Friday, 22 November 2013

Forward to Camelot by Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn: JFK Assassination Novel

Yet again on Bookaholic we are taking a departure from the usual and stretching our reading muscles. You will be glad we did. I received this book some months ago and decided to leave it until the day of the Anniversary of JFK's death before writing and publishing my review.

This has to be the best book I have read all year. As you know I read a lot so this is high praise indeed. It is not often that a book comes along that truly blows you away and sucks you right into the storyline. This book has done just that. It is based on Time Travel but it is not a SciFi book and the time travel is handled extremely well. The story centres around Cady Cuyler a young actress who inexplicably loses her job. She is then offered another job on the same day. This is supposedly a part in a movie but turns out to be something totally different. She is asked to travel back to 1963 just after the assassination of JFK and bring back his bible, which would be considered a priceless artefact today. I can't say too much more about the plot without giving it away. However, trust me, the plot is superb and it kept me reading for hours. I actually finished this book in one go stopping only for food and drink. I couldn't wait to get back to it.

The authors paint the scene perfectly and I was transported back to 1963. This in itself was absorbing as it gave a real insight into what life was like in those days, particularly for women. It is also the story of JFK's assassination and the events surrounding this and this part is skilfully done. The historical detail is so interesting it makes me want to read more about this particular subject and era. That says a great deal about how engrossing the book is.

The characters, particularly Cady are beautifully written and I felt like I was a part of their lives. There are a a lot of different strands in this book but I found I could follow them easily. Each strand had me thinking I wanted to find out what happened next and this was what kept me reading. This is the hallmark of a great writer which Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn obviously are from my reading of this book. This is my first book by this author team but it certainly won't be my last.

It will come as no surprise that I highly recommend this book. It is particularly poignant as I write this review as 22 11 13 is the 50th Anniversary of JFK's death. This book is a fitting tribute. Download it now and read immediately you will not regret it. Once you have done so, like me, you will be recommending it to everyone you know. This is a definite must buy.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Tested By Fire by Pat Patterson - Action Adventure

Today we are staying on the theme of action adventure and thriller in bookaholic. There's nothing like a bit of adventure to keep you reading. I was looking for a Christian novel and came across this one. It did not disappoint as it ticked all the boxes as far as I am concerned.

Jim Stockbridge is a paramedic with a nasty temper and a huge chip on his shoulder. when his best friend is killed Jim's temper explodes and gets him into a whole lot of trouble. When his girlfriend then leaves him, Jim's temper and anger reaches legendary levels. But Jim is a man with a troubled past and a real compassion for his patients and you cannot help but like him. it quickly becomes obvious that he is wrestling not only with his own demons but also God. 

But this is not just a book about Jim, but is also a first rate thriller. The police and the paramedics find themselves right in the middle of a drug war and believe you me the baddies in this book are really nasty human beings. There is action aplenty that will keep you reading long past the time when you should have put the light out for the night. The only thin I would say is that sometimes I felt the action was a bit too detailed and went on for too long. But that is my personal taste. 

I started out by thinking this was a book just for women, but I was wrong. It could equally be enjoyed by men, despite the bit of romance, as it is mainly an action thriller. One I would definitely recommend for anyone looking for an action packed Christian Thriller. 

That's us for another day Bookakolics. See you all back here soon for another review. To find out which one come back soon. Until then, enjoy whatever book you are currently reading. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Constantine Codex by Paul Maier

Today's offering on Bookaholic's is another great thriller. I have read all three of Paul L. Maier's Skeleton series and this one is definitely as good, if not better than the others.

Shannon Weber, who we are introduced to in book one of the series, finds an ancient manuscript which says that a second book of acts was written. As she returns home to tell her husband, Harvard Professor Jon Weber aout her find, violence erupts around the globe as he is accused of denouncing the Muslim faith. This leads to a well researched and written debate between Jon Weber, a Christian and someone highly regarded in the muslim world. This book is worth reading if only for the debate which is brilliant. However, the book is so much more than that. 

The tension mounts as Jon and Shannon hunt for the missing book of Acts. I can't say much more without giving away the storyline, but the twists and turns kept me reading. This book is highly academic and well researched and could have been boring. However, it is anything but. Maier's writing style draws you into the story and you feel you are a part of it. In fact, despite it being a novel, in a couple of places I found myself crying with the excitement and emotion. 

Yes, this is a Christian book but it could be read by anyone who likes a well written, well researched thriller. I highly recommend this book, which you should read immediately.

That's it for today my Bookaholic friends. Never fear I will be back soon with another great book for your reading delight. Until then grab a book and keep reading. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Setting the Scene in Novels

As many of you will know I am currently doing NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writers Month. This involves writing 50,000 words in a month, which sounds hard, but is actually only 1667 words a day. I am currently steaming ahead, writing about 2500 words a day as I am trying to front load. A short break in Edinburgh beckons. I should actually say I was steaming ahead, until I came to a particular scene.

It isn't often I am short of a word or two but in this instance I am struggling. The scene is set in a nightclub and I'm finding difficulty in describing it. No problem I hear you say. Just have a night out and bingo you've got your scene. Great advice, and ordinarily I would take it, but my clubbing day.s are well over.

Ok, how about picturing the last nightclub you went to. Again great advice, but I am sure nightclubs have changed a lot since I last spent both time and money in one. What to do?

Fortunately I come form a very large family which contains it's fair share of youngsters. I also have a lot of friends who are of clubbing age who I am sure will be happy to give me advice on what happens in 21st Century Clubs. That coupled with a thorough internet search should have me well on my way to an action packed and authentic scene. Sorted.

My question to my writer friends is how do you deal with scenes of which you have no knowledge? My request to everyone: If you have the skinny on nightclubs please pass it on in the comments. 

The picture is of City Square, Dundee. Just another small glimpse of the beautiful city where DI Shona McKenzie catches the bad guys. That's all for Bookaholics this week. See you all soon after another reading frenzie.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Casa De Naomi Books 1 & 2 by Paula Rose Michelson

Today on Bookaholics I bring you two excellent Christian fiction books.

Yet again I find myself in the position of stretching myself in terms of my reading. This is not the usual type of book I read but I liked the premise of it so decided to step out of my comfort zone. I am glad I did.

Casa de Naomi Book 1

This book tells the story of Naomi who finds herself stranded in America and is rescued and taken home by a kindly older woman. She spends her time helping the woman do good works. As she becomes and adult the woman dies and leaves Naomi her estate and her responsibilities. However, Naomi is harbouring a secret that she hides from everyone including her husband.

It is difficult to review this book without giving too much away. This is a faith filled book and that comes through strongly. The spiritual aspect is excellent and very well developed. The characters get under your skin and you find yourself caring about them intensely. I felt I knew them intimately. The story drew me in and kept me reading. Initially the way it was written seems a little stilted to me. However I soon realised that this was a part of the culture and completely in keeping with the way these people would speak. I soon found myself engrossed in the story and wanted to know what happens next. This is an excellent book but you should know this is not a complete story. You have to read book 2 in order to get the whole story and the whole picture. 

Casa de Naomi Book 2

At the end of book 1 in this series I was left wanting more and started reading book 2 straight away. If possible this book is even better than book 1. It opens when Naomi is feeling very low and feeling as if God had deserted her. She finds herself amongst a group of people who are supporting her in finding a deeper relationship with God. In this book we also get to know more about Naomi's husband Chaz and his background. There are some surprising twists in this book which in some ways give it some measure of tension. However, as I say it is spiritually uplifting. Paula Rose Michelson has a rare gift in that she can bring the scriptures to life in the pages of a work of fiction. 

This book touched me as well as gave me enjoyment. It made me think about my faith in new ways. It also made me realise the freedom we have in practicing our faith and the many ways in which we take this for granted. This is a worthy follow up to the first book.

I was given a copy of these books in return for a fair review. My review is based on my reading of and enjoyment of the books and in no way was solicited by the author.

Another couple of great books this week. I look forward to seeing all my bookaholic friends again soon.