November 23 Is The Day For Most Excellent Christmas Music

Some of our traditions are a little strange here on the blog. That’s fine with me. In the spirit of Christmas, and the strange, I’m kicking off the Christmas music video Friday theme with The Night Santa Went Crazy by that Santa with curly hair, Weird Al Yankovic (Don’t let the kids watch this one.)

That was awfully – noelish – if such a word exists. Let’s go on to something a bit more “normal” for our second tune. Christmas from Ecuador Feliz Navidad

Now that your palate has been cleansed, let’s get some goodies for your plate. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Reneé Dominiqueon the Ukelele.

If you like the ukulele , you must love the banjo. Earl Scruggs & The Blue Grass All Stars Bluegrass Jingle Bells ought to scratch that itch.

Finally, what would Christmas be without 282 tubas playing Silent Night?

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Lazy Post. Oh, Big News As Well. Yeah, That New Book Cover And Cover Copy.

I know all of you have come here weekly to have your brains expanded. Today, in the wake of the past weekend, I’ve got little to offer. Why? I baked 100 minature sweet potato pies, created 3 pieces of cover art for the book, uploaded the manuscript to two different platforms, completed the audio book, quality checked the uploads, and then sent it off for ACX to do their review.

Other than that, I just sat around.

I hereby announce the publication of Nicholas of Haiti. It will be available on 22 November, 2018. Some versions are now available for pre-order, but the audio book is not yet there for sale.

Here’s the back cover copy:

Nick Bacon is a life interrupted. When his commercial airline flight explodes over Utah, killing everyone on board but Nick, his miraculous survival draws unwanted attention. The press can’t get enough of his story while the FBI is convinced he planted the bomb that took down his plane. All he wants is a place to heal and time to let the world forget him. Unable to return home, Nick accepts an offer to join a missionary medical team and flees to Haiti.

But Nick’s new life in Haiti is haunted by visions. He’s forced to examine his sanity and faith in a world of turmoil and chaos among a people he’s never met before. Aided by Andre, his Haitian translator and protector, Nick confronts the dark forces battling for his soul, and the soul of the abused little girl he’s only seen in his dreams.

Because in Haiti, there’s more than just Nick’s sanity at risk. The fate of the world may now depend on Nicholas of Haiti.

On the 22nd, you will have your choice of a Kindle, paper, and audio edition. It is NOT a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes. It’s a stand-alone book and it’s quite a yarn. It’s something new for you from me, but it’s my first love as a writer: supernatural/speculative fiction. Very Christian in its focus, you will find a world of missionaries and Haiti that you never knew existed. Best of all, all proceeds from the sales of the Kindle and paper editions are being donated to a charity that works in Haiti.

Without further ado, the book cover (the Kindle and paper versions are slightly different in font and color) and the audio book cover:

You may notice that the cover model is just some random idiot I found on the internet. He works cheap.

You can pre-order the book at this link (the audio book will be there by the 22nd):

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NEW BOOK COMING THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, will be available Thanksgiving weekend. Put aside your money for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.
Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Posted in Assault on Saint Agnes, audio book, mission to Haiti, Santa Stuff, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bohemian Rhapsody: A Review (#bohemianrhapsody is #wonderful)

See how easy that was? You read the headline and you know what the review says. (Warning: for the closed minded, Freddy was gay. Not just a little. He kisses guys in the movie. If you can’t live with that, you’re missing out on a great flick.)

Bohemian Rhapsody tells a story about Freddy Mercury and the band Queen.

Is it perfectly accurate? Nope! I actually prefer it that way. Watch the trailer and then resume below.

Neat, eh? Well the whole movie is a series of deftly knit scenes that bring back the music that every kid who listened to top-40 music in the period 1970-1990 knew all the words to without a karaoke screen. Frankly, it’s still some of the best stuff on the “oldies” stations. I am old. Such is life. It’s what we used to call a “popcorn movie.”

The cast is wondeful! Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech, and Mike Myers. Each and every performance is entertaining. Not a clinker in the bunch.

For those of you who hadn’t yet been born, or who predate the music of Queen, it’s still a good movie. I am fairly sure the reviews have been horrible because the SJW (Social Justice Warriors) despise the fact that the sexuality of Mercury wasn’t the main focus. For my money, sometimes less is more. If you missed the fact that Freddy died after a long struggle with the fact that he was gay, and the world was terrified of AIDS at that time, you weren’t watching the same movie I was. Not that it’s a direct comparison, but it’s kind of like JAWS. A little shark is better than a lot of shark for getting the point across.

It is safe to say that everyone I know who has seen, and commented on, this movie loved it. I will watch it again when it comes to the internet. But if you’re a Queen fan, get out to the theater now and enjoy it on the big screen. But buy your tickets in advance if you’re smart, as the theater was sold out on the day I went.

Now, get out there and vote.

Oh, and a bonus. It stands (in my mind) as the greatest concert appearance I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I caught it at the time, but it’s something I’ve watched on the tube many times. I present for your viewing enjoyment, Queen at Live Aid in 1985:

NEW BOOK COMING THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, will be available Thanksgiving weekend. Details will be forthcoming, including the cover and synopsis, shortly. Put aside your money for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.
Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

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Pastoral Advice For Pastors Regarding Politics During Pastor Appreciation Month

One week from today there will be an election. According to the pundits, this will be the most important election – ever!!1!1!11!!

I get it completely: it is important to voice your opinion and vote. Except stupid people. Not everyone should vote. People who go and vote without knowing any of the issues, or anything beyond what party they are supposed to vote for, are a danger to the Republic and should stay home eating fatty foods and taking drugs. We’d all be better off that way, IMLTHO (In My Less Than Humble Opinion.)

But for those of us voting, I should like to submit that the last thing I want to/need to hear is a religious leader telling me how to vote. Any religious leader. (This rant is not directed at my pastor – want to make that clear.)

Here are some of the problems I have with that whole deal based on attending dozens of different services with different preachers over the last 14 years:

You can’t stand in the pulpit every week and tell me God has it covered and then tell me that the boogeyman from the other party will ruin everything.

You can’t ask me to pray for our leaders during one administration and then tell me to oust them during the next.

No sermon should ever have the terms “Jug-eared Fool” “That Horrible Orange Man In The White House” “That Racist, Misogynist” or any other derogatory term toward the President of the United States.

Period.

For 8 years there was a man in the White House that I didn’t agree with in any way, and I didn’t say a word to my fellow congregants. Nor, for that matter, did I hear any pastors speak out against him. But now it’s just fine, almost expected, to criticize the man in that office because – well it’s a long list very short on specifics. I marvel at how Donald Trump went from being a hero for his race relations and philanthropy in 2014 to being a demon who hates everyone that doesn’t look like him in 2015. Funny that. And when I ask for specific examples, people either stop talking or come back with something the media said he said. Donald ain’t perfect, but he’s not a racist. (I’m still waiting on Omorosa’s tape.)

In the highly-paraphrased words of Michael Jordan, Republicans go to church as well. And they listen to the preacher’s message every week.

I know some of you will grind your teeth and tell me what an awful person I am for this blog today.

I don’t care.

For me it comes down to the same set of goals you should have when creating good writing/movies/music. How is that? If you can make me suspend my disbelief and buy your story, you’re doing a good job. If you keep putting jet airplanes in a story about 1936, I’m calling shenanigans on you, and thinking about Googling that thing I was pondering before the service. Same goes for interjecting your political opinion into a sermon. Praising any president for a job well done is nice, but not appropriate from the pulpit. Same for condemnation. If you’d like to do that, take to another platform. If you serve communion there, it should be a politics free zone. It’s that simple.

Recently I was listening to a young preacher really bringing the word. He was doing a great job of energizing the crowd, telling his story, lifting us up. Scripture right at the front, scripture all throughout the first part of the message. About 10 minutes into the sermon, he took a few seconds to slap at President Trump with name calling. It didn’t even fit in the message. I got really busy thinking about other things while he went on talking. Truly a shame, as he’d been doing pretty well until that moment.

But he had to go there for some reason. Maybe because the preacher thought the audience needed to hear it to cement the speaker’s bond with the audience. Maybe he’s got Trump Derangement Syndrome. Maybe he’s just too immature to realize that Republicans go to church as well.

In the end, you get a choice as a pastor: you can be a political activist with a clerical collar, or you can be a pastor to a flock. Doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion, but if God is really sovereign, what does your opinion have to do with His message in his house?

So with one Sunday to go, how about all of you in the pulpit just talk about Jesus? You can encourage your flock to vote, but don’t tell them how to do it. That includes eye rolls, hand gestures, and snotty remarks about the President.

That is all.

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NEW BOOK COMING THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, will be available Thanksgiving weekend. Details will be forthcoming, including the cover and synopsis, shortly. Put aside your money for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.
Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

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Personal Promotion Time.

It’s about to become my busy season writ large. Mainly because I’ve got a book coming out: Nicholas of Haiti. More details to follow, but save your shekels for a Thanksgiving release.

Before that, however, I’m inviting my friends in the Twin Cities to splurge a bit on their children and grandchildren this year. I’ve teamed up with an amazing photographer, J Renee Images. Janet, my photographic whiz, is offering private sessions in a relaxed setting for small ones. We’ll take family photos as well, but this is an informal Santa setting. I’m going to put a bunch of photos below the fold, and the link to the page. But the long story short is that this is a great opportunity to get your Christmas photos done the 3rd and 10th of November. Beat the rush, skip the mall, and call Janet to make it happen at 319-457-0191.

Thanks for letting me boost a business that’s keeping me in ink. I had a blast shooting the photos below, and I’m really looking forward to the sessions in just two weeks. Sign up now, I suspect they’ll fill up pretty darned fast.

Book now! More pictures below the fold: Continue reading

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