Is Your Pastor or Priest a Man of Action? Check Out Pastor Stephen Grant in, for example, MURDERER'S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL and THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL by Ray Keating

Pastor Stephen Grant?

Stephen Grant is the pastor at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church on eastern Long Island. Grant is one of the more unique second-career clergy around, as he once worked for the CIA. Besides theology, his interests include archery, golf, writing, classic films, the beach, poker, baseball, and history. Grant also knows his wines, champagnes and brews. Oh yes, he generally dislikes politicians, and happens to be an expert marksman with a handgun and a rifle, while being pretty handy with a combat knife as well.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Excerpt from Warrior Monk: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel - Chapter 4


“A mighty fortress is our God, A trusty shield and weapon…”


      Linda got out of the car and walked over to the driver’s side window of a silver Mercedes.  Her hand was firmly on the Beretta in her pocket.

“He helps us free from ev’ry need That hath us now o’er taken…”


      The window was down.  “Can I help you?” Hans Gunderson asked. He was listening to the radio and getting a little paperwork done while Flo was practicing with the choir.
    “I’m here for you, your wife and your pastor,” Linda responded without any detectable emotion in her voice.
    “What?”  Hans looked at the woman standing by his car.  “Oh, jeez, you’re that activist-professor lady.  What’s going on now?”

“The old evil foe Now means deadly woe…”


     “I’m here to make sure you pay for your sins.”  Linda pulled the gun out of her pocket, held it up with both hands about three feet from Hans’ head.  His mouth dropped open.  Linda pulled the trigger.  Hans Gunderson’s blood splattered the gray leather seats.

“Deep guile and great might Are his dread arms in fight…”


       Linda headed into St. Mary’s seeking other prey.

“On earth is not his equal…”


      In the office, for a nanosecond, Grant was immobilized by disbelief.  Hans shot. As the woman walked toward the front doors of St. Mary’s, old instincts began taking over. Grant slipped firmly into action.

“With might of ours can naught be done, Soon were our loss effected…”


       He leaped from the chair, grabbed the keys off the corner of his desk, and moved quickly to open the coffee table/gun cabinet.  Paranoia, my ass. He picked up the Glock and loaded a magazine holding 10 rounds, sticking a second mag in his pocket. 

“But for us fights the valiant One, Whom God Himself elected…”


    Barbara happened to move into the office doorway, asking, “Pastor, did you hear something out…?”  She froze seeing her pastor approaching with a gun in his hand.

“Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is…”


       Grant grabbed Barbara Tunney’s arm, and told her in a low, commanding tone, “Call 911, and tell them we have a shooting in progress.”
        Tunney stuttered, “A…a…what…?”
      Grant had no time to walk his secretary through this crisis.  “Barbara, do it now!  Call 911, and then go out the back door and away from here.”

“Of Sabaoth Lord, And there’s none other God…”


       While Tunney stumbled to her office phone, Pastor Stephen Grant stayed low and moved quickly down the hallway holding the pistol out front.  He uttered a quick, simple prayer: “Jesus, give me clarity and strength.” 
  Part of his mind returned to a distant, yet still familiar place, but with even greater earnestness.  For the coming seconds, he would be more hunter than pastor.

“He holds the field forever…”


Read the rest of this gripping fiction!




Excerpt from Root of All Evil? A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel - Chapter One


U.S. Senator James “Jimmy” Farrell rated exceptional in various ways.
His path into the world’s greatest deliberative body was rather unique, as were his politics for a senator from New York.
His death would be extraordinary as well.
Jimmy Farrell had been a tough, bare-knuckles, hard-drinking political leader of the Staten Island Conservative Party for several years. When the statewide party couldn’t stomach backing another liberal Republican in a presumably losing campaign against a powerful, incumbent Democrat, Farrell volunteered to be the Conservatives’ sacrificial lamb.
But the campaign took two unexpected turns. First, it was revealed that the married incumbent Democrat had engaged the services of a long list of prostitutes. Three days later, several media reports pointed to the Republican personally benefiting from contracts awarded while he was mayor of a small, upstate city.
It all played into old notions of Republicans being consumed by money, and Democrats obsessed with sex.
More hookers and more dollars flowed forth from the media on a daily basis during the final weeks leading up to the election. After the polls closed, having garnered 36 percent of the vote, Jimmy became the second Conservative to win a U.S. Senate seat from New York.
Farrell understood the unique circumstances of his victory, and the history of his state. James Buckley was the Conservative Party candidate who won the 1970 Senate race because Democrat Richard Ottinger and Senator Charles Goodell, a liberal Republican appointed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller after the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, split the state’s left-wing vote. Buckley served only one term. And since New York was arguably more liberal now, Senator Farrell was a sure bet for one term – that is, barring additional, unforeseen scandals.
In office, Farrell made no compromise. He spoke his mind, and voted his principles. No sacred cow existed that he would not slay, and no political third rail avoided his touch.
Backed by a handful of conservative Republicans, Farrell even led opposition to a highly popular effort – proposed by Republicans and backed by Democrats – to begin shifting U.S. foreign economic aid from government projects to helping entrepreneurial start-ups in developing nations.
Farrell declared on the floor of the U.S. Senate: “We shouldn’t be subsidizing businesses, big or small, at home, and we certainly shouldn’t be doling out U.S. tax dollars to businesses in foreign countries. I want to end government economic aid altogether, no matter who gets it.” He mysteriously added, “I believe ominous forces are looking to cash in on America’s na├»ve generosity.”
It was not surprising that the Senator from New York drove both Democrats and Republicans over the edge, with some accusing him of literally being crazy.
But crazy or not in his politics, Jimmy Farrell certainly was a predictable creature when it came to his day-to-day personal life.
While Congress was in session, when not required to be in the Senate, Farrell often could be found dining, drinking and holding court at The Dubliner Restaurant and Pub, just a block from Union Station. His favorite meal was the Guinness Burger – sirloin marinated in Guinness, served on a potato pancake with Welsh cheese and onion straws. The New York Senator, however, was far more expansive in his beverage selections, being open to all of the draft beers offered – from Guinness Stout to the Dubliner Irish Lager.
Members of his staff periodically tried to get Farrell to limit his attendance at the pub. Their arguments included the potential political negatives of spending so much time in a bar. That fell on deaf ears, as Farrell seemed to revel in his one-termer status. As for pointing to drunk driving risks, Farrell reminded staff that he never drove himself around D.C. In fact, the responsibility for driving Farrell fell to different aides on varying hours and days. That reality apparently was the true impetus behind his aides’ urgings, as each dreaded the duty of getting their boss out of The Dubliner and back to the Watergate condo he rented.
It turned out that Jimmy Farrell’s last night on Earth was the final evening for one of his legislative aides as well.
Once the bullet ripped into and lodged in Larry Payton’s brain, his vital signs quickly faltered. By the time his body was dumped on Second Street along the tracks behind Union Station, no spark of life remained.
Just after midnight, a blue-eyed, blond-haired, stocky, bushy-mustached man, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and thin black tie, entered The Dubliner. Few took notice, as he resembled many drivers seen around the nation’s capital. He asked a bartender where he could find Senator Farrell.
The barkeep said, “Around the corner, in the dining room. There’s a group of older gents.”
One of those gentlemen spoke loudly. His animated hands helped tell a tale, with the beer in his right hand periodically sloshing over the rim of a pilsner glass.
Farrell’s light gray hair was thick and wavy, with a few traces of its original sandy brown remaining, while his complexion was pock marked and ruddy. The Senator’s current facial redness was partially due to five lagers consumed over the past two hours, and partially to the extra sixty pounds his five-foot-eight frame had to carry.
The man in the dark suit approached the table, and waited as Farrell’s story continued. After the Senator and two others erupted in laughter, the stocky fellow introduced himself as “Mr. Audia,” told the Senator that Larry had an emergency, and he had been sent to drive Farrell home.
Jimmy offered his presumed driver a beer, but it was refused. Audia told the Senator that he would be waiting in the car outside, ready to leave whenever Farrell was.
Farrell said a bit unsteadily, “Okay, thanks, I’ll be out in five minutes.”
Twenty minutes and one more beer later, Farrell emerged into the warm night air and Audia waved him over to the car, and opened the back door.
As Audia turned the dark sedan onto Massachusetts Avenue, Farrell focused more closely on his surroundings. “Hey, this is my car. Why are you driving my car?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, Senator Farrell. Didn’t Larry explain?” He pulled the vehicle over to the curb.
“Larry? No. Explain what?”
Audia pulled a pistol from the gym bag resting on the seat next to him, and turned around. He looked Farrell in the eyes.
The alcohol consumed by the Senator delayed his ability to focus on the weapon. “Hey, what the…”
“Oh, that’s right, Larry’s dead.” Audia smiled and fired the weapon.
A tranquilizer dart hit Farrell just below the neck, immobilizing the senator almost immediately.
Audia turned around, shifted the car into drive, checked his mirrors, and pulled away from the curb. In a matter-of-fact, almost soothing voice, he said, “Unfortunately, Senator Farrell, you will be joining Larry in death shortly. But first, I will get some information from you that my client needs.”
The fear on Farrell’s face eventually faded away, as his eyes rolled back and closed.


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