Kindle Serials– The Zombie Bible

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I haven’t been too enthusiastic about the Kindle serials.  I’m of the mindset that I want to read it all, and I want it now.

But this one is teaching me the value of delayed gratification.

I have written several posts on this blog praising the writing of Stant Litore.

He is probably one of the best writers I have come across during this journey of book blogging.

His writing, on its own, is just fantastic.  He weaves lyrical prose that is truly spellbinding.  His sentence structure, word choice, metaphors, are unlike any writer I have read before:

She felt small and caught–by him, by the Law, by her bereavement.  As though it were not his hands that held her but God’s, pitiless and demanding.  God’s hands that demanded that she live a certain way, fulfill commitments that were made before her grandmother’s grandmothers were born and always without any sure promise from God beneath her feet, only shifting sand, pulled out from under her by the vanishing tide.

Add in the elements of an ancient and mysterious religion (to me at least) and then zombies?  Wow.  It just adds to the satisfying smorgasbord that Litore’s writing presents.

At first I was wary of the serial concept.  But now I’m seeing it as an adventure.  Like watching “The Walking Dead” every week.  I have to wait.  To anticipate.  To wonder to what dark recesses of humanity Litore will take me.

Here is the synopsis of the serial and the story to date:

A first-century Israeli village lies ruined after zombies devour most of the coastal community. In their grief, the villagers threw the dead into the Sea of Galilee, not suspecting that this act would poison the fish and starve the few survivors on land.

Yeshua hears their hunger. He hears the moans of the living and the dead, like screaming in his ears. Desperate to respond, he calls up the fish.

Just one thing:

The dead are called up, too.

No Lasting Burial ushers readers into a vivid and visceral re-interpretation of the Gospel of Luke and the legend of the Harrowing of Hell. The hungry dead will rise and walk, and readers may never look at these stories the same way again.

Episode List
An additional episode will be delivered every week until the book is complete. New episodes will be added to the same book on your Kindle, keeping your place and retaining your notes and highlights. You’ll be notified via email when a new episode has been delivered.

Episode 1: November 12, 2013. 40 pages. When a stranger arrives in the starving village of Kfar Nahum, his eerie cries call fish up from the bottom of an empty lake—but he calls up the dead, too. 
Episode 2: November 19, 2013. 40 pages. As his town burns in the night, Shimon and his neighbors fight to survive an onslaught of the ravenous dead.
Episode 3: November 26, 2013. 40 pages. The dead have been beaten back, but Shimon’s crippled brother, Koach, and the other survivors may face even graver threats…from the living, as the priests and warriors of the land decide who to blame for the rising of the dead.
Episode 4: December 3, 2013. 40 pages. A young woman shelters Koach from a zombie-killer who is eager to stone him, and Shimon must decide what to do with a strange visitor whose body bears the bruises of stoning but who can call up both the living and the dead.

The only criticism I have is that I have absolutely no clue what some of the Hebrew words used in the story mean.  Litore tries to convey the meaning in following sentences, and the onboard dictionary helps somewhat.  But I am utterly clueless when it comes to words such as “nagar”, “navi” “shedim”.  It would just help to have a glossary or some other form of direct confirmatons on my suspicions of a words meaning.

Like I have said before, forget that this has “zombies” and “bible” in the title.  I was skeptical myself when I first discovered the series.  But the title itself intrigued me.  How can someone combine such polarizing topics in one book and make it readable?

But Litore suceeds.  Way beyond what I expected. Beyond what I dreamed was possible to be contained in a novel in the horror genre, or any genre for that matter.

I am no longer a skeptic.  This experience has totally sold me on the Amazon serial thing.  I now eagerly await the delivery of the next installment to my Kindle each week.

Check it out.  Even if you don’t think you’ll like a zombie book.  Even if you are an ardent atheist and avoid anything with “bible” in the title.  You will not be disappointed.

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Book review: The Gospel According to Chubby by Jeremy Rochford

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This is a first for the Eclectic Bookworm. Writing a review on an author I have known personally for over a decade and a half.

The Gospel According to Chubby is a book written by my friend Jeremy Rochford. We went to high school together. I knew him before he lost all the weight, and I was interested to know how he did it…without surgery, pills or a fancy Hollywood trainer.

He wrote this book to share his experiences with others. He’s not promoting a certain weight loss program, he isn’t endorsing a fast food chain (that thing with Jared still puzzles me). He did it the old fashioned way.

The book initially came out in 2010, but I recently re-read it due to my own issues with weight.

The book chronologically reviews his weight issues throughout his life. How it started in childhood, why he feels he overate, the struggles he had with his parents. It’s a funny read, he writes it like he was sitting down and having a conversation with you. And I can speak from experience that conversations with Jeremy are incredible. I think this format lends credibility to his stories.

My first signed book!!

My first signed book!!

He has several passages consisting of dialogue and has a very healthy subconscious that speaks to him frequently.

I particularly found interesting the lengths that he would go to just to eat what he wanted to eat. The sneaking, the elaborate money making schemes in order to buy candy and junk food. His intricate plans to get his parents to go along with some of his ideas are just ingenious. I knew he was smart, but I was amazed that at a very young age he knew what he was doing and intentionally planned out his deception.

I can honestly say that before reading his book, I never really thought about looking at overeating as an addiction…as a compulsion. To fill an emotional need. I now get “carb cravings” from the medication that I am forced to take every day, and it is probably a similar sensation.

I also did not know all that Jeremy went through leading up to his decision to lose weight. Like he discusses in the book, he always seemed like the jovial fat guy. He has always been quick to make fun of himself. I never realized that it was a defense mechanism until he spelled it out for me in this book.

I now go back and look at some of the conversations we had in the past and I cringe. I’m pretty sure I am quasi-mentioned in the book, mainly because I was one of his many female friends that always turned to him for advice about my horrible relationships, not realizing how it made him feel…to constantly hear about these d-bags and see me (and my friends) continually ask for more poor treatment.

Reading his book this time, however, has some sad parts. One of his girlfriends from high school has recently passed away. Reading the passages which feature her is very sobering.

The most amazing thing about his journey is that he lost over 200 pounds, and has kept it off for over a decade.

If someone would have told me back in 1996 (when I met him) that Jeremy Rochford would grow up to help people lose weight, I would have looked at them like their hair is on fire.

Which is hilarious because he’s a ginger.

Another aspect to his miraculous transformation is his faith. He isn’t overly preachy throughout the book, but it is mentioned and I know personally how his faith in Christ has impacted his life.

I really do recommend this book…pretty much to everyone. It’s a good story whether you are trying to lose weight or not, if you are a Christian or are like me and pretty much without a religion right now. It is very well written, although I think he sometimes goes overboard with the metaphors.

Check out his website here. There are plenty of before and after pics too.

–AA

The Zombie Bible

I love my zombie stories. I have posted about this series before, but the last book was just so incredible, I had to make another post.  You can read about my past posts on this series here.

Stant Litore is an amazing writer. The way he constructs sentences and weaves them into paragraphs is a true art form. I always appreciate great writing, and these books are incredible.

Some background info: although I grew up Catholic, I know next to nothing about the Old Testement. I have no clue who these main characters in his books are, other than “oh, I might have heard that name before”. The books take the supposition that zombies have always existed. They are a fact of life from the beginning of time.

The protagonists in his books are usually some know Biblical figure. In the first one, its the prophet Jerimiah (although he uses the Hebrew spelling). In the second its Polycarp. And in the third, its Devorah (Deborah).

The characters literally leap off of the page. They are so real and so textured that you *KNOW* these characters. You understand their struggles, understand their emotions. The reader can also watch them evolve throughout the book, as they struggle against the walking dead.

I love the relationships discussed and expounded upon in the books. The relationship between Regina and Polycarp, between Devorah and Hurriya. Jerimiah and his wife. You can literally feel their emotions. Their love for each other.

I appreciate the strong female characters, what they have endured and who they are by the end of the book. How they accomplish the impossible. How they can still move on after witnessing such gore and having those close to them devoured.

And the reader is treated to a history lesson as well. The settings for these books are so real, you can almost feel the stones in the streets of Rome on your feet. You can feel the oppressive environment in which Jerimiah finds himself. You can literally feel the heft of Devorah’s sword.

And in each is a deeper meaning to hunger and the walking dead.

There are heart pounding elements of a thriller as well. Page turning passages that you cannot put down because you cannot bear the ignorance of not knowing. The passage with Regina being carried through the streets of Rome with zombies in pursuit is so well written, the reader can feel the terror that she experiences. Tachycardia inducing, hyperventilating, abject terror.

The zombies are of the variety of the common zombie. Due to some failure, they are doomed to walk the earth in search of flesh to feed their insatiable hunger. The zombie scourge sweeps through cities, villages and settlements, nearly decimating the population. It usually falls to the main characters, who occasionally have a special gift or talent, and who understands the zombie hoard, to rid the land of the walking dead.

I wholeheartedly recommend this series to any lover of novels. Even if you have a particular aversion to this genre, try these books because they are so well written, the stories so artfully told, they deserve a wide distribution.

I can credit these books with sparking an interest of ancient characters from the Bible. In the course of writing this post, I googled some of the characters. And I spent hours just reading about about the real people on whom the characters are loosely based. That spark alone is worth the extremely reasonable price of these books (right now I think the most expensive one is $3.99 for the kindle edition).

I know Stant Litore is writing more, because he occasionally posts passages from the emerging book on his facebook page (look up “The Zombie Bible”). I can’t wait to see further works in this series. However, if you are deeply religious, you may not like Biblical figures in battle with the walking dead. I think that Litore is planning on mentioning Jesus in an upcoming novel.

Give it a shot, see if you like it. I most definitely did.

The last amazing book I read

The last few amazing books I read were about the undead.

I stumbled upon the entire zombie genre by accident.  My 10 year old bonus son (that is stepson, but I don’t like the whole “stepmother” or “stepson” thing) is obsessed with the horror genre.  I don’t necessarily think a child should be allowed to be obsessed with this genre, being that most of the movies and TV shows are rated R or MA, but he lives with his mom that is a completely different blog.

Either way, one of the summers he was visiting he brought the first season of  The Walking Dead DVD with him.  I was hooked.  I don’t do vampires, I have never seen Twilight, nor do I plan do.  But I like me some zombies.

Which brings me to the subject of this post.  Through Bookbloggers I found the amazing works of Stant Litore and The Zombie Bible series.  The books center around people featured in the Bible and adds in zombies as if zombies have always existed.  Litore’s main Bible characters usually are involved in attempting to stopping the undead.

I personally have never read the Bible, and growing up Catholic, wasn’t really exposed to the old testament at all.  And I don’t find it at all blasphemous to put saints in a story featuring zombies.  I was truly fascinated with the descriptions of the setting (ancient Jerusalem for “Death Has Come Up into Our Windows”  and ancient Rome for “What Our Eyes Have Witnessed”.  The writing is captivating in both novels.  It just enraptures the reader like a vine, winding its way around you and pulling you in to the story.   I devour the works from Stant Litore (devour..haha) sometimes in a day because I can’t put them down.  And there is often a deeper meaning to his works, more of a humanity perspective rather than a Christian perspective.

Having gone through his books with a new one coming out soon, but not soon enough, I saw that the book “World War Z” was a recommended book for zombie enthusiasts.   And I happened to notice that my dad had that exact book sitting around his house.

I read the entire thing in two days.  Wow.  The entire way it was written in short little snippets of information was just enough to keep a story flowing, but allowed the reader to fill in the blanks.  The way it gave you a glimpse of the zombie apocalypse, but not the entire story that you would get from a first person narrative was just ingenious.  The way it doesn’t exactly give the time frame, the author leaves this and other key elements to your imagination.  I was sad when it ended.

So now I am reading another book from Bookbloggers.  Due to my health issues, I haven’t been able to jump right in right away.  I’ll post my review on here as well as on amazon.

What Our Eyes Have WItnessed

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