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New Book – Swimming the Echo

The new book came in a wave of anticipation from my publisher yesterday. Blasting comparisons to summer reads for teens, young adults, and beyond! I was ecstatic to see it go up on their site first yesterday at: ELectioPublishing.

Swimming the Echo is near and dear as it encompasses parts of southern Kentucky, including caves like Mammoth. It makes me appreciate the memories of exploring at a younger age. I hope it does the same for you.

  • With ELectio’s site you get a FREE ebook of Swimming the Echo*

*with every paperback copy ordered

  • Today, Amazon has only the ebook listed for sale. You can find it here. (Reviews are possible to write by scrolling and selecting ‘Write a customer review’ on their page.)
  • Barnes & Noble also has the ebook (Nook book) available online at: B&N.

Other retailers will add the book to their databases in the coming days!

I’m thrilled for those already sharing the book and reading it! Feel free to post pictures online of your travels with this one. Thank you.


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In 3 Months: My New Novel, Swimming the Echo

Hey all!

In a little over 3 months (5.30.17), my newest novel, Swimming the Echo, will be hitting bookshelves, and I wanted to give you as much notice as possible.

This novel will delve into more backstory of the fictional town of Seton, Kentucky (first featured in my story collection, Baptisms & Dogs (2014)), and the adventures of one youth who takes it upon himself to explore the terrains of love and loyalty.

Here’s an early synopsis:


When a summer job to explore Mammoth Cave lands in Cade Rainy’s lap, he doesn’t think twice.


But when he finds his dad is connected to a man working at Mammoth, Cade discovers there’s more to this trip than meets the eye.


Cade sets out to map the real route of twisted lies through fissures and stalactites, battling claustrophobia and bats.


EXPLORE. Don’t die.

don’t die

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Wake-Up Call


My wife and I had a scare recently, when our neighbor battled through a series of seizures outside our apartment door.

I was just getting out of bed, getting dressed for church, when we heard the shouts from our hallway.

The piercing screams of “My baby…my baby!” filled our disoriented ears.

Leah dialed emergency. I ran into our neighbor’s apartment, unsure of what I might find.

And, I prayed it wouldn’t be a Stephen King scenario. Even though that’s where my warped mind went.

I found the child. He was fine. But, adrenaline prompted me to scoop him up–deliver him safely to my wife’s hands.

Meanwhile our neighbor alerted us that she couldn’t see. She felt blind. I looked closer and she didn’t make eye contact. We tried to ask what hurt. Where was the pain. She indicated the throat and head. Then, the seizures set in, and 9-1-1 asked if she had a history of things. At one point, she stopped breathing altogether, and I really freaked.

I do wish I’d taken better stock. I realized how helpless I really was in that moment. The EMS arrived and she followed their promptings to lie on her back and provide phone numbers of loved ones. Afterwards, I had realized she even responded to my questions with slight taps on the concrete earlier.

All of it struck a chord in me of the importance of knowing one’s neighbor. Not just for the emergency moments. (Albeit that is helpful.) But, to know them because I’m supposed to. It’s why I’m living, breathing, moving. Otherwise, I’m just a clanging cymbal. A robot without a heart.

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The New Book Title Is…


As I alluded to yesterday, there is a N-E-W title for my debut novel.

It has undergone some serious revisions and with great change comes great…well, you get the drift.

The novel title is no longer “The Silence of Sacrifice,”


will now be titled (drumroll, please) …




*More exciting updates to follow.


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That moment when NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kick starts in November again, and you’re still working on the same book from LAST year:



Your friends might be working on that “exciting” NEW thing, but you my friend are persistent. Stick with it (and be happy) unlike grumpy cat. You got this.


Stephen King makes it look easy. I guess it’s because there’s nothing else to do in Maine?


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Hope is More than Wishy-Washy


Hope can be built on a lot of things, and we can have hope in a LOT of things. Hope in the car to get us home. Hope in the Wildcats to not lose another football game. Hope in a bridge we cross everyday to not collapse. Hope in this month’s income to satisfy our bills. Hope in a family, friend, or neighbor to not give up on us in our darkest moment.

Hope is built on what you believe to be true.


As a result, belief is an integral part of our day-to-day lives. It’s the WHAT. Faith in the car, the Wildcats, the microwave, this month’s income, and those closest to you.

What you believe matters.

What you believe will directly shape your life (and ultimately your future):

  • your claims
  • how you treat others
  • how you respond to various life circumstances

**(Please remember I’m placing myself in these statements as well.)


It’s up to you to inform your beliefs.

Demosthenes once said, “Nothing is easier than self-deceit, for what each man wishes that he also believes to be true.”

And it goes without saying, but I’ll write it anyway that you cannot inform your beliefs without taking time to study.

Opening a book, reading a favorite novel, studying the Bible, analyzing Proverbs, or, all of the above. These can be tactics to help solidify those beliefs. (You know what you know, because you know. You know?)


When you don’t inform your beliefs, you become stuck.

Have you felt this? It’s that almost tangible feeling like there’s a lid on the box of your life. You not only wonder where your place is in the world-at-large, but also wrestle with the question of who you are as a person.

  1. you miss the promotion at work
  2. the truck stops working
  3. your favorite pet dies
  4. God doesn’t seem to be answering a specific prayer of yours


The Bible says to rejoice even in the difficulties.

I know this might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it’s meant to signify the larger scope from day-to-day meanderings. Our instinctual hope, if fixed on an eternal God, will be to rejoice as a result of the overflow of our hearts. I know this might not be where you are today, and admittedly I’m not there 24/7 either, but, it’s something to strive for.

Bottom Line.

Set your beliefs on solid truths that will have eternal rewards.

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Editing: The Faces of Revision.

If writing a book makes one look like this:

IMG_04801(Fig. 1)


Then, editing a book can best be summed up as:

IMG_04821(Fig. 2)

Editing: Is the Worst.

It takes the frustration and painstaking lifeblood of a first draft, bundles it tightly into a little ball, and hurls it at hoop…in the Atlantic Ocean, miles from shore, miles from a life preserver. Side note: Paper isn’t waterproof.

Ok, I’m over-exaggerating…but just slightly.


I appreciate your prayers this week, and next, and the next.

No one should have to wear a face like this–for long anyways.


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Integrity – Sleeping Soundly at Night.


Do you rest peacefully at night?

Not a Serta mattress conversation. (I’m not asking about counting sheep.)

I mean, do you feel at peace, when you lay your head down onto the pillow?

Is there a connectedness between you and the day you toiled through? Did hard work bring you a sense of solace?

There’s a lot to be said for the integrity of a hard day’s work. Farmers can say it – physically, Stock Market workers attest to it – mentally, and especially school teachers – spiritually.

The work yields a bit of satisfaction. Doesn’t it? On some level?

Knowing that you remained steadfast, even during the tantrums that a high schooler might’ve thrown.

Whether you adhere to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, or neither, this bit about integrity is a universal quality we all possess as human beings.

As William Penn wrote, “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”

Wise man.

So, it doesn’t matter if you are one extreme or another on the Myers – Briggs Personality Test, you are still human and you value honesty, integrity, and mutual respect.

  • Leaving work 15 minutes before the departure time,
  • not logging a vacation day you took,
  • letting someone into the movies without a ticket, etc…these are all ways we can compromise our integrity, and for the believer, our witness.


For these reasons, and the love of the Creator, it’s essential that our actions speak louder, and our Yesses be Yes. And our Nos be No.

Maybe we remember 9/11/01, but may we also strive to live with the urgency of the unknown. None of us know our departure date from earth. For this reason alone, integrity should be key to daily decision-making.




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Phobias – The Space They Take.


There are hundreds thousands of phobias out there.

Thousands more with actual names attached to them.

It’s a reflection of the fears that ensnare us (are around us each and every day).

Here’s a list from a site that’s been compiling them since the 1980s.

There’s even a fear of numbers called Arithmophobia.

Ahh! Watch out! Numbers!!

I looked through the list and tried to assess how many I had. It was more than 2. And, I’ll leave it at that.

Fun to see these represented under the letter ‘B’:


  1. Bacillophobia- Fear of microbes.
  2. Bacteriophobia- Fear of bacteria.
  3. Ballistophobia- Fear of missiles or bullets.
  4. Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks.
  5. Barophobia- Fear of gravity.
  6. Basophobia or Basiphobia- Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.
  7. Bathmophobia- Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
  8. Bathophobia- Fear of depth.
  9. Batophobia- Fear of heights or being close to high buildings.
  10. Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
  11. Belonephobia- Fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)
  12. Bibliophobia- Fear of books.
  13. Blennophobia- Fear of slime.
  14. Bogyphobia- Fear of bogeys or the bogeyman.
  15. Botanophobia- Fear of plants.
  16. Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia- Fear of body smells.
  17. Brontophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.
  18. Bufonophobia- Fear of toads.


But, why are we afraid of so many things (many that can’t even hurt us)?

In a great article recently, Relevant Magazine writer, Adam Jeske, dissected Nomophobia – the fear of being disconnected.

Great topic for our social media world!

I admit I’m guilty of that one as well.

  • Honest question: How long can I go without my cellular?
  • Honest answer: It buzzed a minute ago, and I’m tempted to stop typing this blog to respond to an email.
  • Point within all of this and biblical assertion – serving God and $ is referenced specifically in Scripture, but Jeske writes, couldn’t we just as easily ask, “if we can serve both God and Facebook.” He goes on to offer 5 solutions for that specific fear, in his post.


So, no matter the phobia, the fear – we can’t let it freeze us. We can’t let it control our lives. No matter the device. Regardless of its powers. It cannot be our strength. No cell phone deserves that worship. No fear either.