The Tenth Plague by Adam Blumer

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 | 11 comments

The Tenth Plague by Adam Blumer

A young couple with a newly adopted child. A weekend resort getaway. Sounds perfect, right? But murder and mayhem await. Meet Adam Blumer, author of The Tenth Plague, a new Christian thriller/suspense novel. We would love to hear your comments and they will earn you a chance to win a signed copy! Sign in on the Rafflecopter at the bottom to increase your opportunities to win!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome, Adam! Tell my readers a little bit about yourself and tell us how you started writing.

Thanks for having me. I grew up in Lower Michigan and have now lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for almost twenty years. In college I studied journalism, and God opened the door for me to serve two different ministries in editorial roles for fourteen years before He led me to edit books from home in 2006, which I’ve been doing ever since. He also gave me my first novel break in 2007. God has blessed me with my wife, Kim, and my two daughters: Laura and Julia.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m a plotter, but I leave wiggle room for new ideas to emerge. For my first two novels, a better ending idea always came to me later.

What inspired The Tenth Plague?
One day I was reading the book of Revelation and came across 22:18–19. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (ESV). My mind began playing the “what-if” game. Would God really bring a biblical plague on someone who tampered with His Word? I chatted with a few theologian friends, and the plot emerged from there.

Your previous book, Fatal Illusions, is also suspense. Tell us a little about that story.

An amateur magician, an unassuming family . . . a fatal illusion.

Haydon Owens wants to be the next Houdini. He has been practicing his craft and has already made four women disappear. All it took was a bit of rope and his two bare hands. The Thayer family has come to the north woods of Newberry, Michigan, looking for refuge, a peaceful sanctuary from a shattered past. But they are not alone. Little do they know that they are about to become part of Haydon’s next act. Time is running out and already the killer has spotted his next victim. Who will escape alive?

How do you come up with your characters?
For me the novel always begins with a story, and then I incorporate characters that best fit the story, with character arcs that develop from start to finish. Sometimes I get character ideas by people watching. I tend to seek something unique that makes characters memorable. For example, in Fatal Illusions I chose my villain to be an amateur magician who idolizes the famous magician Houdini. His mother was on Broadway, so he often thinks about Broadway tunes that fit his situations throughout the story—sometimes to chilling effect.

What was your greatest roadblock in writing The Tenth Plague and how did you overcome it?
I had a fairly strong first draft, but at one point in the process, I got stuck. A novel editor provided a creative springboard and helped me see where my true story lay. Without her help, I doubt this story would have seen the light of day.

The Tenth Plague 2

Has there ever been a time when something one of your readers said or wrote gave you pause, inspired you to think about your work a different way, or made you change some element of your narrative?
Several Christian readers have told me that they like to share my novels with their friends, so I always like to somehow incorporate gospel truths into the story without being preachy. I also weave in some sort of spiritual truth so the novel has takeaway value for Christian readers too.   

As an editor who is also an author, what is your favorite method for writing? Do you edit as you go or just get the story out and then worry about editorial details?

I always think through where my story is going before I write it; otherwise I feel like I’m spinning my wheels and getting down words I’ll eventually cut. Because I’m a trained editor, I have a very hard time just getting the story down without pausing to edit, so I give in to the internal editor. I usually write and then go back and edit before I move forward. If I’m not happy with what I previously wrote, I feel unsure about moving forward.

Your tagline is Meaningful Suspense. Tell us how you see suspense as an important genre for spreading the message of the gospel. How do you weave a spiritual thread without being preachy?
Thanks for mentioning my tagline. Yes, I believe Christian fiction should say something meaningful about our faith to have eternal value. I’m convinced the gospel and other spiritual truths can be woven in without being overbearing or preachy. Authors can achieve this goal by depicting characters realistically and letting spiritual lessons naturally emerge from their development and struggles during the story. What’s preachy is inserting message without integrating it into the characters’ lives so the growth emerges naturally.

What lies ahead for you? Do you have more stories begging to be written?

I’ve completed a third novel, a departure in style from the first two, and I’m very excited about it. I ran Drone, a speculative thriller about mind control, through the ACFW Scribes critique group last fall, to very favorable reviews. The story is close to my heart, because the inspiration came from my father, who passed away from brain cancer in 2011. I’m currently seeking a literary agent for this project, and one interested party has been in touch. Hopefully God will show me His clear direction soon so I can move forward.

Please share the opening scene of The Tenth Plague with us.

I’d be happy to. Thanks.

PrologueThe Tenth Plague

November 3, 1926

Near Ishpeming, Michigan

On the morning from his worst nightmares, twenty-two-year-old Rutherford Wills woke early, the frigid world outside his window still dark, and slipped noiselessly out of bed to avoid waking Bruna, his wife of only two months. He hated to leave her side, her warm body close to his, but he was a married man now with obligations to fulfill and bills to pay.

God granted no clues that this day would be different from any other.

Wills reported for the day shift at the Barnes-Hecker Mine and entered the crowded electric elevator or “cage” for the ride down the 1,060-foot shaft to the second level. It was 7:20 a.m. on a Wednesday.

As Wills descended into the earth, he wondered what life on the surface would be like today. Now that Halloween was past, the weather had turned cold. Were early snow predictions true? Would he later rise to a world of white?

At eight hundred feet, the elevator jerked to a halt, and Wills followed a dozen trammers, stemmers, timbermen, and pumpmen into the second of three levels. His hardhat’s carbide lamp chased away subterranean shadows, and the ever-present aroma of damp earth filled his nostrils. In the distance echoed the staccato blows of pneumatic drills, the hiss of compressed air, and the rumble of explosives.

He followed the pebbly corridor toward the electric haulage locomotive that pulled cars loaded with iron ore down the three-thousand-foot tunnel to the main shaft. There they were emptied through chutes into a “skip” or cable car that raised the ore to the surface.

Wills took his seat at what everyone referred to as the “motor” and glanced at Jack Hanna, his twenty-three-year-old brakeman. “Ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” The work garb, baggy on Hanna’s skinny body, was stained ore-red.

“What’s it been now—four weeks?”

“Nope. Three.”

“Well, for only bein’ on the job three weeks, I’d say you’re catchin’ on pretty fast.”

Hanna ducked his head with a shy grin and glanced away.

Wills started the engine, and the motor jerked forward. Electric lights strung along the tunnel’s ceiling at regular intervals illumined their way like glimmers of hope in an otherwise dismal world. No one had any idea their hope was about to run out.

Wills checked his watch as a light swept past. 11:20 a.m. He yelled to Hanna over the locomotive’s roar. “How about one more trip before we break for lunch?”

Hanna nodded, his face grimy from the ever-present dust permeating every crack and crevice of the place. Soon their fifty coworkers would ride the elevator to the surface for lunch. Perhaps if they hustled, they could beat the noon rush.

From somewhere deep in the tunnel above them, the muffled blast of explosives rumbled. Wills assumed his fellow miners were blasting one last time before lunch. When they returned later, the next load of ore would be ready and waiting for them.

Wills engaged the motor, and the locomotive lurched forward. During each interval between the lights, shadows swung over them like drapes of perpetual night.

A minute later, Hanna raised his hand and braked hard. The locomotive lurched to a halt. Hanna clambered off and dashed to the closest car, which was almost overflowing with large, reddish chunks of iron ore.

Wills dismounted and strode toward his friend, wondering what could be so important that it would interrupt their trip. “What’s wrong, Jack?”

Hanna searched the pieces of ore. “I noticed something strange when they loaded the cars. I thought I saw—”

A sudden gust of air swept through the tunnel and blasted them like the rush of wind in the wake of a storm. The two men exchanged puzzled glances. The look in Hanna’s brown eyes was unmistakable.

What was that?

Seconds later, another blast of air—this one stronger than the first—knocked them to their knees on the damp, rocky floor and extinguished the carbide lamps on their helmets. Thankfully the ceiling lights still glowed.

Wills scrambled to his feet and groped for the tunnel wall, heart drumming in his chest. “Come on! Let’s get out of here!”

Distant thunder rumbled. It drew closer and increased in intensity until it was suddenly upon them. The tunnel bucked under their feet.

Wills gasped and huddled against the craggy wall with Hanna, dread clawing like a live thing in his belly. He recalled the recent muffle of explosives. Had the first level caved in?

The underground thunder faded in the distance, the tunnel still intact. A sudden change in air pressure plugged Wills’ ears, and he swallowed hard to clear them. Then something from his worst nightmares came true.

The ceiling lights flickered, brightened, then died. A total eclipse swallowed them whole.

“Rutherford!” Hanna’s panicked voice sliced the darkness. “W—what’s happening? Where are you?”

Wills gripped his friend’s arm. He tried to sound brave, though his legs were trembling. “I’m right in front of you.”

Another growl, this one deafening, pealed through their world. Wills pressed his hands over his hears and imagined a freight train bearing down on their heads. How long did they have before the tunnel caved in and crushed them like bugs underfoot?

“God help us!” Hanna cried.

Wills’ skin prickled in a cold sweat. Without electricity, they couldn’t escape on the locomotive. “Come on, follow me.”

Wills stumbled forward, arms outstretched like a blind man, in the direction of the main shaft. He managed to discern the right direction by the feel of the narrow-gauge track against his rubber-toed boots. He debated taking the ladder down to the third level and seeking refuge in the concrete pump house, but the voice in his gut rebelled.

Climb to the surface. Get out. Now!

He neared the main shaft opening, where an avalanche of water, mud, and rock streamed down from above. A prick of fear touched his nerves. Could they even escape through the main shaft? How long before the rising tide of water and mud filled the tunnels and then the shaft?

Wills yelled to Joseph Mankee, the second-level cage operator who’d been best man at his wedding. “Joe, are you there?”

“I’m here!” came the anxious shout.

“Come on, we gotta get out of here!”

Without electricity, the elevator wouldn’t budge. Wills reached the manhole and clambered onto the emergency ladder, peering upward. Amazingly, he saw it—a tiny light marked the four-by-four surface opening eight hundred feet above. As long as the light remained, they had a way out. But how much time did they have? He shoved the question aside and began to climb.

The thunder petered off to a relentless growl. More muck rained down from above and slid down Wills’ helmet, cascading down his arms. His gloves became slick with mud, and the ladder rungs grew slippery.

Once, he lost his grip, but he regained his hold just in time. He jerked his gloves off with his teeth and flung them to the void before pressing on. His thighs burned, and air burst from his lungs in explosive gasps.

Two hundred feet higher, still six hundred feet from the surface, he reached the first-level tunnel.

“Kirby, get out!” he shouted to the level’s cage and bell signal operator.

He had no idea if Thomas Kirby even heard him, but he pressed on, gritting his teeth against the burning in his legs. With the steady rumble came a new sound. The rush of water, mud, and debris was filling the shaft. How long before the rising tide reached him?

Something massive plummeted toward Wills out of the dark. Its blast of air buffeted him, its mass missing him by mere inches. The unseen rock slammed into the ladder somewhere below his feet with an earsplitting crash. The impact almost tore him from the rungs.

Hanna, Mankee, and Kirby shrieked. Their cries were suddenly cut off as if they’d been crushed by the rock or overtaken by the rising flood.

Wills gasped, his body trembling. He yelled their names, but his friends didn’t answer. He knew he’d share their fate if he didn’t press on.

A torrential flood rose and drew ever closer. Wills recalled the muffled explosion before his race with Hanna to the ladder. Had the blast ripped open an underground lake?

A raging whirlpool swirled around his boots and hungrily licked up his legs. Icy muck rose to his waist.

Wills pressed on in a panic and worked his arms and legs like pistons. The level rose almost as quickly as he could climb.

He was panting so hard he thought his heart might explode. His thighs and calves screamed at him to stop, but he couldn’t stop. There wasn’t time—he had to keep moving.

He tried not to think about the pain. Tried to focus on Bruna and on the years they would share together. If only he could reach the top alive.

The flood pulled back, and the rumble of thunder faded away. Gasping, Wills smeared mud from his face and peered up the ladder. His heart galloped.

Edward Hillman and Albert Tippett, his stepbrother, peered down at him from the ladder above. He was almost to the top!

“What happened?” Albert called. “Is anyone else behind you?”

Wills raised a hand to shield their blinding headlamps. He could barely speak through his panting. “Hanna, Mankee, and Kirby—they might be below me.” But even as he spoke the words, he doubted they were true.

Hillman shone his light into the darkness beyond Wills and shouted the miners’ names. The only reply was the distant rush of water.

At 11:30 a.m., Wills climbed out of the mine opening with Albert’s assistance and collapsed onto the frozen ground. Immediately his arms and legs began to spasm and cramp. He wept from pain and exhaustion.

“It’s okay, Wills. You’re gonna be okay.” Albert rubbed Wills’ twitching legs in a vain attempt to comfort him. He yelled to Hillman to get a blanket and call an ambulance.

“The o—others.” Wills’ teeth chattered; he was suddenly freezing. Was he going into shock? “W—w—where are the o—others?” Bruna’s father, Sam Phillippi, and his other stepbrothers, Walter and Captain William Tippet—they’d gotten out ahead of him, right?

“Others?” Albert shook his head, his eyes heavy with shock and despair. “There haven’t been any others. Only you.”

Wills’ brain cramped as his muscles had. No, it wasn’t possible. Out of fifty-two miners, he was the sole survivor?

He rolled painfully to his side, his spent legs like dead things, and stared at the mine opening and prayed for others to come out. Surely there was still time for some of them to escape. But then he remembered the freezing muck lapping at his waist. The rising tide had filled the tunnels and had nowhere else to go except up the main shaft.

As the minutes ticked by, so grew the truth he didn’t want to accept. For the rest of his life until his death at age sixty-nine, he relived their deaths in his dreams. Night after night, all fifty-one died somewhere in the heart of the earth, their last cries drowned out by icy muck rising above their heads, their mouths upturned like fish nibbling bugs at the surface of a pond. Dying alone in the merciless, cold tomb of the earth.

Nobody should ever die like that.

Later, ten bodies were pulled from the debris, including those of Hanna, Mankee, and Kirby. Months later, further recovery efforts to find more bodies and reclaim the mine were abandoned. A concrete slab was poured to seal off the main shaft, and everyone—including Wills—left in pursuit of other work.

But Wills never forgot that day. Over the years, he often puzzled over his last moments with Hanna before their desperate escape. What exactly had Hanna seen in the ore car?

Wills didn’t know, but it hardly mattered now. The mine had been sealed closed. No one would ever explore those tunnels again.

A discovery of significance? No one would ever know.

Book Blurb:
After adopting their son, Marc and Gillian Thayer intend on enjoying a relaxing weekend away at a picturesque resort in northern Michigan. That is, until their friend turns up dead and the resort becomes a grisly murder scene.

A killer, seeking revenge, begins reenacting the ten plagues of Egypt on the resort and everyone in it, including a Bible translation team already drawing angry protests for proposing to merge the Bible with corresponding passages from the Qur’an. Water turns to blood. Gnats attack the innocent. As plague after plague appears, the Thayers must make sense of how their story intersects with those of the others at the resort–and of their own dark pasts.

In this “chilling tale that keeps readers turning pages and pondering its truths” (C. J. Darlington), the Thayers must unravel the truth. But will they uncover the killer’s bitter agenda before the tenth plague–the death of the firstborn son?

About the author:

Adam BlumerAdam Blumer fixes other people’s books to pay the bills. He writes his own to explore creepy lighthouses and crime scenes. He is the author of two Christian suspense novels, Fatal Illusions (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and its sequel, The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press). A print journalism major in college, he works full-time from home as a book editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty-five years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia. When he’s not working on his next thriller, he’s hiking in the woods or learning new chords on his guitar.

Connect with Adam:


Facebook Author Page:





Book Links:

The Tenth PlagueThe Tenth Plague:


Barnes & Noble:

Fatal Illusions:Fatal Illusions


Barnes & Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book sounds great, I love the suspense!

    • If you enjoy suspense, I think you’ll enjoy The Tenth Plague. Thanks for participating!

  2. Yay! Thank you for hosting me at your site. Much appreciated!

    • You are so welcome, Adam! I hope it helps introduce your book to a whole new group of readers. I am halfway through and really caught up in it!

      • Great! I’m glad you are enjoying it.

  3. Couldn’t lay it down. There are a lot of good, clean books out there to read, but I can’t say many of them are this well written. I like the way some of the characters were familiar from the first book, yet new ones were introduced as well. Best of all it kept me guessing, which is the mark of a good mystery! Thanks for a second great read! If I win this book I plan to use it to introduce a friend to your books. I will be giving it to a friend (not sure who yet) I love the way the gospel message is incorporated into both Fatal Illusions and Tenth Plague. I find friends who will not talk about their beliefs will read a good book. Thanks for including the message of Christ in your books. Now I’m ready for a third book!

    • Thank you, Faith! I’m so glad you enjoyed the novels.

  4. Sounds like a great read. The prologue really grabbed my attention and makes me want to keep reading! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    • Thanks, Mallory! I’m glad you ejoyed the prologue; it’s a dramatization of a true event. I hope you are able to read the novel.

  5. Enjoyed the interview and the book sounds like a really good one.

    • Thanks, Ann. I hope you are able to read the novel. Thanks for participating.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Did you enjoy this?

If so, please help spread the happiness! Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: