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  • Writer's pictureCharles Harned

Beta Readers Wanted

The time has come.

The Lost Secret, formerly known as Pharos, has taken longer to finish than anticipated. But with that long wait comes what I sincerely hope will be my best novel yet. And for the first time in almost 7 years of writing novels I want to do things the right way.

That's why I'm looking for beta readers to sample The Lost Secret and provide feedback as I continue rewriting and revising in hopes of attracting an agent and/or publisher. It is my sincere hope that anyone who requests an Advanced Reader Copy will be thoroughly entertained and enjoy the experience. Either way it's a free book for you and a chance for me to get my work out there, which is what this is all about.

Let's get down to the important stuff. I'm going to include a synopsis of The Lost Secret below, but if you are reading this and have interest in acting as a beta reader please do one of the following:

  1. Comment on this blog post

  2. Email me at

  3. DM me on Twitter @Charles_Harned

Once contact has been established, I'll request an address and then send you a brand new ARC copy of the novel. All I ask is that you read it and provide some feedback focused around a few broad questions I'll send along electronically after the novel arrives. I'm still finishing up a few things and plan on having the first batch of copies printed in the next couple weeks. Once I receive them I can start mailing them out, yours to keep, of course.

Now, for the good stuff. Below is a brief synopsis of The Lost Secret, which I'm confident will perk the interest of thriller fans who enjoy lots of twists and turns.

Howard Gibson Bey works in the secretive research wing of a giant tech firm. But he isn't an engineer or developer. A bachelor with a history background, he heads up a branch of a massive knowledge acquisition project called Shimmer Light. Right up until he's summoned to an old friend's house and abducted. When he wakes up it's in the last place that he would ever expect.

A prison cell in Cairo isn't Bey's idea of a vacation. His only cellmate, Rya Mesbah, informs him that the ruthless men who abducted him did so for one reason: Bey is to uncover a collection of digitally stored memories regarding Origen Adamantius, an early Christian scholar critical to the church's success. He must relay a secret embedded in the memories to his captors before a stolen Israeli bomb can obliterate one of Europe's most important cities. Intent on reigniting the violence of the Crusades, his captors understand that something hidden in Origen's past is the key to stopping their attempt at bloodshed. Bey must escape his captors and unearth the secret in time if he has any hope of saving innocent lives. But he isn't the only one searching.

Escaping Cairo amid a wave of political unrest and traveling to Alexandria, Bey and Rya undertake a harrowing mission to find Origen's long-lost memories while being chased by the insurgents who held them hostage. What weaves from the location of Alexandria's famous library to Alexander the Great to a numerical code buried in the Old Testament could have implications much more far-reaching than preventing the start of a fresh Crusade. But each new discovery sees Bey's enemies draw closer. Aided by his sister back home and a pair of smart contact lenses that make him the only human alive capable of recovering Origen's secret, he believes he's on the verge of saving the world when his own is completely and utterly upended.

A chaotic and deadly chase where mysteries abound and the past interweaves with futuristic technology, The Lost Secret is perfect for thriller fans young and old. It's full of factual history while keeping the pages turning, (hopefully) giving readers a sense of accomplishment and growth as they follow along on Bey's adventure.

Thanks for catching up with my latest novel. If you're interested in being a beta reader and receiving a brand new copy of The Lost Secret, comment below or email me at More exciting details to come!

- Charles Harned

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