The Day Draws Nigh

Hello, dear readers, and happy 3rd day of summer! Wow, I can’t believe it’s summer already – only 15 days left until my brother’s wedding! Only 14 days left until An Odyssey’s End is published! So excited!

Anywho, in preparation/anticipation of that, I’m going to play a little game here. I have with me the proof copy of AOE, and I will flip to seven random spots (not necessarily in order) and write down an excerpt from the page I come to, crafting a kind of flash teaser trailer type of thing. You ready? Lets go.

♠   ♠   ♠

Caution to the careless and woe to the souls of many, for the Destroyer of Worlds has come.

 – – –

“Way to hog the glory,” Teryn scowled.

“Don’t worry, there’ll be more,” he [Jonquil] replied, wiping his nose.

“Let’s hurry,” Sergil bade.

“Why?” Fwip asked. “We going somewhere?”

“If at all possible we should see if we can’t find some form of shelter,” the man answered. “The quicker we move the less likely are to get eaten.”

– – –

Her answer, and what she could possibly mean by ‘worse’, silenced them, and no one spoke again until she finished. By then there wasn’t a single mark left on the man’s torso, leaving no evidence of the mincemeat it had resembled just over an hour ago. Iris released her Spells and stepped back, taking a deep breath and fighting off a wave of fatigue.

The woman physician approached the once-injured man and passed a hand across his abdomen, the look of absolute amazement upon her features easy to read. “Truly a miracle! How did you come into such incredible power?”

“It was given to me by a pair of friends,” Iris replied, glancing at her hand a curling it into a fist . . .

– – –

“What is this?”

“That would be an aluminum can.”

“What’s in it?”

“Food. The label should say exactly what.”

“My Helosite’s a little rusty,” the man retorted blandly. “How are you supposed to open it?”

“The newer design is supposed to have a tab you can pull, but for these you’ll need a can opener.”

“And what in the name of briny hopswitch is a ‘can opener’?”

– – –

“I thought he’d be here sooner than this,” Thock said.

“Oh, I’m sure he’ll be here in no time,” Piffry assured. “You know how he is.”

“Then he’s probably snooping around instead of asking for directions,” Thock replied.

“I’m sure!” Piffry laughed.

– – –

Out of an adjoining room came Quincy himself, and in his arms he carried little Tao, asleep. “I was wondering when you’d come to see her,” he said in a rumbling whisper.

Teryn stopped short when he appeared. “Aye, well, I didn’t have any time before now,” she retorted. “And I still don’t have a lot of time.”

“Why is that?” he asked. “Are you needed back for the war council?”

“No, it’s because I’m needed back in Sekon’dome.”

– – –

Jonquil and Sergil ran to meet it, clashing in a duo, rapid fire attack that left no seam between their strikes. Sergil hefted his sword with a stony resolve, blocking and hacking with the gleaming edge, his body falling in time with the motions of a dual handed blade like an old dance he’d never truly forgotten. Jonquil wove in and out of their parries and attacks to deliver his own blows with a pinpoint precision that would have been fatal had their opponent been just about anything but what it was.

– – –

This was Sanctus, the purifying Spell.

Fires ignited all over his body, creeping across his shoulders and torso, piercing the murky depth of his tenuous form, blotting out the cast of his shadowed existence. Within moments Akairo became completely engulfed by the furnace, his triumphal laughter turning into howls of rage and agony as his darkness, his dross, was consumed.

“Curse you!” he screamed, high pitched and wild. “Curse you all to the depths of oblivion! Die! Wither! Fall to the worst and more painful deaths! I despise you pathetic, insolent worms! I hate you!

– – –

Fine. Keep your miserable and rotten children — they aren’t worth raising up.

But that would not stop him from razing them down.

♠   ♠   ♠

Well? How was that? I have to say, it was harder than you’d think, because there were so many parts that I thought ‘Oh! That would be cool!’ ‘Oh! I could do that!’ But alas, if I did that, then I’d have spoiled all the fun and written here the whole volume, and that would just not do.

I hope you enjoyed this, and don’t forget to mark your calendars! July 7th is the Promised Day, when dreams come true, bated breaths are released, and new adventures begin.


Don’t miss it! The Goodreads Giveaway for The Clandestine Crusade ends the 27th of this month — 4 days — so enter for a chance to win a free copy + bookmark!

Also, starting today and ending Tuesday, the ebook version of The Clandestine Crusade will be available for FREE on Amazon, so grab a copy for yourself, grab one for a friend, grab one for the neighbor and his friend! The possibilities are virtually endless, and no halfway decent person is less than thrilled at the magnanimous gift of a story.

On Writing: Timelines

When I began my writing venture, I never really studied on how to go about it, taking with me only my fervor for the story and a basic understanding of creative writing from a middle school course. I never dreamed about taking into account the technicalities of the art, at the time it hardly even crossed my mind. I started out with a basic plot of events I wanted to take place and then delved right in. For me, everything kind of just came together as I went, and that first draft proved a massive learning experience on so many fronts. So, so many. With so many things going on, I developed a deep and lasting appreciation for timelines.

Timelines are vital, whether your story spans a few hours or a few centuries. Listing everything that happens in chronological order is monumentally helpful in keeping track of the goings on; it keeps you from getting bamboozled and making mistakes that will cause the very bloody murder of your story. For lack of it, my own would have perished in a most piteous mess of inconsistency.

I once read a blog post somewhere listing a few different ways in which to timeline, and there really are an infinite (okay, maybe not infinite, but there are a lot) of ways you can do this. One is to simply list the events with bullets or numbers, and another is to set up a timeline on the computer. What I have done is something perhaps a little more eccentric. My bedroom has ample ceiling space, so I took a spool of twine (it was on hand) and strung it up there from one end to the other and then clothespinned note cards with dates and what happened in that year. It spanned well over a hundred years and recorded the big points of my characters’ lives (color coded, even) leading up to the actual story itself. (I only took it down so my awesome new windows could be put in).

And that’s just the one timeline I made. The other, which records the events of the story itself, is laid out in an old calendar from ’09 that I never used and had on hand. It’s great because it has the day-by-day layout that I needed to keep track of, along with the seasons. It also helped me see better the events of the sub-plots so I could rearrange everything so it all flowed smoothly.

So, setting your world in order is a golden nugget of the profound wisdom of the word sages from past ages. And in addition to all its usefulness, timelines are also a great way to see your progression, and that is a huge boost in confidence and morale. Sometimes writing is a rough road of rocks and sinkholes, so it’s always good to have something to show you where you’ve been and all there is to look forward to.

Reynwood’s Reviews: This Present Darkness

Title: This Present Darkness

Series: Darkness (#1)

Author: Frank E. Peretti

My rating: 5 of 5


Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful, hardworking pastor begin to investigate mysterious events, they suddenly find themselves caught up in a hideous New Age plot to enslave the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. The physical world meets the spiritual realm as the battle rages between forces of good and evil.


My thoughts:

Oh. My. Goodness. This book hit me on all the levels, as a writer, a reader, a person, and a Christian. Frank E. Peretti writes boldly, touching on real issues we deal with even today, decades after its first printing.

The narrative is well paced, carrying you along the river current, and then it begins to pick up, growing faster as you reach the white waters, and by that time you really don’t want to put the book down. Peretti’s descriptions are vivid, his characters, the problems they face, and how each one deals with them are realistic and relatable, no matter where you stand.

The theme of this story, depicting the (very real) warfare going on around us, is a refreshing change, I thought, from the analogies replete throughout literature. There are angels and there are demons, fighting within the wee town of Ashton, and the citizens don’t even know it, but as the fire heats up, eyes are opened to the truth and the danger. The best way to destroy a man is not always to take his life, but to undermine his family and demolish his reputation, beating him raw until his soul shatters.

I’ve heard many people talk about this book (and its partner Piercing the Darkness), that it was convicting and even prophetic. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to see it (I’m not always the most perceptive) but I saw it. The trouble harrying Ashton harries the wider world even today, becoming increasingly evident; it doesn’t take much effort to see it. The emphasis in this story is on prayer, and while I’m not entirely sure if angels really get their strength from people’s prayer and worship to the Lord, it has to be said that prayer bears much power. It is the single most effective action we as followers of Christ can make concerning any and every issue we face. Hank is an inspiration for what unashamed, unafraid, unshakable faith can look like, and what an honor to be accused of being a ‘little praying man’.

I highly recommend this story for the richness of its plot, creativity of its narrative, its conviction of faith and prayer, but also to those who are on the outside looking it. Whether searching for God or not, this story will give some insight into the world we see and live in.

June Rerelease and Giveaway

Hello everyone, and happy June! Can you believe the year is almost halfway over already? It feels like it’s only just begun! How time flies when there are so many things going on. We have weddings and showers this summer up the yingyang, and for the first one, my brother gets to come home from his station in Japan! We are all very excited to see him again, if only for a few days.

Something else to be excited about is the approaching release of volume 7, which just so happens to be scheduled for release the day before by brother gets married (!!!). That is going to be one busy weekend, but it’ll be fun (we’re praying). It hardly feels like six months since I began this rerelease campaign, but we’re already on the last one before the finale, and I am so thankful for the opportunity and ability to have gotten everything done by their appointed dates, and I am still praying for the work yet ahead — July 7 isn’t getting any further away!

This month we’re featuring volume 6, The Clandestine Crusade, and I have to say that this was the stage I anticipated the most. I really enjoyed working through these chapters and with the characters and events. I was so excited about introducing Raleigh for so long that I had to insert a little piece with him back in volume 4. I loved writing him, but he’s also a challenge, due to his vastly conflicting personality (I think he got that from me, actually. Oops). Even the short story in the appendices is my favorite of all seven (we’re allowed to do that, right?) It’s a sad story, yes, but not every story has an happy ending, and even tragedies can bear uplifting truth and hope.

For this rerelease I updated the cover on the same scale as volumes 1 & 2, with a completely new design. While I liked the stark colors and the scenery in the first edition, it also felt too stark and didn’t altogether jive with the scheme of its fellows. Here’s the new design I came up with:

I really loved the sunset and warm colors, depicting the company’s voyage across the sea to the foreign continent no free Sekon’domite had ever ventured to before.

You can find this upgraded volume on Amzon, or you can purchase it straight from the publisher (which is also an Amazon company, as it happens). The information in the searches has not yet been updated, but it should be by the end of the week, so don’t worry if you can only find the old cover — rest assured that the copy in your mailbox will be the one pictured above.

Here are the links:

Already own a copy? Awesome! Write a review to tell others what you thought and help your fellow readers find a great new adventure!

And for even more great news, the Goodreads giveaway for The Clandestine Crusade is already underway, ready and waiting for you to join in!