From the Author
Life and love, death and destiny blend with sorrow, kindness and triumph in Michael Bennis' "Signs of Destiny"
TUCSON, Ariz. - "Signs of Destiny" (ISBN 1467949280) by C. Michael Bennis is a powerful love story where destiny shapes life's direction and meaning.
Dying is what changed Rafael Valverde's life. Coming back from the dead and lying comatose for six weeks altered his perception, but the death of the young Spanish actress he was beginning to love shattered his emotions. Before he was a chameleon masquerading as a businessman. Now he is weakened and confused as he pursues his mother's genetic lineage of talented artists.
Enter Alison Amavis, the sylphlike young woman Rafael first saw in a state of unconsciousness. Her sea green eyes conceal a prophesized demise that a Spiritualist in Liverpool begrudgingly revealed to 17-year old Alison: she will die a horrible death in her 24th year. However before death she will know a love of unfathomable magnitude. It will be the sensation of truly coming home after a forever longing to be there. Rafael is that prophesied love.
A series of small serendipities bring four individuals together in Madrid during Franco's last years to pursue inner discovery as the troubled 23-year old Alison rejects Rafael in an attempt to lengthen her life. They pursue other beaus, while the sand drains from Alison's tiny hourglass.
Rafael is from pre-Castro Havana, where the Valverdes made cigars, and the Ballesteros made rum and the friendship between the two families was as sensible as 11-year-old rum and an export cigar after dinner. Both parents always expected Pilar and Rafael to marry until Pilar jilted Rafael. Now Pilar is in Madrid to resolve the unfulfilled adolescent love and with a terrified request.
Destiny is also about relationships: the father with his only son, the four dear misfits that share an unconditional lifestyle in Madrid, the never fulfilled adolescent love, the unconditional love of a mysterious young woman and the frustrated genius of an artist with the process of creating.
"I think my readers will enjoy the narrative of love in destiny's grasp, where human willpower is able to find romance and happiness despite ominous forces beyond their control," Bennis says.
Bennis strongly believes destiny has a particular way of carefully forcing individuals into their true calling, and uses "Signs of Destiny" to portray this message to a larger audience.
"Signs of Destiny" is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
From the Inside Flap
His authoritative father always demanded that Rafael become financier and assume power of his elaborate estate. But Rafael chooses to follow the genetically-rooted artistic talents he has inherited from his maternal side, and he studies art instead. The father and son become further estranged after Rafael's nearly fatal car crash. When the pendulum of time again swings, it becomes evident that they are each a unique blend of genetics and worldly influences and, at times, they are one and the same.
Rafael's sketches and paintings often reflect the beautiful women of his life. His art reputation becomes renown at an art show, where all of his paintings are sold except for the portrait of Spain's most popular actress, Gisele, which is declared priceless.
The nebulous images of dreams and the predictions by a palmist provide an intriguing paranormal element, threading its way throughout Signs of Destiny. The lives of Rafael's love interests are many. Alison, whose early death is predicted by chiromancy, and the attraction of Pilar to Rafael years ago as teenagers, add passion and dimension to his romantic relationships, and how they envelop people as destiny takes its course. Predictions of the characters' destinies abound with compelling accuracy. The human spirit triumphs in finding romance and pleasure despite the often rigid and dangerous powers of destiny.