I know it’s been a very long hiatus, but not much has been going on besides the announcement of the Gathering ’10 in the Dekkerverse. But I decided to stop by to give you an excerpt of the much anticipated Immanuel’s Veins. Merry Christmas to all, and we’ll be back soon as the release of Burn and Tea with Hezbollah nears!

Let me clear up one thing: IV is only VERY loosely connected to BOHC and then only for those who know the BOHC intimately. The book will not advance any knowledge of what happens to Thomas. IV is a stand alone story of great seduction, romance and blood spilling set in the seventeen hundreds in Moldavia.

IV is my first, first person novel, told from the point of view of a famed Russian warrior named Toma. Let me say that this book is not for younger children (under 13) and will undoubtedly cause some alarm, this because it’s a story of unbound love and seduction and some of the pages don’t pretend it’s not. No foul language, heated sex or gratuitous violence, at least no more than Song of Solomon or Exodus. But, yeah, some are bound to object as they might with any of my novels.” –Ted Dekker

Here is the first page (a letter) and the first two paragraphs of chapter one:

To All Who Have Ears to Hear:

I am dead. But perhaps you are as well, if you can read this account penned by a dead man.

I, Saint Thomas of Moldavia, make known this report of all that transpired so that any who seek the truth will know what happened.

Some called me a heretic. They said that my dealing with the matters herein could only mean that I was touched by the devil himself. Some said that I was a creature of the night, a dragon, a beast turned into man. Some said that I was mad, and I will attest that I myself once would have believed that this tale could only come from the mind of a raving lunatic.

But I swear by my very own blood that I am neither devil nor beast and that this is not the tale of a lunatic—unless by love I have been driven hopelessly mad, a reasoning that tempts me more often than I dare admit. Judge it for yourself.

I implore you to open your hearts and your minds to this account. Then, when you have turned the last page, if you still do not believe that what you have read is true, you may say that I deserved my death.

Saint Thomas
Lover of his bride

Chapter One

MY NAME IS Toma Nicolescu and I was a warrior, a servant of Her Majesty, the empress of Russia, Catherine the Great, who by her own hand and tender heart sent me on that mission at the urging of her most trusted adviser Grigory Potyomkin in the year of our Lord 1772.

It was a year of war, this one the Russo-Turkish war, one of so many with the Ottoman Empire. I had slain the enemy with more ambition than most in the humble service of the empress, or so it has been said, and having earned Her Majesty’s complete trust in my loyalty and skill, I was dispatched by her to the south and east, through Ukraine to the principality of Moldavia, just north of the Black Sea, to the country estate of the Cantemir family nestled up against the base of the Carpathian Mountains.

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Last week, we introduced you to Phenomenal–one sad sad adDekkted, Grace Juice-suckin’ puppy–and now we give you Chandor. Close  your eyes and allow yourself to be swept into this journey of discovery as you take the next step of recovering from your AdDekktion.

CONFESSIONS OF AN ADDEKKT (STEP 2):
Realizing the Benefits of your AdDekktion

Phen posted his Confessions last week, so now it is time that I let you know more about myself.

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up that first jacketed hardcover.  As the shiny new cover caught the light, a riddle was revealed.

Born of Black and White. Eaten with Worms. I’m a Saint, a Sinner, a Siren of the Word. The Circle knows me. The rest just wanna trip on Grace Juice, Baby. Showdown at Midnight.

The author’s name sounded familiar. I’d worked in this bookstore for almost three months now, and I’d seen many customers flock to read his books. I’d always been a reader. From age 4, I devoured books. Mysteries were my favorite. Books full of action, suspense, and intrigue. It’d been a while since I’d indulged this need of mine. This need for a good story full of twists and turns. A trip, so to speak. Yes, I needed a good trip.

And here it was, right in front of me, a book clearly wanting to take me on a “trip.”

Showdown

Myself, and a few of my coworkers all embarked on this SHOWDOWN between good and evil together. I finished first. I still remember that moment when the whole story flipped on its head. It was the same moment I realized I must definitely continue reading what this author has written. Who was Thomas Hunter?

That was the question I was left with when I finished the story. I figured I could find the answers I was looking for on this fantastic author’s website, thus, I joined The Circle. I had fruit thrown at me, and I was encouraged to read these odd books called BLACK, RED, and WHITE. Over the next 3 months, I read THR3E, BLINK, OBSESSED, the CIRCLE TRILOGY and HOUSE all the while eagerly discussing with my coworkers and this online community that was passionate about God and a good story.  In short, I was AdDekkted.

I started sharing my books with my mom.  She’s the source of my “reader genes” and like I suspected, she fell prey to this AdDekktion, too.  I started waiting for my next fix ever so impatiently.  In the month leading up to a new novel, I’d check the site every day to see if anyone had found it yet in stores, and I checked my sources at our own store.  Every box in the backroom from Thomas Nelson got opened prematurely by this over-eager sales clerk.

Over the next few years, I tore through SAINT, SKIN, CHOSEN, INFIDEL, ADAM, RENEGADE, CHAOS, SINNER, KISS, an ARC of BONEMAN’S DAUGHTERS, LUNATIC & ELYON.  I even started to wear a symbol of my AdDekktion around my neck.  A circle of GREEN, surrounding a field of BLACK, where a RED cross overcomes the darkness, and gives way to a center of WHITE.  Many ask about it, and I tell them it’s a symbol of our redemption, as told by one of our greatest Storytellers.

Circle Pendant

I continued to get to know my fellow AdDekkts from all over the world, but I also sought to get others AdDekkted.  I got my friend to read BLACK after much persistence.  After a few days, he informed me that I had created a monster.  He quickly consumed the rest of the BOOKS OF HISTORY CHRONICLES.  With a 2/2 success rate, I was emboldened.  I picked up 3 copies of my favorite story, THE CIRCLE TRILOGY, and started giving it to friends that also loved a good story.  The virus was spreading, and the only relief to this AdDekktion was another trip.  Even my younger brother got into the action.  Surrounding myself with others who shared this love of story with me made me feel a little more… sane.  Yes, I could introduce others to this Storyteller and not feel so alone when I wanted to talk about these tomes.  But still, I had this need to meet others.  These friends I had made from our online Circle.

Then, the day finally arrived.  The day I would spend in pure bliss with my fellow AdDekkts and our Storyteller.  The Gathering.

Me and my fellow AdDekktsMy AdDekktion culminated in this weekend.  In a state I’d never visited, with a group of people I had only met online.  We traveled hundreds and thousands of miles to come together, but I swear, we’re not a cult.  Well…

Together, we laughed, we rejoiced, we celebrated the Great Romance that had brought us back to our Creator.  This. This was why life is lived.  To know our Creator and celebrate our redemption.  Meeting the Storyteller face to face and communicating just a fraction of what these stories have meant to me was huge.

Jami Sue and I at the Gathering

All of us who gathered that weekend, also got the chance to read BURN.  This story, wow.  What a powerful picture!  What a great parable!  For the first time in year, I had the chance to read a story that I had zero expectations about.  There was no synopsis on the back cover.  There were no reviews to taint my perspective.  It was just me and a story.  And I loved it.

In the meantime, an AdDekkt I had never met in person asked me a question that changed the course of my future.  After discovering our shared passion for social justice, she offered me to come out to DC to participate in an urban ministry program, serving this same Creator by loving others and being the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken world.  I accepted her offer to come to yet another place I’d never been before, and now I am proud to say she’s not just a person online, but a real and true friend.

Once I arrived back home, my job at the bookstore started again, and it paid off in letting me read the ultimate story before hardly anyone else.  The rush of holding GREEN in my hands and turning its action-packed pages before most any other AdDekkt was exhilirating.

Now, I’ve joined in with yet another AdDekkt, Phenomenal, to work on this labor of love where all things Dekker can be presented in a fun and entertaining way so that others can find their “next Dekkie fix”.

TDT 9-13

TOP STORY:  This week, the efforts of the Forest Guard were greatly rewarded:

NYT

Kevin Kaiser tweeted on Wednesday afternoon

Just got news that Green hit the NYT Bestsellers list (#20). Thx to everyone who helped make that happen!

We did it! Granted, it’s not #1 (some day, folks), but still this means that all of us encouraging our friends to give the Circle a chance has really paid off. The story of our redemption is out there and getting noticed.

FLASH FICTION:  Ted poked his head out of his undisclosed location this week in order to share his shortest piece of fiction to date. I present to you The Gunslinger.  Despite how brief the story is, many of Dekker’s fans are pulling out nuggets of truth embedded within the snapshot of a tale. 

IMMANUEL’S VEINS: This week was a slow news week when it came to new clues as to Ted’s upcoming novel.  Pretty much what we’ve uncovered over the past few months have this novel set in the 1500’s and including “non-Twilight” vampires. 

The online debate continued on Facebook and on The Circle.  Most of Ted’s fans are fine with evil being portrayed in a realistic way as to contrast with the light and make it appear all the more good.  Some seem to question whether vampires are in this novel primarily because their “popular” right now.  Or does the current popularity of vampires make a Dekker novel about them all the more relevant to a world that needs to hear the truth?

FOREST GUARD: This week we were introduced to a BONUS MISSION along with a special audio message from Ted thanking us for all our hard work promoting Green. For this extra mission, members of the guard can earn bonus points for posting reviews of Green on sites like Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Christianbook.com, and other online booksellers.  All we have to do is post our reviews, then submit a report with links.  So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and write a review!

BURN:  Only 121 more days until the release of Ted’s next novel.  As we’ve previously reported, Burn is Dekker’s second collaboration with Erin Healy.  The hundreds of fans who attended this year’s Gathering have already devoured this instant classic.  As one of those fans, I can’t wait for everyone else to get a chance to immerse themselves in this story.  This is one of the best “stand-alone” novels that Ted has ever done.  He and Erin have penned a masterpiece together and in just 4 months, the world will get a taste of what happens when you have to choose between your own wants and sacrificing for another. 

TEA WITH HEZBOLLAH:  January 2010 is a big month for Ted.  Not only will we see the release of Burn but we will also be treated to what I can only assume will be a worldview-rocking non-fiction book:  Tea With Hezbollah.  We’re keeping a close eye for any excerpts or more information on this one.  I am excited for the discussion this book will inspire. 

 

And now here’s your weekly recap:

Music Monday: “Fire it Up” – Thousand Foot Krutch
Ted-Inspired Tuesday: “Name’s Black… Marsuvees Black”
Wacky Wednesdays: Confessions of an AdDekkt
Thoughtful Thursdays: Through the Looking Glass
First-Look Fridays: Going Green!

Phen and I have another great week of posts planned, so stay tuned. 

Also, please send any suggestions or post ideas to our e-mail:  ScribesofOE@gmail.com

Before I read Green, my favorite color was red. Now I’m not so sure…

GREEN

Green is Ted’s latest offering in the Books of History Chronicles, wrapping up loose ends from the original Circle trilogy, the Paradise Novels, and the Lost Books. It is the beginning and the end. A tale full of blood, war, and intoxicating love. It may sound like an 0xy-moron, but Ted manages to pull it off with the usual heart-stomping Dekker signature.

Some may argue about how dark the story is, or how some plot elements just don’t work, or how many theological problems may pop up here and there. But I think that they’ve lost the meaning of this piece of art in translation.

At the heart of this novel are the elegantly-sung words, “You are beautiful… So beautiful… Beautiful.” This novel encapsulates that theme, even in the most hopeless of times, and Dekker brings to light his most soul-wrenching, ambitous story to date. Pick up your copy as soon as you can, and open your eyes to the world of colors, where even the smallest soul is at the largest stake.

For more reviews of Green, click here. And check out Ted’s latest flash fiction posted today on his Facebook, “The Gunslinger”! Also, you can now subscribe to the blog by email! Just click here and put your email in. If you have any other suggestions, just shoot us an email at ScribesofOE@gmail.com.

Kiss Away the Pain

There are defining moments in every person’s life, whether it be the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, or a beautiful wedding. We center every part of our being around these few scarce incidents and build our lives–past, present, and future–around them…

Everybody has a past, and it’s something you can’t exactly erase from existence. That one small mistake that turned out much larger. Those kids that used to make fun of you in high school. The divorce of your parents. It can all build up and eat us up, from the inside-out, destroying the very fiber of who we are and who we were created to be. We can choose the pain of those things that tore through our lives like a tornado . . . Or we can choose perspective. “Pain or perspective.”

You choose pain–you choose to fight it, deny it, bury it…”

You may grapple and wrestle and tear apart those actions in your mind, piece-by-piece, but it will bring you no good. No matter how much you may deny what has happened it will always continue to stay the same. The past doesn’t change. Bury it alive, but it’ll come back from the grave to haunt you one day. And you . . . you will always carry the burden, the pain, and your life will slowly deteriorate, hopeless and alone.

But you choose perspective–embrace your history, give it credit for the better person it can make you, scars and all.”

Breathe in. You are still alive, aren’t you? You may bear the scars of times past, but you have been granted something greater than any tragedy can take from you. Life. Embrace your history, and dance with your Creator, for He has given you another chance, another day, to change things and make the future so much brighter. Learn from the mistakes, and don’t bear the pain already bore for you. You can become a better person now.

Laugh. Smile. Live. Look through the glass of perspective, not pain.

He wants you to remember who delivered you from that time . . . That’s the point of holding onto that memory: delivery, not darkness.” –Ted Dekker, Kiss

Today The Forest Guard Chronicles is pleased to present you the first in a very special series, Confessions of an AdDekkt. If you are reading this, you are most likely an AdDekkt, also. We hope through these honest, open essays you are able to come to terms with your problem and take the necessary steps to breaking this habit. Dive deep.

CONFESSIONS OF AN ADDEKT (STEP 1):
Admitting Your Problem

My name is Phenomenal, and I have a problem. You see, I’m a story junkie. I love a good novel, whether it be fantasy or mystery or suspense. But I receive no greater thrill than feeling the pages of a Dekker novel gliding between my fingers, my mind absorbing every single word and sentence. I’m addicted, I admit. It takes alot for me to openly admit it, but I AM a Dekker addict. But first, allow me tell you a little bit about myself.

I was born a Blessed Child in Paradise, CO, but I was Chosen and have grown into a Man Called Blessed. I count in Thr3e‘s and I view the world in four colors (Black, Red, White, and Green). My life occurs in the Blink of an Eye and I am trapped within my own Skin. I sing The Martyr’s Song, and I cry When Heaven Weeps. Some call me a Lunatic. Others call me Infidel. I say I’m just Obsessed. Things may be worse than Chaos, heavier than Thunder of Heaven, in my life but I hold onto my Savior, Elyon, and I dwell in His House. I’m no Saint. I know I’m a Sinner, but I’ll never go Renegade. Heaven’s Wager is on my soul, as well as yours, and the Showdown nears… (Did I mention I’ve never Kissed a guy named Adam, and my sister is BoneMan’s Daughter? ;P)

Now that you know about me, I can tell you about this spiral into adDekktion I find myself in now. It all started a few years back when I decided to pick up a book called House. I had read some of Peretti’s stuff since I was in fifth grade and I really enjoyed his stuff, so I took a gamble at this co-authored book. It was decent. That led to picking up the book Thr3e for a dollar. Ironically, I got much more than 3-for-1. Then one of my teachers in high school at that time, who happened to also be an AdDekkt, gave me Showdown as a gift randomly. It’s all History from there, quite literally.

Skip a year or four, now I have an entire blog devoted to the Man Behind the Mask. I also have a secret shrine devoted to him that nobody’s supposed to know about… *cough cough*

Photo0026.jpg picture by mister_phenomenal

Photo0029.jpg picture by mister_phenomenal

I see Roush and Shataiki around every corner. I tremble in the presence of Noxzema. And I attack anybody in a black trench coat, fearing they may be Marsuvees Black.

I drink Green Water, a much better alternative to soda, milk, or even regular water. Sometimes I like to trip on Grace Juice too.

I made flyers and voted for Ted in a student-body election at my school.

100_0790.jpg picture by mister_phenomenal

I even have my own Book of History I stole from David Abraham. In fact, I almost made it to Other-Earth.

See, these are just some of the few signs that led me to believe I was an AdDekkt. I, like you, was in denial at first, but I have come to understand the nature of this unnatural thirst for all things Dekker. Now is the time for you to take your first step toward recovery and openly admit you’re an AdDekkt. Leave a comment or email us at ScribesofOE@gmail.com, telling us about your adDekktion. We might even feature it on the blog.

Stay tuned for the continuation of the Confession series next Wednesday!

Today the Forest Guard Chronicles brings you an exclusive Ted-Inspired work from Justin Buus, also known to some of you as NinjArtist on the Circle. Yes, he is a ninja AND an artist. And now I present to you . . .

Suvees

Amazing, no? You can click here for a larger version of the image, or you can click here for an alternate version with the poem from Showdown on it.

If you want to see more of Justin’s work, including a sneak preview at his graphic novel-in-progress Holy Darkness, you can visit his Circle page. Here’s another of my favorite pieces of his.

Hope you enjoyed! Leave a comment. And if you have anything you want to be featured on this blog, shoot us an email at ScribesofOE@gmail.com. :)

(Updated with links to the larger/alternate versions now! Sorry about that.)