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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hotelles by Emma Mars

This is a romantic novel that is supposed to be titillating.  A young girl, working as an escort, is set to marry a wealthy man.  

The proposition that a brother would seduce his future sister-in-law is a bit of a stretch but that is the least of the stretching to be done.   Annabelle is introduced to a variety of kinkiness by Louie, her future brother-in-law in a hotel that is dedicated to historic hookers. 

I guess there is a market for books like this, look at the success of Fifty Shades.   Personally I found the book boring rather than titillating but I suspect the target market is not retired men but but lovelorn of any age may enjoy it. 

Web site:  none found

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, September 23, 2014

Victoria Simcox's The Shard will be free 9/26 ~ 9/30 on Amazon.


The Shard, Victoria Simcox’s fast-paced, intricately woven sequel to the Warble, takes Kristina Kingsly and her schoolmates back to Bernovem … and into a thrilling, often dangerous adventure. 

The Shard FREE 9/26--9/30

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 Target by David Baldacci

Will Robie and Jessica Reel bounce from one action filled assignment to the next with a culmination in Nantucket protecting the first lady and her family.

Testosterone filled does not begin to describe this book.   First the most elegant mayhem is estrogen powered not testosterone filled.   Baldacci has no problem providing superlative female protagonist and antagonist.   In some ways this reminded me more of a James Patterson short chapter no time to breathe book.   A series of short vignettes which are mixed into a recipe for a final cake of violence.

Baldacci provides insight into the motivation of his characters.  They become three dimensional people as opposed to cardboard cutouts.   The characters are much more believable and likeable due to his style.

This is a quick read mostly due to my inability to put the darn thing down.

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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Mystery of the Milton Manuscript by Barry M. Libin

This is one of those delight surprises you find in your to be read pile.  I agreed to review this book without really knowing what I was getting.   This is a very thought provoking book that questions the motivations of Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost.

I was aware of Milton and his work but was never enamored of it.  I happen to be sitting beside a Brit at a social event and asked her if she was familiar with Milton.   Her response was emotional and vehement, "Oh, my yes, who isn't?  He is very important to the English."    So I guess my indifference to his work is indicative of my shallowness.   I enjoyed Robert Frost and merely tolerated Milton.    To my surprise there is world wide interest in Milton and what he meant in his poem.  About 887,000 results (0.43 seconds)  is what you get if you Google, Milton Paradise Lost.   That is a pretty hefty number and certainly indicates interest.

The novel has a Dan Brown feel of conspiracy and complexity.   Keith Jessup, a PhD student is thrust in to murder and mayhem by his interest in Milton.    The story line involves murder and intrigue with a sinister centuries old cabal suppressing any additions to the thoughts of Milton.

The book gets wordy at times but certainly holds your interest and incites thought.   I suspect that anyone who has more than a cursorily interest in Milton's writings will be intrigued by the book.

I enjoyed it.

Web site: none found

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, September 15, 2014

Oil to Ashes Picnic (1) by Lee Brait

This is a novelette set in a not to distant future.  Linc is a company man with a mind of his own.  He believes in the company's goal but feels he is surrounded by dilettantes.  This short story appears to be a setup for a sequential story line.   Linc follows his conscience and ends up doing the right thing but paying for it in guilt.

The story is fast paced and in some areas brutal.  The realization that to protect his family, Linc must do some things that grossly breach his self image.  You feel that society and it's failures lead to personal actions that would be abhorrent in another time and place but are necessary in this declining society.

Premise is good, plenty of action and thought provoking analysis of social mores.

I enjoyed the 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.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget!

Please take 4.25 minutes to watch this remembrance of September 11, 2001.   Please offer a prayer for those who died that day, their families and for all those who are sacrificing themselves for the rest of us on a daily basis; especially our cops, firemen and troops. 

Trident's First Gleaming by Stephen Templin

Once again Stephen Templin pulls his plot from current events.   Chris Paladin is the protagonist who is trying to balance his SEAL handle of Reverend with his self image and personal identity when faced with grossly immoral terrorists.

Drones and cyber warfare are in the news daily.  Templin combines the two for an action adventure that includes a great deal of soul searching by Chris Paladin.   Paladin's character is highly complex and very introspective.   He is contrasted against Dr. Mordet, a psychopathic terrorist with a mystical streak.  

The action and adventure are fast and often brutal.   The characterizations are adequate with Paladin and Mordet receiving the most detail.   Paladin's attempt to justify his role as a SEAL and protector of our freedom with his role as an actual Reverend and his need to protect his and others souls add a intriguing level of complexity to what might otherwise be just another terrorist oriented action adventure.

I enjoyed the 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.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fixed by L. A. Kornetsky

This is another pet's are smart mystery.   Ms. Kornetsky has Georgie, the Sharpei, and Miss Penny, the cat as major characters.   This mystery surrounds the "dark" smells emanating from an animal shelter.
I said in my review of Collared that Ms. Kornetsky portrays a very strong female protagonist as well as an equally strong male protagonist.   I like the fact that Ms. Kornetsky can portray a strong female without having the need to demean her male counterpart.   As much as I like strong female protagonists, I have seen where some authors feel that if the woman is strong the man must be a buffoon or patented stupid.   Sadly too many people still have difficulty with equality that men and women can operate together as equals.  Some how that just shouldn’t be a revelation. 

Ginny and Teddy are both back.  Theycomplement each other’s skill sets quite nicely.   They still insist they are not investigators or at least Teddy does.   Their rivalry seems to have cooled and they are more partners now than adversaries.

I have always enjoyed anthropomorphism and I think the addition of the pets adds flavor to the story.  They are still not prominent in the story but do figure into the plot line.   The intimate watering hole of Mary's reminds me of a similar but different bar in college where the owner/bartender wouldn't serve of age students more than one beer during the week when they were supposed to study.   On week ends, he was happy to serve you as long as you were keeping your grades up.  Places like Mary's exist but need to be discovered.

I enjoyed the book and look forward to sequels.


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, September 3, 2014

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light by Deirdra Eden--A GIVEAWAY

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light

This book starts with a bang.  Auriella suffers denouncement and flees to an  unknown fate.   You find yourself immersed in her frustration from page one.  A full review is forthcoming, watch for it here.

 In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions

About the Author

"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

The 100 by Kass Morgan

A post apocalypse space habitat is suffering system failure after generations in space.  Their solution is to dispose of teen age miscreants in an attempt to discover if Earth is habitable.

The book has an interesting premise.   The solution to their problem is similar to many culture by disposing of the young they remove both a problem and perhaps they solve one as well.  Societies have been sending their young off to battle since the cavemen.   This book is tepid science fiction combined with teen age romance.   

The story eventually moved along after the reader is introduced to the romantic longings of a variety of teens.   It is a very fast read and I don't see it appealing to the older teen.  I think the very young teen and particularly the very young teen female may find the book appealing.   I am pleased to see an attempt to draw in the young teen girls into science fiction.  I do feel that the more kids read scifi, the better chance we have of getting more kids into science.

Interesting note, there is a TV show based on the book.  It claims to be young adult oriented but I think this is doing many young adults a disservice.  Considering the outlook of the high school kids I know, this book might be a touch lite.   I think the upper elementary or perhaps middle school audience would be more likely to favor the book.  

Web sites:

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