Is the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.
Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.
Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.
From Darkness to Light - A Solider’s Story
by Phillip L. Davidson
When I landed in Saigon in 1972, I thought knew about the dangers that were ahead. After all, I knew it was a desperate place. Fighting and dying had been going on long before I arrived there. As an Infantry officer, a Captain, I had been well trained. I could set ambushes, call in air strikes and shoot my way out of a gun-fight with the best of them. I had also hardened myself against my subordinates, and intellectualized that taking casualties was for the most part unavoidable. I also accepted that I might be killed or wounded, though I had made my mind up that I would never be captured. That was what my hand gun was for. But what I had not foreseen nor planned for was the ‘darkness.’
I had just snuck into my hideout from a night ambush mission when I received a secure radio call from my Six from his lair near the Mekong to be ready to be extracted in two hours. Two hours. As the chopper lifted off leaving my little team waving to me I expected to be back after receiving another one of ‘those’ missions. Instead I was put on a plane and sent home. Arriving in America a couple of days later, I was a man from space. Seventy-two hours earlier I had been in a fire fight. Now, I was picking ghostly insects from my meal at home. Two weeks later I was a ski instructor for the Northern Warfare School in Alaska.
It was there during those cold clear nights that I began experiencing the ‘dreams.’ They came at night, like an ambush team, while I was weak and vulnerable, while my ego was resting. Images of the jungle, the people I knew, the things I had done. And after awhile, I began to have waking dreams. Yes, the ‘Thousand Yard Stare.’ While you were driving, while you were talking, while you were eating, while... I fought the dreams with things I don’t want to write about. I left the Army. But the dreams never left.
They accompanied me while I was driving in my patrol car after I had become a police officer. They took the place of script as I studied my law books. When I would walk down the street a car backfiring or some loud noise would invoke an embarrassing response from me wherever I was and with whomever I was with. I trusted no one, and everyone and everything was out to get me. I even joined the National Guard to be able to act out my subconscious desires. I was at a point that I was at the end of myself. I couldn’t form personal relationships and felt alienated from everyone and the society I was in. The darkness had taken me. I was alone. And suicidal. I had no family left to fall back on and the institutions I had made myself a part of were not set up for understanding the human condition of their employees.
As a small boy I had been a member of a church, a small group that meet in the basement of a larger house. One of the deacons was leaving; a plain man with a friendly smile and solid voice, he once gave the children, there were three of us, Bibles as parting gifts. That was when I was twelve. I still had the Bible. My grandmother had kept it for me and when I left home after joining the police force she handed it to me. She didn’t say anything but she knew. One night for some reason, to this day I cannot tell you why, I thumbed through it. My eye was caught by the story of David. I read it. And in my mind his story was similar to mine. Over the days I formed a bond with David. If God loved a man like David, a man that he said was of his own heart, then there was a chance for me. After awhile, when the darkness came, David drew his sword of light and cut it away. David had put himself to the task of being God’s servant. He didn’t run from evil, he faced it. I decided to find out what the darkness was. I read everything I could about what I was experiencing. And I found out it had a name--delayed stress syndrome.
I took a real hard look at myself in the light of day and I realized that I had been saved from death and disaster so many times by God. If God wanted me to survive, then my life was worth something. The darkness would not win the battle for my soul. Each time I felt myself losing control I remembered that I was not alone. Like David, I could use the armor of God to defeat what threatened me. That is a point of healing for anyone suffering from PTSD. Your life has value to God and he will help you to fight your darkness. God is a warrior and he knows how to win battles. He will help you to cope.
Once I focused my life away from my problems I began to see that many of my fellow police officers were showing symptoms of the darkness. I was now an instructor at the Police Academy and had recently received a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology. I began teaching officers how to cope with the darkness, now labeled, Post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus began my journey of teaching others to defeat this malady. In 1982, I was appointed to President Reagan’s Vietnam Veterans advisory committee, where I centered on PTSD. In the years to come I knew that I wanted to write about PTSD and what it had done to so many soldiers. But I also wanted to write about what had happened to me, not my experiences, but my being saved from the darkness by what I know was God’s grace. Some would call it redemption.
But how would I do this? I wrote Dreamer. Dreamer is novel about redemption. But not redemption in the classical sense that has been written about many times. How would God redeem warriors? Warriors who had been sentenced to live in the darkness for questionable conduct. God would come to them as a warrior. I knew that this concept might be foreign and perhaps offensive to many religious readers. But I felt it was a story that I had to tell.
My central character is a man named David. I patterned him from the Bible’s David. And like King David, Dreamer’s David was a failed human being. David and his team were called upon to carry out Phoenix missions in Vietnam, and all had the left the service in disgrace. Years later, God comes to them and brings them together to accomplish an impossible task that will redeem them and let them stand in the light of men once more.
I used as a background for the novel’s action, the Falklands War. I’m not sure if there has been any fiction written about the Falklands War. Dreamer is gritty. There is rough language, scenes of violence, but also tales of bravery and sacrifice. I wanted to take the Christian and other religious readers to a real world, a world where evil lives, and to show how it can be defeated. Christ never flinched from entering places of evil men and danger. I hoped the Christian reader would find Dreamer a little dangerous but worth saving. Because the main character's dreams were not a product of PTSD, but rather messages from God. Those messages brought him from darkness to light. God’s power will lead you into the light.
View the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xkMUady7xU
Phillip L. Davidson is an attorney who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Karen. He is a former infantry Captain who commanded a group of Cambodian and Vietnamese Kit Carson Scouts on a night ambush team in the Mekong Delta. Phil’s life in the military has provided him with a wealth of war stories. He has used his creative insight to produce a military action adventure of epic proportions. Dreamer is a must read book. He is currently at work on a second novel.
Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.
Dreamer Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Interview at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection
Book spotlight at I Hope You Dance
Interview at One Writer’s Journey
Interview at Blogcritics
Interview at Christian Today
Book excerpt at Broken Teepee
Book review at Lynn’s Corner
Guest post and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily
First chapter review at The Book Connection
Book spotlight and giveaway at Lori’s Reading Corner
Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
Book spotlight at As the Pages Turn
Book spotlight at Between the Covers
Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking
Book spotlight at The Dark Phantom Review
Book trailer featured at If Books Could Talk
Win a digital copy of Dreamer by Phillip L. Davidson. Use the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to enter and win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway