Your place to discover great books.

I might be biased.

Waterfall Junction

and

The Narrow Bridge

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Two heroes. Two destinies. One duology of trials, tribulations, and redemption.

Two short tales of adventure and fantasy about would-be heroes who face life-threatening elements, confront their own eroding courage, and learn to trust the unfamiliar guides who lead them to the prizes promised to them. These stories show hope and faith in a world that wants to destroy both and crush those heroes who fight for redemption.

Book Details

Story:

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Author:

Jeremy Bursey

Type:

Two Short Stories


Genres:

  • Fiction
  • Action-Adventure
  • Christian Allegory
  • Fantasy (General)

Style:

  • 3rd-Person Limited
  • Narrative
  • Symbolic

Main Characters:

  • Dalowin the Rabbit
  • Kirk the Traveler

Main Locations:

  • Waterfall Junction
  • Land of the Storm

Description:

Two heroes. Two destinies. One duology of trials, tribulations, and redemption. 

In this duology are two short tales of adventure and fantasy about would-be heroes who face life-threatening elements, confront their own eroding courage, and learn to trust the unfamiliar guides who lead them to the prizes promised to them. These stories show hope and faith in a world that wants to destroy both and crush those heroes who fight for redemption.

In “Waterfall Junction,” Dalowin the Rabbit, head of a loyal army of knights, is commissioned to raid the city at the bottom of the hill and destroy the evil forces that lurk inside. Trouble is, he’s afraid to lead the charge, and he’s even more afraid to send his men into battle when the opposition is so fierce. So he abandons his army and runs for safety that he might spare both himself and his men. But thanks to a personal journey that leads him to a place where his faith and resolve are tested, Dalowin the Rabbit may just get his courage back, as long as the test doesn’t kill him first.

In “The Narrow Bridge,” Kirk is an adventurer who’s just trying to find his way to the Land of God, but he faces many insurmountable obstacles along the way, including temptations to wander off course and disasters that impede his forward progress. But his truest test comes when he faces the great chasm between the two lands and the hordes of travelers who think they know how best to reach the other side, and he must decide which of them really knows the truth, for certain death finds those who get it wrong.

“Waterfall Junction” and “The Narrow Bridge”: Two heroes, two fables, one message of hope. Read it today.

Format:

This story is sold as an e-book only. “Waterfall Junction” and “The Narrow Bridge” were both previously published in the anthology Seven-Sided Dice: The Collection of Junk, Vol. 3 (2006, no longer available).

Price:

  • Free (on this website).
  • $0.99 USD (on Amazon and other retailers).
  • Equivalent to $0.99 in other regions.

Book Stats:

Not including front and back matter pages:

  • 67 Pages
  • 1 – 2 Hours to read
  • 17k Total words

Copyright:

  • ©2016 (e-book edition)
  • ©2006 (original print anthology edition, Seven-Sided Dice, The Collection of Junk, Vol. 3)

ISBN and ASIN Information:

  • ISBN: 9781311594747 (e-book, Smashwords Edition)
  • ISBN: 9781393724551 (e-book, Draft2Digital)
  • ASIN: B01CRMEE9Q (e-book, Amazon)
  • GGKEY: 0WH6436Q3ZG (e-book, Google Play Books)

Disclaimer and License Notes:

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite e-book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Some real-life cities, towns, institutions, or products may appear to lend authenticity to a scene for literary purposes, but this work does not intend to endorse or malign them. There is no catharsis or advertisement happening here. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

No part of this text may be reproduced in any other work without giving credit to the author. No part of this text may be used for commercial purposes, except by reviewers or critics, without the author’s permission. The complete text is intended for personal use only and may not be used for commercial purposes, or duplicated in any other form for purposes other than personal, noncommercial use, or posted to any other site without the author’s permission.

Exclusive Extras

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Exclusive Extras

Want more content than just the story? Then scroll through this section for bonus items, including a series of questions for your readers’ group, because I know you want to talk about my books in your readers’ group.

Readers’ Group Discussion Questions

Thank you for choosing Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge as the subject for your reading discussion. The following questions mean to guide readers through the conversation but should in no way limit its direction or focus during its exploration of ideas. If your group has a topic other reading groups should discuss, please e-mail me, and I may add them to a future edition of the book. Thanks. 

Note that the following questions may contain spoilers. Think of them as the test questions you look through ahead of time to validate the answers to questions you’ve already attempted (read: bonus test-taking tips!). 

Both “Waterfall Junction” and “The Narrow Bridge” are allegories to biblical stories and concepts. How does this idea affect the narratives of each? Would the allegories still work if either story were extended to sprawling epics in the vein of The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings

Why does Dalowin resist “the voice of ambiance” at the first call? 

Why does “the voice of ambiance” stop Dalowin from riding the final waterfall? What would happen if Dalowin were to ride it, anyway? 

Why does “the voice of ambiance” test Dalowin at the Waterfall Junction? 

How does “Waterfall Junction” parallel to the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac on the sacrificial hill (Genesis 22)? 

In “The Narrow Bridge,” Kirk endures a number of trials along his journey. How do these trials shape his character? What is the importance of trial and conflict in his character’s growth? How is it important for other characters? All characters? How do these trials affect his final journey? 

Why do the many who live along the cliff attempt to jump the gap? Why would they think they can make it? 

What is the message of “The Narrow Bridge”? 

What else about Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge do you think merits a discussion?

Behind the Story

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Behind the Story

Author’s Note

Thank you for reading this far. As a reward for sticking with the book, I’ll give some background information on Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge in case you’re the type of person who enjoys the “Special Features” selection on Blu-rays and DVDs (or whatever you use to watch movies at the time of this reading).

A Brief History: In 2006, I was putting together a collection of eight short stories for Seven-Sided Dice: The Collection of Junk, Volume 3 and knew I wanted to end the section with a symbolic tale about trusting God in every situation, even when we don’t understand His ways, and call it “Waterfall Junction.” (I actually ended that section with “The Celebration of Johnny’s Yellow Rubber Ducky,” bringing the total of short stories to nine, but that was a last-minute addition.) My goal was to create an allegory about God calling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar and Abraham trusting God with His reasons (Genesis 22). In the story, Abraham’s heart is heavy from the request. But he decides that for whatever reason God wants this, he’ll trust Him, so he takes his son to the altar, puts him on it like he would a lamb, and prepares him for the burnt offering. As Abraham is about to plunge the knife into Isaac’s flesh, God tells him to spare Isaac’s life, then points him to a ram caught in some branches not far from the altar. It’s all a test, and Abraham passes. His faith proves strong, so he is worthy to fulfill God’s grand plan for his life, which is to father a nation and build the line that would introduce the world to God’s Son (who was also made into a sacrifice, not just for Abraham’s sins, but for the sins of the world). It’s all very interesting when you take the time to read it and think about how everything works together. Anyway, I’ve always found that story fascinating, and I wanted to write something that posed a similar message about rewarding faith, though with different stakes and setting it in a fantastical timeline.

Also in the same collection, and appearing before “Waterfall Junction” rather than after, I introduced “The Narrow Bridge,” which was my attempt to adapt an illustration I had heard about called “The Bridge Diagram” while attending InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in college. I thought the diagram was a clever tool for showing the core of the Christian faith, and I wanted to see how it would play out in a C. S. Lewis style allegorical fantasy. Now, I’m no C. S. Lewis, and I know that any attempt to emulate his style would be nothing more than imitation. But I thought this was a great topic for trying to imitate his style, anyway. It’s not an easy thing to do, at all. I’m sure I hit below the line. But that’s all right. It’s much more like a C. S. Lewis story than, say, “The Celebration of Johnny’s Yellow Rubber Ducky” is. And I’m okay with that.

I paired the two stories together in a single e-book because both are Christian allegories, both are fantastical in setting, and both are short. And, seeing as how they were side by side in my original collection (though in reverse order), I thought it was fitting to keep them side by side in this collection. So there you go.

Revision Notes

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Revision History

The following is a list of milestones during Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge’s development.

June 2003: First completed version of “The Narrow Bridge.”

June 2006: First completed version of “Waterfall Junction.”

November 2006: Revised and included both stories into my CafePress exclusive paperback anthology Seven-Sided Dice: The Collection of Junk, Volume 3 (with “The Narrow Bridge” appearing seventh in the “Short Stories” section and “Waterfall Junction” appearing eighth).

March 2016: Both stories split into five parts each, revised for grammar, and merged to form a thematic e-book duology.

July 2019: Added new back matter to e-book, including a “Readers’ Group Discussion Questions” section. Fixed a few awkward sentences in “The Narrow Bridge” and added a handful of new character moments to better emphasize his understanding of the world around him. Improved e-book presentation and cover art.

April 2020: ProWritingAid edit. Minor style, spelling, and grammar fixes.

Released: March 2016

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Length: Two Short Stories

Formats: E-book only

Purchase and Access Information

The “Buy Now” (or “Get the Book” or “Shut Up and Take My Money” or "Pre-order Now") button will take you to an external Universal Book Links page, where you can choose from a number of storefronts to buy this book, including region-specific links to Amazon. Once on the UBL site, you can customize your e-book shopping preferences to “skip the middleman” for future purchases by checking or unchecking the “set preferred store to [selected store]” box. You can also get notified about my future releases through this service. I’m not sure how this works exactly, so be sure to give me feedback! (You can also sign up to my newsletter and get the same news.)

If your preferred store is not listed, please let me know that as well, and I’ll see what options I have about adding my books there.

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Additionally, if you want to know why I make the decisions I do about pricing, revising, etc., consult My Author Policies for that information.

 

Leave a Review

Thank you for leaving a review. Click on the button for your preferred review source, or visit all three. And don’t forget to leave a review at the retailer you purchased from! If you need help structuring your review or understanding why you should review, I’ve posted a few short comments (in the bottom set of buttons) that can guide you.

Why Review?

Thank you for taking the time to review my books. Any word you write and every star you rate is appreciated, positive or negative, short and sweet, or long and brooding.

If you need to know why you should review my books (or any author’s books for that matter), please read my August 2019 article “The Case for Leaving a Product Review” on my sister blog site, Drinking Café Latte at 1pm, for enlightenment. It’s short but important, and I hope you take a moment to understand why your public feedback is of vital importance.

But in case you don’t read it, the straightforward and unglamorous version is that it helps everyone improve, but it also gives authors a career. Authors with few or no reviews can’t really have a career because our trust rating is too low, so the more reviews or ratings we have, the easier we can focus on writing and less on waiting tables for a living.

If you like my books and want to read more of them, then please leave a review for the books you’ve read so that more readers will trust me, and I can afford to spend more time writing them.

You can review each book wherever you bought them, but you can also review them on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub, which, as long as you’ve read their specific reviewer requirements, you can do regardless where you’ve bought your copy. Do make sure you know the rules for leaving Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub reviews before you leave them. This will make the difference on whether they accept your review.

Please remember that reviews must be honest. In other words, don’t rate me five stars if the book sucks or one star if you don’t like my author photo. How do you really feel?

Finally, remember to disclose whether you’ve been gifted the book or if you’ve read it for free.

If you’re not sure what to say, you can use my “How to Review” guide as a starting point.

With that, thanks again for your thoughts. By clicking the review buttons, you’ll find each book’s Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub direct links. Remember that clicking the buttons will take you outside of this site (in a new window) and subject you to new privacy and cookie policies, as well as new terms and conditions that you’ll have to agree to before using those sites. All standard stuff you’re probably already aware of if you’ve used the Internet for more than an hour.

How To Review

If you would like to post a review, but you’re not sure how to start, you could always begin with your star rating in mind and explain how you calculated that value. Inspiration may take over from there. But please don’t feel obligated if you don’t know what to say. The fact that you’ve read the book is awesome enough. A review simply helps others identify whether this book is worth reading and the author about what he or she has done right (or horribly, horribly wrong). That said, we all have a voice, and I hope to hear yours soon. If you prefer to read in silence, that’s fine; I often read in silence myself. But I will generally let others know if I’ve read something awesome. Hopefully, you thought my book is awesome, and I hope you’ll let me know if you did.

That said, if you still need more help coming up with something to say, try answering these questions and use your answers as a basis for forming your review:

 

Will your review contain spoilers? If yes, warn the reader. Note that readers are smart. If you say the book has a twist ending (but you don’t say what), it’s a spoiler! 

I figured out the ending to The Sixth Sense five minutes in because people kept telling me, “You’ll never guess the ending.” Yeah, actually I will.

 

Did you enjoy the book? If yes, what did it leave you thinking about the most? If no, what about it bothered you the most? Elaborate if you can, but keep it short and sweet if the feeling is hard to articulate. 

For me, I watched The Breakfast Club over 40 times because it leaves me feeling like I’m part of the group. This was true when I first saw it edited for television as a 10-year-old. It’s still true as a grown man in my 40s. I also love the music and the tension between characters. I can still quote most of it. It’s the kind of movie that sticks with me.

 

If you liked the book: Who’s your favorite character and why? If you didn’t: Who caused you the most grief and why? 

Because the cast of The Breakfast Club is so well rounded, I don’t have a favorite character. I think each one is important to the story and removing any one of them would make the whole thing crumble.

 

For a good book, what was one thing you didn’t like about it? For a bad book, what was one thing you did like about it? 

Regarding The Breakfast Club, I still think the “smoking scene” is strange. How does the principal not smell the smoke or hear the rock music if the library is “right outside his office”? Definitely my least favorite part of the movie. But in fairness, I think this sequence takes place when the principal is hanging out with the janitor, so how would he even be aware?

 

What did you think of the ending? Is it satisfying or a letdown? Does it even matter? 

I once thought I hated The War of the Worlds (2005, Tom Cruise version) because that ending is among the worst in cinematic history. But darn it if the ride getting to that crappy ending isn’t among the best, and I can’t watch it today without feeling kind of into it. Sometimes the ending can ruin the story, but not always. A better question is does the ending support the point of the story or nullify it? In the case of The War of the Worlds, the ending sucks because it’s a “happy” copout, not a rebellion to the story’s premise, which is to survive an alien attack long enough for our world to figure out how to fight back (or outlast the aliens’ own survival rates).

 

Who is this book for?

I’m sure The Bridges of Madison County is a great book. It somehow managed to land Clint Eastwood in the lead role when it was made into a movie. But it looks soooo boring. At the time the movie was released, I was in my late teens or early 20s, eagerly awaiting the next Arnold Schwarzenegger action film, or really anything with decent character development, a pulse-pounding soundtrack, and explosions, lots of explosions. I liked Clint Eastwood in those days, but I liked him more as Dirty Harry. The Bridges of Madison County seemed more like the kind of movie my mom or grandmother would watch than I would. I might enjoy it more today, but back then, I couldn’t be bothered with it, even if it was good.

 

Finally:

Hopefully, that’ll give you something to work with. If you’re still stuck, though, then check out Amazon’s “Top Reviewers” for some ideas. Can’t go wrong learning from the best.

How to Be Negative

An important note about negative reviews (for my books or for anyone else’s): Please be civil in your reviews. A review should focus on the book, not the author’s condition as a human being. They should focus on your experience with the story, not the coffee shop where you read the story.

In other words, please be fair. If you disliked the book because the characters are poorly developed, the scenes make no sense, or the plot is absurd, then it’s not a good book, and your review should say so. But, if you disliked it because you were in the mood for a dark, depressing horror story and you got a comedy instead (and the book has the markings or description of a comedy all over its product page), then maybe don’t review it.

Likewise, if the book hasn’t yet gotten any reviews, and the review you plan to give is negative, maybe wait until more positive reviews come in before posting yours. You should definitely post yours, but remember that if your review is more subjective than objective, and yours is the only one that potential readers will see, then even if they’d normally love the book, they won’t buy it because your standalone bad review turned them off, and that can not only unjustly kill the book’s chances to succeed (as well as the author’s), but it can rob a positive experience for other readers who might see something entertaining in the book that you didn’t. That’s unfair for everyone.

So, please think it through before you post your review. I can’t rightly tell you how to review or when, but as a writer who lives by the success or failure of each book, I hope you’ll “read the room” and examine your reasons for the negative review before submitting, and maybe consider holding off until a time when your single review won’t destroy the book’s (or the author’s) chance to find the right audience. Again, a bad book deserves to fail, but a good book in the hands of the wrong reader or the wrong time and place needs a bit more grace. On behalf of all writers and authors who live and die by your reviews, thanks for being fair.

Hope You Enjoy the Story!

Your place to discover great books.

I might be biased.

Waterfall Junction

and

The Narrow Bridge

Button Interaction Color Code:  New Page  Pop-up Window  External Website Scroll to Section Inactive Link

Available wherever books are sold online.

Two heroes. Two destinies. One duology of trials, tribulations, and redemption.

Two short tales of adventure and fantasy about would-be heroes who face life-threatening elements, confront their own eroding courage, and learn to trust the unfamiliar guides who lead them to the prizes promised to them. These stories show hope and faith in a world that wants to destroy both and crush those heroes who fight for redemption.

Released: March 2016

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Length: Two Short Stories

Formats: E-book only

Book Details

Story:

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Author:

Jeremy Bursey

Type:

Two Short Stories


Genres:

  • Fiction
  • Action-Adventure
  • Christian Allegory
  • Fantasy (General)

Style:

  • 3rd-Person Limited
  • Narrative
  • Symbolic

Main Characters:

  • Dalowin the Rabbit
  • Kirk the Traveler

Main Locations:

  • Waterfall Junction
  • Land of the Storm

Description:

Two heroes. Two destinies. One duology of trials, tribulations, and redemption. 

In this duology are two short tales of adventure and fantasy about would-be heroes who face life-threatening elements, confront their own eroding courage, and learn to trust the unfamiliar guides who lead them to the prizes promised to them. These stories show hope and faith in a world that wants to destroy both and crush those heroes who fight for redemption.

In “Waterfall Junction,” Dalowin the Rabbit, head of a loyal army of knights, is commissioned to raid the city at the bottom of the hill and destroy the evil forces that lurk inside. Trouble is, he’s afraid to lead the charge, and he’s even more afraid to send his men into battle when the opposition is so fierce. So he abandons his army and runs for safety that he might spare both himself and his men. But thanks to a personal journey that leads him to a place where his faith and resolve are tested, Dalowin the Rabbit may just get his courage back, as long as the test doesn’t kill him first.

In “The Narrow Bridge,” Kirk is an adventurer who’s just trying to find his way to the Land of God, but he faces many insurmountable obstacles along the way, including temptations to wander off course and disasters that impede his forward progress. But his truest test comes when he faces the great chasm between the two lands and the hordes of travelers who think they know how best to reach the other side, and he must decide which of them really knows the truth, for certain death finds those who get it wrong.

“Waterfall Junction” and “The Narrow Bridge”: Two heroes, two fables, one message of hope. Read it today.

Format:

This story is sold as an e-book only. “Waterfall Junction” and “The Narrow Bridge” were both previously published in the anthology Seven-Sided Dice: The Collection of Junk, Vol. 3 (2006, no longer available).

Price:

  • Free (on this website).
  • $0.99 USD (on Amazon and other retailers).
  • Equivalent to $0.99 in other regions.

Book Stats:

Not including front and back matter pages:

  • 67 Pages
  • 1 – 2 Hours to read
  • 17k Total words

Copyright:

  • ©2016 (e-book edition)
  • ©2006 (original print anthology edition, Seven-Sided Dice, The Collection of Junk, Vol. 3)

ISBN and ASIN Information:

  • ISBN: 9781311594747 (e-book, Smashwords Edition)
  • ISBN: 9781393724551 (e-book, Draft2Digital)
  • ASIN: B01CRMEE9Q (e-book, Amazon)
  • GGKEY: 0WH6436Q3ZG (e-book, Google Play Books)

Disclaimer and License Notes:

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite e-book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Some real-life cities, towns, institutions, or products may appear to lend authenticity to a scene for literary purposes, but this work does not intend to endorse or malign them. There is no catharsis or advertisement happening here. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

No part of this text may be reproduced in any other work without giving credit to the author. No part of this text may be used for commercial purposes, except by reviewers or critics, without the author’s permission. The complete text is intended for personal use only and may not be used for commercial purposes, or duplicated in any other form for purposes other than personal, noncommercial use, or posted to any other site without the author’s permission.

Exclusive Extras

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Exclusive Extras

Want more content than just the story? Then scroll through this section for bonus items, including a series of questions for your readers’ group, because I know you want to talk about my books in your readers’ group.

Readers’ Group Discussion Questions

Thank you for choosing Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge as the subject for your reading discussion. The following questions mean to guide readers through the conversation but should in no way limit its direction or focus during its exploration of ideas. If your group has a topic other reading groups should discuss, please e-mail me, and I may add them to a future edition of the book. Thanks. 

Note that the following questions may contain spoilers. Think of them as the test questions you look through ahead of time to validate the answers to questions you’ve already attempted (read: bonus test-taking tips!). 

Both “Waterfall Junction” and “The Narrow Bridge” are allegories to biblical stories and concepts. How does this idea affect the narratives of each? Would the allegories still work if either story were extended to sprawling epics in the vein of The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings

Why does Dalowin resist “the voice of ambiance” at the first call? 

Why does “the voice of ambiance” stop Dalowin from riding the final waterfall? What would happen if Dalowin were to ride it, anyway? 

Why does “the voice of ambiance” test Dalowin at the Waterfall Junction? 

How does “Waterfall Junction” parallel to the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac on the sacrificial hill (Genesis 22)? 

In “The Narrow Bridge,” Kirk endures a number of trials along his journey. How do these trials shape his character? What is the importance of trial and conflict in his character’s growth? How is it important for other characters? All characters? How do these trials affect his final journey? 

Why do the many who live along the cliff attempt to jump the gap? Why would they think they can make it? 

What is the message of “The Narrow Bridge”? 

What else about Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge do you think merits a discussion?

Behind the Story

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Behind the Story

Author’s Note

Thank you for reading this far. As a reward for sticking with the book, I’ll give some background information on Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge in case you’re the type of person who enjoys the “Special Features” selection on Blu-rays and DVDs (or whatever you use to watch movies at the time of this reading).

A Brief History: In 2006, I was putting together a collection of eight short stories for Seven-Sided Dice: The Collection of Junk, Volume 3 and knew I wanted to end the section with a symbolic tale about trusting God in every situation, even when we don’t understand His ways, and call it “Waterfall Junction.” (I actually ended that section with “The Celebration of Johnny’s Yellow Rubber Ducky,” bringing the total of short stories to nine, but that was a last-minute addition.) My goal was to create an allegory about God calling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar and Abraham trusting God with His reasons (Genesis 22). In the story, Abraham’s heart is heavy from the request. But he decides that for whatever reason God wants this, he’ll trust Him, so he takes his son to the altar, puts him on it like he would a lamb, and prepares him for the burnt offering. As Abraham is about to plunge the knife into Isaac’s flesh, God tells him to spare Isaac’s life, then points him to a ram caught in some branches not far from the altar. It’s all a test, and Abraham passes. His faith proves strong, so he is worthy to fulfill God’s grand plan for his life, which is to father a nation and build the line that would introduce the world to God’s Son (who was also made into a sacrifice, not just for Abraham’s sins, but for the sins of the world). It’s all very interesting when you take the time to read it and think about how everything works together. Anyway, I’ve always found that story fascinating, and I wanted to write something that posed a similar message about rewarding faith, though with different stakes and setting it in a fantastical timeline.

Also in the same collection, and appearing before “Waterfall Junction” rather than after, I introduced “The Narrow Bridge,” which was my attempt to adapt an illustration I had heard about called “The Bridge Diagram” while attending InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in college. I thought the diagram was a clever tool for showing the core of the Christian faith, and I wanted to see how it would play out in a C. S. Lewis style allegorical fantasy. Now, I’m no C. S. Lewis, and I know that any attempt to emulate his style would be nothing more than imitation. But I thought this was a great topic for trying to imitate his style, anyway. It’s not an easy thing to do, at all. I’m sure I hit below the line. But that’s all right. It’s much more like a C. S. Lewis story than, say, “The Celebration of Johnny’s Yellow Rubber Ducky” is. And I’m okay with that.

I paired the two stories together in a single e-book because both are Christian allegories, both are fantastical in setting, and both are short. And, seeing as how they were side by side in my original collection (though in reverse order), I thought it was fitting to keep them side by side in this collection. So there you go.

Revision Notes

Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge

Revision History

The following is a list of milestones during Waterfall Junction and The Narrow Bridge’s development.

June 2003: First completed version of “The Narrow Bridge.”

June 2006: First completed version of “Waterfall Junction.”

November 2006: Revised and included both stories into my CafePress exclusive paperback anthology Seven-Sided Dice: The Collection of Junk, Volume 3 (with “The Narrow Bridge” appearing seventh in the “Short Stories” section and “Waterfall Junction” appearing eighth).

March 2016: Both stories split into five parts each, revised for grammar, and merged to form a thematic e-book duology.

July 2019: Added new back matter to e-book, including a “Readers’ Group Discussion Questions” section. Fixed a few awkward sentences in “The Narrow Bridge” and added a handful of new character moments to better emphasize his understanding of the world around him. Improved e-book presentation and cover art.

April 2020: ProWritingAid edit. Minor style, spelling, and grammar fixes.

Purchase and Access Information

The “Buy Now” (or “Get the Book” or “Shut Up and Take My Money” or "Pre-order Now") button will take you to an external Universal Book Links page, where you can choose from a number of storefronts to buy this book, including region-specific links to Amazon. Once on the UBL site, you can customize your e-book shopping preferences to “skip the middleman” for future purchases by checking or unchecking the “set preferred store to [selected store]” box. You can also get notified about my future releases through this service. I’m not sure how this works exactly, so be sure to give me feedback! (You can also sign up to my newsletter and get the same news.)

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Leave a Review

Thank you for leaving a review. Click on the button for your preferred review source, or visit all three. And don’t forget to leave a review at the retailer you purchased from! If you need help structuring your review or understanding why you should review, I’ve posted a few short comments (in the bottom set of buttons) that can guide you.

Why Review?

Thank you for taking the time to review my books. Any word you write and every star you rate is appreciated, positive or negative, short and sweet, or long and brooding.

If you need to know why you should review my books (or any author’s books for that matter), please read my August 2019 article “The Case for Leaving a Product Review” on my sister blog site, Drinking Café Latte at 1pm, for enlightenment. It’s short but important, and I hope you take a moment to understand why your public feedback is of vital importance.

But in case you don’t read it, the straightforward and unglamorous version is that it helps everyone improve, but it also gives authors a career. Authors with few or no reviews can’t really have a career because our trust rating is too low, so the more reviews or ratings we have, the easier we can focus on writing and less on waiting tables for a living.

If you like my books and want to read more of them, then please leave a review for the books you’ve read so that more readers will trust me, and I can afford to spend more time writing them.

You can review each book wherever you bought them, but you can also review them on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub, which, as long as you’ve read their specific reviewer requirements, you can do regardless where you’ve bought your copy. Do make sure you know the rules for leaving Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub reviews before you leave them. This will make the difference on whether they accept your review.

Please remember that reviews must be honest. In other words, don’t rate me five stars if the book sucks or one star if you don’t like my author photo. How do you really feel?

Finally, remember to disclose whether you’ve been gifted the book or if you’ve read it for free.

If you’re not sure what to say, you can use my “How to Review” guide as a starting point.

With that, thanks again for your thoughts. By clicking the review buttons, you’ll find each book’s Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub direct links. Remember that clicking the buttons will take you outside of this site (in a new window) and subject you to new privacy and cookie policies, as well as new terms and conditions that you’ll have to agree to before using those sites. All standard stuff you’re probably already aware of if you’ve used the Internet for more than an hour.

How To Review

If you would like to post a review, but you’re not sure how to start, you could always begin with your star rating in mind and explain how you calculated that value. Inspiration may take over from there. But please don’t feel obligated if you don’t know what to say. The fact that you’ve read the book is awesome enough. A review simply helps others identify whether this book is worth reading and the author about what he or she has done right (or horribly, horribly wrong). That said, we all have a voice, and I hope to hear yours soon. If you prefer to read in silence, that’s fine; I often read in silence myself. But I will generally let others know if I’ve read something awesome. Hopefully, you thought my book is awesome, and I hope you’ll let me know if you did.

That said, if you still need more help coming up with something to say, try answering these questions and use your answers as a basis for forming your review:

 

Will your review contain spoilers? If yes, warn the reader. Note that readers are smart. If you say the book has a twist ending (but you don’t say what), it’s a spoiler! 

I figured out the ending to The Sixth Sense five minutes in because people kept telling me, “You’ll never guess the ending.” Yeah, actually I will.

 

Did you enjoy the book? If yes, what did it leave you thinking about the most? If no, what about it bothered you the most? Elaborate if you can, but keep it short and sweet if the feeling is hard to articulate. 

For me, I watched The Breakfast Club over 40 times because it leaves me feeling like I’m part of the group. This was true when I first saw it edited for television as a 10-year-old. It’s still true as a grown man in my 40s. I also love the music and the tension between characters. I can still quote most of it. It’s the kind of movie that sticks with me.

 

If you liked the book: Who’s your favorite character and why? If you didn’t: Who caused you the most grief and why? 

Because the cast of The Breakfast Club is so well rounded, I don’t have a favorite character. I think each one is important to the story and removing any one of them would make the whole thing crumble.

 

For a good book, what was one thing you didn’t like about it? For a bad book, what was one thing you did like about it? 

Regarding The Breakfast Club, I still think the “smoking scene” is strange. How does the principal not smell the smoke or hear the rock music if the library is “right outside his office”? Definitely my least favorite part of the movie. But in fairness, I think this sequence takes place when the principal is hanging out with the janitor, so how would he even be aware?

 

What did you think of the ending? Is it satisfying or a letdown? Does it even matter? 

I once thought I hated The War of the Worlds (2005, Tom Cruise version) because that ending is among the worst in cinematic history. But darn it if the ride getting to that crappy ending isn’t among the best, and I can’t watch it today without feeling kind of into it. Sometimes the ending can ruin the story, but not always. A better question is does the ending support the point of the story or nullify it? In the case of The War of the Worlds, the ending sucks because it’s a “happy” copout, not a rebellion to the story’s premise, which is to survive an alien attack long enough for our world to figure out how to fight back (or outlast the aliens’ own survival rates).

 

Who is this book for?

I’m sure The Bridges of Madison County is a great book. It somehow managed to land Clint Eastwood in the lead role when it was made into a movie. But it looks soooo boring. At the time the movie was released, I was in my late teens or early 20s, eagerly awaiting the next Arnold Schwarzenegger action film, or really anything with decent character development, a pulse-pounding soundtrack, and explosions, lots of explosions. I liked Clint Eastwood in those days, but I liked him more as Dirty Harry. The Bridges of Madison County seemed more like the kind of movie my mom or grandmother would watch than I would. I might enjoy it more today, but back then, I couldn’t be bothered with it, even if it was good.

 

Finally:

Hopefully, that’ll give you something to work with. If you’re still stuck, though, then check out Amazon’s “Top Reviewers” for some ideas. Can’t go wrong learning from the best.

How to Be Negative

An important note about negative reviews (for my books or for anyone else’s): Please be civil in your reviews. A review should focus on the book, not the author’s condition as a human being. They should focus on your experience with the story, not the coffee shop where you read the story.

In other words, please be fair. If you disliked the book because the characters are poorly developed, the scenes make no sense, or the plot is absurd, then it’s not a good book, and your review should say so. But, if you disliked it because you were in the mood for a dark, depressing horror story and you got a comedy instead (and the book has the markings or description of a comedy all over its product page), then maybe don’t review it.

Likewise, if the book hasn’t yet gotten any reviews, and the review you plan to give is negative, maybe wait until more positive reviews come in before posting yours. You should definitely post yours, but remember that if your review is more subjective than objective, and yours is the only one that potential readers will see, then even if they’d normally love the book, they won’t buy it because your standalone bad review turned them off, and that can not only unjustly kill the book’s chances to succeed (as well as the author’s), but it can rob a positive experience for other readers who might see something entertaining in the book that you didn’t. That’s unfair for everyone.

So, please think it through before you post your review. I can’t rightly tell you how to review or when, but as a writer who lives by the success or failure of each book, I hope you’ll “read the room” and examine your reasons for the negative review before submitting, and maybe consider holding off until a time when your single review won’t destroy the book’s (or the author’s) chance to find the right audience. Again, a bad book deserves to fail, but a good book in the hands of the wrong reader or the wrong time and place needs a bit more grace. On behalf of all writers and authors who live and die by your reviews, thanks for being fair.

Hope You Enjoy the Story!