Status Update: Talon’s Tribe and the Sword of the Spirit (Book Two of the Talon Trilogy)

by Nicholas Downing, Author of Talon’s Test and the Shield of Faith, Book One of the Talon Trilogy

Nicholas Downing’s Amazon Author Page

Tomorrow is Christmas Day 2015.  The day I initially planned to release Talon’s Tribe and the Sword of the Spirit, Book Two of the Talon Trilogy.  Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan.  This year, I’ve certainly learned this lesson the hard way.

If you’re a fan of Talon’s Test and the Shield of Faith, there is a good chance you’re not very happy with me.  Especially if you purchased the book when it was first released nearly two years ago in November 2013.  I get it.  You want to know what happens next.  This desire pleases and saddens me at the same time.  I’m thrilled that you care enough about these characters to want to know what happens to them but not so happy to report that I’m not yet ready to deliver the next installment.  Many readers have contacted me directly over the past two years, asking me when the sequel is coming out.  I’m sad to report that Talon and Naomi’s next adventure is at least another year away from being publicly released.

It’s not that I want to disappoint anyone.  It’s not that I’m lazy or that I’ve lost interest in telling this story.  Believe me, the last thing I want to do is to leave anyone hanging.

But I feel I need to be honest with you.  Cranking out this sequel is not my number one priority in life right now.  It can’t be.  I’m a husband and a father to four beautiful children, one of whom was diagnosed with Autism last week.  Writing is my lifelong passion but being an author in an obscure and little known genre like Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy doesn’t exactly afford me the opportunity to quit my day job.  Like many of you, I work hard to support my family.  I also work a lot of weekends continuing to serve my country through military service.  I’m no longer on active duty, but being a reservist is a much bigger commitment in time and resources than most realize.

Talon and Naomi’s battle against the forces of darkness must come secondary to Brecken’s battle against Autism.  That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing; it just means you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to find out what happens next to the heroes I’m honored to know you care about.

Time for me to share a second truth.

I’m genuinely struggling with getting this sequel right because in order to take the Talon Trilogy where I believe God wants it to go, I need to show a different side of Talon than you’ve seen before.  Book One introduced you to an awe-inspiring warrior driven by devotion to the Lord, a genuine hero with an indomitable spirit fueled by a seemingly unbreakable faith.

But as Scripture tells us, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  Talon Vance is only a man.  And even the mightiest warriors and holiest preachers stumble and fall short.  In Talon’s Tribe and the Sword of the Spirit, I’m deliberately taking Talon into a darker place and I need you to trust me that there is a reason for this excursion.  I need you to see that even in the midst of darkness, light still shines.  More importantly, I need to see this.

Ironically, the reason I find this sequel so difficult to write is because I myself am stumbling through the darkness lately.  I know there is Light and I even know its source.  But I am painfully cognizant of the fact that the light I see in the distance appears much dimmer lately than I’ve been accustomed to for quite some time.  And when the light is dim, I grow afraid.  My courage devolves into fear and I find myself struggling to breathe.

Please pray for me.  Please pray that my real life struggles will help me better illustrate Talon’s imaginary ones.  Otherwise, I think we’re all headed for much more disappointment than a missed book launch date.

Most of all, please pray for our beautiful daughter Brecken.  She is so precious to us.  We believe that God can heal her and like Talon, we are unwilling to concede defeat.  On the contrary, the battle has just begun!

“I lift my eyes up to the hill, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.”  – Psalm 121

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5 thoughts on “Status Update: Talon’s Tribe and the Sword of the Spirit (Book Two of the Talon Trilogy)

  1. Brother in Christ,
    While I realize that I cannot speak for others, I believe in this instance that I am not alone in my thoughts concerning your family’s struggles, your own struggles & Talon’s Trilogy.
    Continue to keep your eyes on the Lord in all the above (I include your dear wife in my exhortation) & keep passing over your cares to Him who holds you all in His hands. Fears and doubts are part of living in this fallen world & part of our wrestling with the flesh, so don’t be discouraged when this seems to be more prevalent than ever before experienced…God has allowed this season for a grand purpose, for your (plural) ultimate good *hugs to your family*, and while He may seem somewhat distant, dear brother, He is right in the midst of your (plural) painful struggles, filled with compassion & sorrow for your sufferings, but resolute in His plan, knowing the outcome far exceeds this present, dark night of the soul.
    As for the trilogy, it will be ready in the time it is meant to be. Please don’t be concerned about when, or how that may upset your readers (it shouldn’t fellow believers). Again I dare to speak for other brothers & sisters in Christ, but I think we all would agree that your family, your struggles are first and foremost. We, the readers, are content to wait patiently for Talon’s Trilogy, however long the Lord deems is necessary. One of the joys of being part of the body of Christ is being loved as family and knowing we’re all in this together & for one another!
    Be strong and of good courage, dear brother! I have prayed and will continue to pray for all of you, my dear siblings in Christ!!
    Love in Christ,
    Grandma Wendy

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    • My apologies for the belated reply! Just wanted you to know how much your beautiful message lifted my spirits. It’s been a rough couple of weeks but there is light at the end of the tunnel and our daughter has been making wonderful progress. We are flying her out to see one of the world’s top autism specialists next month. He’s a fellow believer and we are hopeful because he has helped many other children. Please pray for God’s will to be done… we believe healing is most certainly possible and we aren’t willing to throw in the towel! With Christ, NOTHING shall be called impossible!

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  2. My apologies for my much-belated reply! I have health issues and have been working on them with God’s help 🙂 I was glad to read of your last update, particularly about the Christian specialist for your daughter, praise God!! I love when He does that hehe I have prayed as you and your family came to mind, and I will continue to do so. Much blessings to you and your wife, and your precious children!
    “This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    Grandma Wendy

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  3. I am writimg from the mission field and want to let you know how much we enjoyed Talon’s test. We have two teenages sons and I like to read whatever I buy on amazon for them… and found myself loving this book too! You clearly have a heart for missions ! May you find that there is grace sufficient for every day. Even devistating news like your received concerning your daughter… even THAT our Father can work together for good… Keep your eyes ons Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith. Especially in the storm. God is good, no matter what happens in this fallen world. We have the hope of an eternity in a perfect place with Him. Know that someone has prayed for you today.

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    • What a beautiful and uplifting message! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. It’s been a rough month in our battle against Autism as Brecken experienced an awful series of seizures that came out of nowhere and were so serious she had to be taken to the hospital by helicopter. Fortunately, God was watching over her and appears to have protected her from suffering any short or long term damage – Praise the Lord! Anyway, I’m so touched by your message and so glad that you and your family enjoyed Talon’s Test! While Talon is just a fictional character, you and your family are the real heroes if you ask me! I’ve only had a chance to serve on short term missions but I am in awe of the daily sacrifices missionary families like yours make for the Lord and His kingdom. I’m so sorry that Talon’s Tribe (Book 2) has been delayed for so long. After taking almost a year off from writing I have slowly resumed Talon and Naomi’s journey. It may be some time yet before the next installment is ready for release but thank you for giving me ample motivation to continue. Sometimes, as an obscure indie author, it is difficult to feel as though you are making any impact in the lives of your relatively small group of readers. Thank you for reminding me that there is a purpose in all of this other than indulging my creative impulses!

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