Joshua’s Pawn Shop: The Buick Eight

The first story of Joshua’s Pawn Shop is now available!

b8_finalIf you find Joshua’s Pawn Shop, you need Joshua’s. Usually, you don’t even know what you’ve lost, but at Joshua’s you get a second chance.

Years ago, Simon Johnson made a choice that changed his life for the worse. He’s looking to start over. After he sells some old jewelry tonight, he’ll send the divorce papers tomorrow. That’s the plan, anyway. At Joshua’s Pawn Shop, he’ll be given a different way to start over. The cost: he’ll have to not only let a tragedy happen, he’ll have to witness it.


Joshua’s Pawn Shop is a companion series to Lou’s Bar & Grill. Though set in the same world, they are also stand-alone stories. You do not need to read Lou’s to appreciate Joshua’s or vice-versa. Both series have a underlying themes that will become evident as the series play out.

I have currently finished the first and fourth Joshua stories. The second, third, fifth, and sixth are at various stages of completion. I often wish the muse would concentrate on one item at a time. While most of them are planned to be 6,000 words or so, the fourth (“Fun and Games”) qualifies as a novelette with 14.5K words. The sixth (“Legacies”), is already 24.5K words. It’s a novela and still growing.

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Lou’s Bar & Grill: Crazy Moon

cover by pro_ebookcover at

cover by pro_ebookcover at

The first story from Lou’s Bar & Grill is now available for Kindle!

Welcome to Lou’s Bar & Grill where the house special looks like a bargain but will cost more than you think. Lou and his staff have everything a person could want, and they know the best way to present it to you.

After being stood up, werewolf fanatic Laney McMurphy went to Lou’s to forget her sorrows. To her surprise, Lou offered her a place in the local pack. To progress within the pack’s ranks, she’ll have to give in to her wild side. And most importantly, she’ll have to indulge her wrath. Each victory means a step up in rank. What she knows about wolves will help. What she doesn’t know just might get her killed.

If you’re looking for a Christian piece with a Twilight Zone feel, look no further than Lou’s Bar & Grill.

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What is Christian Fiction

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I’ve been asked to write about Christian fiction for the Realm Makers Conference blog hop. For this post, I’ve chosen to write about something every one of us asks: what makes Christian fiction?

About a year ago, I downloaded a story from a Christian publishing house. This is not just a publishing house that is run by Christians, but its fiction has been very definitely Christian. Any reasonable reader would come to this conclusion. The story was set in a world that I have read and enjoyed. The author is an active Christian and his other books I have read have been evangelical without being preachy (not that I mind preachy, just trying to describe the works).

I was excited to see this new work. I read it eagerly, then I sat back and thought, “Wait a minute. What makes this story Christian?” None of the main characters were people of open faith (there’s one I’m curious about). I think some monks were mentioned almost in passing. I don’t think a deity was even mentioned, certainly not as important to the story. None of the characters had questions about God that were addressed either explicitly or implicitly. Most importantly, I had not learned anything about God in my reading of it.

So I asked the same question about my own works. What makes the Shylocke Averyson stories Christian? He doesn’t come to salvation in “Sunset over Gunther.” In fact, he goes from indifferent to God to hatred of Him in the course of the story. But in the process, he has come to understand some very important things about God. The only Child of the Son character on the page is a young boy who has less than 5 lines. He doesn’t mention faith, he’s just happy that Shylocke hasn’t killed him.

But the stories are Christian. At the end of the story, Shylocke has moved in his feelings toward the God of Aviterr. He has provided a negative example for the reader. The reader sees how Shylocke’s attempts to be the hero have resulted in his failures. He has tried to be strong in himself and failed. And the story sets him up for further episodes with additional explicit Christian characters that will try to bring him further in.

The same can be said of “The Strong Survive.” Granish is not saved at the end, but he has seen that his worldview is seriously lacking in some very important aspects. He has seen that the Children of the Son do not have these lacks, but he isn’t convinced they are the completely right either. But he has heard the gospel and is better for his time with the Children.

Stories like CS Lewis’ Til We Have Faces might have similar critics of what I have said about the first book. The Queen is vengeful and selfish for almost the entire story. The gods are those of myth (with a caveat that a greater one is coming). But the Queen learns in the end. She sees that her actions were misguided and selfish.

In the end, I decided that the only criteria I could apply that fit all works was subjective. For a work to be Christian fiction and not just fiction written by a Christian, it must be different. You have to ask “If this book were written by a non-Christian, how would it be different?” The answer should be “in significant ways no matter how much text is different.” If that is so, the work is Christian fiction.

What are your thoughts about what makes a book Christian?

As part of the blog hop, Realm Makers has a Tardis-sized* give away going on! Click below for details.

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*The basket is bigger on the inside than the outside.

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Faustian Bargains

I’ve been working on Lou’s Bar and Grill stories since the idea for first one hit me like a truck in November.¬† I wrote it, then one in December, and one in January. There are plans to write seven Lou’s stories–one for each of the seven deadly sins. After writing “Snake Oil Man,” other things came up, and I haven’t written more from Lou’s. Besides, I’ve been letting my creative side lead lately and it hasn’t been engaged with other things on my mind.

Until today. Today I was thinking about the stories I have planned for Lou’s and needed something different. Lou’s stories are Faustian Bargains. The three I’ve written all involve the person making the deal getting exactly what they wish for but not at all what they want. However, other Faustian stories have the person thinking they have the better end of the deal only to have the tables turned at the end. That’s where this one is going. I don’t have a title yet, but it will deal with envy.

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