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Zephyr Unfolding
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-271-2
Genre: Science Fiction/Fiction/Adventure
eBook Length: 224 Pages
Published: July 2005

From inside the flap

Over a year has passed since Aurora, who was once Browne, escaped the Candidacy with her love, Bain to Canada. Life amongst the Resistance; however, does not bring peace for any extended amount of time as Ren, Angel, Bain and Aurora find out in Zephyr Unfolding.

The Resistance cause is one that Second-in-Command Ren has fought for most of his adult life. But when a surprise attack results in Angelís abduction and threatens his rank, he is relieved and somewhat dismayed that he isn?t demoted. Instead he is given a new assignment: meet with the mayor of Zephyr and convince him to join the Resistance. Once Ren reaches Zephyr things aren?t what they seem.

Before long he finds himself imprisoned onboard a United World Council ship for an assassination he did not commit. Scheduled to die in three days, Renís crew must put their lives, their morals and their vows on the line to save him.

Reviews and Awards

"This is the first work I've read of Nicole Givens Kurtz and I doubt it will be the last. Zephyr Unfolding is a well written, thought provoking, fast paced novel based on the premise that the Earth of the future has been under biological siege by those whose job it had been to protect it."

Leola Brooks at The Eternal Night

"Zephyr Unfolding has realistically complex characters, a quick pace, and a great sense of intrigue. Some readers will be put off by the graphic brutality; I had some trouble with it myself. On the other hand, Ren is a magnetic character, whose inner rage fires up every scene he inhabits. Meantime, Aurora, slave turned freedwoman, delves through her own uncertainties in a way familiar to many of us.
"Ms. Kurtz has written a lively and intricate book. Zephyr Unfolding is a worthy adventure."

Jeanette Cottrell
eBook Reviews Weekly (direct link to the review here)
Author of At Risk of Being a Fool


"Though fictional, the future Nicole Givens Kurtz envisions in ZEPHYR UNFOLDING will haunt you with its very real possibilities. It gave me pause."
-- Sheri L. McGathy, author of Season of Gold


"A compelling novel...A work of vision and maturity that is a pleasure to read, and read again."
--Michael LaRocca, author of Vigilante Justice


"Zephyr Unfolding is a fascinating, though terrifying, look at one possible future for Earth. Tyrants of the United World Council have taken control of the world. Commander Ren is a member of the Resistance, resolute in the fight for freedom for all. At a Resistance hideout, innocent people are murdered and Ren's love is kidnapped. In following the orders of his general, a mission goes wrong and Ren is accused of murdering a UWC official. Suspicion that an informant lurks among his unit gnaws at him. Will he find proof that a traitor exists, or will he be executed before he has the chance to do so? Will he be able to locate and rescue the woman he loves from a sadistic torturer, or will he arrive too late? What chance does the Resistance have against the superior military powers of the UWC?

Zephyr Unfolding is a skillfully-plotted, roller-coaster ride of a story, packed with action and suspense, love and betrayal. It kept me turning pages long into the night!"

--Jeanne Allen, author of Orphilion Dreams

"Action, intrigue, romance -- Zephyr Unfolding has it all."
-- David Lee Summers, editor of Tales of the Talisman Magazine

"Earth is a battleground.

Under the guise of a benevolent health organization, the United World Council, led by brilliant scientist Laurel Anderson, is secretly working toward the goal of world domination. Anderson sets loose a new virus, then sells the cure to those governments willing to pay his price. But even the schemes of a genius can go wrong, and a runaway mutated virus and poisoned water supplies leave much of the earth's surface uninhabitable. Long after Anderson's death, his legacy of hate lives on. The UWC still rules, but an organized Resistance Army struggles to free mankind from its brutal tyranny.

But even within the Resistance, power struggles and betrayals work against Commander Ren and his band of fighters. The island they've taken refuge on is attacked, and before Ren can uncover the identity of those who sold him out, he's given new orders to proceed to Zephyr, one of the floating cities man has built to escape the poison of the land below. Zephyr's mayor, loyal to the UWC, has indicated his willingness to shift that loyalty to the Resistance. Ren has a bad feeling about the assignment, but orders are orders, and he and his men find themselves in the floating desolation known as Zephyr, where nothing but murder and betrayal wait.

There's action galore in this story and a large, diverse cast of characters that lends interest to the story. Todd Alt, second in command in the UWC, is an evil man with dreams of moving further up the ladder of power. Those in the Resistance are ostensibly the good guys, but even so, they're rift with human frailty. Commander Ren is a hardened man who commands with an iron fist. He's an angry, harsh man who can only dream of the love he once had and lost. His younger brother Bain is handsome, but he's weak in comparison to Ren and is more interested in chasing women than in saving the world. Lovers, ex-lovers, and traitors abound, and like the floating city of Zephyr, the many intertwined relationships are up in the air until the very end.

The author paints a bleak outlook of the future, but underlying the brutality of war is an exciting tale of survival and perseverance."

--Jaye Roycraft, Author of RAINSCAPE

Although the United World Councilís (UWC) stated mission is the protection of the Earth, their ultimate goal is world domination. Behind the scenes UWC operatives scheme using biological warfare and subterfuge to undermine political stability and entrench their own power. After releasing a killer-virus on the Earthís population, the UWC (of course) is responsible for finding a miracle cure. Fortunately, the UWCís master plan has been uncovered by the Resistance, a small group dedicated to protecting the Earth from its erstwhile protectors, the UWC.

Unfortunately, the Resistance itself is under-siege--plagued by informants, plots, and double agents. Ren, the Resistanceís heroic second-in-command, is framed for the murder of Zephyrís mayor after his love, Angel, is kidnapped. Ironically, once Ren is incarcerated, he finds himself in a cell across from Angel, who has been tortured in a attempt to learn the Resistanceís headquarters? location, as well as the groupís plans. Angel, who has no knowledge of the Resistanceís secrets, is a shell of herself by the time Ren finds her. Desperate, Ren manages to overpower one of the UWCís prison shipís guards and escape with Angel into the depths of the ship on which they are being held. But, there seems no way off for either of them--and Ren has no way to contact the Resistance. And, even if Ren and Angel are able to escape--they have no way of knowing who they can trust in the Resistance. . .

ZEPHYR UNFOLDING is a powerhouse of a sequel to BROWNE CANDIDATE. As usual, Nicole Givens Kurtz? storytelling is brilliant. Her characters are compelling, emotional, and very real, and the action is frankly fabulous. ZEPHYR UNFOLDING has everything you are looking for in a science fiction thriller--action, adventure, romance, narrow escapes, and ironic twists of plot. Ms. Kurtz does a great of job of interweaving political drama into the story without seeming heavy-handed or predictable. The cloak-and-dagger sequences are as good as any episode of "Alias" and certainly as well-written as Tom Clancy or Larry Bond. Ren and Angelís romance is endearing and both are incredibly noble characters. All-together, ZEPHYR UNFOLDING is a wonderful read. If you are a fan of science fiction, political thrillers, or just looking for a great adventure story, don?t miss ZEPHYR UNFOLDING--you?ll never forgive yourself!

~ Reviewed By Beverly Forehand

Zephyr Unfolding (Excerpt)


The United World Council burst onto the world scene with dazzling success in creating cures, treatments, and revolutionary ideas in medicine and the environment. Eventually cancer became extinct and within ten years of the UWCís formation, the ozone layer was restored. The rainforests still thrived and were purchased from the native peoples and nurtured back to health.

Many were mesmerized by such rapid and positive change. The world leaders congratulated themselves on developing such a novel enterprise and poured even more money into the United World Council. Each jockeyed for the favorable position of the country that had contributed the most funds for the worldís future.

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta eventually closed due to severe cutbacks in the budget. The U.S. government saw the CDCís efforts as duplicates of the United World Council. Not to mention, the CDC added more costs since the U.S. also gave money to the UWC. The UWC moved into the CDCís buildings and offices and took over the CDCís entire data banks of information, stored diseases and equipment.

They merged with the World Health Organization a few short years later, thus eliminating any other competitor in the field of world health and prevention.

A small cry of outrage by certain individuals fell on the deaf ears of the president. A former actor and playwright, the president heard only his own audience, not the ones who disapproved so vociferously. The presidentís mother was cured of breast cancer, which was of additional influence to his decisions regarding the UWC. He had a blind spot, if you will, when it came to the United World Councilís requests and actions.

The United States? citizens agreed with the president, due in part to the overwhelming success of the United World Council.

The mastermind behind the radical improvements in healthcare and the environment was Laurel Andersen. A scientist and environmental activist extreme, Andersen lobbied, campaigned and won the honor of director of the UWC with the smooth flair of a polished politician.

Only thirty-five years old at the time, many believed Andersen to be the next Einstein. He graduated from high school at ten and from college at thirteen. By nineteen, he had his doctorate. He appeared to know everything and his IQ frightened many in the science community. It seemed unrealistic for one personís IQ to be so high.

What frightened scientists even more was Andersenís appearance. He stooped slightly when he walked, his head dipping forward due to his large frontal mass. He eyes peered from underneath the massive weight of his brain.

After several years in Atlanta, Andersen moved the UWCís headquarters to England and there he was often seen with several folders shoved beneath his arms, assistants swirling about him, talking in hushed tones, and books being tossed onto the floor, discarded. He shuffled from one research lab to another, barking out orders and redesigning project plans at the drop of a hat.

Many believed Andersen pushed the researchers and scientists to their full capabilities and then further.

Others believed Andersen pushed them closer to insanity.

As these rumors swirled around various governments, they were swiftly dismissed as malicious gossip. The world basked in the UWCís limelight of environmental success and glory.

The same year that cancer was defeated, someone managed to kill every single member of the United Nations.

Despite the security measures since September 11th, the suspect slipped past security by shooting the guards with a spray of bullets. The guards that survived might have later wished they hadn?t.

Shortly after the initial break-in, the power at the United Nations? building flickered out. According to witnesses who were speaking with individuals via cellular phones, fear grew rampant as gunshots rang out and screams were heard as the shots ripped from the darkness.

The news and video coverage reported that a person appeared in the conference room, delivered a brief speech in what was believed to have been French and detonated a series of bombs. The exits were locked and no one escaped, not even the suspect.

Suicide bomber.

The police speculated that the terrorist did not act alone but had help from someone who worked at the United Nations. No one was ever formally charged with the massacre, but several extreme terrorists groups tried to claim that act as theirs.

As the world mourned such a terrifying act of evil, certain small countries were being overthrown. Unknown to anyone but those involved, countries began changing hands and unidentified terrorists forced signed agreements of power.