Monday 30 March 2015

Bound: Alpha Mission (Angel Warrior Files Book 1) by Vicki V. Lucas

A ruthless demon overlord plots to increase his rule when two missionaries infiltrate his realm. The demons attack, but two angels stand guard. Will they be able to stop the demons before the men are killed? Will the chains of darkness be broken before all is lost?

Bound, a short story of 8,800 words, is one of the many 
files of angel warriors who battle evil and protect God’s children.

The Guru's Review: 

This is my first reading of Lucas' work and I must say I am impressed! The author states at the beginning of the book that this is an accompaniment to the newly released young adult novel, Devil's Pathway. If this short is anything to judge by, then the latter mentioned novel is going to be one fast paced and enthralling read! I am reviewing Devil's Pathway in a few month's time and now looking forward to this immensely.

Bound is based on true events that Lucas states were passed onto her by two 
missionaries, Dan Work and Ken Lobdell. Lucas' has included poetic licence to fill in the gaps about actually happened. As she says, 
When God is at work, true life is more amazing and wonderful than our imagination......We can only speculate about what was happening in the trees that night. Were angels fighting demons? One day in Heaven, we will find out exactly what occurred in those treetops. Until then, this is what I picture happening. 
Together with the true account of Work/Lobdell and Lucas's imagination, you have one exciting and uplifting tale of spiritual warfare, demonology, power of prayer, testing of faith, God's power of redemption and salvation, being obedient to Him and letting Him win this battle.  

You hit the road running in this 39 page short. The pace never lets up throughout and you are totally enthralled in the action and battle between Nagid, the demon lord and his demon army, and the two angels, Eliezer and Simiel. For a short novel, there is a lot packed in here. It took me an hour to read and I was lost in this story for that hour. I cheered at the end with the moving account of redemption and salvation. I was amazed at the language miracle, very uplifting and so encouraging to see happen outside of New Testament times. Just goes to show that God does not change as Hebrews 13:8 says, 
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I know this is a short about spiritual warfare, angels and demons, but I loved the inclusion of God showing up, or more to the point, His power being blatantly displayed at a crucial point in the battle between angel and demon at the response of the missionaries prayer for help. I am not sure if this was part of the account from Work/Lobdell or from the poetic licence from Lucas, but I am glad it has been included as it represents that God is ever present and ever involved in the affairs of man especially when it comes to the fight over human souls. Christian fiction should not withhold any mention or involvement of God, His spirit or of Jesus. Without these three, it is not Christian fiction. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this short. It ticks all the boxes that I expect from Christian Fiction: 

  • it has entertained me immensely, 
  • it has encouraged my walk with God, 
  • it has not deviated from known biblical doctrine, and it will not, I believe, lead a non-believer astray or promote false doctrine, 
  • it honours God, 
  • it does not encourage worship of the created (eg angels) instead of the Creator (God). 

I am looking forward to the next instalment in this Angel Warrior Files series with great anticipation. 

Highly recommended. 

Sunday 29 March 2015

The Name Of The Hawk Series II - Volume 1 - The Holy Graal by Murray Pura

Hawk met his twin brother, Galahad, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, when both were seeking the True Cross that Christ was crucified on. Now Hawk and his lady Skaytha reside at Camelot, along with King Arthur's men, and enjoy a season of peace and the extravagant preparations for Skaytha's marriage to Hawk. But a vision of great darkness intrudes and clashes with a vision of great light that precedes the wedding ceremony. And suddenly war is upon Camelot and Hawk and Galahad must ride as they have never ridden before to find the cup Christ used at the Last Supper or see the world plunged into madness and bloodshed. And so the true story of the Holy Graal unfolds, the story no one on earth has ever heard before. It is a story rife with evil and treachery and swordplay but also bright with courage, faith, and the undying love of a man for his woman, for his brother, and for his God. 

The Guru's Review: 

I have missed Hawk since Series I finished last year. Now I am very excited to have Series II here. It is great to be back with Hawk, Skaytha, Galahad, and the ladies in waiting, Africa, Fria and Canach. 

Right from the start, this series has a new direction now that Hawk has discovered his long lost brother, Galahad, retrieved the long lost Cross of Christ, and now integrated into the life of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. 

This first short (25 pages) in this continuing series sets the pace for the rest to come. King Arthur accepts and approves of Hawk as Galahad's brother, and happily accommodates the impending wedding of Hawk and Skaytha. 

However, there is always a twist, and this comes in the form of yet another quest, this time for the Holy Graal (oldest spelling of Grail) and so the rest of this short describes the beginning of this quest and a supernatural intervention that leaves the ending with quite a cliffhanger in preparation for Volume II. 

One aspect of this short I loved is the use by Galahad of Old English language, that annoys Hawk no end; I laugh at the banter between them whenever Galahad uses thy, thou and thee etc, 
Galahad laughed and took his brother into his arms.
"I am happy to ride with thee. And be thy right-hand man at thy marriage and stand with thee as thou hast asked me to do."
Hawk whispered in Galahad's ear as the hug popped his backbone.
"Thee? Thy? Thou?" 
"The language of chivalry and of our gallant age, brother."
"But you do not use it all the time." 
"No. Only when I wish to annoy you." 
Galahad relinquished his hug and looked around at the entire company, laughing. 
This Old English usage has the effect of transporting you into courts of Camelot and King Arthur and adds depth to the shortness of this story.

I am hoping that the wait for Volume II is not long as I am still hanging from the cliff waiting to be rescued when the next installment arrives. 

Highly Recommended

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Cat Tales and Whiskers by Ciella Naden

Cat Tales and Whiskers

When fourteen-year-old Ash is forced to move, the world as he knows it turns upside down. Soulville is a strange town, and the house his mom inherited from a distant relative should be condemned. It’s spooky. Possibly haunted.

What Ash initially believes to be a string of bad luck has nothing to do with luck at all and everything to do with a demonic curse on his family. Does Ash have what it takes to break the curse, or will his life be cut short like those before him?

The Guru's Review:

This is the second novel I have read that has been written by a teenager. The first was Ariel Johnston (Dragon's Touch) who was 16 at the time of writing and that was an impressive debut Christian fantasy. This novel by Ciella Naden is also an impressive debut and she was only 13 when she wrote this! I feel it is important to mention her bio here, 
Ciella Naden wrote "Cat Tales and Whiskers" when she was 13 as a home-school assignment. She battles dyslexia, but believes that with God, ALL things are possible. She also holds a high-green belt in karate, competes in air pistol competitions with the local 4-H, and runs her own crochet business. She loves Jesus and plans to write more stories about Ash in which he will be demon hunting. 
Quite an impressive rap sheet, especially noting that she suffers from dyslexia which, from reading this novella, has not been an obstacle or has defined her. I am very impressed with her talent and creativity and also of those others that are also developing their talents and publishing at this age. I fully applaud them for this. As an avid reader, I am very excited that our reading future is very bright with these up and coming young authors. 

I really loved this novella. A real page turner and filled with suspense. Ciella writes well and her command of the English language is impressive for her age. Yes, there were a few words that could have had a better alternative that would have improved the sentence structure but I found this to not be a huge distraction. The author was 13 at the time of writing after all, and every author learns from each novel to improve their craft. Such will be the case with Ciella. Also, looking at this novel as a whole, it is simplistic in its structure and construction but again, Ciella was 13 and her debut attempt. Still very impressive. However, this will work in her favour as this simplicity will suit the age group it is aimed at very well, enabling them to understand the importance and truth of its message and still be very entertained. I was impressed with her plot structure and character development, I felt like I was in Ash's teenage world and could relate to his feelings and reactions. 

One aspect that really did impress me was Ciella's understanding of biblical spiritual warfare, angelology/demonology and deliverance. This is what we as adults and parents wish for our children and teenagers, that they get grounded in the Word, being doers of the Word and not just hearers. Novels such as this can be used as encouragement here. On this point, I can really see that this novel could be very successful in teaching teenagers about spiritual warfare in youth groups or in the small group setting at church. In a future edition, a study guide could be added or produced as an accompanied booklet for this purpose. And future novellas could be used for the same purpose expounding a different aspect of spiritual warfare, intercessory prayer, angelology/demonology, etc. Ciella would be on a winner here! 

I have read a few Christian novels involving demon possession and what I did like about this one is that is has as its basis of the spiritual warfare theme, the generational curse. To me, this added more depth to the story, it was not just another haunted house or demon possession story. The generational curse theme is biblical and I hope gives the reader some knowledge that the sins of the father can be passed down through the generations until conversion to Christ (what He achieved for us on the Cross, victory over sin and death) breaks this curse and subsequent generations are free. So bravo, for Ciella including this in this novel and again, showing her mature understanding of biblical spiritual warfare. 

I look forward to more from this young talented author and more tales of Ash, the Demon Hunter. 

To speak in the language of the young, "Ciella, you go girl!"

Highly Recommended

Monday 16 March 2015

Bid The Gods Arise (The Wells of the Worlds Book 1) by Robert Mullin

Bid the Gods Arise (The Wells of the Worlds Book 1)

Kidnapped from his homeworld and sold into slavery, Maurin despairs of ever seeing his cousin or his home again. When he is ransomed by a mysterious woman and reunited with Aric, he joins and unlikely group committed to the downfall of the slave trade. But it isn't long before he realizes they are being hunted--not only by the blood-lusting head of the slave trade, but by an ancient evil that wants their souls.

The Guru's Review: 

This book was on my Amazon Recommendations for what seemed like months. I kept going back to it and kept declining to buy it as there was always some other book vying for my attention. Buy me! Buy me! they all cried! And sometimes I did, and Mullin's book went back on the Recommendation shelf with its tail (tale!) between its legs for anther day. It was only through contact with him from a book group that I belong to that we got talking one day about his book and his writing. I did not know he was part of this group.  He kindly sent me a mobi copy for my kindle which I had not asked him to do. I can almost hear those other books on my Recommendation list screaming with indignation that it is not fair and I have cheated them! 

Anyway, BTGA was added to the list of review books and it was another month or so before I got to it. My first impression was Mullin's writing style. It is smooth and I felt like I was being well supported on a comfortable couch moving with little or no vibration or sense of movement as it transported me to this fantasy world that Mullin so masterfully creates. So easy it is to lose oneself and become so engrossed in this world. From this point of view, Mullin creates a wonderful fantasy world. From my reading of fantasy and science fiction, it seems the author needs to create a believable and credible world; it has to have structure, depth, history, mythology in some cases, different variable landscapes, creatures and plants, even variation in climate. In one social media groups I belong to, the writers there talk about this importance of world building and I can see now how this really does support and underpin an entire novel. Mullin does this well and BTGA is an example of this world building. 

Another part of this world building is this novel is a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and the supernatural. Again, Mullin does this well. There is also Christian themes. In an interview, Mullin says concerning this, 
The story is set in a world that should feel familiar but fresh, as the novel is a sort of mélange of genres. I drew on a number of influences and synthesized them into a single mythopoeia. This wasn’t so much conscious as the way my mind tends to work; I don’t lump things into neat categories the way most people do. So you will see a great deal of epic fantasy influence, some supernatural, and a hint of science fiction. There are also Christian themes, but hopefully not to the point of being overt or preachy. 
Having read this novel, I totally agree with what Mullin says. There is a hint of science fiction, there is epic fantasy, and the Christian themes and how he has developed them is not preachy but very respectful and honouring of God. 

I must confess that I found something refreshing in this novel. It was great having the Holy Spirit (known as the Breath) included in the plot as a living, active being and not hinted at or not mentioned at all as is the case in some other Christian fantasy or speculative novels. Here are some examples to show this, 
Yet the Breath had whispered in her ear of this girls importance; an importance that might even eclipse the others. 
The Breath of Yasul (God) has been stirring our lives, moving us towards a certain end 
The Breath spoke to me of each of you before I ever laid eyes on you 
I must do as the Breath leads me to do, Maurin,
and the Breath will guide us as we move forward
The breath is the voice, the moving spirit of my god. It whispers to me, and guides my thought and actions, 
I heard the Breath call and this time I answered, 
When the Breath sends a message to Yasul's beloved, it doesn't matter where they are,
And similar can be said for the depiction of God (Yasul). He is not just mentioned as the God that Valasand and Masalla follow and believe in and who stays in the background, but He is active in their lives as it is He who has called to act on His behalf, during many situations on their mission to rid Argoth of slavery and bring the perpetrators to justice. Mullin has depicted Valasand to be the main vehicle through which Yasul uses during this mission through her faith and being surrendered to Him. What follows is a medley of Valasand's quotes supporting this,   
...go with blessings of Yasul... Thank Yasul... Yasul, give me strength...Yasul, protect us...we made it through the night only with the help of Yasul...May Yasul be with us... then it is the will of Yasul that you go alone to Darkhorn Fell...that is not the way of Yasul...that is one way you may know when Yasul is speaking to you: what you hear may well be contrary to what you believe to be the wise or sane thing to do...Relying on the Breath for help and trying to control the Source (Yasul) are two different things. No one controls Yasul order to hear the voice of Yasul you must first silence your own...Yasul with be with us...That you are Yasul's and always have been....That's all Yasul expects of us....My entire life has been spent in willing servitude to Yasul....All must bow before the end, but those who bow willingly are Yasul's... Yasul will have you back, if you would have Yasul back
Further evidence of Yasul being active is found in the following examples, through indirect intervention of Yasul through an Angel speaking to Valasand,
Take comfort, Yasul has heard are watched over and never are you out of the sight or care of Yasul, even when all seems silent, and hope has fled.....Yasul has decreed that you must seek out this young man who has attracted the attention of the Reamar. 
When Maurin realises that he has come to then end of himself and his situation, he realises that Yasul is a living Deity and cries out to Him,
Yasul.....I don't know you. I don't know even know if you really exist. But if you do, reveal yourself to me. Help me.
Later Yasul responds to Maurin's plea:
Hear Me now, Maurin, for I have called you from your lifelong slumber, and it is time for you to awaken...I am that which was, is, and shall be. I am Yasul...Become what I have created you to be. You are my sword of reckoning...Fear not. I am ever with you.
Following this, Maurin, under the power of the Breath, uses the Authority of God's name to take control, the name of Yasul, STOP! And stop they did!
There are a few more examples in the novel, but enough here to illustrate my point. It is very deceptive what Mullin has done, all these examples are scattered throughout the novel and they add strength and depth to this plot. 

I discussed this with Mullin and this is what he had to say, 
Ironically, one of my reviewers hated that aspect of the plot (that of God being active). But I thought it was necessary to show that yes, despite all the confusing "theology" and various "gods" in this story, there really was an active force in the form of a personal God.
For me, this is one of the strengths of this novel. It is going to be encouraging to see this continued in the following two instalments. I admire this in him as an author, but it also shows the depth of relationship he has personally with God. I believe that Christian fiction should uplift, encourage the reader's walk with God while educating on its themes and entertaining as well just as fiction should. Mullin does all this with this novel. 

There are a few examples of sex in this novel. Nothing graphic or gratuitous but implied. I was not expecting this, but when seen in the context of the plot and the dynamics of the relationships, I can see it is relevant. I did get the author's take on this, 
I see the story as very much about temptation and the consequences of giving in to it. I realize that it's not a popular subject, and one usually avoided like the plague in Christian novels, but I think it's a very real Achilles' heel, and wanted to show that a young man being driven insane by his dreams would be vulnerable to predation, particularly if he did not live by principle in the first place. I see Maurin and Aric as being flip sides of that coin; they are both exposed to temptation, but one gives in, and the other does not.
It is also very much about the swath of human wreckage damaged people tend to leave in their wake, an unfortunate but also all-too-real phenomenon.
I didn't want to treat sex casually the way most fantasy authors tend to, with the "hero" leaping from one bed to the next with no hard feelings, no broken hearts in his wake.
I realized that I ran the risk of alienating people, but it's kind of an important point to me. I've seen wrecked marriages, ruined hearts, and young men whose lives are forever tainted because their lust is their downfall. In Aric's case, he is as much a victim as he is a perpetrator, but he still has free will, and despite the circumstances, could have made different decisions. Maurin's admonition in the first chapter that he is going to hear many voices in his life, and would have to be careful which he would listen to, is meant to be a cautionary theme in the novel.

I have collected many versions of the film, A Christmas Carol, as well as the original book, over the years. One thing that has always fascinated me is that Scrooge is generally given a sad enough back story that one could extrapolate the wrong conclusion from it, that he was fully justified in becoming the man that he did. Yet in the end, he is held fully accountable for his choices.
I pray that this explanation and motive from the author gives Christian readers a positive insight into how the inclusion of sexual themes in a Christian novel can be an opportunity for better understanding of sexuality from a Christian point of view and it does not need to be a taboo subject. Mullin has dealt with this sensitively and appropriately.

One of the elements in this novel is the relationship between the two main characters, Aric and Maurin. It did not take long reading this novel to get the impression that these two characters were not just figments of the author's imagination. I was not surprised that they were based on people in the author's personal life, as the author admitted in the same interview I mentioned before, 
Bid the Gods Arise is the tale of two cousins kidnapped and sold into slavery on an alien planet. The notion of making the protagonists cousins was an intentional homage to the relationship I enjoyed with my own cousin, but the characters are very much their own. 
You can see this by the way he has developed the relationship between the two. It is definitely based on what he knows. I really did love the characters of Aric and Maurin. This relationship forms another strength of this novel and it will be good to be reintroduced to them (and I hope all the other characters too!) in the sequel.

I loved the dark, spiritual side to this novel. Working in with the corrupt head of the slave trade, Mullin has created a mysterious, fearful and powerful race of beings called The Reamar. These are revered and also feared as soul-sucking vampire-like demons. As Mullin describes them,

The Reamar are a bit of everything. Not everything has an exact counterpart in theology; it's a mythopoeia, meaning that I borrowed a bit from here and there to make my story work better. They are a sort of vampiric fallen angel, though if one believed in different classes of angelic beings, they would be one of the higher orders. That is probably the best way to simplify it, though.
Reading this novel, the reader is introduced to the fear and mystique surrounding them with only a few knowing of their background. In their mythology, there existed a prophecy of The Dreaded One who would come and either end their existence or cause them to have a rebirth. It is here that Aric and Maurin get involved with the rest of their group and where the action and suspense deepens leading to a fine finish of this installment. It is also where Mullin ends the evil and cruel reign of Argoneis, corrupt head of the slave trade, and who is the prime directive that Valasand has to rid Argoth of. Interspersed throughout this novel, and with the plot of the Reamar, is the deceitful and manipulative ways of this tyrant and his fellow subversives and it takes all the skill and obedience to Yasul to rid them of this scourge and oppression. This provides very much alot of the action, especially at the end as mentioned. On this point, Mullin depicts these characters as quite despicable and every account I found myself tense and loathing them and was cheering with victory at their demise at the end. 

I cannot praise this novel and Mullin highly enough. It is a real gem and Mullin's creativity makes a good fantasy a much better one. I am looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. 

Highly Recommended.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Interview with M. E Brines, Author of The Fist of God

I recently read The Fist of God (Agarthi Conspiracy Book 1) by M. E. Brines. A very interesting perspective of WWII that describes it from a supernatural point of view. From reading this novel and the author bio, I just felt it would be good to find out more about this author. 

Amazon Author Page Bio: 

M.E. Brines spent the Cold War assembling atomic artillery shells and preparing to unleash the Apocalypse (and has a medal to prove it.) But when peace broke out, he turned his fevered, paranoid imagination to other pursuits. He spends his spare time scribbling another steampunk romance occult adventure novel, which despite certain rumors absolutely DOES NOT involve time-traveling Nazi vampires!

A former member of the British Society for Psychical Research, he is a long-time student of the occult and a committed Christian who sees himself as a modern-day Professor Van Helsing equipping Believers for battle against the occult Principalities and Powers that rule a world in darkness. (Ephesians 6:12)

The author of three dozen books, e-books, chapbooks and pamphlets on esoteric subjects such as alien abduction, alien hybrids, astrology, the Bible, biblical prophecy, Christian discipleship, conspiracies, esoteric Nazism, the Falun Gong, Knights Templar, magick, and UFOs, his work has also appeared in Challenge magazine, Weird Tales, The Outer Darkness, Tales of the Talisman, and Empirical magazine.

Michaels says of of his I'm often asked how I square my Christianity and "messing around" with the occult, as if I'm partial to bestial things with a goat under the amber light of the moon or something. Not so. I'm a student, in the same way I used to study Soviet weapons and tactics back when I was a US Army officer. This gives my work a unique perspective no matter what your belief system. I don't judge. I just present the information and let the reader decide.

So now you have read Michael's Bio, and realised he is one very intriguing person, let's see what he has to say about his writing and himself as an author. 

Welcome Michael, thanks for stopping by and allowing yourself to be put under the interview microscope. Let's begin shall we? Just a few questions for you: 

Apart from your Amazon Author Page Bio reproduced above, tell us a little about your personal life (marriage, work, etc)

My day job is a sale rep for a toy company that makes toy soldiers. I sell to hobby and game stores. The miniatures include tanks, chariots, cannons, scale-model buildings and all sorts of things to put on battles on a table top, anywhere from ancient times to World War II.

When you are not writing, what hobbies, activities or occupation are you involved in?

I have a World War II Soviet infantry company and a German panzer reconnaissance platoon I fight World War II battles on a table top with other people at the local hobby store. I'm thinking of picking up a few more pieces and maybe expanding to a Volksgrenadier Company. I've been interested in history, especially World War II since sixth grade. 

Seems like everything you have mentioned so far is military based. You are really living your passion, it reminds me of the saying that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life! 

What are you reading right now?

Coup d'Etat in America by Weberman and Canfield makes a pretty interesting case that the CIA killed JFK. It dovetails nicely as research for my current project “I Killed JFK,” book five in the Agarthi Conspiracy series. 

Checked out this book on Amazon and there are many volumes! Very extensive and comprehensive account on this topic by the looks of it!

Any specific author influenced your writing or your desire to become an author?

David Drake has the most influence although Edgar Rice Burroughs was an early favourite, more for the style and plotting than his actual prose, which is terrible.

I am not familiar with Drake and I confess I have never read any books of Rice Burroughs, and only familiar with Tarzan from TV and the movies, but I am not surprised of the influence Burroughs has had on you! 

What inspired/motivated you to “specialise” in the occult side of the supernatural?

That's what I'm interested in. I've always loved those old Dracula movies. Lovecraft's stories, too. Then I found out a lot of what he wrote about wasn't fiction, but from actual cults and philosophers. Blew my mind. I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was a teen and the more I learned about the Nazis, the more realistic that movie seemed. Hitler did search for the ark, and the grail and he actually possessed the spear as it's mentioned in the book. Himmler's castle and its description in the Fist of God are absolutely accurate.

I always felt there was more to Hitler than what I learnt in school. Your book has reinforced and expounded this for me. 

In your Bio you state, “I'm often asked how I square my Christianity and "messing around" with the occult, as if I'm partial to bestial things with a goat under the amber light of the moon or something. No so. I'm a student, in the same way I used to study Soviet weapons and tactics back when I was a US Army officer. This gives my work a unique perspective no matter what your belief system. I don't judge. I just present the information and let the reader decide.”

That last sentence is what this question is targeted to: Have you received any feedback from anyone that they have accepted Christ from any of your fiction and non-fiction work, or that it has got them thinking that there might be more to the Bible, Christianity and God?

No. And I'd be quite surprised if anyone did. I doubt people change their thinking from reading fiction. If they're already headed in that direction maybe I nudged them along, but if they’re not, they're not going to change their minds. They'll just give it a bad review. I do get those sometimes from people who are anti-Christianity and hate if a story mentions it at all without tearing it down. My books aren't “Christian” fiction. They're not preachy, but they very clearly do accept that there is a God, and a Devil and that they struggle in our mundane world. If you're militantly secular you won't like them. If you're not a Christian but you're willing to accept that such things might exist in fiction you'll have a great time.

What I see here, Michael, is you sowing or watering a seed of faith in those readers. God will do the rest and continue to use you, your writing and your passion for His Kingdom. 

You have written both fiction and non-fiction. I know some authors have written nonfiction first and find the natural progression is to branch out into fiction. Was this the case with you?

Kind of. My first published piece, when I was 16, was a game product, a do-your-own-adventure type book. Later I wrote a few articles for a game magazine. Then I self-published a bunch of short articles on occult or religious topics: astrology, UFOs, demonic-human hybrids, intelligent design. I'd written novels before that, but they didn't get published until later.

Where did the idea come from for your latest novel, The Fist of God (Agarthi Conspiracy Book 1)? I ask this as the book description is very specific about WWII being of a supernatural origin than caused only by mankind.

I've been a church-goer since I was a little kid, heard all the Bible stories about Samson, and David and Goliath and Noah and all that. The Bible clearly teaches a struggle between Satan and God across all of human history. People in the middle ages, even to Victorian times accepted this idea. But since then it's gone out of fashion in our very secular world. I just updated the situation for today. It makes a great horror story when a sceptic discovers the supernatural is real, especially when it's Evil he discovers first.

The Fist of God was the first Christian novel I have ever read that involves WWII. To me, it was well-written well and I felt I was there, the characters well real and relational. From the history that you have included, you have obviously researched this extensively. Was it hard to research? I am just feeling that there would be more than ample resources for this.

I've been interested in the subject for a long time. I've read all sorts of books on it. Played numerous wargames on the subject from all perspectives. I've even designed and published wargames. The research was easy. I already knew the basics. Discovering the specifics was interesting, not like work. In fact, the first two missions Stuart goes on are real historic missions. I just gave him a “code” name to fit his character into the real missions. Many of the characters are real historic personages. I've kept that up through the next three books of the series. When you read the books they're full of real history.

And it is that real history as you state that is a huge attraction for me now, and I am sure for other readers as well. This has increased my interest in Christian based WWII novels where previously I had no interest. I am looking forward to this continuing series from this perspective. 

You obviously have a passion for WWII and the supernatural! I have not read any of your other works, both in fiction and non fiction, but I feel The Fist of God could be seen as a showcase of this passion. Your thoughts?

You should see my library at home. 

You should have sent a photo! 

What motivated you to make Part II: The Spear of Destiny from The Fist of God into a separate novella? It was the former that motivated me to buy The Fist of God as I bought The Spear of Destiny first, then The Fist of God.

I wanted to give people a taste of the book for free. It was an appetiser and obviously worked for you as intended. With my new publisher Desert Breeze, I had to withdraw The Spear of Destiny from print.

Well, looks like that was a successful marketing technique! I am glad you did that, it introduced me to this wonderful series! 

You state at the end of The Fist of God that the next installment in this trilogy, The Unholy Grail, will be released in the Summer of 2015 (June/July, 2015). Are you on track with this? I am looking forward to this immensely!

It's at the publisher being edited. The sequels Roswell Diary and The Realm of the Black Sun are already complete, just waiting to be edited. 

Good to hear, Michael. As I mentioned earlier, looking forward to the rest of this series. 

The satanic ritual scenes that McKenzie witnessed, how much of this was based on actual occultic rituals?

All of it. As the character mentions in the book I suspect the “crypt” in Himmler's castle was used for this purpose rather than as a burial crypt. 

I thought that might be the case, as they read as very convincing. 

The word, "Agarthi", which is what this trilogy is named after, I found curious, so I Googled it. I did not find any reference to the description of the Agarthi that you have included in The Fist of God. Were these spirit beings an example of your imagination/poetic licence? Either way, your description of them fitted in very well into the novel.

No, they're out of Blavatski's The Secret Doctrine. I got them originally from The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft. They're also mentioned in some of the teachings of esoteric Naziism. I believe Satan's minions have the same struggles for power, influence and control we see among human minions of evil regimes like the way the Nazi underlings intrigued for power. You saw the same thing among the Soviets, with plotting and betrayals. Any time an entity puts themselves first at other's expense you're going to see that. The rivalry between the two supernatural groups in my novels is cinematic but probably authentic. 

I had a feeling they were not just from your imagination, having them come from a real source to me, adds more credibility to this novel.

What message do you want your readers to obtain from Fist of God?

What we see in the mundane world is not all there is. 

Are you working on any future fiction/non fiction work once you have released the Agarthi Conspiracy trilogy?

Certainly. And I've got other books already available. Maitre'd to the Damned is a modern day vampire novel in the same vein. (Ha Ha) And I've got a couple of steampunk books: The Queen's Martian Rifles (that one reviewer likened to Bernard Corwell's Sharpe series on Mars) and A Priestess of Mars. Both are similar in style and theme as the Agarthi Conspiracy series although they don't have Nazis in them. Although the Thule Society does make an appearance.

This has more than piqued my interest in your other work and whetted my appetite for those to come!

Anything else you would like to say in closing?


Where can readers find you?

I'm all over Amazon and Smashwords like a rash, so scratch your itch for adventure.




Amazon: M. E. Brines

Well Michael, I have really enjoyed interviewing you! Thank you for being open about yourself, your writing and sharing your passion for expounding the truth about the occult from a biblical worldview. I am eagerly waiting for the next instalment in The Agarthi Conspiracy and reading your other novels.