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The Venerate Salvation Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway

Strafe Rocknus has suffered hard losses in his life, but now things are looking up for the college graduate.

He has a sizzling girlfriend, good friends and a bright career ahead of him. But one day, Strafe awakes in a mysterious cavern, discovers an ancient artifact, and unwittingly ignites a war that spans two worlds: his own, and one he never knew existed.

With the abyss of the unknown before him, Strafe enters the swirling darkness. Desperate, he must navigate a new and hostile world on the brink of catastrophe, and learn the truth of who he is, while facing a darkness with the power to destroy everything Strafe has ever cared about.

Soon, he will discover that his greatest strength comes from those he fights for.

Author: Troy Dukart
Pub. Date: February 26, 2018
Publisher: Creativia
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 217
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonTBD



It's been a year since I returned to Earth. So much had changed. The Geo-political climate had gotten, uncomfortable to say the least. Something had the militaries around the globe on high-alert. I felt our battle might not be over. Personally, every day is a struggle. A struggle to keep my family alive. It's been a lot to take in.
In the blink of an eye, I crossed through the portal with Zixin, Yessa and the three Whitecloud pups, which transported us back to the cave I found the God Blade. Flickers of light from the sword's orb caught my attention before it went translucent. It was as if the soul of the weapon faded away, leaving only a skeleton. The tattoos that identified us three as Guardians changed to dull scar-tissue, no longer with any vibrant color. Our power, gone.
The horrors of war can haunt a person for years after the last bullet is fired. Same way with words. Zixin lived in a nightmare his whole life, and now that it was over, his body and mind weren't handling it well.
A few days passed since we got back to Earth. My brother worried me. He drifted in and out of day-dreams; he had trouble concentrating. When we offered him food, he didn't eat much. Often times I would see him curled up in a ball, shivering and sweating heavily. If there was a loud noise or something startling, it agitated him easily. Whenever there was a crowd, he withdrew from interacting with anyone. Something hurt inside him. There was deep mental trauma that needed to be addressed.
We had to take him somewhere off the grid. The decision was to hide on my tribe's reservation in Minnesota. It'd be far away from the eyes and ears of Federation informants.

In about five days we made it across the country via train.
It was good to have the Whitecloud puppies with us. They were the one bright spot we had going for us at the moment. As we made it to St. Paul, we all got in a taxi. We rode north while enjoying the green grass and cool fall weather. Unlike California's golden hills and warm ocean breeze for sure.
The change was nice.
Finally, we got to the Sky Water reservation near Bemidji. Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly. Even though Yessa was not Native American, they welcomed their new visitor in the traditional way, with gifts. We were given a trailer to sleep in and food to eat. An ancient custom, asking for nothing in return. An Indian gift.
Once we settled, she began to research the Federation and gained insight into the company's goals and reach around the globe. Their power and influence shocked us.
“Strafe, check this out,” Yessa said pointing at the computer screen.
With a blanket in hand, I walked over and draped it on Zixin as he slept on the couch, then turned to her “What is it?”
“I can't believe how many incidents the Federation has been involved with this past year. They had their hand in almost everything. Politics, economy, the web, and government. They're like a virus, spreading and gaining footholds in everything that runs the world,” she shook her head in disbelief.
I put my hand on her shoulder, “When we figure out who we can trust, we will expose them. Their crimes will not go unanswered. But for now, I need to make sure my brother is healed. He tosses and turns in his sleep and I can tell the psychological damage he incurred has taken a toll on him.”
Turning my head towards Zixin, Yessa put her hand on mine, “This is what you were fighting for, what we all were fighting for. You saved him.”
One of the pups had become smitten to me. He loved to be held like a baby in my arms. I named him Goliath. Soon they would be bigger than we were, so we needed to enjoy their infancy.
Holding Goliath and bouncing him gently, I said, “Thanks, Yessa. I'm glad you're with us.”
She smiled and hugged her pup, which she named Esper, short for Esperanza. It meant “hope” in Spanish. Esper loved getting pet and kissed Yessa's cheek. Their bond was strong. The third pup didn't have a name yet. Zixin didn't give him one. He tried to get close to Zixin, but would usually get ignored or pushed away gently.

Sometimes at night I would hold Brutus's collar and rub my fingers over it. His death was still so fresh. While I was looking out the window one night, Yessa caressed my back.
“He'll always be with you,” she consoled.
“You're right, it's so hard to accept he's gone. I miss him so much,” I said.
Suddenly, Zixin awoke in screams and he jumped off the couch. I rushed over to comfort him. “Zixin! Zixin, it's alright! It's just a dream!”
“Ahhhh, these damn nightmares! I can't even take a nap without getting one,” he mumbled between breaths.
“It's not your fault what happened to you, for all those years. It was... you're safe now. Nobody will hurt you here,” I almost said Barzakh, but remembered Zixin's reaction when I did last time. Even mentioning the demon's name brought trauma. Every time he heard the name “Barzakh,” he wanted to cut more of the flesh off his severed arm. His paranoia convinced him at times that the demon might still be inside his body.
Once we calmed him down, I stepped outside with Yessa and the Whiteclouds to get some fresh air. The leaves were beginning to turn colors and the wind was cooler every day. Variety was my spice of life, but she didn't care for cold weather. Living in California can spoil a person.
“What are we gonna do Strafe? A professional needs to look at him. These reactions are only getting worse,” Yessa said.
“Maybe there's someone here on the reservation that can help,” I concluded.
“How long are we going to be here? While we wait, the Federation is gaining power. I can't sit by idly by while that happens.”
“I know Yessa,” I stroked her face, “I want to stop them too. Tiras told me, before I left him behind in that prison cell in Yuwheria, that they have my mother in Europe somewhere. We have to be extremely cautious moving forward because if he knew that, then he probably was communicating with his people back here on Earth somehow. They would no doubt catch us if we're reckless. I can't imagine what they might do to my mom.”
“You're right.”
Letting the pups play in the yard, I prepared dinner. My brother was on my mind 24/7. I noticed that he was cutting himself as small scars on his legs and arm began to appear. Dots of blood coagulating over them provided the evidence of his actions.

The next day, the three of us walked over to the Chief 's house to introduce ourselves. After knocking on his door, the Chief welcomed us inside with a big smile. Written on a wooden block on his desk read 'David “Blackrock” Walker.'
He stood over 6 feet high and was a middle-aged man who had many wrinkles. Like a cowboy, he wore jeans and a jean jacket but also many Native American beads around his neck. His long flowing black hair was braided. As Chief, he was responsible for the care of over 40,000 people on the Sky Water reservation. Our audience had been one he requested himself.
His office was decorated with beautifully carved wooden eagles, bears, and other animals of northern Minnesota. The carpet on the ground showcased a red eagle along with horses and a lush forest alongside a flowing stream. The smell of freshly smoked tobacco emanating from a pipe gave the room a welcoming feeling; tobacco was shared among the Sky Water Tribe to signify unity and peace. Walker sat in his chair and took a few puffs from the pipe.
“Hello, my friends, welcome to Sky Water land. Please take a seat,” Walker motioned to three leather chairs by his desk.
“Thank you,” Yessa said.
Sitting down in front of Mr. Walker, Zixin's eyes lighted up for the first time since we got back. He loved all the Native America memorabilia.
“You like this stuff huh son?” Walker asked.
“Yes, it is very calming, I like being here,” Zixin said while avoiding eye contact. Seemed he was a bit shy.
Honestly, it was the first time he looked alive.
“Well good! They have been passed down in our tribe for many generations. Helps me remember what I'm fighting for,” he grinned before turning to us, “So, what brings you to our land?”
We explained as best we could what had taken place on Eternia. Everything from the cave, the Federation, the Slates, to Guardian, from both of our sides. Walker listened intently to our story.
Afterward, we continued the discussion.
“So, you're telling me that your mother is in danger and you're afraid you'd be hunted unless you stay here?” Chief asked.
“Yes sir, we didn't know where to turn to. That's why we came here, to ask for your protection and to help us find her,” I explained.
“My parents might be too, I never got a chance to tell them I was safe,” Yessa added.
“Before you got here, I had our people look into your backgrounds,” Chief said out as he turned his monitor, “It seems as though your mom and dad were very involved in search efforts for you Yessa.”
Pulling a newspaper from inside his desk, he showed an article from the New Santa Barbara Times that explained how Yessa's parents organized a city-wide hunt for her. Although they never found her, they pin-pointed back the Federation's involvement and went after them. They both went missing three months ago.
“Where are my parents?!” she shrieked as she brought a hand to her mouth.
“Taken,” Zixin whispered as he rocked back and forth.
“Damnit, just like ours,” I said as I pounded the desk.
“Be calm child, for the moment there is nothing you can do. What I recommend is that you meet with our lawyers and go about pursuing the Federation LEGALLY,” Chief emphasized, “Any other way and you will end up missing too.”
“I can't just sit here and wait. I was taken. I was victimized. That's not gonna happen to them because of me,” Yessa stormed out of the office.
It was best to let her go.
“Zixin, do you mind giving the Chief and me a moment?” I asked.
“Give you a moment, give you a moment,” Zixin murmured as he walked outside. He brushed his hand across every Native artifact he could on his way outside.
“Poor man,” Walker shook his head while taking a puff from his pipe.
“Yes,” I put my head down, “I'm afraid he's in much worse condition than I thought. Is there a doctor here he can see? Someone who can help treat him?”
“We have a licensed psychologist that works with the reservationist here. Unfortunately, there are many people that have problems with mental health that keeps our doctor busy. Our job is to take out the stigma of talking about it. Damn shame, but she does amazing work. I'll make sure Zixin sees her as much as she's available. He seemed pretty intrigued by our culture. Maybe you can start there,” Walker advised.
“I'm interested in learning more myself. Yessa is anxious, understandably. Undeserving of this,” I said.
“You may find peace here, from the Federation and the world... but you will never find your mother if you do nothing. I pray our ancestors to speak their wisdom to you through the wind. Please let me know if you need anything,” Chief said as he followed me out. As I opened the door, he handed me a beaded wooden necklace. Bright colored beads of different hues blended nicely together. There were tiny leaves carved into the wood.
“Thank you, for everything.”
Walker gave me a strong handshake and hug; afterward, I exited outside. Sitting on the porch wearing an old Native Poncho that he found, Zixin looked out into the distance. It had a design of an eagle in bright colors.
“Keep it brother, it suits you,” Walker complemented.
He smiled; the first time I'd ever seen him do that. We walked back with the Whitecloud pups to the trailer. After we ate dinner, it was time to go to sleep.

In the morning, the sun creeped in through the blinds and danced on my eyelids to wake me up. Walking out to the kitchen area, I found Yessa was on the computer. Dark lines around her eyes gave away she'd been up for most of the night. As I stretched and got out of the bed, I went over to her and gave her a hug.
“Find anything?” I asked.
“No, but I think I found some people who can,” she said. On the screen was on a recruiting website for the military. It read,
“Space Force? Didn't you say you had enough of those people?” I said.
“They have eyes all over Strafe. There's no place the Federation can hide from them,” Yessa told me.
“How is the Space Force going to help us find those bastards and our family?” I asked her.
“I've been researching them and they have the ability to travel anywhere in the world in thirty minutes via Space Suits. They control all the space assets of the U.S. Government and we can use them to locate whatever we want,” Yessa stated.
“I don't think they're just going to cater to your agenda Yessa, they aren't hiring people for that,” I informed her.
She signed and rubbed her eyes before looking back to me, “And what? Just sit here and do nothing? Strafe, I don't like it here. I... can't stay,”
“Zixin is in no condition to be moving around constantly, let alone fight against a group of crazy zealots. He needs time to heal, and this is the safest place,” I responded.
She looked at me with a frown and said, “I leave for officer training tomorrow...”
The news shocked me to the point I almost lost my balance. “WHAT? How come you didn't discuss this with me? Yessa, you are my ONLY ally besides our pups and Zixin. And I... don't want to lose you again.”
A tear fell down her cheek. I went to console her but she put her hand up to stop me, “Strafe, you need to do what's in the best interest for you and your brother. I need to what's best for me and my family,” Yessa insisted.
“I thought we were in this together? I'm... I'm sorry I got you involved in this. I'm sorry for everything. But when we went through that hell on Eternia, fighting that war, I was doing it to save you. There are other ways of going after them,” I was explaining before she cut me off with watering eyes,
“Strafe, I ask you take care of Esper while I'm gone. It will be hard for her to be without me, I already know. If you love me, you will let me do this.”
I dropped my head into my hands. My heart ached at the thought of losing Yessa. She meant so much to me; my mind was in a panic. I tried to think of anything I could say to stop her decision. “I don't wanna lose you,” my eyes watered when I looked back at her.
Her lips curled and she had to fight back from sobbing, but gently shook her head “no.” Giving into her decision, I let out a sigh, wiped my tears, and slowly sat in my chair. “If this is what you want, I won't stop you. I will be here until Zixin is cured. I promise to take care of Esper for you,” I sniffled.
“It's not your fault Strafe. When I find my parents, I will come back to you. I swear it,” she said.
Walking over to me, she wrapped her arms around my shoulders. We embraced for a long time. There was no way to know how long she'd be gone.
“Yessa,” I said, wiping a tear.
She grabbed my hand.
“If you find my mom, let me know.”
Yessa nodded. We had slept in the same bed the past few nights, but she slept on the couch that night. The next day would be hard for everyone.

Waking up at sunrise, I found an empty couch with Esper sleeping at the foot of it. Zixin was looking out the window while scratching the scarred skin of his left armpit. Losing his arm didn't seem to affect him much, but he had trouble performing basic tasks like tying his shoes. Chief fixed this by giving him some moccasins to wear. One had an eagle stitched on the top, the other a bear.
I walked around looking for Yessa but she was nowhere to be seen. There was a note near the microwave,

Sorry to leave without saying goodbye. Please know that this is something I have to do on my own. Guard our family. I love you Strafe.


Story #1: The Venerate Order

In the first book, Strafe travels to a new world called Eternia to rescue Yessa who was kidnapped by a mysterious organization called "The Federation" and the man behind it, Tiras. After finding an artifact called "The God Blade," he receives immense physical strength. Little did he know he was gifted with the Passion of Guardian, which covers the person in tattoos and changes their hair color. Strafes was red. He travels with his large wolf called Brutus and they soon find themselves involved in a planetary war, propagated by a nation called Sentium.

Strafe meets three other people from around Eternia who also have gifts. Their names are Zon, the mysterious assassin, Rousseau, the happy-go-lucky pirate who was actually the Prince of Yuwheria (he fled his home because he was gay) and Roya, the kind-hearted cleric who was cast away from her tribe.

Together they tried to get to the bottom of who starts the war and get involved with The Federation along the way. Strafe also finds that his twin-brother he'd been searching for his whole life is here, but possessed by a demon. He carries the power to fire spirit energy and is incredibly dangerous.

The story ends with the Federation setting up the heroes and they are captured by the Yuwherian court. In the trial, they escape because Rousseau's pirate buddies save them, but the war begins to accelerate. The Senti (Sentium) begin their quest for world domination.


Story #2: The Venerate Redemption

After the world starts to fall apart, the remaining nations' team up to stop Sentium. They are on a quest to collect all the Guardian Keys to revive an ancient God to take over not only this world but all worlds. The Guardian power was created by aliens known as Venerates to protect Eternia against themselves and the ancient God, Nian. Mainly good, but some of the Venerates defected into a faction called "The Ancient Ones." They tried to use Guardian's power for ill, but knowing Nian and the Guardian power was too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands, they sacrificed their entire species to seal the portal to where Nian lied.
 Later in the story, Strafe joins the Sorian military and frees Yessa. Strafe and Roya have a bit of a romantic relationship that Yessa catches them in, but Yessa also finds a new boyfriend. It puts a strain on their relationship.
 Rousseau comes out as gay and vows to take back his kingdom from a corrupt uncle who killed his father to take the throne.
 Zon's assassin group turns on him and begins to hunt him.
 Roya's homeland is destroyed by the Senti in their quest for the Guardian keys.
 Strafe and Brutus eventually meet up with his brother called Zixin in an epic battle. Zixin blasts off his own arm to release himself from the demon that had possessed him for over ten years. It manifests into its true form called Barzakh. Strafe initially is not strong enough to defeat him, but with Brutus's sacrifice, Strafe finds the strength to defeat Barzakh, once and for all. Brutus dies but Zixin is saved.
 The final battle takes them to Zon's home country where they confront Tiras and the rest of the other Guardian warriors. Strafe and company defeat them and make their way up to where they think to find the Sentium leader. Instead, they find him dead and one of the remaining Venerate aliens. He easily defeats Strafe and the rest and walks through a portal to where Nian is sealed.
 The group follows them and find out they are no match for the gigantic God known as Nian. To their luck, the source God of their power, Guardian, shows up and defeats Nian but Roya falls in the battle. She sacrifices herself so that the others can escape.
 After the world celebrates the victory, Strafe uses his now shattered God Blade to open a portal for him, Yessa, Zixin and the three Whitecloud (what they call Brutus's kind on Eternia) pups back with them. Brutus mated with a Whitecloud of a military commander and he rewarded the victory with some of the pups from the litter.
 Tiras, the man behind the whole war, is captured and put into prison for life.
 They return to Earth, determined to destroy the Federation.

About the Author:

Troy Dukart is the author of the Venerate Saga (The Venerate Order, The Venerate Redemption, sequels to follow). Troy grew up outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. Troy is recognized by Toastmasters International as an Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Leader Bronze. He's lived in Japan as well as California. He loves to travel.
 Make sure to stop by his website and sign-up for the newsletter to stay in the know!


3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE VENERATE ORDER, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
5/20/2019- BookHoundsExcerpt
5/21/2019- words_on_the_shelvesReview
5/22/2019- The Books I ReadReview
5/23/2019- The Bookworm DrinkethReview
5/24/2019- Here's to Happy EndingsExcerpt

Week Two:
5/27/2019- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
5/28/2019- The Reading Corner for AllReview
5/29/2019- Rhythmicbooktrovert- Review
5/30/2019- Literary PortalsReview
5/31/2019- Dazzled by BooksExcerpt

Week Three:
6/3/2019- Mythical BooksExcerpt
6/4/2019- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsExcerpt
6/5/2019- Bean's BookshelfReview
6/6/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt
6/7/2019- Good Choice ReadingSpotlight

Week Four:
6/10/2019- Jaime's WorldExcerpt
6/11/2019- Kat's BooksReview
6/12/2019- Lone Tree ReviewsExcerpt
6/13/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Spotlight
6/14/2019- ParajunkeeExcerpt

Week Five:
6/17/2019- Owl Always Be ReadingExcerpt
6/18/2019- JB's Bookworms with Brandy MulderExcerpt
6/19/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
6/20/2019- Moonlight Book ReaderReview
6/21/2019- Zooloo's Book Diary- Review

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