Category Archives: Religious

Book Case #89 – Through A Glass Darkly

Book and Author Details:
Through A Glass Darkly on Good Reads
Through A Glass Darkly on Amazon
Donald Allen Kirch’s Website
Donald Allen Kirch on Good Reads
Donald Allen Kirch on Facebook
Double Dragon Publishing

Description from Author:

The House loomed over the city like a beacon of malevolent evil. People spoke of it only in whispers. Others tried to own it, eventually coming out in a body bag. Darkness dripped from its windows, spilt blood made up the foundations of its property, and Satan seemed to have a claim on the land. Houses built along its borders nailed their windows shut so that they wouldn’t have to see it. Evil resided within its ancient walls and did not care who knew it!

Manchester House was a legend – the “Mount Everest” of Haunted Houses!

Professor Jonathon Holzer knew he had scored the opportunity of a lifetime. With an international crew of paranormal investigators, and a mysterious “shaman” named Indrid Night, the man hoped to find some answers. There was one proviso: The City Council was not aware of his venture, and the police could not help him. He would be alone.

Sometimes when one stares into an abyss, the abyss stares back into you!

My Review:
How do I start this review? There are those books that you read and enjoy. Those ones that you read, write the review and move onto the next one. Then, there are those books that you read, rush through to the end because you HAVE to know what’s going to happen next, and then find yourself reflecting on all the multifaceted levels of the book. 

This, was one of those books. I finished last week and I have taken this time to really revel in the enjoyment I felt from this novel. Huge kudos to the author, Donald Allen Kirch. I really hope this novel catches the eyes of a lot of readers; if it doesn’t they are surely missing out.

We are met with a self-assured parapsychologist who is aching to take on the “Holy Grail” of all paranormal /haunting cases. The very case he has sought out lands in his lap with a call from a Lt. Wells from Atchison, KS. There’s a house, Manchester House, that has taken the lives of many over the 100+ years since it was built. 

With the chance in his grasp, he gathers a group from his team of experts. S.O.U.R.C.E. This team represents the “ideal” team; this is a team I would die for in my investigations. Even though there’s bickering amongst the team, the team is stronger than any family I’ve ever met. There’s a saying in my family, “We fight hard, but we love harder.” This holds true to Professor Holzer’s dream paranormal team. 

This team goes through thick and thin; literally..thick mud and thin plastic veils. The come out with a hellish ending, and bigger tale to tell others. Without giving too much more of the plot line away, I will say that this was a well thought out, well written and thorough book. The author deserves to be promoted highly for his imagination and novel born of it.

I really hope that he does write a continuation. Donald Allen Kirch has left it wide open with the end in this book. If he does opt to continue this storyline, he focuses on some of the “cons” I’ve listed below. 

Pros: There are so many pros in this storyline. 
A. Team. I absolutely love the dynamic put together for Pr. Holzer’s team. Miranda, completely scientific based. Teresa, psychic medium whose power is believed in by the rest of the team, even though some are strongly science based. Sinclair, “non-believing” camera man who’s just there for his knowledge of camera and video equipment. Professor Holzer, parapsychologist, firm believer and researcher of all things supernatural. Finally, Indrid Night. Indrid is the Elvis of religious beliefs. He’s a cross between Indiana Jones and Roland of Gilead. I love this character. I could really see Jeff Bridges playing this character in a movie, should a major film company ever pick it up as a screenwrite. 

B. Verbage and word usage. Donald has a strong grasp of the English language. I love when an author makes me think because of their work. I am electrified when an author causes me to keep a dictionary handy to look up words. I felt electrical pulses for words like, “incongruous.”  I found this throughout the whole novel. This alone should be a reason to read this book. I have found that a lot of self publish authors do not possess the knowledge behind a strong vocabulary. I found this to be one of the solid aspects of Donald’s writing.  

C. Plot line. There were no real questions left behind in this novel. Donald did a marvelous job at covering almost all points in his story. I was only left with two questions. Everything from the start of the Manchester House to the hell within. All circles of life were completed. The author brought in Religion, and did it with grace and class. As mentioned above, Indrid Night was the team’s religious guru. I compared him to Elvis, because Elvis wore symbols from every religion. Night, he was versed in religions from new to archaic. There’s a quote in the book that I felt was appropriate. “Charms, spells and icons of every faith and religion. Good, like evil, had many faces. Though Night was partial to the ‘faces” of his own faith, he realized that God was great enough to have other faces in His battle with evil.”

D. Even subtle references to kick ass fiction characters, “Bubba Ho Tep.” Because, Ho Tep man.

Cons: There were only a couple that left me pondering. 
Character building was a little lacking. I would love to have known more about their psychic, Teresa, and her background. The tidbits fed to the reader about her parents was just enough to meet the character, but not enough to satisfy the hunger. Each character was described enough to understand their roll within the book, but not enough to understand their idiosyncrasies and what makes approach the paranormal in the ways that they do.  I do hope that if he goes into a book II, he covers their background a bit more. 

The plastic sheeting was never covered. Although it covered the pages of the book within the storyline, the author doesn’t cover the meaning behind it. 

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Book Case #69 – Signs from Heaven

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Book and Author Details:
Signs from Heaven on Amazon
Signs from Heaven on Good Reads
Robbie Thomas’ Website
Robbie Thomas’ Facebook

Description from Author:

Robbie Thomas, world-renowned medium psychic, has been helping people around the world for many years bringing them closer to the other side through contact with their loved ones. As you read Signs from Heaven, you are taking an enlightening journey, giving you much more perspective of life on the other side and within you. You are going to witness many accounts that are verified by testimonials from many individuals from around the world. Each account is different, giving much weight to the validity within This book has been craved for a long while, finally coming to light to share in the very essence of spirit it was meant for, and the realm of spirit of you. Please sit back, letting the truth of spirit surround you, allowing yourself to embrace everything within. Signs from Heaven is thought provoking while leaving the reader wanting much more. It is the fire that burns within, the yearning to learn, the quest for knowledge that we seek, so grab hold of this beautifully written account of factual writings and find the solace you seek

My Review:

As you know, I read and reviewed Robbie Thomas’ paranormal series, “Parasylum” and “Parasylum II“. This is how I was originally introduced to his stories and writing styles. “Signs from Heaven” takes on a totally different take on spirits, loved ones, and ourselves as individuals. 

Every single chapter in this book represented an avenue of my life that  have been working through. Granted, not all aspects have to do with a loved one that has passed over, but take out that one element, each chapter is an inspirational message that can help the reader work through harder elements of their life. 

Right out of the starting gate, this book hit to the point. Acceptance, a part of the grieving process, is addressed in chapter two. I have two people in my life that ‘haunt’ me with their passing. Although, I would love if they physically haunted me so that I could say goodbye, but alas, this is just not the case. This book helped me through my grief process, realizing that I was stuck on the acceptance part.

After reading the the acceptance chapter, I internally accepted their passing and realized I no longer have to be afraid of what it means or holds for me.

Forgiveness, a chapter towards the end of the book, was the best chapter for me. For a lot of people, forgiving is an art that is never taught. Each day on my path in life, I struggle with forgiveness. I found myself reading and rereading this chapters. Each time I read it, I found something new with in. 

Truly, inspirational and healing. Robbie is a gift, he is sent from heaven … with a wonderful message to be heard. I am really thankful for this book. Robbie has written a wonderful piece of art, teaching and comforting those who chose this book and to read it. 

Book Case #55 – Never Alone

Never Alone

Author & Publisher Information:
Author’s Website
Author’s Facebook
Never Alone on Amazon
Never Alone on Llewellyn
Publisher’s Website
Description:

If it weren’t for booze and one-night stands, NYPD detective Megan McGinn probably couldn’t deal with the losses in her life. She’s just buried her dad, a retired cop, and has to move her mother, ravaged by late-stage Alzheimer’s, into a nursing home. Solving a recent high-profile homicide has made Megan a reluctant celebrity, but the guilt of spending time away from her struggling family is too much to bear.

Overwhelmed by the pressure, Megan is ready to walk away from the police force, but a brutal murder brings her back. The victim, an attractive young woman, was strangled, groomed, posed . . . and worse. With heat coming from the press, city hall, and her boss, the danger escalates as Megan is forced to turn to a sadistic perp from a previous case for help.

My Review:

There is such a spin on the title, highly clever and I wonder if the author was intentional in doing so?

Never Alone is a book about an Irish Catholic NYC Homicide Detective by the name of Megan McGinn. She had just closed out an important case leaving her with a bit of notoriety. Having just lost her father, who is the world to her, she’s ready to just throw in her detective’s badge. Her partner, Sam, convinces her to check out one more cryptic, sadistic murder scene. Reluctantly, McGinn agrees.

This starts a whole spiral into religious undertones, faith and lack there of, murder and suspense. McGinn’s new case revolves around Irish Catholic beliefs, realy hitting home for her. From the Claddagh to Saint Brigid’s Cross to Saint Brigid herself, McGinn has to use her keen instinct in solving one of the most disturbing cases for her. What makes it so disturbing? The killer is tracking her now. Stealing personal items to leaving mementos after each kill, personally directed towards the lead detective herself.

This is where the cleverness of “Never Alone” comes in. McGinn, although feels utterly alone in this life now that her father has passed, comes to realize she is Never Alone. With a killer at her back and God at her front. The title of the this novel brought to mind a song called, “Never Alone” by Christian Rock group BarthlowGirl (Which was introduced to me by my fiance’.)

The whole pretense is that even if you’re alone, you’re truly never alone with God in your corner. Detective McGinn learns this as she works her way through this eerie, incredibly, novel.

Never Alone, is to be released later in 2014. You can order ARC copies and pre-order on the links above. This is book #1 in the author’s Detective Megan McGinn’s series. I will definitely read more by this author. C.J. Carpenter is a knack for creating believable and relateable characters. She is great with developing a sense of unease through her scenes. I foresee a wonderful career in this new author’s future.

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