Books I have authored.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/30/13


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.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

King of Swords by Russell Blake



This novel looks at the Mexican drug cartels, the corruption that ensues from those cartels and the violence that surrounds them.  The background and violence are real, the interaction between El Rey, the assassin and Captain Cruz is fiction.

This book was about as fast paced and violent as any book I have read.  Capt. Cruz bends the rules to get results and the drug cartels know no rules.   If only 10% of this plot is factually based, the drug business in Mexico far surpasses the wild, wild west.

I liked the way the author shows how the main characters became embittered, violent people.  The circumstances practically guarantee the development of pathologically disturbed personalities. 

Sadly the plot is not without some plausibility.   Money can corrupt and enormous sums of money have the potential for enormous corruption.  This is an action junkie book.   You can’t turn a page without some incident of violence. 

The plot is well maintained throughout the book and the culmination may be a bit surprising.

Web Site: http://russellblake.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.

Tuesday, March 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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shot of Tequila by J.A. Konrath


Any one who considers themselves vertically challenged should read this book.   I have been known to say dynamite comes in small packages and Konrath proves that point in this novel of mob mayhem.  Tequila, a emotionally stunted, vertically challenged leg breaker finds himself facing tragedy and growth in this excellent crime thriller.

Tequila is a complex character that defies the conventional hero persona.   He is likeable for several reasons but from my point of view his tenacity is his most stellar feature.  He WILL see things to the end.

Jack Daniels, a female detective defying the “ole” boy network, is introduced in this book.  I have not read any of Konrath’s Jack Daniels series but I now intend to find and read them.   In the after word, Konrath states that his other works have more humor.   Frankly I found several things in this book quite humorous which considering the level of violence, I may need to re-evaluate my own stability. 

This is an excellent mystery and I I highly recommend it.

Web Site: http://www.jakonrath.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.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/22/13





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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Whole Truth by David Baldacci



Baldacci again has a new hero, a new ethos and another, never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller.   This one is focused on Shaw, a loner, a fixer and a violent man.

Baldacci wields a rapier when he writes.  You are never sure who is going to get cut and you often lament those who do.   Baldacci  crafts a character that you love and then destroys it.  This is sometimes a bit frustrating for those of us of Polyanna leaning who hope for a happy ending.   With David Baldacci, there is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Shaw is a larger than life, more highly skilled individual in mayhem than any of us can ever hope to avoid.   You would want this guy in your corner if the ball dropped.

The most frightening aspect of the story isn’t the messy mayhem but the premise of the story.   It is entirely too believable.   Greed and fanaticism run rampant and Baldacci has tapped into a plausible path for those twin evils to run amuck.   Zealots of all stripes are terrifying.   This book may make you think.

I highly recommend it.

 
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, March 18, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/18/13



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.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash






I’m sure my general level of maturity is why I enjoy reviewing books for children.  This book is a delight.  The setting is a bird dominated world that is fraught with discrimination.  Blue Jay the pirate is not Robin Hood but he does have a sense of justice and style.   The book seems like it is an introduction to a series, one can only hope. 

The illustrations are delightful.   This is Scott Nash’s forte.   I am reviewing an advanced reading copy so I am missing the full color illustrations which are promised for the final edition.  The black and white illustrations are still terrific.   The style is reminiscent of the Pooh stories.   

The story provides some nice lessons in morals, ethics, loyalty and perseverance.   Acceptance of those who are different from you is one of the highlights of the plot.   This is a really cute story that I intend to read to my grandchildren.   What kid doesn’t like a rollicking pirate story and these pirates are even laudable!

I highly recommend the book. 

Web Site: http://www.scottnash.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.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/14/13



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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Savage Bay by Christopher Forrest


Outnumbered and outgunned, an elite team of corporate mercenaries find themselves trying to save the most powerful secrets of their employer.

Catherine Caine is a corporate titan.  Her companies are knee deep in high tech research.  The Genesis Code has been explored in previous Forrest books.   It is coded messages hidden in our DNA.  These coded messages could reveal hidden information that would allow a dramatic improvement in the human race or its destruction. 

Caine’s research facility at a defunct Cold War secret submarine base is threatened by intruders.   She sends her top team of corporate warriors, Titan Six.  All of the members of Titan Six have nicknames and have had biological enhancements.   Hawkeye, the Titan Six team leader, hides his considerable intellect behind the gruff exterior of a brutal warrior.   

The team faces daunting odds and treachery when they arrive at Savage Bay to save their employer’s daughter and rescue the valuable research.  The book is pretty simplistic in its approach.  Lots of firepower and nearly invulnerable warriors provide the main components for action upon action.  Titan Six could join Marvel and back up the Avengers, they are that tough.  

This is a quick read that won’t tax your intellect but if you are an action junky you will love it. 


Web Site: https://www.facebook.com/TitanSix

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, March 10, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/10/13



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.

Friday, March 8, 2013

FIREBUG by Daniel Berenson



This is a tough story to read, particularly if you have empathy for kids.  Two boys learn a great deal about fire and it’s dangers. 

This book deals with bi-lateral support, perhaps characterized by the blind leading the blind scenario.   This is a tale of two boys who discover themselves by paying for the consequences of their behavior.
Curtis and Bobby are not cut from the same cloth.  They look at life differently and have vastly different skill sets.   Life throws them together and the ensuing story is heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. 

A pre-occupation with fire can result from may things.   Some of those ways are the same reasons that kids get into drugs, alcohol or other aberrant behaviors.  Kids who are mistreated by family and peers, kids who feel alienated and alone can easily get into areas that can negatively impact their entire lives. 

Daniel Berenson is able to portray scenarios that smack of realism.  Kids can be cruel and they can be amazingly accepting.  In my opinion, the adults kids are exposed to have an enormous impact on whether they behave with compassion or cruelty.   Daniel shows how two boys can change each other’s lives.

In addition to a very positive cautionary tale, Daniel is donating 20% of the net profits from the book sales of FIREBUG to organizations that care for burn survivors, including the Shriners Hospitals and the Jaycees. 
Daniel Berenson is one of those rare individuals who puts his money where his mouth is, kudos Daniel!

I enjoyed it even as it made me cringe.  

I recommend the book. 


Web Site: http://freakydudebooks.com/book_previews/firebug/firebug_sample.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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/6/13



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.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Petroleum Venus by Alexander Snegirev

This book is reminiscent of some of the things I was required to read in college lit.   My initial reaction was negative but I persevered and am glad I did. Simplistically it is a story of a single parent’s life with a Down Syndrome child.  

The story is so much more than the simple description.  It is impossible not to feel the cultural canyon between every day Russian life and that of the run of the mill middle class American.   The descriptions of life in Russia are colorful and sometimes confusing.  There is a mixture of 3rd world mystique that clashes with 21st century modernism.   The stereotype of the stoic Russian carries through but is leavened with often coarse black humor.  

This is an eye opening book in its cultural descriptions but also in the corruption of the social system in another country.  As an American, we deplore and attack corruption in public officials and in Russia, it appears to be an accepted part of living life and yet look at the record of our elected officials.  How different are we really?

The treatment of Vanya by his father is shocking and perhaps brutally honest.  Fyodor undergoes some remarkable changes through the book.   The “sisters” are certifiable as is Fyodor in many ways.   Fyodor’s family skills apparently came from his parents who also exhibited sadly humorous characteristics. 

The meld of old world superstition with phlegmatic love of country regardless of hardship was eye opening.   

This novel was surprising.  It was moving and humorous at unexpected times.   I recommend it but do not expect a run of the mill family story.  

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.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 3/2/13




 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.