Required Reading

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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, July 19, 2019

My Enemy’s Enemy by Robert Buettner


This story see-sawed between WWII and the present.   A terrorist who want to harm the USA and a German who wants to save Jews are the different ends of the see-saw.

The rise of Hitler and the genocide of the Jews set the stage for the development of the Nazi’s ultimate weapon.   Peter Winter, as an up and coming physicist, is drafted to be the mind behind the Nazi’s ultimate weapon.   Little did Himmler know that Aryan perfect Peter Winter with an impeccable Nazi’ pedigree hated the Nazis.

Cass is a museum geek who would prefer field work.  She gets her wish but it is far more than she bargained for when she faces Islamic Jihad and Frank Luck, a drunken cowboy.

This was an excellent story with lots of action and believability.

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.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Justice Makes A Killing by Ed Rucker



Private, for profit, prisons are on trial in this book.   The author provides some interesting arguments that provide a great deal of thought.  It was an entertaining novel but it was much more as it makes you skeptical about the societal benefits of the three strike laws.  

An attorney finds herself in need of defense when an incarcerated whistle blower is murdered.   Bobby Lee Earl is a defense attorney who finds himself up against not just a murder but a conspiracy that not only threatens his client but puts his own life and relationships in jeopardy.

Rucker did a great job with this book.  It is a legal thriller but it also made me do some research.   If you consider the percent of people incarcerated in our nation, it is significantly higher than any other major country.   Consider for a moment the astounding number of immigrants who have recently been incarcerated.  All of this cost money and where there is money to be made, there will be corruption to follow.   Rucker’s suppositions may not be too far from the truth.

An excellent novel and an even better as a thought provoking treatise. 

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, July 9, 2019

Speaking in Tongues by Jeffrey Deaver



For some reason I found this book more emotionally provocative than other Deaver books.  Perhaps my stint as a school counselor sensitized me to the plights of troubled teens, but I found this captivating and disturbing.  Simplistically, the premise of the book is that eloquent oratory can be dangerous.

Megan, a teen, feels alienated and acts out.  Her estranged parents seem oblivious to her pain.  A therapist with a grudge uses his oratory skills to manipulate and murder a wealth of people to get revenge. 

The plot was complex and deviously Deaver.

I recommend the book but it is emotionally provocative.


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, July 4, 2019

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves


This was a British mystery.   It was slow at times but it kept your interest.   A fallen away from a cult gay police detective becomes embroiled in a case that he may need to recluse himself from due to his husband’s connection to the victim.  A murder victim, a center for the arts combined with a work environment for down’s women provides a confusing scenario for Matthew Venn.

I am seeing many more plots with LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) characters in a setting that places little or no emphasis on their gender identity.  The acronyms may be confusing but the bottom line is that gender identity as plot point really isn’t important.  

The alienation of Matthew from his family due to a charismatic and flawed cult leader provides a lot of motivation for Matthew.  He shows compassion and understanding for a wide range of characters.
Secrets and the protection of the status quo certainly play a part in the plot.

I enjoyed the book and 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.

Happy 4th!



Politicians come and go,
Political parties wax and wane.
The strength and spirit of our nation is our acceptance of others. 
A refuge for all, a caring for the less fortunate.
We the people means All of the people!
If we are to survive the current divisiveness of our nation we must not forget our country’s basic truths and what and who we pledge to be, our pledge is to the nation
not to politicians, not to consumerism, not to race or religion but our 
Pledge is to the principles of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Off the Grid by Robert McCaw


This book is set in Hawaii.  The main protagonist is Chief Detective Koa who is trying to avoid politics and solve crimes. 

The murder of two invisible, off the grid people leads Koa down political paths he normally avoids at all costs.   Holding a secret of his own, Koa, does his best to bring justice to all.  When he discovers some of the mysterious victims secrets, he finds that Alice’s rabbit hole holds nothing over the spiraling plot he discovers.

The author paints a somewhat different picture of Hawaii.   Generally speaking shows such as Hawaii 50 show sparkling beaches and beautiful people.   McCaw shows that there is poverty, politics and crime hidden under the ubiquitous leis. 

I enjoyed the book and Koa’s implacable tenacity.  


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, June 24, 2019

Spotlight on Lions of the Sky by Francesco “Paco” Chierici













Top Gun for the new millennium, Lions of the Sky propels the reader into a realm in which friendship, loyalty, and skill are tested, battles won and lost in an instant, and lives irrevocably changed in the time it takes to plug in your afterburners.

Sam Richardson is a fighter pilot’s pilot, a reluctant legend with a gut-eating secret. He is in the last span of his tour as an instructor, yearning to get back to the real action of the Fleet, when he is ordered to take on one last class—a class that will force him to confront his carefully quarantined demons.

Brash, carefree, and naturally gifted, Keely Silvers is the embodiment of all that grates on him. After years of single-minded dedication, she and her classmates can see the finish line. They are months away from achieving their life-long dream, flying Navy F/A-18 fighters. They are smart and hard-working, but they’re just kids with expensive new toys. They’re eager to rush through training and escape to the freedom of the world beyond, a world they view as a playground full of fast jets and exotic locales.

But Sam knows there is a darker side to the profession he loves. There is trouble brewing in the East with global implications. If they make it past him they will be cast into a dangerous world where enemy planes cruise the skies over the South China Sea like sharks, loaded with real weapons and hidden intentions.


About the author:
Francesco “Paco” Chierici is the author of Lions of the Sky. During his active duty career in the US Navy, Chierici flew A-6E Intruders and F-14A Tomcats, deployed to conflict zones from Somalia to Iraq and was stationed aboard carriers including the USS Ranger, Nimitz and Kitty Hawk. Unable to give up dogfighting, he flew the F-5 Tiger II for a further ten years as a Bandit concurrent with his employment as a commercial pilot. Throughout his military career, Paco accumulated nearly 3,000 tactical hours, 400 carrier landings, a Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, and three Strike/Flight Air Medals. Chierici’s writing has appeared in Aviation Classics magazine, AOPA magazine, and Fighter Sweep. He also created and produced the award-winning naval aviation documentary, Speed and Angels. Currently a 737 captain, Chierici can often be found in the skies above California flying a Yak-50 with a group of likeminded G-hounds to get his dogfighting fix. He lives in Northern California with his wife Hillary, and two children.

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