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Friday, August 9, 2013


Welcome to the first day of our newest venture: A Taste of Friday, first chapters of what will hopefully become some of your favorite authors.
Due to the success of our first Taste and See: a Sampling of First Chapters book, Lorilyn and the gang are putting together a second edition for Christmas, 2013. For a sample, enjoy a few "First Chapters" each Friday here on the blog, starting with our own Dennis Snyder.

Personal Vengeance, Volume one of the Lake Haven Murders series,
Dennis Snyder, Concerning Life Publishing, September 17, 2012


Chapter One


Pastor Mike McIntyre turned onto Jackson Street and swerved to avoid the emergency vehicles blocking the road. Parking his motorcycle, he headed over to a police officer attempting to control the gathering crowd.  “Hi officer, I'm Pastor McIntrye from the Gospel Chapel. Can I offer any spiritual help?”
The police officer nodded and pointed“ Go see Detective Oakes over there.”
As Pastor Mike closed in on Detective Jim Oakes, he caught the stench of stale beer and smoke on his brown sport coat. Sticking out his hand, Mike quickly introduced himself to the clean shaved, sandy haired cop and asked if he could be of any service. It was obvious to Mike, from the once over he was given by the Detective, that he did not meet Oakes' idea of a pastor.
“What church did you say you were with?”
“The Gospel Chapel, over on First Street, right across from the elementary school. What happened?”
”Some lady backed into a parked motorcycle that belonged to a member of the Sons of Lucifer Motorcycle gang.” After lighting his cigarette he continued, “Five of them got carried away and savagely beat her. We're not sure she's going to make it. The ambulance should be here any time. Could you go over and see what you can do for her?”
“No problem.” said Mike
As he turned toward the scene, Detective Oakes grabbed his arm and said, “Her face is so severely beaten the nose is broken, teeth have been knocked out and her jaw is in pieces.  She is not able to talk and it is a bloody mess. The five gang members fled taking her wallet with them and we haven't been able to identify her.”
Pastor Mike removed his leather jacket before he knelt down to comfort and pray with the victim. It was hard to look at the woman's bloody and distorted face so he looked square in her eyes. As the beaten woman looked back, shivers ran up his back and terror struck his heart. Before Pastor Mike could get his composure the EMTs shoved him out of the way. Within minutes they had her loaded into the ambulance and were headed toward the hospital. Still in shock, he stared at the ambulance as it raced off. After what seemed like an eternity, reality sunk in when Detective Oakes handed the pastor's jacket to him and asked, “Were you able to give her any comfort?”
“That's my wife!” said Pastor Mike grabbing his jacket. “I need to get to the hospital.”
Before Oakes could say anything, Pastor Mike was strapping on his helmet and mounting his bike. Racing to the hospital weaving in and out of traffic the pastor's mind also raced as he thought of life without his beautiful wife of fifteen years. He knew that they did not have the perfect marriage but it was close. They had worked hard to keep God first in their lives. They spent many hours counseling couples on what a biblical marriage was all about and they did their best to apply the Word of God in their own relationship. No way would God take Pam away yet! They still had years of life and ministry together.
Mike was familiar with the hospital having spent hours with others ministering to their needs. He rushed directly to the emergency room just behind the ambulance carrying the woman of his dreams. He stood to the side as the doctors and nurses attended to his wife. No one asked him to wait outside. He was a familiar face to most of these men and women who worked in the ER. They had seen him many times with moist eyes and a comforting arm around a loved one as he silently prayed for them. One nurse even remarked to the ER doctor, “It looks like Pastor Mike beat the family here.”
The doctor seemed to ignore her as he placed his stethoscope on Pam's chest and yelled, “We need to get her to the operating room, stat!” The ER emptied quickly as they wheeled Pam into the elevator to the third floor leaving him standing alone. After a few minutes Mike turned and walked to the surgery waiting room. He informed the volunteer why he was there and that he would be down the hall in the hospital chapel.
“I'll call the hospital chaplain to meet you.” the volunteer said.
Mike knew no one would come; he was the chaplain on call.
The blue green of the stained glass behind the cross shimmered from the dim light of candles burning on the table to the right of the altar. The four pews were empty amplifying the hollow sound of his footsteps in the chapel.

One hour earlier...

“Hi honey, how's work going?” Pam said.
“Hey Babe, it's going well, I almost have my Sunday outline ready and will be fleshing it out later today. How about your day?”
“Not so good. Mary lost the baby and I just left her house. It brought back a lot of memories that I need to address.”
“I'll meet you in an hour Babe. How about lunch at JW's on Jackson Street? The rain has dried up and the sun is out so why don't I bring the bike?  We can go for a good ride and cry after we eat.”
“Ok Mike, but we will have to talk about the baby again.”
“I know Babe; I will see you at noon. Love ya.”
“I love you too. Bye,” as Pam hung up the phone she felt her car back into something.
Mike kicked back in his chair as he wiped his tears. He and Pam had lost their only child in her second trimester over five years ago. Their hearts still ached with the loss and they could empathize with others. He knew that they would gain strength as they focused on God's Word and His promises. Pam's favorite place to pray was on the back of the Harley Fatboy with the wind in her face.

Back at the Chapel…

Pastor Mike knelt at the Altar. “Our Gracious, Heavenly Father, Almighty God, I am at a loss for words this time. It's Pam. She's in bad shape. She may not make it Lord, if you don't intervene.” The pastor wept uncontrollably as he thought about losing his wife. “God, if you will spare her I will do anything you ask, I will go anywhere you want me to go. Just don't let her die. You know that she's my life. Where would I be without her?  Lord, please I beg of you…”
Just then he felt a hand on his shoulder. Looking up he saw the doctor and the look in his eyes . . .

Dennis Snyder, author of the Lake Haven Murders and Struggle for Sovereignty series, makes his home in Michigan. He enjoys riding his Harley, golfing and spending time with his wife.
He is also the author of Yellow Rose of Texas.

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