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EPHESUS  –  A TALE OF TWO KINGDOMS 

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Mark Abel’s writing is grounded in a passion to explore the mysteries of God through story as an expression of worship to his Lord and Savior.

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Ephesus – A Tale of Two Kingdoms, is a supernatural thriller involving warfare between angels of light and darkness, waged in the heavenlies and here on earth. The book title and story foundation were inspired by Jesus’s Messages to the Seven Churches, found in the Book of Revelation.

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Mark Abel is an architect by trade but has dreamed of becoming an author over most of his life. Ephesus – A Tale of Two Kingdoms, is Mark’s debut novel.

LOOK INSIDE:

PROLOGUE – City of Ephesus, 262 AD

THE JUDGMENT boulder missed the mark. Shaking the earth with a thundering boom, the concussion struck the crowd like a flat hand to the chest. Mud and water exploded into a mist that mingled with the fog like a floating shroud above the sprawled body. Except for the rattle of cascading pebbles, it was then quiet.

From below, the old man watched in stunned wonderment.

The push was from the height of a second-story window. Not sufficient to kill, but adequate to crush his rib cage. Two men then rolled him over. It was from that vantage point he watched the boulder tumbling end over end toward him. Seeming to move slowly at first, it accelerated in a flash to strike just an arm’s breadth from his torso. The men grabbed him. Each taking an ankle, they dragged his body toward the open area at the quarry’s center. His head bobbed as his limp body rose and fell in response to the altar of cut slabs and rubble, a kaleidoscope of rock and sky swirling before him.

The assembly was now making their way down from the outcrop, and the second stone would soon follow. The old man was aware of little, except that his hands were still clutching the writing case. I do not understand, Lord? My brothers, how can it be they do this…? It was because of the book, after all, the book within the case.

Through a raspy voice, he asked, “Will you stay with me?”

“Yes, I have your hand.” The angel knelt at his side, his piercing green eyes filled with tears of glass.

“But wh–what of the book…? I have failed.”

“No, my friend, you accomplished all that was asked.”

The old man gazed into the angel’s face—Raphael. A magnificent and powerful being with chiseled features and a chestnut mane framing his face. With no facial hair, his skin melded like burnished stone that liquefied as he spoke. He wanted to touch the angel’s face. Would it yield like flesh or be hard like stone? In this face, he saw a reflection of his own conflicted soul, utter despair and heart-wrenching sadness, yet also, peace eternal and love perfected. The combination of emotions pouring from the spiritual being washed over him.

“Can I go with you—will you take me?”

“My friend, you must travel alone, but I will meet you there.”

The next stone would come from the witness, a girl no older than seven or so years. Through his peripheral vision, he watched her stoop at one of the mounds. Picking it up, she held it for a few long moments, her eyes cast down. About the size of her fist, it had sharp edges.

The mob began to circle like a pack of wild dogs. He could feel them, reluctant yet hungry. Gasping through clenched teeth, he drove an elbow into his bed of rubble. Using the extremity as a lever, he managed to roll his head in her direction. Their eyes met. Her lower lip trembled as streams of silent tears washed clean two lines of innocence in her desperate face.

His eyes spoke the words as he struggled to nod. Be strong for me. It is not your fault.

The accuser broke the muffled silence. “The judgment boulder missed the mark. Therefore, it is the duty of the witness to throw the second stone.” Arms spread, he strode in front of the crowd, wielding a lanky walking staff. “This plague we face is this man’s doing…

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12 comments on “

  1. Great start to a fantastic and powerful story. I can hardly wait to read the rest of the novel. I am so excited for you Mark and congratulations for a job well done.

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    1. Thanks Sandra for your encouraging words along the way, they have been received as confirmations to press on with the project. Thanks also for leaving this message, the first one receive on this site.

      And also for introducing me to the mysterious messenger you encountered in the park. The man who touched my heart with his overwhelming spirit of grace and peace. The man who inspired two characters in my story and the same man we both knew briefly but will see again.

      Take care, Mark

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  2. Allyson P says:

    What a captivating passage! I am so looking forward to reading the rest of “Ephesus“. It is certain to be a page turner with a deep and powerful message!

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  3. Thanks Allyson,

    I am so glad you liked the opening and hope you are blessed by the story.
    Take care and thanks for reading, it is a blessing to me, Mark

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  4. Cheri says:

    Powerful opening! I have read the whole book (more than once) and this scene is one of my favorites. My favorite scene is the angel face off in heaven. Whew! What a great story! I am very proud of you. I am looking forward to the next book 🙂

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  5. Thanks for the feedback, it means so much to me. Will keep you posted on the next Book: Smyrna – Sowing the Seeds of Persecution. In this story we will see Gibeon traveling to Smyrna to open the second family coffee shop. Along the way I see him meeting an Egyptian beauty and falling in love but evil is lurking in the shadows. And will there be a parallel story? Absolutely, but you will need to wait and see. I am sure you are going to like it and promise it will not take as long to write!

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  6. Jim Poulin says:

    This is a life’s work. Mark has taken key biblical concepts and woven them into a complex and engaging story spanning the centuries. I’m excited for the release!
    – Jim

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    1. Thanks Jim for your kind words, they mean very much to me! I am excited for the release also but even more excited to begin the next project. -Mark-

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  7. Dale Kiefer says:

    Way to go, Mark! This is a great accomplishment, a testimony to your perseverance, imagination, writing skills, and above all, love for the Lord and His Word. It was a privilege to read your manuscript, and it’s exciting to see it come to fruition. I hope your engaging story draws in many readers. Keep going!

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  8. Thanks Dale, your kind words mean more to me than you know. And you too, keep writing and keep going!

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  9. Tom Seely says:

    Way to go Mark for pursuing your dream and following it through to the end. I really enjoyed the book and it kept me up way past my bedtime several times because I couldn’t put it down. I was blessed by how it pushed me to imagine the supernatural and how the spiritual battle rages on around us. It made Paul’s reminder to the Ephesians about how our war isn’t against flesh and blood more real and tangible.

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  10. Hey Tom, Thanks so much for reading my story. Know that I am blessed because you were blessed. Thanks also for dropping by to say hello, it means a lot to me!

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