Is Your Pastor or Priest a Man of Action? Check Out Pastor Stephen Grant in, for example, WINE INTO WATER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL, 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.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Is TNT’s "The Last Ship" the Best Show on TV?

by Ray Keating

5 Stars out of 5

With so many channels and online viewing options, some might argue that we’re in the midst of a new golden age of television. Then there’s the view that while choices abound, there’s still nothing good on to watch. Of course, the truth lies somewhere in between.

At the high-quality end is a show that first hit TNT in the summer of 2014, and just finished up its fourth season on Sunday night (October 8th) with a two-hour finale. The Last Ship was launched in impressive fashion, and has maintained excellence throughout each season.



In fact, in my humble opinion, The Last Ship quite simply ranks as the best show on television.

I know, I know, that’s a bold claim, and countless people will scoff, but I will not relent.

For those who have not watched, the basic premise of The Last Ship is that a viral pandemic has wiped out some 80 percent of the human race. Those onboard the ship – the U.S.S. Nathan James – must find a cure and save the world. Along the way, the show shines in a variety of ways.

First, everything flows from excellent writing and storytelling, and a top-notch cast. That cast includes Eric Dane as Captain Tom Chandler, Rhona Mitra as Dr. Rachel Scott, Adam Baldwin as Captain Mike Slattery, Charles Parnell as Master Chief Russ Jeter, Travis Van Winkle as Lt. Danny Green, Marissa Neitling as Lt. Commander Kara Green, Bridget Regan as Sasha Cooper, former Navy Intelligence, and many others.

Second, it’s easy to care about the men and women serving on the Nathan James. Not only are they brave members of the U.S. Navy risking it all for mankind, but they each have their unique backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, loves, flaws, and losses. For good measure, the reality of serving under fire means that everyone doesn’t make it out in the end. Sacrifice for others is powerfully portrayed.

No doubt, and to its credit, The Last Ship serves as a salute to the men and women who serve in the U.S. military, but it does so not in a corny, the-characters-are-perfect kind of way, but rather through superior narrative.

Third, during this time when the human race is at risk, all aspects of human nature come to the fore. True leaders emerge, inspiring others to do what’s right. There are those who tap into courage, and seek to help and save others, while some act selfishly or ruthlessly, guided by fear, hatred, mistrust, and even petty politics. And still others do the wrong thing but for what they truly believe is the right reason.

Fourth, the show acknowledges and offers glimpses of the faith life of the men and women of the Nathan James. Master Chief Jeter serves as the ship’s unofficial chaplain, and provides powerful moments, particularly earlier in the show, when leading prayers and offering guidance to members of the crew.

Finally, The Last Ship offers the right balance between action and characters. Yes, there’s plenty of adventure and conflict at sea and on land in this military-rooted show. But the action is not mindless. Instead, some quality special effects for a TV show combine with the fact that the emotional impact of the action is significant because viewers care about the characters involved.

Four seasons of great TV – generating feelings of joy, excitement, caring, reflection, suspense and sorrow among those tuning in – is quite the accomplishment. Fans have at least one more season coming next summer. I, for one, can’t wait. And let’s hope that TNT has the good sense to let The Last Ship continue sailing for a few more seasons after that.

_______________


Ray Keating is the author of the PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVELS. The latest in the series is LIONHEARTS.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Offers Stellar Review of LIONHEARTS

LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL received a big thumbs-up review from Kirkus Reviews:

“In this seventh entry of a series, terrorists attacking Christians in the United States must contend with the proficient recurring protagonist armed with Scripture and a Glock… By now, fans of Keating’s (Wine Into Water, 2016, etc.) thriller series will anticipate skillfully drawn characters. [Stephen] Grant, for one, is a considerate husband and unquestionably capable in action… The narrative’s swift momentum is retained even during profound moments, like a scene in which terrorists debate their cause after murdering two men that’s intercut with clergymen reciting biblical passages. Though sequences of Grant or [Paige] Caldwell and her team engaged in combat are exhilarating, the story’s brimming with everyday heroes. One political figure, for example, is rescued by a neighbor whose courage is measured by the hefty Desert Eagle gun he brandishes. First-rate supporting characters complement the sprightly pastor, who remains impeccable in this thriller.”

Read the entire review at https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ray-keating/lionhearts2/


Friday, September 15, 2017

Anniversary Sale on WARRIOR MONK: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL

Ray Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant series – featuring a onetime Navy SEAL, former CIA operative and now a Lutheran pastor – began with WARRIOR MONK. September 16th marks the anniversary for publishing this thriller. So, we’re running a sale: Get a signed edition of WARRIOR MONK at www.raykeatingonline.com at a special sale price, or the Kindle edition at Amazon for a big discount (cut from $6.99 to $3.99) at https://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Monk-Pastor-Stephen-Grant-ebook/dp/B0043M4NRC/ref=pd_sim_351_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=E0S2YTTJ6YK7FJ2EV38W 



David Keene, opinion editor at The Washington Times, observed: “Thriller and mystery writers have concocted all manner of main characters, from fly fishing lawyers to orchid aficionados and former ballplayers, but none has come up with anyone like Stephen Grant, the former Navy Seal and CIA assassin, and current Lutheran pastor. Grant mixes battling America's enemies and sparring with enemies of traditional Christian values, while ministering to his Long Island flock. The amazing thing is that the character works. The Stephen Grant novels are great reads beginning with WARRIOR MONK, which aptly describes Ray Keating's engaging hero.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL Has Arrived!

LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL by Ray Keating is here! It’s the seventh thriller featuring the onetime Navy SEAL, former CIA operative, and current Lutheran pastor.



In LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL by Ray Keating, war has arrived on American soil, with Islamic terrorists using new tactics. Few are safe, including Christians, politicians, and the media. Pastor Stephen Grant taps into his past with the Navy SEALS and the CIA to help wage a war of flesh and blood, ideas, history, and beliefs. This is about defending both the U.S. and Christianity.

Lutheran Book Review says: “I miss Tom Clancy. Keating fills that void for me.” Keating also has been called “a great novelist” by the host of KFUO’s “BookTalk” radio, and MURDERER’S ROW won the 2015 Book of the Year award from KFUO radio.

LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL is available in trade paperback from Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548964182/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1504126067&sr=8-2&keywords=lionhearts+by+keating

Signed copies can be ordered at www.raykeatingonline.com.


This thriller also can be purchased and downloaded for the Kindle at Amazon.com. Go to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074RZN1V6?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Monday, August 28, 2017

LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL publication date moved up to this Thursday, August 31st!

LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL publication date moved up to this Thursday, August 31st! Pre-orders for signed copies are being taken now at www.raykeatingonline.com. Also, Kindle edition can be pre-ordered at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074RZN1V6….
And the paperback will be available at Amazon on August 31st.



What's the deal with this latest thriller from Ray Keating? Here's the rundown...
War and Terrorism on American Soil in Award-Winning Novelist Ray Keating’s New Thriller “Lionhearts: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel”
Stephen Grant, Former Navy SEAL, Onetime CIA Operative and Current Pastor, is Back in the Fight
In LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL by Ray Keating, war has arrived on American soil, with Islamic terrorists using new tactics. Few are safe, including Christians, politicians, and the media. Pastor Stephen Grant taps into his past with the Navy SEALS and the CIA to help wage a war of flesh and blood, ideas, history, and beliefs. This is about defending both the U.S. and Christianity.
With action on the churches, home, media and political fronts, LIONHEARTS: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL ranks as a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Tragedy, justice, faith, love, friendship, violence, death and loss, hatred, courage, commitment and patriotism are brought to life for the reader. As with his earlier novels, Keating also serves up fascinating characters and relationships, humor, and crisp dialogue.
Keating’s previous thrillers/mysteries – WINE INTO WATER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL, MURDERER’S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL, THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL, AN ADVENT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL, ROOT OF ALL EVIL? A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL and WARRIOR MONK: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL – have received widespread praise. For example, Kirkus Reviews has said the following:
On WINE INTO WATER: “A first-rate mystery makes this a series standout…”
On MURDERER’S ROW: “Action fans will find plenty to love here, from gunfights and murder sprees to moral dilemmas.”
On THE RIVER: “A gritty, action-stuffed, well-considered thriller with a gun-toting clergyman.” 
Keating also has been called “a great novelist” by the host of KFUO’s “BookTalk” radio, and MURDERER’S ROW won the 2015 Book of the Year award from KFUO radio. Lutheran Book Review declared, “I miss Tom Clancy. Keating fills that void for me.” Amazon.com reviewers compare his thrillers to the works of Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, W.E.B. Griffin and David Morrell.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kindle Sale: Anniversary Celebration Sale on ROOT OF ALL EVIL?

Anniversary Celebration Sale on ROOT OF ALL EVIL? A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL – Save BIG on Kindle Edition: Get It for Only $2.99



Enjoy a riveting thriller starring a former Navy SEAL, onetime CIA operative, and now a Lutheran pastor.

August 17th marks the publication anniversary of Ray Keating’s ROOT OF ALL EVIL? A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL. The book has been widely praised. For example, best-selling author Paul L. Maier, who penned “A Skeleton in God's Closet,” “More Than A Skeleton,” and “The Constantine Codex,” said: “‘Root of All Evil?’ is an extraordinarily good read.  Only Ray Keating could come up with a character like Pastor Stephen Grant... As trouble mounts in this page-turner, Grant will need both skills - martial and theological - to punish evil and save the good.”

To celebrate, the Kindle price has been slashed to $2.99. This anniversary sale celebration will only last until August 24th, so take advantage right now!

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