Category Archives: Excerpts from our Fiction Books

Mapped Out Murders: a NaNoWriMo Project by Mary C. Findley

mapped out murders

My NaNoWrimo project for this year is called Mapped Out Murders. NaNoWriMo, by the way, is a project to write at least 50,000 words on a new novel project during the month of November. You need to write a little under 1700 words a day to reach that goal. I won’t tell you how far behind I am, because it’s very far. I used to get very stressed out about being behind, but right now I’m just happy to be writing pretty much every day, and to have this story to work on.

Mapped Out Murders is the story of Sarah Groben, a homicide detective. She has a very strange quirk that keeps getting her in trouble at the precinct. She won’t be alone with her male colleagues. That means no male partner. Yet Sarah has had the highest case closure rate of any detective in the department for years. When Sarah’s partner Rachel comes down with the flu, the captain orders her to go alone to the scene of a murder. The victim has been stabbed multiple times. When Sarah looks up to find the witness who called in the crime, she is shocked to see an old pastor friend and her husband, Don, who happens to be the department chaplain.

Mature coupel sittign in sofa and using smartphone

Don becomes her temporary partner as they investigate a series of killings linked by Google maps taking them from location to location. All but one of the victims are middle eastern men. I got the idea for this story from two recent events: One is the scorn endured by Vice President Mike Pence over his refusal to be alone with a woman not his wife, and the #MeToo Movement. I wondered what would happen if a woman took the same stand against being in potentially compromising situations with men. The other inspiration was a recent Voice of the Martyrs conference, where an Iranian man told the story of multiple Christian leaders in Iran, including his father, being murdered and left with a paper in each pocket with an address where another body could be found.

VOM

Detective Sarah Grobin and her police chaplain husband Don struggle to solve a string of murders featuring the brutal early morning stabbing deaths of middle aged men, all in the same day. Map printouts found on the bodies lead Sarah to each murder site but the third body doesn’t fit the perfect profile.

From mugging to hate crime against middleastern immigrants to a sudden dead end, the motive just won’t stay neatly pinned down. Worse still, Sarah and Don fear withholding evidence when they discover what appears to be the one sure connection between the first two victims. Revealing it might endanger a fragile work by hidden believers ministering to those who may have left Islam and embraced Christianity.

A man and a woman of european appearance communicate with each other.

Nasir Natal struggles to understand the murder of his father while grappling with a growing mountain of contradictions between the abusive, unfaithful man he knew and what he learns from those who knew a completely different man. Secrets kept by the victims and family members like himself muddy the already turbulent waters as the body count starts rising again. Nasir is forced to cooperate with his tempestuous sister Pira as well as the strange detective and her husband.

Sarah is at her wits’ end until a timid stranger constrained by culture breaks free to admit she may have the key to unmasking the Mapped Out Murders killer.

Excerpt:

“What’s your read on this guy?” Homicide detective Sarah Groben asked as she and her husband Don waited in the hallway. “I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t ask you to help with this. You’re still trying to process his father’s death. At least someone is mourning for him.”

“No, it’s okay. And you’re right,” Don replied.” It’s hard to miss the fact that Nasir’s not grief-stricken. He was genuinely surprised, though, when he saw his father’s face. And he certainly doesn’t seem to be relieved, or happy, or anything that would suggest guilt.”

“I agree. That was a look of shock. Curiosity, too, maybe. But for a second, he looked angry. Why would he be angry at his father?”

“There had to be something seriously wrong in the family for Imar to leave them, and to leave Iran. That was another shock to his son, finding out Imar had come here. He never talked much about his past. We try to take the view that whatever happened to a person who comes to us, it’s under the blood, but it’s so strange that Imar wouldn’t tell us he had family members living.”

“That emergency contact card was fresh and new-looking,” Sarah pointed out. “If he’d found out where his son was, why did he never contact him?”

“Can I see the card?” Don asked. Sarah handed the white pasteboard to him. He turned it over and gasped.

“What is it?”

“It was dark, so I didn’t notice it when you showed me before, but this is one of the cards Imar had made up for his ministry. “It’s all embossing, with no actual ink. You can hardly tell what it’s for, but if you hold it up to the light, you can see he had it specially printed.”

Fears cast out,” Sarah read. “Tongues loosed. What does that mean?”

You can find all my books at major online retailers like Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Mary-C.-Findley/e/B005SVXQW0

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What Is the Best Way to Learn What Your Opponent Believes? — post by Michael J. Findley

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In answer to a Quora question: What’s the best way to learn the opposing side’s arguments when it comes to politics?

What is best varies from person to person. I read Plato’s Republic, then acquired an audio version to listen to it many times. Rather than the Communist Manifesto, Plato is the real foundation of the left. Communism/socialism is older than Plato, but Plato is a good beginning. I also read the works of the French revolutionaries, such as Voltaire.

While they were influential in their day, they lack an overall depth of thought. Next I read the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, which I bought for 50 cents. When a dog ate them, I did not think they were worth replacing. Next I read the personal experiences of those who lived in countries where these religions where forced on the populace, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. 

I learned that the term “the left” came from the French Revolution. Revolutionaries took over the French Parliament and sat on the left side of the King. Everyone who opposed them sat to the right of the King. So the term “the Right” means opposed to the Left. “The Right” is not a specific belief or position. It simply means opposed to Communism/Socialism/Fascism. All are various versions of dialectical materialism; tyranny, to use the language of Thomas Jefferson. With Communism, dialectical materialism is god, controlled entirely by the government.

Socialism permits business to join the ruling class of government. Fascism permits anyone who is willing to join the party to rule over those who resist Fascism. Conservatism is quite different depending on the country. In the USA, it stands for private property, personal responsibility, free enterprise, and the understanding (belief), that these gifts are rights from God as explained in the Word of God. Government can only take rights away. It cannot bestow God given rights on anyone.

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The Men of the Realmlands: Finally a Series

If you look at The Baron’s Ring up on Amazon, it may shock you to discover that it was published in 2010. Yes, eight years ago I produced this Historical Romantic Suspense story of a handsome prince, Tristan, literally swept away from his father’s funeral to a land where a damsel in distress, enslaved by a sex trafficker, surely needs rescuing. But when the wicked witch comes back to haunt them and Tristan returns to his own land, he’ll find the price he’s already paid is not going to be enough to save his kingdom.

The Realmlands is a fictional place, rather than a historical setting, but the story otherwise has a medieval setting with spiritual warfare elements. At the time I wrote the first book, I envisioned a four-book series with men as the main characters. Eight years later, I have finally managed to finish book 2.

The Captain’s Blade takes up the story just after Tristan disappears.

After Tristan’s disappearance from his home country, his best friend Jonathan has no hope that Tristan survived an attack at the hands of his half-mad brother, the newly-crowned king Dunstan. Jonathan has responsibilities beyond Captain of the Guard, however, when he sails on a quest to fulfil Tristan’s long-held wish: To build a navy to protect their country from pirates.

Complications arise with that plan when Jonathan encounters an island kingdom in the grip of devilish wickedness and an exotic woman mercenary who demands information but keeps her own quest a secret. Another beautiful stranger claims she is a shipbuilder in a land where women are mere slaves and marriage chattel.

The creation of that marvelous navy of three ships costs Jonathan pain and turmoil he can hardly imagine. The shipbuilder vanishes and Jonathan is nearly killed, but the warrior woman and her six soldiers for hire rescue him and beg passage home with him.

Distrust of everything in that violent land makes him refuse her, but Jonathan will find more trouble and distress back home even amid the joy of discovering his lost friend is alive. What will happen when Jonathan sees again the beautiful mercenary his mother calls “his warrior woman?”

His navy will eventually return to the country where it was born, but will it be for a rescue or a war? Jonathan thinks he is prepared for spiritual warfare but he has no inkling of the grip demons have on the  kingdom of the South Crescentlands and the principal island of Kolt’Kutan.

For a limited time, you can get both books in the Men of the Realmland for 99 cents each. Don’t miss out on this clean, uplifting Christian series.

myBook.to/Barons-ring

books2read.com/Barons-ring

Google Play http://bit.ly/2Ch6UfJ

mybook.to/CaptainsBlade

books2read.com/CaptainsBlade

https://bit.ly/2mzzcbt

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This Is One Crazy Free Book Offer

Some of our readers have taken advantage of the free first book in my The Great Thirst serial archaeological mystery. It has a nice collection of reviews. However, I am working on a promotion for The Great Thirst Boxed Set, the complete seven-part series, and it has not been so blessed with reviews. In hopes of making it more likely to be approved by promo sites, I would like to make a crazy offer. Anyone who would like a free copy of this ebook set, please just post a comment with your email and I will get you a copy in mobi or ePub. Please help me get my books in front of more readers, and I will be so grateful! Here’s the Amazon link so you can check it out! http://myBook.to/Great_Thirst_Boxed_Set

In case you are shy about posting your email, here’s mine. Mjmcfindley@gmail.com. Please let me know if you prefer ePub or mobi (Kindle) format.

Thank you so much!

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I Never Win Anything — by Mary C. Findley

“I’ve never won anything!” You know you’ve said it yourself. So have I. But yesterday I won something. My newly-published novella, His Sign: The Wait Is Over, won an award from Radiqx Press’s Reality Calling: Christian Fiction. Peter Younghusband and David Bergsland both read and review Christian fiction, especially in the Speculative genre, for redemptive qualities. I am honored and humbled to have received this award.

radix press award

award certificate for his sign

Here is an excerpt from Peter’s review:

“I love the other message Findley included in that as Christians we should also be concerned about our fellow Christians who have lost their way and not just those people who do not know Jesus yet. I can relate to the former. I have seen so many of my fellow Christians stop going to church or abandon their relationship with Christ for many and varied reasons then are left alone by the Church. Is this because Christians/the Church find it easier to witness to the unsaved rather than to those who are saved but have fallen away? It was very refreshing having the character of Jonas have as his mandate from God to minister and harvest those who have fallen away from Christ. Findley makes the point here that we as Christians interpret seeking after lost sheep as described in the Word as those who do not know Him yet but as she illustrates in this novel, the lost sheep includes those who have had a relationship with Jesus but have lost their way for many reasons. These like the unsaved still need reconciliation to God. I almost cried out, ‘Preach it, Sister!’

“Mentioning issues like this and having Findley address them in her novels, shows the extent of her knowledge and understanding of the Word, its application and power when applied to the Christian life. There are many examples in this novel with the Christian characters herein, where she shows her expertise here. For the discerning and receptive Christian reader, this is such a joy to read and be ministered to. Findley includes this as part of the developing plot and characterisation without it coming across as preaching to the choir or the unsaved. To achieve that is a talent and a very effective outcome.”

Here is the full review on Peter’s blog:

https://christianfictionreviewguru.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/his-sign-wait-is-over-paranormal-urban.html

He has many great reviews. If you are looking for God-honoring fiction please become a follower. Considering his long reading list, you can appreciate how blessed I feel to have been chosen for a read and review.

Here’s a video about the writing process, with a snippet:

Here is an excerpt:

“Yep. Sure enough, God had something different in mind,” Jonas said. He kept his eyes on the road but his grip tightened on the wheel. “I feel like now I went the wrong way, becoming a minister ahead of schedule, and tried to drag Anna with me, though. I feel like I failed, and I’m afraid … I’m afraid to fail again.

“When you all showed up at the church, ready to move, I knew I was supposed to go with you, but now … farm work – it’s so comfortable, so easy, compared to all the work of trying to build that church. And I got my Anna back. I feel like maybe this is what I am supposed to do, and I should just stay here, start a little gathering for worship. We could set up that refuge or storage or whatever you need, Drew, you and Hass and her people, but … I still don’t know the next step. Maybe there isn’t any next step, for me, except to be here, to make this place into your refuge – a refuge for anybody who wants to come home to Christ.”

“How do you think I feel?” Drew said. “I was a successful guy, doing work I loved, and doing good, besides. You know, saving the world, or at least little bits of it. A success, in every imaginable sense of the word. Now I’m a bankrupt, paranoid, homeless guy with a death sentence from lots more people than Nomie Harker. And I owe for repairs to an apartment that spirit-world monsters blew apart.”

If you would like to read the book for yourself, here it is on Amazon:

myBook.to/His_Sign

his sign radix and edge 1 5 18

 

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Waiting for a Sign? — Post by Mary C. Findley

 

his sign 12 28 2017

Many people know that I’ve spent the last two years not writing much of anything. A few blog posts, some editing work, but the only publications in those two years have been volume 5 of our homeschool curriculum, Conflict of the Ages V: The Ancient World, Student and Teacher Editions and the summary version, Under the Sun: A Traditional View of Ancient History. That’s not much production for two years. I plinked away at some works in progress, but accomplished very little.

In October, however, I received as a gift some great images from a stock image site called Neostock, and got inspired to create an urban fantasy cover, possibly to sell as a premade, since I’m also a designer. Three Neostock images appear on this cover. The more I talked about the idea behind it with author friends, the more inspired I got to write the story myself.

So I began to work on that story, with the working title, His Sign, and by the end of October I had over 10,000 words. I was very excited to be writing again. How many believers are “waiting for a sign” about how to serve God? This is the story, partly allegory, partly urban fantasy, of one man’s journey after getting a sign he couldn’t ignore. You’ll find a pinch of C.S. Lewis, a sprinkling of Frank Peretti, a dash of Pilgrim’s Progress, and a lot of intent to be faithful to the Scriptures rolled into an offering to readers looking for something different in Christian books.

I was encouraged enough to believe the dam of my writer’s block had broken. Here I am, almost at the end of December, and I have over 30,000 words in His Sign after taking a break for NaNoWriMo and getting in over 30,000 words for that, too. I wanted to finish something to publish by year’s end, and I may still do that. In the meantime, here is a snippet. I’d love to know what you think of this, since it’s sort of a departure from what I normally write, but, I hope, a product of God’s grace and for His glory.

At the moment when Drew Goddard disengaged the gun’s clip, the window and a fair portion of the wall exploded inward. It seemed to his sleep-deprived mind that it didn’t so much explode as liquefy, like a melding but inwardly-expanding bubble containing colors and shapes he recognized as bricklike, woodlike, and even wallpaper and glasslike.

Drew fell backwards off the chair as a … thing … hurled itself at him. A bizarre memory of electron microscope images of dust mites or some such creature became reality, but in gigantic size, a translucent bluish entity with clawed limbs, more like something composed of energy than matter.

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But it never reached him. His apartment door smashed open and he had a vision of black tactical gear and a waterfall of golden brown hair lunging between Drew and the creature. As the woman spun and unstrapped a handgun Drew couldn’t shake the impression that something like four tattered wasp wings sprouted from her back.

A shriek that seemed to span dimensions ripped its way out of the bluish energy beast. The “gun” the woman held spurted golden beams and the creature responded much as Drew’s apartment wall and window had — bubbling and melding and, after a moment, bursting. A blue hazy glowing cloud settled over the room and Drew frantically brushed at himself to get the reside off in case it was — What? Radioactive? Poisonous? Magic charm cursed? He felt justified when the woman seemed to be madly doing the same thing before turning to face Drew.

And the book is now live! Print edition also available!

Amazon worldlink:  myBook.to/His_Sign
All other ebook sites: books2read.com/His-sign1-wait-is-over

 

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