Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Friday, December 21, 2012

One Suspect at a Time


Hey, the best private eyes are great because they eliminate the suspects until the only one left must be guilty. That’s what attracted me to the goth girl. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between her and the victim, but hey, a private eye goth. It works. Just think how simple it is for her to go undercover. Not that anyone but another goth would want to go under the covers with her, but hey, she’s a crack shot of a goth. I found out the hard way when I hired her to track down Effie’s rocks. It’s not like they were Marshall Fields quality, but hey, the Queen of England gave them to her so they had a certain sentimental value, if you catch my drift.

We told the insurance people the diamonds were real. They didn’t believe us until we showed our adjuster the letter from her majesty. But hey, goth girl shot Quick Louie, the dog fighter. She took him out with one shot. Between the eyes.  At forty feet. He didn’t have the jewels, but hey, he wasn’t the guy that stole them anyway. She shot Frimgroin next. Yeah that one. Cubs didn’t need him anyway, but hey, they were going to trade him to the Yankees until the goth girl shot that other rookie, Midgerot.

I’m not worried about the jewels anymore. Not with goth girl on the case. But hey, like I said, “One suspect at a time.”
 
Links to my novels

Click here for Fulfillment.

Click here for Hags

Purchase the paperback versions on my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Noir Loss


The queen wobbled when Lannigan banged against the walnut bookcase. The detective hit the beige ceramic tile floor first followed by the clear birch chess piece. Her majesty rolled several feet into the darkening pool emanating from Lannigan’s midsection. In a futile, final attempt at survival, Lannigan raised his Glock, lacked the strength to fire or aim, and dropped his arm to the floor. The gun barked once from the impact, disposing of her highness as splinters scattered in a cloud before settling into a rubicund rivulet.

Across the room, the rotund creature exposed two extra-long upper fangs while forming its vile mouth into something resembling a human smile. The thing shrugged its pointed shoulders once before flying through the penthouse window in search of a more compliant midnight snack.  

Links to my novels

Click here for Fulfillment.

Click here for Hags

Purchase the paperback versions on my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fire at Will


What to do next I could not tell. But I knew I would act and act I did. I fired at Will. Closed my eyes first. Bad idea. Missed. But the long-fanged villain backed up two feet anyway. I fired again. Will laughed. I hit him in mid chest that time. He raised his black cape and swooped in my direction. I fired again. He was so close I couldn’t miss. The lignum vitae bullet this time.

Links to my novels

Click here for Fulfillment.

Click here for Hags

Purchase the paperback versions on my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Precious Children

Today, my heart goes out to my grandson, a precious Kindergarten student.

I think how precious are our children, not just to us within our families, but to our President, our other leaders, our friends and our neighbors.

Through the sadness, I thought of a song by Emmy Lou Harris that reminds us how precious are the children.

How could anyone take them away?

I trust that Emmy Lou Harris won’t mind if I share the first verse of her song with you. It touches the heart of this tragedy on the mothers of those children:

"Those lives were mine to love and cherish
To guard and guide along life’s way
Oh God forbid that one should perish
That one alas should go astray."

Today, we are all “lonesome for those precious children.” Let this song touch your heart. Let it help the tears of mourning flow. May it bring you closer to the precious children in your life. Click here to listen. 

Links to my novels

Click here for Fulfillment.

Click here for Hags

Purchase the paperback versions on my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Building Suspense in a Familiar Story




How do you build suspense in a modern retelling of a 2,000-year-old story? Let's talk.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Inns in Ancient Palestine




Let's talk about the different kinds of inns that existed in ancient Palestine in the first century. And we'll see how the inn used as a setting in Fulfillment compares.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Did Joseph and Mary Live in Poverty?




Today, I talk about my theory that Joseph and Mary did not live in poverty. I base this on Joseph’s career as a “carpenter” which equates more to a modern “general contractor.” Joseph would have been an established professional before marrying Mary through his role in the community.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Did Mary Know How to Read?




Let's talk about why Mary can read in Fulfillment, my version of the first Christmas.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Superstition in Fulfillment




Today I talk about why I wrote the character of Mary’s mother as a superstitious person in Fulfillment, my version of the Christmas story.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How Old Were Zechariah and Elizabeth?




My video today covers why I made the characters Zechariah and Elizabeth so old in Fulfillment, my version of the Christmas story.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Suspend Your Disbelief Just This Once





Today, I talk about how it's important to set aside your vision of the original Christmas story to make it easier to get into Fulfillment. Use your "willing suspension of disbelief" to make this story come alive as a scary suspense. 

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Friday, December 7, 2012

How Old Was Joseph?




How old do you think Joseph was in the original Christmas story? Today, I talk about why I made Joseph a young man in my novel Fulfillment, rather than the old man of legend.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

An ex-con is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Old Was Mary?




Today's video is about my character Mary and why she is so young at the beginning of Fulfillment, my novel of the Christmas story.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

An ex-con is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Was Mary Like?





In today's video I describe my character Mary in Fulfillment, my version of the Christmas story. I see Joseph and Mary as one of the great love stories of all time. What do you think?

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

An ex-con is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Visiting the First Century




Today's video is about the research process I used for writing Fulfillment, my suspense novel of the first Christmas.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.

One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.

An ex-con is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What Was Satan Thinking About?


 

This holiday season I'm repeating a series of videos I produced last year to introduce readers to my Christmas novel, Fulfillment. In today's video, I explain my thinking behind the writing of my suspense novel of the first Christmas. What was Satan thinking about while God was going about the business of sending his son to save the world? Since Jesus is too tough for him to take on, he decides to kill the mother. And therein lies the tale.

Scary Reads for Christmas
Click here to download a copy of my top 50 Amazon suspense novel Fulfillment for your Kindle.
One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.”

Click here to download a copy of my top 40 Amazon horror novel Hags for your Kindle.
An ex-con is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and hags as evil as any from the middle ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes a victim? Set in Naperville, Illinois.

Both ebooks are only $2.99 each.

Paperbacks make the perfect gift. Visit my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Allow Me to Introduce Myself


Fulfillment is the first novel I published but not the first one I’ve written. I’ve written five novels so far and you’ll be seeing more of my work in the coming years. I also am the author of two nonfiction books as well as a book of short “solve-it-yourself” mystery stories. Three of my short works of fiction are available on Amazon.com and other outlets.

And I’m no beginner. Writing is not something I just decided to do one day. I have a degree in English Literature and have served as a professional writer for more than 30 years. I was first paid for my writing as a journalist working as a “stringer” for a daily newspaper in suburban Philadelphia beginning my senior year of college.

I have been writing for businesses for decades creating newsletters, websites, brochures, press releases and the other marketing and communications materials companies need. I have written hundreds of scripts for industrial videos. I’ve worked on writing and marketing projects with more than 60 of the Fortune 500 companies plus hundreds of mid-size and smaller companies.

I also write videos for a major university that has achieved successful billion-dollar fund raising campaigns – not once, but twice – two multibillion dollar fund raisers – with my help as a script writer. This same university commissioned me to write a stage play honoring the 125th anniversary of their alumni association.

My entry into the world of fiction is a logical next move. I didn’t take this step lightly. Before releasing Fulfillment, it went through 16 drafts. It was vetted by members of two writing groups and several first readers.

Despite my long and successful career earning my living as a professional writer, I took the time to learn the craft of writing fiction and the time to hone my skills so that the book you will be reading is of the highest caliber.

During the past few years, I led two writer’s groups – one online and one that meets in person. Not only have I developed my skills as a fiction writer, but I also have helped other writers develop their craft, some of whom you’ll be hearing from in the near future as they present their work to the public.

Download Fulfillment free today for your Kindle
Click here to download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle. If you prefer, you may purchase the paperback version on the same Amazon page. The paperback "buy" link is below the book cover image. And you may click on the book cover to read a section of the novel for free before you download your copy. That's always a good idea to see if you like the novel before downloading it.

See all of my Amazon books by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Read Fulfillment Now?


Fulfillment tells the age old story of the birth of Christ in a new way for a modern audience. Whether you attend church every Sunday and know the Christmas story by heart… or you never heard the story before… you’ll love Fulfillment.

You’ll enjoy experiencing the birth of Jesus in a new way that breathes life into the story. When people talk about the great love stories in literature, they rarely mention Joseph and Mary. Yet theirs is one of the most endearing love stories of all time. Think of Mary, betrothed to Joseph and then an apparent tragedy – Mary becomes pregnant. Joseph knows he isn’t the father. Mary must have cheated on him, right? What should he do? What would you do? How should Joseph respond to what he thinks is Mary’s betrayal?

You’ll marvel at Mary’s courage and the way she grows from a young teen into a woman ready to take on Satan to protect the child in her womb. You’ll wonder at her faith while the people around her call her a liar and worse.

You’ll laugh and cry through the events of Bethlehem, especially the adventure as seen through the eyes of the shepherds. And you’ll feel Mary’s terror as she deals with the ultimate evil bent on destroying her and her child.

At this point you may also be wondering about who I am to be writing such a story. Visit this blog tomorrow for the answer.

Download Fulfillment free today for your Kindle
Click here to download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle. If you prefer, you may purchase the paperback version on the same Amazon page. The paperback "buy" link is below the book cover image. And you may click on the book cover to read a section of the novel for free before you download your copy. That's always a good idea to see if you like the novel before downloading it.

See all of my Amazon books by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Christmas Story As Never Told Before


The Christmas story appears in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in the Bible. As proper and fitting for scripture, the gospel writers deal with the birth of Christ in solemn, reverent terms.

And you may have seen some of the movies or read novels that depict the birth of Christ. They, too, treat the subject with awe and reverence. The only trouble is, when you hold Mary and Joseph in a high state of reverence, you lose sight of who they really were. As a result they often appear as flat characters with little or no more personality than a plaster statue.

Fulfillment will change the way you think about the first Christmas
My novel Fulfillment changes everything. I wrote the story by asking, “What was Satan up to while God was going about the business of sending his son to save the world?”

In my story, Satan sets out to stop the birth of Christ. Since Jesus is too powerful to take on directly, he decides to kill the mother before Jesus is born.

Of course you know how the story ends. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The suspense, horror and awe in my novel occur on the journey along the way.

If the idea of Satan hungering for your soul doesn’t keep you awake at night, read Fulfillment. It will.

Download Fulfillment free today for your Kindle
Click here to download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle. If you prefer, you may purchase the paperback version on the same Amazon page. The paperback "buy" link is below the book cover image. And you may click on the book cover to read a section of the novel for free before you download your copy. That's always a good idea to see if you like the novel before downloading it.

See all of my Amazon books by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What does an unwed pregnant teenager say to her father?


The Christmas Story As Never Told Before

Like many others, you may be curious about what life was like for Mary, Joseph and the other people mentioned in the Christmas story. What did Mary say to her parents when she became pregnant with Jesus? How did her parents react?

What was it like for Joseph to be told his fiance was pregnant when he thought she was a virgin? How did it make him feel? He was in love with her and then she announced she was to have a baby.

Did anyone believe Mary when she said that God himself was the baby’s father? Or did her friends and family accuse her of blasphemy?

We may never know exactly what Mary said or did when she became pregnant other than what you can read in the Gospel account. But if we keep in mind that she was a real person, not a plaster saint, but flesh and blood, then you can begin to imagine that she wasn’t much different than any modern teenager. Can you imagine Mary after the angel’s visit as it sinks in that she is pregnant and unmarried? What will she say to her mother? How will her dad react? And remember, first century rules apply, including a death sentence for women who commit the sin of fornication.

While we’re on the subject of Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ, what do you suppose Satan was thinking about when he found out God chose Mary to become the mother of Jesus?

Free Fulfillment - for 5 days only beginning today
Click here to download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle starting today and running through Saturday, December 1st. If you prefer, you may purchase the paperback version on the same Amazon page. The paperback "buy" link is below the book cover image. And you may click on the book cover to read a section of the novel for free before you download your copy. That's always a good idea to see if you like the novel before downloading it.

See all of my Amazon books by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Holiday Giveaway


My holiday gift to you really is a Christmas present this year. For five days beginning tomorrow, November 27th, 2012, you may download a free copy of the Kindle version of Fulfillment, my novel of the first Christmas.

Fulfillment will change the way you think about the first Christmas. One of my Amazon reviewers called it “… the most unique version of the Christian Nativity story ever written.” So far, it’s received one five-star and two four-star reviews. (For my Christmas present, I’m hoping Santa… and you… enjoy Fulfillment enough to give it a five-star review on Amazon.)

I wrote Fulfillment by first asking: What was Satan up to while God was going about the business of sending his son to save the world?

In my story, Satan sets out to stop the birth of Christ. Since Jesus is too powerful to take on directly, Satan decides to kill the mother before Jesus is born. Of course you know how the story ends. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The suspense, horror and awe in my novel occur on the journey. If the idea of Satan hungering for your soul doesn’t keep you awake at night, read Fulfillment. It will.

Free Fulfillment - for 5 days only beginning tomorrow
Click here to download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle starting tomorrow, November 27th and running through Saturday, December 1st. You may purchase the paperback version on the same Amazon page. The paperback "buy" link is below the book cover image. And you may click on the book cover to read a section of the novel for free before you download your copy. That's always a good idea to see if you like the novel before downloading it.

And if you can't wait that long, it's only a couple of bucks on my Amazon Author Page. See all of my Amazon books by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crone


New to this series? Read from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
“I have been waiting for you two,” cackled the crone in Greek, but with an accent hinting of ancient days. “You are one of the king’s guards. I know the king. I have told his fortune many times. But you are not here for me to read your fortune. And your friend is troublemaker for Rome. And clinging to you both, I see old fiends. You best leave now or your fortunes are at an end.”

“You tried to make a fool of our great king.” Bezalel drew his sword.

“He cheated me out of my fair payment. A few miserly coins for his fortune. Did I ask so much that he should cheat me?” The woman shooed several shadows out of her way.

“Don’t try any of your spell casting with us, woman.” Hillalel held his cloak out in front of him as if it could offer protection from a fiendish curse.

“You lied to your king,” said the military man.

“No. I told your king the truth. One arises to rule in his place. Mighty Rome shakes. Listen! He comes and Herod will be no more. ‘Kill the child,’ I told Herod. For this he throws me out. I sought refuge in the wilderness. ‘Give this child life?’ I asked the ruler of darkness. ‘No! Die! She must die’ he answered. To this place I come to find the one the holy one blesses.”

“Find who, you old witch? You’re not making sense.” Bezalel stepped closer to the hag.

“She who will be chosen to carry the king. She it is who must die.”

“Stop your nonsense.” shouted the traveler. “You cheated the king. His fortune is good, not evil like you.”

“For this, you die, woman.” Bezalel raised his sword.

“Kill me and one of you dies now. The other seeks death later, yet death refuses him.”

***
This completes To Dwell Among Us.Thanks for taking time to read it.

Free Fulfillment - save the date
Download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle starting this Tuesday, November 27th.

And if you can't wait that long, it's only a couple of bucks on my Amazon Author Page. See all of my Amazon books by clicking here.

Need a Kindle? Download the free version of the Kindle reader for your computer, tablet or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
Enjoy this blog post? Please share it with your friends by clicking the social media buttons below.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Travelers in the North Country


New to this series? Read from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
When the short, plump innkeeper opened the door, a thin man of medium height pushed his way in. The innkeeper attempted to close the door behind the rover, but a rush of raw spirit forced him back. An aroma of burned sulfur filled his nostrils. The hair on the back of his neck rose.

The innkeeper sought his voice. His mouth and jaw moved up and down, but nothing came out. He swallowed hard and found a weak, faded and stammering voice. “Do you wish food, wine, and a place to sleep? For these you must have coins.” He spoke in Greek tainted with bits of the Aramaic common to the townsfolk.

The gray cat at the innkeeper’s feet noticed the black demons drenched in brimstone. It stood with its hackles up and screeched. The innkeeper kicked the cat, and finding his normal voice, said to it, “Here, you, what’s this?”

The traveler reached into his cloak and pulled coins from a purse revealing a long knife tucked into his belt as he did so. He dropped a few coins in the innkeeper’s hands.

“These will do. Welcome, stranger, and eat. Follow me. Here is a place for you at table. Don’t mind the cat.”

The man checked the spot where the innkeeper indicated. Other travelers filled the table. A blind man wore rags so must have had a good day’s begging to afford a night of comfort. Another had but one leg and a stick nearby to lean upon. A third leaned his head on his hand and slept while two flies buzzed between his cup and a half empty plate. The traveler ignored the others at the table and strode off towards a man staring out the latticework window. That man wore a coarse cloth and leather outfit with a short skirt. His hand rested on the hilt of a sword.

“As you wish, sir,” called the innkeeper to the traveler. Nodding towards the man by the window, the innkeeper said, “He is of the king’s guard over there. A quiet man. You two are well met.”

The innkeeper shook his head as he turned towards the kitchen. He lifted one of the coins to his mouth and bit into it.

Across the room, the traveler addressed the military man in Latin-stained Aramaic. “She is here.”

The spirits gathered about the two men, some hanging from the ceiling, some crawling like roaches on the floor. The cat backed away from the specters towards the warmth of the kitchen.

The military man sniffed the air and winced at the pungent odor that followed the traveler. “She has been busy in the marketplace. We should act tonight,” he replied.

“You have your sword.”

“Herod said to wait for you. When he says ‘wait,’ I wait. When he says ‘act,’ I act. Let us act before the storm worsens.”

“Let’s eat. The road was long today. Uphill. Why this infernal town of all places?”

“She is here, Hillalel.”

“You are a simple man, Bezalel. I on the other hand am a hungry one. A bit of wine, some cheese, bread and a warm hearth. She’ll still be around in the morning.”

The dark fiends leapt upon the two men, with half digging their claws into their brains, while the others sank tentacles into their hearts, each encouraging the men on their journey.

“I feel twitchy. Shouldn’t we be about our business?” Bezalel scratched at his back.

“This place has an air about it. I don’t like it here. I feel... well, you are right, Bezalel. Let’s go.” Turning to leave, Hillalel shouted, “Innkeeper.”

The innkeeper came running. He could not see the black demons infesting the men, but he shook in their presence and stuttered. “Yes, sir, your food is prepared. The girl brings a hot stew, see?”

“Hold the food and wine” Hillalel waved off the innkeeper.

The two men trudged out, dragging with them an invisible army of evil clutching with their claws and tentacles.

“She is down this way,” said Bezalel.

“Yes, I know.”
***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Big Ears


New to this series? Read from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
On the way home from Sarah’s house, Mary stopped in the road and tugged Mother’s arm. “Papa’s coming.”

“Why is his face set so hard?” Mother folded her arms across her bosom and waited.

Mary gulped. I should not have let Joseph kiss me, but we are engaged. It is permitted. Why is Papa angry? When he came closer, Mary realized Papa was sad, not angry.

“What is wrong?” Mother asked.

Papa sighed. He stared at Mary before turning his watery eyes away.

Mary grabbed hold of Papa’s arm. “What is it?”

Papa turned back to her. “Big Ears.”

“Is he sick?”

“No, child, he is not sick. He’s been killed. I’m sorry.”

Mary buried her head in his garments.

“What happened to him?” Mother asked.

Papa hugged his daughter. “I found him this morning in the field behind our house. He had been attacked by something.”

“What something?” Mother asked. “You mean a wild animal?”

Papa shook his head. “A powerful animal tore him apart. It’s up in those hills. I must tell the elders.”

“What could it be?” Mary pulled back from Papa.

“I don’t know,” Papa said.
***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Conspiracy of Mothers

New to this series? Read from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
Mary stared at the marriage bed. She turned to face Joseph. On the wall behind Joseph, Mary spotted wood supports for shelving.

“Hello, Joseph.” Mary folded her hands.

“Hi! What are you doing here?”

“Mother and I are visiting Sarah.”

“Oh.” Joseph dropped his carpenter’s plane.

“What does Sarah plan to do with shelves in her marriage room?”

Joseph bent down to pick up his plane. “I have no idea.”

Mary waved an arm in the direction of the shelves. “Was this a conspiracy to bring us together?”

Joseph rose to full height. “Perhaps.”

“Are you glad to see me?”

Joseph smiled. “Yes.”

“Good, because I’m happy to see you, too.” Mary ambled to Joseph and put her arms around his neck. “Soon we shall have our own marriage bed.”

“Yes.” Joseph kissed her lips gently. He then placed his hands on her shoulders and stepped back. “I can hardly wait, yet we will wait, won’t we?”

“Of course, darling.”

“It is a long time for the wedding celebration.”

“That’s because I am so young. If I were even a year older, Papa would permit us to marry right away.”

“Yes, you are my young love.”

“When my next birthday comes, you can speak to Papa about setting the date.”

“Your papa is a good man. He wants the best for you.”

“And you are the best for me, my Joseph, you wonderful carpenter, you.” Mary took Joseph’s hand and swung his arm leading him across the room towards the marriage bed. She sat on the blanketed bed and pulled him down to sit by her side. “Sarah told me to find a place to sit in this room. Here is a good spot. Here we can talk if you like.”

“I have my work, Mary.”

“Then work if you like, and I will watch, but first you have to kiss me.”

Joseph leaned over and kissed Mary. She put her arms around his neck. Joseph took Mary’s wrists into his huge carpenter’s hands and lowered them to her lap. He stood, smiled at her and returned to work. Mary looked on until her mother came for her.

***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Visitors


New to this series? Read from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
Mary and Mother held their skirts up as they trudged along the muddy road. Mary kept an eye towards the hills and byways for Big Ears, but spotted no sign of the missing dog. As they approached Sarah’s home, she clapped her hands at the site of several large pieces of lumber leaning against the front of the house and a familiar little donkey tied to a good sized rock on the ground.

Mother’s friend Sarah greeted them at the doorway and invited them into the main room of the little home. “Sit here, friends.”

Mother sat on the cushion offered to her, while Mary gaped at the covered doorway that led into another room.

“Do you not wish to sit, Mary?” Sarah asked.

Mary turned away from the closed door. “I’m sorry, what did you ask?”

“Mary!” Mother’s hands flew to her hips. “Why aren’t you listening to Sarah?”

“I’m sorry, Mother. Excuse me, Sarah, for not paying attention.”

Sarah smiled. “Would you prefer a seat in another room, Mary?”

Mary’s eyes lit up. “Mother, do you think it would be permissible?”

“Permissible? Of course, my dear. If Sarah says you are to sit in another room, it is her home, is it not? Who am I to contradict our hostess? Go in peace, child.”

Mother and Sarah laughed as a red-faced Mary ran over to the cloth covered opening. She peeked back at Mother and Sarah. Both women waved their hands to motion her into the room. Mary shrugged her shoulders, smiled, skipped once, remembered to be formal, and disappeared into the next room.

In one corner of the room, a large bed poked out from under a shroud. Mary turned beat red when she realized she was in Sarah and Alexander’s marriage room. On the other side of the room, Joseph smiled at her.

***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Storm Brewing

New to this series? Read from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
Mother wiped the dishes. “Where’s your plate, Mary?”

“I must have dropped it with the food. May I take Big Ears to live with me, Mother?”

“Mary, you’re such a child. Joseph may not want a dog to feed. He wants a wife, not a pet.”

“It wouldn’t hurt to ask him. I think he likes dogs.”

“How would you know?”

“I hope he likes dogs. I will miss Big Ears if I can’t take him with me.”

“You’re not planning to take me along with you, too, are you?”

“Oh, Mother, of course not. You’re too old, and besides, Papa needs you here.”

“Thanks a lot, pal. Perhaps Papa needs Big Ears. Somebody has to eat the scraps and I suppose lick the plates if you don’t run outside this instant and retrieve that dish.”

“Yes, Mother. Where is Papa, anyway?”

“He’s sleeping. He’s had a rough day and needs his rest. He’s not as young as he used to be. So you’ll be quiet, won’t you, dear?”

“As you wish, Mother.”

Mary headed for the back door of the cottage, but stopped when a loud rush of wind exploded and the cooking fire flared with a whoosh.

“Mother, what was that?”

“It’s a storm brewing, child. We could use the rain.”

“Didn’t sound like any wind I ever heard.”

“The things you think about. Get the plate, now.”

Mary returned to the yard and grabbed the dish. A giant moonlit shadow crossed the stone wall behind her house. Mary gasped and ran inside.

“Big Ears never came for his supper. Do you suppose something could have happened to him?” Mary handed the place to Mother.

Mother patted Mary’s head. “Don’t be a worry-wart, child. He’s probably visiting his fiancĂ©e. Dogs get married, too, sometimes.”

Mary’s stomped her foot. “No they don’t. They pretend they’re married and make puppies.”

Mother raised her eyes. “Mary!”

“Well, it’s true.” Mary’s hands flew to her hips.

“You’re far too young to talk about such things.”

Mary grabbed a cloth to dry the dishes. “I’m engaged. I have to know about these things.”

“I suppose, but you’re still a little girl to me.”

“Mother.” Mary’s right fist dropped to her hip.

“I know, dear. Time flies on eagle’s wings while here below, we just get older.”

Mary sighed and raised her eyes to the ceiling. “I’m going to my room now.”

“Give your mother a kiss first.”

“Yes, Mother, I will.”

***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Download a free copy of my Christmas novel, Fulfillment, for your Kindle starting on Tuesday, November 27th. That's the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Hill Country – Six Months Later


New to this series? You may begin reading from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
Mary’s face reddened, her eyes flared, but she kept her voice polite, submissive and with a hint of sarcasm. “Yes, Mother. I will, Mother.” She pushed the vegetable skins, leftover scraps of bones and the crumbs of bread from the new wooden eating table onto a plate. She took them into the yard in back of the family cottage and dumped them on the ground.

“Big Ears! Come eat your supper.” Mary listened. Her skin crawled. Her eyes widened. She hunched her shoulders withdrawing into herself as she took in the gathering darkness. The burning stench of rotting fear crept up her nose dragging panic close behind.

“Big Ears!” A loud whoosh passed close behind her, rustling her skirt. She suppressed an urge to cry out, speaking instead a soft, “Oh.”

She turned around. In the distance beyond the village, the hills disappeared into the blackness of night.

“Big Ears!” she cried again, this time toward the hills behind her village home.

The response made her shake and almost lose her balance. It must be the roar of a lion, but no lions roam the hills nowadays. A wolf or a leopard? But wolves do not roar, do they? Must be a leopard. Or a jackal. She straightened her tiny back and shivered.

Her face, which had been smiling when she came out of the house, now bore a frown. A huge dark shadow passed along a stone wall in the yard in front of her. She opened her mouth while holding back the urge to scream as long as she could. When the roar came again, she released a suppressed huh and dropped the plate on top of Big Ears’ supper. She ran inside to the safety of the glowing oil lamp and the lingering warmth radiating from a fading cooking fire.

***
To Dwell Among Us continues Monday, November 19, 2012.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Who Did He See?


New to this series? You may begin reading from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
Jaaziah raised his voice and pointed a finger to the ceiling. “Did you see our father Abraham?”

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Did you see Moses?” Jaaziah asked.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Did you see an angel?” asked Shelomoth.

Zechariah nodded.

“Ah, you met an angel, and the angel has struck you dumb?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded.

Pethahiah stepped out from the wall. “Why did the angel strike Zechariah dumb?”

Zechariah moved his hands up and down shaping the curves of a woman’s form.

“What’s he doing?” asked Mahli.

“I don’t know” Jakin shrugged.

“It’s a woman,” said Shelomoth.

“Of course it’s a woman, Shelomoth.” Jaaziah turned to Zechariah. “Was the angel a woman?”

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Aaarph,” shouted Jaaziah.

Jakin pointed a finger at Zechariah. “The angel was pointing out that you should not be found in sin with a woman.”

Zechariah shook his head no. Then he began gesturing with his arms.

“What’s he doing now?” asked Pethahiah.

“I don’t know,” said Shelomoth.

“It’s a baby,” said Jakin. “He’s holding a baby in his arms and rocking it back and forth.”

Zechariah nodded.

Mahli pumped his right fist. “Zechariah has had relations with a woman out of wedlock. She has had a baby, and for this reason, Zechariah was struck dumb.”

Zechariah shook his head no and struck Mahli several times about the head.

“Ah, at last I get it,” shouted Jaaziah. “You glimpsed a woman angel holding a baby.”

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Aagggh!” shouted Jaaziah.

“What if he heard an angel who told him about a woman holding a baby?” asked Shelomoth.

Zechariah shook his head yes.

“Who was the woman?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah pointed at himself.

“You’re a mother?” asked Jakin.

“Don’t be simple, Jakin,” said Pethahiah. “He’s not saying he’s the mother. He’s pointing to himself for another reason.”

“Is he the father?” suggested Shelomoth.

Zechariah nodded.

“You’re to become a father?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded.

“And who is to be the mother, old Elizabeth?” Jakin’s voice rose to a high pitch.

Zechariah nodded.

“You and Elizabeth are to have a baby?” asked Jaaziah. “At your age?”

The priests laughed.

Zechariah nodded.

“A boy baby or a girl baby?” Shelomoth asked.

Zechariah made a gesture with his hand.

“A boy baby,” laughed Jaaziah. “That’s good, Zechariah.” Turning to the other priests, Jaaziah repeated the gesture. “See, it will be a boy baby.” The priests laughed and began making the sign.

“But why did the angel strike you dumb?” Shelomoth asked. “A boy baby is great news if true.”

“Yes, but who would believe such a thing. Zechariah? At his age?” Mahli laughed and continued making the gesture.

“Ahhh,” said Jaaziah. “For your disbelief you have been struck dumb?”

The priests stopped laughing and gesturing and turned to Zechariah.

Zechariah nodded. He lowered his head and wept.

***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gestures


New to this series? You may begin reading from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
Jaaziah put an arm around Zechariah’s shoulders and led him into the priests’ chambers where the flame upon the lampstand waited. Zechariah handed his own oil lamp to Shelomoth and sank to the floor.

“Are you ill?” Jaaziah asked.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Then what is the matter?” Jaaziah rubbed his chin.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“You won’t tell us?” Jaaziah persisted.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“He can’t tell us” Shelomoth smiled when Zechariah shook his head yes.

“You can’t speak?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded.

“You’re shaking your head yes meaning you can speak, but you won’t. Is that correct?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“You can’t speak? Shake your head yes if you can’t speak,” said Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded, which was accompanied by a round of ahhhs from the priests gathered in a circle, and the priests, too, nodded.

“You can’t speak and you are not sick?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded.

“Something must have happened in the Holy of Holies,” said Mahli.

“Yes, of course,” said Jakin.

“Have you seen the Holy One of Israel?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Then what?” Jaaziah smacked his hands together.

“What could it be?” asked Pethahiah. “He cannot speak, yet he is not ill. He has not seen a vision.”

Zechariah grabbed Pethahiah by the robes. He pointed at Pethahiah’s mouth and shook his own head yes.

“He’s possessed.” Jakin turned away.

Uzziel grabbed Jakin by the arm. “You cannot become possessed in the Holy of Holies.”

“Then he is demented,” insisted Jakin.

“No, it is a riddle. He did not see the Holy One, but he saw a vision nonetheless,” said Jaaziah.

Zechariah pointed a long bony finger at Jaaziah, pointed a finger from his other hand at his own nose and nodded.

“Ah, he has seen a vision, and the vision was such that he was struck dumb to prevent him from revealing the vision,” said Jakin.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Aaargh,” shouted Jaaziah. “This is so frustrating. You observed a vision, is that correct?”

Zechariah nodded.

Jaaziah placed his hands on Zechariah’s shoulders. “And something happened during your vision and now you cannot speak?”

Zechariah nodded.

Jaaziah paced the room. “But you did not see the Holy One of Israel?”

Zechariah shook his head no.

Jakin raised his hand. “Did he shake his head no because he did not see the Holy One or no because he did see the Holy One?”

“Urrrrh!” Jaaziah stopped pacing. “Zechariah, shake your head no if you did not see the Holy One of Israel.”

Zechariah shook his head no.

Uzziel stretched his hands out from his side and shrugged his shoulders. “If he had seen the Holy One of Israel, he would have been struck dead, not dumb. Perhaps he has seen another spirit.”

Jaaziah slapped his hands on his hips. “Then shake your head yes if you encountered some other spirit.”

Zechariah nodded.

“Who did you see?” asked Jakin. As Zechariah pointed to his mouth and shook his head no, Jakin turned to the other priests. “Who did he see?”

***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Glow


New to this series? You may begin reading from the beginning of the story by clicking here.

***
The crowd outside the Holy of Holies paced quicker now and murmured louder than before. “What takes him so long.” Jaaziah shouted.

Jakin raised his voice to be heard. “I told you he was too old. Pethahiah agrees, don’t you?”

“You said he was too old and I concurred,” said Pethahiah. “Jaaziah, you allowed him to take his turn. What do you say of your lot now?”

Jaaziah straightened his shoulders. “I stand by it. It’s our way. If we have to wait, then we shall wait.”

“Shouldn’t we pull the rope?” asked Shelomoth. “To see if he is all right? Aren’t we supposed to yank the high priest out if he cannot come out on his own? Isn’t that what the rope is for? No one can enter until a new high priest is appointed.”

Jaaziah glared. “Where were you when Zechariah began his work? His hair was thin and gray when I was your age. Zechariah not perform his duties? Who among us are more faithful? Or more righteous?” Jaaziah took the time to stare each of the priests in the eye. “Well, is there?”

Pethahiah placed a gentle hand on Jaaziah’s shoulder and rubbed. “We don’t question his righteousness, Jaaziah. Nor do we question the righteousness of Elizabeth. No man or woman in Israel is more righteous than these two. Nor do we say, like young Shelomoth here, that he can no longer do the work. He is old. It is time for him to allow others to burn the incense. He takes him too long.”

“Look.” Shelomoth pointed at Zechariah making his way from the Holy of Holies.
Zechariah trudged along past the priests and the crowd towards the priest’s room.
Shelomoth continued pointing. “His face glows.” 

***
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