Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: The Bone House - day three

For the third day of this tour, I'd like to talk about the phenomenon that the story is based on: parallel universes. The parallel universes in the Bright Empires series are mostly the same, but are lined up differently in reference ti time. For instance, if you travel on a ley, you may end up in 1820, or even in 33 A.D.

There are some similar theories and speculations (novels) about parallel universes. Stephen Hawking's Multiverse Theory is one of these. Here is a concise definition:

"The multiverse is a theoretical framework in modern cosmology (and high energy physics) which presents the idea that there exist a vast array of potential universes which are actually manifest in some way."

To make it a little more clear, the Multiverse Theory states that every potential event creates another universe in which that even takes place. For instance, if I high-five my brother tomorrow, and make cupcakes later on, those events will cause universes to exist in which 1) I don't high five my brother but still make cupcakes 2) high five my brother but don't make cupcakes and 3) high five my brother and make brownies. You can see that there are infinite possibilities. Thus, there are infinite universes. This blows my mind, personally. I don't want to think about it any more.

A simpler, less mind-blowing version of this theory is presented in the movie Source Code. If you haven't seen it, this next section contain spoilers, so you are duly warned. The protagonist in the movie is a man stuck inside a machine that allows him to live the last eight minutes of a man's life over and over again. He lives out the last eight minutes of a man who was the victim of a train bombing, trying to figure out who the bomber was. During these eight-minute periods, he does different things each time, each involving a woman he is sitting beside, who is another victim. He becomes desperate to save her, but never succeeds. In the end, you find that each time he did something different, he created a slightly different universe with a new outcome.

Bryan Davis writes about a similar effect. In his Echoes From the Edge series, there are multiple universes (only three, in this case), but they are the same, until people travel between them, changing them up a bit. However, this does not create more universes like the examples noted previously.

The multi-verse theory and the similar ideas have been really influential in today's media and literature. It is the source for much speculation, literally with infinite possibilities. In The Bone House, no universes are created by potential events, as far as has been revealed. Some have been changed in respect to others, but not created by potentiality.

CSFF Blog Tour - The Bone House - Day Two

Yesterday I posted a review of The Bone House. Some of you who haven't read any of the series may still be wondering what a ley line is. To help you out, and to increase your knowledge of "strange phenomena," here is a website that can tell you all about ley lines! I don't have the time to copy and paste the material here, unfortunately.

Tour Participants:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Opposite of Art feature

Well, the blog tour for The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson is today. I've got about 100 pages through, as I started last night. I will be posting the review tomorrow, hopefully. But, since the tour is today, I'll give some information about the book.

Synopsis: A great artist is cast into the icy Harlem River by a hit-and-run driver. His heart stops, and he sees something that defies description. Presumed dead by all who knew him and obsessed with the desire to paint the inexpressible, he embarks on a pilgrimage to seek help from holy men around the globe. But is it possible to see eternity without becoming lost within it? After a quarter of a century, when the world begins to whisper that he may be alive, two people come looking for the artist: the daughter he never knew existed, and the murderer who hit him on the bridge all those years ago.

The premise is intriguing, and the plot is unique, so far. The imaginative quality is great too. It's caught my attention...

Monday, October 24, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: The Bone House (day one)

The Bone House, Bright Empires, Stephen Lawhead, Thomas Nelson, Adventure/Fantasy September 6, 2011, 416 pages.

Synopsis: One piece of the skin map has been found. Now the race to unravel the future of the furture turns deadly.

Kit Livingstone met his great grandfather Cosimo in a rainy alley in London where he discovered the reality of alternate realities.

Now he's on the run-and on a quest-trying to understand the impossible mission he inherited from Cosimo: to restore a map that charts the hidden dimensions of the multiverse. Survival depends on staying one step ahead of the savage Burley Men.

The key is the Skin Map-but where it leads and what it means, Kit has no idea. The pieces have been scattered throughout this universe and beyond.

Mina, from her outpost in seventeenth-century Prague, is quickly gaining both the experience and the means to succeed in the quest. Yet so are those with evil intent who, from the shadows, are manipulating great minds of history for their own malign purposes.

Those who know how to use ley lines have left their own world behind to travel across time and space-down avenues of Egyptian sphinxes, to an Etruscan tufa tomb, a Bohemian coffee shop, and a Stone Age landscape where universes collide-in this, the second quest to unlock the mystery of The Bone House.

My thoughts: The Bone House answered a few questions I had from the first book, The Skin Map, but also raised more. I was left hoping that they will all be answered in a satisfying manner in the next volume. As for the writing, it was once again brilliant. Lawhead mastered the style and culture of each location and time, creating very believable scenarios. The characters were very real, including Burleigh, as I visited his past. Kit, Wilhelmina, and Giles all were simple everyday people that I could relate to. They were not high-calling special adventurers, but were learning just as we would if placed in their stead.

The history, observed in real time by the ley-leapers, elevated the whole story to a possibility of being true. I love it when I can speculate like this book allows. Thomas Young, Roger Bacon, and other famous men added a brilliant flair to the mix.

The Bone House, in my opinion, is slightly better than it's predecessor. It doesn't leave you with a big question mark, even though what happened has yet to be explained.

This book was provided free by the CSFF Blog Tour. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Please give this review a helpful rating on Amazon!

Buy The Bone House!
Check out more Suspense books!

Upcoming reviews:

  • Ether Ore by various authors
  • The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson
  • Star Chosen by Joe Chiapetta

Tour Participants:

Friday, October 21, 2011

From the Garden to the City

From the Garden to the City, John Dyer, Kregel Publications, Nonfiction, June 24, 2011, 192 pages.

Synopsis: Believers and unbelievers alike are saturated with technology, yet most give it little if any thought. Consumers buy and upgrade as fast as they can, largely unaware of technology's subtle yet powerful influence. In a world where technology changes almost daily, many are left to wonder: Should Christians embrace all that is happening? Are there some technologies that we need to avoid? Does the Bible give us any guidance on how to use digital tools and social media?

My thoughts: I haven't seen a book like this before, and I learned quite a bit from it. A Christian view of technology is important. It doesn't simply come down to "technology is neutral; it's what the user does with it that makes it good or bad." John Dyer examines the Biblical story for technology and when God introduces it, encourages it, and condemns it. I thought From the Garden to the City was a very well-thought-out discourse. It is organized chronologically with the Bible, always showing examples and parallels with history and present-day technology and inventors. This would be a helpful read for any up-and-coming Christian "techie."

This book was provided free by Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 4 stars

Please give this review a helpful rating on Amazon!

Buy From the Garden to the City!
Check out more books about Contemporary Issues!

Upcoming reviews:
  • The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead
  • Ether Ore by various authors
  • Star Chosen by Joe Chiapetta

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Sending

The Sending, Matt Koceich, Marcher Lord Press, Speculative Fiction, October 1, 2010, 360 pages.

Synopsis: Find the Garden of Eden or your family dies... Mark practices a little-known form of ESP called remote viewing. He's able to leave his body behind and travel to any time or place in the world. His bosses want Mark to find the real-world location of where the Garden of Eden used to be- or may still be. Mark is not a Christian and has little more than curiosity about finding the Garden, but his wife is a believer who is wanting him to let go of what she sees as an occult practice-so he can spend more time with her and their little boy. When Mark announces to his boss that he's going to be quitting, everything comes unglued. A madman kidnaps his wife and son and demands that he redouble his efforts to find the Garden of Life-or not even the Tree of Life will save his family. With enemies closing in both in the real world and the spirit realm, Mark has to discern truth from lies-and sort out what he believes- before it's too late.

My thoughts: The premise of this story is a strange one, but that’s what I get for reading speculative fiction. In this story, the speculation is: “What if the Garden of Eden still existed on Earth?” It’s a rather odd idea, and it seemed quite surreal throughout the book. Although, that could be my fault as the reader.

Remote viewing is performed numerous times by the protagonist, Mark Grant. This may seem odd; I find it a little strange personally. It was necessary, though, to enable him to find the Garden, but the parallels (or lack thereof) between the remote viewings of the Garden and the physical Garden confused me.

Now, for the writing. The book ultimately had an epic feel to it, from the imperfect father/wife to the “Dekker-esque” villain, The Serpent. This epic-ness really became apparent in the last 60 pages or so, in the final battle for Eden. That being said, Mr. Koceich made many slip-ups in his writing. First, there were many clumsy similes. They were effective and original, but far too wordy. Second, a few times a phrase or paragraph simply didn’t make any sense. This could have been a grammar, typo, or plain word omission problem. Some paragraphs seemed to have been put in far ahead of when they come into the story, and boggled me. Third, the switching between remote viewing and reality was often sudden and it took me too long to realize which I was reading about. This may be the cause of the seemingly-switched paragraphs mentioned above.

Characters took a large part in the story, and I respect that. Overall, one of the book’s main results is the redemption of a man, Mark Grant. It portrays him in various situations with his family, developing his and their characters really well. Like Ted Dekker, Matt Koceich develops his villains point-of-view very well. You get a feel for this person, seeing how similar you are; yet he still is distant, unfeeling, and unlike you in some way.

My rating: 3 stars

This ebook was provided free for review by Marcher Lord Press. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Please give this review a helpful rating on Amazon!

Upcoming reviews:
  • From the Garden to the City by John Dyer
  • The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead
  • Ether Ore by various authors

Quick update!

Just wanted to let you all know...I'm making a challenge for myself: 20 books in 30 days. These 30 days started Oct. 15, so I have until Nov. 15th to finish them! I'll check them off on facebook as I go.

So, you will be seeing lots of reviews popping up here suddenly. Don't be alarmed...

Monday, October 10, 2011

New design!

Well, what do you think? Better, worse, amazing, abysmal? Please give your thoughts below! (if you don't like it, tell me why and I won't be offended. Please don't say "it just looks...bad" give a reason) :P

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?Why God Won't Go Away, Alister McGrath, Thomas Nelson, Nonfiction, 2010, 191 pages.

Synopsis: An accessible discourse written by a trusted expert and scholar critiquing the new atheism on its own merits and claims.

The rise of the new atheism, which includes the manifestos of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, has created a public willingness in today’s marketplace to talk about God and religion. Yet the debate up to this point has focused largely on rebutting the new atheist critique of Christianity. Why God Won't God Away moves into new territory by challenging the new atheism on its own grounds. Chapters include discussion on:
  • What is the new atheism
  • The problem of religion
  • The problem of human nature
  • Believing only what can be proved
  • Dealing with imagined worlds and myths
  • The new humanism and the new enlightenment
  • Violence and dogmatism

My thoughts: I enjoyed this impressive work very much. This is the first time I've read one of McGrath's works, and I'm sure to be reading more. Why God Won't Go Away was very logical and convincing that New Atheism didn't work. I don't think it would be very useful as a flip-through handguide to refuting New Atheism, as it is very condensed and takes a while to read. It is more for understanding New Atheism as a whole, and I appreciate that approach. It doesn't necessarily try to prove Christianity, but shows that New Atheism fails to debunk it. To anyone interested in current apologetics, this is a really good resource that you should buy.

My rating: 5 stars

This book was provided free by Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.

If you would, could you please give this review a helpful rating on amazon?

Upcoming reviews:
  • From the Garden to the City by John Dyer
  • Diviner by Bryan Davis
  • Thunder in the Morning Calm by Don Brown
Check out more books about Apologetics!

Chila Woychik interview

Please welcome Mrs. Woychik for an interview! Comments *always* appreciated!

NA: Welcome! What drew you to write in the Literary Nonfiction genre?

I think I love writing creative nonfiction because I love reading it. Annie Dillard has been a favorite of mine for years, and I've devoured her books several times over.  I simply love that style of thinking, so the writing of it came naturally for me.

NA: Please tell us what Literary Nonfiction is all about?

Someone defined creative/literary nonfiction this way (a wonderful definition, by the way): "Ultimately, the primary goal of the creative nonfiction writer is to communicate information, just like a reporter, but to shape it in a way that reads like fiction."  So it's using facts, but then adding a literary or even experimental style to make it something pleasingly different than "just the facts, ma'am."  It's a fascinating genre, to be sure.

NA: As you look back on writing On Being A Rat, what challenged you the most, and how did you get through it? 
The post persistent obstacle had to be my limited time supply; I had to grab minutes here and there, and with me, a project is never good enough, so I'm sure it took me twice as long as it could have.  :)

NA: You talk a lot about nature in your book. What would you say has been your favorite place or national park to visit?

Bar Harbor, Maine, was a favorite, but I've also been hiking, fishing, and rock climbing in several state parks, and that was amazing as well.  The arid west I like less so, but give me a mountain, river, ocean, or forest, and I'm happy. And snow is pretty cool too (no pun intended).  I and my family lived on the very edge of the Mark Twain National Forest for a couple of years, on 30 gloriously wooded acres.  It was tremendous.  One of our first dusky evenings there, we encountered the very near call of a mountain lion.  Now *that* was thrilling, but I'll save that for another time. :)

NA: Do you happen to own any rats? If not, do you own any other pets?  

No rats, but one highly charming barn cat named Lightning, plus sundry farm animals: sheep, chickens, piglets right now, though we've had about everything at one time or another including goats, cattle, llamas, turkeys, ducks, guineas, dogs, more cats - what am I leaving out?  No horses, more's the pity.

NA: Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know? 

I love Jeeps and Jeeping. I will fight, claw and be misunderstood, hated, in an effort to teach writers to write truly well.  My goal is to win at least 3 substantial awards for my first novel, which I'm in the process of writing now.

NA: Do you have future book plans or ideas? 

I've just started my first serious novel, an urban fantasy (mentioned in the previous question).  I'm also working on a set of linked short stories, another first for me.  I'd love to do more creative nonfiction and of course poetry will always be a favorite.  I'll be applying for a stint at the fountain of youth so I'll have time to accomplish all my dreams. ;)

NA: Do you have any advice to those aspiring to write Literary Nonfiction? 

Like with anything else, read the very best books in that genre you can find.  For cnf, Annie Dillard, minimally.  And if someone has an inclination, they can pick up my book pretty cheaply on Amazon, or they can jot me a note and I'll send them an autographed copy.

NA: It's been great to have you! Do you have any final words for us readers? 

If a writer is really serious about writing, they simply must read beyond their little group of "safe" authors.  There are so many accomplished authors out there, with great books that can teach us by merely reading and absorbing their lessons.  Read well, write well.  I truly believe that's the best advice I can give any author.  Thanks so much for the interview,  Noah.  Your questions were hugely fun!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Frederick Riddle interview

Please welcome Mr. Riddle, author of Perished: The World That Was (read my review)!

1. ) What drew you to write in the Historical Fiction genre?

A: First, let me thank you for this opportunity.  It is always nice to be able to talk about my book.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading history and, when I got saved, that carried over to Bible History.  I still love to read good historical fiction, so it was a natural fit for me.  In fact, my very first novel, Refuge, sprang from my daily Bible readings.

2.) What is unique in Perished: The World That Was compared to other Historical Fiction?

A: When compared to other Bible-based Historical Fiction, I guess the uniqueness would be my style.  I not only base the story on Biblical fact, but I incorporate King James Version quotes.  The manner in which the characters speak allows such Scripture to be incorporated without standing out.  By weaving them into the story, I encourage my readers to check out in the Bible what is fact and what is my imagination at work.

3.) As you look back on writing Perished: The World That Was, what challenged you the most, and how did you get through it?

A: There were actually two great challenges.  The first was remaining faithful to the Biblical accounts.  It is easy to get so wrapped up in your story that you forget the Biblical boundaries.  I was constantly checking the Bible for accuracy.

     The second was character development.  In the Bible accounts you had good and bad people with the same name.  This creates built-in confusion for the reader as to which character is being viewed at any one time.  (One such example is Enoch.)

     Not to sound too spiritual, but I turned to prayer and asked God to guide me.  I tried to create enough information surrounding the character that the reader would be able to discern which character was in view.  Of all the reviews I have received, only one had a problem with that, so I am very pleased. 

4.) Prayer is good! Which character was the hardest to write, and which was the easiest?

A: The hardest was God Himself.  Considering Who He is, I had to be true to Him.  The best way to do that was to use His own words whenever possible.  This required me to research the whole Bible for His words relating to these events.  But I also had to get His "voice."  By that I mean the God of my book had to sound like God.

     As for the easiest that would be Lucifer.  His wickedness and evil aspirations were readily apparent and easy to relate.

5.) If you could be any character in your book, who would it be?

A: That is a hard choice since a little bit of me goes into every character.  But I really identified with Adam after the Fall.  I say after because I wouldn't want to be responsible for sin entering the human race, but his faith in God afterward must have been tremendous.  Here was a man who fathered a race, who was probably a genius (as was Eve), and probably was actively involved in the human race's social, industrial, and religious development.  I see him as a man of faith, who watched all this with both pride and sorrow (because of the visible consequences of his initial sin).

6.) Do you have a particular fascination with any one Biblical event?

A:  I probably lean toward creation, but close behind is the Flood.  These two events coupled with the Confusion of Tongues at Babel have had a tremendous effect upon the world.

7.) Why did you choose to re-tell such a tale as Perished?

A:  Because that is where it all started.  The Book of Genesis is foundational to our understanding of God, the world we live in, and the necessity for a Saviour.  It seemed only right that my writings should begin there.

8.) Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know?

A:  The first and most important thing would be that I received Christ as my Saviour at the age of thirty.  I wish I would have done so at a much earlier age, but I am glad that I finally realized that I am a sinner and need a Saviour.

     The second thing is that I served in a Baptist church in Michigan as the Financial Secretary for 15 years.  I am currently serving in the same capacity in a local Baptist church here in Port Charlotte, FL.

     The third thing would be Teresa, my wife, and I take care of her mother (alzheimers) 24/7.  This can be trying and certainly takes time, but she is such a godly woman you don't mind doing it.

9.) Do you have future book plans or ideas?

A:  Several actually.  I am currently writing a sequel to Perished that picks up where it left off and covers events before, during and after the Confusion of Tongues at Babel.  In addition to that I am working on a novel that takes place right here in America during and after the War of 1812.  I have also just returned from a trip to St. Augustine, Florida where I gathered information that could eventually lead to several novels.

10.) Do you have any advice to those wanting to write Biblical Historical Fiction?

A:  You could write books on this subject, but I think one of the most important would be to be faithful to the Bible.  It is not just a depository of historical information.  It is the Word of God and must be treated with the utmost respect.

     Furthermore, remember that the Bible was written to convey only what God wanted us to know so that we might know the need for a Saviour and to know that Saviour.  Because of this there is a great deal of room for "the rest of the story."  Your job is to create that story within the Biblical framework.  That is similar to staying within historical records in the secular world.  But it is different.  Never forget you are dealing with the Word of God.

11.) Thank you for your time! Do you have any final words for our readers?

A:   First, it's been a pleasure sharing my thoughts with you.  You asked some good and tough questions, which I hope I have answered to your satisfaction.  If your readers are interested in my views and/or advice on writing Christian Fiction, I encourage them to visit my blog at

Sunday, October 2, 2011


No, I actually haven't seen this movie. And that isn't what this post is about. It is about the number 300, though. This is officially my 300th post on this blog!! I want to thank all of you who invested your time into reading, commenting, and even giving your two cents about this blog. I wouldn't be here today without all you supporters, whether you just stop by to see how it's going, read now and then, or are a devoted follower. All of you help. Thank you. Really.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Candace Little interview

This interview has taken a while in coming. I apologize again to Miss Little for the delays. Here we go!

NA: Welcome! What drew you to write in the fantasy genre?

CL: Freedom. With historical fiction or contemporary fiction or any other sort of fiction where reality and literature intersect, the writer has to be concerned with the accuracy of certain details and with matching the shape of the story to the shape of the real world. And that’s good. That is as it should be. But that is also very confining. In the fantasy genre, however, the writer has to work with a bare framework of logic--but that’s it. And the writer can even set the terms of the logic that governs. So there is this incredible freedom in fantasy literature for a writer to construct any sort of world or any sort of backdrop for the telling of whatever story the writer can imagine.

NA: What is unique in The Pursuit Of A King compared to other fantasy stories?

CL: The tone, for one thing. Fantasy stories can be very serious, and some can be very dark. The Pursuit of a King is meant to be light and fun. Another thing that sets it apart is that I tried to take actual Bible verses and imagery and incorporate them into the story; the book of Proverbs is the backbone of The Pursuit of a King, I would say. But I tried not to make the Bible references too heavy-handed. It’s done in a way that meets a person where he or she is; the more familiar the reader is with the Bible, the more the reader will see. But that familiarity is not crucial to enjoying the story. It’s more like there are little buried treasures throughout for a reader to find—if he or she cares to look.

NA: As you look back on writing the book, what challenged you the most, and how did you get through it?

CL: For all my talk of freedom, I needed some sort of boundary. It can feel overwhelming to write open-endedly, and it gives a writer the dangerous option of rambling on and cluttering up a story. So I set a chapter limit. That helped me pace the story and narrow down what really needed to be said.

NA: Which character was the hardest to write, and which was the easiest?

CL: Barto was the hardest character to write. He had to serve as a balance to Artemerio without overshadowing him, which was especially challenging since Barto tells the story. And since I wrote it in first-person from Barto’s perspective, I had to stop now and then and consider whether I was giving him thoughts and observations that sounded too much like a girl. Writing what boys do is one thing; writing what they think is another. :)

Vestero was probably the easiest character to write. He was just sort of there waiting for me as I wrote. He wasn’t really planned; he just kept turning up. And I was as surprised to discover his identity at the end as if I were reading the story instead of writing it.

NA: If you could be any character in your books, who would it be?

CL: Lady Mercy. But overall I try to create the sort of characters people would want to be or at least meet, so I’ve spread out qualities and character traits that I admire among most of the major characters and many of the minor ones. And I’ve finished three other manuscripts at this point…so my answer might change depending on the story.

NA: Do you get attached to your characters?

CL: Yes! Well, not the ones that represent evil. But all the others I do, even the ones that aren’t major characters. In one of the other manuscripts, a minor character …How can I say this without saying too much? Hmmm…I’ll just say that he didn’t make it to the end. It was such a sad day when I had to write of his passing. But I gave him a very nice funeral in the story, and he was mourned appropriately by the other characters.

And I have to say that it made me think of God in writing terms—how terribly attached to each of us He must be and what grief must be involved in losing some characters when they choose to wander away from Him.

NA: I liked your use of fruit. Do you like to bake?

CL: Ah, the fruit. Thanks. You know, I really am not much of a baker. With the right brownie mix, I do okay. And I have my go-to homemade cookie recipe for office parties and/or holiday gatherings. Other than that…no. I wrote the part about cake because I wanted cake, not because I know what I'm doing when it comes to baking one. :)

NA: Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know?

CL: Well…let’s see. First, I suppose it might help readers to know more about my own taste in literature, so I’ll throw out some names here—C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jane Austen, Baroness Emmuska Orczy—but then I’ll go a step beyond and say that as much as I enjoy these writers’ works, I think G. K. Chesterton is my favorite. (And then I’ll go even a step beyond that and recommend his book Orthodoxy.) Second, as a roundabout but related way of referring to a musical literary genius whose works I enjoy, I’ll mention that I first read Chesterton because Rich Mullins mentioned Orthodoxy in a radio interview I heard. (I know Rich Mullins is admired for his musical talent, but, come on—“And the moon is a sliver of silver, like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop…” That doesn’t have to be sung to be beautiful. He was a brilliant poet. Oh—and that line about the moon is from his song “The Color Green,” for those who might not know.) Third, I’ll venture on to an unrelated topic and point out—delicately, good-humoredly, and with some regret at even bringing up such a trifling thing (but I feel it must be done)—that I noticed in the review you wrote that you referred to me as “Mrs. Little.” I don’t mind! It’s an understandable assumption.  But I must, politely and inoffensively, I hope, offer the following correction: I am a Miss…at the most, a Ms. (But I like the “s” sound of Miss more than the almost “z” sound of Ms., to be honest with you.). And there. All done--and a little over the limit of three things. 

NA: Are there going to be any books that will continue where The Pursuit Of A King left off?

CL: Yes. I’ve finished three sequels. I am very excited about these other stories! Each story is a continuation of the series, but each one has its own distinct theme and message and could stand alone. So a person could start with the second or third or fourth book without having to read any of the others first…well, when the second and third and fourth books are officially available, that is.

But I am pleased to announce that I am making the second book, The Heart of a King, available as a free (yes—free!!) e-book. After the various hoops are jumped through, it should be available through several different retailers, but in the meantime, it can be downloaded from in formats that work for most e-readers. (Here’s a link to the site where it can be downloaded: .)

NA: Do you have future book plans or ideas?

CL: The fourth manuscript leaves open the possibility of future stories, but for now I have no plans for any. Actually, there is plenty of room for other stories to be squeezed in between the manuscripts (in the intervening time between the events in the stories), and I’ve thought about giving Barto his own book. Now that you mention it, I guess I do have ideas--lots of them. But we’ll just have to see what happens. All of these stories have come as a surprise to me, so I expect any future ones to be similarly unexpected.

NA: Do you have any advice to those wanting to write allegory?

CL: I try to keep in mind something J. R. R. Tolkien said on the subject, and I think his words might be helpful to other writers, too. He said that “the more ‘life’ a story has, the more readily it will be susceptible of allegorical interpretation; while conversely, the better a deliberate allegory is, the more nearly it will be acceptable as just a story.” (I’m quoting Tolkien as he was quoted in a book by Humphrey Carpenter called The Inklings.)

NA: It's been great to have you here! Do you have any final words for our readers?

CL: First, Noah, I want to thank you for interviewing me—and for offering the kind of reviews you do. I’m so impressed by your blog! Second, to your readers, thanks for taking the time to read this interview! If you are interested in more information about the book, feel free to check out the book’s Facebook page: . (I have Notes posted there with more details, and there are a couple of chapters posted on there in the Notes section, as well.)