Paranormal romance opens destiny's doorway with fatal prophecy 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
This exceptionally written fictional romance weaves together the themes of predestination, palmistry, dream travel, and destiny. Narrated by main character Rafael Valverde, this unique story grips the reader's attention as he lives through relationships with his manipulative father, his deceased mother, love connections, and friendships. 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.
C. Michael Bennis attended Complutense / Madrid for an academic year, then graduated with a Spanish major from the University of Colorado, where he lettered in football as a member of Colorado's 1961 Big 8 Championship and the 1962 Orange Bowl squad. In 1966, he graduated from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. C. Michael Bennis is bilingual and lives in Tucson, Arizona as a former advertising and toy industry executive. He has three published novels: Dangerous and Desirable (Oct.19,2013), Signs of Destiny (2012) and Rules of Engagement (2009), and he is currently editing his fourth novel between speaking engagements on creativity and novel writing.
Dangerous and Desirable has the Impact of a boxer's fist, the suspicion of a false identity and the grace of timeless love
Genre: Romance Suspense (Action): Julio Navarro is secretly regarded as the quintessential killer for hire when he is given the sanction on an equally dangerous female assassin. Killing was never personal for Julio, until now when he can't resist falling in love with the intended victim, Ziv Yadin, Mossad's top assassin. Julio rejects the Mossad mandate, and both Julio and Ziv are sanctioned with a death warrant, which would be a chilling undertaking for any killer since Julio and Ziv are the two most dangerous assassins on the planet.
Julio and Ziv's love affair is soon tested when Julio's former lover, Claudia Bazan, sends Julio a message "if you ever loved me, prove it now." Claudia faces immanent death in Culiacán at the hands of her boyfriend, Pedro Valdez, Mexico's most fearsome drug lord. So Julio travels to Culiacán, the most dangerous city in Mexico, to save a woman he no longer cares for. Soon Ziv follows to rescue the man she can no longer live without as violence, jealousy and passion await Julio and Ziv in the dangerous Culiacán cradle of drug trafficking.
The idea for the story came from DESPERADO, the 1995 film staring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. The chemistry between the two stars was the seed that germinated into Dangerous and Desirable.
Setting: New York City, Madrid, La Coruña, U.S. - Mexico Border, Culiacán, and Mazatlán.
C. Michael Bennis was featured on The Balancing Act Airing on Lifetime Television to discuss his romance novel Rules of Engagement on Nov. 19, 2010. Show Host Danielle Knox observed, "Michael is an award wining author who does not disappoint with his latest novel Rules of Engagement. It's a thrilling love story set in exotic locales, filled with mystery, twists, turns and of course passion and romance.
Signs of Destiny is a powerful love story where destiny shapes life's direction and meaning. Dying in a tragic automobile accident changed Rafael Valverde's life. Coming back from the dead afterward, and lying comatose for six weeks altered his perception. 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.
"Signs of Destiny" is in the genre of a Romantic novel. But is the deep romance with people or with Madrid? I found the personal romances, life. I found the romance with Madrid on par with some of the great writers such as Victor Hugo, perhaps a bit of Walt Whitman and other author/ travelers to distant places. "Destiny" is tinged with the talent of these writers and "Destiny's" author is obviously a fledgling following in these footsteps. This is his second book and he is finding his voice. I see each book becoming better and I hope his future writing becomes works to remember. Let's look at an example from "Destiny".
"I walked toward my apartment on Claudio Coello and early odors gusted out of cafes, breezed under open kitchen windows, and whisked out of bakeries. I could not recall the scents having ever been so strong. Madrid had not changed, but I had. The odors had been there but I was not concerned. I continued through the musk of sweat, the sickening sweetness of a cheap cigar, the pungent vapors of garlic and olive oil, the pleasant mist of imported perfume, the offensive cloud of cheap cologne, and the woodsy smell of juniper as it traveled outside the bars and around the city. Each odor worked its way into the street to preside over my homecoming. The mustiness of ancient apartments and the luncheon preparations of hidden tenants made me wonder if my life might have different had I been raised among strong odors."
I bought the book so I could underline some of the beautiful passages to read to friends. Search for the passages in this book and you will find them, they will make you think deeply. Perhaps, it is your destiny.
When I first opened this book I was quite excited to see that the prologue was set in Liverpool, UK in 1967. Anyone from the UK will understand the importance of this time period and this particular location, even those like myself who were not born until a few decades later! I was, however, a little confused in the beginning. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I struggled to connect with the characters we were introduced to, and I felt very hostile towards Alison after I read a little of her story (don't worry, I won't spoil it for you!). Anyway the confusion continued probably for the first three chapters, but then something clicked. I began to feel an emotional connection with the protagonist, Rafael Valverde, and I was left wondering just how the prologue fitted into the rest of the story, which was set mainly in Madrid. It kept me hooked and needing to know more. The story is written based on true-life experiences from the author, and he pours his passion into the words. The novel is both poetic and dramatic, while still believably human. It touches on issues that we as a culture are uncomfortable with, such as sickness, infidelity, and the human ego. This novel is both romantic and rough, and for that reason I highly recommend it.
I couldn't put down this fictional romance where a fortuneteller's forewarning, a horrible automobile accident and a comatose vision foreshadow the reunion of two star-crossed lovers. Narrated from the perspective of the main character, Rafael Valverde, this unique story grips the reader's attention as he lives through relationships with his manipulative father, his deceased mother, his star-crossed lover, a Cuban girlfriend and a young woman who saves his life and only speaks in bird-language.
Rafael is from pre-Castro Havana and the son of a powerful financier who attempts to control his son's life. The father's rejection after the accident frees the way for Rafael to pursue his mother's lineage of talented artists. Rafael's sketches and paintings often reflect the beautiful women of his life. His art reputation is 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.
Destiny is about loving and challenging relationships in Madrid during the last years Franco's dictatorship where the enchanting beauty of the city, its ancient heritage and its irascible inhabitants might propel you to visit Madrid. Pack Destiny to reread along the way and to have for pursuing the unforgettable places described in the book.
Maybe it was me, but I felt like the author was just trying to hard. Nothing about the storyline flowed very well and I could not seem to delve into the story the writer was trying so desperately to weave. I must abmit that I gave up on this book about a quarter of the way into it and I just could not force myself to pick it back up. This is rare, as I almost always want to see how the story ends - even if it is a train wreck, but not this time around. Maybe another reader will have an easier time getting through the establishment of the plot and developing a connection to the characters. I did not find the characters were identifiable nor did they have traits that i could easily relate to. It just all broke down for me and I did not finish this one. Better luck to the next reader, but for me this is a one star not recommended.