Today’s Featured Author: Keith D. Moser

Today I welcome author Keith D. Moser to my blog. Please enjoy the first two chapters of his book – Quest for God’s Own Heart – which was released in June.

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.’”

(Jeremiah 29:11-13)

I am Michael the Archangel. In this book, I would like to share with you, life changing events from the Old Testament. I was there watching God reveal His desire for mankind. He wants you to know how much He loves you.

You may be surprised to see Jesus throughout my story, but He was there, even before the beginning of time. He is the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, revealing God the Father’s heart to us all.

I have heard many claim throughout the centuries that God the Father was the God of Judgment in the Old Testament, and the God of Grace in the New. That is not true. He has always been the God of Grace. From the Garden of Eden to the end of time, His desire has always been to restore the relationship He had with His creation before the Fall.

Follow me as we go on a quest for God’s own heart. If you seek Him with your whole heart, not only will you find Him, but God will also fill you with His loving grace.

Chapter 2

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, The Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.”

(Isaiah 40:28)

While walking through the crowd of angels, I heard murmuring. The angels were restless as they waited in anticipation. They knew that everything would change from this moment on.

The battle with Satan was now over. A third of the angels had been cast out of Heaven, and evil had entered the beautiful universe that God had created.

“Michael, what is God going to do now?” I was asked.

“God told me He was going to finish His masterpiece. He’s going to create mankind in His own image and place them on earth.” I answered.

“When will it happen?”

“That’s why we’re here. God wants us to watch.”

As I walked closer to God’s throne, I found myself lost in my thoughts. What is God going to do? The universe was so beautiful before the war against Satan. Now it lays in darkness as if God didn’t want us to see it anymore. Will it be more beautiful? How could it be more beautiful?

God said He would restore the universe, but He also said the earth would be the center of its beauty. God also said He was going to lift the veil. Soon He’s going to stretch His arms and begin the process of—My thoughts were interrupted as I felt someone grab my shoulder.

“There He is, Michael,” one of the angels shouted.

Looking across the sea of angels, I could see God standing before His throne. All the angels bowed with me as we worshipped His holy name.

“Lift your eyes, My friends, and watch the beauty of My creation,” God spoke softly. With arms stretched out, He declared with a booming voice, “Let there be light.”

A bright light ripped through the darkness that once covered the universe. I was thrown to the ground, overcome by the explosion of light. Gathering myself, I stood up and stared into the vastness of God’s incredible universe.

God smiled, knowing what He had created was good, sat on His throne, and declared, “The light that shines on the earth will be called day and the darkness will be called night.” This was the first day.

I stood there staring in anticipation. I couldn’t wait to see what God was going to do next.

Once again God stood and declared, “Let the earth be covered with water, and above the water let there be sky.” Immediately the vapors that covered the earth blew away. I could see right through the sky. The whole earth was covered with water, and hovering over it was the Holy Spirit.

What a beautiful sight, I thought. The clearness of the sky was captivating. I caught myself with my mouth open. As I looked around, I could see all the angels around me were doing the same.

For the second time, God smiled, knowing what He had created was good, and He sat on His throne. This time He didn’t speak. It was as if He was allowing the beauty of His creation to speak for itself. This was the second day.

One of the angels looked at me and asked, “What is God going to do next?”

I pondered for a moment as I continued looking at how beautiful the earth was. “I don’t know, but I can’t wait.”

Our waiting was over, for God stood and declared, “Land, appear from out of the water. Vegetation and fruit-bearing trees, come out of the ground and produce seeds that will continue replenishing the earth.”

Ripping from out of the water, mountains and valleys appeared, and vegetation and fruit-bearing trees sprang from the earth.

It was incredible. I had never before seen such beauty. I could hear the gasp of the angels around me as they too, were in awe.

For the third time, God smiled, knowing what He had created was good, and He sat on His throne. This was the third day.

We continued staring at God’s beautiful creation when He stood from His throne for the fourth time, declaring, “Stars of the universe shine in the sky. From this moment on you will set in motion days, months, seasons, and years.”

“I don’t understand,” an angel close to me whispered.

“I don’t either,” I said. But God knows what He’s doing.”

God looked at me as He smiled and said, “Michael, the days, months, seasons, and years will be for mankind. The seasons of change on earth will be beautiful. You will see.”

I could see God’s smile fade as He turned from the earth. I could even see tears forming in His eyes.

“What’s wrong, God? Everything You created is so beautiful. Why are tears in Your eyes?”

“Michael, mankind will not always follow Me. They will choose to satisfy their own pleasures and not worship Me.”

“How can that be, God? How could they not worship You?”

God said, “They will choose to follow their own desires and not worship Me, just like Satan and his followers.”

“I don’t understand, God. You said that mankind will be Your masterpiece.”

“You will see, Michael. They will choose not to follow Me, but I have a plan for their redemption. I will spare them from the same punishment that I gave Satan and his followers. I will give them a chance for forgiveness. I will show them mercy if they choose mercy. I will give them a way to be here with Me. They will have a choice.”

For the fourth time, God smiled, knowing what He had created was good, and He sat on His throne. This was the fourth day.

“Wow, God is going to do something special with mankind. They’ll be treated differently than Satan and his followers. God will make a way for them to be in Heaven with us. But how?” As I looked to the throne of God, seated at God’s right hand was Jesus. I could see passion in His eyes.

“Jesus, are You, THE WAY?”

“Yes, I AM, Michael.”

Before I could even begin to understand what Jesus was telling me, God stood from His throne for the fifth time and declared, “Let there be fish and all kinds of sea creatures in the water and birds in the air. Let them reproduce so they may continue to replenish the earth.”

Suddenly I saw all kinds of birds flying over the water and the land. Teams of fish and sea creatures were swimming in the water.

Again, we stood in awe and amazement. I was speechless. God looked at me and smiled. “You have not seen anything yet, Michael. Just wait.”

“I haven’t seen anything yet? How can that be true, God? This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.”

“You will see, Michael. You will see.”

For the fifth time, God smiled, knowing what He had created was good, and He sat on His throne. This was the fifth day.

God stood for the sixth time. He looked to the earth and declared, “From out of the ground, may all the living creatures come out. Let them roam the earth and reproduce so that they may continue to replenish the earth.”

Out of the ground sprang all kinds of living creatures, large and small. I laughed as I caught myself trying to count them all. I looked to God and said, “You’re right, I hadn’t seen anything yet.”

God chuckled. “No, Michael, I have not even started My masterpiece.” He turned to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. “We will make man in Our own Image.”

God looked to the earth and proclaimed. “From out of the ground, man come forth.”

All of Heaven became still. As I leaned forward to get a closer look, I noticed that even the creatures of the land, sea, and air stopped what they were doing. They, too, knew that something special was about to happen.

In the middle of a small garden, God’s greatest masterpiece began to stir from the ground. I could hear the whole universe and all of Heaven gasp in anticipation. Slowly from out of the ground the first man appeared. God knelt down and breathed life into him.

The man stood in the garden and looked up to Heaven. God looked at him and said, “My child, your name is Adam. I am Your God, and you will worship only Me. The first thing I want you to do is name all the creatures of the land and the birds of the air. I will have them all pass by you, and whatever you name them, they will be called.”

Adam sat on a rock in the middle of the garden as all the living creatures of the land and the birds of the air passed by him. As the last ones passed by, Adam stood up. He slowly turned around with a look of confusion. “I have no one to share my life with,” he whispered.

God looked at him and said, “Do not worry, Adam, I will now make you fall asleep and when you have awakened, you will have someone to share your life on earth with.”

From out of Adam, God created woman so he wouldn’t be alone in the garden. When Adam awoke from his sleep, God said, “This is your wife. You will cherish her with your life, and the two of you will be in charge of all of My creation. You will have all the seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees for food.”

I wanted to say something, but I, along with the rest of creation, just stood there awestruck. God turned to me and said, “See? I told you so. Now what do you have to say?”

I stared into God’s eyes. “You were right. I hadn’t seen anything yet.” We both smiled and laughed. I looked down to earth in amazement at the first man and woman.

This time God smiled, knowing what He had created was very good, and He sat on His throne. This was the sixth day.

We celebrated the beauty of God’s creation. We were in awe of everything we had just seen.

That was when God stood for the seventh time. “My creation is now complete. This is a day of rest, for it is a holy day. Mankind will rest from their work on this day and come together to worship Me.”

God looked down and saw His masterpiece, and with a smile, He sat on His throne. We fell to the ground and worshipped Him, crying out, “God is Holy and worthy to be praised.”

I can’t wait to see what God is going to do with man. I can’t wait to see His redemptive plan for them. As I looked up, Jesus looked my way with compassion in His eyes.

Life Application 

I just love the fact that the first way God revealed Himself to us is that of the Creator of the Universe, but what I love most is that He is also actively involved in our lives. God isn’t sitting on His throne waiting for time to run out. He wants to have a personal relationship with us.

Before I gave my life to Jesus, I was unworthy of God’s love. Let’s face it, I still am. I remember while growing up, I understood that there was a God and that He created the universe. I also knew that He sent His son to die for my sins, but I failed to see that He wanted to have a personal relationship with me.

When I finally realized that my life was empty and that I didn’t have any hope for the future, I began reading the book of John. God opened my eyes when I read John 14:1-3.

While speaking to His disciples the night before He had to go on the cross, Jesus told them, “‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.’”

Jesus wants me to be where He is! Wow! The God of the Universe wants me to be with Him for eternity. What also amazed me was that Jesus promised He would prepare a place for me in Heaven.

I gave my life to Jesus that night at the age of twenty-one. My life is no longer empty, for the Creator of the Universe has filled my heart with His love. There is a place in Heaven that Jesus has prepared for me. He’s no longer just the Creator of the Universe to me, for He’s now my Savior.

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Do you have a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe? He sent His Son to die on the cross for you. Have you given your life to Him? Jesus is waiting to prepare a place for you. Let Him also fill your heart with His love.

Book Description

quest for godIn my novel, Michael the Archangel will take you through life changing events from the Old Testament. Join him as he shares with you the creation story, the Fall, Noah and the flood, Job, Moses, Abraham, David, and many more, as he shares with you God’s love for His creation and how he prepared the world for His redemptive plan.

You may be surprised to see Jesus throughout Michael’s story, but Jesus was there, even before the beginning of time. Evangelicals have taught that Jesus is the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, revealing God the Father’s heart to us all. In the applicable stories, Jesus is there as the Angel of the Lord.

Many have claimed throughout the centuries that God the Father was the God of Judgment in the Old Testament, and the God of Grace in the New. That is not true. He has always been the God of Grace. From the Garden of Eden to the end of time, His desire has always been to restore the relationship He had with His creation before the Fall.

Follow Michael as he takes you on a quest for God’s own heart. If you seek Him with your whole heart, not only will you find Him, but God will also fill you with His loving grace.

Second book in series with be on the Life of Christ, and the third book will be on the Early Church, with the last chapter on Jesus calling His people home.

This novel will help readers understand God’s love for His creation. Too many churches, today teach the Dos and Don’ts of Christianity, trapping their congregation in the never ending cycle of guilt and confusion when they fail. God’s message from the Fall to the end of time is His desire to reconcile his creation with Himself, through His redemptive plan for mankind.

Author Bio

My name is Keith D. Moser (medically retired from the Army). I am married to my wife, Jerri, and have seven children; Katie, Kara, Kristen, Joshua, Kimberly, Matthew, and Caleb. I pastored two churches before joining the Army, where I was a Chaplain Assistant and a Combat Medic. I am currently a senior at Liberty University Online (Christian Counseling Degree), where I am on the Dean’s list, and a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society.

You can purchase Quest for God’s Own Heart on Amazon or Smashwords. It is also available from his website.

Stepping Down Book Tour: Author Michelle Stimpson

Today, author Michelle Stimpson stops at Into Another World as part of her virtual book tour. Please enjoy this excerpt from Stepping Down.


Pastor Mark Wayne Carter, III cast his drooping eyes on the clock ticking away on the wall directly across from his desk. Last year his wife, Sharla, had lowered the clock so that it stared at him while he was sitting in his gold-studded leather executive chair.

“I know you’re busy doing the Lord’s work, but it would be nice to see you home before the sun goes down sometimes,” she had nagged as she pounded a nail into the wall. She positioned the clock in its new location, then put both hands on her hips. “If you can see the clock, you might actually keep track of how much time you’re spending here in your office.”

Mark didn’t like to fight with her about his devotion to New Vision Church. The church was his life’s purpose, the reason he’d walked away from his short, but well-paying career as an insurance salesman. This church had given him a sense of accomplishment he’d never experienced in all his months as top-producer at StateWay Insurance.

More than anything, Mark hoped that New Vision Church would be the reason Jesus said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” to him one day.

Late Saturday nights came with the territory, which was one reason he hired a very young man as his assistant and semi-mentee. At thirty-eight years old, Mark was no old goat, but he wasn’t bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, either. He needed an assistant to knock on the door every hour or so and make sure Mark hadn’t fallen asleep at the computer.

Book Description

stepping downMark Carter III founded New Vision Community Church six years ago. His wife, a reluctant first lady, feels like a church widow, and their teenage son needs a hands-on father now more than ever…but what would happen to the church if Mark stepped down for a while to shepherd his own family? After Mark is involved in a suspicious car accident, he won’t have to wait long to find out.

About the Author

michelle stimpsonMichelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994.  She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002.  She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults.

In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace, which has been optioned by Paulist Productions for a movie of the week.  She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services.

Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. She also ministers to women and writers through her blog.  Michelle  regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs, and educational organizations.

The Stimpsons are proud parents of two young adults and one crazy dog.

You can find out more about Michelle on her blog or her website. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Stepping Down can be purchased on Amazon.


12 questions to help you develop Gods/religion in your fantasy novel

religionWhen I wrote my The Elemental trilogy, I decided right off that I didn’t want to deal with religion. So there is no mention of gods, and there is no church in my story, and it works fine.  However, in many fantasy novels, religion is an integral part of the plot.

Adding religion to your novel can be a source of tension between characters. A war can be because of religious differences. The reason your protagonist or antagonist does something can be based in their religious beliefs. Even prophecies can come from religious writings.

Religion can make your make-believe world’s culture come alive. If your story takes place on Earth, you can study the religion of that time period or region, but if you are creating your own world, you will have more work. (Check out for information on real-world religions.) But as with every aspect of world building, be sure to establish rules for your religion and then be consistent when using them.

Here are some questions to get you thinking.

1.) Did the god or gods create the world? If not, how did it come to be? If they did create it, why did they do it?

2.) Do the gods live among the people? If so, do they take an active role with those that worship them?

3.) Are there multiple gods and if so, is there a hierarchy among them? Do people worship all the gods or do they pick one?

4.) Are they good or evil, or is this meaningless when speaking of gods?

5.) Is there tension or rivalry between the gods? Does this affect church politics?

6.) How does the religion view non-believers? Non-humans? Is there a state church? Is there freedom of religion?

7.) What customs surround a birth or a death? Are their rituals or celebrations concerning either? How do people handle these events?

8.) Do the gods care how people behave? Do they become involved in the daily lives of their worshipers?

9.) How much does religion play in public and private life? What rites or rituals must be preformed? How do people regard temples and churches? What about priests or other religious leaders?

10.) Is being a priest a full-time position or do they need other jobs? If it is a full-time position, who supports them – a wealthy patron, the congregation, the gods they serve?

11.) Do the gods have limits to what they can do? Are there things they will NOT do? Can the gods make mistakes?

12.) How do worshipers consider bad luck or bad things happening to them? Are they punishment for some transgression? Something the gods cannot prevent?

These are just a few questions to get you thinking. As you create your religion, make sure you know it well enough to blend it into your story so that it adds to the story rather than distracts.

Today’s Featured Author: Carl R. Brush

Today, I am pleased to feature Carl R. Brush, author of The Second Vendetta, on my blog.

Guest Post: A Little Old Time Religion Could Save (or at least spice up) Your Story’s Soul

Since we’re in the middle of the holiday (holy day) season, I thought a few remarks about religion in writing might be in order. I think, particularly in the world of thrillers and mysteries, authors tend to ignore the subject. I’m guilty. Both my historical thriller THE SECOND VENDETTA and its soon-to-be released prequel THE MAXWELL VENDETTA contain little in the way of encounters with god and church, though they hold a healthy component of the spiritual in other modes. However, in working on a third book in this California history trilogy of mine (the title du jour is BONITA, the protagonist’s name), I’ve created religious characters by necessity. They’re part of Mexican California society, ca 1840, so it’s nearly impossible to write about the era without writing about the church. Here’s what I’m finding at about three-quarters of the way through my draft.

Characters with a religious mind-set continuously measure their thoughts and actions against the demands of both the religious institutions and the notions of the eternal spirits to whom they pay homage. That fact gives the writer an opportunity to explore moral and religious questions of plot and of relationships in a way that secular narrative doesn’t afford. It’s one thing to say or to show that it’s wrong and legally perilous to, for example, kill and torture. It’s quite another to do or witness or suborn these acts under the threat of eternal damnation. It matters not, I think, whether your readers believe the doctrine. If your writing is convincing, it’s enough that your characters believe it. And it adds a dimension to themes such as the conflict between what’s legal and what’s just that I don’t think we can create any other way.

Or take matters of authority. Most of us use politicians or police as the exemplars of societal power. But what of the priest? It’s easier, I suppose for a historical novelist like me, who can enter an era where priests count more in the societal structure, but they still count today. Else why would we have a rebellious nun speaking at the Democratic convention? Is not a preacher with a prostitute a bigger hypocrite than a businessman with one, even if the businessman is a putative family man? And what if the preacher is speaking out against fornication at the same time? And when you add that spiritual element to a secular situation, you’ve automatically expanded your story’s consciousness.

Finally, the way your characters relate to their religion can speak volumes about their inner life and by extension about major themes in your narrative. For example, one of my characters in BONITA is an Anglican convert to Catholicism. Mostly, he is a perfunctory observer of his new religion, but the sacrament of confession absorbs him completely. It’s his way to absolution, and it influences how he acts in everyday life as well in moments of crisis.

So, give religion a try. It might not save your soul, but it might inject a new spirit into some of your writing.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift, take a look at my historical thriller, set in 1910 San Francisco/Berkeley/Sierra Nevada, THE SECOND VENDETTA, at $2.99 for the e-book and $10.99 for the paperback on Amazon. If you’re in the bay area, there’s still time to get an autographed copy. Just contact me carlrbrush

Book Description:

The Second VendettaNot again.

It’s taken Andy Maxwell two years—1908-1910—to help his family recover from the vendetta that nearly killed his mother, burned their Sierra Nevada ranch house, and exhumed some long-buried family secrets—including the fact that his father was black. At last, Andy thinks, he can return to University of California and pursue his history doctorate in peace.

Not so.

First of all, it turns out they don’t want a miscegenated mongrel in the Ph.D. program. Just when he’s enlisted the eminent San Francisco journalist, Ambrose Bierce, to help him attack that problem, it turns out that marauder who started all the trouble in the first place didn’t stay Shanghaied. Michael Yellow Squirrel is back for another try at eliminating every last Maxwell on earth. So much for school.

And then there’s the election.

Reform gubernatorial candidate Hiram Johnson wants him to run for the California legislature and help foil the railroad barons.

And then there are the women.

The debutante beauty and the Arapaho princess.

So, how is Andy Maxwell, going to deal with all these quandaries? The Second Vendetta answers that question and many more with a tale-telling style that pulls readers into the book and doesn’t let them go till they’ve turned the last page, wishing there were more yet to turn.