Preorder THE HOBGOBLINS Today--Special Preorder Bonus
I am delighted to announce the release of my latest book, THE HOBGOBLINS, a novel on John Bunyan. I managed to write the first draft in a whirlwind of only seven weeks--right in the early weeks of the pandemic hysteria.
I thought I loved John Bunyan before writing The Hobgoblins, but now I love him to an incalculable degree. His entire life is an enactment of God's way in the gospel: God chooses the foolish to confound the wise (I Cor 1), the younger brother over the elder, the things that are of no account and are mocked and scorned by the world--these are precious in the sight of our God and Savior.
That was Bunyan, a poor, peasant tinker, with little formal education, surrounded by the Puritan age, an age of great piety, of great learning and erudition, and of great literary accomplishment. And along comes humble Bunyan, his life transformed by the power of the gospel, and, undaunted, he preaches, and suffers, and writes, including penning the best-selling book of all time (next to the English Bible), never out of print since 1678, The Pilgrim's Progress (ignore JK Rowling claims to have exceeded Bunyan; it took her seven books to his one; that's not how it works). Some of my readers may wonder where on earth I got a title like The Hobgoblins; some may even be offended by the title. Like everything else in my newest historical fiction book set in 17th century Elstow and Bedford, I plundered Bunyan's own writings and vocabulary. In his classic Pilgrim Hymn, sung by Valiant-for-Truth in the second book of Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan includes the lines:
“Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit!” So, if you don't like the word Hobgoblins, I invite you to take it up with Bunyan himself! Having taught Pilgrim's Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners for many years, I have long wanted to write a book about Bunyan, but other projects always seemed to get in the way. Until God ordained a pandemic and the residual lock down and and suspension of ordinary life (little did I know then just how much suspension of ordinary life it would be for me). My travel schedule halted abruptly, and so I decided that now was the time to write on Bunyan. There was something else going on in my mind too. Because Bunyan is so important to the Church, I wanted this book to be my very best work, so I kept deferring it, pushing it forward, hoping to be the best writer I could be before taking it on, stalling, procrastinating--whatever it was. Until now. Musing on my best way to write the book, I finally hit on the idea of starting with Elstow Abbey today and a real person, my good friend Licensed Lay Minister, John Hinson who agreed to have something of a bit more than a cameo appearance in the opening chapters of the book. That is, until he takes a significant tumble down the narrow circular stairway up the 13th century bell tower next to the Abbey, and in his steepling plunge unearths a tin box containing a manuscript. Readers of Hostage Lands and The Betrayal are thinking, he's done this before. Yes, but not since 2009, and as those are two of my best-selling books, I decided it was time again. The story unfolds from the pen of Harry Wylie, a fellow rogue in blasphemy with Bunyan in their youth, and a man Bunyan actually mentions once in Grace Abounding, every writer of historical fiction's dream character. Harry goes on to be the benevolent jailer later in the story, but, convinced that people don't change, he was always bewildered by his friend, especially Bunyan's intrepid stand against bishops, episcopal church government, magistrates, and King Charles II. With increased secular pressures against Christians and the Church today, there are enormous implication from Bunyan's stand before kings and magistrates, suffering in prison for conscience sake in the 17th century, and our call to honor the king and to obey God rather than man in our own day. If you would like to listen to me reading a sample chapter (4) from the book click here. While you're there, please subscribe and share the site with your friends and family.
Today is the day! Pre-release day of The Hobgoblins! Every preorder will receive a free copy of my RISE & WORSHIP New Reformation Hymns album. AND! The first ten book orders today will receive a 2-for-1, 2 signed copies of THE HOBGOBLINS, the second copy for you to give to a family adversely impacted by the pandemic and the lock down.