E-book enthusiasts using an Amazon Kindle have an opportunity to delve into a novel in the Christian, supernatural genre written by a University of Arkansas - Fort Smith professor.
“The Arms of Michael” by Dr. Robert J. Willoughby of Fort Smith is set in Israel during an archeological excavation and study of a 12th century castle. Local villagers have a problem with their well, and a cache of ancient weapons turns up.
The weapons, determined to be of a supernatural origin and composition, bring on a kidnapping and hostage situation. Beneath it all is the question of science or faith, which then becomes a matter of life or death.
“The story evolved from an idea I got many years ago while looking at a stained glass window in a church,” said Willoughby, who is an associate professor and head of the Department of History, Geography, Political Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies.
“As it is fiction,” he said, “there was no research for the basic plot, but I did research some technical information planted throughout the story line.”
Willoughby, who spent a year writing the book, said his publisher, Phoenix International in Fayetteville, proposed the e-book release. He said a print version may follow.
“I’m generally known for writing history, but this was a fun project that I greatly enjoyed.”
Willoughby is also the author of other books -- “The Brothers Robidoux and the Opening of the American West,” “Robidoux’s Town: A Nineteenth Century History of St. Joseph, Missouri” and “The Great Western Migration to the Gold Fields of California.”
Willoughby came to UAFS in 2006 and has a wide range of teaching experiences, ranging from public middle and high school to small, private colleges and state universities. He has also published articles and delivered numerous papers at history conferences.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State College, his master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University and his doctoral degree in history and political science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“The Arms of Michael” is available at www.amazon.com with keywords using the name of the book and his last name.