Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Torn Blood by David J Bain with a giveaway

Three weeks before officially reporting for duty at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Addison Deverell arrives in Israel determined to find an answer to a question buried for nearly four thousand years.

Bound to an escort by the embassy, he is unable to begin his search as time is running out. Mere days before he must report for duty, Addison is freed from his forced escort, Hafiz IbnMansur, as a female escort, Elizabeth Daniels, takes his place.

Addison issues an ultimatum to Elizabeth that he must go into Palestinian territory for answers he can’t find in Israel. But, as Addison races to uncover a long buried truth that promises to establish a career, he faces peril from those he seeks to understand and finds himself a pawn in an international plot to drive Israel’s Jews into the sea.

Nearly seven thousand miles away in Oregon, Dr. Janelle Henning confronts a past that threatens to destroy the only family she’s ever known. A search for understanding thrusts her into a foreign world long buried to confront a birthright hidden by the passage of time. With no place—or no one—to turn to, Janelle tries to put the pieces of her life back together.

An ill-boding call shreds the little of Janelle’s world that is left, compelling her to leave her home and fly to Israel in search of Addison. But terrorists stand in Janelle’s way of reaching him, the one person that might unlock hidden identities in a relationship that has spanned a lifetime. But will Addison live, or will death, the master of all, once again keep its secret buried?
 

 
My review: (giveaway details at the very end of the blog post)
   This book is longer than the average Christian fiction book, coming in at 569 pages, but it was a thrilling and fascinating read. The book is set in Israel for the most part, and the author does a great job of making the reader feel as if they were there with his descriptive writing style.
 
  At the center of the story is the Jew-Muslim conflict, especially the Jew-Palestinian fighting,  and I learned a lot by reading this book. The author brings out the a lot of history and gives a lot of information about why the Jews and Muslims don't get along and does a really good job of showing what living in that area is like for Jews and Palestinians.
 
  The book is filled with some fascinating people, both good and bad. I liked the main character, Addison, and found myself cheering him on and sympathizing with him for being dropped into the middle of everything and being used as a pawn by terrorists trying to take down Israel.
 
  This is a book that requires more attention and thought than the average Christian fiction book. It is too long of a book for me to read through in one sitting, and I found that when I let it lie for a few days, it took me a few pages to get back into the story and remember what was going on, so I would recommend reading it with not much time in between reading times. I did have a little bit of a hard time getting into the book, but the further I got, the more interesting it became and the harder it got to put the book down. There are some slower moments in the book, but there are also a lot of nail biting, roller coaster moments in  the book.
 
  There are a lot of people in the book. Jews, Americans, Muslims, good guys, and bad guys. Some of the non-American names are similar and I had some difficulty remembering who was who. There is no cast of characters in my copy of the book, which is an advanced reader copy, but I am hoping there is one in the finished product, as that would be very helpful.
 
   There is some bad language in the book, which is something I abhor in Christian fiction. I caught four different curse words, and also the word for an illegitimate child used as profanity. There were at least twenty combined uses of the curse words, which is twenty too many. That, and the difficulty of keeping characters straight, are my only complaints about the book. Overall, it is not just a very engaging, thrilling, and fascinating story, it is also informative and through fiction, helps the reader better understand what is going on in that area of the world.
 
  This book is one men and women will enjoy, and is definitely a book to recommend to male readers.
 
  This book is the first release from Bo Iti Press, and other than the language, I like what I see so far and am looking forward to more from this author and publisher both. I really liked the pro-Israel viewpoint in the book, and that is what this publisher is all about.


About the publisher:

   Bo Iti Press, is a newly founded niche publisher focusing on stories about the Jewish experience as well as the rights of Israel as a sovereign nation. It is a Christian publishing company owned by a Gentile believer
who is passionate about Israel. The press is based in Jackson, WY.

 
About  the author:
    David J. Bain is a novelist focused on writing stories about the Jewish experience and founder of Bo Iti Press. His debut book, Torn Blood, releases in October  2013. Before launching his publishing company, he collaborated on two screenplays made into movies and has been involved in the business world for more than 30 years where his company publishes technical manuals and he wrote the company’s occasional newsletter. David, and his wife, Doris, reside in Oregon.
 
Q&A with the author:
 

Q&A

David Bain, Torn Blood
 
1. David, how did you first come up with the idea for Torn Blood?
 
 
I knew that Jews in Israel had been attacked multiple times before and after its founding in 1948 but I didn’t know the story behind the attacks. Warfare doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Torn Blood began as research for the story behind the story of those attacks and ended as a journey that challenged my faith and broadened my perspective about the world.
 
2. What have you learned personally about your own faith as you researched and wrote Torn Blood?
 
 
As a Christian I thought monolithically. There is the God of the Bible and there I am in relationship to the God of the Bible. While true, it’s too limiting because God works through all of mankind which includes through the Jewish people even when they, for the most part, reject that Yeshua/Jesus is God. God’s original covenant was with Adam. When Adam broke that covenant we then see God’s covenant with Abraham and that covenant is still in effect in spite of choices the Jewish nation and people have made over the millennia. Through the process of research and writing this story I came to find my faith centered more in God and less in what He could do for me which is both challenging and liberating.
My picture on reality was too small to include many important events occurring outside the frame of my singular life. I am now discovering a faith I only thought I had before this eight year journey to research and write Torn Blood began and I understand this journey has just begun.
 
3. Could you define what you mean by faith?
 
 
All human beings, from our first recognition of free will, exercise faith. The theist to the atheist, and everyone in between. My faith is that the Bible represents the will and truth of God therefore my faith is in the authenticity of the Bible as God’s word to humanity.
 
4. Can you give us a snapshot of the story, without giving away any spoilers?
Torn Blood is a story of choices and their consequences. It takes its moral imperative from the Bible which isn’t all that touchy-feely to the Jews at times but demonstrates an ongoing relationship between the God of the Bible and the Jewish people.
 
 
The events of Torn Blood look into the past showing how blood can be torn and the consequences of such a choice, and it was a choice.
There is armed confrontation between the jihadist’s and the Jews, that’s the adventure part of the story but what interests me is how a handful of insurgents believe they can prevail against a military force that has proven itself every time it has been challenged since its founding in 1948. What could the jihadists know or possess that would level the field of battle? Keeping in mind their goal is to inhabit all of Israel so nuclear weapons are not on the table. Torn Blood doesn’t pick sides but presents choices made and consequences unleashed.
5. What drives your passion for Israel?
The heart of God. He established a covenant with Abraham for the purpose of testifying to His existence and from that testimony to bring people to Himself. God set down conditions; faithfulness and obedience to his commands would bring blessings but persecution would result if His commands were disobeyed. History has been an unfolding of that story ever since. If God loves Israel—He calls them the apple of His eye—and I love God, then the result of my love for God will naturally be a love for Israel and her people.
6. How did you research your book to ensure it accurately reflects the culture of Israel and Palestine?
The Old Testament was my beginning point as to this day the Jewish people are defined by their roots. I then focused from the time of Theodor Herzl who is widely considered to be the founder of the State of Israel though he died in 1904, forty-four years before Israel became a nation. I also worked with several research assistants in Israel, studied hundreds of articles about different aspects of the Jewish and Arabic dilemma in modern Israel. The Palestinians were of particular interest as they are an eponymous group made up of a number of different ethnic groups none of which are ethnically Palestinian (Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, among others) because sociologically that ethnic group doesn’t exist. It came into being courtesy of the Romans in about 132 A.D. when they renamed Iudaea province Syria Palaestina and from that, hundreds of years later, Palestinians declared themselves to be a separate genera group.
7. Why do you think Israel is such a controversial country?
This is a question that elicits a wide range of opinions. Please note I didn’t say answers since after considering the facts all that is left are opinions. The book’s premise is that the only answer consistent with the facts is that a spiritual battle is taking place.
8. How can Christians take a more active role in supporting Israel?
A good place to start would be Psalm 122:6 which tells believers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Praying for the Arab residents of Israel, Judea, and Samaria wouldn’t hurt either. Support mission work in Israel as there is much need in both Jewish and Arab people in Israel. Finally, something for each of us: go to Israel, visit. I know of no Christian that has gone there that hasn’t touched the roots of their faith.
9. What do you think is ahead for Israel and its people?
If we go to Romans 11:25, Paul says that a partial hardening (of heart) has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and verse 26 says: and so all Israel will be saved. Scriptures warn what will happen at that point and many good books have been written about this period of time which is beyond the discussion of my book but the essence is God has not forgotten His chosen people and He will conclude history as foretold in Scripture.
10. As part of writing Torn Blood, you also launched a new publishing company, Bo Iti Press, which focuses on stories about the Jewish experience as well as the rights of Israel as a sovereign nation. Why do you think a company like this is needed?
Few of us have the fortitude to read academic tomes about the issues confronting Israel. Torn Blood’s purpose was to give flesh, blood, and bone to people facing an existential threat which is a part of life in Israel. We rarely see behind the headlines which are at times simply biased talking points. Israel holds a singular place of importance among the nations and Bo Iti Press provides a platform to show that importance in stories about real lives. In an adventure story you follow protagonists and antagonists. Torn Blood shows these opposing forces but it shows them in their humanity dealing with the life they were born into. Bo Iti Press can publish books so that readers will not only be entertained but informed, this I think is good.
11. What impact do you hope Torn Blood has on readers?
When readers come to the end of Torn Blood my hope is that they will have apprehended the heart of an Israel not seen before. It is this Israel, covenanted by God and not created by man, which can start a discussion, a dialogue, that may challenge our world.
Excerpt, first chapter:
 
CHAPTER
1
 
Thursday February 21 2008
 
United States Embassy, Consular Section, 71 Ha-Yarkon Street, Tel Aviv
 
Dialing her well-used phone, Lynda Touree smiled into the vacant stare of the weary presence before her while awaiting her boss’s familiar snarl.
 
 
“What now?” the phone’s receiver demanded, civility being a luxury seldom afforded.
“Mr. Cantwell, Addison Deverell is standing in front of my desk.”
“And I am being interrupted because?”
“He is reporting for duty sir.”
“Duty, no one’s listed as arriving for a month, unless you failed to get me papers.”
“Sir, all arrival credentials are in your possession.”
“Then who, as I so kindly asked, is this interruption?”
“Mr. Deverell’s papers indicate he’s our new consular officer, sir. He is due twenty-one days from today.”
“Three weeks, one month, no difference. Not due today—don’t bother me today.”
“Sir, you know mission protocol states once a consular department officer proffers assignment papers they must be accepted by the deputy administrator.”
 
 
 
“How about handing him a map of Gaza and a compass, that ought to keep him out of my hair for three weeks.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“Don’t bet on it.”
There was a pause on the line. “Sir, Mr. Deverell?”
“I’ll get to him when I get to him.” Slamming down the phone’s receiver, Deputy Administrator Cantwell could be heard cursing through the meager door that separated his office from the rest of humanity at the back of the embassy.
Smiling, Lynda looked up, “Welcome to the U.S. Embassy, Mr. Deverell. I believe Mr. Cantwell would like you to have a seat until he can welcome you to Israel. You’ll want to hang on to these,” Lynda said holding out his assignment papers. “Mr. Cantwell needs to personally accept them.”
Retreating to the back wall, where four overstuffed chairs formed a protective semi-circle, Addison wondered when he’d be free to disappear into Israel to uncover what he came three weeks before his reporting date to find.
 
Later that afternoon
The phone’s ring invaded Addison’s thoughts. He strained to overhear Ms. Lynda Touree, as her desk’s nameplate announced, speaking with the wild man from the inner sanctum.
“Yes, Mr. Cantwell,” she paused. “Yes sir, he’s still waiting, patiently I might add.” She listened intently. “I’ll call and see who’s available.” After several silent moments she said, “I’ll let you know, sir.”
Lynda looked across to Addison and smiled, hitting her phone’s receiver button, entering numbers with the dexterity of practiced fingers.
“Liddy, who do we have available for escort?” She listened for a moment, then said, “How about consulate?” More silence, then “how long has he been with us?” Again silence, “credentials?” After several nods of Lynda’s head she said, “thanks hon,” hit disconnect and dialed consulate’s inside line. “Marcie, hi hon, this is Lynda at the DA’s office Tel Aviv . . . Fine and you? I’m looking for one of your escorts, Hafiz IbnMansur. Will you put me through?” a momentary pause then, “Do you know when he’s expected?” Another brief silence followed by, “please have him call me soon as he arrives. It is most pressing. Thanks, hon.” With that she hung up and dialed the inner sanctum.
“What now?”
“No one is available locally for Mr. Deverell. I located someone down at consulate in East Jerusalem who should do nicely: Hafiz IbnMansur, he’s their guide for in-country tours and orientations.” Lynda fell silent listening intently, finally volunteering, “mostly visiting VIPs, but he has escorted several State people and been with consulate over ten years.” After a brief pause she continued, “He’s away from his desk, doing some volunteer work with Elizabeth Daniels of Messianic Jews International.”
“Daniels!” Cantwell bellowed through the door. “I ran into that fanatic at a meet and greet when I first arrived. Damn near started a riot toe to toe with Muslim and Jewish clerics. I don’t want that troublemaker—”
“As I said, Mr. IbnMansur is performing volunteer work but is expected back shortly.” Listening, Lynda then responded, “No, I don’t know what shortly means, I will inform you the moment he calls.” With that she hung up her phone. She winked at Addison. “Patience, it’s a long career path you have chosen and it seems that begins today. Are you hungry?”
Addison nodded.
In no time he was tearing into a ham and cheese on rye and washing it down with an ice-cold cola while he sat imprisoned in his overstuffed chair.
As he ate, a lone janitor at the end of the hall finished dust mopping the floor. Going to the utility closet she exchanged her dirty dust mop head for a clean one, put on her coat, and headed for security check. Passing Lynda’s desk she said, “See you tomorrow, Lynda.”
“Getting out early Yasmina? Hot date?”
“Father would have thoughts on that. A cousin is with child and soon to be delivered. She asks for help so I’ll stop by on the way home.”
“Aren’t you the kind one. See you tomorrow.”
 
 
 
After clearing security Yasmina stopped by her cousin’s then walked home. Diplomatic Security Service, on routine surveillance, noted her early departure and the visit. Lynda Touree would be questioned the next day; Yasmina was assigned to her area.
Later that evening, Yasmina’s cousin’s husband paid a visit to a cafĂ© PMIJ members were known to patronize.
 
 
 
 
The ringing of the phone jolted Addison to consciousness after the food, warmth of the room, and jet-lag had caught up with him. He stretched and attempted to focus on Lynda’s phone conversation. As she hung up he busied himself with the paper he had picked up at Ben Gurion. His Hebrew skills were coming along but reading right to left still felt awkward. It would come with time, he knew, if he could just report and get out of here. Becoming lost in a story, he barely noticed the phone ring again nor Lynda’s conversation. When his mind surfaced from the Hebrew characters, he heard Lynda say, “. . . within the hour, I appreciate that.”
Lynda dialed an extension and waited while listening to the receiver before saying, “Mr. Cantwell, Mr. IbnMansur at consulate just called. He has received clearance and will be up within the hour to discuss your needs. Call if you have questions.” As soon as she cradled the handset on its base, her phone rang and Addison could hear Sid Cantwell’s voice through his closed door.
“Why in the devil didn’t you put consulate through to me?”
“Your line was busy, sir.’
“And you couldn’t walk the fifteen lousy steps to my office?”
“You told me yesterday not to interrupt you this afternoon since you would be reviewing the Status Report for Washington.”
“Yesterday—yesterday was before young mister what’s-his-name showed up unannounced.”
“Addison Deverell is the young man’s name. You might as well learn it now because he’s going to be with us for quite some time.”
“Don’t remind me.”
“You just like scaring people.”
“What did he say?”
 
 
 
 
“Who is that, sir?”
“Touree!”
“Mr. IbnMansur asked what our need was. He was most polite, unlike others I know.”
“And?”
“And, he said he would need to talk with you personally, had been given clearance to do so and would be up within the hour, exactly what I said in my message.”
“Just make sure you only let him in and not Deverell as well.”
Hanging up, Lynda went back to her computer.
What have I gotten myself into? Addison wondered. He dove back into the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the safest harbor he could find.
 
 
 
 
“Mr. Deverell . . . Mr. Deverell?” Addison started as he felt a woman’s hand on his shoulder. He struggled to orientate himself. The clock on the wall read 5:17. An Arabic man came into view over the woman’s right shoulder.
“You drifted off,” Lynda Touree said. “Considering how long you’ve been kept waiting it was most sensible. Someone has come for you.” With that the Arabic man stepped forward while Lynda said, “Mr. IbnMansur will be your escort for the next few days.”
Handing the man a clipboard, Lynda said, “Just the usual: Sign right there beneath Mr. Cantwell’s signature.”
Taking a pen from his jacket pocket with his left hand he scribbled on the page then handed it back to Lynda.
She gave him a copy. “You’ll want to hang onto this.”
Addison stood, dropping the half-crumpled newspaper on the floor and extended his hand to this stranger whose name he wasn’t sure he had heard correctly. Grabbing his hand the intruder shook it perfunctorily, saying, “Quickly, collect luggage—follow me.”
 
 
 
 
 
Sunlight glistened off the mirrored surfaces of the random array of skyscrapers as it followed its daily path toward the sea. Its reflected glory embraced shorter buildings as they maintained their silent witness to Tel Aviv’s earlier years. The first Jewish city built since biblical times was far removed from its founding in 1909 as Ahuzat Bayit, when it had been established on sand dunes by sixty families as a low-cost alternative to the more expensive Arab town of Jaffa. Renamed Tel Aviv one year later, it never looked back.
After the sun set, the city began its metamorphose from a metropolis of commerce to nightlife mecca. Family men and women withdrew to the suburbs of Ramat Ha-Sharon, Giv’atayim, and Bnei Brak, as the nocturnal transformation took until just after 10 p.m. when the young and beautiful left their lairs in a nightly ritual of wanton and abandoned carousing.
Addison watched as Hafiz careened between countless cars, squeezing past fenders, oblivious to the near misses as he charged through traffic with little more than a grunt every now and then.
“Would it be impolite for me to ask where you’re taking me?”
“No.” Hafiz spat out, followed by another jarring lane change and then silence.
“Well?” Addison asked.
“Going to Intercontinental David.”
“And?” Addison pressed.
“Embassy has standing reservations. If lucky we get suite with couple bedrooms, not so lucky, a room, and two double beds.”
“What do you mean we?” Addison asked.
“We, you and me,” Hafiz said.
“I don’t need company,” Addison shot back. “Just drop me by a decent hotel and I’ll find my way back to the embassy when I’m rested.”
“Sorry,” Hafiz said. “As of now, we’re joined. Where you go, Hafiz goes. Never lost a Junior F.S.O., and with your boss’s reputation, don’t feel like starting now.”
“Don’t you live in Jerusalem?” Addison asked.
“East Jerusalem,” Hafiz’s responded. “You eavesdrop on Lynda?”
“Then why stay in Tel Aviv with me?”
“Because that’s what I’m paid to do. Forget everything you learned in orientation and training at State in U.S. of A. This world has no equal. You’d be swallowed up and never surface again—ever. It’s my job to see that doesn’t happen, at least for the next few days.”
“Look, we’ll just keep this between you and me. I don’t need a sitter.”
“Like hell you don’t,” Hafiz snarled. “You have American written all over you. There are people who will slice your throat open for that fancy watch on wrist.”
“America tries to help around the world, and what’s wrong with my watch? It was a graduation gift.”
“Not everybody wants to be helped. Tomorrow you’ll get different watch and keep graduation memento from those who would deprive you of future memories. Addison, you’re nobody. You have an advanced degree and will spend long days pushing papers for impatient, ungrateful people all demanding more than you have to give. Maybe, after years of sacrifice, you’ll rise high enough to make a tiny difference that will never be anything because important decisions are made by political brokers at nation-state level, not career diplomats. To start life’s work you showed up ahead of schedule. Don’t think that nice man you tried to report to takes an interruption to his world kindly. Our time together is costing your government money it didn’t intend to spend, but the damage you could do outweighs the cost, so you get me as your date. You pay attention, follow every instruction, or I’ll lock you in a back room in East Jerusalem. I have a brother who doesn’t so much like Americans and would love to visit with you. I could retrieve you just in time to deliver you to deputy administrator who won’t be too concerned how you enjoyed time.” Hafiz’s jaw muscles clenched and unclenched. His arms were taut as individual muscles pulsed while he maintained a stranglehold on the steering wheel.
“What do you want me to say?” Addison replied. “I just wanted to make a difference. This is my first duty station.”
“What is decision?”
“You won’t have any problems. I’ll follow directions.”
“Israel has been simmering and boiling over for thousands of years,” Hafiz said. “My assignment is to show you some of country and how to survive when I’m not around. We’ve got just enough time to do that but remember this isn’t like any other place on earth.
 
 
 
 
Things aren’t what they seem. Be cautious, watch back. Maybe if lucky you might tell grandchildren about first days in Israel.”
The jet lag, day’s wait, and dressing down, along with his bondage to this stranger, leveled Addison. He needed to get to the hotel, pull the sheets over his head, and lose himself in a dream that wouldn’t assail him.

This excerpt is taken from Torn Blood by David J. Bain. Copyright © 2013 by David J. Bain. Published by Bo Iti Press. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 
 
 

 
 

Giveaway: Courtesy of Side Door Communications, there is a free copy of Torn Blood for one winner. US and Canada entries only.
 
To enter, just leave a comment. Comment about  the book, the excerpt, the Q&A.... whatever you want to say.
 
I will let the giveaway run for 10 days, and pick a winner on October 25. Deadline to enter is October 24 at midnight.
 
Torn Blood is available from Bo Iti Press.
Thanks to Debbie at Side Door Communications for the review and giveaway copies, and for everything else I needed for the review.

4 comments:

Cyndi said...

Great interview! Definitely makes ME want to read the book! As my church's librarian, I'm always on the lookout for good books... particularly for the guys. Thanks for the giveaway!

Cyndi

David Bain said...

Mark,

Thank you for your review of Torn Blood and the interview which gave me an opportunity to elaborate on different aspects of the story and my thoughts as a Christian. Your thoroughness captured the spirit of Torn Blood giving readers a clear idea of the story which embraces more than a standard adventure narrative. I will take your reasoned and perceptive comments to heart.

Thank you,

David J. Bain

Sonja said...

It looks like it could be a fascinating book. That was a very intriguing review. I hope that I might have an opportunity to read this book. This would be a good book to share with friends, as well.

Steven said...

Looks like it would be a good read. And I love 500+ page books! :)