Movie Trailers

TELEPHONE CALL


 
“Hello?”
“It’s me.”
“Yeah, what do you want?”
"I want the money.”
“Tuff shit.”
“If the money isn’t in my account by the time volleyball practice is over, mom –“
“Mom what?”
“Mom gets the poison.”
“You would kill your mother over a hundred dollar purse?”
“No. It’ll only make her sick. Throw up and stuff.”
“You’re a real bitch, you know?”
“Yeah, I know, but she’ll forgive me like always, right?”
“I can’t believe the monster you’ve become.”
“Well, you raised me to be like you. Oh, and pick me up some cigs on your way home.”
"Goodbye.”

Book Review: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda


All the Missing Girls

By: Megan Miranda

Simon & Schuster, June 2016

Kindle Edition

A terrific hairpin ride of a story. Miranda’s latest and greatest psychological thriller will force you down dark trails you don’t want to explore. A reverse told story about two missing women taken a decade apart.

Prep school counselor Nicolette Farrell (Nic) returns home ten years after leaving in the wake of her missing best friend Corinne. Nic is called home to care for her sick father and she once again faces the terrorizing ghosts of her past with the disappearance of another girl who happens to be the girl fiend of her former flame Tyler, and is afraid of what the future holds.

One of the most interesting things about this story is it is told over the course of 15 days only in reverse order. It is complex in plot and haunting to the bones. The characters are well developed and the setting is great.

You can bet I’ll be looking for more Megan Miranda books in the future. Satisfying, and page turning.

Book Review: The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone


The Hatching (Book 1)
By Ezekiel Boone
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (July 5, 2016)

 
http://www.amazon.com/Hatching-Novel-Ezekiel-Boone/dp/1501125044/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1458329194&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Hatching
Heart racing, & terrifyingly scary! If you’re not arachnophobic now, you will be after finishing The Hatching. Imagine black hordes of meat eating spiders engulfing and overtaking crowds and buildings. Some eat their prey, some just lay eggs and leave the person living for the hatchlings to feed on.

In this epic story, a cast of well-developed characters are chased and driven to escape the black horde that has been unleashed on planet earth. An ancient species of spider has been lurking and waiting for a thousand years under the surface and is now loose on several continents.

Peruvian Jungle: A wildly rich man, his entourage of three model type escorts, and a tour guide are chased and some eaten by a black wave of spiders.

 
India: What seems to be seismic tremors are plaguing the area. The only problem is they have a pattern and are getting stronger.

Washington DC: A mysterious package arrives at a laboratory.

Minneapolis: The FBI investigates a plane crash site.

China: A nuclear bomb is detonated in a rural area.

Combine all these events with great writing, a real setting, great characters and a terrifying idea – you have one hell of a roller coaster ride in The Hatching.

I really enjoyed Boone’s writing and this breakout novel. He will be one to contend with. I’ve included a short interview so we can come to know what drives him to write.

Me: Which writers inspire you?
Boone: I read very widely, so any list of writers that inspire me will be necessarily incomplete. I don’t care a ton about genre. Thrillers, horror, literary fiction, graphic novels, mysteries, Y.A., science fiction, fantasy, whatever shelf it’s on, if it’s good, I’ll read it. So how about the authors that inspired me growing up?  I burned through the science fiction and fantasy sections in the library, but at home, I ended up with my parents’ leftovers: Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, John Le Carre from my dad, and Danielle Steel, James Michener, Anne Rice, Scott Turow from my mom.

 
Me: What are you working on at the moment?
Boone: Right this minute, I’m working on Skitter, which is book two in The Hatching series.

 
Me: What’s it about?
Boone: Let’s just say that The Hatching was only the beginning.

 

Me: How much research do you do?
Boone: Research always depends on the book. There’s a certain freedom to fiction, in that you are making certain things up. I’m sure that when Stephen King wrote Under the Dome he didn’t spend a lot of time researching alien force fields. That being said, it’s really important to get details right. For The Hatching, while the species of spiders are fictional, there’s real science behind a lot of it. Of course, none of it matters if the reader doesn’t believe it. If your facts are 100% correct but the reader doesn’t buy in, it doesn’t matter. 

 
Me: Do you write full-time or part-time?

Boone: I write more-or-less full time. Didn’t used to be the case. When I first started writing, I was a stay-at-home dad, and I’ve held a bunch of jobs. Writing used to be something I snuck in during cracks in the day.

 

Me: Do you write every day?
Boone: I usually write five or six days a week. Ideally, I’d write every day, but that’s just not a realistic fit with my life. I head to my desk as soon as my kids are on the bus and work most of the day. 

 
Me: Do you aim for a set amount of words or pages per day?
Boone: I do try to hit a certain word count every day, but there are somedays that go better than others. I think a great way for beginning writers to think about it is to shoot for a page a day. A page isn’t that much, is it? But a page every day is a book a year. 

 
Me: Where do you get your ideas?
Boone: Ideas just come from paying attention. I keep a notebook and lists all over the place. The problem is that only some of the ideas are worth keeping. For me, it’s the ideas that I can’t shake. I wrote The Hatching partly because I kept waking up from spider nightmares. 

 
Me: Do you work off an outline or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Boone: In the past, I’ve often just tried to see where the idea takes me. For the last little while, however, I’ve been working off loose outlines, and that’s been helpful. Plot matters. 

There you have it readers. Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it. I did!

 

Book Review: Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood


Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
H.P. Wood
Paperback: 368 pages*
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (June 7, 2016)
 
This book has been called a treasure, or a bizarre tale, I’ll say it’s a bizarre treasure!
The year is 1904. A terrible plague is taking over, “The Cough” soon burns through Cony Island and there is a quarantine. Kitty finds herself with no mother, no money and no place to go. The folks of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, a group of “undesirables” take her in. They decide to help Kitty find her mother but end up in the middle of a more sinister situation where corruption is the order of the day.

This is a great historical read and I truly enjoyed the cast of characters, though it be a lot. The setting was real and the plot was great. Before reading you should take a trip to the author website and look at some of the pics and listen to the “theme music” it will get the setting down for you.

I’ll recommend this book anytime. H.P. Wood makes it work where you think it couldn’t be done. It's a keeper.
*My version is in digital format from NetGalley.

Book Review: Come Dark by Steven F. Havill

Come Dark
By: Steven F. Havill
Poisoned Pen Press
Release: April 2016

Another entry into the Posadas County Mysteries. Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman and her colleagues piece together and connect the dots of a strange murder of the local high school volleyball coach.

Stacie Willis Stewart, wife of the local bank president steps into The Spree (the local grocer), leaving her dog and child in her car one sunny morning. Stacie disappears and is missing. Things take bad turn when volleyball coach Clint Scott is found dead from four gunshot wounds in the girl’s locker room at school.

Law enforcement untangles a mess of stories and possible suspects to finally find the killer and have a tense standoff.

There are a lot of story lines to follow in this book that fans of Havill will enjoy. I found the story interesting and the characters to be real with the occasional surprise that’s always nice to have in a good story. I will be reading more from this author though this is my first to read of his.

Flash Fiction: Europa


“Ay lad.”
“This your first time on Old Hilga, I see.”

I nodded and covered my mouth to hold the gag caused by the motion sickness.

“Don’t worry lad, gets bit bumpy on landing but she generally holds up.”

“’Tis near hundred years since she had a problem landing on this damned rock. That’s when she burned up.”

“’Twon’t take but a bit for us to suck the water up and head back to earth for the delivery.”

“Only take 26 months to get back. Don’t you worry, we’ll put ourselves into deep sleep and you won’t even notice.”

American Horror Story star Rose Siggins, dead at 43

Rose Siggins, star of the hit TV series, American Horror Story: Freak Show, died over the weekend in Denver. Read the CNN story here.

Book Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz


The Passenger
By: Lisa Lutz
Published by Simon & Schuster – Expected publish date March 1, 2016
Hardcover - 320 pages
ISBN 9781451686630
PRICE $25.99 (USD) 

 
From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Lutz. The Passenger is a great story of a fugitive trying to live “off the grid” in the midst of trial and turmoil.
Frank Dubois is found dead at the bottom of the stairs in his home by Tanya his wife. Run or not? Why does it matter? It matters because Tanya has a past. A past she has been running from for years could potentially put her behind bars and she can’t risk the police digging into her life.
 
Get onboard for the rocket ride Lisa Lutz has written. Follow along as Tanya Dubois collects and uses different identities, foils a planned bombing, and narrowly escapes an assassination attempt… What else can you pack into this novel? A lot. Lutz has expertly thrown in everything but the kitchen sink on this baby. The ease of her story world and writing made this book a breeze to read. The characters are three dimensional with enough spunk and grit to make you believe they are modeled after actual people.

I would like to see more of the main character as an expert PI hunting fugitives good and bad who live off the grid for one reason or another. Lutz might just have a serial character here for future sequels. Hint, hint Lisa… And just to mention I love a main character who has flaws and Tanya has her fair share and then some.

I can identify with Tanya as moving place to place. I have people close to me who have actually lived this way for unspecified reasons that I can’t mention here. Believe me, it appears Lutz has also done a great job researching the topic of constantly being on the move, conning people, squatting and taking care of the bad guys. Great job Lisa!
Rogue Angel - The Spider Stone
By Alex Archer


The third book in the Rogue Angel series The Spider Stone is a great fast paced read.The Spider Stone is exactly the type of book I like to read.

The book opens in West Africa, in the year 1755, Yohance the keeper of the Spider Stone has been captured and sold in the slave market and is destined for America.

Flash forward to present day. Annja Creed, an archeologist by formal training is called in to support a group of people excavating the remains of slaves that were buried in an underground explosion dating back to the Underground Railroad and the Civil War.

At the dig site a marvelous tigers eye stone is found. The stone is a gift to the Hausa tribe from the spider god Anansi. According to the legend, as long as the stone was in possession of the tribe, they would always have a home.

Etched within the Spider Stone is ancient writing and a map with directions to an ancient treasure. Annja tries to decipher the writing on the stone and the group of archeologists falls prey to an attack from a group of hired mercenaries with ties to an African warlord and Al Qaeda.

With the help of Homeland Security, Annja finds herself in turmoil facing the African warlord who hired the mercenaries in a head to head battle for life and treasure in the African savanna.

This is a great book. Fast paced, good characterization with an absolute real setting, this book will keep you turning the pages. Archer is an awesome author and I can’t wait for more from the Rogue Angel series.

Radiant Angel by Nelson DeMille



This looks like a winner from Nelson DeMille. Click the link for an audio trailer.

https://soundcloud.com/nelson-demille/radiant-angel-by-nelson-demille

Book Review: The Roswell Legacy


The Roswell Legacy
By Jesse Marcel Jr.
Published by New Page Books


This is a repost from a review done earlier. This is one of my favorite books on the subject. If you have the chance, give it a try.

Do extraterrestrials exist? Are there otherworldly visiting earth now? Do we have alien craft invading our airspace?

These questions have been around since the 1940s. According to author Jesse Marcel, Jr. the answer is yes. In his book, The Roswell Legacy - The Untold Story of the First Military Officer at the 1947 crash site, he documents the events leading up to and after the alleged crash of a spacecraft found by a ranch hand near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. There has been an ocean of speculation of what actually crashed on the ranch back then, but one thing still remains constant: The U.S. Government to this day claims the recovered debris from the crash site are either from a weather balloon or a top-secret device for detecting pressure waves from a nuclear blast in the Soviet Union. In either case according to Marcel, the debris from the wreckage do not match the materials from either a weather balloon or pressure detector.

When he was eleven, Jesse’s life took a turn down the road to strangeness. One summer night his father Major Jesse Marcel, Sr., excited, brought in a box of debris, and scattered them on the kitchen-floor, claiming a flying saucer had crashed 75 miles northwest of Roswell. That night Jesse Jr. had the privilege of handling and inspecting the pieces of something that would forever change his life.

Major Marcel is an officer in the Army Air Force, successfully trained in radar, worked as an S-2 Intelligence Officer assigned to the 509th Composite Bomb Group in Nevada. He briefed and supplied intelligence to the flight crews before the missions to drop the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. To say the least Major Marcel had the credentials to identify whether or not the wreckage was a balloon or part of a secrete piece of equipment.

According to Jesse Jr. the superior officers of Major Marcel forced him to pose for pictures with a radar target, which had some resemblance to the actual wreckage but was not the actual debris.

The Roswell Legacy is a great fast read and will keep the reader hooked from the first page to the end, especially if they have an interest in UFO’s and government cover-ups. One thing for certain is Major Marcel knew what he saw and thought it came from somewhere else other than Earth.

I am convinced there is something that happened near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and the government did cover it up. Even if nothing happened there the City of Roswell has benefited from the story for over 60 years in the tourist industry. If you visit there today you can’t go anywhere without bumping into some sort of alien paraphernalia. I visited Roswell last year and had a blast. If you are planning a trip there pick up this book for a great companion and who knows who or what you might find.

Book Review: White Fire by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

White Fire (Kindle Edition)

By Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Published by Grand Central Publishing 2013.

I always enjoy the page burning stories that Preston & Child write. They hooked me on their gripping novels when I read The Relic for the first time. In The Relic, Pendergast, the F.B.I. agent is introduced. Pendergast is a great series character that will hook me into buying every time. He’s delivered in the past and does this time too.

The story opens with a prologue in 1889 with a meeting between Oscar Wilde and Conan Doyle. The meeting takes place in London with Wilde telling a gruesome story about a grizzly bear killing and eating local miners in a place called Roaring Fork in America.

Present day Corrie Swanson, Pendergast’s protégé, is brought to Roaring Fork to study the remains of local miners from the 1800’s who were dug up and removed for the installation of a new ultra-rich real estate development. Things start heating up when Corrie arrives to study the remains and finds herself low on money and spending time in jail. Needing help she contacts Pendergast, which she wasn’t wanting to, but had to or face actual prison time for her trumped up deeds.

Pendergast arrives from Europe in the nick of time and helps Corrie out of the situation. An arsonist is in Roaring Fork killing families and destroying multi-million dollar homes. Pendergast is asked by the local police de
partment for help investigating which he is obliged to do.

White Fire also has a bonus Sherlock Holmes story inside that will please the Holmes fans I’m sure. Even if you have not read a Pendergast novel before don’t be afraid to pick this one up. Most if not all of the novels are stand alone and easy to follow. This book starts out good and revs up in a hurry and will satisfy any Pendergast enthusiast.

Book Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King


Kindle Edition
By Stephen King
Published by Simon & Schuster – 2011
853 Pages

On November 22nd 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy from a 6th story window in Dallas, Texas right? No. Didn’t he have an accomplice who also fired from the grassy knoll and even someone else from behind a fence? The accurate answers to these questions will probably fade away with time like old memories. I imagine JFK enthusiasts and their close friends on a cold winter night, a hundred years from now, sitting close to fire a place, toasting their feet, drinking scotch, or brandy, and debating, did Lee act alone or did he have accomplices. Was it the mob or the Communists? Was Lee a patsy? That’s not what this book is about.

The question is: If you could travel back in time, change something, and come back, would you? What kind of effect would it have on future events?

Jake Epping A.K.A. George Amberson in the land of ago as King puts it, has exactly that opportunity. Jake travels back to September 1958 through a “rabbit hole” located in the back storage room of his buddy’s diner. He travels back a couple of times, changes something, comes back to see what effect it had, discovers not much really changes on the large scale of world events. The catch is, every time he goes back it is a total re-set of circumstances, so each time he goes back it’s the same date and same time and same place but only two minutes goes by in real time no matter how long he stays in the past.

Al, the owner of the diner, comes up with a plan to go back and stop the assassination of JFK. The only problem is he is dying of lung cancer. Al talks Jake into going back and doing the job for him and Jake agrees. Along the 5 years of waiting for the assassination attempt Jake comes across several events he wonders what kind of effect it will have on the future if he changed even the smallest thing.

This is a great story written by The Master Story Teller. He has such a talent for making you feel like you’re actually back in 1958. The characters are real, fully fleshed out. The setting flows throughout the story and brings along an atmosphere as thick as the cigarette smoke of its 1950’s characters. The only thing I disliked about the story is there could have been some areas cut that the reader wouldn’t miss or have any detriment to the plot line. I will get my man card yanked for saying this but it does have a great love story sub-plot.

The two questions still remain to be answered: What are the real circumstances surrounding the assassination of JFK, and would you go back and change anything? Perhaps you should read the story before you answer the second question.

Author Spot: Ken Follett


One of the greatest things about reading is being introduced to different styles of writing from different authors. Ken Follett is one of the easiest to read writers I've came across. The yarns he spins are some the best I've read. I just finished one of his books titled Hornet Flight. It's a great read if you're looking for something right now though he has a stack of books in his writing bag.

He also has a great web site with a bundle of links from what he's written to writing help to movies.

Ken Follett

Book Review: Level 26 by Anthony Zuiker & Duane Swierczynski


Level 26
Dark Origins
2009 - Hardback $26.95
By Anthony Zuiker & Duane Swierczynski
406 Pages

Sqweegel, the name given to the monster of all monster serial killers, by the FBI. He will attack and kill anyone, kill them by any means, and he is now the only serial killer classified as a level 26. The FBI typically classify killers from one to 25 but Sqweegel is so hianus in his crimes, he's given his own category and he has been killing for decades.

Steve Dark the only agent who has come eye to eye with the killer and not die or go insane refuses to go back into service, but is dragged back into the cat and mouse game world of the killer after a few years of retirement. Mind games, action, introspectin are all part of this fast story that will keep you turning the pages.

Warning, this is a very violent, explecit novel. If that's not your game take a pass on this one.

This being a "digi-novel" is the reason I gave it a shot. The concept is to go to a web page and log on with codes from the book and you get to watch short video clips from sceenes from the story. Some of the clips were truly creepy, but others flat and cheesey.

The story is fast paced but lacking in the plot line and a few holes in the research. The setting is ok and the dialog is good. I like books that make you turn the pages and this one did although it is predictable. On a five star rating system I would give it a solid 3.

Book Review: The Sandburg Connection


The Sandburg Connection

By Mark de Castrique 2011

Poisoned Pen Press

The Sandburg Connection opens in Flat Rock North Carolina. Sam Blackman and his partner/lover Nakayla Robertson are on the investigative trail of Professor Janice Wainwright. Janice claims a recent back surgery gone bad is the cause of her intense pain and is suing for 5 million dollar, thus the reason for the investigation. While following Wainwright up the trails on Glassy Mountain, Blackman hears a cry and reaches Wainwright to find her nearly dead but still conscious. Through her dazed mental state she tells Blackman “it’s the Sandburg verses”.

Of course since Sam and Nakayla are the first to find her they are the prime suspects. Later, after her death, through autopsy reports it’s found she had narcotics in her system but there is indeed evidence of the surgeon’s botched surgery.

A break-in at the Wainwright home and a stolen book of Sandburg’s volumes from Sam’s vehicle, lead Sam to believe there is something more to the death of Wainwright than meets the eye.

Sam and Nakayla travel the country roads of North Carolina and the mountain trails of the Glassy Mountain seeking the truth behind the death of Janice Wainwright and what the “Sandburg verses” is all about.

This is a great story unfolding methodically, and interesting to readers who enjoy southern history with a twist of treasure hunting to boot. I enjoyed the character Sam Blackman who reminds me of a mans man. He’s got an artificial leg and a smoking hot lover that is sure to please any fan of good character development.

The setting is real with plenty of detail for the imagination but doesn’t burden the reader with so much it makes for a tedious read. The dialogue is one of the best in the business as far as I’m concerned too. The only downfall of the story is I feel it needed a bit more development and detail thrown in for the treasure hunt, but then again, this is not supposed to be an adventure it’s a mystery. A great mystery it is!

Reviews on the Horizon


I'll be doing reviews for Stealing Souls and The Affair of the Wooden Boy soon. Both are by Ian Doyle and are sure to be great reads!

The Great Stephen King

I jumped over to SK's site and found some exciting things going on over there. He has a lot of new stories coming out in the next few months. The first like I'd like to mention is Mile 81.

Mile 81 - ripped from SK's site:

THE NEW E-BOOK FEATURING AN EXCERPT FROM 11/22/63

At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who’s supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side.”

Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn’t been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says “closed, no services.” The driver’s door opens but nobody gets out.

Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, is driving his Prius to a conference in Portland. On the backseat are his briefcase and suitcase and in the passenger bucket is a King James Bible, what Doug calls “the ultimate insurance manual,” but it isn’t going to save Doug when he decides to be the Good Samaritan and help the guy in the broken down wagon. He pulls up behind it, puts on his four-ways, and then notices that the wagon has no plates.

Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, pulling a horse trailer, spots the Prius and the wagon, and pulls over. Julianne finds Doug Clayton’s cracked cell phone near the wagon door – and gets too close herself. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are a half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. Two kids – Rachel and Blake Lussier –and one horse named Deedee are the only living left. Unless you maybe count the wagon.

With the heart of Stand By Me and the genius horror of Christine, Mile 81 is Stephen unleashing his imagination as he drives past one of those road signs...

Sounds like a keeper to me!

Next, is the one I can't wait to get my hands on. It's titled 11/22/63




On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed forever.

If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

Click HERE and scroll down for the link to get to the pre-order page.

Book Review: Brimstone by Preston & Child


These two authors should be considered in the top 10 writers of this century. I'm totaly hooked on their stories! Especially the Pendergast novels.


Ripped from the official site of Preston & Child
Behind the gates of a fabulous Hamptons estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast comes upon the carnage of a gruesome crime: one that recalls the legendary horrors that befall those who make a Faustian pact with the devil. Surrounded by the choking stench of brimstone, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are found in a locked, barricaded attic next to a hoofprint singed into the floorboards.

Unable to resist a case that defies all but supernatural logic, Pendergast reunites with police officers Vincent D'Agosta (Relic) and Laura Hayward (Reliquary) to search for a more earthly explanation. But their investigation soon takes them from the luxury estates of Long Island and penthouses of New York City to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where thirty years ago four men conjured up something unspeakable. . .

Book Review: Fever Dream by Preston & Child


I forgot how much I like the writing of these two authors. I'm reading Fever dream now and can hardly put it down! Take a look.

Ripped from Official Web Site of Preston & Child

Fever Dream
At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning-and dreadful-discovery.

Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?

With Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta's assistance, Pendergast embarks on a quest to uncover the mystery of his wife's murder. It is a journey that sends him deep into her past where he learns much that Helen herself had wished to keep hidden.


Helen Pendergast had nursed a secret obsession with the famed naturalist-painter John James Audubon, in particular a long-lost painting of his known as the Black Frame.

As Pendergast probes more deeply into the riddle-the answer to which is revealed in a night of shocking violence, deep in the Louisiana bayou-he finds himself faced with an even greater question: who was the woman he married?






Jerry Jenkins


Image result for jerry jenkinsCheck out best selling author Jerry B. Jenkins. I'm reading his "end times" book titled: Soon. It's the first in a trilogy I decided to start reading in giving up secular fiction for Lent this year. I've had the book in my pile for a couple years and wish I'd started it long ago. I'll be picking up the other two as quick as I can get my hands on them.

Jenkins also has an interesting blog on his site called Wednesdays on Writing. These are short informational and uplifting articles for aspiring writers like me. Check him out when you get the chance.

Jerry Jenkins Wednesdays on Writing

Book review: Lifeguard by James Patterson

By James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Hachette Book Group USA
2006

I’ve seen a few reviewers blast this book out of the water. Yes, the characters are a bit thin, and the plot is predictable, but there is a bunch of good action and is a good solid story. What I like most about Patterson is the ultra short chapters.

The story opens with Palm Beach lifeguard Ned Kelly. He’s in bed with his perfect dream girl Tess. She’s got the looks, the body and obviously a hell of a bunch of money. And the best part is that she is with him.

Later that night Ned is walking on cloud nine. He’s part of a group of thieves planning on pulling off an art heist, which will net him a cool million dollars. Finally, Ned feels he’s hit the big time with having Tess and now already spending the million dollars in his head.

That’s when the simple plan goes wrong and people start dying. The FBI gets involved and Ned Kelly finds himself running from the law, and not because of the art heist, but because of the murders and him kidnapping an FBI agent. Six or seven of Ned’s family and friends end up dead along his journey for freedom and justice.

He also finds another love (an FBI agent) willing to help him solve the mysteries of who’s behind the murders and trying to frame him.

Lifeguard has love, sex, a bit of mystery, and some action thrown in that makes it a good fast read. If you’re looking for an intellectual stimulus, this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for something that you can put down because of being interrupted every five or ten minutes it’s perfect.

I’m fairly new to reading Patterson but I really enjoy the short chapters, snappy dialogue, and characters you don’t have to keep asking who they are and where do they fit in because of flatness. Most of the time I don’t care what they are feeling, I care about what they’re doing. Action, action, action, I say! Action is what keeps you turning the pages and Lifeguard has plenty of that!

Professional Writer Mel Odom is trying something new

Read about Mel's idea for the future of publishing for professional writers.

The Affair Of The Wooden Boy

Book Review: Tsar by Ted Bell


Tsar explodes into action when in the 1960s, the father of English espionage agent Alex Hawke’s father, himself a British spy, is killing some time before his next assignment when an assassination attempt on his life is foiled. This sets the blazing pace for the rest of the book.

Vladimir Putin is locked away in a prison built on the site of a former nuclear waste dump. Somewhere in Russia, the Dark Rider, the true man in power is hell bent on bringing all of the former countries of the Soviet Union back under the control of Mother Russia. He has the power and gumption to shut down the European economy and bring blood to the enemy Americans if need be.

Hawke is, by agreement of the U.S. and British governments, the only man who can stop the madness of the new Russian leader. He is on holiday and enjoying a secluded beach in Bermuda where he meets artist Anastasia Korsakov. She is the beautiful and witty daughter of the Dark Rider. Sex, murder, and bombs leveling a Mid-western town bring the story to wire-tight tension.

There are some holes in the research but, as a fictional title, that’s not a problem for me.
The character development and detail to setting are great, though they drag somewhat in some places. The alpha male character of Alex Hawke is a great in-your-face character that you’ll love. If Russia invading Georgia within the last few weeks leads to a new Cold War, we can only hope we have people like Hawke out there thwarting the real threat of terrorism, communism, and the new Russia.

Tsar is the first espionage thriller and book by Ted Bell I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Most of the book is lightning-fast paced, with the bells (no pun intended) and whistles you’d expect from a spy novel. You can’t go wrong by throwing Tsar in the basket on your next trip to the bookstore. I’ll definitely pick Bell again for my entertainment reading.

Book Review: The Roswell Legacy by Jesse Marcel



Do extraterrestrials exist? Are there otherworldly visiting earth now? Do we have alien craft invading our airspace?

These questions have been around since the 1940s. According to author Jesse Marcel, Jr. the answer is yes. In his book, The Roswell Legacy - The Untold Story of the First Military Officer at the 1947 Crash Site, he documents the events leading up to and after the alleged crash of a spacecraft found by a ranch hand near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. There has been an ocean of speculation of what actually crashed on the ranch back then, but one thing still remains constant: The U.S. Government to this day claims the recovered debris from the crash site are either from a weather balloon or a top-secret device for detecting pressure waves from a nuclear blast in the Soviet Union. In either case according to Marcel, the debris from the wreckage do not match the materials from either a weather balloon or pressure detector would have been made of.

When he was eleven, Jesse’s life took a turn down the road to strangeness. One summer night his father Major Jesse Marcel, Sr., excited, brought in a box of debris, and scattered them on the kitchen-floor, claiming a flying saucer had crashed 75 miles northwest of Roswell. That night Jesse Jr. had the privilege of handling and inspecting the pieces of something that would forever change his life.

Major Marcel is an officer in the Army Air Force, successfully trained in radar, worked as an S-2 Intelligence Officer assigned to the 509th Composite Bomb Group in Nevada. He briefed and supplied intelligence to the flight crews before the missions to drop the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. To say the least Major Marcel had the credentials to identify whether or not the wreckage was a balloon or part of a secrete piece of equipment.

According to Jesse Jr. the superior officers of Major Marcel forced him to pose for pictures with a radar target, which had some resemblance to the actual wreckage but was not the actual debris.

The Roswell Legacy is a great fast read and will keep the reader hooked from the first page to the end, especially if they have an interest in UFO’s and government cover-ups. One thing for certain is Major Marcel knew what he saw and thought it came from somewhere else other than Earth.

I am convinced there is something that happened near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and the government did cover it up. Even if nothing happened there the City of Roswell has benefited from the story for over 60 years in the tourist industry. If you visit there today you can’t go anywhere without bumping into some sort of alien paraphernalia. I visited Roswell last year and had a blast. If you are planning a trip there pick up this book for a great companion and who knows who or what you might find.

Audio Book Review: Wild Fire by Nelson DeMIlle



What would the U.S. Government do if a Muslim terrorist group some how smuggled a couple of suitcase bombs into the United States and managed to detonate them in heavily populated cities? That’s where project Wild Fire comes in.

The central thesis of the novel is that if there is an attack on U.S. soil by Muslim terrorists with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. will respond to pre-selected Middle Eastern cities, hitting them with nuclear warheads.

John Corey of the A.T.T.F (Anti Terrorist Task Force) a post 9-11 government agency, and his wife/boss Kate Mayfield of the F.B.I. are lured into a maze of deception, danger, and corruption of government officials at the highest level. While investigating the disappearance of one of their co-workers while he was on a covert assignment at a right-wing compound, they stumble onto a plot by a private oil baron and top government officials to wipe out Muslim countries via nuclear attack.

Corey and his wife are on the run from their respective agencies so they can dig to the bottom of what’s going on at the Custer Hill Club. When they figure out what the future holds, they are pitted against the clock and nuclear destruction of two major U.S. cities and the Middle East.

Being a kid of the Cold War I found this book to kind of spooky. With the fall of the Soviet Union bringing an end to the Cold War, it also opened the door to a new type of war with an invisible enemy. The idea is plausible that a terrorist group could get hold of a suitcase bomb and smuggle it across our borders. Where would they get it? Information from an interview from Nelson DeMille at the end of the book said that there are around 40 of these bombs missing from the former Soviet inventory. This scares the crap out of me.

Since I’m in outside sales I get to listen to books instead of read them on occasion. This one turned out to be a great one too. It is read by Scott Brick, who brings complex dimensions to Corey’s character. At 18 hours - 46 minutes on 15 compact disks, it is a marathon listen.

Great job DeMille!

Book Review: Dr. Gott's No Flour No Suguar Diet by Dr. Peter H. Gott M.D.


An easy-to-follow instruction plan for permanent weight loss and a healthy lifestyle is found between the covers of Dr. Peter Gott’s book: No Flour, No Sugar Diet. I started the “diet” last week. Today I stepped on the scale and found I had lost three pounds in seven days.

The greatest part about following Dr. Gott’s plan is you don’t have to count points or fat grams. You do have to watch what the ingredients are in the food you buy at the store or order at the restaurant. The ingredients to stay away from are of course flour and sugar. You might scoff and say "how easy that would be?" but if you read the labels of your groceries, you’d be surprised at the sugar that is put in almost all processed foods.

One thing I found interesting was that when following a diet with no flour or no sugar, that pretty much leaves wholegrain rice, fresh fruits and vegetables and meats, as contenders for consumption. That is what nutritionists have been screaming all these years.

I don’t think Dr. Gott has hit on something new - he’s just found a new way to say it. But believe it or not it’s an easy plan to follow. It’s as simple as the title of the book: just stay away from flour and sugar.Cutting the refined carbs is not the only part of the plan.

He also pushes the idea of exercising - that’s right, exercising. He talks of using more calories than you eat so you still have to watch the portion size of meals. I found, though, that if I stop eating when I was full and had snacks between meals (which Dr. Gott says to do) I didn’t get hungry or have those carb cravings late in the afternoon.

The book also has sections on specific medical conditions, how to satisfy a sweet tooth without sugar, how to stay on track, and weight maintenance. It also includes ideas for meal plans, dishes, and deserts.

All in all, Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet, was a fast read, simple to understand, with loads of information to help the nutrition information-impaired gain knowledge for a healthier way to eat and live.

One thing I didn’t like is his idea of using so much artificial sweetener in prepared dishes.

Although this is a common-sense plan for eating and exercise, you should always consult your physician first.

Book Review: Room 59 The Powers That Be by Cliff Ryder




Room 59 the Powers that Be delivers fast pace, great characters and one hell of a punch for a first in a series novel.

Room 59 is a black-ops international agency not tied to any particular country. The mission is to stop global threats that no country wants to openly endorse action against. If a mission goes bad, there’s no one to call.

A secret contact in Cuba goes missing and Room 59 is called to action. Kate Cochran and her operatives go to work in the heart of Cuban and on the shores of Florida.

This book has great characters, is a fast page burner, and one you’ll enjoy. If you like spy novels you’ll get a kick out of Room 59 The Powers That Be. I thoroughly enjoyed the real setting, three-dimensional characters, and complex plot.

Cliff Ryder is one hell of a writer that knows how to chum the waters and suck you into the world of Room 59. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Exploring Victorian London with L.M. Jackson

While researching an idea for a story anchored in Victorian London, I found an interesting web-site by historical thriller author L.M. Jackson. If you've ever been interested in that era and local go to The Victorian Dictionary and check it out. It's packed with any kind of information you'd need for writing or general interest. Jackson also has a blog called The Cat's Meat Shop.

Writer of five hostorical thrillers:

London Dust
(Arrow {Pbk} March 2003) (shortlisted for the 2003 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award)

A Metropolitan Murder
(Heinemann {Hbk} March 2004; Arrow {Pbk} October 2004)

The Welfare of the Dead
(Heinemann {Hbk} April 2005; Arrow {Pbk} October 2005)

The Last Pleasure Garden
(Heinemann {Hbk} April 2006; Arrow {Pbk} February 2007)

A Most Dangerous Woman
(Heinemann {Hbk} April 2007)

I'll be doing a review on A Most Dangerous Woman when I find the book.

Check him out and let me know what you think.

Book Review: Hitler's Judas by Tom Lewis


Hitler’s Judas
By Tom Lewis
Published by VP Publishing
294 Pages / Fiction




An impressive page burner, Hitler’s Judas, the second book in the Pea Island Gold Trilogy by Tom Lewis is a grand experience.

In the midst of World War Two, Martin Bormann is the closest man to Hitler and possibly the second most powerful man in the Nazi regime. In the wake of Hitler’s insane plan to invade the Russians, Bormann designs a covert escape to an island off the coast of North Carolina, and a heist of fifty million in gold.

The story is packed full of real and memorable characters from the era. The setting is crafted with fine detail and the tension is wire tight. Lewis guides the reader through a maze of deception, murder, and war with little effort and does an impressive job getting the reader to the end.

Reading the book took me back in time to those holiday evenings listening to my grandpa tell stories of his training to be a “belly gunner” on a flying fortress, though he never saw combat and ended up being a butcher in the Army Air Corps. The movies we watch and the books we read, show us the devastation of combat in Europe and the lives our civilians living at home. This was a nice trip to the other side of the fence and read about our enemy, even if it was fiction

Hitler’s Judas is a must read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction of the World War Two era. Packed with suspense, tension, and great writing, I recommend this book for anyone searching for something different to read. The author’s note at the end suggests though Hitler’s Judas is based on fiction, Martin Bormann with his persona and access to virtually anyone and anything, had the ability to escape to South America and may not have died in the bunker bombings at the close of the war. That gives you something to think about…

Tom Lewis lives in New Bern, North Carolina. In addition to the Pea Island Gold Trilogy, He has written five other novels, a collection of short stories, and a nonfiction book. Visit his web-site www.tomelewis.com

Book Review: Nothing to See Here by David L. Post


Successful Dr. Allan Sarnover – psychiatrist, is at the top of his game when his world is turned upside down by the bizarre actions of his manic wife Cassie. Sarnover soon finds himself as a single parent with a seriously declining practice, and his life in the throws of insanity not unlike the patients he treats.

Cassie in the first chapter of the book, “splits for the coast”, then two months later returns home and is caught stoned, and in bed with a new lover. Thus, Cassie has decided to file for divorce and get custody of their ten-year old son Mitch. This begins Alan’s whirlpool of cataclysmic self-destruction and strife.

The court system and Cassie wearing Alan down to commit unthinkable deeds and pushes him over the edge.

Nothing to See Here is one of the best psycho thriller stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The book is filled with tension as Alan systematically falls into mental illness and bad decisions. It definitely makes you ask yourself questions about the human psyche. Could I be pushed this far? My best friend? My wife? How well do we really know the people in our lives?

I was drawn into the darkness and suspense of the story as Allan went from a stand up citizen to murderer. The characters, dialogue and setting are very real, and Post pulls off a superb ending.

Fiction Factor

Fiction Factor is a great place for fiction writers to find help on almost any form of fiction writing. I've browsed around for a bit and it seems to be a top notch site. They offer different sites to specific genre's, and articles on different writing topics. Take a look here: Fiction Factor

Let me know what you think.

Book Review: Hundred Dollar Baby by Robert Parker



I’ve got to tell ya that I’ve found another favorite author. Hundred Dollar Baby by Robert Parker, is #34 in the series, and is written just the way I like them.

The book opens with a former teen-age runaway turned madam of a bordello April Kyle walking into Spencer’s office asking for help. The two have a relationship from previous years and the emotion shows. Spencer who has a soft spot for April agrees to help her with the problem of allegedly being harassed by an unknown assailant. Then there is a couple of murders of which anyone could be the trigger puller.

The deeper Spencer digs the more he finds out that at every turn and question someone is lying to him about what’s really going on, including April. The story is packed with bad guys, and bad-good guys that beat the living crap out of anyone who crosses them.

Hundred Dollar Baby ends with a bang that really doesn’t surprise, but the dialog in the story is great. Parker sprinkles minute details that make you feel as though you are there on the streets of New York investigating the mobsters with him. To me this is the greatest thing a writer can do in a story.

Again, this is the kind of book I like. It yanks you in, and is a great ride. Fast paced, not sludged up with a bunch of back-story and sub-plots. Has some damn funny parts too. I caught myself laughing and talking out-loud when there was no one around.

Book Review: The Omen by David Seltzer


The Omen is a book about the Anti-Christ and how he is born into the living world. I do go to church though I’m not a Bible prophecy expert. I don’t think the story follows the book of Revelation all that close. Consult with your local Pastor for guidance.

The Omen opens with up and coming Presidential hopeful Robert Thorn flying to Italy for the birth of their son. Upon arriving at the hospital he discovers the “death” of his child. Fearing a mental brake-down by his wife, he takes the offer of substituting an orphan child named Damien for his blood child.

As the child grows, strange things start to happen. The first of which is his nanny committing suicide by hanging herself from the rooftop at Damien’s birthday party. Then a distraught Priest with a shadowy past attempts to convince Robert Thorn that Damien is the Son of Satan and according to legend has to be killed in a church with the seven daggers of Meggado.

The story amps up with creepy action all the way through. It’s a short read and has some pics from the movie inserted for visuals. If you’ve seen the movie don’t bother with reading the book, but if you’re planning on watching the movie, I’d read the book first. There are some things in the book that will help you understand the movie a bit better.

Not the best book I’ve read and it sure doesn’t belong with the Left Behind series if that’s your style. It’s predictable and has some dragging spots but I think that adds a bit to the creepy-ness.

Book Review: The White Cascade by Gary Krist

 Gary Krist couples his first attempt at non-fiction with great storytelling to recount the gripping incident known as the Wellington Disaster in The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche.

In 1910 the driving force of rolling snow and wreckage demolishes two snowbound trains. An estimated death toll of 96 passengers and crew litter the area with bodies. Buried in snow at the top of the Cascade Mountains, surviving passengers first passed the time by writing letters to friends and loved ones, then complaining and taking care of the children. Some of the lucky passengers slid to the safety of the next station.

After a freak thunderstorm in the early morning hours of the sixth day, a dislodged and massive swath of hard-packed snow and ice slam into the stranded trains, leaving behind a mess of dead and mangled steel and wood.Faint cries for help and excruciating rescues make this a non-fiction story of mammoth proportions.

The vivid picture Krist paints of the scene makes you feel like you’re there in the cold, stacking the bodies for identification with the rest of the workers.All in all this was a good read. The White Cascade is packed full of informative descriptions of the era, which I like in a book of this caliber. The story drags a bit at the front but quickly picks up. The history and descriptions of what it was like to work on the Great Northern rail makes this a railroad gem any person interested in this type of memorabilia and area of interest will want to get for their collection.

Book Review: Hunters of the Dark Sea by Mel Odom

 Mel Odom weaves an intricate tale in his historical horror and sci-fi adventure in Hunters of the Dark Sea. The main story opens in 1813. The young United States is at war with Great Britain and the high seas are crawling with British war-ships, privateers, cutthroat pirates and a visitor from not of this world.

Twenty-six year old Ethan Swain is first mate of the whaling ship Reliant. He and the crew have been at sea for two years and the ships holds are half full with the precious cargo of whale oil. Ethan has a dark past he must hide in order to keep his life intact. Keeping his past a secrete and being torn between the ships captain and the crew which is on the verge of a mutiny is only a small part of the turmoil he must juggle.


On board the research ship Brown-Eyed Sue is Professor Bullock and his intelligent and artistic daughter Katherine. They have been dispatched by the President of the United Sates to investigate reports of a sea monster named Death-in-the-water by the natives of Easter Island. Bullock soon learns the beginning of the reports coincide with a falling star hitting the water 16 years back. While anchored off the coast of Easter Island a dying man washes ashore with his painful and swollen skin practically blistering off the bone. A futile attempt by Bullock at saving the mans life renders an unknown venom the monster uses to kill its prey.


Vengeful Jonah McAfee, part of Ethan Swain’s dark past, is captain of the pirate ship Sunfisher. McAfee in pursuit of Ethan for revenge, catches wind of the monster and focuses his efforts on finding the monster.Hunters of the Dark Sea ends with Ethan battling McAfee, a British war ship, and the monster in a dynamite finish.


This is one of my favorite books of all time. Odom brings the characters to life in a way comparable to King. I also enjoyed the life-like setting of the high seas and the day-to-day life in my opinion was probably close to the real thing for the whalers of that time period. It’s quite obvious Mel Odom did his research for this book.