Almost two month have passed since I added a post to my blog.  Yes, I have been busy working on a couple of my novels, trying to keep ahead of the grass and weeds in the yard, starting to get ready for our move to a smaller house.  Yes, life will always provide the excuses to leave things for tomorrow to do.  I should mention that we also did an eighteen day Panama Canal cruise, but there were all these things to do on board the ship and all those sights to see at the eleven stops along the way to do what could be done tomorrow.Panama Cruise

I know, I know I could have just dug into my files and posted one of the many pictures there or posted a poems I had written in past years, poems I also had left to look at for tomorrow.  This morning I decided to take a quick sneak peak into my past written work, the poems,short stories and so on, but I only got as far as this poem, because there were other things begging me to do just then and I could always take time to look at that work tomorrow.

You Would Not Let Me Go

Your mercy was new each morning,

Even though I walked my own way.

You nudged me and directed my going,

Even though I took no time to pray.

I wandered and played without caring,

Even though you had a claim on my soul.

Life in the fast lane suited me better,

Even though you longed to make me whole.

My goals were to search for fortunes,

Even though you gave your life for me.

Choosing to chase the wind, I found no meaning,

Even though your blood could have set me free.

You loved me long before I knew you,

Even though I had willed to stray away.

You called me, touched and sought me,

Even though I still refused to obey.

Then one day you showed me Golgotha,

Even though my sin nailed you there.

Your last breath was to forgive my transgression,

Even though I had not asked for your prayer.

You rose and returned to the Father,

But you asked me to be still and know

That you chose me to share in your glory,

And that you would never let me go.

                                    (WHM )

It’s that time of year when it is not unusual for bear, deer and even cougars to show up occasionally in the backyard.  We love it when the bear come and just play, when the deer come to graze but stay out of the garden, and when a cougar just P1000544quickly passes through.  We saw three black bear cubs recently having fun climbing a small tree.P1000551 First their mom tried to shake them out of the tree, but eventually she just let them play until  they had enough and climbed down on their own.  The deer lately have behaved too sticking to the grass out back.  Thankfully, we had no recent visit from big cats.  The cubs’ mother also just slipped out of the thick underbrush for a few seconds.  Usually they come into that patch of grass and stay awhile.  Maybe since I had the lawn mover out there a few days earlier she was a bit hesitant to stay any longer.June July 2013 004DSCF0117

I added my last post four months ago,  Since that time have I been hiding?  My aim was to spent many hours at my keyboard proofreading, editing and formatting one of my novels for eBook readers.  Last weekend I reached my goal yo my great satisfaction.  A couple days ago this novel, “Beyond the Breaking Point” could be found in the Smashwords’ store.  As of today Kobo readers can find it there, and soon Barns and Noble and most other eBook retailers will handle it as well.

Beyond the Breaking Point

Beyond the Breaking Point Cover

 It appeared that Montgomery Moserly had everything a young man could wish for – good looks, talent, a close family, a girlfriend, a job he loved and notable financial prospects.  But by chance he became the only witness to a targeted shooting that left the victim dead.  He took every precaution not to be detected by the two killers by hiding in his car.  He also had the good fortune to have a camera in his Mustang and took photos of the shooters, their vehicle and the license number before he reported the incident to the police.  His statements to the police, he thought, would be the end of his involvement in this brutal event, but a crooked cop trying to keep the killers and their gang from being discovered wanted no witnesses.  He passed Monty’s name on to the gangsters and kept them informed of his daily routines.

The killers and their boss launched an intense hunt for Montgomery with one goal in mind – to speedily silence him.  It quickly became apparent to Monty that he would not be safe at home, on the road or any place he could think of to hide.  He had wronged no one but his safe, promising world had crashed suddenly.  The killers hunted for him relentlessly.  Often their attempts to find and silence him seemed secured, and he saw no way open to escape.

His ordeal also affected his family who daily feared for his life.  The girl with whom he had been close for several years felt it best to move on to avoid any danger to her own life.  Through the unsolicited assistance of strangers and a young woman fighting her own battles with whom he worked Monty managed to avoid becoming a statistic a number of times.  On some occasions he saw no way left open for him to escape.  All hope seemed futile.  Even praying appeared to be too late.

The more often he slipped through the killers’ traps the more intensely they hunted him.  The daily attacks on his life eventually took him beyond the breaking point.  In this state of mind he became convinced the only way out of the dangers he faced was for him to hunt his hunters.  In desperation he set out to track down the individual who gave the orders to kill him thinking that by eliminating him he would regain his freedom and the bright future his years of study and hard work had promised him.

That he fell in love with the woman who came to his rescue a number of times complicated matters still more for him.  He could not dare to involve her and expose her to the danger he faced.  He knew all would be lost unless his plans to expose the gang were successful.  But he faced professional killers and his chances to succeed appeared close to zero.  He had not only witnessed a murder, but he also had too much evidence of the Assistant Captain’s involvement with the gangsters trying to silence him for his own plans to be successful.

Secrets of Hawking Manor A few comments from readers

 “I truly love your writing. In fact I would categorize it along the same vein as John Jake’s work. You are a truly gifted writer and in my opinion Secrets of Hawking Manor is  a literary masterpiece. I can definitely see it being developed into a television mini-series or feature-length movie.” (L. Gomez, editor)


“Intrigue, adventure and romance are skillfully woven in Secrets of Hawking Manor.  Well researched and historically accurate, Manke’s story weaves a fictional tale that draws the reader from the first page.  The intricate plot travels from an English estate to the wilds of uncharted lands of America and back again.  The characters are welldeveloped with period appropriate language and culture.  The scenes are imaginative and take the reader to the time and place with ease.”  (Teresa Bird, Editor and Publisher)


“I truly enjoyed meeting your characters. I could identify with their joys and heartaches. They are universal and timeless. You have captured the essence of humanity. You have shown that the concerns, loves and feelings of mankind run a common thread throughout the ages. The language you used was rich and strong. Your descriptive imagery conjured up the most delightful scenes. Powerful writing. It is a book I want to reread.” (Chris Reusse, teacher)


“Only occasionally have I picked up a book and found it hard to put down.  But that was the case with Secrets of Hawking ManorI wanted to find out what happened next, and more than once I found myself reading on when I should have been getting my beauty sleep.  It’s that kind of book.  It’s a fictional, English family story written against a historical background and I definitely recommend it.  It’s a book that deserves a sequel.” (Gordon McMann)

Secrets of Hawking Manor My novel is now published in E-book form. Kobo readers will find it there. The Smashwords store sells it and I believe Sony and most E-Book retailers handle it as well. It should sell at the Smashwords store for $7.99 while Kobo has it listed for $9.07. The novel is action packed. Many readers have praised it.  I’ll post some of their comment next.

Happy New Year

First I want to wish you all a Happy New Year.  At the finish of the year now history, when you look back, I hope you’ll say, “It’s been a very good year, the blessings the last twelve months brought are too many to count and outweigh the setbacks by far.”  But this day is not only a time to look back, but also an opportunity to look ahead.  Here is my advice to me.  Which of my dreams would I most like to achieve? I know dreams can become reality for those who actively pursue them. What can I do to make this planet a better world for me and others?  I’ll try never to forget that we live in a most beautiful but fragile world, and that there are some who cross my path daily who could use a helping hand a kind word or a smile.

For me the past year brought its difficulties, but they were outweighed by having my family members near by and all, big and small, had a very good year.  I’m pleased I managed to finish an extensive edit of Secrets of Hawking Manor.  More than that I learned how to format this book to print in electric form and have Smashwords accept it for distribution to a host of E-book publishers and retailer as well as their own store in a variety of formats that make the book readable on Kindle, Sony, Kobo and other devices.Secrets of Hawking Manor

I will make no predictions for 2015, but I do have a wish or two and some plans in mind. For this coming year I wish God’s blessing for all my family and friends, for a peaceful year for people living in fear, and that many will help with relief efforts wherever possible.  My own plans include to meet my diet and exercise goals, to edit and format five other completed novels and get them distributed to E-book  retailers everywhere.  Important to me is also to help with worthy causes and do what I can do to preserve the beauty of this world.

Sunrise over the strait


Mount Cain trip 015

  June July 2013 047

Three came to visit

Have you noticed?

My wife and I watched early in the morning on the 11th a touching Remembrance Day ceremony televised from our country’s capital. As the cameras panned across the scene and the crowd I noticed two things that disturbed me.  Most obvious and standing in sharp contrast to what we saw at that kind of ceremony even just five years ago the number of heavily armed policemen and women shocked me.  It wasn’t the only thing that bothered me about what I noticed among that massive crowd on Parliament Hill.

Later, at eleven we watched a wonderful Remembrance Day ceremony in our town that was witnessed by many local citizen.  While less noticeable and less heavily armed the police presence making the rounds near the cenotaph stood out to me.  Have you noticed what changes have occurred in our great country in just a few years that even at Remembrance Day ceremonies where we honor those who had been willing to die for our freedom we may not be safe?  Are we taking notice and are we ready and willing to stand on guard?   Remembrance day poppy 2

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