Sacrament of Fear Book Review

Title: Sacrament of Fear

Author: Will Dresser

Genre: Contemporary Thriller

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Release Date: March 2012

Format: Kindle/Paperback

Pages: 384 pages

About the Book:

From the Clarion Foreword Review:

…cloaked in the guise of a terrorist act, a father plots revenge for the senseless and brutal death of his son.

Following a series of deaths around the world from seemingly “natural causes,” the Special Assistant to the Minister President of The Netherlands, Frans Roobeek, recognizes a special link between the list of victims and his American friend, Wes Franklin…all are members of a secret intelligence network—The Cloister of Akhenaten, or Ankh Network—and Wes may soon be the next member to meet his end by “natural causes”!

Wes Franklin emerges from the jungles of Columbia with his technology-savvy girl friend, Ashley Jordan, and his weapons expert and Persian strongman, Aryana, to investigate the deaths. Together, they chase down clues from Holland, Scotland, and Damascus to uncover and foil a diabolical plot to launch an unprecedented wave of terror somewhere in Europe.

AmazonMy Review:

After my review of Will Dresser’s second book, The Methuselah Man, I was itching to read the first book in the series, Sacrament of Fear, so I could get the back story on the main characters, Wes Franklin, his girlfriend A.J. and their coworker and friend, Rouzbeh Aryana, as well as the history of the Cloister of Akhenaten.  So I was very excited when my copy of Sacrament of Fear arrived in the mail.

I was definitely not disappointed. The description in the book was gorgeous.  It made me feel like I was right there in the middle of the action, especially when Wes, A.J. and Aryana are fighting guerillas in the jungles of Columbia, meeting with the Dutch government at the Hague, and exclaiming over the interior of a Morgan Plus 8 sports car.

The history of the Cloister of Akhenaten was very interesting and filled in a lot of the questions I had from Methuselah Man. I also enjoyed the story of how Wes and A.J. met and later fell in love.  My only complaint about the book was that in some ways the main characters are too perfect.

I give Sacrament of Fear 4 1/2 recorders, because, as we all know:

The truth never happens in real time.

About the Author:

Will Dresser has had an eclectic career, which included work as a Counselor in the late ’70s and early ’80s, a long career in Silicon Valley with Philips Semiconductors from the late ’80s to 2003, and most recently a five-year stint as a paralegal in a patent law office in Palo Alto, California. He is now enjoying semi-retirement in Las Vegas, while pursuing his passion for writing. As he puts it, “I had to retire just to keep up with my workload!”

Will’s creative expression in writing over the years was primarily applied to writing music and lyrics, a passion which he has enjoyed since about 1965. The instrumental “Persian Dreams – Aryana’s Theme”, used on the home page of WillDresser.com, was written in the early ’90s. Will had always intended to be a novelist, though, and in 2003 turned his attention to that genre with the work Sacrament of Fear, his first ‘Wes Franklin’ novel. Since then he has written The Methuselah Man, and, together with friend and collaborator Ron Turouske, turned both those stories into screenplays. Will is currently working on the third ‘Wes Franklin’ installment, Terminal Rock, which brings both of his creative loves together – Rock’n’Roll and literature!

In his spare time, Will still enjoys a round of golf every-so-often, though not as frequently as he did in the past. He says, “I used to have a very low handicap…Now, I just have very low expectations!” But, like all golfers, the occasional good shot suckers him into coming back for more!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Chris Mann #Roads Review

Title: Roads

Author: Chris Mann

Genre: Pop

Label: Republic

Release Date: November 2012

Format: CD/Digital

About the CD:

Roads boasts a wildly eclectic assortment of songs, ranging from Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” to “Ave Maria” and Damien Rice’s “The Blowers’ Daughter,” with the latter featuring a special guest appearance from Christina Aguilera.

My Review:

I had never heard of Chris Mann before I was asked if I wanted to review his CD.  He was a contestant on the show “The Voice” last season, and was picked for Christian Aguilera’s team.  As soon as I listened to his version of “Ave Maria” on Youtube I was hooked.

Once I popped the CD into the computer I was immediately taken with the lyrics to the first track, “Roads”.  Chris Mann’s voice reminds me of a tenor Josh Groban or Celine Dion – smooth and comforting, but passionate.  Here is the lyric video of “Roads”:

The sound on the album is a fun blend of classical (Mann is operatically trained) and pop.  Mann co-wrote two songs on the album, “Falling”: and my favorite, “Cuore.”  Cuore means “heart” in Italian, and the music is based on Bach’s Air on a G String.  

Other highlights include  “The Blower’s Daughter”, featuring Christina Aguilera and “My Way” which songwriter Paul Anka retooled to be forward-looking, rather than the backward glance of the original Frank Sinatra version.  Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”, Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, “Unless You Mean It”, by singer-songwriter Bleu, Dave Barnes’ “On a Night Like This”, and of course, “Ave Maria.”

“Ave Maria” is one of my favorite songs, and Mann sings it to perfection.  His voice is at once both soothing and heartbreaking and the choir backing him up sounds exactly like my vision of a heavenly chorus.

A couple of the songs were a little too “poppy” for me, but overall this was a charismatic album that I will enjoy listening to over and over again.

My rating:

I give Chris Mann’s “Roads” four microphones.

You can purchase “Roads” on Itunes or Amazon.

Follow Chris Mann at ChrisMannmusic.com

 

This is a review post from One2One Network. I was provided with a copy of the album and I am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated are my own.