Thursday, January 3, 2019

A Whole World Full of Hurt

A Whole World Full of Hurt, available at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon, is a 328-page urban fantasy novel.


All her life, Raven Westbrook has been looking for love. After enduring the emotional abuse of her family and the physical abuse of her lovers, she joins The Black Cauldron. Under the coven's powerful high priestess, Abigail Sheen, Raven becomes an accomplished witch. Unfortunately, this new future doesn't turn out as Raven intended.

To stop a mad quest for ultimate power, Lloyd Edwards, a top government agent, joins forces with Raven, and they gather a troop of angels to take on an impending demon horde. They need only one more thing: a woman of renewed faith. 

With time running out, can Lloyd, as a man of renewed faith, convince Raven there's reason to trust in the goodness of life? Can she find the faith and the love she lost, the way he did, by overcoming the pain she's suffered in her own world full of hurt?

Their lives, and the fate of the world, depend on them. If only he can reach her, and if only she can trust him, they may have a chance, yet, to save the world.


I was inspired to write A Whole World Full of Hurt by readings in esoteric literature, one volume of which claimed that, in designing the layout of the streets of Washington, D. C., Pierre Charles L'Enfant incorporated an inverted pentagram as a symbol of the true, demonic energy that would power the nation's capitol.

From an image in the public domain.

Supposedly, the northwestern point of the pentagram, at Dupont Circle, linked to (what would become) the Federal United City College Library, by way of Massachusetts Avenue, and to the White House, by way of Connecticut Avenue (and, presumably, also by way of an invisible, mystical extension). The southwestern point, at Washington Circle, connected to Logan Circle, by way of another invisible, mystical extension and by way of Rhode Island Avenue, and to the Federal United City College Library, by way of K Street. Finally, Logan Circle also connected to the White House, by way of Vermont Avenue and by way of yet another invisible, mystical extension.

As a result, the inverted pentagram created the head of a goat, an avatar of Satan, the points of the horns of which ended at Washington Circle and Logan Circle; the tips of its ears, at Washington Circle and the Federal United City College Library; and the tip of its beard at the White House. (Other sources envision a larger pentagram, one of the points of which connects with the Pentagon, in Rosslyn, Virginia, as it does in my novel, which also takes a few additional liberties with the inverted pentagram configuration.)

I made the "power centers" (the points of the pentagram) inactive; to be activated, they need to be occupied by a demon, whose power is energized by the life force, or soul, of a person whose identity is predicted in a mystical tome. Once the pentagram had been activated, a coven of witches could use its power to defeat the U. S. government and conquer the world. Only a man and a woman of faith could stand against them.

Other influences on the novel were Buffy the Vampire's Initiative, Marvel Comics' Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts (and the illustrations, especially, of Steve Ditko), my boyhood environs, and some of the people I've met over the years.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Good with a Gun

Available in both paperback and e-book formats, my Western novel, Good with a Gun, is available at Amazon.


Bounty hunter Bane Messenger was good with a gun, but he wanted more out of life than hunting down fugitives from the law. He wanted a family: a wife and children. He wanted a home of his own. He wanted to know why his father had abandoned his mother and him. But all he knew was how to track and capture or kill the worst sort of men who roamed the West, taking what they wanted, whether money, property, or women, at the point of a gun. When he met the right woman, though, he vowed his life would change; he would change, if he could.


The tradition of the Wild West is about as close as we've come, in the United States, to a national mythology. A sort of modern-day knight, the Western hero, whether he's a bounty hunter, a cowboy, a gambler, a gunfighter, a lawman, or a sodbuster, is America's contribution to the literature which, in other countries, in times past, is populated with gods and demons, giants and dwarfs, sorcerers and wizards, monsters and dragons.

Like the knight of old and the demigod before him, the Western hero lives by a code of his own, the code of The West. Difficult to put into words, especially for the typically laconic frontier hero, the unwritten values which guide his conduct are most discernible in his deeds, but they include, among other precepts, minding one's own business, being a friend to those in need, and regarding women with deference and respect.

The land of the Army fort, the frontier town, the "Indian," the Pony Express, the saloon, the ranch, the stagecoach, and the wagon train is the land of adventure, danger, exploration, and opportunity. The landscape is neither like that of the Fertile Crescent nor the frozen wastes of the Nordic north; it is a varied land of mesas and mountains, of prairie and plains, of deserts and grottoes, where rivers are wide, nights are full of stars, and, as often as not, a campsite is home.

In Good with a Gun, I tried to catch some of the spirit and poetry of the Wild West, both in my descriptions of its incomparable landscapes and my portrayals of the unique types of characters found among its pioneer stock.

I was inspired by my own father, Paul Arthur Pullman, Jr.,'s, love of Westerns, by the many Western television series and movies that once filled the airwaves, and by the courageous, stalwart, indomitable men and women who, in settling the frontier, hitched their wagons to a star.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Flame of the Sea

Available as an e-book on Amazon, The Flame of the Sea is an action-packed story of Viking adventure. If you like Ragnar, you will love Eric Bloodaxe!


Eric, a young Viking chieftain on a heroic quest, never imagines he's but a pawn of rival wizards and a mere plaything in an ancient war between powerful gods. What begins as an adventurous search for treasure becomes a desperate struggle for survival. If he loses, Eric forfeits not only wealth, fame, love, and life, but the most valuable treasure of all: his honor as a Viking.


What boy doesn't thrill to stories of the sea, featuring the exploits of men larger than life itself, especially when such tales have some basis in fact?

The Vikings were a breed apart, so fierce in battle that other Europeans offered a special prayer to ward off their attack: "God save us from the Norsemen!"

How lucky the man who is as passionate about a beloved body of myth and legend as he was as a boy!

Fondness for folklore and adventure inspires many adults to commit fantasies of daring deeds, courageous acts, and dangerous enterprises to the page, both for the sake of reliving them in their own minds and for the sake of posterity.

In reading historical accounts of the Norsemen, one soon learns they were not mere barbarians. They were pirates as well as farmers, it's true, but they were also masters of navigation and engineering, devising some of the first and most profound inventions, as I recount in a Listverse article, "10 Amazing Viking Inventions and Innovations."

Lots of things inspired The Flame of the Sea:

The gods and goddesses of the Norse: Odin, Thor, Balder, Freya, Frigga, Hel, Heimdall, Loki, the Norns, Sif, and the Valkyries.

The nine worlds, whose names remain as exotic to my ears as the imaginary realms themselves: Niflheim, Muspelheim, Asgard, Midgard, Jotunheim, Vanaheim, Alfheim, Svartalfheim, and Helheim.

The mighty world tree Yggsdrasil, which united these worlds into a single universe.

Asgard, the home of the gods.

The creation of the world, the Twilight of the Gods, and the new world to follow.

The fact that the gods were also members of distinct families, such as Magni and Modi, the sons of Thor and the giantess Jarnsaxa, and Thrud, his daughter by Sif.

The Berserkers.

The runes.

The Prose and the Poetic Eddas.

The world of Norse mythology is a transcendent realm, beyond time and space, in which anything can happen, a place that, in the terms described by C. S. Lewis, inspires a joy so sharp it takes the form of longing.

These are the emotions Norse mythology awoke--and awakens--in me, and it these same powerful passions I hope to awaken or to reawaken in those who read of Eric's bold adventures in The Flame of the Sea.

Oh! And one other source, a most important one, also inspired me: Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale, which is the topic of a different post, "Plotting The Flame of the Sea."