By the title of this post you’ll know that many many things have been going on in my household of late and I want to update you on all of the exciting things going on right now, well at least the major ones. But first thanks for your support and patience.
Tangle (The Quest for Truth – Book 4)
You’ve all been so patient, and I appreciate this very much. I assure you that your wait will be worth it and your patience rewarded. I received the edited version of the manuscript so that I could do a final run through and provide feedback and any last minute changes. The amazing team at P&R lead by my editor, Amanda, has done an awesome job once again. You’re going to love the new book. I will say the manuscript was turned in at 140k words, yes you read that right ( a wonder why it took so long), but through trimming it’s hovering around 100k words now. We’ll see where it lands, but I promise you you’ve not lost out on anything of significance through the edit.
This chapter in the story has more action, new characters, big reveals, big twists, and the beginning of the final showdown you’ve all anticipated. And yes it does end on a huge cliffhanger.
So when does it come out? The answers is August!
But as a special treat, here’s a preview of Tangle – Chapter 2 for your eyes only of course. There may be a handful of edits yet to be done.
Tangle – 4.2 Rescue
The red numbers ticked down: nine minutes now until they’d exit hyper flight. The flashing red numbers were like a gate holding Oliver back from rescuing Ashley. The zero seemed an eternity away.
Austin’s footsteps echoed in the corridor as he returned from his mission to locate exploration suits that might withstand the corrosive atmosphere of their destination. “I found some suits with a high MCRR.”
“MCRR?” asked Tiffany.
“Maximum Corrosion Resistance Rating,” Austin explained. “I read it on the label. The suits don’t look especially flexible.”
“Can you get one ready? I want to get going as soon as we land,” Oliver said.
“We can’t let corrosive gases get into the Phoen—the Eagle,” Tiffany said. “You’ll need to put the ATC in place.”
“ATC?” asked Austin.
“Atmospheric Transfer Chamber,” Tiffany said. “I thought I’d use an acronym too.”
“Nice, sis,” Austin said. “Can you show me how to work the chamber?”
“You have just eight minutes, so hurry,” Oliver warned.
The two were already jogging out of the bridge.
Oliver took the e-journal from Tiffany’s seat and tapped the screen. He typed in McGregor. A series of files came up, and he clicked on a picture of Ashley and her parents, Rand and Jenn. He stared at the girl he’d known nearly all his life and experienced many adventures with.
He’d felt different somehow when he’d seen her alone in the cell on the Black Ranger. The same feeling had rallied to the surface when he’d heard her voice on the distress call. She was in danger, and he wanted to rescue her.
A glowing orange planet, Ledram, dwarfed their destination: the small, hazy green moon of Cixot. Ledram was uninhabitable and posed a serious threat to any nearby spaceships. According to information in the NavCom, large, unpredictable explosions from its molten lava surface launched daily barrages of flaming rocks and plasma into space. These were capable of taking out the largest of spaceships.
When Tiffany had read the information aloud earlier, it had shaken the three Wikks. They were already stressed about Ashley’s situation, but now they knew they were competing against an explosive neighboring planet. Still, the three were united in their resolve to rescue Ashley.
The countdown read seven minutes.
Oliver and Tiffany had tried to determine if the Eagle’s exterior would hold up against the corrosive atmosphere of the moon. It was the sort of thing Mason could have figured out in no time. The computers on the Eagle had estimated a 60 percent chance that the Eagle’s exterior would hold up, if the ship were on the planet for less than three hours.
A boulder seemed to be rolling around in Oliver’s stomach. It grew worse when Oliver thought about Ashley sitting alone in an escape capsule. How long has she been there? Is the exterior of the pod holding up? Is it beginning to deteriorate? Is it too late? Oliver took a deep breath and cast the ideas aside. The only solution was to get to Ashley quickly.
Oliver jogged down the corridor and stopped on the landing atop the stairs. The ATC covered the smaller of the two hatches.
Austin stood on a hover ladder, a Magnilox in his hand. “The top latch won’t lock.”
“I’ll get it. You two get situated on the bridge. Five minutes.” Oliver took three stairs at a time as his siblings raced past him.
He climbed the ladder and waved the Magnilox over the latch. It didn’t budge. He lifted his foot and kicked it. The hinge shifted. He kicked the latch again, and it moved over the hook. He waved the Magnilox and heard the latch click into place. A loose latch could weaken the seal and allow the oxygen-rich air of the Eagle to escape or the dangerous air of Cixot to get in.
Two minutes remained as Oliver made his way to the bridge and took the pilot’s seat. “Everyone ready?”
“Yes,” his siblings said in unison.
Tiffany had reclaimed the e-journal. Oliver blushed. Had he closed the picture of Ashley? If he hadn’t, what would his sister think? Ashley and Tiffany were best friends, inseparable at Bewaldeter.
Oliver shook off the concern. He had to focus on the landing and the rescue, not on his sister’s opinion of him.
He ran his fingers across the screen, checking and rechecking. Everything from a systems perspective looked fine. He hoped this would be another smooth landing.
The Eagle dropped out of hyper flight. The straps of Oliver’s harness dug into his chest. He and his siblings had done this so many times in the past few days, yet Oliver still had a bit of anxiety at the controls when landing.
The titanium heat shields slid out of sight, revealing two globes floating in the pure blackness of space: Cixot and Ledram.
“Impact Alert!” the computer’s voice echoed overhead.
“Tiffany, still no contact with the escape pod?” Oliver asked urgently.
“No, but it’ll be easier when we’re closer,” Tiffany said. “The landing may have damaged the receivers on the pod, making long-range communication impossible.”
“Do we have the exact location of the pod?” Oliver asked.
“Yes. The coordinates are locked in the NavCom. We just can’t pick up a com signal,” Tiffany explained.
Oliver took a breath. “Any . . . any signs of life?” The question seemed cold, and he avoided looking toward his sister. He didn’t mean it emotionlessly.
She looked at him, her eyes glassy. “I can’t tell.” This was hard for her too. “The location beacon doesn’t deliver any sort of information on the passengers . . .” Her voice cut out.
“I just wish we could communicate with her,” Oliver said.
“I might be able to tap into the escape pod systems now that we’re out of hyper flight,” Austin suggested.
“Really?” asked Tiffany hopefully.
Austin shrugged. “Yeah, why not? I’ve overridden a few systems in the past.”
Oliver and Tiffany both eyed their brother curiously.
“Nothing illegal,” he assured them.
Oliver remembered how the temperatures in his room had fluctuated to extremes the last time he’d been on break from the Academy. Austin and Mason had wanted Oliver to take them camping near the chasm behind their house. He’d said no—until his room had become unbearable to sleep in and he’d decided he might as well. Coincidentally, the next day the temperature controls in his room had worked again.
Oliver sighed. “Austin, go ahead and do what you can do. Tiff, you two swap spots so he can work on it while we land.” Austin glowed at taking the copilot’s seat.
“Prepare for atmospheric entry. Visibility will likely be low; I’ll be using the information our scanners provide.” The screens before him buzzed with data.
Sweeping tendrils of green haze swirled, looking ready to entangle the Eagle and crush it.
“High atmospheric toxicity levels,” Tiffany said.
The Eagle cruised toward the outer edge of the moon’s atmosphere. Oliver took a look at Ledram, which was glowing orange off to their left side. He saw flashes of yellow and orange on the surface and hoped they weren’t projectile-launching explosions.
“Escape pod signal located,” Austin said.
“Can you crack in?” Tiffany asked.
“Not yet,” Austin replied.
Oliver gripped the controls. “I’m putting the shields back over the windows as a precaution.”
“Good idea,” Tiffany said. “Windshield material might not withstand the toxicity.”
The silver shields slid into place and locked with a click. Oliver concentrated on the consoles showing a graphically simulated display of the world before him. The video feed was useless in the thick green clouds.
“Ten seconds until entry,” Oliver said.
The ship bucked as the countdown struck zero. Several storage compartments flew open, spilling their contents.
“Whoa!” Tiffany said. “Is everything okay?”
It wasn’t. The ship rocked side to side, then dropped quickly, only to lift back up, pressing the three Wikks hard into their seats. Oliver held tight to the controls, but the sudden jerks made it difficult. It was like riding waves in a boat.
The Eagle’s altitude had started at 180,000 feet from the moon’s surface, but now they were dropping a thousand feet per second—far too fast.
Oliver adjusted the thrusters to slow the descent. Still they dropped.
“What’s wrong?” asked Austin.
A warning flashed across the screen, and the computerized voice spoke, “Surface Impact. One minute fifteen seconds until impact with planet surface.”
Either the gas makeup of the atmosphere wasn’t allowing the engines to create enough lift, or else the gravity of the moon was too powerful. None of the information they’d read about Cixot had warned of this.
The ship spun onto its back.
“Oliver!” yelled Tiffany. “You’ve got to slow our descent!”
Oliver twisted the controls, righting the ship. “I’m trying! I can’t get any lift.”
The red countdown to impact showed fifty-nine seconds. They were still dropping a thousand feet a second.
The Eagle shook violently. A deafening roar echoed in the bridge.
“Approaching terminal speed,” the computer warned. “Ship structural integrity failure threshold reached.”
“The ship’s going to rip apart!” shouted Austin.
An outline of the ship flashed red. What could Oliver do?
“Oliver!” Tiffany cried out.
“I’m trying.” The Eagle shook so fiercely that Oliver couldn’t hold on to the controls or even retake them.
“Forty-five seconds until impact with planet surface,” the computer warned.
“We’ve got to eject,” Austin cried.
“Then we’ll be stranded too,” Oliver said.
“That, or we’re dead!” Austin yelled.
Oliver’s hand moved toward an icon labeled Emergency Ejection.
What would happen if he touched it? Would they blast out individually? Without spacesuits, they would suffocate in seconds. Would the bridge seal off like a capsule? Many ships were built that way, but the Eagle seemed to be older than the ones Oliver knew. He didn’t know what would happen.
Oliver’s breaths were quick and labored.
Suddenly, the ship blasted upward. The movement was so sudden and powerful that the safety harness dug painfully into his legs. A ripping noise resounded outside the Eagle. Fear surged over Oliver; his chest tightened.
He saw his sister flying upward. She was out of her seat. There was nothing he could do to save her.
This was it. The Eagle was ripping apart around them.
“Rescuer . . .”
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Sages of Darkness KickStarter (HowlSage, BlizzardSage, and CrimsonSage)
First my apologies with the delays, as you read on inthis post below you’ll see a number of things that have distracted me from completing these books on my original schedule. Challenges always occur in life and this season seems to have been full of them. With the events that were out of my control and the complete rewrite I have undertaken, the book writing and editing is taking longer than expected. Again that’s probably no surprise as I’m doing this independently. With all the new chapters and scenes, I’m confident you’ll be more than pleased with the new book. HowlSage’s word count has grown by about 25% so far and I’m sure that will increase a bit more, by the time I am through. The exciting news it’s coming and because of all you wonderful backers, it will be completed! YEAH. So stay tuned for more updates.
New Job – Mobile Experience Manager
This last March I began interviewing for a new role with Compassion International and was honored to receive a position with the Mobile Experience team. It’s been a ton of training and transition to get up to speed with my new role.
What will I be doing? I will be managing events with two brand new mobile experience trucks that will travel the Eastern half of the United States. If you know of a church with attendance of between 300 to 750 people feel free to send me a message and maybe we’ll be coming to your community soon. If not be sure to go checkout one when it comes to you area.
Email me if you are interested or know of a church thequestfortruthbooks (a) gmail (dot) com
What is the mobile experience?
Through an interactive exhibit space, visitors will step inside daily life in a developing country — visiting homes, markets and schools — without getting on a plane. Through the use of an iPod and headset, each tour is guided by a child whose story starts in poverty but ends in hope.
The event is an excellent opportunity to experience another culture and better understand the realities of global poverty. Don’t miss this life-changing event brought to you by Compassion International.
And if you are ready to change the life of a child today just click here and sponsor please. It will change your life and if you’re a parent with kids, it will change their’s too.
And when you think there isn’t enough change or upheaval in your life…
First I want to say my wife is awesome, she’s a real-life superhero, and I am so proud to be her husband. I was at Lowe’s getting a new transition piece for our laminate floors that we were installing at the time when she calls to tell me there’s a fire in our kitchen. I rushed home to find her outside with our three kiddos (Mind you she is also 35 weeks pregnant) and my dad. 6 fire trucks, 40 fire fighters, and smoke billowing out of our second story window. Ashley woke all three girls and got them downstairs and outside as smoke filled the house. My dad told me later, “I was so proud. She got all the kids out, called 911, and then lead us in prayer.” It brings tears to my eyes just to write that. You might ask, “Where was your dad?” he was attempting to put out the fire, but the smoke was too heavy so he had to give up. I’m thankful God was watching over us, because my family all got out safely, and in the end the fire remained contained in the dryer. Unfortunately the smoke was so heavy and sick, we were forced to live in a hotel for two weeks while our house and clothing was restored. We just got back in the other day. It was a good thing I wasn’t there, because I’d have done what you’re not suppose to do and gotten a hose to put it out, mind you it’s an electric dryer. YIKES!
A new addition to our family
And the shining light in all this change, is welcoming our fourth kiddo into the world in just a few weeks. We’re all so excited to meet our little guy here shortly. I’ve felt so blessed how God has continued to grow our family and bless us. I’m grateful for how He watches over us and provides for us. We’ll be looking forward to his arrival.
I want to thank you all for your patience in so many ways. Many of you pre-ordered Tangle nearly a year ago. Thank you for waiting, thank you for trusting me to finish and for the book to be released. I’m excited to sign your books and get them sent to you. It’s a blessing and an encouragement to have so many great readers, or as I like to call you all #Questers.
For those who supported the KickStarter (#FightaDemon) the same goes to you. First thank you for your overwhelming support of the campaign, you too have been so patient and encouraging. And the light is coming, and the darkness will fail, because this new version of HowlSage should rock your reading. Coming soon and stay tuned for many more updates.
And finally I ask for your continued prayer. Prayer for my family, for our new little one, for my writing, for Compassion and all the wonderful kids we are working to release from poverty.