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Year One by Roberts

A strange interesting post apocalyptic novel where a devastating virus kills a massive amount of people in the world and at the same time magic awakens in the world. I’m looking forward to the next novel.

Year One
By Nora Roberts
St. Martin’s Press
December 2017

FYI: NSFW at times, with strong language and a couple of brief accounts of sexuality. Very brutal at times. Lots of apocalyptic violence.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.

The Night Bird by Freeman

This is a story of a psychiatrist who erases the memory of what a person is most afraid of. Several of her patients are committing suicide for no reason. What is happening?

The Night Bird
Frost Easton Mystery Book 1
By Brian Freeman
Thomas & Mercer
February 2017

Is someone trying to destroy the doctor? Could it be one of her patients doing this? The book was a page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

From the publisher: What if you had to relive your most terrifying memory…over and over? A detective and a psychiatrist investigate in Thriller Award–winning author Brian Freeman’s gripping psychological novel.

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.

As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.

As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

Secondborn by Bartol

A very interesting book. It appears to be the future, but I’m not really sure.

Secondborn Series Book 1
by Amy Bartol
August 2017

The world is divided into two groups of people. The first born, who hold all the power, and the second born who take care of the first born and fight all the wars. The main character is a daughter of the sword, but is the second born and is literally thrown to the wolves. I liked the book.

4/5 Stars

From the publisher: Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

Twist of Faith by Green

This book is a mystery book. It is a story that will keep you turning pages, stayed up till all hours of the night trying to figure out exactly what is happening.

Twist of Faith
by Ellen Green
Thomas & Mercer
February 2018

It is well written and I really couldn’t determine who the murderer was. I was really surprised at the ending. If you love a mystery you will love this book!

4/5 stars

From the publisher: When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

Daughters of the Night Sky by Runyan

This book is about the role that women played in the Second World War.

Daughters of the Night Sky
by Aimie K. Runyan
Lake Union Publishing
January 2018

These women were pilots running midnight missions against the German army. They were highly trained intelligent women and excellent Pilots but received very little recognition. Without these pilots, Russia probably would not been as successful in defeating the Germans. Loved it!

5/5 Stars

From the publisher: A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war.

Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.

After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units composed entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Loureiro

The book starts with journal entries by a man who has recently lost his wife. His pschologist suggested that starting a blog would help him work through his feelings. Infortunately, in Russia there is an outbreak of something that will make his journal about so much more than the loss of one woman; soon it will be about the loss of almost all people.

The Beginning of the End
Apocalypse Z #1
By: Manel Loureiro
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Brilliance Audio
November 2012

Unlike many zombie books this isn’t ultra action packed and filled with everyday people who suddenly become all-star athletes who can shoot zombies in the head from 100 yards witb a pistol. It also isn’t filled with non-stop vulgar language as if another cuss word would ramp up the realism. I enjoyed the pacing – based on journal entries – and the take on zombies (they are slightly different than your run of the mill Waking Dead.) I also loved the setting – so many in this genre have to happen in the US. It was a nice change of pace. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

Glory Song by Redman & The Answer by Camp

Sometimes I have an opportunity to listen to and review new music and because many of my friends and family love Christian pop radio music I agreed to review two new CDs. Both came with the promise of a free giveaway and because I love you, the readers of this site, here are my reviews. Comment below or on Facebook to win. Winners will be chosen at random on October 15, 2017.

Glory Song
by Matt Redman
September 2017

My biggest problem with this album and the songs on it are previous works by Redman. There are no 10,000 Reasons here. Instead, we get, in my opinion, very basic lyrics – listen to, for instance, the beginning of the song All Glory, All Glory the song. And, yes, that is an illustration, an illustration that is, – on mellow and same-ish music ready made for Christian radio. And that’s not a great thing, in my opinion. None of the songs rise to the level of interesting, creative or complicated.

That said, listeners who came looking for Redman will find enough of the same Redman to love this album. Listeners looking for “safe for the whole family” music will find it here. Listeners looking for something mellow and encouraging with easy to remember lyrics will enjoy Glory Song. And since music is mostly all about taste preferences, I’ll just agree to disagree and set this aside.

The Answer
by Jeremy Camp
October 2017

When I was first introduced to Jeremy Camp it was as an alternative to secular music. He was supposed to be good-for-the-soul pop rock and some of those early songs weren’t bad. Recently – say the last decade – he has become known for his worship songs and covers, Like 2015’s Same Power, and soft rock songs like, He Knows (both from I Will Follow.)

The Answer is very similar to, but not as good as I Will Follow. He has the same soft rock vibe going for the most part, but adds some electronic noise, like in the already constantly playing on radio, Word of Life, or even a Jon Bon Jovi-esq Awake O Sleeper (reminds me a lot of Young Guns.)

While some of the songs do stretch the sound of Camp, I found the album to be strongly, firmly forgettable. Obviously, I’m in the minority here based on the radio play that Word of Life is already getting. But I’m tired of songs that all sound the same and artists who don’t push themselves or evolve. I firmly believe that Camp can do better. Just my opinion.

Don’t forget to comment here or on Facebook if you think my opinion is totally rubbish and you want a copy of the CD(s).

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

A copy of each of the CDs was provided in exchange for a review.

Interview: Aly Malchaka

At Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017, Day 1, Scott Asher had an opportunity to speak briefly with Aly Malchaka (of Aly & AJ (Disney) stardom as well as a reoccurring lead role on iZombie (2015) as Liv’s BFF Peyton Charles) about trasitioning from child star to adult star and faith in Hollywood.

As I introduced myself to Aly I was surprised by the graciousness she showed as she welcomed me to the interview and even shook my hand – something most celebrities don’t do. My first experience with Aly was in the film Cow Belles (2006) – a Disney TV movie that my then young daughters made me watch over and over. My daughters love Aly & AJ (even now as High Schooler and College student!) One of the things they liked (and my wife and I did too since we are always looking for wholesome entertainment and good role models) is that both actresses were Christians.

Scott: My daughters would love to be here right now!

Aly: Awww.

Scott: One of the things my daughters told me that was great about you as a role model was that you and your sister are Christians. Is that true?

Aly: Yeah.

Scott: So, what’s that like being a Christian in Hollywood?

Aly: I think it’s a rarity, but we’ve always been very outspoken about our faith. It’s just one of those things that, you know, it doesn’t necessarily affect anybody because if you’re just cool with it and you’re fine… no one’s really ever bothered me about it. Everyone can have their own beliefs and we can all be cool with that.

Scott: Have you ever had to turn down roles because of your faith?

Aly: Uh, sometimes. Rarely. It’s never really been anything negative for us. If anything it’s been a positive.

Scott: Thank you. You guys were childhood stars and yet, you’re not doing drugs and stuff…

Aly: [laughed] No.

Scott: How did you successfully transition from child star to adult star when it seems like so many people didn’t make that change well?

Aly: I think probably because AJ and I have always been very close and we rely on each other. It’s helped, you know, in not getting us off that path. Obviously, we are not perfect – we’re humans – but we always try to hold each other with a certain amount of accountability. I think, yeah, having each other was a really important part of us staying focused on our craft and not getting involved in all those other things.

Scott: Thank you so much! I appreciate your time.

Interview: Lou Ferrigno

At Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017, Day 1, David Mason had an opportunity to ask Lou Ferrigno a few questions specifically about Pumping Iron, the 1977 documentary featuring Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his time as the Hulk (TV and TV movies).

David: Thinking back to your time working on the Incredible Hulk – how was that experience for you as far as going from Pumping Iron?

Lou: The Hulk was fourteen hours a day of makeup. An hour and a half to take it off.

David: I read that Arnold was up for that but he wasn’t tall enough or big enough?

Lou: No, I was better for the part. I was a lot bigger.

David: I saw that the two of you at the reunion [Pumping Iron: the 25th Anniversary c. 2006]. Do you and Arnold keep in touch at all?

Lou: I see Arnold all the time.

David: I am a big fan of the [Hulk] show. I heard you were going to make a fourth?

Lou: Yeah, but then Bill [Bixby] passed away [in 1993]. The name of the show was going to be “The Revenge of the Hulk” but Bill passed on.

David: Thank you very much!

Live Blog: Day 2, 2017 #WizardWorld Comic Con

Welcome to’s Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017 live blog! Join me (Scott Asher @ashertopia) David Mason (resident comics-know-it-all), and David Warren (photo and videographer) as we blog everything that happens on during Day 2 of Comic Con Nashville 2017! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BookGateway and #WizardWorld! Video will also be posted next day on our YouTube channel. On tap today: Whedonverse cosplay, Saturday morning cartoons, Batman the Animated Series, Star Wars cosplay, Harry Potter, Firefly cast reunion, and more!