Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

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, December 29, 2017

To All Who Serve, Thank You!

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said, "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

 PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

I can't verify if this is actually who sent this out, it really doesn't matter, it is imperative that we remember all those who proudly protect us

Thank you Gerry my friend, a Marine who shared this with  me. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Academic Affairs by Peter Likins

A short mystery set in Alabama.   College  misbehavior by the staff, not the students.  Two and then three mysterious deaths lead a somewhat hapless but good intentioned Sherriff and his family to solve the crimes.

The plot is complex with many suspects but at times it seems simplistic and reads more like a young adult book.  It does exhibit characteristics of the south at the time of the plot.  A group of black women ignored by the white community play an interesting part in the story.

I found the book a very fast read and a bit simplistic but I enjoyed it anyway. 


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, December 8, 2017

Curse of the Coloring Book by Howard L. Hibbard

This was a hard book to read.  The plot is inspired by the true story of an attorney dealing with PTSD due to his Vietnam experiences. 

The idiocy of the college fraternity experience, the stress of the draft and protests and the inability to “measure up” to unrealistic expectations fuel aspects of this plot.

Herald Lloyd is an attorney struggling with internal demons.  His experiences as a infantry platoon Lt. in Vietnam feed the fires of alcohol abuse and self loathing.  Many Vets from Vietnam believed that to be a man you had to bottle up your anger and frustration and soldier on.   The futility of this approach is graphically illustrated in the book.

The incongruities of the Vietnam war are clearly shown.   Herald flashes back to stress points when he encounters stress points in his current life.  His wife’s insistence that he seek help are rebuffed by his assurances that he can handle it.

The book showed the despicable way returning Vets were treated in that era.  It seems that today’s Vets are treated better, one can only hope that is true.

What we ask of our young men and women is almost beyond comprehension, the least we can do is treat them with respect, help and honor when they come home.

Good 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.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Spotlight on Four African American Romance E-Neovellas

Not quite ready for the holiday season? Take little, sexy steps with these four African American Romance E-Novellas…E-Noelas!

Brenda L. Thomas
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177538
76 pages

Enjoy the RT Book Reviews exclusive Hump Day excerpt (11/29/17) here!

About the book:
New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year when the line between old and new blurs, when fantasy can become reality, and every woman is given the opportunity to reinvent herself. But in Brenda L. Thomas’s novella, New Year’s Eve turns tragic when a shoot-out lands a respected doctor in the hospital with a bad case of amnesia—and in the care of a man too sexy to resist.

About the author:
Brenda L. Thomas is the national bestselling author of Threesome, Fourplay, The Velvet Rope, Every Woman's Got a Secret, Woman On Top, Secret Service and the deeply moving memoir of her 15-year struggle with domestic violence and drug addiction, Laying Down My Burdens. She has contributed short stories to the anthologies Four Degrees of Heat and Kiss the Year Goodbye. Brenda, a native of Philadelphia, is currently serving as Executive Producer of the movie adaptation of Laying Down My Burdens. Visit her website at

Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177545
90 pages

About the book:
India Parker has settled in with the idea that she will be alone. However, all of that changes when her girlfriend, Joan, ask for help catching her husband cheating on camera. When India goes to return the camera and she comes across pictures of Devin, Joan's 23-year-old son. He's not a boy anymore and he wants to prove to India that he's man enough for her. National bestselling author Tu-Shonda Whitaker sets the stage for an older-woman-younger-man relationship that will have you hoping love can find its way with humor and drama.

About the author:
Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker is the Essence bestselling author of Rich Girl Problems, Money Never Sleeps, Millionaire Wives ClubThe Ex Factor and Game Over. She is also a contributing writer to the anthologies: Cream and Kiss The Year Goodbye. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their children. For more information on Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker, please visit here.

Crystal Lacey Winslow
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177552
106 pages

About the book:
Jovie and London have a lot in common; both are single, creative and they've already spent the New Year together. Thanks to a broken heart and a lot of alcohol, London does not recall their first meeting. As London pursues Jovie, a quality woman who is worthy of so much more, he's quickly caught up in the essence of her uniqueness and soon finds it hard to stay away. Unfortunately, he meets Jada, her cocky, disrespectful identical twin, who appears hell bent on destroying their newfound relationship. Essence bestselling author Crystal Lacey Winslow pens a wild and sexy enovella with Dangerously In Love that will leave you thinking about love in a whole new way.

About the author:
Crystal Lacey Winslow is a publisher and the national bestselling author of Life, Love & LonelinessThe Criss CrossSex, Sin & Brooklyn,HistressTales of a Trainwreck Lifestyle, and the co-author of Four Degrees of HeatKiss the Year Goodbye, and Menace. For more information on Crystal Lacey Winslow, please visit here.

Daaimah S. Poole
Pocket Star EBook
December 4, 2017
ISBN 9781501177521
85 pages

About the book:
Gina seems to have it all: the job, her own house, her own car, and a boyfriend. The only problem is she's in Philly and Chris, her long distance boo lives in DC. They've been dating for a year and Gina is finding it harder and harder to come home to an empty bed. She and Chris just can find the time to be together. . . but Khalil, her best friend and roomate's ex, might be able to show her just what she's missing.

About the author:
Daaimah S. Poole wrote her first novel, Yo Yo Love, when she was nineteen, and it became an Essence bestseller. She is the author of two other novels, What's Real and Got a Man. Visit her website at

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mink Eyes by Max McBride

I don’t know if this is a first effort but regardless it was very good.  The story centers on a divorced, private eye, O’Keefe, his attorney friend Harrigan and a mink farm ponzi scheme.

O’Keefe is hired by some stockholders of the mink farm to find out why their money has disappeared.  He discovers there is more to the mink farm than meets the eye. 

Harrigan and O’Keefe are lifelong friends who aspired to be metaphoric Knights of the Grail as alter boys.  Their plans for life did not pan out in the manner they were hoping.  A sub theme of the book is their dissatisfaction with their choices and wishes they had taken the road less traveled.

Tag, a femme fatale, who is up to her neck in the nefarious activities of the mink farm, discovers there are a few chinks in her cynical shell.   Chinks that O’Keefe hopes to pry into full blown armor failure.  

The plot was good and intricate enough to keep my interest.
The characters were recognizable, larger than life versions of folks we all know.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Web: (seems like just a place holder, no content as of this review.)

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, November 28, 2017

Outrageous Book Deal and Hurricane Relief Simultaneously!

This book sale is an opportunity to put
your money where your mouth is!

A group of authors are providing 25 books at a ridiculously CHEAP price and 100% of the royalties will be donated to  
One America Appeal  for Hurricane Relief.

This is a Win-Win situation 
if there ever was one. 

You're getting hours of great reading
and doing good as a bonus!

R.E. McDermott's books alone are worth far more than $10, 
I have read them all and loved them. 
Go to this link and revel in having gotten a terrific bargain and done some good for the poor folks struggling to recover from this years devastating hurricanes.
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, November 26, 2017

Love And Not Destroy by Sandra Carey Cody

I consider Sandra a friend when she asked me to review her book she made it very clear she wanted an honest review.   She didn't want someone shielding her feelings from harsh criticism. The only harsh criticism I have is that I wish I would have read her book sooner.

I read the book and frankly I was stunned at how good it was. When asked to review a book by a friend, you do so with some trepidation.  I'm obsessive about being frank and honest in my reviews.   In my head, I calls them as I sees them.  The beauty of Sandra's book is I don't have any need to feel badly about my reactions due to how much I enjoyed the book. Part of it was the enjoyment of knowing the locale of the crime.  You could safely compare it to the early works of Michner that also starred Doylestown.

I have to admit I was dismayed over the naivety  of Peace.   However it is important to keep in mind she was 22 years old in the book.  I guess that naivety could be explained due to age.  Plus the locale of Doylestown tends to make you naive.

Sandra kept the mystery going all the way to the end.  The plot was quite intricate. It included a wide variety of characters.   A lot of them familiar, not familiar as other authors using them,  but familiar as they could be people that you know.  Identifying with the characters good or bad often promotes the enjoyment of a story and this case looking at some of the people their families and their pain really made one introspective as to how you treat others.

I have seen Daniel multiple times throughout both Doylestown and other places I visited not Daniel the character but Daniel the stereotype.  There are so many of these lost souls who just want someone to touch them and recognizing their existence.  They want to have their own identity and not be a carbon copy of their parents.  

I highly recommend the book.  Not to just the people who live in the area but  to anyone who's ever lived in a small town,  you're going to recognize many of the attributes typical of a place like Doylestown


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, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Here's hoping you have many blessings 
to give thanks for today!

Where There’s Smoke by Sandra Brown

I haven’t read any Sandra Brown lately and it was nice to see she still brings the heat.  I’ve said quite vocally I will not read a book with a shirtless guy on the cover.  I’m not fond of romances.  Sandra Brown is the exception she combines sex and violence with not a single shirtless guy on the cover.   This book charts the journey of a wander lusting cowpoke and a disgraced female physician.

The book read like a small scale version of the old TV soap opera, Dallas.   It has the hard nosed single mom running an oil company through intimidation and shadiness.  The setting is a small Texas town with closed minded, stereotypical small town people.   Toss in some scandal, a heavy lidded bright eyed cowpoke and international intrigue, leaven with a good hearted ex-con, a spinster sister and a heavy handed, trashy witch (Amazon doesn’t care for anything even smelling profane, which isn’t all bad.) and you get the gist of the story.

Dismayingly I enjoyed 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.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spotlight on Royally Wed by Teri Wilson

About Royally Wed:
Teri Wilson
The Royals Series, Volume 3
Pocket Star EBook
November 13, 2017
ISBN 9781501160516

Praise for Royally Wed:
“Royally Wed is enchanting and entertaining. Teri Wilson created tension, anticipation, conflict, and banter. Ms. Wilson developed a strong cast of characters with the addition of some memorable Corgis. Fans of Ruthie Knox and Jamie Beck will enjoy Royally Wed.”
Harlequin Junkie

In this retelling of the timeless movie Royal Wedding starring Fred Astaire, an American classical musician travels to London to perform at the festivities of the royal wedding of Great Britain’s princess, but soon finds himself dangerously attracted to the bride!

When Asher Reed, an American classical musician, is hired as a last minute replacement to perform at the royal wedding of Princess Amelia in Great Britain, he’s hoping he can shake his recent bout with performance anxiety long enough to get through the festivities and get his career back on track. Little does he know that his life is about to change forever.

As a guest of Buckingham Palace, he knows he has no business even speaking to the princess, but he’s completely awed by her beauty and more than a little intrigued by her rebellious spirit. Still, he definitely knows he has no business kissing her silly at the fitting of her wedding gown. He’s there to perform, not cause a royal scandal. But when he stumbles upon her groom’s appalling secret, the fate of the princess and the British Crown suddenly rest squarely in his cello-playing hands....

With Teri Wilson’s signature “endearingly charming and delightfully sizzling” (USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci) prose, Royally Wed is a delightful whirlwind romance that will leave you breathless and have you out of your seat for a standing ovation.

Praise for Royally Romanov, Volume 2 in The Royals Series:
“This contemporary retelling of the Anastasia myth, chock-full of elegance in the most romantic city in the world, is a delight. Wilson (Royally Roma) crafts love scenes that are sexy and passionate and align perfectly with the backdrop and absorbing plot; this will have wide appeal.”
—Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

“Wilson’s second Royals contemporary (after Royally Roma) takes the reader on a journey to Paris, where an American museum curator falls for a man who may be Russian royalty… The romance between Finley and Maxim is magical, beginning as instant attraction and building to an intense love, and Wilson skillfully balances the mystery of Maxim’s identity with the ethereal beauty of Paris.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Royally Roma, Volume 1 in The Royals Series:
“An all-work, no-play PhD student is moonlighting as a tour guide in Rome. She's almost too busy keeping it profesh to notice her client is bona fide royalty in this zippy e-book.”
—Cosmopolitan, April 2017

“Verdict Wilson’s (The Art of Us) series opener [Royally Roma] is a delightful romp that incorporates the culture of the Eternal city—a ripe environment for love—into this temperate romance. Readers will be just as enthralled with Rome as Nico and Julia are with each other.”
—Library Journal Starred Review

About the author:
Teri Wilson’s novel Unleashing Mr. Darcy is now a Hallmark Channel Original Movie, and she currently has two other films in development with Hallmark. She’s also at, a lifestyle and entertainment website founded by Zooey Deschanel. Teri loves books, travel, animals and dancing every day. Visit her at or on Twitter @TeriWilsonAuthr.

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, November 15, 2017

Firefly by P.T. Deutermann

Deutermann never fails to grab my attention from the first chapter.   His style and plots force you to continue to read long after your self appointed bed time.   This book takes place in Washington D.C.  The main protagonist is a retired Secret Service agent who’s moniker is Swamp.   Swamp is pulled out of retirement to aid in the preparation for the inauguration of the new President.  He is given a firefly to chase down.  A firefly is the terminology for a possible threat that is most likely improbable. His task and the book’s plot all focus on determining the veracity of the threat.

Deutermann keeps you entertained the length of the book.  He intersperses action with insights into the characters and their motivations.   P.T. provides enough information about the characters that you can grasp their personalities and understand their motivations. 

Firefly did not disappoint and continues to fuel my admiration for Deutermann’s skills.


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, November 11, 2017

I Love A Book by Joe Rhatigan

It is not often that I can completely identify with a book title.  This is a beautifully illustrated book.  The illustrators are Olga and Aleksey who did a marvelous job!  It is also seldom that I am so profuse with superlatives when reviewing a book.  This is a picture book for early readers that inspires children to read. 

The ubiquitous nature of electronic entertainment generally leads a child to play electronically rather than read.  In my opinion, it is absolutely imperative to make reading fun and interesting.  Kids need to stretch their imagination and they need the interest piqued.  It is a hard, cold fact that reading skills have a direct impact on educational success.  This book provides entertaining encouragement to love books and what wondrous adventures they can provide.   If you are prone to reading yourself and if you have young children, I strongly advise getting them this book.  It provides delightful encouragement for the early reader.  It captured my personal feelings on books.  Kudos to the author and the illustrators. 

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, November 3, 2017

Spotlight on Harper Sloan Cowboy Books

Hang on to your Stetsons, because you’re in for another wild ride! COWBOY UP by New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan is a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series.

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there's a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with disastrous end to his last relationship, he's just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn't counted on was cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She's the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn't lived an easy life, but after escaping an abusive ex, she's finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis, a night she can't stop thinking about.
So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it'll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little...

Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

COWBOY UP is the third go-round in this Texas-set series which has everything readers could want in truly authentic Western romance novels filled with sizzle, heart...and plenty of horses and cowboy boots!

Praise for The Coming Home Series:
“Modern Cliterature...Enjoy [this] lusty [passage] adapted from summer’s raciest reads…”
Cosmopolitan, July 2017 (Kiss My Boots, Book 2 in the Coming Home Series)

“Sloan…hits it out of the park…Maverick is a perfect hero: multilayered, complicated, deeply damaged, yet blooming with the new promise of love. Leighton is appealing and real, as are a strong supporting cast of characters whom readers will be glad to follow into sequels. Sloan enhances the gripping story with country songs that open each chapter. This absolutely spectacular effort catapults Sloan to the top of her genre.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review for Lost Rider, Book 1 in the Coming Home Series)

“A supersexy second-chance read with a handsome ex-rodeo cowboy hero and the girl he left behind. The characters are well written and the bedroom scenes are hot. . . . Sloan does a wonderful job with portraying the secondary characters, and it looks like Quinn’s story, which is next up, is going to be a good one.”
RT VIP Salon (Lost Rider, Book 1 in the Coming Home Series)

“Sloan brings plenty of heat to this otherwise very thoughtful, building love story, the first in her Coming Home series…Maverick’s pursuit of Leighton and her slow acceptance ignites the vivid ranch and small-town settings. Contemporary western romances are challenging to write, and Sloan makes it fun to read about realistic ways cowboys can fit into modern society. Readers will look forward to learning how the uncovered family secrets affect siblings Clay and Quinn in future books.”
—Booklist (Lost Rider, Book 1 in the Coming Home Series)

“Engaging characters and an appealing small-town setting; [This] second-chance-at-love romance resonates emotionally…Sloan knows her way around sexual tension and emotional intensity.”
—Kirkus (Lost Rider, Book 1 in the Coming Home Series)

About the author:
Harper Sloan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Corps Security and Hope Town series. She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night. Harper lives in Georgia with her family. Visit her at or

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