In this highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning A Hero Dreams, Ricky Williamson is now a seemingly well-adjusted adult and loyal corporate employee, working diligently in a ten-by-ten cubicle—a mere breath away from executive row. Under the surface, though, he's haunted by memories of an incident that occurred twenty-five years ago at a Maine summer camp. Consumed by rage and hell-bent on revenge, he's ready to execute a deadly plan. Regular trips to the gun range have sharpened his skills. His arsenal is fully stocked. It's just a matter of choosing the right moment.
But something extraordinary occurs when Ricky discovers the body of a young boy floating along the grassy shore of a neighborhood lake. The boy wakes, and their eyes meet. It's impossible, yet he's a spitting image of Ricky at the age of ten.
What happens when parallel universes collide? Are we inescapably bound by circumstance? Or do we have within us the power to rise above the past and choose a different path?
Mark Ristau is an award-winning author whose life took a sharp turn when he was downsized from a corporate attorney job he'd held for nearly fifteen years. Instead of sending out his résumé, however, he decided it was time to pursue his dream. Selling his house and virtually all his belongings, he packed the car and migrated to a town on Florida's Gulf Coast, setting for the prologue to the first book in the Hero's Path series, A Hero Dreams.
Six years later, A Hero Dreams was published, followed by Beyond the Threshold, which chronicles the journey of Mark's protagonist, Ricky Williamson, into adulthood and the days leading up to 9/11.
"Our choices in life, and the power of forgiveness, are the themes in this absorbing bildungsroman, the follow-up to 'A Hero Dreams,' that follows troubled hero Ricky Williamson from his childhood in the 1970s up to the dawn of the new millennium. The assault he endured as a child has left its mark on his personality, and he has had deep problems at work and eventually looks to get back at the people who have hurt him. But a mysterious boy named David suddenly appears in his life—or at least in his mind—forcing Ricky to face his past and helps him remake his life for a better future." - BookLife Reviews
"Mark Ristau's 'Beyond the Threshold' is a provocative, enlightening read. [His] well-crafted writing takes both his characters and readers to the edge." - IndieReader Reviews
"Following in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, Mark Ristau takes a young man on an intense and magical journey, revealing what his life had been, what it has come to, and what it might be. In this novel we come to see the stories we tell ourselves and how to break out of them by going 'Beyond the Threshold.'" - Mary Logue, author of the Claire Watkins mysteries and "The Streel"
"Author Ristau deftly entwines memoir-like realism with a mysterious supernatural plotline. Vivid prose and deeply emotional scenes draw you in, and the mystical storyline sets the hook. Ultimately, a poignant and introspective journey of self-discovery." - Kevin A. Kuhn, award-winning author of "Do You Realize?"
"'Beyond the Threshold' reveals the extreme pain and daunting struggles many young people face daily as they battle the invisible pain of adversity. Author Mark Ristau masterfully exposes the trauma, gnawing pain and invisible damage so many people encounter. A true challenge in writing such a story is to make it palatable to the reader. Ristau succeeds beyond expectation by using his words to masterfully paint beautiful scenes and intriguing, believable characters. 'Beyond the Threshold' exposes the challenge of invisible wounds for all to see." - Capt. Jim Kosmo, author and speaker