Books I have authored.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Deadly Straits Audio Book

 Bob McDermott writes a great book.  I really enjoyed Deadly Straits when I read it.   In fact, I have read all of Bob's books and they are excellent.  The man knows his stuff but not only that, he can convey it in a highly palatable form making for a great story!

I highly recommend his work and you can get the Audio Book at this link. 


I am  not associated in any financial manner with Bob, his books or his publishers.  I just like his work.

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

James Lepore Book Deals



Story Plant's Author of the month
(I have added links to my reviews, LePore writes a good book.)

February marks the beginning of an exciting time for our authors here at The Story Plant. Each month, for the next nine months, we are going to feature an author with deep discounts on their books. For February, our featured author is James LePore. Author of several national best selling books, Jim is looking forward to connecting with readers in new and exciting ways.

Throughout the entire month, we will be featuring Jim and his books in a different way. We’ve partnered with all of our online retailers to price down the digital editions of his novels. Sons and Princes will be priced at $0.99 for the month, while A World I Never Made, Blood of my Brother, and Gods and Fathers will all be priced at $2.99. On February 12, we are excited to bring to you Jim’s newest work, The Fifth Man. This book returns us to the world of Chris Massi first created in Sons and Princes.

In addition to offering you Jim’s books at lower prices, we are also going to be featuring Jim throughout our social media channels. We’ll be posting Q&A’s he’s answered, as well as blog posts he’s written here on our blog. We are also very excited to host our very first Twitter author chat!  The first will be held on Feb. 8 at 12:00pm EST. We will hold a second chat that day at 3:00pm EST. These chats will allow you to ask Jim anything that you want about his writing habits, his inspirations, or what he likes to do on the weekends. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter as we’ll be sure to post reminders and important information about these chats.

This is an exciting time for The Story Plant as we expand our reach and make our authors more accessible than ever. We hope you will continue to enjoy the stories our authors bring forth and continue to help us grow.

Happy reading!

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, January 30, 2013

Hammerhead by Jason Andrew Bond



I read and review a lot of books.  I generally only read and review books I think I am going to like.  This means that I often have four and sometimes five star reviews.   That simply means I am winnowing out the ones that don’t grab me due to the fact there are so many good books out there.   Hammerhead is a good example.  This was an excellent book.   I don’t get into style, grammar, punctuation or any of that drivel.   I recommend a book based on whether I enjoyed it or not.  I really enjoyed this book.   A retired Marine pilot finds himself involved in political intrigue much to his dismay.  Luckily his opponents underestimate the power of retirement.

The action is non-stop in this book.  It truly is a page turner or swiper since it is on my Kindle.   Bond created an immensely likeable main protagonist.   Jeffrey is the sole survivor of a class of genetically enhanced pilots.   He realistically suffers from survivor guilt.  He is a big guy, enormously talented and has a heart to match.   I liked the fact that Bond painted a consummate warrior with a caring nature. 

Stacy is a future version of SEAL who provides a strong female protagonist.  Those of you who read my reviews are well aware of my propensity for liking strong females, protagonist or not. 

Leif is the son who always wondered if he measured up to his towering father.  For Leif it is a coming of age story. 

Tie all the flying action together with a messianic psychopath harboring a world domination obsession and you have a really fun read.  


In addition to the enjoyment of the book, I am impressed with as of March 1st, 2012, Bond dedicated 25% of the profit from all sales of Hammerhead to support disabled U.S. veterans. (Read why)
  
I enjoyed the book and I recommend it.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Jason Andrew Bond</a>

Web site: http://jasonandrewbond.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.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/26/13




This is part of an ongoing series of graphic novel covers.  They are an art form that is often overlooked.   I would not have seen them if I hadn't tracked them done.  I hope you enjoy them.

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

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe




This is an Eddie LaCrosse novel.  Eddie is a sword jockey or fantasy appropriate private eye type of hero except no cars and no guns.  Eddie’s personal demons are exposed in this novel.    



Fearing repetition, I am nevertheless repeating myself.  Eddie is a sword for hire with a conscience.  I like the qualities that Bledsoe provides his main protagonist.  Bledsoe’s world is a harsh one with interesting qualities.   It has room for privateers and pirates, ghost and sea monsters and sell swords.   He paints good scenes and better characters.



This quest is based on loyalty and friendship.   Eddie proves he has the tenacity to deserve the depths of friendship he experiences.  Eddie’s questioning his own personal history provides a great deal of angst in this novel.  This is more of a missing person private eye quest taken with swords and monsters.   It is a formula that works well for Bledsoe.  



When I finished The Wake of the Bloody Angel, I promised myself I would seek out the other Eddie LaCrosse novels.   I have to say this is just as good as it.   In fact I would compare the stories favorably with the Garrett stories of Glen Cook but without the considerable humor that they have. (Which I also love!)



I highly recommend it.



Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Alex Bledsoe </a>





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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cinema of Shadows by Michael West


Many of us go to the movie theatre to be frightened.  The difference is this movie theater is terrifying and there is NO movie running.   This novel is a first rate horror story.

Michael West creates realistic, likeable characters.   I think that is what I like best about his books.  I’m not a big fan of spooky stories but I like his and his characterizations are what make it likeable for me.

A professor and several volunteers decide to explore the paranormal aspects of a movie theatre with a sordid past.   Each volunteer was chosen by the professor who is struggling to exorcise his personal demons.  The volunteers were chosen due to their own experiences with some type of paranormal experience. 

Dealing with one’s fears can be difficult anytime but when there is a real basis for those fears it can be overwhelming.  The characters are likeable and are forced to face their personal demons.   West does a great job building tension and terror.

As I said after the last Michael West book I read, Spook House, I’m not a fan of horror stories but I really liked this rendition. 

I enjoyed the book. 

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Michael West </a>

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, January 18, 2013

Our Harsh Logic Compiled by Breaking the Silence





When I was asked if I would review this book, I said, “It doesn’t sound like a book I want to read but it does sound like a book I should read”.   This book is a compilation of testimonies by Israeli Soldiers from the occupied territories 2000-2010.  



I’m still not sure of the motivation of the organization Breaking the Silence.   This book details many incidents that portray the Israeli army, police and settlers in a decidedly negative manner.  The Palestinians are portrayed as victims.   The bias of the book is definitively against the Israeli government.   The government is portrayed as fractured and confused.   The army gets conflicting directions form different governmental bodies.  



The testimonies are moving and often sad.   The young people of Israel found themselves in situations they felt they were ill equipped to handle.   Many of the testimonies reflected the immaturity of the soldiers and their reflections from the perspective of later years where they second guess their prior behavior.



I can’t recall one incident in the book where Palestinians were seen as the cause of the soldiers’ behavior.   In my opinion the book ignored why the issues of security were mandated in the first place.  



From this book’s point of view a pattern of behavior by the Israeli army, settlers and government is creating a culture of hatred in the Palestinians.   The term ghetto was used several times in the book as was reference to Nazi behavior.   Harsh is aptly used in the title of the book.  



I suspect that many of the stories in the book could be ascribed to American troops in their battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Conflicting rationales for their missions has to been depredating to the morale and general well being of the troops regardless of nationality. 



Considering the overwhelming support for Israel in the United States, this book  provides a thoughtful counterpoint.  However is does seem decidedly skewed in viewpoint.  Read it but read it with care.



Web sites: http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/


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, January 16, 2013

Favorite Books



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, January 14, 2013

Rock & Roll Rip-Off by R. J. McDonnell


The Series.
 An ex-rocker, turned mental health professional (seems oxymoronic) turned, hard nose private eye finds himself dodging bullets while trying to run down a collection of music memorabilia.

Jason Duffy, the main protagonist, is likeable in multiple areas.  He is intuitive and creative which aids his detecting.  Personally, I thought his strong suite was his compassion and acceptance for his former mental health clients.   He pulled them into his life and provided them with a safe haven and occasionally employment.   I did think his goal to protect Kelly was a bit overprotective but he did evolve through the book.

The characterizations were marvelous!  I really enjoyed the variety of interesting people who populate the book.   The story was suitably complex while the major mystery was explained in the first six chapters the ancillary action took the rest of the book to a satisfying conclusion.  

I look forward to reading more from R.J. as the premise of his stories leads to a wealth of possible scenarios that promise to be entertaining.

I recommend it.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > R. J. McDonnell</a>
Web Site: http://www.rjmcdonnell.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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Start Them Early!



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, January 10, 2013

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci


 
Sean King and Michelle Maxwell return in a novel focused on national security and inter-agency rivalry.

This book is disturbing on so many levels.  It points out our nation’s vulnerability when those protecting it are more concerned with protecting their own turf than protecting the nation.

The current fiscal cliff debacle points out the power of politics over sanity.  Baldacci’s story shows the ludicrous rivalry between intelligence gathering agencies.   The premise is entirely too easy to believe.   One merely has to read the newspaper (Yes Virginia there really are newspapers and people who read them.) to see examples of politicians and government employees canoodling.  (love that word)

The book abounds in action and thought provoking scenarios.   Typical of Baldacci, just when you think you know what is going on, you find out you don’t!

This was a page turner, barn burner, read under the covers with a flash light, keep you up all night book.  

I highly recommend it.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > David Baldacci </a>



 


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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Knowledge is Power



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, January 6, 2013

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins



For the last time, at least with this trilogy, I almost didn’t read this book because everyone was reading it.   New York Times best sellers most often don’t make my cut.   The dystopian world featured in the first  and second book finds itself under attack by a mythical adversary and a Hunger Games Victor rallying cry. 

Once again I must point out that as good as the plot may be, the characterizations are what make this trilogy so compelling.   It also has such a wide appeal.  I have talked about the books with my 30 something daughter-in-law and my 13 year old grandson.  We have all found things we both like and dislike in the books. 

You find yourself deeply involved with imaginary characters.  There is probably a diagnostic term for this but it certainly makes for an intense reading experience.   I also like the number of morality plays that can be used to engender discussions in education.   My grandson was assigned Catching Fire as a summer reading assignment.   The books just reek with discussion topics suitable for middle school.   I also enjoyed the way the titles were clarified with actions in the books.

I really did not expect to like this series.  I sniffed with distain at the Twilight series and expected the same level of drivel here.  (Please keep in mind I did not read any of the Twilight books nor see any of the movies and only perceive it as drivel based on the ranting of those I know who have reveled in both the books and movies.  Like 50 Shades, it just doesn’t seem like my cuppa.)   I was pleasantly and quite thoroughly surprised with the Hunger Game Trilogy.

I highly enjoyed the book and I recommend it.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Suzanne Collins </a>

Web site: http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.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.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Super-Dragon by Steven Kroll



Illustrated by Douglas Holgate 

This is a nicely illustrated story about a very young dragon that wants to join his family in an athletic competition. 

The story illustrates the benefits of diligence, hard work and perseverance.  The  young dragon also learns the value of friendship while his family learns not to stereotype due to age. 

A cute book, I recommend. 


Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >Steven Kroll </a>

No web site was found.  Sadly Mr. Kroll passed away in March of 2011.  

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