EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
How the Water Falls
by K. P. Kollenborn
How the Water Falls is currently on tour with Worldwind Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
On the fringes of a civil war arise a kaleidoscope of stories of abuse, power, betrayal, sex, love, and absolution, all united by the failings of a dying government. Set in the backdrop during the last years of South Africa's apartheid, How the Water Falls is a psychological thriller that unfolds the truth and deception of the system’s victims, perpetrators, and unlikely heroes.
The two main characters, one white, Joanne – a reporter, the other black, Lena – a banned activist, have their lives continuously overlap through the people they know during a thirteen-year period and eventually become friends as a result of their interviews together. Joanne personifies the need to question and investigate apartheid’s corruption from a white person’s perspective. Although her intentions begin with idealism, no matter how naïve, as the years pass while the system is failing, she crosses the threshold of what it means to be caught up inside the belly of the beast, especially after crossing paths with the Borghost brothers. Lena, who is inspired by her predecessors, such as Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, is among the minority of black women to peacefully battle for equality, even if her struggle is indicative of sacrificing her health and safety. Hans Borghost is Johannesburg’s commissioner of police who, like all those before, had a military background before pursuing a law enforcement career. Violent, manipulative, and controlling, he incarnates the image of South Africa’s perpetrators. Jared Borghost is the younger brother of Hans and, like his brother, has a military background, but unlike Hans, he internally combats between his sense of duty and morality. His inconsistency indicates a conscience that leaves one to ponder whether Jared is either a perpetrator, victim, or both. As his surname suggests, Bor-GHOST represents the "ghosts" that haunt the family’s past. Many other characters play the roles of spies, freedom fighters, lovers, adversaries, and supporters.
This novel is as complex as apartheid was itself, unlacing fabrics of each character’s life to merge into a catalyst downfall. The question of who will survive this downfall will suffice in the courts of truth and reconciliation and whether love is strong enough to preserve peace.
Meet the main characters of How the Water Falls by K. P. Kollenborn.
Colonel Hans Borghost, a man in his early forties, rested his coffee mug on his desk. His rectangular name tag was displayed prominently, broadcasting his distinction as Commissioner of Police. He bore a hefty gut, a sign of indulgence and importance, as well as silver streaks above his ears. His blazing blue eyes were the dominating feature of the Borghost clan. All three brothers had inherited their father’s strongest physical features which made their mother feel even more inferior, may God rest her restless soul.
Flipping a folder open as he sat down, he coughed while scrutinizing a handful of photos and then carefully read the first page. A Bantu woman by the name of Lena Skosana was brought in yesterday afternoon for not having her passbook in order. It was not long before they found out she was a banned kaffir; her status forbade her to leave Alexandra for five years, but she did anyway, claiming she needed to make an important trip into Jo’burg. She was a repeat offender, having already served time for illegal activity writing blasphemes that condemned their sacred laws. Another militant kaffir who threatened civil concordance. It was an endless campaign with these people. He studied her small photos. Her youth undoubtedly opposed wisdom. Probably someone who hadn’t yet left her twenties, he guessed. Sighing, he presumed her stupidity was chronic, and the only true cure for that was to treat her like a wild horse.
Sipping his coffee, Hans closed the folder and stood up. He peeked at his wrist watch, and proceeded to walk out of his office, down the hall into the interrogation room. Closing the door, still holding his mug, a mixture of sweat and urine lagged in the shallow room. Two other white officers were present: one sitting behind a table, the other standing with a cigarette in his mouth. Both were cross-examining the Bantu woman, who was tied to a chair. Both revealed exhaustion under their eyes; sloppiness through unbuttoned collars and rolled-up sleeves. The officer smoking a cigarette had blood spots on his shirt. He was young with a crew cut and gray eyes.
Hans wasn’t surprised to find the kaffir’s face cut and bruised. One of her eyes was swollen shut. He noticed cigarette burns on her arms and legs. Her clothes were damp and he could smell her urine. Rarely did his men beat on a woman unless she retaliated like a man. Some of these women did. Some of these pagan women were nearly as strong as a man. In that case, it was justifiable. He sipped his coffee while he walked around her. She was moaning and crying.
It had been a long night for all of them. Hans allowed his men to take care of the situation, trusting them enough to perform their jobs with little misunderstanding. They weren’t new to the system and had served their two years in the military. Already primed for war; already experienced. Insurgent bombings were a monthly activity in South Africa, and had been so for two decades. This unconventional war sadly required unconventional tactics. Then he stopped. Hans stared at her skirt crinkled to her thigh. Her undergarment was ripped and discarded by her feet.
Alarmed, he looked at each of his men. “Did either of you take advantage of this prisoner?” he demanded in Afrikaans. The two glanced at each other, but remained silent. Grimacing, Hans continued, “What have I said about this sort of thing? Do what you have to get your point across, but do not gamble your health with these meids! Most often they are infected! How could either of you be so damn careless?”
“She was a virgin, sir,” the one sitting behind the table replied.
“What if she wasn’t?” Hans snapped. “At her age, I’m greatly surprised she still was a bloody virgin.” Shaking his head, he bitterly scolded, “I will not have my precinct run like a brothel! Jisus, man, be professional about interrogating a prisoner!” He glanced at the woman, partially disgusted. Again shaking his head, he grunted just before he slammed the door and ordered, “Clean her up!”
Praise for the Book
"How the Water Falls is a sweeping display of triumph over tragedy, no matter how small the victory or arduous the journey." ~ IndieReader
"K. P. Kollenborn’s novel How the Water Falls is a fabulous addition to the vibrant and turbulent history of South Africa." ~ Self-Publishing Review
"[T]his is such a powerful and moving story that I couldn’t put it down and it’s left a haunting impression on me that will stay with me for quite some time." ~ Crystal Crichlow, writer
"Highly recommended not only as an exciting thriller, but as a wonderful illustration of this past and present world-wide issue. And, thank you, K. P. Kollenborn for your outstanding effort to spotlight deceptions and lies in a manner needed to constantly strive to affect change." ~ Book Reader's Haven Blog
Inspiration Behind the Novel
From the Author
Although I've been writing since childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned to value our lessons, and the best way to recite our lessons are through storytelling. That's why I love history: To learn. To question. To redeem our humanity. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, our society's past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.
I am fortunate to have been trained by one the top ten writing teachers in the US, the late Leonard Bishop, and author of Dare to be a Great Writer. I owe my love of writing to him. In addition to writing, I draw, paint, create graphic design, and am an amateur photographer.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.