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Thursday, December 27, 2012

EPIC Goodness for a Hobbit-sized Price!

The eBook revolution has literally shaken the foundations of the publishing world. For centuries, print publishers have been the one and only gatekeeper, deciding if and when a writer could be published and transformed into a professional author.

eBooks have changed that. Now, anyone can publish...anything at any time. Now, the readers are the gatekeepers, and it's up to them who sells and who doesn't. Putting the power in the readers' hands is a great thing. And it has sent a shock wave through powerhouse print publishers. Most, if not all, print publishers are being forced to change the way they do business.

One of these changes is offering to sell books via Kindle, Nook, and all those other ebook formats. That's easy enough to do. A little formatting, and WHOOSH--digital content for the masses. But how to price it? That's the thing. And most print publishers missed the boat on this issue.

eBooks are digital property, not physical. But most print publishers went ahead and priced their eBooks at or close to trade paperback costs. I've read that the reason for keeping the cost of eBooks higher is to "avoid devaluing the print version." When translated, that means: we don't want to lose money.

The reality is that publishers WILL lose money by keeping the price of eBooks high. With the exception of the BIG NAME authors, people just aren't willing to shell out full physical cost for a digital property. What some publishers refuse to realize is that lowering the price on eBooks (again a digital property) will actually make more money because the volume of sales will go up substantially when the eBook price comes down.

After all, we're living in the digital age. The age of iTunes and Instant Video. People will drop a buck on a song or $3 on a movie without batting an eyelash. Why wouldn't books be the same?

So, I'm stoked and proud to say that my publisher, AMG International, is beginning to offer eBooks at a much-lower-than-print-price. It's a progressive move, one that the buying public should appreciate, that's for certain!

I think for AMG, and for many other publishers trying the lower eBook pricing, that it's kind of an experiment. They really want to know if 1) can they make money through higher volume?  2) will print sales go down if they make eBooks inexpensive?  I believe #1: YES, #2: NO. But it's up to the public, really.

So, ladies and gentlemen {Insert Trumpety Fanfare) it gives me great joy to announce that The Sword in the Stars, book 1 of 7 in the Dark Sea Annals, is now available on Kindle for the lowest price ever: $2.99.

Click here for EPIC Goodness at a Hobbit-sized price!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas! All Kindle Titles Free!

Merry Christmas, 2012!

Even as a kid, I dreamed of being an author. And while I know that I have a certain flare for story ideas, I know there are millions of writers just as gifted, and hundreds of thousands of authors more gifted than I am whose work has never seen the light of print.

Why God turned the light green for my stories, I won't know until heaven, but I am grateful beyond words. And to my readers I am grateful also. Not only do you purchase my books, but you read them, and even tell me you like them. I get notes every week now saying how this story or that story meant a lot to someone. It blows me away. 

So, I know it's not much, but I'd like to say THANK YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of my readers by offering ALL of my Kindle stories for FREE. Amazon only gives you 5 promo free days, so some of my stories only have a couple of free days left. But, staring Saturday, Dec. 22nd thru Christmas Day, ALL of my short stories are free for Kindle. Don't have a Kindle? No worries. Amazon has APPS for every electronic device imaginable. 

Interested? Just click the link below, or click one of the Amazon Book Ads on my sidebar.
Please consider telling anyone you know who might want free eBook stories. Thanks for reading.

--Wayne Thomas Batson
Never Alone.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Yuletide, Schmuletide! The Tide of Unmaking is Better!

Endurance and Victory! 
Just a quick reminder that the stunning conclusion to the Berinfell Prophecies: The Tide of Unmaking is out NOW!

You can get it on Kindle, of course. But if you want a paperback, the only place you can get it is Create Space (link below). Christopher Hopper and I appreciate all our Elves and other readers who have faithfully supported this series. We think Tide of Unmaking is something special, tying up a hundred threads with action, humor, fantasy coolness, and more.

If you don't really have a preference, please consider supporting Christopher and I this Christmas Season by purchasing Tide of Unmaking on CreateSpace, as it provides our best profit return. Here's the link:

The Tide of Unmaking Paperback

Also, if you've already read Tide of Unmaking, would you consider writing a comment to this blog entry, something that would let readers know what kind of righteous-fantasy-coolness awaits them? Don't give any spoilers away though! Thanks!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Forget Santa, Come Have Breakfast With Me!

Three Christmas Season Booksigning Events

Forget Santa. Come have breakfast* with me! No offense to the man in red, but seriously, when's the last time you saw old Saint Nick swinging a boss righteous broadsword? I rest my case.

The Christmas Season is upon us, and to celebrate with you, I'd like to announce THREE booksigning events. Just like the visitation of Scrooge's three spirits, I'll be coming to visit three times before Christmas!

Please come on out. I'd love to break bread with you, entertain you, and sign some books for you. Here are the events and the details:

Event 1, His Way Christian Bookstore, Ellicott City, Maryland: 

Saturday, December 1st

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch with Author Wayne Thomas Batson at Nora's Cafe. (Those attending the lunch must RSVP to to save your seat.)

1:00-1:15pm: Hero Costume Contest.  (Come dressed as your favorite hero from Wayne's books and compete with other fans for prizes!)

1:30-2:00pm: Author Reading from "The Battle for Cannibal Island" Imagination Station Book #8 and Book Signing. All Ages

Author Reading from "The Tide of Unmaking" Berinfell Prophecies Book #3 and Book Signing. Ages 10 and Up

Event 2, Family Fun Reading Night at Folly Quarter Middle School: 

Wednesday, December 5th
Mark your calendars for: Wednesday, December 5th in the Folly Quarter Middle School Media Center from 7:00-8:30pm! Folly Quarter continues the tradition of providing the finest reading opportunities for its students. 

This year's guest author will be none other than our own Wayne Thomas Batson (That's Mr. Batson to you sixth grade folk), author of 11 novels and several bestsellers. There will be food, swashbuckling swordplay, dramatic readings, books for sale, and signing. Students who come may have an opportunity to have the "night off" of homework in some classes. 

The event happens right before the holidays, so come pick out a signed book for the readers on your list. A portion of ALL sales will go back to FQMS to spend on future student events and supplies. So come on out, get a new book, be entertained, and give Mr. Batson a good ole case of Writer's Cramp.

Event 3, His Way Christian Bookstore, Glen Burnie, Maryland: 

Saturday, December 15th

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch with Author Wayne Thomas Batson at Nora's Cafe. (Those attending the lunch must RSVP to to save your seat.)

1:00-1:15pm: Hero Costume Contest.  (Come dressed as your favorite hero from Wayne's books and compete with other fans for prizes!)

1:30-2:00pm: Author Reading from "The Battle for Cannibal Island" Imagination Station Book #8 and Book Signing. All Ages

Author Reading from "The Tide of Unmaking" Berinfell Prophecies Book #3 and Book Signing. Ages 10 and Up

I have eleven books to share with you, two of which are brand new!
See below:

Hope to see you there!

Never alone!


*Yes, I know, technically none of these are breakfast, but two of them are LUNCH, so that counts, right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Releasing the Storms…to You

Happy Thanksgiving!
Captured Storms is FREE
Today for Kindle!  
Click this link:

You may not believe this, but LONG before I became a novelist, I was a poet. Yeah, I know, I know... you're probably picturing me in tights with a pluffy shirt and one of those little medieval caps with a feather sticking out of it. That's disturbing. Okay, picture something else please. ;-)

All kidding aside, poetry was probably my favorite form of creative writing for ten years. I started kind of spontaneously in high school. My wonderful English teacher, Mrs. Mangum produced a literary magazine for the school and encouraged a very shy freshman Batson to give poetry a whirl. Turns out, I loved it. Poetry's not big on length, so it didn't take forever to feel like I'd finished something. You could sit down for an hour and pound something out. And I often did.

It became a kind of high school therapy technique. For my younger readers who are still in high school, you know how volatile and troubling the experience can be. So I wrote and wrote and wrote. That's not to say that I wrote well. It was mostly rhyming verse, mostly on whatever made me angry, lovesick, happy, or sad. Often I wrote song lyrics styled after the heavy metal bands I used to listen to. Oh vey, that was some awful stuff. If anyone out there still has a copy of "Byrds in Leather," please burn it. NOW.

But some of it was pretty good…or at least my high school buddies thought so. It was enough for me.

In 1991, I became a Christian. And that really opened the poetic flood gates. I kept a Mead Black&White Composition book with me at all times and wrote all kinds of praise poetry, exploration of Christian life, doubt-filled wonderings, and a great many examinations of the world through my new Christian eyesight. Again, some of it was lousy, but it was honest, and it was a way for me to communicate to God. And, I am convinced, it was also a way for God to communicate to me.

Long about 2002-2003, I took a creative writing course up at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in Westminster. The teacher was a published contemporary poet named Kathy Mangan. This class—and this teacher—hit me like a dump truck. She ripped my poetry up one side and down the other. But I didn't care. It was good. It was sooooo good. She taught me all about the power of words—precise, active verbs to drive every line. And each verb could carry with it a feeling or an image. Words could no longer be wasted. Specific concrete nouns, vivid figures of speech, potent words that could lead readers down more than one path. That class was a watershed moment for my writing. Not that I think I'm a great writer or that my prose are superior—no, far from it. Still very much a students. But that class opened my eyes to what my writing could be. And so much of what I learned there went into every novel I write.

So what's up with Captured Storms? It's a collection of some of my poetry over the years. You can tell the pre2002 stuff pretty easily. {Sigh} But in any case, all this work, all the hours and emotion, all the storms weathered and explored—it all sat collecting dust on a shelf. There was no way to publish it. Most traditional publishers just didn't publish poetry. But now, ebooks have made a way. I'm stoked to release Captured Storms today. Here's a little more about the collection:

What are “Captured Storms?” They are electric passions stirred by God. They are heart’s cries from a broken person to a broken world. They are the result of those rare times when we finally—FINALLY—shut up long enough for us to hear God speak…when the cacophony of life can no longer drown out the Holy Spirit’s beautiful melody of truth.

Captured Storms are also autobiographical snapshots of where I’ve been. Some of the verse contained here reveal the joys and trials in those years long ago right after I became a Christian. And still others are simply explorations. Some of them are rough and raw; others more polished and purposeful. You’ll find free verse and rhyme. You’ll find some that seem destined to find music and become a song. And then others that would be utterly ruined by the intrusion of notes.
How should you use Captured Storms? It is a devotional, but not in the traditional sense. There are no study questions. There’s no small group guide. My hope is that you might read with a willingness to let God have His way with you. Perhaps a word or phrase will prompt you to capture your own storms: be honest with the pain, the struggle, the despair—see the darkness for what it is, and then let the blazing Love of Christ kindle a new fire in your heart.

-Never alone.
Wayne Thomas Batson, 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

A Knight to Remember...December 5th!

Greetings, fine readers! Hear ye, hear ye!
Wednesday evening,
December 5th from 7:00-8:30pm, 

I will be appearing at Folly Quarter Middle School for an evening of swordplay, signings, banter, and dramatic readings! Come one, come all! Get a book (or seven) signed and personalized! Just in time for the holidays!

A percentage of every book sale goes to help the students of Folly Quarter Middle School, so do come! You'll have a splendid time and help out our students as well!

Folly Quarter Middle School
13500 Triadelphia Road
Ellicott City, Maryland 21042

Friday, November 02, 2012

Christians: How should we then vote?

With the Presidential Election just a few days away, I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to read/hear that there are some "self proclaimed" Christian citizens still considering a vote for Obama. Hey, free country, do what you want, but please think before you do this.

Think about who you are in Christ. Your job on earth is to reflect God's glory, ie: show His attributes, stand for what He stands for, love what He loves; hate what He hates (sin). Obama supports abortion and gay marriage. Don't believe the hype. Those are not minor issues, esp. abortion. Jesus said "Suffer the little children to come," not "kill them whenever it's convenient."

Gay marriage is an oxymoron, at least for the Christian. It's an impossibility. Marriage as God defined it was man and woman. After all, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Not to be overly simplistic, but that's pretty clearly God establishing the order of operations. There is absolutely no mention of homosexuality prior to the first sin. And every mention of gay lust/sex from that point on makes the behavior a sin. Not to say a worse sin than adultery or sex outside of marriage, but still sin. So we don't celebrate the sin by endorsing it as a marriage.
  Those should be deal breaker issues. You vote for Obama, you sneer at God's holiness.

Next, I've heard excuses of "we can't vote for a Mormon." That's just inane. Mormons happen to share a TON of Christian beliefs. But regardless, you want the guy who will do the best job to get our country rolling. If you use Romney's Mormon faith to rule out voting for him, you just confirm the hypocrisy nonChristians accuse Christians of.

Finally, just for the sake of effectiveness, you almost certainly have to vote Romney. Obama was overmatched by the office of President. He talked a good game and failed to follow thru. By his own standard, he needs to go. "One term proposition." He's right about that. If a sitting president does not make marked improvements in 4 years, he does NOT deserve FOUR more. Same for Romney should he get elected.

In sum, consider the issues here: Obama is for big government, more and more people relying on government, muddying moral waters, allowing America to promote sin, gigantic increases in what America owes in debt, and no substantial plan for improvement.

Consider also who promotes Obama, who speaks for him, and the one Obama counts on to "bring in the votes"--Bill Clinton. The man who was disbarred, impeached, and disgraced--and he is the Dem's big hitter? Really? Why would anyone believe a thing Bill Clinton says?

Romney is for reducing government's interference and our dependence on government, making right and wrong clear again, cleansing America of the blight of abortion, keeping marriage as a holy institution, and an actual plan for improvement.  Please vote intelligently and by faith. Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate. I'm not convinced he'll even be great, but he will almost certainly be better than Obama. And he will almost certainly make our nation more Christian friendly than it has been in years.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Okay, NaNoWriMo, I'm in! This, Dark Sea 3 News, and New Blog Look!!

I've been a published author since 2005. My first book took me 13 years to write. Yes, years. That was because I had no idea what I was doing back then. I didn't realize it at the time, but I am not a Seat-of-the-pants writer. That's how I tried to write The Door Within, and it was an epic fail...initially. Since that time, I've learned that outlining is my best friend. I've been blessed with outstanding editors who have taught me tons about process and form. So my speed has increased exponentially. But the fastest I ever wrote a book is 3 months.

Enter NaNoWriMo.

I've heard about it tons. I know dozens of people who have tried it. But I never have. This year is different. I don't have to finish a book in one month. But I want to. So here goes nothing. In the month of November, I am attempting to finish Dark Sea Book 3. In all fairness to other NaNo writers, I have already begun the novel. But I have well over 50,000 words to go. If I finish, it will be a modern miracle. If I get even close, I will be eternally grateful. Writing is a labor of love, but make no mistake it is a labor. It is an art, a spontaneous, creative "when-the-muse-strikes" endeavor, but it requires discipline. So, come November 1st, here…we…go!

Next up: The Dark Sea Book 3

Sword in the Stars (2010) and The Errant King (2012) are out now, the first two installments of an Epic Seven Book Series called The Dark Sea Annals. I've begun work on book 3, working title: Across the Dark Sea. Here is a sneak peek of chapter one:

Chapter 1: Bay of Carrion

The mournful sound of the Bone Ministers’ horn awoke what was left of the Wetlands Village. The fishermen and hunters had been stirring in their hovels for hours, but they knew better than to set foot out of doors before the horn.

“Now, Grandi?” little Suri asked, her pigtails bouncing.

Justinian waited until the last haunting trace of the horn had faded…before answering, “Yes, yes. Now I think it is safe.”

“Yay, fishing!” Suri cried.

She tried to bounce past Justinian, but he stopped her with a light hand on her fuzzy brown head. “I’m sorry,” he said. “Did that hurt?”

“Nope, nope-itty, nope,” Suri replied. “All healed.”

“Good, good,” he said. She was right about the physical healing. The burns on her scalp had scarred over, and her hair was even trying to grow back. First One only knew how long it might take for the emotional healing to take place…if ever.

“Can we go, Grandi?” she asked again, her eyes crossing as she tried to look up at his hand, still resting on her head.

“I would like very much to go now too,” he said. “But you remember what I taught you? We go straight to the compost field for bait. We don’t wander. If we run into soldiers or worse—Bone Ministers—you say nothing to them. Not a word, is that understood?”

“Yes, Grandi,” she said. “I remember. Not a peep. And if the soldiers demand our catch, I thank them and say nothing else.”

“Good lass,” Justinian said. “That’s exactly right. Now, let’s go see what the Bay of Taranaar delivers up for the most skillful fishermen in Myriad.”



“Shouldn’t you say, ‘fisherfolk’ instead?” She made an earnest attempt at a frown. “On account ahm not a boy!”

“Right you are, my sweet granddaughter,” he said, lightly patting her head again.

[Insert Hiatus Marks]

Justinian kept his granddaughter tight to his side as they navigated the wreckage of the village. There was little left. The cottages and shops had all been burned or leveled during the invasion six months earlier. The Elders’ Fortress seemed as if it had never been at all, so thoroughly had it been obliterated.

Elder. Justinian sneered at himself inwardly. What an undeserved title. Just as well that I no longer wear it. I failed my village.

Agatha Dawnington limped by on her one good leg.

The poor, tired soul, Justinian thought with a pang of remorse. He’d found her that night, bloodied from head-to-toe, attacked and left for dead by a wraith-like apparition called a Lich. The creature had touched Agatha’s leg and her back, leaving her gasping and unable to move. She’d asked Justinian to kill her.

But he hadn’t. He’d saved her life.

And Agatha had hated him ever since. 

“Smile, Grandi,” little Suri said. “We’s going fishing.”

He tried…tried hard. It was a brave smile at best, but it seemed to satisfy her. She continued to bob along beside him as if Wetlands Village was a bustling community full of kind neighbors, merry music, and gardens full of flowers.

Let her think that, Justinian decided, wishing he could as well. The toll in lives from that night was by far the worst of it.
He’d seen war…battlefields strewn with the dead. Horrible beyond words, but still nothing compared to the carnage of that night. Fires burned everywhere, and it seemed each was a private cremation for some poor soul.

The fiends that Morlan had brought back from across the Dark Sea were as merciless as they were terrifying. Man, woman, child, elderly—it made no difference. They hacked them all down as if slaughtering cattle. The week before the invasion had been dry, leaving the village dusty. But that night the soil had been so drenched in blood that it turned to a viscous crimson mud.

“Keep up, Grandi!” Suri called. “You’re fallin’ behind.”

“I am sorry, child,” he said, hoisting the fishing gear higher onto his shoulder. “This walk always makes me thoughtful.”

“Always makes me hungry,” she said. “Hungry for fish!”

What a dear she is, Justinian thought. He looked up and saw the quay just ahead. And, by the First One’s grace, there seemed to be no one else in the area. Justinian released a long-held sigh of relief. The Shrike, Morlan’s occupying soldiers, would most likely stay in their barracks unless one of the black ships had docked recently. The morning mist lay heavy over the Bay of Taranaar ahead. Hard to tell for certain if any tall ships were in port, but not likely. They’d already had their weekly supply shipments.

Perhaps, Justinian thought, we can fish together without hindrance.

The thought had barely registered in his mind when Suri let out a startled squeak. Justinian’s breath caught in his throat.

He felt as if a blade of ice had been plunged into his chest.

“Does this refuse belong to you, old man?” The voice was deep and rigid, enveloped by an eerie whispering as if the speaker had been joined by a chorus of ghost voices.

A Bone Minister.

Suri stood in a tall, menacing shadow and rubbed her forehead.   

Justinian dropped swiftly to his knees. “I am so sorry, Minister,” he said, letting the fishing gear fall to the ground. “The girl meant no inconvenience—certainly no disrespect. I distracted her, she didn’t see you, and—”

“She is a blight, even among your kind,” the Bone Minister said. His fingers, encased in segmented armor, rippled at his side. “Shall I rid this place of her?”

“No, no, please!” Justinian pleaded. “She has been through so much and yet she lives and even smiles. She is dear to me. Please.”

The Bone Minister made no initial response. He stood, impassively towering over Suri. Justinian knew better than to say any more. Either the Bone Minister would kill her, or he would not. There was nothing more Justinian could do.

A pair of grizzled fishermen approached but diverted immediately to give the Bone Minister a wide berth. With good reason. He and all of his kind were a study in grotesquery. Seven feet tall, broad shouldered, and thick-legged—formidable warriors by any measure. But the Bone Ministers were more than soldiers, more than mere men and yet…somehow less than human.

From what Justinian had learned from loose-lipped villagers—mostly from old Gatlin the tavern keeper who lent his ear even to the Shrike—King Morlan and his chief assassin Cythraul coveted the Bone Ministers above all who had been brought back from the Forsaken Continent.

For in that dark realm, if the rumors were true, these beings were born and bred to a desperate dual purpose: to endure and inflict pain. From childhood, they submitted themselves to tortures, experiments, and unconscionable rituals.

Through agonies beyond imagination, their flesh and bone had been fused to nigh unbreakable armor.

Justinian might have thought such a thing impossible…if he wasn’t staring right at it. The Bone Minister wore a black cloak, lined with gray wolf’s fur. His heavy, black boots were studded and punctured with jagged shards of metal. Similar black iron talons protruded from his armored legs. Looking at those wicked hooks, Justinian winced. It was a kind wonder that Suri hadn’t split her forehead when she walked into the Bone Minister.

Still he made no move and said nothing. Suri looked up at the Bone Minister. Finally she blinked and said, “Don’t you worry, Grandi. He won’t hurt me. He’s a nice one.”

A nice one. Justinian smiled at her naivety. There were no “nice” Bone Ministers. No soul could be as tortured as these and still maintain even a splinter of kindness. Justinian looked at the tools of torture—curving, crooked, serrated implements of pain—hanging from the Bone Minister’s heavy belt. Not nice. Not very nice at all.

At last, the Bone Minister gave some sign. His deep chest—half leathery gray flesh, half molded ridges of ashen black metal—inflated and fell as he released the breath in an otherworldly whistling sigh.

Justinian tensed.

“So fragile,” the Bone Minister said, the ghost whispers present with every word. He lifted his arms out to his side. His fingers clicked and crackled like a basket full of teeming crabs.

Suri whimpered and began to shake. Her arms suddenly slammed against her body as if a gigantic invisible demon had taken her in its fist.

“No, please!” Justinian whispered.

Suri struggled, her eyes bulged, and her feet left the ground.

The Bone Minister lifted his hands slightly and smiled. His teeth were long and sharp like those of a feral beast. They protruded at odd angles from the blackened gum tissue. The jaws parted. A shadowy tongue slithered between the teeth. And a rustling, rattling breath escaped.

Suri rose into the air. She squirmed and wrestled but couldn’t escape. Up she went: a foot off of the ground. Two. Three. Now, she was almost at the Bone Minister’s eye level.

“So very fragile,” the Bone Minister said. “One constricting thought…and she will burst like an overripe grape.”

“Mmmph!” Suri cried. “It hurts, Grandi!”

“Will you raise a fist against me, old man?” the Bone Minister hissed.

Justinian hadn’t even realized that he’d clenched his fists. He could feel the white-knuckling tension in them and found the urge to strike out against his enemy almost overwhelming. But when Justinian looked up at the Bone Minister’s face, he lost all resolve.

The grey flesh of that face was threadbare, shot through with dark metal, especially at the chin, jaw, and cheekbones. Worst were the eyes, whether one could see them or not. A crown of metal protruded from the bottom of the Bone Minister’s forehead to the bridge of his nose and wrapped around his face just above his ears. A shallow chevron eye slit cut deep into the armor. And the sickly, moonlight yellow eyes stared out with malice from within.

Suri cried softly. “Please, Grandi…”

“No, Minister,” Justinian whispered, letting his fists uncurl. “I would not dare to oppose you. Do what you will.”

The rustling rattle swirled out from the Bone Minister’s mouth. And slowly by some dark power that Justinian couldn’t fathom, Suri began to descend to the ground.

The moment her bare toes touched the leaf-strewn soil, Suri raced to Justinian and clutched him.

“See that she minds her path,” the Bone Minister said. He strode away without another word.

“Come, Suri,” Justinian said. He took Suri’s hand and got back to his feet. “The First One smiled upon us today. We should head back home. Fishing can wait another day.”

“Oh, Grandi, no!” Suri, sadness etching long lines into her sweet face.

Every rational thought urged Justinian to take Suri back to the relative safety of their shack. But Suri looked so sad, so utterly pathetic that his rational thoughts fled. “Ah, Suri,” he said. “I relent. We’ll still go to the bay and fish.”


“But we must be doubly cautious,” he said. “We might not survive another run in with a Bone Minister.”

“That one’s different,” Suri said. “I don’t think he would’a kilt me.”

“He may be different,” Justinian replied, hoisting the fishing gear back to his shoulder. “But make no mistake…he has killed many before. And he would kill again.”

They hurried the rest of the way to the Bay of Taranaar without incident.

“Tide’s coming in,” Justinian said.

“Good for fishin’, right Grandi?” Suri asked.

“Yes, indeed,” he said, staring off into the obscure distance. “But this fog is thicker than I’d imagined. It’ll take all afternoon for the sun to burn this off.”

He bent low and took a trenchworm out of their can of bait. It squirmed vitally, and then Justinian plunged it onto the hook. A disturbing image of the Bone Minister impaling little Suri on some sharp thing raced through his mind. He shook the thought away and handed the fishing pole to Suri. First One knew, the girl was ready to fish.

She raced away up the pier, stopped at one spot, then raced back ten feet to select the perfect spot. Then, with a practiced flip of the wrists, Suri slung the baited line admirably far out into the water.

Justinian watched her affectionately for a few minutes. No bites, not even a nibble, and yet she gave no sign of boredom. She held on to the end of that fishing pole and grinned as if it were the end of a rainbow.

Justinian heard muted footsteps behind him. He spun on his heel, but it was only another fisherman.

“Mornin, Elder,” Shipley Moor said with a friendly nod.

“Glad it’s you,” Justinian said. “Run in with a Minister a few minutes back.”

“I saw ‘im,” Shipley said. “That’ll rattle ya right outta yer boots, it will. But fishin’ cures all, so they say.”

“I hope so,” Justinian said.

Shipley nodded again. He stopped next to Justinian and stared out over the misty bay. “Weather’s changed,” Shipley said. “Not much wind, but what there is is comin’ out’a the east. Current’s coming in different too.”

“Odd smell to it,” Justinian said.

“Yep,” Shipley said. “Probably just some dead thing out on a sandbar. Big mule crab, I’ll wager. Those things stink to high Allhaven.”

Shipley gave a wink and went on his way up the pier, far past Suri’s perfect spot. Justinian watched Shipley disappear into the fog. Hope he’s right about the smell, Justinian thought. It was getting stronger now. Definitely something dead and rotting.

“Grandi, look!” Suri called.

Justinian hurried over to see his niece pointing into the water.

“It’s a dead fish,” Suri said. “Not fair. I wanted to catch’im.”

Justinian looked and was surprised to see a moonfish floating along with the current.

“There’s another one, Grandi,” Suri said. “Someone’s takin’ up all my fish!”

“HOO!” A cry came from the mist where Shipley had gone. Then there came pounding footsteps on the pier. In a few seconds, Shipley raced right by them his mouth gaping like the dead fish.

“Shipley!” Justinian called after him. “What’s going on? What did you see?”

But Shipley was already off the pier. He never answered.

Suri screamed.

Justinian flew to her side. She wouldn’t speak at first, but just pointed. There were more and more dead fish. But there was something else. A pale form floated to the surface. A body.

“Look away, Suri!” he said, pulling her to himself.

“He’s a fish man,” she said before burying her head in his jacket.

She was right. The body had wing-like fins beneath each arm. And the flesh coloring, while distorted in death, was a light purplish blue with splotches of livid red.

“Marinaens,” Justinian whispered. Another body surfaced next to the first. Still farther out in the water, there were many more pale shapes floating. The smell became unbearable.

“Come, child,” he said. They left the fishing gear where it lay, and he ushered her down the pier toward the village. But Justinian couldn’t help himself. Every few steps he gaped at the floating dead. Now there were so many they covered the visible surface.

Suri suddenly peeked out of his coat. “Oh, Grandi!” she cried. “Who would kill the fish people. They was nice. It wasn’t the Ministers, was it?”

“I don’t know, child,” Justinian said. “Not for certain. But I think this might be the answer to a question many of us have been asking since the invasion. Come, let’s get back to the cottage. I’ll fix you a hot vanilla.”

He hoped the sweet treat would take her mind on the horrors of this day. But nothing would help Justinian’s thoughts. How often he and others had wondered about that fateful evening, the night of the invasion. He hadn’t told Suri the question, but it loomed in his mind: where were the Marinaens when we needed them?

Now, Justinian thought he knew, but there was no one to tell. No one with any power to oppose King Morlan…or any power at all, for that matter.

The New Look of Enter the Door Within. 

I started fiddling with the blog, and I must confess, quite accidentally, I changed the format. Then, after a lengthy freak out, I meddled with the controls and found a format that seemed doable. Not sure I like it. Please feel free to comment about the new look. Things like font, font color, size--anything you do or do not like--helps a ton. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sir Brock of Eastman's Newest Books!

Looking for some high energy, high interest, YA Fiction? Consider my friend and associate Brock Eastman's latest work!

The Quest for Truth – New Release

Noted Adventure Writer has released his latest book in The Quest for Truth, Risk. Brock Eastman who works at Focus on the Family has written and published a series with P&R Publishing and Focus on the Family. The latest book Risk hit bookshelves this summer.
Here is what I said in my endorsement for the series:
 “A race across the galaxy in a stellar ship, the Phoenix, you won’t be able to put these books down. Be careful not to rip the pages as you tear through the text and devour the adventure. Thrilling scenes, cool gadgets, and memorable characters are all part of what make The Quest for Truth a must read series.”
Risk, Book 2 in The Quest for Truth:
SPOILERS if you have not read Taken Book 1 in The Quest for Truth:
 Austin’s emotions boil over and he lashes out at his older siblings. Unable to deal with the loss of his parents and not ready to accept Oliver and Tiffany’s authority over him, he rebels.
When the kids land on Evad they find that the Übel and their parents have yet to arrive. In hope of finding clues to the next destination, the kids head into and abandoned city tucked in the center of a large crater. Waterfalls flow down the surrounding cliffs and through large stone ziggurats that sit at the ends of a cross shaped pool. The city has been consumed by the lush jungle. A breakthrough occurs when Mason remembers something Tiffany had read in their mom’s journal. This clue drives them to split into groups of two and search for the highest point in the city.

While exploring, the Übel arrive. Tiffany and Austin find themselves trapped in an Astronomy tower and Oliver and Mason must go to the rescue while evading the soldiers that will soon be pouring into the city. They also receive a mysterious message from Mr. O’Farrell, one that sounds more like a threat than anything.

Get it on Kindle Here

Taken, Book 1 in The Quest for Truth:
'Five Four Three Two One!' 
'We're out of here!' 

Suit up! Jump into hyper flight with the four Wikk kids! Forced into a high stakes hunt for their missing parents by the sinister Cpt. Vedrik, the siblings' only hope is their parents' Archeos e-journal. Can Tiffany decipher the clues within it? As time runs out, it's all up to Oliver and his Federation training to fly the Phoenix and protect his crew. But twins Mason and Austin endanger the mission when they unexpectedly meet . . . the blue boy! 

The Quest for Truth series unfolds as the four Wikk kids are thrust into a desperate race to find the mysterious planet Ursprung and stop the Uœbel renegades from misusing its long-lost secrets. Ancient cities, treacherous villains, high-tech gadgets, the Phoenix encounter all of these and more on this futuristic, interplanetary adventure!

 “One part Swiss Family Robinson, one part Indiana Jones, Taken is a riveting tale of just how far mankind is willing to go…for the ultimate prize.”
—Wayne Thomas Batson, Best-selling Author of The Door Within Trilogy, The Berinfell Prophe­cies, and Sword in the Stars.

Get it on Kindle Here

Unleash, Book 3 in The Quest for Truth
Releasing Spring 2013
Join the Wikks as they hunt down more clues in search for the Truth, but this time face genetically engineered dinosaurs, space pirates, and deal with betrayal of the highest order.

Pre-Order on Amazon Here
Get signed copies this Christmas at and follow his blog while you are there too to get chances at monthly free book giveaways from your favorite authors!
You can also like Brock on facebook and follow his tweets on @Bdeastman.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Two New Books You Might Like

If you haven't heard of author LB Graham or read any of his work, you're missing out. Seriously, his early fantasy work, The Binding of the Blade Series, has some of the best world-building since, well since Tolkien. Really, it's that good. Rich, lush, imaginative places you'll want to visit and tromp around in.

So times, they are a' changin' and LB Graham is bravely venturing into new forms of publishing. He has TWO new books out now, and I'm certain they will be cool on an epic scale. Take a look:

“The Raft, The River, and The Robot”


GENRE – Futuristic (so scifi I guess), also dystopic
AUDIENCE – I think a publisher would call it YA, though I think older readers, especially fans of Huck Finn will like it too.
AVAILABILITY – Right now it is KDP select, which means as an ebook, it is only available from Amazon for the Kindle; it is also available as a paperback from Amazon
COST - $2.99 for the book, $11.99 for the paperback


The Raft, The River, and The Robot  for KINDLE 

The Raft, The River, and The Robot  PAPERBACK 

"Avalon Falls"

Synopsis: Jimmy Wyatt has come to Avalon Falls to find refuge. He has secrets and a past he’d like to forget. But, when a brutal murder shatters the tranquility of the town, his aren’t the only secrets that come to light.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Question of Leadership...

Two subjects that stir up angst in "polite conversation" are religion and politics. 

One can hope, anyway. 

Did you watch the debate? Was it what you expected? It sure wasn't what I expected, but I'm pleasantly surprised. Here's my .02 for what it's worth.

The debate demonstrates the choice ahead. Obama is a nice guy, a talented guy, a role model for many, a feel-good story, eloquent, and charismatic. But he's not qualified to lead a nation like the U.S. He can look good, sound good, feel good, but in the end he's overmatched by the job. His first 4 years show that ultimately he was too much style and not enough substance. That was how it went last night in the debate. Romney came with a plan, he articulated it clearly, supported it repeatedly, and responded on-topic to his opponent. Obama clearly hadn't prepared enough. He spoke with emotional euphemisms. He rarely offered any kind of support besides more emotional pleas. And he really didn't respond to Romney's arguments. It was kind of surreal to behold. These are supposed to be MASTERS of debate. But in any high school debate club, kids could recognize the numerous flaws in Obama's approach.

Pundits from both parties can pull statistics out of their ears and make them sound like they mean pretty much whatever they want. But, if people HONESTLY look at the last four years and ask, "Are we better off today than we were four years ago?" The answer is absolutely not. And it's not close. If you vote for Obama this year, you are likely voting out of devotion to a side. You are a lifelong Democrat or Liberal or just a fan of Obama, and no matter what the policies are, you're voting Obama's way.

If you are voting on policies and potential, there's no way you can't vote for Romney. He's not perfect. No, and he's not even stellar. But Romney is clearly more prepared to perform the duties of President. He is much more likely to enact policies that will actually help the U.S. Obama offers nothing new, and the old axiom holds true: insanity is doing the same thing over again but expecting a different result.

IMHO no sitting President should be voted into a second term UNLESS he/she has made marked improvements in most major areas of government: economy, defense, education, health, law, etc. Acting like we need to "give the guy a little more time" is ridiculous. Either the candidate arrives in office, prepared and purposeful, and over 4 years makes major improvements or OUT HE/SHE GOES.

Vote for Romney this year. He'll be a better president. And maybe in four years, we'll actually have two GREAT candidates to debate.

Monday, October 01, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

You know, this time of year is starting to feel like Christmas to me. No, not because Walmart and Kohls put out their Christmas decorations in the middle of SEPTEMBER! I mean, really?

But for an author, anytime a new book comes out, it's Christmas all over again. So this Fall, I am absolutely going crazy with fun and gratitude. Why? Well because so many of my books and stories are coming out all at once!

Check out the new stuff, and Happy Reading!

1) Berinfell Prophecies Book 3: The Tide of Unmaking
Christopher Hopper and I, at long last, release our final Berinfell book. It was such a joy to write together and create this series.  It's a shame we had to blow up half the world, but hey, the story gets what the story wants.

2) Imagination Station Book 8: The Battle for Cannibal Isle
This is my first book with Focus on the Family. And I must confess that it was kind of a "training wheels" experiment for me. Focus Author, Marianne Herring, was awesome helping me learn the ropes of writing for this markedly different age group. She wrote most of the book, but I kept a busy hand involved. I have another book in the series coming soon. If you have 1st thru 4th graders, maybe give this one a try!

3) Skeleton Project: Fright Pack #1
The first four Skeleton Project stories are out, so I wanted to publish them all together and give you a break on the price. You get all four stories for $2.99, saving you about $2.00. Plus, there's a super secret sneak preview included. A future novel that my students promised to hunt me down and kill me if I didn't write it. It's called "Unnatural."  Enjoy!

As always, thank you for being faithful readers. I know I've still much to learn about the craft. And I know there are ten thousand writers out there with ten times my talent, but have not yet had a chance to publish. I am everlastingly grateful…honored, and humbled by the gift. God is good. My readers are too. 

Please keep those Amazon reviews coming! And spread the word to any fiction readers you know! Thank you!

Never alone.
-Wayne Thomas Batson

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Christianity Investigation Files #1: Holy Spirit Confirmation--What is it?

Christianity Investigation Files #1: Romans 8:16 "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God..."

What exactly does this mean? What exactly is the "our spirit" spoken of here? Is it our thinking-consciousness? Is it a physical feeling? And in what sense does the Holy Spirit "bear witness" ...that we can sense with our spirit?

This has been one of the most vexing things about living as a Christian and sometimes wrestling mightily wondering if I really am a Christian. I've often thought that it would have been nice if all people came equipped with one of those oven-stuffer-roaster pop up things, so that when we become a Christian, -*POP*- the little thing pops up, and we know.

Alas, no pop up widget for us. But the Bible definitely seems to declare that the Holy Spirit will confirm our adoption into the family of God, ie: Getting Saved. What does this feel like? I mean really, all cliches aside. What are the specifics that we can tic off as to Holy Spirit confirmation?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Epidemic Part 1: The Spreading Contagion

When the Black Plague swept through Europe between 1348 and 1350, it gouged out 30-60% of Europe's population and reduced the world's population by an estimated 100 million souls. With all due respect to the Black Death, there is a far worse contagion spreading in the world today. I suspect it has claimed more lives than the plague, cancer, and all other horrifying diseases put together.

Its symptoms include the following:
• persistent, gnawing pain radiating from the abdomen
• severe, agonizing heart constriction
• erosion of the mind, dementia, anxiety, and depression
• slow necrotizing (rotting) of the flesh
• perpetual death-like episodes
• almost 100% fatality rate  

Lest you hurt yourself sprinting to the nearest pharmacy for face masks and rubber gloves, this contagion cannot be prevented by any of the so-called Universal Precautions. No amount of antibacterial gel will protect you from this. It enters through the eyes or ears. Often, it spontaneously generates within the brain tissue or in the lining of the heart itself. You cannot run from it; you cannot keep it out; you cannot retreat to some secluded spot and hope to avoid it. For in the very act of isolating yourself, you will cause the contagion to spawn within you.

The worst aspect of this disease, indeed the facet that makes this contagion the greatest tragedy in history is…that there is a cure for it, but the cure is almost universally shunned.

The name of this contagion is Selfishness, and it is spreading.

The Bible has much to say on selfishness. This verse from Philippians 3 is particularly expressive:

18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. (Phil 3: 18-19, NIV,

Did you catch that phrase? "Their god is their stomach." In other words, their lives are all about their wants, lusts, and appetites. That is a scathing rebuke. But Christians, lest we sit back and think, "Yeah, those hell-bound heathens really are selfish, aren't they?" Perhaps we ought to consider our own selfishness. I won't speak authoritatively about all Christians, but I suspect that many of us are infected with the most virulent forms of selfishness. And I contend that we are, in fact, worse than the lost because we know the cure and yet we still shun it. And our selfishness does more damage than any nonChristian's selfishness ever could.

More to come on the Nature of this Contagion, Causes, and Cure in future posts...