Category Archives: Book Updates

I’m Tuckered Out

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Viewership is down today, but nothing much I could do about it. I had a special assignment for Chalcedon: write a 2,000-word article on the Bell Mountain books, how I came to write them, what I’ve learned in doing it, and so on. That’s a lot of words to write about yourself! Anyway, it’s done, and will appear in The Chalcedon Report by and by.

The iguana in this picture looks astoundingly like mine, except more of his spines are worn away. He insisted on sleeping on a perch he had when he was a fifth of his current size, and threw a sulk when I replaced it with a bigger one. I had to put the old perch back. Then he’d sleep on the new one, with his tail draped over the old.


Upping the Prize

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Only three days left in our First Annual Christmas Carol Contest, and there’s hardly anybody here today, you could hear a pin drop. All getting read for Christmas, I guess.

Hmmm… What will happen if I upgrade the prize? Say, a sackful of gold coins worth at least $20,000–winner take all!

Or… You could ask for an autographed copy of The Temptation, as soon as it’s published (which really shouldn’t be long now: unless those are famous last words).

I don’t know where I’ll get $20,000 worth of gold coins, but I can worry about that later. Like, when the first lawsuit comes in…


Chalcedon’s Move into Christian Fiction (Video)

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In 2013 Chalcedon’s vice-president, Martin Selbrede, explained our move into fiction–after a long history of publishing works on theology and Christian analysis of society and culture.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/videos/christian-use-of-fiction

As exemplified by Our Lord Jesus Christ’s parables, fiction is “a vehicle for conveying ideas” and showing how Christian principles play out in real life, often accompanied by spiritual and personal conflict: “If there is no friction, there is no fiction,” Martin says, and he’s right. And that, of course, is the difference between a story and a sermon.

“We waited 45 years before we turned to fiction,” so as to lay a strong theological foundation for everything published by Chalcedon. We didn’t want mediocre fiction built on weak theology.

It was time to move into fiction, Martin says, because with fiction, “You can suddenly get people thinking.”

Martin has written a Christian novel, Hidden in Plain Sight, which explores the nature of reality; and we also have my Bell Mountain fantasy novels, with ten of them in print so far and No. 11, The Temptation, just about ready for publication.

Well, if you’ve ever wondered why a Christian educational foundation decided to publish fiction, this will explain it for you.


Ta-Dah! Finished the Book

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Whew! I have just finished typing up Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, and sent it off to Susan–Hyena Men and all. Now all we have to do is wait for No. 11, The Temptation, to be published.

Oh–and I’ll have to address the other work that has piled up while I’ve been doing this project.

God willing, the series will continue beyond this book. I’ve provided myself with some hand-holds by which I can hoist myself into the next volume. I don’t want to call them cliff-hangers, but–well, maybe they are, at that.


My Annual Commercial

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I’ve been so busy running our Christmas Carol Contest, I totally forgot to run my annual commercial for my books. I hope I haven’t put it off till too late.

Anyway, my books make really nice Christmas presents for family and friends. Even better, if you like them, we have ten of them in print by now, with No. 11, The Temptation, coming soon.

The series starts with Bell Mountain, and if you haven’t read it yet, now’s a good time to grab it. The adventure begins with two children, Jack and Ellayne, becoming convinced that God has called them to climb a mountain that no one’s ever climbed, and to ring a bell, placed on the summit some 2,000 years ago, that will usher in the end of the world–and they don’t know a professional assassin’s on their trail, whose mission is to stop them. Nor is there anyone to help them along the way but an old hermit who may not be quite sane.

How cool is that?

All right, it is a little tacky, me advertising my own books; but I don’t know who else is gonna do it. I do know that many of you who visit this blog regularly have already read the whole series. But many of you are new here, so why not check it out? Just click “Books,” and you’ll get all the information you need.

In fact, you can order them from right here on the blog. You can buy them direct from the publisher, if you click that little shopping cart icon, or click the amazon/Kindle icon and order them from there. Easy as pie! They’re not in bookstores, though, so you’ve got to buy them online.

And now I’ve got to get No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, typed up and sent to Susan before Christmas.


Finished!

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Two cold hands and two cigars later, I have finished writing His Mercy Endureth Forever. Now all I have to do is type up three whole legal pads’ worth of manuscript and send them to Susan, my editor. But I don’t need nice weather for that.

Now that I’ve actually written it, I can look back on the climax of this story and say, “Whoa!” It’ll knock your socks off. Usually the Lord gives me these in a single dazzling flash; but this time He had me grind it out, line by line. So it sort of snuck up on me.  But the end result will prove well worth the trouble–and may it be fruitful in His service.

Today is also Patty’s birthday, she feels much better than she felt yesterday, and please, everybody, keep those prayers coming.

Oh–and I phoned Linda’s daughter, Lyn, to tell her about the book. I know Linda would have been pleased by its completion. Maybe they’ll have it up in Heaven.


Sneak Preview: ‘The Temptation’ Cover

[Editor’s Note: I have had to delete the picture because there were problems with it. I’ve asked Kirk to send it to me again. Maybe then it’ll work.]

This is Kirk DouPonce’s rough sketch for the cover of Bell Mountain No. 11, The Temptation. That’s Lord Chutt up there. I envisioned him as British actor John Nettles, who used to star in “Midsomer Murders”–but of course I couldn’t say a thing like that in the text, and I think Kirk came pretty close to the real Lord Chutt.

So here it is, something with which to rinse the nooze from our minds. Obann has its share of problems, but at least they’re not our problems.

SHOUTOUT; Can anybody see this picture?


Climax! Hooray!

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It hasn’t started raining yet, so I went outside and cranked out eight more pages of manuscript–and wrote the climax of His Mercy Endureth Forever. And anybody who saw this climax coming, my hat is off to you, big-time, because I didn’t see it until yesterday.

One more chapter, and that’s that. And then I have three whole legal pads’ worth of manuscript to type up and send to Susan, my editor.

Due to an awful lot of nasty weather, it was a real struggle for me to get this work done. But Lord Orth was right: God gave me what I needed to finish the job. To God be the glory, and may my work be fruitful in His service.

Still waiting for Kirk DouPonce’s cover art for Bell Mountain No. 11, The Temptation.

P.S.–Another hat-tip to the Ice Age cave hyena, pictured above, which plays a notable part in this story.


I See My Way Clear!

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Well, Lord Orth was right. As of today, I see my way clear to the last page of His Mercy Endureth Forever. All I need is a few more decent, sunny days in which to write it. But of course rain is forecast for the weekend.

Usually the Lord gives me the climax of a book in a dazzling flash; but if you’ve been following these updates, you know He didn’t do that, this time. I had to keep chipping away at the big block of marble until, almost without my perceiving it, the statue emerged.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for artist Kirk DouPonce’s sketch for the cover of Bell Mountain No. 11, The Temptation. When I get it, I’ll try to post it here as a kind of sneak preview–if I can manage the technology.

Well, heck, I just successfully installed the new toilet flapper, didn’t I?

 


Patty’s Blood Work

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Patty consulted with our doctor today about her blood work, and it’s so far, so good: nothing untoward in the blood. Tomorrow I have to take her to his other office for some tests: that’s where he has the equipment. Please pray there’s nothing wrong but the COPD, which we already know she has. And thank you for your prayers for this day’s hurdle: by God’s grace, she has cleared it.

I’ve been kind of worried about losing time for finishing my book, but today something extraordinary happened, when I went out to write this afternoon. It seemed to me that I could hear one of my characters, Lord Orth, saying, “Stop with the fretting, already. If the Lord our God wants you to finish this book, you’ll finish it. Trust him!” Well, I have a lot of respect for Lord Orth, and I’m inclined to listen to him. So now I feel much better about that. Just a few more warm, sunny days should be all I need.

Meanwhile, please pray those tests tomorrow lead to a successful treatment. I know that blessing is in His hands to give.


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