I saw this image the other day, and it made me realize that infants have grown into near adults since that terrible day. I salute the families of all those lost, the heroes who fight evil, and most of all the sacrifices made over the last 16 years. May God Bless America and all those who fight for her!
I hope the children of 9/11 find meaning and purpose in their lives. Although they stand in the shadow of loss, may they find grace in this fallen world.
This large early Flemish work of art is the collaboration of two brothers. It is believed they created this 11-foot by 14.5-foot masterpiece between 1420 and 1432. The brothers, Jan Van and Hubert Eyck, designed this 18 panel treasured artwork for the Saint Bravo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium (Hence the name). I carefully selected the Ghent Altarpiece for Operation Nightfall because it, or pieces of it, were stolen by the Germans in both World Wars. The Treaty of Versailles (World War I) saw the stolen panels returned to Belgium. However, in 1940 it was decided to send the Ghent to the Vatican in order to protect it.
The onset of World War II saw Italy declare itself an Axis power and the Ghent was held in transit inside France. An agreement was reached and the painting found refuge inside a museum in Pau, France. In 1942, Hitler ordered the Ghent to be seized from Pau, and brought to a Bavarian castle controlled by the Nazi party. The painting was not secured until 1945, and was found inside a salt mine in Germany. Reportedly, a panel was missing from the Altarpiece and it was recreated by the artist Jef Van der Veken as part of the restoration after the war. Today the Ghent Altarpiece remains one of the treasures of Ghent, Belgium, and a survivor of Hitler’s art theft program.
In Operation Nightfall, I used fiction to bend reality in order to create a plausible historical narrative for the Ghent. The painting, in particular the Adam panel, contains something impossible to fathom within the actual paintwork itself. Something that couldn’t have existed in the 15th century. That’s not to mention what the framework of the painting was hiding. A secret dating back to the days of Jesus Christ, and a power few have ever encountered.
I was writing a description for Arklight the other day, and I found it impossible to categorize it traditionally. Maybe one day, the powers that be will create a cross-genre classification. So many books today seem to fit into the cross-genre category easier than the traditional one genre categories. Arklight is best described as a Christian-based action-adventure historical mystery-suspense real-person science fiction novel (and breathe)… It’s really difficult to categorize in my humble opinion, however I’m not a literary expert by any stretch of the imagination. I’m a cop.
Truth is, I had no idea I was going to write this book, or that I would be almost finished writing the sequel (with a third book already outlined). I actually pitched the concept to an accomplished author friend of mine, and he told me that I should just write it. It sounded so simple, like the saying of a popular shoe company. This friend of mine has a great faith, with an equally sound moral compass. He’s the type of guy you listen to when he speaks. After some time went by, I just sat down and started writing. One month later it was done at some 65k words. However, it took another few painful months of work to have Arklight presentable. It’s at the editor with close to 94k words full of color, description, and suspense.
So, in a few weeks I’ll share this incredible information-packed story of Christian-based fiction with the world (or whoever I give a copy to). Maybe some people will read Arklight, or maybe they won’t. Would profitable sales be nice? Of course they would, but that is the last thing I’m concerned about. This book did a work in me through the teachings of God, and I am a better man for writing about what was learned. It’s hard for any author to recoup the thousands of hours of work they put into their projects, but it’s easy to quantify the spiritual growth you experience in a work of Christianity (even a fictional novel). In the end, if Arklight reaches one person, and affects them positively – that’s a huge win!
May God Bless our country (especially Texas and Louisiana at present), our military, first responders, and all those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
In Chapter 1 of Operation Nightfall, characters from the fictional world collide with those who lived through the experience. The setting is Casablanca, Moroccco, on December 7th, 1942, just one day before the allied invasion. A little known coup d’etat was in play between the pro-allied General Antoine Béthouart and the loyal Vichy-French General Charles Noguès. The coup was stopped which led to the reinforcement of troops garrisoned on the beaches. This increased casualties on both sides and prolonged what should have been a much shorter operation. Major General George S. Patton commanded the western task force consisting of some 35,000 troops and around 100 ships. Casablanca also saw the first firing of 16″ naval guns in combat when the U.S.S. Massachusetts (BB-59) sank the Vichy French Battleship Jean Bart at her dock.
Another more famous soldier is introduced in Chapter 1, although he wasn’t famous until well after the war. Lieutenant Ian Fleming, British Intelligence, became one of the most famous writers in modern culture. Maybe he wrote good spy novels, because he was a good spy? Maybe or maybe not, but for the sake of fiction let’s assume the affirmative. In 1942, Ian was working strangely enough on Operation Goldeneye, which was the plan to maintain Gibraltar’s intelligence operations in the event Spain fell into German hands. The trip from Gibraltar into Northern Africa was a short boat ride, even with a war on. Let’s just say, maybe the plucky Brit intelligence officer got into a few things that might be considered classified.
One of the main characters in the book also existed during the time period. Ensign John Bell, who is recognized in U.S. Navy SEAL history as one of the first SEALS, participated in Operation Torch. He leads a small group of Naval Raiders to scout the beaches of Casablanca prior to the invasion. However, once they arrive he unveils a much more difficult mission. A mission that sets the tempo for Operation Nightfall.
I greatly appreciate the support of all those who have started to follow this project! Please share with your friends and those who might be interested in this story. I’ll be using the blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Goodreads to start getting the word out. Thanks for everything!
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