A few years back, Coscom Entertainment published a unique anthology about super heroes fighting zombies.  The sequel was about super heroes and werewolves.  I read Metahumans vs. Zombies and Metahumans vs. Lycanthropes and reviewed them both on Amazon and on this blog.  I was disappointed when A.P. Fuchs, the editor and publisher of Coscom, retired last year, leaving the series in limbo.  He passed the series over to J.L. MacDonald, creator of Nightcat, to continue through her publishing company, Lion’s Share Press.  I had been playing around with a character who would be tied into my Adventure Chronicles series but would continue beyond its conclusion.  So, adapting her into a super hero, I wrote a story and submitted it.  I find myself in somewhat of a dilemma, now.  I love all of the stories in the book.  And I can’t review it because I’m a contributing author.  Ugh.

But I can discuss the books on here.  So, here are my takes on the stories, in the order of appearance in the anthology:

1. “The Battery” by Sean N. Koury-I’ve gotten to know Sean online and his humor comes through in this story about a cyborg, named Bounty Hunter, who can travel to alternate earths.  My favorite part of this is when Bounty Hunter tells a child that he has been to the dimension where Batman lives and it keeps having cosmic events that rewrite history (alluding to the reboots that DC Comics keeps having).

2.  “Steam” by Steven J. Semones-A very well-written western/super hero story.  Mixed in with alien robots.

3.  “A Whole Other Animal” by Greg Mitchell-Light Sphere does battle with a robot who has been infected with lycanthropy.  Yes, a robot/werewolf.  It’s an entertaining story.  The big thing was that Light Sphere’s secret identity is Rick Castle.  Due to that being the name of the primary protagonist in my favorite weekly television program, I pictured Light Sphere being played by Nathan Fillion during the duration of the story.

4.  “I Always Wanted a Giant Robot” by Scott Story-This one plays very noir to me, with the whole story being told by the hero, Johnny Saturn, to a friend over drinks.

5.  “Othveria:  Mystery Metal” by T.W. Johnson-We’ve met Melfaxus in Johnson’s Othveria: Crisis.  Here, we get to see his heroic arch-foe, Metaegus.  Uniquely written in the present tense, the story reads like a Japanese monster show.

6.  “The Science of Evil” by Keith Gouveia-The hero, Midnight Angel, is the daughter of Satan and has to fight demons that come through a natural portal from hell that appears in her abdomen.  An interesting premise, although the villain that she fought in this story was a robot that was created by the government to help her.

7. “Eye Robot” by J.L. MacDonald-Truthfully, the story that I was waiting for.  Nightcat has to battle flying robots who are being mistaken for UFOs.

8.  “Duomo Arigatou” by yours truly-The first story that I’ve written about Seigi, a former assassin from the Waruiyatsu ninja clan who has become a Christian and vowed to spend the rest of her life fighting evil.

9.  “The Black Knights of Stonebridge” by Jim Robb-I had wondered how Robb would write a story about his medieval super hero, the Crusader, that would put him up agaist a robot.  Not only did he succeed, but he wrote an amazing story, to boot.

10.  “Robots Attack!” by Frank Dirscherl-The grandfather of indie metahumans in prose fiction, the Wraith, is back and has to fight an android that looks like a friend.

11.  “Razor Wave” by Gina Ranalli-A story about a team of metahumans having to battle a former hero.  A very emotional story..

12.  “Rage Agaist the Retcon” by Lorne Dixon-A WWII hero who has survived all these years (but aged normally). He had the most emotional ending in the Lycanthropes anthology and his story here is just as entertaining.

I truly enjoyed all of the stories in the anthology and strongly recommend the book to anybody who loves super hero fiction.  It’s available in Ebook and Paperback.

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I know that I tend to push the Kindle versions of my books. For those of you who have Nooks, I want to show you some love, too. So, I’m running a little contest. Up for grabs are two Nook copies of Klandestine Maneuvers: Book Two of the Adventure Chronicles. If you haven’t read the first one, not to fear. It’s already free.

Check out the contest below. It runs from 12 AM on 2/10/15 to 12 AM on 2/17/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Love is a Verb

UPDATE: For the record, my relationship with my wife is strong. We love each other and continue to do things to show that love for one another. In no way do I mean anything negative about Vickie in this. She is an amazing wife and I don’t know what I would do without her in my life.

I am divorced. I see that as the single, greatest failure of my life. Not just as a preacher . . . but as a person. It’s taken me a long time to see my own faults in our marriage. I was depressed over the loss of our house in St. Peters and over the death of my father. I was distant from the woman who should have been the most important person in the world to me. I was a terrible father who was impatient with my daughter and did not give her enough affection.

I can see God’s provision through the seven years since we divorced. I am remarried to a Godly woman. Is our marriage perfect? No. But we try. We will have been married for three years on February 24th. The honeymoon phase has gone. The “love feeling” has gone. How do we move forward? We look to Jesus.

Marriage is a view of Christ’s relationship with the Church. As humans, we will disappoint Him. We sin again and again. But He still loves us. Why? Because He CHOOSES to do so. He promises us that He will never leave or forsake us, no matter how much we fail.

We, as spouses, must view our marriages similarly. We will do things to bother each other. We will fail to do all of the laundry, or pick up our socks. We will say the wrong things or get impatien with a spouse who is over-affectionate. We say things to each other that tear each other down. We may have to learn to speak a whole new love language to feel loved by our spouses. But we must continue on. We made a covenant with each other and the Lord that we mustn’t break.

So, before having the affair . . . before simply leaving your spouse to have a short-lived “peace” . . . consider dropping to your knees and begging the God who would never leave you to give you a love for your spouse like the one that He has for you. An active love.

A choice.

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Just a Short Update

I just wanted to drop in and let everyone know that I’m still alive. I’ve been trying to do something marketing related at least once a day for a month. I started on January 18, so that the thirty-one days will be up before my wedding anniversary.

I’m doing a download push for Invasion of the Ninja from February 2 through February 7. Beyond that, the other two volumes will go back to their regular prices. Klandestine Maneuvers will be going to 1.99 and Gateway to Thera will be 2.99. So grab them while you can still get the on the cheap.

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My History With the Bible

We had a guest speaker in Sunday School last Sunday who talked about how he worked through the Bible. It made me look back over my history with God’s Word.

The first time that I willingly read the Bible was when I was in “Introduction to Old Testament Literature” at Three Rivers Community College. I was twenty. Taught by the incredibly entertaining Carol Lewis, it was intended to be a literature course. Fortunately, the professor was a conservative Christian, so I wasn’t poisoned by a professor who wanted to use her position to warp our view of the Holy Scriptures.

The next semester, I took “Introduction to New Testament Literature.” Also intended as a literature course, it was taught by the amazing Judy Scott, also a Christian. She even had the pastor of her church come in and give a lecture about Paul the Apostle.

For these classes, I was told that we had to use a version of the Bible that was written in more modern English. I chose the New International Version and the copy that I bought at Hastings, in Poplar Bluff, MO, stayed with me throughout my time at SMSU in Springfield, MO.

I started willingly going to church when I was twenty-one, during my time in the New Testament class. I was converted to Christ during my time at the First Assembly of God in Ellsinore, MO. I can remember our pastor, Phil Tanner, challenging us to read one chapter of the Bible every day, along with praying every day. I took this to heart and really started reading it for more than classroom study.
And the Word changed me.

I had spent most of my life as a liberal. I believed in abortion on demand, homosexuality. Prayer didn’t belong in schools.

But the Holy Spirit changed that, using the Word of God. I realized that a woman’s “right to choose” shouldn’t trump the life of the precious being that was growing inside of her. I realized that God set up the definition of love and marriage and that He, in His infinite wisdom, had created Man and Woman for each other.

I finished my first read-through of the Bible when I was twenty-three. I just started over immediately after that. I didn’t read it straight through, however. The first time I read it, I started with Revelation. I’ve heard it said that you should start with the Gospel of John. I’d agree.

With the release of the new version of the NIV to include gender-inclusive pronouns (when the original manuscripts were NOT gender-inclusive), I switched to the New King James Version. I still have my copy of that version, the MacArthur Study Bible. I find the commentary helpful, but I discovered that two very important verses contradict each other. Without going into detail, compare Galatians 3:16 with Genesis 12:7. These two should both refer to the promise of Abraham’s offspring in the singular, as it refers to Christ. If they do not agree with one another, I won’t use that version of the Bible for study.

My Minister’s Bible is a Holman Christian Standard. As of now, my preferred version for study is the English Standard Version. I love the beautiful language. My ESV Study Bible, which weighs about forty pounds (I’m exaggerating, though not much), looks worn. I have so many bibles on my Kindle, but I always go back to my Study Bible.


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Review of The Black Stiletto: Endings and Beginnings

Well, the final book in the The Black Stiletto series dropped to $1.99 for the Kindle version, so I snatched it up. As I mentioned on my review of the fourth book, we were left on a cliffhanger. I have to say that this is the best book since the first one. It tied up all loose ends nicely and gave us an emotional ending to the series.

***********WARNING! SPOILERS!!!***********

The final year of the Black Stiletto’s career deals with her helping to finish off a criminal empire in L.A., carry her son (Martin) to term, clear her name as the murderer of her ex-boyfriend’s wife, and beat the snot out of the woman who was impersonating her. We also see her son have to deal with his mother’s ghosts and her pending death at the hands of Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, her grandaughter finds herself having to don her grandmother’s famous costume to defeat a villain from her mother’s past. We even see Judy work out whether or not to abort her baby, considering the father. She ultimately makes the right choice and goes on to be an amazing mother.

As the story ended, I found myself realizing that I was going to miss Judy Cooper. I would have loved to have seen the series continue in the present with her granddaughter. Though we got to see her put on the costume, it’s clear that she won’t be continuing as the “new” Black Stiletto.

As with the other books, this book is NOT for children. Swear words abound. Unmarried people have sex. In any case, this was an awesome read and a fitting end to this series.

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Coming in 2015

Looking back on 2014, I’ve been pleased by what’s been accomplished. This year, I presented at my first comic convention (where I made many new friends). I released two new books and had a short story published in an anthology. I accomplished more than I’d hoped. Here are the things that I hope to accomplish in the next year:

1. I’ve been slacking in keeping up with this blog. I’m going to go back to, at least, one post a week.
2. I intend to shoot for the next two volumes of the Adventure Chronicles series. I’m hoping to get to BOOK SIX by the beginning of 2016.

3. I’m going to be releasing a short story, by the April Cape Comic-Con, that takes place between Book’s Three and Four.

4. Taking a page from TW Johnson, I’m going to be releasing a short story collection with Seigi by the end of the year. I have a novel planned, but I have to finish the sixth volume of the Adventure Chronicles first, as that is going to tell her origin.

Thank you so much for sticking with me. I appreciate all of my readers. May Christ light your way in the coming year and beyond.

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