Friday, July 1, 2016

Five Stars for Warrior Monk: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel - “Page-Turner With Intellectual Depth”

Recently, reviewers, who also happen to be pastors and authors, gave 5-star thumbs up reviews for WARRIOR MONK…


1) Book Review: Pistol-packin’ Pastor
by Rev. Frederic W. Baue, Ph.D.

I am writing this review with a Bic 4-color ball point pen, the kind I’ve been using for over 40 years. Its retractable red, green, blue, and black cylinders are ideal for marking my Bible. That, however, is not the way this humble little item is used in this excellent debut novel from economics columnist Ray Keating. In fact, let’s use those four colors to structure this review.
RED is for blood. Warrior Monk is the story of Stephen Grant, 40, a Lutheran pastor in Long Island, New York. He loves his ministerial work. But he is a “second-career” guy, having previously served his country as a Navy SEAL, then as a special-ops CIA secret agent. He has several notches on his 10 mm Glock 20. That weapon serves him well when a crazy woman goes on a shooting rampage in his church. He takes her out. Next thing you know, this “pistol-packing pastor” is on the security detail for Pope Augustine I, who is soon to visit Long Island. As the story develops, there is blood, bullets, and action a-plenty in this well-wrought thriller.
[Spoiler alert: red also stands for the Cincinnati Reds, Grant’s favorite team.]
BLUE, ahem, is for the language employed by the true-to-life characters in Warrior Monk, especially when engaged in action scenes or plotting assassinations. Here we may include scenes of sexual tension between Pastor Grant and a seductive former CIA partner. Let the pious reader be forewarned.
BLACK of course stands for evil. There is plenty of it for Grant to handle. The visit of the pope inspires a host of groups that want to kill him. In addition, there is the quieter but deadlier evil of false doctrine which can kill the soul. Let me here commend Ray Keating for his accuracy in the details of church stuff. He knows his subject, and excels in depicting the nuances of the various Lutheran church bodies.
GREEN means life, and all attendant virtues such as love, truth, order, and so forth. All of these come from God. They are opposed by Satan, working through his villains, femmes fatale, corrupt politicians, heretics, and such. Pastor Stephen Grant is thrown into the conflict, and becomes a Christian-against-crime in the tradition of Chesterton’s Father Brown and Sayers’s Peter Wimsey.
In fact, this is precisely the attraction of detective fiction (and here we may include action-adventure tales) for the Christian writer: the literary conceits of the genre demand that in the end, the crook will be nabbed, the wrong avenged, and order restored. Thus we have an artistic depiction of biblical reality in which no matter how terrible things are, Christ is victor on the Last Day. In the meantime pastors like Stephen Grant must work for biblical truth, and secret agents like Stephen Grant must work for civil order.
Warrior Monk is a page-turner with intellectual depth. Get this book now.


2) Review of Warrior Monk
by Tyrel Bramwell

With powerful endorsements by both a congressman (Pete King) and a well known reporter (Larry Kudow) on the cover, I was aching to get into this book. The first of Ray Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant novels, Warrior Monk, catches your attention from page one. It reads like one of Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp adventures, dishing out details and action at a fast pace.  And in the midst of that action Keating manages to brilliantly present the reader with thought provoking truths, seemingly little things that aren’t pondered nearly enough, such as a note about church architecture or a relational reality particular to men who hold the pastoral office. At other times he deals with larger topics such as church doctrine and practice. As the story unfolds Keating presents the Christian faith in a real way that any reader will appreciate, exposing differences and difficulties between varying denominations and between the Church and the world without distraction. This perfect backdrop propels the protagonist, and the reader, into the challenges of the book.
It’s a spectacular ride steeped in theological intrigue! As a fan of G.K. Chesterton I delighted in the similarities between Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant and Chesterton’s Father Brown. In the 20th century, Chesterton, a journalist (among other things), gave the world a detective priest. In the 21st, another journalist (among other things), Keating, gave the world a spy-turned-pastor. Grant is not without his Flambeau either. Both characters are the perfect mouthpiece for the authors to speak to the ills of the world in their day and age.
The chapters are brief, which makes ingesting the story between the interruptions that are always working to pull this reader out of the adventure a breeze. Chapters four and five deliver the goods. I’ll never sing A Mighty Fortress Is Our God the same way. What a mental picture! The fun never stops. Truly from cover to cover you’re in for a treat. I can’t wait to dive into the next Pastor Stephen Grant novel.



WARRIOR MONK: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL has earned an average Amazon.com reviewer rating of 4.3 stars out of 5, and was ranked as a Top 10 book on a WORLD magazine June 2013 list.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ray Keating Compared to Vince Flynn, G.K. Chesterton, Ian Fleming and Tom Clancy

Award-winning novelist Ray Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers – MURDERER’S ROW, THE RIVER, AN ADVENT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, ROOT OF ALL EVIL? and WARRIOR MONK – focus on a onetime Navy SEAL and former CIA operative who becomes a Lutheran pastor.

Not only was MURDERER’S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL named “Book of the Year 2015” by KFUO’s “BookTalk,” but Kirkus Reviews says, “Action fans will find plenty to love here, from gunfights and murder sprees to moral dilemmas.”  For good measure, Kirkus Reviews gives a big thumbs up to THE RIVER: “A gritty, action-stuffed, well-considered thriller with a gun-toting clergyman.”

On WARRIOR MONK: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL, a reviewer, who also happens to be a pastor and author, points out: “The first of Ray Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant novels, WARRIOR MONK, catches your attention from page one. It reads like one of Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp adventures, dishing out details and action at a fast pace… It’s a spectacular ride steeped in theological intrigue! As a fan of G.K. Chesterton I delighted in the similarities between Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant and Chesterton’s Father Brown. In the 20th century, Chesterton, a journalist (among other things), gave the world a detective priest. In the 21st, another journalist (among other things), Keating, gave the world a spy-turned-pastor. Grant is not without his Flambeau either. Both characters are the perfect mouthpiece for the authors to speak to the ills of the world in their day and age… The fun never stops. Truly from cover to cover you’re in for a treat.”

Finally, from a Washington Times review of THE RIVER written by a pastor and former CIA officer: “What Ian Fleming's 007 series has probably done for ex-MI-6 agents and Tom Clancy has done for retired CIA officers, Mr. Keating has done for the minority of former CIA agents who have served their country by working in the intelligence community, but now wish to serve God.”


MURDERER’S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL has received an average reviewer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.



THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL has earned an average Amazon.com reviewer rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. THE RIVER was named a 2014 finalist for KFUO radio's BookTalk “Book of the Year.”



AN ADVENT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL has earned an average Amazon.com reviewer rating of 4.2 stars out of 5.



ROOT OF ALL EVIL? A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL has earned an average Amazon.com reviewer rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.



WARRIOR MONK: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL has earned an average Amazon.com reviewer rating of 4.3 stars out of 5, and was ranked as a Top 10 book on a WORLD magazine June 2013 list.



Amazon.com reviewers have compared his thrillers to the works of Clancy, Ludlum, Grisham, Cussler, Griffin and Morrell.


Signed Copies: You can order signed copies of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels at a website set up just for that purpose – at www.raykeatingonline.com.


Website: Check out our website at www.pastorstephengrant.com.


Facebook: Please “Like” the Pastor Stephen Grant Novels Facebook page at:


Twitter: Follow Ray Keating, the creator of Pastor Stephen Grant, on Twitter @RevGrantNovel


Friday, June 17, 2016

Big Thumbs Up Review of Warrior Monk

A BIG review of WARRIOR MONK: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL from Tyrel Bramwell...

"With powerful endorsements by both a congressman (Pete King) and a well known reporter (Larry Kudow) on the cover, I was aching to get into this book. The first of Ray Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant novels, Warrior Monk, catches your attention from page one. It reads like one of Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp adventures, dishing out details and action at a fast pace. And in the midst of that action Keating manages to brilliantly present the reader with thought provoking truths..."

Read the rest at...
https://moragunfighter.com/2016/06/17/warrior-monk-review/

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Get Signed Copies of Pastor Stephen Grant Novels

Did you know that you can order copies of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels SIGNED by author Ray Keating? That includes the KFUO 2014 finalist for "Book of the Year" THE RIVER. Order signed copies at

www.raykeatingonline.com

Friday, February 5, 2016

Ray Keating’s “Murderer’s Row” Named “Book of the Year 2015”

Fifth Book in Pastor Stephen Grant Series Wins KFUO “BookTalk” Award

Long Island, NY – MURDERER’S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL by Ray Keating won “Book of the Year 2015” as awarded by “BookTalk” on KFUO radio.

Ten books were nominated for the KFUO “Book of the Year,” and listeners were able to vote. While making the announcement, Rod Zwonitzer, host of “BookTalk,” said this year saw a record number of votes, and it was an extremely tight race between the four top vote getters.

Ray Keating said, “I am stunned and blessed. Thank you to Rod Zwonitzer and KFUO; to all of my friends and readers who voted for MURDERER'S ROW; to my family for their support, love and most assuredly, patience; and to God for everything, including the joy of writing. This is particularly humbling given KFUO’s Christian mission.”

MURDERER’S ROW is a gripping, thoughtful thriller that ties together rescuing a Christian family from the clutches of Islamic terrorists, minor league baseball in New York, a string of grisly murders, sordid politics, and a pastor who formerly was a Navy SEAL and CIA operative.

About MURDERER’S ROW, Kirkus Reviews says, “The author packs a lot into this frantically paced novel... a raft of action sequences and baseball games are thrown into the mix. The multiple villains and twists raise the stakes...  Stephen remains an engaging and multifaceted character: he may still use, when necessary, the violence associated with his former professions, but he at least acknowledges his shortcomings--and prays about it. Action fans will find plenty to love here, from gunfights and murder sprees to moral dilemmas.”

SeriousReading.com proclaims, “This novel is a fascinating read with a murder mystery, unique and exceptional characters, and wit... With multiple layers and a complex plot, the novel moves forward with a smooth and even pace.”

And the Lutheran Book Review observes, “I miss Tom Clancy. Keating fills that void for me.”

This is the second year in a row that Keating has had a book nominated, as THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL was a KFUO “Book of the Year” finalist in 2014.

MURDERER’S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL is available in trade paperback and for the Kindle from Amazon.com

Ray Keating’s previous books include 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.

Review copies, interviews for the media, and author appearances are available upon request.

Contact: Ray Keating
Phone: 631-909-1122
E-mail: raykeating@keatingreports.com
PastorStephenGrant.com