The Brothers’ Keepers by Matthew Peters
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BLURB: Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus’ purported spouse, Mary Magdalene. But what about Jesus’ siblings? What role did they play in early Christianity? Contemporary Jesuit and renowned religious historian Nicholas Branson is about to find out…and the answer will shake the foundations of the Judeo-Christian world. It all starts with the murder of a United States Senator in a confessional, and the discovery of a strange religious document among his possessions. At the urging of his FBI friend, Branson joins the investigation. His effort to uncover the truth behind the murder draws him into the search for an eight-hundred-year-old treasure and into a web of ecclesiastical and political intrigue. Accompanied by a beautiful, sharp-tongued research librarian, Jessica Jones, Branson follows a trail of clues, from the peaks of the awe inspiring French Pyrenees to the caves of war-torn Afghanistan. Along the way, shadowy powerful forces trail the pair, determined to keep safe a secret buried for centuries.
Interview with the author:
1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction for the past decade. However, it is only in the past few years that I’ve been able to write full-time. Prior to writing fiction I wrote academic papers for college and graduate school, where I studied Political Science. But fiction is vastly different. It has taken me a while to get the academic writing out of my system. Sometimes I feel it hasn’t been entirely eradicated, but I think I’ve made progress.
2. How long have you been a published author?
I’ve been a published author since the summer of last year.
3. What titles do you have available?
CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS, a work of literary fiction that has also been described as a psychological thriller, was published by All Things That Matter Press in August of 2014. THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS, a religious thriller, was published by MuseItUp Publishing in October of the same year.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
I chose the subject of THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS for a couple of reasons. First, it allowed me to capitalize on my love of history, politics, and research. Second, it gave me a chance to examine some of the issues I struggle with on a daily basis: faith, the role of religion in politics, and the role of truth in society.
I’ve always felt that the best novels are those with immediate relevancy. THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS is my contribution to the debates that rage in society concerning politics and religion—the two topics people say to avoid in polite company. Being a bit of a rebel, it was natural for me to write about such issues. However, I try to do so in a very respectful manner. As one reviewer wrote, “The author isn’t shy about raising controversial subjects but he does so in a respectful way.”
CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS is about a dual diagnosed* professor who falls in love with an enigmatic young woman he meets in detox. It is his struggle to achieve salvation against enormous odds. I chose the subject of that book because I am dual diagnosed, with Major Depressive Disorder and alcoholism. Part of my work is to raise awareness of the issue.
*The term dual diagnosed generally describes a person who has a mood disorder (e.g., depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), and some form of chemical dependency (e.g., alcoholism, and/or addiction to cocaine, heroin or prescription medication).
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
My upcoming title will be the next installment in the Nicholas Branson series. It picks up where THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS leaves off, but is meant to stand alone as well.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
My favorite genre to write is the thriller/suspense genre. I particularly like those books that involve some element of historical mystery, because they require a vast amount of research. That having been said, I also love reading and writing literary fiction. I am drawn to lyrical prose for inspiration. Many of my favorite books (CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, DEMIAN, THE STRANGER, and NATIVE SON) are among the literary classics.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
To me the most exciting part of the writing process is the research behind the construction of the story. Having the story gel and take shape is a close second.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Well, if it could be anyone, I’d say Fyodor Dostoevsky. His psychological and philosophical insights were unparalleled.
9. Where can readers find you on the web?
Readers can find me on my website, which has all my contact and book information, at: www.matthewpetersbooks.com.
Father Rawlings drained his cup and set it on the table. “What I’m about to tell you may sound ridiculous and melodramatic. At best it will seem the stuff of conspiracy theories and spy novels. However, I assure you it is not.” He fixed Branson with a steely gaze. “As God’s soldiers, we are engaged in a battle, Nicholas. As real as any battle ever waged. The war we fight has raged for centuries, but the battle we fight now could well be the last. And we, you and I, the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, must emerge victorious. Nothing less than the foundations, the stability of the Christian world is at stake.” He smiled again, this time with bitterness.
“Of course it sounds unbelievable, even paranoid, but believe me, it is neither. I choose my words carefully. I don’t make bold assertions I cannot support. I assure you I am telling you exactly how things stand, exactly what is at stake. Before I go on, however, I must demand a pledge from you, your promise to help the Church in the epic struggle in which we currently find ourselves. We require your guarantee, your warrant if you will, that you will use all your energies, resources, and powers to secure the interests of the Church, and that you will let nothing deter you from the task at hand. With this binding agreement comes an inexhaustible supply of resources: anything and everything you deem necessary to accomplish your mission. But I must have your pledge before we proceed.” Rawlings rose from his seat, motioning for Branson to stand as well. “Before you give me your answer, listen again to Jesus’ words: ‘He who is not with me is against me.’ Nicholas Branson, tell me now: Are you with our Lord, or against Him?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Dual diagnosed* from an early age, Matthew Peters dropped out of high school at sixteen. He went on to obtain an A.A., a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught various courses in a variety of disciplines throughout North Carolina. He is committed to increasing the awareness and understanding of the dual diagnosed. In addition to The Brothers’ Keepers, he is the author of Conversations Among Ruins, which features a dual diagnosed protagonist. Currently, he is working on a sequel to The Brothers’ Keepers. *The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency. Website: http://www.matthewpetersbooks.com/ Blog: http://www.matthewpetersbooks.com/blog/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MatthewPeters65 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matthew.peters.79656 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qklgNK Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1q8gsMs Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-brothers-keepers MuseItUp: Publishing: http://bit.ly/1l90G1B