Rage and Mercy: Part One by Scott Dresden

Story Summary

“This thrilling book delivers a violent tale that is ultimately as surprising as it is gruesome.” Kirkus Review Sayer didn’t expect his life to go any further than wherever his wealthy clients told him to drive to, until he worked for Diana Westcherry. The young, beautiful, epileptic woman stubbornly imposes her kindness on Sayer, exposing a life that could’ve been, if she’d been his mother. Through Diana, Sayer learns that nothing determines a man’s life more than the mother he was born from. And when drug fiends murder her for purse change, Sayer will slaughter all of them to immortalize her, the mother he was denied. But knowing now that the greatest gift a father could give his child is choosing the mother of his child, he abducts Amanda to create the child he was supposed to be. Rage and Mercy is the story of Amanda and Sayer. Amanda is a born again Christian on a mission to shepherd lost souls to God. Sayer is her black kidnapper, determined to give his future child the white, Christian mother he never had. While there is nothing Sayer wouldn’t do for his future child, Amanda must discover if she can endure impossible horrors to prove that no child of God is beyond redemption.

4.5 Stars San Francisco Book Review – https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/rage-and-mercy-part-1/

Scott Dresden’s Rage and Mercy: Part One is an intricate fictional work that will engross a reader’s attention start to finish. The murder of Diana, a young, virtuous woman, triggers Sayer, her former driver to embark on the systematic extermination of an unwanted population of drug addicts, referred to as “fiends.” The novel follows Sayer, Diana, Norris, and Adams, the detectives investigating the murders, Margot, a photographer who stumbles across the story, and Amanda, an entwined acquaintance of Diana. Reflective one-liners pop up throughout the narrative, offering thought-provoking concepts, such as “’Catch the devil before you cuff the suspect’” and “’…the most consequential decision a father can ever make for his child is to choose the mother who bears it, and the best fathers do not ask permission or apologize for what they do for their children. I became wealthier than nearly everyone by yielding to no one but my family.’”

Each chapter incorporates another layer to titillate and enthrall readers. Dresden’s work requires a mature audience to appreciate and comprehend the graphic material woven throughout the novel. Dresden boldly engages the themes of rape and murder in a very candid, up-front manner, while avoiding the tendency of some authors to romanticize the acts. Moreover, he considers these themes through the lens of motherhood in a manner not typically utilized. Readers will have to decide for themselves the character, composition, and impact of a “good” mother. Situations like this arise throughout the narrative, encouraging readers to reconsider self-determined truths, like where the boundary between good and evil truly falls. Readers may find themselves sympathizing with, or even rooting for, the vigilante as he tries to avenge the honorable life stolen before its time.

Rage and Mercy: Part One will leave readers on the each of their seats anxiously awaiting the next installment of Dresden’s premier work. Clearly identified as Part One, the novel leaves many questions unanswered at the close of the first installment. How deep into the story will Margot probe? What will happen to Amanda after she escapes captivity? Will Sayer walk away before his vendetta consumes him? We can only hope Scott Dresden does not delay. Rage and Mercy: Part One weaves an elaborate narrative of deceit, desire, hope, and destruction that many readers will instantaneously begin again. Ideal for sunny days at the beach or stormy nights with some popcorn, this book will prove an excellent addition to any adult’s reading list.

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2rOUTG3

The Hunter: Awakening by Nicholas Arriaza

Story Summary:

The Hunter: Awakening, is the first of a series of novels that will explore the nature of good and evil and the question of redemption: Is it available to those who have perpetrated great evil? Not long after the theft of a leather-bound book from a hidden hillside tomb in LA, a young hiker inadvertently awakens something fearsome that has been laid to rest some two hundred years ago. Soon after an emaciated, amnesiac man falls from a cliffside trail into the backyard of young, pregnant, neurosurgeon Melisa Castro. The young doctor feels compelled to help the “John Doe” regain his memory. Meanwhile a vampire who no longer has a hunger for blood comes seeking to rectify the awakening only to find himself in the middle of a power struggle within the family Melisa’s fiancé Chris leads. Chris has yet to tell Melisa of his true nature and the fact, she is carrying a werewolf’s baby.

5 Stars San Francisco Book Review

In The Hunter: Awakening, we are introduced to Melisa Castro, a doctor who helps a man who falls onto her property and seems to have amnesia. As she is four months pregnant, she tries to be careful around him, but she finds herself needing to help this mysterious man. Even stranger, when she touches him, she sees visions of things that happened to him in the past, which he can’t even remember. Melisa is slowly drawn into a world of vampires and werewolves and those that hunt them. She discovers that the battle between the Hunter and his prey has been going on for centuries. Melisa begins to realize that the child she carries might not be normal at all and that she might possess some supernatural powers as well. Because of the child she’s carrying, she is in danger from the Hunter. But things aren’t always black and white. The Hunter has been awakened, but he wasn’t supposed to be, and now no one knows how the story will end.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series. The plot was great. Who doesn’t love a story about werewolves and vampires? If you don’t, you should. Even though Melisa was the main character, I actually liked Aaron, her future brother-in-law, and Ranald the best. Ranald, the sarcastic vampire, was an enjoyable character to read about. I hope that if I ever become one of the undead, I can still keep it light like he does. Aaron makes his brother, Chris, who is the father of Melisa’s child, just look bad. He’s willing to go as far as needed to protect her and her unborn child.

http://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/the-hunter-awakening/

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2poA9Tc

Author Website: https://www.thehuntersaga.com/

Author Bio
Nicholas Arriaza has worked as a pizza maker, an electrician, a carpenter, a luxury home electronics salesman, and an owner operator of a successful luxury custom home theater design company. He is now a stay at home dad and fantasy writer. He lives with his wife, their infant son, and Pit-Bull Basil in Los Angeles, CA. THE HUNTER: AWAKENING is his first published novel. He is currently working on the second novel of the saga.

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The Uncanny Valley by S.W. Campbell – New Book

5 Stars San Francisco Book Review – https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/the-uncanny-valley/

Author S.W. Campbell does a fantastic job of taking readers down a spiral of paranoia in The Uncanny Valley. Beginning each chapter with an actual political, governmental, or social event that has happened in the 20th or 21st centuries was a brilliant way to bring the question of how much power is too much power and of what don’t we know to light for readers…An interesting and thought-provoking novel worth a solid five stars.”

5 Stars Seattle Book Review – https://seattlebookreview.com/product/the-uncanny-valley/

[The Uncanny Valley] is far more complex than it appears at first. It’s a magnificent, gripping tale, one which you will find yourself hard-pressed to put down.”

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2rfCeGx

Mexican journalist killed in Sinaloa

(CNN)Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Crdenas, who reported extensively on drug trafficking, was killed on Monday in Sinaloa, officials said. He is the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year.

Riodoce, the weekly publication Valdez founded and worked for, reported he was shot to death. Valdez was a well-respected journalist in Sinaloa and published several books on drug trafficking, crime, and its effects on communities.
Speaking Monday at the crime scene in Culiacn, Sinaloa state Prosecutor Juan Jos Ros Estavillo vowed his department would provide more protection for journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992.
    Mexico President Enrique Pea Nieto tweeted out his condolences to the family and friends of Valdez. “I reiterate our commitment to freedom of expression and the press, which are fundamental to our democracy,” Nieto said.
    The Committee to Protect Journalists awarded Valdez the 2011 Press Freedom Award. “In a country where widespread self-censorship is the consequence of violence by drug syndicates and criminal gangs, Valdez still covers sensitive issues,” CPJ wrote in its announcement of the award.
    In September 2009, Riodoce published a series on drug trafficking. Days later, its offices were damaged by a grenade, according to CPJ.
    In his acceptance speech in New York in 2011, Valdez spoke about the message in two of his books, “Miss Narco” and “The Kids of the Drug Trade,” “I have told of the tragedy Mexico is living, a tragedy that should shame us. The youth will remember this as a time of war. Their DNA is tattooed with bullets and guns and blood, and this is a form of killing tomorrow. We are murderers of our own future.”
    Valdez was also a correspondent for La Jornada in Sinaloa and worked with news agency AFP.
    “We lament this tragedy and send all condolences to Javier’s family and those close to him. We call on the Mexican authorities to shed all possible light on this cowardly murder,” AFP’s Global news director, Michle Lridon, said in an official statement.
    In an interview with CNN in February 2013, Valdez told CNN’s Gary Tuchman he thought Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaqun “El Chapo” Guzman was not only alive, but continuing to do business.
    At the time of the interview, Riodoce was one of the only papers that continued to cover El Chapo and the Sinaloa cartel. Valdez told Tuchman that his staff lived in fear, but his paper would not back down on its coverage.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/15/americas/mexican-journalist-javier-valdez-killed-sinaloa/index.html

    Gringo By Dan “Tito” Davis

    Story Summary:

    Dan “Tito” Davis comes from a town in South Dakota that’s so small everyone knows their neighbor’s cat’s name. But once he got out, he made some noise. While at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he started manufacturing White Crosses, aka speed, and soon had the Banditos Motorcycle Club distributing ten million pills a week. After serving a nickel, he got into the weed game, but just when he got going, he was set up by a childhood friend. Facing thirty years, Davis slipped into Mexico, not knowing a word of Spanish, which began a thirteen-year odyssey that led him to an underground hideout for a MedellIn cartel, through the jungles of the Darien Gap, the middle of Mumbai’s madness, and much more.

    https://www.amazon.com/Gringo-Life-Edge-International-Fugitive/dp/1938812840

    Tito has lived a fascinating life, one well worth reading about, and I was enthralled by every page. Tito’s ambition and know-how lead him far past his humble Midwestern beginnings, and his rise and fall made a tale well worth reading, one which I would recommend to anyone.

    5 Stars San Francisco Book Review – http://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/gringo/

     

    Gideon: The Sound and The Glory

    Story Summary:

    Unsung heroes and murderous villains, hidden forever in ancient shadows, now leap to life – blazing onto the pages of revelation. Gideon, a lowly woodcutter, is blessed by an angel to be the savior of all Israel. He does not know why or how and shrinks from this dangerous mission. The commandment to conquer the Midian Empire as one man seems all but impossible. But Gideon’s confidence grows as God guides his every step until he stands fearless and faithfully fulfills his destiny as, “A mighty man of valor.” The fierce warriors, burning towers and devastated cities contained in Gideon’s Journey, are but silver threads that weave into a sweeping tapestry of ancient intrigue. Running through and stitching together the entire saga is The Lord of the Covenant, or The Baal-Berith, also known as Gideon’s mysterious Ephod of Gold.

    Seattle Book Review – 4 Stars
    https://seattlebookreview.com/product/gideon-the-sound-and-the-glory/

    Warriors and violent battles are present throughout Biblical times and beyond. Fueled by hatred of other tribes, the struggles for land, treasure, and resources permeate the landscape. The warrior Barak wages a vicious battle to take the village of Ophrah. With a little help from a female warrior named Jael, the tide of the battle turns. He is successful, but casualties are many. The casualties include the brothers of Gideon, a smart, unassuming woodcutter. Nothing much is expected of him; he is married to a woman who his father picked out. He is enamored of a young woman he encounters in his village named Drumah. She is set to be sacrificed to the God Baal. Gideon is visited by an Angel with a message from God. Gideon destroys the altar and saves Drumah from certain death. Gideon is chosen to fight for the Israelites. Gideon assumes command of his fellow people in battles against the people from the East such as the Midianites, who have fought for land in many pitched battles. Gideon is motivated by his brothers’ brutal deaths. He fights despite hunger and refuses help from cowering tribes. Gideon and his rag-tag group emerge victorious in their skirmishes. He takes vengeance on those who refused to help, emerging as a hero in his village. He takes Drumah as his concubine, along with many women he saved as well as widowed. He also sires many offspring, but his victory comes at a price that will echo throughout the coming years and decades with the Ephod of Gold. The worship of a new idol curses the family of Gideon, where one son engages in tyrannical rule. The son’s reign is typified by fear and power plays which include the wholesale slaughter of many brothers. By the time of the emergence of the underdog David, will the curse of this idol be broken?

    Gideon: The Sound and the Glory is a vivid and violent take on the religious strife that spanned the BC era. Greed, paranoia, jealousy, and lust are the overwhelming characteristics running through the veins of the men who highlight this book. Violence is seen as a necessary means to an end, whether in war or in power-grabs. The false idol that is worshiped only brings about doom and destruction to the worshiper. An interesting historical fiction read that will make a companion read to the Bible. A-!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4LNPMU

    New Curtis Sittenfeld novel will imagine Hillary Clinton’s life without Bill

    As-yet untitled novel will tell the story of Hillary Rodham and her life after she turns down marriage proposal from Bill Clinton once and for all

    Curtis Sittenfeld has signed a book deal to write a novel about Hillary Clinton that will imagine how the former secretary of states life would have panned out if she had not married Bill Clinton.

    According to publisher Random House, the as-yet-untitled novel is told from the point of view of Hillary Rodham, in which (as she did in real life) she turns down marriage proposals from Bill Clinton, then ultimately turns him down once and for all, and how her life spins out from there.

    A spokeswoman for the publisher said the book would be out in 2019. The novel is part of a three-book deal for Sittenfeld.

    Random House (@randomhouse)

    We’re so excited about @csittenfeld‘s next fiction project! https://t.co/1lSX0Nnw3p

    May 8, 2017

    Sittenfeld has form when it comes to writing about the lives of former first ladies. In 2008 she penned the acclaimed and bestselling novel American Wife, a fictionalised account of the life of Laura Bush.

    News of Sittenfelds new novel comes after it was announced that Bill Clinton was writing a political thriller with James Patterson. The President is Missing is due out in 2018.

    Meanwhile Hillary Clinton is writing her own collection of essays that will reflect on her life and the presidential election. The book will include quotations she has used to get through battles with political opponents including Donald Trump, the media, her husbands high-profile sex scandals. It is due in out September from Simon & Schuster.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/09/new-curtis-sittenfeld-novel-will-imagine-hillary-clintons-life-without-bill

    Health report links antibiotics to risk of miscarriage

    Canadian study finds taking the drugs raises chances of having a miscarriage by between 60% and 100%

    Many common antibiotics may double the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy, research has shown.

    A Canadian study has found that taking the drugs raised the chances of having a miscarriage by between 60% and 100%.

    The link was seen with several classes of antibiotic including macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulphonamides and metronidazole. However, nitrofurantoin, often used to treat urinary tract infections in pregnant women, had no effect on miscarriage risk. Nor did the widely used antibiotic erythromycin.

    The researchers looked at data from almost 9,000 cases of miscarriage at an average time of 14 weeks into pregnancy, involving girls and women aged between 15 and 45.

    The study leader, Dr Anick Brard, from the University of Montreal in Quebec, said: Infections are prevalent during pregnancy. Although antibiotic use to treat infections has been linked to a decreased risk of prematurity and low birth weight in other studies, our investigation shows that certain types of antibiotics are increasing the risk of spontaneous abortion, with a 60% to two-fold increased risk.

    Women who miscarried were more likely to be older, living alone, and to have multiple health issues and infections. But all these factors were accounted for in the analysis, whose findings are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    Dr Brard added: The increased risk was not seen for all antibiotics, which is reassuring for users, prescribers and policymakers.

    The researchers identified a total of 182,369 pregnancies from the Quebec pregnancy cohort, a large population group from the province providing data for ongoing studies. Of these, 8,702 (4.7%) ended with an early miscarriage.

    Writing in the journal, the team concluded that there was a link between some antibiotics and an increased risk of miscarriage, but added: However, residual confounding by severity of infection cannot be ruled out.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/02/health-report-links-antibiotics-to-risk-of-miscarriage

    Elmina’s Fire by Linda Carleton

    Book Summary

    What happens when a troubled young woman dares to follow the stirrings of her soul in turbulent times? Elmina begins life with a troubled childhood in a medieval French town―a childhood that turns her into a spiritually seeking young woman who dares to follow the stirrings of her soul. Her idealism and love lead her to leave a Cathar school and follow the man who will become Saint Dominic. As the world around her erupts into the Albigensian Crusade, Elmina finds herself complicit in its horror, and her spiritual and emotional life begins to unravel. With the aid of the counsel of her wise prior, Brother Noel, Elmina learns to paint her experiences within a sacred circle―a practice that helps her discover the origins of her lifelong fears and wrestle with questions that are as divisive today as they were eight centuries ago: the nature of God, the purpose of creation, the nature of evil, and the possibility of reincarnation.

    Available at Amazon – http://amzn.to/2qfb4eA

    5 Star Good Reads Review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1975193677

    Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author dies aged 88

    Book telling the father-son story of a motorcycle trip across the western United States was published in 1974 and quickly became a best-seller

    Robert Pirsig, author of the influential 1970s philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, has died at the age of 88.

    Peter Hubbard, executive editor of his publisher William Morrow & Co, said in a statement that Pirsigs wife Wendy had confirmed his death at his home in Maine after a period of failing health.

    Published in 1974 after being rejected by more than 100 other publishers, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, was the father-son story of a motorcycle trip across the western United States. Loosely autobiographical, it also contained flashbacks to a period in which the author was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

    The book quickly became a best-seller. Pirsig said its protagonist set out to resolve the conflict between classic values that create machinery, such as a motorcycle, and romantic values, such as experiencing the beauty of a country road.

    Born in Minneapolis, Pirsig had a high IQ and graduated high school at the age of 15. He earned a degree in philosophy and also worked as a technical writer and instructor of English before being hospitalised for mental illness in the early 1960s.

    His philosophical thinking and personal experiences during these years, including a 1968 motorcycle trip across the US West with his eldest son, Christopher, formed the core of the narrative of the novel.

    Pirsig worked on the sequel, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals for 17 years before its publication in 1991. The story traced a sailboat journey taken by two fictitious characters along Americas eastern coast.

    Pirsig lived the last 30 years in South Berwick, Maine and is survived by his wife Wendy, two children and three grandchildren. His son Chris died in 1979.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/25/robert-pirsig-zen-and-the-art-of-motorcycle-maintenance-author-dies-aged-88