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"In Mark Ristau’s brilliant psychological novel, Beyond the Threshold, a man grapples with his untreated childhood traumas."

—Foreword Reviews

"Our choices in life, and the power of forgiveness, are the themes in this absorbing bildungsroman."

BookLife Reviews

"Mark Ristau's Beyond the Threshold is a provocative, enlightening read. [His] well-crafted writing takes both his characters and readers to the edge."

—Indie Reader Reviews

"Following in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, Mark Ristau takes a young man on an intense and magical journey, revealing what his life had been, what it has come to, and what it might be."

—Mary Logue, author of the Claire Watkins mysteries and The Streel

"Author Ristau deftly entwines memoir-like realism with a mysterious supernatural plotline. Vivid prose and deeply emotional scenes draw you in, and the mystical storyline sets the hook."

—Kevin A. Kuhn, award-winning author of Do You Realize?




Second Book in the Hero's Path Series

You're about to take a journey

beyond the threshold

and into the mind of an American terrorist . . .

"As clever as it is profound, Ristau's tale of violation, injustice, revenge, and eventual redemption grabs one by the wrist and won't let go. Prepare for a finale that leaves you dazed, mystified, and deeply moved."

—Charles Anthony Vilina, author of Subculture

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A Hero Dreams, first book in the Hero's Path series


First Book in the Hero's Path Series

You will soon find yourself at a threshold . . .

a threshold into another world—a glorious world,

one of infinite possibility . . .

You've just been called to break free

from the shackles of your past and begin anew.

But first, you'll need to face your greatest fear . . .

Are you willing to take the first step?


A Hero Dreams won Silver in the Popular Fiction category at the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Awards.

National Indie Excellence Awards

Winner:  New Fiction

Finalist:  Visionary Fiction

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Finalist:  First Novel

Finalist:  Inspirational Fiction

"Ristau's writing is dramatic and poetic . . . The work invites examination of universal themes . . . In the classic tradition of heroic adventures, Ristau richly textures the story with obstacles of sibling rivalry, peer pressure, and bullying, while paving the way for thematic explorations of good vs evil, love and hate, honor, guilt, and forgiveness."

Foreword Clarion Reviews

"A Hero Dreams is a stunning blend of the all-too-real life of little Ricky, not yet ten years old, and the surreal world he creates for himself to survive . . . Beautiful images and scenes contrast with the hardness and brutality of real life to create a montage of what existence and survival is like for one, lonely little boy. A fine read for the drama, and the poetry will stay with you for a long time."

–Judith Koll Healey, author of The Canterbury Papers and The Rebel Princess and the forthcoming Becket: The Murder Book

"Mark Ristau has written a lovely book that tantalizes us with the line between reality and all that might be beyond."

–Mary Logue, author of the Claire Watkins mysteries and Sleep Like a Tiger

"An elegantly written and heart wrenching tale that transports readers to a time not so long ago, and yet a lifetime away. Ristau leaves us wanting to devour the next installment in the series."

–Stephen Yoch, award-winning author of Becoming George Washington

Forthcoming Books in the Hero's Path Series

what lies
beyond the threshold...
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