The Tale of the Three Sisters (Or, The Demon Fish of Galveston)


WARNING: The following is a true story, and might be too frightening or intense for more sensitive readers.

CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK.


Dear reader,

I have broken my long absence from this blog to bring you troubling news regarding a recent experience of mine. Rather than beating around the bush, I shall simply come right out and say it:

I almost died.

Yes, my friend, it is true. So terrifying, so traumatizing was this brush with danger that I have decided to recount the events faithfully in order to equip others with the necessary knowledge, that they may avoid the same mistakes in the future.

Continue reading

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Book Review: The Genesis Tree by Heather L. L. FitzGerald


genesis tree

 

She took down the Nephilim queen—but can she and her brother save the kingdom?

Sadie Larcen may have defeated the traitorous Queen Estancia, but she’s quite happy to be home with her family. Unfortunately, their fiendish neighbor, Mr. Marshall, is still up to no good. He’s called a press conference with plans to introduce the world to a living, breathing Bigfoot.

As a Sasquatch expert, Sadie’s mother Amy is coerced into lending her expertise to the spectacle. When Sadie and her brother Brady spy nefarious, uninvited guests at the gathering, they know there’s trouble brewing in the Tethered World. The two are driven into separate, dangerous exploits as they are thrust back into the schemes of the forces of darkness. Schemes that include using their autistic brother Brock as leverage to seize control of the Flaming Sword and the Tree of Life. The Gargoyles and Trolls have an ambition that extends beyond dominating these powerful elements. They’ve set their sights on the Topside realm—with or without the help of Mr. Marshall.

Deception is rampant, the enemy is subtle, and love dares to tug at Sadie’s heart amid the turmoil below. Once again, she and Brady will cling to God’s faithfulness as they fight for the people and creatures they care for, and against the enemies they fear.

Will the cost be more than they can endure?


Having followed the journey of the Larcen family almost from its conception, it is difficult to believe the final book has been published and now I have to say goodbye. What a satisfying, but heart-breaking goodbye it is, too.

Continue reading

The Thorn Bush and the Lamb


There once was a little red squirrel,

Adam was his name.

He stole an acorn

From the Oak

And ate it without shame.

‘Twas the dead of night, the story goes,

Black as a raven’s wing.

Lightning flashed!

Thunder crashed

From storm clouds gathering.

 

The wind began to howl.

Sharp rain pelted the ground.

Scared and alone,

Adam fled,

No shelter to be found.

He climbed a hill, bare and bleak,

But halted in dismay.

Glistening fangs.

Sharp claws.

A great Wolf blocked the way.

 

Adam ran–O, horror!

The Wolf pursued behind.

Hot breath steamed

On Adam’s tail.

“Help!” he squeaked in fright.

No answer met his cry.

To the crest he rushed.

The Wolf snapped,

But Adam leapt

Into an old thorn bush.

 

Sharp fingers cut him,

Their victim to ensnare.

With glowing eyes,

The Wolf peered

Into the thorny lair.

Through a gap in the clouds,

A single star shone bright.

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

It whispered to the night.

 

Shivering and bleeding,

Adam looked to the skies–

Behind the clouds

A host of stars

Blinked their sleepy eyes.

What seemed to Adam first to be

One voice from one star,

He now perceived

Not one, but many–

Chanting from afar.

 

Their voices slowly rose

From whispers to a song:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!

It will not now be long.”

“The Law is plain,” said the Wolf,

“Inscribed on the old Oak tree:

‘The guilty shall

Not go unpunished;’

The thief belongs to me.”

 

Out of the waning darkness,

A small, white Lamb emerged.

Amidst the storm,

Its feeble bleat

Scarcely could be heard.

“Run!” warned Adam, but the Lamb

Bowed its downy head.

Teeth snapped,

Claws slashed.

And then the Lamb fell dead.

 

Lustily, the great Wolf

Licked his red-stained maw.

With wicked grin

He prowled nigh,

Blood dripping from his jaw.

“A tasty treat,” declared the Wolf,

“But my appetite

Demands a morsel

More, or two.

You’ll make a fair bite.”

 

As Adam shivered in his cage,

Beneath the Wolf’s cold gaze,

The rain stopped,

The wind calmed,

The thunder rolled away.

Adam wept; what hope had he

To see the break of day?

Long claws

Reached inside

And slowly crept his way.

 

Suddenly, a beam of light

Streaked across the sky.

Shining through

Stem and thorn,

It filled the bush with light.

Squinting through the brambles,

Adam spied the Moon’s bright face.

Grinning wide,

The Moon looked down

Upon his hiding place.

 

“Hush, small one,” whispered the Moon,

“Fear not night’s dark sway;

The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!

And soon ’twill be the day.”

“How can you speak thus,” said Adam,

“And what does it mean?

‘The Sun is coming!’

What good is that

To a wretched squirrel like me?”

 

With a warm smile, the Moon replied,

“Why, do you not yet know?

My face but

Reflects the light

From the Sun’s bright glow!

“We wait for him,” said the Moon,

“And ever through the night,

We bring the hope

Of one far greater,

With the promise of his light.”

 

E’en as the Moon thus spoke,

The Wolf began to howl,

For the light

Singed his fur

And burned him where he prowled.

The Moon joined the stars,

Together singing out:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

It turned into a shout.

 

“Quiet!” cried the Wolf

As he shook his shaggy head.

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

The call began to spread.

The waking birds joined the chorus,

Across the sky it rang:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

Every creature sang.

 

Enraged, the great Wolf charged

Into the bush of thorns.

He snapped and snarled,

But far away

Rang out the sound of horns.

Knowing that his time had come,

Adam closed his eyes.

“Too late

It is for me

To see the Sun arise.”

 

But ere the Wolf could reach him,

A loud roar rent the air.

Upon the hill,

Majestic and strong,

Stood a golden Lion fair.

“What can this be?” declared the Wolf,

Scarcely believing his sight.

Behind the Lion,

Low in the sky,

There glowed a distant light.

 

The Lion laughed and answered,

“Your power is undone.

I am the Lamb.

I am the King.

I am the risen Sun.”

The Lion leapt across the hill

His prey to devour,

With mighty roar,

He slew the Wolf

Therein the dawn’s first hour.

 

Frightened and unsure,

In hiding Adam lay.

For surely he,

Lawbreaker,

The King would also slay.

“Fear not, child,” urged the Lion,

“You need not hide from me.

For ’twas your debt

I paid in full,

That you may be set free.”

 

“Come and ride with me,”

The Lion gently said.

“The night has passed,

The day has come,

And home lies just ahead.”

Adam climbed the Lion’s back.

A strange thing met his sight–

A little bud

Amidst the thorns,

Bathed in golden light.

 

Even as he watched,

A sweet scent reached his nose;

The bud opened,

Red petals bloomed

Into a fragrant rose.

Together, squirrel and Lion departed

‘Midst birdsong and bee’s hum.

The rose smiled

And softly said,

“Behold, the Sun has come.”

Book Review: The Flaming Sword by Heather L. L. Fitzgerald


flaming sword

Heather Fitzgerald has done it again!

“The Flaming Sword,” released November 1, 2016, is the outstanding sequel to “The Tethered World,” which I also reviewed here.

“The Tethered World Chronicles” is a unique, fun and thrilling young adult fantasy series following the adventures of the Larcen family, who have been charged with the safekeeping of the Tethered World, a secret, underground world filled with not-so-mythological creatures.

Continue reading

The Old Astronomer (To His Pupil) – by Sarah Williams


This is a hauntingly beautiful poem I came across recently, and I thought I’d share it. I’ve read it multiple times by now and still weep like a little child every time.

In fact, I love it so much I’ve decided to set some of the verses to music. Maybe it has something to do with my not-so-secret love for astronomy. 😉

Enjoy!

Reach me down my Tycho Brahé, – I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, ‘tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men’s fellowship and wiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant’s fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You “have none but me,” you murmur, and I “leave you quite alone”?

Well then, kiss me, – since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, – that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.

I “have never failed in kindness”? No, we lived too high for strife,–
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!

There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, “Patience, Patience,” is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.

I have sown, like Tycho Brahé, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, ’twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.

I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,–
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night” – one of my favorite lines ever!

Grandpa’s House


My grandfather passed away several years ago to cancer. Recently, my family spent some time down at his house visiting an old friend who lives there. All of my grandfather’s things were still there–dishes, furniture, books, decorations, you name it–in the same places they have been for basically my whole life. There is a familiar, comfortable feeling that always takes over when I walk into that place. It still has that welcoming atmosphere that beckons me to explore and to relive my childhood.

The house is literally in the middle of nowhere, secluded by the wonderfully wild surrounding woods. It’s like entering a fairy tale, and is still one of my favorite places in the whole world. Continue reading

Nothing (An Easter Poem)


image

What is faith without the cross?
What’s hope with no empty tomb?
All other paths lead only to loss;
Lies that mask the doom.
But there is a Door, the cost is paid
By one who gave His all.
My soul is claimed, at His feet it is laid.
     Give me Christ or nothing at all!

What is freedom without a Savior?
What’s peace without the Lamb?
Empty words that ne’er can deliver
From the justice of “I Am.”
Works of a dead and rotten heart
Before His purity fall.
Lord, let me not rely on my part.
     Give me Christ or nothing at all!

What is joy without the Son?
What’s love with no sacrifice?
Atoned by the blood of the Holy One
Whose merit alone will suffice,
Boundless grace replaced my chains
With a crown. In Thy glory enthralled,
I’ll lift my voice in loudest praise:
     Give me Christ or nothing at all!

What is life without His death?
What’s my heart apart from Him?
Refuse, filth and foulest breath,
Decayed and ravaged by sin.
Give me not the world and its pleasures
In the end to dust they will fall.
Thy eternal love I’ll gladly treasure.
     Without Christ, I’m nothing at all.

The Tethered World: A New Normal


Books & Beverages 2016 (1)

Welcome to the Books & Beverages Blog Tour hosted by Mountain Brook Ink publishing! We’re so excited that you are joining us for the next two weeks of fun. We look forward to introducing you to some new authors — maybe you’ll even find a new favorite! The tour begins at Annie Douglass Lima’s blog on February 15, 2016 and goes through March 1, 2016, ending with Anna Weaver Hurrts. Please check below for the complete schedule of the tour.

Featured Authors:

Heather L.L. FitzGerald – Debut author of young adult fantasy series, The Tethered World Chronicles
Kimberly Rose Johnson – Multi-published author of sweet romance series, The Wildflower B&B Romance
Angela Ruth Strong – Multi-published author of Finding Love in Sun Valley, Idaho, book one in the Resort to Love series

Each stop will include an opportunity to enter for a FREE KINDLE FIRE as the grand prize, as well as three runner-up opportunities to win a $10 Starbucks gift card! Check the bottom of the post for either a Rafflecopter FORM or a Rafflecopter link for your chance to enter!

And now without further adieu, please welcome:

Heather L.L. Fitzgerald!


 

Continue reading

Enya: Dark Sky Island


I’ve never written reviews before, for which reason today’s post might come as a surprise. However, I have good reason for starting now:

ENYA HAS RELEASED A NEW CD AFTER NEARLY SEVEN YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem.

In case my reaction didn’t give it away, Enya happens to be one of my favorite musical artists. I don’t turn crazy fan-girl for just anyone, either. She’s one of the lucky few. 😉 In fact, she’s a member of the select group of artists whose albums I will go out of my way to buy the day it is released–and by “album” I mean the actual physical CD. Continue reading

Luí na Gréine (Sunset), a poem


I was on my way home when I saw it. As I drove through the evening traffic, decompressing from a long day of teaching, a bright light caught my eye. Just ahead, the sun was sinking down towards the horizon. The sky was pale blue and perfectly clear–not a single cloud broke the blue dome.

And where the sun touched the horizon, its light leapt out in every direction, turning the bottom of the sky bright orange.

It was as if the sun was struggling to stay in the sky, fighting against the inevitable with all its might. In one last effort, it threw its flames as high as it could reach and set the horizon on fire so its light could shine on ever after.

Finally, the sun was gone. Its head dipped below the horizon, and in a matter of minutes the orange fire in the sky faded back into blue. As the first stars began to wink through the dusk, it struck me that, even though the sun was gone, its light still remained. For it had kindled the stars, who faithfully keep its flames burning through the night. And in the morning when the sun awakes, the stars will pass that fire back to light the sun again and bring back the day.

This was the scene I witnessed. It was a little sad, yet incredibly beautiful at the same time. And it reminded me of one of my favorite words: hope.

True hope that burns bright, no matter how dark the night gets, because its source comes from Another.

So, naturally, I wrote a poem about it, which in turn inspired a song. I decided to give it an Irish Gaelic title, because a) I love the language, so everything sounds better in Irish to me and b) somehow an Irish title just felt most suitable in this case. Plus, I like the way the phrase looks and sounds (in other words, I’m a word nerd in any language).

I’m still working on the song, but here is the poem for your Monday morning reading pleasure:


Luí na Gréine (Sunset)

Palest blue

Whispers of summer;

Long days gone–their time has come.

With heavy heart

I go to my slumber;

Slipping away, I cling to the day.

 

A tender voice,

Horizon is calling:

“Come to me! O come to me!”

My light shines on,

O keep me from falling.

Let me stay! Bring back the day!

 

No clouds to comfort me,

No place to rest my head…

 

To the sky

My last flames I give.

Take the light, and fear not the night!

And may the fire

Hope and courage give

To burn e’er long; remember my song!

 

Twilight pushes me away,

O why is time so cruel?

 

Flames of gold

Leap out of the blue,

Fade away with the day;

Then spark the stars,

Who wink at the moon.

Echoes of light shine in the night.

 

Silver embers fill the sky,

To light the sun once more…


sunset