Counterstrike: Heaven Sent

The Long Book

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
678 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Short Bio of the Editor: Born Eugene, OR, Feb 7, 1980. Parents Jeffrey Salisbury and Janet Smyth (d. 2014) Divorced 1982. Grew up as a poor kid in Coos Bay, OR. Two years community college. Had previous employment as a caretaker for Grandfather Norman and Mother Janet, for 14 years, thought I'd give a stab at copy editing.

The Editor had the honored and cherished privilege of closely assisting the Author, Mother Janet with copy editing for four years before her passing in 2014. The Editor has now had more than plenty of opportunity to become acquainted with the story of Counterstrike: Heaven Sent.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is a powerful blend of romance and adventure, a beautifully written story with compelling characters, a strong storyline featuring unexpected leaps of faith and sudden surprises, and an endearing sense of suspense, the kind that keeps the reader turning the pages. The reader is introduced to Kate, who is on the road, mulling over her life and considering unusual things that could happen, but then she encounters a man, an FBI agent, and her real story begins.

The authors capture this encounter in very vivid and powerful prose: "Somewhere after Ness City, and before Bazine, Kate came upon a brilliantly lit scene, the remains of a very crumpled late-model white sedan, and standing next to it, a man who, except for his modern clothing, could have stepped out of a battle from a hundred or a thousand years before. For a moment, Kate found herself looking for a bloodstained sword or battle axe laid at his feet." From this point on, the authors lead readers into the psychology and lives of protagonists Kate and Gareth “Dru” McFadyn as they explore each other's worlds, indulge in passionate romance, and face challenges they couldn't have imagined. But how long can they stick together with the challenges that lie ahead?

Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth's writing is very beautiful and crisp, laden with powerful descriptions and plot-driven dialogues. The narrative voice is confident and compelling. The authors use powerful literary styles like suspense, humor, and irony to boost interest in readers. The characters are real and the overall story very engaging. Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience. It's the kind of story for those interested in character-driven plots.

Romuald Dzemo

Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale by Janet C. Smyth is a story that beautifully blends romance with adventure, one that features two compelling characters brought together by a chance encounter and a journey that will lead them to each other’s heart in very strange and incomprehensible ways. In Kansas Farm County, a college professor encounters an FBI agent, and what he is doing in the middle of nowhere, seemingly hurt, perhaps in a hit-and-run accident, with a bruised body and a battered car, she couldn’t tell. But something about him arrests her attention and, although he looks so forlorn and hurt, he emanates a beauty that she can’t ignore. Their journey begins here and Kate Greenwood experiences the first surprise from this man who is about to take her into a world she’d never dreamed about.

Agent Gareth “Dru” McFadyn and Kate Greenwood are very compelling characters and readers will be keen to see what will happen to them. These two characters are well imagined and beautifully developed. I’d have loved to see more of the agent in Gareth, though. The dialogue reads well, but at times it doesn’t come across as naturally as I would have liked. Nonetheless, there are some dialogues that are powerful, entertaining, and that help in character development and plot. Janet C. Smyth’s writing is polished, highly descriptive. The plot starts slowly and the pace increases as the characters come in. I enjoyed the story and was immediately taken by Kate’s courage. Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale is a story that will certainly entertain readers who are into adventure and romance.

Rabia Tanveer

Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is the story of how two people from very different walks of life meet and are taken on a journey they never thought they would have. Kate Greenwood is a college professor. She is an intelligent woman who knows what she wants in life; however, nothing could have prepared her for FBI Agent Gareth “Dru” McFadyn. This man is handsome, charming, equally witty, and completely irresistible. She cannot resist him, and together she and Dru go on a journey that they never thought would ever happen in their lives. In a world of bad politics, evil terrorists and scheming parents, these two souls are ranged against the world. They find a harmony together and a soul deep connection that is rare. In this almost fairy tale-like modern world, these two are fighting against the odds and building a relationship while staying true to their own selves and their friendship.

This novel is a beautiful amalgamation of multiple genres. This is the perfect example of romance, thriller, mystery, suspense, and so much more. I have a huge weak spot for couples who are friends and equal partners, and Dru and Kate are exactly that. Although it is Dru who is in the center of the hubbub, he never made Kate feel stupid or made her feel like she is the “little woman” in their relationship. Their relationship was great and their friendship was even better. This novel was written beautifully. I have no idea how Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth did it, but they nailed it. It was brilliantly constructed and well developed. I loved it!

Divine Zape

Fans of romance who enjoy character-driven stories will love Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale by Janet C. Smyth, a story that falls perfectly into the category of Christian romance, featuring well-construed and rounded characters. Kate Greenwood meets Agent Gareth McFadyn in an unprecedented manner, an encounter she’d not thought could happen, and could it be because of the premonition she’d had earlier when she set out on this journey about her life changing? Readers watch with bated breath as the two characters begin a journey into each other’s hearts. Readers will read about new friendships, the power of faith, and political issues.

The story is well-written and readers will love Kate — intelligent and headstrong, determined and strong-willed. The encounter with an equally strong character creates a premise for a beautiful story. I enjoyed the way the author introduces the characters to readers. For instance: “Kate had always held some peculiar ideas about Kansas. A fan of the Wizard of Oz, the artist in her soul was inspired by the story's vivid colors. Ruby slippers, or silver shoes (depending on which version you liked), yellow brick roads, an emerald city, and of course, the rainbow itself. Rainbow, symbol of God's promises to man, and always a magical portent.”

Janet C. Smyth offers a lot of entertainment to readers, with her solid and fascinating cast of characters, the irresistible narrative voice, the complex plot, and the multilayered conflicts. The language is very descriptive and many a time the author offers peeks into the souls of the characters, steeping readers into their consciousness to share in their fears and personal questions about life and love. Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale is warm and entertaining, a satisfying read.

Michelle Mollohan

Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is a modern day romance and thriller in one. It features Kate Greenwood and Gareth Dru McFadyn. Kate is on her way to a new job as an assistant professor when she is compelled, by being a good citizen, to stop at the scene of an auto accident and offer aid. The auto accident victim is "Dru" McFadyn, who just happens to be a genius working for the FBI. Kate gives him a lift in the opposite direction of her intended route to ensure he gets medical attention and avoids the return of the assailants who ran him off the road and beat him up.

Both have a strong belief in God and feel divine intervention put them in one another's path. By stopping to offer aid, Kate has unwittingly put herself square in the middle of an FBI investigation and made herself a potential target. She is detained by the FBI for debriefing while Gareth is treated at the hospital, and they quickly find themselves back in each other's company. He feels responsible for her, despite her protests, and keeps her under guard for her safety. She learns his true identity and can't believe that he would have a romantic interest in her.

Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale has plot twists and lots of intrigue to keep the reader interested. Kate's inner struggle between blindly believing in God's divine path versus her self doubts echoes true to real life. Gareth is a compelling character, a macho genius with knightly attributes who has his own inner demons to contend with. The consistent faith based aspect throughout the book keeps it refreshing and interesting.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

If you’re looking for a read that’s full of romance and just as much action, then Defender: A Scottish-American Fairy Tale by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is definitely the book for you. Defender is all about a man who has pushed himself to his absolute limits and extremes to save the world, at the expense of himself.

Gareth has never met a problem he couldn’t solve, either with his brilliant mind or his super-secret fighting skills, but running into Kate that fateful day changes everything. Suddenly, he has more than ever to lose, and an opponent who is determined to make sure that he does. But of course, much as he might try to be, Gareth is never alone. When you’ve got friends like Section Six, you’re never going to be left without someone to back you up and someone to fight for your life, even at the expense of their own. Vogle won’t know what hit him, especially if it turns out that Kate is on the line.

But there’s more to the story than just Gareth. There’s the rest of Section Six and, of course, the love of his life. But with this book, nothing is ever as it seems. There’s a whole lot going on, but don’t let that keep you from reading this book cover to cover, nothing less is going to satisfy your appetite. I loved the characters and definitely the action and plot going all the way through. Defender is one book you’ll want to check out again and again.