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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Note from Walker Percy about The 41st Sermon

"The 41st Sermon" is now live on Smashwords and Amazon. Again, Michael Irvin has come up with wonderful cover art.

In Dec. of 1989 I sent the first three chapters of a novel I had written to Walker Percy. Shortly after, I received his handwritten response on my cover letter: “Randy: It reads well — I’d be glad to look at rest, but must tell you I’ve had to give up finding agent or publisher for unpublished writers — I’d be doing nothing else. Everybody in South is writing a novel – Best, W.P.” I sent the MS to him and waited and waited and then in May the following year woke up one morning to read his obituary in the paper.

"The 41st Sermon" is about an Episcopalian priest in mid-life and mid-faith crisis. He gets involved in a phony kidnap plot with his sexy blond parishioner, the result is a supercharged novel of sex, payback for decades-old double-dealing, and despair, which only God can cure. Satan's complications are never easy; God's grace is never free.

Here's the book cover and then the Percy note:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Katy Sozaeva's Summary of Her Six Reviews

"While I have, certainly, before spent a weekend reading more than one book from an author, only once before have I spent the weekend reading EVERY published book from an author (a few weeks back when I read the most excellent Pact Arcanum by Arshad Ahsanuddin). However, that was only 3 books - this was 6. True, only two of them were long enough to be considered other than novellas at most, but Randy's style is intense, his plotting brilliant. Each of his stories was a brilliant gem of a thing - and each was very different. You first saw my review of "Rabbletown," which was one of the most amazing things I've read in ages. I spent most of the book in goosebumps, astonished and unbelieving about how much this book was affecting me. You will probably also note that this led to the longest review! Not that I didn't like the subsequent books, just that "Rabbletown" had the strongest impact upon me. That was quite a book! "Crazy About You" was an interesting coming of age story, filled with lots of intriguing information on the history of the treatment of mental illness that I found to be fascinating. His short works: "3 Very Quirky Tales," "Blue Kansas Sky" and "The Strange Tale of James Kirkland Pilley" are the sorts of things that are perfect for reading during a break at work, or an evening where you don't have a lot of time, but want to read something complete in and of itself. Then there was "Blow Up the Roses," which I discovered had just been uploaded when I went to post one of my other reviews on Smashwords. In fact, Smashwords is the ONLY place where you can find all 6 of Randy's currently published works - check it out:"

Katy's blog is at:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Great Perceptive Review of Rabbletown

Wow, Katy posted a wonderful review of Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America. It can be found on

In an email thank you to her she wrote back:
 I was literally in goosebumps for probably the last 1/2 - 1/3 of the book. 

Review by: Katy Sozaeva on Sep. 02, 2011 : star star star star star
I expected a few things when I started reading this book. I expected to maybe be amused by a satirical take on the Fundamentalists that are doing their utmost to take over this country – sadly, the concept is difficult to make amusing, because the idea of Fundamentalists taking over this country and turning it into an Evangelical theocracy is absolutely terrifying to anyone who wants to live in love and Light. I expected to be outraged by the excesses of Fundamentalist leaders who grow fat and rich off the tithing of their flock, while the common people live in poverty and squalor. I expected to be terrified by the idea of an Evangelical theocracy in general. What I did not expect was to be profoundly moved. I did not expect the overwhelming desire to make this book required reading for everyone. I did not expect goose bumps or a profound feeling of “rightness” to come over me while I read this book. I did not expect to want to take to the streets to preach the word of Bobby – to propose that the world would be a better place if we all became … Bobbites.

You see, 12-year-old Bobby Crowley – the son of stone-mason Bob Crowley, who is working to build a cathedral in Topeka, KS that will be larger and more glorious than any other cathedral in the world – is special. He has an amazing memory for Bible verses, and a strangely wise way of saying just the right thing at just the right time. And he has been carefully watching the formation of a significant alignment of stars in the sky, including a new star that just appeared three months ago, which are coming into a cross-like shape. And on a Friday like any other Friday – a Stoning Friday that would see the stoning to death of a “heathen, a whore, a pair of adulterers and a pair of faggots” - Bobby takes his place among the great religious leaders of the world when he steps forward and speaks the words “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and in the process saves the life of a beatific young woman: he gains a following and begins performing miracles, and providing proverbs of hope, peace and love. Many people believe he is the second coming of Christ.

Caught in his wake are a prostitute, his teacher (himself gay and who has been forcing himself up the weaker boys in his classes), the young woman who had been accused of being a whore and set to be stoned, a seller of banned books, a Catholic friar and many more; they go into Rabbletown, the slums of Topeka, where Bobby spreads the true way – the way of peace, love, acceptance and kindness, rather than the hate and manipulations used by those in power. And in a world where the leaders all revere and emulate the practices and beliefs of that disgusting scumbag Fred Phelps, those sorts of teachings are threatening to the power structure. Bobby and all who believe in him and his miracles are declared anathema and the Inquisition is sent after them.

This book does two things: it exposes the horror of a theocratic, fascist Evangelical Fundamentalist power structure, and it provides hope for redemption for anyone who chooses to live a truly good life, and follow the basic teachings that so many modern-day dogmatics seem to forget are the only two rules laid down by Christ – you know, the one Christians are supposed to emulate? Yeshua Christos told his followers to follow two simple rules: 1) love each other and treat others like you would like them to treat you; 2) love the Higher Power of Creation, in whatever form you choose to comprehend It. It doesn’t matter what religion, creed, belief structure or lack thereof you choose to affiliate yourself with, these simple rules are common across almost every single one, and are the only rules that are really necessary to create a world in which everyone would like to live. This book – reading this book – will cause a profound shift in perception and I believe, honestly, that the world would be a better place if everyone followed the example set by Bobby. We all need to become Bobbites. Read this book and see if you don’t find these truths to be as profound as I did.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)