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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review: Into the Guns (America Rising) by William C. Dietz

This is entertaining particularly if you like military action and political intrigue.
Into the Guns (America Rising)
by William C. Dietz

Series: America Rising (Book 1)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace; First Edition edition (October 4, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0425278700
Genre: Military, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Legion of the Damned® Novels and The Mutant Files comes the first novel in a post-apocalyptic military science fiction series about America rising from the ashes of a global catastrophe...
On May Day, 2018, sixty meteors entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded around the globe with a force greater than a nuclear blast. Earthquakes and tsunamis followed. Then China attacked Europe, Asia, and the United States in the belief the disaster was an act of war.
Washington D.C. was a casualty of the meteor onslaught that decimated the nation’s leadership and left the surviving elements of the armed forces to try and restore order as American society fell apart.
As refugees across America band together and engage in open warfare with the military over scarce resources, a select group of individuals representing the surviving corporate structure makes a power play to rebuild the country in a free market image as The New Confederacy...


Review:
Robin “Mac” Macintyre is a First Lieutenant with the Army when meteor strikes change the world. Society has already broken down to include gangs who are willing to thieve for supplies or even destroy for the fun of it. Mac and her scout patrol are assigned to help escort a group of civilian filled buses from Tacoma to Yakima, Washington. They will face murdering marauders and natural disasters and only some of the convoy will get through. Mac becomes the highest-ranking officer and begins to take charge of the troops. She decides to lead them south to Arizona in the hopes of finding warmer climate. Picking up troops and civilians along the way, they become mercenaries hiring out as Mac’s Marauders to establish protection for communities needing relief from the worst of the killing gangs.

US Secretary of Energy Samuel Sloan is caught in Mexico when the disaster strikes. He manages to run and to escape from local thugs to find his way back to the United States. When he is captured in America the authorities don’t believe who he claims to be. He is imprisoned for a time then mysteriously flown out to a meeting with some wealthy businessmen who have taken control of Texas and the vast energy resources in that and surrounding southern states. The tycoons make a proposition to allow Sloan to become the leader of the country under their ‘new order’ which would allow corporations to buy shares in the United States. Sloan doesn’t agree with this new Confederate order. As he is being returned to prison, he escapes again and makes his way east. In a desperate situation he stumbles upon a lawyer who is willing to get him the support he needs to claim his place as President of the United States. Slowly traveling from Maryland to Illinois and in between, they will assemble a like-minded team intent on pulling the country back together, even if that means war with the Confederates.

Mac’s father a Major General and her older sister, Major Victoria Macintyre, are West Point graduates. They disdain Mac for not following in the same path. They are now part of the New Confederacy with Victoria zipping around on a motorcycle as a very cold-hearted officer building a spy network within the Union forces. At least one of these spies in is the forces where Mac’s talents are being used.

These are the three primary characters whose struggles and battles are followed in this book. I liked the fast pace and good action that kept me interested. There is rough language and a good bit of violence. There are inconsistencies and contrived scenes... but, it is fiction, after all. I didn’t allow some of the pointed political ideologies to bog me down nor rile me either way. I actually found the opposing views thought-provoking.

This is the first book I have read by Mr. Dietz and I get the sense I would like some of his other series too. I would recommend this to readers who like post-apocalyptic, alternative history and military action elements as entertainment, not reality. I am glad I have books two and three to continue to see where the author takes the characters and the battles.

I received books one and two from the publisher to read before book three which I received through NetGalley.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Post January 14, 2018/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday January 15, 2018


I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

It has been a busy week home and getting caught up at work. My daughter/office manager got the flu and was out two days (and 1/2 in a fever daze). She got meds and is feeling better. Unfortunately one of the grandkids has a fever now.

I am enjoying my listening and reading. I have a new smartphone and am listening to audios on it as well as my MP3. I finished two Audibles, and one ebook. I posted three reviews and my usual memes.

I visited 29 blogs early in the week.
Shout Out this week to Bookish Owlette who uses cute gifs and shared 2018 goals.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • A2017- Audio Book Review: About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay; Contemporary Romance, Small Town; my rating 3.5.
  • PLBC- Book Review: The Christmas Code by O. S. Hawkin; Devotional, Inspirational, Religious my rating 4.5.

Finished Reading:
1. Audible/MP3 (TBR)


Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1
By Jim Butcher
Narrated By James Marsters
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 1
This is good entertainment and I will read more in the series. This is an Audible TBR.
Click on book title for full description.



2. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Precisely at Midnight (Kinsman Book 2)
by Joyce and Alexandra Swann
This has fascinating information and wonderful Christian values in the story.
Click on book title for full description.



3. Audible/Smartphone (TBR)


Time for the Stars
By: Robert A. Heinlein
Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
I haven't had the chance to sign up for Vintage Sci Fi but I will be reading/listening to several for the event. 
This is from my Audible TBR and was a quick listen.
Publisher's Summary
Travel to other planets is now a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity of finding habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. There’s a problem though—because the spaceships are slower than light, any communication between the exploring ships and Earth would take years.
Tom and Pat are identical twin teenagers. As twins they’ve always been close, so close that it seemed like they could read each other’s minds. When they are recruited by the Long Range Foundation, the twins find out that they can, indeed, peer into each other’s thoughts. Along with other telepathic duos, they are enlisted to be the human transmitters and receivers that will keep the ships in contact with Earth. But there’s a catch: one of the twins has to stay behind—and that one will grow old—while the other explores the depths of space and returns as a young man still.
©1956 ; 1983 by Robert A. Heinlein; 2003 by the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.




Currently Reading:
1. Print TBR (Publisher)


Seek and Destroy (America Rising)
by William C. Dietz
I am enjoying this 2nd book. This is print so it will take a bit longer to read.
Click on book title for full description.



2. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)


Rise of the Fallen: Wars of the Realm, Book 2
by Chuck Black
This book is from the perspective of the angel.
Very interesting!
From my NetGalley TBR shelf. 
A six thousand year war rages and now the demonic Fallen are coming for him—the one man shrouded in mystery. Only Validus stands in their way.
Validus is the last and least of God’s angels, but he’s seen much across the millennia since his creation. Empires have risen and fallen as angelic and demonic forces battle in a raging war that will determine humanity's fate – and the fate of his defeated brothers.
Eventually called to be an earth-bound warrior, Validus rises to a position of power and respect, commanding legions of angels through impossible battles and overwhelming odds. But when orders arrive from the Creator's most elite Messenger, he finds himself suddenly demoted to a task of apparent insignificance considering the fierce war they are waging against the demonic Fallen – the covert protection of one unbelieving man.
Validus soon finds himself on a mission that will push him beyond his abilities as he battles to protect Drew Carter, for the Fallen are coming for him. Legions of them.
As Validus races against time to discover why Drew is so important to humanity's survival, can he stand between Drew and all who would destroy him?



3. Audible/MP3 (TBR)


The Emerald Atlas, Books of Beginning
By: John Stephens
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Series: The Books of Beginning, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
I am finding this to be a fun listen at half way in.
It is another from my Audible TBR.
Publisher's Summary
Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last 10 years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Until now.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And - if an ancient prophesy is correct - what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
©2011 John Stephens (P)2011 Listening Library



4. Audible/Smartphone (2018Purch)
Island cover art


Island
By: Aldous Huxley
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Release date: 09-13-16
I saw this and thought it would be another good title for Vintage Sci Fi.
Publisher's Summary
In his final novel - which he considered his most important - Aldous Huxley transports us to the remote Pacific island of Pala, where an ideal society has flourished for 120 years.
Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala, and events are set in motion when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn't expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and - to his amazement - give him hope.
©1962 Aldous Huxley (P)2016 Tantor



January 14, 2018 - I figured out how to listen with my reading the One Year Bible plan on my new smartphone. My husband hasn't joined my plan but he is listening some days too. You can check out the audio on the companion commentary online.


I completed 3 books and posted only 3 reviews. So I still have 10 total due; 4 from 2017 and six from 2018. All I can do is keep working on them and hope to get caught up.
I am behind linking my reviews at Goodreads, Amazon and Audible too but will start that work soon.
My NetGalley shelf is now at 23 with five older 2017 and others picked up end of year. I still have one committed author title in queue and many through InstaFreebie. I have several new author requests but haven't had time to reply.


We're working on two more fiction books to add to eTreasure's NetGalley page.


Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and (yours truly). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
I didn't pick up any reviews this week.
I bought two Audible daily deals.
I didn't purchase any Kindle titles this week.
As usual, I picked up more free kindle titles as usual. (Note these are in my Amazon library, NOT on my Kindle until I download and transfer them.)
Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
NONE


Won
NONE

Purchased
I picked up two Audible daily deals:
1/12/18 DD $3.95
Island cover artIsland
By: Aldous Huxley
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Release date: 09-13-16

1/14/2018 DD $1.95
The Tracker cover artThe Tracker
Sam Callahan, Book 1
By: Chad Zunker
Narrated by: Noah Berman
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins


Free
I picked up some extra free Kindle titles to add 68 titles to my library this week! Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement January 14, 2018

It was good this morning to be back at our home church. Our Sunday School teacher is still teaching on death. We had a spirit filled time of worship and then Pastor continued a message on small groups which is to be a focus for our church this year. Last week’s point was:
Community is essential in a healthy church. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12.

Pastor shared these ten benefits of small groups:
1. Small groups foster close relationships and integral community.
2. Small groups provide a comfortable introduction for nonbelievers to the Christian faith.
3. Small groups provide an ideal way to care for the needs of people within the church.
4. Small groups provide a way for Christians to live out their faith instead of merely hearing more preaching or teaching.
5. Small groups participate in focused prayer for one another.
6. Small groups provide a comfortable atmosphere for openness.
7. Small groups allow for mutual edification among believers.
8. Small groups encourage better learning.
9. Small groups provide a source of encouragement and accountability.
10. Small groups help to cultivate leadership within the church.

It is appropriate to speak of Dreams the day before celebrating Martin Luther King Day. He shared a wonderful dream of peace and equality.

Dreams by nature look beyond today’s reality and see a future path which seems impossible or unlikely. Sadly, reality can extinguish dreams. Leaders have dreams and that is how new church plants begin.

It is important to understand the Congregational Life–Cycle:
Outward focus
Organization & Structure
Integration & Assimilation
Inverse Priorities
Decline
Death

To revive the congregation/church must return to dreams and outward focus. We need to have a “new church” attitude. Matthew 9:37-38.

Point: We must move from “Come and see” (comfort) to “Come and die” (sacrifice).
True Christ followers must die to self and live for others. John 15:12- 17.

This year we hope to give to others through small groups. We hope to recapture the dream and become an ascending church as a sending church.

I found this song that fits for me.
Verses for Today:
John 15:12-17 (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Lord, help me to have a more personal relationship with You and with those you put in my path.
Image result for John 15:12-17

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sharing Beyond Books #335 Comment Giveaway January 13, 2018

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!
We are glad to be home in Florida but have below freezing weather tonight and a cold week coming up. Not as cold as those up north though. Brrr. Stay safe in the cold.
While I am still catching up I am going to post this event biweekly (every other week) for now.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Only two commentors, Fredamans and Sue, have cooked recipes from books. Several of the rest of the other 17 of us don't cook so haven't tried. The others like the idea but haven't tried any yet.
~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #334 comments is: #1 Mystica who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated (**Finally!) ARC/Review titles or (recently updated) Love and Christmas titles - all linked near the end of the post.

**NOTE: I did post an Updated ARC and Other books for Giveaways. I have to go back and list the titles -- someday.
Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #334
(One Question.)

Natalija asks: What's your Goodreads challenge/reading goal for 2018??
I have chosen the same goal as 2017, 160, even though I exceeded that (with a little help from children's books). This number is mostly comfortable as it is about 3 per week. I have two challenges to include 50 each: Audio and NetGalley titles so that is 100. I also hope to read at least 27 each eBook TBRs and current year reviews, purchases or freebies. That is another 54 which pretty much fills the reading goal.

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Martha has
read 3 books toward
her goal of
160 books.
hide


Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.

Your turn to share. Natalija asks: What's your Goodreads challenge/reading goal for 2018??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Updated ARC and Other books, including the "Love" and Christmas titles all in one post.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday January 27, 2018 at 5 PM central.

Book Review: The Christmas Code by O. S. Hawkin

This is a nice little Advent devotional book.
The Christmas Code Booklet
by O. S. Hawkin

Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400309247
Genre: Devotional, Inspirational, Religious
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


The holidays can be a busy time! Keep your heart and mind focused on Jesus with this Advent devotional. Hawkins offers 25 seasonal entries tracing the story of Jesus from its earliest roots in the Old Testament to God's gift of salvation. Each entry features a Scripture passage, inspirational thought, "code word," and prayer of reflection. 64 pages, softcover from Nelson.


Review:
I gifted this little devotional to my Ladies’ Book Club, and a few friends, as our December reading choice. We so often get caught up in the rush and busyness of the holiday season that I thought this would help us focus on the ‘reason for the season’.

This is pocket size and I carried mine with me in my purse and sometimes in my briefcase to read if I had to wait for a hearing. I liked the way it was set out with a ‘code’ word for each day.
There is a scripture verse, a devotion, a code word with description and then a short sentence prayer.

All of the ladies indicated they appreciated the quick and meaningful devotions. I encourage believers to pick this up or another advent devotional to help prepare their hearts during the Christmas season.

I picked this up on sale for my book club as Advent reading for December.

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