Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Friday, December 29, 2017

To All Who Serve, Thank You!

A Different Christmas Poem
 
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said, "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

 PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

I can't verify if this is actually who sent this out, it really doesn't matter, it is imperative that we remember all those who proudly protect us

Thank you Gerry my friend, a Marine who shared this with  me. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Academic Affairs by Peter Likins




A short mystery set in Alabama.   College  misbehavior by the staff, not the students.  Two and then three mysterious deaths lead a somewhat hapless but good intentioned Sherriff and his family to solve the crimes.

The plot is complex with many suspects but at times it seems simplistic and reads more like a young adult book.  It does exhibit characteristics of the south at the time of the plot.  A group of black women ignored by the white community play an interesting part in the story.

I found the book a very fast read and a bit simplistic but I enjoyed it anyway. 

Web: http://www.lehigh.edu/engineering/about/alumni/likins.html



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Curse of the Coloring Book by Howard L. Hibbard


This was a hard book to read.  The plot is inspired by the true story of an attorney dealing with PTSD due to his Vietnam experiences. 

The idiocy of the college fraternity experience, the stress of the draft and protests and the inability to “measure up” to unrealistic expectations fuel aspects of this plot.

Herald Lloyd is an attorney struggling with internal demons.  His experiences as a infantry platoon Lt. in Vietnam feed the fires of alcohol abuse and self loathing.  Many Vets from Vietnam believed that to be a man you had to bottle up your anger and frustration and soldier on.   The futility of this approach is graphically illustrated in the book.

The incongruities of the Vietnam war are clearly shown.   Herald flashes back to stress points when he encounters stress points in his current life.  His wife’s insistence that he seek help are rebuffed by his assurances that he can handle it.

The book showed the despicable way returning Vets were treated in that era.  It seems that today’s Vets are treated better, one can only hope that is true.

What we ask of our young men and women is almost beyond comprehension, the least we can do is treat them with respect, help and honor when they come home.

Good book.

Web: http://howardlhibbard.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Spotlight on Four African American Romance E-Neovellas

Not quite ready for the holiday season? Take little, sexy steps with these four African American Romance E-Novellas…E-Noelas!

EVERY NEW YEAR
Brenda L. Thomas
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177538
76 pages
$.99

Enjoy the RT Book Reviews exclusive Hump Day excerpt (11/29/17) here!

About the book:
New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year when the line between old and new blurs, when fantasy can become reality, and every woman is given the opportunity to reinvent herself. But in Brenda L. Thomas’s novella, New Year’s Eve turns tragic when a shoot-out lands a respected doctor in the hospital with a bad case of amnesia—and in the care of a man too sexy to resist.

About the author:
Brenda L. Thomas is the national bestselling author of Threesome, Fourplay, The Velvet Rope, Every Woman's Got a Secret, Woman On Top, Secret Service and the deeply moving memoir of her 15-year struggle with domestic violence and drug addiction, Laying Down My Burdens. She has contributed short stories to the anthologies Four Degrees of Heat and Kiss the Year Goodbye. Brenda, a native of Philadelphia, is currently serving as Executive Producer of the movie adaptation of Laying Down My Burdens. Visit her website at BrendaLThomas.net.

WHATEVER IT TAKES
Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177545
90 pages
$.99

About the book:
India Parker has settled in with the idea that she will be alone. However, all of that changes when her girlfriend, Joan, ask for help catching her husband cheating on camera. When India goes to return the camera and she comes across pictures of Devin, Joan's 23-year-old son. He's not a boy anymore and he wants to prove to India that he's man enough for her. National bestselling author Tu-Shonda Whitaker sets the stage for an older-woman-younger-man relationship that will have you hoping love can find its way with humor and drama.

About the author:
Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker is the Essence bestselling author of Rich Girl Problems, Money Never Sleeps, Millionaire Wives ClubThe Ex Factor and Game Over. She is also a contributing writer to the anthologies: Cream and Kiss The Year Goodbye. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their children. For more information on Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker, please visit here.

DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE
Crystal Lacey Winslow
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177552
106 pages
$.99

About the book:
Jovie and London have a lot in common; both are single, creative and they've already spent the New Year together. Thanks to a broken heart and a lot of alcohol, London does not recall their first meeting. As London pursues Jovie, a quality woman who is worthy of so much more, he's quickly caught up in the essence of her uniqueness and soon finds it hard to stay away. Unfortunately, he meets Jada, her cocky, disrespectful identical twin, who appears hell bent on destroying their newfound relationship. Essence bestselling author Crystal Lacey Winslow pens a wild and sexy enovella with Dangerously In Love that will leave you thinking about love in a whole new way.

About the author:
Crystal Lacey Winslow is a publisher and the national bestselling author of Life, Love & LonelinessThe Criss CrossSex, Sin & Brooklyn,HistressTales of a Trainwreck Lifestyle, and the co-author of Four Degrees of HeatKiss the Year Goodbye, and Menace. For more information on Crystal Lacey Winslow, please visit here.

MY BOO
Daaimah S. Poole
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177521
85 pages
$.99

About the book:
Gina seems to have it all: the job, her own house, her own car, and a boyfriend. The only problem is she's in Philly and Chris, her long distance boo lives in DC. They've been dating for a year and Gina is finding it harder and harder to come home to an empty bed. She and Chris just can find the time to be together. . . but Khalil, her best friend and roomate's ex, might be able to show her just what she's missing.

About the author:
Daaimah S. Poole wrote her first novel, Yo Yo Love, when she was nineteen, and it became an Essence bestseller. She is the author of two other novels, What's Real and Got a Man. Visit her website at daaimahspoole.com.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mink Eyes by Max McBride



I don’t know if this is a first effort but regardless it was very good.  The story centers on a divorced, private eye, O’Keefe, his attorney friend Harrigan and a mink farm ponzi scheme.

O’Keefe is hired by some stockholders of the mink farm to find out why their money has disappeared.  He discovers there is more to the mink farm than meets the eye. 

Harrigan and O’Keefe are lifelong friends who aspired to be metaphoric Knights of the Grail as alter boys.  Their plans for life did not pan out in the manner they were hoping.  A sub theme of the book is their dissatisfaction with their choices and wishes they had taken the road less traveled.

Tag, a femme fatale, who is up to her neck in the nefarious activities of the mink farm, discovers there are a few chinks in her cynical shell.   Chinks that O’Keefe hopes to pry into full blown armor failure.  

The plot was good and intricate enough to keep my interest.
The characters were recognizable, larger than life versions of folks we all know.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Web: https://max2themax.com/ (seems like just a place holder, no content as of this review.)

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.