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Category Archives: Breaking News

The Homecoming Tree

In 2005 Brookwood hosted the play, “The Homecoming Tree”. The story of a 13 year old boy faced with the tragedy of his father not returning from the attack on Pearl Harbor set the stage for a powerful drama. The story centered around the Collinsworth boarding house between Thanksgiving and Christmas 1941. Since that time, I have been working hard to complete a novelization of that story. I finished the final draft of the novel today! I hope it will be available for purchase by mid November. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 when the ruthless businessman, Roy Anderson, finds himself catapulted back in time to 1941 and his memory erased. In this scene, Daniel Collinsworth has found his father’s hidden book safe containing the medal his father won and a surprise.:

Frank picked up the wax paper. He studied the dark shreds of tobacco and then lifted them to his nose. He inhaled, and a contented look came over his face. “I wouldn’t mind taking a bite or two myself. But, I promised you, mother, I would quit. That’s why I put it here in my hidden treasure box.”

Daniel’s eyes widened in surprise. “But, if you quit, why didn’t you just throw it away?”

Frank lowered the tobacco and reluctantly closed the wax paper around it. “Let’s just say I was hoping one day she might change her mind.”

“Why did she make you quit?”

Frank put the tobacco back into the book and put the papers on top of it. “Ever kiss someone who’s beenchewing tobacco?” Read the rest of this entry

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The 9th Demon Final Edit is Done!

Tonight, I completed the final edit on the next book in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles, “The 9th Demon: Time of the Cross”. Yes, I changed the name. This novel is as long as the last one and now I am entering into the final phases of book cover design and line editing (grammar check, oh fun!)

Today, I met with Luke Lee who designed my last book cover and we decided on a basic design. So, hang in there. It will be just a few more weeks and the book will be available.

Oh, for fun, here is a part of what will appear on the cover:

Oh, and for fun, here is my first stab at the “blurb” on the back of the book:

Jonathan Steel’s partner, Theo, had been kidnapped. The trail leads Steel to a mysterious island where the media mogul, David Boone, claims to have built a machine capable of taking his movie making team into the past to film the last days of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Steel must follow the team through the machine’s Portal to rescue his partner from certain death at the hands of the Ninth Demon. Where will Steel end up, in the past, or in an alternate world created by a madman? 

Jonathan Steel is Returning!

I have just finished the rough draft for the next book in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles. Tentatively it is entitled “The Ninth Demon: Cross Time”. It will still be a couple of months before I hope to get it into press but for those of you who have been waiting patiently these past two years, here is the Prologue to give you some idea of what’s going on. (Or, not!)

 

PROLOGUE

It was time to die. The man standing at the window did not want to die. But, neither did he want his two girls to die. The window looked out over a vast cavern filled with sunlight streaming in through the far opening. A transport airplane appeared in the distance, touched down on a dirt runway and pulled into the huge cavern. Workers converged on the plane like ants to honey.

“Are you ready to die?” Someone said behind him. He had not heard the man enter the room.

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I am not worthy.

I work in the darkness. I am a radiologist and in order to view the diagnostic images on my monitors, I must keep the room dark. I am surrounded continually by shadows. It is my world.

For the past few months, those shadows have slowly, inexorably moved into my world outside of work. They have slowly and quietly slipped along the floor and the walls and the ceiling with cold tendrils of blackness. The shadows have embraced me.

When I am strong; when I am attentive to the moving of God in my life, my mind, and my soul; when I pay attention to that still, small Voice; when I am seated at the foot of the cross the Light presses back the shadows. But, when I am weak; when I am troubled; when my attention is captured by the immediate and the urgent instead of the important I am distracted. I fail to look over my shoulder at the creeping darkness. I take my eyes off the Source of Life for my every breath.

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Update

2018 was supposed to be a better year.

So far, I am struggling with some serious health issues. But, God is in control and all will work out.

I’ve been busy lately with teaching “Everyday Questions” with Mark Riser at Brookwood Baptist Church. It is a small group session on how to have meaningful conversations with anyone questioning the truthfulness of the Christian faith. Also, I am presenting “What Does It Mean to Be a Human Being” this Wednesday night at 6 PM for James Patterson’s class at First Methodist Church. This exploration of the question is very important. Are we just here by chance? Or, are we made in the image of God? And, why should that be important. I will also be giving this same talk in May at our RTB Chapter meeting the third Tuesday at 630 PM.

I am working on three books to hopefully release later this year:

The 9th Demon: Crosstime

The Homecoming Tree — A novelization of my 2005 play about Shreveport at the beginning of World War II.

The Tall Tree — A semi autobiographical story based on the year of 1968 and the events that changed America.

Also, Mark Sutton and I are tentatively working on a new book.

It Wasn’t My Star Wars!

I glanced at my watch. There was no way they could wrap this story in the time left for the movie! Where was this thing going?

I must admit I was shocked at several of the turning points in the story that I never saw coming. I mean, really, that whole thing about the parents?

And, I did not want HER to like HIM at all! And yet, there was a growing attraction there I never saw coming. Really! Can’t she see his dark side will always win out over his good side?

And, abandoning the training as a Jedi to save your friends? That can never turn out well.

I wanted to scream at the screen! I wanted to rant and rave in protest. This is NOT how I would have written the story. In fact, I had written MY version of the movie in the months and months since the previous movie and I would never have done this. A different director from the first movie had taken this train down a dark and dank tunnel and taken the wrong track!

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Three Years Ago, the Laughter Ended!

It’s been three years since we lost Robin Williams and here is the post I shared on this day three years ago:

 

Granny Wendy: So… your adventures are over.

Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live… to live would be an awfully big adventure.

It was January, 1992 and I was lost and alone in Los Angeles. In looking for the hospital hosting my radiology meeting I had somehow ended up in East L.A. a most unsavory and dangerous place. In the days before GPS, I had to rely on a map and somewhere I had made a wrong turn. I said a silent prayer for safety and slowly made my way through the prostitutes and drug dealers converging on my vehicle. God was with me that day and I made it safely out of that area of the city and found my destination. At the end of the meeting that evening, I hit the interstate and headed back toward my hotel on the grounds of Disneyland. There, I would be safe and protected from the harsh world of reality I left behind. There, I would find magic. And, I desperately needed some magic in my life.

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Thanks, Daddy!

I was born on my father’s 41st birthday. I was an “oops” baby. My mother was 37 at the time and had already raised a family. My brother was 18 years older than me. My older sister was 15 years older than me. And, my younger sister was only ten years older than me. But, my parents were convinced they were done building their family. My mother was convinced she was going through the “change in life”. In a way, she was!

My father would have been 103 years old on June 13th. He almost made it. He passed away at the age of 98 after a fall from his scooter. He fell asleep waiting for someone he was concerned about. He wanted to escort her out to her car and see that she made it safely. Concerned about her safety and not his own, he fell asleep and tumbled off his scooter. A week later he was dead from swelling of the brain from what is called “the walking dead” syndrome of brain trauma.

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A Day That Will Live In Infamy

I just ordered my proof copy of “Death By Darwin”. Soon, you will be able to get your hands on my next book. By December 15th, the ebook will be available and hopefully, the printed version. More on that soon.

My mother and father in downtown Shreveport during World War II

My mother and father in downtown Shreveport during World War II

But, today, I want to focus on what took place on this day 75 years ago. Yes, December 7 1941 is a day that will live in “infamy”. In 2005 our drama group at Brookwood Baptist Church performed my last written play, “The Homecoming Tree”. The play was set in the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas 1941. I based the story on my parents’ experiences living in Shreveport, Louisiana during World War II. The play has a very special place in my heart and I have rewritten it over the past 11 years. I am now working on the conversion of the play to a novel.

My hopes are to see the play performed again in its new form and also to possibly add musical numbers to the play. But, for now, I am settling for finishing up the novel. Today, in the honor of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the brave men and women who died that day and the Generation that took upon themselves to defeat the greatest evil in modern history I want to post an excerpt from my upcoming book, “The Homecoming Tree”.

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Death By Darwin Release is coming soon!

 

Version 2

Luke Lee and I are working on the final layout of the novel and the cover for my next novel, “Death By Darwin”. For those interested in this upcoming novel, here is an excerpt from the book. Jonathan Steel has been retained by an attorney, Ruth Martinez, to help defend an innocent man convicted of killing his boss. In this scene Steel has met with Detective Lunella Jones and is being escorted to the Evidence lockup.

She fell silent and tapped the desk with her fingernails. “Well, Mr. Jonathan Steel, let’s get you to the evidence room.” Jones led me through the hallways of the police station to a remote room. A window covered with thick wire separated me from a large room filled with shelves. Jones spoke with the man behind the wire and then motioned me forward. His name tag read, “Juan Destillo, F.B. I. Crime Technician.”

“Juan is on loan from the feds. He’ll give you thirty minutes, Mr. Steel. See you later.” She walked away and Juan studied me like I was some insect trapped in amber. He was a slight man with unruly, dark hair and eyes that glowed with the menial power he had been given. Read the rest of this entry

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