A Violent Light by Jim Baton

 

About the Book

The Youth For Peace Fresh Start Initiative gathers ten Muslim and ten Christian youth from ten nations around the world to learn new paths to peace. But the camp staff have some highly unorthodox teaching techniques. And when one by one the youth start disappearing, some of them wonder if the staff might not have an entirely different agenda. Those left behind must work together to solve the mystery before they also disappear. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, the entire world is watching…

Jim’s third novel of the Peace Trilogy confronts American prejudice head-on. Pursuing world peace today will require a generation committed to a deeper level of trust and cooperation than ever before.

Book Excerpt

DAY 1

Chapter 1

Everything was pitch black.

Sari thought she’d opened her eyes, but maybe she hadn’t. She closed them—darkness; she opened them again—nothing changed.

Was she dreaming? The pounding pain in her head felt very real. She could feel the pillow under her neck. She was lying on a bed.

But where am I?

Her home in Indonesia was never this dark. Even when the electricity failed, which happened fairly often, eventually her eyes would adjust enough for her to stumble from her bedroom to the kitchen and light a candle. Or she used the flashlight in her cell phone to guide her.

Her cell phone! She always kept it on the floor next to her bed at night. She reached down over the edge of the bed and whacked her knuckles on—the floor?

Confused, she slowly ran her fingers along the edge of her bed, but the floor around her, which she’d expected to be much lower, was empty. She checked the other side of the bed and discovered it was the same. And her cell phone was nowhere to be found. Goosebumps rose up on her neck. Sari shuddered.

Sari’s brain was a dense fog, and it was hard to think. She rubbed her forehead, hands unseen, trying to focus on something, anything that made sense.

Where am I? Come on, remember!

Sari relaxed her head on the pillow again and closed her eyes, searching her memory.

The last time she had awakened was in her own bed in Banjarmasin. Her adopted father, Pak Abdullah, had touched her shoulder long before dawn. “Sari, let’s go,” she had heard him say.

Fuzzy recollections of hugging Pak Abdullah goodbye at the airport, taking Garuda Airlines to Jakarta, then meeting Ismail for the first time, another airplane ride to America, landing in Atlanta…

Atlanta! She remembered the huge airport, and her feeling of giddiness at her long-dreamed-of first trip overseas. She was gathering with young people from all over the world—ten Muslims and ten Christians attending a conference on peace. They climbed aboard a bus. A kind African young man with a rhyming name had helped her with her bag. Some of the faces and names floated through her consciousness. And a handsome American named Jack was directing them.

A wave of nausea washed over her and she had to change her focus to keep from retching. She rolled onto her side and pulled her knees toward her stomach. Her hip could feel the hard surface beneath what must be a thin mat. Was she sick? Was this a hospital? Was it a morgue? Everything was so deathly silent, except for the breathing.

Sari suddenly realized she was not alone. Panic stirred the nausea again and it was all she could do to hold back the bile in her throat. Who was out there? Her imagination called up fearful images from her past and she shuddered again.

When the nausea passed, she pushed the fog and the fear back as far as she could and told herself again: Remember!

About the Author

Jim Baton (pen name) has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray. His real name and photo can’t be displayed on this site to protect his identity from the extremist groups where he lives out his faith. Learn more at his website.

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A Way Out of Hell by Jim Baton

A Way Out

About the Book

When ISIS turns your city into a living hell…
ISIS unleashes a reign of terror across Indonesia. As a former jihadist, Abdullah knows all too well the high cost and absolute ineffectiveness of fighting such violence with violence. He accepts the impossible challenge of finding the ISIS cell hidden in his city, and disbanding it non-violently. But time is running out, and there may not be any city left to save.
Meanwhile, he has to protect his adopted daughter Sari, a Christian university student, who is one of ISIS’s targets. Together they come face-to-face with the holy warriors of mass destruction and strive to overcome that evil with good.
In this riveting sequel to Someone Has to Die, Jim Baton introduces us to the real people caught in the web of terrorism, with their wide variety of backgrounds and motivations, and the possibility that they, too, can change.

Book Excerpt

Excerpt from A WAY OUT OF HELL

“Just tell me what you want me to do.” Abdullah braced himself for the worst.

The Intelligence agent leaned back in the chair with his hands pressed together tapping his lips. “If ISIS is indeed here, I want you to find their terrorist cell and take it down. And I want you to do this…” he paused, “…non-violently.”

Was this old guy insane? “How am I supposed to do that?” Abdullah asked.

“I can’t tell you who they are and I can’t tell you how to stop them non-violently, though I have some ideas I’ll share with you as we go along. But I can tell you why—because taking them down violently isn’t working. If we kill them, the radicals’ anger grows, and ten more volunteer in their place. If we capture them, our prisons become fertile ground for jihad recruitment. There has to be a better way.”

Abdullah’s mind was spinning. “Has anyone ever tried this before?”

“Actually, yes,” Joko answered. “While our American counterpart, the CIA, with its inhumane prisons and interrogations, has created one of the most effective marketing campaigns for terrorist recruiters in history, resulting in an over fifty percent increase in radical groups since 2010, there are a few dissenting voices, and the FBI has tried some softer tactics with cells in America and had some success. I’ll share the ideas I’m gleaning from them at another time.”

Joko tipped his cup to drain the last coffee drop before continuing.

“Here in Indonesia we have a similar conundrum: the more ‘hard power’ the Detachment 88 Special Forces use in combating terrorism, the harder it is for the moderate majority to discern who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Well, eventually Detachment 88 will get access to the intelligence we have, and they’ll show up in Banjarmasin, guns blazing. I’m sure you’ve seen the footage of Israeli soldiers combing Gaza for Hamas fighters? If ISIS is truly here and planning something, Detachment 88 could turn this city into a war zone where both sides cause civilian casualties. This is not the Middle East yet, where defeating ISIS requires all-out war. ISIS is just beginning their invasion of Indonesia. We have a limited window here, to find these groups and motivate them to disband before they feel it’s ‘kill or be killed.’

“That’s why we need you. You know this city. You have the background to understand what motivates these men. You speak their language. You’re also committed to non-violent resolutions to problems. You’re our best chance for peace.”

Abdullah shook his head and ran both hands through his short-cropped hair. “I still think it’s crazy. So are you offering me a job under BIN?”

“Actually, no. My theories are still unproven, so I have limited official resources here. I’m asking you to do this as a civilian. You need to understand that you’re basically on your own—I can’t call in Special Ops to rescue you. But I will give you all the intelligence leaks I can, and maybe a foot soldier or two if I can wrest them away from other duties.”

“On my own,” Abdullah mumbled. What else is new?

About the Author

Jim Baton (pen name) has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray.  His real name and photo can’t be displayed on this site to protect his identity from the extremist groups where he lives out his faith. Learn more at his website. 

Buy the Book

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Books 2 Read

 


DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

Someone Has to Die by Jim Baton

Someone Has to Die

About the Book

In the midst of a global clash between international terrorism and an American congressman’s peacemaking effort, a poor Muslim-majority neighborhood in Indonesia holds the keys to victory. While some in the neighborhood are making efforts to understand the truth behind the Muslim-Christian divide and build new bridges across it, others are determined to perpetuate and intensify the hatred that has plagued the region for years.

When a tragedy reveals an unexpected villain, it will be up to two unlikely heroes to set aside their differences and save the day. What will it take to keep hope alive? And who will be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of peace?
This intense thriller will encourage you to reexamine your understanding of love and forgiveness, and reconsider what it means to be a true peacemaker.

Book Excerpt

Excerpt from SOMEONE HAS TO DIE

 

Umar wiped his mouth on his sleeve and met Saifullah’s eyes. “It’s time.”

“It’s time for what?” Saifullah asked cautiously.

“It’s time for redemption.”

Could it really be? After over a year of hiding in Moro, hiding from his failure, could his day of redemption finally be here? No one at the camp but Umar knew. But he knew.

“Talk to me.”

“In four months’ time there will be an event in Jakarta. An American Congressman, a Christian, will be meeting with that swine traitor Ramadani. Other foreign diplomats are likely to be present. And hear this—the event will be held in the very building of your previous…disappointment.”

Failure. Just say it, Umar. My previous failure.

“Am I in charge of the operation?”

“Yes, we have a sleeper in place, and a safe house with all the…necessities. All you have to do is coordinate the mission and recruit the “bride.”

“This isn’t much time.”

“I know, but because of the location, this is too good a chance for you to miss. We just got word on this today, and I’ve already arranged a pump boat to standby for you in South Mindanao. Fifteen hours to Sangihe, on to North Sulawesi, and by the end of this week you’ll be recruiting a “bride” already. My suggestion is you recruit in Sulawesi—Java is too hot right now. Densus 88 has spies everywhere. Bring in someone from outside Java and they’ll attract less suspicion. Of course all this I’ve arranged assuming you’ll say yes.”

“Thanks, Umar. I’ve waited a long time for this.”

“Redemption, my friend.”

“Redemption.”

“Al-jihad sabiluna.”

“Al-jihad sabiluna.”

About the Author

Jim Baton (pen name) has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray.  His real name and photo can’t be displayed on this site to protect his identity from the extremist groups where he lives out his faith. Learn more at his website.

 Buy the Book

Amazon

Books 2 Read

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”