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.

Friday, July 19, 2019

My Enemy’s Enemy by Robert Buettner


This story see-sawed between WWII and the present.   A terrorist who want to harm the USA and a German who wants to save Jews are the different ends of the see-saw.

The rise of Hitler and the genocide of the Jews set the stage for the development of the Nazi’s ultimate weapon.   Peter Winter, as an up and coming physicist, is drafted to be the mind behind the Nazi’s ultimate weapon.   Little did Himmler know that Aryan perfect Peter Winter with an impeccable Nazi’ pedigree hated the Nazis.

Cass is a museum geek who would prefer field work.  She gets her wish but it is far more than she bargained for when she faces Islamic Jihad and Frank Luck, a drunken cowboy.

This was an excellent story with lots of action and believability.

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.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Justice Makes A Killing by Ed Rucker



Private, for profit, prisons are on trial in this book.   The author provides some interesting arguments that provide a great deal of thought.  It was an entertaining novel but it was much more as it makes you skeptical about the societal benefits of the three strike laws.  

An attorney finds herself in need of defense when an incarcerated whistle blower is murdered.   Bobby Lee Earl is a defense attorney who finds himself up against not just a murder but a conspiracy that not only threatens his client but puts his own life and relationships in jeopardy.

Rucker did a great job with this book.  It is a legal thriller but it also made me do some research.   If you consider the percent of people incarcerated in our nation, it is significantly higher than any other major country.   Consider for a moment the astounding number of immigrants who have recently been incarcerated.  All of this cost money and where there is money to be made, there will be corruption to follow.   Rucker’s suppositions may not be too far from the truth.

An excellent novel and an even better as a thought provoking treatise. 

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, July 9, 2019

Speaking in Tongues by Jeffrey Deaver



For some reason I found this book more emotionally provocative than other Deaver books.  Perhaps my stint as a school counselor sensitized me to the plights of troubled teens, but I found this captivating and disturbing.  Simplistically, the premise of the book is that eloquent oratory can be dangerous.

Megan, a teen, feels alienated and acts out.  Her estranged parents seem oblivious to her pain.  A therapist with a grudge uses his oratory skills to manipulate and murder a wealth of people to get revenge. 

The plot was complex and deviously Deaver.

I recommend the book but it is emotionally provocative.


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, July 4, 2019

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves


This was a British mystery.   It was slow at times but it kept your interest.   A fallen away from a cult gay police detective becomes embroiled in a case that he may need to recluse himself from due to his husband’s connection to the victim.  A murder victim, a center for the arts combined with a work environment for down’s women provides a confusing scenario for Matthew Venn.

I am seeing many more plots with LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) characters in a setting that places little or no emphasis on their gender identity.  The acronyms may be confusing but the bottom line is that gender identity as plot point really isn’t important.  

The alienation of Matthew from his family due to a charismatic and flawed cult leader provides a lot of motivation for Matthew.  He shows compassion and understanding for a wide range of characters.
Secrets and the protection of the status quo certainly play a part in the plot.

I enjoyed the book and 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.

Happy 4th!



Politicians come and go,
Political parties wax and wane.
The strength and spirit of our nation is our acceptance of others. 
A refuge for all, a caring for the less fortunate.
We the people means All of the people!
If we are to survive the current divisiveness of our nation we must not forget our country’s basic truths and what and who we pledge to be, our pledge is to the nation
not to politicians, not to consumerism, not to race or religion but our 
Pledge is to the principles of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Off the Grid by Robert McCaw


This book is set in Hawaii.  The main protagonist is Chief Detective Koa who is trying to avoid politics and solve crimes. 

The murder of two invisible, off the grid people leads Koa down political paths he normally avoids at all costs.   Holding a secret of his own, Koa, does his best to bring justice to all.  When he discovers some of the mysterious victims secrets, he finds that Alice’s rabbit hole holds nothing over the spiraling plot he discovers.

The author paints a somewhat different picture of Hawaii.   Generally speaking shows such as Hawaii 50 show sparkling beaches and beautiful people.   McCaw shows that there is poverty, politics and crime hidden under the ubiquitous leis. 

I enjoyed the book and Koa’s implacable tenacity.  


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, June 24, 2019

Spotlight on Lions of the Sky by Francesco “Paco” Chierici













Top Gun for the new millennium, Lions of the Sky propels the reader into a realm in which friendship, loyalty, and skill are tested, battles won and lost in an instant, and lives irrevocably changed in the time it takes to plug in your afterburners.

Sam Richardson is a fighter pilot’s pilot, a reluctant legend with a gut-eating secret. He is in the last span of his tour as an instructor, yearning to get back to the real action of the Fleet, when he is ordered to take on one last class—a class that will force him to confront his carefully quarantined demons.

Brash, carefree, and naturally gifted, Keely Silvers is the embodiment of all that grates on him. After years of single-minded dedication, she and her classmates can see the finish line. They are months away from achieving their life-long dream, flying Navy F/A-18 fighters. They are smart and hard-working, but they’re just kids with expensive new toys. They’re eager to rush through training and escape to the freedom of the world beyond, a world they view as a playground full of fast jets and exotic locales.

But Sam knows there is a darker side to the profession he loves. There is trouble brewing in the East with global implications. If they make it past him they will be cast into a dangerous world where enemy planes cruise the skies over the South China Sea like sharks, loaded with real weapons and hidden intentions.


About the author:
Francesco “Paco” Chierici is the author of Lions of the Sky. During his active duty career in the US Navy, Chierici flew A-6E Intruders and F-14A Tomcats, deployed to conflict zones from Somalia to Iraq and was stationed aboard carriers including the USS Ranger, Nimitz and Kitty Hawk. Unable to give up dogfighting, he flew the F-5 Tiger II for a further ten years as a Bandit concurrent with his employment as a commercial pilot. Throughout his military career, Paco accumulated nearly 3,000 tactical hours, 400 carrier landings, a Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, and three Strike/Flight Air Medals. Chierici’s writing has appeared in Aviation Classics magazine, AOPA magazine, and Fighter Sweep. He also created and produced the award-winning naval aviation documentary, Speed and Angels. Currently a 737 captain, Chierici can often be found in the skies above California flying a Yak-50 with a group of likeminded G-hounds to get his dogfighting fix. He lives in Northern California with his wife Hillary, and two children.

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, June 19, 2019

Deep Water Blues by Fred Waitzkin

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book.   It is a character study of both the author and the main protagonist, Bobby.   The author is a fan of the Bahamas and sailing or perhaps fishing more than sailing.   Bobby’s story is fictional but Rum Cay, the story’s location, has had a tumultuous history.

Larger than life Bobby turned his island port into a destination by sheer personality.   That led to some problems particularly when Dennis, a questionable character, arrived.

This really is a good character study.   There is also some karma involved.

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.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Last Second by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison


The characters in this book were not familiar to be but neither was J.T. Ellison.  I had to Google to find out who she was.  Apparently, this is part of a series, a Brit in the FBI.   Regardless of pedigree, the book was enjoyable.   An astronaut has a near death experience in orbit.  She reports her escape from the peril was facilitated by aliens.  The resulting turmoil leads to her dismissal from the program and fuels her desire for revenge.

Jean-Pierre Broussard, a billionaire and a treasure hunter is seeking the Holy Grail.   His search and Dr. Nevaeh Patel’s for revenge and redemption coincide.

Mike, Michaela, Caine and her partner, Nicholas the Brit, are drawn into the mystery due to their friendship with Grant whose current posting is guarding Jean-Pierre as he searches for the Holy Grail.
Believe it or not these seemingly incongruous events are pulled together into an acceptable action adventure.


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, June 9, 2019

A Shattered Lens by Layton Green

Going for the jugular, Layton Green goes both ways!  Now that I have your attention, he writes equally well in two distinct genres, urbanish fantasy and old fashioned, teeth jarring mysteries.  This book features Preach, a former wild child, prison chaplain, big city homicide detective and now small town police detective.  Preach is forced to confront his own past, deal with perfidy on several levels, face personal domestic unrest and solve a murder.

Green provides a wealth of color for his protagonist.   Preach demonstrates realistic feelings and temptations tempered by a well-honed sense of survival cynicism.   A common platitude is that you can never go home again.  Preach is home and finding that although you may return, things are never the same. 

Preach’s attachment to Blue rang my chord.   Troubled kids seldom can find an advocate.   My only dissatisfaction was Ari’s inability to overcome her own insecurities  and support Preach when he needed it.  

The ruthlessness of the villains is taken right out of today’s headlines.  Green does a great slight of hand with the ending.  

I have read, I think, all of Layton Green’s books and I have never been disappointed.

I recommend this and all his books.


This is a follow up to Written in Blood but they can be read in any order and stand alone beautifully. 

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, June 4, 2019

Grave Descend by Michael Crichton

 This is apparently an early work for Crichton.  It was short but good.   James McGregor is a diver who is hired to examine a sunken yacht.  All is not as it seems.

McGregor has a stalwart sidekick, Yeoman.   He is loyal and muscle centric.   Yeoman is the hard guy to McGregor’s cynical and not as physical presence.   There are sharks, bikini clad women and mafia hoods populating the book.   A color cast of characters and an interesting plot.

I enjoyed it, while it is a bit simplistic and not up to Crichton’s later standards it was still enjoyable. 

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 30, 2019

A-List by D. P. Lyle

This is another Jake Longly novel.  Jake is a retired big league pitcher who is enamored with Nicole who he feels is out of his league. (pun intended)  They “work” as P.I. with Ray, Jake’s dad, and Pancake, Jake’s childhood friend.  This time they are sent to the Big Easy to get an A-List actor out of a murder charge.

Lyle provides a good solid plot with good character studies and sufficient action.  I enjoyed the sexy twins (no doubt based on a faint childhood memory of some sexy twins) and the clueless gangster spawn, sadly also reminiscent of a childhood memory.

This was a good, fun read.

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.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Spotlight on Off the Grid, the new mystery by Robert McCaw
















]Spotlight on Off the Grid, the new mystery by Robert McCaw (Oceanview Publishing; July 2, 2019; https://robertbmccaw.com/).

A scrap of cloth fluttering in the wind leads Hilo police Chief Detective Koa Kāne to the tortured remains of an unfortunate soul left to burn in the path of an advancing lava flow. For Koa, it’s the second gruesome homicide of the day, and he soon discovers the murders are linked. These grisly crimes on Hawaiʻi’s Big Island could rewrite history―or cost Chief Detective Koa Kāne his career.

The dead, a reclusive couple living off the grid, turn out to be mysterious fugitives. The CIA, the Chinese government, and the Defense Intelligence Agency, attempt to thwart Koa’s investigation and obscure the victims’ true identities. Undeterred by mounting political pressure, Koa pursues the truth only to find himself drawn into a web of international intrigue.

While Koa investigates, the Big Island scrambles to prepare for the biggest and most explosive political rally in its history. Despite police resources stretched to the breaking point, Koa uncovers a government conspiracy so shocking its exposure topples senior officials far beyond Hawaiʻi’s shores.

New York Times best-selling author Linda Fairstein noted: “Off the Grid is a gripping thriller that grabs the reader by the throat in the opening scenes and doesn’t let go until the dramatic conclusion. If you don’t know McCaw, this crime novel is the place to start―grisly murders, smart cops and agents, and a unique sense of place on the island of Hawaii.”

About the author:
Robert McCaw grew up in a military family traveling the world. After graduating from Georgetown University, he served as a lieutenant in the US Army before earning his law degree from the University of Virginia. Thereafter he practiced as a partner in a major international law firm in Washington, DC, and New York City—and maintained a home on the Big Island of Hawai’i. McCaw brings a unique authenticity to his Koa Kāne Hawaiian mystery novels in both his law enforcement expertise and his ability to portray the richness of Hawai’i’s history, culture, and people. McCaw lives in New York City and La Jolla, California, with his wife, Calli.

Praise for Off the Grid:
“In Off the Grid, Robert McCaw has fashioned the year's most original mystery-thriller set, appropriately enough, in the equally original setting of Hawai‘i. He crafts a relentlessly riveting tale that races out of the gate and never lets up for a single minute or page.
”―Jon Land, USA Today best-selling author

“This one sizzles with tension and twists that entertain and magnetize. Danger and drama abide, with a wonderful, devil-may-care hero. Robert McCaw has the touch.”
―Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author

“Off the Grid is a gripping thriller that grabs the reader by the throat in the opening scenes and doesn’t let go until the dramatic conclusion. If you don’t know McCaw, this crime novel is the place to start―grisly murders, smart cops and agents, and a unique sense of place on the island of Hawaii.”
―Linda Fairstein, New York Times best-selling author



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

Impulse by Catherine Coulter

Rafaella is a journalist with a murky background.   Marcus is a resort manager who may or may not be a criminal.  Dominick is a amoral arms dealer.   The interaction of these three in sex and treachery provides the meat of this plot.

This was the sultriest of the Coulter books I have read.   There were times I thought I had grabbed a romance novel by mistake.  The plot was really a pie filling  love story between Rafaella and Marcus with all the rest being the dough for the pie.


I enjoyed it but it was my least favorite Coulter so far. 

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 17, 2019

Spotlight on Justice Makes a Killing by Ed Rucker


JUSTICE MAKES A KILLING, NEW LEGAL THRILLER
BY PROMINENT L.A. DEFENSE LAWYER, ED RUCKER,
TO BE PUBLISHED JULY 1, 2019

New York, NY, February 2019 – For decades, Ed Rucker was one of our most prominent criminal defense lawyers, until his retirement. During his career, he represented numerous high profile clients, including John Orr, the greatest serial arsonist in American history, a trial memorialized in Fire Lover, by Joseph Wambaugh; Laurianne Sconce, the matriarch of the Lamb Funeral Home, whose trial that was the subject of the book Ashes, by James Joseph; Eddie Nash, a prominent nightclub owner, who was portrayed in the film, Boogie Nights; and William Harris, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, who kidnapped Patty Hearst. His Bobby Earl novels have been praised for their authenticity, as well as gripping suspense. Now Chickadee Prince Books is proud to announce that it will publish Rucker’s latest Bobby Earl novel, JUSTICE MAKES A KILLING, in July 2019.

A heart-stopping thriller, Justice finds Rucker’s fictional defense lawyer facing his most daunting murder case yet, one that involves a beautiful lawyer accused of a passion killing, as well as a conspiracy that might implicate the multi-billion-dollar private prison industry.

Justice has already picked up significant pre-publication acclaim. Kirkus Reviews calls Justice “A thoroughly enjoyable page-turner….. The classic courtroom drama at the heart of this story is perfectly orchestrated, and the seemingly impossible odds make Earl’s masterful handling of evidence, witnesses, opposing counsel, the jury, and the judge wonderfully satisfying to read.”

Says fellow CPB author Alon Preiss, “While Ed always tells a great story, his thrillers excel because of their politics and social substance — they are thrilling, but they also have something to say about America.” Adds Rucker, “It’s more interesting for the reader when I weave into the story an issue that impacts our legal system. In my first book, I touched on the prosecution’s use of professional informants. In Justice Makes a Killing, I explore the world of the for-profit private prisons our State and federal governments use to house prison inmates, a system that warps justice.”

About the Publisher: Chickadee Prince Books is a young Brooklyn small press, which publishes only acclaimed fiction and non-fiction, of all genres. CPB is the publisher of the acclaimed new space opera, Probability Shadow by Mark Laporta, and The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe, the new sports novel by Emmy-nominated, Amazon bestselling author, Granville Wyche Burgess, among many others.



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Noir Fatale edited by Larry Correia

I’m not overly fond of short stories but these were good.   They pay homage to the days of yore, the sultry females that populated the hard core, busted flush private dicks of yesteryear.

The main difference with these stories is that the fem fatale is the prime mover rather  than a secondary character.   Much like some of the insect world where after loving the lover loses his head quite literally or literately.   Old style stories with a scifi flair. 

I enjoyed the stories. 

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 10, 2019

Murder Knocks Twice by Susanna Calkins

This is an old style murder mystery.  Set in Prohibition in Chicago, a young woman, Gina, takes a questionable job to support she and her ailing father.  She soon finds the speakeasy environment is quite cozy with violence.

The author does a very good job setting the scene and the times.  Her story telling feels authentic.   The characterizations and language take you to a quirky period of American history.

Gina is a modern woman in a not so modern time.   Adept with her hands and electric repair she is hard nosed and unwilling to look the other way on scenarios that would sensibly be ignored for her own safety.

A good old-fashioned mystery.


I enjoyed 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.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Spotlight on Deep Water Blues by Fred Waitzkin






















Charismatic ex-pat Bobby Little built his own funky version of paradise on the remote Bahamian island of Rum Cay, a place where ambitious sport fishermen docked their yachts for fine French cuisine and crowded the bar to boast of big blue marlin catches while Bobby refilled their cognac on the house. Larger than life, Bobby was always the main attraction: a visionary entrepreneur, master chef, skateboard champ, surfer, and even a former undercover DEA agent.

Author Waitzkin demonstrating his expertise.
But after tragedy shatters the tranquility of Bobby’s marina, tourists stop visiting and simmering jealousies flare among island residents. And when Dennis, a cruel man with mob connections, challenges Bobby for control of the docks, all hell breaks loose. As the cobalt blue Bahamian waters run red with blood, the man who made Rum Cay his home will be lucky if he gets off the island alive…

Inspired by a true story and beautifully illustrated by John Mitchell, Deep Water Blues uses flowing and elegant prose to tell the story of a Bahamian island that becomes a battleground for a savage private war.





















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, April 25, 2019

The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver


Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are confronted by the possibility of an eco-terrorist targeting their city.   The use of electricity as a weapon is both frightening and plausible.   In addition to the terrorist, the infamous Watchmaker is spotted in Mexico and Rhyme is collaborating with the Mexican police to finally capture him.

The detailed explanations on how electricity is used as a weapon were sobering.   We are surrounded by electricity and metal a com

bination that can lead to some dire circumstances.

Deaver spends time cataloging the characteristics of his players.   Lincoln’s insecurities, Ron’s fear of irreparable damage to his brain, Amelia’s arthritis are all shown to humanize the characters and provide a target for empathy.

I enjoyed the book and 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, April 20, 2019

Spotlight on Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick



Spotlight on Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick
 
What happens when doctor and patient find themselves in the same sinking boat, yet rowing in opposite directions—one clinging to the past, and the other unable to move beyond it?

Sam returns home from a business trip a day before his son's thirteenth birthday to find his world cruelly shattered in one fell swoop. Initially thinking he can cope on his own, Sam finally seeks the help of Cynthia, an experienced therapist. What he doesn’t know is that Cynthia herself is trying to recover from a debilitating divorce and the sinister shadow of her ex-husband. In the midst of it all is Lily, Cynthia's daughter, who harbors a secret that has the power to explode the lives around her.

Taut with tension and intensity, Dark Blossom explores what lies beneath the surface of the lives of apparently “normal” people.


An excerpt from Dark Blossom
In the Same Boat
I love to stroll in the city but, that day, I had to be brisk. I needed to keep the cold out and didn’t want to miss the next train back home. Stepping carefully on the icy pavement, I planned the rest of my day. I still had a couple of patients to see later in the evening, giving me just enough time to prepare dinner for Lily and myself. I went through a mental checklist of the ingredients that would get us through with minimal fuss. Teens...Aargh! What I wouldn’t give for her to be all grown up? Or for me to be that age again?
As I entered the terminal, the aroma of coffee and sugar-steeped bread wafting through the labyrinth of people took my breath away. My fondest memory—that of my father standing near a pillar almost ten meters away and whispering how much he loves me, and my wonder at being able to hear it all the way across the whispering gallery—is another reason the terminal has that effect on me.
With more than forty platforms, it’s the largest station in the world. That almost three-quarters of a million people pass through it every day doesn’t overshadow its incredible history. The backwards Zodiac with 2,500 stars sprawled across the ceiling, the hocus-pocus the Vanderbilts fed the world about the mural being backwards because it was meant to depict god’s view of the universe, and the hole above Pisces serving as a reminder of the rocket that was housed there during the Cold War era—all add to its grandeur. And these are just parts of the opening act of the gala that is Grand Central.
Descending into New York City’s deepest basement to wait for the train to roll in, I looked down at the tracks running side by side. I couldn’t help but think of the parallels between Sam’s life and mine. While he had lost his family to a tragic accident, I had recently lost the veneer of mine to a debilitating divorce from Connor. My own loss was more bearable than his. Moreover, it was of my own making.
Following the tracks and seeing them criss-cross in the distant darkness, I thought of the paradoxes between our lives. While he couldn’t stop thinking of his family because he missed them and wanted them back, I couldn’t stop thinking of Connor because I couldn’t get rid of the sinister shadow he had cast over Lily and me.
I suddenly found myself in the same boat as Sam. And it was my job to keep him afloat. Only, we were rowing in opposite directions.
Settling into a window seat on the train, I thought of how a fatal crash at the turn of the nineteenth century had instigated a thirty-seven-year-old visionary to recommend the extravagant remedy of razing the existing depot to build the engineering marvel that is the Grand Central Terminal. Although I’m a staunch believer in just one life, I could see how in the passing of the old there is the birth of something new.
But not for Sam. My thoughts slipped back to him.
The loss of a loved one is like an amputation for the bereaved. Even though he may transition from anger to acceptance eventually, the phantom pain may never go away. I wanted to write some notes—all I had from our session was numbness in my index finger and thumb from holding the pen too tight.
I rummaged through my handbag for my Sam-notebook. I keep separate notebooks for each of my patients—they’re pocket-sized and each one comes with its own pen. That one was pastel blue with a darker, more vibrant embossing of Antoni Gaudí’s mosaic-dragon from the entrance of Park Güell in Barcelona. And it had a light-green pen nestled in a matching loop. It was distinctively Gaudí, as were most of my notebooks. He is my favorite architect, after my father of course.
Sam was stuck somewhere between denial and anger but much closer to the latter. He said he had gained weight, stopped socializing, and started smoking again. His work was his panacea but he had lost his mojo even for that—something that had never happened before. He had managed to pull himself together for the funeral, but his grief had exacerbated after the family had left.
The tussle between the past and the present—that of living through the experience and venting one’s emotions—is important for moving on. There is no better substitute than mourning—the lesser he mourned, the more difficulty he would have in letting go.
Yet something about our session didn’t add up. It had been a while since the tragedy, yet his memories had been very vivid, almost fresh. That’s not what piqued me though—what did surprise me was how angry he had been at the start of the session and how quickly he had crumbled. I wondered if he had expressed his feelings and shared the painful memories with anyone since the accident, or if our session was the first time he was talking about them. It mattered less for our therapy but more for his well-being that he had others to talk to as well about such intimate details. It was clear he needed to share and express more.
The announcement for Stamford broke my reverie. Even though it had been a somewhat tentative start with Sam, I was happy to be practicing again and knew I could help.
As I tucked away the notebook, my heart went out to him and then turned to Lily. I was filled with gratitude for having her in my life. She’s my pride and my passion. Even the rewards for helping my patients are a distant second to my gratification from nurturing her. She had gone through a lot but the worst was finally over—Connor had moved out and the divorce had come through.
I was almost at our doorstep as I thought—how could I have not seen it? How could my need to preserve the façade of a family have made me so blind to such a monster?

From Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick © 2019 by Neel Mullick. 

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, April 15, 2019

Spotlight on Sweet Do-Over by Melissa McClone


*•.¸ Sweet Do-Over ¸.*

Indigo Bay Second Chance Romance
Melissa McClone


When architect Marley Patterson goes out with Von Ryan, she never expects her practical, cautious life to be turned upside down by the handsome contractor. Von is the definition of fun until his proposal sends her into a panic. Marriage is too serious a commitment to make after dating for only six months. Even though she cares for Von, they are too different, so she breaks up with him.
Being rejected hurts, but Von blames himself for not reading the signs and Marley better. He finds solace in work; however, his construction company's success isn't enough. He wants to share his life with a woman who'll love him as much as he loves her. She's out there. All he has to do is find her, and, this time, be patient for the relationship to develop on its own.
When Marley is assigned to Von's new project in Indigo Bay, he treats her the same as everyone else—professionally and with respect—though neither can deny a strong mutual attraction still exists. Soon Marley realizes she may have been the problem with their relationship, not just Von's proposal. She wants a second chance, but after breaking his heart once, will he give her a do-over?

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over forty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s a USA Today Bestselling author and has also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!





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, April 10, 2019

Spotlight on The Final Reveal A SEALs of Steel Novel Book 8 by Dale Mayer


The Final Reveal
A SEALs of Steel Novel Book 8
Dale Mayer



This is a novella tying up the 
SEALs of Steel series.

A prosthetic design engineer, Kat Greenwald is in love with Badger Horley. The former SEALs team leader is the love of her life. But she's seen and heard firsthand of the fears and commitment issues Badger and his closest friends--once part of Navy special operations teams--struggle with on a daily basis. During their weekly get-togethers, the women in love with these former SEALs open up to each other about their longing to tie the knot and start families.
More than two years ago, Badger was badly injured after the truck his eight-man unit were in hit an antitank landmine. While he and his team have finally discovered the truth behind that devastating set-up, Badger sees the reality of his precarious future. His health could decline at any moment and he wants Kat to know exactly where the door to get out is if and when it does. The last thing he wants to do is invite pity, especially where the woman he loves is concerned. In a perfect world, he would have proposed to her the day they met. In the world he lives in, he can only conclude that harboring fears are always better than regrets.
But Kat isn't the type of woman to fear hard times and she's willing to take a leap of faith as far out into the unknown as she can get if it means her most fervent wish comes true.

Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She’s best known for her Psychic Vision Series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in different genres.
To go with her fiction, she writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system.
She has recently published her Career Essentials Series.
All her books are available in print and digital format.
And then there’s her poetry…

My Path
As I walk forward on my path to the future,
I choose laughter, love, and light as my sutures,
stitching together my lifetime of choices,
as the essential fabric of my being rejoices
in the love, friendships, and faith that follow
the steps I take as I flow into my tomorrow.

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