In very exciting new, Kokoro Press author and filmmaker, David Gonzalez, is gathering a lot of buzz and awards for his upcoming full-length film Boys Club, including Best Short Film at the Besame Tonto Film Festival 2018!
bc poster

Why is this particularly exciting news for Kokoro Press? The film is based on David’s trilogy of anti-human trafficking novellas centered on a corrupt and lascivious den of iniquity, the Boys Club, a place in London where wealthy perverts can fulfill their sexual fantasies with trafficked young men, powerless to prevent their. abuses.
Boys Club news

Written originally in Spanish, Kokoro Press has the honor of publishing the books in English, the first of which is already available here at KP. boysclub_200x300 Filming of the full-length film is scheduled to begin in January 2019.

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Now Available in Trade Paperback: Cries of the Forgotten: A Murder Mystery of Postapartheid South Africa

Cries of the Forgotten
A Murder Mystery of Postapartheid South Africa

Author: Percy Makhuba
Genre: Murder mystery; Paranormal
Length: Novella
Price: 0.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy at Amazon Kindle|Barnes and Noble Nook|Kobo Books

 

Trade Paperback from Amazon

John Burdett, internationally best-selling mystery author of Bangkok 8 (Sonchai Jitpleecheep Series), The Last Six Million Seconds and A Personal History of Thirst calls Cries of the Forgotten, “A moving insight into Zulu shamanism and Christian forgiveness in today’s troubled South Africa.”

From a new, powerful voice in the post-apartheid South African canon of authors, comes Cries of the Forgotten, a murder mystery that explores the scars left by the inner war of a nation.

A seemingly ordinary man with an extraordinary secret…

One day, Tshepo Nonyane, a mild-mannered government statistician walks into the Johannesburg Metro Police Department and confesses to the brutal rapes and murders of several women. He describes his crimes in grisly detail, even as his clean-cut, sincere appearance completely belies the violent man he claims to be.

As Detective Eloff Mueller and her police partner, Joseph Langa, investigate Nonyane’s horrifying confessions, they find themselves pulled into a world where appearance and reality are blurred beyond recognition. They could never have prepared for what is uncovered along with the skeletons of the long-dead and forgotten victims of South Africa’s epidemic violence against women.

Tshepo, the son of one of the country’s most powerful sangomas (medicine men), has long-denied his heritage and believes he has gone mad from refusing to follow his ancestral calling. His madness has led him to murder and brutality…or so he believes. Along with the visions of his unthinkable crimes, the act of confession opens up long-forgotten wounds and secrets he has been keeping from himself. Unlocking the depths of his soul leads to consequences he, and everyone else in his beloved South Africa, could never have imagined in a million lifetimes.

Part murder mystery, part social statement and part spiritual journey, Cries of the Forgotten is one man’s odyssey to protect and heal the nation he loves from its self-inflicted wounds. With a cast of characters who yearn for justice in a nation where men and women have long been at war against themselves and each other, Cries of the Forgotten explores the pressing question of what it will take for the violence to end, once and for all.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Tshepo, you’re not a killer. Let’s go home, please.”

Tshepo stopped on the steps of the police station and looked briefly at his wife. The devotion and admiration Nandipha’s eyes reflected for him was unbearable. He’d never deserved her, not after his great act of cowardice had led only to brutality and death. “We’ve discussed this endlessly, Nandi. I’m a killer. I must pay for my crimes. Go home. I promise I will call you. You shouldn’t have got out of the cab.”

Nandipha’s large, beautiful eyes filled. Behind her, the traffic of Johannesburg passed on Main Street. A tear trembled on her lash and rolled down her smooth dark cheek. “You’re not a killer. I know what you are. Why won’t you listen to me?”

“Because you’re prejudiced in my favour. I can do no wrong. You do not see who is in front of you.”

“I do see you. Of all the people in the world, I see you when no one else will. I can’t let you do this. I beg you, Tshepo.”

He turned and went in. There was a line ahead of him. Thankfully, Nandi stopped her tearful begging, but she stood and sniffled endlessly. He could hear her silent pleas, however. When two people had been soulmates since birth, the connection was so deep they could hear each other’s thoughts and finish their sentences. Finally, when he could bear her suffering no longer, he looked at her. He restrained the overpowering urge to wipe the stains of her tears from her cheeks. The near obsidian hue of her skin contrasted with the orange house dress she wore. She’d always worn dresses like that, simple and humble. She wore a matching band to pull back her abundance of perfect, smooth braids. No doubt, she craved his touch after so many years, but he would not mar her beauty with his monster’s hands. She never complained. His beautiful Nandi. “Please, my love,” he murmured. “Go home now. I will call you. I promise.”

“All right. But what you’re doing is wrong.” She turned and walked out of the station.

Tshepo watched her leave. Perhaps there was a time he would have relented and followed her, but he could no longer allow the carnage to continue.

The line crept forward. The clock read well after lunchtime when he finally reached the window and leant slightly inward so that the woman behind the desk would hear him over the din of ringing phones and numerous conflict resolutions happening around them. “I’m here to confess to murder.”

The weary desk sergeant stared at him. Her dark eyes seemed to be assessing whether he was a crackpot she should send away. Of course, she wouldn’t. Anyone who was confessing to murder had to be questioned, at least. Her eyes rested an extra moment on his forehead. Eyes always did rest there, at the crudely fashioned image of a dragon-like snake consuming its own body. The true semiotic of a serial killer. And rapist. “Name?”

He cleared his perpetually dry throat. “Tshepo Nonyane.” Tshepo held out his ID card.

Her round, smooth dark cheeks reminded him of the faces of the women whose lives he had ended. If he looked any longer, he would once again be swimming in a pool of blood; a pool full of the bodies of his victims. “I’m not crazy. I’m telling you the truth.”

“One moment, please.” She picked up a phone and pressed a button. “Yes. Someone has come in named Tshepo Nonyane. He wants to make a confession to murder.” She listened and nodded. Whoever was on the other end was obviously giving her instructions. “Yes, sir,” she answered and replaced the receiver. She signalled to a nearby officer. “Put him in Room Three.”
The officer, young enough to be his son, took his arm. “This way.”

About the author::

Percy Makhuba was born on 18 June 1967 in Honeydew, South Africa. He grew up living on a farm and attended school at Paradise bend School and Witkoppen High School. Percy studied transport management at Rand Afrikaans University qualifying in 2002. He founded a church in 2008 and is currently a Visionary Leader and a Senior Pastor of Percy Healing Word Ministry.

Posted in Available books, Mystery/Suspense, Percy Makhuba, Spirituality, Trade Paperback | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Available: Reality Check by Mitch Halper

Reality Check: Brief Reflections on Un-Conditioning the Mind
Genre: Non-fiction; Spirituality, Self-Help, Philosophy
eISBN: 978-1-937796-84-6
Price: 0.99 USD
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paperback ISBN: 978-1-937796-92-1
Price: 5.99 USD
Available from: Barnes and Noble|Amazon

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Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy e-book from Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages. What we have here is a brief compendium of unconventional viewpoints regarding what is loosely termed “the spiritual path,” but what is, in fact, a return to our fundamental sanity. All this and more for only 99 cents!

Excerpt:

Enlightenment, which is Reality, is self-love and manifests as compassionate non-attachment or liberation through understanding. When you see or understand that you are really good, already really good it brings happiness and a feeling of being completely connected to life., All the strategies to be good and the masks that have been created are seen as superfluous and simply fall away. This removal of the “veils” allows the direct and unclouded perception of what has always been there.

You don’t need to become a good or lovable person. You don’t need to make some herculean effort to become safe or happy or to acquire knowledge or to gain approval. That’s why real life is joyous, because it is effortless.

So much of what is called spiritual work is people trying to be good, to get it right, to succeed, so that the guru or god or mommy or daddy will love them. It is like some weirdly choreographed courtship.

In the first spiritual group I attended, the men were required to wear jackets and ties and the ladies had to wear long skirts no matter what the weather was like. Homosexuality was considered unacceptable. One had to sit in rock hard chairs, perfectly upright, for hours on end and listen to lectures and learn Sanskrit and calligraphy and sewing and had to maintain all the school buildings in immaculate condition as an unpaid service. One had to eat silently, work silently. All these things were required not elective. Oh well, you get the picture. All this to find what we already have. We need to stop denying how dissatisfying, dehumanizing and shitty this kind of coercion is. There is no heart in it at all.

In reality, the person struggling to connect with reality, struggling to find love, is already completely loved and connected but doesn’t recognize it. The old analogy is of a man standing in water up to his neck and complaining that he’s dying of thirst. This is quite literally true.
For many years I’ve been telling people that spiritual work is stopping or more specifically, surrendering. Meditation is non-doing. Surrender is non-doing. Love is non-doing. If you have to do something to get enlightened, then what you’re looking for isn’t freedom or love, for it is just another conditional relationship with life.

Whatever obstacles you may have to loving yourself as you are right now, I can promise you, they are all unreal. You learned them somewhere from someone who didn’t care and didn’t know you.

It doesn’t matter how awful or ugly your secret is, your past actions, your dreadful mistakes, lies or transgressions. One thing is certain, not loving yourself right now isn’t helping anyone, isn’t fixing anything or undoing any harm that may have been done. Seeing the misunderstanding that has been guiding the efforts to acquire love or peace will make you appreciate the uselessness of them.

The most unselfish thing is not to embark on some heroic spiritual journey but to drop or surrender any obstacles, any conditions to love immediately so you can finally make a proper amends. Do you see?

Spirituality is the unclenching of a fist, the unfolding of a heart, the non-becoming, non-forcing, non-attached compassion, which is, and has always been, the Real.

Posted in Mitch Halper, Non-Fiction, Spirituality | Leave a comment

Now Available: Reverse Chronicles by Jonas (Jihyeong) Park

The Unraveling of the Past
Reverse Chronicles, Book One
Author: Jonas Park
Genre: Time Travel/Alternate History/Fantasy
Length: Short novel
Price: 2.99 USD

Cover art: Jonas Park

Buy from: Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

In a realm between life and death, in a place that human beings have no idea exists, is the Time Continent. Unbeknownst to humankind, the Time Continent is where a select group of disembodied souls spend their afterlife, dictating the course of human events throughout history. It is the inhabitants of the Time Continent who are responsible over much of the lives and deaths on Earth…

One such soul, Pastool Logan, once powerful committee head of Past Events, stands trial. In an act of desperation to find out who he was and where he came from while alive, Logan broke protocol, causing the deaths of hundreds and has been condemned to eternity in a Time Dungeon. When a dear friend visits him in the dungeon, Logan recounts the course of events that led up to his crime and draws his friend into a world of deception, violence, beauty and miraculous connections in his search for identity. Little does he know that one mysterious woman holds the answers he seeks.

Reverse Chronicles is an exploration of the deepest connections between human beings and of the harrowing issue that plagues all humanity, from the mightiest nation down to the smallest individual: the issue of power over weakness and the struggle to define what real strength truly is.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 01
The Violation against Nature

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
-George Orwell, 1984.

The Joseon era, the time period that consisted of a limited number of people in a limited space, was not changed by outer world influence. However, the Joseon I see now is very different from the Joseon that I imagined.
While Neo-Confucianism, emphasized by Confucian scholars, was still to some degree the philosophy of Joseon—the Korean dynasty of the 1600s—contrary to what our history books tell us, various races, cultures, and thought mingled unlike how the Korean dynasty back then was limited and restricted from any communication with outside world.. What had happened to create such an anomaly?

The actions of one particular individual catapulted Joseon’s history two hundred years ahead of its time, giving Joseon an opportunity to meet and communicate with other worlds in advance, long before they should ever even have known of these other worlds.

The individual in question was a westerner.

He was a very tall westerner. He wore a dark green suit of a Scottish plaid, perhaps the tartan of the Abercrombie. At first glance, he seemed meticulously dressed, with his green silk hat and neat suit. His clothing was far from being neat or tidy, in fact. His clothes were soaked by a girl’s bright red blood.
He kneeled on a plain sand valley, where his beloved girl was forever gone.

The man was weeping and trying in vain to wipe off blood from his clothes. The girl’s red blood turned to black rapidly.

An old gentleman with white hair soon appeared out of nowhere and stood before the man at some distance. This man wore a gold silk hat and suit. He was wearing a glass on his right eye and, actually, that glass was a translucent watch with a ticking hour hand and a ticking minute hand and had only one lens attached with small metal chains – something a gentleman from real history could possibly wear. The hour hand and minute hand in the watch were moving at the speed of a regular watch.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

“How pathetic are you?” he shouted. “Why did you not follow the providence of nature sooner? What on earth could make you keep denying the providence of nature even though we warned you several times?”

The man at the crime scene glared at him. The beloved girl just vanished before this man, and this man was about to be arrested now for what happened to her. What was left with him was just a feeling of hatred or disgust. “Providence? Who on earth made that providence? Wasn’t that all made up by your own whims?”

“Hmmm… You still cannot admit what you did.”

More gentlemen in silk hats and suits appeared around the older man. The sound of a clock’s hands in motion emanated from the little group of the organization known as the Time Committee, which started to surround the man at the crime scene.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

“Wouldn’t it be better to execute him right now?” a red suit and red-hatted member of the Time Committee said. “He is a vicious criminal who broke providence, so it will be better for us to execute him.”

“No. He simply may have fallen to a wrong way although he is a talented person.”

“Talented? Nonsense. If he were a talented person, why would he do this brainless thing? His job is to oversee events, not catapult them forward and risk the existence of the entire world!”

“We never know. Let’s ask him again. We have to see if this law-breaker admits his sin.”

“Sinner Pastool Logan! Why did you violate ‘the providence?’ An act that resulted in the pointless vanishing of many coworkers, I might add.”

Pastool Logan stared at the gentlemen with a mournful look. At that moment, an image of an Asian man appeared. The mirage, hung before him by his questioners, as if to torment Pastool’s conscience, was a Joseon prince who, according to proper history, was supposed to die tragically but he had survived because of this incident, so as to be Pastool’s mentor. The prince wore the typical costume of the crown princes after the reign of King Seonjo, a dark blue gonryongpo or dragon robe, ikseongwan a type of crown hat, a jade belt, and mokhwa shoes.

“Are you asking me why I violated the providence? If you insist, I will answer you. Those who died under the name of ‘the providence’ or the ‘cosmic order under the status quo principle’ were very talented people.”
As if in response to Pastool’s statement, the images of recently passed away comrades slid by.

“However,” he went on, “they died even before they could show their talents. Did not they die because we did not want to see a major change? Social stability for the cosmic order? Is that your fair reason? Have you ever thought of a possibility that it has become unstable because we have killed people based on the selfish ‘stability,’ falsely known as the ‘status quo’? Why do you make one country stronger when another country gets weaker and let it destroy the weak country? Do you say that it is the providence of nature? Are you saying that your opportunistic behavior of taking one side then taking the other side is the providence of the nature? If this kind of behavior is what you really mean by the providence of the nature, I believe that someone needs to turn this whole system of ‘status quo’ from upside down.”

“Klaisto!”

As soon as he finished talking, an invisible hand clapped over Pastool’s mouth. It was a restraint magic used by the Time Tribe to stop others from speaking.

“Shut up… you damn sinner!” a man in a black suit shouted at Pastool Logan.

“What should we do, Mr. Chairman?” another man in a black suit interjected.

The old gentleman stared at Pastool for a moment. “Arrest the offender.”

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Now Available: Young Innocents, Boys Club Book One by David Gonzalez

Young Innocents
Author: David Gonzalez
Series: Boys Club, Book One
Genre: Noir, LGBT, Social Issues
Length: Novella
Word count: 46329
e-book page count: 99
price: 2.99 USD

Cover art: Melody Pond

Buy from: Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

From filmmaker and author, David Gonzalez, director of the award-winning short film, “The Choice is Yours,” comes the first volume in his Boys Club series, now in English.

When Adrian is seventeen, his younger brother Max is kidnapped from their home. A masked stranger knocks Adrian unconscious as he tries to save his brother. Life goes from difficult but relatively normal to nightmarish overnight. Adrian’s only driving need is to find Max who, he learns, has been trafficked. Into the horrors of sex slavery where perverted clients can fulfill their most lurid, exploitive fantasies with beautiful young men who are helpless to stop them. Adrian must find Max before it’s too late. The odyssey into darkness has just begun…

Author’s note: This novel is based on actual events
Unfortunately, it’s a reality that happens all over the world.

Tags: young adult, human trafficking, sexual slavery, lgbt issues, social issues, noir, human trafficking fiction

Excerpt:

I breathe a sigh of relief and close the door. I start to head back to my room when someone grabs my neck and shoves me up against the wall, so hard, my feel lifts off the ground. A black mask hides his face. It looks like leather, with strange symbols painted on it, like ancient symbols. The rest of him is covered in a black suit and boots.

I’m gasping for breath and struggling against him. Instinctively, I knee him in the gut. It works. He releases me and I let out a scream of pain then rush toward Jack’s room.

“Jack! Jack! Help!” his door stays closed so he must be so drunk he can’t hear me or doesn’t care.

The masked intruder has recovered and grabs me again by my hair. He slams my face against the wall, breaking my nose. I fall to the ground and he stands over me. I see the blade of a small knife flash in the light from my room. I kick his leg hard, causing him to lose his balance and fall. Then I scramble to my feet and try to run. Before I can move and inch, he grabs my foot and makes me fall again. I try to drag myself away from him but he holds my foot in an iron grip and makes me fall to the ground. I try to run away, by crawling on the floor, but he pulls me towards him and I end up in his claws. He spins me over and while I fight him off, he grabs me by the hair, lifting my head, and slamming it against the floor. He then lets me go and I stop fighting him, feeling slightly dizzy and lightheaded. The stranger, on top of me, stares at me liking something that he sees because he pulls out a sharp knife and runs it over my neck, in a caressing and threatening manner to the rhythm of my descending and frantic breathing. He reaches for my nipple and punctures it slightly. He continues to move lower and when he reaches my pants, he tries to put his hand inside of them, but before he can go any further, after recovering slightly, I hit him with all my might in the groins. The man screams in pain and falls next to me. I get up, however I can, and run towards my brother’s room. Pretty soon, the masked man, jumps to his feet, cursing at me, and runs behind me. I panic completely. I dash to Max’s bedroom, open the door and lock it shut, immediately realizing that the stranger is only a few steps away. I turn on the light, panicking hysterically with my nerves on edge.

“Max!” I call to my brother who is now fully awake, sitting on the edge of his bed and looking completely petrified. “They broke into our house and they want to hurt us. Quick, go out the window and ask our neighbors for help. Hurry!”

I help him out of bed while the masked intruder begins to pound at the door with all his might. We dash to the window and I barely manage to open it. All of a sudden, the blade of the intruder’s knife goes through the door and we both jump on the spot, feeling terrified. In no time, the door is being torn apart with powerful stabs and deadly blows. Max carefully crawls out the window and jumps into the roof. Unexpectedly, the door swings open and I barely have time to pick up a lamp and throw it at the intruder’s head, but he is fast enough to elude my attack and dodges the projectile. The lamp ends up smashing against the wall behind him, breaking into a thousand pieces. The unknown assailant then grabs me by the arm and violently throws me against the bed. I fly over it and fall on the ground on the ground and on other side of the bed. The masked stranger looks out the window and sees his prey, standing on the roof and looking at him without knowing what to do.

“Max, run and jump! Save yourself!” I shout at Max.

My brother immediately comes to his senses and turns around. After a few seconds of hesitation, he closes his eyes, takes a leap of faith, bounces on the summer awning and rolls down until he finally hits the ground below. Max then lies on the floor, too shocked to move. The man, who saw it all, turns around, leaves the bedroom and runs to the bottom floor. I jump to my feet and look out the window. Outside, Max gets up slowly, too slowly. All of a sudden, the front door swings open and the stranger exists the house, heading straight for Max. Max gets frightened and he jumps to his feet, looking even more petrified than before. The man strides towards him, getting closer with each passing second. When he is a few steps away from Max, to the stranger’s surprise and to mine, I jump on top of him and we land on the floor, next to my brother. I’m completely stunned and I could swear that I have broken my arm or hand because it begins to hurt like hell.

With every bit of strength left, I get up, get a hold of my brother’s hand and kick the stranger in the head, making him twist on the floor. We need to get out of there and fast so we run to Jack’s car which is parked a few yards away. The moment we arrive at Jack’s car, I open the passenger door, sit my brother down, buckling his seatbelt, and close the door shut. I circle the car around, jump into the driver’s seat, closing the door shut and shaking nervously. I flip open the driver’s glove box, on the roof of the car, and the keys fall in my hand. I turn on the engine of the car, but all of a sudden, it goes off and the on. It is then that something hits the hood of the car and Max and I both scream in terror. A second later, I spot the masked man standing in front of us in a threatening manner. Even though he is wearing a mask, I could swear that there is some type of hate and fury behind his evil gaze. I floor the accelerator, and instead of moving forward, we move backwards and hit a tree. From the force of the impact, I hit my head on the steering wheel while Max crashes into the glove compartment, unconscious. Smoke comes out of the car while the windshield is completely shattered into a thousand pieces. The passenger door then swings open and a dark shadow reaches into the car. He grabs Max, takes off his seatbelt, and lifts him off his seat, carrying him away into the night. I stretch my arms out, calling for my brother, but I’m too weak to do anything and my vision begins to blur. My head hurts and I could feel my strength leaving my body. A tingling sensation begins at my feet and moves into my neck. As the tingling sensation makes its way into my face and reaches my eyes, I lose consciousness and everything goes black.

Posted in Available books, David Gonzalez, Gay fiction, Mystery/Suspense | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Spotlight: Percy Makhuba

This month Kokoro Press released Cries of the Forgotten by a bright new voice among authors in postapartheid South Africa, Percy Makhuba. Raised on a farm in South Africa, Percy Makhuba works fulltime as a pastor of a ministry. The author has written such a fascinating approach to and vision of achieving a society free of violence, we wanted to know more about him. Please welcome Percy Makhuba who has graciously answered some very personal questions.

Kokoro Press: What inspired you to write a story about ending violence against women?

Percy Makhuba: There was a time in my life where I was being abusive and recognising that I have abused my wife was the first step of accepting my problem. I also congratulate myself for taking other measures for wanting to correct my behavior. I have control over myself and the way I choose to behave is to be a REAL man, husband and good father to my children and that is the whole reason why I wrote about ending violence against women.

Kokoro Press: Do you relate to the protagonist, Tshepo Nonyane? If so, in what ways?

Percy: I relate with Tshepo simply because of the way he loves his wife and that is my definition of loving and he is a spiritual man like I am. He makes me feel better knowing that it’s okay to feel alone, confused and lost. He made me accept the fact that you’re never going to know what you’re future is like and if it’s scary it’s a part of life.

Kokoro Press: Cries of the Forgotten brings in many different aspects of South African society, one of them is the long tradition of sangomas (medicine men/women). Having grown up in South Africa, were you exposed to sangomas and what was that experience like?

Percy: Growing up as a black child in South Africa, I grew up believing in Sangomas, and always thought they are powerful and my mother is a sangoma as well. l have accepted that is what she believes in, but I have found out that their ways of doings things doesn’t go with what I believe in now as a Pastor. I do believe there are prophets and that herbs heal people.

Kokoro Press: Your lifetime spans both sides of apartheid. Do you see an appreciable difference in South African society since apartheid was abolished?

Percy: Not much has changed for most blacks – slow progress, overall improvements at the start but beginning to slide now. There is freedom of movement – live where you like if you can afford to.

Kokoro Press: You are a pastor who heads a ministry. What drew you to that occupation and can you talk a bit about what it’s like? What are the difficulties? What are the rewards?

Percy: A burning desire to serve the Lord full-time. A desire to see lost souls saved. On a regular basis, pastors face the reality of people who have been part of their church deciding to leave. More often than not, these people have received a great deal of ministry and have been given special attention to get them through difficult times. And though it may not be talked about much at our local churches, when people leave your church, it usually hurts. What is rewarding about it is when you see people testify or get healed by your words. When you feel appreciated by your congregation.

Cries of the Forgotten is available from Amazon Kindle|Barnes and Noble Nook|Kobo Books.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Mystery/Suspense, Percy Makhuba | Leave a comment

Now Available: Cries of the Forgotten: A Murder Mystery of Postapartheid South Africa

Cries of the Forgotten
A Murder Mystery of Postapartheid South Africa

Author: Percy Makhuba
Genre: Murder mystery; Paranormal
Length: Novella
Price: 0.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy at Amazon Kindle|Barnes and Noble Nook|Kobo Books

John Burdett, internationally best-selling mystery author of Bangkok 8 (Sonchai Jitpleecheep Series), The Last Six Million Seconds and A Personal History of Thirst calls Cries of the Forgotten, “A moving insight into Zulu shamanism and Christian forgiveness in today’s troubled South Africa.”

From a new, powerful voice in the post-apartheid South African canon of authors, comes Cries of the Forgotten, a murder mystery that explores the scars left by the inner war of a nation.

A seemingly ordinary man with an extraordinary secret…

One day, Tshepo Nonyane, a mild-mannered government statistician walks into the Johannesburg Metro Police Department and confesses to the brutal rapes and murders of several women. He describes his crimes in grisly detail, even as his clean-cut, sincere appearance completely belies the violent man he claims to be.

As Detective Eloff Mueller and her police partner, Joseph Langa, investigate Nonyane’s horrifying confessions, they find themselves pulled into a world where appearance and reality are blurred beyond recognition. They could never have prepared for what is uncovered along with the skeletons of the long-dead and forgotten victims of South Africa’s epidemic violence against women.

Tshepo, the son of one of the country’s most powerful sangomas (medicine men), has long-denied his heritage and believes he has gone mad from refusing to follow his ancestral calling. His madness has led him to murder and brutality…or so he believes. Along with the visions of his unthinkable crimes, the act of confession opens up long-forgotten wounds and secrets he has been keeping from himself. Unlocking the depths of his soul leads to consequences he, and everyone else in his beloved South Africa, could never have imagined in a million lifetimes.

Part murder mystery, part social statement and part spiritual journey, Cries of the Forgotten is one man’s odyssey to protect and heal the nation he loves from its self-inflicted wounds. With a cast of characters who yearn for justice in a nation where men and women have long been at war against themselves and each other, Cries of the Forgotten explores the pressing question of what it will take for the violence to end, once and for all.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Tshepo, you’re not a killer. Let’s go home, please.”

Tshepo stopped on the steps of the police station and looked briefly at his wife. The devotion and admiration Nandipha’s eyes reflected for him was unbearable. He’d never deserved her, not after his great act of cowardice had led only to brutality and death. “We’ve discussed this endlessly, Nandi. I’m a killer. I must pay for my crimes. Go home. I promise I will call you. You shouldn’t have got out of the cab.”

Nandipha’s large, beautiful eyes filled. Behind her, the traffic of Johannesburg passed on Main Street. A tear trembled on her lash and rolled down her smooth dark cheek. “You’re not a killer. I know what you are. Why won’t you listen to me?”

“Because you’re prejudiced in my favour. I can do no wrong. You do not see who is in front of you.”

“I do see you. Of all the people in the world, I see you when no one else will. I can’t let you do this. I beg you, Tshepo.”

He turned and went in. There was a line ahead of him. Thankfully, Nandi stopped her tearful begging, but she stood and sniffled endlessly. He could hear her silent pleas, however. When two people had been soulmates since birth, the connection was so deep they could hear each other’s thoughts and finish their sentences. Finally, when he could bear her suffering no longer, he looked at her. He restrained the overpowering urge to wipe the stains of her tears from her cheeks. The near obsidian hue of her skin contrasted with the orange house dress she wore. She’d always worn dresses like that, simple and humble. She wore a matching band to pull back her abundance of perfect, smooth braids. No doubt, she craved his touch after so many years, but he would not mar her beauty with his monster’s hands. She never complained. His beautiful Nandi. “Please, my love,” he murmured. “Go home now. I will call you. I promise.”

“All right. But what you’re doing is wrong.” She turned and walked out of the station.

Tshepo watched her leave. Perhaps there was a time he would have relented and followed her, but he could no longer allow the carnage to continue.

The line crept forward. The clock read well after lunchtime when he finally reached the window and leant slightly inward so that the woman behind the desk would hear him over the din of ringing phones and numerous conflict resolutions happening around them. “I’m here to confess to murder.”

The weary desk sergeant stared at him. Her dark eyes seemed to be assessing whether he was a crackpot she should send away. Of course, she wouldn’t. Anyone who was confessing to murder had to be questioned, at least. Her eyes rested an extra moment on his forehead. Eyes always did rest there, at the crudely fashioned image of a dragon-like snake consuming its own body. The true semiotic of a serial killer. And rapist. “Name?”

He cleared his perpetually dry throat. “Tshepo Nonyane.” Tshepo held out his ID card.

Her round, smooth dark cheeks reminded him of the faces of the women whose lives he had ended. If he looked any longer, he would once again be swimming in a pool of blood; a pool full of the bodies of his victims. “I’m not crazy. I’m telling you the truth.”

“One moment, please.” She picked up a phone and pressed a button. “Yes. Someone has come in named Tshepo Nonyane. He wants to make a confession to murder.” She listened and nodded. Whoever was on the other end was obviously giving her instructions. “Yes, sir,” she answered and replaced the receiver. She signalled to a nearby officer. “Put him in Room Three.”
The officer, young enough to be his son, took his arm. “This way.”

About the author::

Percy Makhuba was born on 18 June 1967 in Honeydew, South Africa. He grew up living on a farm and attended school at Paradise bend School and Witkoppen High School. Percy studied transport management at Rand Afrikaans University qualifying in 2002. He founded a church in 2008 and is currently a Visionary Leader and a Senior Pastor of Percy Healing Word Ministry.

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