Action: Borrowed Lives
by Keven Crouch
Reclusive literary researcher Ray Haddon is on the verge of a breakdown. The carefully crafted cyber wall that kept the outside world at bay became a prison after the death of a trusted mentor. It appears that the only way out of this self-inflicted fortress of solitude is to retreat into the past to figure out how life got so complicated. But this is not to be solely a mental exercise. The secret behind Ray’s successful career is the ability to transfer consciousness back in time to inhabit the borrowed bodies and lives of others, gathering research material first-hand. Ray’s other secret is she is not the studious man her clients image, but a young woman. Desperate for a way out of the present predicament, Ray schedules two weeks for quiet soul-searching in ancient Egypt.
What should have been a straightforward journey turns to confusion when Ray is unexpectedly trapped in Edwardian London, in the host body of an individual whose troubled life eerily mirrors Ray’s own. Quick to embrace the distraction, Ray’s attempts to fix this host’s problems lead to a chance encounter that offers the possibility of romance.
Soon, Ray’s increasing interference becomes the intersection point for a variety of real-life historical personages whose seemingly unconnected lives intertwine in surprising ways as Europe teeters on the brink of the Great War. But problems ignored tend to fester, and before long Ray’s problems assume control. The line between past and present is crossed, setting off a disaster that leaves everyone involved worse off than before.
Angry and hurt, Ray finally reaches 12th Dynasty Egypt, where one king awaits burial and his successor awaits coronation. Ray is swept up in the intrigues of the royal inner circle, and the calamity of London is almost repeated. Recognizing the mistake in time, Ray is able to work through the situation in tandem with the new host body, coming to the realization that life can only be fully lived in the present, not the past. An attempt to right the chaos left behind in London proves only partly successful, but sets Ray up for the biggest adventure of all: living one’s own life.
About the Author
I grew up in a beautiful Northern California village that was entirely too small for my big imagination. Nearly every free hour was spent at the local library, reading about distant places I could only dream of visiting, and people whose lives were far more interesting than my own. At night, I would fall asleep imagining myself occupying the lives of the people that I came to know on paper.
Eventually, I escaped and was able to see some of the world that I had read about and have adventures of my own. As I continued to read, I became fascinated by the coincidences of history that cut across time: how people and places and dates intersect in unexpected ways, although sometimes separated by thousands of years. Along the way, I acquired a wife and best friend, a degree in fashion design, and a son, in that order.
More years passed. Careers came and went; some glamorous and some not. Over time, I found that the thing I most enjoyed doing was helping others to discover and develop their own talents. Thus, about ten years ago, I became a professor of fashion at a design college on the outer fringes of Nashville, Tennessee. I love the work, I love the creativity, and I love the freedom to dream.
More information about the book and its characters can be found at www.kevincrouchwrites.com
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