Peter Younghusband has posted an awesome review of Book Two of the Adventure Chronicles. Check it out here. And check out the rest of his reviews for a good read.
My father would have been Seventy-Four years old today. For the first time since 2006, he is getting to celebrate his birthday with my mother. I miss them both so much.
Below is the Eulogy that I delivered at his funeral in October of 2006:
“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2Timothy 4:8
As I was growing up, I remember two things about my dad. The first was his extensive ball cap collection. The other was that he actually liked to work.
The former concept was interesting. He would keep a large collection of these hats on hooks on the wall of the bedroom that he shared with my mother. He never wore the majority of them, though. They were only there for show. He usually had only one cap that he actually did wear. I can remember him getting ready to go somewhere and watching as dad flipped his bangs back and put the cap on. Then he’d give us a kiss goodbye and head out the door.
The work thing was more puzzling to me. The concept of enjoying a good day’s work confused this lazy kid. I once asked him why he worked so much and got an even more confusing answer. “I work so much, son, so you won’t have to.”
I admittedly didn’t really get to know my dad until after he became ill and had to stop working. The idea of being forced to be idle seemed more of a curse to him than anything. But I learned a great deal about my father. I got to know a man who loved his family so much that he worked until his health was shattered so that we were provided for. I learned about a man who was calm when everyone else was stressed-a leader of men who was respected by those who worked under him because of his determination and willingness to sacrifice to get the job done.
I’ve often thought that my name is a curse. Mom wanted to name me Jeremy, but dad was determined that I be named Jeffrey. Apparently, dad didn’t know much about history and almost every time that I introduce myself to someone, I’m asked if my parents were Southern. I dutifully respond with a smile that my father was a “Michigan-born Yankee.”
This isn’t to say that Dad was unintelligent. Far from it. He might have only obtained an eighth grade education, but, when he was healthy, he could take a car apart and put it back together while blindfolded. His advice, despite the fact that Mom and I didn’t always listen, was sound and always the best course of action.
My dad didn’t get saved until he was in his late fifties. He was led to Christ by the same pastor who led me, Brother Phil Tanner. Dad told me of the absolute, tear-filled joy that he felt on that day. After that, God’s blessings poured out in the form of my daughter. I begged God to let my dad live to see her-a prayer that was answered. Kaitlyn was also the final piece to the puzzle of why my dad had enjoyed working. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for my little girl, just as there is nothing that Dad wouldn’t have done for my brothers or me.
On Wednesday night, after I found out that he’d passed away, I asked God why He hadn’t answered my prayers to heal my dad’s lungs. He told me as clearly as I stand before you all today, “Don’t you understand? Now, they are healed.”
As for the Bible verse that I read earlier, I can see that Dad reached the Pearly Gates on Wednesday afternoon. Waiting for him there was an angel carrying a pillow, upon which sat my dad’s Crown of Righteousness-a golden ball cap. He took it from the pillow and, with a smile flipped back his bangs back and put it on, then stepped through the gates and into eternity.
I’ll be signing copies of LILY’S REDEMPTION at “Back to Basics” Christian bookstore in O’Fallon, MO, on Saturday, February 20, 2016, from 2-4 PM. Copies are $8.95 each. Everyone who purchases a copy gets an entry into a drawing to win a copy of all four of the currently published novels in the ADVENTURE CHRONICLES series. You can earn an additional entry by signing up for my mailing list while you’re there.
1002 Highway K, O’Fallon, MO
I have a couple of announcements. First of all,The Quest for Yoshi, the long-awaited fourth novel in the ADVENTURE CHRONICLES series, is finally available.
“For two months, Shawna’s nightmares have kept her confused and exhausted. Visions of empty graves, cursed amulets, and old friends fill her thoughts at all times, leaving her friends and boyfriend perplexed.
“Jamie, still mourning the loss of his clan-sister, has struggled to come to terms with having left leadership of the Funakoshi clan in the hands of the violent Shakato family.
“So now Shawna’s strange visions are drawing her back to the world of Thera. The last time that they went there, a cursed wizard killed Yoshi. What will happen this time?”
But the most important thing is the announcement of the release of Malicious Mysteries, the dedication to my late mother:
“When Patricia Davis suddenly left this world on August 22, 2015, her death devastated a family who loved her more than the world. On top of everything, she had no life insurance, leaving her three sons to raise the money to pay the very understanding owners of the funeral home who hosted her funeral. When her youngest son, who is an author, discussed the issue with some of his colleagues, they decided to put together an anthology of short stories. And, since Patricia loved crime stories, they selected that as the theme.
“The stories feature Metahumans, CSI agents, and even a story based loosely on historical figures. With stories by Jim Robb, JL MacDonald, Brian K. Morris, Stephanie Welch, Jeffrey Allen Davis, TW Johnson, and Samuel E. Campbell, there’s something in here for everyone.
“All proceeds of each sale go to the Funeral Fund of Patricia Ann Davis.”
Finally, the time is nearly upon us! The editing phase is complete and The Quest for Yoshi is nearly ready for publication. I am planning for a release date of January 29. On top of that, the anthology dedicated to my mother should be available on what would have been her seventieth birthday, February 1.
And now, the cover of The Quest for Yoshi:
The cover art was drawn by the talented Nathan Bonner with a cover layout and color by the amazing T.W. Johnson. Also, Book Five is already in the editing phase and should be ready by the summer’s end. Until next time, God Bless!
Here’s the final edit for the prologue of The Quest for Yoshi. You will see a major change:
A Night Two Months Prior
Wednesday, October 21, 1992
The girl walks over the ground, her insubstantial form not disturbing the mist that has settled above the grass. The gentle breeze blows through her hair, bringing the sound of familiar voices ahead. Her walk becomes a run as she moves toward the rising smoke of a chimney.
Shawna enters a clearing, recognizing a small cottage and a smaller building. Smoke comes from the chimney of the house. The young prophetess looks quickly around the yard and sees freshly dug earth in front of a tombstone some thirty feet away. Her feet leave the ground and she floats toward the house, coming to a stop in front of a window. Peering inside, she finds an unmoving figure, covered with a white sheet.
The sound of weeping catches her attention. She moves through the wall and enters the house. She floats toward a room beyond the living area. As she moves by the fireplace, she catches a glimpse of a metal box sitting atop the mantle. The padlock on the box is nearly as large as the box, itself. Whatever is inside of the box was forged from a force so dark, that most pious men would fear it. The one who crafted this box understood the need to keep it away from the world.
Shawna floats through the doorway and into the bedroom of the owners of this home. The two who are in here are familiar. One is a woman, the other a man. The woman has flowing blonde hair and delicate features. Her eyes are slightly slanted, giving her the appearance of someone with some Asian ancestry. Her ears end in a startling point and her blue robes are dark and beautiful. She crouches over their marriage bed, calling out to her God, “I don’t understand! If she’s not with You and she’s not in Hell, then what, my Lord?”
The man, easily a full foot and a half taller than the woman, kneels next to her, placing a gentle arm around her to comfort her. He has a muscular frame, but his gut is somewhat rotund, giving him a jolly appearance. His red-bearded face, however, shows no trace of jolliness. Dirt covers him from head to toe, but the woman does not seem to care as she takes comfort in his embrace.
A sense of heat comes from back out in the other room. Shawna knows that the two in this room cannot feel it, but she does. She turns and floats quickly into the living area. A glance at the metal box finds that a hole has been melted in the front of it. Her gaze follows a burning mark from the base of the fireplace to the sheeted form as an unholy glow settles in, of its own accord, around the neck of the unmoving figure.
The seconds tick by and the fear in the air is palpable. Shawna’s breathing speeds up. Her heart begins to pound in her chest. In the distance, a wolf howls.
Suddenly, the figure sits up, the sheet still covering it from head to toe. There is a gasp for breath. After the lungs are filled, they release a blood-curdling scream that . . .
* * *
. . . she could still hear as she sat straight up in the bed. Shawna leaped to her feet, steadying herself with a trembling hand against the wall of her bedroom, just next to the light switch. She had lost track of the number of times that she had experienced this same dream since that first night back in October.
She walked nervously from her room and stepped into the bathroom, turning on the light with a flick of the switch. Looking in the mirror, the young woman examined the face staring back at her. Bags had begun to form under her eyes, complaining to her of their lack of sleep. Beads of perspiration ran down her face. Her hair, which she had just recently dyed back to its natural brown color, was matted to her head with dampness, even though it was now December.
Shawna turned on the cold water, then splashed some of it on her face. As soon as she instinctively closed her eyes to keep the water out of them, she could see that sheeted figure again, screaming with a pain that no human being was ever meant to feel.
Shawna turned off the water, then headed back into her bedroom. She looked at her alarm clock, which gave the time as 4:56 AM. The adolescent decided that she needed to go back to sleep. She switched off the light and climbed under her covers. She closed her eyes.
And saw the figure screaming.
She shot into a sitting position, reaching instinctively out to her bed table, closing her hand over the cool, leather cover of her Bible. Hugging it close to her, she whispered, tears building in her eyes, “Why, Lord? Why?” Then she wept bitterly.
I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been busy on the publishing front. Aside from Book Four (I am literally just waiting for the layout of the cover and it’s ready to go to press), I’ve been setting up a special anthology.
As many of you know, my mother passed away in August of this year. What you also may know is that she didn’t have life insurance. I have set up a GoFundMe page to help. I remembered that my mother liked mystery television shows and true crime shows and had the idea to put together an anthology to raise money for it, as well. I mentioned it to some of my author friends from across the country and even in Canada and they delivered. The book will have murder mysteries as a theme and will be available in ebook form before the end of December. Here’s the cover, set up by my dear friend, TW Johnson, and featuring artwork by my cousin, Andrew Allen: