Book Blitz | The Third Dawn: From Bethlehem to Golgotha
THE THIRD DAWN:
FROM BETHLEHEM TO GOLGOTHA
Thomas J. Nichols
Inspirational Religious Fiction / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Nicholson Books
Page Count: 212 pages
Publication Date: September 14, 2023
Updated version with new dialogue and more detailed descriptions
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Nichols turns his award-winning writing career to the greatest mystery of all time in The Third Dawn: From Bethlehem to Golgotha.
Accompanied by His lifelong friend, Nur, the young Jesus ventures throughout the towns and villages of Israel, Palestine, and across the sea to the port city of Ephesus. With Nur always at His side, Jesus experiences the joys and hardships of humanity—Jews and gentiles, rich and poor, believers and nonbelievers, freemen and slaves.
Nichols’s gifted storytelling brings forth this unique perspective on the life of the Messiah, providing a rare insight into His personal joys and suffering. The reader will experience the emotions of His power and authority when, on a mountaintop above Capernaum, He pronounces the future, and a spectacular miracle occurs in the city below.
The Third Dawn was initially published in 2011 but is now updated with new dialogue and more detailed settings.
Message from the author: I have chosen an excerpt that is a great one for the time of year, with Christmas approaching. It introduces the child Nur, who plays an important part of the story as Jesus's friend and protector, and covers the reason they have to return to Bethlehem, forcing Mary and Joseph to be away from home for Jesus's birth.
Joseph lowered himself to the floor and crossed his legs. “This very morning a soldier from Nazareth came through. He delivered a message for all of us. Every citizen must return immediately to his homeland and be counted for a census.” He placed his hand on Mary’s bare foot. “That means my wife must accompany me. We both must go.” Looking up at Anne, he continued, “I tried to explain to the soldier about my wife’s condition, but he said the census has been ordered by Cyrenius, so there are no alternatives. We must go.”
Anne gave a soft laugh when she spoke. “Then, that is why God sent us to you at this time. We’re here to help you, can you not see?” She leaned over and put her hands on Joseph’s shoulders. “Let Rachel go with you. They will never know the difference, and your wife can stay here. We will care for her.” She looked at her daughter. “You cannot travel, Mary. Do you understand that? You must not go. The time for the child is at hand.”
Mary put her arms around her mother and held her tightly. “Oh, Mother, if it were only that simple.” She turned to Nur, who sat on the floor close to the door. “Please, Nur, go see if Rachel needs help. We’ll call you if we need you.”
Mary stood up. “Please, Mother, put your hands on my stomach. Feel the child inside me. Feel the Lamb of God. We cannot let Him come into the world while we bear false witness, even if it is to a Roman. We cannot lie.” Leaning forward, she kissed her mother’s forehead. “I know of your love for all of us, and that you want only what’s right for God in heaven, but this must be.”
“I, too, have an idea,” Joseph said as he walked to the door, calling for Nur. “Nur, come talk with us.”
Nur raced into the house where Joseph motioned him onto the blanket.
“In the best of times, it’s about an eight-day trip from here to Bethlehem.” Joseph paused. “Indeed, Mother, the Lord God sent you to us because it will be a hard journey, but your being here has made it easier for us. Let Nur go with us. He has proven to be an able worker, has he not? Mother, lend us one of your donkeys, and with the one we own, we’ll be able to travel with reasonable comfort and speed. I’ll pack one with our goods for the journey, and the other I’ll prepare for Mary to ride.”
He gazed at Mary with his eyes smiling and sparkling. “I’ll make you comfortable, or at least as comfortable as you can be with child. This boy shall become a man and help us. We know the way is fraught with robbers and highwaymen, but Nur can run ahead of us and warn us of danger. Mother, with your blessings, your animal, and this strong young man to help, we’ll have a safe and good journey.”
“Oh, please,” Nur begged. “I’ll be a big help to them. I give you my word.”
“I know you will, child,” Anne said as she kissed the boy’s cheek. She turned to Joseph, nodded her approval, then took her daughter with the unborn child into her arms. She whispered softly into her daughter’s ear, “Be careful, my child, and may the glory of God go with you.”
Thomas J. (Tom) Nichols’s law enforcement career ranged from patrol, detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief, and Chief of Police. spanning the era of the growth of the Mexican drug cartels and war on drugs. He has written seven novels and three short stories with themes of the border wars, espionage, international intrigue, and the supernatural.
Tom's latest work is The Third Dawn, an inspirational retelling of the early life of Jesus galvanized by his devotion to local and international church affairs. His ideas were brought to life while traveling with Gwen, his wife who also serves as his editor, to experience of the Holy Land—the Church of the Nativity, the Holy Sepulcher, The Annunciation, the Mount of Olives, the River Jordan, Capernaum, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, Jericho, and Ephesus.
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Signed copy of THE THIRD DAWN + $25 Amazon gift card
Second & Third Prizes: signed copy.
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 11/24/23)
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