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Friday, March 14, 2014

Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Beyond Justice by Author Joshua Graham!

Author Guest Post

What's Your Kryptonite?
By: Joshua Graham

As a young child, I had a relatively small physical stature. I wasn’t the shortest kid in the class, but there were more kids my size and taller, than not. Having not even broken 5 feet tall at the age of twelve, I was what you might call a late bloomer. Of course, in High School, I shot up and the whole issue became moot, to the point of some of my friends referring to me as the “big guy.” (Then I came to California where a lot of the women are close to 6 feet tall, but that’s another story.)

But when I was younger, as you can imagine, one of my favorite superheroes was Superman because he was practically invulnerable. He didn’t have to be afraid of anyone or anything. And he had amazing strength—you know, “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, able to stop a locomotive with his bare hands…” and all along, he was a mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent.

Every boy wanted to be superman, right? But one thing I never thought too much about was his one weakness, his “Achilles’ Heel” so to speak: Kryptonite. Darn! There was something that could bring the Man of Steel down. Something that could render this near demigod feeble, even kill him. Not the perfect hero after all. It turns out, this made for a great fictional character. Not so great for superman, but great for stories.

In life, I often wonder what kind of kryptonite I have. Admittedly, I’m no superman, but there are certain areas in life which could render me as vulnerable as the glowing green rock can to Mr. Kent’s alter ego.

If I could identify my Kryptonite and remove it from my life, I might just have the ability to be a superman of some sort, right? Well, I thought about it and I figured it out (at least one of them). It’s offense. That’s right. One of my (and perhaps yours?) greatest Kryptonite is getting offended. Wow, you say, that’s not as rare as Kryptonite—it’s as common as dirt. That’s right. We all get offended. To varying degrees, an offense can cause damage ranging from annoyance to a lifetime of bitterness and self-destruction. And the worst thing is, we can’t eliminate the possibility of its occurrence. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes. And we can’t control how other people will think, speak or act, so in this life, there WILL be offenses. Lots of them.

Many people have fallen victims to offenses. I’m not writing to condemn or shame anyone, but think about this. Do you know someone who has been holding a grudge for years? Do you know someone who hasn’t spoken to another person who was once close because of an offense? Do you know someone who is deeply depressed because of an offense, whether deliberate or not?

Let’s not trivialize this. People can hold onto offenses and they can act like cancer cells. Offenses can grow and metastasize into every area of your life until it consumes you. Countless tragedies from personal estrangement to wars can be traced back to offenses, so they are a real threat to our peace (both inner and global.)

Back to Kryptonite: What if we were to remove Superman’s vulnerability to Kryptonite, what would happen? He’d be utterly invulnerable.

What if you could remove the effect of offense in your life? What would this world look like if people didn’t get offended by others? What would the world look like? What would your life look like?

Imagine being as confident as Superman standing before Lex Luther’s machine gun. You know that what the offender did was wrong, unjust, mean, or just stupid. And yet, the bullets bounce off, the flaming darts fizzle, and they fall feebly to the ground.

One of the reasons we react so strongly to offenses are because they hurt. And we don’t want to get hurt again. But if you could choose not to let that haughty glance, that snubbing or rudeness affect you emotionally, if you could know that you could chose to let them bounce off of you as the bullets from Superman’s chest, then you wouldn’t be afraid. Then you could smile, laugh, and walk away. Or you could stand up and do what’s right in the face of the offense, without sinking to Lex Luther’s level and retaliating in kind (or at least passive-aggressively.)

Here’s the good news: You can remove the Kryptonite from your life. How? It’s through forgiveness. By forgiving you aren’t condoning the actions of the Lex Luthers in your life. Nor are you inviting a repeat of the harmful act. But you are removing your own emotional vulnerability to that person’s actions or words.

Think of unforgiveness, or self-righteousness as Kryptonite. No matter how hard Superman grips the Kryptonite, it won’t make Lex Luther stop what he’s doing. In fact, it will in and of itself kill Superman, and Lex Luther doesn’t have to lift a finger.

Thankfully for Metropolis and the whole world of DC Comics, Superman knows to rid himself of any Kryptonite that gets near him. Hopefully, we’ll identify ours and do the same.

What’s your Kryptonite?

About The Author

Joshua Graham is the award winning author of the #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble legal thriller BEYOND JUSTICE. WINNER OF the INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (Beyond Justice), #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham's award-winning novel DARKROOM hit 3 bestseller lists on Amazon the night of its release.

CBS NEWS described DARKROOM as a book with "action, political intrigue and well-rounded characters...a novel that thriller fans will devour."

New York Times bestselling author James Rollins described Joshua Graham’s TERMINUS as “A fantastic read in every definition of that word. If Tom Clancy had written a novel of fallen angels and creatures that go bump in the night, this would be it: blisteringly paced, high-tension suspense, characters you bleed with.”

Many of Graham's readers blame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.

Josh grew up in Brooklyn, NY where he lived for the better part of 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master's Degree and went on to earn his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. During his time in Maryland, he taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).

Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children on the West Coast.

Several of Graham's short fiction works have been published under various pen names by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press. Writing under the pen name Ian Alexander, Graham debuted with his first Epic Fantasy novel ONCE WE WERE KINGS, an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories and Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA "Best Books 2011 Awards, as well as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA "Best Books 2011 Awards, and an Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is available in ebook and hardcover editions.

For Film Rights Josh is represented by UNITED TALENT AGENCY.

For exclusive content, updates and giveaways, subscribe to Josh’s newsletter: 


Book Review

Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham
Publisher: Dawn Treader Press
Publication Date: April 27, 2010 - Paperback / September 12, 2013 - e-Book
Format: Paperback - 448 pages / Kindle - 671 KB / Nook - 5 MB
ISBN: 0984452605
Genre: Christian / Legal / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: Beyond Justice

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:


Sam Hudson, a reputable San Diego attorney, learns this when the authorities wrongfully convict him of the brutal rape and murder of his wife and daughter, and sends him to death row. There he awaits execution by lethal injection.

If he survives that long.

In prison, Sam fights for his life while his attorney works frantically on his appeal. It is then that he embraces the faith of his departed wife and begins to manifest supernatural abilities. Abilities which help him save lives- his own, those of his unlikely allies-and uncover the true killer's identity, unlocking the door to his exoneration.

Now a free man, Sam's newfound faith confronts him with the most insurmountable challenge yet. A challenge beyond vengeance, beyond rage, beyond anything Sam believes himself capable of: to forgive the very man who murdered his family, according to his faith. But this endeavor reveals darker secrets than either Sam or the killer could ever have imagined. Secrets that hurtle them into a fateful collision course.

BEYOND JUSTICE, a tale of loss, redemption, and the power of faith.

"...A riveting legal thriller.... breaking new ground with a vengeance... demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring."

Book Excerpt:

The descent into Hell is not always vertical.

Bishop Frank Morgan


Chapter One

THE QUESTION MOST PEOPLE ASK when they first meet me is: How does an attorney from a reputable law firm in La Jolla end up on death row? When they hear my story, it becomes clear that the greater question is not how, but why.

I have found it difficult at times to forgive myself for what happened. But a significant part of the answer involves forgiveness, something I never truly understood until I could see in hindsight.

Orpheus went through hell and back to rescue his wife Euridice from death in the underworld. Through his music, he moved the hearts of Hades and Persephone and they agreed to allow Euridice to return with him to Earth on one condition: He must walk before her and not look back until they reached the upper world. On seeing the Sun, Orpheus turned to share his delight with Euridice, and she disappeared. He had broken his promise and she was gone forever. This failure and guilt was a hell far worse than the original.

My own personal hell began one night almost four years ago. Like images carved into flesh, the memories of that night would forever be etched into my mind. The work day had been tense enough”my position at the firm was in jeopardy because of the inexplicable appearance of lewd internet images in my folder on the main file server.

Later that night, as I scrambled to get out the door on time for a critical meeting with a high profile client, my son Aaron began throwing a screaming fit. Hell hath no fury like a boy who has lost his Thomas Train toy. In my own frenzied state, I lost my temper with him. Amazing how much guilt a four-year-old can pile on you with puppy-dog eyes while clinging to his mother’s legs. His sister Bethie, in all her seventh grade sagacity, proclaimed that I had issues, then marched up to her room, slammed the door and took out her frustration with me by tearing though a Paganini Caprice on her violin. All this apocalypse just minutes before leaving for my meeting, which was to be held over a posh dinner at George’s At The Cove, which I would consequently have no stomach for.

I couldn’t wait to get home. The clock’s amber LED read 11:28 when I pulled my Lexus into the cul-de-sac. Pale beams from a pregnant moon cut through the palm trees that lined our street. The October breeze rushed into the open window and through my hair, a cool comfort after a miserable evening.

If I was lucky, Jenn would be up and at the computer, working on her latest novel. She’d shooed me out the door lest I ran late for the meeting, before I could make any more of a domestic mess for her to clean up.

The garage door came down. I walked over to the security system control box and found it unarmed. On more than one occasion, I had asked Jenn to arm it whenever I was out. She agreed, but complained that the instructions were too complicated. It came with a pretty lame manual, I had to admit.

The system beeped as I entered the house, greeted by the sweet scent of Lilac”her favorite candles for those special occasions. So much more than I deserved, but that was my Jenn. Never judging, never condemning, she understood how much stress I’d been under and always prescribed the best remedy for such situations.

From the foot of the stairs I saw dimmed light leaking out of the bedroom. It wasn’t even date night, but I had a pretty good idea what she was thinking. So before going up, I stopped by the kitchen, filled a pair of glasses with Merlot and set out a little box of chocolates on a breakfast tray”my secret weapon.

As I climbed the stairs I smiled. The closer I got, the more I could smell the fragrant candles. From the crack in the door classical music flowed out: Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem. Must’ve been writing a love scene. She always used my classical CDs to set her in the right mood.

A beam of amber light reached through the crack in the doorway into the hallway. The alarm system beeped. She must have shut a window. It had just started to rain and Jenn hated when the curtains got wet.

Kathleen Battle’s angelic voice soared.

Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem, Requiem sempiternam.

Jenn didn’t know a word of Latin. She just liked the pretty tunes.

I nudged the door open with my foot.

“Honey?” Caught a glimpse of a silky leg on the bed. Oh, yes. I pushed the door open.

Shock ignited every nerve ending in my body like napalm. The tray fell from my hands. Crashed to the ground. Glasses shattered and the red wine bled darkly onto the carpet.

Jenn lay partially naked, face-down, the sheets around her soaked crimson. Stab wounds scored her entire body. Blood. Blood everywhere!


I ran to her, turned her over.

She gasped, trying to speak. Coughed. Red spittle dripped from the corner of her mouth. “The kids…”

I took her into my arms. But her eyes begged me to go check on them.

“You hang on, honey. With all you’ve got, hang on!” I reached for my cell phone but it fell out of my belt clip and bounced under the bed.

On my knees now, I groped wildly until I found the cell phone. Dialed 9-1-1. Barely remembered what I said, but they were sending someone right away.

Jenn groaned. Her breaths grew shorter and shorter.

“Bethie… Aaron.”

Her eyes rolled back.

“I’m going. Hang on, baby. Please! You gotta hang on!” I started for the door. Felt her hand squeeze mine twice: Love-you.


Tears streamed down my face. As I began to pull away, she gripped my hand urgently. For that split second, I knew. This was the end. I stumbled back to her. Gathered her ragdoll body in to my arms.

“Jenn, oh God, Jenn. Please don’t!”

“Whatever it takes,” she said. Again, she squeezed my hand twice. “Mercy, not…sacrifice. One last gasp. She sighed and then fell limp in my arms, her eyes still open.

Holding her tight to my chest, I let out an anguished cry.

All time stopped. Who would do this? Why? Her blood stained my shirt. Her dying words resonated in my mind. Then I remembered. The kids. I bolted up and ran straight to Bethie’s room.

Bethie’s door was ajar. If my horror hadn’t been complete, it was now. I found her exactly like Jenn”face down, blood and gashes covering her body.

Though I tried to cry out, nothing escaped the vice-grip on my throat. When I turned her over, I felt her arm. Still warm, but only slightly. Her eyes were shut, her face wet with blood.

“Bethie! Oh, sweetie, no!” I whispered, as I wrapped the blanket around her.

I kissed her head. Held her hand. Rocked her back and forth. “Come on, baby girl. Help’s on its way, you hold on,” I said, voice and hands trembling. She lay there unconscious but breathing.


Gently, I lay Bethie back down then got up and flew across the hall. To Aaron’s door. His night light was still on and I saw his outline in the bed.

Oh God, please.

I flipped the switch.


I dashed over to the lamp on his nightstand, nearly slipping on one of his Thomas Train toys on the carpet. Broken glass crackled under my shoes.

I switched on the lamp on his nightstand. When I looked down to his bed, my legs nearly gave out. Aaron was still under his covers, but blood drenched his pillow. His aluminum baseball bat lay on the floor, dented and bloodied.

Dropping to my knees, I called his name. Over and over, I called, but he didn’t stir. This can’t be happening. It’s got to be a nightmare. I put my face down into Aaron’s blue Thomas Train blanket and gently rested my ear on his chest.

I felt movement under the blanket. Breathing. But slowly”irregular and shallow.

Don’t move his body. Dammit, where are the paramedics?

I heard something from Bethie’s room and dashed out the door. Stopping in the middle of the hallway, I clutched the handrail over the stairs. Thought I heard Aaron crying now. Or maybe it was the wind.

My eyes darted from one side of the hallway to the other. Which room?

Faure’s Requiem continued to play, now the In Paradisum movement.

Aeternam habeas requiem.

Something out in front of the house caught my attention. The police, the paramedics! Propelled by adrenaline, I crashed through the front door and ran out into the middle my lawn which was slick with rain. I slipped and fell on my side.

Nobody. Where were they!

Like a madman, I began screaming at the top of my lungs. My words echoed emptily into the night.

“Help! Somebody, please!”

A dog started barking.

“Please, ANYBODY! HELP!”

Lights flickered on in the surrounding houses.

Eyes peeked through miniblinds.

No one came out.

I don’t know if I was intelligible at this point. I was just screaming, collapsed onto the ground, on my hands and knees getting drenched in the oily rain.

Just as the crimson beacons of an ambulance flashed around the corner, I buried my face into the grass. All sound, light, and consciousness imploded into my mind as if it were a black hole.

My Book Review:

In Author Joshua Graham's riveting legal thriller, Beyond Justice, the reader is taken on an exhilarating emotional roller coaster ride that will leave them breathless.

San Diego Attorney Sam Huston is accused of killing his wife, Jenn, and daughter, Bethie. All this even while his son, Aaron, who he is also accused of assaulting, clings to life. Wrongfully convicted and sent to death row, Sam tries to make sense of the devastation of losing his family, while trying to prove his innocence. Interwoven within this powerful story is Sam's journey through the justice system where he learns about himself, life, loss, heartache, faith, forgiveness, justice, and redemption.

Sam's story is simply captivating, you can't help but get drawn in as his journey unfolds with thrilling twists and turns that will make your heart race, and keep you sitting on the edge of your seat in suspense. The author does a wonderful job of bringing Sam to life and describing his raw emotions and the devastating turmoil he went through on his journey. The reader will experience the full gamut of emotions as they turn the pages of this powerful and compelling story.

Author Joshua Graham weaves an intriguing tale that intricately delves into the murder, the justice and prison systems, and Sam's journey of self-discovery, faith, forgiveness, and redemption. I loved how the author blended a realistic mixture of suspense thriller and spirituality within the storyline, and his faith based moral message of the power of God's grace and mercy was inspirational and provided much food for thought.

Beyond Justice is a fast-paced, riveting, and deeply moving Christian legal thriller that will resonate with you long after the last words have been read.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

2/01 ~ Guest Post @ The Book Divas Reads 
2/02 ~ Interview @ Starting Fresh blog 
2/03 ~ Review @ 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! 
2/04 Interview & Showcase~CMash Reads 
2/05 ~ Review @ Vics Media Room 
2/06 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Reviews From The Heart 
2/07 ~ Showcase @ jc-martin - fighterwriter 
2/10 ~ Review @ just reviews 
2/11 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Mommabears Book Blog 
2/12 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Deal Sharing Aunt 
2/13 ~ Interview, Review & Giveaway @ The Nook Users Book Club 
2/14 ~ Interview @ Lauries Thoughts and Reviews 
2/17 ~ Showcase & Excerpt @ Brooke Blogs 
2/18 ~ Review @ Hotchpotch 
2/19 ~ Showcase @ Bookalicious Traveladdict 
2/24 ~ Review @ Kritters Ramblings 
3/01 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Amy {The Crafty Book Nerd} 
3/08 ~ Showcase @ Hott Books 
3/14 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews 
3/24 ~ Guest Post @ Writers and Authors 
3/26 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Celticlady's Reviews
3/27 ~ Review @ By The Book


  1. What a terrific guest post by Joshua Graham! And thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about his legal thriller with us. Sounds like an intriguing read.

    1. Hi Lance! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. I loved Joshua's guest post, it was very thought provoking. The book was powerful and inspirational, it was really hard to put down.

  2. Found this post from over at BookBlogs.Ning, I also reviewed this book for this tour but I really enjoyed reading Joshua's guest post about taking offense being his kryptonite. Thanks for this personal look into the author's life.

    1. Hi Amy! Thank you for visiting my blog, I appreciate it. I really enjoyed Joshua's guest post too, he gave the readers some food for thought. :)