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Sifting by genre!

This is for everyone wanting to read one of my books, but not knowing where to start! 
So let's sift through my titles by genre:
Romance ❤️
Divorce 💔
Comedy 🎭
Historical fiction 👑
Biblical fiction 🎚️
Biblical difficulties 🌪️
War stories 🪖
Westerns 🏜️
Science fiction ⚙️
Fantasy ⚔️
Horror 🧌
Viewpoint 👁️


 

Romance ❤️
Looking for a love story?  

Lions of Judah, book two of The Jonah Cycle, mixes moving love stories within high adventure, all told from a most unique perspective. Readers will see these romances matured in Book Three, Faith. Book One, The Prophet and the Dove, shares a spark of attraction that stirs a surprise proposal, but readers will not reach its haunting conclusion until Book Four, Crimson Destiny

 

A different take on love and marriage is one of many tales in God’s Furry Angels. That story of newlyweds building a home parallels one of a mature, loving marriage shared in A Year in the Lives of God’s Furry Angels. Those seeking edgier fare should try The Road to Renewal, which mixes the heartbreak of divorce with open seduction and potential passion. That novel stretches the boundaries of Christian fiction, but with rewarding conclusions.

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Comedy 🎭
Seeking a good laugh?

This may seem a stupid question to those who know Chonda Pierce, Mark Lowry, or Larry Weaver, but have you ever heard of Christian comedy? If your mind drifts back to Peanuts, Wendy Bagwell, or The Andy Griffith Show to recall clean, wholesome humor, you’re not alone. For mainstream comedy changed in the 1950s, '60s, and ‘70s as television grabbed market share and U.S. broadcasters refocused their programming on urban cultures. Topics became increasingly racy, moving away from Christian sensibilities. Even kid’s programming embraced crude jokes and innuendo.

That’s one reason I wrote God’s Furry Angels and its parallel novel, A Year in the Lives of God’s Furry Angels: I wanted to give my kids an engaging modern tale of redemption and faith. Since my daughters loved animals, I injected that perspective to offer comedy and fantasy touches they adored. Unfortunately that content (and the book’s adorable cover) spurs many adults to disregard these novels as “children’s books,” although their opinions change once they break down and read them. 

I wrote The Road to Renewal for more adult audiences. As I suffered my divorce and returned to a single life, I endured temptations and frustrations most Christian novels avoid. The Road to Renewal shares a humorous yet profound tale about such real-world challenges. The tragicomedy spurs hearty laughter while showing how we may use our faith, morality, and the Spirit’s guidance to work through today’s compromising or heartbreaking scenarios.

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War stories 🪖
Searching for tales of fiery combat?

You’ll find no machine guns or battleships in my novels. Still, if you appreciate rumbling chariots and blades of Damascus steel, you may love The Jonah Cycle. It draws from the unique mission of its namesake, a Hebrew prophet doubling as a general, his enemy, the Nazis of the ancient world. As his warnings spread throughout its crumbling culture, the Assyrian Empire miraculously revives. The action escalates from hillside skirmishes in The Prophet and the Dove to the Assyrians’ brutal invasion of Israel in Lions of Judah, resistance to Jerusalem’s siege in Faith, and the conquest of Egypt in Crimson Destiny. Readers are left to ponder how all this bloodshed impacts Jonah’s redemptive message.

Readers will find themselves behind the lines of a deadly diversion in God's Furry Angels, and rumors of war abound in A Year in the Lives of God's Furry Angels, but those seeking the real thing in that series must wait for Book Three. Those who can't wait should consider navigating the rules of The Spawn of Fashan: 40th Anniversary Edition.... or its updates...

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Historical fiction 👑
Interested in sagas?

This is a deceptive category, for as time advances, most contemporary works become part of our past. That’s why I released The Road to Renewal: Annotated. While this novel takes place only a quarter-century ago, enough has changed to confuse those who do not know its stage or props. The hardcover’s nearly 100 pages of historical notes and writing/theological essays help fill those gaps.

The Jonah Cycle presents a more traditional example of historical fiction. The first novel takes readers back almost three thousand years to the expansion-minded reign of Israel’s King Jeroboam II and his prophet/general, who receives new orders: deliver God’s message to his people’s worst enemies. The Prophet and the Dove approaches this biblical epic from its historical roots, bringing a new perspective to Jonah’s mission and the Assyrian response. The sequels leap from questions of supernatural guidance and rebellion to romantic adventure and demonic horror before ending, as it began, with warfare — this time on a global scale, as the ancient world posed it. 

My novels God’s Furry Angels and A Year in the Lives of God’s Furry Angels break the mold, mixing rural Kansas culture with adventurous animal fantasy to produce tales both timeless and contemporary, their characters fresh and relatable, their messages current and allegorical.

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Biblical fiction 🎚️
Do you like to step into Scripture?

The Prophet and the Dove, the first book in The Jonah Cycle, provides a classic example of Biblical fiction. I also consider it historical fiction, as this retelling of Jonah’s mission stresses humanity’s recorded past. Those who do not consider the Bible a historical document might challenge my position, which is their right, but having studied this subject for years, I believe The Prophet and the Dove works quite well under both umbrellas. 

This literary hurdle changes with The Jonah Cycle’s other three entries. They are classic examples of historical fiction, with settings and props drawn from authoritative sources. While I followed the same standards with their Biblical roots, their plots came from my spiritual dreams. Book Two, Lions of Judah, and Three, Faith, feature some people, settings, and events in Scripture as backdrops to my tales. Book Four, Crimson Destiny, broadens that gulf. As it brings back Book One’s viewpoint character, Crimson Destiny retells an Assyrian conquest barely alluded to in the Old Testament. But it weaves this gripping tale while raising a central question to The Jonah Cycle, one that haunts students of the Book of Jonah: Did the people of Nineveh truly repent?

Some people shun Biblical fiction, fearing such novels defy Scripture by adding to it. That may be true of authors who do not honor God’s Word, but when they treasure their Biblical roots, these novels offer valuable perspectives. As Julia Wilson wrote in her review of Book Two, “Lions Of Judah helps bring Biblical times alive. It will aid you with your Bible reading as you view familiar scriptures with fresh eyes.” 

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Biblical difficulties 🌪️
Are these books hard to read?

That’s a loaded question, one I might be a bit biased about. But let me offer an answer, since someone suggested Biblical fiction like mine demands more of its readers than other genres. This saddens me, for some people say the same thing about the Bible.

The Word of God resonates with deep meanings. A reader may not grasp some aspects until blessed by experience, wisdom, a falling apple, or other such perspective/outlook enhancements (such as the Spirit’s aid). But God wrote His Word so that those who seek Him will grow to understand it. That underscores The Lord’s goal for us: to know Him and His love.

 

Novelists take similar stances. While stylish writers may couch their prose in mystery, poetry, or symbolism, the good ones will weave revelatory information throughout the text. This may be openly shared in description or dialogue, slowly established by character actions, or disguised in any number of ways — but it will be there to help readers follow what’s going on. Biblical fiction is no different. 

 

That said, while our Lord wrote the Bible to deliver His message of faith, hope, and love, He knew some people would not be ready or willing to learn from it, much less accept it. Scripture talks about this, of people whose eyes and ears are not open in a spiritual sense. Our Lord seeks to bridge those gaps through messages in nature, songs, and parables — easy stories minds may grasp and ponder even if the true significance of the tales goes unrecognized. 

 

It’s possible, perhaps probable, that human resistance to God’s Word may carry over to Biblical fiction. By their very nature, such novels often depict our Lord’s righteousness and divinity. That prose could seem a difficult read to people struggling with God or the Bible, especially if they don’t want to make the effort to begin with. Or it may repel naysayers as preachy or one-sided, as some Christian writers refrain from addressing real-world speech or actions.

 

Ironically, The Jonah Cycle explores man’s resistance to God. This also factors into The Road to Renewal and God’s Furry Angels. Perhaps that will provide a helpful foundation for skeptical readers. Certain editions of The Jonah Cycle and The Road to Renewal also include historical materials, theological essays, and writing insights. 

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Westerns 🏜️
Searching for a tale of the Old West?

So am I! I’ve been thinking of reading True Grit, even as my brother urges me to tackle Lonesome Dove once again...

You’ll find little of the American West in my novels, but if you check out my song Second Chance, you’ll read and hear my reflections on a black soldier, a survivor of the U.S. Civil War, deciding to find his future out west. You may read the lyrics elsewhere on my website. On other pages you may find several galleries of my photos, some of which I took in the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains… the modern American West! Eventually, I’ll add some from John Ford Country. After that, who knows? 

Of course, you may actively play out the Old West by adapting the rules in The Spawn of Fashan: 40th Anniversary Edition.... or its updates...

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Fantasy ⚔️

Seeking an enchanting escape?

If you’re looking for something in the vein of The Lord of the Rings, then I will bless you with directions to Tolkien or Stephen R. Lawhead’s Song of Albion trilogy. But if you’re open to fantasy in other forms, then I have some options for you! 

Let’s start with God’s Furry Angels and its parallel novel, A Year in the Lives of God’s Furry Angels. These beloved books mix human and animal viewpoints, which puts them somewhat in league with Watership Down and Animal Farm. God’s Furry Angels spins an allegorical coming-of-age tale in a rural Kansas town — which is a  timeless fantasy setting for most people. The novel boasts a broad mix of characters: two newlyweds, an aging pet shop caretaker, a scarred street survivor, an irrepressible kitten, and still more… with all drawing a happy ending! 

A Year in the Lives looks at this fabulous cast through an engaging calendar of events before, during, and after those in God's Furry Angels. It throws new life on its sourcebook while delivering a plethora of entertaining yarns all its own.

Book two in The Jonah Cycle echoes them in one key way. Picking up the saga two decades after Jonah’s ministry, Lions of Judah reveals the Assyrian invasion of ancient Israel — which corners a Judean shepherd family deep behind enemy lines. Both armies pursue these fugitives, for they kidnapped the beautiful princess of Samaria in their scramble to get home. And everyone watches the shadows for the most feared of hunters — a lion facing his own death threats.

 

Book three, Faith, leaps forward another 20 years to the terrifying Assyrian march through Judah. Faith injects dire horror into The Jonah Cycle, one far beyond the invader’s rage.

 

Fantasy of another kind abounds in The Road to Renewal. This tragicomedy dares look deep inside the mind of its viewpoint character, a playful father now heartbroken by divorce. Within his cerebral storm, readers endure a swarm of irascible, squabbling voices from his whimsical core, illuminating the tentpole concepts shaping his widespread thoughts. As the plot gels and events spiral into comic chaos, readers see how a soul may stumble under scattershot tumult, paranoid delusions, and relentless seductions.

Horror 🧌
Do you enjoy cringing within a good story?

Some readers told me how a few scenes in The Road to Renewal terrorized them. Others shared how scared they got diving into God’s Furry Angels. At one point a friend put the novel down until l could assure her no harm would come to her favorite characters.

I understood that, for those points shook me as well. But these books were not penned as horror titles. I reserved that honor for two upcoming novels.

Let’s start with Faith, book three in The Jonah Cycle. 

Taking place two decades after the events in book two, Faith slips readers into an Assyrian army camped outside Jerusalem. After marching across Judah, destroying all opposition, these devils suffer overwhelming defeat at the hands of an angel. Seeking retribution, the Assyrians pray to their false gods. This summons a demon, one that delights in slaying the failed conquerers before turning on the Judeans. 

That’s how Faith begins… when it comes out later this year.

 

Many people don’t know this, but Faith will have two sequels. The first, Crimson Destiny, will complete The Jonah Cycle. After that comes a horror tale set in Oklahoma at roughly the same time as The Road to Renewal. Here’s a sneak peak: Torn by anguish and hatred after her husband’s murder, a heartbroken widow prays for retribution. That unleashes a demon… the same one set loose in Faith.

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Divorce 💔
Would you read a book about divorce?

For many years I wondered how Christian readers would respond to my novel The Road to Renewal. In 2015, I mentioned that sometimes zany, sometimes heartbreaking tale of divorce, seduction, and death to Jason Green, then president of the Christian bookseller Mardel. To my surprise, my story excited him! Green said he had longed to read a novel about divorce from a man’s perspective. That excited me for about three weeks, until Green left Mardel for another ministry post. But I pressed on to see The Road to Renewal debut in 2018. A second edition arrived in ’22, followed last year by the marvelous annotated hardcover. And I’m still wondering how Christian readers will respond…. 

 

Hopefully that true story made you smile. My novel is a tragicomedy, after all. 

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Viewpoint 👁️

Do you seek a certain perspective in your prose?

To make a living writing books, authors seek audiences who will collect and share as many of their titles as possible. There are other paths to success, but none as rewarding as earning reader loyalty. The easiest way to forge such bonds is to specialize in a writing style or genre that forges and excites your audience. 

For some reason I chose a different method. My books vary in perspective and style from title to title, depending on what each plot requires. I like the unique reading experiences this tactic provides.

Take The Road to Renewal, a tragicomedy about two men stumbling into an avalanche of trials and tribulations. This almost-contemporary novel utilizes third-person narrative interrupted time to time by first-person columns our protagonist/reporter pens for his newspaper. That structure sets The Road to Renewal apart from my other books – which fits my goal.

 

With my Biblical/historical fiction series The Jonah Cycle, all four novels utilize limited first-person narrative, their viewpoint characters changing from book to book. An old slave tells The Prophet and the Dove to his students (and thus our readers). He also narrates book four, though from a far different standpoint. Book three draws its perspective from an aging shepherd who first appeared in book two, while that title, Lions of Judah, comes through the eyes of a most surprising observer!

I know some readers prefer multiple viewpoints. The marketplace embraces this, with many books and films sharing diverse protagonist and antagonist positions to reveal vital insights. As Hitchcock often noted, this helps generate audience sympathy and tension. But I prefer writing with a more limited perspective, where only God knows what every character sees or thinks. Since I live with but one viewpoint – my own line of sight – I find maintaining this in my books keeps my writing more realistic. 

The Road to Renewal again provides a good example. Limiting readers to a single viewpoint retains the mystery and uncertainty of life. It also helps explain why honesty, trust, and love are crucial to society and survival.

God’s Furry Angels is an exception. Since I wrote that for my kids, GFA employs a classic storyteller format where a central narrator weaves many viewpoints into his tale. The most prominent character in God’s Furry Angels is a youngster naturally excited by discovery and learning, so to her, unraveling the mystery and uncertainty of life is but one aspect of growing up. The reader shares that journey with her!

A Year in the Lives of God’s Furry Angels uses a stripped-down third-person narrative, its tales broken into concise nuggets presented in a calendar format. That tight style provides readers with yet another unique reading environment.

 

I hope readers will embrace these differences and follow all of my books. We’ll see!

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Science fiction ⚙️
Dying to read a SF classic?

So am I! Unfortunately, you won’t find one among my books. It’s not that I don’t like science fiction, because I do! But my most advanced technical knowledge is about 20 years old. My closest thing to SF pits a demon against a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter (among other combatants) in the Oklahoma mountains. While this places my yet-unnamed novel in the horror genre, I like to think such “technology vs. the supernatural” confrontations might qualify as science fiction. We’ll see!

 

By the way, that demon will make its first appearance in Faith, book three of The Jonah Cycle, which will debut this fall! Its Oklahoma sequel will come sometime later…

About that SF classic... I should recommend something for you, as I have enjoyed many science fiction novels over the last 60 years. So here’s a list of favorites, in no particular order… except maybe the beginning…

The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Dune by Frank Herbert

The original Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Infected and Contagious by Scott Sigler 

Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein

The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

14 by Peter Climes

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Omnivore by Piers Anthony

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

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