Oblivion's Reach front cover (1)

Oblivion’s Reach: The Darkness Series, Book 1

By Michael Stafford and Don Gladden


MURPHYSBORO, ILLINOIS – April 29, 2021 –Unexplained fires, including burning a church. Potentially rogue cops, and evil in big city high rises.

Does that sound a bit like your news feed? It’s not – it’s tidbits from a forthcoming novel that points the way to the coming end times.

In Oblivion’s Reach: The Darkness Series, Book 1, authors Michael Stafford and Don Gladden have teamed up to write a story set in today’s American heartland, in an out-of-the-way place called Little Egypt that encompasses the small towns of southern Illinois.

As evil begins to seep into Murphysboro, God’s faithful take notice. A band of unlikely heroes, including many combat veterans, moves into action to counter the unseen and unknown. Eventually, heaven’s army enters the fray to protect and defend.

Oblivion’s Reach is the first book in a new series that highlights the spiritual battle happening all around us, but largely unrecognized, even by Christians.

Yet co-author Don Gladden, who came up with the concept for the books set in his home region, says he does not think we are living now in the end times, but we are just on the cusp.

“No, it will get much worse,” he says matter-of-factly. “But the trouble we are seeing in our cities, in our government at local and national levels, this all is a warm-up for the days yet to come.”

He wants people to see the spiritual battle going on around us.

Gladden and co-author Michael Stafford, a novelist and old college friend, tell a suspenseful story filled with action and a subplot that exposes the intentions of Satan and his Demonic Fallen Angels trying to take over the world. With a cast of likeable and believable characters, Stafford and Gladden pull the reader into the story to cheer on those fighting for the lives and souls of loved ones in their community.

Oblivion’s Reach is like a prequel to the famous Left Behind series,” Stafford adds. “We’ve got real people here whose faith needs bolstering but who God uses to defend his own, and there’s action and even a bit of romance.

“This is the story of losing your faith and getting it back, of learning that God does listen to prayer and how He responds. Oblivion’s Reach takes the reader towards the Rapturebuilding the foundation for what happens next to this band of God’s faithful and to America. It becomes apparent that they are not witnessing a skirmish but a prelude to an all-out attack.”

The battle between heaven and hell continues to expand in the second book in the series, Oblivion’s Storm, anticipated for fall 2022. There is at least one more book to follow, as Final Oblivion, being planned for late 2023, inexorably moves toward the Rapture and the culmination of the fight for the souls on earth.

“We know who ultimately wins the battle, of course,” Gladden says, “but people will be lost in the battle if they are deceived by the evil that can appear as angels of light.”

Gladden, who lives in Murphysboro, spent the last 25 years of his 48-year management career in Christian broadcasting. From his start as a prayer partner volunteer at the TCT Network station in southern Illinois, he joined the network as an employee and eventually rose to become a station manager. Called to serve, he took on tasks ranging from accounting to constructing TV studios to serving as on-air talent. Gladden worked in both Christian radio and television, and retired from the TCT Network in Marion, Illinois. He holds a business degree from Southern Illinois University- Carbondale. His spare time is spent in ministry and volunteer activities.

Stafford, who now makes his home in the Indianapolis area, also grew up in Southern Illinois. The retired banker and businessman played basketball at Washington University and holds an MBA from Southern Illinois University. A Vietnam Veteran, he is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. His two novels, Between the Walls of Time (Historical Fiction) and The Cotton King are out for representation. He anticipates their release in 2022-23.

Oblivion’s Reach: The Darkness Series, Book 1 (ISBN- 978-1-952025-52-5, $16.99) will release in May from Carpenter’s Son Publishing. It is available from selected bookstores and online retailers. For more information, visit https://www.dongladdenauthor.com.


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For a review copy or to interview Don Gladden, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR,
at 513/319-3231 or