Today I am super excited to welcome the fabulous Jacob Z. Flores to the blog. Jacob is here to share with us more about his new release, The Gifted One (which I reviewed yesterday and it was totally amazing). In addition to talking to us about the book, Jacob has also brought a great excerpt and a giveaway. So please join me in giving him a warm welcome!
What Makes a Seventh Son of a Seventh Son So Special?
For you Iron Maiden fans, I’m not referring to their awesome 1988 album. Yes, I was a metal head in my youth believe it or not. I loved the kickass guitar solos as well as the hot men with long hair who dressed in tight, leather pants. YUM!
But, no, this post isn’t about rock-n-roll. It’s about the mythological seventh son of a seventh son.
As some of you might already know, my latest novel The Gifted One deals with the subject of a seventh son. Matt Westlake doesn’t realize that tragedy has followed him since his birth because he is the seventh son of a seventh son, which makes him a powerful force for good. That is why demons have chased him since birth, trying to erase his potential threat from existence.
But why? What makes Matt’s bloodline so special?
First of all, the chance of being a seventh son of a seventh son is like one in a trillion. That number does not represent any official, scientific calculation, especially since math and I aren’t the best of friends.
But the facts do support such a statement.
In order to be a true seventh son, at least according to traditional mythos, there must be an unbroken line of male births, which means no girls can be conceived. To be a seventh son of a seventh son means the youngest male child must then produce another unbroken line of boys.
The odds of such an event are astronomical, thus my super scientific conclusion of one in a trillion.
The rarity of such a birth makes that child special, but the mythology behind that unique event also marks that child as someone truly blessed.
Those blessings are associated with the number seven, which has long been linked by religious scholars as an important number in the Bible and linked to many religious and mystical events. There have been the seven days of creation, the seven deadly sins, and the seven seals of revelation. It is an important number, one that denotes completeness and perfection. A child born with that many sevens in his bloodline makes him truly powerful according to lore.
He has the power of healing, foresight, and even mysticism.
However, with the good comes the bad. The number may also link that child to Satan, according to some beliefs. This means that this child has the potential to be a powerful force for good or evil.
That’s why heaven and hell are so interested in my character Matt. He’s a good boy who’s lived through a lot of tragedy. Heaven is hoping his true character will carry him through his trials while hell hopes to veer him onto the path of self-destruction.
His love for Gabriel could be what either saves or damns his soul.
I’d like to thank Joyfully Jay for agreeing to let me do a guest post as one of my stops on my blog tour promoting The Gifted One, which released from Dreamspinner on April 5.
I’ve provided a blurb and the excerpt below for those who’d like to read them, and I also wanted everyone to know that as part of my blog tour I’m holding a contest. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, and your name is entered to win a free electronic copy of The Gifted One. If a reader happens to follow all my blog stops, then she or he can leave a comment at the other sites a well. This means that someone could enter 7 times for a chance to win the book. At the end of the tour, a winner will be chosen and announced.
As his birthday approaches, Matthew Westlake fears more than just growing a year older. He fears never seeing another year at all. Each birthday brings a close call with death, leaving holes in his memory, recurring nightmares, and one more glimpse of his guardian angel. This birthday Matt must stand against ancient evils that have hounded him since birth, because he is a Gifted One—a seventh son of a seventh son.
Within Matt rests the unlocked potential of a force for good, but it also makes him a target. Being the Gifted One and dodging demonic attacks aren’t Matt’s only problems, though. He’s fallen in love with his protector, the Archangel Gabriel, and Heaven will condemn that love to save Matt’s soul. But Heaven doesn’t count on Gabriel loving Matt in return, defying divine law, and placing them in danger from demons and angels alike.
The minute his head hit the street, Matt’s breath left his body and stars suddenly rocketed into his field of vision. The world spun around and made him dizzy.
Rain continued to fall around him, splashing his face and getting in his mouth and nose. Each splatter of rain felt more like a slap across the face. Never before had rainfall hurt so much. It reminded him of what he sometimes did to unresponsive patients at the hospital. Gentle smacks to rouse the patient to consciousness.
The sudden sound of a car peeling toward him grabbed his attention. Even though it hurt to move, he turned his head to the left and watched as a black truck barreled down the road toward him.
He needed to get to his feet and get out of the way, but when Matt sat up, the world spun around even faster and he almost lost consciousness. He had a concussion and that meant he was going nowhere without someone to help him up.
Now only a few feet away, the truck continued toward him. Matt knew this was it. His number was up, and it was time for him to meet his maker. He just hoped his death wouldn’t break his grandmother’s heart. She had suffered enough loss in her life already.
Matt braced himself for the impact, but instead of metal slamming into him and tires crushing his bones, a blur of movement darted toward him through the rain. Someone he couldn’t see through his hazy vision lifted him off the pavement, before sidestepping the oncoming vehicle.
A flash of something bright flew from the stranger’s hands and hit the rear tires of the truck. In response, the vehicle skidded and lost control. It spun to the left before lurching forward and careening into the intersection, where an eighteen-wheeler T-boned the truck. The resulting impact caused the truck to split in half with a deafening crunch of metal.
“Good God!” Matt exclaimed as his vision cleared enough to see drivers exiting their cars in an attempt to rescue the man in the truck. It wasn’t until his feet once again touched the ground that he realized he had still been safely cradled in his savior’s arms.
Matt looked up at the man who saved him. When he saw him for the first time, his breath left him for the second time that day.
The man was stunning. His eyes looked like chipped fragments from the heavens. The radiant blue filled Matt full of awe and made him want to soar like a bird on the uplifting currents emanating from the man’s stare. Rivulets of rain fell from his jet-black, short-cropped hair, which matched the stubble that spread across his face. It made him look brooding, serious, and intimidating.
Matt, however, wasn’t fooled. Hidden behind the strong, chiseled face, that most would find unapproachable, he sensed only kindness and compassion. A rough exterior existed, no doubt. His chest was expansive, framed by massive shoulders and muscular arms. Packaged inside a black leather jacket and dark blue denim, he looked tougher than diamond, but Matt instinctively knew he had nothing to fear from this man.
He had risked his life to save him, and Matt knew he would do it again, if necessary.
“How’s your head?” the man asked. His voice sounded like a symphony.
“It hurts,” he replied. Although he forgot the pain for a few moments, the throbbing returned with a vengeance. “Good thing I’m a nurse. I know what to do.”
“I have no doubt.” The man reached up and placed his sizeable hands on each side of Matt’s head. After a few moments, the pain ebbed to a dull ache before disappearing all together.
“The pain’s gone. What did you do?”
“I did nothing,” his savior said before turning to leave as the heavens abruptly shut off the rainstorm.
“Wait a minute. Come back here.”
“Excuse me, sir, but are you okay?”
Matt turned to face a police officer. “I’m fine,” he told the officer. “But I have to go.”
“I’m afraid I can’t allow that. You need to answer some questions. And see a paramedic.” The officer glanced back across the street, where the man’s partner dealt with the accident.
“Listen, Officer Belton,” he said, reading the name on his tag. “I have to go find the man who saved me and thank him.”
Officer Belton’s eyes narrowed in concern. “The man who saved you?”
Matt nodded in reply and turned around only to find his savior had disappeared as suddenly as the rain.
“There wasn’t anyone else here, sir. I was in my patrol car across the street. I saw you fall down and the truck headed toward you. I tried to make it here as fast as I could, but you jumped out of the way at the last second. There was nobody else.”
The serious look on Officer Belton’s face told Matt that the policeman believed he was telling the truth. The problem was that Matt knew it wasn’t.
How was it possible for him to be saved by a man no one else could see?
You can buy The Gifted One here:
Become a part of Jacob Z. Flores’ social media, by visiting any of the following:
- Website/blog: http://jacobzflores.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jacob.flores2,
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JacobZFlores,
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5142501.Jacob_Z_Flores
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.
You can follow Jacob’s musings on his blog at http://jacobzflores.com or become a part of his social media network by visiting http://www.facebook.com/jacob.flores2, http://twitter.com/#!/JacobZFlores, or http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5142501.Jacob_Z_Flores.
Jacob is giving away a copy of The Gifted One to one lucky winner on his blog tour. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. (P.S. You must enter through Rafflecopter rather than leave a comment here).