Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Post #4: J.R., Clay and Mikalatos show off their moves

In the final video of our Halloween series today, check out J.R. Forasteros, Clay Morgan and myself dancing like crazy.



Halloween Post #3: Share your favorite scary movies!

Here's the last of our three Halloween videos. Toward the end we each share three movies (okay, I share a book and two movies). We want to hear your picks, too, so here are the categories:

1. "Marinating in Laughter." Movies that aren't really very scary at all, more funny than scary.

2. "Marinating in Nervous Sweat." These are scary and definitely make you scared, but they aren't going to keep you up at night clutching a baseball bat.

3. "Marinating in Shame." These are movies that are so terrifying that grown adults sleep with the lights on, close their closer doors and smear the floors with Jell-o, even though they feel stupid for doing so.



So, what are your three picks for scary movies?

Halloween Post #2: SCARY STORIES!

I think this is my favorite of our three videos for pure hilarity. We talk together about the moments when we were most frightened of something in our lives, and the stories are all funny. I especially like J.R.'s story and the introduction to what it means to be "marinating in your shame."

Clay shares a story about watching the miniseries "It."

J.R. shares about the terror that came from "The Ring."

And I share a story about when I watched "The Exorcist" in college.



Do you have any stories about when you were terrified? Share them in the comments, we want to know!

Halloween Post #1: What do monsters mean?

This last weekend I got to hang out with J.R. Forasteros and Clay Morgan and it was a great time. We had never met before, but we immediately hit it off and enjoyed ourselves too much talking about comic books, monsters, movies and spirituality, We were having so much fun Clay decided the rest of the world needed a chance to get in on it, and he started recording our conversation.

I'll post three videos today. Here's the first one, in which we introduce ourselves and talk about monsters... what they mean and the spiritual themes we find in monster mythology and movies. Enjoy.


P.S. I totally won the "camouflage" contest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

God is watching over us. And some other people.

At night when I put M to sleep, sometimes we sing songs together. Tonight she wanted to sing a song called "God is watching over us." I don't know this song (she must have learned it at preschool), but basically it goes, "God is watching, watching over me." Or us. Or you. She would sing it all those different ways and then say. "God is watching over me, not you." Or, "God is watching over you, Dad."

Then, after about ten rounds of this song she stopped, looked me in the eye and said, "God is watching over us. And the Power Rangers kill monsters."

Yes, dear, that's right. Sweet dreams.


Happy Halloween from AXE COP!

For those who don't know, Axe Cop is the creation of two brothers. Written by a five year old and drawn by his 29 year old brother. Or at least, that was their ages when Axe Cop was originally created. An animated series is coming out soon, and today they released a Halloween short to get everyone excited.



It's working! I'm excited!

I have to get one of those poison axe detectors before tomorrow....

Monday, October 29, 2012

ROBOTS! by Abby Snow

I had an amazing time in Ohio this weekend (including some crazy travel stories). I'll need a couple days to get everything sorted out and reported back to you here.

BUT, one really cool thing was I met an amazing woman named Abby Snow. She met me at the airport with J.R. (the pastor who invited me out) and Amanda (J.R.'s wife).

Abby brought me a hand made robot that she custom designed for me! It's really funny. I love it. Anyway, apparently this is a business she runs. You can see a whole bunch of her various robots on her website. Her robots are called "Snow Machines." Cute, right?


Anyway, go order a whole bunch of them and tell Abby that her friend Matt sent you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Falling" -- the play you need to see in NYC right now!

A few weeks ago when I was in New York City I went to see the play "Falling." I've been meaning to write a review about it ever since, but honestly, I kept wanting more time to get all my thoughts out there, because this play really shook me (in the best way). It's the story of a family dealing with a family member who is autistic, and who gets violent occasionally when he's upset. That in and of itself would be plenty to deal with in a play, but it's also an exploration of faith, family, obligations and parenting, all wrapped up in this questions, "How do we deal with the fact that are people in our lives who are hard to love?"

Anyway, because I've been putting off the review in the hopes of writing something amazing about how great the play is, I'm concerned that you're not getting your chance to go see it! So here's a quick, one word review: Go!

You won't regret it. It's the sort of play that crawls inside your mind and makes you take it home. The acting is incredible, the script is excellent, the direction is amazing. 

Okay, seriously, if you're in the NYC area, now's your chance. Go check it out. 

I will try to get a longer, more detailed and helpful review here in the next week or so!

The FALLING website.


And hey, if you think I am making stuff up about how great this play is, go check out some of the reviews by the professionals.

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street even though it's early in the morning and you'd rather be sleeping?

Z the middle schooler (!) started out the school year getting up early and happily getting ready for the day. Then, a few days ago she started waking up and saying groggily, "Five more minutes" and then, on Tuesday she woke up and groaned, "Twenty more minutes!"

Having gone to the Secret Academy of Fathers, I know that there are three basic ways that are SAF-approved for waking children and getting them out of bed:

1) The use of lights of various intensities and colors

2) A constant barrage of bad puns

3) The use of singing and/or musical instruments

I chose option #3 and since I had just seen baby M starting Sesame Street downstairs, I started to sing this song:

"Sunny days! Chasing the clouds away.
On our way to the where the air is clear!
Can you tell me how to get...
How to get to Sesame Street?"

Z listened to this song from beneath her covers before finally casting them off her face and saying, "Go straight down Boring Avenue and then take a left and you'll be on Sesame Street!"

Shocking. But you know, she never really liked Sesame Street, even as a baby.

And it got her out of bed. Tomorrow: It's a wonderful day in the Neighborhood.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First look at "Night of the Living Dead Christian" in Portuguese!


Here's "Noite do Cristão Mortos Vivo"and, yes, that's Portuguese. It just released this month from Thomas Nelson Brasil.

Guest Post: Drawing Dinosaurs Correctly and Other Scientific Curiousities

Today's guest post is from my friend Dorothy Lynn. Dorothy is an out-of-college, traveling, researching, deli-working, singing, piano-playing, aspiring writer. She likes to read, make weird international food, attempt to play guitars, and pretend to be a gypsy by wearing lots of scarves. She speaks English (obviously), and Spanish, and tries to speak French, Italian and sometimes even German. She also knows about ten words in Tlingit. She really likes learning new things, and she has friends in over fifteen countries.She is currently writing a science fiction book about empathy and telepathy, and living in a small town in Ohio.

She also asked me to throw in a link to her brother Sean's blog, even though he is also writing a book and, in her words, "beating me at it." 

Here's what Dorothy wanted to share with you today:

Science is fun. No, seriously, it really is. Where else but in physics can you find out that tiny, miniscule sub atomic particles operate under the same laws as huge, massive galaxies? Where else but a chemistry lab can you pretend to be mixing colorful, magic potions in large, round flasks? Okay, so maybe my imagination gets away from me a little bit but, really, science is pretty cool. I’m kind of biased because I am currently writing a science fiction novel, but I’m just constantly amazed at the new things that I learn while researching for this book. Most of those facts are strange, neuropsychological tidbits. For example, did you know there is a tiny portion of our right brains that we use to analyze what we think people are thinking? We use it to analyze their body language and other such notions, so that we can understand the context of what they are saying. Unfortunately, this part of the brain doesn’t necessarily extend to the written word. When your recent acquaintance emails you, “I was so glad to finally meet with you,” how many times have you wondered…is there sarcasm hiding in those simple words? Well, that part of the brain, if you were speaking in person, would be able to help you out.
                  
I also love studying astronomy. For fun I sometimes read about particle physics, which is actually a base for astronomy. I guess if you don’t know how atoms work together, then why even bother with stars, right? But I’ve learned some pretty awesome things because of my nerdiness. Mostly I learn them through TED talks, such as this one about black holes and the sounds that they make. That’s right, sounds. Black holes make music. How cool is that? So if you’re floating through space and hear the intense humming and banging noise of two black holes falling into each other, first, you had better make sure your will is in order because you will also be falling into their intense gravity, but then, sit back and enjoy the awesomeness.
                  
Another random science fun fact is about dinosaurs. I mean, who doesn’t love dinosaurs? One of my good friends is an aspiring paleontologist. (Well, he is actually a chemical engineer, but he LOVES dinosaurs and everything to do with them.) I can’t spend any time with him without hearing something new about these fascinating giant lizards that every small child seems to love. (Why children love giant reptiles that could eat them in half a bite is astounding to me.) Apparently, when artists draw brontosauruses (brontosauri?), you know those giant ones with long necks and tails, they never draw the tail right. If they draw the tail dragging on the ground, then the poor dinosaur would never be able to support the weight of its own neck. According to my dino-loving friend, “Especially in the case of theropods, their tails counterbalance the weight of their over-sized heads.” I am constantly reminded of this fact every time I have random doodling sessions with this friend, because he always makes sure to draw his reptilian buddies correctly. How kind of him.
                  
So there you have it, random scientific fabulosity to show you how fun science really is! I know that I covered a lot of material today, and I also didn’t cite any sources, so don’t quote me on the complete accuracy of my scientific knowledge. I’m just pulling facts out of my constantly moving gray matter. But if you want to read more random, fun, sometimes intelligent and fairly knowledgeable blog posts, you can check out my site! I love to write about anything and everything, especially if it is strange or beautiful. Or involves making up new words. Many thanks to Matt for letting me post on his blog and shamelessly plugging my site! It’s such an awesome opportunity to meet new people in the bloggernet! (see, making up new words!) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My three year old made you this picture















She would also like to show you how to eat cotton candy:

Compost-fueled cars

For those of you who love TED talks, I think you'll agree that this one really takes things to a new level.



"I'll be your visionary... and you do the things I come up with." Genius.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Iron Man 3 trailer is live

And only SIX MONTHS before it comes to theaters. Six. Months.

LIVE: Night of the Living Dead Christian in Ohio and the UK

Of course you recall that last year Night of the Living Dead Christian released, a novel in which our spiritual state is discussed through the metaphor of monsters. One of the cool things that has come from that is some great conversations with spiritual leaders who are taking that metaphor and using it in their own churches for the month of October.

So, for instance, Beavercreek Nazarene church in Ohio is doing a series called "It Came from Within" in which the pastor is talking about werewolves (representing anger), vampires (representing selfishness) and ghosts (representing unforgiveness) and how they can symbolize us in our spiritual journey. In fact, I will be at Beavercreek Nazarene this coming Sunday, speaking about spiritual zombies! If you're in the Ohio area, I'd love to see you there!

I also wrote this blog post about why Christians are afraid of atheists for JR. It's his birthday today, so go say happy birthday to him!


Connection Church (also in Ohio?!) is doing Monster Mash! Pastor Tony Myles describes it this way:

Monsters are more than the real, evil forces in the spiritual realm or the fictional special effects creatures in movies. Whether we admit it or not, we can all give into our worst side at times… we zone out like a zombie to certain things and feel like life is on autopilot; something sets us off and an inner werewolf of anger emerges; we turn into a kind of vampire who sucks the life out of others; there’s an assortment of other “B-level” characters that come out on occasion, too. Through this metaphor, we’re going to take a better look not only at ourselves but also what God is capable of doing in us if we let Him. It will be transformational and mash up the undead life we can easily settle for.

Lastly, you have to check out Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, a service I am definitely wanting to visit sometime. Canon Richard White and I have become friends. He read NLDC and dropped me a line afterward (they had already done their Night of the Living Dead outreach by then, in which Canon White came into the service in a coffin, carried by some of the men in the church. I liked that so much I ripped it off and put it in the new NLDC short story). This event sounds like so much fun... they're actually taking their Gothic cathedral and making "zones" for different monsters... werewolves, vampires and zombies... and showing black and white clips of different monsters together with a message from Canon White. Should be pretty cool. If you're in the UK you need to go check it out and report back to us!








That's what's happening in Ohio and the UK this month. What's going on at your church?



Monday, October 22, 2012

My Halloween Costume

Krista and I went to a friend's Halloween party this weekend. We hadn't planned ahead regarding our costumes, though, so we told the kids we were going upstairs to dig through our closets and come up with something.

I needed to come back downstairs for something though, so I came down wearing jeans and my collared shirt completely unbuttoned. And, for those of you who haven't seen me without my shirt on, I am a hairy man.

My eleven-year-old, Z, passed me on the stairs.

Z: What costume is that, dad?

Me: I'm dressed as "guy who didn't button his shirt."

Z: No, really, dad.

(pause)

Z: Are you a werewolf?

Yup, you got it. I'm a werewolf.

Friday, October 19, 2012

This just happened at my house

Photo by mdiocuh galeals via Flickr CC
My nine-year-old just came from downstairs and said, "Dad, the toilet is clogged."

I said, "Which one?"

She said, "The one in the bathroom."

I just stared at her for the longest time, and then said, "Which bathroom?"

I thought for sure she would say, "The one in the house" but instead she said, "The one by my room." Glad we got that cleared up.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dreams. I have dreams.Dreams in which I dress the mafia in sharp looking t-shirts.

Last night I dreamt that I was a t-shirt salesman who specialized in sales to criminals and the mafia. They loved my t-shirts. They loved them so much I could say anything I wanted to them and not be in any trouble, because then who would make their t-shirts? I tailored the t-shirts precisely to whomever ordered them and these guys, they were ordering a lot of shirts.

The only thing is, they didn't like to pay me in cash, they usually paid me in bricks of cocaine. My shirts cost one brick of cocaine per shirt, which might sound expensive to you, but these were awesome shirts.

Anyway, this one mob boss wanted me to make him some shirts and he would pay me later and I said, "Hey, you think I'm going to just give you shirts? You're going to stiff me." He said he wouldn't do that but he didn't have two bricks of cocaine with him. I told him no cocaine meant no shirt, no service. Boy, was he mad.

Then the alarm went off.

In retrospect, getting paid in bricks of cocaine seems like it would have a lot of downsides.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Personality test: what kind of monster are you?

I made this personality test for Halloween! You can take it on the quiz website if you dislike the embedded version below. And, of course, if you're looking for some hilarious Halloween reading, or if you would rather not be a monster at all, be sure to check out Night of the Living Dead Christian.




LEAVE WHAT KIND OF MONSTER YOU ARE IN THE COMMENTS!!!!!

You can find the full guide describing your monster type, common habitats, weaknesses and quotes here.

Something more to encourage you after the debates

I am a total sucker for these things, they make me laugh so much.



They are so happy together!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Something to encourage you after the Presidential debate

Dear America:

I know sometimes after a debate you can get discouraged, but I wanted to remind you that YOU CAN DO IT! Just keep practicing.



THUMBS UP FOR ROCK AND ROLL!

Friday, October 12, 2012

LINKS! Sausage of the Internet, October 12

This weekend I'm at the Cru Rocky Mountain Getaway, so, like last week, I'll be leaving you with this post of shiny things to entertain you in my absence.

Yesterday my interview with Randy Streu at "The Family" went live. Check it out:


This is a really fascinating article and links about the so-called "marshmallow test." Really interesting theories about lying, children, delayed gratification and future success.

Meanwhile. physicists think they've discovered a test to prove whether or not we live in a computer simulation. Judging from what happens when I dodge bullets, I'm guessing the answer is NO.

If you've ever wanted romance tips from a T-Rex it is your luck day. Right now.

You may also enjoy this video reminder to respect your elders:



And, of course, if you're looking for something to read you could always read a free copy of Vampire in the Church Choir, a spin-off story from Night of the Living Dead Christian.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eavesdropping with Matt (Episode Sixty-Three: Red, White and Blue Man Group)

Dedicated to the fine "Sparks" leaders at our local church's AWANA group and to the children who bravely and enthusiastically answer any question that is asked of them.

Everyone (singing): "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.

They are precious in His sight.
Leader: Who know what the colors in that song represent?

Child #1: Children with different colors of hair?

Leader: Nooooooo. Anyone else?

Child #2: The flag of the United States of America?

For more Eavesdropping with Matt, steel yourself and click on this link.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We Need to Talk about an Injustice

I saw Bryan Stevenson speak at the Q conference last year. I think, honestly, that his talk at Q was better than this one below (which is still excellent). Carve out twenty minutes and watch it:



So. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My three-year-old learns about winter and decides she prefers summer

My daughter, M, has a maple tree right outside her bedroom window. I planted the tree when we first moved here, and it has grown one or two feet a year.

In the summer, all you can see out her window is leaves. The leaves are turning red now, which led to this conversation last week.

M: Daddy, my leaves are supposed to be green.

Me: They're turning red now because summer is over. It's Fall. Soon all the leaves will fall off for the winter.

M: Can you make them green again?

Me: No. But after winter, green leaves will come back.

M: I want the green leaves back.

Me: We can't get them back. You'll have to wait for the new leaves in the Spring.

M (disappointed): Oh.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Night of the Living Dead Christian video interview

Last year I was on "The Clinic" (an Internet show for high schoolers) to talk about NLDC. I didn't realize there was a video uploaded of it at the time. It's a little horrifying to be the man with the giant television head, but here it is:

The Clinic - Matt Mikalatos from remedyLIVE on Vimeo.

You can, of course, buy NLDC by using the "GO" button underneath its picture to your right.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Links: the Sausage of the Internet

Well, I'm off to Michigan State University's fall retreat this weekend, where I'm told the temperature will hit a high in the mid-40s. Yay!

In the meantime, here are some things for you to enjoy:

Speaking of Michigan, The Batman has been arrested there.

You might want to spend your weekend explaining to your loved ones why you are buying this hoodie.

I'm guessing you could use some dancing Power Rangers right about now:



You should already know everything about Double Rainbow if you're on the Internet (WHAT DOES IT MEEEEEEEAAAAN?) but maybe you haven't yet enjoyed this auto-tuned song of it:



In the world of Matt Mikalatos related stuff:

This interview about writing and The Sword of Six Worlds.

My interview chock full of lying about Sword of Six Worlds and Ben Affleck.

You can go read my new short story, A Vampire in the Church Choir for free here.

Or you can go read it on Amazon for 99 cents. Which reminds me, the other day it was climbing up the satire charts and I got this screenshot:


IN YOUR FACE, HITLER!

Okay,  a post can't get any better than "In your face, Hitler!" I better call it a day for now. See you soon!

Leave comments with more links we should be entertaining ourselves with!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

"Classic" Imaginary Jesus in the Wild

My friend Holly Sheldon just sent me this photo from Singapore! On her phone!

Notice the now-out-of-print "Collector's" Imaginary Jesus, an increasingly rare sight around here.


Thanks, Holly!

I particularly like the rainbow "special offer" sign on it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I have no excuse for this. I am weak. And now you must be subjected to: "Batman Maybe."

I don't know how this happens. I'm almost positive I had never heard the song "Call Me Maybe" before I started posting videos in which the song is sung by President Obama.

And, I can't believe I'm saying this, but this song does have spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises. So be warned.

Regardless, this video made me happier than it should have:

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Interview with Steve Bein, author of "Daughter of the Sword"


 I met Steve Bein online on a writer's site, and you may recall that he did a post here for Tolkien Week about using inanimate objects as characters in a novel. Steve's first novel just released today, and anyone who has been around here for a while will recognize plenty of things we like around here: Japan, fantasy, swords, and great writing. Steve and I did an interview, and I think you'll find what he has to share interesting. In the meantime, here's Steve's website, and here's a link to his book on Amazon.

1. Tell us about Daughter of the Sword. What's the book about?

Mariko Oshiro, the only woman to make sergeant and detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit, has a misogynistic boss who wants to make sure she’ll never realize her dream of joining the Narcotics unit.  She’s got a good lead on a cocaine ring but instead he gives her the least promising case he’s got: the attempted theft of an ancient sword.  Things get a lot weirder when she learns the man who owns the sword says it’s magical, and a lot more dangerous when the would-be thief turns out to be a yakuza enforcer attempting to carve out a new criminal empire.  The book alternates between Mariko’s story and historical interludes that follow the exploits of the three swords as they find their way in the hands of different warriors throughout Japanese history, from the samurai era up to WWII.

2. Okay, so this novel has a cop, some samurai, cursed swords, and Tokyo gangsters. How would you describe it? Is this urban fantasy? Police procedural? Mystery? Thriller?

All of the above, actually. 

The question, “What genre is this?” has a lot packed into it, doesn’t it?  It assumes there’s one answer.  Mariko’s storyline, the one set in the modern day, is a police procedural and thriller with a touch of urban fantasy.  But the forays into Japan’s past are clearly historical fiction, with a touch of historical fantasy. 

3. I love Japan but I've never been there. Have you been there before? What draws you to that setting?

It’s a little embarrassing, but it probably started with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I discovered them in fourth or fifth grade, when they still only existed in black-and-white comic form.  From there I graduated to chop-socky movies, then my own martial arts career, then my Eastern Philosophy course in college, and ultimately went to Nagoya and Tokyo to study Japanese philosophy.  So yeah, Japan’s pretty much in my blood at this point.

As for what draws me to it, one of the things I really appreciate about Japanese culture is its aesthetic sensibilities.  There’s a certain beauty in stillness, in potential energy held in check.  Michael Mann and not Michael Bay, if that makes sense.  I like a patient story that can unfold at its own pace, like Mann did with Heat, and like you’ll see in any Kurosawa film.

And there’s a certain beauty in impermanence and fragility that I don’t think we always appreciate in this country.  The quintessential example is the samurai who dies at his prime, and (oddly enough) the cherry blossom.  Even a gentle breeze can blow it apart, and there’s only about a week when they’re in bloom.  Japanese people take days off of work to have picnics under the cherry trees and watch the blossoms fall like snowflakes.  I suppose we do something similar when we go on road trips to see the fall colors, but not many people take the time to do that here.

4. How did you go about researching a novel set in Tokyo? What sort of research did you have to do for this novel?

It certainly helps to have lived there.  These days you can get a lot from Google, but getting a feel for the city is important, especially if it’s a culture radically different from the one you grew up in.  (I often think about how convenient it would be if I’d just write about someplace cheap and easy to get to, but no, I just had to set my stories halfway around the world.) 

As for specific research, I read a lot of books on the samurai and their era, and a little on WWII, and as much as I could get on the yakuza (which isn’t much), and I was very lucky to find a good scholar who studies police work in Japan.  I interviewed a lot of cops too, particularly female cops, to understand the job and to get a feel for what it’s like to be a woman in that profession.

But the most fun was the sword research.  That allowed me to go back to training in kendō and iaidō—Japanese sword arts.  I just love that stuff. 

5. Are there more books coming in the series? What are you working on now? 

I just turned in a revised manuscript for the second novel yesterday.  Right now I’m plotting book three. 

6. And there’s a companion novella too, right?  What is Only A Shadow about, and how is it connected to Daughter of the Sword?

Only A Shadow was originally a part of Daughter of the Sword, but my editor and I felt that it didn’t drive the story forward, and in truth it stands very well on its own.  It’s too short to be a novel in its own right and too long for most magazines that publish short fiction, so we decided to publish it as a novella for e-readers.  It’s a heist caper, but with ninjas instead of Robert DeNiro or Steve McQueen.  An aging ninja master has to steal a masterwork sword in order to save his clan from extinction, but he can’t manage it on his own.  He needs to recruit someone faster, younger, and stronger to help him, though he knows the new recruit may well seek to betray him and take his place.

7. Daughter of the Sword just released today, and it looks fantastic. I'm going to start reading it tonight. Tell me that it's fantastic. Is it everything I am hoping it will be?

I think you’re going to like it a lot.  I’ve been really pleased to see the nice attention it’s been getting from the critics, and I think the book has a little something for everyone.  If you like police thrillers, Mariko’s storyline has a lot for you.  If you like historical fiction, you’ll find plenty of that here, on a culture that you don’t often get to see in historical fiction.  And of course if you like a little twist of fantasy in your fiction, then this book is just perfect for you. 

8. I saw you described this book as a “thoughtful thriller.”  What do you mean by that?

I don’t buy the idea that genre fiction has to be “summer reading,” as in, “turn off your brain and enjoy.”  My characters wrestle with philosophical conflicts as well as physical ones.  At the end of the day this is a book about duty, and about how we define ourselves based on what we perceive our moral duties to be.  It’s about duty in the same way that Batman Begins is a film about fear and The Dark Knight is a film about whether human nature is intrinsically good or intrinsically evil.  Those are thoughtful thrillers too.  Very sophisticated scripts, plus some ass-kicking action sequences.  It seems to me the two go together just fine.

9. If you could own one of the swords from your novel, which one would it be and why (assuming you can do this without spoilers)?

Beautiful Singer is the most elegant, but she’s dangerous, so not her.  Glorious Victory’s curse is a mixed blessing, but it’s the most impressive of the swords in terms of sheer size.  Tiger on the Mountain is really good for property values, for reasons I can’t disclose without spoilers.  In the end I think I’d have to go with Glorious Victory for the sheer coolness factor.  That sword would take up most of a wall no matter what wall I hung it on.  

Check out Daughter of the Sword on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powell's

New "Living Dead Christian" short story: A Vampire in the Church Choir!




This month marks the first anniversary of the release of Night of The Living Dead Christian, a comedy theology novel about what it means to find true transformation in our lives.

I love this book, and I love the characters in it. Of course. I wrote it. One character in particular, Lara, became one of my favorites, and I wanted to write another story with her in it. Then I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to write her story and then make it available online for free on NLDC's anniversary?"

And that is precisely what I did. 

You can get it any format right here (including Mobi, for Kindle readers, and Epub for Nook, Kobo and so on). 

Here's a quick description of the new story, A Vampire in the Church Choir:

Lara, the newest alto in the struggling church choir, the Sonshine Singers, has a secret. She’s a vampire. Keeping a secret like that – being (sort of) dead – isn’t easy, which is why she came to a Big Box Mega Church in the first place. But now the pastor is preaching on “Monsters In Our Midst” and the congregation is out with pitchforks and torches. Plus, Lara is starting to suspect that the pastor himself is not all he seems, despite the long list of accolades, accomplishments and his slavishly devoted fans. To top it all off, Lara is getting “thirsty” and that long-necked tenor is starting to look like a great big juice box… even worse, the choir's next performance is only three weeks away, and Lara has been “promoted” to soprano. Sounds like a disaster, one way or another, a disaster that Lara is determined to avoid, resist and out-sing. The stakes are high, and the notes are higher, but for the first time in years Lara feels like she has a challenge she can really sink her teeth into.
And hey, if your read and enjoy A Vampire in the Church Choir (or think you're about to read and enjoy it) please consider clicking on the Facebook or Twitter icons at the end of this post and tell a friend about this free ebook!

This book is free. How to download ebooks to e-reading devices and apps. 
FormatFull Book
Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)View
Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy)View
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)Download
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)Download
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)Download
RTF (readable on most word processors)Download
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)Download
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)Download
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)Download
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)View

Cover art is by M.S. Corley.

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