“ForeTalk: The 7 Critical Conversations for Living in the Season of Now” by Stan Craig

I remember when I was young and dumb.  In fact, some of the dumbness has never worn off.  But, when you’re young, you think your invincible.  I had this hang up that if I invested in life insurance, I was surely signing my death warrant.  I didn’t want to go through the sobering process of preparing for my old age and certain death.  (As far as I know, Enoch and Elijah are the only ones who have avoided physical death).  But, regardless, I think too many of us abhor the thought of estate planning.

Author Stan Craig found himself in this predicament when his brother unexpectedly passed away.  Stan was faced with handling his brother’s estate and final affairs.  Burdened by that experience, Stan Craig proceeded to write “ForeTalk: The 7 Critical Conversations for Living in the Season of Now”.

The book is part textbook, and part workbook.  It gently guides the reader through the process of having these 7 critical conversations now, rather than having our loved ones gathered in the back of a funeral home, fussing, arguing and carrying on about which casket Dad should be buried in, who will handle this, and who will handle that.  It is presented in a solid Christian manner, respecting the faith of the entire family.

As one who has gone through life threatening illness (5 heart attacks at age 53) myself, I certainly appreciate some of these vital conversations.

Mr. Craig truly does this in a workbook format, with questions to answer, lists to make, as well as room for copious notes in the generous margins.

The author walks us through the task of creating a financial strategy to create long term income, writing a will that will withstand challenges (I think from those obnoxious cousins who are always sponging off somebody in the family.  We’ve all got them!), choosing executors and granting powers of attorney, planning our funeral, and much more.

The book is well written, well organized, and gently guides us through these difficult conversations.

I believe every family man, whether he be a father or grandfather, should get and utilize this book.  It’s a wonderful tool that keeps everything in one place for when those days arrive.

I commend this book to you with my highest rating, because we owe this kind of attention to the details that impact our family.

I received a copy of this book as an ARC from the publisher, with the only expectation being a fair and honest review.  There are no financial connections between the publisher, the author, or this reviewer.  This review will appear on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, NetGalley.com, and my blog: JonReviewsBooks1.wordpress.com.



Damascus Countdown by Joel Rosenberg

Can this guy get any better? 

I was once a huge fan of James Patterson.  Still am.  But Patterson’s recent foray into writing partnerships, thus having 3, 4, sometimes 5 books on the shelves at one time has decreased my interest.  You only have to wait a few weeks until the next Patterson book hits the market.

Contrast that against Dan Brown, who tortures his readers with three or four years between works. 

That brings me to this Joel Rosenberg character.  Joel C. Rosenberg has become my very favorite author.  Both his fiction and non-fictional works are excellent.  And with his latest effort, “Damascus Countdown”, Joel has knocked it out of the park.

His books shoot out of the starting gate like a top fuel dragster, and don’t let up until the final pages, when he has to eject a chute to bring things to a satisfying conclusion. 

I’ve read Rosenberg’s works for years, not, and this is his finest work to date.  Still a young man, I look forward to where his writing takes him in his next venture. 

Rosenberg’s ability to take Biblical eschatology, today’s headlines, and meld them together is an art.  When reading, I have to stop and ask myself, is this a novel?  Or is this stuff really happening?  The answer is, Yes, it’s a novel, and Yes, could be really happening in just days or weeks from right now. 

Joel’s books have won him regard because of their prophetic nature.  Using the Bible and current events, he spins a truly believable story that could really be happening at this very moment.

Aside from his timely writing, his skills are up there with the Major Leaguers like Patterson, Dever, Clancy and others.  He develops his characters to the point that they seem like friends of ours.  He weaves complex sub-plots that move along beneath the primary story line, and those sub-plots wonderfully play out for us before the book’s conclusion.

I’d love to tell readers a bit about the content that caused me to give this a 5 Star rating, but, doing so would spoil your own experience of reading this most excellent prophetic novel.

The writing is “clean”, so you could share with friends or family without risk of exposing them to some unsavory scenes.  Rosenberg, in fact, proves that you can write a top-notch, best-selling thriller without the requisite sex and harsh language.

My friends, Damascus Countdown is Rosenberg’s best work so far, and is a slam dunk, keep you awake at night in order to read just one more chapter (followed by another, and another) masterpiece.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Get this book.  It’s amazing!

After purchasing this book on the first day of it’s release, I also received it as an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I have no personal nor professional ties with the publisher or author, and no further expectations of any considerations.  This review may also be found on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, and my blog: jonreviewsbooks1.wordpress.com.