Category Archives: Bryan Powell’s posts

Author of Stranger in the Pulpit

The Present State of Miss Bessie

Stretching the Imagination

Miss Bessie’s House

The Present State of Miss Bessie

The other day, I stopped by the house of Miss Bessie, that’s what she was called among the few folks who still knew her. As I turned the key and shut off the engine, a holy silence settled over the old homestead. A light breeze stirred the Spanish moss and in the distance, a lonely dove called out its mournful tones.

“Coo, coo, coo.”

I stepped from my car, walked the short space from where I’d parked underneath a massive live-oak, to the porch lined with Boston ferns and Pansies. With each step, my heels crunched the gravel like some rude child chewing with his mouth open.

I put my foot upon the first step of the porch; it groaned under my weight, but held. The hollow sound of each footfall resonated but went unnoticed by the spider, holding vigil over the unopened entrance.

The light tapping on her door brought the usual response…silence. I wasn’t surprised, as Miss Bessie’s hearing had long forsaken her. With care, I pushed the weathered door open; it creaked under its weight and scraped the pine-heart floor like bear claws. Light from the morning sun filtered through the lace curtains, giving the sitting-room a soft illumination. Particles of dust drifted in lazy circles in and out of the shafts of golden rays, which penetrated the yellowed shades.

The aging clock on the mantle, no longer beating out its rhythmic cadence, was the only indication that something wasn’t….normal.

I took a halting breath and knew…

Pushing deeper, I found Miss Bessie sitting in her old rocking chair on the back porch. To look at her, you would think she was either asleep or in deep prayer. Her hands were folded, her head bowed, and a few strands of grizzled hair, which escaped her hair net, hung loosely across her peaceful forehead. Her tattered Bible lay open on her lap. Gnarled fingers, locked in fervent prayer, sat lightly on its yellowed pages. Across her knees stretched an old, worn quilt. Its raggedy fringes stopped just high enough to reveal her feet, covered with a pair of darned socks, one loosely gathered around her ankle, the other pulled as high as it would go.

One look and I knew. The old rocking chair, which had been her support in life, had become the chariot upon which she rode to glory in the small hours of morning. In some shameful way, I envied her. She had fought the good fight and won the victory. For me, my journey was somewhere within the long dash, which held two dates apart.

I don’t go by Miss Bessie’s house anymore. However, rumor has it that if you pass by her former residence about the time the upper branches of that old live-oak play catch with the first rays of sun, you can hear the faint humming of Miss Bessie wafting through the morning air.

For more of Bryan’s musings go to his web-site, www.newlifepublicationsonline.com  and read about his newest Thriller, Sisters of the Veil. It’s only available on line at Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publication, but it is a must read.

 

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An Interview with Chase Newton

An Interview with Chase Newton

Book cover

“I’m talking to investigative report, Mr. Chase Newton with the New York Times, Washington Bureau and I wanted to ask him about his new book, Stranger in the White House.”
“Good afternoon Chase. Thanks for taking time to speak with me.”
“You’re welcome. I love talking about this book. The more I hear about what is going on in politics these days, the more convinced this is a compelling and contemporary story that must be told.”
“Well I can’t wait to hear about it, but first, let’s get caught up on your life since your last big story. I understand you and Megan are married, is that correct?”
“That’s right; we’ve been married a little over three and a half years. I’ll tell you all about our wedding in the book. During the darkest days of this investigation, I often caught myself thinking back to the days leading up to and since our wedding. I have to admit, there were moments I thought I’d never see Megan again.”
“Have you and Megan had any children yet?”

“Nope. It’s not that we don’t want them. It just hasn’t happened yet. In retrospect, I think it was for the best, knowing the trauma M went through these last days.”
“Oh, I can’t wait to learn more. Chase, as an investigative reporter, you’re usually covering the news, not making it. What’s it like to be in the eye of the storm?”
“Well actually, I wasn’t in the eye of the storm, I was in the storm and played a major role in solving the case. In reality, M was in the eye of the storm, but she didn’t know it at the time. Later on, she told me all she knew was that someone very evil wanted to get their hands on me. They threatened to kill her if she didn’t tell them where I was. She didn’t know where and wouldn’t have told them if she did.”
“I understand she is the reason you got involved in the first investigation four years ago. Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s right. If you will remember, she tried to get my attention on several occasions. But, like a blockhead, I missed the signals. So she resorted to nearly running me over as I crossed the street in Beaumont. That got my attention and I began to wonder where all the new residents were coming from. I had to find out what was going on under our noses in Beaumont.”
“What was it like to be dating the preacher’s daughter and at the same time be investigating him as possibly the leader of the Order?”
“Well, it was interesting to say the least. First I got myself fired from the Beaumont Observer, and then got hired at the bank as the chief loan officer. At the same time, I was trying to get better acquainted with M. After church one Sunday, she asked me to come to her house for Sunday dinner. Boy was that an eye opener.”
“Yes, and I understand you met a lot of interesting people there.”
“That’s right, and it only further whet my interest in finding out who those people were and where all the money was coming from.”
“She was also responsible for you coming to the Lord, right?”
“That’s right. I really respected her. She is a woman of spunk and character. Her Godly testimony pointed me to the Lord. As you know, I was brought up on a Christian home, but I never personally applied the teachings of my parents to myself. It was good for mom and dad, but I thought I knew better. It was one of Pastor T. J,’s sermons that got me thinking. What he said didn’t ring true. That led me on a search for the truth behind the stranger in the pulpit. Little did I know that it would lead me to a crisis of my faith. I had to admit, I had none. M pointed me to Jesus and I trusted Him as my Savior.”
“So tell us a little about your next book, Stranger in the White House. That sounds intriguing.”
“Well, I can’t tell you much, but suffice it to say it starts off with a double assassination of the president and vice president. From there, it takes you on a wild ride halfway around the world and back in order to solve the case.”
“So there is a lot of action and suspense? Does anyone that we know get killed?”
“Now that I can’t tell you, but let me say, you will be familiar with several characters in the book. My editor Stan Berkowitz and Sheriff Conyers are big contributors to the story.”
“Well that concludes my interview with the now famous investigative reporter, Mr. Chase Newton. His book, Stranger in the White House will be available for pre-release sales sometime in August. Is there anything you want to say about that?”
“Yes, that is right. I talked with my publicist at Tate Publishing and they are saying it will go to press in about a week. They’re thinking it will be available after August 13th.”

I know many of your followers will be asking how they can get your book. How much does it cost and where can they order it?
“Thanks for asking. Stranger in the White House is larger than my last book. It is 237 pages, so they priced it at $13.99. Since Megan is a millionaire, she said that she’ll pay the tax on any book sold in Georgia. Oh, and by the way, don’t you love the cover? They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this cover says it all.”
“Where can people get your book? Is it in bookstores yet?”
“No not yet. But my author, Bryan Powell, will be going around the Atlanta region holding book signing events at many of the places where he’s been in the past. Otherwise you can order it through his web site at http://www.newlifepublicationsonline.com or come to one of our many book signings.”
“Let me say this, too. Be watching for a big announcement concerning our book launch. Bryan has been in contact with someone about where to hold his book launch. We should know in a couple of days and I can hardly wait. If it works out, it will really be a huge event.”

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The Golf Ball

Good used golf ball

So there it sat—a golf ball.
I knew instinctively how it got there, and why.
Someone teed up, set up, reared back and swung, striking the ball and sending the round object skyward.
But instead of it ripping through the air toward its intended target, the feisty orb took an unexpected trajectory.
“D’rates, I hooked it,” said the exasperated golfer and teed up and swung again.
Meanwhile, the little round object went bounding along Windy Hill until it settled in its current resting place…the corner of Windy Hill and Reed Street.
So there I sat, at that intersection, staring at a perfectly good golf ball.
Being the avid golfer that I am, I had a decision to make. Get it, or forget it.
In a nanosecond, my mind and body performed a series of actions; I checked my mirror, jammed the car into park, released my seatbelt, leaped from my car, dashed across the road, and grabbed the golf ball. Looking to see how fast the approaching car was coming and calculating whether or not I’ll live to see another day, I jumped back into my car, slammed the door and sped around the corner, only later to reattach my seatbelt.
My question to you is; did you see me do it?
You might answer an emphatic, “No!” and you’re right, not unless you were passing that intersection at precisely 7:45a.m.
But I submit to you that you did.
You are probably asking, “How did I do that?”
The answer, by reading 25 letters arranged in different combinations, I took you on a journey of the imagination. In your mind’s eye, you saw me jump from my car and dash across the road, pick up the golf ball and dash back.
###
For other insightful and inspiring words by author Bryan M. Powell, go to the archives and read “Over the Rainbow,” “Mommy I saw Angels,” or “I Made My Wife Cry.”
If you love reading Mystery Novels, check out Stranger in the Pulpit and begin looking for my upcoming interviews with some of the exciting characters in my next novel,
Stranger in the White House.
Bryan M. Powell
Member of ACFW and PCWG
web site: http://www.newlifepublicationsonline.com
Blog: http://www.stressfreescribes.wordpress.com
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/NewLifePublicationsOnLine
Stranger in the Pulpit – now available
Stranger in the White House – July/August 2012

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I Made My Wife Cry by Bryan Powell

Yes it is true. Probably more times than I would like to admit but this time it was different, this time it was for reasons that did not require an apology…Praise the Lord. This time it was balanced with an equal (or greater than) amount of laughter. You see, we just finished reading my newest novel The Witch and the Wise Men…A Christmas Tale.

We (Patty and I) started reading The Witch and the Wise Men…A Christmas Tale out loud earlier this week and finished it around midnight last night; she simply couldn’t or wouldn’t put it down until she finished. She had to know, she had to find out how it ended. The story took us on a wild ride from Babylon to Bethlehem, from the first century to the twenty-first century. We went from laughing to crying, from yelling at the characters to cheering with them, from being scared out of our wits to praising the Lord for the great things He had done.

The Witch and the Wise Men…touched the full spectrum of emotions. We laughed ourselves silly at the funny comments made by my character Gasper, the youngest member of the trio of Magi.
Our hearts soared with joy as Ty (Huntley) compared his love for Samm (Samantha Myers) to that of the love Hosea had for Gomar; just to have it ripped out of our beating chests as she admitted her culpability in the deaths of Ty’s parents. Tears scalded our cheeks as Scott Wyatt (Pastor of the Cedar Point Bible Church) turned his back on his wife in her time of need.
We cheered as if our team won the Super-Bowl when our hero finally came through at the last minute and saved the mission from certain disaster.

The Witch and the Wise Men… took us on a journey from the Judean hills of Endor in the years following our Lord’s birth, down through the corridors of time to the present day, to an insignificant valley town in Illinois. It is there that a great spiritual battle was fought in the night skies over Cedar Point; it was there that the united prayers of the saints ascended and touched the throne of Heaven and it was there that a mighty foe was defeated in the Cave of the Witch buried deep within the wicked mountain. When we finished we were exhausted but completely thrilled. I sent my manuscript in to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest with the hope that it passes the first, second and third judication levels. I should know by February 24 if it passed the first level, which is called the Pitch; a 300 word summary of the manuscript. Below is my Pitch. Please find me on Facebook or LinkedIn and let me know what you think.

While you are at it, don’t forget to go to www.newlifepublicationsonline.com  and check out my Book Trailer. Click on the ‘My Content Page’ and click the video link, then let your fingers run, not walk to the link to place your order for Stranger in the Pulpit.
You can order it from me and I will send it right out!

A child has been abducted by the Witch of Endor posing as a modern day witch named Mrs. White. She plans on offering the child to the Dark Lord on December 22nd, the night of the Winter Solstice. With the help of Ty Huntley, the Wise Men set out to rescue Ashton, Samantha Myers’ baby from the clutches of the wicked Witch and in the process learn the power of love, prayer and forgiveness. Along the way they encounter a hurting Pastor who needs to know the truth about his wife, a lost attorney who is seeking to make sense of it all and a desperate young lady who has made a mess of her life and will do anything to forget her past, but time is running out for all of them. With only hours to spare, the three Wise Men must rely on the power of a praying church, the support of two newly converted Jewish believers and a young shepherd boy with a sling shot to stop the coming of the Son of Perdition, but is there time?

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A Blue Christmas

What do these two songs have in common?

Deck the Halls

“Deck the halls with ball of holly; fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
‘Tis the season to be jolly; fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
Don we all our jay apparel; fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
Strike the harp and join the carol: fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!”

Blue Christmas

“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you,
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me
I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.”

They both exude with emotion!

Christmas is a time for families to gather and celebrate the birth of our Lord. It’s a time of festivity and joy, as the hymn says; “Joy to the world the Lord is come.”

But have you ever thought that for some it is not a time of joy but loneliness and sorrow?

Many of us can think of someone who was with us last year but are not with us this year. Someone who brought joy into our lives is gone, passed away and their seat at the table is empty. There are a growing number of churches today that are holding annual Blue Christmas services for those faced with the grief of the loss of a loved one. This is an opportunity for people to come together in the presence of God and acknowledge their grief and sorrow without being condemned for being a party pooper.

Although our Lord’s birth brought us great joy, yet his life was one marked by sorrow and grief. More than likely he lost his earthly father Joseph possibly in his teen years. As his itinerate ministry grew so did his opposition and soon he felt the sting of rejection and betrayal. He knew the pain of losing a close friend (Lazarus). He knew the hurt that is associated with being forsaken by his followers. But most of all he felt the anguish of seeing his own Father turn his back on him and he cried out “Father, why have you forsaken me?”

Despite these difficulties, these characteristics stand out in our Lord’s life.

His Compassion – Matt. 14:14

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”

His Tears – John 11:35 He wept for his friends…“Jesus wept”

His Joy – Hebrews 12:2

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bryan M. Powell
Stranger in the Pulpit
Stranger in the White House
Seeing Jesus a Three Dimensional Look at Worship
http://www.newlifepublicationsonline.com
http://www.newlifemusicpublishers.com

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What’s better than selling a book? RAVE REVIEWS!!!

Bryan,
“Congratulations on your novel. I enjoyed reading Stranger in the Pulpit very much; it held my interest to read it in a couple of hours. I’m looking forward to your next one, Stranger in the White House.”
Then he quotes this poem;
Our dreams are wings by which we fly.
They help us to soar and lift us high.
God placed big dreams within our souls,
and with these dreams, we reach our goals.
“I can attest to this truth throughout my life expectations, as God is faithful and supportive of the desires of our heart. I highly recommend your novel to anyone that I know.”
Best Regards,
Bill B. ,Tallahassee, Fl.

Bryan M. Powell

http://www.newlifepublicationsonline.com

http://www.newlifemusicpublishers.com

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Good things come to those who wait!

The good people at Tate Publishing said it would happen…but I doubted. Then the other day I checked and voila, there it was. Stranger in the Pulpit was actually listed on Amazon.com. I ran, not walked, ran to the section for authors and registered. Now I am waiting for the process to be completed. Meanwhile, I stay busy.

I had a very sucessful speaking engagement at Lost Mountain Baptist Church’s Men’s Prayer Breakfast. I sold some books and left some on consignment. If you know of any churches or community groups looking for a speaker, have them contact me, I would be delighted to go and speak.

Tate has scheduled me for two booksignings in January and I got one on my own, PTL. 

My next book – Seeing Jesus, a Three Dimensional Look at Worship should be available mid-December, PTL.

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