The Gladiator's Day of Grace

Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Excerpt!!!

Coming Soon!

I am so excited about The Gladiator's Day of Grace and consider it the most important work of fiction I have ever done.

About the Book
Maximus Vitruvius Messalla has learned about the unpredictability of life the hard way. Raised in aristocratic prominence and wealth, one moment Maximus is a decorated centurion in the Roman military, quickly rising in the ranks. The next, he is betrayed, charged with treason, and forced to be a gladiator in the Roman arena to earn his freedom.

Throughout the course of these events, Maximus comes to question all he has been taught to believe.

Lifted by his love for a freed slave, Maximus follows her to
Capernaum where he learns of the gospel of Jesus Christ. After witnessing the healing of a fellow centurion’s servant, Maximus’s hunger for truth grows and his questions about the rabbi increase. He knows that if anyone can tell him more about the Messiah, the woman he loves can. On the shore of Galilee, she shares her testimony of the Messiah, and for Maximus, just being in her presence gives him a glimpse of heaven.

Over the course of a single day, he receives answers to questions that have haunted him for years. But when certain events come to light that reopen old wounds, he wonders if he will ever truly have peace.

The Gladiator’s Day of Grace is the story of love, forgiveness, redemption, and one man’s journey to discover the saving grace that is available to all of us.

Book Excerpt:
Grimacing slightly and pressing a hand against his chest, a vision of his final kill in the arena again filled Maximus’s mind. He remembered with clarity the look in the battle-hardened man’s eyes as the warrior knelt before him. Life was slowly draining from a gaping mortal wound in his side from Maximus’s gladius.

“Jugular! Jugular!” the frenzied crowd had roared, urging Maximus to dispose of his opponent with a quick, well-placed slice, effectively ending his life as a gladiator. The man had been a Christian and a slave, guilty of nothing, save worshipping a god that made the Romans uneasy–a god they did not believe in but felt threatened by nonetheless. Maximus had been trained to believe that the Christian religion was based on rebellion, with its believers amassing an army to overthrow Roman rule. He had often wondered if there was any real truth to that belief. So far, the Christians he had met were the opposite of rebels–like the one kneeling beneath his blade.

Even now, Maximus could still feel the blood on his hands, and could see it streaking the leather tunic he’d worn. Some of the blood had been his own, but not much–at least not this time.

“Finish it,” the fallen warrior had growled softly, tilting his head back and exposing his neck. Looking up into Maximus’s eyes, he’d repeated with a deep rasp, “Finish it. Give me peace.”

Almost envying the peaceful resignation in the gladiator’s piercing gaze, Maximus nodded and granted him his release from this life, while mentally vowing that he was done with killing forever. He would not shed another drop of blood.

Maximus had wondered if his hands would–or even could–ever be clean again.

Drawing his mind away from the gory memories, Maximus sighed as his thoughts finally shifted and touched on events that had transpired since walking away from the arena. Though the fire inside him had cooled along with the bloodlust, and his soul had quieted, questions were now stirring in his mind and bringing with them a fast-growing restlessness. There were so many things he did not understand–things he’d seen, heard, and experienced. And things he wanted to know–that he needed to know–about the man. Maximus needed to know the truth about the gentle leader who had healed the servant of his friend, Alexuis, a fellow centurion. He still remembered Alexius’s words when the man offered to come to his home and heal the servant.

“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the words only, and my servant shall be healed.”

The man had responded by declaring the greatness of Alexius’s faith. He said because the centurion believed, his servant would be healed. And he was healed! Maximus had seen it with his own eyes when he’d accompanied Alexius back home.

 Sadly, this man who had healed the servant was soon betrayed by one in his own circle. He was scourged by Roman soldiers, mocked and spat upon by his own people, and crucified between two thieves. It happened just over three months ago. He had been worshipped and revered by many, and he still was, even after his death.

They called him the Messiah.

Maximus had also heard that, according to the prophecy written in the scriptures of the Jews, this Messiah–Jesus was his name–rose from the dead three days after his death, and he still lived. Maximus found it hard to believe. He had only heard Jesus teach once, and the freedom and peace of the soul this rabbi offered seemed like an elusive dream, one that someone like him could never acquire. Still, he needed answers. And only one person could give him those answers.

He continued to gaze out over the water, taking in the sounds of the sea and watching the fishing boats out in the distance, waiting–waiting for her.
It seemed he was always waiting for her.

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