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, January 29, 2017

The Glittering World by Robert Levy

This was a strange book.  I read a great deal and this was one of the stranger books I have read.  A group of four go to Starling Cove to sell a legacy.   Blue's grandmother left him her home and he needs to sell it to get his financial head above water.  Starling Cove's bucolic appearance deludes the group into thinking it is a harmless vacation destination.  That is when the Grimm's fairy tale begins.

After devouring hundreds of fantasies that have had Fae of some sort or another in them, I was surprised to find a new depiction.   Levy has an imagination that would fit right into the Tales of the Crypt.   The book is divided into four sections, each of which is focused on one of the characters.   Blue, Jason, Elisa and Gabe are the characters.  

A hippie compound of bygone years provides clues to other world entities sharing our world.  Secrets of the past seem to squirm into the present with unpleasant results.

Screech was mentioned and that was one of the few things familiar in the book.  Having partaken on Screech when in St. John's Newfoundland, I can testify that it can have otherworldly aspects.   One tale I was told at the time was that screech was the noise you make when you down your first shot of Screech.  My sound was more of a gasp and eye watering. 

The book was well written but a wide audience may be difficult to cultivate as it is certainly a grim fairy tale.


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, January 25, 2017

No Man's Land by David Baldacci

John Puller and brother Bobby are working together.  Apparently I missed a book where Bobby got out of prison.  I just downloaded The Escape, to remedy that.  I hate reading them out of order but sometimes it just happens.   General Puller's dementia enters into this plot as well as espionage and biotechnical enhancements.   An old murder and new attempts to solve it fuel the plot.

I read Baldacci's Christmas story so I know he can craft a book without action and mayhem.  BTW his Christmas book was excellent.   Anyway, this book has Veronica Knox, secret agent of some type, as John Puller's semi-love interest.  Paul Rodgers as a failed experiment and brother Bob on overwatch.

This book shows the power of the military industrial complex continues.   As we have seen in recent years, some of these companies get into hot water and are censured.  Then they are reincarnated as a different company and continue with what they were doing.  As an example, Blackwater now appears to be named rather innocuously Academi, and still engaged in behavior similar to their previous name.  Baldacci pulls this type of activity off of current events and plugs it into his compelling novel.  

The marriage of technology and warfare is also noted by Baldacci.   Interestingly this week on the news there were snippets of drone and AI tech being demonstrated by our military.   Baldacci has the ability to craft a story that is frighteningly believable.

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.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter

This is a compelling story of betrayal.   Bob Lee Swagger was a victor and a victim.  The book was printed in 1993 and the war that violated Bob Lee was the Vietnam war.   The way that many of our troops were treated when they returned from the jungles of South East Asia is a despicable chapter in our country's history. 

PTSD was not even recognized in 1993.   Today one can not turn on the news or read a paper (some of us still do)  and not see some thing about a veteran who has major issues. 
Five Finger Death Punch’s video and song Wrong Side of Heaven should bring you to tears with it's depiction of homeless veterans.  (Go to youtube and watch this video.)  Hunter saw the future in this book.

The plot of this book was sadly believable.  Blackwater was in the news more than once for operations that were questionably  legal.   It is not a stretch to think that private security companies funded by covert money would want to protect themselves with sometimes heinous acts.  All to often the phrase "for the greater good" has been used for self serving purposes.  

RamDyne was consequently believable as a covert funded, illegitimate arm of clandestine warfare.   Federal agencies were not portrayed in a flattering manner by this book.   The friction and "chicken shit" between agencies is still seen today in the various terrorist threats.  

Hunter depicted a part of our nation that exists both in the good and the bad.

This was a, can't wait to see what happens next book.

I highly recommend.

This is not an official website.

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, January 17, 2017

THE RISING ​on sale TODAY by acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land

by acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists  Heather Graham and Jon Land

The Rising is the  pulse-pounding adventure of a young man and woman racing to save our world from a terrible fate. An addictive read, this action-packed and mysterious novel tells the story of the endurance of young love, and how quickly two lives can be changed forever.

THE RISING combines Graham's talent for writing suspense and romance with Land's heart-pounding action sequences, making it nearly impossible to put down! Check out the book trailer here , which was featured in USA TODAY.

HEATHER GRAHAM is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult and Christmas family fare. She has been honored with awards from Walden Books, B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, RT Book Reviews, and more. Visit her online at


JON LAND is the USA Today bestselling author of thirty-eight novels, (Black Scorpion) including the bestselling series featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. He is also the co-author of the nonfiction bestseller Betrayal. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island and can be found on the web at 

“…this genre-blender has elements of a suspense thriller, but, at its core, the novel is 1950s-style science fiction…this is a treat for fans of retro genre mash-ups.”—Booklist

“…ambitious, technology-centered SF thriller…”—Publishers Weekly

“A mind-blowing, thrill-a-minute ride.” —Tess Gerritsen

“The authors of The Rising write in a manner comparable to James Patterson. The chapters are very short, making it easy to keep reading and hard to put down. I love James Patterson books, and I found this to be equally entertaining.”—Manhattan Book Review

“Human relationships are at the core of this juggernaut...Somewhere in the heavens, Rod Serling is looking down and applauding Heather Graham and Jon Land.”—Suspense Magazine

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, January 15, 2017

The Escape by David Baldacci

John Puller, an Army CID investigator, despairs over his father's dementia and his brother's imprisonment. Father a renown three star, fighting General and Robert a fast track Air Force Major who allegedly committed treason are both a disappointment to straight arrow, John Puller.

Not really a spoiler if I mention that Robert Puller escapes from prison, considering the title of the book.  National security is threatened, genius Robert Puller is known to have a wealth of marketable secrets.   Surprisingly against all regulations, brother John is one of many tasked to track down his elusive brother.

John Puller finds himself teamed up with Veronica Knox, who he knows belongs to some intelligence agency but he really isn't sure which one as Knox appears to be unable to avoid lying.  John Puller does not trust easily and Knox does not provide him with any reason to trust her. 

There is a wealth of action, a very involved plot, nobility and honor, in other words a typical Baldacci book.

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, January 13, 2017

Church of Spilled Blood by Jesse Miles

This is a Jack Salvo book.  That didn't  mean anything to me prior to reading this book however now I will be looking for more Jack Salvo's books.  This story took place in L.A and involved Jack, a PI, and a kidnapping of a Russian ballerina.

This was a story with a good plot and enough twists to make it interesting but not confusing.   Jack is a likeable character and that description appears to annoy some who read my reviews.  A character can be likeable due to the care in which the author portrays them.  That doesn't mean it is someone you want to have a beer or a glass of wine with but it may.  It may also be someone who is despicably dark but that portray fits the plot. I digress.

Jack has an innate sense of honor that serves him well.   The depiction of the ballerinas as the current Russian aristocracy was very interesting.

The plot move well, there was the requisite tension and good resolution.

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.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Foreign Agent by Brad Thor

Thor has read the headlines and formed a sadly believable scenario.  The U.S. is still plagued by ISIS and has suffered some sort of national disaster in the previous book.  The Russians are also under siege by Islamic extremists.  Enter the off the books secret assassin, Scot Harvath.

Thor's plot is deviously clever and disturbingly diabolic.  He does a ton of action and has sufficient plot twists to maintain interest.   There was mention of Aleppo which really drives home the current nature of the book.   Thor also shows that all Islamic people are not extremists and that many of them are suffering greatly when under extremist control.

This was a rousing and fast paced book.

I 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.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nina the Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy

Nina the Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy

This is a well illustrated story about a little girl who goes out of her way to help others.  The story encourages other children to be speedy, smart and strong and help others by being a super hero.  Super hero is defined as someone who goes out of their way to help others.

I like that a girl is defined as a super hero.   I think more kid's books should feature girls as strong protagonists.   The author did a nice job and I liked 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.