That Book That Keeps on Giving

If you must buy a new copy you can have the only one left in stock for a mere $71.95.  Do you really think more are on the way?  Tell that someone special, if this is a Christmas gift, that you found a treasured heritage edition of Harry Gove’s Relic, Icon of Hoax?. Just click on used and pick up an almost new copy for a mere 59 cents (plus about $4.00 for shipping).


Hat tip to Joe Marino.

More on The Relic Master

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about the author of the soon to be released novel, The Relic Master.

Some years ago, Christopher Buckley was writing an article on people’s infatuation with lists when he stumbled on something unexpected. His research yielded not just online “listicles” about embarrassing celebrity moments but a reference to a very different sort of list: a catalog of the 19,013 holy relics that belonged to Frederick of Saxony, who ruled from 1483 to 1525. It became the basis for his new novel, “The Relic Master,” out next month.

Mr. Buckley, 63, is best known for his satirical Washington novels such as “Thank You for Smoking” (1994) and “The White House Mess” (1986), as well as for “Losing Mum and Pup” (2009), his memoir about his parents, Patricia and William F. Buckley Jr., the conservative writer and impresario. For much of his career, he also wrote political commentary for publications such as National Review, the magazine his father founded.

But in recent years Mr. Buckley has focused more on straight fiction. “The trouble with trying political satire anymore is American politics have reached the point of being self-satirized,” he says with a smile.” Satire is “everywhere, especially on TV, and is being brilliantly done.” So he thought he ought to do something different.

Set in the early 16th century, during the papacy of Leo X, “The Relic Master” tells the story of a scheme to forge the Shroud of Turin. Mr. Buckley’s characters include historical figures such as the painter Albrecht Dürer, the Duke of Urbino and Frederick of Saxony.

In the story, Dürer counterfeits the famed relic—an idea that came to Mr. Buckley when he saw a self-portrait by Dürer that resembled, to his mind, a reverse negative of the Shroud of Turin. …

I’ve mentioned William F. Buckley, the father on occasion in this blog, perhaps most significantly in a posting directed at Colin Berry, On arrogance and second hand literary wisdom.

Note:  The color photograph, above, is inline linked, meaning it is directly displayed from the Wall Street Journal website without copying it.  It is by Peter Ross.

Just in time for Christmas: The Relic Master

"Might be pitched Hollywood-style as The Princess Bride meets Ocean’s XIII."

— Kirkus Reviews, starred review

imageAnother shroud novel. But the author is Christopher Buckley, famous for his book, “Thank You for Smoking” which was adapted for the high-grossing movie of the same name. The Relic Master will be available on December 8th as a traditional bookstore hardcover suitable for Christmas wrapping ($26.95, 400 pages, Simon & Schuster). The Amazon Kindle version will sell for $12.99. The promo reads:

From New York Times bestselling author Christopher Buckley, “one of the funniest writers in the English language” (Tom Wolfe), a compelling and hilarious adventure featuring a sixteenth-century relic hunter and his best friend, Albrecht Dürer, who conspire to forge the Shroud of Turin.

The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter: one who procures “authentic” religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences. When Albrecht’s ambitions increase his demands for grander and more marketable relics, Dismas and his artist friend Dürer conspire to manufacture a shroud to sell to the unsuspecting noble. Unfortunately Dürer’s reckless pride exposes Albrecht’s newly acquired shroud as a fake, so Albrecht puts Dismas and Dürer in the custody of four loutish mercenaries and sends them all to steal Christ’s burial cloth (the Shroud of Chambéry), Europe’s most celebrated relic.

On their journey to Savoy where the Shroud will be displayed, they battle a lustful count and are joined by a beautiful female apothecary. It is only when they reach their destination that they realize they are not alone in their intentions to acquire a relic of dubious legitimacy. Filled with fascinating details about art, religion, politics and science; Vatican intrigue; and Buckley’s signature wit, The Relic Master is a delightfully rich and intelligent comic adventure.

I thought you might want to see the back cover ahead of seeing it in a bookstore.


Proof of the Resurrection?

imageJoe Marino was kind enough to send me a clear text version of the press release for Mark Antonacci’s new book. It was much easier to read than the fuzzy one in my previous posting. (I’ve put a copy below the fold).

Anyway, I was reading the release and I noticed this:

[Antonacci] contends that we now live in a singular moment of history. These new scientific test results, combined with previous unparalleled evidence, would confirm that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were actual events in history.

Really? Proof of the Resurrection?

Glancing over my desk, I saw Critical Summary 3.0 sitting on my iPad. What was it that it said on this matter?

The "Fall-Through" hypothesis is strictly data driven and is not intended to offer a "proof" of the Resurrection. To the contrary, Jackson does  not think the Resurrection can ever be "proven". The philosophy of science includes the stipulation to work to "disprove" rather than to "prove". 

— page 83

Got to go with Jackson et al. on this one.

New Press Release:

LE Press, LLC: Mark Antonacci, world-renowned expert on the Shroud of Turin, has just released his second book on the Shroud entitled “Test the Shroud,” a captivating read which reviews and thoroughly explains all of the evidence discovered to date on this unique burial cloth, and confidently proposes further specific testing methods that could prove the Shroud’s authenticity as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, and answer all of its outstanding questions.

Antonacci, an attorney, has studied the evidence acquired from this burial cloth for almost 34 years. He gave the keynote address at the International Shroud Conference held in conjunction with the cloth’s exhibition in 2010, and his leading hypothesis has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. His accurate description of all of the unique features on the Shroud of Turin allows him to convincingly argue that this is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Written in a way that is easy to comprehend, whether a scientist or someone simply fascinated with this one-of-a-kind burial garment and its evidence, Antonacci takes the reader on a journey throughout history, describing every aspect of the Shroud and its unprecedented features. He presents a very testable hypothesis that particle radiation emanating from the dead, crucified body wrapped within the Shroud caused its unprecedented, full-length body images, its still-red blood marks, its erroneous carbon dating and so many other unforgeable features. Antonacci further describes advanced scientific testing techniques that could be applied to the cloth (and its human bloodstains) at the atomic and molecular levels. These sophisticated techniques could demonstrate whether this miraculous event actually occurred to the corpse wrapped within it, and if so, when it happened, where this happened, the actual age of the burial cloth and the identity of the victim.

He contends that we now live in a singular moment of history. These new scientific test results, combined with previous unparalleled evidence, would confirm that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were actual events in history.

To place an order, visit or email

Test the Shroud will be available soon on as well as other fine bookstores.

New Book by Mark Antonacci is Available

imageMark Antonacci just sent me a press release for his newest book, Test the Shroud. A copy is included below.

A page on Mark’s website, Books by Mark, provides a summary and two reviews, one by Giulio Fanti and one by Joe Marino. There is also a PayPal button on the page allowing you to order a copy. Here is what the page says:

Mark Antonacci makes compelling arguments about many prominent points in Test the Shroud.  His accurate description of all the unique features on the Shroud of Turin allows him to convincingly argue that this is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ.  He presents a very testable hypothesis that particle radiation emanating from the dead, crucified body wrapped within this burial cloth caused its unprecedented, full-length body images, its still-red blood marks, its erroneous carbon dating and so many other unforgeable features.  He even describes advanced scientific testing techniques that could be applied to this burial cloth and its human bloodstains that could demonstrate whether a miraculous event actually occurred; when it happened; where it happened; the actual age of the burial cloth and its bloodstains, and the identity of the victim.

He contends that we live in a singular moment of history.  These new scientific test results combined with previous unparalled (sic) evidence would prove that the passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ were actual events in history.


Giulio Fanti, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Thermal Measurement, University of Padua, ItalyThis book gives a wide overview of the Shroud of Turin furnishing many interesting details of the most important relic of Christianity, both from the scientific and historical points of view, while reporting results from studies of many scholars.  After clarifying why the body image is not scientifically explainable, nor technically repeoducible (sic), Antonacci furnishes an hypothesis how it could have been formed, based on particle radiation capable, according to him, of explaining both the image we see on the relic and the C-14 enrichment that produced a medieval date during the 1988 radiocarbon dating.

Joe Marino, Theologin (sic), Sindinologist (sic)Test the Shroud is a gold mine of information on the controversial Shroud of Turin.  Antonacci has followed up his 2000 book, The Resurrection of the Shroud, with another scholarly work that is also written with the non-scholar in mind.  Heavily footnoted and lavishly illustrated, Antonacci, with the detailed eyes of an attorney, covers all aspects of the study of the Shroud, including history, theology and science.  The author is petitioning the Vatican to allow new scientific examinations that will test all the latest hypotheses regarding image-formation and problems with C-14 dating.

The home page on Mark’s site adds this information:

This book even lays out a series of sophisticated testing that could be performed on the Shroud linen and blood marks and on limestone from Jesus’ reputed burial tombs.  This testing would provide countless more items of information yet to be acquired from this cloth.  This testing could provide millions of items of unfakable (sic) evidence that would prove that:

  1. the entire Shroud was irradiated with particle radiation;
  2. the amount of particle radiation each part of it received;
  3. the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating is erroneous;
  4. the Shroud is from the 1st century;
  5. the radiating event happened in the 1st century;
  6. the source of the radiation was the length, width and depth of the dead body wrapped within it;
  7. all of the events that occurred to the man happened in the 1stcentury;
  8. the events occurred in Jerusalem;
  9. under all of the surrounding circumstances as described in the Gospels; and
  10. this man was the historical Jesus Christ.

Note:  I normally don’t do sics.  It is snarky and besides I make such mistakes all the time in this blog.  But this was too much. I got carried away.  Google tells me, in 0.24 seconds, that unparalleled is used 36,800,000 times on the world wide web.  Even so, unparalled, the incorrect spelling, is used 408,000 times. And Edgar Allan Poe misspelled the word in a book title, so they say. So I can forgive unparalled. But who can forgive Sindinologist?

Mark sent the press release as an inline, scrunched down, fuzzy image file of an otherwise normal page. I can’t find a better copy anywhere on the Internet, even on Mark’s Test the Shroud website.  I didn’t want to delay getting it to you, so I trimmed the page margins and put it below.



Icon With a Capital I

Elizabeth Scalia, writing for the Catholic Channel of Patheos, brings us An excerpt from John Thavis’ new book, The Vatican Prophesies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age:

imageAs one might expect, Pope Benedict, who was often called “the pope of reason,” was much more circumspect on the [Shroud, than Pope John Paul II.] He, too, was interested in the Shroud and had stood before it as a cardinal. As pope he ordered the extraordinary exhibition of the Shroud in 2010. Benedict himself flew to Turin to venerate the cloth and gave a speech in which he described the Shroud as an “icon,” a term that disappointed some of its devotees. In the code language of the Shroud, “icon” denotes just a holy image, while “relic” is the genuine object. But this was an icon with a capital “I” — literally, in the official text of the papal speech — which signaled some support for authenticity. Benedict added that the Shroud was “a winding-sheet that was wrapped round the body of a man who was crucified, corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus.” That appeared to reject out of hand the theory that it was a medieval artistic creation. The pope then went o to speak of the Shroud in dramatic and poetic language that moved many of his listeners: “The Shroud is an Icon written in blood; the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced The Image impressed upon the Shroud is that of a dead man, but the blood speaks of his life. Every trace of blood speaks of love and of life. Especially that huge stain near his rib, made by the blood and water that flowed copious from the great wound inflicted by the tip of a Roman spear. That blood and that water speak of life. It is like a spring that murmurs in the silence, and we can hear it.”

Press Release: Another Book Award for Follow the Light

Please note that this is a press release for an award. It is not a book release announcement. This is a second award. An earlier award was announced in a posting last year at about this time: 1st Place Book Award for Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations. The book was first announced in this blog in early 2013. The book is available at Amazon in
hardcover, paperback and Kindle.

imageFor Immediate Release:  September 18, 2015

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations”  By T. C. Newman, in its 2015 international book award contest.

The 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest- featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries.

Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also very proud to be fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the literary industry, as well as the first time independent author, they host a respected award contest which features entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that "Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations" by T. C. Newman is a Honorable Mention in the Christian – Non-Fiction category in our 2015 International Book Award Contest.”

"Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations" First published, February 11, 2013 by Outskirts Press. Is a fascinating account of the writer’s path to solve a mystery. It is an in depth study, self-motivated and discovered through exploration. It is scientifically sound based on a solid understanding of light and energy.

T. C. Newman spent over 30 years studying the Shroud image to develop a better understanding of the Shroud of Turin. She is a self taught artist who’s dedicated diligence  led to a better understanding of the Shroud’s image.

Learn more at

Available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Kindle addition available at

"Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations"  First Place Winner, CIPA EVVY Book Awards, held in Denver, CO, August 23, 2014

Outskirts Press, Best Book of the Year Finalist, 2013.

T. C. Newman

"Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations"