It is with great pleasure I introduce you to James Miller, author of No Pit So Deep – The Cody Musket Story, an epic inspirational thriller – filled with romance, adventure and suspense – an Amazon bestseller.
In the 70s and 80s after college, he was writing and performing contemporary Christian music as Jimmy Miller. Several songs made the charts. He has also owned several aircraft businesses which have been involved in ministry support throughout the world. He declares that “it was a complete surprise” to him that he would become an author!
What inspired you to write this book?
“By 2009, I had sold my businesses and had decided to retire, but retirement was one of the toughest things I had ever experienced. Life was suddenly too quiet. I tried un-retiring with several new business start-ups, but met with dismal failure. Soon, I wondered if, at the age of 65, the productive part of my life were over. I called on God with a series of desperation prayers, but things got worse.
Then, in the spring of 2014 I received a free pass to a premiere showing of a new Superman movie. While I sat in the theater, a whole new movie began to play out in my mind. What was going on in my head was much more engaging than what I saw on the screen that night. It was the story of a former Marine pilot who meets a courageous writer in Pittsburgh on a rainy night at a Superman movie. That is how the story of Cody and Brandi was born.
Over the next few months, the story grew and grew and grew. It consumed me in such a powerful way that I asked God to deliver me from it. I did not even tell Carla (Jim’s wife) about it. I saw this story as a distraction from my search to determine what God wanted me to do with the remainder of my life. Writing a book, particularly a novel, was not even on my radar. I was not a writer, and had never considered becoming one. After six months, I finally realized the story was not going away. I began writing it down and couldn’t stop.”
Tell us about the characters and the storyline.
“Cody Musket, a former US Marine pilot, Medal of Honor winner, and celebrity athlete playing third base for the Houston Astros, carries dark secrets that are destroying him. Cody was shot down in Afghanistan and captured by the Taliban and now lives in the shadow of dark events that haunt him. With the nightmares, flashbacks and depression, his only refuge is baseball. Cody is a loner, badly scarred both physically and emotionally. As a professional athlete, he shies away from publicity and avoids relationships with women. His only friends are former military buddies and a few teammates.
Brandi Barnes, a single mom, gutsy Pittsburgh editorialist who has a price on her head because she exposed a child trafficking ring. Brandi, who is part African American, has been hurt as well. She excelled as a collegiate athlete at Stanford University, but was brutalized and nearly killed by a former boyfriend. All the men in her life have disappointed her, save one — her father, a decorated former US Marine. She prays every night for God to send a man into her life who will love both her and her toddling daughter, but she has decided there are no good men left in the world.
The worst of circumstances brings the two together when Brandi is brutally attacked. Cody rescues her, and the incident goes viral. Now, the Houston Astros baseball player and the valiant reporter are both targets.
Can Cody protect Brandi while battling the demons of his own military past? The nightmares, the Taliban, the captive children, the questions. What are the generals and politicians hiding? Brandi will risk everything, but can she uncover the truth in time to save him?
Do you have a favorite scene?
“It is hard for me to pick a favorite scene, but this might be a great subject for later-on when others might weigh in after reading No Pit So Deep for themselves.
In No Pit So Deep you will see Cody Musket severely injure three professional hit men who are brutalizing a beautiful woman at a motion picture theater. This is how the Cody and Brandi saga begins.
As the story develops, they will encounter Men in Black, Jungle Dawg and Silverbelle, Cap’n Sly, and a second hit team. An incident in a hospital shower will rescue Cody from the abyss, as Brandi offers her life for his, taking heroism to a new level.
You will see a retired marine captain adopt a 27-year-old son, and a former US Marine pilot and athlete completely brought to his knees by a 20-month-old girl. The transformation of Cody Musket peaks when the elder pastor at a small AME church in a Pittsburgh suburb explains to him the thin line that separates a hero from a murderer, and talks to Cody about forgiveness.”
What do you want your readers to take away from it?
“There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.”
~~~~~Excerpt from Chapter 3~~~~~
Ne’er Saw True Beauty ‘til This Night
Normally in Pittsburgh at 6:00 p.m. in July, bright daylight would be in order. But today, with foreboding skies of black clouds and drizzle, Cody saw it as a picture of what his life had become — lots of rain and thunder and very little sunshine.
He could not see her behind the bulletin board, but something in her voice reminded him of sunlight and better days. She was going to the same movie, and she knew his best friend. I gotta find out who she is.
But mingling made him nervous. He was a freak. His clothing hid most of his physical scars, but what female in her right mind would want to be seen with him at a beach or similar social event? And the scars on his soul went just as deep. Who would want to endure his mental state?
Finally, she emerged. Stunning, early twenties, slender and athletic with long, dark brown hair, she reminded him of a Shakespeare quote — “I ne’er saw true beauty ‘till this night.”
The wind rushed right out of his chest. He tried not to stare as she passed, but his captive eyes were helpless to resist.
“Please, cowboy, leave something on me.” She spirited away, hastening her steps, her pink flip-flops flipping and flopping underneath her heels on the worn-out carpet. Something told Cody she wasn’t interested in meeting him — not now, not ever.
As he approached the turnstile, the skies outside rumbled again — another storm rolling across the Allegheny. He handed his free pass to the attendant, a slightly-built young man with freckles, a wad of gum in his cheek, orange hair, and wearing a micro ruby nose ring.
“Theater Five, sir, down the hall to your left. And what she really meant was, she’s dying to be rode.”
Cody tightened his jaw, yanked his stamped movie pass back from the attendant, and followed about fifty paces behind the captivating mystery woman. He visualized how she would look with summer sunlight shining on her face and hair.
She wore a dark brown summer blouse, the words “Coco Made Me Poor” written across the front in pink letters. With bleached cutoff jeans and a small leather purse barely large enough for her smartphone, she gracefully swayed before him like five feet, seven inches of heaven.
Was she only an apparition? Despite her display of contempt, her heavenly presence had at least temporarily calmed his storms that lurked in the night, but he would need to work up some grit just to approach her. What could he possibly say to interest her in knowing him?
Suddenly, his fantasy was shattered by a loud crash. Three men wearing ski masks had breached a nearby emergency exit from the outside. They raced into the building, brutally seized the angel of his affection, and began yanking her toward the door.
“Leave me alone! Get away! Someone call the police! Help me!” She resisted, fighting, scratching, twisting, and screaming. Her tenacity angered the abductors, so they slammed her down and dragged her across the grimy carpet toward the exit. They pulled her by the hair and from behind by the neck of her Coco shirt, which squeezed off her windpipe and ripped the blouse.
She coughed and gasped for breath while they tugged her closer and closer to the door, but still she resisted. They battered her with profane verbal abuse and extreme brutality — an apparent effort to intimidate her into submission.
Like lightning striking desert sands, the attack on this innocent woman had detonated Cody’s beautiful dream into a molten rage. Adrenaline drove his legs forward like a runaway diesel. His steely forearms tightened. He was back in Afghanistan and ready to hurt somebody.
Wow! Thanks for sharing about this project. Can’t wait to see the movie version!