Book Review Plus Giveaway: Behold, Darkness and Sorrow by Mark Goodwin

Behold Darkness and SorrowThis post is by Bernie Carr,

I’ve been listening to the audio version of Mark Goodwin’s latest book, Behold, Darkness and Sorrow Seven Cows Ugly and Gaunt.

What’s the book about?  Hard-working college student Daniel begins to have prophetic dreams.  The dreams are deeply disturbing.  One of the dreams tells of an EMP threat that takes out the electric grid as well as computers.  Such an event would send the country into a horrific grid down disaster.  If he wants to survive, he must get his preparations in order, as soon as possible.

Thoughts about the book  Along with the main character, Alisa, Daniel’s girlfriend and Steven, his best friend are very likable and down to earth.  You can easily imagine them as college kids working at the corner restaurant.  I normally expect a slow build as a story begins, but with this book, I was pulled into the tale from the very beginning.  Mark Goodwin skillfully weaves everyday events with prophecy, a good story line with a good selection of Bible verses.  Throughout the book, you’ll also pick up some great preparedness tips, all the while being entertained by the story.

The characters are easy to relate to, and the events are fast paced but plausible.  It is a wholesome and exciting story; I would not have any issues with 12 or 13 year old kids reading it.   I like the audio version but I am sure the print or electronic version are just as good.  Go get your copy!


Now for the giveaway…  One lucky winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to win a copy of Behold Darkness and Sorrow.  We’ve made it as easy as possible to enter, with lots of opportunities to win!

© Apartment Prepper 2016

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Practical Tips to Prepare Your Family for Survival

Prepare your family for survival
This post is by Bernie Carr,

I am excited to feature Prepare your Family for Survival: How to be Ready for any Emergency or Disaster Situation, a book by Linda Loosli, founder of Food Storage Moms (

The first thing I noticed when I received the book is the overall production quality.  It is a nice looking book with glossy pages and full color illustrations.  I also like the highlighted “STORE THIS ADVICE” banners that give you handy tips to remember.

Prepare your Family for Survival is divided into two main sections:  Part I is When the Lights Go Out: How to Prepare for Power Outages, Water Shortages and Food Scarcity and Part II Covers When You Need to Bug Out:  How to Prepare for an Evacuation.

Part 1 includes a chapter on Water, Food, Emergency Cooking, Surviving when the lights go out, First Aid, Hygiene, Laundry and Community.  Part II covers your 72 Hour Kit, Essential Documents and Evacuation Plan.

The book is well organized and easy to read.  There is no doom and gloom here, just practical, no nonsense advice from someone who has practiced preparedness for years and is happy to share her knowledge with others.  A beginner would greatly benefit by following the advice given, but a seasoned prepper would also find aspects to improve upon.

I have read may books on emergency preparedness and I can say this is one of my favorites.   I found many tips, recipes and projects that I can use myself.  I think you will too.

Practical Tips from the Author of Prepare Your Family for Survival

I sent Linda a few interview questions regarding matters our readers think about-see her responses below:

1. In your opinion, what is the greatest potential threat or disaster people should prepare for?
Based on recent events here and abroad it seems the most universal concern deals with the availability of quality water. Long term droughts in the western US and the media circus that has been focusing on Flint, MI reminds us how vulnerable we are when our water supply is tainted or interrupted. We can get by if we lose power, even in the colder seasons, but take away the water source due to earthquake, hurricane, tornado, etc., we are all in a mess. You not only need the water to survive, but it is a necessity to cook and clean. It seems ironical, but even floods affecting the eastern and southern states right now make having clean / reliable water very challenging.
2. What is the best way for the beginner to get started?
I’ve suggested for years that people shouldn’t feel intimidated by the terms “food storage” or “emergency preparedness”. Even with young couples starting out life together can purchase one can at a time, either soup size or #10.  They need to evaluate what they like to eat on a daily basis, then put together a plan to purchase and store those items for use when needed. Family budgets come in all shapes and sizes, but we all need to eat every day, so start with some case goods and grow it from there. First plan on a week’s storage, then try to work up to 30 days and more, as space and funds allow.You can purchase a 55 gallon water storage tank that can fit on a patio, deck, garage, etc., so you can start with that as you plan for water needs. They are fairly cheap at places like Walmart.
3. Storage space is hard to come by in apartments – what food storage items would you recommend for apartment preppers?
It’s amazing what can be stored under beds. Some preppers will get creative and make end tables, coffee tables and other furniture pieces by stacking cans or cases. Seems like most couples have book shelves that could be used to store some items, being aware of the safety concerns of things tipping over of course. You can store a fair amount of freeze dried foods in a limited space.  They can prove to be a little pricey, but again, one can at a time. Freeze dried items can include fruit, vegetables, meat and other healthy items. Milk can be stored as “instant” for a quick meal prep staple.
4. Most preppers would prefer to stay in place in the their home base.  What are some signs that it is time to bug out?
I think the key for the bugging out decision is family health and safety. If the building itself has become unsafe for any reason, get out. If there are shelters available and you’ve run out of food and water, take advantage. If you have reliable transportation and family and friends invite you and yours to a safer environment you might just take them up on it for a temporary solution. Of course, if you haven’t followed suggested storage and preparedness tips you may need to bug out sooner than you’d like.
5. Please tell us about your background.
As outlined in the book, I learned at a young age the need and value of being self-sufficient.  My husband and I have been involved with food storage for nearly 50 years of marriage. We’ve taught our kids, and now our grandkids, the peace and confidence that comes from having food and water stored, first aid kits in the closet, bug out bags full and ready for use, a yard geared up for food production, multiple ways to cook food and heat the house.  I’ve taught my girls to sew and the neighborhood to cook from scratch, particularly homemade bread. Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t call or email asking for advice and “how to” suggestions.  I’ve taught classes at food storage and kitchen supply stores.  I’ve provided written materials for individuals and businesses even before I got involved with the book. I’ve cooked, tested and put into practice all the food and emergency preparedness items evaluated on my blog.  As they say, “been there done that,” with more to come.
Please answer the following questions for a chance to win a copy of Prepare your Family for Survival

What aspect of emergency preparedness are you deficient in?  What steps are you taking to be prepared?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  February 19th at 8 pm Central.*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

 © Apartment Prepper 2016

Disclosure: This is a professional review site that sometimes receives free merchandise from the companies whose products we review and recommend. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Survivor Jane’s Latest Book

Survivor Jane What Could Possibly Go Wrong

I had the opportunity to read a review copy of Survivor Jane’s latest book, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The book is chock full of information for about all things preparedness, from preparing for pandemics, super storms, nuclear fallout and much more. Reading the book makes you feel like you are talking to your best friend who happens to know about this subject, and who also cares about getting you as prepared as possible. Yes, Jane does know of what she speaks, having lived through an attempted car jacking and other disasters.

Because it is written in a conversational tone, with lots of personal stories, you can’t help but get pulled right in. At the same time, it contains a lot of information and action steps you’ll want to follow through. Another thing I like about the book is the frank and no-nonsense tone in which Survivor Jane brings up subjects that are left out of many survival books, with lots of humor throughout.  A few examples:

  • Should a woman learn dress like a man for safety in a TEOTWAWKI situation? Possibly, if it will help you blend in a crowd… Certainly something to think about.
  • How to combat intense itching from a chigger bite when you are on the move. Itching can actually become a problem in a grid down situation so this is good advice.
  • What to do when there is no toilet paper. If you think about it, we all rely on toilet paper, but what happens in a disaster when you run out? Again, you’ll want to find out your options.
  • Can you use super glue for sutures?  I’ve always wondered about this.
  • How to get in “survival shape.” She offers some simple ideas anyone can start doing.

There are a lot more possibly survival scenarios described, but you’ll have to read about them in the book.

I recommend you get the paperback version – you’ll want to highlight all the ideas that apply to you and make some notes to yourself. It’s rare to find a book that is both instructional and fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. You will too.

The Survival Savvy Family: Book Review and Giveaway

The Survival Savvy Family

I had the opportunity to read The Survival Savvy Family by Julie Sczerbinski.  Julie is  the creator of the blog, Home Ready which helps average families become more knowledgeable about survival and self-reliance.

The book covers the various aspects of preparedness, such as creating a family emergency plan, getting ready for natural disasters, financial readiness, first aid, fire safety and much more. I like that the author also goes a step further by discussing issues that concern many families such as cyber-bullying, keeping kids safe from online predators, dealing with emergencies during vacations etc. In short, the book covers topics that are not normally discussed in a typical survival book, but can help families avoid everyday disasters.

The Survival Savvy Family is an ideal book for a Dad or Mom who wants to become more prepared for disasters, whether large or small. It will get you started in an organized fashion, offering lots of checklists and quick tips. The book is practical, and detail-oriented. It conveys its message about the need to be prepared without being overwhelming, and without spreading any doomsday apocalypse fears. You will like reading The Survival Savvy Family: it is written in a conversational tone, has an attractive cover and is well organized. Families with children would greatly benefit from this book. This book would also make a great gift for Mother’s Day!

Now for the giveaway…  One lucky winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to win a copy of The Survival Savvy Family.  We’ve made it as easy as possible to enter, with lots of opportunities to win!

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Disclosure: This is a professional review site that sometimes receives free merchandise from the companies whose products we review and recommend. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch – Book Review

The Knowledge

This post is by Bernie Carr,


I had an opportunity to review The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell.

If you happen to survive “the end of the world as we know it” (TEOTWAWKI) with civilization is in shambles and most of the population killed off, how would you go about rebuilding?  What type of information would you need?

Dr. Lewis Dartnell, the author, explores the complex technologies comprising modern life today:  clean water, food, clothing, agriculture, hygiene, medicine, fuel, building materials, transportation, etc.  He tells the story of innovation and how things developed over many years, sometimes by luck or happenstance.  Dr. Dartnell is a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, specializing in astrobiology.  He knows all about “how things work” and I like that he explains everything in layperson’s terms.

The Knowledge covers a broad range of subjects and knowledge needed to give civilization a reboot.  This is assuming of course that roving bands of violent pillagers are not out to kill off the residents of your fledgling town.  I think one of the issues I had with the book was it has an idealized set of circumstances on which civilization would be jump-started.

On the other hand, I enjoyed reading through the chemistry and processes behind such things as fermentation, soap, electricity, what keeps vehicles running, etc.  For preppers, there are also multiple interesting nuggets of information throughout every part of the book.  For example, the water and food sections cover good sources of water, good containers to scavenge, what foods would be likely to keep after the apocalypse, and more..  This is not a “how to” manual, but it does give the average reader a broad understanding of what it would take to get civilization back on track.

Reading The Knowledge gave me pause and allowed me to stop and think about all the technology we rely on every day of our lives, yet take for granted.   Although it might be difficult, should TEOTWAWKI happen, it is doable, with the right set of circumstances, to rebuild and regain what is lost.

© Apartment Prepper 2015


A Time to Endure by Kyle Pratt – Book Review and Giveaway

A Time to EndureToday we are featuring A Time to Endure by Kyle Pratt.  It is the second book in the Strengthen What Remains series.  We featured the author, Kyle Pratt and his first book, Through Many Fires in this article.

What is the book about?

A Time to Endure follows Major Caden Westmore whom we met in the first book, Through Many Fires, when six American cities are destroyed by nuclear terrorism.  From the Amazon description:  “Caden struggles to get home across a stricken, terrified nation. In the second book, A Time to Endure, the nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country. In the face of tyranny, panic, and growing hunger, Caden struggles to keep his family and town together. But how can he save his community when the nation is collapsing around it?”

My impressions:

A Time to Endure is just as fast paced as the first book.  There is enough action to keep the pages turning, and it is a fast paced book.

The characters are flawed and deeply human.  While I did not agree with some of the main character’s, Caden Westmore’s decisions, I understood where he was coming from.   As the reader, I do not feel it is necessary to always agree with the character, only that the characters interest me enough to see them through.

A country in the midst of chaos along with the struggles of its citizens are plausibly described.  Despite the backdrop of rampant destruction, there is still some semblance of infrastructure and law and order but in a lesser degree.

A Time to Endure is a good read and we look forward to the third book.

Now for the Giveaway:

I am excited to hold our first giveaway of the year!  We are giving away a copy of A Time to Endure


To enter, just comment on the question below:

What threats are you most concerned about this 2015?  What steps are you taking to prepare?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, January 24th at 8 pm Central.*Winners will be notified via email.  *Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or other winners will be drawn.


© Apartment Prepper 2015


Review of Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast

Beyond Basics with Natural YeastThis post is by Bernie Carr,

I received a review copy of Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast by Melissa Richardson.  For anyone who does not know about “natural yeast” vs. commercial yeast:  Yeast is a naturally occurring substance that is present everywhere.  Baking with natural yeast means cultivating your own “starter” dough and using it over and over.  Commercial yeast is what we all know and buy at the supermarket – Fleichmann’s or Red Star come to mind.  This book is about using natural yeast for all kinds of baking needs.

I have to say my one experience with natural yeast was not exactly stellar:  I ordered sourdough starter and was not very successful when I baked my first loaf.  Even with good intentions, I ended up throwing it all out when the started dough began smelling odd in the fridge.  Nonetheless, I was ready to give natural yeast another try.

The book is beautiful: full color with glossy pages, and a spiral spine for easy page turning.  The book’s appearance immediately drew me in.

Upon reading the book, I learned a lot about success factors in growing your yeast, the science behind it and the multiple uses of natural yeast.  Prior to reading this book, I thought natural yeast is normally just used for baking bread.  Actually, it has so many more uses besides bread:  muffins, pancakes, waffles, crackers, croutons, stuffing; there is even an international chapter with recipes for different cuisines.

This book is a follow up to the first book, The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast.  If you are completely new to natural yeast, I would recommend reading The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast-even the book mentions it is a good idea to read it.  However, if you are already familiar with using natural yeast, Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast can stand on its own.

The recipes are simple and easy to understand.  The photos are eye-catching and very inspiring.

In fact, I was so fired up about trying natural yeast again that I took the steps to grow my own starter.  The book also gives instructions on how to obtain your own free starter.  I think it is very practical and cost-effective to learn how to grow and bake with natural yeast.  Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast is a keeper and I recommend you pick up the book.  It would make an excellent gift as well.

© Apartment Prepper 2014



Book Review The Guardians: The New Homefront Volume 2

The Guardians

This post is by Bernie Carr,

I previously reviewed The Last Layover:  The New Homefront Volume 1 by Steven C. Bird as part of Survivor Jane’s preparedness books blog tour.

The Guardians is the second book in the Homefront series.  The story continues to cover the main families from the first book, and introduces two sons of one of the original female characters.

Without giving away too much, one portion of the book deals with fighting the Mexican cartels trying to seize power in south Texas, and another part covers some of the characters in Tennessee who are fighting with marauders.

As far as the story lines, I was not keen on the overpowered cartel.  While I agree that cartels would cause a lot of trouble in a grid down disaster, I imagine they would not be as profitable or have the economic ability to fund a war if the economy collapsed and drug sales went down.  Another aspect of the story I was wondering about was what the federal government was doing and why the states pulled away.  However, there was enough action in the story to keep me turning the pages.

Besides the action in the book, I liked the continuing focus on the small group of characters.   I hope to see the characters continue to develop.  The author also has an extensive knowledge of firearms which provides some good detail.  I look forward to the next installment of The Homefront series.

© Apartment Prepper 2014


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Book Review: The Last Layover by Steven C. Bird

the last layover

This post is by Bernie Carr,

I had the pleasure of reading The Last Layover:  The New Homefront Volume 1 by Steven C. Bird as part of Survivor Jane’s preparedness books blog tour.

What is the book about?  The Last Layover is an e-book, a work of fiction in which an airline crew finds themselves in a grid down disaster while in a layover in New York City.  They must find their way back to their homes while dealing with violence, loss of infrastructure and chaos.

What I thought about the book 

I was very interested in reading the story, as the topic speaks to one of my fears:  being in a disaster while being far from home.   It was easy to place one’s self in the shoes of the characters.  I  liked the characters and agreed with their choices and actions.

The book initially covered much detail about flying and the piloting life.  While informative, I felt the background info was a bit too long.  I would have preferred more details about what caused the breakdown.  I wondered why the local police and sheriffs were strangely absent – the only detail given was they were protecting their families.  Perhaps some of the questions would be answered in the sequel.  I also felt the last part of the book seemed to be rushed, considering the hardships and roadblocks described getting from Delaware to Ohio, the trip from Ohio to Tennessee seemed to go quickly and without incident.

Overall, I thought it had a good story and I enjoyed reading it.  I thought the characters were very believable and it was easy to relate to them.  The book was fast paced and had enough action to hold my attention and I was able to finish it in a couple of days.  If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable read, I recommend you pick up The Last Layover. 

The Last Layover and its sequel, The Guardians: The New Homefront Volume 2 are available Amazon.


© Apartment Prepper 2014

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared


“If the Ebola Threat were to Escalate, Isolation would be Key” — Jim Cobb, Author of Countdown to Preparedness

Countdown to Preparedness

Today we are featuring Jim Cobb’s latest book, Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

I had the opportunity to read Countdown to Preparedness and found lots of helpful advice.  It breaks down the idea of preparing for both short term disasters into manageable steps that can be done in 52 weeks.  Of course you can take shortcuts if you are able to or stretch out the time period according to your finances and time constraints.  I appreciate the budget minded approach, as many families are daunted by large expenses.

Jim Cobb’s books have been featured on Apartment Prepper previously and we are pleased to have this encore interview.

1.  Given the fears about the ebola virus, what is your current state of alertness (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest level) regarding this issue and why?

As it stands right now, I’d say I’m at a 2.5 or so.  Ebola is on my radar,
but I’m not really losing any sleep over the threat just yet.

2.  If the threat of ebola were to escalate, what is the best approach for a city dweller?

Isolation would be key.  If someone in an urban area were able to quickly
and safely get into a less populated area, that would be ideal.  If that’s
not a viable option, be prepared to hunker down and wait it out, which
could take weeks or even months.

3.  Residents and tourists in Hawaii breathed a sigh of relief as the two hurricanes threatening the islands passed without incident.  Many readers are confused about being prepared while flying to a destination, either for business or personal.   What is the best way to be prepared while on vacation or traveling for business?

When possible, I much prefer to drive to my destination, given that I can
obviously carry more gear with me.  Flying is problematic when it comes to
survival equipment.

It might be seen as being “overly prepared” but what I’ve been doing is
shipping a small box to my hotel ahead of my arrival.  Said box contains a
small amount of survival gear — food, water filter, first aid kit, knife,
etc.  Not a ton of stuff, but enough to give me a leg up if I were to need
to evacuate without having access to my regular kits.

Now for the Giveaway:

Please answer the following questions for a chance to win a copy of Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

Are you prepared for emergencies when traveling?  What steps do you take to be prepared?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  August 22 at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

This giveaway is now closed.