Whenever I think of that beautiful, blue-skied morning on September 11, 2001, the word that best describes my feelings is utter helplessness.
There was nothing I could do to save all those people who were murdered by terrorist cowards.
There was nothing I could do to ease the pain and suffering of the families and friends of the victims.
I hate the word ‘victim.’ It’s so cold and impersonal. One of the ‘victims’ on 9/11, Danny Afflitto, was a close friend of my wife and mine. We were there with Danny’s wife Stacey as she saw the North Tower collapse with her husband still trapped inside.
I stood there gazing at a young woman who was forced to watch all of the hopes and dreams she had with her husband; all of the plans they had to raise their children and grow old together; and all of the friendship and love they had for one another crumble to the ground and turn to dust.
It made me feel totally helpless and ashamed … and angry … really angry … furious!
America’s enemies made it personal on 9/11. They murdered our dads and moms … our brothers and sisters … our sons and daughters … our husbands and wives … and our friends.
As a writer, I knew what I needed to do.
I needed to introduce a character who lost a loved one on 9/11 - someone who would go through the same trials of faith and who would battle the same kinds of depression and loneliness that the families and friends of victims did. Yet, while the rest of us have had to accept our feelings of helplessness and bury our rage, this character would take action and channel his fury in a positive and forceful way.
Enter Cris De Niro.
As opposed to most other heroes of modern thrillers, Cris De Niro isn’t a CIA operative or a former member of Special Forces, but you better not underestimate him. He’s an extraordinary guy from very ordinary beginnings. De Niro was born and raised in a tough, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. From his financial savvy and hard work, he becomes one of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers and youngest billionaires. Yet, even with all his money, in terms of his sensibilities, his love and devotion for his family and friends, De Niro remains ‘one of us.’
We’re introduced to Cris De Niro at a time in his life when things couldn’t seem to get any better for him. Though basically a shy guy, he was blessed with meeting and marrying his soulmate, Lisa. They have two young sons with one on the way and had moved from Manhattan to a nice estate in New Jersey, in order to raise them. About the only problem in Cris’s life at that time was that Lisa told him that he wasn’t spending enough time with their two young sons, Richard and Louis. She made him feel guilty about not being there for so many of their ‘firsts’ – their first steps … their first words ….
Even that was about to change though, because, at Lisa’s insistence, De Niro had just taken his oldest son to his first day of school. The experience profoundly affected him. He was intent on re-adjusting his priorities to place his sons first. That made him so excited on his way to work that he couldn’t wait to tell his wife about it. He decided he’d surprise Lisa by buying her flowers and taking her to breakfast, to thank her for the wake-up call.
By the time the idea came to him, he was already entering the city heading to his firm, but that was okay. That morning, Lisa just happened to be visiting her old co-workers at the World Trade Center.
At 8:46 a.m., that morning, Cris De Niro was just entering the North Tower of the World Trade Center, with a box of flowers for his wife who was on the 104th floor. The day was September 11, 2001. A day that would change the world
_The Watchman of Ephraim_ tells the story of how one man found inspiration from tragedy. A patriot that dedicates himself to doing what we couldn’t do on that beautiful, blue-skied morning – protecting the citizens of the United States from their enemies. Cris De Niro is a hero born from 9/11.
The reason why I’m telling you all this is because I’d like you to download or buy a print copy of my book. The eBook editions only cost $2.99. Hardcover and paperback editions are also available.
Let me introduce you to Cris De Niro and his friends. I promise that they’ll never let you down.
Here’s the link. Click it now, before the world gets you sidetracked: The Watchman of Ephraim