Monday, July 25, 2016

Al-Thor


Title: Al-thar
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 466
Genre: Thriller

In Al-thar, (Arabic:revenge) Brent is living a tranquil life on the peaceful Philippine island of Masbate. But the FBI's witness protection plan is not enough when you have destroyed the plans of the world's most feared terrorist group-an assassin is on the way, and his plans are far worse than a simple bullet in the head. 

With the violent destruction of his new island home, Dr. Holcomb is once again thrust into danger, this time on an international level. There are only two outcomes in this new high-stakes match, Brent's painful and public death and the destruction of
America's, or the death of Saadullah Abul Ka-beir, and his council. 

Brent brings together his cast of memorable friends from A Leafy Green World as he devises the greatest deception ever imagined. The action goes at a break-neck pace from the
Philippines to Washington, D.C., and from a remote valley in Pakistan to the jungles of Sierra Leone in this novel that has been described as almost too real, and too timely.

For More Information

  • Al-thar is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
My Impressions:

 First off, I love the cover, it screams mystery, secrets, and lies with such a simple illustration and some great font and color choices. Having read both books in the series I really got a chance to appreciate the character development. Not to say you have to read the 1st book, "A Leafy Green World," to be up to speed with the 2nd. The author does a decent job of giving enough background information that you do not feel lost, but without giving the whole story of the first book away. The only negative thing I have to say about the book was how disappointed I was that Khaidra was only appreciated for her looks alone. I felt offended that her looks were the only thing of value to her that seemed to be touched on, yet she was the main female character. Just think alot more could have and should have been done with her that would have added to the story.

The book was a quick read, lost of action, some pretty gruesome torture scenes and graphic passages not for the faint of heart, but then again terrorism is real and this is part of it, enough twists and turns to keep you engaged. If you enjoy books about government espionage, terrorist, and torture you will enjoy this book, otherwise probably not so much.
 

 I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Excerpt:
Washington, DC

“What the hell?” thought Tony Rossi.
Rossi, newly advanced to assistant director the FBI was coming home from yet another late night at the Hoover Building when the stoplight in front of him changed. There had been no hint of yellow, just a straight shot from green to red.
Tony had been absorbed, thinking about the conversation he had just finished with his liaison at the CIA. They had been picking up more chatter than usual. Whether it would be stateside or on foreign soil was anyone’s guess, but it looked like something was on the horizon, something big. Tony’s thoughts had also been drifting to Anne-Marie. For the second time this week, he had been forced to call off a planned evening—he wondered how much longer she would put up with this.
With the sudden light change, the limo in front had slammed to a halt, its nose just into the intersection. With his mind elsewhere, and the anticipation of the light staying green, Tony rammed into its back with barely a moment on the brakes. He was shocked by the force of the airbag, but was grateful just the same. Shaking off the daze, he looked through his windshield at the car in front of him.
Son-of-a-fucking-bitch! he thought, slamming his hand on the wheel. Who in the hell did I just run into? He had noticed earlier that the car had government plates, and he knew they didn’t give limos to run-of-the-mill, first-term senators or other no-name low-level officials, only to those who had risen through the ranks—this was going to be a very long evening.

Tony had no idea, when he took the assistant director position Mike Townsend had left at the FBI, that his world would be so disrupted. He enjoyed the responsibility but he might have passed had he known how much effect it would have on the rest of his life. He couldn’t even find the time to do his own laundry these days, having to hire out even such a simple, basic chore, and his personal relationships had come to a near complete halt.
On a social level, Mike had had it easy when he had the job. Having lost his wife to breast cancer years earlier, and with no intent to fill that empty spot in his life, he had no distractions. That had lasted until he had nearly poisoned Ginger Roberts, the senator in charge of the judiciary committee. In an effort to calm her one stormy winter morning, Mike had given her a near coma-inducing dose of an expensive single-barrel whiskey. The bottle had been given to Mike as a bribe. In an unusual twist of fate, an act that could have ended his career had instead started a relationship that was likely to lead to a proposal of marriage. The thought made Tony smile—maybe there was still hope for him to find someone, as well.
An indignant driver got out of the limousine, looking as if he was ready for a fight.
Shit! Tony thought, shaking his head. Just what I don’t need.
 
He had hoped to call Anne-Marie, apologize, and see if she could be talked into a late date, or at least a chocolate malt at Tiny’s. Now he’d be lucky if he got to his apartment in time to microwave a frozen gourmet treat from his well-stocked freezer before collapsing into bed, alone.
He rolled his window down, readying himself for the tongue lashing he was about to receive, when, in a freeze-frame moment, the driver’s head exploded—one moment angry, but normal, and the next, an eruption of gore. His tuxedo clad body hung briefly, like a prop from a Hollywood horror movie, before collapsing to the ground with the sound of his last breath escaping from the ruin.
Tony was instantly back to his military training. He dove across the front seat of his Bronco and rolled out the passenger door onto the pavement, positioning himself behind the front wheel after a quick assessment to make sure that his back was clear. Satisfied, he jumped up, ready to rush to the aid of the VIP in the limousine.
His car was rocked by bullets the moment he stood. His windshield starred, then exploded as more bullets whizzed past his head. Still more tore through the door panel, whining like angry wasps as they went past. They’re shooting at me, he realized, not the man in the limo!
A sedan accelerated through the intersection. It turned and aimed straight at him. Tony leaped just before it arrived, cartwheeling over the hood of his Bronco and landing heavily on his hip and shoulder. The sedan crashed right where he had crouched moments earlier, the impact causing the SUV to rise up on two tires before pausing a moment and settling back down with a protesting noise. He was safe from the sedan, but now directly in the original line of fire.
Bullets sparked off the pavement around his feet. Others punched into his Ford, some missing him by inches. Tony couldn’t see the shooters, but knew he’d be dead if he didn’t do something, and right away. With assailants on both sides there were no good choices but staying in this exposed position was definitely the worst of his options. He raced around the back of his truck, gun up, to confront the attackers in the car.
The driver was out of commission, slumped over the steering wheel, but the rear doors were already opening: two, no, three assailants.
Tony had a brief moment where he had the advantage as they were scrambling to get out. He emptied his magazine, squeezing the trigger until the firing pin landed on an empty chamber. It was not the fire discipline they had trained into him, but all three attackers were down.
In a move he had practiced so many times that it was fixed into muscle memory, he ejected the spent magazine and rammed home a fresh one. It was his last. He hadn’t expected a firefight in downtown DC, and he hadn’t come prepared for one.
He turned to face the others—it was one pistol against an unknown number of assailants. From the way the bullets punched through his car, Tony knew they must be armed with rifles—he would have only one chance, to flee. The Bronco was out of commission, leaving the limo as his only hope. If the keys were still in the ignition he might make it. If not, he’d take out as many as he could and then join his father on the wall of honor at the bureau.
The passenger-side door was locked, exactly as Tony had suspected, but he had to check. He raced around the front, firing blindly as he went, and dove through the driver’s door, slamming it shut as his right hand searched for the ignition. The keys were there, still in their slot, and the limousine started immediately. He reached for the selector but a strong arm wrapped around his neck just before he could drop the car into gear. His passenger must have mistaken him for one of the assailants!
Through his dimming vision, Tony could see the real attackers coming. He punched backward as hard as he could, repeatedly hitting the side of the passenger’s head, but each blow he landed was weaker than the one before, showing no effect. In a last-ditch effort, he seized a finger, bending it backward until it snapped. His passenger howled in pain, loosening his grip enough for Tony to get a breath.
“Let go, dammit! Let go or we’re both dead.”
Panicked like a drowning swimmer, the passenger immediately tried to re-establish his death grip but Tony was ready for him this time. He got his left arm up next to his throat, blocking the choke and giving him time to mount a better defense. He was about to turn to face the backseat when one of the attackers arrived at the window. He was armed with an AK-type weapon and was bringing it to bear, a triumphant smile on his face.
There was no time for Tony to reach his own weapon, and no time to free himself enough to drive away from the threat. This was how his life would end, on a grimy, oil-slicked street in the suburbs of Washington, DC, with Styrofoam cups and fast-food wrappers blowing around his corpse. A phalanx of sightseers would arrive, attracted by the gunfire and hoping to get a glimpse before the police had the area walled off. It wasn’t the way he’d planned to go, but then most people don’t get to choose, do they? The truly sad part was that he was just beginning to salvage his life from the ruins it had become after his divorce—the hope and promise that had appeared on the horizon were now to be snatched away.
He looked up to face his attacker—at least he would see who was about to kill him.
Two shots rang out, so close together that they sounded more like one. The attacker stopped, a puzzled look on his face. He fell against the door and then slowly slipped down to the ground, leaving a blood trail along the glass. A man in a business suit stepped up. He was on the passenger side of the limousine, and he had a large caliber revolver, which he held in a practiced way.
“Get the hell out of here,” the man shouted, firing two more shots toward a group of attackers. “There’s more coming!”
There was no way Tony was going to leave his rescuer alone against obviously superior odds. In a fit of strength, he broke away from his backseat passenger and stepped into the fray.
The attackers had not expected an armed response. This was supposed to be a simple hit against an unsuspecting weak American, and in Washington, DC, where no one was supposed to have a firearm. The armed reaction took them by surprise. In their moment of confusion, Tony and his new best friend centered three more with deadly fire, and sent the others running.
Unsure if all the shooters had left, Tony and his Good Samaritan crouched behind the limo. Fortunately, there were no more shots, and the sound of sirens soon reached them, piercing through the night air—a mass shooting in the nation’s capital tended to bring out the troops.
“Thanks, man,” he said to the businessman. “You saved my life.”
“Right place, right time,” he deferred. “Always happy to help.”
He shook Tony’s hand, searching for threats as he did so. Seeing none, he holstered his revolver.
“I probably ought to get going, though,” he added as he stood up. “It’s best if I’m not here when the police arrive.”


About the Author

Sean Dow is a pulmonary and critical care physician in Great Falls, Montana. He started writing thriller novels in 2011, and has three titles, one of which, Debridement, is in its second printing and is being made into a feature film.

Sean was born in Iowa City, but was raised on a small farm in Kansas before leaving for medical school, and the adventures beyond. His career was largely in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a town that still feels like home. He did a brief stent in Las Vegas before moving to the paradise of Montana. When not working or writing, Sean can be found in the kitchen perfecting his New York cheesecake, or on the mountain streams with Bailey, his beloved (and perfectly behaved) Mastiff and his favorite 2 weight fly rod-a parting gift from a dear friend and patient.

His latest books are A Leafy Green World and Al-thar.

For More Information
 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Second Chance Book Blast




We're happy to be hosting Dana K. Ray's A SECOND CHANCE Book Blast today!  Enter to win $10 Amazon Gift Card below!
About the Book:

Title: A Second Chance
Author: Dana K. Ray
Publisher: eLectio Publishing
Pages: 352
Genre: YA/New Adult/Inspirational
A past she can’t forget…

Raven will do just about anything to forget a horrific event from the past that still haunts her. Forced to attend church because of a promise she made at a party, she is immediately attracted to the young, handsome preacher but is unconvinced of his promises of a better life.

A future he refuses to accept…

Matthew has everything planned out until Raven walks into his church and turns his life upside down. Repulsed by her lifestyle, yet fascinated by her beauty and charm, he finds himself drawn to her by a force he can’t explain.

Raven and Mathew’s unlikely friendship leads them through escalating troubled waters that threaten to doom their growing relationship. Will they survive to learn valuable lessons of grace, forgiveness and love?

For More Information


Book Excerpt:
Raven staggered into her bedroom and fell on the bed. Darkness pressed into her on every side. A shard of light sliced through the room. She tried to focus on the ceiling, but the room spun around her. She slid to the edge of the bed until one foot lay flat on the floor. It was supposed to stop the spinning. It didn’t.
Oh, God. If You keep me from puking, I swear, I’ll never drink again.
It was an empty promise, as deceiving as the alcohol. The numbness was too short. All too quickly, she’d end up in the same position, praying the same stupid prayer, talking to a God she didn’t know.
Teresa appeared. Raven smiled and reached out to her best friend. Teresa came closer. Her face was white and her lips were blue. Raven’s smile faded as terror filled her.
“I’m sorry,” Raven whispered and blinked away the tears, then gave her head a gentle shake to rid herself of the ghost. Wrong move. Teresa vanished like a vapor, but her stomach churned in protest. She looked back at the ceiling, pushed the thoughts of Teresa out of her mind, and focused on not puking.
Teresa was back with a vengeance, haunting her this time, calling to her...
“Raven.”
Raven rolled on her side and pulled the pillow over her head to muffle the girl’s voice. The shrink said the memories would fade. They didn’t.
“Raven.”
Startled, she sat up and tried to focus on something. Her heart pounded as hard as her head did. She must’ve been dreaming.
“Raven.” There was pounding. “Get the door,” her sister yelled.
Raven turned. Hailey stood in the doorway of her room. Is it morning? Did I sleep? Am I still buzzed or hung over? She sat motionless for a moment. Her head throbbed. Cotton mouth. I’m hung over.
“The door?” Raven asked, but Hailey had already disappeared.
Raven crawled across the bed, peeked out the window, and looked down at the front porch. Travis, the preacher boy, pounded on the door again.
“I’ll kill him.” The doorbell shrilled through the house, intensifying the pounding in her head.


About the Author
Dana K. Ray has been writing gutsy, true to life stories since she became a teenager. She and her husband reside in the Midwest with their four children and four dogs. She loves writing, mochas and Oreo’s. A Second Chance is her first published novel. Absolution, the first in the Luciano Series, is scheduled to be published in July, 2017. Dana loves to connect with her readers and other aspiring authors at www.danakray.com.

For More Information

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Giveaway

Dana K. Ray is giving away a $10 Gift Card!


Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive $10 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins July 5 and ends on July 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on July 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sign of the Green Dragon



BLURB

When a wall of their cave hideout crumbles, three boys discover a skeleton, clutching a treasure map. They set off to trace the story of an old murder, but stumble into a modern crime, and confront ancient Chinese dragons.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY
C. Lee McKenzie will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more chances to win?  Follow along on the tour. The more you enter the greater your chances of winning!


July 11: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
July 12: BooksChatter
July 13: Rogue's Angels
July 14: The Avid Reader
July 15: Long and Short Reviews YA
July 18: Deal Sharing Aunt
July 19: Book Junkies Book Blog
July 20: Kit 'N Kabookle
July 21: Cafinated Reads
July 22: Our Families Adventure
July 25: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
July 26: Books in the Hall
July 27:
T's Stuff
July 28: Angela Myron's Blog
July 29: Thornton Berry Shire Press
August 1: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
August 2: Queen of All She Reads
August 3: Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
August 4: This and That Book Blog
August 5: Straight from the Library


Enjoy an Excerpt:

The earth quivered. Then, like a lightning bolt, a crack shot up through the ground. Rocks and dirt crashed down, pelting their heads and shoulders. Sam grabbed Joey’s arm and Roger’s shirt and scrambled from inside the cave, pushing them ahead.

Outside, they landed in a heap. When the earth settled into place, they rolled onto their backs, sucking air and panting.

“Okay, that’s it,” Roger said. “This is one mean mountain. And it’s trying to squash all of us. I’m going home.”

“You get no argument here,” Sam said. “I’ll get our gear.” He edged toward the cave and grabbed Joey’s backpack. Roger’s backpack straps stuck up from the pile of rocks, but Sam couldn’t find his at all. He switched on Joey’s flashlight and aimed the beam at the heap of rocks and dirt.

Inside, where a solid wall once stood, was a hole, and behind that hole was another cave. “What the ... ?” He blinked, and then looked again. “Hey! You guys got to see this!”

“No way am I going near that cave,” Roger said, and he backed away.

Sam poked his head inside to get a better look. He swung his leg over a boulder. “Wait here, then,” he said, glancing back.

Joey jumped up. “Don’t even think you’re going in there without me. I’m coming. And so’s Roger.”

“I don’t—” Roger didn’t have a chance to dodge away from Joey’s grasp.

“Move it.” Joey pushed Roger ahead of him. Roger was bigger in all directions, but Joey had the attitude that let him get his way. It also landed him in major trouble almost all the time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

I'd like to highlight the fact that I always have a free ebook (a different one every few months) available on my website for visitors. http://cleemckenziebooks.com





Monday, July 18, 2016

Lost Along the Way



Lost Along the Way

Title: Lost Along the Way 
Author: Erin Duffy 
Release Date: July 12, 2016 
Publisher: William Morrow 
Genre: Women's Fiction 
Format: Hardcover/Ebook/Audio

A fresh, funny, and insightful novel about what it really means to be “friends forever” from the acclaimed author of Bond Girl and On the Rocks.

All through childhood and adolescence, Jane, Cara, and Meg swore their friendship would stand the test of time. Nothing would come between them, they pledged. But once they hit their twenties, life got more complicated and the BFFs began to grow distant. When Jane eloped with her slick, wealthy new boyfriend and didn’t invite her oldest friends to the ceremony, the small cracks and fissures in their once rock-solid relationship became a chasm that tore them apart.

Ten years later, when her husband is arrested and publically shamed for defrauding his clients, Jane realizes her life among the one percent was a sham. Penniless and desperate, deserted by the high-society crowd who turn their surgically perfected noses up at her, she comes crawling back to her childhood friends seeking forgiveness. But Cara and Meg have troubles of their own. One of them is trapped in a bad marriage with an abusive husband, while the other can't have the one thing she desperately wants: a baby. Yet as much as they’d love to see Jane get her long overdue comeuppance, Cara and Meg won’t abandon their old friend in her time of need.

The story of three friends who find themselves on a laugh-out-loud life adventure, Lost Along the Wayilluminates the moments that make us, the betrayals that break us, and the power of love that helps us forgive even the most painful hurts.




My Impressions: 

This was a fabulous book. I absolutely fell in love with the characters, their stories and really enjoyed watching them grow as the story progressed.Jane, Cara and Meg are a great group of ladies that have known each other their whole lives, but like with so many of us they drifted apart as life circumstances overtook them. This book address so many issues including abuse, divorce, friendship, competition among women, secrets and lies. The book is told from each of the friends perspectives that will have you laughing, crying and at times really ticked off. What I adored about this book was how it did not sugar coat things, but it also showed us that coming clean and not keeping secrets from the ones you love you the most is the best way to feel secure in your relationships.



Meet the Author:

Erin Duffy ap1

Erin Duffy graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 with a B.A. in English and worked on Wall Street, a career that inspired her first novel, Bond Girl. She lives in New York City with her husband (whom she met the old-fashioned way—in a bar).





———————

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 12 - Book featured at CBY Book Club
Wednesday, July 13 - Book featured at Harmonious Publicity
Thursday, July 14 - Book featured at Mello and June
Friday, July 15 - Book reviewed at ReadsandReviews
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book featured at E-Romance News
________
Monday, July 18 - Book reviewed at Our Families Adventure
Tuesday, July 19 - Book featured at Booklover Sue
Guest blogging at Whispering Stories
Wednesday, July 20 - Book reviewed at Worth Getting in Bed For
Thursday, July 21 - Book featured at Just Us Book Blog
Friday, July 22 - Book featured at The Review From Here
________
Monday, July 25 - Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Tuesday, July 26 - Book reviewed at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Wednesday, July 27 - Book reviewed at Laura's Interests
Thursday, July 28 - Book featured at Literal Exposure
Friday, July 29 - Book featured at A Title Wave
________
Monday, August 1 - Book reviewed at Live Love Books Blog
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Tuesday, August 2 - Book reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Wednesday, August 3 - Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher
Thursday, August 4 - Book reviewed at Pretty Little Book Reviews
Book featured at Sexy Bibliophiles
Friday, August 5 - Book reviewed at Kristy Centeno
Book reviewed at What is That Book About
 ________


A Leafy Green World & Al-thar




Title: A Leafy Green World
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 449
Genre: Thriller

A Leafy Green World is a fast paced, action packed thriller set in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Brent Holcomb has moved to Portland in hopes of resurrecting his life and his career. There, he meets Robyn-the girl from his dreams. All is going smoothly until he realizes Robyn and her friends are not what they seem. Now, wrapped up in the murder of an innocent man, and with nowhere to turn, Brent forms a bold plan-a plan that will put him on a dangerous course, aligning himself with domestic terrorists and ultimately, a deeply hidden cell of Islamic terrorists. 

For More Information


Book Excerpt:
Upper Dir valley, Pakistan

“How well do you trust him?” asked the voice over the encrypted satellite phone.
Farouk was always amazed at the technology that allowed him to have a clear conversation with someone halfway across the world. It was an honor to have been put through—he was speaking to Saadullah Abul Ka-beir himself, the imam who was guiding the war against the great Satan. He was a merciless warrior, a genius, and a master of planning—the best hope Islam had ever had of ridding the world of the Jews and of bringing in the glorious caliphate, and Farouk was actually being allowed to speak directly to him!
Even with the encryption, he had been instructed not to mention names or give any salutations that could be used to identify the man on the other end. The Americans were always finding ways to listen in on their conversations. The only truly secure communication was by courier, and the time delay involved in that was often unacceptable. Going in person to see the imam was out of the question. It would take almost two days to fly to Peshawar, and from there it was another grueling six hours to reach the blessed valley in Upper Dir where the council was sheltered. 
"Six hours, that is, in the daylight," thought Farouk. Travel now had to be at night. The daytime skies were filled with silent death. So many heroes had died before their appointed time and with nothing to show for their deaths. The Americans struck wherever they pleased; there was no sovereignty, no shelter. Even in his own country, his leaders were forced to live like animals, cowering in damp caves and afraid to show their faces, lest the devils strike from the sky. It was an abomination, but it was also reality—Farouk prayed on a daily basis that he would live long enough to dance upon the graves of the infidels who forced the great leaders to live in such a demeaning manner. 
In the meantime, satellite phones had become a necessary risk. They were effective, but information still had to be kept to a minimum, conversations as short as possible, and specifics avoided. No one knew if the enemy could listen in, but even if not, it would probably be only a short time until they could. 
“I trust him completely, Sheikh,” Farouk said. “Enough to insist on a chance to bring this information to you. We have the opportunity to achieve the dreams of our people, and in our lifetime. This man is high in the ranks of a group that has lived for years amongst the devils, fighting them constantly, and they have never been penetrated. 
“I also worked with his father, a man of great integrity whose efforts are largely responsible for my financial independence. I can say with certainty that this man can be trusted.”
“You realize what will happen to you and your family if you have been deceived?” 
“Yes, Sheikh. As always, I put my life in your hands. We are searching his past and will watch everything he does, but I sense the beneficence of Allah in this man.”
“Very well. We will discuss this. In the meantime, continue your vigilance but do not go any further. 

You have already taken a great chance talking to him. You will find the fires of hell to be a welcome relief if your actions bring any damage to our cause.”
The call ended. No Salam alaikum, no Allah ysalmak, just silence. Silence and a feeling of dread. What if I have let pride interfere with my judgment? Farouk worried. Have I let the lion in the door?


About the Author

Sean Dow is a pulmonary and critical care physician in Great Falls, Montana. He started writing thriller novels in 2011, and has three titles, one of which, Debridement, is in its second printing and is being made into a feature film.

Sean was born in Iowa City, but was raised on a small farm in Kansas before leaving for medical school, and the adventures beyond. His career was largely in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a town that still feels like home. He did a brief stent in Las Vegas before moving to the paradise of Montana. When not working or writing, Sean can be found in the kitchen perfecting his New York cheesecake, or on the mountain streams with Bailey, his beloved (and perfectly behaved) Mastiff and his favorite 2 weight fly rod-a parting gift from a dear friend and patient.

His latest books are A Leafy Green World and Al-thar.

For More Information
 



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mind of Terror: A Former Muslim Sniper Explores What Motivates ISIS and Other Extremist Groups (and how best to respond)

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Reprint edition (July 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496411870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496411877
What motivates Islamic terrorists? What is in the mind of terror? Our news reports from the Middle East cover events―bombings, massacres, and suicide attacks. Our newscasters take time to explain who the players are―from Hezbollah to the Iranian Quds, from ISIS to the Palestinian National Authority. But there is something underneath these events and players that fuels atrocity after atrocity in the Middle East. What is it? Tass Saada provides the answer to that question as he delves into the mind of terror, explaining what motivates extremist groups throughout the Middle East. A former Muslim and a onetime sniper with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization, Tass has lived it himself. At age 42, he steered his life in a radical new direction, committing it to Jesus. Tass not only describes the motivations and aspirations of those who live in the Middle East, he also outlines a peaceful solution. We can plant seeds of hope that will transform not only the Middle East, but also our increasingly diverse neighborhoods at home. Discover the mind behind terror and how to oppose its grip.
 
My Impressions
This is an mazing book that gives us a glimpse of the mind of those involved in radical Islam terror groups. Weather you watch the news or not, we are initiated with glimpses of terror on the radio, in the newspapers, via social media and yet, we have only ever received half the message...here is the other half! You cannot fight a war, or win a heart over to Jesus if you do not know what you are fighting against and what they stand for. The book is broken down into 3 main sections:  why these groups turn to violence as a solution (honor and shame) , what are some of the solutions and reactions to terrorism that outside groups think of and finally real strategies that we can use to help us overcome and help end of some of the conflict. Ultimately we need to be fervently praying and showing the loving kindness and mercy of Christ daily to these groups. When Christians spew out venom the only thing that is created is more hatred, more violence and more intolerance. We need to truly be the hand and feet of Christ and it starts with each one of us.
 
This is an excellent resource to use to become more knowledgeable about the issues, the causes and how you can be part of a solution instead of the problem.
 
Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
 
About the Author:

Tass Saada is a former Muslim and the founder of Hope for Ishmael, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reconcile Arabs and Jews. Born in 1951 in the Gaza Strip, Saada grew up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He worked under Yasser Arafat as a Fatah fighter and sniper. Years after immigrating to America, he became a Christian. He and his wife, Karen, now spend much of each year in the Middle East guiding a ministry to children.

Dean Merrill: 

Dean Merrill has been published in over 40 Christian magazines and is the author or coauthor of 35 books. Among his most recent Tyndale titles are: ·In the Presence of My Enemies and To Fly Again, both with Philippine missionary survivor Gracia Burnham. The first of these made the New York Times Best Sellers List and won a Gold Medallion Award; both were positively reviewed by the industry standard Publishers Weekly. ·Every Man's Bible, an action-oriented edition of the New Living Translation, developed in cooperation with Steve Arterburn and a number of other contributors. Merrill was the general editor. In years past, his Tyndale works have included Together at Home (1996); Wait Quietly: Devotions for a Busy Parent (1994); and notes for the ground-breaking illustrated teen edition of The Living Bible, titled The Way (1971). He is a former president of the Evangelical Press Association and a current board member of Global Publishers Alliance, the international arm of ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association). His past editorial positions have been at Campus Life magazine, David C. Cook, Leadership Journal (CTi), Christian Herald, and Focus on the Family. He was vice president of international publishing at the International Bible Society from 1997 to 2004. Dean Merrill's education includes a bachelor of theology degree from Chicago Bible College and a master of arts degree in journalism from Syracuse University. He now writes full-time from his home in Colorado Springs, where he and his wife, Grace, live. They have three married children and nine grandchildren.

All But Normal: Life on Victory Road

Growing up, Shawn Thornton’s life was anything but normal–but then, so was his mother. After awakening from a coma following a car crash, Beverly Thornton’s once sweet and gentle disposition had been replaced by violent mood swings, profanity-laced tirades, and uncontrollable fits of rage.
Inside the Thornton house, floors and countertops were piled high with dirty laundry and garbage because Bev was unable to move well enough to clean. Dinners were a Russian roulette of half-cooked meat, spoiled milk, and foods well past their expiration dates. A moment of frustration might prompt her to hurl a knife at Shawn, his brother, Troy, or their dad or to vehemently cuss them out, only to shower them with love and affection moments later as though nothing had happened. On several occasions, Bev even tried to jump out of the car on the highway while Shawn and his brother struggled to keep her inside.
Yet this same woman was also a devoted Bible reader, Sunday school teacher, and friend to the elderly, poor, and marginalized wherever she went. How the same woman could be a saint one minute and a nightmare the next was a constant source of frustration for the family.
Then one day, after decades of embarrassing outbursts, a surprise discovery finally helps the Thornton family come to grips with Bev’s mysterious condition and brings Shawn to a startling realization that changes the course of his life forever.
My Impressions
As a Social Worker I often deal with clients who come into the office with traumas from their childhood that have continued to manifested itself into adulthood. I greatly appreciated the open, direct and encompassing view of the trauma that Shawn suffered, but also of Gods redemptive power and the willingness of Shawn to be used by God through all his trials. I am not really a big fan of memoirs, but I am glad I elected to read this one and be reminded again of how God has a plan for each of us and all we need to do is listen and act. What really captured my attention was the title of this book. We each define “normal” in a different context. We all wear masks, are labeled by society, but normal invites unease, because it says we have to conform to be fixed, given up parts of our selves.  We live in a broken and fallen world and sadly there are too many children who grow up surrounded by all kids of trauma and trials to walk through from the moment they are born. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us that will allow us to thrive in the midst of the brokenness. I found Paston Shawn’s memoir to be highly encouraging, thought provoking and uplifting.

·         Promo/Main Site: http://www.pastorshawn.com/              
·        “AllThingsNew”Blog: http://www.pastorshawn.com/blog/                   
·         Radio: http://www.pastorshawn.com/radio/
·         Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/allthingsnewmedia/            
·         Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shawnthornton/         
·         Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pastorshawn/
·        VideosofPastorShawnPreaching: http://www.pastorshawn.com/video/
·         Hi-res author photo: Shawn Thornton
·         Hi-res book cover image: All But Normal
 
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale publishing in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
SHAWN THORNTON serves as senior pastor of Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California. He is also the Bible-teaching voice heard daily across America on the half-hour radio program All Things New. Shawn has the honor of serving on the board of directors of Awana Clubs International and on the board of directors of the Joni & Friends Foundation. He blogs regularly at PastorShawn. com. Shawn and his wife, Lesli, have three young adult children-Jon, Katie, and Megan.
 
IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE SHAWN COME SPEAK AT YOUR CHURCH OR EVENT…
Please e-mail your request to book a speaking engagement to: jenniferz@calvarycc.org . We will contact you directly regarding the speaking engagement request.