Journey through the States is now available on Kindle for free! This is a limited-time promotion, and will end on September 7.
For a limited time, all of my books will be free on iBooks. Regular price is $5.99.
The price change request has been submitted, but there might be a few hours of delay in some markets. If this happens, please try again in a couple of hours.
Cori Rubio book 3 is on its way, as are the rest of the series. We are planning to have them all up by the end of next year, at the latest. Amazingly, we’ve been ahead of schedule every step of the way, so it may be sooner.
All of my books are genre-defying, so perhaps it’s time for some genre-defying marketing. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!
With the dissolution of the British Commonwealth in 2116 CE, the people of Canada began to complain about the fact that the red and white colors of their long-beloved flag represented the English monarchy. The First Peoples were especially vocal about updating the flag, and soon the Parliament was inundated with proposal after proposal to consider. Soon, English, Scottish, and French nationalisms were also fanned, and it became difficult for anyone to avoid a heated discussion about the future of the flag. This threatened to divide the consensus-driven nation, and, because of this controversy, the proposed designs for the flag became increasingly complex, if not outright messy, with every aspect of every group of people in Canada competing for a share of very limited real estate. “It would seem,” one politician quipped, “that we are trying to design a national encyclopedia, rather than a flag.”
It all came to an amicable conclusion in 2121 CE, however, when Abraham al-Wadi of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, a twelve-year-old son of Iraqi Immigrants, made an ingenious discovery. Every one of the proposed flag designs had featured at least one of two elements, usually both: the sugar maple leaf and the color white. The sugar maple had become a unifying symbol of Canadian identity regardless of national origin. The color white, like what remained of the arctic ice, had come to stand for the rugged spirit of the northern nation, as well as its natural beauty and its people’s purity of conscience. Al-Wadi proposed a simple design with these two features, with the color green for the maple leaf, representing vibrance of life, beauty of nature at its peak, and pan-Canadian tradition of environmental stewardship, and with a pale turquoise tint for the background, the color of glaciers. The leaf was symmetrical and centered, denoting Canadian traditions of pacifism and neutrality in world affairs. The idea quickly caught on, and displaced the Red Maple Leaf within a year. It was formally adopted as the Canadian national flag, unfortunately, only in 2180 CE, decades after it had become the de facto flag of the nation, and years after the death of Al-Wadi himself, thanks to another formidable Canadian tradition: unnecessary procedural delays.
When the states of Oregon and Washington were split into theocratic and non-theocratic states, along the Cascades Mountains, the newly formed theocratic states of Cascadia and Columbia, respectively, adopted new flags that were only moderately modified from the original, and using the same color schemes. The biggest change was the addition of a Star of Bethlehem in the upper-left corner of the flags of the two overwhelmingly Christian states. This symbolized the hope that Christ himself would guide the hearts of the embattled citizens through the time of crisis, much the same way the Star of Bethlehem had guided the Three Wise Men to the Newborn King himself. It was also deemed that the Star of Bethlehem was somewhat more accommodating of other faith traditions than the cross of the Crucifixion was.
By the outset of the Oregon War of Independence in 2273 AD, 1705 AH, the states of Cascadia, Columbia, and Idaho were the Christian enclaves in an otherwise Muslim nation. At the conclusion of the war, they were combined to create the Inner Oregon Autonomous Region; Montana west of the Rockies, another Christian region, was purged of Christians instead, as was southern Florida. The background colors of the flags of the three states formed the blue-green-blue stripes of the new flag for Inner Oregon, and the Christian beliefs of the Regional Subjuncts were represented by three Stars of Bethlehem. The Stars were tinted yellow because all three states’ seals, as depicted on their flags, featured the color. The arrangement of the three cross-like stars evoked the image of the three crosses at Jesus’s crucification at Calvary, at once a symbol of defeat and triumph, a symbol of triumph-in-defeat, a fitting representation of the Oregon Spirit. It was customary in Inner Oregon for the crosses to be arranged somewhat at random, representing the independent spirit of Oregonians, and the distinct identity maintained by the various Christian denominations, which contrasted with the religious homogeneity in the Islamic States.
It was sometimes said that the three cross-stars represented United Christians, the Latter-day Saints, and the Fundamentalists, the three main divisions of Christianity, who were often at odds with one another, and therefore would not share the same symbol. Some also claim that the Latter-day Saints had long made a point of not using the rectilinear cross as a symbol representing their faith, which was the reason why the Star of Bethlehem, not the cross of the Crucifixion, was used. These claims were contradicted by the official transcripts of the Inner Oregon Autonomous Region Flag Committee meetings, still available at the Autonomous Regional Archives in Lewiston. The three Stars, simply, were meant to represent the three states, and still represented hope and divine guidance, which were concepts for which American Muslims also had much affinity.
When the Second Civil War broke out in 2163 CE, Newland was still using the 54-star, 13-stripe flag, as was the United States of America. At the conclusion of the war in 2166 CE, the negotiators for the Treaty of Normalization arrived at an ingenious solution, which was for both nations to rightfully inherit 7 stripes each; among the original 13 colonies that had founded the United States, Pennsylvania had been split in two and was now divided between Newland and the United States. The number of stars was set to represent the 9 states in the newly formed union. It also seemed natural that they be arranged in the circular formation used in the Betsy Ross Flag.
When the Second Civil War broke out in 2163 AD, the 54-star, 13-stripe flag was still in use, despite the fact that many states had already seceded from the United States of America. Initially, both the United States and Newland claimed the Stars and Stripes as their flag. At the conclusion of the war in 2166 AD, the negotiators for the Treaty of Normalization arrived at an ingenious solution, which was for both nations to rightfully inherit 7 stripes each; among the original 13 colonies that had founded the United States, Pennsylvania had been split in two and was now divided between Newland and the United States. For Newland, the number of stars was a simple matter, with 9 states in the newly formed union. For the United States, however, it was not as easy as taking off the 13 states that had seceded. There was the blockade of Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, effectively making them independent. Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico were now virtually uninhabitable, and were being administered by Colorado. Montana was being partitioned into Montana and Crow, with a few more such possibilities in the works. Texas was cycling through referenda after referenda for secession, division, and/or incorporation into Mexico. It was never clear therefore just how many states were truly left in the Union.
Then came the Federal Declaration of Sharia in 2230 AD, 1659 AH. It seemed natural that the flag of the New Undertakings of Medina in Minnesota (NUMM), or American Islam, be incorporated into the canton of the flag. The design of the NUMM flag had originally been hand-drawn by Prophet Bob himself, but had later been given formal dimensions. These dimensions, adopted into the Islamic States flag, were based on those of the national flag of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the homeland of the graphic artist who had been commissioned in 2000 AD to come up with it. Ironically, this artist was a Christian.
Journey through the States is now available on Kindle and iBooks! The book is also available on Kobo and Nook, but we have had some technical difficulties, which we are still working on fixing. Thank you for all the interest you have shown in this project!
I will soon be posting some “flag facts”, explaining the “history” behind the national flags that show up in the book.
Things are really moving at a break-neck speed around here. Looks like we will be able to upload Journey through the States some time next weekend; it will be available for purchase a few days after that. Judging by our visitor statistics, there is a lot of interest in States. Right now, I am the bottleneck, so I’ll get my butt in gear and make it happen!
One quick update. We are having some delays with Kobo and Nook that we hope to resolve soon. On Kobo, it appears that you can purchase the books but not download it, yet. On Nook, we’re having problems with the uploading process. If anything develops, I will post an update.
I just finished a cover design for States that I like, but the ideas I have for the Cori books are more elaborate and may be beyond my artistic skills. The Cori books will likely be posted without a real cover for now. If they sell well, I will consider hiring someone to do the cover.
Here is the current version of the design for States.