Along the Watchtower

Along the Watchtower

by David Litwack

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A tragic warrior lost in two worlds... Which one will he choose?

WINNER: Readers' Favorite Book Award – Bronze Medal – Fiction Drama

WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Best Literary Fiction

The war in Iraq ended for Freddie when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once a skilled gamer as well as a capable soldier, he's now a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he's inhabiting two separate realities.

The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse—and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of Becky, his physical therapist. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic, which Freddie enters when he sleeps. The lines soon blur for Freddie, not just caught between two worlds, but lost within himself.

Is he Lieutenant Freddie Williams, a leader of men, a proud officer in the US Army who has suffered such egregious injury and loss? Or is he Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, who must make sense of his horrific visions in order to save his embattled kingdom from the monstrous Horde, his only solace the beautiful gardener, Rebecca, whose gentle words calm the storms in his soul.

In the conscious world, the severely wounded vet faces a strangely similar and equally perilous mission to that of the prince—a journey along a dark road, haunted by demons of guilt and memory. Can he let patient, loving Becky into his damaged and shuttered heart? It may be his only way back from Hell.

"This is a book that deserves to be read. It is both gritty reality and magical fantasy, and filled with both love and beauty, and ugliness and despair, but ultimately it is a story of healing, of burying the past, finding hope and taking control of the future." ~ Awesome Indies Reviews

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS a literary journey exploring the physical and psychological depths of trauma caused by war. [DRM-Free]

Books by David Litwack:

  • Along the Watchtower
  • The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky
  • The Time That's Given
  • The Children of Darkness (The Seekers - Book 1)
  • The Stuff of Stars (The Seekers - Book 2)
  • The Light of Reason (The Seekers - Book 3)

More Great Literary Fiction from Evolved Publishing:

  • Enfold Me by Steven Greenberg
  • Red Clay, Yellow Grass: A Novel of the 1960s by Richard Barager
  • Behind the Open Walls by Lanette Kauten

Product Details

BN ID: 2940155571254
Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC
Publication date: 06/25/2018
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

The urge to write first struck me when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But I was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, I religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into my twenties. Then life intervened. I paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When I found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.

There Comes a Prophet, published in July 2012, was the first novel in this new stage of life. It will be re-released by Evolved Publishing as The Children of Darkness, the first book in the series The Seekers. My second, Along the Watchtower, came out in June 2013, and my third book, The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky (refer to first paragraph above), released in May 2014.

My wife and I split our time between Cape Cod, Florida, and anywhere else that catches our fancy. I no longer limit myself to five pages a day and am thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

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Along the Watchtower 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was going through Face Book the other day and saw this novel by David Litwack. called Along The Watchtower. Being a veteran and once die hard World of War Craft (wow) player, I had to read it. I loved the book, so much I only put it down for work and very little sleep. First we are introduced to Lieutenant Freddie Williams, who is stationed in Iraq during war time. An IED explosion destroys his mind and leg, which gives him a quick trip state side. Once in the states, he's kept in a medically induced coma, for a short period of time. Freddie soon realizes he's stuck in two worlds. The first being, reality as he knew it, his life almost destroyed, struggling with family matters, and coming to terms with what happened to him as a kid, along with the guilt over his friends who died in Iraq, and the painful agony of physical therapy. In the other world, he is Frederick, the prince of Storm Wind, which is overrun by demons, and other characters from wow. To save his kingdom, he must withstand terrible visions & trials. In Along the Watchtower, David Litwack has created an original story that is dark, both in the real and fantasy world. When in the fantasy world Freddie isn't heroic or happy - he faces the same, painful journey & quests as he does in real life. Freddie's personality develops in both the fantasy world, and the real world. In the real world, Freddie must come to terms with his injuries, his guilt and family troubles. In the fantasy world, the fate of a kingdom rests in his hands Prince Frederick. The recovery Freddie has to make both mentally and physically, merges beautifully in both worlds, as if they're connected. He begins to find items belonging to the real world in the fantasy world, except they're magnified in the fantasy world, obstacles he has to face, to save a kingdom. The story is, at times, heartbreaking, because neither Freddie nor Frederick can seem to get a break. But in the end, after struggling through deeply emotional scenes that left my heart racing, I was glad the author didn't shy away from telling Freddie's story, or from making it as hopeless, and as sad as it was. Even when home and safe, he continues struggling to leave the war behind him, and as a reader, you're sucked into the story. You can't help but feel Freddie's pain, his hopelessness, and his feeling of losing control over his entire life. Fredrick's struggles to save his kingdom and figure out the trials, are also so richly written, you just feel for him as well. David Litwack incorporates a lot of detail into this novel, and it only helps to enhance the story. Freddie's and Fredrick's emotions appear very authentic. The romance correlation between Becky & Freddie, and Rebecca the gardener & Frederick are awesome. As a veteran and wow player I highly recommend this novel. Along The Watchtower is an amazing story of self-discovery and healing, of the consequences of war, of hope. It's the kind of story that screams to be read.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
The aftermath of war can be devastating for a returning hero. For Lieutenant Freddie Williams, an explosion destroyed part of his body and shattered his mind. His world split in two, the reality of his pain-filled world and the fantastical world he goes to in his dreams. Once a proficient gamer, his dreams take him into a world where he is trying to be a fierce warrior, Frederick, the Prince of Stormwind, trying to save his kingdom from the Horde. As the lines between his waking reality and his dreaming fantasy reality begin to blur, Freddie begins to understand that what happens in his dreams my hold the answers to dealing with his life. Becky, his therapist, plays a major role in both worlds and becomes a lifeline for Freddie’s recovery. Will Freddie’s lives meld together with the help of Becky? Along the Watchtower by David Litwak is a powerful and moving tale of the horrors of war, the damage done to the brave soldiers that come home, often maimed inside and out. PTSD manifests in many ways, sometimes it’s in an escape into a world where the conflict can be manipulated and won, as is the case for Freddie, who works through his issues in his dreams, using the characters he could relate to from his gaming days. Mr. Litwak has created and blended these worlds seamlessly, while creating wonderful characters to populate the world he has brought to life. Using the premise of a war game, he skillfully fleshes out both Freddie and Frederick as they grow into their own new realities. Combined with a warm love story, this is a unique read that one cannot help but find fascinating and memorable. 4.5 Stars
BadBoatyGirl More than 1 year ago
Another great read by david litwack, i really liked this book and it was hard to put down
KristyJewel More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this novel. I found myself captivated with the characters and I couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen. This was a fantasy novel that dealt with many real issues. I loved how unique the plot line was. It was amazing to see the main character struggle with survivor's guilt and see the strength that other characters were able to offer.  This book dealt with many real issues that veterans have. It talked about PTSD, survivors guilt, a pessimistic attitude etc. I thought that it was fascinating to see how the characters gave each other strength not only in the real world but in the fantasy world.  The writing was not the best, but it definitely wasn't terrible. I would say that this is a great novel from a new up and coming author. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for David Litwack's books. I am excited to see where his carrier will go. I will definitely be recommending this book to others. 
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Along the Watchtower is a fascinating book that combines a story of the physical and emotional scars left by war and the wonders of a mystical fantasy world, all flawlessly wrapped into one page-turning book. Lieutenant Frederick Williams, a passionate gamer who enjoys playing World of Warcraft with his fellow soldiers, is stationed in Iraq. While on patrol one hot day, his mind was distracted by the upcoming game scheduled for that night. Freddie was more concerned with how to get past the trolls in the game than what lay ahead of him, hidden in the ground. When the Humvee hit the IED, it destroyed the vehicle and almost killed Freddie. While the IED shattered his body, his dear friend, Specialist Pedey Sanchez, better known as the Archangel, took the brunt of the hit and died from the blast. Freddie survived, was sent to Ramstein Air Base and eventually home to New England where his physical wounds would slowly heal, but what about his emotional scars? Because of Freddie's serious injuries, he was kept in a medically induced coma for most of his early recovery. The soldier's mind deals with the trauma by imagining a fantasy world, a world where Freddie is really Prince Frederick, the prince of Stormwind in the world of Azeroth. The kingdom has just lost their king, Frederick's father, and while Frederick is next in line to assume the throne, he must first face four 'trials.' Frederick has just thirty days, on his own, to discover, and solve the four trials. If he fails, then the evil Horde that waits outside the realm, will overrun the kingdom. For the thirty days, once at dawn and once at dusk, Frederick must climb up the watchtower and dream. What the dreams show, nobody knows for no prince has ever spoken about them, but how Prince Frederick responds will determine the fate of the kingdom. No other may enter the tower during the thirty days while the prince is tasked with solving the trials. Frederick is warned that magic will enter the tower, stairways will change, strange beings will appear, some to help, some to harm. Along the Watchtower was an interesting mix of the real-life rehabilitation of a traumatized soldier with a fun fantasy story where the reader tries to solve the mystery along with Prince Frederick. Chapters are fairly short, with a full chapter devoted to one storyline, and then the next chapter switching to the other. The author easily and skillfully slipped between the two worlds so that there was no confusion or loss of flow. I was drawn into the story quickly and initially thought I preferred the fantasy world, but as the plot progressed, I was equally drawn into the real world drama. While the two stories seemed completely unrelated at the outset, as I read, I began to notice interesting similarities between the two. Without giving anything away, I'll simply say that both came to satisfying conclusions. Quill says: Whether you prefer military stories or are more of a fantasy fan, pick up a copy of Along the Watchtower and be drawn into a quick reading book.
SteffyC More than 1 year ago
I feel like this book should be a movie or a mini-series on TV. The story was so original and captivating and even moving to the point of tears. At times the just beautiful and seemingly effortless prose was some of the best I’ve seen. Truly marvelous reading experience and to be honest, a rare one. It is strange because I wouldn’t normally say that this type of book would be one I’d normally read, as I tend to gravitate more toward romantic dramas. But having read another book by this author in the past I thought I’d like it and I was right. His stories seem to transcend the normal confines of set genres and go straight for your head and your heart. Great book that I wholeheartedly recommend.
BenjisMom More than 1 year ago
I give this book five stars, and I don’t do that very often. I judge on several levels: the writing, pacing, dialogue, plots (main and sub), characters (main and secondary), world-building, and most importantly, how the book makes me feel. At the end of the day if a book doesn’t make an emotional impact on me one way or another, why bother reading it? In “Along the Watchtower”, by David Litwack, all these elements come into play nicely on a level far superior to many other books I’ve read lately. But it was the emotional impact that got me. Without being overwrought with dramatics or overwritten adjectives and hyperboles, this novel somehow managed to convey the psychological horrors of someone with PTSD, but in a way that we the reader aren’t traumatized, but can be moved and empathetic towards our hero’s plight. An amazing journey and one I won’t soon be forgetting. Thank you for writing this book. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to read it.
NikkyH7117 More than 1 year ago
It is a rare treat to stumble upon a book that has the combination of beautiful prose, realistic-sounding dialogue, well-rounded characters, and an innovative and compelling plot such as was “Along the Watchtower” by David Litwack. This was an unexpected find, and one that broke many boundaries for me. What I think I liked the most wasn’t just the authors imaginative use of the fantasy game life and the clever way it tied into the real one, but how we as readers are actually shown what the hardships are that wounded vets face after returning back from fighting for our country, something that I think is sadly overlooked in much of the media, so it is easily forgotten. So In addition to writing a terrifically fantastical novel, I applaud Mr. Litwack for shining a light on a very real problem and doing it with respect and class.
JennaBrewster More than 1 year ago
Have you ever felt like you go into another world when you dream at night? Soldier Frederick Williams does when his military unit is attacked by an explosive device. He goes into a coma and his mind goes to another place, one he is very familiar with, the World of Warcraft. Now I know at first glance this may seem really bizarre, and maybe only appeal to those types of people who like war and video games. As a woman in her mid- 30’s, I can assure you I am neither of those. But I absolutely LOVED this book. Why? Because of the humanity. The realness. The authenticity of emotion and action, even while in this “virtual” world (which is nothing more than just a big metaphor, really). So brilliantly done, I wonder why a big publisher hasn’t picked this up. Someone really should. It’s wonderful.
MWilliamsMW More than 1 year ago
The watchtower in Along the Watchtower is a place where the young Dauphin goes at sunrise and sunset to see how to determine the fate of his kingdom that he shall inherit. Except all is not what it seems to be. Freddie lies in a medically induced coma and is living another “life” while he is unconscious. The quests and perils and obstacles of his fantasy world seem to on some level mimic what he is facing in his real world when he finally wakes up and is faced with some cruel hardships to overcome. This is a book about overcoming adversity, healing, faith, and so many other things that it hard to just sum up. Just read it and see for yourself what an amazing and unique book this is. You’ll be better for it and might even learn something. I know I did.
Darla_Ortiz More than 1 year ago
I admit I went into reading this thinking I probably wasn’t going to like it. War story? Not my thing. Stories about World of Warcraft? You’ve got to be kidding. But I tried to keep an open mind because I’d read another book by this author sometime back (There Comes a Prophet-check it out!) And I remember I really liked it…that the author had a unique way of blending storylines and he is a gifted writer. So I put my prejudices aside and hoped for a tolerable read. What I wasn’t expecting was to have my mind totally blown, and be moved to the point of tears, and wonder how he managed to pull of this brilliant fusion of the real and the imagined. There are so many elements at play here that this novel truly is bigger than the sum of its parts. I’m filing it along with my “keepers” and will be re-reading it soon. You definitely don’t want to miss this one.
BrendaMax More than 1 year ago
Okay, where has this book been all my life? WOW! (haha pardon the pun). This was amazing, and I don’t want to gush but there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about this book…except maybe that it ended? (btw I really loved the epilogue). Where can I read more from this author and why doesn’t he have 10 books written already? LOL. Seriously, it was such a refreshing change of pace to read a book like this, even though at times the subject matter could get intense. No, this isn’t a light and fluffy beach read, but not the stuff that will give you nightmares, either. It, and the memorable characters, will stay with you long after the last pages are over.
-Cale-Owens- More than 1 year ago
An admirable effort by David Litwack. I liked how he combined the struggle with the wounded vet Freddie with the land of fantasy. I’ve played WOW in the past so I can appreciate all the references. But I suspect even those who never have will find it easy to understand and follow along. The transitions between the two worlds and the characters were smooth. There were no editing mistakes at all, which seems pretty unusual. Strong writing throughout. Highly recommend.
Coreeez More than 1 year ago
Freddie Williams is patrolling a hotzone in Iraq and daydreaming about a fantasy game when there is a huge, traumatic explosion. Then he seems to insert himself into the virtual gaming world. One minute he’s fighting the war in Iraq, the next he’s got his sword and is running down a castle hallway. Even the writing (the tone of the book) seems to shift from gritty realism of a modern war story to that of an older style epic fantasy. It’s hard to believe the same author wrote both sides. It was incredible and the transition between the two worlds and all the characters was perfect. It was easy to tell that a lot of thought went into writing this book. I’m definitely recommending this book to some friends—I think they will be pleasantly surprised!
JhonniP More than 1 year ago
Intense. Dark. Witty. Inspiring. Funny. Romantic. Brilliant. “Along the Watchtower” by David Litwack is one of those rare gems that one can only hope to find while scouring the ever-growing “slushpile” of Kindle books. Just from the opening sample I knew I was in for quite a treat, and I was not disappointed. Each page was better than the one before, and it was so easy to get lost in this story that time flew by and I read over half of it before I even knew it. I’m normally a chapter at a time kind of gal, because I’m so busy. But this book pulled me in and refused to let me go. And I didn’t want it to! I hope the author writes more books like this in the future. I’m going to check out his other ones now. A must read for just about anyone who enjoys an amazing book.
AprilDawn More than 1 year ago
David Litwack has created a new type of novel with his work, “Along the Watchtower”, one that will have immense cross-genre appeal. I have to admit that I raised an eyebrow when I read the description and saw it was partly about the computer game, “World of Warcraft.” I wondered if it would be more suitable for my 14 year old son. But after reading it, I was genuinely taken aback at how wonderful the storyline meshed with Fredrick’s real-life struggle of recovery, and even though there were some gaming references that went over my head, I though the author did a nice job of describing the scenes and the dual world-building. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I world, and even gave it to my son to read when I was finished!
ClaireBear74 More than 1 year ago
Fantastic. Along the Watchtower by author David Litwack is a definite must read. I know that term is bandied about loosely these days, but in this case it really fits. It is such an original plot, even though the themes themselves may be familiar…someone overcoming trauma and adversity and healing. What I thought was so amazing about this book (and believe me it is hard to narrow it down for the scope of a short review) was the author’s ability to really put us in the mind and the world(s) that the characters experience. He really shows us the struggle and pain and transformation…he doesn’t simply “tell” us the journey (as many lesser authors would be apt to do). Nothing was “explained” as if we the reader are morons. Instead we are gracefully immersed in brutal and beautiful worlds and get a true picture of wounded soul looking for salvation. Truly remarkable reading and I’ll be sure to tell my friends and family about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gets all the stars!!! Wow, it was really incredible! I had no idea what to expect when starting to read this novel, only that I’d read something else from this author a while ago (“There Comes a Prophet”) and thought it was very good. But I think this book was even better! It is sort of hard to describe, as it is about two different realities for the main character Freddy, who is severely wounded in battle overseas. His consciousness shifts from his mental and physical rehabilitation back home (in the ‘real’ world), and between to a fantasy gaming world of World of Warcraft…and it totally works! Believe me, if you would have told me I’d love reading about a video game world, I’d say you were crazy. But there was so much depth and meaning and connections to everything that happened. I hope this book gets the attention it deserves because it was genuinely mind-blowing for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hooked into this incredible book from the opening pages. First Lieutenant Frederick Williams should have been concentrating on his post, but instead is daydreaming about a quest on World of Warcraft and an IED goes off killing some and severely wounds him. At first I thought that was really strange, I’ve heard that people like playing that game, but it seemed like a weird thing to be fantasizing about. Until I read further and realized that the story unfolds with the reality of Freddie’s recovery spliced together with his fantasy world as a hero and it is this duality and split world of reality and fantasy that is what the whole story is all about. The parallels are brilliant and the writing is superb. I’ve read alot of books lately and none have come close to being as good as this one. Highly recommend for all readers mid teens on up. There are some intense and brutal scenes, but nothing you can’t handle
SDecker More than 1 year ago
I cannot put into words how much I loved this book…it was amazing!! So different from anything I’ve ever read. A brilliant mix of fantasy and reality that pulls at the heartstrings and leaves you wanting more. I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book and can’t recommend it highly enough. David Litwack is truly a gifted writer AND storyteller (these are not necessarily the same things). The editing was flawless and the pacing was near perfect. One of the best books I’ve read in recent years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They say the devil is in the details, but for me it was really what makes this book a roaring success. The tiniest detail painting a fascinating picture that makes us the reader feel like we are genuinely in Fredericks shoes every step of the way. What was really impressive for me as the reader was how the author David Litwack always kept the story moving forward, even when recounting events from the past. The momentum and tension never dulled, and you always got the sense that you really weren’t seeing the whole picture…like there were more hidden truths just around every bend and just out of sight… (like Jimmie’s ‘lost words’). A real page turner, and one you can’t put down until you’ve reached the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you ever finish a book put it down, and say, “Wow…what did I just read?” It’s extremely rare for me to be impressed with a book on so many levels from start to finish the way I was with this one. In writing my reviews I always try to point out the positive and the negative…I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say! And I’m really thinking! It was unpredictable, the balance between the real world and the fantasy world alternated at a nice, even clip with perfect smooth transitions, the conversations all sounded so real and authentic, it made me think that Mr. Litwack either REALLY did his research or has personal or first-hand experience with some of these events or afflictions. Everything just seemed true to life, even in the fantasy parts. Very well done.
JesseThomas More than 1 year ago
Along the WatchTower by David Litwack easily earns itself a spot on my “favorites” shelf. What an awesome piece of fiction. THIS is how books should be written! It was intelligent and thought-provoking and tugs at your heart and emotions…and at the same time I felt like I actually learned something, both about what horrors and hardships vets are faced with, and also why people would become addicted to online role-playing…how it can provide an escape, but can help them deal with issues in their own life. Very good from first page to last.
SamRyan More than 1 year ago
I don’t know what on earth compelled this author to combine a wounded vet with PTSD and serious physical ailments with a video game world, but boy am I sure glad he did! This is one of the most original storylines I’ve encountered in recent memory. I love it when writers think outside the box and break new ground, but also keep it in the realm of believability. Not an easy feat, but Mr. Litwack delivers in spades. At the risk of sounding overly gushing, the writing was simply perfect. VERY unusual to find even in a seasoned writer. It’s a gift that one either has, or doesn’t. The way we learn about the characters through their conversations and experiences was nothing short of the work of a master storyteller…and from what I can tell this is only the second book from David Litwack, at least what I could find. I will definitely be looking forward to reading more from him in the future. Do yourself a favor and read this book…you’ll be glad you did.
CPBialois More than 1 year ago
Lieutenant Frederick Williams finds himself in a military hospital following an IED attack in Iraq. Before he can make sense of what’s going on around him, he’s placed into a medically induced coma.  He is then a Prince preparing for a series of trials that each generation of kings must undergo to ensure the safety of their people. As he alternates between the waking and, what is assumed to be, his dream world, Frederick becomes confused as to who he truly is as he searches for the answers to himself with the aid of his physical therapist, Becky.  The striking thing about this story is it’s the best Wounded Warrior story I’ve ever read. The author does a fantastic job of marrying the character’s love of playing World of Warcraft with the problems he faces in his rehabilitation from his injured leg, having to face that it wasn’t his fault they were attacked, as well as piecing together the memories of his childhood and finding the one family member he has left. It’s really awesome how each facet of his real life and recovery is one of the trials Frederick faces as prince in his dreams to the point as a reader, you question which is the real world. In his dreams, if he fails to find the answer, his world will cease to exist and be overrun by the bloodthirsty horde. Not a pleasant thought, but an accurate comparison to the feeling of losing oneself in themselves. Both heart-wrenching and entertaining, this is a well written and touching story you won’t want to put down.