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.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

Greg Iles is a master of tension.   I think I start all his book reviews with that compliment.   This book matches Dead Sleep and Third Degree tense moment for a tense moment but adds the disturbing note that much of the depicted violence actually took place.   Natchez Burning began this trilogy.  The story continues in this, the second book.   Be warned, it is hazardous to develop any attachment to a character as they may not survive.  

Although repetitious,  I'm old enough to recall civil rights violence.  This book deals with the KKK, a splinter group of the KKK, the Double Eagles; a crazed bootstrap

millionaire; a crusading journalist and a family with a troubled past.   If that is not enough to pique your interest then you apparently have little or no imagination.
This too was a hard book to read.  History is sometimes very painful.  As troubled as our current climate is regarding race, it has been worse.   That was hard to read and to realize the depravity that was novelized was reality based.

There are some shattering discoveries in this volume.  As an aside, Iles certainly has great respect for the violence that can be perpetrated by elderly folks, male, female and good and bad.

Iles writes a powerful story.

I strongly recommend.
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.

Friday, May 19, 2017

French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain


The story starts with a classical music definition of a rhapsody.  The is translated from French.  Each chapter has a character as it’s main focus.   The central theme is that a group of diverse young people get together in the eighties and form a band called Hologram.  The current lives of those people are explored with each looking back at their earlier personas. 

My initial reaction was not overly positive but I stuck with it and found that it was an enjoyable book.  Your roots often determine your eventual outcome but this book shows that is not always the case.  

There were a few surprises and the book was well written.   It is for those who like character studies there are no car chases and very little violence.

I recommend it.

Web:  not his site but gives good information on him.

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, May 15, 2017

Spotlight on The Darkest Corner, The Gravediggers Series,Book 1

The Gravediggers Series, Book One

Liliana Hart
Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
ISBN: 9781501150036
Price: $7.99 Paperback

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her sexy, suspenseful Gravediggers seriesTHE DARKEST CORNER, features an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and drop-dead gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most deadly terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s perfect day. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

Liliana Hart is a New York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London. Please visit her at, and

Look for Gone to Dust (Book 2) June 20th!

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, May 11, 2017

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This book has an interesting premise regarding godhood.    Forbidden Planet was the earliest science fiction movie I can recall.  I  saved Quaker Oats coupons to get a free ticket.  Succinctly the villain in the movie is the physical manifestations of the thoughts and fears of the characters in the movie.  In other  words, what they thought or feared became real.  American Gods are gods who have been created by their believers.   The old gods came from the old country.  The new gods are those created by what is currently worshipped such as technology or beauty.   The premise of the book is the conflict between the old gods and the new gods.

Shadow is the main protagonist who is ignorant of his conceptional roots.   He is taciturn, large and strong.  He faces many changes and makes many strange friends.   Shadow finds himself being manipulated not only  by those he loves but some he doesn't even realize exists.

The book questions the underpinnings of faith and what leads to worship.  The plot is intricate and occasionally confusing.  You often find yourself wondering where am I and what is Gaiman trying to say. 

The book is worth reading and if you are not a fan, I suggest continuing to read anyway as you may become a fan.  The book is a re-release possibly because it is now being produced as a TV series. 

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.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Time for Kids: 50 States

Ready for a road trip?
Get the scoop on the nifty fifty from North to South and
coast to coast with no need for batteries or a charger!

Through the pages of this book you can travel to all 50 states, from Alabama to Wyoming, to discover the history, geography, and culture that make each one great. With more than 100 kid-friendly maps by illustrator Aaron Meshon, full-color photographs, and fun facts galore, this state-by-state guide is perfect for exploring your own state, uncovering new places, and digging into the history of the United States of America.

A great resource for school reports and general curiosity, kids will learn the story of the people who lived on the land before European settlement; how each state joined the Union; the natural resources and people that make it unique; and the industry and agriculture that drive it today. 50 States supports cross-discipline learning in U.S. history, geography, natural history, and cultural studies.

This is a very condensed book about the United States.  It is a thumb nail sketch of each state.  Early elementary age kids should enjoy it.  I discovered several things I either knew and forgot or never knew in the section on territories and commonwealths.  There is also a regional section which looks at groups of states and their regional similarities.

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, May 2, 2017

The God Peak by Patrick Hemstreet

The God Wave  novel seems like it was authentic peek into the future.   Consider the brain operated drones for a moment and how experiments are progressing with the brain operating prosthesis hands.   That book went a large but not inconceivable step forward in the direction of  the main character in the movie Lucy.   The thesis is the mind can be trained into using more of its potential.   The God Peak carries that further with the same cast of characters we met in The God Wave.

Hemstreet'a main characters Matt and Chuck from the first book are almost ancillary to this book, at least Matt is marginalized.   The military industrial complex (there is a phrase that dates me) has been thwarted by the Zetas, Sarah, Mike and Timmy.   Thrown out of their mountain retreat, the military refuses to see that force can not dislodge the mental skills the Zetas command.

Meanwhile Chuck and the rest of the crew have been "rescued" by a secret society of near Zetas   They are pressured to teach their unique skills and eventually to confront their former friends at the god peak formerly headquarters of Deep Shield.

This book is more action and less cerebral than the last.  It still forces one to ponder what unknown skills lie in the unplowed fields of the human brain

I recommend it.

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.