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© 2017 Mark C. Mathis

THE

KING OF ESCAPE

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Seventeen-year-old Nicholas is recovering from the shock of his father’s suicide and a resulting overwhelming addiction to pills and alcohol. After spending eight months on house arrest, a family cruise vacation is thrust upon him by his exuberant and slightly manic mother. Much to Nicholas’s surprise, he ends up finding not only redemption, but also purpose, inner strength and love on this floating city.

As we delve deep into the heart of Nicholas – a boy whose life has fallen off the tracks – we see him turn away from apathy and addiction and look to the potential of this carnival of a cruise ship. Nicholas’s change of heart shows in his interactions with his autistic brother Jacob, his mother, and even his combative sister Madeleine, or “Mad.” On the first day of the cruise, Nicholas meets Jillian, a Jamaican-American beauty whose presence livens up the family vacation. His life begins to regain momentum, giving him a reason to shape-up as he ships-out.

After navigating an embarrassing excursion with one of the cruise ship’s captain, painful run-ins with an antagonistic fellow passenger who won’t leave their family alone and a torturous spa experience, Nicholas is at his wit’s end. He will have to use all his newfound energy to stay sane, keep watch over his younger brother, and finally find a way to cope with the weight of his guilt and shame over the tragic events of the past.

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