Home of authors Holly Hunt & Jophrael L. Avario

Z2 by Sherrie Cronin – Review Pending

Alex once walked away from a rare ability to warp time, thinking it was only a young man’s trick to play basketball better. Now, as a father and teacher, he needs to relearn the skill quickly before the past begins to destroy his own future. To protect his daughter and his most promising student, he must stop the school at which he teaches from turning the clock backwards to an era of white supremacy.
An old high school friend is in desperate need of Alex’s unique gifts to help solve an ancient Maya mystery. As the puzzling artifact offers a rare chance to bridge the past and the future, its story begins to intertwine with the growing tensions at Alex’s school. As both situations take dangerous turns, Alex knows that he must learn to control his temporal talents before he runs out of time.
z2 is part of 46. Ascending, a collection of loosely interrelated novels about five very different family members who each discover that they can do the extraordinary when circumstances require it. These books are designed to be read as stand alone stories or in any order.

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Review Pending

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Excerpt from z2:


Some teachers are in the profession because they like having summers off. Some want a schedule that dovetails with that of their children. Others like their subject matter, such as music or art, and want to make a living touching that subject every day even though they don’t particularly like young people or like to instruct others. But some, like Alex, really do enjoy teaching teenagers.

Unfortunately, as in many professions, today’s teacher also draws extraneous duty that is less fulfilling. For teachers, this often involves additional duty as security guards. Why in the world, someone reasonable may ask, would society expect trained educators to spend part of their time and energy policing hallways and watching for disturbances? Well, it needs to be done and often there is no one else to ask to do it.

Alex had long ago accepted the fact that part of his job was to play mini rent-a-cop before and after classes in the hallways and parking lots of the school where he worked. Furthermore, he accepted graciously that he personally would be assigned, over and over again, to the worst locations. Not because the administration disliked him. Actually they seemed rather glad to have him. No, he got those assignments, like the part of the parking lot most likely to have the drug deals and the edge of the grounds most likely to see fights, and the area around the boys room, because he was a six foot two, two hundred and twenty pound male who had the best chance of intervening physically if that should become necessary. Alex didn’t begrudge that fact at all. He figured his gender and size bought him advantages every day in ways he barely realized and it felt good to pay it back a bit by helping to keep his world safer. And, fortunately for him, and for the many smaller, less physical teachers who sometimes drew equally hazardous locations, stepping into a dangerous situation was seldom required. Just being there often prevented it.

But it looked like this day was going to be an exception to that rule. The two boys were circling each other, yelling insults, when Alex arrived on the scene. Predictably, a small crowd of students had already gathered and many were cheering on one boy or the other. School had ended for the day, but most of the students stayed put, yelling out encouragement and words designed to provoke the fight.

Both boys were younger, white and male. Maybe freshmen. Neither moved like they knew much about fighting. Alex hurried towards them and tried to step in between them. “Cut it out guys. Call it a day now and neither one of you gets detention. Let’s do this the easy way.”

But the two boys kept circling, focused entirely on their anger. Clearly Alex had underestimated how mad they both were. Each seemed so determined to hurt the other that Alex realized that he was just someone in their way. Great.

Before Alex could think of a way to diffuse the situation, one boy jumped to Alex’s right and charged towards the other boy, head down, ramming himself as hard as he could into the others stomach. The second boy winced at the impact, and then tried to grab the neck of the first in some sort of wrestling hold.

“Okay, I said enough, you two,” Alex pushed his way in between them and tried to pry the second boy’s arm loose. The first boy had started to kick, trying to break free. Angry at being thwarted, the second boy let his opponent go with a shove and turned towards Alex instead.

Alex watched fascinated as the boy’s leg shot out towards him, moving lightening-fast at first and then moving increasingly more slowly as it came right towards Alex’s bad knee. He heard his own heart pound while all movement around him lost its speed. Alex focused on grabbing the boy’s slow moving ankle and pulling the astonished young man off balance, sending the boy backwards to land on his own butt. Alex followed him to the ground, grabbing the boy’s left wrist and twisting his arm hard behind his back. Then Alex pushed him face first into to the ground, putting his good knee on the boy’s back and holding him down while the other boy just watched with his mouth open.

Alex looked up to the see the school’s real security guard running his way, followed by two administrators, all of their feet moving faster and faster as everything else around Alex picked up speed until all was normal once again.

“‘Dude. I mean, Mr. Z.” It was one of the boys in his second period advanced physics class. “You rock. I mean, I never saw on old dude move as fast as you just did. No offense. But that was cool.”

“Thanks Leonard,” Alex muttered. “No offense taken.” He knew he looked calm on the outside, which was good. But on the inside all Alex could do was listen to the speed of his heartbeat and marvel to himself. Damn. It happened again.



May 8, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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