Ted Galdi entered the world of novel writing with the publication of bestselling Elixir, winner of a Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award and a Silver Medal in the Readers’ Favourite Book Awards.
He’s a graduate of Duke University, a major in Political Science with a Certificate of Achievement in Film, Video, and Digital Media Studies. After college, Ted co-founded a software company.
He recently completed his second novel, An American Cage, to be released Fall 2017. View the book trailer and opening-chapter preview now.
Ted has been featured by ABC and FOX television, iHeart Radio, Examiner, and many other media outlets. Check out his interviews if you’d like.
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About the book
Three inmates break out of a maximum-security prison in Texas, one of them Danny Marsh, a suburban kid in his twenties who landed in jail because of a crime he never intended to commit. An American Cage follows Danny and his two escape partners over a twenty-four-hour period as they struggle to cross Texas to freedom in Mexico. On this dangerous journey, Danny has to evade the rabid Texas authorities, and even worse, the schemes of one of his closest allies, who isn’t who he seems.
As inmates of Thurgood L. Crick prison funnel out of the library toward the dining hall for eleven-AM lunch, Danny Marsh stays back, hidden behind a rack of books, aware this could be the last hour of his life. He peers through the small space above the skyline of paperback spines on the fourth shelf of the rack, at the penitentiary librarian fifty feet away, a kind-eyed, plump-gutted man smiling at the felons as they exit. Five criminals remain by the doorway. Now four. Another smile and nod from the librarian. Three left. Smile, nod. Two. One. Smile, nod, removal of keys from pocket. All convicts are outside. The librarian leaves. The joints of the steel door go currkunk as it closes. Danny hears the ding and ping of the key locking up.
“We’re good,” a voice oiled with excitement says to Danny’s left. Two other bodies in white prisoner uniforms burst out from behind two other bookracks, one of them the owner of the voice, Monty Montgomery, a lean-bodied black guy about Danny’s age, both mid-twenties.
Danny and Monty dash side by side toward the back-right corner of the library, trailed by the third member of the trio, Phil Zorn, a frail-framed, little-legged man in his late forties, whose shorter strides keep him a few paces behind the two athletic twenty-somethings.
Winding around shelves, they move with an erratic hurry in their steps, just as precise as it is crazed, similar to how stagehands might scurry to and fro their places behind the curtains of a Broadway show on opening night.
Danny pushes a desk, its legs screeching as it rumbles four feet to the right. The three inmates stare at the area of cinderblock wall the desk was covering. Four blocks are removed. Monty grips the edge of the gap in the wall, the muscled black flesh of his shoulder exposed as the sleeve of his white prison shirt flops back, and climbs inside, his six-foot-one body wiggling until disappearing.
Phil goes in next, his palm squeezing his eyeglasses to his face to keep them on. Then Danny.
Crouched inside the wall, they’re hushed other than the puff of their nervous breath. The only light is the faint spillover from the library, which kisses their stashed stack of supplies. A roll of duct tape. A twelve-inch, battery-run reciprocating power saw. Three large atlases. And ten prison uniforms.
Danny takes a second to absorb the reality that they’ve come this far, out of the hell of the penitentiary into this forbidden Eden of secret space, then says to Phil, “I’ll get you first.”
Phil picks up an atlas and presses it to his torso. Danny unravels a two-foot piece of duct tape, tears it with his teeth, and wraps it around Phil’s scrawny mid-section, securing the book to his stomach. Phil fastens the second atlas to Danny. The third to Monty. Then they tape up each other’s palms.
Danny grabs the power saw, Monty the ten uniforms, Phil the tape. They carry the supplies to a nearby mechanical area, where a ventilation duct runs overhead. Danny flips on the saw, the gentle whir of the blade filling the quiet space. He guides it to the steel shell of the vent, its teeth gnashing through with a high-pitched, metal-on-metal shriek.
While he saws, Monty and Phil kneel around the stack of uniforms. Monty ties a shirt to a pair of pants, then passes the linked length of fabric to Phil, who reinforces the knot with tape.
Danny figures lunch is just beginning now. It ends in a half hour, followed by a standing, in-cell prisoner headcount. No more than ten minutes later the guards will know they’re missing. No more than ten minutes from then they’ll realize it wasn’t some administrative counting mistake. But an escape. And no more than ten minutes from then a legion of hunters across man and beast will pursue them, Texas cops with German shepherds and the legal choice to use lethal force.