My second novel comes soon from Morgan James Publishers. Lost in the System explores what would happen when an unsaved person comes face to face with a holy God. Instead of a moral person surrounded by a sea of immoral people, Lost in the System depicts one unsaved person surrounded by a sea of believers. It attempts to address the hard questions unbelievers often ask about Christianity, such as “How can God let bad things happen to his children?” It features themes of doubt and redemption, faith during suffering, and abandonment and acceptance.
Sounds serious, right? The content might be dramatic, but the story-telling is far from serious. As one reviewer said, “Smully’s time-traveling adventures are sometimes hilarious and often poignant as he barrels toward a surprising and powerful resolution.”
So what’s it about?
Smullian O’Toole, grifter, enjoys serving his prison term. Other than the daily upchucking, Life Modification Therapy is the sweetest sentence 24th century Earth offers. The system biotransposes his essence into a different 21st century person daily, whereas his body stays in the future. The therapy rehabilitates felons by teaching them the value of honest labor. Not that Smullian plans to be rehabilitated. He loves his life and his nefarious ways. Besides, he’s not a bad guy. He has rules. He doesn’t grift anyone who can’t afford it or who doesn’t deserve it.
On day 777, Smullian hears a disembodied voice utter, “Father to the Fatherless.” Thus, begins the mother of all system glitches that shatters Life Mod rules and regulations. Instead of following the usual program, the system thrusts Smullian into the case of David Hawthorne, a missing teenaged orphan. The case cuts a little to close to home for the grifter, who has been on his own since he was twelve.
As Smullian bounces from host to host, he realizes the glitch shows purpose and design. Someone, maybe the Father to the Fatherless, controls the situation, not the technicians at Life Mod. This someone peels back the façade Smullian has placed between himself and the world. Against his will, he begins to care about the kid and his older sister, Lydia. Each new host forces him to confront his own inner demons—as well as pointing him to David.
What initially seems like the clear-cut case of a runaway—grows more ominous with every clue. Smullian knows he’s not the hero type. But he’s all David has.
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