Thursday, February 25, 2016

More than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting

I am a father of four, and if you too are a parent, then you are well aware of the challenges of parenting in today's culture.

My wife and I have been taking a parenting class (called "Counter Culture") at our church, over the last several weeks, (where I won this book in a drawing) and it has been eye-opening!

I want nothing more than for my children to grow up, strong and healthy in their faith, and to be full of integrity and compassion towards others. So, I am more than willing to take classes and read books, etc to help me become a better (more patient!) parent.

Having never even seen or heard of this book before, it hit home in a lot of ways. The Amish definitely have a lot of things right, and this book helps point those principles out!

If you are curious and open-minded enough, then I highly recommend this book as a parenting tool!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tongues [Book Review]

Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2016
Length - 276 (digital) pages
Written by Sam Joyce

Rating: 3 Skulls

Plot Summary:
When journalist Catherine Cobb arrives in the East Texas town of Elena, she quickly finds herself fighting for her life. Something is spreading through the population turning ordinary civilians into murderers capable of committing the most heinous crimes.

As the body count continues to rise, Catherine walks into one nightmare after another, uncovering a secret plot involving a group of neo-Nazis, top federal government, and the strange world of the occult - with global implications.

Before long, Catherine finds herself trapped in a terrifying world that she doesn't understand; and might not escape from.

This is Sam Joyce's debut horror novel.
When he contacted me with a review copy of this book, I had no idea what it was about, (other than the above plot summary) and I am still wondering about the title.

Now, I love all things horror, however there is, for me, something truly terrifying about occult horror. I generally stay away from occult horror, as I believe that there is a real "darkness" behind it.
(A perfect example of this would be tomorrow's theatrical horror release 'The Witch' - I have heard nothing but good things about it, how terrifying it is, etc, but that is one movie that I will not be seeing, as black magic, etc is all too real, and genuinely disturbs my spirit!)

Let me get back on track. . .

This book is an occult horror read, and I could have said no to reading it, but by the time that I realized what was happening "behind the scenes", I was already intrigued. (guess that proves some of the writing talent that Joyce possesses)

At first, things seem normal, then seemingly random, gruesome murders begin taking place, all over town.
What is going on?
Why is this happening?

***Slight Spoilers Below***

Enter the character of Carmen D'Amato - a practioner of a black-magic known as Palo Mayombe (essentially a form of necromancy & animalism). Its practitioners communicate with the dead and the nature spirits.

I have heard of Santeria, but never of the above - basically Palo is an even darker (Afro-Caribbean?) religion.

***End Spoilers***

As I mentioned above, Joyce, by this time, had intrigued me enough to wonder how it was all going to turn out. (there is an even more sinister aspect to everything that is happening)

As for the writing - the book is split into five parts, jumping all around, and this detracted from the flow of reading.
(The fourth part of the book was the most interesting, and is what solidified Joyce's writing ability, enough for me to check out what he comes up with next.)
Also, the ending seemed way to abrupt!

With all that said, not a bad debut!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Animal Kingdom [Book Review]

This (author) recommendation comes from Nev Murray​ (who I definitely recommend that you follow, as he pumps out some terrific book reviews!)

When you subscribe to this author's website, ( he, in turn, gives you 5! (I repeat, five!) Free books!

After I downloaded my free books, and perused the summaries of each, I decided on this one.
So, on with the review. . .

Genre - Horror/Apocalyptic Thriller
Year Published - 2011
Length - 230 (digital) pages
Written by Iain Robert Wright​

Tagline: "Welcome to the Bottom of the Food Chain!"

Rating: 5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
An ordinary day is about to turn very, very bad.

Divorcee, Joe, takes his wrestling-mad son, Danny, to the zoo for his weekend of custody. Everything goes great until a bizarre snake attack sends everybody running for cover. It's a horrific attack, one Joe's poor son is unlikely to ever forget, but the terror has just started.

There's a lot more going on than just a simple snake attack - and if the hungry lions and rampaging elephants  have anything to do with it, there will be more bloodshed to come. The animals are attacking all at once. Almost like they have a plan.

Iain Rob Wright has a tagline of his own - "Fear on Every Page" - now, I am not sure if that is on all of his books or not, but it fits well with this book!

Wright wastes absolutely no time , jumping right into the meat of the story, and continues the thrills with rapid-fire precision!

In this book, Wright has created a rag-tag group of both likeable and unlikeable characters who are trapped within the zoo during an animal uprising.
(After reading this book, I am beginning to think twice about renewing my local zoo's yearly membership, next month)

The characters in this book have to deal with lions, monkeys, elephants, reptiles, spiders, scorpions, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, etc. (all except for birds) Now, think about All of the animals in the world, (even just our own pets - dogs, cats, rats, etc.) and imagine if they all turned against humanity. . .!

By the end of this book you are questioning why is this happening?!? And then, brilliantly, After the epilogue, like an "after-credits-scene" in a movie, Wright ties it all together with "mini-stories" that have little tidbits that link directly into the main story. As if this book wasn't already awesome enough - the way Wright pulled off the end solidified me as a true fan!

I will definitely be reading his other books, and I will be hoping for a future sequel to this one!

If you are burned out on zombie novels, this is a fresh take on what could possibly be part of the apocalypse, definitely check this one out!