Blood in the Desert: Only The Unwavering Power Of Love And Faith Can Overcome Persecution

Blood in the Desert: Only The Unwavering Power Of Love And Faith Can Overcome Persecution
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Blood in the Desert: Only The Unwavering Power Of Love And Faith Can Overcome Persecution

Religious persecution was an all-too cruel reality for early Christians in 294 A.D. The Roman Empire searched relentlessly for believers, torturing and killing some and selling others into slavery. It was a dark time for Miriam, an orphaned young woman now enslaved by a brutal Roman officer named Quintus. Miriam would endure unthinkable emotional and physical torture before being forced to bear the officer’s child, a heartache made worse when the baby, Philip, is born blind. In a fit of rage, the ruthless Quintus drives mother and child apart, casting them on perilous, separate paths.

C. Douglas Gordon’s debut novel, Blood in the Desert, follows Miriam and Philip as they each drift aimlessly toward their fate. In this portrait of the enduring supernatural power of love and faith in perilous times, the mysterious wolf Lupa appears, leading Miriam to her new destiny, while Philip is taken in by nomadic traders. Their dramatic journeys through the treacherous devotions of early Christendom illuminate the risks and rewards of faith in the years before Emperor Constantine found a powerful ally in Yesua and changed the course of history. Until then, all the things modern Christians take for granted — institutions, buildings, meeting spaces and even the gathered texts that make up the New Testament — were nonexistent for hundreds of years following the death and resurrection of Christ.

Christian and Muslims iconic religious images in Occupied Jerusalem, Palestine. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Christian and Muslims iconic religious images in Occupied Jerusalem, Palestine. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Dallas businessman C. Douglas Gordon has translated his organizational and management skills to the task of bringing detail-oriented research to his novels. Inspired by his older brother’s deep faith, Doug honors his memory by exploring the roots of Christianity from its earliest appearances in history and through its years of torment and challenge.

Doug’s series, You Left in Me the Faith, seeks to shed light on the formative period that gave birth to the Church as we know it today. Years of effort have produced an exciting first novel, Blood in the Desert. Doug creates fictional characters whose lives interact with and are impacted by real historical events and figures of the day. Readers can’t help but be amazed that Christianity survived at all. The second novel in the series, The Twelve Coins, is currently in progress.

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Excerpts from 5-star reviews:

“A page turner and powerful testimony to faith and determination. In reading Blood in the Desert I was in awe of the devotion the characters had in spite of overwhelming odds. Facing adversity in all places and the author’s ability to draw you into the turmoil.”

“This first book is setting a high standard for those to follow. I hope there are many more! Blood in the Desert . . . is a well-researched and cleverly told story of the life of early Christians in the Roman Empire. The story goes well beyond the classic framing of many other historical novels into the realm of spiritual love and everlasting beliefs, as they reveal themselves over time in a vivid historical context. The characters are compelling and the story itself is full of surprises. Complete with unusual facts and intriguing scenarios, it will be of interest to readers of all faiths.”

“Reading Blood in the Desert is a feast for academic historians and biblical scholars. Gordon brings the brutality of the Roman scourge in all its bloody tenacity to life as he concomitantly draws us into the life and love of early Christians whose trust in Yesua and need for community bind them to the living Word of salvation.”

“Quite honestly, I didn’t want the book to end and am anxious for the next in the series  … Blood in the Desert is written in such a way that the history of early Christianity in all of its brutality is easier to appreciate and understand. His characters, although fictional, come alive and walk you through the age of martyrdom as they desperately cling to their deep devotion to Jesus and His teachings. I was spiritually engaged and in awe of the depth of his knowledge of the early teachings of the church. It’s how I want my history lesson to be delivered, much more entertaining than a textbook.”

“An infectious story composed of history, fiction and early Christian martyrdom offering a glimpse into early Believers and their struggle to sustain their belief in Him and love.”

“The minute I closed it I wanted to pick up and explore all the book left me to ponder. Blood in the Desert was strongly recommended to me. I am not a history buff but a lover of books that leave me questioning my views, this is that book. Passing this recommendation on and on.”

“Mr. Gordon’s first Historical Fiction Novel brings us back to the Genesis of Christianity. Written by a scholar who’s grasp of both biblical expertise and geographic relevance transforms the reader into a world of conflict, ritual struggle and interpretation of the metamorphosis that is as current now as it was in the formation of religious belief following Jesus. The realism of life, travel, turmoil, and love found in his characters propels us on a journey we enter and follow with our emotions taking hold, unfolding to a surprising climax.”

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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