Too Christian?

STEALING LIBERTY comes out today and I am SO excited! I hope you buy it, read it, love it, review it and tell all your friends so they can buy it, read it, love it and tell all their friends too.
But even if you don't, I want to tell you the story of how it was almost never published.
Last year, after my literary agent, Cyle Young of Hartline Literary, had contacted all the big name publishers, inviting them to offer us a contract for Stealing Liberty, he heard back from very few. That's not at all unusual. But the ones who did respond declined to publish it. They liked the concept and the writing, they indicated, but the story was "too Christian."
"Too Christian?" I asked. "Really?"
Cyle was baffled too.
Two things confused us most:
First: a couple of these publishers have a long history of publishing Christian fiction. 
Second: STEALING LIBERTY isn't even really a Christian novel*.
Then what made STEALING LIBERTY "too Christian," Jenni…

Do All Lives Matter? (Part 4: Beating Hearts)

In 1787, Constitutional Convention delegates came to a "Three-Fifths" compromise when deciding how many representatives each state should be allowed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Southern states wanted to count their slaves. Northern states didn't think they should. Thus the three-fifths rule that said each slave could be counted as three-fifths of a human being. Seventy years later, in 1857, a slave named Dred Scott petitioned to buy his freedom because his owners had moved from a slavery state to a free state. In what is largely seen as the most horrendous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court said that residing in a free state did not entitle Scott to his freedom and that, furthermore, African Americans were not and never could be citizens of the United States

Roughly seventy years after that, Adolf Hitler was rising to power in Germany, espousing the idea that some races are inferior to others, including blacks and Jews, whom he pain…

Do All Lives Matter? (Part Three: Guns and Control)

"Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns—30,000." -- President ObamaPresident Obama said that during a speech he gave on January 5, 2016, when he announced a new executive order to tighten gun control. I have no doubt he believed what he said -- that he believed in what he was doing. First, because Obama's personality has always been unequivocal. During his eight years in office, I never saw him waffle on what he believed. One of Obama's defining characteristics was his fondness for standing ankle-deep in the hardened cement of his progressive ideas while demanding that others "compromise" by coming around to his way of thinking. Second, because Obama shed tears while he made his speech, and as much as I disagreed with him on ... well, almost everything, I DO believe he was sincerely moved by the issue of gun violence in America -- or at least his own righteous indignation in it.

I really don't fault him for that…

Do All Lives Matter? (Part Two: War & Peace)

Last week, I told you a little known fact about roadway deaths in America, which accumulated to more than 75,000 people in 2015 and 2016 combined. But the media has been mostly silent about those tragic deaths. Why is that? I shared my ideas (and my disgust) in part one of a series on the value of LIFE in the American Media. Today I continue that series with part two:

Do All Lives Matter? War & Peace

"My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth." -- George Washington
Just reading our first president's words brings tears to my eyes. First, because I've read extensively about Washington and what he went through to bring this great nation into being. The Revolutionary War was at the same time horrific and glorious, characterized by both needless deaths and deaths that bought liberty so precious, we who are Americans can barely comprehend life without it. Second, because his wish has not come true. War has not been banished. It still rag…

Do All Lives Matter? (Part One: The ACA & the AHCA)

Let's make that question personal: Do all lives matter to YOU? Do all lives matter to ME?

I ask because I stumbled across a lonely article last year, which I can't seem to find now. So I went to the source: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reported that approximately 40,000 people lost their lives on American roadways during 2016. That estimate is up six percent from the 2015 numbers, when 35,092 people died on American roadways. Together, 2015 and 2016 mark the most drastic two-year escalation in roadway deaths in 53 years.

But you haven't heard about that on the news, have you?

No, there hasn't been time for the media to dwell on 75,000 Americans losing their lives. They were too busy talking about important deaths. You know, like the ones in Ferguson, Baltimore and San Francisco. And those other deaths caused by someone who shouldn't have a gun, or someone else with a pre-existing condition.

Seventy-five thousand Americans, dear reader. …

STEALING LIBERTY -- A heist so monumental, it may cost them everything...

I am so excited to share this news with you: my new novel, STEALING LIBERTY, will be released in all e-book formats June 13, 2017.  Here's the scoop:

When Reed Paine is sent to a secret detention school for teens whose parents are branded enemies of the state, he doesn’t expect to find friendship – especially after coming face to face with Riley Paca, a girl who has every reason to hate him.
But when Reed, Riley and a few others start reading the old books they find in tunnels under the school, they begin to question what they are taught about the last days of America and the government that has risen in its place.
Then the government decides to sell the Liberty Bell and Reed and his friends risk everything to steal it – to take back their history and the liberty that has been stolen from them.

In the coming weeks, I'm going to tell you more about Stealing Liberty: How I came up with the story and the characters, what historical facts I relied on to write it, how I planned the …

Millennials and the Media: Five Themes to Watch for on TV, in Books and at the Movies

Back in January, when I wrote about why I love Millennials, I mentioned that Millennials are media cynics who neither watch nor trust what the mainstream media has to say about politics. It's true, and I respect that. Truly.

But I know what some of you were thinking: Yeah, but whether they watch the mainstream media or not, Millennials are still overwhelmingly liberal.

Yep, that's true too. There are lots of explanations for that, just like there are lots of explanations for why senior citizens are mostly conservative. Some are detailed, some are vague. Some are logical, some are just insulting. Some go back hundreds of years, like the one below, which I've heard in one form or another for most of my life (For more information on the origin of this saying, visit: Quote Investigator).

We could talk for a long time about the influence of teachers, parents and peers on the political and ideological outlook of Millennials (okay, and everyone else too), but today I want to jus…