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.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Kremlin Strike by Dale Brown

Once again Dale Brown runs a cold finger of unease up your spine with the weaponization of space.  In spite of Covid-19, the world continues.  In that world the friction between super-powers continue.   The hyper-aggressive Russian leader in the book is not far removed from the current leader in Russia with Ukraine as an example.   This book looks at what happens when the Russians successfully orbit a weapon that threatens the entire world.

Brown keeps his characters coming back.  They have reached the point of being old friends.   Boomer, the McLanahans and others.  Many of the characters have suffered or even been killed in previous books.  
The action is, as always, good.   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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Bad Caterpillar by Suvi Chisholm

I enjoyed the message that this very cute book promoted. Anyone or perhaps anything can change. The illustrations are adorable. Kids need examples of how to do things and how the little girl who wanted a friend motivated the caterpillar to want to change. No need to be a butterfly, just a desire to change. Well done!

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, June 25, 2020

One Way by Tom Barber

This is a thriller, no bones about it.   It is adrenaline fueled, foot to the floor, high octane thriller.  This is the fifth book in a series but it stands alone just fine.   Sam Archer is a NYC cop on his way home from the gym when is world is turned upside down by something he witnessed.  Unable to help himself Archer steps into a frenzied fire fight. 

I’ve never read Barber before and I have to say I am impressed.   There was non-stop action but it was filled with human beings that Barber fleshes out to the point where you feel remorse when one is killed.   The villains are also realistic but there is a point at which credibility is strained when anger overcomes even demented common sense.

I look forward to reading all the Sam Archer 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.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Crucible by James Rollins

This is a Sigma Force novel.  If you aren’t familiar with them, it really doesn’t matter as the book stands alone perfectly.   Witches, the Inquisition, cults, artificial intelligence and mayhem characterized this book.   The potential for AI is explored and the darkness of homicidal luddites is exposed.

This was a good action adventure.  The main protagonists have to pursue their foes with the handicap of having their loved ones in peril.  

Rollins writes an interesting turn that effectively ties all of the diverse pieces together.

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.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Soldiers of Freedom by Samuel Marquis

This is historical fiction.  The book describes the exploits of Patton who is well known and the Edelweiss Pirates who are pretty much unknown.  The author states his motivation for writing the book was to tell the story of Patton’s Black Panthers.   The Black Panthers were the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in WWII.   The book documents how the Black Panthers had to fight both the Germans and the prejudice of their fellow soldiers.   Mucki, Gertrud Koch Pirate code name describes conditions in Cologne and how she and her friends fought back against the Gestapo.

Although race relations aren’t perfect today, reading how poor they were in the 40s is daunting.  It is hard to believe the depths of prejudice.   Showing the world of a teenager as the German empire collapsed was also eye opening.  There courage against overwhelming odds is inspiring.

Marquis writes a detailed and fact loaded book that brings to life a period and people who may otherwise be forgotten.

History buffs should jump on this 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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Spotlight on Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery by Author Vee Kumari

Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery by Vee Kumari
Rekha Rao, a thirty-something Indian American professor of art history, is disillusioned by academia and haunted by the murder of her father. She believes police convicted the wrong person, and moves away from her match-making family.

As she tries to manage her PTSD and heal her broken heart from a previously abusive boyfriend, she gets entangled in a second murder, that of her mentor and father figure.

Rekha is attracted to the handsome detective Al Newton, who is investigating the murder, but steers clear of him because of her distaste for cops and fear of a new relationship. The two constantly clash, starting a love-hate relationship. Meanwhile, her family is busy setting her up to meet a suitor, an Indian attorney. When police arrest one of her students and accuse her mentor of theft, Rekha is left with no other choice but to look for the killer on her own.

Questions and Answers For and From the Author:
1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I loved words, and I wanted to be an English professor.

2. What is your education/career background?
I have a medical degree from India and a Ph.D. (Anatomy) from UC Davis

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?
As a scientist, my fall back was reading fiction. When I retired, it gave me the time to try it.

4. When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?
I always turn to freewriting by hand. I have several notebooks on the project I’m working on, and others in the pipeline.

5. What do you think makes a good story?
A good story speaks about issues that are universal and poses challenges to all of us regardless of our differences.

6. What inspired your story?
I watched an OPRAH/Dr. PHIL an episode about a family who came to get help after the father came to the realization that he was always gay. Their genuine grief and need to find their way back as a family touched me. It’s best to keep this under cover since this is one of the threads that’s revealed only towards the end!

Facebook: @veekumari

Instagram:  @vee6873hollywood

Twitter: @veekumari1

#Dharma #RekhaRao #mystery
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 8, 2020

Guest Post by Gen LaGreca, Author of Just the Truth

Celebrating Women's Independence
By Gen LaGreca

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which insured women's right to vote throughout our country. So let’s take a moment to celebrate women’s achievements and independence.

The heart of a woman’s independence lies in the right to think for herself. This year’s anniversary is a perfect time to reaffirm every woman's right to think, speak, and act according to her own best judgment and to hold true to her convictions, even if that places her outside of the mainstream.

In a proud tradition that continues to this day, woman have gone against the tide for noble causes and played an active role in fighting injustice throughout our nation's history. For example, women were leaders in the abolitionist movement, enduring vicious denunciations and even physical violence when they spoke out for what they believed. In the period leading up to the Civil War, it was a novel written by one of them—Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe—that became an international bestseller and provided the most powerful arguments against slavery. Legend has it that Abraham Lincoln referred to Harriet Beecher Stowe as “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” Whether or not we like the “little woman" tag, and whether or not the anecdote is actually true, no one can deny the tremendous influence of one impassioned woman who dramatically exposed an unspeakable injustice and had a profound influence on righting it.

Fast-forward to women writers and journalists today. When public polling shows the nation's opinion of the media is at an all-time low, there are notable newswomen who courageously hold to the highest standards and integrity. For example, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, whose motto is “Untouchable subjects. Fearless, nonpartisan reporting,” has written two books containing shocking behind-the-scenes exposés of political corruption at the highest levels of government. Lara Logan, a veteran foreign correspondent who proudly declares, “Nobody owns me,” suffered a brutal attack in a war zone that nearly killed her. Her response was: "I may have been a victim that night, but I am not a victim for the rest of my life."

My new novel, Just the Truth, celebrates the storied tradition of women leaders and journalists in their fight for the truth. The heroine of the novel, newswoman Laura Taninger, risks her career, her reputation, and even her life to uncover a secret plan implicating powerful public officials in a scheme to rig and upcoming presidential election. Laura faces the crushing retaliation of her political foes as they pull out all the stops to silence her, but her resolve is unwavering. She’s an inspiration to all independent women as we celebrate our special year, our glorious past, and our boundless future.

Let’s keep making ourselves proud!

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