Kim and me

Kim and me

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stoked about an opportunity

Big, big news! I've emailed the editor of a Salt Lake City newspaper about possibly reviewing "Whispers from the Past" and they are interested and a copy is in the mail. As if that isn't enough, the same editor wants to know if I'm interested in writing articles on travel for the online version of the paper. I'm stoked to say the least. I've spent some time looking for travel blogs that I could write and now this opportunity, or at least possibility, would be even better. :) I have a long way to go but I'm as qualified as anyone to write travel articles just because of the extensive amount of trips I've taken out of the country with my kids and wife Kim. I think the standing tally is 24 countries in the last eleven years. Keeping my fingers crossed that they like my book and hopefully a long standing relationship will be the result.

Big weekend in football. I have to say that I'm so for the University of Utah beating their rival BYU even though my beautiful daughter Amber is a Cougar. Good luck to the Utes and best wishes for making a good bowl game. Probably the Las Vegas Bowl since TCU will be going to a BCS game.

Still writing "The Eye of Magog" and thinking its pretty good. I know some things I'll need to change even before finishing the first copy. Thanks to the people who have read my stories and offered feedback to me, its proven very helpful.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A visit from Connor

Last week I put Connor on a plane home after a wonderful two week visit from Utah. He was off track from school and spent most of the time with us in Texas. I just want him to know how wonderful it was to be with him. Here are some pictures taken at the Romanian Food Festival in Colleyville and the mini railway train by Fort Worth Zoo.  I miss him already !!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Eye of Magog

The Eye of Magog is becoming pretty cool! I love to write when thoughts and ideas pop into my head because I'm so into my own story. I'm just about 34,000 words and based on the first 3 novels this would put me at just about the half way mark. Of course I don't know how many words this will end up with and I try not to plan that way. Animals are starting to play an important role in the story which I never would have expected when I first started out writing. I really like it!

For those who have read Whispers by now, please give me your feedback either using the email on my website or just making comments here on the blog. Bookmark the website if you like, I enjoy people that keep coming back.

Thanks for checking in.....


Friday, November 19, 2010

Cool !!!!!

It only took one day for "Whisper from the Past" to be available for kindle when the first copy was downloaded to a good friend I knew in the mission field in Georgia. I guess I did it correctly then. Yay me!!  Thanks to the people who have been interested in reading my work....
Where did my work come from?   I have to say when I first wrote Whispers it was for my daughters. My international trips with them were my inspiration and the places I write about are places I've seen myself. Very few locations in my book are fiction but there are some. These countries, The Netherlands, Peru, New Zealand, and now Ireland I absolutely fell in love with and I hope I've depicted them in a way that shows that.
What will I write about next?   Hmmmmm.  I will have dedicated a book to my parents, Megan, Amber, and Heather so Connor is next. He is going with us to Portugal in February so I guess we'll see.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whispers from the Past on Kindle

Whispers from the Past is now available on's Kindle !!!!!! This is the first time I've published anything electronically so I hope it works.....For those of you who are advanced electronic readers I hope you find that its an enjoyable book!!!!

On a separate note...I'm just about half way through with "The Eye of Magog".....The book has taken an unexpected turn as I write.....I'm exicted about it though and look forward to finishing the first writing so I can put more attention to the previous 3 books and do what needs to be done there.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Whispers from the Past has been well received by my peers at work and a few copies have even sold on I need to do two things with my first book. First I need to market it somehow...not sure how yet. A distributor is reading it, one who has read it before, and  hopefully distribute it for me to the mainline book stores. Second, I want to make it available as an ebook for Kindle.

The Inca Prophecy needs to have a final read through done of the manuscript. Once that is done the book cover and everything else is ready to go and we'll be ready to order a proof copy. My goal is to have it available by the end of the year if not before. If the ebook works with Whispers I'll obviously do the same for all my books.

The Kiwi Conspiracy is still waiting for an editor. I have some people interested in editing it but I need to rewrite some content first and its on the back burner until I finish the original writing of book 4 and also finish up on The Inca Prophecy.

The Eye of Magog, my Ireland book, is 34,000 words complete. I don't really have a goal for number of words but so far the previous 3 books are all around 75,000 words. I love the story and have anticipated writing it for years. Its still a long way away. After the initial writing I'll take a red pen and go through the manuscript and prepare for a rewrite....then editing and any changes that need to be made. This book will be dedicated to my daughter Heather.

I'll try to do a better job keeping this updated as to what is happening with my writing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A chance to read the beginning of "The Inca Prophecy"


March 1488

            It was bitter cold. Of course this time of the year it was always cold in the mountains. Several feet of snow blanketed the entire city, and the howling wind continued to blow even more snow in drifts against the scattered buildings. The freezing air, coupled with the high elevation, made it nearly impossible to breathe for anyone unfortunate enough to be caught outside.
            Inside, it was much warmer because of numerous fires that heated the large, stone dwelling. There were no cracks in any of the walls, so cold drafts were not present anywhere throughout the interior. Smoke from the heating fires was ventilated through the ceiling, and this left the interior toasty and the air clean.
            Despite the comfortable temperature inside the temple, Kinkinot was freezing. The blankets that covered her were doing little to prevent her from shaking. To pass the time, she watched her parents, working alongside numerous priests, preparing for tomorrow’s ritual. Kinkinot’s mother was finishing the ornamental pot that she would take with her on her journey. Her father, puffed up with pride, was preparing his face with the dyes that would make him appear acceptable before the gods. He had already strapped his gold breastplate over his chest in anticipation of the morning’s events, even though the beginning of the actual ceremony was still hours away. Her parents were excited because this was going to be their special day―a day which would elevate their status among the people to a new level, almost nearing that of royalty.
            Kinkinot was reasonably adjusted to receiving attention. Her whole life she had been considered special and had been prepared for what she knew would inevitably happen. Anyone with such rare physical characteristics as she would be considered extremely valuable by her people. During her twelve years of life, she had been catered to by all of the king’s servants and priests. Her parents had been allowed to live with her within the king’s home, and all three of them were treated with the most respect that could possibly be given to people who did not belong to the royal family.
            Over the years, several warriors had died protecting her from men who came in the night and who had attempted to kidnap her so that she could be used for their purposes instead of being a benefit to her own people. Now, as the dawn rapidly approached, the purpose of her creation would soon be fulfilled, and all the warrior spirits who had sacrificed themselves would be rewarded immeasurably by Apu Punchau, the god of the sun.
            Kinkinot continued to watch her parents as they worked. She had long given up any chance of falling asleep for the night. Her eyes remained wide open as a wall of anxiety continued to press in on her. She continued to feel cold from the inside out. It’s not that she wasn’t honored to be in her position, because she truly was. Not every child is blessed with the attributes she was born with. In fact, no child in the history of the Incas had ever been known to have what she had. That was the reason why she was so special. That was why she would undertake the journey that the civilization’s elders had prescribed for her since the very day she was born. She didn’t have to like it though―and she didn’t.
            Life had been good so far. In fact, she had really enjoyed it. The eventuality of the ritual had seemed so far away that she hadn’t really given it much thought until just recently. She had been allowed to play with the other children. She had been granted permission, on many occasions, to associate with the adults. Just a few months earlier she was introduced to the supreme Inca chief, Capac Yupanqui. He traveled for three days to her home just to meet her and bring her back to his temple, where she has been ever since.
            She had been allowed to eat the very best of the crops and the best cuts of meat. She had never been asked to work or to provide for others while everyone else in the city dutifully provided for her and her parents without any animosity. All in all, she had experienced a very sheltered life, but one that she had enjoyed immensely―at least up until now. She really couldn’t complain though. Her parents had been exalted because of her birth. Previously they had been nothing more than farmers in the city of Ollantaytambo. Now they were the social equals of almost anyone in the entire city of Cuzco, with the exception of the King himself. They definitely had been blessed by the gods because of her. And now, very shortly, she would be paying for the preferential treatment that her family had enjoyed for the last twelve years.
            Two hours before dawn, Kinkinot’s mother slowly approached her. In her hands was the woven dress the priests ordained that she should wear. It was made of wool from the finest alpacas in the whole kingdom. The softness of the garment was second to none, and the many stripes and shapes of dyed reds, blues, and yellows appeared vibrant and alive. Her mother assisted her in changing from her night clothes to the ceremonial dress. Immediately Kinkinot realized she had never worn anything that felt so smooth against her skin. As soon as it slipped over her head she appreciated the peasants who had harvested such choice materials just for her big day, and she hoped they would receive Apu Punchau’s special attention for their efforts.
            After she was dressed, several priests within the chamber proceeded to help in completing the remaining preparations. As she watched everyone going about their assigned rituals, she casually looked around at the temple walls. Even at her young age she appreciated the craftsmanship that went into the construction. Stones, weighing thousands of pounds each, were cut and fit together with precision. No mortar was used, and yet the walls were airtight. This was just one example of the Incas’ incredible skill in craftsmanship.
            She wanted to reflect more on her people, but unfortunately her thoughts were interrupted by the activity of the priests around her. She secretly wished they would all just leave her alone and maybe even forget she existed. Maybe then she would be able to escape from having to take the journey and could return to Ollantaytambo and live out her life the way she wanted to and not the way others dictated. Instead, she graciously knelt before a supervising priest while a woman braided her long, flaxen hair. Another woman inspected her dress and once satisfied, began to decorate her face with the colors and symbols that were sure to please Apu Punchau. For the next hour, Kinkinot continued to respectfully submit to the attendants while her parents looked on. She couldn’t read any regret on her parent’s faces, and she assumed there was none; after all, their daughter was special. They were honored that she could be a benefit to the entire empire. She wondered soulfully if they would even miss her.    
            After her appearance was deemed acceptable for the gods, the ceremonial feast was next on the agenda. Numerous slaves entered the chamber with trays of food which they placed on a stone hearth in the middle of the room. Preserved fruits, vegetables, and meats of every variety were in abundance, which seemed odd to her since she was the only one allowed to eat. By this time, the butterflies that had been residing in her stomach for the last week had in recent hours turned into gnawing rats. The pain was becoming so bad that when a plate of food was brought to her, she wondered how anyone could actually expect her to eat. Did they not understand that the fear she tried so hard to hide was making her sick? But then again, she had concealed her anxiety so well that she knew she would remain alone in her suffering.
            The little meat that she was able to swallow burned her dry throat. The maize that was normally sweet tasted bitter when mixed with the bile that continuously escaped her stomach. Still, she knew what was expected of her, and she ate small portions of everything that was provided. She knew that if anything appeared distasteful to her, those who were responsible would be sacrificed. Therefore, she made a real effort to camouflage her lack of appetite.
            After the completion of her meal, it was becoming light outside. The sun had not quite peaked over the eastern ridge of snowcapped mountains, but it was well on the way. The outside temperature would still be cold when it came time for the trek, but that was really the least of Kinkinot’s concerns. Soon she would be on a journey where outside air temperature wouldn’t matter. At least that part of her fate would be pleasant.
            Finally, the head priest brought her a gold chalice of chichi, a ritualistic drink made of cocoa and maize. This drink, Kinkinot knew, would start the numbing process. She accepted it gratefully from the priest and downed it as fast as she could, hoping that the numbness would come quickly. She knew that she could have as much of the magical drink as she wanted, and it was her plan to become as numb as physically and mentally possible. Within minutes of her first sip, Kinkinot became unaware of her surroundings. Inwardly her thoughts were coherent, but it was there that any additional cognitive thought stopped. The drink had caused her to lose her mobility. She slumped on her bed and closed her eyes. Her last visual stimulus was that of her parents, with looks of great anticipation on their faces as they watched her drink the chichi. Would it have made any difference if they understood how she felt? Probably not; they were actually the happiest that they had ever been.
            Her hair! It was all because of her hair. Well, not just her hair, but also her eyes. Nobody in the history of the Inca people had ever been born with yellow hair. At first, when she exited her mother’s womb, her father thought that she was cursed. He raised a stone with the intention of ending her life but was stopped by a well-meaning friend who talked him into consulting with the leaders of their village. Several priests were summoned, and it was later determined, by them, that she was not cursed but instead was a very special child who could later be used to benefit the entire civilization. From that day forward, she was considered to be a gift from the gods. It was a few months after her birth that the color of her eyes was noticed. Just like all newborns, Kinkinot’s eyes were a dark grey for the first few months of her life. Gradually, during the course of several weeks, her eyes changed to a vivid green. Up until then, every Inca throughout their history had ended their infancy with brown eyes. Again, the priests conferred and decided that never had a child had so much potential. Her uniqueness was appreciated and worshipped by everyone in the empire.
            Now, as her thoughts continued to race on in her mind, she was blissfully unaware of what was happening to her body. She had been wrapped in warm, comfortable blankets that protected her from the bitter cold. Her petite frame was gently laid down on a woven board and reverently picked up by four of the bravest warriors, one holding each of the corners. She was respectfully carried outside, completely unaware of the snow that fell about her face (the only part of her still uncovered).
            The King himself led the procession for the three-mile journey outside the great city. Next in line was Kinkinot with her tenders, followed immediately by a throng of priests, warriors, and peasants, all of whom followed her progress eagerly. The heavy snow blanket that had fallen throughout the night absorbed the sounds of the surrounding mountains―an eerie quiet being the result. No footsteps were heard from the procession, and even the sounds of nature were dampened as if the wild animals of the Andes were watching closely. It seemed as if all nature understood the significance of what was about to transpire. Even though the snow continued to fall, the sky was only partly cloudy. Sporadic sunshine struck the mountaintops and at times fell, along with snowflakes, upon Kinkinot’s face. For those who were conscious of their surroundings, it appeared as if the multitude was caught between two worlds or, at least, two seasons. Many who witnessed the unusual weather wondered silently about its significance.
            The sacrificial chamber loomed ahead. Most of the people would never be allowed to enter. Even her parents were prohibited from being with her for the start of her final journey, but she wouldn’t miss their presence because of the chichi. She knew what was happening, but she really didn’t care anymore. She was numb to all feeling and continued to swim against the current of her private thoughts. The chamber itself was very small, being large enough to hold no more than the King and twenty priests. The rest of the people would be forced to wait out in the confusing weather. The structure itself was built of perfectly hand-cut stones with an opening at both ends. The roof was made of dried maize stocks, thatched together in a near airtight weave, which prevented snow or rain from entering the chamber itself. Within the small room was nothing but a stone altar which sat on the dirt floor directly between both doorways. There were no windows to let in light, so the only illumination came from candles on each corner of the altar. This left most of the room in shadows.
            Kinkinot was carried by the untiring warriors through the south doorway and then laid carefully upon the altar. The blankets were slowly removed, and the head priest stepped behind the altar to face the privileged few that were allowed admittance. He looked upon the face of Kinkinot lovingly, almost worshipping her as he checked her responsiveness to different stimuli. Satisfied that she was completely in her own world, he was ready to conduct the ceremony. He had anticipated this day for almost twelve years and had long ago prepared the prayer that he recited now.
            This was to be the greatest of sacrifices! The sacrifice of the chosen one!
            Kinkinot was still happily oblivious. She was actually dreaming that she was still in her bedchamber and eating the carefully prepared feast, but this time it wasn’t making her sick. She distantly heard the words of the priest but could make no sense of what he said. She wondered why he was talking so much, and why was he in her bedroom anyway?
            The chamber remained silent after the priest finished reciting his prayer to Apu Punchau. He turned to his left where he picked up the knife he was to use. It was solid gold, shaped like a rounded garden hoe without the wooden handle. It was also as sharp as anything the Incas had ever crafted, which was necessary to keep the soft 24k gold from bending during its use. The priest looked down at the radiant girl lying upon the altar and admired her hair. He wanted to see her eyes one more time, but they were closed and he accepted that. He raised the knife above his head and held it there as he looked out into the small group. The witnesses all held their breath in anticipation of the stroke that would send this gift of the gods on her way.
            Suddenly, and without warning, Kinkinot’s dreams came to a point where she briefly had the ability to physically move and speak. She sat up and opened her green eyes. She was still oblivious to her surroundings and didn’t notice the priest who was poised to strike―or the shocked people who were gathered around.
            After a short pause as if to heighten the climax, she opened her mouth and said, “My friends . . . my people, I will return!”
            She lay back down and closed her eyes. The audible gasp within the room was not enough to deter the priest. He flinched momentarily but decided within the very same second she spoke that it was a good omen. Convinced beyond any doubt of his actions, he brought his knife down and completed the sacrifice. 


Monday, November 1, 2010

The World Series is over. My Rangers came up short to the San Francisco Giants 4 games to 1. Disappointed?  Sure....but also very proud of their performance during the season and through the playoffs. This year has been one of turmoil. The Rangers organization went bankrupt and had a change in ownership midway through the season. They have shown my sons how baseball should be played. Not only on the field have they been a good example but off the field and in the clubhouse. They have shown the world what its like to have fun at work. They have gone about their season with childlike enthusiasm and I'm proud of them. They have shown my sons what it means to be a teamate and no an individual. We came up short but accomplished sooooo much and I can't wait until next season. Now, Nolan, resign Cliff Lee and lets do it again!!!!!