Book Review- The Last Operative

In The Last Operative, Jordan Kirkwood is the last field agent of the NSA. He is considering retiring to spend more time with his wife and kids (whom he barely knows). However, he is approached by a fellow agent who has a tip. Islamic terrorists are planning to sneak nuclear warheads into the United States and use stolen Russian aircraft to do drop them. 

Before Jordan can get more answers, his colleague is killed in a firefight, but more tragedy strikes as Jordan’s wife is killed in the attack too. Now, he must press old allies and even a few enemies in order to avenge his wife while also preventing the greatest tragedy since September 11th, 2001 from happening. 

Jerry B. Jenkins is a master storyteller. If you don’t believe me, consider the Left Behind series and the Precinct 11 trilogy as a start. If series do not interest you, then this stand alone novel will. It is entertaining, suspenseful, and contemplative. Politically correct crowds will hate it for some of its content, but other than that, it’s a great spy and espionage novel. I found out it is actually an updated edition of a book he in the 1980s (titled simply The Operative).

My only complaint is I wanted more from the ending. While the plot is resolved, I wished that some of the personal aspects of Kirkwood’s family had been explored in more detailed at the end of the book. Other than that, I would highly recommend this book and hope it will be a film someday. 

Resources For Authors Part 1

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For my fellow authors, here are a few craft books that I have found to be very insightful and helpful for me personally.

I’ll be honest, I use to think that craft books were for the egotistical author who thinks they know everything, however, I released I was the prideful one. I now look for craft books for genre specific, as well as overall construction of your manuscript. Here are three I found most insightful:

Writing For The Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins: it’s a general book about finding inspiration and what feeds you as you write from the author of the popular Left Behind series.

Writing The Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman: this book helps you with outlining, character development, approaching a publisher, among other things. This book is written by a veteran publisher and book editor from both the UK and USA. He’s highly recommended.

The Art and Craft of Storytelling by Nancy Lamb: this again is a more general “how-to” book that helps you choose character POV, plot lines, and many other insightful recommendations.

You can buy all of these books online or at your local bookstore.

Mirror Interview: Jacob Airey

lonestarjake88:

Check out my Mirror Interview on the Readful Things blog!

Originally posted on readful things blog:

So Ionia had a brain fart. What? What you may say? How can this be? To tell the truth it happens all the time. I went on holiday and forgot the notebook that had all the scheduled interviews in it. So the 20th of August rolled around–also my birthday, coincidentally–and I didn’t seem to have an interview for that day. Since I forgot the book I couldn’t check to see who it was that was supposed to be the guest. Apparently the email was eaten in one folder or another. 3,000 plus emails a week that aren’t spam and another few thousand that are will do that, but no excuses. I goofed up. So thankfully, Mr. Airey is a kind soul and has offered me another chance to post his interview. I’m going to actually do it this time. Promise. I apologise for keeping you all from a great…

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Documentary Review- Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

From Wanderlust Productions’ director/producer Darren Wilson (Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights) comes a bold new documentary: Holy Ghost. It will have some people cheering, others jeering, but everyone saying ‘how great is our God?’

Partnered with evangelist Todd White and with worship leader Jake Hamilton and featuring interviews with: Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, and so many others, comes an impressive look at what it is like to follow after Jesus. We go with Darren and his crew as they minister in India, Europe, Salt Lake City, Utah, and even at a Korn concert. We see lives get changed and so much more!

The audience even get the first ever into the temple of the Hindu goddess Shiva, where the High Priest invites Jake Hamilton to perform and even to walk through the streets. Something forbidden for Christians to do.

It is a film that directly challenges Cessationism, which is what I meant by people jeering. They discuss how Holy Spirit is the forgotten person of the Godhead and how He is alive and well in all of us.

To me, a few things were out of place. It took too long for him to show the temple. The filmmakers spend an eternity building up to it, and leave you hanging for a bit before finally showing what it is like inside one of the most anti-Christian places in the world. Also, Darren and his friends harp on the word “religion” a lot. Religion is not a dirty word. It is simply a faith you believe in. Unfortunately, the word has taken the place of religiosity, which is what they are suppose to be saying. 

Outside of that, I found the documentary a big improvement off Finger of God and Furious Love. The stories are amazing and watching lives change for Jesus right before your eyes is one of the most incredible things caught on film.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Minor Thematic Elements

Movie Review- Grudge Match

If you want a movie that makes a mockery of everything that is a boxing movie, Grudge Match is the film for you! Starring Silvester Stallone (of Rocky fame) as Razor and Robert De Niro (of Raging Bull fame) as Billy “The Kid” this film directed by Peter Segal (of Get Smart/Anger Management fame) will have you laughing all the way through it.

The story goes that Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen were the fiercest fighters in the ring. Billy the Kid is undefeated and defeats a Light Heavyweight challenge from Razor, also undefeated. However, after a rematch, Razor wins, claiming the title. However, and without explanation, Razor retires, leaving Billy feeling mighty angered.

Years later in Pittsburgh, Bill runs a local bar and gets reconnected with his illegitimate son, whom you found out was born from an affair he had with Razor’s ex-girlfriend Sally Rose. She wants to get back with Razor whom she considers her true love. Because Razor needs the money, he agrees to allow himself to filmed for an upcoming video game that will feature him and kid thanks to an overachieving promoter Dante Slate, Jr. He is the son of Billy’s deceased sleazy fight promoter. Billy shows up for the video game sequence as well and the two get into a brawl which goes viral. Dante, using money as a lure, convinces both of them to do a rematch that will determine once and for all who is the better fighter in an event called The Grudge Match.

I laughed all the way through this film as they made fun of many boxing movie cliches and poked fun at the Rocky movies (such as drinking eggs/punching meat). Kevin Hart is impeccable as Dante, though foulmouthed. It was funny, hilarious, full of heart, but also really cool to see.

PARENTAL WARNINGS: Crude/suggestive language, fighting violence, foul language, and scatological humor

CAST:

  • Robert De Niro as Billy “The Kid” McDonnen
  • Sylvester Stallone as Henry “Razor” Sharp
  • Kevin Hart as Dante Slate, Jr.
  • Alan Arkin as Louis “Lightning” Conlon
  • Kim Basinger as Sally
  • Jon Bernthal as B.J.
  • Camden Gray as Trey

September 11th, Happy Patriots Day Part 2

Eleven years after September 11th, 2001, in 2012, the United States Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was assaulted by Islamic militants who wanted blood. 

In the attack, they killed four Americans, US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Management Officer Sean Smith, along with CIA operatives: Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods. 

These men were denied extra security by the State Department despite the growing unrest in Benghazi. Our government made a lot of mistakes: blaming the violence on the protest of a video, covering up that fact, along with several others. Now we hear from men working security there did in fact receive a “stand down” order at the compound. What does this mean, time will tell. 

Whatever comes of this, those four Americans who died during that evil attack deserve justice! I hope they receive it on Patriots Day. 

For all of the victims and families of both September 11th, 2001 and 2012, we will NEVER forget the sacrifice!