Monday, November 7, 2016

Explosive Conclusion to Epic Family Drama Coming Soon... The Beginning Game!

JUST AS THE LATE WESTERN SUN was setting on Seward Avenue, Hubie Schumacher peered through the window of his garage and across a broad span of his lawn to the edge of his property. There, standing still as a statue, was a dark and shadowy figure of a man. His back was to the fading light, creating a near halo effect. A dog, sitting motionless as well, was heeling beside him. Both were gazing in his direction.

Not again, he sighed. Not another hallucination… He breathed deeply. “When will these damned things end?” he muttered to himself. “When they put me in a box?”
This was deeply unsettling to the retired postmaster. Especially since he’d spent such a pleasant couple of hours in his garage. A dusting of spring snow had fallen, with the threat of even more to come. But he had stayed warm and comfortable and content, thanks to the wood-burning stove he had installed more than a decade earlier.
This had been one of his better days, though now the bad ones usually out-numbered the good. For his seventy-fourth birthday, back in September, his daughter Joanne had given him one of those fancy radios that was linked to some satellite service. You can tune into any program anywhere, she had said. Any sports network in the world if you want.
Whatever, he responded, unimpressed. His ancient General Electric set, with its plastic yellow casing, cracked in a few spots from dropping it on the concrete floor, and knobs for tuners, worked just fine thank you very much.
He scanned his yard once again, and rubbed his eyes. The man was still there. Staring back. What is he doing on my property? If he’s even real, that is. Had to be all those damned drugs he was taking for his dementia, or whatever the disease was called. Apparently it was named after some German doctor who discovered the problem over a hundred years ago, but he couldn’t remember the guy’s name.
Nor did he care. At his age, what did it matter? What did matter, now, was that he had come to dread nightfall. Like now. Because that’s when ‘they’ got worse. They, meaning the illusions or hallucinations 
or whatever they were. When his imagination ran wild.
Often, it started with dead or famous people. Not just any member of the deceased, mind you, but the likes of the once-famous, like Lyndon Johnson. In one recurring vision, the president seemed to be speaking to him about Vietnam—and to him only. “Young man,” the son of a bitch would say, “y’all gotta go back there and help me out! We’re losin’—badly!” Help coming from a Texan sounded like ‘hep’.
Of course, LBJ was referring to the jungles of Vietnam, as if a couple of tours in the Sixties for the former Army sergeant wasn’t enough service to the nation. Damned strange things happening, but he tried not to tell anyone. Because when he did, they considered him crazy.
But, mostly, it was dead people he once knew. A common visitor was Denny Lowry, his son-in-law, the septic tank scrubber. Denny would arrive not just at night when Hubie was slumped in his chair, but anytime during the day. When he was plowing snow, or walking his dog. But mostly at night. All the bastard did was yell at him, and for what? For causing that mess next door a few years back?
“Don’t blame me for what happened to you, pal!” Talking to himself was now a common occurrence. “You deserved everything you got. Should’ve put you away myself!” Then he realized what he was doing. “So what else is new?”
The other person who visited often was Jane, his beautifully difficult daughter, the girl who loved to argue. Her words seemed to reverberate around his thick skull like pinballs under glass. He knew why she visited him. It was to make him relive the events of that fall. What was that? Eight years ago? Or nine? All he knew it was  that Thanksgiving Day, and he was out in this same garage when she showed her face in Morgantown. For the first time in years. Since she was eighteen, she had created a different life for herself—in journalism and politics—without family. But she had surprised everyone by showing up on that holiday. To make amends. Before she died.
But now, years later, she was making a few return visits. Only they weren’t exactly pleasant. She was there to lecture him. About Denny, and why he never did anything to save Joanne from his abuse.  Just yesterday, he thought he saw her again. Not as a grown-up but as a little girl, perhaps only nine years old. Her long dark hair was parted down the middle, the way she wore it as a kid. She was standing on his lawn—come to think of it, not far from where this guy was standing now. But all she was wearing was a thin nightshirt that fell to her knees. In this cool, late-April weather, she must’ve been freezing. There she was, just staring at him, not saying a word, her pretty face expressionless. Then, after giving his head a shake, she was gone. She had disappeared.
So, now, were his eyes playing games with him again? Seeing people who weren’t there?
Maybe not this time, he thought. This man was no apparition. He was not going away... 

“Can I help you?” Hubie asked, tentatively. Though on a short leash, the dog beside him let out a few menacing growls. But the younger man cut that short.
“Tucker!” he hissed. “That’s enough!” The dog, charcoal black save for a tan chest and matching paws, ceased making sounds. But his dark, dead eyes remained glued to the older man.The man offered Hubie a calculating smile but not his hand.
“Just out walking my dog, sir.”
Hubie, squinting into the light, attempted to move a step or two to the left to avoid being blinded by the sun. But the man had noticed and shifted as well. He would maintain his advantage.
“You better hold tight to that leash, kid..."

“Just leave,” Hubie ordered.
The man tugged on his leash, and Tucker was reigned in. As he began walking towards the wooded area, beyond the yard, he turned to address Hubie one last time. His guileful eyes told the story. A warning.
“Maybe we’ll meet again…sir?”
Before Hubie could respond, the younger man replied to his own question, “Oh, I’m sure we will. You take care of yourself now, okay?”
Hubie watched as the man and his dog disappeared down the driveway towards his car. Then, motioning to Griz to follow, the two began walking back to his house.
“Let’s get inside.”

“Well, I don’t see it that way at all, Sheriff, though I agree, life in the
big picture is a game. Very much a big game. Thus, in my opinion, nothing
good—and this has been really good for me—has to end, don’t you think?
Especially when there’s a renaissance at hand. A rebirth, if you will.”
He paused once more and Boychuk knew he wasn’t finished.
“To me it’s very simple: This is not a means to an end. In fact, it really
is the beginning of great things to come. So, I prefer to call it…the beginning
game. What do you think of that? Wouldn’t that make a great title for my
memoirs? A runaway bestseller!”
“Ah, so do you fancy yourself a writer, Wells? A famous one?”
“Always knew I could turn a phrase with the best of them, Mr. Boychuk.
You could say I am multi-talented.”

I was honored and excited to be asked to read the final book, The Beginning Game, before it was published and have the opportunity to share a little about how the Trilogy ends! Have you read R. M. Doyon? His stories and style of writing is unique...and impressive. First, I encourage you to check out my reviews of the first two books, Upcountry and Thou Torturest Me. While each book can stand alone, the cumulative history of the involved families prepares readers to enter into the final intense drama that is triggered by one man--a sexy blond man who has just been released from prison... We've met him before, but now he's really the main character--a villain who convinces even himself that he's invincible...

So why did his first target be an old man, riddled with health problems and so many medications that his mind had begun to wander. He is still able to recognize what is happening, however, so even though he'd had
hallucinations from time to time, he was sure the young man standing in front of his house was real... But his friends and family thought it was just another hallucination. At least until his truck was tampered with, causing an accident, and his garage had been burned down. 

As soon as I started to read more about Hubie, my mind pulled out one of my favorite character actors, Ed Asner (who I met while traveling!). Think of his normal characteristics in movies/programs he's been in and you will recognize he'd easily play Hubie... Hubie is such a sympathetic character that readers quickly find love and then anger as he is pulled into a young man's plot for revenge... I've centered on these two characters simply because they drive the surrounding story of this last book...

Nicholas is a changed man since he was in prison. He had once been called Nick and was part of the young group that had lived there years ago. Now, he preferred to be called by his full name. How had he changed? Why he'd simply cleaned up his act physically, while learning to hide his true self and present a pleasant young and nice looking man to all those around him...

‘HELLO DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND…’ the ageless singing
duo cooed over the airwaves from a golden oldies station broadcasting
out of Waddington. ‘…I’ve come to talk to you again.’
Ah, yes, how appropriate, the young man thought as he sat in silence
in the front seat of his van. If given a choice between night and day, it was

not even close, since darkness afforded him the cover he required...

But when he met up with his old girlfriend, quickly pushed to gain access to her...and after finally having her concede to his overpowering strength, he became even more obsessed with her.

This is not a simple story, however, it is complicated with past murder, assaults, and conflicts with Amish neighbors that have moved through the years into an explosive series of criminal activities that has the involved families scrambling to protect their loved ones...

Surprise after surprise is introduced, without an earlier clue. But it's not a is much more a police thriller as Brian Boychuk, still the local law officer faces not only a series of home invasions of the wealthiest homes of the area, but still tries to help solve what is happening to his friend, Hubie Schumacher, especially when Hubie's best friend is killed in a fight with a dog that undoubtedly had been trained to kill... And later, when that murderous dog is shot to death...

I found that the addition of the Amish characters provided an intriguing sub-plot as we meet the lone Amish man who had been there that night when everything had started. We find he has left the Amish life and has started working construction and also recently returned...perhaps because the woman he loved, who had been unconscious and then in rehabilitation for so many years was now back... But that young Amish man was now married and had a son... 

Oh, I wish I could fill in on the surprises that erupt from the pages of this book as it comes to that explosive ending! Some are devastating to learn of the backstory of what had happened. Others are happily bringing individuals together to celebrate their love, while another is just a glimpse of what will happen in the near future...What a lovely enjoyable conclusion! 

For me, the first two stories were fantastic, but the final book turns the trilogy into family drama that is Epic... Authentic... Unique... and Masterfully written to provide maximum reader enjoyment! I loved the trilogy...but this last book surely became a personal favorite for me. Wow! I didn't see any of what happened in The Beginning Game coming! It's an amazing read! Watch for this book coming soon... 


Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, R.M. Doyon has been a journalist, speechwriter, public relations executive and entrepreneur for more than three decades. 
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Carleton University’s Graduate School of Journalism, he began his career with the Ottawa Citizen before becoming a political reporter and Parliamentary Bureau Chief for United Press International, where he crossed paths with six Canadian prime ministers, one U.S president and additional world leaders. 
After leaving UPI, Doyon wrote for The Vancouver Province, Maclean’s, and The Financial Post before serving as a speechwriter and senior communications advisor in two Canadian government departments.
Entering the consulting world in the early 1990s, he co-founded High Road Communications, one of North America’s most-respected public relations firms, working with technology companies from around the globe. 
He is the author of Pirouette, a stage-play on the life and times of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and has co-written two screenplays--Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda and The Last Carousel--with his wife Shelley. 
Inspired by true events, his first novel, Upcountry, a story of sisterly love, revenge and redemption, was released in October, 2010 to rave reviews. 
His sequel to Upcountry, Thou Torturest Me, was released in September, 2013. Once again set in post-industrial upstate New York, Thou Torturest Me poses the questions: what if a young Amish man falls in love with an ‘English’ girl? How would the English react? What would the Amish themselves do about it? All of which sets in motion a bigotry-driven clash of cultures that is rooted in prejudice and principle. It is available online at, and at
He and his wife Shelley split their time between the rugged shores of the St. Lawrence River and the California desert. 

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