#BookReview “First Second Coming” by Jeff Pollak

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4/5 Stars!

What happens when God walks away, tired of quarreling, unrepentant Earth? The Milky Way Galaxy, Inc. sends in New God, of course!

New God has no intention of picking up where the New Testament God left off. Mankind is destined for destruction unless they prove themselves worthy of mercy and they only get one chance. A selected group of religious leaders and laity must come together and solve their differences and make peace to end worldwide religious violence. Or it’s the end of the world… literally. The kicker… they only get sixty days!

It needs to be said this read is not about religion or is pious or preachy. It’s about flawed humans so locked into a belief system, they bastardize it and become inflexible.

Of course, there is push-back. Some leaders take an angry, uncompromising stance, and learn New God has no problem sending down his wrath.

Young professionals, Ram Forrester, an atheist, and Brendali Santamaria, a devout Catholic, are brought together through Divine Intervention and serve as New God’s official representatives.  They each have troubled and painful pasts and don’t understand why they were chosen but they go along with it because who says no to God?

While Ram and Brendali work to facilitate a positive outcome for the conference, they also have to work at staying alive as several attempts are made on their lives by the National Institute for Teaching Western Inspirational Theology. That’s right… NITWIT! HA!

NITWIT is a group of religious fanatics who believe carrying out NTG’s word includes kidnapping, murder, and bombs.

AHEM!

Leaders forge ahead to hammer out details and there are many stumbling blocks with some serious, unbending holdouts.

Ram and Brendali develop feelings for each other and romance follows. Though cute at first, for me, it was the weakest part of the story. There were parts where their relationship felt forced, and Brendali’s flareups were annoying. Hot Latin temper? For me, it was more like a teenage temper tantrum.

First Second Coming is a thought-provoking read. Why do we believe what we believe? How solid is our faith? We may worship different from others, but why do we believe that makes us better?

Download this one today and watch religious leaders of the world find we’re all more alike than we care to admit.

Enjoy!

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Book One In The New God Series
Supernatural Suspense, Romantic Suspense
Date Published: August 1
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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In 2027 the deity known as NTG – short for New Testament God – retires after more than two thousand years of minding the store for his employer, Milky Way Galaxy, Inc. The new god, a planetary turnaround specialist, must decide whether Earth’s dominant species should or should not be included in his plan to bring the planet back into full compliance with Milky Way Galaxy, Inc.’s planetary operation standards.

Earth’s new God introduces himself to humanity by unexpectedly appearing on the Ram Forrester Hour talk show. Ram, an atheist, and co-host Brendali Santamaria, a devout Catholic, are stunned. God’s interview, beamed worldwide, shocks and infuriates viewers. They learn that a sixty-day conference will take place in Los Angeles to determine whether humans are capable of helping him implement his planetary turnaround plan. All mankind must do to earn a coveted spot in this God’s good graces is eliminate religious violence forever, without his heavenly help. Failure means extinction.

God designates Ram and Bren as the conference’s only authorized media reporters. This assignment, fraught with peril, ignites their romance. Not only must the harried couple attend the conference meetings by day and do their show at night, they must also outwit a fanatical religious group bent on killing them. When rising conflicts within the conference intensify, it’s up to Ram and Bren to do whatever it takes to protect their budding romance and mankind’s very survival.

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#Spotlight “Tennessee’s Whiskey (The Whiskey Collection Book 1)” by L. Loren

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Grad student, Patricia Woods finds herself on the brink of homelessness. Needing a job that pays immediately, she reluctantly sets her sights on the local redneck bar where the bikers are notorious, and the tips are flowing.

All she wants is to make a little cash to pay her way through school, but what she finds is so much more. Her dream of finally having a family to call her own is just beyond her reach.

Single father, Weston Daniels, has built a nice life for him and his five-year old son. After escaping the “family business” all he wants is the peace and quiet of the south, and an occasional romp with a nameless woman.

He has a change of heart, when a beautiful African American woman dressed in orange bombards his bar. When his past catches up with him, he is faced with choosing between her life and the happiness he desires.

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The Heroine

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The Hero

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About L. Loren

Bestselling author, L. Loren holds a Business Management Degree from the University of Mount Olive. As a former call center supervisor, her desire to write lay dormant for years, until she found the courage to live her dream. She is currently based in Birmingham, AL with her loving and supportive husband.

L. Loren created her own brand of erotic romance that she dubbed LoveRotica – Love stories with an edge of sexy. Her catalog of sexy stories is self-published and available on Amazon.

Her stories and poems have appeared in various anthologies, publications and literary journals. L. is also the curator of the Love is Color Anthology, available for free on Smashwords.

Follow her on Social Media

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Blog  |  Pinterest 

  Goodreads  |  Amazon Author Page

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#BookBlitz “The True Adventures of Gidon Lev” by Julie Gray

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Narrative nonfiction/biography

Date Published: July 01, 2020

Publisher: Lightning Source

 

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Of the approximately 15,000 children imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp of Térézin (Theresienstadt ) near Prague, less than 100 survived. Gidon Lev is one of those children.

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Excerpt

 On the face of it, The True Adventures of Gidon Lev is the story of an elderly Holocaust survivor—a man who made it through horrifying events and lived to tell the tale. But Gidon (pronounced “Gid-awn”) did more than survive—he thrived. Gidon’s is the story of a little boy who never truly grew up, with a desperate need to belong and to build a family for himself. His story spans the beginnings of a fledgling country, a first marriage gone seriously wrong, a second marriage that lasted for over forty years and a late-in-life relationship with a writer and editor, thirty years his junior with whom his adventures continued, apace.

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 About the Author

Julie Gray was born in 1964 in the San Joaquin Valley in California. A longtime Huffington Post contributor, Julie has been published in the Sanskrit Literary Journal, Moment Magazine, The Times of Israel, MovieMaker Magazine, Script Magazine, and Hip Mama. Her essay The Freaking Autumn of My Life was included in the anthology Aging: An Apprenticeship. A veteran essayist and editor, Julie moved to Israel in 2012 and is working on her memoir They Do Things Differently Here.

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “The Wall” by N.J. Croft

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Suspense/Thriller

 

Date Published: 8/17/2020

Publisher: Entangled Publushing, LLC

 

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Set in an uncomfortably familiar future…

We built a wall to keep the dangers of the world out…but was it actually meant to keep us in?

Your every word is monitored. Your every movement watched.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

And if you stay within the wall, the Loyalist Party will protect you.

Gideon Frome knows that safety is an illusion. Ten years ago, his perfect life was shattered, and he left Washington DC in disgrace, sentenced to serve on The Wall. He may be back, lauded as a hero, but he knows he’s only traded one prison for another, assigned a position to the infamous Secret Service.

Kate Buchanan uses her illegal predictive engine to monitor the “chatter,” flagging perceived threats to America. When the program suggests that nuclear war is imminent, and people around her start to die, Kate can no longer hide. She needs help, and it comes from the most unlikely place—Gideon Frome, a ghost from her past.

The American people thought they were safe, but it’s becoming shockingly clear that the price of safety is too high. And somehow, together, Kate and Gideon must tear down the walls that keep their country a prisoner.

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Excerpt
 
Gideon shifted the weight from his left foot. His leg was beginning to ache, and he rubbed at his thigh. He’d taken a piece of shrapnel there five years ago, at the same time he’d gotten the scar on his face, and it still gave him problems.
 
How long until he could leave? Too long, at a guess.
 
Christ, had he actually enjoyed these events in the past? It seemed inconceivable. However, if he wanted his life back, he was going to have to suck it up and look like he belonged. Act like he belonged. And maybe if he did it long enough, he might actually feel like he belonged.
 
The problem was, he couldn’t bring himself to care.
 
The room was crowded. Anyone and everyone had clamored for an invitation to the party of the year. Plus, there were a large number of security agents. More than he remembered from the past. Men in the black uniforms of the president’s personal bodyguards—selected from the elite of the Secret Service—stood at the doors, while others mingled with the crowd. There was even a sniper on the second-floor interior balcony, covering the room.
 
Either Harry was paranoid, or there was an elevated threat level. If so, no one had told Gideon about it. That was hardly surprising; he suspected that no one, with maybe the exception of Harry himself, actually wanted him there.
 
But he wanted answers, and this was where he would find them.
 
Once he had those answers, then…
 
Who knew? Though revenge wasn’t the solution.
 
Most of the time he believed that.
 
Harry was making the rounds, shaking hands and smiling as he headed this way. Gideon wasn’t sure whether he would be acknowledged, but the president halted in front of him. He was flanked by two Secret Service officers, dressed in their black uniforms. Harry’s army, as they were known within the service.
 
He took the proffered hand. Harry’s grip was firm, and his smile was sparkling. Good dental work.
 
“Happy birthday, sir,” he said.
 
“Thank you. I’m glad you could make it.”
 
“I was grateful for the invitation, Mr. President.”
 
“We must all practice forgiveness.”
 
He could feel his muscles tightening. He’d done nothing that needed fucking forgiving. Neither had his father. For a second, he felt an echo of the dark anger that had been his companion for the first few years after his father’s death. He pushed it down and forced a smile. “Thank you, sir. I appreciated the chance to come home.”
 
“You’re a hero now, Gideon. You saved America from invasion. The people love you. We need heroes at a time like this.”
 
At a time like what? He’d seen the polls. There was a good chance that Harry would keep his position when—or maybe if—it came to an election. “Your approval ratings are higher than ever, sir.”
 
“Maybe,” the man mused. “But I’ve been feeling lately that they don’t appreciate me. That needs to change.”
 
“Yes, sir.”
 
“I must go now, but we’ll talk again.” Harry smiled and patted Gideon on the shoulder, and his guards stiffened at the contact. Christ, they were jumpy.
 
Gideon watched as the group walked away. Harry had always needed constant approval. It came from growing up in his father’s shadow; Harry Senior had been larger than life and an impossible act to follow. Charismatic. People loved him and would follow him anywhere. No doubt his son had always believed he was second-best.
 
Trouble was, he was right.

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About the Author

After a number of years wandering the world in search of adventure, N.J. Croft finally settled on a farm in the mountains and now lives off-grid, growing almonds, drinking cold beer, taking in stray dogs, and writing stories where the stakes are huge and absolutely anything can happen.

 

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#BookTour “First Second Coming” by Jeff Pollak

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cover

Book One In The New God Series
Supernatural Suspense, Romantic Suspense
Date Published: August 1
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

In 2027 the deity known as NTG – short for New Testament God – retires after more than two thousand years of minding the store for his employer, Milky Way Galaxy, Inc. The new god, a planetary turnaround specialist, must decide whether Earth’s dominant species should or should not be included in his plan to bring the planet back into full compliance with Milky Way Galaxy, Inc.’s planetary operation standards.

Earth’s new God introduces himself to humanity by unexpectedly appearing on the Ram Forrester Hour talk show. Ram, an atheist, and co-host Brendali Santamaria, a devout Catholic, are stunned. God’s interview, beamed worldwide, shocks and infuriates viewers. They learn that a sixty-day conference will take place in Los Angeles to determine whether humans are capable of helping him implement his planetary turnaround plan. All mankind must do to earn a coveted spot in this God’s good graces is eliminate religious violence forever, without his heavenly help. Failure means extinction.

God designates Ram and Bren as the conference’s only authorized media reporters. This assignment, fraught with peril, ignites their romance. Not only must the harried couple attend the conference meetings by day and do their show at night, they must also outwit a fanatical religious group bent on killing them. When rising conflicts within the conference intensify, it’s up to Ram and Bren to do whatever it takes to protect their budding romance and mankind’s very survival.

~~~

About the Author

Jeff Pollak grew up in Riverdale – not the one in the Archie comics and movies, the one in the Bronx. After graduating college in Buffalo’s often frozen tundra, he moved to Los Angeles to thaw out and learn to play golf without losing the ball in snow drifts. While there, a law school accepted him into their night program. Now retired from life as a civil trial litigator, Jeff lives in the Crescenta Valley where the closest Jeff comes to winter is his sporadic attendance at hockey games.
FIRST SECOND COMING, Jeff’s debut novel, was inspired by 9/11. Like everyone else, Jeff was transfixed by the unfolding tragedy. Unlike everyone else, Jeff had clients in the World Trade Center, his law firm had given annual seminars at Windows of the World, at the top of the building, and he’d become familiar with some of the staff. While watching the WTC collapse, the thought “earth needs a new God who’s a planetary turnaround specialist,” came to mind. Over the ensuing decade, this odd idea germinated in the deeper recessions of Jeff’s overactive brain until this story hatched in 2015. Jeff’s been writing it ever since.
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