Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guest Post and Excerpt The Dark Side of Truth by Gary A. Caruso

Published: September 27th, 2013


Soon after fifteen-year-old Will Reed and his friend Mason stumble over a corpse in the woods, Will’s ex-con father is arrested for the murder—and it’s Will’s fault. With the police about to close their investigation, Will must discover the identity of the ruthless killer before his father wrongfully goes back to prison. 

In the spirit of City of Ember and The Goonies, it’s the discovery of a coded message that starts Will and Mason on an unexpected path of mystery and danger. Will hopes finding an ancient relic will guide him to the truth and prove his father’s innocence. Unfortunately, Will soon learns he isn't the only one searching for this valuable object. It’s a race to follow hidden clues until Will is confronted with a harsh reality. His determination to help his father has jeopardized the lives of the people he cares for. With a cold-blooded killer on his trail, Will must choose between the safety of his friends and family or freedom for his father.

Does Truth Always Lead to Redemption?

By Gary A. Caruso, author of The Dark Side of Truth and Our Souls to Keep
(MB's topic)
As a young, mischievous boy, most of my search for redemption was really just temporary forgiveness. A simple, heart-felt apology kept me from being grounded on weekends. That was probably because I didn’t do anything very serious. Sure I drove my parents and teachers crazy, and I even hit that girl in the nose with a chalk eraser. I swear I was aiming for my friend across the room. No apology would have saved me that time. The sight of red blood and white chalk was dramatic, which of course led to a dramatic suspension.

I didn’t understand that true redemption didn’t come from a creative excuse, a quick joke, or the laughter from my friends. As I struggled to correct my life’s path in a positive direction, I learned that redemption didn’t come from my parents or my teachers. My redemption was personal, and it only came after I was willing to acknowledge the truth about me—that the person I was creating was no more than the sum of my actions, even the small, mischievous ones. For me, this truth led to my own redemption.

But what if I had done something horrible, something mindlessly stupid that changed someone else’s life forever? What if my actions meant that someone innocent might go to prison—or worse?

In The Dark Side of Truth, Will Reed is faced with this situation. And the person’s life he affects is his estranged, ex-con father. After finding a corpse in the woods, Will accidentally leaves physical evidence on the body which leads the police to his father. For Will, redemption is firmly bounded to the truth. Who really committed the murder?

Yet, redemption is personal for Will. He doesn’t seek to remove the weight of guilt from his shoulders. For Will, redemption isn’t self-serving. It isn’t about feeling better or breathing easier. Freedom and safety for his father is the only redemption Will can accept. The truth can lead to redemption in either situation, but, just like you and me, Will gets to choose what redemption means for him.


After returning the box to its hiding place, he reached for his phone, rotating it to different angles. “The next cache is about a mile up the trail. Once we loop around, we’ll stay to the left when the path splits.”
“I’ll follow you.” I didn’t want to admit it, but I was having more fun than I ever thought I would. It was like having a treasure map where “X” marked the spot, except the treasure was a bunch of worthless stuff.
We continued up the path for about a mile. Just like he said, we looped around and headed back on the Confederate side of the trail. After another thirty minute hike, it was time to turn left. That was until we noticed that turning left meant navigating a huge section of fallen trees and thick brush with thorns.
“Now what?” I asked.
“Well, it isn’t much of a trail, but the cache must be over there. The hint has to do with a pile of leaves.” He took a closer look at the trees, rocks, and fallen leaves that blanketed the area. “I think it might be by that big lump of leaves, but the map says it’s a little farther away.”
“Should we check it out?” I asked, hoping he would say no.
“I’ll search this area. Go ahead another hundred yards and see if you can find an easier path to the leaves.”
I started alone up the trail. Mason yelled a couple of times. He must have been knee-deep in thorns. I grinned. It was the first time I had heard him use profanity. I kept moving forward, but my trail narrowed and roots stuck through the dirt like speed bumps. With my attention searching for piles of leaves, I tripped on a root, falling to my hands and knees. As I brushed away the dirt, I looked in Mason’s direction, hoping he didn’t see how uncoordinated I was. The way the trail curved, he was out of sight. There was no way he saw me fall. I continued forward, keeping my eyes on my feet.
My head snapped around when I heard Mason scream. It wasn’t the same, I found the cache scream of joy as before. The pitch of his voice was high and sharp. He was panicking, yelling for help. I couldn’t imagine what could have scared him this much. I sprinted in his direction. The trail led me around a dense area of brush. Then I spotted him. He sat on the ground, frantically driving his feet into the forest floor, pushing himself backwards, away from a pile of leaves.
“Calm down,” I said. “Are you hurt?”
“Get him off me! Help! Get him off me!”
“What is it, a bug?” As I reached for his hand to pull him to his feet, I caught a closer glimpse of his face. He was pale, almost transparent. It was like something had scared him enough to freeze his blood. His mouth hung open and his eyes stretched wide, strained on something in front of him.
“Mason, you’re freaking out. What’s wrong?”
“Oh my God, Will! Help me! Please help me!” Tears now flooded down his face.
I moved behind him, hoping to recreate his point of view. Then I saw what had frightened him. Partially covered by a mound of wet leaves, a light, chalky grey hand, the color of sidewalk cement, lay flat across the ground. It almost touched Mason’s leg, like it was trying to grab at his ankle. I held my breath and my heart thumped in my ears as I followed the shirt-covered arm until I saw the dull, lifeless eyes of someone I knew.

“It’s Mr. Peters.”

About the author:
Gary Caruso lives in northern Virginia with his wife Jill, but their favorite place is in Ohio with their three beautiful grandchildren. Although Gary is exhilarated when he sits down to write, teaching middle school science is his first love. He’s passionate about empowering students to make thoughtful decisions and positive choices in life. Gary enjoys reading, especially fiction that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy. He never imagined becoming a writer until an ordinary car ride on a spring day jolted an unlikely thought into his head. Gary’s early experience writing is a reminder that no matter how intimidating the challenge, action and determination are the foundations for fulfilling any dream. Gary has an insatiable love for writing, a blessing he’s excited to share with his readers.

Event organized by Lady Amber's Book Tours

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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