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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review for GEOSTORM (2017) Now Playing at Cinema Knife Fight

My review of the latest nature-gone-awry epic, GEOSTORM (2017), is now up at Cinema Knife Fight. See whether (or weather...) it holds up to whatever expectations you might have. That is, if you've even heard of it.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


We’re very proud to announce the newest anthology of short stories from the New England Horror Writers, WICKED HAUNTED, has been officially released this weekend! Edited by me, Scott Goudsward and David Price, featuring fiction and poetry from:

Matt Bechtel, Tom Deady, GD Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter Dudar, Remy Flagg, Dan Foley, doungjai gam, Emma J. Gibbon, Larissa Glasser, Patricia Gomes, Curtis M. Lawson, Bracken MacLeod, Nick Manzolillo, Paul McMahon, Paul R. McNamee, James A. Moore, Renee Mulharee, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, Dan Szczesny,Kenneth Vaughan and Trisha J. Wooldridge.
Interior artwork by Ogmios, Judi Calhoun and Kali Moulton.
Cover art by Mikio Murakami

You can find the link below, and note the Kindle edition is on sale this week for only 2.99 (almost half price). This has been selling like hotcakes and is positioning itself to be as successful an anthology as last year’s WICKED WITCHES. It will officially debut this coming weekend at Salem, MA, where the NEHW will have a table. Check it out here:

Monday, October 02, 2017

Reflections on Last Month's MS Walk from my Brother Paul

From Paul Keohane:

Hi, everyone –

Before time gets away from me, I wanted to be sure to write to all of you about this year’s MS Walk.   The weather could not have been any better all three days – warm but not too sunny or humid.  Anne and I were like a well-oiled machine this year as we sped along the streets and bike paths of the Cape, finishing each day earlier than we had ever before.  Also, beyond the usual barking of a body about to turn fifty, physically I felt better than expected. 

As I reflect upon my 15th year participating in this event, one emotion in particular hits home more than any other.

Love can lighten any load
I spoke with a man who currently serves in the military and was walking fifty miles for his wife.  He said that when his wife was initially diagnosed, he was deployed overseas so was not able to be by her side.  When he returned home several months later, he came back to a wife whose day-to-day struggles were beyond what he could imagine.  He felt powerless as he saw fatigue continue to overwhelm her.  As I spoke to him, I noticed that he was wearing combat boots and, on his back, he carried a 35-pound pack.  He said that if he couldn’t take the MS away from her, he could at least partially understand the exhaustion that she feels as a result of it.   As he slowly crossed the finish line each day – long after every other walker – he felt that much closer to her.  And his love for her grew that much more.

I love my sister
I hate MS.   I hate the impact that MS has had on my sister.  And, although I hate the fact that an MS Challenge walk event is needed, there are many things that I love about it.  I love being inspired by Anne’s courage and determination.  I love the smiles and jokes that she has for everyone we meet along the route.  I love that she always makes it a point to thank people for participating.  Most of all, I love the time that this event allows us to share together.  Over four days, 200 miles of driving and 50 miles of Cape Cod roads and bike paths, we are each other’s captive audience.  You’d think we would run out of things to talk about but we never do.   I cherish all that time we spend together and it makes me love her even more.

Generosity and love have no expiration date
Being that this year Anne and I were a team of two, I lowered our fundraising goal – but still left it at an optimistic $5,000.   That’s a high number for such a small team but I was hopeful we would come at least somewhat close to reaching it.  I knew that this was my 15th year asking many of you for help.  That’s a long time to ask for support.   So I was prepared for maybe a little letup in donations.  But, once again, I was blown away by your generosity.   Not only did you help us reach that lofty goal but you shattered it.  All in all, donations came in at a staggering $7,200!  

As always, I cannot thank you all enough.     

-       Paul

Monday, September 25, 2017

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017) Review Now Showing!

My review of the hilarious and very entertaining spyfest KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017) is now showing at Cinema Knife Fight. Check it out, and see if you agree, here.

Monday, September 04, 2017

"A Life Unremembered" Now Available in Necon Anthology

So I am way behind posting this (was stalling, waiting for them to publish the kindle version, but it looks like it's not going to be here for a while - print only for now)

There is no greater horror in the world than watching a loved one battle cancer ... especially if that loved one is a child. But we are not powerless against this disease, and some of the world’s finest purveyors of nightmares have come together to fight a monster far scarier than anything they could ever dream up. Necon E-Books is honored to present
an anthology of horror bedtime stories from which 100% of all proceeds will be donated to 
The Jimmy Fund.
Edited by P.D. Cacek and Laura J. Hickman and featuring cover artwork by Cortney Skinner, this anthology contains contributions from the incredible roster listed in the Table of Contents, all of whom have donated their work in support of this essential cause. Available exclusively on in trade paperbacks and digital editions, please join us in this fight by purchasing your copy today. And in the words of our friends and partners at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, “Thank you for helping us conquer cancer.”

Table of Contents: 
Foreword by Christopher Golden 
Mother and Daughter by Jack Ketchum
Messages by Errick A. Nunnally
Sleepless by Mark Steensland
The Vacant Lot by Thomas Tessier
blood, cold like ice by Doungjai Gam 
A Life Unremembered by G. Daniel Gunn
Wired by Elizabeth Massie 
Blue Stars by Tony Tremblay
Happy Now Mother? by John Buja 
Nina by John M. McIlveen
Housing the Hollygobs by Marianne Halbert
Inertia Creeps by Charles Colyott
Leave Here Alive by Bracken MacLeod
Sleep Well by Angi Shearstone
The Fine Art of Madness by Gary Frank 
The Beach by Cara M. Colyott
Angel Tears by Jill Bauman
Darkness on the Edge of Town by James A. Moore
Would You, Could You, In the Dark? by Craig Wolf
Wishing Won’t by Richard Dansky
The Phobia Where You’re Afraid of Words by Paul McMahon
Nightly Rituals by William Carl
White Wings by Mark Morris
The Other Side by Paul McNally
Truth or Dare? by Bev Vincent
Unexpected Attraction by Matthew Matt Costello
The Ritual Remains by Jonathan Lees
The End of All Stories by Trevor Firetog
Duality by Brian Keene
The Lake Children by Izzy Lee
The Circus Under the Bed by T.J. Wooldridge 
1-2-3 Red Light by Gregory L. Norris 
The Old Men Know by Charles L. Grant 
The Oldest Fear by Shikar Dixit
Afterword by Matt Bechtel
Cover art by Cortney Skinner

Monday, August 28, 2017

2017 Wheels and Heels Against MS Walk!

From my brother Paul (and sister Anne):

Hi, everyone -

As we hit the mid-point of summer, the MS Challenge Walk is fast approaching.  Anne and I are officially signed up and ready to take on another 50 miles in our continuing fight to stamp out Multiple Sclerosis. 

On September 8th, we will team up again (our 12th year together as team Wheels and Heels – my 15th overall) for our three day journey.  Each year comes with its unique challenges, whether they be physical hurdles or just overcoming the heat, humidity or, one year, even a tropical storm.  Although the challenges vary, what remains the same is our steadfast determination to celebrate that day when MS is nothing but a memory.

Multiple Sclerosis is a frightening disease that affects the central nervous system.  The symptoms may be mild (such as numbness in the limbs) or severe enough to cause blindness or paralysis. The severity and specifics of the symptoms of MS can’t yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are giving hope to all affected by the disease.

This year Anne shared with me one such exciting treatment.  There is a brand new drug out called Ocrevus that she has just been cleared to begin.  This drug is the first of its kind that can dramatically slow the progression of MS in patients who have been diagnosed as Primary Progressive.  Although the drug is not a cure, it’s slowing of the disease not only gives one more control over their current symptoms but also allows that precious time to wait out the more advanced and reversing treatments that are now in the pipeline.  

Your donations to the National MS Society are the key to these exciting treatments.  We hope that you can continue to be a beacon of hope for all who battle this disease.  No donation is too small!  
As in the past, there are two ways you can donate.  

·         The fastest and most convenient way would be to click on my name or Anne’s at:

·         You can also mail a check, making it out to The National MS Society

Our addresses are:
                        Paul Keohane                         Anne Murphy 
                        2 Jillian Rose Dr                    13 Apache Way 
                        Oxford, MA 01540                Tewksbury, MA 01876

Thank you all so very much for your continued support!!

Friday, July 14, 2017


My review and analysis of the classic (and largely unknown yet influential) science fiction film IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958) is now up at Cinema Knife Fight. Check it out, let me know what you think! 

Monday, July 03, 2017

50 Years With Rolled up Socks, or Three Strikes and I'm Out

Joe Keohane - my father, not my brother nor his son nor his son, it's a popular name in my clan - made an historic decision earlier this year. Fifty (might be fifty-one) years ago, when my oldest brother Joe was a kid, Dad did what most Dads are arm-twisted into doing: coach his little league baseball team. He also coached my younger brothers on the same team. Dad's team was the major league Twins (to educate: there's Pee-Wees, what we call the Instructional or Farm league these days, then the minor league, then majors, then beyond to the more advanced levels of baseball existence). When Joe graduated from the majors, Dad stayed with the team, coaching the following year. And the following. Fifty years later, nearing 89 years old, with baseball registration dwindling in town and the league's need to reduce the number of teams, Dad voluntarily stepped down from coaching.

He was a great coach, taking his team to the championship at least twenty times, if not more.

He wasn't an overly-aggressive coach, sitting quietly on the side by the dugout and - after having quit smoking decades before - sucking on rocks to keep himself focused (never swallowed any, as far as I know). He was a good teacher, rolling up hundreds of socks over the years into balls for batting practice (allowed the boys to swing hard without worrying about chasing balls all over the place), never bothering with memorizing signals - when Dad wanted one of his players to steal a base, he'd simply shout, "Steal!" Usually worked (never hurt that the normally quiet coach was suddenly yelling, throwing everyone off-focus, except his runner).

He loved coaching. You could tell. And he did this for so long, he eventually coached the sons of former players (and if I'm not mistaken an occasional grandson).

As an aside, I never made it to the majors. I dropped out of little league after my second year of Pee-Wees. With a perfect batting average (I never got a hit... well, that's philosophically not true, but I'll save that story for another time), baseball and I did not mix. Actually, sports and I did not mix (again, for another time).

In many ways, sports was how Dad related to and spent time with his kids. He wasn't just a coach for baseball, but also hockey with my uncle and godfather Ed Sullivan, and my brother, and my cousin after that.

But the annual summer run around the diamond was his specialty. And I only went to one game. I was eight (I'm always eight in my memories), no, probably younger, like four, sitting on the hill behind right field as the game progressed. Dad had to watch me, and I don't think I was allowed in the dugout for some reason (probably because I was four). I was bored, then scared, as the sun suddenly dropped below the horizon and I knew the darkness was going to swallow me whole. I'd be lost forever. I started crying and calling Dad and running over to him. There was a game on, and it took him quite some time to calm me down and explain that the sun had not set, but simply went behind a cloud. The sun came out soon after. I was not lost, but that strangely traumatic moment has been etched in my mind for four and a half decades.

In truth, Dad probably wasn't angry, he just has this deep, booming voice that my insecurity always interpreted as angry. Children with low self-esteem tend to miss the smiles on others.

I never went to another game, and likely was kept away so I wouldn't run onto the field (I might have done something like that, the memory is a little fuzzy). Around the end of college, nearly twenty years later, I told myself I would go to a game as an adult, really see what Dad did in these games, cheer the team on. Support him. Then it was after graduation, then marriage, and kids of my own, Cat's In the Cradle and all that. There was always something distracting me, making me lose track of time - until one day, last year, I remembered, wait! I want to go to Dad's game. I emailed him, and he explained that the season always ended before summer started. A fact I should probably have already known.

Oh. shoot. OK. Next year.

Three strikes, my son, my son. Hearing Dad announce his retirement was bittersweet. So proud of him, always have been. Hell, a few years back they even named the field on which he'd coached for half a century after him. It's called Joe Keohane Field now. I tell everyone about this, and make it a point to drive by when I'm in town so I can see the sign. But I knew: I waited too long. This isn't the only time I've put something off only to find, eventually, it's too late. Will the fact that my only memory of seeing Dad coach in fifty years is of me crying when I thought the sun had disappeared, change how the universe is spinning? No, only mine. Likely, when I'm dead, Jesus will sit me down in the movie theater of judgment, show this gap in the reel of my life and shake his head. 'Really?' he might say.

But, in the end, I have my words. I have this little universe of letters which I put together now and then to make something new, and though I never connected with Dad with a ball or bat or skate (dropped out of hockey camp, too), I can this way, With words. I regret, and always will, never focusing outside of my little world long enough to step back onto your field more often, Dad, but I've always, always been so proud of what you have done. You're a hero in many ways, to many people, not the least of which being me.

Looking forward to seeing what you do next.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Review for Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) Now Showing at Cinema Knife Fight

My review of the newly-released TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (2017) is now showing at Cinema Knife Fight. Heck, even the review was a bit chaotic, trying to cover as much as possible. Because one thing I can say, there's a lot of stuff happening in this one. Not all bad, mind you, but.... anyway, see what I have to say here. Don't usually pan many films, but this one, as I say early, was a train wreck. Not all bad, but... see what I have to say and if you agree.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Little Dance With Death

Ok, so maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but maybe it was depending on whom you ask. A could of weeks back I was feeling run down and feverish. But my wife Linda had been sick with the flu that Sunday so I figured I just had a touch of that. By Tuesday night I was fighting a pretty bad fever. Oddly enough, I didn't know how high it was until I finally took my temp on Wednesday. 104. Not good. By Thursday I was in the ER with daughter Audrey, and after a few hours they sent me home with Motrin and instructions to alternate that and Tylenol every four hours. The fact that I'd had 104 temp for a few days - and had been bitten by three ticks in the last couple of months - apparently wasn't a concern. The biggest problem being that most everyone at home, and at church, had also been sick a few days back. But they got better, and I wasn't.

Two days later I'm back in the ER with Linda and my three-year-old son. For two days I'd popped my pills and fought the fever. Every four hours the temp would drop to 101, then roar up to 104, once cresting 105. Until the thermometer died. Then I was just guessing based on how I felt. By Saturday I had curled up, seeing my world only as a melting sliver of ice getting smaller and smaller. Accepting the worsening condition as only someone in the delirium of fever can.

Honestly, with no doubt, if I lived alone I would be dead now. The fever and, as we learned later my nearly depleted white cell and platelet counts, would have triggered a seizure or heart attack. At least, that what the infectious disease specialist that was brought in told me.

Thankfully I don't live alone so I was back in the ER on Saturday with Linda and little Elias. The young 'un couldn't handle being calm that long, so Linda left​ with him and a couple of awesome dudes from church took shifts sitting with me in the ER, then eventually the hospital room when I was finally admitted. The way I got admitted, after hanging in the ER hallway bed for an hour or two, was to ask a nurse to take my temp when it felt the fever had returned. She did and said three words which in that moment were music to my ears: 'Holy shit, 104!" It got everyone's attention, especially after I reiterated that this had been happening for days.

The reminder of my past tick bites prompted them to schedule me on dioxicyclene (or whatever the antibiotic was called).

That night, an hour or so after finally getting a pill and having taken my Motrin, I was delirious with a 104 fever, and it was getting worse. My world was only one remaining speck of hot ice. I was babbling to myself, deciding that the only way to ride this out with any sanity was to talk out loud. The nurse took my temp, didn't say anything but looked pretty worried (I assume it had passed 104 at that point). She gave me Tylenol (two hours early), not seeing what else to do. A little while later, I'm assuming when the Tylenol and antibiotic teamed up, the fever broke completely for the first time in almost a week.

Broke so bad they had to change my clothes and sheets because I'd sweat the fever out so much.

So: long term fever, lowered white cell count resulting in a compromised immune system, platelet count in basement, so no ability to heal, lowered potassium so no energy and lowered something else so something else bad happened.

Jump to end: I had contracted Anaplasmosis, one of three ticks borne diseases common in this area (the most common is Lyme disease though Anaplasmosis is gaining traction).

Basically this disease knocks out your defenses, then moves in and does its best to kill you. This puppy almost did, apparently.

Over next few days they kept an IV in to resolve my severe dehydration, and the antibiotics kept the Anaplasmosis at bay. When my blood counts we're almost back to normal that Tuesday I was sent home.

The thing that struck me when my brain wasn't so fried was, during that time of fever, how helpless I felt. Helpless in that I didn't consider that things were getting so bad I needed to take charge of the situation and get it corrected. I simply accepted every diminished state I found myself in and ran with it. I meant it when I said that if I had lived alone I might easily have died. But others, like my wife and daughter, and some great friends from church, took control of things for me. Special shout out to Dave Kane and Steve Hutchins, who took turns sitting with me in the ER and beyond, and Sue Walker who kept harranging her contacts in the ER to make sure I got admitted! Times like this, I consider it a good thing to have friends and family around. If you isolate yourself too much, you always at the mercy of your own perspective. When that perspective gets messed up, without other people to see the truth around you, you can wander down some pretty dark roads.

Major life lesson, that, and not just around this specific situation. There are times when being entirely alone is a good thing, for a short time, recharge and reboot, connenct with God, sit in silence. But in life, overall, make sure you have people who love and care about you nearby. They're there for a reason.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Glimpsing Behind The ALIEN Curtain

My analysis of Ridley Scott's evolving origin story of the Alien films, with his recent PROMETHEUS (2012) and ALIEN: COVENANT (2017), is now showing at Cinema Knife Fight. I am way too passionate about this damned franchise, always have been. And I see the direction Scott is going, and it is clever, but it makes me... well, I say it much better in long form. Click Here to read it!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sharon Public Library Turns Their Local Author Spotlight on Me!
Hilary Umbreit of the Sharon Public Library recently interviewed me as part of their monthly Local Author Spotlight. It was a lot of fun and I don't think I did too badly with this one. I enjoyed the back and forth with Hilary and the final interview can be found here:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

5K Autism Walk with team Knights of Noah Ren April 29th!

Hi, I'll be doing the 2016 5K Run/Walk (and yes, I'll be running/walking) for Autism Acceptance with team Knights of Noah Ren! If you'd like to make a donation of any kind, please follow the link and donate directly to the team!

Our friends' son Noah was diagnosed with Autism in 2011. Over the last 6 years, they have had their trials and tribulations, but continue to push forward with the resources that are available to their family. However, there are more families out there that need more services and the providers need more monetarial support to do their jobs effectively.

Their family thanks you for taking the time to consider either joining us in the running of the 5K or for donating to a great cause. Thank you for being a part of their lives and helping them thrive each and every day.

To donate, visit the team's page here:

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

My Best of 2016 Films at Cinema Knife Fight

My list of favorite films of 2016 (and some carryovers from 2015) is now up at Cinema Knife Fight. Unfortunately, most of the cool movies that came out at the end of this year, including ROGUE ONE, are still on my To-See list because it was just too crazy over the holidays, so hopefully some of these will end up on my Best of 2017 list! But of the films I did see last year, click the link below for what I enjoyed the most.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

An Update On All Things Keohane & Gunn

I send out a newsletter now and then (not too often), and I recently had an update. If you'd like to receive these just send an email to danielgkeohane at gmail dot com and ask to be put on the list. Be more than happy to!

Hi, everyone. Long time no talk. A lot's been going on in the writing world of Daniel G Keohane / G Daniel Gunn, so let's jump right into it:

Solomon's Grave version 2

After a seven year run with Dragon Moon Press, I recently got the rights back to my first published novel, Solomon's Grave from the publisher and have put it out again under the Other Road Press line, so it will still be available. Beforehand, I ran through the manuscript, tightening it up a bit and trying to make it read less "first novel"-ish. :)  Special shout-out to cover artist Lynne Hansen who did the spectacular new cover for this second edition. It's now available (at a much lower price for the print edition) at all outlets, as well as the kindle on Amazon. You can find it all here:

Nightmare in Greasepaint Going Away (For Now)

Samhain Publishing has folded its entire horror line, and reverted the rights back to all of its authors. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Lauran (LL) Soares and I are considering options for finding a new publisher for Nightmare in Greasepaint, getting it back into print in some manner. Until then, looks like the novella, and the overall anthology Childhood Fears, is officially out of print as of this morning.

Wicked Witches

This past October Scott Goudsward, David Price and I edited a new anthology for the New England Horror Writers, called Wicked Witches: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers. Twenty-four original short stories and poems from some of the best horror writers in the New England region. This anthology has taken off in a huge way since its release in Salem on Halloween weekend, including a two-page spread in Rue Morgue Magazine! The three of us were interviewed a little while ago on the Taco Society podcast as well if you want to learn more (see it here:

New Movie Reviews

Since we last talked, I've had a few new film reviews out with Cinema Knife Fight, including FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, 400 DAYS, BEN-HUR, etc. You find find a list of what's out there at

Speaking of Samhain Dropping Horror

Borderlands 6, the anthology which featured my and Paul Tremblay''s story "Shattered" and many more amazing works, has put its trade paperback out through Samhain, so I'm not certain how long this version will be available before it dissapears. The Trade Paperback (and Kindle) are still out there at (and the deluxe hardcover as well direct from Borderlands Press is here: )

What About New Stuff?

Glad you asked, since all good. My new sci-fi novel Plague of Locusts (Daniel G Keohane) is done, and at the moment I'm pinging a few agents, trying the soul-crushing process again of trying to find an agent and/or publisher. Anyone know of any good ones who might want to take a look, let me know.

Also, nearly the same with a new horror novel Lost in the Woods (G Daniel Gunn). This is is creepy and, I think, a riot. I haven't laughed this much editing a novel. Now, what I think is amusing and the rest of the world isn't always the same thing, and it's not a comedy, but it has its moments. This one is just about in the can, just need to finish the final round of edits before getting it into some early readers' hands. It's good though, and pretty original.

I think that's it. No new short fiction, hasn't been a short story in a long time. Been focusing on the novels.

Hope everyone had a great round of holidays and here's to hoping 2017 is a good one... I mean a really, really good one.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Books Read in 2016

Yep, time again to reset my Books Read section down below, but before I do, here's what literature I poured into my brain last year, and some of my favorites.

Now, if a book's not resonating with me I will give it a chance, then put it down and not finish. So many more books out there that need reading, I don't want to waste time on something that's not for me. Doesn't mean the book's bad (Cujo by Stephen King was one such book, and I'm his number one fan - menacing smile), just not working for me, or picked the wrong time to read it. Not counting these, I finished 21 books last year. All very good in their own way, and entertaining, but if I had to pick five that completely blew me away (in order that I read them):

Blackout by Tim Curran: I forget why I ended up on horror publisher DarkFuse's mailing list, but I am, and noticed the cover of this Tim Curran novella, and loved it. Yes, I bought the book for the cover (and, as a horror writer, was curious as to the quality of DarkFuse's books). I had never read Curran before and now I see that's a damn shame. This short, intense novel was horror as it should be: scary, intense, with characters you like (or if you don't like them at least their strong, well rounded people) thrust in a situation that is otherworldly and terrifying. Think War of the Worlds meets Darkness on the Edge of Town. Fun, fun horror story.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: So this book, I picked up at the library in the For Sale pile for a buck. The name Ann Patchett rang a vague bell (but probably because of author Terry Pratchett), but the premise was interesting. Hmm, thought I, someday I'll read this random book I've uncovered and see what is does. It ended up being on of my favorite books of not only last year but the last decade. A birthday party is being held in an unnamed South American town for a major Japanese businessman, to try and woo his business into their country. It's held at the Vice President's estate. Invited to perform is an Italian soprano opera singer. In the midst of the gala, terrorists raid the home and take everyone prisoner. The book is the story of the guests trapped in this sudden turn of events, focusing mostly on the Japanese CEO, his translator, the opera singer, and a good number of the terrorists, who are painted as very real, very identifiable people. Beautifully written, wonderful story. Like the rest of this top 5 list, I looked forward to coming back to the next chapter every day.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom: My friend (and pastor) Marty suggested this book to me. Albom is a huge figure in writing, his books having sold millions around the world (think Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, etc). It's the life story of a major rock star named Frankie Presto, born in Spain in the midst of a bloody civil war and raised by so many people throughout his life, it leaps back and forth from his boyhood to young adulthood to his death. In fact, his death is the arching story. He has died under amazing circumstances in a concert in Spain, and as many famous music personalities come to his funeral, we hear about his life from them (as well as a quasi-linear narrative interwoven throughout). It's Mitch Albom, so you know the writing is more than stellar, and the story is fun, and touching and heart-warming. It's a much longer book than his usual fare, but so well worth it.

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee. Another book I've had on my shelf for years. I've lately been turned off by books specifically written for the Christian market because of the sanitized factor of the writing (it's such a tightly restrictive market, no swears, no physical romance in any way, no non-Christian main characters unless they get saved and if they are Christian they'd better be Baptists). But everyone has said this one is different. Somehow it got through the filters. This book did amazingly well when released, and not just in the CBA market but everywhere, because it is an amazing book. Her writing is so colorful and flowing, poetic without getting in its own way. She can describe something with five words and the entire room is painted for you, vividly. Lee plays with the "censors" all the time, wording things so brilliantly I had to laugh, as a writer. In short, a demon approaches a down-on-his-luck wanna-be writer (now an editor for a publishing house) and begins telling him his story - and thus the story of Lucifer and his demons, from the creation of the universe through Christ's arrival to modern day. Extremely well-researched - this could almost be one of those books people might consider divinely-inspired, like Dante's Inferno or in more modern times The Shack. I finished it feeling I understand why demons hate us so much - and yes, remembering this is a work of fiction. Gritty at times, it's a dark book written so wonderfully you'll never notice.

One In a Million Boy by Monica Wood: Finally, a very recent book from someone who has now been inked in on my Favorite Author list: Monica Wood. A few years back I read a collection of interconnected stories called Ernie's Ark (picked that up because of the title, curious since I'd written Margaret's Ark and I wanted to see another author's take on that kind of a title). Ernie's Ark was my favorite book read that year. And One in a Million Boy is my favorite (well, ok, one of my favorite) book this past year. A boy (he's never named), somewhat autistic though that word is never used, begins helping out a 104 year old woman as a Boy Scout requirement. He and she quickly become fast friends. Then he suddenly dies. His father, somewhat estranged, is a guitarist for a myriad of rock bands and had not seen much of the boy, forcing his ex-wife to raise him. He decides to make amends in some way by finishing his son's obligation of helping this woman. Through a series of tape recorded interviews the boy has made with the old woman, we learn of her life (and she begins to remember it herself). The story is told through these, and from the perspective of the father and the woman. It's a perfect book, touching, warm, riveting in the simplicity of the character's lives and pain. Wood is such, such an incredible writer.

The other fiction books I read last year (again, in order of reading) were: Monster by Keith Ferrario (Kieth was a fellow Samhain Publishing author and I wanted to give it a read), The Devil's Serenade by Catherine Cavendish (another Samhain author, the book was pretty unique), Revival: A Novel by Stephen King (though I've been trying to read King's older stuff, the description of this one intrigued me, though it's a hard book to pin down genre-wise, until the very end), The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (I heard so much about Lewis' non-Narnia writings I wanted to try this, a collection of fictitious letters written by a demon to his son on how to tempt mankind... this short novel is very interesting with some deep insights masked in fiction), Fountain of the Dead by Scott Goudsward (buddy Scott's debut novel, a zombie apocalypse with some fun twists), A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle (the book whose opening line made "It was a dark and stormy night" famous, this has been on my to-read list since the kids were younger and I noticed the line one day when opening to the first chapter, a classic young adult novel with at times heavy messages, a little dated but that's the joy in reading these classics, isn't it?), Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A Moore (the second of a trilogy of original novels in the Alien universe between the movies ALIEN and ALIENS, this one was a feast for those who like their aliens non-stop and their soldiers burning and firing weapons, it was relentless until the end - Jim had some major fun writing this and it shows), After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson (Scott's been cranking the books out Chris-Golden-like for years, and doing it full time, this is the first in a series called After, a post-apocalyptic group of novels about the Earth after a series of solar flares... and MAYBE the rapture, he hints at it, but might cover it more in later volumes... fast-paced with some great characters), Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig (the first in a series of novels set in the Star Wars universe prior to Episode VII, this story takes place a few weeks after Return of the Jedi and the crippling of the empire, the book was a fun ride, a bit scattered at times but the main story line a lot of fun), The Visitation by Frank E. Peretti (I've been wanting to read Peretti for a long time and finally decided on this one - half the book is flashbacks in the life of a disenchanted pastor - in fact the flashbacks are much more interesting than the modern day story line, so much that I wonder if he had to do the modern story as a way to sell the book, but overall a good read), Madhouse anthology edited by Benjamin Kane Ethridge and Brad C Hodson (I have story in this one, see for more info, and wanted to read through all the stories - I will admit I have a few more to go, but this shared-world antho is just so much more than the usual fare, very clever and well done - and dark, dark, dark).

Finally, on the fiction front, I began collecting early editions of a science fiction series called Perry Rhodan. When I was a teen I bought a book in this series called Action: Division 3, which ended up being #81 or something in the overall story arc. Decent enough book, but there were a lot of references to events, etc, I didn't get. And Perry Rhodan wasn't even in this one! Forty years later I decided to read the early volumes of the German sci-fi series to find out who this Perry Rhodan was. Now this was a HUGE seller in the 60's, and Ace paperback in the late 60's / early 70's finally caught up and translated them to English. Seems that each volume, which is small in its own right, is actually two different books (novellas, if you will), packed as one. They tell a linear story, from the first moon landing crew discovering an alien vessel to the slow build of a new world power on Earth by the very same astronauts. It's quite interesting, especially if you read this remembering the time and culture of its creation. Could even be said some aspects were ahead of its time (culturally, I mean - definitely not technically). The books I read this past year were:

Enterprise Startdust (Perry Rhodan #1) by Karl-Herbert Sheer
The Radiant Dome (Perry Rhodan #2) by K.H. Sheer & Walter Ernsting
Galactic Alarm (Perry Rhodan #3) by Kurt Mahr & W.W. Shols

By the end of Galactic Alarm I was getting a little tired of the sometimes-rough writing (sometimes it's also quite good, other times not - and a lot of building Perry Rhodan to demi-god like status in how he's portrayed, though I figure this is deliberate). I've always wanted to write a long-running sci-fi serial like this, and am enjoying seeing one way it was done so long ago.

Before I sign off (this is always a long post), there were two non-fiction books I read as well.

Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart-To-Heart Connection by Danny Silk: at my wife's suggestion, this small book is full of very good insights into how to manage your kids, especially young children (as we're adopting a two-year old, it's very applicable). Much reference to a teaching series called Love & Logic as well, which we've gotten and it also is quite good.

The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey: Yancey writes very clear, approachable books, and this is no exception. Tore through it pretty quickly. He claims (justifiably) that the church has built this false persona around the Jesus of the Bible, and he uses scripture after scripture to show you that the sanitized Jesus is not who is represented in the Book. A great way to reboot your faith by rebooting how you see the Messiah throughout the Bible, Old and New Testaments.