Mightier Than The Sword–Live on Amazon!

I am so grateful that I’ve finally completed this project and can share it with you! If you read free chapters on JukePop, you can now read the entire book–after the 15th revision. A mystery/suspense worth reading and you may be surprised! amazon cvr 3   You can get it now http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

My NaNo Novel for 2014!

I had actually decided not to write for the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, but after a “friend” bugged me to do it, I did. I already had a story in mind, but had not determined what I wanted to do with it. So, a couple of weeks before the first of November, I developed my characters, my story map, and my fictional city–complete with a grid of the streets and location of all major buildings. I completed my research and typed up my notes, and on November 1, 2014, at 4:30 a.m. I started writing. By November 9, 2014 at approximately, 2:00 p.m. I had finished the first 50K! Now, near the near, I am revising (2nd round) and my word count is over 72K. Since i plan to publish the “finished” work (after 3 more rounds of revising and editing), it will be available on Amazon as an eBook, hopefully before the end of January.

At any rate, here’s what the cover looks like–right now.

rev nano2 There’s an excerpt on the NaNoWriMo site and I’ll probably post it again, soon! Some ideas are worth pursuing! This one certainly was!

Excerpt–Mightier Than The Sword–Novel-in-progress

Samson wanted to leave with Melandro, but Tiffany and Tyson quickly closed down the club and everyone had to stay put, including Samson. Tyson called for police reinforcements and Tiffany called in the Sheriff’s office. This was way too much for them to deal with. Traffic was blocked from entering the parking lot of Club Jazzy and for a three-block perimeter. Behind the club was the river so they weren’t concerned about anyone leaving in that direction.

“Tyson, make sure all of guests are comfortable and have the police collect every glass at every table and bag them. Battle, call the hospital and make sure everyone is x-rayed for needle pricks and their stomachs pumped. Swatere, check the bathrooms and collect all the garbage cans. Whoever is responsible for this, is not getting away again!” Tiffany thundered orders.

Pretty soon the place was packed with uniformed officers, interviewing guests and taking notes. All of the stemware bagged and all the eating utensils and food put aside.

Samson and the other owners were dumbfounded. They couldn’t believe this was happening on their opening night. Immediately, technicians were brought in to rule out food poisoning for which the chef was eternally grateful for them saying, the food was not tainted in any way.

When the stemware was bagged and tagged, another agent from the FBI took them directly to the lab where Katie was standing by.

When Tiffany asked Samson what Melandro had been drinking, she immediately became suspicious.

“I only saw her drink club soda. Then after we announced our engagement, she had a sip of the champagne. Ask the bar-tender if she had anything else.”

When Tiffany asked the bar-tender if Melandro had anything to drink, he just shook his head. “She came back here once, to fix what she was going to call a Jazzy special. I don’t know what she put in it and she washed the shaker as soon as she made it.”

“That figures,” Tiffany muttered. “What about the glass she used for the champagne toast, has that been cleaned as well?”

“No, in fact she never finished the drink so it’s on the counter—right where she was sitting before she collapsed.”

“Battle, get that technician over here to check the contents of this glass.”

The technician had brought specially formulated strips to test for poisons and he immediately put it in the glass. It turned blue—indication of a toxic substance.

“Okay, get that to the lab and I want results tonight, not tomorrow!” she barked.

Samson sat at the bar with his head in his hand, not knowing what was going on. “Samson, do you have a pen I could use? I don’t have one in this tiny little purse,” Tiffany explained.

“Yeah, sure. Let me get you one of the marketing ones from the office.”

“Franklin,” she called to a uniformed officer, “Please escort Samson to his office and bring him back here pronto.

Walking back to his office with his police escort, Samson’s heart sank. This was supposed to be a night to remember, but not because of three people being rushed to a hospital, but because he had decided to commit to one woman. When he unlocked the door, he sighed and went quickly to his desk and opened the drawer. Stunned, he picked up the syringe and the vial, wondering how they got there. Since Franklin was standing right behind him and saw the syringe and vial, Samson plopped into the chair, not saying a word.

“Agent Harangue,” he radioed. “You need to see this. I’m in the office near the back of the building. Don’t make a move,” he ordered, pulling his service revolver out and keeping it aimed at Samson.

“I’ll be right there,” she said, motioning for Tyson to follow her.

“I don’t know what this is or how it got here,” Samson stammered.

“Don’t say anything else until Agent Harangue gets back here,” Franklin ordered, stepping back from Samson, watching every move.

Tiffany and Tyson burst through the door.

“What is it?” Tiffany asked.

Franklin motioned with his gun at Samson. “Get up slowly and move away from the desk.” Turning to Tiffany, he said,

“There’s a syringe and a vial in the drawer. Samson here says he doesn’t know how they got there.”

Fortunately, Tiffany had brought a pair of latex gloves to the back with her and an evidence bag. She put on the gloves and gingerly picked up the syringe and vial, putting them into the evidence bag.

“Tyson, take these to one of the technicians and have it analyzed right away. If this is what I think it is, we’ve finally solved these murders and hopefully, those who are at the hospital will survive.”

“Franklin, read Samson his rights and take him in for questioning. He’s to be held until we get back from the hospital and no one, I mean no one is get back here. As soon as everyone has been interviewed and we have contact information, turn them loose and tape the place off.

Samson was read his rights, handcuffed and led out of the club, totally mortified by what had just happened.

There’s Something About Prophecy!

There’s something about prophecy, especially from a biblical perspective which makes me wonder why people do not pay attention.

Throughout the bible, we are told of coming events–with such detailed accuracy that we could not possibly mistake what we are told. From the prophets in the Old Testament through Jesus and John, all the consequences of sin and disobedience are detailed and even though like then–people didn’t believe what was told to them–events came to pass just like they were told.

If we look back at what Jesus said would happen and understand what John tells us in Revelation, we would have no need to wonder why the relentless weather patterns are what they are. And still we do not change our behavior. The mockers are still mocking God’s Word and other believers; believers are selectively choosing what and who to believe, and the unsaved masses are still waiting for those of us who know God and have a relationship with Him to share the good news with them.

Some years ago, while watching the news and unfolding current events, I believe the Lord spoke to my heart and unveiled a prophetic event, which can be seen coming to pass right now. While I do not claim to be a prophet, I do hear and obey God and I know when He is speaking versus the enemy trying to influence my thoughts. Those thoughts about what is happening now and what will happen by 2020 are written in my book, Turning Force, available on Amazon and Smashwords. I know, like many people who lived before me, there are those who will not take heed to what is said and will scoff at the contents. We won’t know until 2020 how accurate the prophecy will be, but much can be seen right now. People will have to read it for themselves to determine the final outcome. I won’t tell all that was shown to me.

While they are scoffing at the words of one who hears God and obeys, they might want to remember all of those things that were prophesied about the Children of Israel–the good and the bad when they disobeyed–and know that God is not mocked. What He says will come to pass, will come–on His time-table–not ours. A prophetic word is usually given to allow people time to change their ways–it’s a heads-up warning. When people do not change their course of action, God will honor His Word, no matter who gives it.

Perhaps, it is time for all of us to re-visit the prophecies given in the Bible and align them with the events we have seen with our own eyes throughout history and see what we must do. God is still using people to warn us about events. I’m not referencing those who deliberately lie–the doomsday prophets who trick people into doing all manner of foolish things. Their lies are eventually exposed every time they open their mouths. We know who they are–they made the headlines and then simply disappeared from the public after repeated humiliation when their lies were exposed.

A true prophecy will not deter from anything God has already said.

When the end comes–we will have no need to store and hoard anything–it will be the end.

If we have not already determined where we will spend eternity–today would be a good day to do so. According to God’s Word, not mine–we must make a decision to choose Jesus and make heaven our home for eternity.

Repent from sins (according to God’s definition of sin, not mine or anyone else’s), Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, today and love Him enough to live for Him, since He loved us enough to die for us. If you do this–heaven will be yours for all eternity.

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 3)

Just when it seemed like he couldn’t hold onto sanity for another minute, right after dinner there was knock on the door.  When his father answered, the first voice he heard was Reverend Anderson and his heart sank.  He sat in the living room, where he had been watching television, thinking, “Might as well stick a fork in me and call me done.”  His father led Reverend Anderson and Pastor Cal into the living room and invited them to sit down.  They did and Vernon’s heart thumped so loudly, he just knew everyone could hear it.

“Reverend Jenkins, thank you for agreeing to see us.  We have a rather grave matter to discuss involving Vernon.  But before we get started, has Vernon told you anything about what happened three days ago?” Pastor Cal asked.

“No,” Reverend Jenkins replied stiffly.  “I know something has been going on, but when I asked, he refused to tell me.”

“Vernon,” Reverend Anderson spoke calmly, “Would you like to tell your dad why we’re here?”

“No!  Y’all here you might as well do what you do,” was Vernon’s rebellious response.

Paul sighed, before he turned to Vernon’s father and began to tell him what happened. Until Paul actually pulled the plastic baggy out of the manila envelope that Pastor Cal had been holding, Reverend Jenkins sat in unbelief.  When he saw the bag, he started to get up from his chair, but Pastor Cal motioned for him to sit.

“Vernon, tell your father what this is and where it came from!” Reverend Anderson said.

“How am I supposed know? You brought that in here.  You tell him,” adamantly denying everything.

“Okay, I’ll tell him.” Turning to Vernon’s father, he pulled out his cell phone and showed him the picture taken on the day Paul had seen him with the seedy-looking guy.  Vernon’s father visibly blanched at what he saw.  The veins in his forehead started to pulse and anger was written all over his face.  Before anyone could have anticipated the next move, he was out of his chair and had grabbed Vernon and threw him down on the floor and started punching him.  It took Paul and Cal to get him off Vernon and even then, his fists were still flailing, almost hitting Paul in the face. He was livid!

“Torrance!” Pastor Cal cautioned him.  “This is not the way.  Beating him to a pulp is not going to help.”

“Oh yes, it will,” Torrance responded, breathing heavily.  “It will help me to teach this boy some respect!  I will not tolerate drug use in my house.  If he can’t abide by my rules, then he can get the hell out!”

Paul was still holding onto him, while Cal attended Vernon, who was curled up in a fetal position on the floor.  His hands were protecting what was left of the exposed part of his face, but where his father’s punches had landed, skin was rising in protest of the beating along one whole side of his face.

After carefully checking Vernon over, Cal determined there was no skin broken or broken bones and he helped him to sit back in the chair from which his father had pulled him.

“Torrance, profanity won’t help the matter here.  Please, get yourself in check. We need to talk.  Beating Vernon is not the answer.  At this rate, the only thing we’ll accomplish here is to get him angry enough to leave and then we won’t have any control over what he does.  Calm down!”

“How can you tell me to calm down?  What would you do if this was your son?  I don’t mean the one that’s grown?  But with a baby on the way, you better know how to deal with this nonsense because it’s not going to get better.”

Cal ignored Reverend Jenkins for a moment.  He was not there to discuss his future child; he was there to find a way to keep Vernon out of trouble.

“Vernon, look at me.  I want you to think about what’s going on here and the fact that you have to stop using and selling drugs.  If you keep going in this direction, it will only be a matter of time before you’re arrested.  Look, I know some of the pushers have kids believing they cannot be prosecuted, but the laws are changing. You can and will be prosecuted and there is nothing your father or anyone else will be able to do about it.  Is going to jail what you really want?”

 

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 2)

deceptive storm“I just got a call from the high school and it appears that more and more kids are involved in drug use.  They’re trying to pinpoint the distribution, but you know how difficult that can be.  This is especially true since they do not control the flow of traffic in and out of the building.  I suggested they put up security cameras in lieu of having someone man the doors.  At any rate, they said they would take my suggestion to the next board meeting.  I’d hate the thought that some of our kids are involved, but one never knows what kids will do when they are out of sight of authority.”

“Yes, I do know.  I’ve actually been a little concerned about Vernon Jenkins, lately.  He seems to be more resistant to the teachings at the church.  I’m not sure if it is just teen-age angst or if there is another problem.  I’ve tried to talk to him, but he always leaves as soon as church is over and I think he only attends the youth meetings because his dad makes him.”

“Both he and his dad are having a bad time.  I’ve offered to counsel him, but his father insists he can handle it.  I’m just not sure if he’s trying to handle things as his dad or as a minister.  Sometimes those lines can be blurred.  I hope that’s not the case here.”

“Pastor Cal…I …uh.  I was trying not to say anything until I could prove my suspicions but I think Vernon is using.  He’s distant and his eyes are always glassy-looking.  I know the symptoms.  The pulling away from people who know you well, trying to fit in with all the wrong folks.  I hope he’s not, but all the signs are there.”

“Before you draw any conclusions, see if you can get him to open up and talk to you.  I’m sure if we can get him to talk, we’ll be able to help him, but if he’s not willing, the only thing we can do is to alert his dad.  You want me to do it?”

“No sir.  At least, not yet.  Let me try talking to him.  His dad has quite a temper and I would not want to be responsible for anything that happens to Vernon because of his dad’s uncontrolled anger.  I’ll make it my business to talk to him tonight and let you know what happened.  Was there anything else?”

“No, not at all.  I’m sure you have things to prepare for your meeting.  Call me tomorrow when you get a chance.  And…by the way, Pastor Dee and I are expecting a new baby…”

“Congratulations!” Reverend Anderson interrupted, surprised by the news.

“Thanks, but we want to keep this quiet for a while.  Because this pregnancy puts her at risk, she’s not going to be around the church much and I’m going to need every minister on board to fill in the gap.  Can I count on you?”

“Absolutely.  And please let Pastor Dee I’m praying for her and the baby.”

“I’m sure she’ll appreciate your prayers.  I’ll talk to you later.”

After Reverend Anderson hung up the phone, he smiled to himself.  He knew that Pastor Dee and Pastor Cal were relatively newlyweds, but he didn’t think that a baby would ever be part of the equation.  “How about that?” he thought.  “They still got it going on.” He pulled out his bible and began writing some notes for the youth meeting.  Before long, stumped as to how to approach the subjects he wanted to discuss, he got on the Internet to see if there any websites with good suggestions. As he searched, he remembered.  He remembered his own involvement with drugs and how it could have cost him his life.

Paul Anderson, the greatest athlete known at Community High School, had many offers from various colleges and had been awarded all sorts of scholarships.  It was the spring just before he graduated high school that things fell apart.  He and some of his buddies had been out celebrating their impending graduation and all of their accomplishments in high school.  When someone had pulled out a joint, at first Paul refused—thinking about all he had ahead of him—he didn’t want to ruin his chances to be successful.  After a while, someone dared him to take a drag.  Never one to resist a dare, he accepted the joint and inhaled deeply, sputtering like crazy as he coughed violently.  The other guys laughed at him, but since his eyes were smarting and his lungs burning, he didn’t see anything funny.  The longer he sat, watching them pass the joint, the calmer he became until he finally took another hit.  This time, he didn’t sputter or cough; he just sat back and grinned stupidly.  By the time he got ready to go home, he couldn’t focus.  The world seemed to be moving faster than he was and he was trying to catch up.  He heard laughter faintly as though it was far away, but he couldn’t see who was laughing.  His buddies all appeared to be far away. Finally, he heard someone say, “we gotta take him home.  He can’t drive like that.”

Unfortunately, they didn’t move fast enough. By the time someone thought about getting his car keys from him, Paul had walked out the door, keys in-hand.  He struggled trying to open the door when he couldn’t get the keys to slide into the lock and then almost fell getting into the car, but he finally got the keys into the ignition and started the car to head home.  That was the last thing he remembered of that fateful night.

Deceptive Storm available on amazon.com and smashwords.com Enjoy!

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 1)

She sat with a glass of wine in her hands, swirling the burgundy liquid slowly, reflecting, contemplating her life.  Taking a luxurious sip, she sighed and wished for more than what she had.  More money, more house, more of a man, more happiness—just more of everything.  Leaning back on the black leather chaise in her living room, she closed her eyes, glass still in hand.  Her thoughts vacillated between what was and how she was going to fast forward.

“If I could just shake the past and move on, I’d be alright,” she thought.  “I just need to shake the past.”

Her past was a multicolored debacle.  One misstep after the other.  She tried hard to think about the last time she had actually done anything right.  She couldn’t remember.  Brain cells only seemed to recall the squirmy situations she had created or fallen into.  Fallen into—with deliberation.  She shook her head at her own recriminations.  Deciding to traipse down memory lane, she focused on the first real love of her life—the love that had left her dangling for years and finally cut off her emotions to the quick.  She had loved the wrong man as so many before her had done, but she just knew—Brian was the only man worthy of her love.  The real tragedy was that Brian was from Loser Street—and just didn’t know how to get off of it.  Appearances can certainly be deceiving.  Hefty and handsome as any movie star, Brian strolled into Charleston Café with his friends, easily the center of attention.

She had seated them at the best table in the house—near a window so they could keep an eye on the object of their discussion—the latest fast car purchased by the racing car company that was based in town.  Sleek, low to the ground, shiny black with yellow pinstripes and the company sponsor listed on the side, it was something to behold.  Apparently, the three men discussing the car thought so, too.  She heard someone say something about the most “horsepower that was legal” and that was as much as she needed to hear.  She really wanted to meet the man behind the smile and the talk.

Standing at their table waiting to take their order, her eyes shifted from one to another.  The other two men were slightly older than the man talking and she could quickly detect that the younger man was trying to convince the other two to do something.  After taking their order, she deliberately brushed against the younger man, knowing he would have to pay attention, but he didn’t.  He moved slightly and kept talking.  After she had placed their drinks on the table, he glanced at her briefly and nodded.  She perceived the nod as recognition and invitation to something later.

When they had finished their meal, the younger man eagerly picked up the check while the older men smiled, shaking each other’s hands, ready to go their separate ways.

“Brian,” she heard one of the men say, “you’ve got yourself a deal.  Come into the office tomorrow and we’ll sign the paperwork.  It’s nice doing business with you.”  They left Brian in the Café.  She had asked if he’d like for her to take the payment to the cashier, but he said no and ordered a cup of coffee.  He leaned back in the chair and openly appraised the woman in front of him.  Heat began to crawl from her toes to her face under his scrutiny, but she smiled as he apparently decided he liked what he saw.

He rose from the table and left her a tip with a note.  A telephone number.  A number that would eventually lead to more heartache than she could have ever imagined.

She had called him after her shift ended and they made plans for dinner and a movie.  The dinner and the movie were good, but his conversation was mesmerizing.  She couldn’t stop listening to him and encouraged him to keep talking.

He was one of eight children, his mother was not very healthy and his dad was a truck driver, always on the road.  When he finished school, he decided that he did not like his life and was determined to recreate himself.  He left the hollow that he had grown up in and went to Texas.  There he attended college, but became more involved with racing than books.  When he discovered that he had a knack for driving fast cars, he quickly adapted by attending the races and eventually got a chance to show what he could do.

He left ten experienced drivers in the dust during his first race.  No one watching understood how he had managed it, but he had easily won the race and a few hundred dollars.  The race itself was addictive, but the money was the jolt that kept him going.  He thought he had finally found his niche in life.  Not only was he good at racing the cars, he was an expert at finding investors to sponsor him in races.  He loved the feel and the smell of the cars, but he loved the stench of the jumpsuits after a race.   More importantly, he loved the attention he got wherever he went.

“Oh yeah,” she remembered, he loved the attention.  In the three years they dated, she could barely keep him focused on their relationship because of all the attention he received by racing.  Every where they went, people wanted to talk to them.  Alone time was seldom, but he seemed to enjoy her company and she was totally lost to him.   Lost—that’s a word she would remember for a long time.

She thought they were on their way to a march down the aisles when she discovered that he was on his way—to another woman.  She didn’t see it coming.  Never had a clue.  The connecting line had been cut and she fell with a clump, thump, and a bump—heartbroken and hell-bent on revenge.

Available on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.smashwords.com  Enjoy and review!

Battlerama Super Tweens On The Other Side (excerpt b)

Botcha-ku had not prepared his team for the additions, but it did not matter. He was a master in martial arts and he could take on the whole team by himself, but he did not think it prudent to do so. When he raised his hand, the team attacked.

“Kiao!” they yelled and split the air with their flying kicks.

“What does the fox say?” Derek yelled.

The Seven and their help easily deflected the onslaught of kicks and punches because Shane moved so fast through the rumble that the Dragon Slayers did not know who they were fighting. Derek was able to get his hand on one person and used them as a sling, pushing back the others. When they finally broke rank, Ian and Deborah were back-to-back in combat with two of the Dragon slayers, while the Seven were working on tiring out the rest.

For a short time, Botcha-ku watched until he grew weary and with his magic conjured up rabblers from the other side and turned them loose on the group. Now, since each of the Seven had a short sword in their hands, they could easily fight off the rabblers. Maria vanished and suddenly, the rabblers began falling backwards as if they were pins in a bowling alley.

“What does the fox say?” Maria yelled.

Anthony, taking his cue from Maria, blew an ice ring around the fallen rabblers that would hold them since they would not be able to stand the touch of the ice. Tori grabbed Shane’s and Jiao’s hands and cloned them until there were six of each of them and Botcha-ku didn’t know which to decimate. Kiara fought valiantly alongside Chin and Derek until Derek seemingly gave up, unable to breathe.

Chin and Kiara stepped around him to protect him and when Derek inhaled deeply, he blew a ring of fire around two of the Dragon Slayers.

“What does the fox say?” Kiara yelled.

Botcha-ku was astounded. He knew they had powers, but he didn’t know the extent of their powers. Just as he was about to even the odds against them, he found himself in a tango with Chin. There was very quizzical look on Chin’s face and an equally quizzical look on Botcha-ku’s face. It was if they both recognized something very familiar within each one.

Botcha-ku’s memory surfaced first and he attacked Chin with everything ounce of strength he had and would have brought forth more magic, if Chin had not moved quickly, taking him down in a sweep kick, and was sitting on top of him. Chin quickly pulled the short sword he had coated with his own concoction and pricked Botcha-ku’s skin with the blade.

Within seconds, Botcha-ku began to weaken and wither. Chin had made sure there was not enough of the toxic plant juice to kill him, just to revert the anti-aging agent he had made for himself and Pang-chi. Chin was a bit regretful about Pang-chi, but Botcha-ku had to be stopped and as for Pang-chi, she had outlived her life a long time ago.

“Tell them to stand down!” Chin warned Botcha-ku.

“Xiàtái!” Botcha-ku shouted in a quivering voice.

Battlerama Super Tweens On The Other Side available on amazon.com and smashwords.com. Enjoy!