Friday, April 9, 2010

THE MUSE--Excerpt, Intro,and Free Book

I'm a bit slow in getting a review out for The Muse by Fred Warren for several reasons beyond my control. Although I plan to put up a whole review tomorrow, today you can read my blurb that's in the front of the book and the first chapter. AND...(drum roll) announcing a GIVEAWAY to one specal reader!

I will have drawing a week from today, on Friday, April 16, for a copy of The Muse. I have such a high opinion of this book that this one is on me, not the author or the publisher. I really believe it should be read be scads of people, and I hope it will. TO ENTER this drawing: simply leave a comment (with your email address included) on one of the CFRB blogs about The Muse. That includes the whole week at CFRB's main site and all three of my posts. I'll also have posts at Shoutlife and Gather to include.

Here's the blurb I wrote (and was honored to find incuded in the front of the book):

This is an engaging, slightly twisted tale of a trio of aspiring speculative fiction authors who do battle with that most dreaded foe--writer's block. Although this may sound like something to appeal only to authors, that is far from the truth. Fred Warren's deftly-designed characters and well-developed scenes will draw in a variety of readers and carry them along for the ride. I laughed and cried out loud and found myself wishing for certain denouements, most of which were different than the actual outcomes. Reality and fantasy blur then clear in this kaleidoscope of action.

This is a portion of Fred Warren's introduction explaining his book:

This story is about inspiration--its meaning, origins, and purpose. It also explores the idea that there's more than one kind of inspiration, and it's important to understand the source, nature, and ultimate effects of the creative energy we're using.
Creation is perhaps the most human activity of all, for in the act of creating, whether it's producing a work of art, telling a story, building a business, or raising a family, we express in microcosm the nature of the Creator, who gave us life and made us in His image with the intent that we, in our small, clumsy way, attempt the sorts of things He does with perfect excellence.
I didn't start out writing The Muse with the intent of producing a "Christian" novel, though my own faith can't help but emerge somehow in anything I write. References to the spiritual world unseen to human eyes are pure speculation. I know the power of love, loyalty, truth, courage, and self-sacrifice beyond any shadow of doubt, and I am likewise certain that God works purposefully in our lives, for our good, though we often don't recognize His hand except in retrospect.

I enjoyed writing The Muse, and I hope you'll find it interesting, entertaining, and maybe even a little inspiring.

AND NOW for the first chapter:

TARON surveyed the enemy lines, row upon row of grotesque, iron-sinewed goblins rhythmically scraping swords on shields, filling the air with the soul-melting screech of metal carving bone. It was hopeless. The Alliance Army was outnumbered twenty to one in an indefensible position, their escape blocked by the sheer precipices of the Glass Mountains. He sighed. This would be the end. So much blood to be spilled today, for so little purpose.

Siri pulled up beside him, struggling to rein in her spirited chestnut mount. The horse, at least, was eager for battle, but Siri’s face was a picture of despair. She knew the odds, what the outcome must be.

“My Lord, the troops await your orders.”

Taron nodded, raising his sword, Illustrion, on high as he wheeled his destrier about to face the haggard ranks of the Alliance. He opened his mouth to shout the order that would send them all to certain death.


“My Lord?” Siri whispered, “The order?”


Behind them, the goblin army roared and scraped, roared and scraped, roared and scraped.

“My Lord! What is your order?”

The general’s mouth was a gaping cavern from which no sound emerged.

“Aaagh!” Stan shoved himself away from his desk, pounding his head in frustration. It was no use. He’d written himself into a corner... again.

Charity’s voice wafted down the cellar stairs. “Honey, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” he hollered back. “It’s nothing. I’m stuck again. Blasted writer’s block.”

“I thought so. Give it a break. Come upstairs for a while.”

“In a minute.” He rolled his chair back to the desk and tapped the keyboard. The printer whirred and spooled out the current page of Stan’s manuscript. He snatched it up and read the last paragraph, then he read it again. Maybe seeing the words on paper would trigger a new insight that would allow him to move ahead.

No such luck. He wadded the paper into a ball and flung it at the wall, where it bounced off a poster advertising last year’s Renaissance Festival. Across the room, a scruffy little terrier whined softly and leapt from his perch on the futon to retrieve the errant scrap.

“Don’t even think about it, Squick.” The vet bill for the little dumpster-diver’s last digestive misadventure was still a painfully fresh memory. Squick bounced back onto the futon. At least he was obedient, unlike Stan’s imagination. There had to be an original way to get his story past this latest roadblock. He could taste it, smell it, feel it on the edge of his consciousness, mocking him...

“It’s getting cold, Stan!”

“Coming, coming.”

Read more about Fred Warren and his work at his website and Splashdown Books.

Purchase The Muse from
Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

THE MUSE--CFRB Book for April

         The Muse
by Fred Warren

This month, CFRB presents The Muse by Fred Warren.

About the Book:
Stan Marino needs a muse. He's written himself into a corner...again. A shot of inspiration is all he needs to finish his story ...where is he going to find it? What Stan doesn't know: Inspiration has found him. And it's about to take over his life. Ripped from reality, he must lead a band of lost souls in a life-or-death battle with a merciless enemy. Stan has found his muse, but will he survive it?

About the Author:
Fred Warren hails from the merry old land of Kansas, and his short stories have appeared in a variety of online and print magazines, such as A Fly in Amber, Beyond Centauri, Every Day Fiction, Mindflights, and Residential Aliens. The Muse is his first novel. 

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Splashdown Books (November 1, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0986451711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986451713

Visit the author's website.
Read the FREE first chapter.
Watch the book trailer.
Purchase The Muse from
Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Love Crucified Arose!! Why?

Two more music videos with songs that say so much more than I ever could, lyrics so enthralling that I am certain God gave them to Michael Card. First, the haunting question "Why?" Following it is one of my favorite songs of all time, "Love Crucified Arose." In this concert tour, Michael was joined by Sarah Groves, John Catchings (cello) and Phil Keaggy. May you draw closer to our Lord today as you praise and remember His great gift and sacrifice.

Why did it have to be a friend
Who chose to betray the Lord?
Why did he use a kiss to show them?
That's not what a kiss is for.
Only a friend can betray a friend
A stranger has nothing to gain;
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain.
And why did there have to be thorny
Crown pressed upon His head?
It should have been a royal one
Made of jewels and gold instead.
It had to be a crown of thorns
Because in this life that we live,
For all who seek to love
A thorn is all the world has to give.
And why did it have to be
A heavy cross He was made to bare?
And why did they nail His feet and hands
His love would have held Him there?
It was a cross for on a cross
A thief was supposed to pay,
And Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away.
Yes, Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away.
(copyright Michael Card, Mole End Music, 1984)

Long ago He blessed the earth
Born older than the years
And in the stall a cross He saw
Through the first of many tears.
A life of homeless wandering
Cast out in sorrow's way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost
His life, the price He paid.

Love crucified, arose
The Risen One in splendor
Jehovah's sole Defender
Has won the victory.
Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again.

Throughout Your life You felt the weight
Of what You'd come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup
So we might really live.
At last the time to love and die
The dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment
When Your Father turned His face away.

Love crucified, arose
The One who lived the died for me
Was Satan's nail-pierced casualty
Now He's breathing once again.

Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again.
(copyright Michael Card, Mole End Music, 1983)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He's Alive!!--Don Francisco

There are many differences between Jesus Christ and others who have had faithful followers through the ages. As far as I know, the greatest is this--we serve a risen Savior. The tomb is empty and "He's Alive!"

Many years ago, Don Francisco wrote this inspired narrative of the Resurrection from Peter's viewpoint. Many others have recorded it since, but I prefer that raw emotion and energy when Don sings it. This video was recorded in South Africa in 2008.

If you don't feel a chill at the end, someone needs to check your pulse. Hallelujah! He's alive!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Too Small A Price/Joy

Today we remember the day when Jesus paid the highest price that we could not pay for ourselves. The day He wore my crown. Several years ago Don Francisco wrote a powerful song that took the viewpoint of one of the thieves on the cross beside Jesus--the one who believed. I found it on Youtube and still felt the same deep anguish, chill and joy that I did when I first heard it. May it affect all who watch and listen to "Too Small a Price."