And, the winners are . . . .

We have two winners to announce this evening!

The first is the winner of the FLASHPOINT: Book One of the UNDERGROUND virtual tour

And the prize goes to someone who commented on a couple different blogs and her/ his ShoutLife name is Reborn Butterfly! Yeah!

RB, please send your name and mailing address to admin@thewriterscafe.com and your prize package will be in the mail once I receive this information. Congratulations.

The second winner tonight is from The UNDERGROUND Flash Fiction Contest. We received many really fine entries to choose from and two of the authors deserve special mention:
  • Caprice Hokstad
  • Cathi Hassan

And, the winner of the gold ribbon, publication in the next issue of The UNDERGROUND (Nov. '07), publication at www.fanfiction.com AND, the prize: a signed copy of Flashpoint and a $20 Starbucks gift card is the entry "Bear Feat" by Stephen Rice! Congratulations Mr. Rice.

Thank you everyone for participating in this virtual book tour and the writing contest. The bloggers are most appreciated. And, there is one more blog to highlight . . . a review of Flashpoint and interview with Frank Creed at Pastor James Somers' blog.


Day 3 of the Flashpoint Tour

Final day of the virtual book tour for Frank Creed's FLASHPOINT: Book One of the UNDERGROUND is upon us and it has been a fun ride. I've read some pretty impressive posts from readers of Flashpoint, and today is no exception. As usual, I have listed the day's highlights (and there are links attached to each; just run your cursor over each highlight to find the link).

Below the highlights, a fun Frank Creed video (editing is purposely cheesy).


"Flashpoint: Action Heroes without a License to Kill," is the name of Terri Main's article at Wayfarer's Journal.

Murray T. Alchemist is at it again at Back to the Mountains with the latest installment: Stopping a Goliath Part II.

"Frank Creed is one of my favorite people. He has a heart for God and is, in my opinion, one of a new generation of spiritual warriors," writes MaryLu Tundall at her blog Cross and Cutlass. MaryLu's post today is all about Frank: his bio, which is fascinating in itself.

Cathi Hassan and Frank Creed have had many conversations over the past couple of months about writing Flashpoint. Her blog post yesterday was a compilation of all of these creatively packaged as an interview. I even learned from reading it!
And, then today at Cathi's Chatter, another post: "Meet Legacy." Here we read Chapter 2 of Flashpoint where Legacy, almost everyone's favorite character, makes his entrance.

Timothy Hicks has three great posts at Fantasy Thyme. His last discussion about Flashpoint gives insight into the novel's strengths.

Christine Deanne has posted the interview she did with Frank Creed at Write and Whine.

Remember, comment on any of the participating blogs on tour and your name will be entered for a prize--plus, I encourage you to show each blogger appreciation for their work!

Some more links to check out:
a. Reviews
Stephen Rice's review of Flashpoint: Book One of the UNDERGROUND, "Crouching Matrix, Hidden Christians."
Queen of Convolution
Hoshi to Sakura
Daniel I Weaver
Disturbing Reviews
Grace Bridges
Virtual Tour de 'Net
Christian Fiction Review Blog
Yellow30 Sci-Fi
The Sword Review
Teen Life
Karri Compton
More reviews at Frank Creed's website and at Amazon

b. Interviews

Wayfarer's Journal
Joseph Ficor
"The Farthest Frontiers"
Yellow30 Sci-Fi
Fantasy Thyme
The Stiltskins
Write and Whine

And, here is a video for your viewing pleasure . . .


It's Day Two of Flashpoint on Tour

Day 2 and Flashpoint is touring the country via internet. Thank you to all who have posted thus far and to those who are formulating posts to put up after finishing the CSFF and CFBA tours!

More highlights are listed below, but for now, here is a selection from Flashpoint for your reading pleasure!


THE SPIRIT ADDED, BUT I TELL YOU, DO NOT RESIST AN EVIL person . . . Matthew 5:39. He’s the Boss. It surprised me at first, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. If I fought or fled I wouldn’t know who they were, or what they were planning. As the motor grew louder, Junkman edged away from me. Scanning the electric and magnetic fields created something like a photo negative in my mind’s eye. The gun barrels that poked from windows made me focus closer. When their trigger fingers tensed my mindware made me bulletproof. Jackhammer popping of full automatic fire filled the air. A Sandman’s mindware is able to analyze gunfire, so I knew they fired tranq rounds from HK nine-millimeter machine pistols. They wanted me alive? Why on Earth?

My com-shades streaked the air red with bullet paths.

The idea behind firing fully automatic weapons from a moving vehicle is to fill the air with so much lead that even a monkey could hit something. Aiming is pointless. The monkeys pegged me with three rounds. Even though my reformation stopped the tranq, I didn’t resist the evil person, and went down like I’d been hit.

The Lincoln curbed.

Mindware’s wisdom had taught me that a shooting stirs up strong emotions in witnesses. Sadness, excitement, fear, and anxiety are the top four, so most of what I smelled was normal. But the stink of a Goodyear factory that had fallen into a volcano? Extreme hatred came from Junkman, who moved closer. Even though I faced away from him, my other senses painted the picture. When he kicked me I knew it was coming.

He hissed through gravel teeth, “That’s for Anastasia!”

That part of his sad story appeared to be true. Might be hope for him yet.

The back seat gunman tortured Junkman and I as they loaded me into the car. “Razz, it’s a runt! You needed help with this?”


“Kinda small for a Sandman, ain’t he?” the same voice added.

More laughter.

When they sat me up in the back seat instead of the trunk, mischief slipped from my soul’s dungeon. Being a runt and all, it’d be easier for my stubby arms to reach laughing boy from here. I nipped my tongue’s tip, to mug a wicked grin.

Capones sat next to me, back doors slammed, and we rolled. Nobody said a word, but the front seat shooter screamed with brain-wave activity. I cracked an eyelid and peeked between lashes. He wore a silk business suit, not a gen-one wetsuit. Probably Armani reformulated Kevlar. Capones sportin’ gen-2 BW tech? That didn’t click. Why had Dragoon been stylin’ gen-1 if they could have sent this guy?

I counted ten city blocks before the BW signal hushed. Armani-man broke the silence, giving orders in a cold quiet voice that was used to power. Used to giving orders. “Cruise control’s processed, so let the car drive. Capture-one bagged the Elder, a Tech and two Hacks. They’re in transport. We’ll meet enroute. Dispatch us to Midway, and you’ll be free to go.”

I considered running a mindware check on my hearing. Grandpa, Serene, e-girl, and Tinker were all in the mission when I left. Our new Muscle Cell, slagged already?

Armani-man had to be FBT. Capture-one, transport, and dispatch were all terms straight from the FBT handbook. The crime lords and FBT, working together? Then I remembered Grandpa talking about Disciples. A super-spy on our case?

Junkman’s voice came from my left, “When do I get Terminal back?” Silence. “Fine then, just gimmie the reward money.”

“You get nothing,” the suit mumbled.

Junkman’s voice rose. “The deal was Calamity Kid for Terminal!”

I’d heard enough and their drama distracted. I got live.

My right hand shot out at Armani-man’s neck to discharge its Electrocutioner. He jerked and went limp.

My back seat buddy tugged at holstered pistols with the ol’ basic reflex-one-point-oh. I crossed my arms on my chest, flicked twin nines into my palms, and demonstrated the advantage of upgrading to reflex-three-point-one.
Junkman and buddy responded to my tranq rounds by quietly slumping in their seats. Well, perhaps they’d be impressed when they awoke.

The wheel-man made the mistake of using both hands to tug at his weapon. This told me the Lincoln still ran on cruise control. I napped him too.

“Asleep at the wheel. What a Calamity!” I said to Armani-man. Crossing my arms on the back of his seat, I rested my chin on a forearm. “Betcha think twice next time you give a Sandman a lift.”

Poor Nero now jerked around, trying to shake-off the effect of my Electrocutioner’s shock. I pulled open his suit-coat to make sure. A gen-2 pack rode on his belt.

“Hate seein’ ya in such a state,” I lied. “Let me put you out of my misery.” I winked, and he bounced satisfyingly off the windshield.

I enjoyed that part too much, asked forgiveness and help with my intolerance for Nero’s lost souls. Then thanked Him for the chance to save our Cell.

I unclipped my chip-tool from my belt and scanned the back of Armani-man’s left hand. He I.D.ed as Michael Perkins, Arthur Anderson accounting. Yeah, right.

Cruise control showed us headed for Midway airport. We’d rendezvous with a convoy of three peacekeeper Humvees on the way. I could only come up with one reason we’d be going to an airport. They intended on taking us to Washington D.C. to face treason charges in Federal Court.

I tried to thought speech Serene. No answer. I tried Grandpa, Tinker, and e-girl. After what I’d overheard, my hopes were com-chip slim. I got what I expected. But as I made those calls, a brainstorm gathered. Deep purple with five mile tall thunder-heads. Lots of lightning.

This felt like what I had to do. Wasn’t like I had time to take a saint-poll. Most of the saints I knew were a bit preoccupied anyway.

I tried to alter our directions, but the touchscreen’s security read only authorized fingerprints.

So I used the wheel-man’s limp arm to poke at the screen.

I needed some tools. They’d used AK machine pistols on me, and those might be useful, but my brainstorm required more. When they loaded me into the car, the smell of gun oil and powder fumed from the trunk. I tore out the rear seat’s backrest.

Bingo. The trunk held an arsenal. Their Remington 875 semi-automatic 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun, and Freedom Arms GL-7 grenade launcher would do very nicely, thank you.

For ammo, the Remington was already loaded with five tranq-splinter shells, and there were cases of grenades.
I also pocketed a medical injection gun and a box of anti-tranq. emergency road flares gave me a dangerous idea, and I stuffed a few into my other pocket.

I thanked Him again as I readied non-lethal weapons. He’d put me in the place I needed to be, with tools and talents. I thought about Galatians 5:13, and twisted a bad pun at the Lincoln’s roof. “Neros up, love-fifteen, my serve.”

Cruise control kept the Lincoln in the slow lane, running just below the speed limit. The dashboard clock showed our rendezvous with peacekeeper Humvees in two minutes.

The directional came on and we turned onto the Tri-State Tollway’s entrance ramp. The Town-Car veered far left. The emergency shoulder gate opened at our approach and we whizzed through.

Wind in my face gagging me. I’d taken out the Town Car’s windshield with my new Remington. Low clouds, but no rain. Perfect weather for a hi-jacking. All part of the brainstorm.

We merged into six lanes of 120 Km/h NASCAR wannabees.

Three olive-green Humvees made me reach for my pack of Winterfresh Extra. Then I remembered giving it away. They cruised the far left lane, and a bit behind. Perfect timing. Traffic gave them plenty of space. I took as deep a breath as wind allowed, and bolted dungeon doors.

Giving the Boss a final call, I squatted on the wide front bench-seat. The Remington, and the Freedom Arms GL-7 pointed downward under my coat on crossing shoulder slings.

The Town Car changed lanes and slowed, preparing to merge between the second and third Humvee. As the lead vehicle passed me I got a close look at the four peacekeepers in the rear-facing seat. I raised the GL-7. Much to my delight, they put on their best hey-he’s-not-supposed-to-do-that faces.

I beamed pearly-whites in a yeah-no-kidding grin. WHUMP! WHUMP!

Two Crashmonster tranq grenades punched through the soft clear plastic zip-in panel that sealed off the back of the Humvee. Each was rated for 500 cubic-meters, so I just filled a buttoned-down Humvee with enough non-lethal tranq to nap a 767 passenger jet—baggage handlers and flashlight wavers included.

The gas was invisible. My lullaby wasn’t. Neros sagged asleep.

I re-checked the on position of the GL-7’s safety, took another deep breath and keyed my com-shade’s stopwatch.

This is where things got real tricky.

I sprang onto the Lincoln’s hood and leapt off the driver’s side.

Mindware hit overdrive, adjusting to make up for the 120 Km/h blast of air. I scanned inside the vehicle while airborne. The six-person FBT team all wore first generation wet-suits. Grandpa drooped lifelessly between two front seat Neros.

I landed perfectly on the Humvee’s steel hood, facing forward like a life-sized hood ornament. The smart soles of my boots bonded with the metal and I released the Grenade launcher’s shoulder sling. Time to play the ol’ ring-the-bell-and-win-a-prize county fair game. Holding its barrel with both hands, the GL-7 arced over my head to slam into the front bumper.

The bell rang. Airbags in the front and middle seats mushroomed, forcing four pistol-drawing Neros against backrests.


Flipping the GL back around the way it was meant to be held, I stepped around, re-bonded my boots, targeted the rear Humvee and clicked the safety to takin’-care-of-business.


Three Insta-Dry black paint grenades splashed a thick layer across their windshield. I could tell their cruise was on because they didn’t even swerve, but it would give ’em something to think about. I dropped a Day-Brite orange road flare over the passenger side before going back to work on my highway surfboard.

With a thought I drew a pistol. Careful not to shoot anyone, I put an armor piercing round in each corner of the windshield. Obeying the laws of physics, the glass pebbled, and blew into the front seat. I holstered the pistol and dropped another road flare.

This is spiff! I said to me, really starting to enjoy myself.

Onto some book tour highlights:

MaryLu Tyndall has interrupted her "Bible Test" series to participate in Flashpoint's tour for the three days! What a gracious lady; check out the
Cross and Cutlass.

If you didn't catch Steve Rice's contributions, head on over to "
Back to the Mountains" and be treated to the quirky sense of humour we've grown to love! Today my favourite of Rice's characters, Murray the Alchemist, explains how he would deal with Flashpoint's uber-bad-guys, the Goliaths.

Speaking of Goliaths, I just noticed a comment about them in an interview Frank did with Joseph Ficor at Hoshi to Sakura. Both Rice and Ficor are contributors to the speculative fiction anthology: Light at the edge of Darkness (June '07).

Chris Deanne, who Frank was able to meet in person while attending the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Book Fair (largest book fair in the world) in June, has posted Flashpoint's book trailer at
Write and Whine.

Donna Sundblad wrote a review of Flashpoint several months ago and originally published at Wayfarer's Journal. Because Donna is so involved with the writing community, especially on line, you can find the review all over the web! but here is the original. Donna has authored Windwalker and Pumping Your Muse and she is the fantasy topic editor at Inspired Writer.

Speaking of Wayfarer's Journal, editor Terri Main says this about her interview with Frank Creed:

Those of you who read this blog know that I never run Q&A Interviews. There's a good reason for this. Generally speaking, I need to cut out a lot that is either repetitious or just plain boring. However, poring over the transcript of Frank's interview, I was having a hard time finding something to cut. So, I'm giving you this interview in its entirety.

Karri Compton, at Fiction Fanatics Only! has joined the tour. She originally posted her review of Flashpoint here on the LGG blog.

Our one-person cheerleading team (hmmm, maybe she would consider joining TWCP as a publicist?) Cathi Hassan has a cool post: Have You Heard the Rumours about Frank Creed? in which she provides readers with a survey of the many reviews received for Flashpoint on Cathi's Chatter.


Purchase Flashpoint at Amazon.com
Purchase signed copies of Flashpoint

Here is the list of participants:

Write and Whine
Hoshi to Sakura
Wayfarer's Journal
BlogCritics Interview
Daniel I Weaver
Disturbing the Universe
Grace Bridges
Queen of Convolution
Virtual Tour de 'Net
Christian Fiction Review Blog
Yellow30 Sci-Fi: Review
Yellow30 Sci-Fi: Interview
Back to the Mountains
MaryLu Tyndall
Fantasy Thyme


Flashpoint Virtual Book Tour Day 1

It's time to begin Frank Creed's FLASHPOINT: Book One of the UNDERGROUND virtual book tour! and over the course of the tour there are a LOT of things to show you: reviews, blurbs, book trailers, interviews and some really fun posts by some super creative minds!

We even have a prize package for the winner of the Flashpoint tour drawing! How to win it? Simply leave a comment on one or more of the participating blogs . . . or leave one here telling about your favourite blog post!

<----- oops, wrong prize - -
This is the prize ---------------------->
OK, it may arrive in different wrapping

Meanwhile, here are some highlights to check out:
Hoshi to Sakura Interview with Frank
Back to the Mountains Some craziness only Steve Rice is capable of: here he has a real surprise! but make sure you read the conversation carefully . . .
Fantasy Thyme Tim at Thyme got a head start and has already made a couple of posts! including yet another interview with Frank.
Cathi's Chatter Cathi is a one-person cheerleading squad who has sent the Dallas Cowgirls back to training camp. Oh yes she has a review posted, plus some hip hip hooray stuff for y'all.
Back to the Mountains II Yup, Mr. Rice is at it again! with the "Genuine Fake Interview" --again, read very carefully . . . . . . . . . . did you get it? This is cool stuff.
MaryLu Tyndall one of Frank's all-time favourite authors joins the tour with some good info on Flashpoint

Over the course of this tour: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday check out these blogs to see what is happenin'

Write and Whine
Wayfarer's Journal
BlogCritics Interview
Daniel I Weaver
Disturbing the Universe


Christian and black and Specfic -- oh my!

As a black woman, I have the pleasure of writing in two marginalized kinds of speculative fiction: Christian spec-fic and Minority spec-fic.

These two kinds of fiction have many things in common:

1) Some folks assume christian fic and multiculti fic will be preachy.

2) Some folks assume they'll be badly written (because many of these writings are not published by large publishing companies.)

3) Some folks assume (rightly) these books will speak to areas in their own lives that OTHER books never speak about. (A black person reading an all-white Christian specfic book will feel the same kind of alienation a Christian reader will feel when the Christian reader reads a specfic book that avoids or insults Christians.)

4) Some Christian readers consider fantasy/imagination vaguely sinful. As do many black readers.

5) Both these two different types of spec-fic have to find common denominators among their readers. They don't want to splinter already splintered groups. Thus, at conventions, multicultural specfic writers often group themselves under one umbrella, despite race, religion, etc. In the same ways, Christian speculative fiction writers aren't going to get all worked up about denominational issues. At least not in public.

But Christian speculative fiction and Multicultural speculative fiction also have many things not in common.

The biggest difference is often in how white Christians and black Christians see the Bible, Eden, Paradise, and each other.

For instance,

The white Christian speculative writer often creates fiction devoid of black folks or other minorities. It's as if a great disaster occurred on earth and all the black folks and minorities in the world were deemed unsalvageable. Or, if a minority shows up in a Christian story, he or she is the odd escaped slave, drug addict, black secretary, or token. In addition all discussion of racism is generally avoided

White Christian speculative fiction is also very imitative of Tolkein, C S Lewis. Although Christianity is primarily a non-european and a non-white religion, many Christian writers write European-based --elves, dwarves, vampires, and the like-- spec fic that a non-white Christian has to pretty much put away much of her own culture in order to read.

For many white Christian writers --especially those who write slice-of-life fiction and romances-- there is a nostalgia for the rural world. Eden is kind of a home in Appalachia or on the frontiers, while the city represents Babylon. For Black or Native American Christians, the rural world is suspect. That's where we were hung..or are still being hung. That's where our people were maimed or lynched or cast out of their houses. For us, race is still very much alive. Many of us still remember uncles and grandfathers who were lynched by white townsfolk and aunts and mothers and grandmothers who were raped by white men.

Black speculative fiction writers, on the other hand, tend to lose white readers because we often have a "enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality. We are often politically liberal in some things and spiritually conservative in others. Therefore it is not unusual for a black minority Christian writer --because for some reason we consider our white Christian brothers suspect-- and find herself aligned with gay writers, moslem writers, ultra-liberals, extreme feminists, and even wiccans. Sometimes we are so caught up with the bitterness we have suffered because of white racists, an innocent white reader has a tough time getting through a story.

The white Christian writer has to find a way to write fiction which doesn't seem as if he thinks his race is the only --and the greatest-- race. And minority Christians have to be careful lest racial bitterness overwhelms our pages.

As a black woman it wasn't easy for me to find this balance when I write a Christian story.

It isn’t easy walking through the world where people think you’re always ready to jump down some “innocent” white person’s throat. When I think of all the times I never complained because I feared some white person would think I was a touchy black woman!

It isn’t easy walking into a store and having the cashier follow you around suspecting you of wanting to steal something. Certainly more black women have grinned and borne it than have snapped, “Why the heck are you following me around?” I tell you… we black women are generally beacons of patience and forbearance.

It isn’t easy walking through a world where people assume you lack the great noble European trait of discipline. I went to a local gourmet supermarket run by a woman from Spain. I told her everything I wanted. She snapped, “I’m really busy. Do you really want to eat all that?” Why it didn’t occur to her that I was buying tons of food for a potluck dinner (’cause I didn’t want to cook) is beyond me. I’m sure she would’ve made kinder less judgmental assumptions about a white woman. And hey, although I was taken aback, I didn’t snap at her. But I didn’t explain myself either…I just kinda cowered shamefacedly and walked away feeling hurt.

It isn’t easy walking through a world where if you disagree with an editor, you are assumed to be touchy because well….”black women are touchy.”

It isn’t easy walking through the world when people – sometimes American but often folks newly arrived from the Old Country– —equate blackness with dirtiness. A Polish acquaintance of mine had a mother who actually believed blacks were dirty because they didn’t clean themselves and the dirt had stuck to their skin. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in public malls and movie theaters where I see a Hispanic person avoid an open bathroom stall because a black person has exited it. Sounds old-fashioned, I know. But remember, much of the rest of the world doesn’t go around teaching racial enlightenment.

It amazes me to think that most of the black Women I know are gentle souls saying prayers for sick friends and generally doing good stuff in the world and yet, the world insists on thinking we’re angry people. And it amazes me that when we DO become angry they belittle our racial pain by saying we are “always getting angry.” Come now, we don’t!

So as a black woman Christian writer I have to be very careful. I think I managed to make my novel, Wind Follower, honest to my Christian principles...and also honest to my race. There were moments of great temptation, though, I'll admit. There were times when racial bitterness might have entered the book, or the need to appear as a "sweet Christian woman who is above racial issues." But I wouldn't have been true to myself if I had not rightly divided my particular word of truth.

I trust that God has helped me to write a balanced book. Now that I am working on a novel that takes place in contemporary reality, I suspect the same temptations will arise. Again, I trust God will help me walk the fine line.

As Christian writers of all races, we must be careful that our stories don't become mutually exclusive. After all, we need to build our audience. But even more we need to understand each other's paths.

Dear Father, you have created one family out of many tribes. Bring unity, understanding, and love to your people. Help us to write stories that include all of your peoples, all our Christian brothers and sisters across the world. Help us to love each other as you have loved us. I ask all this in Jesus name, Amen.

-Carole McDonnell