Friday, December 23, 2016

Juggernaught: Chapter 11 - Friends

Though Howell seemed to thrive on misinformation, there was no longer any doubt to the Moast group concerning who was part of his team and who was not.

The boy he had sat next to on the tour bus was a complete red herring.  He had somehow convinced the lone traveler that this was all some sort of ongoing practical joke at the expense of Jack and his friends.  (Which was partially true, after all.)  The other kid ate it up.

It didn't take long to expose this deception because, like Jack and his friends, Howell's group was also supposed to be a trio.

With a little more digging they found out that the two girls across the isle from him on the bus were really named Lola and Irmingard Rabishaw, and not "Jane" and "Mary" as their nametags claimed.

It was Misty's idea.  " 'Jane'?  Seriously?  Nobody would have names that generic." she'd concluded.  And she was proved right, (notwithstanding the muddy logic of it).

Over the miles, at various stops, the teams took turns testing eachother with various exercises in the covert arts.

It was during one of these, that Jack and Wendell exchanged a wink and immediately switched to using Lola and Irmingard's real names.  It was epic!  The girls were so flustered that they completely blew cover!

Score one point for the Yanks!

From the moment of Howell's phony phone call, pranks like were going on non-stop. 

Due to the fact that all luggage was kept out of sight in the cargo compartment under the bus, one never knew what would be in their bags when they arrived at their room for the night.

One time Wendell found that the entire contents of his toothpaste tube were swapped with clotted-cream scone filling - a very British gag, as if the culprits were not already obvious.

Wendell, the walking stomache, thoroughly approved of the switch.

By the next morning somebody had added a photo-reactive agent to Lola's makeup. The chemical was designed to change color when exposed to direct sunlight. 

On the bus, the results were compounded when she fell asleep against the window.  The entire left side of her face turned fluorescent orange!

Munich saw its first Oompa-Loompa tourist that day.

This one even earned Misty a high five from Lola's sister.

Soon, as the two groups became friends, the planned exercises became less of a rivalry and more of a nuisance.  They were more like a chapter of elementary school math that the teacher wanted to get through before recess.

Even Misty, who adored the spy games, found that she would rather see the sights with Howell.

One night the tour bus turned off European highway A-57 in Venice, but the "budget tours" did not allow for an overnight stay in the islands.  Rather, they put into Marghera for the night.

Who came up with the idea, nobody could remember, but a rough tally of the number of boys to beautiful girls led somebody to the idea of going out to a nice restaurant for a triple-date.

Misty had no problems in the world if Howell wanted to ask her out, but their surprising level of enthusiasm told her that Jack and Wendell were just as taken with Lola and Irmingard. 

The spy girls reciprocated their attraction in their own way.  Although according to the unofficial itinerary, they were supposed to poison the boys' meal that night, they decided not to spoil the mood.

Long after the other patrons had left the restaurant, Howell, Misty, Jack, Lola, Wendell, and Irmgard sat around the table laughing and talking.

"What time do you suppose they throw us out?" asked Jack to no one in particular.

"Nah, not in a classy joint like this." said Wendell.

Howell smiled, "I wouldn't have said it as American-ish as that, but spot on, my friend."

"I think I have just the thing."  Lola was up in a flash and gone before anybody could ask what she was up to.

Moments later she returned with a tea trolley following close at her heels.  Atop, a beautiful silver tea set.

A waiter, who showed all the signs of wanting to go home. (even in a "classy joint" like this) put out a place setting of small cups.  Into each, he poured hot liquid from a silver pot.

Lola nudged her sister and whispered, "I though we agreed not to --"

But Irmgard waved her off.

Once the waiter was done and on his way, Howell raised his ridiculously tiny cup, pinki extended in proper fashion.

"To good friends!" he declared and lifted it even higher in toast.

"To friends!" all agreed and swigged back their drink unanimously.

"Chqqaqqq" gagged Wendell.

"Okay, 'zing!' " agreed Jack.

Misty merely covered her eyes to keep them from popping out and rolling away.

Irmingard laughed.  "Cappuccino", she stated.  "Can't go to Italy and not try a cappuccino."

"Next time, warn a guy!" croaked Wendell.  But he wasn't angry.  He was too busy smiling at her.

And she was too busy smiling back.

It was a good evening - the sort of evening that never really ends because it lives on in your memory the rest of your life.  Good friends and good fun.

The trip passed like in a happy dream.

But all that changed when they reached Bosnia.

The preceding has been a chapter from Juggernaught: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
(Copyright 2016, Edmund Lloyd Fletcher.)

For more on this story, please visit its main page.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the email list so you never miss a thing!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

(Reluctant) Book Review - Larger Than Life Lara

Larger-Than-Life Lara
Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Cover Price: $9.99 USD 
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1430-4 
Release Date: November 2016 

Cover Synopsis:
This isn’t about me. This story, I mean. So already you got a reason to hang it up. At least that’s what Mrs. Smith, our English teacher, says.

But the story is about ten-year-old Laney Grafton and the new girl in her class—Lara Phelps, whom everyone bullies from the minute she shows up. Laney is just relieved to have someone else as a target of bullying. But instead of acting the way a bullied kid normally acts, this new girl returns kindness for a meanness that intensifies . . . until nobody remains unchanged, not even the reader.

I've been dragging my feet about writing this review for some time.  I didn't really like it and momma always said, "If you don't have anything good to say..."  Yet, unfortunately for me I also promised the publisher that I would give an honest review in exchange for the book.

So, it comes down to momma going head-to-head verses the Tyndale publishing team.  Cage match, live on pay-per-view!

But seriously, the premise is that the story is being written by a 10-year-old girl for a school project.  And I guess, in that regard you'd call it a success.  The rambling, disconnected thoughts, as well as grammatical and spelling mistakes all combine to give it the feel of an elementary school class assignment.

Of course there are two sides to that coin.  The opposite being: I want to read a good quality book, not some kid's class assignment!!!

This 10yo writer's goal is to write a story about something that happened in her life.  Intermingled with that she is also learning how to write, so we get little writing tips and suggestions sprinkled throughout.

As a homeschooling father I first I thought this could be used as a teaching tool, but as the story progressed I decided the teacher's methodology wasn't the way I would want to do teach it anyway.  And, of course, I've already graduated from elementary school (somehow against all odds), so I have a hard time seeing how this information does anything but slow us down.
Laura, the new girl in school, is fat.  Really fat.

Even in the face of some pretty brutal bullying, she is able to remain sweet and maintain a great positive attitude.

Bullying is really what the book is about.  It is really where the book shines.  It doesn't glorify it, nor does it shame the bullies!  Rather, it tells it like it is -- all the emotions, the pain and hurt, as well as the peer pressure aspect.

Best of all, it holds a message for the bullies themselves about how they can change.
It really is a great book on bullying!

I just... don't need a book on bulling.  (I homeschool, remember?)

This might be good if you need a book about bullying and the general meanness of kids, written in stumbling language that might make it easier for younger children to relate to.

If, instead, you're looking for a book to teach creative writing, I'd sooner recommend a more complete dedicated resource such as How to Write (And Sell) A Christian Novel by Gilbert Morris

Finally, if none of that applies and you just want a good story to read, well, you know what momma says...

Disclaimer:  As stated above, I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an hones,t unbiased review.  (Right about now they may be regretting the "honest, unbiased" part of that arrangement.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Juggernaught: Chapter 10 - Tour Group

The bus driver mounted the steps to get his big machine warmed up.  The lengthy cranking of the stubborn beast served as a gathering call to the surrounding groups who began to gravitate toward it.

The tour guide, a tired-looking bleach blond in an outfit best described as "durable", introduced herself as Yvonne and began to run through their itinerary. 

Without pausing for breath, she jumped straight to her next rote script, laying down the basic rules of the game...  stay with the group, don't touch the museum exhibits, watch out for pickpockets, etc, etc...

Then she ran through it all over again in French.

To Jack and his fellow Bible Study team, this was particularly redundant.  They were fluent in both of those languages.

Much like the other travelers, they only half-listened to what she was saying as they tried to navigate the bus' narrow isle.  Difficult on a good day - nearly impossible amid the chaos of thirty other people all trying to get baggage stowed and seats found.

In the first seat they passed, was their contact Howell along with another boy, whose name was presently unknown. 

Sitting directly across from them were a pair of attractive young girls who, though also unknown, seemed like they belonged to his group as well.

"There's Howell."  said Wendell, loudly, and pointing.

Everybody involved in the clandestine rendezvous did a face-palm.

"What?" asked Wendell as the Americans kept inching their way rearward.

Looking down at Misty's disgusted expression, he asked more emphatically, "What??"

"That was about the least stealthy move I've ever seen."

Her battered Hello Kitty cell phone rang at that very moment.

She flipped the cover open, but before she could speak a voice on the other end said,  "Quite right, my little parakeet."

She was confused.

Jack nudged her and pointed.  Looking in the direction the finger indicated, she saw Howell and his team laughing and waving.

"How did you do--"  she called out, then realized what she was doing and spoke into the phone.  "My number...  How did you do that?"

"Captured your phone's routing signature as you walked past."  His voice took on a droll tone, "A trifling trick.  My, my, what they must teach you in the States.  Well, tah."  He hung up before she could form her rising anger into words.

"Clever."  Observed Wendell.

"Not that clever."  replied Jack.  His face wore a mischievous grin.

He reached into the pocket of his leather flight jacked and withdrew a small metal box.

The container read "Altoids", but the buttons and controls poking out like electronic warts meant that it contained anything but candy.  In fact, the gadget looked so cobbled-together that it bore the Dr Puttery trademark in spades. 

Jack, still grinning, said, "I traced that call, so we got his number too!"

He flipped a switch labeled, "replay" and held it up for Misty to see.  Flickering blue-green digits leapt to life on its tiny display.

At once Misty was furiously punching in numbers and brought the phone back to her ear. 

On the third ring the other end answered.

"Hello?  Scotland Yard 'otline.  Please state the nature of your emergency."

Misty hung up quickly and blushed.  "Cool trick."

"How do you suppose he did that?" said Jack, confounded.

"Was that long distance?" added Wendell.

They looked up at the sound of the other team roaring with laughter again.

"They're good." concluded Misty.

The preceding has been a chapter from Juggernaught: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
(Copyright 2016, Edmund Lloyd Fletcher.)

For more on this story, please visit its main page.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the email list so you never miss a thing!

Juggernaught: Chapter9 - Niñera

Niñera was well-respected in the community.  She was very old in a culture that still honored age.  Her wrinkles, rather than being regarded as a cosmetic failure, were instead each numbered as badges of wisdom gathered throughout her many decades.

Nearly all to whom she was directly related had already gone on to Heaven ahead of her, yet all in the village regarded her as "Niñera".  She had, indeed, changed the diapers of almost everyone in the village at some time in the past.

She was a grandmother figure to all, whether directly related or not.

Like Lois and Eunice from the Bible, she served as a pillar of godliness and an inspiration to the younger members of her culture.  Due to her love and devotion to Christ, many felt that she would never die, but rather be carried to His side like Elijah of old, swept into the sky in a chariot of fire one day.

In this matter, they were, of course, mistaken.  The years began to hang heavy and even Niñera knew that her time on Earth must soon come to an end.

And yet, the people were about to be surprised how close their assumptions had been.  This very night a chain of events began to unfold.  The first domino that would set off a chain-reaction that would rattle the very globe.

No one could have guessed -- no one could have foreseen that a simple old native Peruvian woman, shuddering and cold beneath her threadbare shawl in an unremarkable village high in the Andes would be so important to the unfolding to the history of humanity. 

None, that is, but He who is Author of such things, and She to whom He has chosen to reveal them.


Oh, yes, indeed, for tonight something was bound to happen that even Niñera, in her many years of life had never seen.

Niñera had a dream.

The preceding has been a chapter from Juggernaught: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
(Copyright 2016, Edmund Lloyd Fletcher.)

For more on this story, please visit its main page.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the email list so you never miss a thing!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Juggernaught - Section II intro

Hey all,

I hope you're all enjoying the free Juggernaught story so far, but I've got to say, the Moast exciting is yet to come!
(See what I did there? ;) )

Anyway, bad puns not withstanding, I thought I'd cut in here with a brief introduction to the next section, Zombie Cult. ~dun dun duuuun~ With a title like that, you know it will be exciting! 

In it, our Peregrini friend as well as Jack, Misty, and Wendell go head-to-head against an ancient pagan deity.

Just as we were introduced to Mac Criche in the last section, in this one his story finally resolves.  To take his place, we meet a simple South American woman and her young grandson, who somehow hold the key to the whole mystery.  (AND to the Moast Unusual series in general!)

To celebrate making it to the next section and to make up for lost time I'll be uploading the next two chapters tomorrow morning.  Also, the first is rather small, so I didn't want short people by doing just one.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Queen of Atlantis - IN STORES NOW!

That's right folks, it's finally that time!  The book is officially RELEASED!  Woot!  Woot!

But before I get to that I'll do a little one-sided interview here and give a little background (to make this blog article less of a plug and give it some value).

A little over two years ago I came up with the idea for this series while listening to secular book-on-tape stores on my looong commute into the city every day.  Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, and the rest are masterful storytellers who can really get your adrenaline pumping with danger and intrigue.  I always wanted to share these exciting stories with my own boys, but all the sex, foul language, and other thematic elements made that impossible.

So I decided to write my own.

I already knew the sorts of extreme circumstances that the characters would be getting into, but the big question was, "How would a Christian react in these sorts of situations?"  I mulled this over for quite awhile.  (Yeah, I'm a "muller".)

What shook out was this concept of a Bible Study group -- something common that most of us are familiar with, but with a twist.  Where sometimes church small groups (another name for it) take on special interests like mens' and womens' groups, different age ranges, or hobbies, what if there was a group that happened to be focused on saving the world?

From there, it became a matter of assembling a team that could do it.
I've often been amazed by the wide range of folks you often find in Christian churches and groups.  I mean, people who would never have anything in common are suddenly thrown together and now considered brothers and sisters.  Church culture gets this strange potpourri dynamic happening where vastly different people now have to learn how to try and relate to one another. 

I wanted to capture all that, while at the same time each person must bring his or her own piece to complete the puzzle together as a team.  The "body of Christ", being the Biblical analogy.

Here's the cast, in brief:

   Michael Moast - a real man's man.  Strong and silent type.  Also, a self-made millionaire.  The guy who pays for all the team's toys, and gets the bill for all of their mistakes.

   Melinda Moast - his wife, an old-money heiress who would prefer things clean and simple, but rarely gets her wish.

   Dr Puttery - a reclusive and eccentric scientist / inventor.  He's always ready with a spliced-together gadget or key fact and doesn't mind arguing for his offbeat opinions.

   Ms McCready - as you'd expect, a matronly old Irish woman.  As you would NOT expect, she is also an expert sniper once involved in US covert ops, and has names, addresses, and overdue favors from many unscrupulous characters around the globe.

   Wendell - long and lanky, yet with a bottemless stomach.  This young man never shies away from peril, nor pun.

   Misty - just as short as Wendell is tall.  She has a low self-image, but is an expert in martial arts.  She finds a kindred spirit in Jane and the two become fast friends.

   Kurt - a running gag.  We never really see Kurt.  And he always seems to collect some bizarre injury that takes him out of the action for the duration of the book.

   Jack - our dashing young hero.  He's a James Bond / Indiana Jones / name your cliche, young man.  Things never seem go his way, but he'll fight his way though against any odds.

   Jane - our main protagonist.  As the book description says, she really doesn't have any special ability that she can point to.  In fact, she suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, which makes just leading everyday life hard, let alone such extreme circumstances as what the Bible Study must face.

Like in real life, they each react to one another differently.  Sure, they sometimes even get on eachothers' nerves at times, but they always have this deeper bond that holds them together through it all.

From there it was simple.  All it took was two, plus, years of grueling, often exhausting work.  In fact, most days I was living exclusively off crackers and cheese as I sat hunched over my laptop in the parking lot on my lunch break.

Very long story, short, it did finally come together, and I am proud of that.

In fact, my eldest son is reading the paperback as we speak, so that alone is enough to bring a tear of satisfaction to my eye.

Furthermore, I honestly do think that it developed into a great story and a great adventure with many interesting surprises along the way.  I'm quite confident that you'll enjoy it too! :)

I guess that's as good a segue as any to get to the purchasing details:
You can get the paperback on [here].
Or a kindle version [here].
Or if you have some other brand of eReader, you can get it [here].
 But what if you're not sure if you want to buy it or not?  Maybe the concept seems good, but you don't know if you'll like my writing?

That's fair.  All you need to do is follow that last link and you can read the first 20% of the book for free to see if you like it.

But honestly... you'll like it! ;)

Live your adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Images for social media:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Juggernaught: Chapter8 - Kurt's Mission

Misty lie on her bed in the Moast mansion, looking out as the full moon bathed its grounds in silver-blue glory.  She should have been asleep by now.  There was a lot planned for tomorrow.  It was going to be tough enough with a full night's sleep.  Every minute she stayed awake would make it all the harder.

And why shouldn't she sleep?  She was in a very inviting bed, safe and warm.  The weather drifting in through an open window was ideal, and even gave her a nice, bright, moon for ambiance.  (Not to mention how it also acted as a gigantic spotlight on anyone trying to sneak up on her.)

There would be no surprise drills this night.
And yet her gut still harbored some unexplained tension.  If Wendell were here, he'd probably say something like, "I sense a great disturbance in the force."

"WENDELL!" she shouted.

With a thunk, a throwing knife seemed to grow out of the wall right next to the grinning face that appeared through a narrow gap in the doorway.  He may have glanced at it, but didn't say a word as if it happened all the time.

Misty, for her part, was much more shaken.  Had she not recognized him in mid-throw and deliberately knocked the dagger off course, her friend would be a human shishkabob right now!

The gap widened as Wendell was shoved from behind and stumbled into the room. 

Jack was right behind him.  He hit the light switch.

Misty shielded her eyes from the sudden glare.  "What!??" she demanded.  Then she added, "This is the girls' wing.  You shouldn't even be here!"

Jack ignored both protests and launched directly into his tirade.  "Did you hear about Kurt?"

"No.  Why?"

"They gave him a field mission!  A real mission!"

"No way!"  she shouted and hurled a pillow at Jack's head.

He caught it with one hand.  She was as outraged as him now, and that made Jack feel a little better.

"Aren't you mad?"  she asked Wendell, who was looking around apprehensively rather than being appropriately furious.

"Yeah.  Of course.  But what you said about the girls' wing..."

All at once Miss Maarm, Resident Assistant to the girls' wing appeared and caught his ear.  "You got that right, slim!"

She started to lay into him with her We expect more out of you than this speech.  Or, for those who had been around long enough, simply Speech #7.  One of her favorites.

While Wendell was being verbally roasted alive, the other two continued.

"Gimme the deet's."  demanded Misty.

"Central America.  Some dictator is trying to stage a political coup.  Total hush-hush.  CIA uber classified, but he's going up against one really bad hombre." 

Jack snapped his fingers and Wendell slipped him a manila folder with CLASSIFIED stamped all over it.  Meanwhile, he didn't dare break eye contact with Miss Maarm for fear of worse repercussions than being caught with CIA documents.

"He got an assassination!  Lucky dog!"  ghasped Misty.

"Nah.  Just a kidnapping.  Here.  See for yourself."  Jack tossed her the folder.  "Michael wants to turn the guy in as a peace offering for some government's toes he stepped on once."

Misty skimmed through the folder, too overwrought to take much in.  Plenty of guns and guerrillas -- that was the jest of it.  Lucky dog!  she thought again.

Miss Maarm had just reached paragraph 8, stanza 3 in her tirade, indicating to all that it was about over and the boys were about to be tossed out on their ears.

Misty handed the folder back.  "There's no way Michael can give Kurt an assignment and not us.  It's just not fair!"

"So what do you wanna do?"

Misty gave a sardonic laugh at whatever image popped into her imagination.  Then she frowned, knowing it wouldn't fly in reality. 

"I don't know."  she admitted at last,  "But we've got to get out of here too, before I go stir crazy." 

"... and so I don't want to catch you here again!" Miss Maarm concluded at that moment.  She pointed directly at Wendell's face and gave him the evil eye.  Then she turned to Jack and repeated the gesture.

"I'm going to see Michael."  said Jack.

Wendell nodded, storming off with him.

"Wait for me!"  Misty leapt out of bed and began pulling on a robe as she jogged.

"Miss Carlisle!  Really!"  huffed Miss Maarm indignantly.  She added a stamp of her foot for emphasis, but the display of sternness was too late.

Though she'd never once let down her ogre act in front of the recruits, the corner of Miss Maarm's wrinkled mouth now curled up in a knowing smile.  She plucked the dagger from the door frame.

"Ah, youth." she recalled.

The flick of her wrist sent the knife spinning end-over-end down the hallway and directly toward the center stick of the candelabra she was aiming for.  It neatly sliced off the burning wick, flush with the wax but without nicking it!

Michael had the highly-tuned ears of a jungle cat, and so, easily heard the angry footsteps of the kids approaching long before they arrived.

"Well, Kurt", he said, holding the door open, "that's the mission.  Think it over.

"And now, unless I miss my guess, here come the others to complain about it."

Jack did a double-take as Kurt brushed by, but Misty was already laying into Michael.

"It's not fair!" she demanded.

"Why not?"  Michael shrugged.  "He's well-trained."

"Not as well as us!"  said Misty.

"Kurt is clumsy." added Wendell.

"And accident-prone." concluded Jack.

"The point is..." began Jack. 

"We want a mission too!" everyone helped him finish.

Michael narrowed his eyes.  He stared down each person in turn.  To his credit, Jack was the last to crack and look away, but even that was within seconds.

Now that they knew their behavior was unbecoming, Michael allowed himself to sink down to a sitting position on the corner of his desk.  A smile cracked the corners of his mouth.  Like Miss Maarm, he too remembered this time of his own life.

"I thought you might say that.  Puttery should be here any moment."  He pointed at the clock on the wall.

[11:09 PM]

Dr Puttery was known for his uncanny clockwork punctuality.  That is, he was always precisely 10 minutes late -- down to the second!

The kids watched the second hand chop its way around the circle.  Each counted it off silently.

And the door burst open.

"You're early."  commented Michal Moast with a wry grin, just as the clock ticked off the last second.

Puttery grunted from behind the armload of rolled blueprints and posters.

"Well.  I'll leave you to it."  Michael slapped his knees and hopped back to his feet.

After the door had closed, all eyes turned to Dr Puttery.

"What is it?" asked Misty, "An assassination?"
(She seemed to like the idea far too much.)

"A kidnapping?"  asked Jack, following the same line of reasoning.

"Deep cover recon of a pastry factory?"

All eyes glared at Wendell.  Most embarrassingly of all, the only one that seemed to take his joke seriously was his stomach, which let out a low gurgle.

Misty giggled.

"Enough tomfoolery!"  declared Puttery.   "Your mission is this:"

He unfurled one of the papers for all to see.  It was a map of Europe with a heavy, winding line traced through it in red marker.

"Woa."  said one of the kids, capturing the sentiment of all.

"What are we supposed to do?"  asked Jack in awe.

"Stay with the group."  said Dr Puttery.


"Yes, of course, the..."  Dr Puttery glanced at the paper.  "Oh." he said, unrolling it more.

European Tours for Every Budget, read the caption across the bottom.

" 'Tours'?"  asked Jack hesitantly.

"Please tell me this is a real assignment and not a field trip." said Misty.  She feared she already knew the answer to that.

They all did.

Dr Puttery surprised them, saying, "Oh.  No.  It is a mission all right."

He turned and shuffled through the papers he'd lumped on Michael's desk.  He found the 8x10 photo he was looking for.

"You are to rendezvous with this person.  His name is Howell.  He is a trainee, just like yourselves, only from a UK organization similar to our own."

"Okay, so he is kind of cute." admitted Misty, but then added, "But, with respect, this still doesn't seem like a real mission."

"It is real."  objected Puttery again.  "This is a real-world training exercise.  You are to take turns gathering intel and then passing it to the other team without being detec--  Oh, now what?"

"This isn't a real mission."  concluded Jack.

"He is kind of cute though..."  teased Wendell.

He wasn't able to speak again for some time, having the wind knocked out of him from the inevitable punch to the gut.

This all upset Dr Puttery.  He had evidently spent a lot of time putting all this together. 

"Fine.  Stay home then." he said, scooping about 80% of the mess back into his arms in preparation for storming out.

"Wait."  said Jack, placing a hand on his shoulder.

"We're sorry."  added Misty.

She and Jack slowly exchanged glances, weighing their limited options. 

"We'd love to go."  she added.

"Yeah."  wheezed Wendell.

Dr Puttery smiled.  "If it makes you feel any better, Michael wanted this European Tour to be like a senior class trip to celebrate your graduation.

"Even though you've worked hard and earned a vacation many times over, this is more than just a reward though. This is also your first taste of being on your own in the world.  Out there you're going to experience new things, see other cultures, converse in languages that are not your own... who knows, maybe you'll even get lucky and encounter a pickpocket or two."

This gave Misty a smile.

"Here's the thing.  We're sending you out there mainly to learn self-reliance, to chart your own course - to get from point A to point B without an adult holding your hand all the time.

"This is your time to test yourself, to learn about yourself.

"I guess what I'm saying is, this trip isn't just to celebrate the end of your education, but rather a way of beginning it."
(Or read the author's intro, first.) 

The preceding has been a chapter from Juggernaught: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
(Copyright 2016, Edmund Lloyd Fletcher.)

For more on this story, please visit its main page.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the email list so you never miss a thing!

Monday, November 14, 2016

More eye candy

It took of back-and-forth, but I now have the final cover design for Queen of Atlantis ready to go!
A book mockup and icon came with that as well, so I can get all fancy on the website:

Likewise, I thought my cover design for Juggernaught was pretty good:

Yeah... the professional version may be a little cooler. ;)

I also received some interior graphics for Queen of Atlantis, but since that kind of stuff isn't super exciting, so I won't bother to show you those.

Coming in on the home stretch with this deal!  HURRAY!

Live YOUR Adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Promo tear-offs

Hey Fletcher Fans!

Just checking in briefly today.
Here's one more simple way you can help me promote my stories if you would like to help out.

My graphic designer just came up with a pdf tear-off sheet you can print out and post (with whatever permission required, of course) on public bulletin boards.

Note the page contains two half-sheets.  The idea being you can stack them for twice as many tear-offs.

Okay, so this is probably not the most exciting blog update in the world, but an important one on the long road to release. :)

Live YOUR Adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Book Announcement: Queen of Atlantis

Queen of Atlantis: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
By Edmund Lloyd Fletcher
6x9 paperback 354pgs
ISBN: 978-0997699401
Amazon (paperback)
Kindle ebook
Other ebook readers

If you want to know if you'll like it before purchasing, visit here and you can read the first 20% of the book for free.
But honestly... you'll like it! ;)
That's right, folks, Queen of Atlantis, the first book in the Moast Unusual set is online and ready to buy!

I've put together a little promo video about it that you might want to check out. (It's a little rough, but not too shabby for a guy in his back yard.)

Cover Summary:
She couldn't handle one small town, how is she going to save the world?

Janet Jones has reached the end of the road.  Literally.
Jane (to her friends) is a headstrong 18-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome who is fleeing from the ghosts of her past.

Her one simple goal is to find her place in the world -- to make a new life for herself.  Her plans are about to change when she mistakenly falls in with a group of international adventurers, posing as a mild-mannered Bible Study.

This swashbuckling team of misfits sets out with the goal of locating a rare sea mollusk.  The clues they find along the way propel them headlong into a daring, action-packed adventure that spans the globe.

Michael Moast and his team once again find themselves the one and only line of defense against an international conspiracy and its plans for world domination.

Along the way, Jane makes many new friends, learns a thing or two about herself, and even unlocks the shocking truth behind an ancient secret. 

So, yeah, fun times in store.  Got a lot of great great stuff planned for the free novel Juggernaught and many other things, so stay tuned!

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

More images for social media: 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Juggernaught: Chapter 7 - Illyricum

Mac Creiche was still convinced that the albino goose was leading him to Jerusalem, and as such, wandered away from the monastery without a body of followers, despite Brandan's adamant advice against it.

Even after many days the bird never left his sight, nor veered off course.  Jerusalem, it is! he declared happily to himself. 

His elation was taken down a notch when a new obstacle appeared on the horizon.  He would have to pass directly through Illyrian territory to get there. 

Though Illyricum lie within the bounds of the Roman empire, the Empire was in a shambles.  Back in the days of the great Caesars, any and all threats were swiftly and severely crushed, but that Empire had grown fat, corrupt, and tolerant of all forms of evil.  Ultimately they could no longer defend themselves against the barbarian rabble clawing at the gates and melted away into chaos. 

Rome died because she lost the will to live.

Now pandemonium reigned everywhere as heathen warlords separated one-another's head from body for various crowns and treasures.  From grand palaces to country villages, it was might-makes-right and every man for himself.

Illyricum ahead was now claimed by both an Ostrogoth Emperor and the Byzantine Empire, yet neither would spare the resources to police or defend it.  The place was one perpetual Los Angeles riot from end to end.

Mac Creiche was now seriously regretting his decision not to bring a team along.

On the other hand, the trouble with that plan was they'd have probably have wanted to stop and bring order and righteousness to the heathen.  Mac Creiche only hoped to slip past them unnoticed.

Fie!  I shall fare just fine!  He waved the doubts away, also reminding himself that these were the same people that the Apostle Paul spoke of in Romans 15:19.  Any people who had witnessed the miracles of the great Apostle couldn't be all bad.  Could they?

Not only that, this was also his first experience visiting one of the places he'd read about in the Bible.  Mac Creiche's spontaneous pilgrimage was starting to feel excitingly real to him, and he couldn't let a bunch of riffraff turn him away now.

Mac Creiche jabbed at the remains of the campfire with a stick.  The charred log was dark as the surrounding night, with only the dull glow of embers remaining to show its shape.

As quickly as the bright flames faded, so the stars shone brilliantly across the expanse of the sky.

He drew his cloak tight around himself and squirmed in as close to the coals as he dared.

Looking at the impossibly bright stars, he felt so small in the cosmic scheme of things.  And yet, somehow, the immensity of creation only served to magnify the size of its Creator.  Though huge and frightening, his God was greater still, which gave him comfort, rather than fear. 

In that loving embrace, he drifted slowly off to sleep.

Mac Creiche found himself following the goose as it waddled down the old Roman Road just as he expected the journey to be.

Soon, the road veered to the southeast to keep to the coast, but the bird continued on his original easterly course, not knowing, or caring that he was straying from the path.   Before long, he was in the weeds by the side of the road and continuing to drift away.

The monk stood at the roadside and called after him, but the goose plodded on.

"What should I do?" he asked, "To follow the path or the guide?"

He waited a long time, unable to decide, and therefore, doing neither.

In the end, he stepped away from the comfortable, known path and followed the wild goose.

It was a difficult track the animal led him on.  Through thorns, crossing streams, over boulders, even crossing the Black Mountains themselves.  Onward he plodded through the lands of the Slavs.

Into one of their villages it wandered.  Following the monk and his animal guide was a wave of curious villagers.

In the midst of the town lie their pagan altar to the god En.  Here, the goose stopped, and so did all others looking on -- for the animal at once transformed into a radiant white angel!  All those around (including the monk) fell to their knees before the blinding glory!

"Rise up, man of God,"  commanded the being,  "and tell me what you see."

With no small amount of trembling, Mac Creiche stood and looked.

"I-I see a pagan idol." he stammered.

"You know what you must do."

Mac Creiche walked toward the heathen thing to get a better look.  En looked back, fierce and alive, with eyes ablaze with hellfire.  A chill ran up his spine.

He looked to the angel beside him, who only nodded.

Mac Creiche took heart.  He bent over, picked up a stone and hurled it with all his might.  Or, at least, he would have.  But he hesitated.

The angel looked at him questioningly.  "If you throw that stone, the idol shall crumble.  But if you do not..." he waved his hand and a new vision swirled into place.

A giant iron bull appeared silhouetted black as pitch in the flames of the burning village.  People fled in terror.

The bull snorted smoke and stormed across the land.  Its hooves snapped and uprooted entire trees with every step.

Mac Creiche wept for the trouble his hesitation had caused.  "My lord, is there no hope?"

"Though trouble be easily slain when small, it becomes a monster when fully grown."

"Is there no hope!??", the monk wailed. 

"Listen to my words, for I was also he who led Elijah up to Mount Horeb, and just as the Lord rose up another to take his place, so He will rise up a slayer to take yours!  Behold!"

Mac Creiche turned and there was a strange new warrior - a woman!  Her long coat snapped in fiery flames.  The flame, too, sparkled in her eyes -- eyes very much like his own, he was ashamed to admit.  She bore in her hand a bow without string, and three, yea three, companions at her side.

She fired the bow, once, and the mighty beast reared back in pain.

It turned on her, huge mouth agape and ready to swallow her up, but again she fired, causing its head to fall.

Then, a third was loosed, causing the terror to fall to the ground and rise no more.

The crack in the dream was accompanied with a searing pain that hurled him from sleep.

He convulsed in pain, trying to make sense of the pair of leather-wrapped feet that stood before him on the rocky ground.

Another crack and another streak of pain seared across his back.  A whip, no doubt.

A command was barked in some language foreign to him, and a number of calloused hands hoisted him to his feet.

The monk was met with the snarling and scarred face of a barbarian military leader.  A face like that couldn't be anything but.

The man spoke to the monk in the same tongue as before, but the latter had no comprehension of it.  His assailant didn't seem deterred.  Rather, he motioned to a body of bedraggled slaves, resting by pile of gear.  He jabbed the monk in the chest with a finger and then made the motion for lifting something.  As if it still wasn't clear, he pointed again and shoved him in the direction of the slaves.

An aide tugged at the sleeve of the officer's costume.  He gave low a whisper in the man's ear.

The commander nodded and turned back to Mac Creiche.  Now in stumbling, but passable Latin, he asked, "You... priest?"

"Yes."  (Now was not the time to quibble about titles.)

"You... strong?"

He hesitated.  He didn't know whether the barbarian was wanting to know if he would make a good slave, or that his magic was strong and he shouldn't be trifled with.

He decided for a reply like David or Daniel would have given.  "I am weak, but God is strong!"

The man snorted but said no more.  At least not in any language Mac Creiche could understand.  He walked away, pointing and giving orders.

Though he was not put in with the slaves to act as a human pack animal, the monk was herded along at sword point, and his captors were none too gentle whenever he fell behind.

It occurred to him that he was being taken along as some kind of fetish, or good luck charm.  But why?  Where are they going?

The answer fell into place.  The Illyrians were marching to war!

The preceding has been a chapter from Juggernaught: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
(Copyright 2016, Edmund Lloyd Fletcher.)

For more on this story, please visit its main page.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the email list so you never miss a thing!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dem Duke Boys / God is GOOD

Just a quick update.
God is good. (In case you didn't already know that.)

You might surmise that there's a story behind me saying that.  If so, you surmised well.  Good job.

I recently had quite a scare as my writing laptop was inadvertently drenched in water!  I walked into the room, picked it up, and it was literally in a puddle!

Of course my mind starts racing... what did I have and what didn't I have backed up...?
(Some things.  Not enough for comfort, though.)

So, while I was busy having a nervous meltdown, DW went around to the kids to see what happened.  After much police-style interrogation, it turns out one of the younger ones thought life would be much cooler if we all came in and out of the house through the windows like the Dukes of Hazzard.

(Funny, I don't even remember ever letting them watch that show.)

So, yes, after many prayers of healing for electronics I disassembled everything and blew it out as best I could with compressed air.  Let it dry for a week and...


Did I happen to mention... God is GOOD!

So yeah, I've been back in to the blog.  Just uploaded a new book review, for The Occupied.  Very intense (though probably not as tense as having a year's worth of writing floating in a puddle).

The latest chapter of Juggernaught should be up tomorrow or the next day as well.  It's a very cool one, so definitely check that out.

Live Your Adventure,
-E.L. Fletcher

P.S.  God is GOOD!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review: The Occupied

The Occupied
Available: September 1, 2016
Publisher: Tyndale House
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1135-8

Official Book Description:

As a youth, Trevor Black unleashed spiritual forces he couldn’t comprehend. Years later, Trevor is a high-flying criminal defense lawyer in New York City, with a six-figure Aston Martin and a trophy wife. But in an extraordinary turn of events, he receives a burdensome gift: the ability to perceive the invisible. And the dark forces he now sees are all gunning for him.

When one of Trevor’s hometown friends is murdered, the MO is eerily similar to a shocking trail of murders that have already crossed the lawyer’s path. So Trevor must return home to find the killer. . . and face not only his own personal demons, but supernatural ones as well.


I like a good suspense story, so I was excited to read this book.
It also presents a bit of a problem to review as I don't want to give away too many clues.  In other words, please forgive me for being a little on the vague side.  It's for good reason.

The prologue starts out in the middle of the story to give us some mystery and a teaser of what's to come.  Our protagonist is no longer a lawyer, but a disbard man who sees "monsters" everywhere!

Surprisingly, the next several chapters overcorrect the timeline in the opposite direction, dealing with him 25 years earlier as a youth.  His life back then is filled with death, deamons, spiritual encounters, teen sex, and pretty much "the desires of the flesh" type stuff.

At long last, about halfway through the book we finally get to "now".  The first stuff was a little bit tedious, but here it begins to get good.  (Basically, don't expect to put the book down from here on out!)

Here we see Trevor do what he is best at -- being a criminal defense attorney.  I felt like I was right there with him every step of the way from here on out.

I love how this story is written from Trevor's point of view.  You feel like you are with him every step of the way as the story unfolds.

The author's law background really shows, what with vivid descriptions of judges and jails, etc.  You get the impression he knows what it is like, and he is taking you along into that world.

I loved the suspense and the exceptional mystery woven throughout with so many double meanings and red herrings, that you don't know who the real bad guys are until it all comes together in the end.


This is a crime fiction story, so if you are looking for a sqeaky-clean Christian book, this ain't it!  On top of the teen sex, slash, demonic stuff mentioned earlier, there is also violence and drug abuse.
Probably not suitable for teens.

The good news is that there is a definite separation of light and dark with good and evil choices that have to be made, so all that darkness makes a valid Christian point.


If you love suspense and mystery and do not mind reading about the darker side of the world, this is a great story!  I, for one, can't wait to read more about Trevor Black and what trouble he finds himself in next!

Author's Promo:

(This is pretty good.  You probably ought to watch it.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Journal Update: Lots going on

Hi everybody!

Just thought I'd check in and do a brief journal update.  So what's going on around the Fletcher farm?
Lot of stuff really.  Been working hard all summer on the house to get things ready for baby. 

The workshop looks like a hurricane hit, but I've got both rooms 90% finished and I just need that track-and-field burst of speed to make it across the finish line.

Unfortunately, the opposite happened.  I got heat exhaustion last Thurs/Fri and I'm still suffering the after-effects of that.  I'm trying to get a lot done in the cool of the morning, because once it reaches a certain temperature, my body crashes like a dollar store hard drive!

As far as the blog goes, the next book review will be on a Frank Peretti-esque supernatural thriller.  We'll see if that's any good.

Concerning the Juggernaught storyline (which I really hope you guys are enjoying) I accidentally missed an installment in there somehow.  Sorry about that, but there is a pretty good stretch of chapters ready to go.

Unfortunately for me, this also means not much left until section 2 hits, which is proving a difficult one to write.  There are a lot of moving parts and things get pretty intense.  I want to make absolutely sure how I treat content like that.

As far as the first print book, I've gotten some great feedback on the three finalists for cover designs.  (Thanks to everybody who participated in that!!!)

Some publishing blogs I've read have said "You don't want to do that!  Not before the election!".  I don't know.  What do you think? 
Will a book release get lost in the noise of the political hullabaloo?
Or is that an apples/oranges thing?

I'm also hoping to get in some guest blogging and other publicity up and rolling on that.  We'll see.

Lots of irons in the fire.

Live YOUR adventure!
  - E.L. Fletcher

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Juggernaught: Chapter 6 - New Recruits

Out of the many prospective candidates, the Bible Study finally narrowed it down to a short list of those able and willing to join their group.  Though names were still coming in, there was significant enough interest to justify getting started.  Michael began separating the new recruits into two teams. 

Together these would become one other's greatest allies and fiercest rivals.  Throughout their training they would spar against eachother in combat and wage intellectual warfare with eachother over grades.  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another! 

It may not be the most creative naming system, but the teams were always called, "Team Alpha" and "Team Beta".  The implied precedence only heightened their natural rivalry.

The first recruit of Team Alpha was Wendell St Frank, a kid that Michael'd had some dealing with in the past.  No, that probably doesn't go far enough.  The boy was like Michael Moast's own shadow and practically begged to be let into the group.

To all appearances, the kid looked like he was of Japanese descent, but his exceptional height seemed to indicate other genes at work.  This was impossible to confirm or deny, however, since he was also an orphan.

It was through volunteer work with these orphans that Michael had first met the lad.  From the first moment Wendell began looking up to teenage Michael Moast and over time developed into his virtual side-kick.  When Wendell was a teen himself, he stood beside his mentor as ring-bearer at his wedding.

Through many years of association, he gradually learned the secret dealings of the Bible Study and now that there was a vacancy, he desperately wanted in.  All the wild horses in Wyoming couldn't have kept him away.

At the same time Wendell was recruited for Team Alpha, a boy named Kurt was assigned as the first member of Team Beta.  He scored top marks on all the tests, even to the point that Dr Puttery suspected him of cheating. 

More and more stringent precautions were taken against this.  Soon, all of the latest equipment was put to work and he was forced to take all tests in a brilliantly-lit white room, on a clear plastic desk, and with surveillance cameras watching him from three separate angles.

Dr Puttery was livid when he still didn't miss a single question, demanding even more safeguards.  Instead of granting this request, Michael Moast called an end to the game. "If the kid's that good, then he's exactly what we need."  Michael declared.

Over the next few months, others of equally varied skill-sets joined both teams.  The trouble was, Team Beta collected its members rapidly, where Alpha had a very high drop-out rate.  Wendell was still the only member.  The situation got especially dire when the lack of recruits even began delaying the start of training.

That October, however, all of Michael's searching finally paid off. 

They first came across the daring and handsome Jack Savage.  He was the son of an associate of Ms McCready.  Though the old woman held a carefully guarded past in the secret ops, she would allow that, "He's the spittin' image o' his father -- in more ways than one."

Though he didn't have any frame of reference for what she was saying, Michael decoded it to mean, "He's got what it takes."  (And that was a high compliment from her!)

Once they brought him in, Jack Savage did not disappoint.  An adventurer from a family of adventurers, he was strong and tough as the leather jacket he always wore.

Later the same month the team was introduced Misty Carlisle.

She came as more of a shock to them.  While Jack was pretty conspicuous with his wind-blown sandy hair and leather flight jacket, Misty seemed more like the last person they would ever consider.

She was very small and petite, almost a dwarf by some accounts, but some of the evidence from her past gave weight to her small frame.

Her first high school in North Carolina seemed like a pretty average place.  That is, until the Principal and key players from among his staff were found gift-wrapped on the front steps of FBI headquarters and wailing to be let in.  The officers didn't take long to discover that they were using the school basement as the central distribution hub for all illegal narcotics in the Southern United States.

Due to an anonymous tip, the reporters made it to the school before the police.  Even the most sensationalistic couldn't use the footage they got.  The school hallways were littered with bodies.

Misty Carlisle silently left town that night.

The following school year her name sprang up in a prestigious all-girls prep school in Roseville, Virginia.  She disappeared again her last semester, when the school burned to the ground and came under investigation for having connections with certain ancient secret societies.

The allegations soon evaporated, and young Miss Carlisle denied any involvement in the incident.

As to the drug cartel, she only smiled and shrugged. 
"Accidents happen." was all Michael could get out of her. 

Needless to say, that was exactly the kind of person he was looking for.

Her admittance exam was set up in wing of the mansion that housed a simulated dark alley.   Wooden bad guys that were designed pop out of the shadows and blast an unwary combatant with paintball guns.  To add another layer of threat, other Bible Study members and recruits were lurking in the arena as well.

Misty incapacitated all of the targets, broke two, and accidentally fractured Wendell's arm in the process.  Even though Michael's stealth allowed him to "beat her", she claimed, (and rightly so), that the paintball mark on his back probably would have killed him in real combat.

Unknown to them at the time, Misty had gotten involved in Karate as a preteen as a form of exercise.  Since then she had taken it to the extreme and now held a black belt or equivalent in nine different martial arts.

Three members was enough to constitute a team, and at once the new generation began training together.  Where many other highschool students get release-time to take on apprenticeships or take trade school classes, these ones spent their alternative education on analyzing foreign affairs, training with the latest combat technology, learning enemy evasion and tracking...

Some kids were learning plumbing repair while others were learning how to safely ditch a Chinook helicopter in the rolling ocean while under enemy fire.

Some people might call this "strange" or even "wrong", but these were the kids that the system had already rejected.  You could call them the misfits, but is there truly anything wrong when a person simply doesn't fit into the norm?  Or is there a special place for the square pegs in a world of round holes?

If truth be told, perhaps the Bible Study aspect of the organization might be less of a false-front and more of a ministry than they thought.

The preceding has been a chapter from Juggernaught: A Moast Unusual Bible Study
(Copyright 2016, Edmund Lloyd Fletcher.)

For more on this story, please visit its main page.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the email list so you never miss a thing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: Courageous (Valiant Hearts #3)

Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764213144
MSRP: $13.99

Jacket Summary:

Will They Trust God's Call Even When It Leads to the Most Unexpected Places?
Inspired by the vision of the young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She'll gladly give herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and feels she no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church but has always dreamt of protecting the innocent as a Templar knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of adolescents. When faced with political intrigue and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.


I must confess I have not read the other two books in this series.  This is the first time I met the character Roslind and her feudal mistress Lady Gwendolyn, but the story stands on its own quite well.

Courageous is a Christian tale set in the times of the Crusades, not long after the the Childrens' Crusade, or, about 1219 AD.

The history of the Crusades was new to me.  Dina did some great research on the area, the people, and the customs of the period.  There is also quite a lot of information on the Muslims, which are given a fair and reasonable portrayal.

The characters are very well-developed, as is the realism around them.  This includes how some historical figures like Brother Francis give the story an almost real-life feeling.

As far as the storyline, this book is a pretty typical romance novel.  If you are familiar with pattern of the Regency Romance novels, then the ending is already obvious by about chapter 4.

In spite of the genre-related predictability, there are a few attempts at confusing the reader to make the inevitable ending of the story more surprising when it happens.


1) Abortion is talked about and in this story.  Not glorified in any way, just described in vivid detail how it felt.  This is a very graphic heart-breaking scene.

2) There are also several instances of men and women trying to find a warm body to fill their bed just to release their boredom.

3) This story is set in the Medieval world and contains plenty of killing, poisoning, and other violence.


If you enjoy Historicals and don't mind predictable romances, this might be a fun read to spend a lazy afternoon.  Of course, stay away from this if you are sensitive to strong thematic elements and sexuality.

In all honesty, I don't know if this was a good choice for me.  Not knowing any better, I chose it for the promise of an exciting Medieval story and a cool-looking cover.  I mainly want this review to serve as an aid to anybody considering this book, so that they know what they'll be getting.

Live YOUR adventure!
  -E.L. Fletcher

Disclaimer:  The preceding review was done on materials sent to me for free from the publisher.  If you would like your own book reviewed, please use the contact information here on my blog ( or message me through social media.