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Summer Reads — Two Good Books!

Summer-reading-006Summer is coming. Hot days. Humid days. Days on the beach or in the shade of an oak tree. Lazing around beside the pool. And, people want to have something to read.

As you prepare for summer, I want to remind you that there are two books that are perfect summer reads. Let me introduce you to the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel.

The first book, oddly enough, has the highest number in the title. “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”. You see, I’m counting down from thirteen to one. Jonathan Steel is a Christian version of Jason Bourne. He has no memory of his former life except for one outstanding event. The day he became a Christian is the only meaningful memory he can recall. As his memory begins to return, he finds that he has a very specific skill set that only a mercenary or an assassin would have.

Who was he? Soon, he begins to remember an abusive and hateful father. It doesn’t take long for Steel to become embroiled in evil. He encounters a serial killer possessed by “the 13th demon”. It doesn’t take long for this man to bring tragedy into the life of Jonathan Steel and he vows to track down the killer and destroy it.

But, although evil is real, so is the force of good. Steel finds himself in the midst of a spiritual battle in the small town of Lakeside. An evil presence has settled into the local church and is determined to take over the town. Steel wants revenge but he also realizes he has made a promise to help others in danger.

“The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye” is harrowing and frightening but ultimately redemptive. It is a story of good versus evil. It is a story of self sacrifice for the good of others.

The second book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” picks up where the first book ends. Steel has assumed the responsibility of being a guardian to a young teenage boy. The boy’s uncle, Cephas Lawrence, is Steel’s mentor. Steel finds himself in Dallas, Texas battling an army of vampires to recover the young man who has been kidnapped by Rudolph Wulf, the 12th demon. The story ranges from the Texas countryside to the mountains of Transylvania.

You can read the reviews of both books here.

Will there be other books? I have planned all thirteen books and have already written the next two books. Unfortunately, my current publisher has “released” me from my current contract and I am looking for a new publisher to pick up the rest of the books. If you are a traditional publisher or know of a traditional publisher interested in picking up the series, you can contact my agent, Nancy Jernigan at jjernigan@hiddenvaluegroup.com.

But, rest assured, if I do not have a traditional publisher soon, I am planning on self-publishing “The 11th Demon: Ark of the Demon Rose” under my own imprint. I have retained the same fiction editor I worked with for the first two books so I am excited about the final manuscript!

So, pick up the two books for summer read. The books are appropriate for men, women, and teenagers. It is suspenseful with a touch of horror. But, I guarantee a good story and a redemptive message.

Check it out and see that evil is real. But, so is God!

 

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“The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” Is Here!

Today, you can officially order copies of “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” both as an ebook and a traditional book.

Check out this interview with fellow author, Greg Mitchell, “The Coming Evil Trilogy” on his blog:

http://www.thecomingevil.blogspot.com/2012/10/interview-with-12th-demon-author-bruce.html

 

FRANTIC — A Book Review

For years, one of my favorite authors was Dean Koontz. He had this uncanny ability to scare the pookie out of me (whatever that is) and yet create endearing characters who ultimately had a moment of redemption. But, after several years, I abandoned Dean Koontz. I guess I just got tired of horror novels. That is until I started writing horror novels!

Well, in his latest book, Mike Dellosso has managed to capture that feeling for me again in “Frantic”. The main character is a man named Manny Toogood. Manny Toogood! You got to love that name! And, poor Manny has a cursed life filled with tragedy after tragedy currently working at gas station when a car pulls up with a burly man in the front and a damaged soul in the back seat.

The girl that looks out at him from the back seat leaves him a simple note, “He’s going to kill me.” And so, Manny, convinced his curse has caught up with perfect strangers ignores the curse and decides to help the young girl. The story takes off at this point and never relents. It is one unending “frantic” event after another.

I don’t want to spoil the story, but Manny not only grapples with this young woman and her brother’s predicament, he also has to deal with painful flashbacks to his abusive father and the death of his mother. He blames himself for every bad thing that has happened in his life as well as every bad thing that happens to those who are around him. What Mike Dellosso does so well with Manny is take him through these trials as he helps the young woman and her brother and begins to show him that he is not cursed. In fact, he is a hero.

The story is openly supernatural with the young boy showing signs of his “gift”. Miracles take place at the hands of this young boy who has faith. But, evil is closing in not only from the young woman’s stepfather but from an external threat that frankly I didn’t see coming. Let’s just say that those who stop to help out may not be who or what Manny thinks they are. Trust nobody!

And here, in this simmering sub plot Mike Dellosso delivers the goods. What should have been a simple chase and elude story takes on deeper and more troubling revelations as Manny and his two friends fall into the hands of an evil group of individuals.

This is a great book and a great story! I couldn’t put it down. But, beware. The body count climbs with each chapter and the young woman’s stepfather is one of the most evil killers I’ve read about in recent years because he thinks he is listening to the voice of God.

Great job, Mike. A book I highly recommend to anyone who has enjoyed Mike’s books in the past or who want to try something new and exciting in the realm of supernatural thrillers.

Werewolves and Zombies and Vampires, Oh My! “Night of the Living Dead Christian” by Matt Mikalatos

I just put the finishing touches on the final edit for my next book due in October, “The 12th Demon: Vampire Majick” but the vampires in my book are NOTHING like the vampire in “Night of the Living Dead Christian” by Matt Mikalatos. I really enjoyed reading Matt’s fantastic “Imaginary Jesus” now renamed “My Imaginary Jesus” I guess to emphasize the difference between an imaginary Jesus and Matt’s psychologically challenged perception of “his” imaginary Jesus. I think it is much ado about nothing. But, these subtleties are important to someone in the publishing industry. And that is why I was so surprised to see this book with this intriguing title.

I mean to imply that most people who call themselves Christians are dead is pretty risky. Would you buy the book if you thought it implied that you were a zombie? I mean I KNOW I’m not a zombie. I don’t brainlessly follow the pastor of my church. I don’t eat brains, either, for that matter. I detest “sweetbreads” as they are sometimes called. But, I must admit after reading “Night of the Living Dead Christian” there may be a little bit of zombie in me. And, a little bit of vampire. And, a little bit of werewolf.

 And, that is the point of the book. Matt Mikalatos brilliantly takes these archetypes and projects them on the sad, lacking, failing Christian that typifies most, if not all of US! Mad scientists, androids, monster killers, vampires, zombies, and werewolves roam the pages of this book with abandon. With glee. With bloodthirsty zeal!

Zombies. They mindlessly track you down, slowly, inexorably until they overpower you and put earphones in your ears and a study Bible in your hands and pull you into the praise and worship service to listen catatonically to the pastor. This is an eerie depiction of mindless drones following and NOT thinking. As an apologist, I champion the thinking Christian and this comparison to a zombie is right on target. I was finishing up this book Sunday morning in our church’s coffee shop and I looked up and right there, not twenty feet away from me were at least a dozen zombies all dressed alike, all moving alike, all funneling into the sanctuary in their identical dresses and suits and . . . Need I say more? Zombies are the undead; the walking dead; the praying dead; the tithing dead; the dead dead! Read the book to see where these zombies came from and how they came to be.

Vampires. Wow, the violence depicted in the transformation of this woman into a “vampire” was shocking and out of the blue. But, it happens. It happens a lot and more than we in our churches want to acknowledge. The vampire sucks the life out of someone until that someone can’t exist unless they suck the life out of someone else. I can tell you that I’ve met my share of “emotional black holes” in the life of a church. These people are so needy and so smothering and a “good” Christian is going to try and help and end up getting their life sucked right out of them. This happened to me in 1995. After four years of running a drama ministry, I “died” and became a vampire sucking the life out of everything I touched until God drove a stake through my heart, laid me on my back and offered me a new life. Wow! Great comparison, Matt.

Werewolves. This is the heart of this book, a magnificent portrayal of the angry, restless beast that most of us try to keep at bay. My favorite parts of the book are the internal musings of the werewolf. Here is what he says in his moment of greatest despair:

“And here is the final evidence that we have invented God for ourselves. Who could love us other than we ourselves? No one. We have invented a being to love us despite our depravities.”

And, the “death” of the werewolf is one of the most moving scenes I’ve read in months. Don’t miss this book. It is strange; it is hilarious; but it is ultimately right on the money. Matt Mikalatos includes many facts and concepts bolstered by recent studies that should terrify the most stalwart Christian. Take a look in the mirror after you finish this book. You will be terrified by what you see!

Great job!!! Now, if I could just get one of those Clockwork Jesuses? Or is it Jesi?

*

Book link –  http://www.amazon.com/Night-Living-Dead-Christian-Ferociously/dp/1414338805/
Author’s Web site  –  http://www.mikalatos.com/

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Participants’ Links:

http://ofbattlesdragonsandswordsofadamant.blogspot.com/  Gillian Adams

http://kinynchronicles.blogspot.com/ Julie Bihn

http://tessbissell.wordpress.com/ Red Bissell
http://www.oerkenleaves.blogspot.com/ Thomas Clayton Booher
http://www.AdventuresInFiction.blogspot.com/ Keanan Brand
http://rbclibrary.wordpress.com/ Beckie Burnham
http://morganlbusse.wordpress.com Morgan L. Busse
http://tweezlereads.blogspot.com/ Theresa Dunlap
http://www.amberfrench.blogspot.com/ Amber French
http://going-greene.blogspot.com/Tori Greene
http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com/ Nikole Hahn
http://realmofhearts.blogspot.com/ Ryan Heart
http://thequietpen.wordpress.com/ Janeen Ippolito
http://jessebecky.wordpress.com/ Becky Jesse
http://www.spoiledfortheordinary.blogspot.com/ Jason Joyner
http://carolkeen.blogspot.com/ Carol Keen
http://www.slygames.net/ Leighton
http://www.shannonmcdermott.com/?page_id=189 Shannon McDermott
http://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/ Rebecca LuElla Miller
http://linalamont.blogspot.com/ Nissa
http://www.bookwomanjoan.blogspot.com/ Joan Nienhuis
http://www.leastread.blogspot.com/ John W. Otte
http://justanotherbookbag.blogspot.com/ Crista Richey
http://www.sarahsawyer.com/blog Sarah Sawyer
http://www.chawnaschroeder.blogspot.com/ Chawna Schroeder
http://www.rachelstarrthomson.com/inklings/ Rachel Starr Thomson
http://christiansf.blogspot.com/ Steve Trower
http://frederation.wordpress.com Fred Warren
http://www.shanewerlinger.com/ Shane Werlinger
http://www.theravenquill.blogspot.com/  Nicole White
http://facesoflions.wordpress.com/ Dave Wilson

“Enemies of the Cross” will take your breath away!

It was almost a year ago that I had a visitor to my hotel room in the middle of the night; a visitor that was most unwelcome; a visitor from the depths of hell; a visitor from the imagination of Greg Mitchell.

I had flown to Orlando, Florida to visit Charisma Media while my wife was spending a week with her bridge girlfriends on the beach. I arrived late at night and settled into my dark and foreboding hotel room with only a few more pages left of Greg Mitchell’s “The Strange Man”. I finished the book and had that odd mixture of anticipation for the next book and a sense of fulfillment at the satisfying conclusion of a great story. Around two in the morning I awoke in the empty bed, suddenly aware my wife was not with me but somebody was definitely in the room! I glanced at the corner of the room and something moved in the shadows. Instantly, my mind flashed back to the strange man and his “gremlins”. I jumped out of bed, turned on all the lights and made certain the room was truly empty. Then, I said a series of prayers and finally managed to drift off to sleep.

The time has come to pick up the story of “The Strange Man” in book two of the “Coming Evil” trilogy, “Enemies of the Cross”. The latest book by Greg Mitchell picks up right where book one ended. I had scheduled a week off for writing on my fourth book and planned a trip to Austin, Texas to see our son and his wife. My wife and I stayed at Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis so my wife could have a relaxing “spa” week. I must confess, I did not get much writing done. In fact, I got very little done and it’s all Greg Mitchell’s fault! I started “Enemies of the Cross” and could not put the book down.

Each night, as I relaxed at the end of the day, instead of sitting down in front of my laptop, I picked up “Enemies of the Cross” and read until midnight. Fortunately, my wife was in the room with me and that helped keep the “gremlins” at bay. Now, I don’t want to provide any spoilers. To talk about the book is to give so much away. There are many surprises around each dark, shadowy corner and Greg Mitchell has set the reader up for the final book in the series. So, here are my five conclusions about “Enemies of the Cross”.

First, from page one, the story hits the ground running and never stops. There are pauses here and there for character development and to allow the reader to catch their breath. Once the darkness of the lake takes on a more human persona, the story moves with breathtaking speed. Greg Mitchell has set up one suspenseful scene after another and slowly builds the tension and suspense until I ached with anxiety. In a good way! I can tell that Greg loves a good monster story and the pacing of the action scenes keep the reader in “boo!” mode most of the time.

Second, this book focuses on Jeff Weldon, the brother to Dras, the main character in book one. Jeff is the pastor of the local church and Greg does a masterful job of taking Jeff down the slow and grinding pathway to self destruction. Jeff’s obsession with his brother’s fate endangers his church, his marriage, and ultimately, his life. Just as Stephen King took his main character in “The Shining” down the long, dark hallway to the nether regions of madness and violence, so does Greg take Jeff down, down, down into the basement of sin and fury and anger and self revulsion. But, along the way, Jeff has moments of redemption and moments of enlightenment and even manages to share the Gospel with a wayward soul Jeff has drafted into his cause. Does Jeff ultimately meet his doom? Or, does he find redemption? You’ll have to read the book to see what happens in the final conflict between Jeff and “the strange man”.

Third, Greg does so such a masterful job of creating monstrous creatures that pop off the page. He has a fine and delicate balance between describing the creature and leaving enough to the reader’s imagination. I had recently watched John Carpenter’s “The Thing” from 1982 and then the new “The Thing” that came out last fall. Greg Mitchell’s monstrous creations were every bit as terrifying as the images in those movies mostly because of my imagination. Yes, the presence of evil in “Enemies of the Cross” is well depicted and frightening and horrifying. But, the reader shouldn’t let that deter them from reading the book. Just read it with the lights on!

Fourth, “Enemies of the Cross” fills in some of the gaps in the story from the first book. Greg Mitchell left many of the details behind the history of Greensboro out of the first book, I am sure on purpose. He hinted that there was a power behind the sudden appearance of “the strange man” in the first book. In “Enemies of the Cross” Greg brings into the light, the secretive, power hungry entity behind the events that are taking place in Greensboro. He fills in bits and pieces of the history of the town and takes the reader down into the dark places beneath the town where the real evil dwells in service of “the strange man”. The “mythos” is deepened and fleshed out in a very satisfying way.

Fifth, “Enemies of the Cross” shows the corruptive power of sin and evil not only in the life of Jeff Weldon, but in the life of Rosalyn. Rosalyn was left at the end of the first book with the mystery of why Dras tried to save her. In “Enemies of the Cross”, she is still the focus of the strange man’s obsession and throughout the book, he continues to try to possess her. Does she give in? Does she fall to his seductive ways? You’ll have to read the book and find out.

Finally, I just want to say that the power of love shines through “Enemies of the Cross”. Jeff and his wife, Isabella, become increasingly estranged but their love is a triumphant power over the evil in town. And, ultimately, it is the realization that God is in control, even when things are darkest, that strengthens that love.

I recommend reading “The Strange Man” first, if you haven’t read it and then picking up “Enemies of the Cross” the minute you put the first book down. You will not be disappointed. Greg Mitchell has done a masterful job with his story, his “monsters”, and his devotion to the power of God in all of our lives. Now, I’m waiting anxiously for the “Dark Hour” to fall and to see what happens in the final book in the trilogy.

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