Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thomas Kemp, a Fascinating, Passionate Storyteller, Presents Second in Series, The House on High Bridge Road...

“OH NO !” Her lips form the words silently, until her brain catches up. She screams, hushing the room. All eyes follow hers outside the observation window where fire engines and ambulances race to the smoking fiery debris of the airplane that just took off minutes before. The Sony TV blares into the silent room, “Our CNN affiliate in New York is telling us there has been unconfirmed reports out of Kennedy Airport and that Flight 800, TWA 747 bound for Paris France, has disappeared from radar, east of Long Island minutes ago. We are already receiving reports that a plane blew up and has fallen into the Atlantic. Stay with CNN for more about this tragedy, wait, yes, it is confirmed, a TWA 747, Flight 800 has crashed miles out in the Atlantic.” 

Arlene, shaking , feels Thomas’s hand on hers. The rest of her is numb. Millions and millions of thoughts are charging the room, the Airport and the country. Thomas claims two of those thoughts, “I was supposed to be on that plane and it blew up!” and “Terrorism!” Within moments, every television station in the country was speculating what went wrong and how could this happen. Close to the canyon walls off the Atlantic coastline, Thomas sees the Angel of Death hiding her smiling face in the deep sea. 

It appeared as if the airplane had both wings blown off. An eyewitness had seen a fireball falling somewhere off the coast of Long Island. Whatever happened? Both of them sat in shock as they realized both were just spared. Arlene spoke first, “I remember you now. Death follows you wherever you go. She must love you.” Her disposition suddenly changes and the bartender and other patrons glare at her when she yells, “Hey, I was suppose to be on that plane! I deserve a free drink!”

Thomas was studying Arlene’s hands, nice and warm. She stunned him with her remark. If cold hands indicate a warm heart, what do warm hands mean? Her cold and cutting demand most likely came from shock; he could not believe she could be that heartless and self-centered . The danger he saw in her eyes earlier overcame the warmth he had imagined. Was he like a mosquito, risking his life for a warm place to land? Arlene pulls her hands out of his and begins searching and meandering for everything on the tabletop. Her fingernails are plain, nothing fancy or loud . She is five foot seven or eight with short blond hair, touched up some to hide the gray. Her skin’s too soft and smooth for a woman her age and her body screams to be touched. Arlene has enough ammunition to lure most men and Thomas senses she uses it. 

Later that night, she proved him right. She sent her driver home and they wound up on her attractive couch in the middle of her television show’s sound stage office. Although he knew, he asked who she was to be able to afford her own driver and limo but didn’t wait to find out as their bodies linked. 

Arlene purred and rubbed
 her leg up and down his,
“You sure know how
 to fix me, baby.” 
“My god man, don’t you know I am Arlene Stuyvesant? I met you at Jackie Kennedy’s house years ago; I lived right below her. You were some sort of repairman, but I knew the minute I saw you, you were not a fix-it man , at least not in that sense of the word. God does provide for us does he not, furnishes us with our daily bread and such. Look what he brought me tonight!” 

Thomas, having had enough of her patronizing, was unyielding to her request to spend the night. He got up, dressed, and started to leave. Arlene bounded from the large poster canopy bed as if she is a thirty year old and sets herself firmly in front of the door. Wanting a chance for at an armistice she says, “At least let me call you a cab and have someone take you home. It is dangerous out there this hour of the night for someone Death loves.” 

“Have someone take me home? My home is in Ohio but I promised I would go to Paris to meet my children and I am going tonight.” 

Oil and jet fuel will kill almost anything living near the surface of the water. Surprisingly, little was floating towards the beaches, to the warm places mosquitoes come to rest for the night. Close along the shoreline, a small pleasure yacht was motoring south of the city. The Statue of Liberty, lighting the way to freedom for millions of others, watches it pass by. Four men squat on the shoreline, mumbling to each other , scratching through bits of debris deposited there earlier that evening.


The House of High Bridge Road
Part Two of the Road From Here to Where You Stay

By Thomas T. Kemp

The thing you will most remember about Thomas Kemp's writings is his poetic passion... Somehow common verse becomes tender words of love and you, the reader, feel as if you are receiving his words--just you... Kemp is a brilliant storyteller. He merges his own life experiences and emotional responses with any given story he is sharing with you either through one poem, or through a novel. I read his first novel many years ago, but discovered while I was writing that my review had never been published at Book Readers Heaven...So, that will appear as a separate article! Do check it out!

Present Day: The phone in my pocket
 started its riotous chiming and startled me
 to a consciousness of sorts. 
“Hello this is Thomas Kemp.”
 Come back now, Thomas, I thought.
 I needed to be in the present.
 Someone wanted me. “Thomas, 
this is Terrace. Tell me, have you started
 on your new book yet?”
One of the things I have always suggested to authors, when asked, is to select a photo and use it as your identifying brand, rather than some cute kitten or other icon. Thomas T. Kemp has learned this by using the same cover format on each of his latest poetry books and this second novel... It is easy for readers to place him in the role of the writer--of poetry or, in this case, the passionate scenes in his novels... Hey! I've been in love with him for years and even got my name in this book! Of course, all his other female fans feels that same emotion, so I'm not unique, LOL!

Kemp writes as if he were sitting across that picnic table on his patio at High Bridge Road, and telling you about his life...You begin to see a pattern--he loves women and they have always been woven into whatever else he might be writing. Read any of his poetry, and you will usually find an unknown female in it somewhere. But what makes this intriguing in his novels is that there is normally one primary female main character with whom he becomes involved... At the same time, this is surrounded by innuendo of his professional life and how and why that female is involved with that side of his life as well.

In this case, we meet Blythe Danner as Arlene Stuyvesant. Thomas Camp and Arlene met when both of them were kicked off a flight that had been overbooked...and wind up intimately together that same night...

The thing for readers is that we are not quite sure how he feels about Arlene. Was their meeting even just as coincidental as it seemed? There is an ongoing shuffle of different assignments he has had, together with some of the present life of the author. You will learn some of the names he has been assigned and/or used during his life. One thing you will quickly realize is that they are all the same. That is, his fiction, even his poetry, is fiction based upon his own life... Quite frankly, because of his poetry, it would be hard for readers not to be able to identify his wonderful style of writing, so he's accepted this and allowed his true self entry into the book in a few places...

I am trying to figure out whether

 my desire to give myself to you i
s selfish or unselfish. I lust for your
 words and hands and the sound of 
your voice brings a delicious ache
 to my breasts and belly. 
Lust is bearable, but longing is


I do not know what I’m longing for. 
Perhaps you do, perhaps you sense
 where my heart is hidden.

On the other hand, Arlene is quite fictional, the character being an internationally known advocate for animals who has built a successful career out of her personal love. Readers will learn why her emotions took second place in her life...

Until Thomas enters... Has she fallen in love with him? Really? If not, let's just say she has fallen in lust with him and Thomas is willing to accommodate her desires... Spends time thinking of how her life has changed since she they've been involved and writes to him...

The letter read: “Thomas, Nice things about Limos, some have laptops and printers. I decided not to go to Paris but to call and have my boys come home with me. I picked them up on the way over to the airport to find you. They brought me Portuguese bread from the Nantucket bakeshop, flour-dusted and fresh— sorry you missed it… the bread that is. So I’m here now in my office, inhaling the wonderful smell of yeast , feeling good and bad at the same time . Yes, I have two small sons but no spouse, their father lives out on Nantucket Island. I don’t think I will ever recover from the tragedy of the plane crash. I think my X would have liked it if I had been on the plane. I’m grateful to whatever force there may be that I was spared, but I feel guilty I was spared. Why was this privilege extended to me and not to the others? I remember the “prophet” saying we are all given 24 hours a day to spend, but it is apparent that one day, we will cash in early. I was granted another day and for this day, I feel joy and sadness. Feeling good and bad is a condition I find myself in often. Perhaps it is a prerequisite for serenity, feeling the dual nature of all human emotion and ultimately becoming comfortable with that duality. I am trying to hear the words behind your words last night; I know they must be there. You told me you did not want to break my heart, well, fear not— you first must find my heart in before you can break it!...

Scowling, the little lines above
 her lips were revealed as she
 tried to whisper, but
 immediately became too loud;
 “Thomas come back here!”
Soon Thomas was traveling to her home whenever they could get together. Being lovers was satisfactory for awhile, but Thomas was the one that always was doing the traveling--Arlene's schedule was always too busy... Still, their time together was always good and they've become close...

 He watches her eyelids close tightly as he whispers, “How do I say this any simpler? Do you know a ray of light that is so strong that it could still the illumination coming from your face right now? You are satisfied with my touch —I know that. My voice and words that I’d wrapped up so carefully, seem rusted and yet…” His lips stopped moving as the words dried up, their work done...
“Your body is so firm, the stern side like soft skin pulled tight over a rocker.” He moved even closer, dropping his voice, “I am the man who knows your secret strength. I know how much you always wanted to be…” 
Quickly putting her hand behind his head, she pulled him to her wet lips. They were almost stoic kisses at first and then she thought about what he had said and she began to trust he did know her secret. Her face gently roamed across his and back again a hundred times before she pulled away. Without missing a breath, he was back at her ear, “I know—it’s okay, I understand. I even like the feel of it on my mouth.”
 “How do you know so much about me so fast?”

Readers will be privy to stories of men Thomas has been assigned to kill, one of the latest being J. Edgar Hoover. There is mention, as I've said, that Thomas wants to meet Arlene's father. If you're an intuitive reader, you will have a potential reason for that, but, instead, Kemp sets up his readers and then drops us in the middle of what his assignment has and will continue to be... If you don't like to read books that leave you hanging, you've been warned.  

For me, however, I didn't mind because I know I'll be reading his next book just like I've read all of his books... You see, he's not only a favorite author, but has become a friend...

This book will appeal to romance novel readers as opposed to history buffs. There is insufficient detail in this book for more than, shall we say, establishing Camp's credentials as a military retiree for special projects (?)government(?) assassin... I'm wondering already about how and if Thomas can salvage the growing relationship with Arlene Stuyvesant if  it turns out her father is in the middle of the assignment Thomas is working on....

Which is more powerful--blood or love??? Can't wait to continue reading... Wonderful romantic suspense!

Highly recommended!


Read reprinted, jazzed up review of the Debut Novel by Thomas Kemp coming next...

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