Books I have authored.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Still Life With Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I've read books from each of these authors separately and I have read books that they have collaborated together for the story.   Each are good separately but together they are excellent.   Reliquary  is a good example.  Quirky and dapper FBI agent Pendergast is the only consistent re-occurring character I recall from their books.   Pendergast is on vacation when a grisly corn field murder catches his attention.  It appears to be a singularly bizarre murder until the next one.  Pendegast is intrigued and then deeply involved. 

Preston and Child are masters at creating scenarios that are simultaneously bizarre and plausible.  The plot here ties in Western legends, small town prejudice and serial killers.  

Pendergast seems less likeable and far more quirky than previous books.  I presume I have missed some volumes that led to his increasingly strange personality development.    The inclusion of Corrie, an unlikely assistant, was a nice touch.  It showed an innate goodness in Pendergast that belied his appearance and behavior.   Corrie was an excellent example of the proverbial judgment of books by their cover.  

As I repeat myself from past reviews of this dynamic writing duo, this book has plenty of action, social commentary and thought provoking plot lines to attract a wide variety of readers.

I highly recommend.

Web Site:

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Six Years By Harlan Coben

This book is one of the better books I have read recently.   Coben sets up a college professor to lose the love of his life.  Said professor moves on but never recovers.   The story revolves on his loss. 

The term bumbling aptly describes the professor or obsessed, which ever fits.   Jake has lots of courage but lacks a lot in the common sense department.   However the feelings he carries motivates his frequently rash and sometimes absurd behavior.

The plot is intricate and compelling.

I highly recommend.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Killing Maine by Mike Bond

Pono Hawkins is a retired Special Forces veteran who find himself pulled into the wind controversy in Maine when a former and un-liked fellow operative is arrested for murder.

Bond appears to have a decidedly negative attitude about the building of wind farms in Maine.   I did some reading and research and concluded I don't know enough to have a strong opinion.  I have not gone to Maine to see or hear any of the things that Bond mentions as determents of wind power.   I have attached links to two articles that were informative and appear reasonably unbiased.  

Disregarding the politicizing of the book, the story was a mystery with interesting sexual overtones that were somewhat subtle and certainly not blatant.   Pono appears to have issues with monogamy.   There is some violence, gun play and moderate torture in the book.   The police are portrayed as easily manipulated by politicians and extremely biased as to ex-cons regardless of their charges being exonerated.

Bond expresses a lot of opinions in his characters.
It was an interesting book. 

Web site:

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The God Wave by Patrick Hemstreet

This novel may be a authentic peek into the future.   Consider the brain operated drones for a moment and how experiments are progressing with the brain operating prosthesis hands.   This book goes a large but not inconceivable step forward in the direction of  the main character in the movie Lucy.   The thesis is the mind can be trained into using more of its potential.

Hemstreet postulated two believable characters in Matt and Chuck.   Matt as a bereaved pragmatic genius and Chuck as a naive near genius.    The two of them interact in a predictable manner for their personalities.  The addition of the team provides the necessary counterpoints to the conflict between those diverse personalities. 

The books premise is both exciting and daunting.   Exciting for the possibilities inherent in greater control of our own brain and daunting for how that control could be co-opted by outside malevolent forces.

This book appears to be the first in a series and it should be a hit series as the book was fast moving, extremely interesting and provides a ray of hope for the future.

I highly recommend it.

Web site:

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, May 9, 2016

Don't Say Her Name by Kelly Jameson

Alice Joseph was a diva in a smash Broadway production.   A beautiful, talented woman who appeared to have a major lock on success and happiness.   Little did the world know that behind the bright smile and resounding singing voice lay a heart fraught with anguish and guilt, once a twin and now alone.

Ms. Jameson puts together a compelling mystery while painting a detailed character study of her heroine.   As in most good recipes, the success of the dish is in the details.   Alice Joseph character is vibrant and alive.    The addition of a beau provides some sexual tension.   There are multiple villains with differing goals.   

The book has tradgedy, snake handling churchies, stalkers, perverts, violence and mental illness as well as tenderness, love and affection.

Ms. Jameson put all those ingredients together and produced a tasty bit of reading.

I recommend the book.


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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Surviving Alzheimer’s With Friends, Facebook, and A Really Big Glass of Wine by Dayna Steele,

Dayna Steele
Author of Surviving Alzheimer’s With Friends, Facebook, and A Really Big Glass of Wine

1.      The book chronicles your mother’s illness through your Facebook posts. Did you include every post in the book? What was the selection process like?
My co-author Heather Rossiello kept a database of every single post and every comment – there were literally thousands of comments on some posts. We went through them all after I lost Mom and tried to keep only the posts and comments that 1) Included informative information for caregivers 2) made us laugh out loud, and, 3) made us think.

2.      After each post you include comments that your community left. Did you pick those or did you have other people help you?
We went through every comment, sometimes two or three times, to make sure we adhered to our own guidelines above. This book wasn’t a memoir so much as a help tool for others in the future.

3.      What was your relationship with Alzheimer’s disease before your mother’s diagnosis? Did you have any preconceptions about the illness before you started this journey with her?
I like to think I am a fairly well educated and informed person. I knew what Alzheimer’s was and I knew it was called “The Long Goodbye.” Then the diagnosis – and I realized I had no idea how stressful, sad, irritating, confusing, etc this disease is. No one tells you the really rough stuff like the possible violence or cleaning up your own mother’s feces or any number of things like this. You also don’t realize how all encompassing it becomes physically and mentally until you actually have to live it.

4.      How did the support of your Facebook community impact you through this hard time?
Facebook became my support group. My Facebook community gave me ideas, information, suggestions and laughter and love. And, once I wrote a particularly hard post, I would let go of the negative emotions. It was very cathartic to write and share.

5.      When did you get the idea to turn your Facebook posts into a book?
Literally when so many people started commenting. “I hope you put this in a book.” In fact, the first couple of pages in the book are those words of encouragement from so many followers.

6.      How has your Facebook and local community supported you through the creation of the book?
Just constantly encouraging me to compile it all in a book. And giving me permission to laugh and cry and get mad – over and over and over.

7.      How did you decide what materials to include in the second half of the book?
The second half of the book is all resources I wish I had at the beginning. There are sections written by people who helped me along the way: a neurologist, document expert, Long Term Care insurance rep, an assisted living advisor and more. I also included a list of questions everyone should ask their loved ones and a section where caregivers and their caregivers talk about what it is like on that side.

8.      You coauthored the book with Heather Rossiello. What was her role in the book’s process?
I found I could not live it and relive it at the same time – it was too daunting and depressing. Heather came in about half way through the journey for a totally unrelated reason – she had some copies of my In the Classroom book she wanted signed for teachers and we met for coffee. She asked what I was working on and I told her about the book idea and my challenges with getting it done. She asked if she could take a look and see what could be done – and then did it! (book link  )

9.      What are you hoping readers will get out of Surviving Alzheimer’s?
Someone once said to me there isn’t a users’ manual on what to do or what is going to happen when you get this diagnosis. I hope this book does become the manual for what to do and how to do it for caregivers everywhere.

10.  You’ve been named the spokesperson for How do you hope to aid those dealing with Alzheimer’s in this role? *Please note it is not
As the Chief Caring Expert for, I hope to be able to guide others to this great resource I wish I had known about early on. Not only would I have been able to read the reviews and make a better informed decision on where to put mom but I also would have had access to so much content for caregivers. There is an answer to just about every question you may have as well as support groups for Alzheimer’s and even more on the site. And, it’s free. Alzheimer’s is a very expensive disease and when you can find any sort of fee help, that’s the best.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rogue Hunter by John R. Monteith

Monteith's books have that connection to reality that many fiction books lack.   His submarine service gives the authenticity that provides fuel for the read.   This book is another mercenary adventure set in the current events of the Ukraine.

The regular players are back, Jake, Renard and Cahill.    The mission is to disrupt the Russian take over of Crimea.   The mission goes off the rails with some unanticipated actions by the Russians.   The good guys must respond with some unanticipated behavior of their own.

Monteith notes a level of professionalism and respect between submariners that smacks of honor and regard.   One hopes the real people who do this for a living have that same regard.  

Jake still wrestles with his personal demons and even brings a Priest on the sub for moral guidance.   It demonstrates that Priests can honor their calling and still be warriors.   A concept that needs some pondering.  

I recommend the book.

Web Site:
Do a search on Pick of the Literate to see the review of the other Monteith books:
Rogue Goliath by John R. Monteith
Rogue Defender by John R. Monteith
Rogue Betrayer by John R. Monteith
Rogue Avenger by John R. Monteith
Rogue Crusader by John R. Monteith

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