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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Review: Atlantis by David Gibbons


Atlantis by David Gibbons is a fascinating and in-depth story that explores the archaeological discovery of Atlantis with just enough action thrown in for suspense. The story is very detailed when it comes to the archaeological aspect of the discovery of Atlantis and I like this refreshing perspective from a novel. Although there are parts that are hard to work through due to the detail, I applaud Gibbins for working through the story with a more academic viewpoint than the usual shoot 'em up scenario where those finding the treasures are not true archaeologists but more bodyguards or guides. There is also quite a bit of action throughout the story and it helps to break up the monotony that can make this a long read at times.

Jack Howard is a marine archaeologist on expedition with his friend Costas and crew when they find a wreckage that delivers to them a unique gold disc with strange markings on it. They discover the wreckage is Minoan and, unbeknownst to them, holds a secret to let them explore a lost civilization in the very near future. This is also the time when a startling discovery is made regarding the lost civilization of Atlantis and a group of the best minds meet together to begin discussing the implications of what has been discovered in the wrappings of a ancient mummy. Howard meets Katya Svetlanova as well during this meeting and she travels with Howard and Costas as they travel and search for the lost city. They begin plotting on ancient maps and travel times to discover the general area where Atlantis will be found and set out to begin the search. As they begin their excavations of the sea they locate structures and land that fit with what they are looking for and begin exploring the area with excitement until they make a frightful discovery. Not only have they discovered the lost civilization of Atlantis but they have also stumbled on a lost Russian nuclear submarine that nations and terrorists will do anything to get their hands on. Time is of the essence as Jack Howard and crew race against the clock to stock a nuclear holocaust and save a lost civilization.

I have to admit that there were quite a few times when Atlantis was very tedious to read through. I had to put the book down for a day or two several times and then start again. I love details in a story so that it helps give you a better view on what the characters are experiencing and the details Gibbins shares helps give the story a more archaeological and scientific feel to it. I do feel that Gibbins went into a bit too much detail on a few things throughout the story though. Overall, this is a excellent book and well worth the read. It's slightly different than the Tyler Locke or Payne and Jones series but still a great read and recommended.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson


Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson is a very honest and transparent view of the life of the Duck Commander. Writing his autobiography, Phil Robertson starts from his childhood and moves through the years touching on how he was raised, the early years of family life with Miss Kay and becoming a Christian, and, if course, how Duck Commander came into existence.

Phil Robertson came from "humble, humble beginnings" and, although the early life of Phil Robertson may seem odd to a lot of people, he wouldn't change a bit of it. Phil explains it best by saying they lived "like it was the 1850's" and he takes the time to explain how they grew and hunted their own food and learned to live off of the land. Phil moves on to his time in football and how he met (and married) Miss Kay. Did you know they were married when Phil was only 16 and Miss Kay was 15!? Phil was a great football player and he even tells of his time with a quarterback named Terry Bradshaw and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and a Master's Degree in Education. Although there is a lot of things back into the first part of the book, it helps you to understand the background of the man who is to become the Duck Commander and gives great insight into the lives of himself and his family.

Phil moves on too some dark days in his life and I am sure it was hard to write but he uses this time as part of his testimony and life story to show how people can change and what changes them. His struggle with alcohol led him to fights and also separated him from his family for months but Miss Kay tells her side of the story as well during this time so you are able to keep a perspective on how both dealt with this time. It's definitely a time of trials for the Robertson's but this is also a time when they face those trials and bring religion and a spiritual perspective into their lives. This is where they begin to ground their lives in the Bible and the saving grace of Jesus Christ and move forward together. Miss Kay's commitment to Phil is definitely something to look at and copy but also Phil's commitment to change his ways and help guide his family down this path they decided to follow.

Phil completes the last half of the book by explaining how they got the land that they are currently living on and started Duck Commander. People think that starting a business is pretty simple and in a lot cases it is but starting a manufacturing business is another thing altogether and takes a lot of trial, error, and time. The inclusion of the entire family to work on the duck calls made this time something they could all be proud of and the tradition is still going today with the family still running the company founded by Phil Robertson. Phil shows that hard work, determination, and a strong faith and family will help you fulfill the goals of your life, whether they are what you were wanting or, actually, what you need. I highly recommend Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson for everyone to read but especially those who are fans of the Duck Dynasty show.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review: The Vault by Boyd Morrison

The Vault

The Vault by Boyd Morrison is the second book in the Tyler Locke series and it doesn't disappoint at all. The Vault continues the fast-paced action and memorable characters that The Ark: A Novel introduced us to. We even get to meet some new characters (The General, anyone?) and go on a new adventure with Locke and Grant Westfield! Who's ready to find King Midas and his golden touch?

Although Locke doesn't go looking for trouble, it seems to find him on a regular basis lately. He is told that there is a bomb on the ferry he is riding and he only has twenty-eight minutes to diffuse it or everyone will be killed along with him on the ferry. This scenario brings Locke together with a new face, Stacy Benedict, and sends them on a wild adventure to rescue their loved ones and stop a thief from stealing a mythical treasure and changing the financial status of the world. Jordan Orr, the stories bad guy, uses Locke's engineering genius and Benedict's PhD in the Classics to solve a ancient puzzle in the Archimedes Codex and find King Midas's final resting place.

The adventure takes the team from Seattle to a deadly race on the autobahn to the underground canals of Naples. This adventure is just as good as The Ark: A Novel and Boyd Morrison does a great job at bringing this story to life. Morrison does a great job at mixing history and science together to bring about a believable story that makes you wonder just how much of this is actually possible. I am sad that Dilara Kenner didn't make it back in the picture but Stacy Benedict did bring a nice touch to the story. Also, just as Indiana Jones has a whip and John Rambo has a knife, Tyler Locke carries his Leatherman everywhere he goes and it helps to get him out of a lot of trouble along the way.

I highly recommend this book and know fans of this genre will not be disappointed. I haven't had this much fun reading a series in quite a while and it is refreshing to see such new perspectives on these histories and legends. Keep up the great work Boyd!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Ark: A Novel by Boyd Morrison [Book Review]



The Ark: A Novel by Boyd Morrison is a fascinating adventure with intriguing characters and a epic quest that will have you turning the pages faster than ever before. I picked this up after getting the The Roswell Conspiracy off of Amazon on a Daily Deal and since I like to begin a series in order, I decided to give The Ark: A Novel a shot. I have to admit I was really surprised with how well this book was written and I couldn't put it down. There is a lot of fast-paced action, twists and turns, a completely new view (for me, anyways) on Noah's Ark, and the characters are great.

Archaeologist Dilara Kenner is contacted by an old family friend with information regarding her father who has been missing for several years. This meeting is the beginning of a wild ride that spans from Seattle, WA to Turkey and everywhere in between. Although the story starts with Kenner, the main focus is on Tyler Locke, former Army combat engineer and current engineer at Gordian, and his best friend Grant Westfield who served with Locke and is currently an electrical engineer at Gordian as well. The purpose of these characters coming together and flying all over the world? To stop the destruction of the world's population and find Noah's Ark of course!

The ideas, places, events, and characters are so real that you feel like you are a part of the adventure too. Reading the Afterword, Morrison explains a lot about the ideas used in the book and how they are real or used in the story. Morrison's blend of reality versus imaginary is extremely well done and helps to make the story move in a very believable direction that a reader can immerse in. It would make for a great movie too!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Fifth Avenue Series Boxed Set (The Fifth Avenue Series) [Kindle Edition]



Amazon offers Daily Deals on eBooks and the discounts can range anywhere from 50% to 100% off. These offers are typically set for 24 hours but can be extended to several days. As always, the deal is subject to end or change at any moment so be sure to check the pricing before completing the purchase.

Today, The Fifth Avenue Series Boxed Set (The Fifth Avenue Series) is listed for $0.99. Take a look below for more details on this title!
FIFTH AVENUE

Look beneath all the power and all the wealth that represents New York City's Fifth Avenue, and you'll find greed, blood, revenge. In the international best-selling thriller "Fifth Avenue," each intermingles within a revered society that is unprepared for what's in store for it when one man finally strikes in an effort to destroy another man for murdering his wife thirty-one years ago.

Louis Ryan is that man. George Redman, his wife, two daughters and their close friends are his targets. Both men are self-made billionaires who came from nothing to stake their claim to Fifth Avenue. But when Louis Ryan hires an international assassin to literally rip the Redman family apart, a series of events that can't be stopped catapults them all through a fast-paced, hard-edged thriller in which nobody is safe.

Secrets are revealed. Sex lives are exposed. The Mafia get involved. And George's two daughters, Celina and Leana Redman, come to the forefront. More than anyone, it's they who are caught in the throes of their father's past as Louis Ryan's blind desire to kill them all takes surprising turns in his all-out effort to see them dead.

RUNNING OF THE BULLS:

In the second book in the international best-selling "Fifth Avenue Series," a former Wall Street titan who robbed the world of billions is now out of prison. Good for him, but not for those who put him there. Now, they are dying grisly deaths by the hands of two hired assassins.

Investigating is private investigator Marty Spellman, who soon learns that all isn't what it seems as the twists pile up along with sheer number of the dead. 

Spellman's life is put on the line. His family is threatened. No one is who they appear to be. Who can he trust as the bulls of Wall Street start to run as the two assassins--Vincent Spocatti and Carmen Gragera--fully ignite their killing spree?
FROM MANHATTAN WITH LOVE:

An outcast billionaire's daughter is caught at the wrong place at the wrong time.

An international assassin questions her sanity when she falls in love with the very assassin she's charged to assassinate.

What happens when each collide? Chaos. Murder. Love. Revenge.

And redemption.

In this taut, 35,000-word novella, which is a prequel to the upcoming third novel in the Fifth Avenue series, "Park Avenue," both women come together for the first time in an explosive story that threatens each of their lives, particularly when one woman breaks her own rules and dares to fall in love.

In "From Manhattan with Love," she soon learns what she always feared. When it comes to real danger, there's nothing more dangerous than love itself.
EBooks purchased from Amazon can be read on the Kindle, Kindle Fire, and the Kindle App for smartphones and tablets.

Infinite Sacrifice (Infinite Series, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]



Amazon offers Daily Deals on eBooks and the discounts can range anywhere from 50% to 100% off. These offers are typically set for 24 hours but can be extended to several days. As always, the deal is subject to end or change at any moment so be sure to check the pricing before completing the purchase.

Today, Infinite Sacrifice (Infinite Series, Book 1) is listed for FREE! Take a look below for more details on this title!
Maya’s shocked to discover it’s not the heaven she imagined; in fact, a life of adventure begins the moment you die.

Zachariah, her faithful spirit guide, explains the rules of the dead: in order to regain complete awareness and reunite with loved ones all souls must review their previous lives.

Maya plunges warily into her turbulent pasts as a sociopathic High Priest in ancient Egypt; an independent mother protecting a dangerous secret in glorious Sparta; an Irish boy kidnapped and enslaved by Vikings; and a doctor’s wife forced to make an ethical stand in plague-ridden England.

All the while, Maya yearns to be with those she cares about most and worries that she hasn’t learned all of heaven’s most vital lessons. Will she be forced to leave the tranquility of heaven to survive yet another painful and tumultuous life? Or worse, accept the bitter reality of having to go back alone?
EBooks purchased from Amazon can be read on the Kindle, Kindle Fire, and the Kindle App for smartphones and tablets.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Panic (A Leopold Blake Mystery / Thriller) [Kindle Edition]



Amazon offers Daily Deals on eBooks and the discounts can range anywhere from 50% to 100% off. These offers are typically set for 24 hours but can be extended to several days. As always, the deal is subject to end or change at any moment so be sure to check the pricing before completing the purchase.

Today, Panic (A Leopold Blake Mystery / Thriller) is listed for FREE. Take a look below for more details on this title!
Swift. Silent. Deadly. 

Leopold Blake, expert criminology consultant for the FBI, had his weekend all planned out - and it didn't involve dealing with a murdered senator, a high-profile kidnapping, and at least half a dozen near-death experiences. Three politicians have been murdered in as many weeks, all expertly dispatched, and only Leopold can get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, as all hell breaks loose on the streets of New York City, he soon finds himself the next target of a powerful enemy who wants him silenced. Permanently. 

Against the backdrop of political corruption and murder, Leopold and his team must fight for their lives to uncover the truth before it's too late. Panic is the first novel in the Leopold Blake series of thrillers, which can be read and enjoyed in any order.
EBooks purchased from Amazon can be read on the Kindle, Kindle Fire, and the Kindle App for smartphones and tablets.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fossil River [Kindle Edition]



Amazon offers Daily Deals on eBooks and the discounts can range anywhere from 50% to 100% off. These offers are typically set for 24 hours but can be extended to several days. As always, the deal is subject to end or change at any moment so be sure to check the pricing before completing the purchase.

Today, Fossil River is listed for FREE. Take a look below for more details on this title!
Fossil fuel has an ageless affinity with dinosaurs. To create oil, dinosaurs died. Now, in this riveting action thriller, the tables are turning!

The perfect energy storm is sweeping over the United States: Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown has paralyzed nuclear expansion globally, BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill has stalled deep water drilling, Arab countries are in turmoil causing doubt about access to future oil, hurricanes hitting the Gulf’s oil rigs and refineries have increased due to global warming, and the nation’s Strategic Oil Supply is riding on empty.

As the energy storm intensifies, the nation’s access to Arab oil, once supplying over sixty percent of our fossil fuel, is being threatened causing citizens to panic for lack of gas at the pumps, stranding cars across the country and inciting riots.

The United States must find new sources of domestic fossil fuel urgently or face an energy crisis that will plunge the nation into a deep depression, much worse than that of 1929.

At the last moment of desperation, the U.S. discovers the world’s largest fossil fuel deposit, in a remote mountain range revealed by glacier thaw within Alaska’s Noatak National Preserve surrounding six and a half million acres.

Preventing access to the oil is a colony of living fossil dinosaurs that will protect its territory to the death.

In preliminary civilian and military scouts, nobody gets out alive; nobody can identify the predator--until Dr. Kimberly Fulton, Curator of Paleontology at New York’s Museum of Natural History, is flown into the nearly-inaccessible area by Scott Chandler, the Marine veteran helicopter pilot who’s the Park’s Manager of Wildlife. After page after compelling page of non-stop action, all hell breaks loose when Fulton’s teenage son and his girlfriend vanish into the Park.

Will the nation’s military be jeopardized for lack of mobility fuel, and will Americans nationwide run out of gas and be stranded, or will the U.S. Marines succeed in penetrating this remote mountain range in northwestern Alaska to restore fossil fuel supplies in time to save the nation from the worst energy catastrophe in recorded history?
EBooks purchased from Amazon can be read on the Kindle, Kindle Fire, and the Kindle App for smartphones and tablets.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions [Book Review]


The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions by Jessie Florea, Leon C. Wirth and Bob Smithouser is a wonderful tool for helping fathers raise their daughters in the Word and create a bond that will last a lifetime. There is a devotion for every day of the year and they are dated so it is easy to pick up on if you miss a few days. Each devotion features a lesson, verse, and Daddy-Daughter Time section to go over everyday. These are great lessons that help you generate discussion on Biblical and life principles. Although the devotions are not in-depth, it is a great way to get started on questions and discussions so that you can interact with your daughter more.

The book also features two bonus sections - Movie Nights and Dates. The Father-Daughter Movie Nights is a section that shares ways that dads and daughters can view a movie together and then gives you ideas on a few questions to guide a discussion about the movie and its implications in your lives. They give several video suggestions but you can do this with any movie. The Daddy-Daughter Dates is a section that outlines reasons for going on daddy-daughter dates, some date ideas, and ideas on conversations you can have during the date.

The biggest thing I took away from this was that it gives my daughter and I a set time to be able to get together and spend time interacting with each other. It is so important for her to have time with me as her father and for me to give her the attention she needs and answer questions she may have. This is a great tool to use to get the conversation started.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for this review. My thoughts and opinions during this review are my own.