Monday, March 11, 2024

The Mercy Seat: Author Guest Post + Giveaway


The Mercy Seat JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Mercy Seat by Henry O. Arnold, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Title: The Mercy Seat
The Urban Chronicles #1
Henry O. Arnold
Mountain Brook Ink
Release Date:
March 5, 2024
Christian Contemporary Fiction

Hells Canyon is a neighborhood in Richland, Tennessee where tourists never venture, and locals fear to tread. Maxwell Crane, former Marine chaplain and pastor of The Mercy Seat church, struggles to provide a beacon of hope. 

But others have their eyes set on Hells Canyon: power elites, robber barons, and street gangs seek their own gain at the cost of the beleaguered urban neighborhood. For the people who live there, it’s been a fight to exist their whole lives, and that fight is getting harder. 

Maxwell doesn’t have to stay in Hells Canyon. He and his family could leave to live a comfortable middle-class existence. Instead, Maxwell chooses to risk his life—and the lives of those around him—to stand against the oppressors. 

But what happens when this pastor crosses a line, taking justice into his own hands? Will his family, his community, and his God ever forgive him? Will he ever forgive himself?  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

About the Author

Henry O. Arnold

Mr. Arnold's career as an actor/author spans over five decades with multiple stage and film credits. His most recent film is The Hiding Place. He has recorded over one hundred audiobooks and is the author of the multi-volume biblical/historical fiction series entitled The Song of Prophets and Kings. When not writing he can be found hiking on a trail somewhere on the planet. He and his lovely wife Kay have two beautiful daughters, married to two handsome men, with three above-average grandchildren.

Connect with Henry by visiting to follow him on social media and sign up for email updates.

Author Guest Post

A Wife’s Dare 


My wife, Kay, dared me to make up a story out of whole cloth. Just sit down and start writing and see what happens, she said. With my historical fiction books, I have at least had a loose outline to follow, a commitment to be true to the known facts while telling a good story. But not with The Mercy Seat. It was scary at first. I had nothing to go on. I just knew I wanted this novel to be set in the present time, in a large city, and that my characters would be relatable. 


For the reader to identify with the protagonist, the character must face all sorts of difficulties. Since the protagonist is a mere mortal, not a comic book character or a mythological hero or heroine, they will typically not react quickly or forcefully to conflict or trouble. Most mortal characters would avoid dire circumstances until all choices to keep from engaging in conflict are exhausted. 


So, I created the character of Maxwell Crane, an ex-Marine chaplain and pastor of The Mercy Seat church. He and his wife, Kenda, are a mixed-race couple with three teenage children, and together, they live in an underserved community in a large city. Once I dreamed up the Crane family, I had to give each of them an ordeal that would test their characters and show their complexity. 


With the main characters in place, I still didn’t have what I call a jumping off point for my story. Then I came across a newspaper article that told of a local pastor who held a memorial service in a city park just across the street from the downtown public library for those in the homeless community who had died during a calendar year. The library and the park were gathering places for this population of citizens who used these public localities as a rest stop on their nomadic journeys roaming the city streets. 


That article proved an inspiration. My imagination had free rein, and the story began to write itself. Some days it was hard to keep up. Characters I didn’t expect kept appearing requesting a role in the story. I always enjoy the writing process, but this one had a special pleasure because every character had a believable persona and came with specific motivations and desires that made them believable humans. I tried to keep out of their way and let the story unfold as they wished for it to be told. 

I also wanted to include an up-close and personal look at the social, economic, and spiritual dilemmas facing the urban population of a large metropolitan city. By dropping the Crane family into a challenging and dangerous community, they were forced to learn how to live and serve the local citizens whose lives are a daily battle. 

The Mercy Seat is a tale of godly people trying to bring comfort to the persecuted and afflicted, protect the innocent, and stand against the oppressor. But what happens when the pastor crosses a line taking justice into his own hands? Will his family, his community, and his God ever forgive him? 


In The Mercy Seat a hero might do something villainous or a villain might do something heroic. I never really knew what my characters might do until they appeared in my imagination. I kept imagining and typing and eventually I completed the novel filled with twists, turns, and surprises. My hope is that the reader will take pleasure in this story because it was certainly a pleasure for me to write. 


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a print copy of The Mercy Seat & $20 Amazon Gift Card!

The Mercy Seat JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight March 11, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 18, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours


  1. I'm looking forward to reading this. Thanks for hosting this tour.

  2. This sounds like an interesting book!

  3. Thank you for being part of the book tour for "The Mercy Seat" by Henry O. Arnold. Enjoyed reading the guest post and can't wait for the opportunity to read this wonderful sounding book on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. I enjoyed reading the guest post. Sounds like a great fiction!


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