MAY 2013 - Dear Reader, I'm glad and thankful you uploaded an Amazon Kindle eBook copy of PASTURES OF WONDER, SOULS ON THE BRIDGE OF FOREVER, PRODIGY or PRODIGY NEW CREATION! I hope the novellas and stories touched your heart and moved your spirit. These inspirational and suspenseful eBooks contain powerful, and sometimes excruciating, emotional content with most of the novellas starting off dark, and heartrending, and foreboding, but also feature passionate, and riveting, and glorious moments that’ll stir your soul. As always, all theological content should be weighed against what is taught by your pastor or in Bible study. I attempt to challenge the reader on an emotional, spiritual and philosophical level, yet the unerring Word of God contained within the Holy Bible should be used as a guiding light on each emotional journey.
Pastures of Wonder - Inspirational & Thought Provoking Stories for the Christian Spirit is a collection of tales about learning the unknowable, seeing the unbelievable and living the impossible. Within its pages, you will find six stories that awaken, challenge and inspire the Christian soul.
Word Count: 13,100
A disheartened teenage girl rediscovers her spiritual gifts, which she uses to fulfill her God-ordained destiny.
Excerpt from the First Five Chapters
Into the Darkness
Word Count: 17,600
A pastor and his wife deal with the devastating murder of their eight-year-old daughter, while the girl’s murderer grapples with guilt and Hell.
Excerpt from Chapters 4 and 5
Word Count: 2,400
A man takes a journey with a woman in the twilight of her years, and witnesses the grandeur of her life through the eyes of God.
Excerpt from the Beginning
Coloring Book - Word Count: 3,500 The only hope for a dying girl, a distraught mother and a desperate grandfather is a five-year-old child who has just completed her first lesson from Jesus.
Suffering’s Riddles - Word Count: 4,600 A man and a woman search for clues to unravel the Biblical mysteries surrounding a victim’s haunted past.
Spirits of Iwo Jima - Word Count: 21,300 As the Battle of Iwo Jima draws near, a marine and his comrade race against time in their quest for absolution and eternal life.
From the Author… I have been a believer in Jesus Christ since 1985. My Christian fiction books, novellas and stories were primarily influenced by my southern Baptist upbringing in Honolulu, Hawaii where I was taught the Bible by committed Sunday school teachers and pastors.
Before publishing PASTURES OF WONDER, I submitted it for review to many kind souls. These included professional reviewers, pastors, Christians, non-Christians and readers from all walks of life. Most have had a strong reaction to the novellas and stories, coming away in tears, inspired and transformed. The shorter nature of the stories intensifies their emotional impact while allowing the reader to reflect on the many theological issues presented in each passage. PASTURES OF WONDER focuses less on character development and more on matters of the heart. The fictional characters in these stories are from the real world. The characters are you and me.
Prepare your soul for a raw, inspirational, relentless, philosophical and emotional journey into the core of the Christian spirit.
The first pasture is a favorite of most reviewers. It has been described as a “heartwarming Christian Cinderella story” in which we have all participated. Readers have been moved to tears after each “endearing plot twist” but theological undercurrents flow throughout. The power of humility conquers storms of disappointment. Spiritual gifts are hidden until appointed times. A dreamer’s dusty old diary reveals poignant revelations. The ending is “wonderful and reminds us of the first time Sophia stood alone on stage”. Readers have been compelled to “read the story more than once”. Hold the hand of an aspiring young saint on her voyage into rediscovery.
Chapter 1: Teacher Conference Chapter 2: At the Doorstep of Stardom Chapter 3: One Moment in Time Chapter 4: Moving On Chapter 5: Memoirs of a Dreamer Chapter 6: Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen Chapter 7: God Handpicked You For My Life Chapter 8: Developing Her Other Spiritual Gifts Chapter 9: Law Office Chapter 10: McDonald’s Chapter 11: It Was Not Meant To Be Chapter 12: Fulfilling a Destiny Chapter 13: The Interview Chapter 14: Moments of Decision Chapter 15: The Show Must Go On Chapter 16: A Night to Remember
The second pasture was very difficult for reviewers due to its painful subject matter. Readers wept during INTO THE DARKNESS but for different reasons than for REDISCOVERY. The passage tells of the aftermath of the senseless murder of an innocent child. It does not pull punches in its raw depiction of loss, grief, revenge, repentance and forgiveness. This story has been described as “gripping”, “intense” and “incredibly emotional” especially by parents so I edited beginning segments to distance readers from eight-year-old Katie. As a result, INTO THE DARKNESS takes on a quality of universal tragedy.
I finished this story before the release of William Paul Young’s Christian novel The Shack, and each story follows much different paths. The Shack focuses on relationships and the Trinity while INTO THE DARKNESS takes a painfully raw look into the shattered heart of a grieving mother, the vengeful soul of a bitter pastor, the wretched mind of a drug-addicted murderer, and the resurrected spirit of an ageless princess. Reviewers came away with “powerful insight into spiritual matters”. This reading is “gut wrenching” but the light of our Lord shines brightest in the darkest of times in a sinful world.
Chapter 1: Picking Up My Angel Chapter 2: Why Has Thou Forsaken Me? Chapter 3: A Walk in Paradise Chapter 4: My Little Girl Chapter 5: One Last Time Chapter 6: Special Day Chapter 7: Born Again Chapter 8: Stranger in the Night Chapter 9: Judgment Chapter 10: The Monster Speaketh Chapter 11: Season of Bitterness Chapter 12: None Go With Me Chapter 13: We Will Never Be Happy Together Chapter 14: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold Chapter 15: He Causes the Rain to Fall on the Just and Unjust Alike Chapter 16: Celestial Ballet Chapter 17: Mark of a Christian Chapter 18: New Beginnings Chapter 19: Hell’s Ministry Chapter 20: Forgiveness
The third pasture continues the theme of the majesty of what Jesus Christ has promised in the yet to come shining through unlikely hues into a sin-cursed existence. It begins with a dying woman giving her last penny to her Lord but soon blossoms into a celebration of the Christian life. At the end of this brief journey, readers’ eyes were again filled with tears. The fate of the old woman, or “young” woman who has yet to begin her Real Life, is left open for the imagination. Life is a long, sometimes painful, expedition but OLD WOMAN revisits the grandeur of the last days of a saint’s enduring life as seen through the eyes of eternity.
The fourth pasture is about the people who touch our lives each and every workday. We must toil in the fallen world, but the relationships we form remind us of that part of eternity that was lost—but can still be found. This story features a five-year-old child with the heart of a warrior princess. Our hero spends her off time singing in the land of make-believe and immersed in her coloring books. This passage informs us that spiritual decisions should be made with the heart of a child, and not with the worldliness of an adult. COLORING BOOK is an “enchanting story” of a little girl with great faith. Things begin innocently but build towards an “unusual and touching ending”. The “conclusion is amazing” and readers “could not help but wonder if this was a true story”.
Chapter 1: A Mother's Greatest Fear Chapter 2: Sunrise of Innocence Chapter 3: I Place My Trust in Thee Chapter 4: In Him, All Things Are Possible Chapter 5: Going to Be With the Lord Chapter 6: A Little Girl's Gethsemene Chapter 7: Dear Jesus, Let This Cup Pass From Me, Love Kelsey Chapter 8: Heart of a Warrior Princess
As a layman, I attempt to address the conundrum of pain in a world controlled by God. A pair of church friends search for clues to unravel the Biblical mysteries surrounding a victim’s haunted past. The reader is “never given a clear picture of the kind of suffering Trent has gone through” as this story is about the nature of suffering and how our Lord helps us through. Readers found SUFFERING’S RIDDLES “very insightful”. Suffering in the fallen world will continue till the end of time, but we can face our pain, be humbled by it, and use it to know a God of unimaginable love.
Chapter 1: Pain Accompanies Me All the Days of My Life Chapter 2: The Greatest Saints Have Been Elevated Through Suffering Chapter 3: Hell Begins at the First Sin and Ends at the Last Rejection Chapter 4: The Sharper the Pain, the More Proof of God Chapter 5: Significance of Hurt Chapter 6: Responding to Sorrow’s Song
The storm landing upon the beaches of Iwo Jima was weeks, then days and now hours away. Thousands of American and Japanese soldiers will sacrifice their lives for their families and empires upon a lifeless volcanic isle in the middle of an endless ocean. Two marines will spend their last days of friendship in deep conversation on the mysteries of Jesus Christ and the possibilities of an afterlife. The Holy Spirit will visit them in the midst of their discourse before their meeting with the Angel of Death upon fateful shores. Their pasts, present and futures will collide where time meets the timeless, but God will protect their hopes in a place hidden within the human spirit. Before the smoke of our greed, and rage, and sin escalates past the apex of Mount Suribachi, one marine will use his dying words to reach out to a Prince of Peace who allows war, famine and disease to occur on His planet.
Under a dim light in the crew’s quarters, within the somber atmosphere of the ship’s mess hall, and between bouts of mortal combat, two marines anguish over the significance of war and how the suffering of millions ties in with Scriptural doctrines of death, Hell, Divine love and salvation. Intermixed with heavy theological and philosophical debate is the main character’s war-induced investigation of his tormented soul. There, he finds the demons of the unseen world fighting to take control before the arrival of the “mighty hurricane” in this last hour of choice. SPIRITS OF IWO JIMA is the most “thought provoking” of the stories, and I believe, the most inspirational. Believers and non-believers have been “enlightened” by its theology and “transformed” by its message. This story spans lifetimes and is “epic in scope from the standpoint of the human heart”.
Chapter 1: Foxhole Friendship (60 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 2: Blood Island Shrouded in Fog Chapter 3: Hours Before Midnight in a Time of War Chapter 4: Two Marines Gethsemene Chapter 5: Death Comes to Us All (50 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 6: All I Have Gained Will Be Lost (37 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 7: It Is Appointed Unto Men Once to Die, but After This the Judgment Chapter 8: Midnight on the Waters of Good and Evil Chapter 9: Sermon on the Battleship (23 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 10: Unwrapping the Universe (21 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 11: Birth of Evil Chapter 12: Secrets of the Pacific (20 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 13: God Infiltrating Space-Time Incognito (12 Hours Before Battle) Chapter 14: The Truth Shall Set Us Free Chapter 15: Last Words Before Battle Chapter 16: Uncommon Valor Chapter 17: American Flag Flapping in the Sulfur Winds Chapter 18: Last Conversation Chapter 19: Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War Chapter 20: Our Friendship Will Echo in Eternity Chapter 21: I Have Fought the Good Fight, I Have Finished the Race, I Have Kept the Faith Chapter 22: Why Did God Spare Me? Chapter 23: Isle of Serendipity Chapter 24: Rising Sun Beckons From Afar Chapter 25: Drinking Tea With the Enemy Chapter 26: Forever Soldiers
While the general theme of each story is that of Christian inspiration, I touch upon deeper theological issues throughout the book from my layman’s point of view. Some of these theologies are not routinely covered in your Christian church, and as such, should be weighed against what is taught by your pastor or in Bible study. With PASTURES OF WONDER, I attempt to challenge the reader on an emotional, spiritual and philosophical level, yet the unerring Word of God contained within the Holy Bible should be used as a guiding light on each emotional journey.
I am a sinner who wrote this book in darkness yet I see each page through the light of Jesus Christ. I now know I could not lift the pen used to write the first word without my Creator. I am humbled by this opportunity to contribute to God’s Kingdom. I hope these stories inspire you, my friend, and if I do not know you now, we shall certainly meet in Eternity.