Tag Archives: The Messiah Matrix

Tammy’s Top Ten Indie Books of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday2

Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my friends who are celebrating this day! At this moment I am probably opening presents with my family, including two very excited children (ages 12 and 13), but I wanted to post a Top Ten for The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday Freebie today. I read so many indie books this year, and I wanted to highlight my favorites.  In trying to narrow down the list, I came up with eleven titles, and I just couldn’t eliminate one, so my Top Ten is actually a Top Eleven:)  Here they are, in alphabetical order:

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1. A Dark Time by Dennis E. Bradford.  This unconventional murder mystery stood out for its atmospheric quality and stellar writing, not to mention some very interesting characters. You can read my review here.

2. The Accordo by Roberta L. Smith. This ghostly tale is filled with complex characters and carefully researched details that make for a page-turning story of revenge and terror. You can read my review here.

3. Auraria by Tim Westover. Technically, Auraria is not an indie, but the small and quirky Q&W Publishers fits into my definition of indie, so I wanted to add it to my list.  Westover’s imagery is evocative and magical, and this is one tale that needs to find more readers. You can read my review here.

4. The Destroyed by Brett Battles. Brett is such a prolific writer, I’m amazed that he can keep the quality of his writing at top form, book after book. But he manages to do just that, improving with every book he writes. The Destroyed is a Jonathan Quinn thriller, and one of my favorites. You can read my review here.

5. The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry. I loved this coming-of-age story about a young girl whose less-than-perfect life causes her to run away from home, chasing after a man who plays a big part in her awakening sexuality. It is filled with characters that you will grow to love, and Lowry’s writing is exquisite and spare, a perfect style for this unique tale. You can read my review here.

6. The Gateway to Hell by Ray Mileur.  I loved this thriller with strong characters and lots of police action. Mileur has created one of my favorite fictional characters in PI Mike Shannon, and I hope to read another story about him soon. You can read my review here.

7. The Jesuit Papers by A. B. Fowler. This story surprised me. From the cover I expected something more scholarly and dry, but it had romance, action and mystery, as well as an exotic setting, all elements that made The Jesuit Papers a winning story. You can read my review here.

8. The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity. Carefully researched and full of dramatic action, this indie deals with a controversial subject matter, but Atchity keeps the action going and the reader will not be able to stop turning the pages. You can read my review here.

9. Murder Takes Time by Giacomo Giammatteo. This page-turner police procedural is unique for the relationships among its characters. Giammatteo jumps back and forth from present to past to tell the story of how some friendships can stand the test of time, and what happens to them when promises are broken. You can read my review here.

10. Realms of Gold: Ritual to Romance by Terry Stanfill. I love when authors go back to the past to add depth to a story that takes place in the present, and Stanfill does this wonderfully. This story is full of carefully researched details about archeology and was not only fascinating to read, but a delightful romance as well. You can read my review here.

11. Scars on the Face of God: The Devil’s Bible by C. G. Bauer. My first love is horror, and this book delivers it and then some. Bauer’s tale is well-paced and filled with creepiness, and its 1960s small town setting makes it even creepier. You can read my review here.

I’m looking forward to reading more indies in 2013!

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Winners of The Messiah Matrix & Realms of Gold Giveaways

Oops, sorry everyone…I thought I had made this announcement, but I guess I forgot. In any case, the winners of a pot o’ gold, errr, I mean copies of The Messiah Matrix & Realms of Gold are:

The Messiah Matrix:

Heather Homberg

Irene Menge

Donna King

Realms of Gold:

Marjorie Roy

Kat Sparrow

Jennifer Kelly

Many thanks to the authors Kenneth John Atchity & Terry Stanfill, Story Merchant Books, and Chi-Li Wong for making this giveaway possible. The winners have been notified and hopefully have their winnings in hand already! Stay tuned for more giveaways, coming soon!

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Two Giveaways End Tomorrow! Don’t Miss Out

The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity is a breathless adventure set in Rome that has carefully researched historical details, romance and at its core, one man’s search for the truth. The author is kindly giving away THREE SIGNED COPIES of The Messiah MatrixOpen to all residents of the US, Canada, and the UK. Click the book cover above or here to enter.

Realms of Gold: Ritual to Romance by Terry Stanfill is another wonderful story about a writer and an archeologist who join forces to discover the true origins of an ancient artifact. If you love adventure and romance with old-fashioned charm, you’ll love this book! The author is kindly giving away THREE SIGNED COPIES of Realms of Gold! Open to all residents of the US and Canada. Click the book cover above or here to enter.

Both giveaways end on Monday September 10, midnight PST. Good luck!

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Giveaway! Win a Signed Copy of The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity

Wow, two giveaways in one day! I’m very excited to be giving away THREE signed copies of The Messiah Matrix. I reviewed this book in July, and loved the adventure and romance-filled story about a priest who begins to question his faith. You can read my review here.

This giveaway is open to residents in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Contest will end Monday, September 10 at midnight, PST. Please fill out the form below to enter. You can win extra entries for “Liking” The Messiah Matrix and Books, Bones & Buffy on Facebook, leaving a comment on this post or the review post of The Messiah Matrix, or following me on Twitter. Many thanks to the author for this giveaway!

Click the button below to go to The Messiah Matrix Facebook page and click “Like.” Don’t forget to come back here and fill out the entry form!

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THE MESSIAH MATRIX by Kenneth John Atchity – Review

Although I knew from the book blurb more or less what The Messiah Matrix was about, I wasn’t quite prepared for the unique combination of carefully researched material and breathless adventure story. The subject matter of The Messiah Matrix is controversial, even for someone like me who has no religious leanings, and I expect it will cause a stir in the religious community, and with those of the Catholic faith in particular.

Father Ryan McKeown goes about his daily duties as a Jesuit priest in Rome, not realizing that his life is about to change forever.  One fateful day, he hears the confession of a man who claims to have just killed a priest, and then witnesses the murder of the same man on the streets of Rome. Before he takes his final breath, the murderer whispers the message he came to deliver to Father Ryan, a message that will send Ryan on a dangerous search for the truth about the origins of Jesus Christ.

Emily Scelba is an archeologist working on an undersea excavation in the Mediterranean Sea when she discovers a Roman coin called the Augustan aureus, whose existence may throw into a tailspin everything the world has come to believe about religion. Emily takes the coin to a trusted friend to have it cleaned and examined, but her “friend” turns out to be a dishonest opportunist and steals the coin and tries to sell it.

Ryan and Emily are thrown together as they search for the coin and try to unearth the connection between the aureus and the murdered priest, a man named Oscar Isaac that both of them knew and respected, and who was also searching for the aureus.  Their discoveries lead them on a hunt through the streets of Rome and  into hidden crypts and catacombs, and put them face to face with the men who not only ordered Isaac killed, but who want to keep hidden the dangerous secrets of the Catholic Church that could lead to religious chaos if discovered.

Although filled with exhaustively researched details about how the story of Christ came to be, I was surprised by what an exciting and page-turning read this was. Atchity does a great job of interspersing the historical facts with nail-biting action sequences that propel the story along. One particularly terrifying scene has Emily and Ryan trying to escape a secret catacomb by diving into a boiling, underground river and swimming to safety. The characters of Ryan and Emily are fascinating and well drawn. Ryan is a man who takes his vows of priesthood very seriously, but who has also been on a personal mission his whole life to validate his beliefs. While his days as a priest should be worry-free and filled with the joy of the duties he performs, he comes across as a tortured soul who has a deep need to know the truth. When his belief system begins to crack, he realizes he may need to adjust his thinking in order to cope with the new information he and Emily have discovered.

Emily too is an interesting character.  She’s a smart and beautiful woman, also driven to seek the truth, but her pursuits are more scholarly than Ryan’s. When they get together the sparks fly in more ways than one. Infusing romance between lead characters is nothing new, in fact most readers come to expect it. But Atchity throws a wrench into the romance by making his male character a priest, and this gives Father Ryan something else to worry about: he is attracted to a woman, but according to his vow of celibacy he can’t do anything about it.

The author imparts much of his researched information through flashbacks to the days of Caesar Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. These chapters not only immerse the reader in the rich history of Rome, but give great insight into the main premise of The Messiah Matrix: that the “myths” of Jesus Christ and his birth that we are familiar with from the Bible came from a combination of many sources over time, originating with Augustus. Atchity smartly imparts this controversial information without too much emotion, leaving each individual reader free to decide for himself what may or may not be true. The only flaw in the story, in my opinion, is the ending, where his secular and scholarly observations turned a bit preachy.  But I was riveted by the tales of religious iconic imagery, like the cross and Jesus’ crown of thorns, and the actual origins of these images (at least according to Atchity). The author also includes a table of events at the back of the book that gives the reader an easy-to-understand comparison between his researched facts and the events of Jesus’ life highlighted in the Bible.

For anyone who loves thrillers, romance, and a story that may forever challenge the way you look at religion, The Messiah Matrix is highly recommended.

Many thanks to Mr. Atchity for supplying a review copy.

You can purchase The Messiah Matrix here and learn more about the book here.

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In My Mailbox #13

Welcome to Lucky 13 In My Mailbox, hosted by The Story Siren! I was *lucky* enough to receive two books for review this week, so here we go!

The Jesuit Papers by A.B. Fowler.  Now available.  Wow, this sounds so good. It’s a mix of adventure, history, archaeology, romance and mystery, and it also won an Honorable Mention from the Los Angeles Book Festival.  A.B. Fowler is a friend of Roberta L. Smith, whose The Accordo I just happen to be reading right now. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Will the world end on December 21, 2012, as the Mayan Calendar predicts? Linguistic scholar, Kat Hamilton, doesn’t know. But her father, a world-renowned archaeologist and Mayan expert, believes an ancient underground civilization hidden deep beneath the South American jungles holds the key; he summons Kat to help him. When she arrives in Asunción, Paraguay, Kat must accompany Nick Ramsey to La Quinta–his vast empire in the heart of the jungle—to translate an encoded Latin journal, The Jesuit Papers. The task proves harder than anticipated, and living at La Quinta holds perils of its own, not the least of which is Kat’s growing attraction to Nick. Before it’s over, she is kidnapped by treasure seekers and taken into the deep recesses of the Upper Chaco, where she is beset by vampire bats, insects, and Toba Indians—a tribe of flesh-eating cannibals. But what else could one expect from the region of forest and swampland that Paraguayan natives call Green Hell?

The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity. Now available. I recently reviewed Seven Ways to Die by William Diehl and Kenneth John Atchity, and loved it. (You can read my review here.) Atchity’s latest sounds terrific and has been compared to The DaVinci Code. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

To what lengths would the Vatican go to suppress the secret origins of its power?

The Messiah Matrix is a myth-shattering thriller whose protagonists delve into the secrets of the past—and expose those who hide them still.

A renowned scholar-monsignor is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run in Rome. A Roman coin is recovered from a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea. It’s up to his young American protégé–a Jesuit priest–and a vivacious, brilliant archaeologist to connect these seemingly disparate events and unravel the tapestry that conceals in plain view the greatest mystery in the ecclesiastical world.

Together they pursue their passion for truth—while fighting to control their passion for each other.

What they uncover is an ancient Roman imperial stratagem so controversial the Curia fears it could undermine the very foundations of the Roman Catholic faith.

From the ancient port of Caesarea to Rome’s legendary catacombs and the sacred caves of Cumae, this contemporary novel follows their exhilarating quest to uncover the truth about the historical existence of the real “Christian Savior.”

The Messiah Matrix may prove to be one of the most thought-provoking
books ever written.

Classical scholar and Yale Ph.D. Dr. Kenneth John Atchity is the only author alive today capable of creating this literary and historically-based masterpiece.

Those are some bold statements! Don’t you want to read it to see if they’re true?

What’s in your mailbox this week?

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