Happy Birthday Bob! Free Stuff!

Happy Birthday Bob! Free Stuff!

Greetings all,

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverJust as I did with Caught and it’s birthday giveaway, I’m celebrating Bob’s fourth birthday! (WOW! I’ve been a published author for four years!?)

So, The Journals of Bob Drifter will is free March 1-4 (11:59 p.m. PST).

I’d be thrilled if any of you give the book a try and perhaps recommend it to the readers you know. I think fans of Dean Koontz (especially Odd Thomas) would appreciate this book.  When I pitch this book at conventions, I call it Dead Like Me meets Supernatural.  I still think it has some of the best characters I’ve created in it. It has great depth, but those are all my opinions. Still, no one has ever called me out on them.

Again, what I’m attempting to do is generate reviews. If you’ve already read it, I’d be ever so grateful if you consider giving it a rating and review on Amazon, Goodreads or both.

You can grab your free Kindle version of the book here or the link above where I first give the title.

Repressed_ACX_CoverNow, as if that’s not enough, I have more good news. The Audible version of Repressed is officially live. Like with my other titles, I have 25 free versions of that title ready for any who are interested. So if you like YA stories, this might be for you. It is indeed a part of the Oneiros Log cannon, but it’s not nearly as dark as Caught was. If you’d like a copy, please email me.

It seems more and more hard to believe how far I’ve come in the last four years. I’m about to release yet another title (more on that next week), and I’m working hard on Hazel and Betrayed. I thank God for this gift he’s given. I love this craft so much, and I can’t wait to see where the dream takes me through the next four years.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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Story Review: Tinkerman by Jake Bible, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: Tinkerman by Jake Bible, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

 

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: Tinkerman by Jake Bible is the 15th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Tee, called Tinkerman by those he provides cybernetic implants to, is in hiding. Sooner or later, people are going to come looking for him because of the secret he carries. When they do, he’ll be prepared, as will the world that’s protecting him, such are the terms of his care for those same people.

Character: Tee is a fantastic character. He’s proactive and capable. He’s got great depth. He’s sympathetic, but not in that he’s just likable or just unlikable. Indeed his range of emotion is a part of the story, and it’s the best part. I was hooked on this story from the moment I started the story as Tee was in his shop.

jakebibleauthor2016
Image of Mr. Bible taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sonnets For My Savior 21

Sonnets For My Savior 21

Stephen

He held fast to the truth,

and his faith remained strong.

Every member of the Sanhedrin gnashed his tooth,

but Stephen knew he wasn’t wrong.

They charged him with blasphemy,

and he responded with scripture.

He described their own history,

and it was more than they could endure.

They dragged him out of the city

and stoned him to death,

but even during this atrocity,

he forgave them with his dying breath.

This is the price every disciple must be willing to pay.

One can only hope he faces death with the grace Stephen had on that day.


 

Conversion

He persecuted Jesus’ followers.

He wanted to hunt them down.

On the road to Damascus, Jesus demonstrated His power.

Saul was blinded and led, by hand, to the town.

Three days he was without sight.

Then Ananias was called to heal him.

So it was done, and Saul saw the light.

He began to preach the gospel even at the risk of life and limb.

He became Paul, apostle to the gentiles.

With zeal, he planted church after church.

He went on to write 13 books of the Bible, called epistles,

Think, all this happened after he began an evil search.

Jesus converted a man driven by an evil obsession,

and now Paul stands as an example of Christ’s great redemption.


 

A Sling

A giant taunted a cowering king;

He shouted and cried for a fight.

Goliath was tall, powerful and frightening,

and he mocked Israel all through the night.

Then came the son of Jesse,

who heard Goliath’s call;

He said to the fearful king, “Let me!

for as the LORD wills, this giant must fall.”

Goliath saw the boy

and mocked him with boasts

Though the giant had a sword and spear that could destroy,

with David was the Lord of hosts.

For David defeated Goliath before the giant could take one swing,

and all this was done with but a stone from a sling.


 

Meaningless

I could give all I own.

I could sacrifice everything.

I could even break every bone.

But without love, it doesn’t mean anything.

I could provide great instruction.

I could lead with effectiveness.

I could even direct an amazing production.

But without love, it would all be meaningless.

I could offer great speeches.

I could learn every wondrous thing.

I could even study all Jesus teaches.

But without love, I gain nothing.

If I can only receive one thing from the Lord above,

let Him bless me by filling my heart with love.


 

The Seats of Power

God the Father

is from whom we exist.

His wisdom is far greater

than any human could enlist.

Christ the Son

is through whom are all things.

Every battle he has has been won.

All hail the King of Kings.

The Holy Spirit

will teach us all.

Blessed are those who hear it,

for those who can’t shall fall.

The seats of power are occupied by these three,

which can only mean there should be no room for me.


 

Peace

Keep my heart from folly;

don’t let my temper become hasty.

For I must be Holy as you are Holy,

And I can’t be that if I’m angry.

Help me be still;

Help me wait for You.

Let me focus on Your Will.

Help me do as you want me to.

Rather than let anger rule me,

let me be silent,

and trust in thee,

so my frustration might relent.

Help me put on a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Please hear my prayer, God of encouragement and endurance.


 

Give Them Up

“When I was a child,”

“I spoke like a child,”

“I thought like a child,”

I Reasoned like a child.”

Have I given up childish ways?

If I haven’t, can I claim to be a man?

Reveal the distractions that cause one’s heart to stray.

If we see them, we should forsake them if we can.

For a child clings to what he wants

and not what he needs.

A child resists his assignments

and when he is spoken to,he doesn’t heed.

If I am to grow in spirit or in life,

I must cast aside those things which cause me strife.

Book Review: Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur

Book Review: Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur

Greetings all,

DadWhoLeads
Image taken from Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur was something I picked up when I knew I was about to meet my sons for the first time. My wife and I had waited until matters of her previous marriage were resolved, and I also met with the children’s counselor. Still, I wanted a Biblical perspective on how to do right by the boys.

Having already read several of MacArthur’s books, I picked up this book on parenting. This book exposits upon Ephesians 6:4. It also touches on a man’s relationship with his wife.

Because I think any parent should read this book, I’m not going to go too deeply into the content. It starts with loving one’s wife with a true, sacrificial, Christ-like love.  Then it details ways in which parents sometimes provoke their children to anger. It concludes with the idea of discipline and instruction of the Lord.

For the record, this isn’t a reference to punishment, but rather the idea of an athlete’s discipline. Paul often uses athletic metaphors in his epistles.

John-MacArthur-Primary-2
Image of John MacArthur taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

I’ve actually read this book twice, and it might be time to do so again. What I found was encouragement and a mindset that immediately resonated with me. It’s not a process book. To me, this a book focused on where a Dad’s heart should be as a parent. There are other books and lectures on raising children, but I’m glad I started here as it’s a foundational book that doesn’t get lost in the minutia of what ifs and how-tos. I won’t deny I like actionable information, but the value of this book was that it gave me a filter with which to view my actions.

I wouldn’t say one should stop at this book. Indeed, the Bible and those who exposit on it well can provide so much more insight. I would, however, say this is where I wanted to start, and I’m glad I did. As I read and study more, as I watch lectures on parenting, I feel like this book created the foundation on which I can build my habits as a parent.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sonnets for My Savior 20

Sonnets for My Savior 20

Let Me

If I lose every cent,

let me remember it’s meaningless.

If I should lose all that I was sent,

let me count it all as worthless.

For His love is worth more than gold.

His love is better than acclaim.

Instead let me be strong and bold,

and proclaim the name of the Lamb who was slain.

The dead have no pride.

The dead have no treasure.

But for those who believe in Christ who rose after He died,

the life that comes next will be more than mortal man can measure.

So let me let go of this world’s material things,

and give me Jesus, and all the peace that He brings.


 

Love

Let me be patient and kind.

Keep me from being angry or boastful.

Keep arrogance from my mind.

Do not let me be irritable or resentful.

Change my heart.

Help me stop insisting on my own way.

When others rejoice in wrongdoing, let me be apart.

Rather, let me rejoice in truth this and every day.

For it is written, love bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.

Let me hold on to all the things that demonstrate love,

because love is these things and, first, God above.


 

Rejoice, Patience, Consistency

In hope, we rejoice.

We thank Him for this, and every day he has made.

Sing to the Lord with a powerful voice.

We are glad, for the price for our sins was paid.

We strive to be patient in our tribulation.

When our cares are many, his consolation cheers our souls.

No matter how dark the situation,

there is nothing beyond His Control.

We work to be constant in prayer.

We should pray without ceasing.

Whether in joy or despair,

our prayers shall be ever increasing.

We hope we display these traits as evidence of our salvation,

which is the gift from the Father of our creation.


 

Evidence of Salvation

Confess Jesus is Lord with your lips.

Believe God raised him from the dead with your heart.

Fallen is he who fails to come to grips,

with this truth, which is where Salvation starts.

Salvation is the beginning,

and those who have, it have no end.

Far be it for them to keep on sinning,

for those who are truly saved only rise, not descend.

Sanctification is the process

by which one becomes more like Him.

Each time one purges a sin with success,

bears fruit and gives glory in honor of Him.

Confess and believe is all one must do.

Good works and honorable living is proof of His work in you.


 

Passover

They used a lamb without impurity;

His lamb was truly perfect.

They spread the lamb’s blood on the doors for security;

His blood was shed for all of the elect.

They ate the lambs’ flesh until none of it remained;

He gave his body and blood so mankind might be saved.

The early lambs allowed Israel to be unchained;

The last sacrifice was one for all, so we were no longer enslaved.

The early lambs bought freedom from Egypt’s ruler;

The last lamb bought salvation from sins.

Israel killed the early lambs in obedience to the Creator,

but the last was killed through man’s hypocritical whims.

Many lambs were sacrificed to protect one generation;

but Jesus’ perfect blood is all that’s needed for eternal salvation.


 

Gifts

Some may utter wisdom;

others may utter knowledge.

These gifts are never random.

To use them to serve His will, we must pledge.

Some may speak various tongues;

others might interpret them.

But whatever breath comes from our lungs,

the Holy Spirit is from whom they stem.

The Spirit apportions to each as he wills.

All gifts serve the body.

We seek to honor God with each of the skills,

for his perfection is what we aspire to embody.

Do not be concerned with how visible the gift might be.

Instead just use them, for God has made you His appointee.


 

Run

Run the race to win.

Be disciplined in your training.

Exercise away the sin.

For the eternal prize is the only one worth attaining.

Ensure every step has purpose.

Do not be disqualified.

Do not let your work become careless,

lest what you truly work for be denied.

Work to win the prize,

for it will never fade away.

If you fall, simply remember to rise.

Then continue, without letting your heart go astray.

Just as athletes work toward their physical goals,

so should we train for the sake of our souls.

What Anime gets right: Characters

What Anime gets right: Characters

Note: (Featured image from Anime Planet.)

Greetings all,

I Heart Anime
Image from RPGWatch.

It’s been a few weeks since I had a good ‘ol fashioned writing-based post, and since I’m in the middle of a few projects, and I don’t have any official news yet, I have the chance to take a look at what I feel is the most important part of any story …

Character.

If anyone interested in writing wants my humble advice, watch anime. It’s awesome for one. The other reason is that they always deliver a multitude of characters viewers love. Now I could go in a lot of directions, and I might actually do more than one post on this robust topic, but for now, I’m just going to focus on the general idea of what anime does with characters.

  1. Deep, complex backgrounds: When I watch anime, I genuinely feel like the creators sat down for every character and wrote a story just for them. Any one of them could be the main character if they just got a bit more screen time. As if that’s not enough, the episodes use those complicated backgrounds to advance their MCs. This allows fans to grow closer to an
    Naruto_vs._Neji
    Image taken from Fear-World.

    other cast member while still being connected to the hero. It’s honestly brilliant. Naruto does this best. Some may argue they go to this well too many times, and I’d have to agree, but inevitably, as Naruto interacts with characters, we learn more about both of them. This happens both in fights (Naruto VS Neji Hyuga and with team-ups (Sai’s arc). As they fight or work together, we learn more about the side characters, and as Naruto works with them he learns more, and we grow closer to him.

  2. Clear motivations: Every character in anime has motivations and obstructions to those motivations. Good or evil, those characters strive for something. Sometimes they build conflict and suspense. Sometimes the motivations build sympathy. Both are essential.  Let’s take a look at Mikasa Ackerman. She’s a fascinating character. She could want any number of things, but all she truly cares about is protecting Eren. This motivation is clear. So when Eren is in danger or pain, we know this causes Mikasa stress (sympathy). When people seek to harm or even just belittle Eren, we know this will create conflict.
  3. Ryuk
    Image taken from Star City Tees.

    Sympathy: One of my favorite things to do when talking anime with anyone is to talk about their favorite characters. My favorite books have that same feeling, but I can’t always do that with books. I can always do it with anime. The main reason for this is how sympathetic anime characters are. Anime does a fantastic job of making viewers feel for them. They do it through humor. (Ryuk. Sure, he’s evil, but people like him because he amuses them. Why else do people always think of him and apples?) They do it through conflict (Ichigo). They do it through relationships (Ed Elric). The writers use a variety of situationally dramatic settings to allow the viewer to grow sympathetic toward the characters.

So I’ve only scratched the surface on this topic, and I’m probably going to harp on a lot of this when I don’t have any news about my writing to offer. However, this is a good place to start.

When developing your characters, look for opportunities to consider these topics and how anime uses them to get those fans cosplaying. If you do, you might just see a few cosplay people pick one of your characters? (I’d love to see a Grimm or a Caden cosplay!)

Thanks for reading,

Matt