Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Writing Blogs to Love!

We all know that continuing education is a must for all authors, published or not. Thanks to the internet, much of that education is a keystroke away, but the blogosphere is replete with so many voices that it can be overwhelming. I’ve chosen to follow a small handful of blogs, each with a different emphasis. Just this year, two friends have created author-craft blogs that I’ve found immensely helpful. Hopefully, you’ll add them to your blog roll.

I met Stephanie Prichard and her co-author husband, Don, roughly six years ago at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, but it was a year or two later at the same conference (while taking the Nangie class—Nancy Rue and Angela Hunt) that we became friends. We’ve since become critique partners, and, oh my, does she have hawk eyes! Commas don’t dare slip out of place while under her perusal. ;-)

I love Steph’s quick wit and her honesty (which is painful at times). She and her husband are also fantastic storytellers. I can’t wait for the world to read the novel they have woven together!

Steph has recently plunged into the world of blogging with her grammar blog, Grammar Yammer, where she daily teaches five-minute lessons. With this blog she’s provided a quick and easy way for all of us to improve our grammar. Check it out!

    Stephanie Prichard is the grammar queen for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Her editor chose her because her lessons are spiked with humor to entice the reluctant student to laugh and learn. She also writes a monthly, online humor article for The Christian Pulse.
     Her major in college was English/Lit, but the source of her passion for grammar comes from her youth, when life with her army officer dad exposed her to a fantastic array of cultures around the world. She learned five foreign languages, and although she sniffles over the sad fact that she can’t remember a word of them now, they served to broaden her base for understanding the English language.
     Steph’s goal for her blog is to prosper the writing community. What could be more basic to the art of wordsmithing than grammar? And, one might add, easier to push aside? Today’s publishing industry doesn’t coddle writers with poorly presented manuscripts. More than ever, authors need to be responsible for the quality of their work.  Good grammar is as necessary a tool as any for the skillful writer to acquire, use, and stay on top of.
     With this in mind, and knowing what it’s like to juggle a busy schedule, Steph designed Grammar Yammer to teach daily lessons in five minutes max. No fancy-dancy words like “genitive case” or “non-restrictive appositive noun,” either—just simple, sensible explanations, always with examples. At the end of each lesson is a teeny test to help ingrain the content. MWF feature grammar and punctuation, while TT spotlight writing skills. Thursdays from May 24 to October 4 will teach 20 Figures of Speech to help add sparkle to your writing.


I met Michelle Lim a few years back when our Minnesota chapter of ACFW was in its infancy. From the beginning, I was amazed at how rapidly she formed ideas. When planning, she’d be tossing out her 20th suggestion, while I was still formulating my first. The same goes for plotting--her mind sparks ideas at lighting speed. Since she began her blog, Thoughts on Plot, I’ve learned she is also an excellent teacher. I love how she weaves story into her education process. Her blog has quickly become one to watch. I highly recommend it.

     Thoughts on Plot is a blog that journeys with the writer, celebrating their ups and downs while learning more about the craft of writing. Each day includes a blog varying in topic from writing craft, professional tips, faith, and featured guest authors. Laugh, cry, and celebrate the writing journey with www.thoughtsonplot@wordpress.com.
     Michelle Lim is a Romantic Suspense writer with three complete manuscripts that have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest in 2012, the Genesis Contest in 2011, and the Frasier Contest in 2010. She is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and she serves as Vice President of MN N.I.C.E. (Novelists Inspiring Christian Excellence), a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers.
     Michelle's website: http://www.michellestreetmatter.com/

And the Winner of THE TELLING is ...

*** Kat Heckenbach ***

Congratulations Kat!
Please send your mailing address to: BrendaBryantAndersonATcomcastDOTnet

Special thanks to Mike Duran for providing an engaging interview and the book for the giveaway. I greatly appreciate it!

And thank you, readers, for making Mike's interview the 3rd most popular post ever (so far) on the Spire Reviews blog. I hope you'll stop by again.

(Name chosen via the old-fashioned way--
my daughter pulled Kat's name out of a Minnesota Twins cap.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Author Spotlight on Mike Duran

I wish to thank author Mike Duran for stopping by Spire Reviews today for a brief chat. For those of you who haven't read his blog (deCOMPOSE) before, I encourage you to hop over there after reading this interview. Mike is rarely bashful about speaking his mind, and his posts often encourage thoughtful and heated debates. I've discovered it to be a challenging forum that continuously inspires my growth in faith.
Also, Mike has generously offered to give away (1) copy of his new release, THE TELLING. Please see below for instructions on how to enter this contest.
Good morning, Mike. Thank you for stopping by today, and congratulations on your new release, THE TELLING. I loved your debut novel, THE RESURRECTION, and anticipate your sophomore work will be equally engaging—just like your blog deCOMPOSE.
One reason I enjoy reading your blog is because you're not afraid to stir the pot, thereby encouraging discussion. Have you ever found your opinion swayed by the debate?
Oh yeah. I’m blessed to have such wonderful commenters and facilitate such fun, interesting discussions. One such time was my review of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It remains one of my most visited, hotly debated, posts (http://mikeduran.com/2011/04/redeeming-love-a-review/). The reason I even got to the place to read and review a romance novel was because of my blog readers. I’ve said some pretty snarky things about romance and romance readers in the past. Over time, I’ve felt my views changing. Of course, it’s still not my chosen genre to read or write, but the discussions helped me to a more balanced perspective, I think. I’m glad I read that book. And though it reinforced some of the opinions, it also changed some. So, yeah. My opinion is shaped, if not swayed, often.
A frequent topic on your blog is the quality of Christian fiction. One of the goals of Spire Reviews is to spotlight *Christian fiction* that raises the standard. Have you discovered any Christian fiction authors or novels that you would endorse? What, in your opinion, elevates them above the rest?
Wow! More than I could mention. I’ve read enough to know that there’s great-to-mediocre stuff in both markets. So I’ve never bought into the complaint that all Christian fiction is junk. Currently, I’m reading Athol Dickson’s Lost Mission. Dickson is such a great writer. Not sure how any objective person could read his stuff and still say that Christian writers are hacks. Tosca Lee is another Christian author who I consider a fantastic wordsmith. Tim Downs, T.L. Hines, and Robert Liparulo, just to name a few others. Last year I read Leif Enger's Peace Like a River and just adored it. While not considered Christian fiction, its themes are blatantly spiritual. Admittedly, I haven’t read much in the Women’s Fiction category, even though it comprises probably three-fourths of the Christian publishing market. Frankly, I think that’s one of our shortfalls at this point.
Well said. You mentioned several of my favorite authors, and I would like to add that there are several excellent women’s fiction writers within Christian fiction (see Authors Who Dare Write Different list in sidebar).
Regardless of genre, are there authors you read regularly? Are there any you wish to emulate?
I love Dean Koontz’s books, especially his Odd Thomas series. What I like about Koontz is his humorous, existential ruminations. He’s writing about something “bigger” than just his characters. I’ll never forget one Christian acquisitions editor telling me at a writers conference that Dean Koontz was writing some of the best Christian fiction out there. Go figger. Another writer who has deeply influenced me is G.K. Chesterton. His The Man Who Was Thursday remains one of my all-time favorite reads. It’s complex, dense, and full of wit. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy is so full of philosophical clarity and joy, it captivated me when I first read it. Those two writers, Koontz and Chesterton, are definitely at the top of my To Be Emulated list.
I loved your debut novel, The Resurrection, and am looking forward to reading your sophomore effort, The Telling, which releases the end May. What is The Telling about, what inspired you to write it, and do you have a third novel in the works?
The Telling is about a disfigured modern day prophet who’s renounced his gift and cloisters himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of Endurance, a quaint but quirky city on the northern fringes of Death Valley. Through an odd series of circumstances, the least of which is the discovery of his murdered doppelganger, he finds himself front-and-center in a quest to close one of nine mythical gates of hell.
While The Telling could be classified as a horror story, it’s really about destiny. A recurrent question asked in the novel is, “Do you find your destiny, or does your destiny find you?” The Telling is a story about people who, in the midst of horrific circumstances, are grappling with a larger purpose to their lives. What is destiny? Is it human or divine? Can darkness—inside or outside us—short-circuit our destiny? Or are some scars actually destined? It was really a fun, challenging story to unravel.
My third novel is in the works. It’s a little different from my first two, an Urban Fantasy about a paranormal reporter who must investigate the murder of his girlfriend, only to learn of a larger plot to build a massive conductor to the spirit world. It’s fast-paced, supernatural noir. The book’s tentatively entitled The Ghost Box and is currently being shopped.
The storyline of The Telling sounds intriguing, and I love the thematic elements! Sounds engaging and profound. The Ghost Box sounds interesting too!
When you're not writing, what are you doing?
Since I’ve been contracted, my life has really changed. It’s honestly something I did not calculate. I work a 40-hour week outside the home, so writing just takes up pretty much the rest of my time. It’s extremely hectic and has involved a huge re-thinking of my priorities. Blogging also takes up a lot of my time. I enjoy doing it, but it’s really pretty hard to put out good stuff on a regular basis without spending time on it. I am constantly gathering material for my blog. I also love to garden and watch a lot of movies. Netflix has become an important tool in my writing workbox.
Can you briefly describe your journey to publication?
Well, it’s definitely not the journey I would have chosen! I was a minister for eleven years—full-time staff at a Christian church. I got into the ministry as a young man and a new Christian. I had a wife, four kids, and was on a steep learning curve. But the pressures eventually took their toll (as they do with many ministers) and, after a lot of teeth-pulling, I felt like I needed to step away.
But after I left the ministry, I kind of drifted. I didn’t jump straight into writing. In fact, I had no idea that’s what I’d end up doing. I returned to construction and kept one ear to heaven. This went on for three or four years. At the time, I subscribed to World Magazine. They sponsored a fiction contest by Westbow and I decided, rather impromptu, to enter. I’d never written fiction. But years in the pulpit had taught me how to work with words and engage an audience. To my surprise, out of thousands of entries, my story received an honorable mention. That affirmation sort of got the ball rolling on a possible writing career. As a result, I eventually was asked to join an online writing group. And that was really just the beginning of a whole other journey.
Thanks again, Mike, for stopping by Spire Reviews today! I wish you the best in all your future writing endeavors.
About Mike
Mike Duran is a novelist, blogger, and freelance writer whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief Journal, Relevant OnlineBreakpoint, Rue Morgue magazine, and other print and digital outlets. He is the author of the supernatural thriller THE RESURRECTION (Realms, 2011), which was a finalist in the 2011 INSPY Awards, an e-book fantasy novella entitled WINTERLAND, and THE TELLING (Realms, May 2012). Mike contributes monthly commentary at Novel Rocket, one of Writer's Digest 101 Most Helpful Websites for Writers. Mike is an ordained minister and lives with his wife and four grown children in Southern California. Mike's novels explore the boundaries of belief, the fragile tether between science and superstition, the depths of despair and the reaches of faith. You can learn more about Mike Duran, his writing projects, favorite music, cultural commentary, and arcane interests, at mikeduran.com.
Realms, 304 pages
A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.

Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift—an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but he has abandoned this gift to a life of solitude, unbelief, and despair—until two detectives escort him to the county morgue where he finds his own body lying on the gurney.

On the northern fringes of Death Valley, the city of Endurance is home to llama ranches, abandoned mines, roadside attractions...and the mythical ninth gate of hell. Now, forced to investigate his own murder, Zeph discovers something even more insidious behind the urban legends and small-town eccentricities. Early miners unearthed a megalith—a sacred site where spiritual and physical forces converge and where an ancient subterranean presence broods. And only Zeph can stop it.

But the scar on Zeph’s face is nothing compared to the wound on his soul. For not only has he abandoned his gift and renounced heaven, but it was his own silence that spawned the evil. Can he overcome his own despair in time to seal the ninth gate of hell? 

His words unlocked something deadly,
And now the silence is killing them.

Drawing for THE TELLING
To be entered in the drawing, tell us, in the comments below, one thing that intrigues you about Mike Duran’s blog (http://mikeduran.com/). One comment per person will be entered. The drawing ends Monday, May 28 at 6 p.m. CST. The winner will be announced on the Spire Reviews blog on Tuesday, May 29. Winner must provide a mailing address in an email to BrendaBryantAndersonATcomcastDOTnet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Travelers Rest

By Ann Tatlock

Bethany House Publishers, 2012
352 pages

When I read, many factors play into how I’ll rank a novel, but three typically stand above the rest: prose, character, and story. It’s a rare novel that meets all three criteria and an ever rarer novel that excels in all three. When an author achieves this, the result is a page-turning, prose-savoring novel that draws the reader in emotionally, making you care deeply for the characters.

TRAVELER’S REST by Ann Tatlock is one such novel. It’s no surprise for me, though, as Ann Tatlock’s work frequently end up on my Favorites list, as this one has. This is definitely a book I will read again and I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy thought-provoking fiction.

Story Description

A YOUNG WOMAN determined to honor her commitment...

AN INJURED SOLDIER convinced life is no longer worth living...

A RETIRED DOCTOR certain it's too late to be forgiven... 

Jane Morrow has a dilemma. She's engaged to Seth Ballantine, a member of the National Guard's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and he's returned from Iraq severely wounded. Jane hasn't seen him for nearly a year, and with trepidation, she heads to the VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is being treated. Seth isn't happy to see her. He'd asked her not to come. He wants to end the relationship. But Jane loves him, and despite his injury, she's determined to convince him that they can have a life together. Her faith has never been strong, yet she hopes God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do. The answer she finds may not be at all what she expected...

About the Author

Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy-Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Ann lives with her husband, Bob, and their daughter, Laura Jane, in Asheville, North Carolina.

Visit her website at www.anntatlock.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reading Recommendations By Moms - For Moms

This coming Sunday, across the nation we’ll celebrate mothers. I’ll admit I’m partial to this day, being I am a mother of three and a stay-at-home-mom for 19 years. It’s not an easy job, but it’s one that can be completely rewarding. I’ve watched my daughter grow into a lovely young woman who’s now a best friend. Our two sons our both respectful young men, a trait that is sorely lacking in much of today’s teens. I’m blessed that God has given them to me and my husband to raise. What an awesome privilege!

To honor our mothers I’ve asked five writer friends, all mothers, to talk briefly about a book they would recommend for other mothers, one that would make a meaningful gift. These friends have responded with a diversity of ideas! Love it!

So thank you Sharon, Laura, Nicole, Cathy, and Jerri! I pray God richly blesses your mother’s day!

Sharon Hinck - A book I recently gave my daughter-in-law (who is soon to become a mother) that has a beautiful depiction of motherhood is actually a children’s book.

THE RUNAWAY BUNNY by Margaret Wise Brown. As the baby bunny tests his limits and grapples with independence, the mother bunny patiently becomes what he needs to be a reassuring presence in his life. Whenever I read this book, I also think of God stepping into our humanity to find us and call us home.

For a terrific Mother’s Day Gift, I highly recommend Sharon’s Restorer series! It’s combination soccer-mom/fantasy. Every mom can relate to the main character, Susan. Two new editions are now out: The Restorer-Expanded Edition and The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition, both of which have interactive elements within the book that heighten the reading experience.

THE RESTORER’S SON – Expanded Edition (Marcher Lord Press) - Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake, as all signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them. Assassins, political intrigue, false leads, and near misses beset their path, which will lead them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.

Cast out by those he trusts and preferring to cross swords with the One rather than yield to His will, Kieran flees to enemy Hazor, only to find that the One knows no borders. Pursued by his calling, Kieran finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.

This Carol Award-winning novel is now in a new edition that includes a devotion guide, bonus scenes, and other great extras to immerse the reader in the world on the other side of the portal.


Laura Frantz - My Mom gave me this book when I was a busy mom of two young boys. The only problem was I never had time to read it! But once I did, it became a keeper. Beth Moore's Feathers From My Nest is a collection of personal vignettes about mothering, being a wife, and the riches children bring to our lives whether they're little or grown. More personal and reflective than her Bible Studies, Beth talks about authenticity in the Christian home, communication, encouragement, and also makes some memorable spiritual parallels.

Interestingly, the book begins with twin forwards by her two daughters and Beth herself ends with a chapter entitled, "One Slightly Gray, Well-Seasoned Man" in which she talks about her husband, Keith. This is a book for women of any age and stage. It's timeless and moving and beautifully done!

I love authors whose prose and descriptions create a musical tapestry. Laura is one of those gifted few. I’ve savored all her previous novels, Courting Morrow Little, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, and The Colonel’s Lady, and cannot wait to read her upcoming release, Love’s Reckoning! If you go to Amazon.com now you can pre-order this book for a very low price.

LOVE’S RECKONING (Revell) - On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?


Nicole Petrino-Salter - Mother's Day was very special to me until my mother passed away at the young age of 62. I miss her to this day as tears come to my eyes even writing this. My husband just asked me last night what I wanted for Mother's Day. Immediately I thought of which novel to request. (Oh, and some perfume I'm out of.) But really, Mother's Day almost ceased to exist for me when I lost mine even though I'm the mom to two wonderful adult sons.

If I were to recommend giving a book for Mother's Day, it would probably be Dr. Emerson Eggrich's Love and Respect because there's nothing better a mom can do than reassure her children that their parents are solid, love each other, and respect each other. In spite of my life choices, I always had that with my parents. I know it's strange for this almost exclusive novel reader to recommend non-fiction, but I think this particular book is that important. However, in keeping with my "first love" of novels, I would also recommend the classic Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, which demonstrates love and respect on a whole other level.

One of the greatest pleasures of writing has been meeting new friends. In Nicole, I’ve discovered a friend who shares much the same literary taste, but more importantly, I’ve found a friend completely in love with God. If your mother likes books that deal with broken lives and gritty reality, then I highly recommend Nicole’s Breath of Life.

BREATH OF LIFE (WinePress) - Breath of Life tells the story of embittered, wounded, and divorced Michael Jamison, who, after a prolonged period as the casual observer of a lovely woman, discovers his attraction to her supercedes remaining a stranger. With a smarting ego and nothing to lose, he figures out a non-threatening way to introduce himself and is overwhelmed with her pristine beauty and challenged to change everything about the way he's lived his life so far.


Catherine Richmond - Mother’s Day brings to mind one of the great mothers in fiction: Marcy O’Connor of Julie Lessman’s Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series. Marcy is the matriarch of a large family, a fount of strength and wisdom for her children and their spouses. And she’s passionately in love with her husband. What a great example!

Thanks to my Inkspirational Messages friends and my debut novel site, I was introduced to Catherine Richmond last year. Her lush descriptions of the Dakota territories and her sizzling romance in her book Spring for Susannah convinced me I need to read more from her. Through Rushing Water (Don’t you LOVE the cover?) comes out in July, but you can pre-order it and give your mother something fun to look forward to.

THROUGH RUSHING WATER (Thomas Nelson) - Elegant and educated, Sophia Makinoff is sure that 1876 is the year she'll wed congressman Rexford Montgomery. But he proposes to her roommate instead! Humiliated, Sophia signs on with a foreign missions society to go to China---but ends up with the Dakota Territory Indians. Can she find a purpose in God's plan?


Jerri Lynn Ledford - One book that I found on my own, but would have loved to receive for Mother's Day was Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The book really challenged me to stretch my belief system and my faith in God. It's unconventional in some ways, but in others, it's just clarifying. I love the book so much that I think I'll pass it on to a couple of my favorite Moms for Mother's Day. Maybe it will help them to understand why they're so critical to His plan!

A few years back I was blessed to be assigned to a wonderful critique group (through ACFW). Jerri is one of those partners. She’s multi-published in non-fiction in topics like SEO and Google Analytics and things that are way beyond my pay grade. And she recently released her first work of fiction, Biloxi Sunrise. It was so much fun working with her on this book and I can’t wait until her next novel in the Biloxi Series, Biloxi Blue, to come out. She’s created captivating characters that I can’t wait to learn more about!

BILOXI BLUE (Deep South Press) – They can’t connect …
With Jack Roe promoted Captain of the Homicide Division of the Biloxi Police Department, his partner and girlfriend Kate Giveans is left behind to take on a new partner. Caleb Castille, an Abercrombie & Fitch model look-alike with a gun, is more than willing to pay attention to Kate while Jack is focused on other things.

And the race is on …
Kate and her new partner have little to go on when they begin investigating a murder at a local logistics company. Worse, their suspects keep turning up dead. When the killer’s sights land on Kate, the two detectives must rush to find the murderer before Kate becomes the next victim.

But who to trust ...?
While Kate's trying to stay alive, she and Jack grow further apart and his secrets drive a wedge between them. Frustrated with Jack, Kate finds herself drawn more and more to her new partner. But is Caleb who he seems to be? And can Kate figure out who to trust before she ends up on a cold, steel morgue table.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Novel Anticipation - May 2012

The list of books I'm anticipating reading for May is shorter than previous months lists, but that's okay. The books coming out this month (release dates taken from Amazon.com) look like winners, two of which are written by debut authors!

Are there any novels releasing this month that you can't wait to read?

Debut novel by Dineen Miller

Barbour Publishing, 320 pages

Meet Lexie Baltimore, who is in the supernatural battle of her life. In obedience to God’s calling, Lexie uses her art and dreams to help others. But will she have enough courage to help herself when she becomes torn between her atheist husband and a godly man? A widower and a father, Pastor Nate Winslow is drowning in darkness. Will he resist his treacherous assignment to win Lexie’s heart or give in to the attraction between them? As events unfold, Lexie becomes entangled in a twisted plot. Will she overcome the evil assailing her or yield to the dark side?

Debut novel by Darrel Nelson

Realms, 304 pages

At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story—a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.

It’s the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.

by Mike Duran*

Realms, 304 pages

A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.
Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift—an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but he has abandoned this gift to a life of solitude, unbelief, and despair—until two detectives escort him to the county morgue where he finds his own body lying on the gurney.

On the northern fringes of Death Valley, the city of Endurance is home to llama ranches, abandoned mines, roadside attractions...and the mythical ninth gate of hell. Now, forced to investigate his own murder, Zeph discovers something even more insidious behind the urban legends and small-town eccentricities. Early miners unearthed a megalith—asacred site where spiritual and physical forces converge and where an ancient subterranean presence broods. And only Zeph can stop it.

But the scar on Zeph’s face is nothing compared to the wound on his soul. For not only has he abandoned his gift and renounced heaven, but it was his own silence that spawned the evil. Can he overcome his own despair in time to seal the ninth gate of hell?

His words unlocked something deadly,
And now the silence is killing them.

*Mike will be visiting Spire Reviews later this month.
Watch for his post, which will include a book giveaway!