Monthly Archives: April 2015

Craving Stains

I’m very excited today to be bringing you a guest post from amazing author Alina Popescu, who isn’t just a great writer and promoter, but she’s a good friend who has held my hand for more than a year now. Check out her book, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Craving Stains Blog Tour

 

Find the Author in the Character Details

They say the devil is in the details, and they probably are right, just because everything is in the details. You idiot in a text can be an insult or it can show anger. Add an emoji that’s winking or sticking its little tongue out and the meaning changes. But I digress! Authors follow the way the devil likes to play it. Sometimes, you can find them hidden in character details. Is this an extension of write what you know? Maybe. Or maybe we spend so much time with our characters that we just can’t help it and we put a bit of our very souls in them. Or some of our ideas, feelings, fears. It’s an anything goes sort of deal!

I’ve been quite honest in saying that Alexa, my female lead in the Bad Blood trilogy is probably 90% me. She had my background, a lot of my physical traits, even more of how I think, react, and talk at times. She ran away to the one place I considered running away to. Yup, she’s me, no doubt about that. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to writing myself into a character, and that is probably why the trilogy was both therapeutic, cathartic, and challenging for me to write.

However, Alexa is not the only character I added parts of me to. I added my need to get away and break free to Wynn. Sure, I did not have it as bad, but while I wrote Craving Stains, I was also staring out the window at the beautiful weather and hoping I could just forget about work and run way somewhere. Writing is always easier and better when you’re on vacation, isn’t it?

Doyle did not escape either. I gave him all my love for bikes, tattoos, and adventure. In a way, Wynn and Doyle were two sides of me that were arguing with each other at the time. They went ahead and ganged up on me, making me write their story, but that’s okay!

I did not stop there. Vicks, one of the main characters of my werewolf universe, got my dog, Ares. She refuses to walk him when I tell her to, even if he actually listens to her… Bad character! Shiki—who shares the same universe of the Tales of the Werewolf Tribes series and whose book, Strength to Let Go, you’ll get in early July—got my otaku side (he’s into video games, manga, and anime as much as I am), and some of my emotional hiccups, such as blaming himself for everything that goes wrong in his relationship.

Putting bits and pieces of yourself into the characters you write is not good or bad. It just is for a lot of us. I also happen to think it makes the characters real, easy to relate to. Sure, I am trying to keep it subtle and not get swept away by my god complex… I have one, I just try not to be obvious about creating my characters in my own image 😀

 

Title: Craving Stains

Author:  Alina Popescu

Length: novella

Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Craving Stains by Alina Popescu Cover

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

Book Trailer

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00UUE58SU/

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/craving-stains-by-alina-popescu/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cravingstains-1766728-145.html

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 x $20 WIP Gift card and 3 x ebook copy of Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

About the author

Alina PopescuWriter, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

 

Extract

A young and happy-looking hostess whom Moira barely acknowledged greeted her and walked her to the Director’s office. They know how much of a screw up they have to weasel their way out of, Moira thought, a cold smile curving half of her mouth. She was going to make them sweat, and she was going to get everything she wanted from them.

Doctor Miller, the chief physician on Wynn’s case, the Director, and some mousy-looking little man who Moira suspected was an accountant or something along those lines were all waiting for her. They first offered her any and all treats and beverages in the universe, and when met with her brusque refusal, they slouched in their chairs and prepared for the onslaught.

“Gentlemen,” Moira started, smiling broadly, yet having no warmth reflected through her eyes. “I hear you’ve sent a report to the Finance Bureau, claiming my son is in perfect health,” she went on, her voice turning icier with every word. “Maybe it’s time for us to end our contract then. No use paying you that obscene monthly fee to have you do nothing but hold his hand.”

“Miss Brenwood, it was simply the truth,” the accountant said in a bitter voice, but reconsidered under the murderous stare of the Director.

“Moira, darling, please ignore him,” the Director said, his heavy breathing being for once caused by something other than his obesity. “We clearly stated that this qualified as proactive care, preventing any other future illness in your son’s case.”

“Well, Clifton,” Moira said, stressing the man’s first name with a curl of her lip. “You weren’t very convincing apparently. They are going to investigate me for money laundering. As I have all the proper documents and invoices from you, I assure you, they will find nothing wrong with my papers. But as your reports indicate otherwise, I am sure they’ll think someone in your lower financial ranks isn’t in on it, thus forgetting to cover your tracks, and have your hospital investigated as well.”

She watched the man pale, his jaw dropping, making an obscenely gaping hole. She rolled her eyes, and then shook her head. What the hell had these idiots thought would happen? That when the Bureau came a-knocking and found nothing, they’d just go home with their tail between their legs? Of course they’d always investigate both or all parties involved in a potential fraud.

“Clifton, you really have no idea how the world works. How on earth do you manage this hospital?” She graced them with her special, mocking smirk, the one she’d developed in the many decades of being a rich wife with seemingly too much time on her hands.

“Mrs. Brenwood, I assure you, we will fix this,” the Director said, turning to look at the accountant sternly.

“Oh, I am sure you will. Now, Dr. Miller, I need a private moment with you.” She stood and left the office without saying goodbye, walking straight to Miller’s own

office. Moira ventured a glance over her shoulder and saw the good doctor following her like the obedient little dog he was.

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Mojo and the American Female

Take a look at this extract from Sean Hammond’s Mojo and the American Female and take a look at his website too – it’s amazing.

The Blunder Years

Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV? Casual drives over the Golden Gate Bridge and neon windbreakers to protect us from that brisk Bay Area sea breeze? Back when times were simpler and the world had three fathers- and by no means am I referring to the holy trinity. I’m talking Danny, Jesse and Joey. All were miserable failures with personality dysfunctions but somehow were able to pull themselves together to raise America’s favorite girls. What this country’s fascination is with “three men and a baby” is beyond me.

Aside from the horrible acting and after school special “the moral of the story is” writing style, Full House was mashed potatoes and gravy to my generation. When the theme song kicked on, you felt good because “everywhere you look there’s a heart and a hand to hold on to.” I always acted as if I was bored while I watched the show though, even at an early age I was aware that it wasn’t socially acceptable for a dude to like chick flicks. And that’s what Full House was, a weekly soap opera for young girls.

I watched habitually though, especially once Rebecca became a regular. I’m not afraid to say it, Lori Loughlin was hot. She still is. In 1989 I didn’t even really know what hot was, but whatever Rebecca was- I liked it. And so began my lifelong hatred for John Stamos. The guy makes me sick, he’s too fucking cool. His gelled up hair, scruffy metro shave (before the world even knew what metro was), black Italian boots, a rock n’ roll attitude but with a sensitive and understanding side… What a prick. Moreover, he was briefly married to a super model. Still, Romjin aside, the only Rebecca that really mattered to me was the one on Full House.

I remember sizing up Stamos on every episode. I’d sit there and scowl at the TV as I’d watch his performance. The majority of my Full House viewing was around the age of 10, so looking back that must have been quite the sight. Back then I didn’t know what it was, and I couldn’t clearly put my feelings into words but I certainly knew that Uncle Jesse was a pretentious asshole. The Elvis impersonations are eventually what did me in. One too many “Teddy Bears” made Rebecca’s love for Jesse unforgivable and I eventually had to move on. I learned early on that chasing after women that were attracted to Jesse’s was fruitless. I’d never be that guy.

I tried to seek solace in DJ, but she just didn’t have what made me tick. Kimmy was way too easy, so I figured I’d give Steph a shot and maybe try someone my own age. I appreciated her wit and subtle vulnerability but the fact she shared a roof with Stamos was a deal breaker. I finally had to part ways with the San Francisco family and I found myself becoming best friends with Kevin Arnold. His lifestyle was much easier to swallow then three misfit dads living in the gay capitol of the world. He rode his bike, played football with Paul, thought way too deeply about the world around him, and had a crush on Winnie Cooper- the single greatest young female character up to that point in television history.

Kevin and I got a long great, primarily due to our strikingly similar inner monolog. Yes, that’s what it sounds like in my head all day. Winnie was off limits, however. I admired her from afar but the show taught me trust and loyalty, one of the lessons that always seemed laughable coming from Jesse’s mouth. Winnie was everything a 12 year old boy could ask for. She had her own set of wheels, enjoyed milk shakes, and was never afraid to make the first move. In the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t sound too bad to someone in the their mid twenties.

Kevin was my boy though, even through their on-again off-again late adolescence. We shared a comradely, an understanding of sorts. Kevin always ultimately did the right thing, learning life lessons along the way. I took notes and mentally never had an affair with his girl. That’s how it all went down until the final episode.

That night I turned on my TV half depressed. I was anxious to see the big finale, but I felt like my childhood was ending just as Kevin’s was. The suspense ate me alive as I slurped from my juice box. The show ended by flashing forward to present day. Winnie got off a plane from studying art in Paris only to be greeted by Kevin, his wife and new son. Those fuckers. I dropped my fruit flavored beverage and let it seep deep into my favorite childhood blanket.

From that moment on it’s been nothing but Guns n’ Roses, cheap strippers, Wild Turkey, and an immense Winnie Cooper void I’ve never been able to fill. Rebecca’s are a time a dozen, just like the Jesse’s they date. But not Winnie Cooper. Only a Winnie can make you… melt.

Read more from Sean here: http://www.harnessyourlife.com/news/111-mojo-and-the-american-female


Excerpt from The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: Little Green Dragon

Here’s the final extract from the three books in The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: A Read & Bake Series. Take a look.

Excerpt from The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: Little Green Dragon

Celia and Cedric were having an awesome adventure at Cedric’s house. They were pretending that a little green dragon was chasing them.

“Run, run, Cedric!” shouted Celia. “Or the little green dragon will catch you and eat you for a snack!”

Celia and Cedric ran and hid behind the giant apple tree in Cedric’s yard.

 

Then Cedric said, “Oh, no, the little green dragon sees us. Here it comes! Let’s hide at the back of the house.”

“AHHHH!,” screamed Celia, “Here comes the little green dragon again. Let’s run as fast as we can down the street to my house.”

 

Celia and Cedric ran as fast as they could into Celia’s yard and ducked down in the grass behind the white picket fence. Surely, the little green dragon would never find them there.

“Oh no,” whispered Cedric. “The Little Green Dragon is sneaking up on us from around the corner of the house. What can we do now?”

“Quick, quick,” said Celia, “Let’s run quietly to the garden shed and put on one of my mom’s garden hats. We can stand still like statues so it won’t recognize us.”

 

“I know how we can stop the little green dragon from chasing us,” whispered Cedric into Celia’s ear. “Let’s sneak up and plop that flower pot over his head.”

 

Just then Celia’s mother called out, “Celia and Cedric, you must be very hot and exhausted from the little green dragon chasing you. Come into the kitchen and let’s make a cool, yummy drink for you.”

 

Find Out More

http://www.celiaandcedric.com/

http://celiaandcedric.com/buynow/


The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: EAT DIRT BALLS!

Here’s the next extract from the three books in The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: A Read & Bake Series. Take a look.

Excerpt from The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: EAT DIRT BALLS!

It was Saturday morning. Celia opened her eyes then jumped out of bed, ran to the window and watched raindrops running down her window. She watched them as they made wiggly paths all the way down and into the wet dirt below.

 

Suddenly, she had an idea. She asked her mom if she could call Cedric to share her great idea.

“Yes, you may,” said her mother, “then get washed up and have your breakfast.”

“Thanks mom!”, said Celia as she went to call Cedric.

 

The phone rang at Cedric’s house. “Hello, this is Cedric”, he said.

“Good morning, Cedric”, said Celia. “I have a fun idea. Do you want to hear it?”

“Oh, yes please”, answered Cedric.

“Well,” Celia replied, “it rained last night so there’s lots of mud in our garden. Let’s pretend we have a Snack Shop and we’ll make all kinds of yummy treats to serve all the people who come to our Snack Shop. We can use my play Snack set with all the cups and plates and spoon and forks”.

“Cool idea!,” exclaimed Cedric. “I’ll be right over after I eat my breakfast.”

 

Cedric ate breakfast at his house. Celia ate breakfast at her house. Then Cedric hurried to Celia’s house and rang the doorbell. Celia opened the door holding a

bucket filled with two little shovels and other utensils to make mud treats for their Snack Shop.

 

After spotting a very muddy patch of dirt in the garden, Celia and Cedric set up all their digging utensils and plates.

“What should we make first?” asked Celia.

“We could make pancakes,” suggested Cedric.

They used their shovels to dig up dirt and patted it into flat pancakes. But when they tried to lift the pancakes onto plates the pancakes just broke into pieces.

page break

So they tried making chocolate cupcakes. They filled a little Snack cup with dirt and turned it upside-down, just like they would make a sand castle. But the cupcakes fell to pieces too.

Cedric said, “Nothing is working. What will we do? We’ll never be able to play Snack Shop with this mess.”

 

As they thought about what to do, they each held a handful of mud and rolled it around in their hands. Suddenly, at the same time, Celia and Cedric shouted, “I made a dirt ball and it’s sticking together!” “Yay!” they shouted.

 

“I know, I know!” exclaimed Cedric. “Let’s roll them in grass clippings from the lawn. That will help them really stick together.”

Busily, they made more dirt balls and piled them high on a plate. When the plate couldn’t hold any more dirtballs, Celia and Cedric ran to show Celia’s mother.

 

“Oh, they look so tasty,” said Celia’s mom, licking her lips. Celia and Cedric smiled and said, “We wish we could eat them!”

“Well, I have an idea,” smiled Celia’s mom. “I have a recipe for dirt balls you CAN eat!”

 

Find Out More

http://www.celiaandcedric.com/

http://celiaandcedric.com/buynow/


The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: A Read & Bake Series

For the next three days I’ve got an extract from the three books in The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: A Read & Bake Series. Take a look.

Excerpt from The Yummy Adventures of Celia and Cedric: Amazing Apples!

Every day offers at least one surprise whether it is the sun popping out from behind the clouds making the day perfect for playing outside, or a letter arriving in the mail from grandma. Today was no exception for Celia.

“I’m bored,” said Celia as she sat around the breakfast table with her family.

“You always say that,”said her teenage brother Jake.

“Well, I just don’t know what I’m going to do today, that’s all.

Mom, what are you doing today?”

 

“I’m going to do some gardening. There are so many weeds you can hardly see the flowers anymore. You could help me if you like.”

“Uh, no, thanks. Dad, how about you? Do you want to play with me?”

“Sorry, Celia. I have to go into work. We’re getting a big shipment of groceries today.” Celia sighed.

“Too bad you’re the manager of the store. Maybe you wouldn’t have to be there so much if you weren’t.”

“Oh, sweety, I won’t be there all day. When I get home we’ll have some together time, okay? In the meantime, could you do me

a favour?”

 

“Sure! What is it?” Celia always loved doing favours for her dad. They usually involved doing something fun.

“I noticed we have new neighbours down the street. Could you take them a brochure of our grocery store?”

“New neighbours? How exciting! I’d better get dressed and head over right away.” Secretly, Celia was hoping the new family would have children.

 

After putting on her freshly washed jeans and favourite pink T-shirt with daisies, Celia skipped down the sidewalk until she reached the fifth house on the right. Celia’s heart flipped. Was that a young boy sitting on the front steps of the house? Maybe her wish had come true!

 

Find Out More

http://www.celiaandcedric.com/

http://celiaandcedric.com/buynow/


SUCCESS: THE BEATEN PATH

Check out the latest release from Curtis Florence and his book Success: The Beaten Path.

I have found that success leaves a trail of clues for us to follow if we so will. This book is a guide to those things that lead to success. I wrote this guide for myself as much as anyone else.

Download the book HERE

Find out more about Curtis here:

www.florencepublishing.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/florencepublishing


Mystical Mystery Series Book Bundle

Because… and yes I did just start a sentence with because… I like to spoil you I have a triple whammy – three books on sale and to give away. Check out the details and don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Three Award-winning Authors—Book Giveaway and Sale

purple banner

Discover a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery from an international trio of authors. Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton – all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners – have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.

Win a Paperback of Each Book

Enter the drawing below to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series.

Buy each e-book during the sale for only $1.99 US.

The Calling – Amber Foxx

The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions – access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.

Website & buy the ebook for $1.99: https://amberfoxxmysteries.wordpress.com/buy-books-retail-links/

When the Clocks Stopped – Marion Eaton

The Mysterious Marsh Series, Book One

When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write some wills while she waits for the birth of her first child, she unwittingly triggers dramatic consequences. Mysteriously, she encounters Annie, a woman whose tempestuous life took place more than two centuries earlier when Romney Marsh was a violent place, dominated by smugglers. Soon that past collides with the present, and Hazel finds herself pitted against an evil that has stalked the marsh for centuries. As her destiny intertwines with Annie’s in the shifting time-scape, Hazel confronts a terrifying challenge that parallels history – and could even change it. If she survives.

Website: http://www.marioneaton.com/ Buy the ebook for $1.99: amzn.to/17THZ83

The First Lie – Virginia King

Selkie Moon Mystery Series, Book One

Selkie Moon is a woman on the run. In a mad dash for freedom she’s escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii. But her refuge begins to unravel and she’s running from something else entirely. A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her. Not that she’s psychic, no way. But the messages and threats escalate until she’s locked in a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious stalker. Entangled in Celtic and Hawaiian mythologies, the events become so bizarre and terrifying that her instinct is to keep running. But is she running from her past? Or her future?

Website: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Buy the ebook for $1.99: http://www.amazon.com/First-Lie-Selkie-Moon-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00K1VC20Y/

All three books will be on sale for $1.99 US from April 21 to 30.

Enter the drawing now to win paperback copies of all three books

When you click on the Rafflecopter link you’ll be invited to choose which series you would like to learn more about. This will enter you in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away. The raffle runs from April 21 – April 26. The winner will be announced on April 27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Simulations

Check out this excerpt from sci-fi The Simulations by John Forelli.

Back through the purring Mainframe I go, exiting the cool, dark trappings of Server Room 42 for the stale monotony of the rest of the office. My eyes take a minute to adjust to the overlit swath of cubicles stretching before me like a maze to be solved.

Something Bob said echoes in my mind. In my head I repeat it. ‘Reality is what you make it.’ If my reality is to be an endless line of reformatting requests, then perhaps I should make some good of it. And so I proceed quickly through the maze of cubicles as the corners of corporate tedium trace my path on either side. I walk past the company’s receptionist in the foyer. She’s not the one I want, and she’s probably too occupied with an episode of The Office anyway.

Through the door and into the elevator I go, nervously tapping my foot as the floors tick past. 9…8…7…

What should I say? It’s not like me to be so spontaneous, but Bob’s speech was strangely inspirational. I can feel butterflies beating against the walls of my stomach in time with my heart against my chest. They’re playing a symphony of apprehension in time with the elevator’s metronome. 6…5…4…

In my mind I go over what I’ll say. ‘Delilah, if we’re both going to be working here, maybe we should get to know each other better. I was wondering if you’d like to get a coffee one day after work?’ In my heart it’s the apex of romance. In my head it’s the apex of anti-climax. 3…2…1.

The doors open and the lobby is bathed in the natural light utterly lacking upstairs. The rays shine through the windows opposite Delilah’s reception desk. The revolving door refracts the light into a twirling, glowing symphony that lights the desk as though it’s heaven.

Delilah stands there, and my heart jumps for a split second when I think about how perfectly romantic the moment is.

Then I see the man standing there facing her, his facial hair coarse and obscene next to her smooth, dimpled cheeks. He stands there like an oaf, hands in his pockets as Delilah reaches over the reception desk to kiss him. She reaches up with her left hand to touch the scruff and that’s when I see it: a diamond ring, glinting in the sunlight and blinding me with jealousy and disappointment.

The elevator doors close, confining me in blank sterility under sickening artificial light. I was right. The moment was perfectly romantic. It just wasn’t mine.

Download the story HERE


Real, Radical and Revolutionary – Building Kingdom Relationships with God, with Each Other and with the World

Today I have a piece from Lynn B Fowler and her book Real, Radical and Revolutionary – Building Kingdom Relationships with God, with Each Other and with the World.

God is calling His people to a kind of Christianity that is vastly different from what we see in most of the church today.

He is calling us to a kind of Christianity that is first of all real: it is about our relationship with Himself. Many in the world – and even in the Church – today see Christianity as simply a philosophy or a set of moral standards that are loosely followed. Others see it as a “religion” in which set formats and rituals are observed. True Christianity, however, is all about an eternal relationship with Father God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is about spiritual reality, not natural observances.

Man is a three-part being, spirit, soul and body, and it is man’s spirit that was created and designed for a relationship with God. True Christianity is spiritual. That is not to say that the soul faculties of intellect, emotion and will do not operate, but rather that they operate under the control of the human spirit. So true Christianity does not seek to come to Christ through emotion, but rather by the drawing of the Holy Spirit, who will then transform our emotions and fire us with passion for God. It does not follow intellectual rabbit warrens trying to find “the real Jesus,” but allows the Spirit of God to reveal Him. It does not grit its teeth and try its hardest to do its best to serve God, but rather allows the life of the Spirit within to transform the human heart and will.

True Christianity is real in its relationships. It does not put on a religious facade and pretend, either with God or man. Nor is it shallow, seeking to relate to God and man at only the surface level; rather it gives itself fully. It seeks God for Who He is, not just for what He can give; and it makes itself available to God not just in outward performance and appearance, but at the deepest levels of intimacy.

It is real in its honesty. It knows that God knows every area of the human heart, and it does not try to cover up sin, but comes to God in open repentance.

God is calling us to a kind of Christianity that is radical in its relationship to others in the Body of Christ. In its original meaning, radical referred to “from or of the root.” True Christianity is the kind presented and practiced in the Bible. It is not satisfied with a westernized, comfortable, demand-free version of the Gospel. It insists on getting back to the standards of the Word of God.

Nor is it willing to accept a religion that puts band-aids over problems rather than getting to the root cause. It wants to see the ax laid to the root of the tree, to see the old life done away with not just prettied up. Its God is not a benign grandfather who pats people on the head and turns a blind eye to their continued sin, but the One who comes as consuming fire to burn out all that does not measure up to His glory.

Neither does it hide behind a facade of “niceness.” Of course, it does not go out of its way to be obnoxious, but it recognizes that there are times when issues must be confronted; that there are times when the most loving thing to do is to be “not nice.”

At the same time, it is prepared to humble itself and admit both guilt and need.

In its modern, commonly accepted meaning, radical also refers to something that is different from the norm, even to the point of being extreme. True Christianity moves out of its comfort zone, being prepared to be totally different from the world around it. It is bold enough to say, “There is only one God, and only one way to God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.” It is courageous enough to call sin, sin; and to proclaim the reality of hell as well as heaven. It knows that compromise and “tolerance” were never part of the Gospel.

God is calling us to a kind of Christianity that is revolutionary in its relationship with the world. It was said of the disciples in the book of Acts that they had turned the world upside down. Revolutionary refers to an overthrow of the existing government, and the installation of a new government. True Christianity overthrows the old government of self, sin and Satan in our lives and installs the government of the Lord Jesus Christ. From there, it seeks to go on to overthrow the old government (that of Satan and his cohorts in the spiritual realm, not necessarily the human government) over our neighborhood, our city, our country and our world, and to bring each under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. True Christianity knows that the Gospel is not about us, it is about the King and His Kingdom, and it will settle for nothing less than establishing the Kingdom of God throughout the world.

Like all radical and revolutionary ideas, this kind of Christianity is dangerous. It is dangerous to that within each of us that would prefer a comfortable, easy existence. It is dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. It is dangerous to those who embrace it, for it confronts both ourselves and those around us, not to mention the predominant spiritual forces in the world.

Find out more HERE


Dead Money Run

There are currently 10 books in the Lou Malloy Crime Series by J. Frank James. Dead Money Run is the first book in the series. Take a look at this extract!

Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Frank-James/e/B00EJLQRI0

CHAPTER 1

The warden was a small man, but dressed neatly. Everything about him was neat-from his hair to his shoes. He was almost too neat.

“So what are your plans, Lou?”

When I walked into the room, the warden turned over a little hour-glass full of sand. We both watched it for a few seconds and then looked at each other. This was the first time I ever met the man. What did he care about me now? Since he never cared before, I figured the man was just looking for information. Perhaps he wanted to give me a warning. I didn’t say anything.

“Do you ever think about time, Lou?”

“After fifteen years, what do you think?” I said.

He smiled and said, “Most valuable thing we have and no one seems to mourn its passing until it’s too late.”

I had nothing to say to that. Conversations with a prison warden came with a lot of maybes. While in prison I trained myself to watch a man’s hands. If he rubbed his hands in a washing motion, he was lying. If he messed with his fingernails, he wasn’t interested in the conversation. The warden was rubbing his hands as if he had touched something distasteful.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought, Warden Edwards.”

“Call me John, Lou. We’re friends now,” Edwards said while rubbing his hands in a determined kind of way.

So now we were friends. I wanted to tell him he was a liar, but my better judgment stopped me. Probably a good way to delay my release-things get lost, papers go unsigned. Things happen.

“Okay, John,” I said.

“You know, we never found the fifteen million,” he said.

“I didn’t know you were looking for it.”

I watched his eyes flicker briefly. I seemed to hit a sweet spot.

“No, Lou. You misunderstand,” he said as he caught himself. “There is a reward for the recovery of the money. Did you know that?”

Edwards said it more as a statement than a question. I said nothing and waited. Edwards shifted in his chair and started to rub his hands again.

“It would be in your best interest to tell them what you know.”

“Who’s the ‘them’ John?” I asked.

“They’re the people looking for the money.”

I thought about that for a few moments. The statement covered a lot of ground.

“Since I didn’t take the money in the first place, I don’t have anything to tell them. They need to ask the people that took it,” I said.

Edwards was smiling now and he stopped rubbing his hands.

“There are some people that think you do.”

“I can’t help what people think.”

“Ten percent,” he said.

“Ten percent of what,” I said.

“The money, Lou. Ten percent of fifteen million is a lot of money.”

“I hadn’t heard about that,” I said.

“Yeah, it seems the Indian casino had insurance. The insurance company that paid off on the claim put up a ten percent reward for the return of the money. A million five is a lot of money.”

“I hope they find it,” I said.

Edwards blinked his eyes signaling he was moving on to something else.

“Sorry to hear about your sister,” he said. “I understand they are doing all they can to find her killer.”

Edwards was a real card and running out of things to say. On any other day, in any other place, he would be dead or wishing he was.

“Thanks, John. Your words are real comforting,” I said and returned my gaze to the little hourglass and the sand as it accumulated on the bottom.

I had nothing else to say except make him happy. Make them all happy. Just one big happy group sitting around smiling at each other; happy, happy, now let’s just get the money and spread it all around and we can go on being happy. In the meantime my sister lies in a hole feeding worms. I had money on the worms being real happy. No word on how my sister felt.

Edwards looked disappointed when I didn’t add to our conversation.

“Lou, it might be a good idea for you to help them find the money. It could be a big windfall.”

Now we were getting somewhere. Just like all the rest of the treasure hunters, the miserable bastard was just in it for the money.

“Windfall for who, John? Me or you?”

As if tasting a lemon, Edwards twisted his face and, at the same time, waived his hands at an imaginary fly.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Lou. I’m just trying to give you a head start. If it was my decision, you would still be with us. Fifteen million dollars is a lot of money to lose.”

“It still is,” I said.

I sat and watched Edwards shift in his chair some more. We had nothing left to talk about. I could feel him working out in his mind how he was going to present his failure to get a lead out of me on the money.

“So, what are you going to do now?” Edwards said.

Finally, I had enough.

“Leave. Isn’t that what we all do?”

His smile vanished. He knew he was wasting his time on someone who had maxed out. He also knew he couldn’t hold me. There would be no parole violation with the threat to re-incarcerate me. No work release effort to rehabilitate me. Just a new suit made in the prison cut and sew area and a hundred bucks was the sum total of it. That probably hadn’t changed since the 30s. I wondered if Al Capone wore the suit they gave him when he got out.

We were both looking at the little hourglass of sand now. The sand had drained from the top of the glass to the bottom. Suddenly, as if being shot out of a cannon, we both stood up. Edwards stuck out his hand. I turned and left the room. I turned and left the room. I didn’t shake his hand. I didn’t want to touch him.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Frank-James/e/B00EJLQRI0