Category Archives: Fiction

When the Heart is Laid Bare #Review

Back in July, I edited my review of Skylar Hamilton Burris’ excellent book, When the Heart is Laid Bare, for Christ and Pop Culture. I should have posted it then, but here it is now.

When the Heart is Laid Bare

One doesn’t expect to laugh while reading of tragedy, grief, and healing. And yet, that’s exactly what happened when I read Skylar Hamilton Burris’ When the Heart Is Laid Bare, which Double Edge Press has graciously made freely available to Christ and Pop Culture members. While grappling with death and suffering, Burris successfully weaves wit and humor into her story lines.

Read the rest.

A Time to Die #Review

My thin rectangular Clock sits on the carved shelf across the room, clicking its red digital numbers—red like blood. Today marks the first day of my last year alive.

ATimetoDieThis is part of the opening of A Time to Die, a work of dystopian Christian fiction by Nadine Brandes.

Nadine Brandes has accomplished what many authors attempt, but few succeed: causing me to expect one development, then delivering another. A few climactic scenes kept me truly uncertain as to the outcome. I’ll refrain from spoilers. However, I will say this: Dire outcomes are believable because main characters do experience wretched events. This book isn’t recommended for those squeamish about severe injuries and blood, though such events are rare. Their descriptions aren’t gratuitous or overly gruesome; they serve a purpose within the narrative.

Read the whole review at BreakPoint.

Facing Risk

Avalanche Danger Decision Point enroute to Mary's Nipple at Grand Targhee Ski Resort
Avalanche Danger Decision Point en route to Mary’s Nipple at Grand Targhee Ski Resort

Five years ago, I had an epiphany and a book idea was born. The impetus appeared in the August 13th, 2010 edition of my local paper, the Idaho Mountain Express.

New York skier’s heirs sue rescuers for $5M

“By ASSOCIATED PRESS

“DRIGGS, Idaho — The family of a New York man who skied outside the boundaries of a western Wyoming ski area and was rescued the following morning but later died of hypothermia has filed a wrongful death claim.

Continue reading Facing Risk

Pure Transgressions — #NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

My NaNoWriMo self-awarded mug
My NaNoWriMo self-awarded mug

So, as in 2013, I won NaNoWriMo again in 2014, but forgot to mention it here on my blog.

Pure Transgressions: Synopsis

A young woman heads off to college. Within a campus Christian fellowship, she is befriended by a charming young man, who woos her, wins her, and dominates her life until she dumps him. A few weeks later, he is found dead in her kitchen and she is found covered in his blood. She claims self-defense, but neighbors heard arguing that give credence to suspicions of a murder of rage. What happened just before the young man’s death? How innocent or guilty is the young woman? Irregardless of the legal determination, how will she fare in the court of public opinion?

Excerpt

Continue reading Pure Transgressions — #NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

Genesis of the Dead #Review for BreakPoint

Having little interest in zombies, I know nothing of the popular apocalyptic genre. However, C. T. Casberg, author of Genesis of the Dead, makes the case that zombies are of interest to God.GenesisOfTheDeadCover

Think about it. Who are the living dead? Sin entered in, the fruit was eaten, and humanity died. But we’re still walking around. We are the living dead!

That’s why Casberg decided to turn the Old Testament into a Young Adult zombie-apocalypse comedy—the first in a trilogy—and decidedly pulls it off.

Read the whole review at BreakPoint.

Review: When the Heart is Laid Bare

How often do you expect to laugh while reading a work of fiction dealing with death, grieving, and moving on? In When the Heart is Laid Bare, Skylar Hamilton Burris pulls off the seeming impossible: finding wholesome, witty humor while looking for answers to life’s suffering.

When The Heart is Laid BareFrom the back cover:
“Coach Calder Johnson’s wife has, according to the hospital social worker, expired. Expired. Like a credit card. Not like a human being. Calder hasn’t had a true friend, other than his wife, in twenty-four years. So if he’s going to heal, he’ll have to learn to let someone inside.

Continue reading Review: When the Heart is Laid Bare

Speculation and Conjecture in Jane Austen’s Emma

Today I have the honor and privilege of having a guest post published for the Austen in August event being hosted at Lost Generation Reader.

Frank Churchill sang again, Ch. 26

One aspect of Jane Austen’s work that I absolutely love is that each novel differs from the others. In Northanger Abbey, Austen’s rebuts the Gothic Romance novel. Sense and Sensibility contains Austen’s response to the Romanticism of her age. Pride and Prejudice depicts love triumphant overcoming pride, prejudice, the social cast system, and embarrassing family members. In, Mansfield Park — Austen’s most theological work — she contrasts many things, one being the mere learning of Maria and Julia versus Fanny’s learning to develop true character. In Persuasion, we enjoy an ode to the Navy, the portrayal of Meritocracy, and a second chance at a love thought dead. Emma, the subject of this post, has been called Austen’s agrarian novel. And certainly an agrarian theme is present. However, a stronger theme is found within Emma: speculation and conjecture of neighbors’ motives. In spite of all the speculation and conjecture throughout, Austen shows that guessing correctly at another’s motives is a near-impossible task.

Read the rest.

Plotter or Pantster? Two Roads to a Final Product — Guest Post

It is my great privilege to host Skylar Hamilton Burris today. I featured her last week in my post: Life’s Shiny Facets and Dark Pain. Along with the books mentioned in her post, Ms. Burris is also the author of Conviction.

When it comes to the writing process, there are two primary types of writers: the plotter and the pantster. The plotter meticulously plans her novel from the beginning, outlining the skeleton of the story and then weaving the flesh around it as she writes. The pantster, as the odd name implies, tends to fly by the seat of her pants. She simply begins writing without an outline and sees where the story will take her.

I’m a pantster, and I have been ever since I began to write. Continue reading Plotter or Pantster? Two Roads to a Final Product — Guest Post

On Modesty

Fiction inspired by the comment section of
When Suits Become a Stumbling Block: A Plea to My Brothers in Christ 

They told me not to wear yoga pants,
–so I stopped wearing yoga pants.

They told me not to wear shorts,
–so I stopped wearing shorts.

They told me not to display myself in public,
–so I stopped running.

They told me not to show skin,
–so I stopped swimming.

They told me to not cause lust by what I wore
–so I dressed like a prepubescent girl.

And then I was raped by a pedophile.