Nick Bracco books are really tight engaging thrillers. Great stuff," Creighton Rothenberger, screenwriter for the blockbuster movie, "Olympus has Fallen."

While filming a documentary, the President's brother is captured deep within the Amazon Rainforest by a Colombian cartel. The President calls the one person who has the underground criminal contacts needed to fight this type of vicious enemy. FBI agent, Nick Bracco. Once again Nick relies on his mafia-linked cousin Tommy to help with the operation. When Tommy recruits an assassin to join the rescue team, the rollercoaster comes off the track and everyone becomes a target.

Order the Book From: Amazon
A Touch of Deceit - Nick Bracco Series #1
Winner of the Southwest Writers Novel Contest, Thriller category. FBI agent Nick Bracco can't stop a Kurdish terrorist from firing missiles at random homes across the country. The police can't stand watch over every household, so Bracco recruits his cousin Tommy to help track down this terrorist. Tommy, however, is in the Mafia. Oh yeah, it gets messy fast. As fast as you can turn the pages.

Book Trailer: A Touch of Deceit
Order the Book From: Amazon
A Touch of Greed - A Nick Bracco Thriller
From Award-Winning and Pushcart-Prize nominated author, Gary Ponzo, comes another Nick Bracco thriller.

NY Times Best Selling author John Locke: "Gary Ponzo's thrillers are so powerful, the government should use them as a renewable source of energy."

Ed Knight, Journey Books: "Gary Ponzo is a talented writer whose fiction contains a sharp wit all fiction readers should hear."

In this high-octane thriller, Nick Bracco, FBI's top anti-terrorist agent is drawn into the hostile environment of the Arizona-Mexico border. A member of his task force is ambushed by Mexican assassin, Antonio Garza, known as, "The Butcher," while trying to prevent the cartel staffer from transporting a dirty bomb into the US. As the agent is on the verge of slaughter, he calls Bracco with one last plea: Kill him.

Garza, however, uses his cartel money to reach over the border and secure a network of US law enforcement to be on his payroll. Bracco is forced to track him down with just a couple of agents he can trust, plus his cousin Tommy.

Tommy is a shrewd character with extensive Mafia contacts who offer their underground assistance as Bracco spearheads the deadly game of Sicilians versus the cartels.

Can Nick Bracco track down Garza before the assassin finds him first?

Order the Book From: Amazon
A Touch of Revenge - A Nick Bracco Thriller
From Award-Winning author Gary Ponzo comes the sequel to the wildly successful thriller, A Touch of Deceit.

FBI agent Nick Bracco heads an elite group of anti-terrorist specialists known as The Team. When his team members start showing up dead, Nick suspects a Kurdish terrorist who has revenge on his mind. As the terrorist closes in, Nick resorts to using an unconventional weapon--his cousin Tommy. Tommy has a quick wit and valuable connections throughout the Mafia.

Sometimes even the bad guys can be patriots.

"This is a wild and exciting ride."
Bob Moats, author of the Jim Richards Murder Novels

"Gary Ponzo's thrillers are so powerful, the government should consider using them as a renewable source of energy."
John Locke, #1 bestselling author of the Donovan Creed series.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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