Saturday, December 12, 2020

Every Arm Outstretched by Phil Halton - Book Tour

Every Arm Outstretched by Phil Halton @phil_halton @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours 

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Genre: Literary / Historical / War

In 1978, the tension on the streets of Managua was electric. The whole city teetered on the edge of becoming a warzone.

The Somoza family held the people of Nicaragua in a stranglehold, stripping the country of everything of value and making beggars out of honest citizens. The only thing that kept them in power were the feared Guardia Nacional.

In order to survive, Paco eked out a living as a street musician, busking and playing university parties. His politics were those of someone never sure of where he would get his next meal. But when a violent government crackdown erupts on the streets, he’s forced to choose sides in order to survive.

Unexpectedly part of a fierce guerrilla war, what begins as a struggle for survival becomes something more. The heavy cost of the revolution becomes clearer with every battle fought, and every traitor executed. Paco must find the balance between fighting for a cause he increasingly comes to embody, and maintaining his humanity.

Every Arm Outstretched examines historical events through the lens of the human heart. How do we determine right and wrong when society itself has become corrupt? Do we owe our ultimate loyalty to our comrades or to our ideals? And can the end ever truly justify the means?

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It wasn’t a prison, though some days it felt like one. It shouldn’t have mattered to me, I suppose, what colours the walls were, or that my room wasn’t much  

bigger than my bed, or that the timing of meals, and everything  else, was strictly enforced. I spent most of my time living inside my  head, thinking of when I was young and strong and alive. I knew  that I should’ve been happy that there was a roof over my head  and that I never wondered when or if I would eat. But death  stalked the hallways. Some days I felt his breath on the back of my  neck, just as I had when I was in the mountains. 

I put down the dog-eared copy of Pedro Páramo that I had been  reading, sliding an old prayer card between the pages to mark my  place. I maneuvered around the open door of my single room and  rolled myself down the hall with the nicotine yellow walls. Most of  the doors I passed had two neatly 

written cards mounted on them, each showing its residents’ names. At the top of each card, written in block letters, was the  resident’s former rank. I glanced in each doorway as I passed until  I reached the end of the ward,. I wasn’t sure what I hoped to see  beyond grey faces looking back at me. 

It didn’t take long for the orderly to see that I was at the doors,  even though his attention was on a small television showing a  protest that filled the streets somewhere. A young man in scrubs  held the door open for me with one hand while giving my  wheelchair a helpful push over the lip at the threshold with the  other. 

“Thank you,” I croaked, without looking back. When my voice  stuck in my throat, I realized that I had not spoken for several days outside of my thoughts and dreams. 

Author Bio

Phil Halton has worked in conflict zones around the world as an officer in the Canadian Army and as a security consultant. His debut novel, This Shall Be a House of Peace (Dundurn Press, 2019) received a rare starred review from Book List. He holds a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College. He has two forthcoming books. "Blood Washing Blood: Afghanistan’s Hundred-Year War" is a history that will be published on 27 April, 2021. His next novel, "Every Army Outstretched," will launch on 16 October 2020.

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