Thursday, December 7, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: With God We Burn by Joshua Lange @lange170 @GoddessFish

With God We Burn

by Joshua Lange

GENRE: Historical Romance


Julien Allais, a French Catholic, prays for only one thing: to kneel before God in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, far from his home in Constantinople, the capital of the Christian world in AD 1096. Joining the silver-clad Crusaders arriving from the west to free the Holy Land seems like the answer to his prayers.

Young and untrained, Julien is soon captured, abandoned by the knights he had trusted. Despite what he was told, his Muslim captors are not Godless fiends. Ahtmar, a boy near his own age, is among his captors, and Ahtmar’s sister Zahra tends to Julien’s wounds. As Julien’s feelings for Zahra and respect for Ahtmar grow, he questions everything he thought he knew. The Jerusalem they describe is a bustling city ruled by the Turks for the sake of all residents, no matter their faith. It doesn’t need to be freed – it needs to be protected from the Crusaders who will destroy it in the name of their faith.

As Julien and his captors travel to Jerusalem, a forbidden love between Julien and Zahra is born. This love will change them both. Will it have the power to change a world at war?

Purchase With God We Burn on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Chapter 1 June, 1096 — Constantinople

With my hands clasped and my eyes closed, I prayed. Lord, please protect my father and I. Bless us so that we might get by – even if it’s only for a few more months. Please, lift our spirits and ease our burdens. I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, pushed my knees firmly into the cold floor, and sat up straighter, as if that would somehow hasten my communication with heaven. I want to travel to Jerusalem. I want to complete my pilgrimage. Please, dear God, allow this to happen. Allow us to find our way to your holy city.

My next thoughts had been my heaviest, and I hesitated in sharing them with God, even though He already knew. Father says I should be content. He says I should simply wait until a path to Jerusalem opens. But it doesn’t feel like it’s that simple. Please, guide me, Lord… Amen.

I gazed up at the impossibly high ceiling, which was marked with delicate, colorful paintings of Jesus, and a clear window that was like a view to heaven itself. The dusk sunlight beamed down upon the hundreds of loyal church followers and cast many of us in a deep, orange light.

The church was supported by stunning pillars and walls made of stone and marble, and featured stained glass windows that depicted the miracle that was the life of Jesus. They showed him bearing the crown of thorns, suffering on the cross, healing the sick, and returning to life – they were all a reminder that our pain was nothing in the grand scheme of things. A person-sized crucifix watched over me from the far end of the room.

I concluded my prayers feeling energized but unsatisfied. I didn’t allow my impatience to get the best of me, though, especially inside this house of salvation. I darted by the Greek citizens in their brightly colored dalmatic tunics and headed outside.

The city had been truly unbelievable. A far cry from France, where things were held together mainly by wood and farmland. Here, the Greeks had a towering fortress surrounded by stone walls and towers, compact and circular. The buildings were largely tall and secure, like ever-watchful stone trees. It was packed with citizens along the bustling main street.

The Greeks visited shopping stalls and restaurants, bought new clothing and loudly made trades. Even after being there for a year, Constantinople had remained truly foreign to me. The noise of shopkeepers hailing potential customers and the nearly blindingly bright colors of clothing in yellows, blues, and purples were enough to distract me on my way home.

It was hard not to get absorbed in the beauty of the city, but truly, I had been an outsider to Byzantium, and as part of the Catholic Church, it hadn’t exactly been the warmest welcome for my father and I. Even now, I remember the hostile glares and turned up noses from the purple-wearing nobles. I remember looking down at my own unassuming, tan tunic, picking at it, feeling how ragged it was, and most of all, how inferior I’d felt.

Interview with Joshua Lange

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    I’ve written seven books to this point. Ouch, it’s quite tough to pick my favorite – I will just say that With God We Burn came from my heart, and my first science fiction book, Civilization Zero, came from my soul!

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    I have actually written the indirect sequel already; it’s called The Angel of Death. The book follows a young French girl as she attempts to become a knight in the Third Crusade, and she stands across from famous figures like Richard the Lionheart and Saladin the Wise. I’m hoping to publish it in the future!

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    Civilization Zero is currently a four book series with each novel being a direct sequel and following the same story, and as I mentioned Angel of Death is an indirect sequel. However, I do make an effort to try to allow each book to stand on its own without needing people to read the previous book to understand it!

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    Good question. To be honest, I’m not sure. This might sound strange, but I think, one day, it just kind of popped into my mind!

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    Each of my books has taken about six months to finish the first draft. It’s funny because they can vary a lot in word count – but somehow, they all take around the same time!

    What does the title mean?

    I like my titles to have a double-meaning. With God We Burn might alarm people and make them think the book is anti-religious, however it’s definitely not. To me, the title speaks of the fire of passion that burns within the hearts of the faithful. That can be a tragic thing as it was in the Crusades, but it can also be a beautiful thing too.

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    I learned a great deal about how to handle a delicate, sensitive issue. It took quite some time to get the balance of emotions, from happiness to dismay, as well as the balance of perspectives between the faiths, perfectly right. It was a challenge for sure, but I believe it will shine through in the book.

    What surprised you the most?

    Honestly, I was surprised at how, even though the book has changed a fair amount since my first draft, how incredibly happy I am with it. It is absolutely in its best form, and I have Cinnabar Moth to thank for that.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    I’m not going to spoil anything on With God We Burn, haha! However, I will broadly answer that question by saying a resounding “yes!”

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    For me, that’s very easy, because all of my characters are a part of me. They all come from my heart, or my soul, or my personality in some way. All of my flaws, and I humbly say, perhaps my occasional strengths too. To get in their heads is simply to get in my own.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born and raised on Long Island, Joshua has had a love for storytelling since he was young. He grew up with the larger-than-life characters and silly stories in pro wrestling and got lost in complex role-playing video games, and finally manifested his love at age 18 when he wrote his first book.

Joshua often reflects on the bigger picture in life and thinks most people are good, decent, and worthy. Love, unity, and respect are his core ideals, and they are woven into all of his writing.

He currently lives on Long Island with a loving family, which is he truly grateful for.

You can follow current projects, or catch up with him on social media; he is always open to making new friends!

Connect with Joshua Lange

Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook



$10 Amazon/BN GC 

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you so much for featuring today's book and author.

Marcy Meyer said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

Sherry said...

Looks like a good book.

marisela zuniga said...

Great excerpt and interview, thanks for sharing

Damaris Maidana said...

I would ask the author what he based this story on and if there is any character that is his favorite.