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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.



True or False Fun Fact: A telomere [tel-uh-meer] is a rare monkey found only in Madagascar?


This answer is not found within a species or genus of monkey. Nor on Madagascar.   A telomere is the protective tip at the end of cell chromosomes, involved in controlling cell life. And death.  A nobel prize was awarded in 2009 for scientific strides in telomere biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates showed that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes – the telomeres – and in an enzyme that forms them – telomerase.  Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered that a unique DNA sequence in the telomeres protects the chromosomes from degradation.

Taming the Telomeres (TTT) is a fiction thriller that examines the vast commercial potential of telomere research to the world’s super powers.  The value of extending human life even 15% is mind boggling, and biological spying on these advances is hardly surprising.

While not about taming monkeys on Madagascar, TTT won the 2015 Gold Award for top fiction thriller in the Readers Favorite Int’l. Book contest, and was the lone medalist in the New Apple Literary Awards for ebook fiction thriller also.

Some call TTT a biological thriller, or a medical thriller.  Amanda Michaels is the lone survivor of a jet crash that killed all aboard.  Except her.  She comes to learn that she possesses biological secrets that covert agents will kill over.

Taming the Telomeres is now available on narrated by Mikael Naramore, and the ebook and paperback  versions of Taming the Telomeres are also on Amazon.


Award Winning Author R.N. Shapiro Interviews Award Winning Author Garret Holms About ‘Grant of Immunity’ Thriller


Author Garret Holms brings major credibility to his international book award winning legal thriller Grant of Immunity, having worked as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and trial court judge. I recently met Garret at the 2015 Readers Favorite Int’l book award ceremony in Miami, Florida (he was awarded a silver medal) and we traded writing stories and tips that may help us both as thriller authors.

He told me he enjoyed reading my award winning thriller ‘Taming the Telomeres’ and I promised to read his novel (which I did and it was excellent!) and then he agreed to this interview about his courtroom thriller, and our author-to-author chat follows:

thriller author interviews thriller author colleague

Award winning thriller author R.N. Shapiro interviews award winning author Garret Holms about his exciting legal thriller ‘Grant of Immunity’

Q:  Please summarize, without spoilers, your award winning novel Grant of Immunity? And is it part of a series?

A: Grant of Immunity, is set in 1976, Los Angeles. Sarah Collins, a young mother of two, is brutally raped and murdered at the Hollywood Reservoir. For nineteen years, the murder remains unsolved and the case goes cold. In 1995, the streets of Los Angeles are being terrorized by Jake Babbage, a traffic cop who uses his position of power to rape and murder innocent women. On his way to court one day, Babbage sees Judge Daniel Hart. The two recognize each other, and the terrifying night of nineteen years ago comes back to haunt the highly respected judge. The aftermath of the encounter brings long-buried secrets to light and tests the moral fiber of Judge Hart, who has committed himself to protecting those victimized by the very crimes of which he is now accused.

Grant of Immunity is the first book in a three-book series of novels that have Judge Daniel Hart the protagonist. The second book in the series will be completed during 2016.

Q:   What appeals (pun unintended) to you about writing legal thrillers?

A:  The courtroom is the best stage for a gut-wrenching thriller. It’s where tempers fly and tensions flare.

award winning authors accept 2015 Readers Favorite book awards.

L-R: Author R.N. Shapiro, author Steve LeBel, & author Garret Holms at the 2015 Readers’ Favorite author awards ceremony in Miami, Florida.

Oftentimes, when you read legal thrillers, lawyers and detectives are cast as leads while the judge is a secondary and somewhat elusive character. As a author in the legal thriller genre, I wanted to explore the judge’s position in the judicial system with accuracy while showcasing the bare emotions that are often tucked away when one is in an authoritative position like that of a judge.

I enjoy creating well-rounded characters that transcend their respective titles or roles in a legal thriller. This is the writing challenge I love: to construct an authentic set of events, including powerful courtroom scenes, that engage, entertain and educate the reader.

Q:  Outline the legal experience in the type of law you write about?

A:  As a prosecutor and defense attorney, I’ve tried countless cases. I know the disappointment that comes with losing after weeks of going over how I would present the evidence. I also know the joy of winning, and how it feels to speak to the jurors in those circumstances.

I’ve handled countless trials as a judge. I know what it’s like to have everyone in the courtroom watching your face as the evidence unfolds as well as the challenge of having to decide difficult legal questions quickly and correctly.

Q:  What’s surprised you the most about your experience with the law, and translating this into writing legal thrillers?

A:  After years working in our criminal justice system, I still believe our system of justice is the best in the world. What surprised me is how difficult it was to translate everyday courtroom life into a riveting work of crime fiction.

Q:  How hard is it to be accurate about the legal system and present an accessible narrative?

A:  The legal system has strict rules of evidence and uncompromising standards of ethical behavior. Sometimes authors, for storytelling purposes, overlook these rules.. For example, years back, there was popular movie where, during a criminal trial the defendant’s public defender and a member of the jury worked together to investigate and determine if the defendant was guilty. In the end, they determined the defendant was innocent and that the true murderer was . . . the judge! This was a great story with a profoundly surprising twist. But, it could never happen in real life.  The lawyer and juror were obstructing justice and the lawyer could be disbarred for such acts. In my view, this is the equivalent of an action movie where the hero outruns an explosion or of a horror movie when the coed goes back into the house even though she knows the ax murderer waits inside.  My goal on the other hand is to write a compelling and engrossing story that is consistent with the way our justice system works without the gimmicks.

Q:  Are there legal concepts that you find very hard to convey in a fiction thriller?

A:  It can be challenging to convey certain legal concepts in a digestible way for the average Joe. If a plot depends upon a subtle legal theory, it must be presented in a way that the reader understands and is interested in.  If done correctly, the reader is engaged and finishes the novel with a sense that they learned something new and insightful about our criminal justice system.

Q:  What do you think the public’s biggest misconceptions about the legal system are?

A:  Some of them think that a good lawyer will do anything to win his or her case, legitimate or not, ethical or not, legal or not. Others believe that prosecutors are only concerned with winning their case, even if an innocent person is convicted and even executed. There are people that view judges as cold, aloof and impatient. There are people who view many police as corrupt also.

I try to counter this by presenting a story where you have both good as well bad cops, careful as well as careless lawyers; caring as well as callus judges. I aim to develop stories that look inside these characters and demonstrate that guilt or innocence is not black or white, but shades of gray.

Thanks so much for the interview Garret, and you can pick up Grant of Immunity on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble, and the audiobook is on, or iTunes.  Check out Garret Holm’s author website as well. We look forward to book two in your series featuring Judge Hart as well.


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