What do you get when the Heretic asks New York Times Best-selling author Tosca Lee a few random questions? Apparently – this.

Heretic: After wracking my brains, I thought of one question. It’s odd. I’m really a curious person – till someone asks for questions. Maybe it’s just that I tend to want to really know someone, at their core. Which is terribly nosy of me. Anyways, I guess your answer will determine whether I write about it or not. So…
Are there any questions you wish someone would ask, because you’d really like to answer them? If so, what are they?
(Yep – that’s my question. Hard to believe I aced the interview project in high school.)

Tosca Lee: Hmm. Now that you mention it, I don’t know! I love answering questions about writing, and just normal stuff. By the time a book comes out, I’ve already answered the question about my inspiration for a book and what I hope people will take away so many times. LOL

Heretic: I kinda thought so. And now that I said I couldn’t think of any, I’m coming up with a bunch of random ones.

Tosca: Those are the best!

Heretic: Do you have any collections?

Tosca: Actually… I’m kind of a minimalist! I try to collect cool clothing items and kick-ass shoes. And I have a special box I keep notes and things from fans in.

H:  Teach me your ways, oh great one. And speaking of shoes. . . Also, I totally bowed to the computer. It’s that time of night.


T: Ooooo. You could totally kill someone with those things. And the blood would be camouflaged.

H: Hehehe totally. But I want spikes on the toe, too.

What’s your favorite place to eat out while on the road?

T: A greasy burger joint. Or… somewhere with fresh oysters.

H: Ok, this is just for my personal edification. How do you eat bacon and greasy burgers and still look stunning?

T: LOL! You are so nice. Partly genetics. Partly the Pilates, ballet or whatever else I can fit in that week.

H: You wouldn’t say I was nice if you could see the stink eye I’m giving you. I’m genetically inclined to be a chubby linebacker (except I’m not that athletic).

T: Not the stink eye! ;D I’m a big believer in ballet and Pilates. They’re wondrous–and every year I get older, more responsible for keeping me in shape than the genetics.

H: You’re gonna be 90 and still beautiful. Seriously. You’ve got a beautiful soul. Which just so happens to come in a very nice package and with expressive eyes. And a killer smile.

T: Aww, you are such a sweetie. Thank you, hon. If I am beautiful at 90, you’ll KNOW I’m on botox.

H: Nah, haven’t you ever seen beautiful wrinkly old ladies? Sure they’re wrinkled, but they’ve got the nicest silver hair, a beautiful smile, and their eyes are gentle and kind, maybe a bit sad, but still so much life and happiness.

T: Yes, indeed you’re right. I have seen a few ladies like that.

H: And mischief – sometimes they’ve got that, too. Hehe
I think I might have a character in the works.

T: Because they know they can get away with it. :>

H: Hehehe Or maybe they were always that way and that’s what kept them from shriveling up.
If that’s the case you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Um, I was asking questions, wasn’t I?

T: I hope not to shrivel up!
LOL You ask good questions! Even if you give the stink eye.

H: Hehehe I tend to ask conversation starters. Maybe cause I like talking and you’re a fun person to talk to. ^.^
Next random question: What’s your favorite tradition? (i.e. holiday, family, cultural)

T: I like to make Cornish hen stuffing at Thanksgiving. And watch unromantic movies (Shaun of the Dead) on Valentine’s Day. As a Korean, we’re supposed to eat this gluey soup on New Year’s. I try to avoid that one.

H: Gluey soup made of. . .?

T: Rice cakes that disintegrate in the broth (hence the glue) and beef. It’s not horrible… just gluey. It’s called Duk-gook. It even sounds gluey.

H: Gook? 10 points for descriptive naming. I think I’d avoid it, too. It conjures images of leftover beef stew that has been reheated way too many times.
Pauses to make strange faces as though trying to remove gook from back of throat.
I think I made that image a little too vivid. . .

T: You’re pretty close.

H: *makes mental note not to try that*


H: Moving on… What’s one object or place that sticks out from your childhood, and why?

T: My back yard in Blacksburg, VA. It was huge, maybe a couple acres, filled with trees and little flowers that grew in patches of sun between them. I had an English bulldog named Oliver, and we used to run and play and hide back there, digging for lizards.

H: Digging for lizards? Were they the kind that had the little red fan under the chin?

T: LOL! No… more like salamanders. I put one in a box with air holes once, but didn’t know it needed dirt and water. A few days later when I checked on it, I picked it up by the tail and it broke.

H: Oops… I put an (already dead) mouse in a jar and watched it decay as maggots ate it.
Maybe I shouldn’t mention that on a public blog…

T: Gross. It kind of reminds me of the time that guy put McDonald’s French fries in a jar and they never decayed in Supersize Me.
Well dear, I’m off to get ready for sleep… thank you so much for the fun questions, and the company tonight.

H: Well, gross is pretty much my first reaction to McDonald’s.
Hey, it’s been great. Anytime. ^.^ *HUGS*

T: Thanks, hon!! Hugs!

H: Loving your bit on Israel. ^.^

T: Good! There’s more to come.

H: You’re welcome.


Read Tosca’s “bit” about her experiences while researching in Israel starting here.


.Tosca Lee is a New York Times bestseller, author of Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and coauthor of The Books of Mortals Trilogy.  A master painter with words as her brush, she spends months and years researching and recreating the world of the past; allowing you to experience the beauty, and the horror, as though you were there yourself.  Easily the classiest geek you’ll ever meet, like an arts festival and geek con happening in the same place. Her night owl ways have led some to suspect that she is really a vampire in disguise, but we are pretty sure this is just rumor. In addition to her beautiful words and extensive research she is somewhat less known for her epic taste in shoes, and legendary love of bacon.




Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling work of fiction— humanizing the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal.
Based on extensive research into the life and times of Judas Iscariot, this triumph of fiction storytelling by the author of Havah: The Story of Eve revisits one of biblical history’s most maligned figures and brings the world he inhabited vividly to life.
In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—the promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, he joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life. But soon Judas’s vision of a nation free from Rome is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems, in the end, to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.
Iscariot is the story of Judas, from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.


by Call Me Heretic

Blood poured out on the wretched
Curse lifted from the fallen

Nails piercing flesh
Full of sinfulness
Water from the veins
Death he wins again

Dark cold closed in alone
End decay and stench and bone

Nails piercing flesh
Full of sinfulness
Water from the veins
Death he wins again

Fire burning all around
Pain hidden from God’s eyes

Nails piercing flesh
Full of sinfulness
Water from the veins
Death he wins again

Dawn 3 days come and gone
Why seek ye the living in the grave?

Keys unlock the door
Apart from him no more
Behold the Lord of Kings
Death, where is your sting?

A blessed Good Friday to you all.

Posted: 01/15/2013 in My Pulse

So excited!


My fellow Christians, on this election day I have a few questions to ask of you, and of myself.

I ask:

  • If our faith is in Christ, why is our hope in a politician, or a country?
  • If we’re supposed to pray for our leaders, why do we post only criticism and vitriol? (This is all I have seen posted.)
  • If we’re supposed to love our neighbors (and our enemies), why do we say we hate those that didn’t vote the way we wanted?

Lastly, I have this thought for you: Do not be afraid of tomorrow; God is already there.

Peace to you,

Call Me Heretic

Posted: 10/23/2012 in My Pulse

Awesomely powerful freeverse.

Less. More. Abundantly.

“Our pace, the incessant activity, the noise, the interruptions, the deadlines and demands, the daily schedules, and the periodic feelings of failure and futility bombard our beings like the shelling of a beachhead.  Our natural tendency is to wave a white flag, shouting, “I give up! I surrender!”  This, of course, is the dangerous extreme of being weary-the decision to bail out, to throw in the towel, to give in to discouragement and give up.”

“There is nothing wrong with feeling weary, but there is EVERYTHING wrong with abandoning ship in the midst of the fight.”-Charles Swindoll

Friends, I waved the flag.

I did more than wave the flag in surrender, I heaved it over the side of my storm-tossed boat into the waves of failure, abandonment, fatigue, depression and boredom.  I raised my puny fist and cursed the endless night with ugly profanity-laced words.  When none but the deafening…

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A song and an invitation for this Easter weekend. For this is why He died and rose again. Come as you are to His table. Come as you are to the cross. You don’t have to have it all together. He loves you.

Hookers and Robbers ~ Charlie Hall

Crack kids, track kids, hookers and robbers
The naked and hungry, mothers and fathers
Abuses, excuses, and guns in your hands
And I even welcome the arrogant man
I welcome you all to the biggest of feasts
A night of no shame
To pause and to breathe
This is a night of love’s renovation
A feast I am sure that could change a whole nation

Me, I am not such an excellent host
I am one who forgives but needs it the most
I found the liar, the killer of hearts
And I ran away with a new way to start
I journeyed a road where a bright man appeared
He looked into me, and my eyes filled with tears
My breath fast and short and my heart burning deep
He gave me new eyes and a new way to see

So come as you are, as you are, as you are
So come as you are, as you are, as you are

I still defiled his great love ways
I felt such a famine when I ran away
I missed the presence, the voice like a song
I was nasty and dirty, I knew I was wrong
But he ran to me like a dream like a father
This love is not earthly this love must be other
He carried me home and threw me a party
A party so loud like the greatest love story
Oh my dear friend applaud now please
I’ve invited you heart to announce you are free
He takes your chains, busting you out of prison
Just open your heart, let your heart come and listen

Come as you are, as you are, as you are
Come as you are, as you are, as you are

Who could accept all your pounding and screaming
Your raging, your freaking, cussing, and beating
All while He holds you and always forgiving
This is the story of love and of living
Wipe off your tears and laugh just a little
Come break this bread, celebrate the Forgiver
Raise up a glass, a time to remember
Come break this bread, celebrate the Forgiver.

Come as you are, as you are, as you are
Come as you are, as you are, as you are

A Blessed Easter to you and yours,
❤ Call Me Heretic ❤



In a world of hurricanes, wars, earthquakes, and epidemics; one has to wonder, “What can I do? ” Most of us are not multi-millionaire philanthropists, experienced diplomats, or skilled doctors. We can’t finance rebuilding efforts, mediate between hostile nations, or heal the sick. So, can we really make a difference?

A vacationing businessman was walking along a beach when he saw a young boy. Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned. The boy walked slowly along the shore and occasionally reached down and tossed a beached starfish back into the ocean.
The businessman, hoping to teach the boy a little lesson in common sense, walked up to the boy and said, “I have been watching what you are doing, son. You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but do you realize how many beaches there are around here and how many starfish are dying on every beach every day? Surely an industrious and kind-hearted boy such as yourself could find something better to do with your time. Do you really think that what you are doing is going to make a difference?”

The boy looked up at the man, and then he looked down at a starfish by his feet. He picked up the starfish, and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he said, “It makes a difference to that one.”

"It makes a difference to that one."

– Author Unknown –

So, maybe you can’t dole out wads of cash to good causes, but I bet you could give a little. Likely you won’t be called to broker any peace treaties, but you might be able to help settle an argument between friends. And it doesn’t take a doctor to fix chicken soup for an ailing family member, or visit a sick friend. Maybe our actions will make a big difference and maybe they won’t, but “It makes a difference to that one.”

Call Me Heretic

Never miss the chance to

   lend a hand;
         everyone needs a little help once in a while.
   give a compliment;
         it may be the only one the receive all day.
   smile at a stranger;
         it’ll brighten their day-and yours.
   say something nice;
         kind words are never out of place.
   be a friend;
         we all need them.
   offer encouragement;
         a few words can make a world of difference.
   tell someone you love them;
         because you never know when today might be their last day –

or yours.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

Call Me Heretic

Posted: 03/21/2012 in My Pulse

This is love.


I had the privilege of taking part in a “commissioning ceremony” for the son of a dear friend on his 18th birthday. I was asked to impart something on the topic of ‘Love.’ Here’s what I shared: 

The First and Second Great Commandments are: to love God, to love others. The world has a polite notion of love. It makes love into heart-shaped candies. It distorts love with shame and perversion. It manipulates love, using it to sell cars or politicians or beauty cream. The church has a more accurate, God-inspired, yet sometimes still-too-polite and slightly distorted notion of love. Yes, love is a choice, more than a feeling. We love, because He first loved. True, agape love is unselfish and unconditional, imagining and acting upon the highest and best for another person above yourself. All of these are true. But they are soft and incomplete.

Let me add two…

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Our family has a sort of “humor calendar” in the bathroom. Each day has a different funny story, typo, or comment from churches across America. One in particular got me thinking. It listed several different hymns that suited whatever group they were talking about. The dentist’s hymn was “Crown Him With many Crowns” the fisherman’s was “Shall We Gather at the River?” and so on. For Senior Citizen’s the hymn was “Blessed Insurance.” At first I found this funny, but after thinking about it, it struck me that that is how many people treat their faith, like it’s some sort of Divine fire insurance. They got the policy (accepted Christ), pay their premiums (go to church, tithe, support fundraisers etc.),  and expect that, when they die, they can file a claim and cash in on the policy.

"Some people treat their faith like it's some sort of Divine fire insurance..."

Now, I’m not going to debate about whether they are saved or not, that’s between them and God, but I do pity them. Here they’ve been introduced to the most amazing thing this universe has ever known, this thing called faith, and to the one who started it all, (God) and they aren’t doing anything about it! They are missing out on the greatest thing you could ever have: a relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Creator, Savior, Comforter. This God, that created everything, loves us and desires a personal relationship with us, so much so that His Son died to make it possible. His love, His peace, His friendship are better than anything this world can offer and they’re missing out on it! It’s like they’ve sat down to a magnificent banquet, with every kind of delicious food (and not one calorie), and all they’re doing is sipping their water. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

Think a moment about your best friend. You love to spend time with them, don’t you? You probably miss them when they aren’t around. Maybe you talk for hours about absolutely nothing, or maybe you have long discussions about deep and meaningful topics. They likely know many, if not all, of your darkest secrets. Friendship with God is all that and more! He knows you better than anyone ever could, because He made you. The God of everything, with all of creation to take care of and some 2 billion followers worldwide, wants to be friends with YOU! How awesome is that?

So, if you know any “insurance policy” Christians, pity them. Whether their policy turns out to be valid, or not, they will have missed out on the greatest thing this life has to offer, a deep, personal relationship with Almighty God. And if you are that kind of Christian, I encourage you to just look up and say, “Hi, God. What’re You up to?” and then really listen for an answer. Who knows, it may be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Think about it,
The Heretic