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Sleeper is the Opening Chapter of Targeting the Telomeres, Book Two

Finally, a sneak preview of chapters planned for book two, possibly to be entitled: Targeting the Telomeres, A Thiller (Book Two-Amanda’s Telomeres series) are unveiled.

Spoiler Alert:  Don’t read further if you have not read Taming the Telomeres, a #1 Amazon Best Seller.

TARGETING THE TELOMERES (c) R.N. Shapiro 2016-2018


Amanda Michaels, a teenager with genetically altered telomeres, was the sole survivor of a jet crash. After a new tragedy befalls her family, she decides vigilante justice is her only option.

‘Sleeper’ is a planned chapter in Targeting the Telomeres, a foreshadowing of events deep inside the novel.  Click the image below to read author insights and the opening chapter on the author’s portal at or just scroll down further.


The first chapter of Targeting the Telomeres, Sleeper, along with author comments are posted on by author R.N. Shapiro.


What kind of scum-sucking cockroaches kidnap a defenseless baby, Amanda Michaels thinks while trying to fall asleep.  She will make them regret that decision.

Lying on the cramped, lower bunk of the sleeper car, she feels with her fingertips along the thin foam-rubber pad masquerading as a mattress.  There it is.  She tugs on the lower portion of her backpack hiding the loaded pistol with the customized silencer, nestling what constitutes all her belongings in the crook of her right arm.  The sheath strapped under the left pant leg of her jeans secures a long KA-Bar serrated edge fixed blade knife.  And in the right pocket of her hoodie are two identical burner cell phones.  One is her only means of communication with her compatriot, who is also on the train, both of them full-in with their improbable mission.  Imagining the linen scent of her favorite candle briefly tricks her olfactory glands into ignoring the foul odors.  The elderly Chinese lady on the bunk overhead smells of mildewing clothes.  On the lower bunk an arm’s length away, a twenty-something Chinese girl sleeps with her jacket over her head.  The sleeper car’s other occupant, a tiny woman who barely stands five-foot tall and can’t weigh 100 pounds, presses her torso against the tiny sink, paper towels surrounding the collar of her shirt, while she works some type of soapy liquid through her dark brown shoulder-length hair. Amanda decides to pass on that shower.

She thinks, all I wanted was to get some of my memory back from before the crash.  Not this.

If she’s captured, what could Chinese intelligence agents possibly “get” out of her anyhow?  Sure, she survived the Hemispheres plane crash, but she doesn’t know how or why. Only that it might have had something to do with her dad’s research and her being his test subject. To study her telomeres, maybe that’s what they would want? Most likely to torture her to learn whatever she knows.

The bullet train hurtling northbound towards Beijing at 180 miles per hour suddenly lurches, causing a metallic screech that soon fades.

Amanda thinks for a moment about a family photo.  Of her dad, her, and her mom, sitting on the front porch of the house they lived in before the crash.  The one she hopes to recall, that her Uncle Andy showed her.  She mentally photoshops her baby brother Justin in too.  Nothing can stop fantasies no one else can see.

The sink-showering lady climbs back up to her top bunk, and talks in Chinese with the other older lady.

If my plan fails, I won’t have to worry anymore, Amanda decides.  Because I’ll be dead.



About Heroes:  Why I Wish I’d Met Matt Schnirel

Taming the Telomeres wins Gold Award for top thriller

Taming the Telomeres wins Gold Award for top thriller

They say that heroes leave behind a little part of themselves in each of us.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I want to tell you why I wish I’d met Matt Schnirel, who I think was a hero.  And he’s not the only one either.

Singer songwriter Jack Johnson asked: “Where’d all the good people go?  I keep changing channels.  I don’t see them on the TV shows…”  But–if heroes surrounded us every day, they wouldn’t seem heroic, would they?  Why? Because heroes are rare.  And, they make you aspire to be a person of integrity. Someone you hope you can be.

Michael Doran was a fantastic trial attorney from Buffalo, and a professional friend of mine.  He hired Matt Schnirel right out of law school to work at his small law firm.  He didn’t hire him because he finished at the top of his class.  He hired him because he had clerked for his small law firm in Buffalo, and everybody that met Matt loved him.  Michael was a very successful, persuasive attorney in front of juries.  And he was a great judge of a lawyer’s character.

I was as shocked as everyone in Buffalo that knew Michael and Matt when I heard the news that Michael Doran’s small Cirrus plane crashed in 2009 after it took off from a municipal Cleveland airport, after Michael and Matt had attended a hearing there.  Something went horribly wrong right after take-off and Michael tried to get the plane back to the airstrip when it crashed not far from the airport.  And, it was one of those planes with a special parachute that can be deployed, but only after the plane reaches a certain altitude.

I went to the funeral for Michael Doran, and that was where I heard a lot about Matt Schnirel, who was a new, young lawyer working with Michael’s law firm and who was the only other passenger who lost his life in the crash.

Heroes don’t panic in life threatening situations.  I learned a great story about Matt Schnirel after Michael’s funeral at a tribute for Michael and Matt.  Matt and a group of his high school friends accidentally went down a wrong trail on a Jay Peak Vermont ski slope in 2003 on a frigid winter afternoon-ending up stranded at nightfall in a deserted valley with no ability to get out (and no cell phone service).

Night fell, and the temperatures dropped to 30 below zero, and as each hour passed they all became more and more desperate.  One lighter proved pivotal—Matt and the others broke off tree branches and built a fire and continued to feed it hour after hour, fighting off frostbite.  At dawn, Matt led his friends to try to find their way up and out of the valley, and during that effort rescuers found them.

Matt Schnirel retold this story in his personal statement to Buffalo school of law in his application, and he was (you guessed) accepted there.

Other heroes don’t help save anyone, but still are heroic.  My late aunt, Annette Halprin, may never have “saved” anyone but she lived live with a certain  savoir-faire,  meaning she was adaptable, knowing what to do in any situation.  She treated everyone around her with dignity, she was funny, and she was always someone who I looked up to. She’s another hero, and I was privileged to give a eulogy at her funeral.

Perhaps that’s why I wrote about a hero named Amanda Michaels, the leading female character in my first fiction thriller, “Taming the Telomeres.”  I am sure I infused a part of Matt and a part of Annette in the character development for Amanda.  Though Amanda seems imperfect and perhaps not heroic at the beginning of “Taming,” she manages to pull through against her seemingly insurmountable obstacles after being the sole survivor of a jet crash.

I wish I had met Matt Schnirel.  We all have heroes.  I’m sure you know someone like him or my aunt, and no, all the good people are not gone. They are just hard to find.

Attorney-Author R.N. Shapiro Interviewed About His Award Winning Thriller

Profuse thanks to Patrick Austin, who now is the editor of the Virginia State Bar Docket Call Newsletter, for a nice interview about the ethical dilemmas faced by trial attorney Andy Michaels in Taming the Telomeres, my fiction thriller. The Judges also have some serious ethical issues as well.  Click below for the interview.

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R. N. Shapiro interviewed in Docket Call Newsletter published by VA State Bar

 VSB interview RNS [Click link].


Author Comments on ‘Positive ID’ Chapter in Taming the Telomeres

Posted a new author book bubble about the Positive ID chapter in TTT. Check it out on my author page on  or click on the image below.

positive ID

Amazon Featuring my novel Taming the Telomeres FREE on June 4 & 5

The tale of Amanda and Andy Michaels in “Taming the Telomeres” has captivated readers, now the book has 43 reviews and counting!  Also, “Taming” has a 4.5 Star Rating and I am very grateful to those who have taken the time to enter a review.  All this motivates me to continue working on my follow along novel that will pick up fairly close to where TTT leaves off.  Amanda Michaels is in her freshman year at UVA and who knows what will happen next.  (Hint: read the first novel!).

Also, Amazon is featuring Taming the Telomeres ebook version FOR FREE this June 4 and 5, 2015, so jot down a note to go to Amazon and search for TTT and get the ebook free for kindles, iPads, iPhone or whatever you use to read novels.reader badge.jpg.

What’s a Telomere?

telomere imageEvery chromosome has a special ending or cap called a telomere.  It’s like the plastic tip protecting the end of a shoelace.  When a cell divides, some of the telomere is lost.   But some enzymes can cause cell telomeres to have more cell divisions, extending cell life. Sound Intriguing? Read Taming the Telomeres to find out just how valuable telomere biological research is.


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