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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Feeling Adventurous? Ready to Sail? Come One, Come All! Enter the ISLE OF FIRE TREASURE HUNT CONTEST!

I’ve hinted and nudged long enough. Today is July 9th, precisely two months from the release of my new pirate adventure novel: Isle of Fire. I’m very happy with this novel, and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. The early reviews are very strong. But I am not content to simply let the book come out on its own. I want to set ablaze* the bookstores, the online communities, the word of mouth recommendations with talk of Isle of Fire.
*Editor’s Note: Wayne is not actually planning to set fire to anything.

Therefore, I am starting a contest on this blog, similar to the Isle of Swords Treasure Hunt, only better. The quests? Better. The excitement? Better. The prizes? Better.

To the Winners Go the Spoils:
('s what you can win)

For the #1 & 2 Treasure Hunters (the adventurous ones who accumulate the most Treasure Points) I will give you one copy of every new book I write...for LIFE. That means, should the Lord allow me to live long enough to write all the stories rattling around in my head, you will get a signed copy of each one sent directly to you. Of course, if you move and don't give me your new address, then…someone else will be getting all those books. Doh! AND I will name a character** in my next fantasy series after you. That's correct: I'll use your real name, your username, or a character name you create as a character in my new fantasy series. Of course, if your name is Bob, we’ll need to go with something a little more fantasy-ish.

**Editor’s Note #2: No Guarantee that your character won't get killed off in some horribly unpleasant manner.

For the #3, #4, and #5 Treasure Hunter: I will send you a signed copy of any book I’ve written AND give you a choice of A) sending you a signed copy of an original, unpublished fantasy short story I’ve written called “Forget Me Not.” –OR- B) You can invite a bunch of your friends together some evening, and I will personally call and talk to you and your friends about the books, about writing, about your favorite kind of pizza—whatever’s clever.

Here are the guidelines:

1. The contest begins today: July 9th and will continue for 3 Months, ending October 9th. (or slightly after I return from the Fantasy Fiction West Coast Tour).

2. To enter, post a comment here to let me know you are participating. You will also have to send me an email with your real name and address to verify your participation. I will keep your personal information private.

If you are a younger reader PLEASE get parent permission to join the contest and participate in these activities.

Please send the information to:


Of course, when you email, replace the above
at with the @ symbol and the word dot with an actual dot .

3. Then, begin completing the tasks below to earn Treasure Points.

4. Be on the lookout for special Quests and One-Day Events where you can earn buckets of Treasure Points—but these are limited time only when they come up. So, check the blog here often.

5. All tasks must happen between July 9th and Oct. 9th. There are no exceptions. No working backward.

6. Prepare to go surfing. For some quests, I’ll be sending you to the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour Site and/or the sites of the 8 authors on the tour. And only in those places will you find clues to a great riddle you must solve—mega Treasure Points!

7. Finally, and this is HUGE: I am looking for a big turnout for the HUNT, so while the contest begins today, it will not be ACTIVE until we have at least 40 people in the contest***. We had 33 contestants last time, so we’re trying to surpass that number and have the greatest impact. 40 people entered is the magic number, so get your friends involved in the contest.

***Editor’s Note #3: this does not necessarily mean that the contestant is totally active the whole time. Entered counts.

Treasure Points Tasks Key

10 Treasure Points:

Mention ANY of my books in a blog thread--your blog or someone else's—email me the link AND post it in your comment here.
(You can do this up to 10 times, totaling up to 100 points).

Post a link to my blog anywhere on your blog--then, email me the link AND post it in your comment here.

• Visit the Motive8 Fantasy Fiction Tour Website. Read an article (or three) and post a comment there. (You can do this up to 10 times, totaling up to 100 points).

20 Treasure Points:

Put a banner ad for the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour up on your site. Email me for the source code.

Call someone you know on the West Coast. If that person comes to see us on the Fantasy Fiction Tour, you score 20. Just have that person introduce himself and tell us that you get the Treasure Hunt Points. If that person buys one or more books from any of the authors, you get 100 Treasure Points for each book purchased!

Post cover artwork from any of my books on your blog and make it a link to Amazon or CBD. Email me the link and post the link in your comment on this thread.

Email a digital photo of you with a store employee in a bookstore where any of my books are shelved. In the photo, I must be able to see the book on the shelf and in your hands. Every photo you send is worth ten points, but each photo must be from a different store, and with each photo, include the name and address of the store as well as the name of the employee. Please let me know if I am allowed to post the photo on the blog. This is repeatable for each of my five books: The Door Within, Rise of the Wyrm Lord, The Final Storm, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire (when it comes out in Sept.)

Because some people live in small towns without any bookstores, I will allow you to ask friends to get photos for you. The friend must be in the photo along with the store employee.

Create an Amazon Listmania List that includes The Door Within Books, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire. Post and email the link. (10 Listmania Limit: 200pts total)

•Write a review of any of The Motiv8 Authors' Books on Amazon or any of the following online review sites: CBD, Goodreads, Shelfari,, etc. (Note: Limit of 4 reviews per author, so that's 80 points per author, not per author per site)

50 Treasure Points:

Write a review of any of my books on Amazon or any of the following online review sites: CBD, Goodreads, Shelfari,, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Incredibooks (see below), or any other review site that I approve. Email me the link and post the link in your comment on this thread. And yes, you can write ONE review for a book and post it multiple places. Each review posted gets you 50 points. So post away!

Note: If you review on Incredibooks, it might be a little confusing at first. Here's the way to do it:
First, find one of the books on Incredibooks. Then scroll down to the comments section and leave a comment with your review. That's all there is to it! Here are links to all of the books that you can review for the contest:

Make a poster about Isle of Fire and put it on a school, church, or store bulletin board. The poster has to be at least eight and a half by eleven inches, which is the sized of standard paper, and it must have an image of the book cover.

You can get the book cover image by clicking HERE. A poster needs to include where a person can purchase the book locally, or if there is no local place to get it, mention that it can be purchased online at,, or another online bookseller.

A poster is worth 50 points, but you won't get extra points for more than one poster at the same school. You may put the poster up in many different places, but only one credit per establishment. To get credit for a poster, please send me a digital photo of you at the place where you placed it. And please include whether or not I have your permission to post the photo on my blog.

100 Treasure Points:

• Watch for Today Only Quests Coming Soon.

Recommend One of my books to someone. If that person buys it, send me a scanned photocopy of the receipt by email. The receipt must show the store name and the date, and the date must be on or later than today's date, July 9th, 2008. Every bookstore receipt is worth twenty points.

• Amazon gives authors the power to create Purchasing Links for their books. I've created links for each of my five books. Email me and request the HTML code for each of my books linking to Amazon. Put this code on your website or blog, creating a sales link to Amazon, and you get 100 points (max of 500: 1 code link for each book). Please note: this HTML code is directly from I have them posted on my site and have had no problems. But I cannot be liable if some virus or wee beastie gets into your site because Amazon’s code had it embedded or some such.

Buy a copy of Isle of Swords and email me when and where you bought it and the receipt.

Buy any of The Door Within Books email me when and where you bought it and the receipt.

Buy a copy of any of the 8 fantasy fiction tour author’s books: Sharon Hinck, Bryan Davis, Christopher Hopper, LB Graham, Donita K. Paul, Eric Reinhold, or Jonathan Rogers. email me when and where you bought it and the receipt.

Write AND present a book report on any Wayne Thomas Batson book at school. 100pts. if you earn an A+ for that assignment.

150 Treasure Points:

Go to a store that does not carry my books and special order it from that store. email me when and where you bought it and the receipt.

Go to a store that does not carry my books and persuade them to carry any of my books. Then, post here to tell us what store has now agreed to carry my book(s).

Buy any of my books and donate them to your church library. Then post here to say where you bought them and what church received them. email me when and where you bought it and the receipt.

Make a video supporting Isle of Fire and post it on Youtube or Godtube. You can interview people, use music or artwork, or even recruit people to join the contest. If you don't mind, I would like you to include a positive comment or two about the book. Make it imaginative, funny, insightful, anything (within reason) to attract attention.

Posting a video will be worth 150 points, but only one video per person per book will count. As the contest draws to a close, I will award an additional 500 points to the person who makes the best video (in the opinion of the judges).

200 Treasure Points:

Buy Isle of Fire from on the day of September 9th! email me the receipt. Anyone who does this gets a bonus of 500 Treasure Points if Isle of Fire appears in Amazon’s top 100 bestselling books that day!

Buy a copy of ANY of my books for the Youth Group Leader of your church. Post a comment here to tell who, when, and where –AND- email me the receipt.

The Amazing Open Category:

•Suppose you have an idea for something that you think will promote one or all of my books, BUT you don’t see it posted on my blog. Email me your idea. If it’s good, I’ll tell you how many points it’s worth—I like to reward creativity! I will then post your idea on my blog so others can do it too. But you will get more points for being the creative one who came up with the plan.

Note #1: If possible, batch your Treasure Points. In other words, say you’ve done 7 tasks. You can email me about them all at once rather than 7 separate emails.

Note #2: I may add to the list of Treasure Point Tasks at any time--and likely will because my twisted mind is always churning...

Note #3: Keep track of your own Treasure Points. I will keep a running tally in my sidebar and try to update it every week or two. But you should keep your total as well.

Note #4: Any and all of the requirements are subject to change as I see how this develops. I want to keep it fair.

Note #5: I hope this competition stays loving and friendly. Although I hope you want to win the books, I also hope you want to share with others the benefit of reading The Door Within Trilogy, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire. Since my books book don’t overtly preach, it's a great opportunity to introduce your friends to a story that will get them asking questions.

My thanks to Author Bryan Davis. I got many ideas for the improved treasure hunt from his Beyond the Reflection’s Edge Contest. In fact, I “borrowed” many of Bryan’s direct wording. Thanks, Sir Bryan.

May the fair trade winds fill your sails!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Close Call.

Tough night last night. I hesitate to write about it in the past tense because I don't really know if I'm truly on the other side of it. I was sitting here at my computer, half-writing, half surfing, when I had some very strange burning in my left shoulder. Not like muscular pain from lifting weights. It was kind of a stinging warmth on the inside. Then, I felt tingling in my left hand. I had shortness of breath and an odd (though not painful) pressure on my chest.

I called my wife up, not sure if I should make much out of it or not. See about 6 years ago, I had a bout of something similar. I had two ER visits, once being wheeled out of my school where I was teaching that morning. Over a 6 month period I went through a battery of cardio tests: EKG, Halter Monitor, Tilt Table Test, Stress Test, even a Nuclear Stress Test (sounds painful, eh?) Not really. But in the end, (thank you God) the tests showed my heart was perfectly normal and healthy.

So it had been six years since I'd had any serious symptoms, but last night, there they were. My wife (who is an RN) came up and took my pulse and BP. I lied down on the bed, and that is when things got worse. My heartrate went crazy, and I felt on the edge of passing out. My wife took me to the ER at a local hospital--and I can't tell you how uncomfortable that ride was. Seemed like the few cars in front of us were bound and determined to travel 15mph BELOW the posted limit.

Long story short, I had about six uncomfortable, frightening hours in the ER, and overnight stay in the hospital, and another Nuclear Stress Test. All results, again normal. So now, I'm at home and feeling much better, though, to be honest, a little leery about my health. I share all this with you for two reasons: 1. A Prayer request: Please pray that I will be done with these scary symptoms and/or get myself healthy enough to avoid them.

And 2. A plea from me to you. When I was laying there in the ER, I just felt compelled to tell my wife and my daughter who was with me how much I love them, and how sorry I am for not loving them better. It just occurred to me in there that I just might be on my way out for good. And I felt immediately and deeply sorrowful for all the slights and conflict and selfishness that had been my sole responsibility with my wife and daughter.

But after that, all I wanted to do was see my pastor: Joe Duke of Lifepoint Church. I desperately wanted to talk to him. And by God's very real grace, Joe was home. He came over to see me right away. He was barely in the door and all this stuff gushed out of me. I told him how I've struggled mightily as a Christian, especially just wondering if God really loved me and saved me. I know what you're probably thinking: here's this author guy, this guy whose written such amazing books that reveal the love and power of God, and…he's sitting there with those kind of doubts?

I can't explain it, but in that moment, feeling like, at any minute, I could just black out and never wake up, I was utterly terrified. And not just of death, but more of what would happen after. I had it all screwed up in my head that I was that guy Jesus talked about who would get to heaven and say, "You see, Lord, I have prophesied and cast out demons in your name." But Jesus replied, "Away from me. I never knew you." I can not imagine any greater horror than to die and find out once we've crossed over that whatever system we thought would get us to heaven, failed. Eternity is incomprehensible to most of us. We are too near sighted. We figure life is about 70-100 years here on earth. We do everything we can to fill this life with happiness and often forget about forever.

I told my pastor that it's just crazy: I've led Bible studies for 18 years, taught classes, written books, and there I was afraid for my eternal soul. My problem is and always has been that I think too much about myself: what I've done, what I've earned, what I deserve. And that, is a recipe for disaster and shame. Joe rightly and mercifully pointed out, "Wayne, it never has been about you. Jesus died with every horrible black sin you've ever done--ever will do--laid on his shoulders…willingly. Jesus knew you'd never make it. HE made it. And whether you feel Him or not, He IS right here with you. And this event, even now with your fear and doubt and pain, this event is not wasted."

Poor Joe. I think I threw every doubt I've ever had at him. I said, "What if I did the unpardonable sin--I mean there was that time when I was sixteen and I yelled at God and told Him I didn't want anything to do with Him." Joe said, "Of all the studies I've done and all the education on the subject of the unpardonable sin, I've come to realize that the only unpardonable sin is to reject Jesus." And he asked me do I believe in Jesus, that He is real, that He died on the cross, rose again to pay for me and give me life. I wept aloud, "Yes, I believe. It's just--" There Joe stopped me and said, "There are no buts. You belong to Jesus. And there is nothing you can ever say or do to change that."

Joe went on to say that it's important to talk to others about these real doubts and fears because the terrible alternative is to become fake. You make yourself look good because people are watching. And fake is a horror.

So as I wrap up, I just want to urge you on a few things. First, remember that this life REALLY isn't all there is. And all of us are dead men walking. At any moment ANY moment, it could just end like the flip of a lightswitch. And then...forever begins. Forever. Timeless, never-ending…forever. If there is anything keeping you from God right now, I assure you it is not worth ignoring forever. You may have gone through the worst life has to offer or be in the middle of the very best life has to offer, but it's all temporary. Whether you like it or not, years will pass and the glow or the pain will fade. And forever will still be sitting there, the 800 pound gorilla no one wants to talk about. Bow your inner knee to Jesus right now. He doesn't promise to take away the bumps in life, He doesn't promise that person who stung you will ever like you, He doesn't promise to make you sober, or to make you stop swearing. He does Promise to be with you ALWAYS. Never alone. And the best news of all is that ALWAYS includes forever. I want to be with Jesus forever. I so badly wait for that day when I first pass to the other side, and the chains of all the junk we struggle with just fall away. And there will be my Savior (our Savior) waiting there to lift your chin and mine. "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I want to encourage you. If you are struggling with doubt, first you are not the only one. When I told my pastor all that stuff last night, he said, "Wayne, you are among many, many others that struggle. And if you know anyone who says they don't, just wait. It's what the church fathers call the dark night of the soul or the wilderness time, when God seems far away and prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling." Joe went on to explain, "We as Christians, do live a life of faith. And those times when we don't see, hear, smell, taste, or touch Him, TRUST Him. Tell Him you trust Him." Yes, there is credible evidence for Christianity. But we walk by faith.

So if you're in the thick of it right now, brother, you are not alone. And God has not abandoned you or forgotten you. It's like the old footsteps poem: you may only just be standing at all because Jesus is carrying you. I encourage you to talk to someone you trust about whatever you are facing. Don't be fake. Be real, and know that God can take broken, screwed up people and create everlasting works of art.

And one more day-to-day thing: Don't mess with sin. Sin damages or even destroys relationships. Sin equals shame. Sin equals death. Beware of rationalizing of dancing too close to the line of sin. It leads all too quickly to a mire, a swamp of horrors. One of the first things to happen when you sin, is that you suddenly doubt--self, God, everything. Sin screws up the way things are supposed to be. You might want love, security, friendships, possessions--all can be good things. But not if you trample Jesus to get them. It's just not worth it. Forever is waiting. But so is today. Jesus came to give us life...even life now. Do not knowingly lock yourself in a fortress of shame by indulging sin. Go to the Lord with every worry, fear, temptation, thought, hope, and dream. Appeal to Him and trust.

Never alone.


Quest Alert! See Quest #1 below.

Okay, the Hunt is on, and already a few pirate crews are sailing a wee bit ahead. That could change in an instant. Today is the first Treasure Hunt Quest. Here's your task.

Be the first one to zap over to author Christopher Hopper's blog. Read his latest article and then correctly answer the question below:

Who did Christopher Hopper run into at a local coffee shop? And what makes these people distinctive?

100 points for the first person to post the correct answer here.

If you miss out on the question, you can still earn 50 points! Just be one of the first 20 folks to read CH's new article, post a comment THERE, and then post a comment back HERE that proves you read his article.

NOTE: make sure you post HERE on this thread---not the original hunt thread.

And if you need the link to CH's site, well...this is a hunt. Go find it. ;-)

Never alone.


Quest Alert #2: Ready to Surf?

Okay, here's quest #2:

Go to author Eric Reinhold's blog. Read at least one of his articles. Leave a comment on his blog. Find three facts about his new Fantasy book: Ryann Watters and the King's Sword.

Be the first to post the info on this thread, you get 100 points.

Be one of the first 20 to comment on Eric's blog and post on this thread, you get 50 points.

Example* of what your Post might look like:

Hi, this is SwordMuncher. I went to Eric's blog and read the article on Deep Fried Soccer Balls. I left this comment: Those sound tasty, but I much prefer deep fried Oreos.

Here are the three facts about his book:
1. It was first written in 1902.
2. It's about a goblin named Havewarts who picks his nose all the time.
3. The main setting is the dumpster behind a seafood restaurant.

*Note this is a fictional example--none of these things are true. Just an example of format.

Point of Departure...

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The forecast is for sun and favorable winds. Tomorrow, we set sail.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Meet 3 More Fantasy Tour Authors!

If you haven't been regularly visiting the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour site, go check out the amazing new interviews for three more of the Fantasy Tour Authors. Click the links or pictures below to visit the most righteous author of your choice! ;-)

Meet Bryan Davis

Meet L.B. Graham

Meet Sharon Hinck