The Judas Lineby Mark Everett Stone
Jude Oliver hails from a long line of assassins. Tired of his family's treachery and wanting more from life than power, he escapes with their secret weapon, the Silver-an ancient artifact so potent, so evil, that it could plunge mankind into a permanent state of ruin and despair. After fifteen years on the run, Jude receives a surprise visit from a cousin who planned to murder him to obtain the family treasure. So begins Jude's desperate quest to find another artifact powerful enough to destroy the Silver. His traveling companion is an unlikely friend, Mike Engle-a Catholic priest who found his calling on the brutal sands of Iraq. In the course of their journey, the two men clash with evil in many forms. Mike learns the details of Jude's incredible history and the family secret that reaches back 2,000 years. Before their final, earth-shattering battle, the duo will find surprising allies and the strength to carry on against seemingly insurmountable odds. Will the lessons Jude has learned about love, friendship and sacrifice be enough to save him from his family and his destiny?
"This evil mystery is a heavenly read! THE JUDAS LINE creates a believable mystery which links the ancient past to the present. By building on the ancient story of the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas, Market Everett Stone crafts a dark versus light drama which will keep readers hooked. I loved how Stone makes Jude an unwilling member of the darkest family threatening mankind. Simply brilliant!"
--Elizabeth Crowley, Fresh Fiction
"This delightful Catholicism-infused quest fantasy stars a likable and original duo. Fr. Michael Engle, a pragmatic Catholic priest, and Jude, who has a considerably more uncertain relationship with God, are unlikely friends, but when a blood-covered Jude runs into Mike's church asking for help, Mike listens to him, believes him, and joins him on a quest to find the Holy Grail, which Jude hopes will help him destroy a legendary and dangerous family heirloom. Along the way they encounter Cain, the Norse gods (drinking and watching Bridge over the River Kwai), and a Valkyrie with the requisite 'chainmail-covered pillowy breasts.' When Mephistopheles shows up, Jude manages to label him an Arch-Fiend of Hell without irony and without irritating the reader. Stone's depiction of magic is realistic and intelligent and his treatment of Catholicism refreshingly informed and three-dimensional. Even the obligatory near-apocalyptic ending is coherent, surprising, and exciting."
--Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"A lightning-paced thriller that is equal parts non-stop action and intelligent musing. This is, in fact, a surprisingly introspective book that delves into many interesting questions about the nature of good, evil, and faith. It's an enthralling read certain to delight and entertain, a well-crafted gem worthy of a place on any bookshelf."
--Michelle Izmaylov, author of The Galacteran Legacy: Galaxy Watch
"[Stone] effortlessly merges bible canon with the world and people he's created, adding off-the-wall humor to help break the tension. This book makes you laugh while making you think about the nature of evil and the power of faith."
--Jamie White, author of The Life and Times of No One in Particular
"Once in a great while, a book comes along that challenges you to think outside the box. The Judas Line is one of those books."
--M.E. Franco, author Where Will You Run?
"The pacing is flawless in every respect …. Never before have I found a work of fiction to be so captivating. It picks you up, sits you down, and it does not let you even think about getting back up."
--Grace Knight, author of Sun And Moon (2013)
- Coffeetown Enterprises, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)
Read an Excerpt
"You've read a bit of what my Family is like, Mike," I said, voice cooling to just above absolute zero. "They would do, and spend, anything to find me, to get what I have."
"That silver thing of yours?"
"Yes, the Silver. One of the most powerful magical artifacts in the world, second only to the Grail and the Arc of the Covenant."
The explosion of incredulity I half expected didn't come. When I spared a glance from the road, it was to see Mike staring at me with eyes colder and more pitiless than the spaces between the stars.
"The Arc of the Covenant? The Grail? Like the real ones, the ones Indiana Jones found?" The arctic tundra was warmer than his voice.
"When I left the Family, I liquidated my assets and I've used a lot of that to find something that would help me destroy the Silver."
"What about throwing it in the Laurentian Abyss?"
The vanishing point met my eyes as I answered. "You could stuff the Silver in a lead-lined box with a nuclear warhead set to detonate when it hit the ocean floor and you wouldn't even scratch it. It would reappear where someone in the Family would find it. No, the only way to destroy the Silver is to use a more powerful artifact."
Mike stayed quiet for quite some time, so long, in fact, that I began to worry. Finally he said, "So you're trying to destroy this silver thing by using an artifact that people have been trying to locate for centuries? Perhaps millennia?"
"Yes, Mike, I have to because the Silver is the biggest threat to mankind next to global thermonuclear war. It needs to go away and I should have investigated more thoroughly and taken action sooner." Regret tasted bitter in my throat. "Because I twigged onto the Grail six months ago."
A long pause. "Why didn't you?"
I exploded in a rush of verbal self-recrimination. "Damn me, Mike … I was too comfortable, man." When he didn't reply, I continued. "And maybe a little scared, too. Nebraska isn't the center of the universe, but it's a good place to be." Better, I felt much better. Maybe confession was good for the soul.
Mike stroked his moustache. "So that's where we're going? To get the Grail?" I nodded and he blew a sigh through his lips. "The Archbishop will never believe this."
"I really wouldn't tell him if I were you."
Once again that cold stare. "Why?"
"The Family has … people in the Vatican."
Meet the Author
Born in Helsinki, Finland, Mark Everett Stone arrived in the U.S. at a young age and promptly dove into the world of the fantastic. Starting at age seven with the Iliad and the Odyssey, he went on to consume every scrap of Norse Mythology he could get his grubby little paws on. At age thirteen he graduated to Tolkien and Heinlein, building up a book collection that soon rivaled the local public library's. In college Mark majored in Journalism and minored in English. Mark has published four other books with Camel Press: Things to Do in Denver When You're Un-Dead, What Happens in Vegas Dies in Vegas, I Left my Haunt in San Francisco, and Chicago, The Windigo City. Mark lives in Denver with his amazingly patient wife, Brandie, and their two sons, Aeden and Gabriel. You can find Mark on the Web at: markeverettstone.camelpress.com and markeverettstone.com.
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His books never disappoint! There is action, suspense, monsters, magic, romance! From Things to Do in Denver When You're Undead to the Judas Line, Mark Everett Stone ALWAYS delivers wonderful, fun, action packed books that are sure to please any and all fans!