BOOK DETAILS

The Sword of Goliath: The Bloodline Chronicals (Volume 1)

The Sword of Goliath: The Bloodline Chronicals (Volume 1)

by Anthony Jones

ASIN: B01J79O5Z0

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

$2.99

The Sword of Goliath--- a delightful tale of classic good versus evil fantasy adventure with suspense from beginning to end. This first novel introduces enduring characters who capture your heart as well as realistic villains you learn to hate. Just the right amount of comedy and sadness to ensure you laugh and cry as the story takes you to places beyond paradise. The descriptions of the people and places come alive and ring true throughout the book. Captures your heart and fills you with hope for the characters.

Sample Chapter

It was just another morning, waking up to the odor of ass, breath, and feet in West Block at San Quentin State Prison. Jake Stanton lay awake on the two-inch, permanently stained mattress covering the bedsprings on the rack in his eight-by-ten-foot cell. The dawn cutting the Bay fog and shining through the upper windows was lighting the first day of the rest of his life in this God-forsaken dungeon. Sounds of men snoring and toilets flushing were breaking the relative silence of the cellblock stacked five tiers high, holding a thousand men. The hundred-fifty-year-old building was coming alive, and the noise would only become louder until darkness returned again.

The regulators of this prison were as different as night and day, and just as desensitized as the inmate population. Trust, a word that held a completely different meaning on the streets, was not in the vocabulary of the inmates in this broken city within a city.

A plump officer in a jumpsuit uniform with faded patches on his shoulders walked along the gun rail towards the front of the housing unit. A Ruger mini 14 rifle was slung across his large belly and his pudgy pink hands gripped the stock. He was also sporting a .38-caliber revolver in a holster under the doughy roll on his left side. The two-by-twelve planks bowed and creaked with every step as the officer made his way to the worn-out chair next to an old milk crate holding a few torn newspapers.

Jake felt a shiver climb his spine and pulled the sheet and wool blanket to his chin and tried to relax.

“Chow release in west block!” a male voice announced over the public address system. “Release the back bar!” the voice said.

The slamming of doors and jingle of keys announced the release for the morning meal—if you could call it a meal. Prison food smells and tastes the same regardless of what day or even what meal it is. The funk in the housing units was testament to this fact. The rank of burning wicks and waste odor from bland, uninteresting meals along with the rot of unclean laundry and men, who were allowed a ten-minute shower every other day, created the signature stench of prison. There was nothing quite like it anywhere on earth. The smell of hot garbage at the county dump paled in comparison.

The poorly circulated air contributed to the awful living conditions. The smoke arose in the unit like fog lifting from a lake on a cold autumn morning. This smoke was a result of five hundred small burning wicks made from tightly rolled toilet paper draped in the corner of each and every cell, burning slowly, so the occupant could light a cigarette or pilot an inmate-manufactured cookstove at any time. After all, lighters and matches were against prison rules.

The smoke hung in the rafters like clouds of sulfur, burning Jake’s throat and lungs with each and every breath. Why not just issue lighters? Jake thought. It would sure make it easier for everyone to breathe, to say nothing of the thousands of rolls of toilet paper going up in smoke.

Jake could hardly believe he’d landed in this awful place. Is this a nightmare? Will I wake up one day and learn this was all a bad dream? For a moment, Jake’s brain chose not to remember why he was in prison; his mind swam more and more these days as sleep was leaving, and he was in that hazy time determining what was a dream and what was real. The palms of his hands went to his temples and he rubbed his aching head. When awareness came to him, he quickly pushed it from his mind and longed for blissful sleep. He reminisced of better days, when he was considered one of the good guys.

TWO

Jake was a strong man with a ruddy exterior and handsome features, but he was not like anyone else. Something had set him apart since the day he was born. It was nothing obvious, nothing you could put your finger on. Not different bad, just different. Jake often wondered if others felt the way he did. Since childhood, Jake had struggled with his identity, trying hard to fit in, but try as he may, he always felt as awkward as a chicken in a duck pond.

In school, he was one of the brightest students in the class. He rarely studied, but always passed his exams with high marks. Jake was like a sponge, absorbing knowledge and always learning new things. From age two he was mimicking his mother reading to him, holding a book to his forehead and sounding the letters into words. In no time he was on his own, killing the books, first in his nursery, then the children’s books in the family room on the high shelves over the fireplace. Then the novels in his mother’s library. One by one he devoured them and was hungry for more. Jake’s parents marveled at his photographic memory, which allowed him, at age seven, to participate in the adult conversations around the coffee pot following the morning devotions.

Jake could recite his Sunday school lessons almost word for word, and often corrected the teacher in matters where she may have got the name wrong in a Bible story.

Jake was a mild-mannered child, one of the best babies ever, his mother would boast, but something behind his mild nature slept, something monstrous, or at least something not understood. It was an anomaly, hidden in the body of a beautiful child, sleeping behind his ice-blue eyes. It was something remarkable, mysterious, and something to be feared, even by Jake himself.

THREE

Jake had few friends as a child; most of the kids his age could not keep up with his constantly evolving mind. His intelligence was far beyond the children around him, causing him to tire easily of their ignorance. The older kids avoided him and treated him like a freak.

As a loner, Jake wandered the Comstock Junior High School hallways during breaks; he usually ate his lunch alone in the school cafeteria and sat in the rear of the classroom, where he could remain anonymous. His anonymity served him well until he was fourteen years old.

FOUR

On a gray November morning, Jake’s science teacher, Ms. Martin, surprised the class with a movie titled If I had a Million Dollars. This was a great treat for the class as Ms. Martin, despite being very attractive, even sexy—for an older woman (although she wore far too much perfume)—was known for her strict scientific ways and would rarely relax to enjoy movies or stray from the textbook.

“Pay attention, class! I am only going to say this once. If you ever want to see another movie in my class, you will be careful not to be disruptive in any way.”

Ms. Martin walked back and forth at the front of the class with her hands folded together behind her back, her high heels tapping on the lab’s stone tile floor. Her generous chest pointed her path, and her studious glasses framed her pretty face. She was only about four feet seven without those heels but the shoes brought her to a solid five feet tall.

“I expect you will all be on your very best behavior. It will only take one to ruin it for the rest of the class. So, consider yourselves warned, and don’t make this the last movie we see this year.”

Jake liked Ms. Martin; she was good-looking and dressed sexy, with short skirts and lots of makeup. She was a refreshing vision compared to Ms. Moore, his English teacher, who was an old, wrinkled hag, mean as they come, and smelling of coffee and cigarettes. She had a rotten tooth in her head reeking of gingivitis, causing Jake to hold his breath when she was close to keep his stomach from clenching.

The movie was black-and-white and starred a fat man who was conducting a study of human behavior and sense of entitlement. The movie reminded Jake of the parable in the Bible about the master of three slaves. To one, the master gave five talents of gold; to another, two talents of gold; and to the third, he gave one talent of gold. The master went away and when he returned, he called the three servants to him for an accounting.

The first servant bowed to his master and presented him with ten talents of gold; he was praised for wisdom, and granted entrance into the joy of his master’s house. The second servant showed the master he had doubled the two talents of gold to four; he was praised, and granted entrance into the joy of his master’s house. However, the third servant said, “Oh, master, I knew you were a hard man and would one day return demanding your money, so I was careful to bury it so I could have it to present to you once again. Behold, master, your gold.”

When the master saw this, he became angry. “You knew I would return, so why did you not put it in a bank so at least it would earn interest? Why did you bury it, you fool? Depart from me and be damned!”

Jake remembered thinking the master was quite the hard man; he was very cold, and showed little tolerance for laziness. Moreover, he had an expectation of performance or duty when none was made clear. Jake would remember this, and would later strive for success in all things regardless of expectations.

Jake lost himself in the movie and was awakened back to reality by an obnoxious boy with curly orange hair seated directly behind him named Billy Parson. The boy was fooling around, causing Ms. Martin to become annoyed. Jake turned to Billy and said in a hushed voice, “Why don’t you shut up? Some of us are trying to watch the movie.” The boy gave Jake an evil look but shut his hole just the same. Something about Jake’s ice-blue eyes frightened the boy.

FIVE

After the movie, the class prepared for third period. Jake, still wondering about the meaning of the movie, in a daydream state of mind, stepped out the door on his way to US history when brilliant light and black spotting behind his eyes pulsed pain as Billy’s fist took him out of operation.

“You shut up, punk,” Billy muttered as he wrinkled his nose and raised his upper lip, causing his face to look like a pig.

Jake, dazed, knees buckling, still holding his books with both arms, was trying to understand what had just happened when again the boy sucker punched him in the face. Jake went down, stars dazzling bright in his mind, books flying, loose papers lifting up like butterflies lost in the wind. Jake shook his head and looked around with tears in his eyes. He could see Billy and his gang scampering away, cawing like a flock of crows as they left. Jake collected his books, gathered what he could of the loose papers, and went to his locker.

He took a few deep breaths and tried to get it together. The blood was burning his cheeks and he felt the sting of his feelings in the back of his throat with every breath. Jake was not seriously injured, just embarrassed and hurt. Now something inside Jake welled up and he shivered. It was not anger, but a force. Something foreign began to take control of him. Jake had only felt this sensation on a few occasions in his young life, when he fell from the pier while fishing in the San Francisco Bay and almost drowned in the freezing water, or when his grandfather died. The entity dwelling inside him was coming forward.

Jake tried to push the thoughts of dismembering young Billy from his mind. He saw the whole thing in a dream-like vision. He watched himself moving in slow motion, executing perfect Kung Fu movements, methodically destroying the boy. Jake was shaking and breathing heavy; he closed his eyes, tightened his fists, and concentrated. Then, as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. A comforting peace washed over Jake like a warm hug and he knew what to do. Thoughts of dismembering Billy left his mind, but he would not let the boy get away with the sucker punch.

SIX

Jake cleaned himself up and made it to history class without incident. The day became progressively better.

“Can anyone tell me who the primary enemy of the United States was during World War II?” asked Mr. Brocker. Hands shot up all over the classroom. Jake looked down at his drawing of a boy facing a Giant with a sword. Jake was surprised at what his hand seemed to be drawing all on its own. Jake’s usual doodles were nothing more than a cluster of wandering circular marks. Here he had actually created a work of art, and it was good. “Mr. Stanton, perhaps you could enlighten us.

Jake looked up. “Japan,” he said in a mild voice.

“That is correct,” said Mr. Brocker. “Japan attacked the United States on December 7, 1941, by bombing our navy fleet in Hawaii.” Jake went back to his drawing as Mr. Brocker turned to use the chalkboard.

Later that afternoon, Jake waited by Billy’s locker. He could hear the obnoxious boy making fun of another kid as his followers laughed and tagged behind him. Billy turned the corner and was nose-to-nose with Jake. The look of surprise froze on Billy’s face and his eyes widened like Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein.

“You want some more, Stanton?” Billy cursed, tossing his book bag to the ground and taking a fighting stance. “C’mon, punk!” Billy screeched.

Jake ducked the right cross thrown by the orange-haired boy, then, with lightning speed, grabbed Billy by the shirt and swung him hard into the lockers, causing a loud echoing sound as Billy’s head dented locker number 12. Before the boy could get to his feet, Jake’s Redwing carpenter boot met Billy’s face, tossing his head sideways, causing blood to spray from Billy’s lip and nose. The growing crowd of students began to chant, “Fight, fight, fight . . .”

Billy, completely dazed and in considerable pain, had no intention of fighting at that point. The sight of his own blood caused him to weep uncontrollably. He crawled away from his opponent and made a large wet spot in the front of his bell-bottom Levi’s.

A medium-built, balding man with a comb-over hairstyle hurried toward the growing group of teens. Vince Powell, the Comstock dean of boys, rushed to break up the fight, pushing students aside and carving a path through the crowd; but it was too late. Jake had managed to round the corner of the building just in time to miss being caught fighting on school grounds, an offence usually punished with a three-day suspension. Not to mention what Jake’s father would do. This simple incident would return to Jake time and time again, and he would use it to measure all future enemy encounters.

Continues...

Excerpted from "The Sword of Goliath: The Bloodline Chronicals (Volume 1)" by Anthony Jones. Copyright © 2016 by Anthony Jones. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Anthony Jones

Anthony Jones

Anthony Jones is the author of The Sword of Goliath and The Wizard of Nod, the first two books in a longer tale of the Bloodline Chronicles.

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