Saturday, August 29, 2015

Published!

Yep, that's right. Today Dark Storm Rising was officially published!! :D
To say I'm excited would be an understatement. I can't tell you how thrilling it is to finally be able to hold my book in my hands! There are so many people who deserve a HUGE 'thank-you' for helping me with this project.
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who loved me so much He came to earth and died for me. It's for His glory and honor that I write!
Emily McConnell for inspiring me to write it, reading my terribly messy, unedited chapters and telling me you enjoyed them ;), and for helping me with the book title as well as the chapter titles.
Deborah C. for all your help with the editing. Honestly, you were the best editor anyone could ask for and you were always so encouraging. You also enjoyed my story which is a huge thing!
Rebekah Eddy for your help explaining the Lulu publishing site when we came to visit. It was a breeze to be able to work on when we got back. ;)
And also all my blog readers! That you would choose to visit my blog and read my work when I know there are so many others out there means a lot!
Ahh! I'm just so excited right now!! The book is available for purchase here (Dark Storm Rising). It is not on Amazon yet. I have been considering whether to put it on Amazon or not and I haven't decided yet. :)
It is also on Goodreads, so if you have read it and would be willing to review it, that would be awesome!
I hope y'all have an amazing weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Gathering Clouds--Conclusion

“He called me. . .Daniel,” Wilhelm replied, still bewildered as to how Arnold knew his Jewish name.
Martin shook his head in confusion, “Daniel? But you said your name was Wilhelm.”
Wilhelm nodded, “It is. Look, I know this isn’t making sense right now and I promise I’ll explain it to you as soon as I can, but right now I need to get Arnold here back to headquarters and then behind bars. I’m sure there’s at least one person I’ll be able to interest in looking into your history," the last sentence was directed at Arnold.
“Wow, let me guess who that would be. Ramond?” Arnold said in a rather sarcastic voice.
“Yes, Ramond, and let me tell you I think he’ll be happy to see you. But it won’t be the kind of happy you’ll enjoy,” Wilhelm muttered.
The Autenburg’s exchanged puzzled looks, then Martin turned to Wilhelm, ‘“do you need any help?”
Wilhelm shook his head, “Arnold will come nice and quietly. Won’t you, Arnold?”
“Are you giving me a choice?”
“Not at all.” Wilhelm began to walking toward the door, then turned. “I’ll be back a little later and explain things. I’m really sorry you all had to get involved,” his tone turned apologetic.
Martin nodded, “That’s alright, but we’re all looking forward to the explanation.”
“And it will come, I promise.”
***
“This is the guy I was talking about. Remember him?” Wilhelm asked as he shoved Arnold into the building.
Finch stood from his place behind the desk, “Yes, I do. I remember him well."
"If the German and Austrian governments weren’t at odds, I’d say they’d both be glad to see this guy behind bars," Wilhelm exclaimed as he closed the door behind them.
Finch chuckled, “Yeah, but that’s a big ‘If’. They are at odds.”
“I know. So why don’t you get him locked up and then go and get Ramond. I know he’ll be more than happy to see Arnold.”
“Wait, where are you going?” Finch asked as he took the keys Wilhelm handed him.
“I’m going to go do a little explaining. The Autenburgs probably have no idea what to think of me right now.”
“Ahh, I get the picture,” Finch grinned. “You go and be the hero, then leave me to do the dirty work.”
“No, I did my share of dirty work as well,” Wilhelm reminded him.
“Sure, sure. Alright, go on and do your explaining, but once everything’s settled I want to meet the Autenburgs,” Finch said, shaking a finger at Wilhelm.
“Sure, anything you want,” Wilhelm said with a smile.
“I’m going to hold you to that!” Finch yelled after  Wilhelm as he left the building. As the door closed, Finch turned to Arnold, “Okay, let's get you an interview with Ramond.”
Arnold groaned as Finch started down the hall.
***
“Both of my parents died when I was four-years old. I was adopted by my German parents a year later. They gave me the name Wilhelm, but they also didn't want me to forget my Jewish heritage. Still, they were careful not to tell anyone else about my Jewish background, which I’m thankful for now. The way hostility is rising against the Jews in Germany since Hitler came to power is nothing less than horrific. I shudder to think what will happen here in Austria in there is an Anschluss with Germany.”
Wilhelm was seated in the sitting room of the hotel explaining his story to the Autenburg’s.
Martin nodded, agreeing with Wilhelm’s last statement, “Austria has become a haven for many of Germany’s Jews. If an Anschluss does happen, I fear for their future.”
Wilhelm nodded and leaned back in his chair, “Yes. Only time will tell. Also, if you're wondering who Ramond is and why he'll be happy to see Arnold, I'll just say that's a story for another time. A rather. . .complicated one. Well, enough about me, tell me a little about your family. Why are you here in Vienna?”
Martin smiled, “We decided to take a little family vacation. We live on a small farm just outside of Innsbruck. My sister and her family live right next door. For quite a while now we’ve been helping Jews that are escaping Germany.” He paused for a moment, “Before I go any further, I need to know that anything you hear here won’t be repeated.”
Wilhelm nodded, “you have my word.”
“We’re part of a network that helps the Jews. Some of them are trying to get into Switzerland or Czechoslovakia, some of them just want to live their lives away from the persecution in Germany. Whatever the scenario may be, we are a link in the network. We get orders and we follow them. Most of the time we have no idea who we’re working with, but it’s best that way. If there ever is an Anschluss with Germany, the secrecy will protect those who were a part of the network.”
“Will you stop helping the Jews if Germany and Austria are joined?”
Martin glanced at his wife, “We will not stop our work until the Lord tells us to.”
Wilhelm nodded, then turned as the clock struck seven.
“Well, I’d better get going back to the office. I left Finch with the prisoner and I’m sure Ramond will have a lot to say to me. But,” He turned to Martin, ‘Before I go I do have a question to ask.”
Martin smiled, “Anything. What is it?”
Wilhelm took a deep breath, "Mr. Autenburg, I’d like to ask your permission to court your daughter, Lesiel.”
Martin smiled, “If that’s what she would like, you have my blessing.” He turned to Lesiel, ‘What do you say? Would you like to be courted by Mr. Snyder?”
A happy smile lit Lesiel’s face, ‘There’s nothing I would like more!”

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Silent Blade: Prologue

Anddd today we take a break from our regularly scheduled Gathering Clouds short story to bring you the Prologue of The Silent Blade.
(In other words, we just got back from our vacation and I haven't finished the next part. ;) 
It is quite a bit shorter then what I've been posting and I promise I'll get the next part of Gathering Clouds up next week! Also, If you would like to read chapter 1 right afterwards to get at least two parts in order, you can go here. The Silent Blade Chapter 1 . The first chapter starts four years  after the Prologue.


Prologue


Kevin glanced back at the city, hand on the hilt of his sword. The sun was just setting over Dublin, bathing the valley in a luminescent light and giving the small houses scattered about an enchanted look. Off in the distance, the Irish sea shone clear in the fading light.
The man standing next to him put a comforting hand on his shoulder, “You did the right thing, Kevin.”
Kevin sighed, “Right now it sure doesn’t feel like it. I just want to go back.”
“It’s hard, but remember; God will never leave you or forsake you. I’ll be with Merek and do my best to keep you informed. I’m sorry it has to be this way.”
Kevin nodded, “So am I. God go with you, my friend.”
“And with you.” The man turned, then was gone, leaving Kevin alone.
Kevin stayed there a moment longer, torn between his love for his family and his fear for their safety. God, please be with them. Protect them,and  please don’t ever let Willem or Eira feel the hurt one man can bring to their lives. And Anna. Please, heal her hurt. She's been through more then anyone else.
There was a rustle in the bushes and he turned to see Aaron standing behind him.
“Did he leave?”
“Yes. Unless there’s a problem, it’s unlikely we’ll see him again for a very long while.”
“Kevin, I know this is hard, but we need to go. Now. The men are ready.”
“I know, I’m coming. I just had to take a moment and say goodbye,” there was a catch in his voice as he spoke.
“We’ll return, Kevin. The goodbye isn’t forever," Aaron said in an effort to encourage him.

There was silence as the two men stood a moment longer, then turned and left the city behind them as they strode deep into the trees.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Gathering Clouds--Part 3


As they stepped outside the hotel, Mr. Autenburg turned, “I don’t think we’ve met before. My name is Martin, Martin Autenburg,” he extended his hand.
Wilhelm clasped it in a firm grip, “It’s good to meet you, Martin. I’m Wilhelm, but I’m assuming you already knew that.”
Martin smiled, “Yes, I’d gathered as much. What can I help you with?”
Wilhelm shifted and there was a slight pause as he seemed to search for words, “I can’t think of any way to say this gently, so I’m just going to get to the point. I’m here about Arnold.”
Martin raised an eyebrow, “Arnold? Is there a problem with him?”
Wilhelm nodded, “There might be. You see, Arnold was arrested two years ago for being an accomplice to an attempted bank robbery. The actual robber served his time, then went to Germany. Arnold followed, but not after he served time. He was running from the police and escaped into Germany. While there he committed several small crimes and he is now wanted by both the Austrian and the German government. The only reason I can think that he hasn’t been arrested yet is because of the relations between Germany and Austria at this time. The two countries aren’t exactly on friendly terms if you know what I mean and not much attention has been paid by either country to looking for a wanted man.”
Martin stared at him in astonishment, but then his eyes took on a questioning look, “How do you know all this?”
“I was one of the men who was there when they were arrested. I’m also a lieutenant in the Volkswehr. I made sure of this before I came to see you.”
Martin shook his head as though not able to believe his ears, “Well, I have to say I never would have thought of Arnold as a person like that. Thank you for coming and telling me, it was an act of God that you ran into them yesterday.”
Wilhelm nodded, “I believe you’re right. In fact--” A movement to the left caught Wilhelm’s eye and he turned. Arnold was just entering the hotel, a bouquet of flowers in his hand.
Martin’s face took on a determined look, “I’ll be back in a minute.”
“Mind if I come along? I have some unfinished business with him as well.”
Martin was already striding toward the door, “Be my guest.”
Martin opened the door and strode toward the small sitting room where Mrs. Autenbug, Leisel and Max had retired for tea. Glancing around the room, Martin quickly spotted Arnold standing comfortably behind Leisel’s chair.
“Arnold, may I have a word with you? Outside.” The last word made it clear that this was a command, not a request.
Arnold looked up, clearly startled until he located Wilhelm. Then a look of contempt stole over his face, “Mr. Autenburg. If you believe everything a stranger says, I’m afraid you don’t have very good judgment.”
Time seemed to stand still as everyone waited to see how Martin would respond to the direct attack on his character.
“I would rather have this conversation outside, Arnold.” If Martin was disturbed or upset by what Arnold had just said, he didn’t show it.
“No. If you want to tell me something it can be done here.”
Both Leisel and her mother gasped at such an outburst.
“Very well, I am forbidding you from courting my daughter. And I never want to see you around here again.”
“On what grounds, sir, if I may be so bold,” Arnold asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I think I can answer that,” Wilhelm stepped forward from where he had been standing in the shadow of the door.
“Arnold, I’m here to arrest you on grounds of attempted robbery and then running from the Austrian government. I’m sure if there was a German police here he’d have a few more changes to add.”
“You just couldn't let it go, could you? I knew when you saw me yesterday that you were onto something. Well, see if you can get me.” Arnold turned and dashed toward the second door, but not fast enough. Max quickly closed the door and slipped the lock in place as Wilhelm drew a pair of handcuffs from his pocket. Clipping them on one wrist, he brought both of Arnold’s hand around and secured both hands behind his back.
“Now, I think I’ll take you into the office. I dare say there is someone there who will be happy to see you.”
“You just wait. You’ll pay for this, Daniel. If it takes me my whole life, you will pay.”
Wilhelm glanced up sharply at the use of his Jewish name. How could he have known my secret?
Martin, Leisel, Sabine Max’s eyes all turned on him in confusion, but Martin spoke the question, “What did he just call you?”

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gathering Clouds--Part 2

Wilhelm took a second look  at the slip of paper in his hand and then glanced up and the ornate hotel. Yes, this is the right address.  Taking a deep breath, he hurried up the front steps and entered the lobby.
Approaching the clerk, he set the card down on the desk, “I’m looking for the Autenburg family? I was given the address of this hotel and told they were staying here.”
“They’re not in at the moment..I can let them know you called. What was your name?”
“Wilhelm, Wilhelm Snyder.”
“Well, I’ll be sure and tell the Autenburgs that you called and I’m sure they’re sorry they missed you.”
“Wait, not all the Autenburgs are gone.”
Both Daniel and the clerk turned as a blond headed boy sauntered into the lobby
“I’m Maxwell Autenburg, but most people just call me Max.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Autenburg. I assumed he wanted to talk to your parents,” The clerk apologized.
Wilhelm turned, “Well, I can talk to Max for a moment. That is, if it’s okay with him?”
Max grinned, “Sure, I don’t have anything better to do.” He took a seat in one of the lobby chairs and Wilhelm lowered himself into one opposite him.
“So, you’re the one who helped my sister yesterday?”
Wilhelm nodded, “Yes, I’m assuming she told you about that?”
Max smiled, “You bet. You at least helped her,” a frown crossed his face, “not like Arnold.”
Detecting a note of judgment in his tone, Wilhelm turned, fully alert.
“You don’t like Arnold?”
Max scoffed, “What’s there to like? Sure he acts all nice and sweet around Lesiel and mother and father, but when I’m the only one with him he acts like I’m not even there. I’m still not sure how in the world he got father’s approval.”
“Where did you meet Arnold?”
“I think he went to our church a while ago. I know if he didn’t father wouldn’t let him near Leisel.”
“So you’re Christians?” Wilhelm inquired.
Max nodded, “As far back as I can remember father’s been teaching us from the Bible and we’ve always gone to church. I remember when I was saved. It was a few years ago. Father prayed with me and I accepted Jesus into my life. That’s when I realized there was a difference between just going to church and actually truly being saved. I always thought that life was easy once you got saved, but I sure have learned differently. Every day brings a new challenge, a new obstacle to overcome.”
Wilhelm nodded, “I can speak from experience, I know the struggle to try and live a godly life everyday. God’s principles can be hard to put into action. But, how old are you?”
Max flashed a smile, “I’m fourteen.”
“Is Lesiel your only sister?”
Max nodded, “Yes, and she’s the best big sister anyone could ever hope for, although we do have our arguments from time to time. Normally it’s my fault. The arguments I mean.”
“And how old is your sister?”
Max’s face took on a mischievous look, “It’s not polite to ask a lady’s age.”
“No, I think the correct way to say it is, ‘It’s not right to ask a lady her age’. I’m not asking a lady, I’m asking you; it’s completely polite.”
Max laughed, “I do suppose you’re right. Lesiel is twenty-two. But we’ve been pretty close, despite the age difference. And we live close to my uncle and his daughter is only six months younger than me, so we have a lot of fun together.”
“What’s her name?”
“Helena. She’s the only child in her family, and boy can she get into trouble. I’ve kept her out of more scrapes than I care to count! But the problem is, when I get her out of them, I always seem to land in them myself.”
Wilhelm smiled, feeling right at home next to this young boy. Not only does he share the same convictions as I do, he has a knack for making others feel welcome. A quality rarely found in someone so young. Wilhelm silently mused. “Give me an example,” he said with a twinkle in his eye, responding to Max's last remark.
“Excuse me?”
“Give me an example of one of the times you tried to help Helena.”
Max grimaced, “I’m not sure if you want to hear it. I shouldn’t talk bad of her when she isn’t here.”
Wilhelm laughed, “I promise, I won’t think badly of her.”
“Alright. . .I guess. There was this one time we were over at Uncle Johann’s house for supper. He had another guest as well who had been spending the week and Helena did not like him. He was from Berlin and she thought he was too stuffy and stuck up. So she decided to teach him a lesson. There is a big oak tree in front of their house and she decided to climb it with a bucket of water. I saw her and climbed up after her. I managed to toss the bucket of water down before their guest came out, which didn’t make her happy, but as he walked out of their house I took a step back and the branch wasn’t strong enough to bear my weight, I fell and landed right on top of him, knocking him to the ground.”
Wilhelm was trying his best to contain his laughter, “Was he badly injured?”
Max shook his head, “We were both just fine. But oh boy, was he ever mad! He yelled at Uncle Joann something awful, then stormed off and left. I do believe that taught Helena not to ever try something like that again.”
Wilhelm chuckled, “She sure sounds feisty.”
“You’re telling me! One day she’s going to get us in some sort of trouble we won’t be able to get out of.”
Wilhelm and Max both turned as the doors to the hotel opened, “Oh, and here are my parents and Lesiel now,” he stood to greet them. “Mother, Father, Wilhelm came to see you.”
Wilhelm stood, “Mr. Autenburg, can I talk with you for a moment?”
The tall, dark haired man nodded, “Sure, outside a moment?”
Wilhelm nodded, “That would work just fine.”

The Tomb is . . . empty.

Matthew 28:1-9 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mar...