Sneak Peak at The Cartaphilus Saga


The release date has not been set yet, but it will be before April 2015. Below you can read a description of the book, and I have a link where you can read the first six chapters online, or download it to the device you like to read books on.

The Cartaphilus Saga book #1: Amissio will be available everywhere e-books are sold. With the first release to be on Amazon. The print editions will follow the e-book edition.

NOTE: though this is being released as both Historical Fiction and Christian Fiction it is not a religious book and does not take a position on Christianity either for or against. The crucifixion is used as the source of the curse placed on Cartaphilus. A curse of immortality.

And the best thing is it is FREE. All I am asking is for you to leave a comment.

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Here’s the description:

The Cartaphilus Saga, Book #1: Amissio

David Gerrard is a freelance reporter for the tabloids, but one with definite principals. Though he has researched and written dozens of stories, he will only publish the ones he truly believes. For ten years, he has been receiving story leads from a source he has never met in person. Mark Long is a remarkable storyteller, bringing David stories from throughout history and adding unique and substantial variations to each one. For the first time, Mark has requested a face to face meeting between himself and David.

The first thing the men do together is visit Mark’s old friend, Tony Vargas, who is an expert on the Roman Empire period and an avid collector. Mark presents Tony with an ancient sword in a velvet lined case and asks Tony to tell him exactly what it is. Tony states that it is a first century Roman gladius sword. He shows the men other swords in his collection and discusses the detailed differences. Then he tells them the sword had once belonged to a soldier named Casius, since the name is engraved on the handle.

At this, Mark is eager to leave, though he doesn’t explain why at the time. When he and David are alone in the hotel, Mark tells him in secret that Tony was right: the sword had belonged to a Roman soldier named Casius. But what Tony hadn’t known was that Casius had had the sword taken from him by a Jew named Peter, and a Roman centurion had taken it from Peter. Intrigued, David settles into his role as reporter, with his digital recorder, pen, and paper always at the ready.

Mark tells him the centurion’s name was Marcus Cartaphilus Longus. He had been stationed with the Roman garrison in Caesarea when he’d discovered his daughter was close to death. After learning the name of a man who had reportedly saved others from death, Cartaphilus went in search of this Yeshua. Unfortunately, his daughter died before he could reach Yeshua. Desolate over the death of his daughter and the subsequent death of his wife, Cartaphilus vowed to destroy Yeshua.

At that time, Pontius Pilate was the Prefect of Judea. He was in charge of keeping the peace. When the Jewish Passover came, he ordered in extra troops, and Cartaphilus led those troops. Upon their arrival, Cartaphilus was ordered to arrest a Jew accused by the priests of causing trouble in Judea. They were led to the accused by a man named Judas Iscariot, but the Jew was surrounded by his followers, including one man named Peter who grabbed Casius’ gladius and cut the ear off one of the men with the soldiers while trying to protect Yeshua. Miraculously, Yeshua was able to pick up the severed ear and reattach it to the man’s head with the simple pressure of his hand. Eventually, Cartaphilus placed Yeshua under arrest and led him to Jerusalem and the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest.

Over the next few days, Mark’s story continues, reliving the final hours of Jesus Christ’s life, and even the years following.

David listens carefully and questions often, impressed by Mark’s in-depth account of this two thousand year old story. When Mark begins to add in details that David cannot find in his research, David becomes determined to disprove the story. He compares Mark’s details to those told in the Bible. He contacts a professional researcher, a genealogist, and a professor friend, asking them all questions to help him refute this story, but despite their best efforts they cannot. Over a few exhausting days and nights, the two men take the story apart, but David cannot find any flaws. The problem is, the only way Mark could know any of these details was if he had been an actual eyewitness, which is obviously impossible.

One night David sits bolt upright in his hotel room bed, jarred awake by a detail. He checks his recorder to be sure and confirms what he’d thought. Caught up in the emotion of the story, Mark had accidentally messed up by using the pronoun “we” instead of “they”, and the vigilant reporter had caught his slip on tape.

Cornered by the recorded remark, Mark admits that he is two thousand years old. Of course, David tells him the whole idea is ridiculous. He is angry at the waste of his time and toys with the idea of leaving. But Mark begs him to stay. He says he doesn’t need David to necessarily believe him, he needs him to believe the story. He says that if David believes it, so will his readers, and he needs David to tell the world what really happened.

Highly skeptical, David begins to question him about other events that have happened over the past two thousand years—including Mark’s participation in WWII as a Nazi—but Mark stops him, saying the stories must be told as they happened, not by skipping through the centuries. Eventually Mark hands him a daguerreotype of two men from the American Civil War, and David has it checked by experts. They all agree that the daguerreotype is authentic. One of the men in the picture is one of General Robert Lee’s sons, and David has a very hard time telling himself the other is not Mark.

David has failed in his quest to disprove Mark’s story. His researchers have as well. So David grudgingly allows himself to believe in the possibility that Mark is two thousand years old, that Mark Long is actually Marcus Cartaphilus Longus. And if that is possible, how many other stories could Mark have to share with him? Would he be able to unearth more of the most famous lies or half-truths throughout history?

Unfortunately, now that David is swept up in the excitement of the idea, Mark is called away on urgent business. He promises to get in touch so they can continue with this story and more. David stares at him as he leaves the hotel, unable to believe he is suddenly gone.

Two months later, David receives a short email from Mark, stating the place and time where they should meet. This time David is prepared and smiling with anticipation as he packs his things.

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Here’s the link for the FREE download (or you can read it online) of the first six chapters:

The Cartaphilus Saga, Book #1: Amissio

 

 

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Sunday’s Article.


As you have already noticed, I did not have a new article on Sunday. I have been a little under the weather lately. I do hope to have a new article on 25 Jan 2015. But, I am not promising. I am sorry, but I also know you understand.

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Equality, Religion, and Lady Justice


My grandfather was born in 1905. He was a man of his times with the same attitudes as other people of the Edwardian era. But, in some ways he was ahead of some people in the 21st century. The last years of his life he tried to cram a lifetime of wisdom into a sixteen year old boy – me. Once he said,

“Joe, one day you may have to hire someone for a job. You hire the first person who can do the job. You are trying to hire someone because either you are losing money without someone in that position, or you will make more money when you put someone in that position. It does not matter if they are a man or a woman, black or white, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or Atheist. If you don’t hire the first person who can do the job, you just take the money out of your pocket, put it in an ashtray, and burn it up. Because, that is what you are doing when you don’t give someone a job for reasons that have nothing to do with the job.”

My grandfather carried that attitude over to his customers too. In the 1940s and 1950s, if you were a homosexual you stayed in the closet. Not only would homosexuals have a hard time finding employment, but some public places refused their business. My mother said she could always tell when a homosexual couple was in my grandfather’s shop. He would be jingling the change in his pocket while quietly humming “I’m in the Money.” If other shop owners did not want your business for any reason; you were welcomed in my grandfather’s shop, and he treated all of his customers with the same respect.

This week I heard a man who is in the escrow business talking about losing business. You see, many of his employees are women and his conservative Muslim customers have been asking him to give them a man to handle their business. When he says no, they go back to the bank and complain. Then he has to tell the bank no too.

Now I am all for religious freedom, but I began to think about this. I also thought about what that would mean in my life. You see both of my editors are women, the cover artists on my short list to do my next book cover are all women. Most (not all) of my beta readers are women, my best friendships (and worst enemies) are women – platonic of course. Hell even my mother and my girlfriend are women. Now when I am looking to hire someone, I follow my grandfather’s advice, but most of the people interested in doing the kind of work I need done are women. As far as friendships go, there is a huge difference between having a woman for a friend and having a man for a friend. My male friends and I discuss totally different topics and some of the stuff we do is different from the conversations and activities I have with my platonic females friends.

Now we have laws in the United States that say you cannot discriminate against someone because of their sex. But, at the same time, the government in the United States is bending over backwards for Muslims in this country (democrats and republicans), and that is why employers who are already yielding to the “please no women” requests from conservative Muslims are not getting in trouble with the government. It has been four days since the first terrorist attacks in Paris. The French President from his very first public statement has said these acts were committed by Muslim extremist terrorists. Our government is still refusing to call them that.

Anyway, back to my thoughts on this issue. Like I said, I am a big supporter of religious freedom. But here is my view. If the only women I had any contact with were all in my family, if I never worked with women, or offered work to women, my life would be dramatically different. My quality of life would be nothing like it is today. And I am not talking about money, I am talking about those things that give meaning to our lives (though my income would probably be less too).

This also goes against everything I believe in – thanks to the upbringing I got from my grandfather. And if those two are not enough? It is against the law, even if our goverment will not enforce those laws.

So, not only do I applaud that man’s stance, but I join him. I understand orthodox Islam, probably better than most Americans. But this is the United States. I welcome you to immigrate here legally, no matter where you come from or what your religion is. The United States is a good place to live, not perfect, but good. I encourage all people to practice their religion as they feel led too (as long as you are not doing harm to others). But, in the United States it is the law and our desire, that as Americans women should have the same opportunities as men.  What they do with that opportunity is – well – that is their Freedom of Choice. Act as you want in the privacy of your own home, but in business and the work place – women in this country are given equality with men by law. If you do not like that, you need to learn how to accept that or find someplace more agreeable to you.

I’m not trying to be hateful or anything like that. This country is more than 200 years old. Our Declaration of Independence states fairly well what we as Americans think of freedom and equality. They signed that document in 1776. We were not even close to living up to those words of equality and freedom back then. We are doing a lot better now, but we still need to do some more work. So, you see, we are not going to start reducing freedom and equality because it conflicts with someone’s religion. As a matter of fact we are going to continue to work harder at making sure equality of opportunity and freedom of choice are expanded even more in the United States.

Oh, and one more thing I’m am mostly conservative, and libertarian on the rest. So, if you think my stance on equality and freedom are too much for you, just wait until you hear what working class liberals have to say on the subject.

(Yes, I know there is still discrimination going on, but as all of you know it is impossible to rid ourselves of all the ignorant people).

 

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Battle of the Bulge Part 2


The German offensive in the Ardennes during the winter of 1944/45 was a complete surprise to the allies, everyone except George Patton and his Third Army. The allies had complete control of the air, and the Germans were short on supplies. Intelligence reported that the Germans used the Ardennes to rest weakened and battle weary divisions returning from fighting. It just seemed logical that not only was this the wrong time for a German offensive, but the Ardennes was the wrong location

Since the breakout from Normandy the allies had advanced quickly against the Germans, stretching their supplies lines and troop replacements. As the front lines advanced, and more men where needed to fill the lines they took those men from the front lines in the Ardennes. I mean after all those troops would not be needed in the Ardennes since the Germans were using the Ardennes for R&R, right? To continue the illusion the Germans moved men and supplies into position at night, out of the prying eyes of allied air cover.

General Taylor, the commanding officer of the 101st airborne division, was attending a staff conference in the United States when the Battle of the Bulge broke out; and his deputy General Higgins was in England. This left General McAuliffe, the division’s artillery commander, as the acting commanding officer of the 101st airborne division.

The 101st was originally ordered to Werbomont 17 December. As the 101st was moving towards Werbomont, General McAuliffe went to Bastogne to confer with General Middleton, commander of the VIII corps, on the afternoon of 18 December. General Middleton immediately ordered General McAuliffe to defend Bastogne.

The 28th Infantry Division was at Wiltz, southeast of Bastogne. A battle weary unit, the 28th had been assigned to the relatively quiet area around Bastogne. Overwhelmed and close to being overrun, on the 19th of December the command post of the 28th Division withdrew to Bastogne, that night what was left of the 28th withdrew to Bastogne.

General McAuliffe had very few tanks (about 40) at his disposal to stand against the German infantry and armor divisions that surrounded Bastogne. What he did have were two battalions of artillery. It was very fortunate indeed that General McAuliffe was artillery expert, as he was able to hold off the Germans using artillery, until General Patton arrived to relieve Bastogne.

Fate had intervened to put the right man, in the right place, at the right time to hold Bastogne. And the right man, in the right place, with the right army, at the right time to rush to General McAuliffe’s defense. No other General, including Eisenhower, thought it was possible to get to Bastogne to save the 101st.

These two men, Generals McAuliffe and Patton, more than anyone else, saved Bastogne and defeated the last German offensive of World War Two.

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Happy New Year !!!


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by | January 1, 2015 · 12:00 am