The Other Side of Hope
by R.F. Dunham
GENRE: Alternate History
In 732 A.D., the Frankish and Burgundian forces led by Charles Martel defeated an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi and halted the Muslim advance into Christian Europe. At least, that’s what happened in the world as you know it.
Step into the world of The Other Side of Hope, where the world as you know it is turned on its head. A world where Charles Martel fell on that field south of Tours, France and was never given his nickname, “The Hammer.” A world where Europe came under Muslim rule and Christianity was eventually forced to flee to the shores of a distant land in search of religious freedom. A land where, without support from European colonial powers, they found only conflict and poverty.
In the modern day, this world remains divided. The wealthy Muslim East and the poverty-stricken Christian West are constantly at odds. A single spark is all it takes to ignite fresh conflict and the cycle seems never-ending.
Follow the paths of Ethan Lewis and Hamid Damir as they are put on a collision course with the other side. Will they find hope for a brighter future or be lost in the despair of intractable conflict?
When Ethan saw Elisa turn the corner, his eyes lingered on her face for only an instant. The familiar details of her delicate features filled his mind at once and he wondered how they could have ever become blurred. He would have focused on those features longer, much longer. Would have memorized every inch of her face, from the curve of her cheeks, to her soft nose, to the gentle slope of her chin, to her soft red lips, and shining blue eyes.
He would have stared for hours and maybe he would have never left again. But his eyes were immediately drawn away from her face and to her belly, which was large and round.
Ethan stared at her pregnant stomach for a heartbeat that stretched on endlessly. He blinked once and then hot anger, augmented by the sharp pain of betrayal, flared. He’d been gone for months and she’d gotten pregnant with another man’s child while he was fighting for their future.
He took a step toward her and she must have seen the rage in his eyes because she rested a hand on her stomach and backed away. Seeing her fear broke through Ethan’s anger and he stopped.
“Is it…?” he asked softly, almost breathless.
Elisa nodded once, just a small dip of her chin and Ethan knew it was true.
It was his child she was carrying. He was suddenly ashamed that he could have ever thought anything different. Elisa would never betray him.
Even though the revelation of her pregnancy was a shock, Ethan had to admit that it was possible. He hadn’t truly even considered the possibility that it would happen, that she would become pregnant before they were married. Or maybe he had just assumed that it wouldn’t matter if she did, that they would be married either way and no one would ever know the difference.
Yet here they stood.
Ethan stood just inside the doorway, wrestling with feelings of desperation and duty. Elisa at the end of the hallway, eyes wide with a potent mixture of fear and hope.
Ethan held those eyes with his own for a moment longer, then came to his decision. “I’m going to Turkey. Today.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
R.F. Dunham writes with one purpose: to take you places you’ve never been before. That might be a distant fantasy land, the far reaches of space, the future of earth, or simply to an idea you’ve never encountered. A student of language and culture, Dunham’s stories will pull you into complex worlds that challenge your perception of your own surroundings.
After working for over two years as a professional ghostwriter, the time has finally come for him to release his first full-length novel published in his own name, The Other Side of Hope. His short story, “Just a Drop,” was recently published in Nebula Rift Science Fiction magazine and an interactive version of the story is currently in beta testing. When he’s not writing, R.F. can be found playing the trumpet, writing his thesis in Arabic linguistics, or hiking in the mountains of Virginia.
Facebook page for TOSOH: https://www.facebook.com/TheOtherSideofHope/
Interview with the Author:
- How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about four years, almost three of that professionally. At first, I was only working on The Other Side of Hope and maybe a few short story ideas. But not long after that, I began working as a freelance ghostwriter and have been writing professionally ever since.
- How long have you been a published author?
Leaving out ghostwriting projects I’ve written that were published (since I can’t tell you about those!) I’ve been published since December of 2015 when my short story, “Just a Drop” was first published in Nebula Rift Science Fiction Magazine.
- What titles do you have available?
The only full-length novel I currently have available is The Other Side of Hope. You can get the short story I mentioned above from Nebula Rift by clicking that link. I also made an interactive version of “Just a Drop” that you can download here. “Just a Drop” is a dystopian story set in a world where all violent crime is met with the death penalty. Both stories follow the final minutes in the life of a man on death row, but in the interactive version, you control his choices!
I also send out free stories every month to my email list. There are two different serials I’m running right now, one is a fantasy story that’s going to be running for quite a while because the story is going to span decades. The other goes to the point-of-divergence for The Other Side of Hope to help set up how that world came to be.
- What made you choose the subject of this book?
I wanted a way to help Christians and Muslims understand each other better, to help them gain insight into each other’s cultures and points of view. That led to the idea of writing a story in which the two religions had switched places and alternate history seemed the best way to accomplish that.
- Do you have any new titles coming soon?
There are quite a few things I’m working on now. There’s the stories that go out to my email list, of course. But I’ve also got a couple of other things coming, though I don’t have dates for them yet, so I can’t say they’re “coming soon.” As a teaser, there will be more books in the world of The Other Side of Hope for sure. Beyond that, I can’t say yet!
- What is your favorite genre and why?
Broadly, my favorite genre is speculative fiction, or spec fic. But that’s a big umbrella that covers everything from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Supernatural thrillers. So if I had to narrow it down, a bit, I think I would land on historical fantasy and alternate history. I love the melding of fact and fiction possible in those genres. Everything sits on a foundation of truth but then you go off in a totally different direction with it.
- What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
I don’t know many others writers who say this, but I really like the first draft. Planning is fun because that’s where I’m creating characters and plot ideas for the first time. But the first draft is where I get to take all those ideas and make them into a book. After the first draft, it’s just editing and revising in an endless cycle and I don’t enjoy that nearly as much.
- If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Ted Dekker. No question. He’s been my favorite author for years and a huge inspiration in my own writing. I can’t even imagine all the things I could learn from writing an entire book with him!
- Where can readers find you on the web?
I’m actually in the process of building a brand new website! Right now, you can find me at crossfirefiction.wordpress.com. But to be honest, that site really isn’t very good and I’m not happy with it. The new site will be dunhamwriter.com and it’s going to be MUCH better! The best way to get connected is by subscribing to my email list. That way you’ll know exactly when the new website launches. As a bonus, you’ll also get priority access to free stories plus the chance to download two exclusive eBooks!
R.F. Dunham will be awarding $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: