This Over-Zealous Jesus-Freak

Oh crap. The retreat. 

Kayla clears her throat in a vain attempt to make me feel guilty.  She’s bummed that I refused to go to some lame youth retreat with her this weekend.  My mother and my new step-father, Bob, are also disappointed. They were about to be outdone in their disappointment by this over-zealous Jesus-freak.

On The Outward Appearance, a YA Fantasy Short Story by D. Marie Prokop

On The Outward Appearance takes a brave and uncomfortable look at the human heart.

Please leave a review so others can discover this introspective tale that stares cynicism in the face and ponders the conclusion that good and bad aren’t as simple as they look.

Thankfully, neither is love.

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Only With The Heart

One book in particular caught her eye.  The title had faded golden letters—The Little Prince.   She opened the thin volume and began reading.

It was a quirky children’s fantasy story, but Hani fell in love with the demure, charming, lost little prince from the very first page.  The narrator, a pilot who crashed his plane in the desert, befriends a stranger, a little golden-haired boy who claims he came from another planet.  The pilot listens as the prince tells him all about his planet and his special concern for a flower, the rose he has sworn to protect.

The little prince shares his deepest thoughts with the pilot, claiming grown-ups are too serious and miss what’s important.  The prince claims life is sometimes too mysterious to understand and one must accept both the mystery with the reality.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,” Hani read.


The Little Prince is now a Netflix Original Movie. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s fantastical tale is reimagined and retold for a new generation. I highly recommend reading the book. Its whimsical story is paired with original watercolor pictures drawn by the author, a celebrated French novelist, journalist, and pilot.

The movie attempts to depict to this imaginative story in a new way, but while beautiful on the screen, movies fail to let people exercise their individual imaginations, which is partly the point of the story  to begin with. I may be too “grown-up” in my opinion, but this story is close to my heart and highly revered, which is why I shared it in The Red Knot. It’s also difficult to support the movie’s additional plot of a little girl blindly befriending a weird old man and then lying about spending time with him to her mother.  Um… stranger danger? If only they had made him her grandfather or something. It was slightly creepy, honestly. And dangerous in reality.  But the fox, the rose, the snake, the aviator, and The Little Prince were brilliant and magically portrayed. The message of what is essential came across and that’s what really matters.

See with your heart!





The Dreamer

“What you had planned for evil, God had planned for good.”

From The Red Cloak, Chapter 11, The Upside-Down World

In one of my other lives, I’m a singer/songwriter. I’d like to share an original song that fits into the theme of Days of the Guardian, The Dreamer. Hope you enjoy it.

(Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if it’s your kinda thing…)


The Red Knot, Days of the Guardian, Vol. 3

The Guardian awaits…

After years of separation, Li Griffin journeys to a secluded island to meet the mysterious Guardian–the unseen leader committed to rescuing the oppressed citizens of Sector One. But the journey to the island is perilous, and Li will be tested like never before.

I see your pain.

Ainsling Reid has volunteered for her most important rescue mission yet—her mother. Deep in the heart of Sector One, Noelle Reid is held prisoner by the Economic Crisis Containment Office. Ainsling must risk everything to save her mother and reunite her family.

I understand your hurt.

But even as the followers of the Guardian come together, insidious forces work to tear them apart. The sociopathic Dr. Griffin is preparing to create a new human weapon. A nefarious rebel faction will stop at nothing to find the Guardian. Doubts and fears plague the voyagers aboard The New Remnant. Though joy saved Li and Ainsling before, the pain of tragedy threatens to unravel everything.

I see you.

In The Red Knot, the epic final installment of the Days of the Guardian trilogy, Li and Ainsling must make one last stand to conquer their foes, both inside and out.

Don’t be afraid.

Buy the Days of the Guardian trilogy

Review The Red Knot

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Twilight ~ Future of Forestry

Once upon a time, we were young
We thought we’d escape from it all but we were wrong
Then unexpectedly, we’re in a dream
So faintly, we didn’t notice or did we?

So enter the other side
It sounds like a lullaby

In this twilight, we are pale
And on this frail side, nothing else could be so real

And is it nostalgia, is it the sun?
‘Cause it won’t leave us alone and we’re still young
When we sat down to pray, if you saw my eyes

You’d know I just couldn’t close them, not all night


Future of Forestry band member Eric Owyoung reminds me of Liang Griffin from Days of the Guardian!thWMQ5CW82

Check out Future of Forestry!

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Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen Book Review

Told from rotating points of view, this YA Sci-fi journey story about troubled Earth teens who are pulled into another world to live carries the reader from one conflict to the next with riveting intrigue, unceasing action, and definite heart.

This first volume in the foreseeable series does quite a lot of foundation work, introducing the reader to the world of Enova, a place similar to Earth, but different in many important ways. The author switches between four viewpoints and only drops hints about their sordid pasts, leaving enough mystery to peek your interest, but holding back enough to keep you reading.

The four characters, two boys and two girls, are distinct, and begins with perhaps the most enigmatic, Linnea. Each of the Earthers are teenagers with a past they want to forget, and wake up one day in a new world where they find healing and happiness. But an assassination attempt on all four brings them together in a joint fight for their lives. Their Enovian guardians join them in the journey to find a safe place while the attack is investigated. The story focuses on this journey, with little rest for the weary, but gifted, characters. Even the ending gives them little respite before throwing another confounding twist into the mix, to be continued in the next installation of the Enova series.

Succinct writing, non-stop action, changing POVs, a colorfully created environment, and an undercurrent of mystery make Tenderfoot an enjoyable must-read for fans of YA Science Fiction.   

“No lights, no sound. But my skin knows this isn’t home. Why aren’t I afraid?”

Get Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen


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