Special Independence Day Edition!
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Special Independence Day Edition!
Please check price before purchase.
A mother comes face to face with the woman who would have murdered her baby.
A child who’s been betrayed by everyone hurts the only man who’s ever shown her kindness.
A teen stands at the crossroads of his impulses and his convictions.
A reformed addict needs help from a total stranger to protect her child.
Love lies at the heart of the Christian’s journey, but in moments of crisis, love often seems the most difficult of the virtues. In this anthology, nine of the brightest voices in independent Christian fiction offer novelettes about individuals at the crossroads, and the opportunities they have to respond with Christian love in all its forms.
“By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
Whether it’s a grieving husband or a girl dead before her time, each soul finds itself face to face with a choice: follow Christ’s toughest commandment, or remain focused on oneself.
Join these nine authors on a journey into the most difficult facet of the Christian life, but the one by which Christ Himself promised we would be recognized.
Patricia Bell · Faith Blum · Bokerah Brumley · A-M Frisby · Dyanne Gordon Green · Jane Lebak · Leila Tualla · Robin Merrill · C.L. Wells
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For a limited time, you can also get
The Light Leads to Hope and Peace (Reflections of Faith Book 2) for only 0.99 each.
Now for a little something different … If you like paranormal reading, you just might like this!
A little bit of wickedness can be so much fun …
Six novels and two bonus novellas of twisted magical tales with romance, adventure, and enchantment. Meet trickster fae, dark elves, mercurial heroes, faery queens, southwestern witches, shifters, draghans, and vampires. See the Devil himself get his due and fall in love, right along with these extraordinary heroes and heroines.
None of these stories are available anywhere else, and this is a special limited-time curated collection. Don’t miss any of the wicked fun — download it today!
About the Books
Soul Marked ~ C. Gockel
From the USA Today bestselling author of I Bring the Fire. When Tara finds a man passed out in her alley she hopes he’s just a junkie … and then she sees his pointed ears.
Sympathy for the Devil ~ Christine Pope
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Witches of Cleopatra Hill series. The Devil has never met a bargain he didn’t like…but he might have met his match in one mortal woman.
Queen Mab ~ Kate Danley
MCDOUGALL PREVIEWS AWARD-BEST FANTASY OF THE YEAR. When Faunus, the god of daydreams, breaks the heart of Queen Mab, revenge is the only answer. But when this bitter fairy queen meets a gentleman named Mercutio, she will do anything, even if it means destroying the world, to save him.
Wicked Grove ~ by Alexia Purdy
As operatives of the elite Wicked Grove Supernatural Regulatory Agency, three fiercely independent and unstoppable siblings, Amy, Jay, and Craig, know the risks that come with the job. Get contaminated by one of the magicals, and you’re screwed. Scratched by a werewolf? You’re going to be howling come full moon. Bitten by a vampire? You might as well stamp “bloodsucker” on your face. You certainly won’t be welcomed at the agency anymore. It’s a no-brainer.
Elfhame ~ by Anthea Sharp
From USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, a richly-imagined fantasy romance uniting an adventurous young woman and a fearsome Dark Elf warrior, in a magical tale reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast.
Flame and Form ~ Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
When Brienne intervenes on behalf of a draghan from the realm of Firiehn, she only means to save the creature from certain death. What Brie doesn’t realize, however, is that this monster is a shapeshifter capable of transforming into a man, one whose presence heats her blood like draghan fire.
No Man’s Land ~ Debra Dunbar
Kelly is left for dead, a horribly injured vampire dumped in hostile territory. Her only hope for survival is a kindly werewolf who is more than she seems.
Magic in the Blood ~ Kat Parrish
When the shadow of dark magic falls on the small border town where she lives, Aixa Riley—the latest in a long line of “red witches”—summons her own powers to protect those she loves from the forces set in motion by the alliance of a dangerous sorceress and an ambitious drug lord.
I’m so happy to have T.J. Akers, author of The Final Paladin-The Key of Apollyon, with us today. I read The Final Paladin, and I must say I LOVED it! Peg was such an amazing character, and I loved the way the story worked within and added unique twists to historical mythology. Just look at the beauty below. You’ll love it!
Take it away, T.J.!
My name is T.J. Akers, and I’m the author of The Final Paladin–The Key of Apollyon. I enjoy myths and legends regardless of their origin, such as Greek, European, Norse, Hindu, African, American Colonial, Native American, Russian, and World History. It was when I went back to college that I started paying closer attention to mythologies when I took an Early British Literature class. My interest in myths is more related to my interests in language and culture. Understand a culture’s stories, and you can gain insight in how that culture thinks and what they value. Once you understand those things, it’s much easier to get along.
I do have a Christian worldview, and sometimes I get asked why I write stories with such characters, and I don’t mind that question a bit. I write to entertain people first and foremost, so I’m writing these things in hopes giving my readers a fun time, but the thing I believe was put best by Madeleine L’Engle: “Truth is what is true, and it’s not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous.”
To me, myths are all about truth, and because I believe that there is a thing such as Ultimate Truth, looking at myths and folklore become an exercise in looking at other worldviews. My hope is that The Final Paladin will become popular enough to write a lengthy series in which I use all the paranormal and supernatural tropes from Western Literature.
The first novel was intended to be a fairy tale, and I wanted to use the questing knight trope that goes back as far as the late thirteenth century and sprinkle all kinds of European myths into it. Some things I used were recent, others older, but most everything I used have their roots in Welsh, British, Germanic, and Irish tales. Of course, I like to shorten them all by calling them Germanic.
Allow me to start with the most obvious myth: Five Points in New York City. The infamous ghetto lasted for nearly a full century and is very iconic with history buffs. Of course, I play a little fast and loose with the time period. I start the series in 1870, and while it’s true the commercial use of mechanical sewing machines existed, the most infamous history of the sewing “sweat shops” is from the 1890s. I start Peg out working in sweatshop. Of course, the next book in the series, City of the Dead, will go back to Five Points. I’m so looking forward to it.
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / Inantangliel
She is sometimes called Morrigan, she can be three women, or one. Most of the details about her depend on who was telling the story. That is something to consider when you study myths, because many cultures depended on oral tradition, and not a written tradition. The details can vary depending on who was telling the story, and what time period. In Celtic myth, the Morrigan was a goddess of war; in other myths, she was a harbinger of imminent death. Thought I’m not a fan of Wikipedia, the article there on the Morrigan is very thorough and well cited. Her role varied, but she appears the most in one of the four Irish cycles of myth known as the Ulster Cycle (8th-11th century oral tradition preserved in 12th century manuscripts). Probably, she would have actually been spoken about in poetic narrative, but how myths change from group to group, or time period to time period, is very interesting. The link below is one of the versions of the Morrigu myth.
The Black Dog
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / VAC
I love my character Jack, the black dog. His myth comes from the British Isles, but no one is quite sure if it was Germanic or Celtic. The legend went by many names like Hairy Jack, Padfoot, Churchyard Beast, Cu Sith, Galleytrot, Bogey Beast, and Grimm. For my story, Jack turns into a black dog, a dog the size of a cow. I don’t really get to do a lot of backstory on him, but Godfrey rescued him being mistreated in the Iberian Peninsula at the hands of the Caliphate’s troops. Jack is rescued, but not before they cut out his tongue. The fun thing about novels, if enough people are interested, I can always write about these other characters later. The following video covers some good information, but I warn you, the person doing this is a bit creepy.
Pixies Mounted on Corgis
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / CaptureLight
I love corgis, and as dogs go, they are so adorable. They have a mythic origin from the country of Wales. In fact, one of my sources states that “gi” is Welsh for dog and “cor” is Welsh for dwarf. In Welsh traditions, corgis were rode into battle by fairies, or they pulled carts for elves. I’ve found other references where they are mentioned as the farm dogs of choice by Vikings. The inspiration for my wolfings were the Swedish Vallhund or sometimes called Wolf Corgis.
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / marzolino
A lot of people love tales of knights, and I’m no different. For The Final Paladin, I didn’t choose a Templar (on the cover), a Teutonic Knight, or draw upon Arthurian legend. Instead, I used the Paladins of Charlemagne as my inspiration.
One of my main characters in The Final Paladin is Sir Godfrey. He was part of Charlemagne’s united Western Kingdom in the 8th century, but more specifically, of Germanic origin. Originally, the Paladins were comrades of Charlemagne’s vassal Roland. The literary character of Roland was based on Hruodland, a courtier mentioned by Charlemagne’s personal biographer. Roland stories were incredibly popular in the middle ages. Roland had twelve peers that made up the intrepid band of Paladins.
The Land of Fairy
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / Goga
Like other novelists, I include the fairy courts of Winter and Summer. The Independent Fae (sometimes called Trooping Fairies, but that depends on who you ask) are present as well. Again, depending on who’s telling the story, the Unseelie court (Winter) is comprised of dark fairies, or the real mean ones. The Seelie court (Summer) is more benevolent, at least to a point. If you draw upon many of the Welsh tales, you would find that fairies were the last thing you wanted to bump into while walking through the forest at night. I have two queens borrowed from literature, Titania and Maab, which come from Shakespeare, but the concept of fairy courts go back a long way.
The Gray King and His Daughter
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / marzolino
According to Das Kloster vol 9, Jacob Grimm believed the word ellekonge, or King of the elves, and the female spirit, elverkongens datter, originated from the Danish language. The daughter was responsible for ensnaring humans to satisfy her desires, jealousy, or lust for revenge. The New Oxford American Dictionary describes the Erlking as a “bearded giant or goblin who lures little children to the land of death.” Johann Wolfgang von Geothe wrote a version of the Erlking where the creature prays on children and not adults. Goethe’s portrayal relates the character to a force of death as opposed to a mere magical spirit.
For me, I enjoyed creating Auntie, based off the Gray King’s daughter, and she is probably my favorite character in the whole novel.
Chim, the Hobgoblin
Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / DDniki
In Welsh accounts, hobgoblins were small, hairy little men found in human dwelling, doing odd jobs around the house while the family sleeps. Some legends have them living upstairs, while their close cousins, brownies, lived downstairs. Usually, the only thing the wee folk wanted in return for work was food. Brownies were a little more peaceful while hobgoblins were fond of practical jokes. The hobgoblins of Caledonia were seafaring and would sometimes turn into bogarts or bogey men. Sometimes hobgoblins were shapeshifters. Chim is probably my second favorite character in the novel.
I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of the myths and legends behind The Final Paladin.
T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his
favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers.
Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult
sections. Librarians have always been his heroes.He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical.
Learn more at http://www.tjakers.com.
In addition to the awesome All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6” Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, one lucky winner will receive…
Echo of the High Kings by Kal Spriggs.
Fade by Daniel Humphreys
Doctor to Dragons by Scott G. Huggins
Who’s Afraid of the Dark? by Russell Newquist
Brotherly Envy by S.D. McPhail
Scales: A Mermaid Tale by Pauline Creeden
Honor by Rachel Rossano
Fallen Emrys: Niawen’s Story by Lisa Rector
Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset by Sarah Ashwood
Playing With Magic by Carrie L. Wells
Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds
Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden
Got To Be a Hero by Paul Duffau
The Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri
From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings by Heather Hayden
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“Give me [food] or give me death!”
What’s that you say? You need to consult with the others, but I’ve got the quote wrong?
Fine. That’s not how the original went, but it’s the version that’s been rolling around my head for the last six months.
In a literal way, it’s a true thing; no food = death. Moreover, a lack of real food also equals death, albeit a slower one. Historically, though, food has been one of the ways the ruling government controls its populace is to control its food. Today is no different.
Let’s pretend that I’m your neighbor. I’ve invited you over to dinner. We ate a delicious, crispy-skinned broiler chicken that was free-ranging on my grassy pasture yesterday. As a family, we processed it, slicked it with butter made from my cow’s milk, and then seasoned it with herbs from our herb garden. The green beans were canned from last year’s harvest, and the water is from our well.
Everything is delicious, and as we’re cleaning up, you notice that I have an excess of raw milk in my fridge.
“Can I buy some?” you ask. “Let me at least help pay for some of the feed and work you’ve put into it.” You know how I keep my animals. You see that they’re happy and healthy, and you’ve had the milk before. It’s creamy and delicious.
“Nope, sorry, it’s illegal. They might take all my animals and arrest me for selling you a little milk.”
Really? Yes. Really.
You know what’s insane? Minus the last one hundred years, the very thing I just described was a normal occurrence. AND WE SURVIVED IT! WITHOUT government invention. This was life. We bartered as a way to survive. We shared our excess of one thing with out neighbor, and we were the better for it.
In place of this, the government has institutionalized food that’s chemically mass produced and emptied of all goodness. Chickens are housed in miserable conditions. Cattle are kept in feedlots, living miserable lives, shot full of antibiotics and fed diets that are not meant to keep them healthy, but meant to make them gain weight. We eat obese food, and we’re shocked that the country is suffering from obesity. There have been two studies hinting at the link between these two things.”You are what you eat,” as grandma used to say.
The USDA manages all aspects of our food industry, based on recommended daily allowances. However, their RDAs are based on the *minimum* allowable of calories, vitamins, and minerals that will net a passably health human. Actual needs are usually much more and not often met by what is now the standard American diet.
But when it comes to the small farm, the USDA invades with oppressive regulations, fees, certifications, and laws that make it nearly impossible for a small farm to bring a livable wage to the small farmer. They can enter a farm without permission, run a single test, and euthanize entire flocks without explanation. Personal autonomy and liberty is ignored.
“In the 1930s, the United States was home to 6.3 million farms; today, there are approximately 2.2 million, and fewer every day. The average age of today’s farmer or rancher is 59 years old, and many are retiring without a successor, as their children don’t want — or can’t afford — to take over the family business. Thus, as farms’ inheritors increasingly abandon the farm, a vacuum of stewardship opens up, leaving many wondering who, or what, will take their place.” — From Down on the Farm by Gracy Olmstead, National Review, August 15, 2016
Food shortages will be a real thing in our future world. Yet it will not be from a lack of individuals that would love to take on the task, but from the inability to enter the industry without millions in pocketbook capital.
As Patricia Foreman, one of the founders of the Chicken Underground, likes to say, “It is a constitutional right for people to feed themselves and their neighbors, if they choose. We lived this way for thousands of years.” The USDA allows unhealthy, over-crowding in chicken houses that require HAZMAT suits and protocol to walk through, but demand egg washing that removes the bloom (natural protective coating) from fresh eggs. She also likes to point out that Europeans usually do not wash or refrigerate eggs as it isn’t necessary for fresh-from-the-farm eggs. Indeed, if you compare a standard store-bought egg with an egg from a pasture-raised chicken, you will find significant differences in the color and consistency as well as the nutritional content.
According to Joel Salatin (a self-proclaimed “…Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic“), founder of Polyface Farms, Inc., author of Everything I Want to Do is Illegal, there is a prejudice against scale. Crop-insurance doesn’t benefit the health of the agricultural market or increase productivity. It insures that the current degenerative farming practices stay in place, depleting the soil and ruining the land for generations, while insuring that regenerative farming practice that use common sense over the “we can chemically engineer it so we will” attitude (example: Round Up and the plight of the honey bees and other natural pollinators). “Innovation starts embryonically, creation starts small,” he says.
But, for us, for our family, it’s more than that. It’s a throw-back to a simpler time when kids were connected to the value of life and the value of hard work.
Or more simply…
“I reject your reality and substitute my own.” — Adam Savage
Farming is a way to be free and unplugged from a societal breakdown. They can riot in the cities when the government decides to face the music and stop printing money; we’re working our sustainable plan. Society can collapse. Permaculture farming is the ticket to a kind of freedom that has been in short supply since Big Gov took over the food industry (and schooling, but that that’s a story for a different day). We’ll still have food and food to share.
At least until we’re arrested for selling milk. But you didn’t hear that from me.
“Give me [food] liberty or give me death!”