MINISTRY AND MOONSHINE  won first place in The North Texas Book Festival in Denton, Texas  on April 13, 2013.  When I entered it I had no notion of even being a finalist let alone a winner.  It put me on cloud nine when they notified me that I was a finalist.  I did not think things could get better, but they did when they announced Ministry and Moonshine as the first place winner at the awards dinner.  Myself and another author both had perfect scores by the judges.  The festival decided to award two first place trophies and it was an honor for me to share first place with Marcia Kemp Sterling.

 

Mitch Haynes of Lexicon Writer's Conferences made his rounds at the festival and listened to the book "pitch" by each author and he judged my pitch as the best.  The award for best pitch is free admission to the next 3 day conference in Denton that will take place in July.  I am looking forward to the experience.


Life and Death on Cannon Creek (an unusual murder mystery) took 2nd place in the North Texas Book Festival, April 5, 2014.  Considering all the entries by many talented authors 2nd ain't bad.


MOONSHINER'S REVENGE,  sequel to Ministry and Moonshine received honorable mention in the North Texas Book Festival 2014.


THE THROWAWAY SON,  a heartbreaking story of an unwanted and abused child won 2nd place in The North Texas Book Festival 2015.


THE THROWAWAY SON named as finalist in USA Book News International Book Awards 2015.


THE THROWAWAY SON runner up in 2016 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book


REVIEWS

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fred L. Funk attended what is now the University of North Texas, but transferred to East Texas State College to pursue a pre-theology degree. While attending ETSC, he pastored several Methodist churches in North and East Texas as a supply pastor. He later switched careers to accounting and finance, and is now retired after thirty-five years with a national retail furniture chain.

Fred is an active member and former president of the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club, whom he credits for the motivation to write his first novel, Ministry and Moonshine. He is now working on a sequel to that novel, to be entitled Moonshiner's Revenge, and a literary novel based on the remarkable life of a lifelong friend.

He lives in North Texas with his beautiful wife, Dana, and the two crazy cats that let them share the house. They have three grown children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

 

MINISTRY AND MOONSHINE

 

http://tinyurl.com/oo4ffyv

 

Matt Reynolds, a young Methodist minister, and his pregnant wife, Beth, arrive in rural Pruett, Texas, in the early 1960s to begin his first pastorate away from home. On the surface, Pruett is just a sleepy little town in the Piney Woods, and the folks in his small congregation are nice enough, if a bit peculiar.

Little do Matt and Beth know that the woods outside the town conceal the profitable and illegal enterprises of the local moonshiners, and no one in town is what they seem. Having led a somewhat sheltered existence until now, Matt and Beth have their eyes opened to human nature in ways they never could have imagined.

From a convicted murderer living next door on one side to a suspicious widow on the other, his congregation includes a cast of colorful characters who become unlikely friends and surprising enemies. Matt learns the hard way that members of his flock are capable of great love and warmth...and of great violence and treachery.

 

By Jeff on June 26, 2012

Format: Paperback

Get this book - a must read. Fred has definitely captured how things were in East Texas during this time frame in history. It is apparent he has personal experience in his chosen topic of how a minister and his family are required to adapt or "live with" the actual way people lived, worshiped, and interacted in such a setting. If Fred doesn't have personal experience, then he did a heck of job of researching his chosen subject. It is refreshing to see a new author with such a talent for telling his story.

 

Give Ministry and Moonshine a Read, it brought back memories..

By jerryallanclark on March 27, 2014

Format: Paperback

First, the book is written in a flowing, what is going to happen next style. The setting seems to me just where so many of our ministers start, making relationships, learning about life, and learning to be strong when needed.

It is also a story of love where a young couple finds their new life together challenging, overwhelming but in the end all this makes their family stronger. Some of life's greatest rewards such as children come after very challenging events/deliveries.

Finally, it is about communities but also about those who quickly close ranks when someone is different or challenges their life style.
It was a fun read and very unique compared to most books I've read recently.

 

Captivating

By Nena on July 12, 2013

Format: Paperback

From the moment I opened Ministry and Moonshine, I was hooked. Being the daughter of a minister myself, I immediately identified with some of Matt's and Beth's experiences. Fred Funk has definitely portrayed the traits of the church members very realistically. Most people don't realize how strange and challenging the life of a minister can be. He has done an excellent job of conveying that to his reading audience. The East Texas town of Pruett, where the story takes place, will never be the same since Matt came to town. A captivating read!!

 

Intriguing story

By Kelly on June 21, 2012

Format: Paperback

Great read! Holds your attention with time period behaviors and factual type events. Each chapter leaves you ready to read the next!

 

 

entertaining and enjoyable!

By Laurie on July 31, 2012

 

Format: Paperback

I picked this book up today and spent the entire afternoon reading Mr. Funk's delightful story. I appreciate the underlying messages you might recognize - of not judging people by first impression or appearance and staying away from the town gossip. The characters and stories are products of Mr. Funk's life experiences. I have known Mr. Funk and his family for over 35 years and wish him every success with this engaging book!

 

 

Jul 12, 2013 Melvena Noles rated it 5 of 5 stars

First-time author, Fred L. Funk, has successfully written his first novel. Ministry and Moonshine is captivating from the beginning. A book that you will not wish to put down until you turn the last page.

Being the daughter of a minister, I was immediately able to identify with some of Matt's challenges. However, I don't think my dad ever had to deal with a murderer or moonshiner.

Fred has done an excellent job of portraying the different characters as they would have been in the 60's in the deep Piney woods of East Texas.  First-time author, Fred L. Funk, has successfully written his first novel. Ministry and Moonshine is captivating from the beginning. A book that you will not wish to put down until you turn the last page.

Being the daughter of a minister, I was immediately able to identify with some of Matt's challenges. However, I don't think my dad ever had to deal with a murderer or moonshiner.

Fred has done an excellent job of portraying the different characters as they would have been in the 60's in the deep woods of East Texas. I read with anticipation as to what mysterious event would happen next.

Waiting impatiently for the sequel to be published. It is my understanding that it is called Moonshiner's Revenge. Can't wait!

 

 

5.0 out of 5 stars East Texas Ministry June 26, 2014

By Katherine Boyer

Format:Paperback

Fred Funk has captured the lifestyle of East Texas in his book, Ministry and Moonshine. He recounts the sometimes funny, sometimes sad and very interesting story of Matt Reynolds and his young wife, Beth, as they begin their life in the Methodist ministry in Pruett, TX. Based loosely on real events, this story will make you laugh, cry (maybe not literally) and hold your breath.
The young couple meet new friends, gossips, moonshiners, adulterers and even a convicted murderer. They discover many hidden secrets in this small East Texas community through the lives of its people. There is even an element of “ghostly” happenings. You will want to read this story, but before you put it down for the last time, have another one of Fred’s books waiting next to you at your favorite reading spot.

“Matt and Elizabeth came to the end of a long, exasperating day. They had started their journey that morning with excitement and enthusiasm about the upcoming new chapter in their lives. As they both drifted off into a troubled sleep in the old parsonage they wondered if they had made a terrible mistake.”

Fred Funk has written this book from personal experiences. He started out as a Methodist minister in East Texas and later switched careers to accounting and finance. He is an active member and former president of the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club. Now retired, he lives in Aubrey, Texas with his wife, Dana, of fifty plus years. They have two daughters and a son, seven- grandchildren, and one great-grandson.    http://tinyurl.com/l59dsy5

 

Nov 26 at 9:33 AM

I have read the book Ministry and Moonshine and I just love it and I want to know how I can buy the other 3 books Moonshiner’s revenge, life and death on cannon creek and the throwaway son.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun easy Read, January 5, 2015

By 

Monica M Palla -

This book was funny and kept me captivated! I feel like church life is the same now as in the time of the book. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

 

MOONSHINER’S REVENGE

 

Sequel to the award-winning Ministry and Moonshine (Winner, 2013 North Texas Book Festival Award)

Young preacher Matt Reynolds and his wife, Beth, spent a year in the tiny East Texas town of Pruett, spreading the gospel, making remarkable friendships, and facing many unforeseen troubles. As they prepare to move on to a new town and a new beginning, an unexpected development changes everything. Instead of moving on, they find themselves thrown once again into the peculiar life of the town and its colorful characters. The preacher and his wife have already faced malicious gossips, murderers, bootleggers, adulterers, and moonshiners, and have come through mostly unscathed. What could be worse than any of those?

Matt has never doubted that "The Man Upstairs" is in control, but he wonders what message He is sending when he must form an alliance with some of the meanest, most disreputable folk in the area to fight forces much more sinister than moonshiners. He and Beth find themselves staring down a dark road filled with mystery and danger that could threaten not only their own safety but the very survival of the town.

 

LIFE AND DEATH ON CANNON CREEK

In Civil War days, the banks of Cannon Creek became the final resting place for Confederate soldiers who died in a battle there. Now it quietly meanders through the genteel suburb of Shelby, Georgia, where wars of a different type are fought behind closed plantation doors.

Upon the death of his favorite aunt, Victoria, Adam Westfall returns to Shelby's distinctive Middleton Manor to help with the estate. Something is not right; the circumstances of Victoria's decline and death were suspicious, as were the death of her husband and others in the Middleton family circle over the years.

What goes on in the "best" families comes as a shock to Adam as he attempts to discover what really happened to the latest victims to fall on the banks of Cannon Creek.

 

Completely Compelling

By Nena on July 12, 2013

Format: Paperback

Fred L. Funk did an excellent job of capturing the tone of the South in the 60's. Life and Death on Cannon Creek contains enough scandal and "hanky panky" to be compelling yet not explicit which keeps you engaged, waiting for the next clue. You will be drawn in from the very first couple of paragraphs. What had caused the sudden, mysterious decline in Victoria's health that led to her death? Was it just age that had caught up with her or was her demise hastened by an unknown hand? Whatever the reason, Fred has successfully woven a tale of mystery, deceit, and murder. The combination is captivating and intriguing from the beginning and is quite an accomplishment for the new author. A great future ahead!

 

I Could Not Put This Book Down!!!

 

 

By Robert Shawn on June 10, 2013

Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

One of the better books I've read this year! Once I started reading, I could not put it down. It kept me interested from cover to cover. I won't spoil it for you, but this murder mystery will keep you wandering/guessing who did it throughout. Who actually did it will surprise you!! Anyone who love's mystery's will like this book. This new and upcoming author has another book, "moonshine and ministry" which is a true story, with a sequel on the way.

 

 

Jul 12, 2013 Melvena Noles rated it 5 of 5 stars

I read Fred L. Funk's first novel, Ministry and Moonshine, about a young minister because my father was a minister. When I saw that he had written a second book which had absolutely nothing to do with church, I immediately bought Life and Death on Cannon Creek and was not disappointed. He has written a tale, of mystery, deceit, and murder, that you will not want to put down.

What has caused the sudden decline in Victoria's health that led to her death? Did she just succumb to old age or was there to it?  I read Fred L. Funk's first novel, Ministry and Moonshine, about a young minister because my father was a minister. When I saw that he had written a second book which had absolutely nothing to do with church, I immediately bought Life and Death on Cannon Creek and was not disappointed. He has written a tale, of mystery, deceit, and murder, that you will not want to put down.

What has caused the sudden decline in Victoria's health that led to her death? Did she just succumb to old age or was there a mysterious reason for her demise. Will her nephew, Adam, uncover deep secrets about her lie and death, or will it forever remain a mystery? Fred L. Funk has successfully woven a captivating, intriguing story around it.

I highly recommend Life and Death on Cannon Creek to readers who enjoy mystery and tales of the "gentile" life of the South

 

A five star review for Life and Death on Cannon Creek. Thanks, Rick..
This is the second book written my Fred Funk I have read and both have been well worth the time invested. As a previous law enforcement officer, I was intrigued by the various twists and turns of the multiple murder mystery. Sorry a trial did not put people behind bars, but I could not put this book down once I started. Fred, as a new author, has done well and I am looking forward to more books.

 

 

THE THROWAWAY SON


On Friday, October 31, 2014 1:03 PM, ann dunnam <[email protected]> wrote:


Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed "The Throwaway son".     It is a deep read.     I don't usually read anything that heavy.     There are so many kids in this world that are not wanted.     I know of several that way.     If it hadn't been for Mama and Daddy I know of three would be a lot worse today that they are.     It is really a shame that it is the way of life for so many.     I notice that you are working on another book, Moonshine and Memories, let me know when it comes out and how much.     I like to read books by people that I know.


This last Tuesday we were going to the Dr. in Denton and we got across the Lake on 380 and then stopped.     Do you know what kind of wreck it was.     When we finally got to moving we couldn't s see anything.     The police was still there.     They had all lanes close for awhile waiting for the helicopter to lift off.     Bill was hoping that we would be to late for his stress test, but you know that they waited for him.     He wasn't to happy.


Friends, Ann

 

Hey Fred, how's things

I got to spend some time in Shreveport shooting I Saw The Light, a Hank Williams story.  I have the opening scene, as MA Boyette, the JP who marries Hank to his first wife.

Anyway, that gave me some time to finish reading The Throwaway Son.  Very nice, Fred.  You have the ability to paint such vivid pictures.  I felt as if I was sort of off in a corner watching the story happen rather than reading it.  And yes, quite emotional at times. 

Thanks for sending me my copy.  I'm sure it will do well.

Sincerely,

Richard L. Jackson



 

Lou Thompson That's great. If people read one of your books, then they're hooked.


 

 

Review on Midwestbookreviews.com.   Thanks Katherine


Moonshiners' Revenge
Fred Funk
Tattersall Publishing
1155 Union Circle, Denton, Texas 76203
9780983591993, $12.95,
http://tinyurl.com/qgf4yf5



Matt Reynolds returns in the sequel to Ministry and Moonshine with Moonshiner's Revenge. The story continues with many of the same characters and a few new ones. Some of the people in the first book are also gone.

Just as Matt and Beth Reynolds are preparing to leave Pruett, Texas for a new town, they are told that they are not going to have to leave. They are going to be able to stay and continue their ministry with groups made up of some very colorful people, some rather unsavory - more so than the moonshiners. This installment of the popular East Texas series tells of a new, sinister threat to the community, as well as the moonshiners.

""Matt, do you reckon that's that new stuff we heard that kids are smoking? They call it 'mary wanna' or something like that," Beth noted."

It has been said that revenge is profitable. No wonder the moonshiners wanted to rid themselves of the latest threat. This time the moonshiners of the area help to rid Pruett and the surrounding country of a destructive force more dreadful than the moonshine, although not for completely altruistic reasons.

Mr. Funk has written in his very entertaining and exciting style. So often, a sequel does not live up to the first one. This sequel completely disproves this notion. Moonshiner's Revenge is as good as the first one, maybe a little better.

Fred Funk writes from personal experiences. He started out as a Methodist minister in East Texas and later switched careers to accounting and finance. He is an active member and former president of the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club. Now retired, he lives in Aubrey, Texas with his wife, Dana, of fifty plus years. They have two daughters and a son, seven- grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

 

  • Title: Throwaway Son
  • Author: Fred Funk
  • Publisher: Tattersall Publishing
    Publisher's address: 1155 Union Circle
                                    Denton, Texas 76203
  • 13-digit ISBN number: 978-0-9911515-0-9
  • List Price: $16.95

Be sure to have a couple of boxes of tissues next to you when you read this book.  But you will have a hard time putting it down.  Fred Funk tells the story of a man who was “thrown away” in Throwaway Son. You will wonder how a person, especially a mother, could do the things that were done to Boss Wilford. 

                    “Damn! Damn! How could she treat me that way?” 

was his mantra as Boston Ray Wilford related his life to his best friend, Dale Henderson.
          Growing up as an abused child in the 30’s and 40’s, Boss lived under conditions that would be horrific for an adult much less an impressionable young boy.  What could save him?  Read the book to find out what happens to Boss.
          Told in serial form, as his strength allowed, Boss related his story to his best friend about how he lived and what he did to survive.  You will be appalled and, in the next chapter, cheer him on as you read this story of highs and lows.   This book will take you to a place and time you will possibly have trouble believing even existed.  Or believe it could happen to a person. It is definitely what is known in the reading world as a page turner.
          Fred Funk is the author of award winning Ministry and Moonshine, Moonshiner’s Revenge and Life and Death on Cannon Creek.  Mr.  Funk has written his books from personal experiences.  He started out as a Methodist minister in East Texas and later switched careers to accounting and finance.  He is an active member and former president of the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club.  Now retired, he lives in Aubrey, Texas with his wife, Dana, of fifty plus years.  They have two daughters and a son, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson

 

Name: Katherine Boyer
E-mail address: [email protected]

 

Katherine's Bookshelf

Throwaway Son
Fred Funk
Tattersall Publishing
1155 Union Circle, Denton, Texas 76203
9780991151509, $16.95, www.amazon.com

Be sure to have a couple of boxes of tissues next to you when you read this book. You will have a hard time putting it down. Fred Funk tells the story of a man who was "thrown away" in Throwaway Son. You will wonder how a person, especially a mother, could do the things that were done to Boss Wilford.

"Damn! Damn! How could she treat me that way?" was his mantra as Boston Ray Wilford related his life to his best friend, Dale Henderson.

Growing up as an abused child in the 30's and 40's, Boss lived under conditions that would be horrific for an adult much less an impressionable young boy. What could save him? Read the book to find out what happens to Boss.

Told in serial form, as his strength allowed, Boss related the story to his best friend about how he lived and what he did to survive. You will be appalled and, in the next chapter, cheer him on as you read this story of highs and lows. This book will take you to a place and time you will possibly have trouble believing even existed. Or believe it could happen to a person. It is definitely what is known in the reading world as a page turner.

Fred Funk is the author of award winning Ministry and Moonshine, Moonshiner's Revenge and Life and Death on Cannon Creek. Mr. Funk has written his books from personal experiences. He started out as a Methodist minister in East Texas and later switched careers to accounting and finance. He is an active member and former president of the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club. Now retired, he lives in Aubrey, Texas with his wife, Dana, of fifty plus years. They have two daughters and a son, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

 

Kathy Cornetto Fred I like the cover. It produced an immediate gut wrenching emotional response from me. I felt instant sorrow for the boy pictured.

 

Today at 10:14 AM

Just to let you know I finished the books and they were awesome I just loved each one best  books I come across in years. Keep up the good work and let me know when you have a new one out because I have finished all four of your books and I just loved them. Just let me know when the next one is out and I will buy it.

 

Thank you

 

Kathy Toyer



JUSTICE FOR CASSIE

 

Fred Funk weaves together a gripping account of people and events, both soothing and unsettling, as he takes the reader on a jolly good ride with competing personalities.  In this story, suspense and drama abound as the story’s main characters strive to solve the mystery involving the owner of a Louisiana plantation and her cunning neighbors.  What starts out as normal life ventures into the paranormal as departed loved ones return in spirit to counsel the defenders of the plantation to provide encouragement and to offset the covetous behavior of conniving outsiders.

Fred Funk is quite adept at explaining the lay of the land, both in terms of landscape and designs of persons who attempt to get their own way regardless of consequences.  Fred’s story telling ability is enhanced by the way he advances the dialogue in such a manner that one can understand, even relate to, persons and their motives.  All in all, the quest for justice for Cassie involves dynamic interplay of ordinary people whose good sense and determination, with a smattering of luck as well as conversations with people “from the other side,” lead to an interesting finale.

Dr. Ray Stephens, PHD

Professor of history retired

University of North Texas