Category Archives: Soul of the Beast

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Was Calcutta Poverty Really That Bad?

WAS CALCUTTA POVERTY REALLY THAT BAD?

The main characters in Soul of the Beast travel to Calcutta, India and experience the extreme poverty that still exists today. When someone says  the poor of America are rich compared with Calcutta, Americans often scoff.  But Mother Theresa knew this was true and spent her life giving comfort to the poor of Calcutta. Below are excerpts from an online article on the subject by Backpacking Tips Asia:

India is an amazing country to travel in …But unfortunately, the poverty [ in India is overwhelming.] Poverty can roughly be divided into absolute poverty, [what we see in India] or relative poverty [what we see in the United States].

calcutta5Absolute poverty is what you see on television … when they show skinny children from… Africa…the absolute poverty line is $1.25 per day.In other words, if a person is living on $1.25 or less per day, that person is living in absolute poverty. Continue reading

Garden Tomb of Jesus

Photo Tour Through Israel

This is a Photo Tour Through Israel.  The photo above is a tomb and one of two possible places where Jesus was placed after His crucifixion. My wife and I visited in April 2012. Israel is smaller than most states but packed with history and significance. Photos can’t capture the power of walking the ground or seeing the sites for yourself. Click on the photos below to enlarge them.

The remains of Herod's castle at Masada.

The remains of Herod’s palace at Masada.

Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. The gold is the Dome of the Rock.

Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. The gold is the Dome of the Rock.

The Wailing Wall. This is what remains of the original Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is on the top out of view.

The Wailing Wall. This is what remains of the original Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is on the top out of view.

 

The Gates of Hell in Caesarea Phillipi in northern Israel. Once the site of a temple to the god Pan. Where Jesus was when He said the Gates of Hell would not prevail.

The Gates of Hell in Caesarea Phillipi in northern Israel. Once the site of a temple to the god Pan. Where Jesus was when He said the Gates of Hell would not prevail.

The tomb where the body of Jesus was buried.

The tomb where the body of Jesus was buried.

Place inside the tomb where the body of Jesus was laid.

Place inside the tomb where the body of Jesus was laid.

Looking out from inside the tomb of Jesus.

Looking out from inside the tomb of Jesus.

Sea of Galilee at dawn. Sea is really a large lake.

Sea of Galilee at dawn. Sea is really a large lake.

Jordan River to the north.

Jordan River to the north.

Jordan River in southern Israel. This is where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. The site is seen from the Jordan side of the river.

Jordan River in southern Israel. This is where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. The site is seen from the Jordan side of the river.

Valley of Jezreel where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought.

Valley of Jezreel where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought.

Roman ruins at Beth Shean where the body of King Saul was hung up.

Roman ruins at Beth Shean where the body of King Saul was hung up.

Close up of the cliff of Golgotha. The face of a skull is still visible despite millennia of erosion.

Close up of the cliff of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. The face of a skull is still visible despite millennia of erosion.

Standing on the ground where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.

Standing on the ground where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.

Ruins of Capernaum. In the background is a church built over the home of the Apostle Peter.

Ruins of Capernaum. In the background is a church built over the home of the Apostle Peter.

Garden of Gethsemane with ancient olive trees. One tree dates back to time of Jesus.

Garden of Gethsemane with ancient olive trees. One tree dates back to time of Jesus.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre with the possible sites of the Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre with possible sites of the Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus.

Remains of Roman aqueduct in Caesarea

Remains of Roman aqueduct in Caesarea

Birth place of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Birth place of Jesus in Bethlehem.

 Ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus read the scriptures to the Jews.


Ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus read the scriptures to the Jews.

Friend riding a camel with the Mount of Temptations behind him.

Friend riding a camel with the Mount of Temptations behind him.

Gate in the wall around the city of Jerusalem

Gate in the wall around the city of Jerusalem

Cave of Qumran in the desert of southern Israel. This is where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Cave of Qumran in the desert of southern Israel. This is where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Site on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee the  where Jesus met the apostles after His resurrection and cooked fish.apostles.

Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Where Jesus met the apostles after His resurrection and cooked fish.

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SLAVERY

In Soul of the Beast, John and his mates are captured and taken somewhere to be sold as slaves. What is a slave?

The usual concept of a slave is someone who is owned by another person, much like a horse or a dog. The slave has no rights and must do anything the slave owner tells him or her to do. The owner can punish the slave as often and as severely as he or she chooses.  The owner can kill the slave for any and no reason. Using this definition, many people throughout history were in fact slaves even though they were called something else:

Continue reading

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HIMALAYAN MONKS

tibetan-monk1Himalayan monks play a huge part in the Beast Series. This is part of the collection of monk photos I assembled during my research for the books. The collection is extensive and very interesting. The photos come from National Geographic and other online sources. To see the rest of the photos, click here: MONK PHOTOS

 

 

 

 

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Background: John Sexton, His Curse, His Mates

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John Sexton is a central character of Soul of the Beast and the person who tells the story. He was born into an aristocratic British family and grew up with all the benefits of wealth and social status. His life was perfect until the Curse began.

The Curse. One by one, the adult men of the Sexton family die mysteriously. After the last Sexton adult man dies, the sons die on the first day of their eighteenth year.  John Sexton is the next to turn eighteen. With his doom just months away, John attempts to escape his fate by sailing to South Africa and hiding among the gold fields.sob-goldmines

David is John’s mate and the son of a poor South African farmer. He has a claim in the gold fields near John’s. When miners attempt to kill John, David fights them off and saves John’s life. The two become mates and work their claims together. When John sails to Australia, David goes along to protect him.  sob-thuggees

Mick Kelly is another of John’s mates. He is the son of an Irish convict sentenced to ten years of forced labor in Australia.  Mick’s mother and father both die, and he is forced to live on the streets of Derby. Mick teaches himself to read and, with his street smarts, becomes a reporter for the local newspaper. Mick says, “A good reporter knows where the bodies are buried.”

Want to know more background to Soul of the Beast? Post your questions and comments below.  I’m ready to answer any questions you have about the book.

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Quotes from Soul Of The Beast

Quotes  from Soul Of The Beast SOB fighting monk

(Regarding a poker game) It’s not cheating when all the money on the table is yours. (Mick)

When there is only one choice, choose it. (Mick)

When you got people afraid of you, you’ve got real power. (Mick)

Getting you in won’t be hard. But getting you out, that’s the tricky part.  (Mick)

(Also about a poker game) That wasn’t cheating. That was livening up the game. (Mick)

The only remedy for a bad defense was a good offense. (John)

SOB Himalayas6Thugs don’t leave witnesses, at least alive. (Mick)

Living on the streets teaches you where the bodies are buried. (Mick)

The live dog is better than a dead lion. (Mick quoting the Bible.) Continue reading

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Are Dragons Real?

chinese dragonAre Dragons Real?

The immediate response from most of us is NO.

st_george2Then why are Dragon myths in  cultures all around the world? There are the Chinese dragons and the English story of St. George and the Dragon. The Bible talks about a dragon in the book of Revelation.  The aborigines of Australia have a verbal history about a dragon like creature that they hunted to extinction. Native cultures in North, Central and South America have legends of dragons. The most famous example is the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl.

Dinosaurs are dragon like creatures. Could dragon myths be a cultural memory about dinosaurs?  For people to remember dinosaurs, dinosaurs and people would have to exist at the same time. Scientists tell us that’s impossible because dinosaurs  were extinct long before man walked the earth. Dinosaurs lived up until 250 million years ago. Man has only been on the earth for 5 million years.

The experts are wrong about this, and it’s easy to prove.Because DINOSAURS ARE ALIVE TODAY.  These living dinosaurs are so familiar that we don’t recognize them for what they are. Below is a partial list of living dinosaurs with their pictures.  Look at each picture and ask yourself, could this be a living dinosaur? The answer for each is obviously yes, and the fossil record confirms it.  Continue reading

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WHAT ARE MATES?

In Soul of the Beast, John and Mick call each other mates. What does that mean?  Being mates means you are more than friends. You are  brothers who will never desert each other and die for each other if necessary

SOBMates4How do people become mates? By going through extreme situations with other persons. For men that can be fighting side by side in wars and battles. Men and women become mates when they go through the challenges of married life together. These include disease, money struggles, aging, and the raising and sometimes death of children.

Any comments? I’d like to hear them. You can post them below.

 

 

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HOW BIG CAN DIAMONDS GET?

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How big can diamonds get? No one knows.The biggest real diamond ever found was the Cullinan diamond. It has 3106 carats and weighs 1.33 pounds (or 621.35 grams).

In the Soul Of The Beast, there is a fictional diamond the same size and weight as a bull. The average weight of a  Angus bull is 2500 pounds or 1,825 times larger than the largest known diamond.The Soul Of The Beast diamond is  impossibly large, and  may not be a diamond at all.  That leads to the question:  WHAT IS IT?  The answer is coming in Awakening The Beast, the next book in the BEAST series.  

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Any comments about diamonds?  You can post them below. I’d like to hear from you! 

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Were Starving Irishmen Convicted For Stealing Food?

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 Soul of the Beast takes place in 1886 during the time of the British Empire. At the time, starving Irishmen  were convicted  for stealing food to feed their starving families. They were sent to the penal colony in Australia. Below are excerpts from an online article by Independent Australia. You can read the article by clicking on the link.

In the early [1800's], …Australia became the first [British] colony to build a society [based] on the labour of convicted felons…Between 1787 and 1852, more than 150,000 convicts were transported to eastern Australia with around 50,000 prisoners being of Irish origin… SOB convicts on Shipminor thefts [like stealing food to survive] predominated [as the reasons for Irish convictions]… Continue reading