Monday, December 18, 2017

CC3 (part 1) - Peacemaker

Cover by Becki Davis/Davis Creative

I pleased to announce  Book 3 of  my series:

The Commander and the Chief

** Peacemaker **

Now out in Paperback ( and and ebook (kindle and Nook).

Here's the scoop:

The adventures of British Commander, Reginald Barrett, and Native American “Chief,” Nova Orlovic, continue as they take on new political intrigue and mysteries.

Part Serbian, part Cheyenne, Nova opened up a Pandora’s Box when her team uncovered the inconvenient truth behind the death of her husband, a revered war hero. Foul play pointed to President Lincoln Todd. Yet clever politician Todd spun the narrative in his favor while international powers manipulate him to do their bidding. 

Meanwhile, a psychic convinces the First Lady that Nikola Tesla sent papers with alien technology to Nova’s grandfather during World War II. The First Lady embarks to recover them from Nova, Enemy Number One on the Todd Enemies List.

As the Commander used his medical skills to keep Nova alive during her expedition, he now uses them to sleuth dead men’s secrets. But at his best friend’s wedding in Wyoming, the confluence of superstition, old feuds, and international intrigue peak in this version of Close Encounters of the Weird Kind.

What's with Nova's ancestor Nikola Tesla?  As he still stirs up trouble from the grave.

The clip below makes his long story short:

As Peacemaker has been released during the holidays, here is a sample chapter reflecting one aspect of the Christmas spirit:

The party from Nevada—Jack, Charlie, Frank, Bonita—arrived at Nova’s private lodge, a week before the wedding. And they all were given a whirlwind tour of the ranch.
When that was done, Reggie and Nova met Jack and Charlie at Peacemaker Chapel. The engaged couple paced it to get a measure of the place and inspect the venue.
The altar faced the Sapphire Mountains. Its large windows overlooked the Little Medicine Wheel. Beyond, the green meadows and snow in the mountains tussled for territory after spring.
It was chilly out. So they bundled up in fleece jackets. Though the sun in the clear sky warmed them up some.
“During spring and summer, Peacemaker Chapel is a favorite spot for weddings.” Nova pulled out the guest book. “And after Memorial Day, regular Sunday morning services start up here for the guests.”
Charlie walked to the altar and looked out the big picture window. “What’s the story about the Little Medicine Wheel?”
“Happy to tell you.” And Nova beckoned them outside to join her at its perimeter.
“Here,” Nova began, “Grandfather made a copy of the Medicine Wheel in the Bighorn Mountains. A giant wheel with spokes. Though many thought the original was aligned with the constellations and events—like solstices, equinoxes, other astrological stuff.”
“And I see,” Reggie looked about, “there’s no shortage of rocks on the ranch.”
Nova nodded. “So Grandfather gathered them up to make this big wheel. But instead of a buffalo skull at its center, he put a cross.”
“So your grandfather was a spiritual man then?” Jack asked.
“He was a Christian as well as a Medicine Man,” Nova said. “And he believed in the healing of the whole man…body, mind, and spirit. But only one man could do that. The One who died for our sins. Which was why Grandfather put a cross in the middle of the wheel.”
“That explains the plaque.” Reggie read the sign at the perimeter. It invited all to walk around the Little Medicine Wheel and say their prayers to the Great Physician in Heaven.
“Later,” Nova said, “I added Peacemaker Chapel below the Little Medicine Wheel. And when the Wild West Shows became a big tourist draw, the Chapel became a popular place for weddings and worship services.”
To the side of the Chapel, Charlie spied a barn, cordoned off with No Trespassing signs. Its boards and shingles were weathered gray. Wild flowers poked their heads out of the grasses about the fence and building.
“There must be a story about that old barn,” Charlie said.
“There is,” Nova said. “I was born there.”
The three looked puzzled, so she explained.
“My mother was a great lover of horses. One day—she was nine months pregnant at the time—she was tending to her favorite mare in that barn. But I couldn’t wait to come out. Fortunately, Kaya Stillwater was with her and helped bring me into the world. And I was wrapped up in a horse blanket and laid in the hay.
Charlie smiled. “Like the baby Jesus.”
“You told me and Jacko about that last Christmas.” Reggie stepped alongside Nova. “When we were in the cave looking for water. Where we found the Admiral.”
“That was some Christmas,” Jack said. “Full moon rising in the Forbidden Area. The three of us with the Admiral’s dead body. Who left us one hell of present.”
“Like twenty million of them,” Reggie said. They all knew he was referring to the number of CyBytes on the microchip inside Admiral Quinn’s Navy ring.
Then Nova chuckled. “When I left the door open as a kid, the grown-ups would yell at me, Were you born in a barn? And I’d say, Yes, I really was. And they thought I was just being a smart ass.”
“Well, were you?” Reggie raised his eyebrows. And Nova answered with a playful swat.
“So your mother was an only child, Nova?” Charlie asked. “Like you.”
“No and no,” Nova said. “Don’t forget my half-brother Nick. My dad’s son. And Mother had two older brothers and twin sisters.”
The three looked surprised, so Nova explained.
Her mother’s twin sisters had died from measles as infants. As for her mother’s older brothers, they both had survived to adulthood. Then Uncle Gideon was killed in the Korean War. Uncle Malachi, a logger, was crushed by a big tree. A fatal workplace accident.
The boys had no children. Only Sunshine Rainmaker survived to produce a child. That was Nova.
“I was glad to have known my dad’s mother in Montana,” Nova said. “Yet I never knew Grandmother Rainmaker. Her maiden name was intriguing though. Myrna Mankiller.”
“There must be quite a story about that,” Jack piped up.
“There usually is,” Nova said. “In her day, you needed the permission of the tribal elders to select your Indian name. But this grandma passed away before I was born. So for now, it’s a mystery.”

from Part 9, Chapter 1: Sacred Space

More info:

Nova born in a barn like the baby Jesus? 

The late John Denver gives a tribute -- the Cowboy Way --- to the One born in a barn in his 1991 Christmas special - Montana Christmas Skies 


So many levels of meaning in Book 3 ... the latest US Peace Treaty with a tyrant, which is not good for the free world. The symbol of the Peace Pipe. The Peacemaker missile silos on Nova's Wyoming ranch, a relic of the Cold War. Peacemaker Chapel, a popular place for weddings, such as the coming wedding of the Commander and the Chief's friends. And making peace, settling old feuds.

As the Good Lord said...

Blessed are the peacemakers: 
for they shall be called the children of God.

Matthew 5:9 (KJV)

And this Christmas songs remind us that the Prince of Peace has come....

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Blessings for Christmas 2017 and into the New Year of 2018.


Related posts in the Commander and the Chief series:

His Tribe of One, Book One:

CC (part 1) - The Commander and the Chief: His Tribe of One (2014)

CC (part 2) - Universe in a Glass of Wine  (2014)

CC (part 3) - Happy Bill of Rights Day  (2014)

CC (part 4) - Stories and the Brain (2015)

CC (part 5) - Audie Murphy  (2014)

CC (part 6) - Pavle Orlovic (2015)

CC (part 7) - Buzz Aldrin  (2015) 

 CC (part 8) - Little America (2016)    

CC (part 9) - Buffalo Bill's Wild West (2016)

CC (part 10) - Little Big Man (2016) 

Counting Coup, Book Two:

CC2 (part 1) - Counting Coup  (2016)


Photo:  Cover by Becki Davis/Davis Creative

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Patriots (part 5) - Private Martin A. Treptow's Pledge

WW1 veteran/

Above is pictured World War I veteran, Joseph Ambrose, 86, at the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982. He's holding the flag of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.

It's sad for parents to out-live their children. Even more poignant for parents whose children have given their life for their country.

One World War I solider, who was killed in action, was Private Martin Treptow. In his inaugural address in 1981, Ronald Reagan gave speech to remember who we are, honoring veterans and their sacrifices.

A message for our times. Still relevant for our continuing war on terror against the enemies of freedom.

This Veterans Day, may we remember our veterans and all those who put themselves in harm's way to serve others--home and abroad.

And this pledge:

"America must win this war. 

Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, 
I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, 
as if the issue of the whole struggle
depended on me alone."

We are Americans. And Freedom isn't Free.

God Bless our Troops!

And God Bless America!



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Faith (part 3) - Halloween 500 years ago

Halloween, 500 years ago...

Legend has it that on the Eve of All Saint's Day in 1517 AD, a German theologian, friar, professor, priest came knocking at the door.

Trick or Treat?

More like nailing his 95 theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

That legendary figure? Martin Luther, of course.

And that story is shown in the clip below.

That Halloween is considered the start of the Protestant Reformation. And today, some choose to celebrate Reformation Day. (Instead of, or in addition to, the traditional "Trick or Treat")

Yet in the 16th century, Martin Luther stood on the shoulders of many reformers before him. Such as,  John Wycliffe in the 14th century.  John Huss in the 15th century.

But one my favorites is Peter Waldo of the 12th century. And his story is told below.

(reference: )

The Waldensians, a movement that took its name from Peter Waldo, were largely absorbed by Protestants when they came along. But the Waldensians still exist as a denomination to this day - e.g. the American Waldensian Society. As I so witnessed in a recent trip back East, I saw a sign for the Waldensian Church in Pennsylvania.

And as the video above said, Peter Waldo had Martin Luther's shtick down three centuries before Martin Luther.

Regardless of denomination or religious affiliation, St. Paul gave this warning 20 centuries ago...

Take a good look at yourselves
to see if you are really believers.
Test yourselves.
Don’t you realize that
Christ Jesus is in you?
Unless, of course, you fail the test!

II Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Reformation is an ongoing process, a never ending test.

So if a monk comes knocking at your door this October 31st, wish them a ...

 Blessed Reformation Day!


Other posts in the series:

Faith (part 1) - Star Trek and Christianity (2016)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Civics (part 2) - We the People

US Constitution/

Constitution Day  

It's celebrated on September 17.
As that date is the anniversary of the US Constitution, written in 1787.

But before the United States had a Constitution, the new republic of 13 colonies was governed by..

The Articles of Confederation

During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress drafted the Articles to conduct business. And they were ratified by colonies near the end of the war.  {reference: }

Yet they were many shortcomings, so a Constitutional Convention was called in Philadelphia in 1787.

For a good timeline on the Constitutional Convention,
check out:

Thus was born...

The Constitution 

The document created on September 17, 1787 at the first Constitutional Convention.
{reference: }

The Preamble stating its principles is told in this children's song below:

So the Constitution was ratified 1788 and put effect in 1789 when we elected our first president of the United States under the Constitution, George Washington.

Meanwhile, to sell the Constitution to the States, a case was made for them in...

The Federalist Papers

These 85 essays were written in 1787 - 1788 to make the case for the Constitution, so the States would ratify it. The authors, who used the pseudonym Publius, were some of our well known Founding Fathers--Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

The result of this Constitution was the shift from a monarch to

We the People


A document for the ages and all people. And celebrated in our pop culture

As shown in Star Trek, the Original Series,  Season 2 Episode 52 "The Omega Glory" (1968).

Captain Kirk does give a good speech: 

We merely showed them the meaning of what they were fighting for.
Liberty and Freedom have to be more than just words.

Whether it's Sci-Fi in the 23rd century or our own time in the 21st century, the Preamble and the words that follow offer principles for everyone to live by as well as words to remember who we are.

Liberty and Freedom!

That's worth fighting.


Previous post in the series:


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

LOL (part 3) - Year in the Life of a Teacher


For most of the country, school is now in session after the summer vacation.

And for our intrepid teachers, educators, professors, instructors, aids, tutors, so it begins...

Here's to you, my teacher friends. You make a big difference in the lives of children, students of all ages, the community, the next generation.

All year round.

And as you reach the finish line this school year, may you say...

I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith
II Timothy 4:7 (KJV)

You are a saint! May that put a smile on your face.



Friday, July 28, 2017

PPP (part 2) - Psalms, Proverbs, and the Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot/

David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, when he looked up at the dark night sky, wrote these words..

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2 (NIV)

And David's son, Solomon, also expressed this proverb in his wisdom writings:

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding He set the heavens in place;

by His knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

Proverbs 3:19-20 (NIV)

In the late 20th century, Carl Sagan brought science and astronomy to the people in his series, Cosmos (1980). Before he slipped the surly bounds of earth, Sagan was moved by the photo of our home (above). Taken almost 4 billion miles away from Earth from Saturn. Known as...

The Pale Blue Dot

As the probe finished its primary mission, Carl Sagan had requested NASA to take one last picture of Earth as it was leaving the Solar System. That became the iconic photograph the Voyager 1 space probe had taken of Earth on February 14, 1990. A pale blue dot, the Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel among bands of sunlight.

 And such inspired his poetic tribute:

Definitely awe struck, Sagan's tribute expressed a more humanist philosophy. As well as overwhelmed by our seemingly insignificance  in the vast universe. All the politics of our short lifespans seem petty. Nothing. {reference: Carl Sagan gave us an incredible perspective on our planet }

Again, David has his words of the greatness of the universe and the smallness of humans and life on earth with the Divine perspective in mind.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory
in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants
You have established a stronghold against Your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You have set in place,
what is mankind that You are mindful of them,
human beings that You care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.

You made them rulers over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under their feet:

all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:1-9 (NIV)

The Pale Blue Dot ... in Psalms and Proverbs.

It makes the Politics of the Earth pale in comparison to the vastness of space....

And beyond, the Greatness of our Creator.

But in His greatness, He cares for all His creatures and put mankind to care for the handiwork of His creation.

And that is awesome.


Other post in series:

PPP (part 1) - All Men are Liars (2017) 


Photo:  Pale Blue Dot/

Friday, June 30, 2017

Faith (part 2) - Founding Fathers' Faith and the Fourth of July

Declaration of Independence (1819)/
It's summer, again.

And July is in the middle of it all. School's out. Vacations. Picnics. Holidays. And important dates in American history. Such as...


A watershed year during interesting times.

Our country was born that year on the Fourth of July. And the John Trumbull painting above captures that iconic moment with this description from wikipedia commons:

"John Trumbull's painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress. The painting can be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill. The original hangs in the US Capitol rotunda."

[reference: Declaration of Independence (1819)/ ]
And this painting, in the public domain, is a favorite graphic for articles about American history and the first Fourth of July. Such as in this US Independence Day video, which most elegantly gives their tribute:

With the YouTube video are the comments of its creator:

"The Fourth of July is more than just a date on a calendar. It is the celebration of an event which transformed a nation and eventually changed the world. It is the day on which our founding fathers declared their independence and forged the way for fledgling nation to become great. 

"As the Independence Day video announces, 'Freedom is not a work of men alone. It is a gift from the Almighty God.'

"This spiritual freedom is the freedom that the patriotic video celebrates. Using memorable images of Christian history and heritage--such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington's crossing of the Delaware--the video tells a message of our freedom and focuses upon God, the source of true freedom and deliverance. 

This short July Fourth video will tell a message of hope and deliverance, while at the same time expressing appreciation for the United States of America."

I cannot say it better than that.

But as the quote above says - Freedom is not a work of men alone. It is a gift from the Almighty God. 

But whoever looks intently 
into the perfect law that gives freedom, 
and continues in it—
not forgetting what they have heard, 
but doing it—
they will be blessed 
in what they do. 
James 1:25 (NIV) 

Since the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers expressed Faith in the Foundation of the Bible and the Judeo-Christian values for the new republic and for governing the nation, as seen in the montage below:

And without faith
it is impossible to please God,
because anyone
who comes to Him
must believe that He exists
and that He rewards those
who earnestly seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

It's been over 240 years...
As we celebrate this holiday in the 21st century, may we heed the advice of  Krista Branch's song, Remember Who We Are.

This Fourth of July may we remember the blessings of God and be thankful for the Faith of our Founding Fathers.

As we look back, St. Paul's words can apply to them...

We remember
before our God and Father
your work produced by faith,
your labor prompted by love,
and your endurance inspired by hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)



Other post in the series:

Faith (part 1) - Star Trek and Christianity 


photo: Declaration of Independence (1819)/