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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Stifled by Rainy Kaye

Stifled Release Today we're celebrating the release of STIFLED, book two in the SUMMONED series by USA Today Bestselling author, Rainy Kaye. A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him. In STIFLED, Dimitri trails an elusive jinn and finds himself in the middle of a community keeping dark secrets. The SUMMONED series is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Scroll down to pick up your copy of STIFLED, get SUMMONED for free for a limited time, and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card.    
Stifled Final 2 PSDDimitri would like nothing more than to live a low-key life in Naples, Italy. His girlfriend, Syd, has other plans. After three months of researching, she is positive she has found a jinn on a killing spree in San Diego, California. Since Syd gave Dimitri the one thing he thought was out of reach, he feels obligated to use his ill-gained talents for her cause. A few hours back in the US proves that Dimitri and Syd didn't quite make the clean escape they had thought. As they trail the elusive jinn, someone else trails them. What should have been a simple trip to confirm once and for all if the jinn are living among humans, instead reveals a community keeping dark secrets. Unfortunately for Dim, the only way out is in. Get your copy here! Haven't read book one yet? No problem! It's currently FREE on Amazon.  
summoned_cover_final_biggerTwenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker. Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets. Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.    
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rainykayeRainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Someone told her she's a USA Today Bestselling author. She thought there would be cake.      
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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 28, 2015

Spotlight on: Anissa's Redemption by Zack Love

Spotlight on:
Anissa's Redemption
Zack Love

This is Zack Love's excellent follow up to his book, 
This is a unique combination of romance, political intrigue and current events!


Maria warned Jamila that Osama would try to rape and convert her, but if she showed resistance, Osama would just hit her. She told Jamila not to be afraid and that they would find a way to free themselves, explaining that Osama and his guard always left after sunset to go to the mosque, and sometimes Osama came back alone. Luckily, the Alawite girl still had her cell phone on her and her older cousin was close with a Sunni friend who could help, which emboldened Maria to pursue an escape plan. The bedroom window had a slight view of the area where Osama’s car was parked, so my sister knew roughly when they were away for about two hours. The next time Osama and his guard had left, Maria broke her plate on the floor, and tossed one of the sharp, blade-like shards across the floor to Jamila, and kept another one for herself. They each used it to cut through the rope that was tying them to a different bedpost. But because the rope was relatively thick, it would take them several hours to cut through it, so they didn’t have enough time to attempt an escape the same night that they began trying to sever the rope. They also needed Osama to unlock the bedroom door, which couldn’t be unlocked from inside the bedroom, so they had to plan their escape for a night when he came back from the mosque alone.

The night when the two captives began sawing away at the cords restraining them, Osama came back with his guard. A few hours later, he tried for the second time to rape Jamila, but she again resisted and was beaten. Luckily, Osama didn’t notice that the rope connecting her ankle to the bedpost was nearly torn through.

The next night, soon after Osama and his guard left to pray, Maria and Jamila nearly freed themselves but the plan was to leave their binds still slightly intact to avoid arousing suspicion, in the event that Osama came back with the guard and they would have to wait for another night when he came back alone. Fortunately, Osama returned from the mosque by himself that night. Maria called him into the bedroom (effectively unlocking the door with his arrival). When Osama entered the room, Maria told him that she didn’t want him to abuse Jamila anymore and would willingly give herself to him, if he would spare her. My sister was supine on the bed mattress, near the bedpost to which her ankle was tied, with her legs spread somewhat invitingly. There were no sheets or pillows that could facilitate her plan, so she hid the ceramic plate shard just behind the mattress, on the bedframe, leaning against the nearby wall.

Here are links to purchase:

–“The Syrian Virgin” – Kindle e-book:–“Anissa’s Redemption” – Kindle e-book:
–“The Syrian Virgin” – Paperback:
–“The Syrian Virgin” – Kindle e-book:–“Anissa’s Redemption” – Kindle e-book:
BARNES & NOBLE LINKS–“The Syrian Virgin” – Nook e-book:–“Anissa’s Redemption” – Nook e-book:
–“The Syrian Virgin”: 
–“Anissa’s Redemption”:
KOBO LINKS–“The Syrian Virgin”:–“Anissa’s Redemption”:

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 26, 2015

Blood Oath by Sabrina Rawson

Spotlight On:

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Title:   Blood Oath
Author:   Sabrina Rawson
Published:   March
6th, 2015
Publisher:   Titan InKorp Ltd.
Genre:  Contemporary Romance Suspense
Content Warning:   Violence, Rape, Kidnapping, PTSD, Human Trafficking, Sexual Content
Recommended Age:  17+
Collin was prepared for anything, until he met her…
Collin spent fifteen years leading a team of operatives renowned for their zero failure rate of disrupting the horrors of human trafficking. Struggling with PTSD, he was ready to retire after one last mission. He had to stick to the mission and any distractions could lead to lives lost. His attraction to Madeline was instantaneous, a future filled with warm nights now possible. Meeting Madeline made him want to let life happen and she was the woman he wanted to share it with.
Madeline couldn’t believe her luck meeting Collin on her first vacation ever. She knew she was a workaholic, but she had to in order to be a successful business owner and overcome the stigma her parents had left behind. The more time spent with Collin, the more she wanted him to keep on looking at her for the rest of her life. Kidnapped, Madeline has trouble believing she can survive the abuse of her captors. Remembering who she used to be, Madeline retains hope the one man she loves will rescue her.
Neither will stop at anything until they can hold each other in their arms again.
Real life situations from human trafficking to PTSD. This story is about not giving up on life. Doing all things impossible to survive one more day.
Amazon | GoodReads
Excerpt for Blood Oath by Sabrina Rawson:
The landing didn’t prove to be too difficult and they had a two hour layover before getting on their flight to Mexico. Madeline grabbed something to eat then checked with the gate representative to make sure their luggage would make it to the correct flight on time.
With everything settled they both proceeded to sip their coffee and wait for their boarding call. Several people began to congregate in their boarding area, but both she and Shelly were content with reading from their Kindles to take much notice. There was still a half hour left before they were to board.
Shelly nudged her arm making her lose her place with reading, “What?” she hissed, not wanting to stop what she was reading.
“Check out the men at one o’clock,” Shelly whispered.
She carefully lifted her eyes and gasped audibly. In front of her were seven men. Each man was above six feet in height and extremely muscular. They were dressed in jeans, polo shirts, and casual walking shoes. She was impressed with how they looked. They appeared as if they were body builders all settled on a little vacation time like they were.
Looks like their vacation finally perked up.
Several of the men were sporting full sleeve tattoos and despite misconceptions about men with tattoos she had always found herself partial to both men who had them and those who did not.
“Guy in the dark blue shirt to the left is hot. Like fucking hot,” Shelly hissed, louder than she felt comfortable with.
“Keep it down or else someone will notice our drooling,” she hissed back, more irritated her friend had interrupted her gawking.
“I call dib’s on the man in dark blue. You touch and you break our girl code,” she said matter of fact.
“What are you twelve,” she shouted, sitting up in her seat glaring at her girlfriend. “What girl code and what the hell. It isn’t like anything has even happened yet!”
She knew she was stressed about the vacation despite their mutual pep talk earlier. She more than anything, wanted to have the romance relationship of a lifetime, but more than that just wanted to by loved and to love in return. That wasn’t too much to ask for.
Shelly just stared at her folding her arms across her chest.
“What?” she asked, feeling the headache from earlier reminding her it had not disappeared.
Gesturing with her hand Shelly waved in the direction of the men. Seven pair of eyes stared back at them for a few seconds before turning back to their private conversations.
Shelly poked her in the arm settling back to read her Kindle. Pretend to read it, she guessed.
“You screeched at me like a banshee,” she gritted out.
She picked up her tablet, heat filling her cheeks in embarrassment, “I did no such thing. You interrupted me from what I was doing and it was pretty serious,” she hissed in return. “I didn’t realize I spoke so loud.”
Placing her hand on Shelly’s arm in a gesture of peace she noticed Shelly frowned while looking down at the hand on her arm. She needed to make amends for her actions, “I’m sorry I poked you. That was completely immature of me.”
Rubbing her head with her free hand she gave up reading and closed her Kindle. “I think this headache has me acting out of character. I’m sorry for getting upset with you.”
“Hey, we’re going to have fun, men or no men. Just two women on an adventure, right?” Shelly said, leaning over to dig through her bag.
“Right,” she replied, frustrated she had acted so poorly when what Shelly had said was exactly what she had said to her earlier.
She chanced a glance back to the where the men stood and her heart stopped. The most beautiful man stared back at her. A half a foot or taller than her six foot height, his frame was completely muscular. It appeared he was pushed the limit on the polo shirt he was wearing or his muscles in his arms were going to split the seams if he moved too quickly. His stony expression hadn’t concealed his initial reaction when she first glanced up, nor did it distract her from his beauty.
His hair was sandy blonde almost a warm caramel color. She wanted to walk up to him just so she could get closer and find out if she had imagined the color or not. She could tell from where she was his eyes were bright green. He wasn’t standing more than thirty feet away, but she could tell he was very aware of his surroundings. He seemed like he was taking her in as much as she was of him except he was cataloguing everything around them simultaneously. His visual appraisal made her lick her lips in anticipation. What would he say if he knew how bad she wanted him to keep on looking at only her?
Shaking her head she dispelled their staring contest, burying her wicked thoughts. Oh, she looked at the rest of his face while they had studied each other, but it was his eyes that had held her attention. They were the same color she had imagined all her book boyfriends’ eyes looked like. She called them dream eyes. He was her dream man in the flesh.
She chuckled at her inner thoughts and began to pack up the stuff she had settled around her in preparation for the flight. What had come over her? One minute she was snapping at her best friend and the next she was mesmerized by one of the very men she had snapped at Shelly about. Maybe it was his crooked nose that had caught her attention?
The scar that ran from the side of his nose across his cheek down his throat hadn’t distracted her focus neither did his full lips. Lips she wanted to taste and feel all over her body. A body her hands itched to explore. She hadn’t seen any tattoos on his arms, but did that mean his weren’t hidden.
Flustered at where her thoughts had carried her she fidgeted with the zipper of her carryon too frustrated to pull it smoothly across its seam.
“If you pull that thing any harder the first thing we will purchase when we get there will be a new bag for you. What’s with you?” Shelly quipped, reaching over to take the bag from her before she broke the zipper. “You usually treat your luggage with delicate fingers.”
Wiping her forehead with her hand she felt like she was about to break a sweat. She knew her hot flash was because she couldn’t get rid of the images of what she wanted to happen with the man a few feet away. Naked things. Sexual things. Things she had never felt from her body before. For the first time in her life she felt desired with such intensity the feeling shocked her.
“I’m fine. A little shaken, but fine,” she admitted.
Shelly stopped what she was doing and looked at her. She tilted her head and scrutinized her with an expression she recognized as the analytical Shelly. She knew she was about to get a lecture about living in the moment, but thank God first class seats were called to board.
They rose grabbing their bags and heading embarrassingly past the men to hand the flight attendant their boarding passes. Before they walked into the Jetway, one of the men said, “The red is one classy babe, but the brunette is hot. I don’t know which one is better. They both look hot to me.”
She and Shelly gasped, but neither one of them had enough nerve to turn around. Leaving the waiting area, the last thing she heard before hurrying to their seats was an unmistakable growl followed by the possessive words that sent chills straight to her core.
“The brunette is mine.”
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About the Author:
Sabrina is a cancer survivor who recently published works with Survivor’s Review and Titan InKorp Online eMag. She has published two novels within a New Adult Urban Fantasy series called A Novel of four Realms and a new Contemporary Romance Suspense Novel series called An Eagle Operatives Novel.  She enjoys life happily married to a supportive husband. You can always find her reading a book or cooking a meal for her multitude of children.
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • 2 x $15 Amazon Gift Cards (Int)
  • 1 Book Bag with swag (US) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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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 21, 2015

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

In the tradition of On the Beach, Forstchen is warning of dramatically dire consequences of being ill prepared for an EMP event.

An electromagnetic pulse as defined for laymen is a giant, unstoppable electrical surge.  An EMP can fry all your electronic devices.  It can come from a modified nuclear device or even a solar event.    Besides being annoyed at the inconvenience of losing all our toys,  consider that our electric grid, sewer and water, traffic controls, even air traffic are all computer controlled.  Imagine an instantaneous frying of all of that equipment and the resulting consequences.   That is the premise of the book. 

The book is frightening and written to be so.   The sociological ramifications were more frightening to me than the loss of an infrastructure.   It is dismaying to consider the reaction of our pampered population deprived of what we consider our due.  Forstchen depicts bleak behavior by the bulk of the population.   He also drives home how easy it is for decision makers to make the tough choices as long as they, themselves, are not impacted by them.  Consider the U.S. Congress and their willingness to cut benefits, as long as they aren't their benefits.  

Forstchen has a solid foundation of scientific and sociological underpinnings for his book.   It was terrifying as he used the characters to demonstrate his premise.   Our government decision makers should be required to read the book.   Our infrastructure needs protection from EMP which would be a relatively cheap terrorist weapon.

I don't spend a lot of time verifying facts when I read most fiction.   My assumption is that it is fiction so why bother.  This book drove me to the web to research what, if anything, is being done to prepare and protect our infrastructure from an EMP.   Several articles have used the number of two billion dollars to harden our utilities to survive an EMP.   Sounds like a lot of money but the unwillingness to spend that money may have dire consequences.   Things like faraday cages and surge suppressors may provide some protection for the general populace.   However considering the number of unstable countries now having access to nuclear weapons, it behooves us to spend the two billion ASAP to protect against an EMP attack. 

Forstchen's book is a call to arms,  protect our infrastructure from an EMP.

An important book although it is a very sad read.


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 17, 2015

The Syrian Virgin on Sale!

 99-CENT SALE OF "THE SYRIAN VIRGIN" (just before sequel)! 
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Now you can snag “The Syrian Virgin” for just 99 cents and read the first book in the series just in time for the STUNNING sequel (full of romance, surprises, and intrigue) coming out on March 23rd! 
This is a GRIPPING STORY about a young woman's journey from war in Syria to love in New York. 
Grab it now for just 99 cents on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo or Scribd. 

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 14, 2015

Poseidon's Arrow by Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler

The Cussler franchise continues in this formula book.   Like Patterson, Cussler has created a formula that sells books.   He starts with a preposterous mystery and then shares the stage with the primary mystery.   Eventually they are tied together.   This story starts with an Italian submarine in WWII and then goes to modern espionage and commercial terrorism. 

The story was almost a parody of the franchise success.   There  were too many escapades that forced a dramatic stretch of imagination as opposed to the acceptance of Dirk and Al's irrational invulnerability in past books.

I did enjoy the inclusion of Pitt's kids in the book but I would prefer a reference to Jr. or some other appellation  that would clarify which Pitt was expressing himself in passages shared by siblings and parent.

Giving the Cussler franchise its due, they thoroughly wrap up their yarns and put all their crayons back in the box.  I appreciate good closure.  

The story is entertaining, there is a ton of preposterous action and a black on black villain.   The formula works and provides a couple of hours of escapism.  

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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tibetan Cross by Mike Bond

This was a strange book.  It melded philosophic musing, action adventure,  political commentary with a leavening of satire into a somewhat unwieldy book.  

The main protagonist is Sam Cohen who undergoes a personality transition and eventual restoration.  The preface of the book is pages of whoopee from a wide variety of reviewers.   I'm not quite sure why.   The book had it's moments but sometimes I really had to put my head down and  plow through a lot of conspiracy theory with the ubiquitous "everyone" is after me paranoia.    The counter culture, weed smoking '70s drop outs were plagued by paranoia.  The characters in this book were victims of not enough paranoia.  

Being reasonably conversant with history, there is likely a foundation for governmental misbehavior particularly during the Vietnam War.   I, like millions of others, have to wonder about the collusion of the members of the military industrial complex in international relations.   Bond has carried this premise into a theme for a novel. 

I found the book interesting enough to finish.


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 6, 2015

Hurricane Season by Chip Bell

Hurricane Season by Chip Bell

Jake Sullivan is an attorney who appears to revel in hot water.   This is the second of the Jake Sullivan Trilogy.  It is a action adventure primarily  set in Miami, Florida.

Jake is riding the crest of his wave of success, reveling in his new found confidence and lack of alcohol.   His reconciliation is advancing  with his family and he  is a "friend" of the President.   His  nemisis, Benjamin Mathews is safely behind bars.  

Jake is tapped to facilitate the reconciliation between two estranged nations.  This is not something he wants but finds himself heading the reconciliation program.  

It wouldn't be an action adventure if all things proceeded well.  The story introduces Navy Seals,  all of the  U.S. intelligence agencies and a surprising villain. 

Bell does a better job in showing the action and thought in this second book.  It was enjoyable.

I recommend.  


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 2, 2015

Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton

Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is a very interesting protagonist.   The story is set in the Scottish Highlands.   Hamish's sought after tranquility is shattered with a series of gruesome murders.  He struggles to solve them with little help from his superiors.

Macbeth is a bit of a rapscallion.  His attitude toward police work is very pragmatic without the reservations of political correctness that permeates American police work.   Breaking the law to catch a criminal is hardly foreign to the stalwart Macbeth.  Only one reference is made to his physical presence but apparently he is 6'5" and has bright red hair.   This would seem to preclude him doing any covert surveillance. 

Macbeth's personality and short comings are the foundation of the book.   The mystery and the mayhem seem almost secondary to the character study of Macbeth.   His insecurities and very practical approach to life are counterpointed by his tenacity and his concern for his constituents.

The Scottish Highlands seem foreboding and excessive alcohol consumption seems almost reasonable considering the living conditions.  Beaton's subtle humor is well utilized.

The mystery and plot were well done and I would like to read more of Beaton's work.

I recommend.



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