Book Review: Chasing the Wind (1st Person Revised) by Norma and Collin Beishir

Chasing the Wind Cover

I reviewed the original version of this book which was written in the third person. In this version, it has been re-written in the 1st person. I will re-post my original review then add to it after:

Get ready for an intense ride with Chasing the Wind. This book grabbed me from the beginning and never let go.

Dr. Lynne Raven is an archeologist on a dig in Egypt, looking for biblical artifacts from the time of the Exodus. The problem is, money is drying up and it looks like the dig is over until a saving grace comes along in the form of a man named Connor Mackenzie. He is a man shrouded in mystery and has an obvious interest in Lynne, but he also has access to what appears to be near limitless wealth. He offers to fund the dig for 5 years and provides resources they could never have dreamed of.

Lynne is approaching middle age. She is divorced and has no children, but always wanted them. Connor’s interest in her transformed when he did something that he never thought would happen: he fell in love with her. That’s when the flood gates opened.

Connor’s mysterious past comes alive. He and Lynne both discover that there is far more to his past, and their future, than either of them could have ever imagined. Pursued by a mysterious cult that seems to believe Connor is the way to jumpstart the Apocalypse, they must fight for their very survival.

Aspects of this book are actually brought about by real research. The portions of the Exodus mentioned in this book (the timing of it, the parting of the Reed Sea instead of the Red Sea, etc) are actual debates taking place with biblical scholars.

The characters also come alive with some great dialogue. Some examples:

“This whole thing is so fishy you could serve it with fries and hushpuppies.”

“You know Darcy, there’s a saying that only the good die young. If that’s true, you’re going to live forever. God doesn’t want you and the devil won’t have you for fear of a power struggle.”

I highly recommend this book. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Army of Angels.

——————————————————————————

Okay, so comparing the two, for those of you who read the first version, here’s my take. Think of the original version as having a job you love. You get paid well. You actually don’t dread going to work on Monday morning. You feel good every day when you get up. Now, with the new version, picture having that same job and getting a random raise. It’s just more of a good thing. If you haven’t read Chasing the Wind yet, get in on it now. If you read the original version, it’s worthwhile to jump back in. You get a better peek into the minds of the characters. Actually, Connor’s thought processes to me were the most revealing. The intensity of the twists and turns are pumped up as first person perspective really brings you into the characters’ emotional states as you go through. Again, especially with Connor whose mysterious past resurfaces throughout the book and he discovers something about himself that he never thought possible. This book is going to ramp you up for the sequel, which I can’t wait for.

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Review: 7 Scorpions: Revolution by Mike Saxton

7 Scorpions Revolution Book 2

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb, of Bestsellersworld

When the action-packed, thrilling apocalyptic SF novel 7 Scorpions: Rebellion by Mike Saxton was published, it hit all of the right notes for fans of End-of-the-World-as-You-Know-It books. The novel was the first in a planned trilogy by Mike, and from the first sentence, I knew this was a series that would go down as one of the most spectacular SF trilogies ever written. Now, with 7 Scorpions: Revolution, Saxton has taken the action, suspense, and thrills of 7 Scorpions: Rebellion to a whole ‘nother level.

The evil dictator Zodiac is back, more determined than ever to complete his massive Ziggurat and to unleash his “final solution” upon the shattered remnants of humanity. He is fiendishly evil, and his exertion of control over his lobotomized minions, the Grand Army, is proof if any were needed that Zodiac will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals of world domination. The only thing that stands in Zodiac’s way are the rebels of Militia 28, but there are only so many of them in comparison to the multitudes of the Grand Army. How can they hope to defeat a seemingly invulnerable foe like Zodiac?

Militia 28, on its own, likely would not stand much of a chance against Zodiac and the Grand Army; fortunately, they are not alone in their opposition to Zodiac. The main protagonist and hero of 7 Scorpions: Rebellion is back, also. Night Viper’s heightened strength, speed, fighting skills, and mental powers makes him a very worthy opponent for Zodiac. We learn more about both Night Viper and Zodiac in 7 Scorpions: Rebellion, and other secrets are revealed, like the purpose of Project Scorpion.

Zodiac has tried to hunt down and eradicate any nuclear weapons that America’s military might have located around the country, which potentially could be used against him; but, he misses at least one. Militia 28 retrieves the nuke from it watery resting place, but then they come under immediate attack by Hellfire aircraft sent by Zodiac. Was it a set-up? Were Zodiac’s troops just waiting for Militia 28 to do all of the hard, dirty work, and then just swoop in to both get the nuke and destroy as many members of Militia 28 as they can?

The novel opens up in the ruins of New York City. Scenes shift from following the plot and action of both Militia 28 and Night Viper, and we get to witness the devastation of the Brooklyn Bridge and even the Empire State Building as Zodiac’s military might attempts to kill Night Viper and track him and Militia 28 using satellites. 7 Scorpions: Rebellion painted a bleak picture of mankind’s future; but, 7 Scorpions: Revolution is even bleaker, and reading about this apocalyptic scenario is like getting first-hand visions of Dante’s Inferno.

7 Scorpions: Revolution by Mike Saxton is full of twists & turns, and it is a satisfyingly action- packed and uber-violent sequel to the first book of the trilogy, 7 Scorpions: Rebellion. I don’t want to reveal any more about the plot as I don’t want to mention any spoilers, but I’ll just say there are lots of shocks and surprises in store for the readers and fans of the first book and the series in Saxton’s latest. I can hardly wait to read and review the third novel of the trilogy whenever it is published. If you’re a fan of SF novels depicting a dystopian future and ones full of apocalyptic visions, but offering a glimmer of hope that mankind might arise from the ashes of a ruined civilization, you should definitely check out 7 Scorpions: Revolution.

Review: Box of Rocks by Karla Telega

WARNING: Do not read this book while eating. To do so may cause you to choke to death on your own laughter.

Box of Rocks Cover

eBook is $2.99, Paperback is $9.95

I’ll start by paying new author Karla Telega the highest form of compliment I can give: in many ways, her writing reminds me of that of bestselling author Janet Evanovich. Another reviewer has compared Maggie and Cher to Thelma and Louise, and I can see that…but to me, they’re more like Stephanie Plum and Lula for the AARP crowd

I’ve been a fan of Ms. Telega’s blog for some time now. If you haven’t yet had the privilege, check it out–you’re in for a real treat. Telega has her liver-spotted finger on the weak pulse of over-50 women everywhere.

But getting back to BOX OF ROCKS–Karla Telega has created characters that are outrageously funny but at the same time people readers can relate to–even Bear (admit it–who hasn’t had a Wile E. Coyote moment in their lives?).

As author and co-founder of upstart publisher Adoro Books, Karla Telega has published a book that’s been handled with pure professionalism, start to finish–from Karla’s exceptional writing to the fine editing skills of Martin Rus and Rosanne Dingli to the brilliant cover art of El Kartun, which would stand out anywhere. I am so pleased to see that this is just the beginning of a series!  

Advance Review: Heaven & Hell by William Kendall

Heaven and Hell Front Cover

Recently, I interviewed my good friend and fellow author William Kendall on this blog. Now, I’m honored to be the first to review his wonderful first novel Heaven & Hell. The following review was originally posted at Goodreads….


I have to confess here…I’ve read it prior to publication. I’ve been impressed by William’s writing from the start. His narrative and dialogue are strong, his pacing impressive, and his characterization as good as any author currently occupying the New York Times bestseller list. William is a very visual writer–when he describes a setting, a character, or an emotion, the reader will be able to imagine it all quite clearly.


Heaven & Hell is a thriller, to be sure…but it’s also a tale of damaged people, people who come together out of deep emotional suffering, of profound personal loss. His villains aren’t one-dimensional baddies, but individuals who have made some serious wrong turns out of pain. I’m so tempted to go into detail about some of these things, but I know he’d have to kill me if I did. And even though I know what the Very Bad Thing is that he alludes to in some of his blogs, I’ve been sworn to secrecy. Nuts!


Be forewarned–there are scenes involving acts of terrorism that are difficult to read; that’s how realistic they are! I’ve been brought to tears more than once. William says he found himself often apologizing to some of his characters–and with good reason.


His protagonist, Tom Stryker, is no James Bond. But that’s a good thing. Bond, to me, has always been just a bit too perfect. Stryker–he does not like to be called Tom–is human. He’s flawed. And unlike Bond, he does not jump into the sack with every female he encounters. Personally, I would like to see him get a little action. He’s quite a man. Seems to me women should be lined up to provide him with a bit of TLC!


I cannot recommend this novel or its author strongly enough. As soon as Heaven & Hell is available, buy it. You won’t be disappointed! 


(And for those of you who don’t already know and love our William, you can get to know him and his writing at his always-entertaining blog, Speak of the Devil!)

Reviews Of Norma Beishir’s “Final Hours” and “Chasing The Wind”

An excerpt from Chasing the Wind

Connor~ ”There’s something else I’ve never told you about. I’ve had a nightmare–the same one–since I was fifteen. It’s always the same, it never changes. There’s a violent storm. I’m in the water, and it’s very cold. The current is overwhelming me. I’m struggling to stay affloat. I see a light, a boat, and try to swim toward it. There’s someone on the deck, calling to me, reaching for me, but I can’t quite make it. I see your face, just once, before I’m pulled under.”

Lynne~ “Mine?” Lynne asked.

Connor~ “You,” Connor said. “The woman on the boat is you. I saw your face for the first time over twenty years ago. That’s why you seemed so familiar to me the night we met.”

Lynne~ ”What do you think it means?” Lynne asked. She didn’t laugh, didn’t question his honesty or his sanity. She believed him. “God gives us visions sometimes to lead us where we have to go.”

What an adventure! This very exciting book is filled with love, heartbreak, danger and a lot of very interesting characters.

Lynne is a religious archeologist who wants to work on a dig in Egypt, but she isn’t able to start the dig due to lack of funding. In comes Connor Mackenzie. He asks his stepfather, Edward, to fund the project. He does, and Connor goes off on his own adventure with Lynne.

But, there’s something mysterious about Connor. He has never been able to love anyone before. Any women he had before, he treated them like objects. He was afraid to love them in case they abandoned him like his mother did.

But, when he meets Lynne, he realizes that she is different, and he does everything to get her to love him. And, she does. With everything that she is, she loves him.

Connor is mysterious in other ways. He’s able to heal others with a single touch. He healed the baby bird that Lynne found, allowing it to be set free when he touched it. He healed the bruise she received when a rock fell on her shoulder during an earthquake, and the woman with cancer that he met when he was a young boy.

    “Go. The angels will guide you.”

Connor and Lynne, married now and pregnant with a baby, are forced to run for their lives. Their love is tested in many ways when truths are brought to the forefront of their relationship.

This is an excellent read. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as Connor and Lynne face danger after danger as they try to keep themselves, and their baby, alive.

It isn’t a book that you will likely be able to read in an afternoon, but I highly recommend this book. The love story is beautiful and the story compelling. I give this novel a 5 star rating.

Norma is currently re-writing this book so that it is in multiple first person point of view. I look forward to reading her new version of Chasing The Wind.

****

     Final Hours is about what you would do if you only had a few hours to live. How, and with whom, would you spend that time?

     Jamie Randall, a young, early thirties successful business man has been living a lie. A lie he thought he could have been out of by now. He’s living a life as a husband to a woman that he doesn’t love, having been trapped in the loveless marriage by her getting pregnant. His motivation for marrying her was for business purposes only. But, when she had the twin boys, he knew he couldn’t leave her. He loved his boys.

On a business trip to Rome, an earthquake occurs, causing the underground parking lot of the hotel that he owns, to collapse. With a broken leg, crushed by a piece of concrete, he yells for help. That’s when he meets nature photographer, Kate.

Maybe it was her beauty, or maybe it was his pain, but he instantly falls in love with her. He’s never cheated on his wife before, but suddenly, he wants to be with this woman. She is beautiful and kind, helping him stay alive. But, it’s more than that.

And, so begins a love affair that spans 14 years, and from the beginning of the book to the end, their love grows.

This is a book that will make you smile, laugh and cry. There is even one shocking element you find out at the end of the book. I wrote in my review on Amazon, that you know when a book is good when you can’t put it down. This was that book.

I loved both books, but this one was my very favourite. It allows you the chance to figure out on your own what you would do if you only had hours to live, and the author also gives you a chance to make your own ending. Not many author’s or stories are able to say that. That’s what makes this book so wonderful, in my opinion.

Review: Wildflower by Beth Muscat

This is my favorite of this author’s work, though I like everything she’s done so far.

Wildflower

eBook version available for $1.19

Wildflower is the story of Sandy, forty-seven, a woman whose marriage has stagnated. Her husband, a successful businessman, is away most of the time. He’s lost interest in her in spite of her efforts to maintain her looks and her body. She’s discovered he’s having an affair. Still, she remains in the marriage. 


Enter Nick, twenty years her junior and co-owner of the gym to which she belongs. In a word, he’s a hunk. Make that HUNK. He’s been more than a little aware of Sandy when she’s at the gym. They get to know each other, and romance inevitably blossoms. 


Author Beth Muscat handles the issues older women/younger men couplings face–the disapproval of family members, insecurities with regard to aging, and the failure of Sandy’s marriage, most notably–with sensitivity and realism. I’ve read several novels dealing with this sort of age-gap romance, and none of them, not even the ones authored by more experienced authors, compare to this one. 


Will Sandy and Nick overcome their own doubts and the objections of her two college-age children? I advise you to buy this book and find out, because I’m not going to tell you. It would spoil all the fun of discovering it yourself as you get to know these two through reading this wonderful novel! 


I’ve purchased all five of Beth Muscat’s novels: The Bracelet, Remember the Eyes, Nothing Without You and Infinite are the other four, the latter three being a trilogy. She’s a fine writer, good at characterization, narrative and dialogue. She’s proven her ability to develop characters throughout subsequent books. 


Five stars, without reservation. I loved it! 

Review: Chasing the Wind by Norma Beishir

In Chasing the Wind, Norma Beishir and Collin Beishir chase the reader with a hurricane of adventure. They introduce us to two main characters: Lynne (an archaeologist with a modern Christian view) and Connor (aka Andrew a geneticist who is low in faith), and they appear on the surface to be as different as night and day. We get to follow their exciting adventure across the world as we are introduced to some interesting minor characters. We watch as Lynne and Connor grow together as if they had known each other all of their lives. We drop into their destiny and travel with them.

Beishir is a master storyteller who controls suspense and employs all the great ingredients that cook up this political, religious suspense thriller. Beishir leads us through a maze of plots and subplots that lead us to surprising discoveries. Beishir has an amazing ability to elaborately describe psychological motivations of the characters while painting their passion and drawing out their ambitions. Heroes are true heroes (like Connor who transforms before our eyes) that have human flaws while villains are super-villains (like the assassin Caine and Dante with his cult-like global cartel); we are allowed a peek at their abusive childhoods that is a key to their motivations and what makes them tick. We get to taste their evil and insanity.

Beishir entranced me from the beginning and hypnotized me until the end. The quick pace and intense mood of the novel with colorful and humorous dialogue made the story hard to put down. We find ourselves cheering for Lynne and Connor as they face some formidable obstacles. We are left pondering so many engaging issues as well as realizing this novel could really reflect so much of reality, especially in today’s modern world of genetics and technology. Beishir raises ethical issues that we are still struggling with in the real world.

The reader is in for a riveting, enlightening, fascinating and amazing journey through the pages of Chasing the Wind.

Lena Winfrey Seder is the author of  The Metamorphosis of a Muslim~Autobiography of My Conversion  (IIPH 2011)