A young boy, Easton Wilbur, attempts to overcome his adversities through his dreams and friendships. Easton has a disability due to a car wreck at age three. Because of this disability, he develops the ability to escape the real world and travel to a magical world through his dreams. Now a nine year old boy, Easton is excited every night to dream a new adventure. When he finds out that happiness is actually all around him, some remarkable things start to happen. As he learns through open communications, the true magic happens when he is awake.
In Adventures with Easton, local author Mary Gilmartin takes the adult reader to a place that can only be remembered from dreams or memories. For those young readers, it is a place of exciting mysteries, adventure and enjoyment. Her attention to major and minor details is very clever. The way she weaves in faith, redemption and love all set in Atlanta, Georgia primarily kept this Georgia reader interested from the first word to the last.
Easton Wilbur is a nine year old boy dealing with feelings, issues and pain that many kids his age shouldn’t have to. When he was three years old, he was in a very tragic car accident that broke his foot and killed his mother.
Dealing with rejections, fear, and sadness, this boy tries to feel happy. This seems to be found only in his dreams every night. With his new stepmother Clara, their relationship is strained with her being mean and constantly riding him about chores such as washing dishes and clothes which are things a mother should.
As the story unfolds, Easton learns about faith in people, redemption from his stepmother and dad, and new friendships making him feel happy and alive.
While his dreams are realistic adventures, the realization those new friends, family and his pet help provide the real adventures daily eliminating his adversities and pain.
This book can be read by 9 to 90 year old. The innocence and true wonderment found in the pages makes you want more. The southern charm Ms. Gilmartin has with place, setting and theme just might rub off on you no matter where you live. Also knowing that this is a trilogy series, I look forward to reading the continuing saga of Easton Wilbur.
I give this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
A federal judge is bleeding on his office floor, betrayed by a most unlikely source—people who helped him bring criminals to justice. Now, why would someone working for the FBI need to disappear after witnessing this crime?
When Remington Wyatt sees her godfather’s murder, she recognizes the killers and knows it’s only a matter of time before they come to silence her. She must do the only thing possible to stay alive . . . run.
FBI agent Rafe Baxter is serious about his career, and solving a cold case involving a federal judge’s death puts him in line for the promotion he so desires. But the case leads him to the small town of Hopewell, Louisiana, where some secrets seem inextricably hidden deep within the bayou.
Injustice for All explores what happens when everything a person believes in is utterly destroyed. Who can you trust?
In this story, Injustice for All, the lead character Remington Wyatt has a life altering moment after the death of her godfather which leads to her choice of witness protection to save her life. A federal judge, Daniel Tate, is shot dead as this book begins. He was the godfather of Remington after the death of her parents. As he is dying in his mansion, Daniel tells Remington to take everything out of his safe and protect it with her life.
Several years later, the events of that day are beginning to resurface themselves as a cold case which the FBI is reexamining. This reopening occurred when FBI agent Rafe Baxter decides to transfer from one bureau office to another in hope to bring the fire back into his career. As the premise states above, the case leads him to Louisiana.
Remington Wyatt who changed her name to Bella Miller years before, is now coming under attack. The new identity in a new town starts to unravel the loyalty and friendship she created with Police Commissioner Hayden Simpson and the people of Hopewell.
Robin Caroll has yet again written a fast paced quick page turning novel that is full of fear, faith and forgiveness. It is a great suspense novel in a territory that Robin knows so well. If you are considering being a first time reader of Caroll’s work, then you can do no wrong in choosing Injustice for All. It is the beginning of a new series and if you are like me, it only wets your appetite to want to read more of her work. I give this book a 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Jordan Kirkwood wants to go quietly into the sunset. His career as an NSA intelligence officer has taken a significant toll. His two adult children are little more than distant acquaintances. His wife has been patient and supportive, but he knows she has deserved better. That was part of the reason they were going to London. He wanted her to see Europe like a tourist. But that was before he was given intelligence information during the recent mission to Germany. The threat is grave—bigger than 9/11. And the risk is compounded by the fact that someone inside the NSA is involved. The most hidden place in Kirkwood’s past will have to be unmasked in order to meet the challenges of this mission.
The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins is a fast paced thrill ride dealing with a last of his kind NSA agent Jordan Kirkwood. His fight is to keep everyone around him safe as well as a whole nation. Unfortunately as the story begins, Jordan was in a disguise at an airport in Germany when a gunman shoots and kills several people at an arrival gate. One of the people killed was his wife Rosemary. After this event, Jordan starts out wanting to officially retire from the NSA but ultimately changes his mind when he realizes that he needs to solve his wife’s murder and find a potential killer wanting to finish the job to kill him also. As the story continues to unfold, Jordan discovers that he is unsure of who his real friends and enemies are.
If you like to read book versions of NCIS or CSI TV series or Jason Bourne thrillers, then this is a must read book. The Last Operative is full of twists and turns with international flavor giving this reader guessing several times to figure out whom the bad guys are and who the friendly agents are for Jordan Kirkwood.
I give this book a 4 ½ out of 5 stars. I hope that you will consider reading this book in the future.
Friday, August 26, 2011
In a future when world power has shifted to the Middle East, and the Arab nations have signed a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, a radical Iraqi leader — known as Al-Mahdi, “the Awaited One”— rises to power promising to convert the world to Islam.
Major General Farid Zadeh is Al-Mahdi’s most loyal follower and the next in line to become the Full Army General of Iraq—until he is falsely accused of being an Israeli spy. Determined to vindicate himself, Farid flies to Jerusalem to spy on the Israeli military. Before he can return home with the intelligence, the peace treaty is broken and war breaks out between the Arabs and Israel.
Now he must run for his life, as both armies consider him their enemy and want him dead. Help — and perhaps redemption — comes from unlikely sources: a stunning Jewish woman and a Christian prisoner. When his faith and loyalties are tested, Farid must decide which side to take…. His decision could alter the course of Man’s final war.
What can be said about The Jihad’s Messiah besides the Premise above? It is labeled as a Christian fiction book talking about the End of the World issues. It is set about 13 years into the future and is also controversial. How is that for enticement to get you wanting to read this book?
Alright, then how about these points for consideration…. The Jihad’s Messiah is exciting to read. It is filled with the author’s opinion on the Qur'an and Islam and the Anti Christ rising from its religion’s ashes. It is a story from first person accounts of Major General Farid Zadeh, a very devout Muslim, and his fall from grace to realization of how life is outside of his own bubble.
Nick Daniels, author of The Jihad’s Messiah and published by Risen Books, has written a thought provoking, edge of your seat thriller that could be compared to Joel Rosenberg’s End of the World trilogy dealing with similar subject matter. He talks about events as if they were in the past and why things are always as they seem including a new look at people from an unfiltered Islamic structure.
What makes it a Christian novel? The events in the story are mostly laid out in the Holy Bible dealing with end of time sequences and the “Rapture” of all those believing in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Further, it shows how Christians differ from Islam and might interest you or anger you depending where you fall in the two spectrums.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I challenge those that love Christian fiction or who are Christians to give The Jihad’s Messiah a read and see if your curiosity was worth a glimpse as it was for me.
With his father in a nursing home and his mother needing support, former Great Smoky Mountains park ranger Lincoln Vailes moves to the bayou town of Eternal Springs, Louisiana, to become a police officer. Recent college graduate and eager social worker Jade Laurent has also moved there to try and right the wrongs of an abusive past. But someone is running her car off the road and pointing guns in her direction. As Lincoln investigates her case, he uncovers ties to big-city gang warfare up north that appears to be making its evil way down south.
When I decided to start reviewing again for 2011, I had 3 stacks of books to choose from that day. At the top of the second stack was this book Fear No Evil by Robin Caroll. My first foray several months ago was her first book in a trilogy called Deliver Us From Evil. It was a very exciting read. I never had heard of the Bayou series that she wrote a few years prior and so I read it with a blank slate. The main characters in that book were Brannon Callahan, Roark Holland and Lincoln Vailes(partner of Brannon’s with U.S. Park Service) set in the Great Smokey Mountains.
In Fear No Evil, book two in the trilogy, the story shifts from the Smokey Mountains back to more familiar grounds of Louisiana where Mrs. Caroll is from actually. Just like with the first book, I wanted to be green and open minded to escape in the story and see if she can teach me something new and investigative. I knew very little about child trafficking issues and how bad it was in this country until I read Deliver Us From Evil.
Fear No Evil's subject matters are gang issues and the struggles both in and out of prison which Caroll brilliantly portrays. The main characters are Lincoln Vailes and Jade Laurent.
Lincoln Vailes has gone from being a Park Ranger to being a police officer in Louisiana. His first job as a newly constituted lawman was moving to Louisiana at the most crazy time of year. It was hurricane season. While escaping a direct hit by one, the damage and flooding was just as severe.
Jade Laurent, social worker for Child Protective service, is a recent college graduate that seems to try and help everyone in the small town of Eternal Springs, Louisiana. In addition to helping women and the local shelter, she befriends Lincoln’s parents at the hospital she frequents with her job. His father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and she seems to help him and his mother cope better.
One thing that was hard for Jade was fixing her own problems. Her mother died when she was young and unable to leave her past in the past. The strengths of Lincoln helps Jade’s weaknesses and vice versa for Jade. As this reader found out Lincoln, Jade and the supporting cast make Fear No Evil for a fun quick ride of words.
If you like romantic suspense thrillers, then Robin Caroll is a good author to choose. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
David, a widower, is working himself to death. Late nights doing paperwork and running on fumes is normal. Bills are piling up by the week and foreclosure looms on the horizon. Blaming God for his wife's death, he ends his relationship with the church.
Steven, the remaining Christian of the household, has been watching his father’s unhealthy lifestyle with great concern. With help from his grandpa and best friend Maggie, Steven reaches out to his father in any way he can.
Despite his grieving and worsening financial problems, David begins seeking an answer to the question haunting him since his wife's death...WHY?
STANDING FIRM is a story of suffering, God's purpose in it, and being joyful despite it.
After viewing the trailer of Standing Firm on Facebook, I was intrigued about the story behind this movie. In my investigations, I determined this project is the first independent one ever from Kyle Prohaska. Not only is it an independent film…. It is an independent Christian film. I must confess that I love watching independent movies most of the time and always hope that Christian documentaries and feature films are interesting and not over done. What is over done? Being to preachy, showing you’re desperate to finish the story, script or how the directing can look and sound bad. Independent companies and directors have low budgets for their film but can still look great like typical big motion pictures. Some examples of low budget Christian films that looked great and have a good story are Flywheel, The Perfect Stranger, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry and Dangerous Calling.
Standing Firm is the story about being lost and the hopes of getting found by someone or something. I was stunned that a first film endeavor by a director was a feature film. A feature film is anything over one hour which is amazing. Most first time directors are lucky to get a good 20 to 30 minutes documentary movie to look great. This was great for the whole 81 minutes.
As I watched Mr. Prohaska’s work unfold on the screen, I was impressed by his attention to detail and development with his characters and a matured innocence with the camera. The script that he also co-wrote with Kevin Michael was captivating and believable. Rob Reisman (David Corwin) was excellent and heart wrenching to witness on screen. For someone with no acting experience before, Mr. Reisman looked like a semi-professional to me. I hope that I see him acting again in the future.
When David and his son Steven are dealt with a catastrophic blow to their family and way of life, the unfolding story shows what God can do in loss of identity and love through death. The power of prayer, hope, faith, love and willingness to live and move on made Standing Firm a movie library buy for me. The moving and believable examples of Christianity and God shown I hope will cause others to buy and watch it over and over for years to come. It is truly a death to grave and rebirth from ashes to beauty with God’s guidance.
I don’t know what Mr. Prohaska’s future holds for him but I hope he does a feature film again when God allows because I see great potential for him. I hope his name will be mentioned one day as a great director with the likes of Rich Christiano, Alex Kendrick, Dallas Jenkins and producer Ralph Winter to name a few. They also make excellent Christian films.
I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Somewhere between the demands of her career, her ex's wedding and her kids' busy schedules, Dana James (Paige Turco, The Agency) is noticing her tight-knit family starting to unravel. An unexpected offer to purchase her family's mountain property sets up a weekend road trip, which she hopes will bring her family back together. When they arrive, they quickly learn that the mountain is much more than it seems. An ancient secret and a treacherous quest will test the family like never before. It's an edge-of-the seat thriller that reminds us that when times are tough, families don't run away from problems - they run back to each other.
Recently, I picked up a copy of the movie Secrets of the Mountain at my local Wal-Mart because I was looking for a good wholesome family movie to watch. After purchasing it, I realized that it had been on NBC several months prior. Normally when I look for movies, I check to see if they had been made for TV. Besides the Hallmark movies, I typically do not watch those types. Usually, the scripts or the acting are bad or uninteresting. When I was a boy, NBC movies on Sunday were great and I hope after seeing this one that more like it are on the horizon.
The story of an overworked and rarely playful mom dealing with the remarriage of her ex-husband has been overdone in the past. However, the twist of the family land for sale and adventure to find the secrets under the mountain was attention getting. There are not many made for TV movies just for families these days, so I was hopeful this was a good one.
Secrets of the Mountain is the movie about Dana James, an overworked attorney, who has been abruptly called away from work to pick up her kids from her ex-husband’s wedding reception. She has also been offered a deal to purchase her family’s land, previously owned by her Uncle Henry before his untimely death. Uncle Henry Beecham, played by Barry Bostwick (TV’s Spin City, Rocky Horror Picture Show), was an adventurer finding treasures like the Indiana Joneses all around the world.
After arriving home from getting her kids, Dana is called to meet the realtor quickly to finalize the land’s sale. Her children are forced to join her for a week to see the lodge and the mountain one last time before it’s sold. Dana has three children. They are twins Jade Ann and Jake and younger Maddie. Jade Ann (Adelaide Kane) is the oldest daughter who dresses in gothic attire and has anger issues with feelings of abandonment. Jake (Crawford Wilson) is the only son of Dana and a basketball jock with no sense of adventure. However, the youngest daughter Maddie (Kayla Carlson) is very smart, ambitious and adventurous just like her mother.
As the story winds down, dealing with the villain of Dana’s past who killed her uncle and almost her, gave this feeling like Disney’s movie Escape from Witch Mountain had which I liked. As Dana and her kids find themselves working together as a team while hurrying to find the secrets of the mountain, a new bond and love is found that had been buried like those treasures so long ago. While no extraterrestrial powers were used like Escape from Witch Mountain, the teamwork, willpower and determination to protect the family and the mountain was all that was needed. Secrets of the Mountain feels like a great beginning for a Sunday movie of the week like back in the old days on NBC. I really came away with a smile on my face and that family movie night just might be back. I hope you feel that this is a great movie for your family in your home. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.