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Author Mark Stephen Levy

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Denver, Colorado, United States
I was so inspired by my adventures while traveling throughout Europe, India, Nepal, Tibet, China, and other exotic locales that I had to write something. Then one day early last year, an idea started to take form quickly. I was finally enabled to weave some of my stories and integrate them into one of the best love story adventures to come along in years.

Saturday, December 19, 2009



It's another Wednesday night at the State Bar and Grill in Washington
DC. This chic hangout is where the people of the US State Department
come to socialize and carry out their after hours business of politics,
diplomacy, information gathering and explicit socializing. It is a sedated
atmosphere atop a feel good setting. Solving one international incident
after another tends to make one numb. At the State Bar and Grill, all is
not forgotten, but at least the edge has been softened thanks to plenty of alcohol. The room is smoky, reminiscent of a 1930's speakeasy.
Conversation fills the room, some laughter, some backslapping.

At the end of the bar sits Heather Matheson and James Weatherby.
Heather is a striking young lady in her late twenties, with blond hair
cut in a longish bob. Her eyes are a bright cerulean blue, the charms
of a pretty face atop a fit and feminine body. She wears a loose fitting
blouse and stylish pants with jet black stiletto heels. Even in the dark,
one could find Heather in those shoes.

When meeting her for the first time, one struggles to know exactly where to look at her as she transmits quite a compelling figure. She is well aware of this fact, and yet does not know how to put the person at ease. By now she should have been able to combine elegance with her physical beauty, but she has not.
James is a good-looking man in his late 30's, tall, rugged, pretty much a man's man. He wears a customary dark suit and red power tie. They sit at the bar engaged in casual conversation, nothing serious, nothing humorous. Heather lets her drink sit in front of her, while James asks for another. The nightly news plays on a muted TV, and no one pays it much attention. After all, the majority of the news is already
known among the clientele of this bar.

But something on the screen catches Heather's attention. She shouts for Jake the bartender to turn it up, as he hits the volume button. The news anchor, voice suddenly restored, continues his report:

"...For the first time in history the United States will boycott the
Olympics. Because the 1980 summer games are to be held in Moscow
the US has taken this position to protest the Soviet's invasion and
occupation of Afghanistan. President Jimmy Carter made the following
statement: 'The Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan has violated the
principles of the Olympics.'"

Heather and James look at each other, silently acknowledging the story. The anchor continues:

"In related news, we have breaking reports that an unidentified
American, stranded in Afghanistan since the onset of the Soviet invasion, has escaped Afghanistan with assistance from the Soviet Military."

"That's Danny!" Heather shouts, verging on hysterics. The anchor continues:

"He is now en route back to the US. We will keep you updated as
this story develops."

Heather shakes her head, disbelieving. "He's alive?" She covers
her mouth with her hands, struggling to maintain control even as her
emotions surge. James looks at her, a mix of compassion and apprehension coating his eyes. He puts his hand on her shoulder, calmly says, "I had no idea. I'm as surprised as you are, Heather."

She starts to protest but he interrupts. "All the information we
received from our sources indicated..." James pauses to take another strong swallow of his drink. "...that he died during the invasion."

The silence swells with Heather's suspicions. James attempts to reassure her, but she protests, "Your sources were wrong!" Hurt and confused, sure, but she's reluctant to believe James could have lied to her.

"In this line of work, there are no guarantees until they are absolutes," James states. The authority of his US State Department position is evident in his voice, but it falters at the end. She's not sure what that means. If James was attempting to calm her down, he's failed. Her mind spins a million miles a minute. "I need to see him!" James agrees. "I know. We all do. The State Department will undoubtedly summon him to a debriefing. We need to know the situation over there." James stands. "I need to make some calls."

He leans over and plants a halfhearted kiss on her cheek. She looks him in the eye. "I really hope you've been honest with me." James leaves the bar to make his calls without another word.

"Danny, how did you survive all these months?" Heather whispers, still staring at the TV. She finishes her drink and wonders what she's going to do.

To find out more about the book OVERLAND, link to

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