An Odd Pilgrimage
FREE Short Story, Fallen Widely Available, Very Short Fiction, Indie Book Promotions
Join Intelligence Officer Brendan Sean Murphy as he voyages into space in a struggle for peace and his own sanity. My first novel Fallen is available for $0.99 for a digital copy, $14.99 for paperback, and $1.99 for a Google AI read book (all audiobook money I receive goes to charity).
An Odd Pilgrimage - A Short Story
What Would You Do For the One God Loves?
Finishing Risen demands much of my free time. Yet, there were short periods when I was not occupied but could not dedicate myself to Brendan, Esfirs, and Berina. So what did I do? I wrote a four-page short story while commuting. The result is An Odd Pilgrimage.
An Odd Pilgrimage has its genesis when Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert canceled her upcoming book. She abandoned it because of online troll harassment due to the book featuring Russian characters. In the story, these characters were hiding from the Soviet government. Moscow was the “bad guy” in the novel, yet having anything Russian was intolerable to an online mob passionate about the Ukraine War. Hating Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine is one thing; hating everything culturally Russian is something else entirely.
In response, I told a friend I should write “a story about a time-traveling Russian Old Believer priest, emphasizing our shared human nature.” After months of batting the idea around in my head, I finally came up with a plot and theme. An Odd Pilgrimage touches on a religious topic without being preachy, with Christians and atheists telling me they enjoyed it. I hope you will find it entertaining, too.
The story is about a Russian Old Believer priest. Old Believers rejected reforms in Russian Orthodoxy in the 1600s. As such, they were declared outcasts and forced to live at the edges of society. In the story, the priest discovers his son was wounded in the Crimean War (1853-1856). The priest prays to God that he may go to his son and pray for him as “the one who God loves.” This sets the story in motion, resulting in a strange event that will challenge the priest like nothing else.
How to Get It
There are two easy ways to get An Odd Pilgrimage.
Refer three people to my Substack, and you’ll get an email with a digital copy of An Odd Pilgrimage. Those who refer ten people will receive a free digital copy of Fallen. Refer twenty-five and I will host a thirty minutes discussion with you online plus I will give you a signed paperback of Fallen. Your referring people to this Substack allows me to reach new audiences, spurring new inspiration.. I’d be very grateful if you did this.
Alternatively, you can get the PDF by clicking below. Anticlimactic, I know, but I don’t feel right forcing people to refer others. Referring others should be a choice (please do it), but I won’t stop you from enjoying An Odd Pilgrimage.
When you are done reading it, please let me know what you think!
Fallen Now Widely Available
Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, Apple Books, Google Play, and more now have Fallen for sell in digital format for 99 cents. Paperback still available for $19.95.
Please consider posting your Amazon review of Fallen on other platforms.
If you are daring and want to try the Google AI audiobook, it’s only $1.99. I’m generally against AI audiobooks, but I have a blind friend, among others, who has asked for it. Additionally, all money I receive from the sale of the audiobook will be donated to Warriors to Lourdes, which sends physically and psychologically wounded soldiers and veterans to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Warriors to Lourdes seems a fitting charity for a book about the effects of war-caused PTSD.
Very Short Fiction
VSS365 Word: Hallucinate
Jean rattled on, "The pills help ya breath but they are no good, I tell you, they make me jittery, itchy, and sometimes I think I hallucinate, no good I tell you, oh, and they make my scalp itch, I tell you."
"You do know I'm a goldfish?" his imaginary friend replied.
Scififri Word: Fight/Flight
Hesychia knew the scraping metal sounds were the sign that the gig was up. Stowaways were not treated kindly beyond the rim. Her fight or flight instincts kicked in. Whoever it was, she was ready to defend herself.
Space janitor Henry was about to be surprised.
Other Independent Book Promotions
The Relic: A King of The Caves Adventure Story by Brandon Wilborn - Free Short Story
The victorious army of Fin has recovered the relic that King Frederick hopes will unite the entire plain of Apos.
Ward Finlay, the king's general, looks forward to a well-deserved rest for his men. The king's priest, Sage Bennett, studies the relic eagerly to discover its secrets.
None of them see the danger coming from the sea: an enormous Ballentine army sails up the river Apos, burning villages and murdering Fin's citizens with their three-bladed death dance.
Holding the only high ground for leagues, the army of Fin is hopelessly outnumbered.
Their only hope is a vision given to Sage Bennett.
Will they flee and lose their kingdom, or stand and lose their lives?
The Relic is the adventurous origin story of the warrior monks seen in Brandon Wilborn's debut novel, The Treasure of Capric.
Christian's Look Back at Life by James Bonk - Free Novella
A psychological thriller with a Christian twist.
The horrible accident left Christian Flager with an amazing gift. He can relive any moment from his past just by thinking about it. The smell of his wife’s perfume the day they married. The smack of the baseball as he plays catch with his son.
Stuck in the past, he grows distant from those he loves. Every day, he walks the sleepy town reminded of what he lost. The gift has become a curse.
Until one day, he finds a special center that treats people with his condition. His new sponsor, Michael, helps Christian get out of his rut as they look back on his life through his unique gift. But easier said than done, as dark forces do not want Christian to change.
To win the fight ahead, Christian must leave his past behind.
Until Next Time
Thank you for reading this newsletter update. Next time, we will continue the religion and aliens series by looking at Judaism (see previous editions of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism and other Christian Groups, and Islam). Then, I will share stories of jinn from my Afghan friends and deployments.
Happy Thanksgiving, too! I hope you are with friends or family this week. If not, feel free to reply back to this or reach out to me on X (Twitter).
As always, please leave a comment with any questions, reviews, thoughts, whatever about Fallen, Risen, or whatever else I have discussed. I promise to reply!