Monthly Archives: April 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Toxicity by A.J. Fraser

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Description: In the tradition of The Stand, The Man in the High Castle, and The Road, comes an epic story of struggle against tyranny in a future America….

The year is 2141. Islam controls the entire civilized world, including all that exists of the former United States. Climate change has made fresh drinking water a scarce, and valuable, commodity. Islamic states that once controlled the oil now control the largest fresh water deposit in the world, the American Great Lakes.

Washington D.C. and New York City are mere memories of the old world, as a new regime of Caliphs has ruled the eastern half of the country for the past century. The barren ‘no man’s land’ east of the Mississippi River is but an encroaching desert, and the realm of the Great Lakes—known as Al-hayat Miyaah—dictates life for the rest of the realm.

Jihadic allegiance and the Lakes’ bounty decide a person’s worth, where clean, drinkable water is far more precious than gold… and more valuable than the lives of infidels.

Aligned with a much smaller Muslim nation in Kentucky, the Caliphate seeks to steadily eradicate the less privileged southern states, collectively known as the Southern Lowlands. Forever viewed as the scourge of the new America, or Amreeka, the Fourth Caliph of the Bashir dynasty, Abdul-Muttalib Bashir, moves to cut off the Mississippi River’s flow to the south, as part of the Caliphate’s Centennial Celebration. The enormous dam at Cairo, Illinois was created for this very purpose. The perpetual hardships facing townships in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama now worsens dramatically.

In this hostile environment, Joaquin Martinez and six others risk certain death, as fugitives crossing state lines to reclaim loved ones stolen from Hernando, Mississippi, and sold into slavery in Detroit. At the same time, survivalist Malcolm Foster and his daughter Renee begin a journey to Kentucky with other survivalists hoping to strike a blow to the Muslim empire. Lastly, in the heart of Al-hayat Miyaah, the youngest son of the Caliph, Abdul-Bari, sets out on a quest to determine the truth about infidels… their worthiness of scorn and indiscriminate death.

Much is at stake for them all, as a crossing of paths determines who inevitably is destined to win… and who must lose everything.

****Disclaimer: The book is not a religious condemnation, although it supports none of them. The story is about the wickedness of human nature—a treatise, if you will, about mankind’s desire to subjugate others—especially when bad men are in control of that power.

Review: I had the pleasure of reading the book Toxicity by A.J. Fraser and I was truly blown away. In the style of Stephen King’s The Stand, this book begins with different groups of characters who intertwine along their journeys.

Honestly, trying to think what to say about this book, the first thing that comes to mind is, “I don’t know what to say, it’s just so freaking good!” which is how I described it to a friend on the phone this morning. The characters are so richly developed you find yourself cheering them on, crying with them, picturing them as people you know and care about in real life. I really identified with several of them, and there were certain scenes where my heart literally ached for them.

This is a tale of love, of survival, of determination, of an uprising. This is a tale of people who may have little in common, but are united in their goal. Working for their families, working to save each other, working to save the former United States.

And while religion plays a big part of this book, as it must to do the story justice, it is not at all a religious novel.

If you like a good, long novel you can sink your teeth into, a highly recommend you download a copy of Toxicity. You won’t regret it.

About the Author: A. J. Fraser is the writing team of Aiden James and Fiona Fraser. Aiden is the author of more than thirty books, including the bestselling Cades Cove Series and Judas Chronicles. Fiona was the silent voice in such early Aiden James novels as “The Forgotten Eden”, “The Devil’s Paradise”, and “Cades Cove: The Curse of Allie Mae”. “Toxicity is their first full joint endeavor, and they look forward to more collaborative books in the coming years.

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Bad Wish is LIVE on Amazon!

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve written something new, but I’m finally back in the saddle! A new short story is now available, Bad Wish. It’s the first in a new short series, The Wish series, all about people making terrible wishes with unintended consequences.

Bad Wish

Description: Julie Adamson’s life was a mess. Everything that could go wrong had done so. She was 30, suddenly single, and out of a job. If only things were different…

But wishes can have unexpected consequences. Julie’s world turns upside down overnight, and she comes to regret wishing things were different. Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for…

Grab your copy here for 99 cents, and don’t forget to share with your friends so they can enjoy it as well.

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The Depression Battle

For those who follow me on Facebook, it’s no secret I suffer from depression. Actually, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in my teens, and it’s been a war. Not a skirmish, but a full-on battle.. I’ve been unmedicated since I was 19, which yes, I’m aware is probably not the wisest of moves, but I have my reasons. The first is that for most of my adult years I’ve been uninsured. Paying for a prescription out of pocket is just not happening. The second? I love writing, always have. It’s my passion, the one thing I do for me, because I need to. No, I have to. And while medicated I can’t write a grocery list, let alone a blog post, journal entry, or a book. So I choose my passion over the mind-numbing effects of medication.

That doesn’t make me braver than those who medicate. Hell, maybe it just makes me stupid. Whatever the case may be, it’s the choice I’ve made, and I’ve stuck to it even when I know there are times I’m dumb for doing so.

Like now. I’ve been suffering a severe bout of depression for several years now. Yes, years. There are brief reprieves, even weeks where I feel okay, but it’s always temporary, like my depression is lulling me into a state of complacency. It only got worse after the birth of my son 7.5 months ago, as thought postpartum depression combined with the bipolar to deliver a hurricane of pain.

So how do I combat it? First I put on songs that make me feel understood- my favorite being Nickelback’s “Lullaby.” That song speaks to me on a deep level. Another way is writing, now that I’m finally able to do so again. Honestly, until I finally picked it back up again a few weeks ago, I feared my writing days were behind me. The third is keeping a journal. A journal where I can put all the things I can’t bring myself to verbalize.

I actually want to share some of my latest entry here, for those who suffer. I don’t know if it’ll help you in any way, but after I wrote it I felt it. I went back and reread it several times, and it brought me a small measure of peace. I hope it might do the same for you.

The struggle with depression lives on. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever conquer it. Or if it’s even meant to be conquered. 

I’ve always battled depression, negative self image, etc. Feelings of inferiority and deep-rooted insecurities. Like I’m not good enough, and never will be. I can laugh, sing, put on a happy face, even feel happy for awhile, then night falls and I’m battling my inner demons. 

How do you fight your own mind? How do you overcome it? I don’t want medication. That only masks the symptoms and fixes nothing. I’ve tried therapy in the past with poor results. 

Maybe it’s a battle never won. Maybe the point is just to end in a draw, no side the clear victor. Maybe it’s only about getting out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other, day after day. I suppose that counts as winning, just showing up to the battle. 

I don’t know if any of this helps anyone, but if you’re reading this and suffering, know you’re not alone. And keep showing up to the battle.

 

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