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becke_davis
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Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

The Month of Suspense & Thrillers continues - Monday's guest author is JOSHUA GRAHAM!

 

Joshua's website is here: http://joshua-graham.com/

 

Joshua Graham

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[ Edited ]



About Josh

 



Winner of the 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, and Amazon.com #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham’s Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling novel  BEYOND JUSTICE is taking the world by storm, one reader at a time. Many of his readersblame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.

BEYOND JUSTICE, THE ACCIDENTAL EXORCIST, THE ACCIDENTAL HERO, THE ACCIDENTAL HEALER, and DEATH AND TAXES, have reached the top of multiple bestseller list on Barnes & Noble topping titles by John Grisham, Linda Fairstein, Scott Turrow and James Lee Burke, Ted Dekker and Steven James. Soaring to the top of the Barnes & Noble lists, BEYOND JUSTICE recently hit #1 in the Legal Thriller and Christian Thriller categories, topping by John Grisham, Joel C. Rosenberg, and Michael Connelly.  It has also remained on the Amazon.com top 100 bestselling Kindle bestseller list months after its release.

Suspense Magazine listed BEYOND JUSTICE in its BEST OF 2010, alongside titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.

His short story THE DOOR’S OPEN won the HarperCollins Authonomy Competition (Christmas 2010.)

Publishers Weekly described BEYOND JUSTICE as:
“…A riveting legal thriller…. breaking new ground with a vengeance… demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”

Under a different pen name, Joshua has been published in three Simon & Schuster anthologies. He’s a graduate of the Oregon Professional Writers Masterclass run by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

 

Joshua Graham grew up in Brooklyn, NY where he lived for the better part of 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and went on to earn his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.   During his time in Maryland, he taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).

Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Southern California.  Several of Graham’s short fiction works have been published by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press.

BEYOND JUSTICE is now available in Trade Paperback through Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble.  It’s available at the Kindle store, and can be purchased for other ebook readers at Smashwords.  It als available for the iPad, SONY E-Reader and Nook.

Writing under the pen name Ian Alexander, Graham will debut with his first Epic Fantasy novelONCE WE WERE KINGS, to be released May 2011 in ebook and hardcover soon after.

Look for his next Suspense/Thriller DARKROOM I(Simon & Schuster/Howard Books) to be released Spring 2012!

 

Joshua Graham

www.joshua-graham.com
www.facebook.com/j0shuagraham

www.twitter.com/J0shuaGraham

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Beyond Justice  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The descent into Hell is not always vertical. Sam Hudson, a reputable San Diego attorney, learns this when the authorities wrongfully convict him of the brutal rape and murder of his wife and daughter, and sends him to death row. There he awaits execution by lethal injection. If he survives that long. Beyond Justice, a tale of loss, redemption and the power of faith.

 

 

 

 

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The descent into Hell is not always vertical.

— Bishop Frank Morgan

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

Chapter One

The question most people ask when they first meet me is: How does an attorney from a reputable law firm in La Jolla end up on death row?  When they hear my story, it becomes clear that the greater question is not how, but why.

I have found it difficult at times to forgive myself for what happened.  But a significant part of the answer involves forgiveness, something I never truly understood until I could see in hindsight.

Orpheus went through hell and back to rescue his wife Euridice from death in the underworld.  Through his music, he moved the hearts of Hades and Persephone and they agreed to allow Euridice to return with him to Earth on one condition:  He must walk before her and not look back until they reached the upper world.  On seeing the Sun, Orpheus turned to share his delight with Euridice, and she disappeared. He had broken his promise and she was gone forever.  This failure and guilt was a hell far worse than the original.

My own personal hell began one night almost four years ago.  Like images carved into flesh, the memories of that night would forever be etched into my mind.  The work day had been tense enough—my position at the firm was in jeopardy because of the inexplicable appearance of lewd internet images in my folder on the main file server.

Later that night, as I scrambled to get out the door on time for a critical meeting with a high profile client, my son Aaron began throwing a screaming fit.  Hell hath no fury like a boy who has lost his Thomas Train toy.  In my own frenzied state, I lost my temper with him.  Amazing how much guilt a four-year-old can pile on you with puppy-dog eyes while clinging to his mother’s legs.  His sister Bethie, in all her seventh grade sagacity, proclaimed that I had issues, then marched up to her room, slammed the door and took out her frustration with me by tearing though a Paganini Caprice on her violin.  All this apocalypse just minutes before leaving for my meeting, which was to be held over a posh dinner at George’s At The Cove, which I would consequently have no stomach for.

I couldn’t wait to get home.  The clock’s amber LED read 11:28 when I pulled my Lexus into the cul-de-sac.  Pale beams from a pregnant moon cut through the palm trees that lined our street.  The October breeze rushed into the open window and through my hair, a cool comfort after a miserable evening.

If I was lucky, Jenn would be up and at the computer, working on her latest novel.  She’d shooed me out the door lest I ran late for the meeting, before I could make any more of a domestic mess for her to clean up.

The garage door came down.  I walked over to the security system control box and found it unarmed.  On more than one occasion, I had asked Jenn to arm it whenever I was out.  She agreed, but complained that the instructions were too complicated.  It came with a pretty lame manual, I had to admit.

The system beeped as I entered the house, greeted by the sweet scent of Lilac—her favorite candles for those special occasions.  So much more than I deserved, but that was my Jenn.  Never judging, never condemning, she understood how much stress I’d been under and always prescribed the best remedy for such situations.

From the foot of the stairs I saw dimmed light leaking out of the bedroom.  It wasn’t even date night, but I had a pretty good idea what she was thinking.  So before going up, I stopped by the kitchen, filled a pair of glasses with Merlot and set out a little box of chocolates on a breakfast tray—my secret weapon.

As I climbed the stairs I smiled.  The closer I got, the more I could smell the fragrant candles.  From the crack in the door classical music flowed out:  Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem. Must’ve been writing a love scene.  She always used my classical CDs to set her in the right mood.

A beam of amber light reached through the crack in the doorway into the hallway.  The alarm system beeped.  She must have shut a window.  It had just started to rain and Jenn hated when the curtains got wet.

Kathleen Battle’s angelic voice soared.

Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem,
Requiem sempiternam.

Jenn didn’t know a word of Latin.  She just liked the pretty tunes.

I nudged the door open with my foot.

“Honey?”  Caught a glimpse of a silky leg on the bed.  Oh, yes.  I pushed the door open.

Shock ignited every nerve ending in my body like napalm.  The tray fell from my hands.  Crashed to the ground.  Glasses shattered and the red wine bled darkly onto the carpet.

Jenn lay partially naked, face-down, the sheets around her soaked crimson.  Stab wounds scored her entire body.  Blood.  Blood everywhere!

“Jenn!”

I ran to her, turned her over.

She gasped, trying to speak.  Coughed.  Red spittle dripped from the corner of her mouth.  “The kids…”

I took her into my arms.  But her eyes begged me to go check on them.

“You hang on, honey.  With all you’ve got, hang on!”  I reached for my cell phone but it fell out of my belt clip and bounced under the bed.

On my knees now, I groped wildly until I found the cell phone.  Dialed 9-1-1.  Barely remembered what I said, but they were sending someone right away.

Jenn groaned.  Her breaths grew shorter and shorter.

“Bethie… Aaron.”

Her eyes rolled back.

“I’m going.  Hang on, baby.  Please!  You gotta hang on!” I started for the door.  Felt her hand squeeze mine twice:  Love-you.

No.

Tears streamed down my face.  As I began to pull away, she gripped my hand urgently.  For that split second, I knew.  This was the end.  I stumbled back to her.  Gathered her ragdoll body in to my arms.

“Jenn, oh God, Jenn.  Please don’t!”

“Whatever it takes,” she said.  Again, she squeezed my hand twice.  “Mercy, not…sacrifice.”  One last gasp.  She sighed and then fell limp in my arms, her eyes still open.

Holding her tight to my chest, I let out an anguished cry.

All time stopped.  Who would do this?  Why?  Her blood stained my shirt.  Her dying words resonated in my mind.  Then I remembered.  The kids.  I bolted up and ran straight to Bethie’s room.

Bethie’s door was ajar.  If my horror hadn’t been complete, it was now.  I found her exactly like Jenn—face down, blood and gashes covering her body.

Though I tried to cry out, nothing escaped the vice-grip on my throat.  When I turned her over, I felt her arm.  Still warm, but only slightly.  Her eyes were shut, her face wet with blood.

“Bethie!  Oh, sweetie, no!” I whispered, as I wrapped the blanket around her.

I kissed her head.  Held her hand.  Rocked her back and forth. “Come on, baby girl.  Help’s on its way, you hold on,” I said, voice and hands trembling.  She lay there unconscious but breathing.

Aaron.

Gently, I lay Bethie back down then got up and flew across the hall.  To Aaron’s door.  His night light was still on and I saw his outline in the bed.

Oh God, please.

I flipped the switch.

Nothing.

I dashed over to the lamp on his nightstand, nearly slipping on one of his Thomas Train toys on the carpet.  Broken glass crackled under my shoes.

I switched on the lamp on his nightstand.  When I looked down to his bed, my legs nearly gave out.  Aaron was still under his covers, but blood drenched his pillow.  His aluminum baseball bat lay on the floor, dented and bloodied.

Dropping to my knees, I called his name.  Over and over, I called, but he didn’t stir.  This can’t be happening.  It’s got to be a nightmare.  I put my face down into Aaron’s blue Thomas Train blanket and gently rested my ear on his chest.

I felt movement under the blanket.  Breathing.  But slowly—irregular and shallow.

Don’t move his body.  Dammit, where are the paramedics?

I heard something from Bethie’s room and dashed out the door.  Stopping in the middle of the hallway, I clutched the handrail over the stairs.  Thought I heard Aaron crying now.  Or maybe it was the wind.

My eyes darted from one side of the hallway to the other.  Which room?

Faure’s Requiem continued to play, now the In Paradisum movement.

Aeternam habeas requiem.

Something out in front of the house caught my attention.  The police, the paramedics!  Propelled by adrenaline, I crashed through the front door and ran out into the middle my lawn which was slick with rain.  I slipped and fell on my side.

Nobody.  Where were they!

Like a madman, I began screaming at the top of my lungs.  My words echoed emptily into the night.

“Help!  Somebody, please!”

A dog started barking.

“Please, ANYBODY!  HELP!”

Lights flickered on in the surrounding houses.

Eyes peeked through miniblinds.

No one came out.

I don’t know if I was intelligible at this point.  I was just screaming,  collapsed onto the ground,  on my hands and knees getting drenched in the oily rain.

Just as the crimson beacons of an ambulance flashed around the corner, I buried my face into the grass.  All sound, light, and consciousness imploded into my mind as if it were a black hole.

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Please welcome JOSHUA GRAHAM!

 



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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Hi Joshua - Welcome to B&N's Mystery Forum! Since we always have a lot more people viewing these threads than commenting on them, I'll get this started.

 

I notice you already have a release date for your next book. Can you tell us something about that one? Also, what are you working on now?

 

good morning coffee

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maxcat
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

[ Edited ]

Hi, Joshua, I've not read any of your books but plan to once my TBR pile gets down a bit. Welcome to the Mystery Forum.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Joshua_Graham
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

[ Edited ]
What an amazing welcome!  Thanks Becke!
BEYOND JUSTICE  
$3.99 for nook.
Yes, Simon & Schuster/Howard Books has slated May 2012 for the release of my next book DARKROOM.  Here's the back cover copy:

 

Daughter of Vietnam War photojournalist experiences visions of war atrocities and uncovers a forty-year-old conspiracy for which some are still willing to kill.

 

DARKROOM

Joshua Graham

 

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free...

 

After scattering her mother's ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career.  When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil. 


Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize Laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, she confronts him about a dark secret he has kept.  A secret that has devastated their family.


Her investigations lead her to her departed mother's journal, which tell of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.


Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth.  But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.


Darkroom: A tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth, in a world imprisoned by lies.
At the moment I am working on sequels to titles under Joshua Graham and my pen name Ian Alexander.
Under the pen name Ian Alexander I write Epic Fantasy.  My book ONCE WE WERE KINGS was an instant bestseller on Amazon in the first two weeks of its release:
ONCE WE WERE KINGS  

becke_davis wrote:

Hi Joshua - Welcome to B&N's Mystery Forum! Since we always have a lot more people viewing these threads than commenting on them, I'll get this started.

 

I notice you already have a release date for your next book. Can you tell us something about that one? Also, what are you working on now?

 

good morning coffee


 

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Thanks MaxCat!


maxcat wrote:

Hi, Joshua, I've not read any of your books but plan to once my TBR pile gets down a bit. Welcome to the Mystery Forum.


 

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Joshua - I love to hear author's "call" stories. Would you tell us about when you got the call that you'd sold your first book?

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

[ Edited ]

becke_davis wrote:

Joshua - I love to hear author's "call" stories. Would you tell us about when you got the call that you'd sold your first book?


It was really interesting.  As is my daily habit, I had just finished some reading (from the Bible) and was praying.  During my prayer time, I shut my home office door and never let anything distract me.  No phones, no computer, nothing.  But somewhere in the middle of it all, something inside me prompted me to check my email.  Ordinarily I would have thought, "No, I won't be distracted by emails."  But for some reason, without a second thought, I got up and went straight to my computer.

 

Upon launching my email program, I saw a header at the top of the email list that simply said, "Pls see attachment."  And it happened to be from the senior editor to whom I had submitted my manuscript.  In the body of the letter, it simply said, "Happy Monday, Joshua."  And the attachment was the offer letter for my book Darkroom.

 

I just feel to my knees, threw my hands in the air, and as no one was home but my dog, I began shouting thanks to God at the top of my lungs.  (My dog is used to my praying aloud, but this time he tilted my head like Nipper and Chipper the RCA dogs.)

 

You have to understand.  A couple of years prior, I had lost my job of 11 years because my entire division had been outsourced to Bangalore.  My wife was completely supportive and encouraged me then to pursue my dream (my call) and we agreed to make the adjustments and sacrifices necessary to allow me to work on my writing full-time.  That meant selling our house, downsizing, learning to live on a very limited single income.  Times were really tough.  But more than that, I wanted to justify her faith in me by succeeding in writing.

 

When my the reviews and royalties for BEYOND JUSTICE starting coming in, it gave us confidence that I might just be able to do this writer thing.  And when I got the contract from Simon & Schuster/Howard Books, it showed us that a BIG SIX New York publisher believes it too.

 

I'm so appreciative of all my fans and readers, especially Nook users who put BEYOND JUSTICE at #1 on several BN bestseller lists.  I'm sure that gave Simon & Schuster more confidence to invest in me.  So this publication of DARKROOM is a victory that I share with all my readers and fans.

 

 

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eadieburke
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

[ Edited ]

Welcome Joshua:

 

Congratulations on your book BEYOND JUSTICE which was the winner of the 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD and for having #1 bestselling novel on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles!

 

Some of your novels have reached the top of the bestsellers list, but I think I'll start with BEYOND JUSTICE. Looks like a good place to start! Can't wait to read the rest of your novels and I'll be looking forward to DARKROOM coming out in May 2012.

 

Just one question: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!


Joshua_Graham wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

Joshua - I love to hear author's "call" stories. Would you tell us about when you got the call that you'd sold your first book?


It was really interesting.  As is my daily habit, I had just finished some reading (from the Bible) and was praying.  During my prayer time, I shut my home office door and never let anything distract me.  No phones, no computer, nothing.  But somewhere in the middle of it all, something inside me prompted me to check my email.  Ordinarily I would have thought, "No, I won't be distracted by emails."  But for some reason, without a second thought, I got up and went straight to my computer.

 

Upon launching my email program, I saw a header at the top of the email list that simply said, "Pls see attachment."  And it happened to be from the senior editor to whom I had submitted my manuscript.  In the body of the letter, it simply said, "Happy Monday, Joshua."  And the attachment was the offer letter for my book Darkroom.

 

I just feel to my knees, threw my hands in the air, and as no one was home but my dog, I began shouting thanks to God at the top of my lungs.  (My dog is used to my praying aloud, but this time he tilted my head like Nipper and Chipper the RCA dogs.)

 

You have to understand.  A couple of years prior, I had lost my job of 11 years because my entire division had been outsourced to Bangalore.  My wife was completely supportive and encouraged me then to pursue my dream (my call) and we agreed to make the adjustments and sacrifices necessary to allow me to work on my writing full-time.  That meant selling our house, downsizing, learning to live on a very limited single income.  Times were really tough.  But more than that, I wanted to justify her faith in me by succeeding in writing.

 

When my the reviews and royalties for BEYOND JUSTICE starting coming in, it gave us confidence that I might just be able to do this writer thing.  And when I got the contract from Simon & Schuster/Howard Books, it showed us that a BIG SIX New York publisher believes it too.

 

I'm so appreciative of all my fans and readers, especially Nook users who put BEYOND JUSTICE at #1 on several BN bestseller lists.  I'm sure that gave Simon & Schuster more confidence to invest in me.  So this publication of DARKROOM is a victory that I share with all my readers and fans.

 

 


Joshua - What an absolutely wonderful story! Congratulations on your perseverance!

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Hi Eadie,

 

Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it!

 

Some of my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, John Grisham and in non-fiction, Max Lucado and Joel Osteen.


eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Joshua:

 

Congratulations on your book BEYOND JUSTICE which was the winner of the 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD and for having #1 bestselling novel on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles!

 

Some of your novels have reached the top of the bestsellers list, but I think I'll start with BEYOND JUSTICE. Looks like a good place to start! Can't wait to read the rest of your novels and I'll be looking forward to DARKROOM coming out in May 2012.

 

Just one question: Who are some of your favorite authors?




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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

Joshua - What do you do when you Really Should Be Writing?

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Joshua_Graham
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!


becke_davis wrote:

Joshua - What do you do when you Really Should Be Writing?


LOL!  The quick answer is, "Eating Snickers!"

 

But I do a lot of communicating with my friends and fans on facebook, emails, and I probably spend a lot of time telling different places on the internet about my book.  When I should be writing, I often find myself handling things of every day life like paying the bills, doing laundry, thinking about what my next book will be.  I do give myself time off, and I don't consider that time as "really should be writing" time.  In that down time, I love hanging out with my friends, playing Texas Holdem (I just won this weekend, woot!) and just doing life with my best friends.

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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!

The link I posted earlier for BEYOND JUSTICE was the book version. The Nook version is a real bargain at $3.99, so I'm going to post a separate link for that here:

 

BEYOND JUSTICE  

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eadieburke
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Re: Please Welcome Author JOSHUA GRAHAM!


Joshua_Graham wrote:

 

Some of my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, John Grisham and in non-fiction, Max Lucado and Joel Osteen.

 


Joshua:

 

Your epic/fantasy book, ONCE WE WERE KINGS, looks very interesting also. Would you say that your favorite genres and authors - religious and spiritual, (Lewis, Lucado and Osteen) thriller/horror, (Koontz and King) have influenced you to go into that genre or has the epic/fantasy genre always been of interest to you?

 

 

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt