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"A Thriller for the 21st Century"

Envy.  Deceit.  Murder.  War.  Can human nature ever change?  Will mankind take a fateful evolutionary leap and become a new species? Or are we doomed by our genes to forever spin on what the Hindus term the Wheel of Life? 


Is DEATH really the end?

If not,

Where will you go when you die?

No doubt about it. That's the biggest--and scariest--question we all are compelled to ask. We wonder about it, if only fleetingly. We fret about it when we do. Mostly we avoid the subject. We rely on religion as a balm to help us avoid the pain of facing this ultimate reality:  Our physical death. But what if there is more? Eventually, we all have to take this frightful journey. SECOND EDEN explores this uncharted territory in the guise of a modern thriller, a Thriller for the 21st Century.  Read reviews. Start reading now.

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 The Greatest Mystery

It’s the greatest mystery since The Da Vinci Code

Scene: An archaeological dig in Iraq

Sharabi’s bare arms were pimpled with goose bumps. The rose colored pre-dawn sky was cloudless. For a second, Roscha’s parting words the previous night caught in his mind. He shivered. We’ll concentrate on the lowest level we can reach today, he thought, as he dumped a streaming ribbon of sand from his boot, like the sand from an hourglass...

...Roscha Venable stood with Youssef Sharabi  on a makeshift scaffold on the second level of the excavation at Ur-el-Sharabi, watching impatiently as Moab coaxed his workers with taunts and curses and occasional lashes of his riding crop. One last stone blocked the entrance to a suspected royal tomb.  For the first time since Miles was killed and his own life became threatened, Roscha felt he had a chance, however slight, to save himself. 

“This must be how Carter felt when his feeble light first pierced the darkness of Tutankhamen’s tomb,” Sharabi said in a reverent tone.  

“Speaking of Egyptians...,” Roscha steadied himself on the shaky scaffolding. “What about the ankh Kopi found? I mean the link between the Egyptian and the Mesopotamian cultures isn’t hard to swallow, but the depth at which it was found is astonishing.” 

“And the similarity to the symbol on the Martian book!” Sharabi added….

 Scene: A short while later, calamity at  Ur-el-Sharabi ...

…Sharabi knocked two dirt-encrusted artifacts gently together. “Just before the cave-in, he managed to get these out to us.”   Some small measure of debris fell away after a couple of taps, revealing a hint of shiny metal. “I should be using a dental pick on these, but….” With greater force he hit them together again. Two large pieces of dirt separated from the smaller of the two objects, freeing a silvery object, which fell to the floor.  

“Well, I’ll be damned!” Roscha felt as if he knew what it was but couldn’t bring himself to articulate it. He handed it to Sharabi.  

“Cherubic figure on the handle. Very high quality. Looks like a silver baby spoon. Can’t be silver, though—” 

”Yes,” Roscha agreed. “No tarnish.” He bent down and picked up the other piece. About the size of a large man’s hand, it was comprised of a double cylinder, a smaller diameter one on top of a larger diameter one of slightly greater length. There was a small circular structure on the top of the cylinder near what must have been a handle, because it fit quite nicely into his hand. At the other end was a tiny bead of solid silver metal. A piece had been broken off between the lower cylinder and the presumed handle. Roscha hefted the object, gently tossing it up and down, assessing its weight and character. “Wonder what this could be?”  

“I don’t know,” Sharabi said, a troubled look on his face. “But when you just now pointed it at me, I got the distinct impression it was a gun.”   Start reading now. Read reviews.

The Greatest Prophecy

But it’s not just a book about an archaeological dig in Iraq, an ancient site that gives clues to our secret beginnings on Earth and our long journey from the past... It’s the greatest prophecy since The Celestine Prophecy

“Oh my God!” Molly gasped.                                                                    

Malcolm continued. “There’s more. Just yesterday, the stone at Mecca disappeared.” 

She felt a shiver and drew her afghan up over her legs. “The one the Archangel Gabriel was supposed to have given Mohammed?” 


“There’ll be more war over that,” she stammered.

“If Islam has been looking for the ultimate excuse for a global Jihad against the West, they’ve got it now. Our war on terrorism will probably evolve into something much more awful, I’m afraid.” He seemed to recover some of his cheerfulness. “But remember this: keep your eye on the Eastern Gate of Old Jerusalem; it’s been sealed with stone for centuries.  Judaic tradition has it that if it is ever again opened, it means that Judgment Day is near.”  Start reading now.  Read reviews.

  The Greatest Terrorism

But it’s not just a book about the nature of prophecy... It’s a book about the ultimate terrorism...And the ultimate fate of human life on Earth... 

“...Right now there is a bioengineering company called the Aquarian Genomic Research Center, a private research organization purportedly funded by a large American foundation. Openly, they are pursuing human cloning and the production of stem cells for compassionate medical purposes, to grow replacement organs for transplantation and the like. A noble cause if true. But in reality, they are funded by wealthy Islamic terrorists, and they are pursuing more nefarious ends. Two programs are well advanced….

"One aims to create genetically engineered monsters, creatures indistinguishable from human to the uninitiated but who nonetheless lack free will. They are to be trained in special madrasas, or Islamic schools, where they will be taught blind obedience to their masters. And their sole purpose in life will be to die in the service of death, to carry bombs or disease or toxins, spreading carnage and mayhem in endless supply.  

"But it is the second Genomic Center program that will, though quite by accident, spell doom for all DNA-based life on Earth.

 But most of all…It’s a great book about YOUR past...and YOUR individual future.  Start reading now. Read reviews.

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If you liked The Da Vinci Code, read this: 

"Just finished your book Second Eden…. I thought that it was wonderful. I actually couldn't put it down. I also read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and I have to admit yours is still leaving an eerie feeling. It really makes you think about what is around you….Thanks for the most enjoyable hours.” --Reader P. Zielinski Start reading now. Read reviews.

Not your typical Mayan calendar apocalypse prophecy, but the ultimate Judgment-Day thriller.  What could explain as pieces of a rational universal puzzle: Incessant UFO sightings, the evidence for which has reached the level of proof of extraterrestrial contacts?  Our ancestors view of  angels?  Our seemingly inexplicable experiences as self-conscious spiritual beings with Free Will? And our unsuccessful attempts to integrate science with spirituality? It’s about ALL of Us… Our beginnings…and our next steps in our long journey home....

WARNING: Second Eden will change your idea of God in a way far different from The Da Vinci Code...

Second Eden is a non-sectarian spiritual thriller, based on science, with a message that defies many religious prejudices. It’s not just for Christians. Not just for Jews. Not just for Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists. It doesn’t matter if you are agnostic. Second Eden’s message is clear, powerful and timeless.  It speaks to the core of our humanity and resonates with ancient memory. One thing is certain: This book will either challenge your beliefs or confirm what your heart has told you all along. Best of all, it's a modern-day, scientific thriller in the tradition of Michael Crichton.
   Start reading now.

"Second Eden deals with many contemporary issues, such as...the age-old discussion of science versus spirituality." --Anne Lenehan, author of Story: The Way of Water, a biography of astronaut Story Musgrave        Start reading now.  Read reviews.

"His writing is sociologically savvy, politically astute, scientifically accurate, and epistemologically engaging. This is science fiction, rising to higher ground!"--Aviation Writer Jeff Pardo
Start reading now. Read reviews.


Now available from AMAZON in KINDLE Edition:


What’s inside Second Eden? Answers...lot's of answers.....

  • Could UFOs be real? And have a meaning few would have expected? (Remember Arthur C. Clarke's famous quote, which is at the beginning of SECOND EDEN: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.")

  • What was really discovered at Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947? The answer will astound you!

  • What is the ultimate act of terror? (Unless you are fairly well schooled in how DNA works, you may not have even guessed at this possibility.) Could it happen?

  • What happened to the Ark of the Covenant? (Hint: it’s not in a government warehouse somewhere, ala Indiana Jones.)

Sometimes the weirdest things turn out to be connected in ways no one had before imagined. Sometimes the most improbable becomes the actual....

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"The destiny of mankind is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move in the world...we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty." Winston Churchill

Albert Einstein said: "I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two thirds of the people of the earth might be killed, but enough men capable of thinking, and enough books, would be left to start again, and civilization could be restored." Second Eden might have changed his mind.

“When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind.” Bill Moyers, PBS commentator and author

Envy.  Deceit.  Murder.  War.  Can human nature ever change?  Will mankind take a fateful evolutionary leap and become a new species? Or are we doomed by our genes to forever spin on what the Hindus term the Wheel of Life? 

A mystery as deep as the origins of thought. A clash of worldviews more profound than Islam vs. Christianity.  An unlikely hero, an even more unlikely heroine. In SECOND EDEN two very different personalities are thrust together by strange fortune in a desperate struggle for personal survival that soon becomes a fight for all mankind.

When a book in an alien language is brought back by a Mars probe, a secret government society whose roots reach back to the beginning of the Cold War sees the manuscript as a threat to national security. But could an alternate interpretation point to the approach of an epochal crossroads for humanity?

And when the ancient text is finally deciphered, will truth be the ultimate victim, or will we have the courage to face a human history no one could have suspected?  Start reading now.

Selected Snippets of Reviews

"...This is actually a superior entry into the genre. There is a sense of depth to the characters which elevates it above the ordinary...." --Professor John Walsh, Shinawatra International University, Thailand

"Austin has written a polished story...that successfully combines the action and adventure elements of Clive Cussler with the mystery and suspense of Dan Brown."—By J. G. Trott

"Second Eden deals with many contemporary issues, such as space exploration, genetic manipulation of the human species and extra-terrestrial life. It also encompasses the age-old discussion of science versus spirituality."--Anne Lenehan, author of Story: The Way of Water, a biography of astronaut Story Musgrave

"Carlton Austin’s Second Eden is a compelling work of both science and substance. He takes the everyday ingredients of life and moves them to their logical but unseen ends. This is a highly readable novel which will both entertain and enlighten.” --Peter Porosky, author of The Sins of Major Lord and other works.

"Carlton Austin has crafted a wonderful piece of work in Second Eden—an action-packed suspense thriller with a little romance and some elements of science fiction." Lillian Brummet, book reviewer, co-author of Trash Talk, a guide for anyone concerned about his or her impact on the environment, and author of Towards Understanding

“Carlton Austin's Second Eden weaves a fast-moving, illuminating, and thoroughly engaging cosmic gestalt….” —Aviation writer Jeff Pardo

“It could be the final scenario in the war on terror--but God, I hope not!”— Robert Zimmerman

"This book gets a five star rating and a huge thumbs up."
William W. Banks Jr. - executive director of The Oxford Research Institute

“Not many books grab me from the first sentence, but this one did. I knew right away this would be delicious and it was.”—Joan Forman 

“I thought the book raised fundamental questions
not often touched on in popular genre fiction... Who are we? 
What is happening to us? What is mankind's future? Provocative,
exciting, thoughtful—a good read all around.”—R. G. Kelly, professor of American Studies, University of Maryland

"I took the opportunity to read Second Eden based on a recommendation from a friend. I started on July 4 weekend and finished before the weekend was over. I could not put this book down. I was almost sorry the story ended but it was a great way to start my summer." --Reader P. Ferris   Start reading now.  Buy it now.


Now available from AMAZON in KINDLE Edition: $3.49

Now available from B&N in Nook Edition:  $3.59

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