Which Half David: A Short Exerpt

In this scene, American mission worker is living on the edge, running away from his marital problems, trying to outrun a police car after he had too much to drink. This excerpt gives you a glimpse of the fictional capital city of Sunay City. 

The car hit its siren and weaved through the cross-traffic in hot pursuit of the brazen fugitive. Tobin felt empowered as he laughed at the image in his side mirrors before turning left into a small alleyway. A hundred meters down, he turned right onto a smaller alley and sped out of sight into the frenzied maze of the Sunay City slum, where the crowds spill onto the streets at every hour of the day. Vendors lined each side yelling at their customers. Children played games with broken remnants of the city. Men sat at hawker stands and chatted about politics. They all were inconvenienced by the man on the motorcycle, who made their already treacherous lives that much more dangerous. The same disarray that hid Tobin in its midst, blocked the police car within the first hundred yards of the first alleyway. A motorcycle carrying twelve crates of chickens slid into the car, knocking several of them to the ground and scattering the chickens in all directions. He cursed at the police car as the officers stepped out, futilely looking for traces of the foreigner. Tobin knew he was free, and he laughed at his cleverness and dumb luck.

 

Which Half David is a modern-day retelling of the historical story of King David set in the fictional Southeast Asian nation of the Sulu Republic.

Available as an Amazon Kindle ebook for $2.99. On Amazon Kindle Here.

Available on paperback from any on-line retailer, including free world-wide shipping from the Book Depository: Paperback here!

 

Win a Paperback Copy of “Which Half David”

Hello friends. Head on over to Goodreads on the link below and enter to win a paperback copy of my new release, “Which Half David.” It’s an explosive and fun story about a man who seems to conquer the world yet can’t conquer his own soul. If it sounds a little like King David, it’s no coincidence. But this story is set in present day Southeast Asia.

Check it out. And good luck!

Enter to Win “Which Half David”

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Another Great Review for “Which Half David” Give it a try!

Chris, from the Christian Indie Book Review, gave “Which Half David” a great 5-star review. Here’s a short excerpt:

“This modern-day retelling of the story of King David has a lot of sexual tension in it, as the two ex-lovers conceal their past from their respective spouses, and while Tobin attempts to fight the shameless advances of the temptress he used to be intimate with. The internal struggle Tobin has to overcome, his failures and redemption, his passionate faith and darkening heart, become the central theme of the book.”
“The action and tension throughout the book was gripping, and I found myself dreading the next page but unable to stop turning. Five stars.”
Head over to his site and check out the complete review:

Review from Christian Indie Book Review HERE!

To experience this gripping tension for yourself, get a copy HERE!

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Last Day to Enter Giveaway!

Don’t forget to head over to Goodreads and enter to win one of two paperback copies of my new release “Which Half David.”

Here’s the Link!

It ends today, September 22, don’t delay! And make sure you add it to your to-read shelf.

Thanks for the support!

“Which Half David: A Modern-day King David Story”

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Now Available: Which Half David – A Modern-day King David Story (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Now available in Kindle and Paperback: Which Half David – A Modern-day King David Story

Available HERE!

Amazon UK

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from chapter 1.

Excerpt: Chapter 1: Mountain Stand

The night sat still and wet. The water lingered on the muddy path leading to the village of bamboo long-houses. The rain had nearly stopped, but that did little to alleviate the dampness which hung over the jungle hamlet like a thick sheet, swelling the air with moisture and tension.

Two dozen men stood on alert, staring into the darkness. A few of them had sticks. Most were unarmed. The mixture of tears, sweat, and rain mingled together, heightening the decades of uncertainty which weighed heavily on the weary souls scratching out a meager existence on the top of a forgotten mountain. The rest of the villagers tucked themselves quietly in their houses, praying softly and singing. Ox bells rang intermittently in the distance, puncturing the hush of the night and the methodical drippings of the trees.
Gani stood sure-footed beside his American friend of ten years. Their shared experiences created a brotherly bond between an unlikely pair: a tall Pennsylvanian and a short tribal leader. The top of Gani’s head barely reached an inch past Tobin’s shoulder. He reached over and put his arm around the foreigner.

“Are they coming?” asked Gani.
“Yes.”
“We shall be ready for them.”
“We cannot fight them,” replied Tobin fluently in the tribal dialect.
“Then we shall pray for God to deliver us.”

Tobin tightened the grip around Gani’s arm and listened as a low rumbling approached in the distance. Shards of light flickered halfway down the hillside through the jungle-mesh of trees and bushes, thickening the hill with overgrowth and nearly hiding the bamboo houses under the canopy.

“There’s someone coming,” said Kidlat, who stood on Tobin’s left. “What are we going to do?”
“Stay calm,” said Tobin.
“I will not let them take our homes,” cracked Kidlat’s voice.
“We will stand our ground,” said Tobin. “… but we will not fight.”

Tobin estimated that three vehicles approached them. The dull roar grew deafening as the vehicles strained and bounded their way along the treacherous road leading into the remote enclave.

If the curtain of night could have been pulled away, the faces of those men would have revealed a disconnect between what they professed on Sunday mornings and what they doubted in their hearts in the face of the approaching aggressor. The fear sat uncomfortably on them all as the noise weakened their resolve.

“Perhaps we should leave,” said a voice from the fringe, followed by a chorus of agreement.
But not from Gani. Nor Tobin.
“Gani, this is your decision. This is your village. What do you want to do?” Tobin asked, wavering slightly himself. His idealism hung off his shoulders in tattered shreds as the reality of jeeps with guns approached closer by the second.

Gani let go of Tobin’s arm and took two steps forward. Everyone leaned in to see the gaunt figure standing alone, looking intently on the lights shaking unsteadily in the distance.

“There are only two things to remember. First, we have done nothing wrong. Second, we must have faith. God will deliver us.”

With those two simple phrases of courage reinforced firmly in their minds, the ranks closed in and formed a new line of defense, two steps closer to the oncoming lights.
Silence prevailed in the village, and the overwhelming sound of the humming engines engulfed the hilltop as they strained towards the landing. The headlights of the front jeep caught the first glance of the men, illuminating their heads like a string of guillotined skulls lining the darkness, but as the jeep thudded over the crest of the bank, it lit their entire bodies, a wavering front line listening carefully for the call of retreat.

The first jeep pulled off to the side, sliding to a halt. The other two jeeps stopped beside it, no more than twenty feet from the line of souls intent on protecting their village. Out of the jeeps popped eleven green-uniformed security officers. The headlamps illuminated half of the village in a shroud of light and shadows. The security force fanned out opposite the line of villagers—their faces darkened by the back-lighting of the jeeps. One of the officers swaggered out in front of the rest, holding a billy club at his side.

“You are welcome here. We don’t want any violence,” offered Gani in a congenial manner as Kidlat translated for him into Sulunese.
“Then why are they holding clubs?”

Gani looked at his men to his left and right. “Throw down your weapons, my friends. We will not fight.” The five individuals, who held onto their sticks as mementos of comfort and safety, dropped them to the ground. Kidlat was the last to let go.

“We have told you before,” started the officer, “… that the church in your village is not legal. You have no Christian rights under our constitution.”
“You’re misinformed,” Tobin spoke up in an authoritative manner. “Your constitution guarantees freedom of religion for all of Sulu’s citizens.”
“Foreigner. There is no embassy to protect you here.”
“Are you threatening me?” asked Tobin. He had dealt with corrupt officials before and wasn’t particularly frightened by their green uniforms and hand guns.
“You’re threatening yourself. Stand out of the way. You will not be allowed to meddle in our internal affairs.”

“These people have done nothing wrong. Leave them alone,” spoke the confident Tobin.

The officer walked directly towards him and stopped three feet in front of him. He looked up at the illuminated face of the American, who stood not quite a foot taller than the policeman.
“This is my district. I rule it. That church is illegal, and it’s coming down.” He thrust his club into Tobin’s stomach, barreling him in half, and he collapsed into the mud as he tried to catch his breath.

The officer yelled a brief command which sent the ranks into action, beating the pacifists into the ground within a few brutal seconds, and heading towards the rear section of the village in the direction of the small thatched-roof church. The villagers peered curiously out the windows and doors, glimpsing fragments of motions and cries of anguish. Within seconds, the front end of the church blazed an orange-red glow, flanked on each side by a half dozen security men who taunted the fire with a supply of gasoline.
Gani’s men helped each other to their feet, checking to see if anyone was seriously wounded.

“Forget about the church,” said Gani. “We can always rebuild.”

Tobin breathed heavily, looking over the scene as calm as a man can be when watching the fruit of his labor engulfed by a paranoid raid of power. The security officers walked back from the church through the gauntlet of stares from the long-houses on both sides. The villagers inched down from their houses into the mud, surrounding the officers with an overwhelming force of solidarity.

Gani feared a confrontation and walked out into the center of the path between the houses, still illuminated from behind by the powerful headlamps.
“Just leave them alone. Let them do what they must. Do not fight back.”
The head officer came and stood in front of Gani.
“Your village is not Christian. This foreigner must leave immediately and never come back. If he doesn’t leave, I will shoot one of your villagers.”
“You cannot do that. We have done nothing wrong,” pleaded Kidlat.
“You have betrayed your own people, allowing some foreign religion to sicken your mind, and rape the culture right out of this village. I won’t allow it.”
“Gani, I’ll leave,” said Tobin.
“No!” Kidlat replied adamantly. “We will not be bullied by the wrong side of the law.”
“Bullied? You think your God can save you? Don’t you understand? I own this district. Whoever lives or dies is up to me,” said the leader.

He drew his pistol from his side, quickly turning toward the mass of people which had congregated between the officers and the raging fire of the church in the background. A single crack from his pistol froze the crowd, felling a woman who stood beside her little boy of eight years. Screams and cries of desperation pierced the night on all sides. The woman fell dead to the ground. The partial light from the headlamps illuminated her fall and sent the crowd into hysterical cries of despair.

“Do you want more people to die?” yelled the officer.
Tobin ran full-force to the woman, whose chest bled into the night, and wept beside her, looking back into the darkened face of the foes who stood ready to fire again.
Tobin stood up and faced his adversary directly, not frightened by weapons pointed in his direction.

“I will not yield, and I will not leave. You will pay for what you have done.”
He moved purposefully towards the officer, who for the first time cowered backwards a step from the brazenness of the American’s walk, but he quickly raised his pistol and aimed it at Tobin.

“Do not come near me unless you want to die.”

In one of those moments which often define the historical markers of our lives, the officer yelled “fire” and sent off a volley that should have put a quick end to the life of the man who had dedicated years bettering the lives of the villagers. Some who were present that night will recall nothing short of a miracle happening. Others, more attuned to the human senses, recall the rain and wind and dimly lit surroundings as a factor. But whatever the explanation, Tobin charged towards the round of shots, eluding each of them and tackling the officer to the ground. In the epic struggle, the officer lit up the night with five more shots, but the American didn’t budge, he punched the man in the face under a constant threat of death. What happened next would also be a matter of debate and conjuncture for many years. This battle for existence unfolded unlike any could have anticipated. The other officers peppered the crowd with several rounds of shots, but the villagers, wave after courageous wave, overtook the men in the green uniforms. They fought for their lives against iron weapons which didn’t prosper in battle. Desperate for survival, the villagers left them for dead, save one, who fled to the first jeep and sped off into the night. Wailing and cries sounded throughout the village. No one slept, except the young and innocent, being the only ones who hadn’t yet grasped the magnitude of what had happened.

Get the book here!

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10 Reasons You Should Check Out My New Novel

I’m not one to presume what other people will like, but I do think you should give my new novel a try. It’s releasing on Thursday, by the way. Here’s the top reasons why you should put “Which Half David” on your to-read list.

  1. It’s loosely based on the story of King David, the classic tale of the chosen king who fell hard to temptation and the worst kind of devices. It’s a great story.
  2. But my David story is set in Southeast Asia, home of the best food in the world. And great weather. And beautiful people. The only sand is on the beach.
  3. This is a story I’ve been mapping out since 2011. I chose a fictitious island in-between Borneo and the Philippines as its location. It’s called The Republic of Sulu. It’s an awesome place to visit. You’ll get to visit there if you read the story.
  4. You need to know NOTHING about the story of King David to enjoy this story. Its a tremendous mix of adventure, thriller, and psychological drama. It will keep you on your toes and keep you guessing. (I hope.)
  5. If you DO know a lot about the Biblical story of King David, you will especially enjoy guessing along at the symbolism and built-in allegory. There’s much to see and discover concerning David’s story, but it’s not all obvious!
  6. I have never worked harder or longer on a story! The basic story was finished in the summer of 2015, but I worked and worked and edited and revised until it finally got to the point where I was happy with it.
  7. I used more beta readers than ever! And boy, did they help! At one point last spring, I received some feedback that forced me to go re-write the whole thing. I changed MANY aspects of the novel based on the feedback. I told my other beta readers to just stop reading until I sent them updates. All of them agreed, the re-writes made the story much more engaging.
  8. It’s my longest novel ever! It clocks in at just under 100,000 words. You’ll get your money’s worth.
  9. While the Sulu Republic may be fictitious, (though there used to be a Sulu Empire near that location), I have drawn upon my vast knowledge of Southeast Asia to help craft this unique story. What’s on my resume in that regards? I’ve lived in Vietnam for ten years and Malaysia for another ten years. So I hope my experiences help bring the background and people to life.
  10. It’s diverse. It’s got some wonderfully fun courtroom scenes, some sultry seduction, flying bullets and car chases, and some interesting humor.

I’m happy to put my name on the cover, and at the end of the day, that’s all a writer can hope for. Oh, and a few readers.

Which Half David. On Kindle and in Paperback. Tomorrow!

Find it here!

UK here!

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New Release Giveaway! 2 Paperback Copies of “Which Half David”

To celebrate the release of my 5th novel, “Which Half David,” I’m giving away two free copies on Goodreads.

Enter to win the giveaway HERE!

Is your obsession worth killing for?

American mission worker Tobin Matthews becomes a local hero and celebrity in the Sulu Republic when he inadvertently foils a gang of human traffickers. But the heroism cannot mask his desperate soul, which wrestles with a broken marriage and a crippling set of doubts. As he sinks to a new low, his brazen ex-lover arrives in Sulu with her own agenda. The Asian beauty quickly becomes the greatest temptation of his life, and he must decide how far he is willing to go to have her.

Which Half David is a modern twist on the centuries old tale of King David. Set against the lush backdrop of the fictitious Southeast Asian island nation of Sulu, it is the story of one man’s dramatic fall from grace, and his struggle to come to grips with both halves of who he really is.

KINDLE VERSION AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 15

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