Author Tory Allyn

Tory-Allyn2Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the zany person he is today.

As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing.

Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is his partner in crime.

Most days, you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding down a popular mountainside.

Featured Selection: Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn

ALTER-EGO-by-Tory-AllynAt Granite’s Mill, deep in the backwoods of Virginia, a body is discovered with unusual physical characteristics. By morning, the media erupts over a headline in a local newspaper, ‘The Son of Virginia’s Governor is Missing’.

FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is handed the case. Realizing he’ll have to go outside the brethren, Jack marshals the help of an old friend, Raymond Davenport, who hung a sign on a renovated brownstone in Washington, DC, with the verbiage: Davenport Detective Agency.

To assist him, he hired three former police officers from various precincts, who like himself, blew the whistle on dirty cops only to deal with the fervent hostility from the brotherhood.

With the investigation under way, the detectives stumble upon a group of men known as M.A.G.O.C., who’re muddled in a governmental conspiracy involving a top-ranking official at the White House.

With their many resources, they dig further and unearth Prescott Chemicals. Years earlier, the owner and his lead chemist had stolen an elixir from the Mayapo natives of the Amazon rainforest and have transformed it into a formula to be used in a congressional scheme.

When the detectives accidently come into contact with the new formulation, something undesirable happens to one of them, altering his life forever.

Book Review: Dead bodies are just a fact of life for law enforcement and the FBI, but the body found in the woods in Rockfort, Virginia would make the hair on the back of the neck stand up for the seasoned professional.

With mounting terrorism against soft targets all over the US and agencies stretched to their limits, FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is put in charge of the Rockfort case because a total of three bodies have been found and the Governor of Virginia has reported his son missing.

The mystery surrounding these deaths are unique because all three victims were injected with a chemical in the carotid artery. “Their chemistry screens, blood cultures, toxicity tests and complete blood counts were anarchic and their chromosomes had been displaced. There were also disorganized levels of hormones. However, my most crucial finding was the pineal gland”. It is in the coroner’s hand to determine exactly what they were injected with and why.

Jack enlists the help of his friend who owns the Davenport Detective Agency and the investigation leads to Prescott Chemicals and a low level militia group called M.A.G.O.C. which stands for Men Against Government Overtaking Control. The question remains, is the general public at risk?

Well-developed characters, good dialog, unusual mystery, humor and a little romance keeps the reader focused. ‘Alter Ego’ is Author Tory Allyn’s debut novel. According to the author ‘Alter Boys’ will be out August 15, 2016, ‘Altered State’ will come out December 15, 2016 and ‘Alter Bound’ will end the series on April 15, 2017.

Theodocia McLean endorses Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on May 21, 2016.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Someone To Watch Over Me by Fran Connor

Someone-To-Watch-Over-Me-by-Fran-ConnorIf you love romantic thrillers with a strong female lead who refuses to be a victim, you’ll find this novel hits the mark. In 1930s Spain, Alicia has it all; youth, beauty, brains and wealthy parents in the sherry business.

It all comes crashing down when she kills the son of the corrupt local police chief for trying to rape her. Knowing she would not get a fair hearing, she dumps the body in a lake. Then the Civil War breaks out, her parents are murdered and the police chief discovers who killed his son. Alicia goes on the run and finds refuge with a gentle piano player in the Sierra Nevada where they try to stay out of the war.

But the war comes to them.

This is an epic story of love, survival against the odds and the endurance of the human spirit.

Genre: Romance, Suspense

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Elbourne House: Volume Two by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Two-by-Fran-ConnorRetired pirate Daniel Carver successfully negotiates the purchase of Elbourne House.

After surviving an attempt on his life by the hired guns of his nemesis Charles Withington, Daniel sets out to return Elbourne House and it’s grounds to past splendor.

Daniel’s life is soon complicated by another dilemma. He must sort out his feelings between two women determined to win his affections.

Caroline Baverstoke, a beautiful but cunning socialite betrothed to Withington, or Charlotte Abercrombie, the daughter of the previous owner of Elbourne House.

Volume 2 details the tug of war these two women play with his heart, culminating in the unexpected result to a deadly showdown at dawn.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

Kindle
Author’s Page

Elbourne House: Volume One by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-One-by-Fran-ConnorEx-pirate, Daniel Carver returns home to the East Hampshire area of England intent on living a peaceable life with his stolen fortune. Daniel quickly finds himself in the middle of a fierce battle for Elbourne House with Charles Withington, the money hungry scoundrel attempting to steal Elbourne House from the current owners – the Abercrombie family.

The Elbourne House series follows the stories of the families in and around Elbourne House from the mid – 17th century to current day.

Packed with drama, romance, and passion, Elbourne House will keep readers enthralled with the many twists and turns the characters experience through their lives.

Genre: Fiction, Drama, Romance

Amazon
Author’s Page

Elbourne House: Volume Three by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Three-by-Fran-ConnorVolume 3 of Elbourne House finds Daniel and Charlotte Carver juggling a growing family, managing their stature as leaders in the community, and staying neutral in war torn England in the late 17th century.

The story follows Daniel’s attempts to provide for the members of his community and estate, as well as protecting himself and others from the corrupt and power hungry Withington.

The plot takes readers through their encounters with highwaymen, soldiers, and even General Cornwall himself.

Volume 3 finishes the tale of Daniel and Charlotte Carver, but begins a new tale with the journey of Edward Carver, Daniel and Charlotte’s great great grandson who is getting ready to sail to America to join the fight in the War of Independence.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

Kindle
Author’s Page

Elbourne House: Volume Four by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Four-by-Fran-ConnorA swashbuckling adventure and love story as young Edward Carver leaves Elbourne to fight for King George in the American War of Independence.

He grows up fast in the thick of battle. When he saves an escaped young slave woman from trackers, it sets him on a collision course with the enemy and some on his own side.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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Elbourne House: Volume Seven by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Seven-by-Fran-ConnorWhen the British evacuate Northern Spain after the Battle of La Corunna.

Lt Alexander Carver RN and Lady Emelia are left behind enemy lines and must cross hostile French occupied territory to safety in Portugal.

They meet Spanish guerrillas and a fiery Spanish beauty.

Alexander finds himself the prize in a battle of wits between the two women.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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Author Linda Bunker

Linda-Bunker

Linda Bunker was born in 1941 in Waterbury, Connecticut. At the age of sixteen she became aware she was a Lesbian and spent the next fifty-eight years with her life partner.

She graduated from Katherine Gibbs School in New York City in 1959 and for the next several years worked as an executive secretary. In 1973 she partnered with three other people, one of which was her Lesbian partner, and opened their own business – a bridal shop.

After enjoying a prosperous thirty-four years in business, she and her partner retired to Florida, returning to Connecticut after five years and settling in a fifty-five and over adult community in Prospect, Connecticut.

Writing began as a recreation for her at age seventy, but shortly thereafter became a passion. Her first book, YOUR STORY MATTERS (TELL IT) documents her life as a Lesbian assimilating into mainstream while in actuality living in a cocoon. Once she started writing the story, she could not stop. The book was self-published and made available at Amazon and Bella Books. Reviews were exemplary and prodded her to write her next book – CLAUDIA AND ESTELLE (THE EXTRAORDINARY GAY COUPLE). This book is a compilation of short stories covering humorously embellished situations she and her then eighty year old partner experienced since retiring. Each story is illustrated with comical sketches of the two old “hens.” Again the book was self-published and made available on Amazon and Bella Books.

Getting all the “serious stuff” out of the way, she reflected on the days spent in the bridal shop. During that time, a niece was seriously injured in an automobile accident. She made up stories about mice living in the bridal shop, and sent daily excerpts in letter form to the little girl. At age seventy-four she reflected on these letters and wrote her third book, MICE TAILS…Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding. The book poses the question, if mice can do it, why can’t humans and is geared to readers of all ages. Also available on Amazon, the book is positioned for more editions.

However, at this time the writer finds herself alone, after losing her partner after a long, heartbreaking illness. She has a burning desire to write the sequel to YOUR STORY MATTERS….perhaps using the title IS MY STORY OVER. She is very sad and is praying for a rainbow ending before she starts.

Featured Selection: Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

Mice-Tales-Persevering-Possibilities-and-Succeeding-Mice-Tails-Volume-1-by-Linda-BunkerMICE TALES is a story of a diverse group of mice who experience life’s ups, downs and all-arounds, just as humans.

They adopt a motto of persevering possibilities, brilliantly achieving an impossible goal, which in turn results in a happy ending for all.

The story, while comical, accentuates deep acceptance of all earth’s species, nationalities, religious or non-religious beliefs, lineage and lifestyles. The Golden Rule works –
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

How very simple. If mice can do it, why can’t humans?

Kelly Morgan (Illustrator)

Book Review: An endearing story with life lessons involving a cast a characters made up of a group of mice who persevere through challenges, never sway from their core values and convictions, while achieving a task so grand that most would have gone away in defeat.

Special mention for Kelly Morgan who did a beautiful job on the book cover and the illustrations throughout the book.

Author Linda Bunker is a great story teller who weaves her own life philosophies into her stories and this is a great beginning to this new series. I found the book’s introduction very interesting with forty-four well written chapters that keep the reader engaged in the life of this unique group of mice living in the mall shops. Two live in the Deli, one in the Tuxedo Shop, three in the Bridal Shop and two in the Yarn Shop. Aishe Vadoma is the proprietor of the yarn shop and her life is about to change in more ways than one.

I invite you to read this uplifting story in a day and time when there is more negative thrown at us then most of us can handle in a day. As a grandmother of two I recommend this book for Tweens (ages 10-14), Young Adults (ages 15-21) and all adults of all ages who are young at heart. We are never too old to listen, learn, accept one another and follow ‘The Golden Rule’. I highly recommend for teens and adult book clubs where discussion is encouraged.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mice Tales- Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker. This is the first book in her ‘Mice Tails’ series and I hope it won’t be long until the next book is available. Available in both print and Kindle, I purchased this book from a Kindle format and this review was completed on 01/21/2017. I have also have the privileged to have read Linda Bunker’s dual set of books titled ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’.

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult (ages 15 -21) , Tweens (ages 10-14), Adults (Young At Heart)

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Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor

Her-Man-in-Havana-by-Fran-Connor-New-CoverIf you love action, adventure and thrillers that also make you smile, this is the one for you.

When Harry arrives in Havana on business he’s soon way out of his depth as he’s drawn into a scam with stolen rum, gangsters, secret police and the beautiful Maria.

This ordinary guy must trawl his hidden depths to find the courage that will keep him alive and out of prison.

Book Review

From the time Harry walked into the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba his routine business trip would be anything but routine. After all, this is Havana which has a mystique unlike any place on earth.

It doesn’t take Harry long to scope out the most beautiful woman on the island and his heart among other things beats with excitement as she notices him and strolls over to him. There isn’t a man on earth that doesn’t dream of classy women like Maria. Harry is mesmerized by her deep brown eyes that look into his soul.

Harry soon discovers that his British accent and inability to communicate well in this multicultural community leaves him at the mercy (smiling) of his new found friend Maria who speaks English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Russian. With serious business to conduct as an importer, Harry is the luckiest man on earth to have Maria by his side as guide and interpreter. However, business is not as he imagined it to be in Cuba and soon Harry is in too deep.

I would like to share you a quote to show you the author’s writing style and the character’s mind-set.

“There was Neanderthal and one of the grey-suited guys. He held a gun against me, inside a newspaper.

I looked at the line of people in the queue ahead waiting to check in for my flight. Could I do anything? Could I make a scene? These guys wouldn’t shoot me here in broad daylight with so many witnesses. Or would they? Did I have the bottle to find out?

I answered my own question when I walked submissively in the direction the gun was pushing me: away from my ride home. Away from safety and into God only knows what end. In my mind I went through my last will and testament. Most of what I had—which included a three-bedroom, terraced house in Fulham that only had a twenty per cent mortgage on it due to the rise in house prices, a Ford Mondeo and some cash—would all go to my mother.

I thought about what she would say when she heard I’d been shot dead in Cuba: ‘Silly bugger. Always was a prat.’ Then she’d blow most of it at bingo.”

Author Fran Connor writes this fast paced romantic thriller with an intellect of the setting and people of Cuba, with humour and interesting dialog. I personally love it when a man writes romance and I believe any adult reader will enjoy and stay engaged with the plot. According to Fran Connor’s bio and screenplay portfolio, he has seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Cold Coffee Press endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor. Other books by Fran Connor found on Amazon include Sophia and the Fisherman, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Devil’s Bridge and Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight. We received this book in a Kindle/PDF format. This review was completed on April 13, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Thriller, Suspense

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Author’s Page

Author Fran Connor

Fran-ConnorFran Connor is British and lives in SW France with his wonderful partner Viv, their dog and chickens.

He claims he’s living in that area for the lifestyle and weather which he says helps an author’s creative juices. It may just be an excuse to drink wine and lounge in the sun. He writes novels, three published so far with two more coming out soon, two more towards the end of 2015 and one more in 2016.

Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. In his portfolio of screenplays are seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Featured Selection: Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor

If you love action, adventure and thrillers that also make you smile, this is the one for you.

When Harry arrives in Havana on business he’s soon way out of his depth as he’s drawn into a scam with stolen rum, gangsters, secret police and the beautiful Maria. This ordinary guy must trawl his hidden depths to find the courage that will keep him alive and out of prison.

Book Review: From the time Harry walked into the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba his routine business trip would be anything but routine. After all, this is Havana which has a mystique unlike any place on earth.

It doesn’t take Harry long to scope out the most beautiful woman on the island and his heart among other things beats with excitement as she notices him and strolls over to him. There isn’t a man on earth that doesn’t dream of classy women like Maria. Harry is mesmerized by her deep brown eyes that look into his soul.

Harry soon discovers that his British accent and inability to communicate well in this multicultural community leaves him at the mercy (smiling) of his new found friend Maria who speaks English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Russian. With serious business to conduct as an importer, Harry is the luckiest man on earth to have Maria by his side as guide and interpreter. However, business is not as he imagined it to be in Cuba and soon Harry is in too deep.

I would like to share you a quote to show you the author’s writing style and the character’s mind-set.

“There was Neanderthal and one of the grey-suited guys. He held a gun against me, inside a newspaper.

I looked at the line of people in the queue ahead waiting to check in for my flight. Could I do anything? Could I make a scene? These guys wouldn’t shoot me here in broad daylight with so many witnesses. Or would they? Did I have the bottle to find out?

I answered my own question when I walked submissively in the direction the gun was pushing me: away from my ride home. Away from safety and into God only knows what end. In my mind I went through my last will and testament. Most of what I had—which included a three-bedroom, terraced house in Fulham that only had a twenty per cent mortgage on it due to the rise in house prices, a Ford Mondeo and some cash—would all go to my mother.

I thought about what she would say when she heard I’d been shot dead in Cuba: ‘Silly bugger. Always was a prat.’ Then she’d blow most of it at bingo.”

Author Fran Connor writes this fast paced romantic thriller with an intellect of the setting and people of Cuba, with humour and interesting dialog. I personally love it when a man writes romance and I believe any adult reader will enjoy and stay engaged with the plot. According to Fran Connor’s bio and screenplay portfolio, he has seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Theodocia McLean endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor. Other books by Fran Connor found on Amazon include Sophia and the Fisherman, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Devil’s Bridge and Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 13, 2016.

Genre: Romantic Thriller, Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

MICE TALES is a story of a diverse group of mice who experience life’s ups, downs and all-arounds, just as humans.

They adopt a motto of persevering possibilities, brilliantly achieving an impossible goal, which in turn results in a happy ending for all.

The story, while comical, accentuates deep acceptance of all earth’s species, nationalities, religious or non-religious beliefs, lineage and lifestyles. The Golden Rule works –

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

How very simple. If mice can do it, why can’t humans?

Kelly Morgan (Illustrator)

Book Review: An endearing story with life lessons involving a cast a characters made up of a group of mice who persevere through challenges, never sway from their core values and convictions, while achieving a task so grand that most would have gone away in defeat.

Special mention for Kelly Morgan who did a beautiful job on the book cover and the illustrations throughout the book.

Author Linda Bunker is a great story teller who weaves her own life philosophies into her stories and this is a great beginning to this new series. I found the book’s introduction very interesting with forty-four well written chapters that keep the reader engaged in the life of this unique group of mice living in the mall shops. Two live in the Deli, one in the Tuxedo Shop, three in the Bridal Shop and two in the Yarn Shop. Aishe Vadoma is the proprietor of the yarn shop and her life is about to change in more ways than one.

I invite you to read this uplifting story in a day and time when there is more negative thrown at us then most of us can handle in a day. As a grandmother of two I recommend this book for Tweens (ages 10-14), Young Adults (ages 15-21) and all adults of all ages who are young at heart. We are never too old to listen, learn, accept one another and follow ‘The Golden Rule’. I highly recommend for teens and adult book clubs where discussion is encouraged.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mice Tales- Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker. This is the first book in her ‘Mice Tails’ series and I hope it won’t be long until the next book is available. Available in both print and Kindle, I purchased this book from a Kindle format and this review was completed on 01/21/2017. I have also have the privileged to have read Linda Bunker’s dual set of books titled ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’.

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Elbourne House: Volume Five by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Five-by-Fran-ConnorEdward Carver has returned home from the Revolutionary War in America.

He and his new bride Ruth are the heirs to Elbourne House, and plan to run the estate by carrying on the traditions of the Carver family: fairness, honesty, dignity, and respect.

Volume 5 details the hardships Edward and Ruth face; racial tensions, tensions between different classes in society, and the appearance of Ruth’s former captor/slave owner from America.

A riveting tale with romance, adventure, and heart pounding confrontations laced throughout. Elbourne House is the best book yet in an already great series.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

Kindle
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Elbourne House: Volume Six by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Six-by-Fran-ConnorAt the turn of the 19th century, the Carver Family is thriving.

Edward Carver is a member of the House of Commons, teaming with other forward thinkers to end the slave trade.

Their leadership comes at a price. The Carver’s find themselves the targets of a sinister kidnapping/murder plot.

Sex, murder, and revenge are all prominent themes in this adventure filled tale of the Carvers and their children.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

Kindle
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Elbourne House: Volumes One, Two and Three by Fran Connor

E1s1JBG2hrS._SL250_FMpngElbourne House Volume: One

Ex-pirate, Daniel Carver returns home to the East Hampshire area of England intent on living a peaceable life with his stolen fortune. Daniel quickly finds himself in the middle of a fierce battle for Elbourne House with Charles Withington, the money hungry scoundrel attempting to steal Elbourne House from the current owners – the Abercrombie family. The Elbourne House series follows the stories of the families in and around Elbourne House from the mid – 17th century to current day. Packed with drama, romance, and passion, Elbourne House will keep readers enthralled with the many twists and turns the characters experience through their lives. Book 1 in the Elbourne House series.

Elbourne House Volume: Two

Retired pirate Daniel Carver successfully negotiates the purchase of Elbourne House. After surviving an attempt on his life by the hired guns of his nemesis Charles Withington, Daniel sets out to return Elbourne House and it’s grounds to past splendor. Daniel’s life is soon complicated by another dilemma. He must sort out his feelings between two women determined to win his affections. Caroline Baverstoke, a beautiful but cunning socialite betrothed to Withington, or Charlotte Abercrombie, the daughter of the previous owner of Elbourne House. Volume 2 details the tug of war these two women play with his heart, culminating in the unexpected result to a deadly showdown at dawn.

Elbourne House Volume: Three

Volume 3 of Elbourne House finds Daniel and Charlotte Carver juggling a growing family, managing their stature as leaders in the community, and staying neutral in war torn England in the late 17th century. The story follows Daniel’s attempts to provide for the members of his community and estate, as well as protecting himself and others from the corrupt and power hungry Withington. The plot takes readers through their encounters with highwaymen, soldiers, and even General Cornwell himself. Volume 3 finishes the tale of Daniel and Charlotte Carver, but begins a new tale with the journey of Edward Carver, Daniel and Charlotte’s great great grandson who is getting ready to sail to America to join the fight in the War of Independence.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance

Kindle

Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith

It is serious business for Detective Doug Milligan of the Rocky Bluff P.D. when a student from Santa Barbara College named Veronica Randall disappears from her idling Toyota Prius parked in her grandmother’s driveway. Items left behind along with a new clue emerges when the neighbor Mrs. Doris Jarvis tell officers everything she can about the sedan speeding by the house earlier that morning.

The investigation revs up and the list of possible suspects grow as inquiries into college and work acquaintances begin. The ex-boyfriend Bryan Franklin is an interesting lead and so is a possible stalker from Veronica’s high school days.

Meanwhile Detective Milligan and his wife move their family into a new house that seems to suit their needs, except for the reported resident ghost. He and his new partner Felix Zachary are finding themselves dealing with other criminal activities in the community while the whole department keeps an eye out for Veronica.

A multi-faceted story line with personable characters that could be from your own community. Author F.M. Meredith writes with a charming style that brings the reader into the detectives’ investigation. Here is a small quote. “The woman moved quickly up the spiral wrought iron stairs, and the rest followed. The second floor landing had two door on both side, and an open window. A breeze brought in a mixture of scents, the salt from the ocean, the pungent almost medicinal smell of eucalyptus, and the heavy sweet odor of gardenias. The last set of steps led to a small space in front of a closed door.”

Never a dull moment when a crime mystery and poltergeist activity inhabit the same space.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Violent Departures’, book 11 in F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff PD Series. Each book stands on its own merit, so you can enjoy each book even out of sequence. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 23, 2015.

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Author F.M. Meredith

Marilyn Meredith - 2015Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Spirit Shapes from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Murder in the Worst Degree from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.

Featured Selection: Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith

Violent-Departures-by-F.-M.-MeredithIn the eleventh novel in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, College student Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.

Book Review: It is serious business for Detective Doug Milligan of the Rocky Bluff P.D. when a student from Santa Barbara College named Veronica Randall disappears from her idling Toyota Prius parked in her grandmother’s driveway. Items left behind along with a new clue emerges when the neighbor Mrs. Doris Jarvis tell officers everything she can about the sedan speeding by the house earlier that morning.

The investigation revs up and the list of possible suspects grow as inquiries into college and work acquaintances begin. The ex-boyfriend Bryan Franklin is an interesting lead and so is a possible stalker from Veronica’s high school days.

Meanwhile Detective Milligan and his wife move their family into a new house that seems to suit their needs, except for the reported resident ghost. He and his new partner Felix Zachary are finding themselves dealing with other criminal activities in the community while the whole department keeps an eye out for Veronica.

A multi-faceted story line with personable characters that could be from your own community. Author F.M. Meredith writes with a charming style that brings the reader into the detectives’ investigation. Here is a small quote. “The woman moved quickly up the spiral wrought iron stairs, and the rest followed. The second floor landing had two door on both side, and an open window. A breeze brought in a mixture of scents, the salt from the ocean, the pungent almost medicinal smell of eucalyptus, and the heavy sweet odor of gardenias. The last set of steps led to a small space in front of a closed door.”

Never a dull moment when a crime mystery and poltergeist activity inhabit the same space.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Violent Departures’, book 11 in F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff PD Series. Each book stands on its own merit, so you can enjoy each book even out of sequence. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 23, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Paranormal

Amazon Author’s Page

The Great Liquor War by D. M. McGowan

the-great-liquor-war-by-d-m-mcgowenThe year is 1885. Hank James has been in Canada several months panning gold from a stream near Roswell, British Columbia. When he hears a prizefight will be held in town, he attends along with everyone for miles around. With a little help from the fight referee, he wins big betting on the fight. Having realized that the life of a miner isn’t nearly as romantic or rewarding as he expected, and with advice from the policeman who helped him win money on the fight, Hank goes to Farwell to haul freight with pack horses for contractors building the transcontinental railroad.

The railroad’s security, a detachment of North West Mounted Police, have maintained across the West that no liquor be allowed one mile on either side of the rail bed. Provincial authorities disagree. Hank James believes in honoring and repaying his debts, but that doesn’t mean he should be involved in a war between the BC Provincial Police and the North West Mounted.

He and his partners have trouble enough running their freight business, they don’t need to be caught between competing policemen. They are already stuck between Canada’s transcontinental railroad people and the contractors doing the actual construction. While the police are fighting one another, who is looking for criminals, particularly those stealing Hank’s horses? Despite a variety of jobs, D.M. McGowan now works as a commercial driver and lives near Mile “0” of the world-famous Alaska Highway.

His stories bring Canadian history to life. “I believe in seeing morality and societal responsibility rewarded. Too much of today’s fiction seems to lead into the dark instead of the light.”

Book Review

The Great Liquor War by D. M. McGowan is a western pioneering era saga that combines great story telling, true-to-life cowboy experience with US and Canadian history combined with legends from the 1800’s.

The main character Hank James was born in Canada and migrated south into the US with his family after the Civil War. Hank’s father headed towards Oregon in search of a farmstead while protecting his family from raids by outlaws and Indians. They made it as far as Kansas to find that the land was too dry to farm so pushed on to Oregon to find the land was too wet. With Mother Nature as their biggest obstacle and many mouths to feed young Hank James set out on his own. He settled down with his own gold mine claim near Rossland, British Columbia in 1984.

Hank wasn’t afraid of hard work, but he wanted more out of life than to eke out a living on his claim. With tenacity Hank took advantage of the Transcanada Railroad, found some partners and started his own freight business. Life should be good, but where there is industry, technology, commerce and economy, there are criminals.

In all my reviews I quote a passage so readers can get a feel for the authors writing style. I quote from page 37.

“It didn’t take a detective to know that the horse thief had played a little joke on the Provincial Police. Constable Art Hubbard was over six feet tall and probably ten pounds lighter than the one eighty mentioned in the description. Not only was he a long way from round, he was also clean shaven.

I gave Constable Hubbard my story, ending with the recovery of the bay gelding and the description I had from Miller. “An’ the fella called himself Art Hubbard,” I added.

The Constable’s expression didn’t change. He worked his chew around into one cheek and sent a stream of tobacco juice into the waste basket. “Feller with a sense o’ humor,” he noted, and then added. “It’ll be one ‘o Bulldog Kelley’s outfit. They work out o’ some of the illegal saloons t’ be found back in the bush. We catch one or two of ‘em every now an’ then, but we can’t get Kelley, an’ he’s the head o’ the snake. I can think of one or two that might fit your description, but not a one that had a full beard. An’ this fella’s probably shaved by now.”

I wrote out my story, signed it, and returned to work.”

Between the horse thieves, authority over liquor sales and a war between the BC Provincial Police and the North West Mounted Hank is he in over his head? Only time will tell if he makes the right choices and will he win the heart and loyalty of Sharon Dalton?

Saddle up your horse, holster your gun and join a rugged western cast of characters that will take you back to the reality and the legends of the Wild West.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Great Liquor War by D. M. McGowan for the nuggets of history told within a great story of human experience in the Wild West. This review was completed on August 11, 2015.

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Author Pat Kelley

Pat-Kelley-PS-adjusted-1Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR, is the author of Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits, Second Edition, published in December 2014.

For more than 43 years, she worked as a specialist, manager and Director of Human Resources in banking, manufacturing, food processing and communications.

Certified as a lifetime Senior Professional in Human Resources, Ms. Kelley is recipient of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Society of Human Resource Managers.

Featured Selection: Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits (A Business Blueprint Book) by MS, SPHR, Pat Kelley

Hiring-Right-A-Business-Blueprint-for-Lower-Turnover-and-Higher-ProfitsHiring Right by Pat Kelley is a common sense, practical step-by-step, need-to-know business guide for finding and keeping good employees.

Whether you are just starting out and need to hire a few employees or business is picking up and you need to hire more this book should be your first reference guide. Pat Kelley lays out her step-by-step, need-to- know guide with facts, numbers, examples and all the forms necessary to help you find and keep good employees. Following her advice and the right incentives you will be able to lower your turnover rate and increase your profits.

Book Part One is made up of five chapters. In Chapter One, Pat lays out mistakes one, two and three and teaches employer how to “Profile” the job that you are offering, “Research” and “Complete A Personality Profile” on each perspective employee.

Chapter Two goes on to teach the employer how to “recruit”, “screen” and “test” applicants. This detailed chapter defines the advantages of promoting from within, considering employee referrals and details how to use all local, community, and technological researches to find, screen and test applicants.

Chapter Three details steps the employer can use to prepare for and conduct an interview.

Chapter Four presents the “Employment Law In Hiring” and alerts the employer to danger zones.

Chapter Five Part One shows the employer what comes after the interview, such as checking references, how to make the job offer with the proper compensation. Chapter Five Part Two goes on to explain the necessary training and work environment to ensure the employee fits in and stays.

Book Part Two is made up of five “Business Blueprints”. These blueprints are include essential “Job Profile”, “Patterned Interview”, “Candidate Offer Letter”, “Orientation Checklist” forms for Office Clerical Positions, Level Labor Positions, Technical Worker Positions, Sales Worker Positions and Management Worker Positions.

The book wraps up with miscellaneous resource materials.

Theodocia McLean endorses Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits (A Business Blueprint Book) by MS, SPHR, Pat Kelley for an instructional guide to help new employers coming into the job market and existing employers that are struggling with a high rate of turnover. This review was completed on March 28, 2015.

Genre: Non-fiction, Professional & Technical

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Author Cary Allen Stone

Cary-Allen-StoneAmazon #1 Best Seller

Reader’s Favorites Five–Star Awards

“Cary Allen Stone is a brilliant writer of psychological thrillers and murder mysteries. He writes with a keen eye for detail–the graphic violence is chillingly realistic. He delivers a taut, darkly introspective, cunning and well-executed plot by leaning towards the fallible side of his characters. He understands the criminal mind avoiding the stereotypes that dominate crime thrillers. There is a good balance of chemistry and conflict, good and evil that fans will find enthralling. His characters become embedded in our psyches and the pace of his unraveling of his thriller is a ride not easily forgotten. Cary Allen Stone is an important name to watch. This is one superb crime writer!”––Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer Vine Voice

My backstory is, I spent almost forty years inside the cockpits of corporate jets and airlines and because of my flying career I acquired a unique perspective of life. I was fortunate in 1992 to fly Sir Ridley Scott on a location scout in the islands. We talked about writing and building an image inside the words. He was quite a mentor.

Before that, I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts. I was involved in feature films in LA and Indie films in Phoenix. I have done voice-over, radio commercials, and standup comedy magic. I represented the USA alongside nine other countries in the Night of Magic in Bogota, Colombia performing before dignitaries, ambassadors and their families.

For my “Stealing Atlanta,” I received the endorsements of Clive Cussler and Tim Dorsey.

I’m a proud member of the oldest women’s writers club in the country, the Phoenix Writer’s Club.

My Jake Roberts Novels have been well received by Amazon Hall of Fame Top 10 Reviewers in crime fiction and psychological thrillers. The series has received the READER’S FAVORITE FIVE STARS award. Action adventure author Clive Cussler and South Florida author Tim Dorsey endorsed Stealing Atlanta, my cyber crime thriller.

Featured Selection: After The Evil (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 1) by Cary Allen Stone

After-The-Evil-A-Jake-Roberts-Novel-Book-1-by-Cary-Allen-StoneAirline captain Nick Parker has an insatiable sexual appetite and wants sexy flight attendant Megan. On a sexual sabbatical, Fr. Anthony Moralli wants to taste the forbidden fruit. Dr. Thaddeus Abrams married into money, but wants her dead. And Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild?

He meets a man with information. What do they all have in common? Death by serial killer.

FBI profiler Mika Scott and homicide detective Jake Roberts are obsessed on a cold trail that turns flaming hot. Will they get there in time?

Book Review: After The Evil is an extremely well written psychological crime fiction thriller that will not only keep you turning the page, but will lock you into this Jake Roberts series.

Author Cary Allen Stone taps into the criminal mind of his characters with a fresh perspective and clarity of the psychological nuances. His characters are realistic with engaging dialog and the plot is unpredictable with detailed graphic violence that is for mature audiences.

Father Anthony Moralli battles his sexual desires while serving in his parish. “Father Anthony loved the whole religion thing—the ceremonies, hearing confessions, and especially saving lost souls. He planned to start saving his soul right after saving all of the others. After years of religious studies and training, he concluded it was beyond his comprehension to truly understand God, so he simply preached the commandments, and left the rest to God.”

Homicide detective Jake Roberts reports to Dr. Thaddeus Abrams after an on the job shooting incident. Professionals can have issues too as we learn that Dr. Abrams who married into money, secretly wants his wife dead while attempting to help clients in his busy psychiatric practice. Jake wrestles with post-traumatic stress and Dr. Abrams tells him “I can’t erase what happened to you Jake. It will always be in your memory. All I can do is to try and help you find some closure and that’s going to take time.”

Lori Powers is a beautiful, seductive flight attendant who cause men’s heads to turn when she walks into the room. She is a widow and a mother with secret inner demons that drive her to the cemetery where her beloved daughter is buried.

Airline Captain Nick Parker believes his position of authority gives him license over one or more of his flight attendants. In the right circumstances the hunter can become the hunted.

FBI Profiler Mika Scott teams up with Homicide Detective Jake Roberts to solve a crime spree. They look at the statically data surrounding serial killers like Theodore Bundy while Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild meets with a man that might have some pertinent information.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is “The mind is truly a remarkable creation, the way it operates. What goes on routinely inside of it is nothing less than miraculous. It can add and subtract, multiply and divide, all of what life throws at us. It is responsible for basic functions of the human body and can contemplate abstract concepts. It’s a fascinating thing, the human mind.”

I invite you to read ‘After The Evil’ and don’t take for granted the intensions of those you work, play and live with.

Theodocia McLean endorses After The Evil (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 1) by Cary Allen Stone. This is book one in the Jake Roberts series. Also enjoy Mind Over Murder, After The Goode, After The Kill, and three standalone books titled Mother’s Day Magic: With Love – Anthology, Stealing Atlanta: A Cybercrime Thriller and Through A Mother’s Eyes: A True Crime Story. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on May 4, 2016.

Genre: Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller

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After The Goode (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 3) by Cary Allen Stone

Jake Roberts used excessive tactics, beyond the rules, to capture serial killer Jared Hamilton.

His superiors in Atlanta Homicide gave Jake a choice–retire, or face criminal prosecution. He decided to retire and move in with his high-powered, Hollywood agent girlfriend Caitland in LA, where he writes best-selling crime novels.

Caitland and Jake take a mini-vacation to visit his childhood friend in Phoenix. Fred and Andrea take them to the opening night show of superstar comedian Bobby Goode. During the show, Bobby humiliates a heckler.

Phoenix homicide detectives Wynter Williams and Vince Farina are investigating a murder. Jake happens onto the crime scene. The detectives invite him to consult on the case. Jake and Wynter have growing suspicions about who the killer might be. They arrive to see Bobby’s last show before he leaves for New York City. “Shots fired!”

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Through A Mother’s Eyes: A True Crime Story by Cary Allen Stone

A chilling look at human nature in a context where the lines between right and wrong become sadly blurred.

It’s a compelling account of one woman’s life, and what drove her to take the life of her six-year-old son. How everyday choices shape our perceptions, justifications, and actions.

One must consider how close to the edge we all are. It’s a true story told in layman’s terms, with the hope of preventing another tragic loss.

“This has to be one of the most poignant heart wrenching books I have ever read. A woman so driven to protect her child, she takes his life.” ––Pam Thomas Reviews

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Mind Over Murder (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 2) by Cary Allen Stone

Jake Roberts returns in the thriller Mind Over Murder.

In After the Evil, Lori Powers fled the U.S. after leaving a trail of dead men behind. She is returned to the U.S. to stand trial.

A new serial killer wants to murder Jake. His life is in jeopardy. To stop him, Jake helps Lori to escape from her cell. Will she help Jake, or take his life?

Not your average serial killer story, Mind Over Murder is the perfect serial killer read!

Book Review: Mind Over Murder is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding as you turn the page.

This is the second book in the Jake Roberts murder, mystery, suspense novel series. Although I was glad that I read ‘After The Evil’ first, they really can be enjoyed separately. Once again Author Cary Allen Stone has tapped into the criminal mind of a killer with such precision that you will look at people, no matter what their status is in life differently.

Jake like a lot of police and military who put their life on the line every day, still suffers from post-traumatic stress from a shooting incident that put him into mandatory therapy. Jake like all the brave men and women in blue still go to work every day to fight crime. One of my favorite quotes from this book is “It amazes me how long we can bury, conceal, and ignore the things in life that have hurt us deeply. How that seething pain, without warning, returns in full force at inopportune times. We think of ourselves as great, majestic mountains, sturdy and strong, unconquerable, but even mountains erode into deserts over time. After a while, we begin to realize how puny we are in the universe, and how little we control in our lives. All we really have inside, is what we believe to be true––what we can live with.”

I invite you to join homicide detective Jake Roberts as he battles his feelings for the gorgeous Lori Powers who is in fact a past lover and serial killer who has come back to the US to stand trial, while he is embroiled in a mystery where his name is scrawled in blood at a murder scene and finds himself taunted by the killer. I quote: “Killing is entertaining for me, but you’re right, it’s already boring. What makes it exciting still, is killing someone you want dead, instead of a few by surprise. I will enjoy every second of killing you. If I die, I will rise again, and kill some more.”

The characters and dialog are so realistic your mind will see and experience the action as if you are watching it on the silver screen. Your body will tense as the plot is so unpredictable with detailed graphic violence that is for mature audiences.

I leave you with this quote from the book and wonder if you are reading this from Atlanta, GA? “Atlanta was on fire again. The difference was the boots of law enforcement pounded the ground instead of the boots of Sherman’s army. Police captains shouted orders, instead of military colonels. Command center trucks rumbled past, instead of cannons drawn behind horses. The fear among the population was the same. In such a beautiful city, with a gentle Southern attitude, two infamous serial killers, and a rogue cop, were on the loose. Lives could be taken at any second. The hunted would kill to defend itself, and elude capture. Men, women and children were in extreme danger, in spite of the show of force. Atlanta, the heart of the South, was in complete lockdown.”

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Mind Over Murder’ (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 2) by Cary Allen Stone. We invite you to also read After The Kill, After The Goode and three standalone books titled Mother’s Day Magic: With Love – Anthology, Stealing Atlanta: A Cyber-crime Thriller and Through A Mother’s Eyes: A True Crime Story. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on May 19, 2016.

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Stealing Atlanta: A Cybercrime Thriller by Cary Allen Stone

Brandyn Wood and his team are professional con men. Their mark is Fed Chairman, Portend Ulysses Buford. “Smooth” is a legend in the business.

“Summer” is the sexy, brilliant PhD. “Mysty” is an ex-Navy Seal. And “Crackhead” is the master machine wizard that hacks the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

After the con is over they escape to Freeland, the island they own and rule with no extradition and they are very, very rich. High-rollers fill the casinos. The fetish club is packed––worshipping room only.

Brandyn is resurrected from the dead and reunites with Mai. It isn’t just an ordinary bank job––it’s the bank job of a lifetime!

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After The Kill (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 4) by Cary Allen Stone

Jake never looks for trouble, but you can bet it’s looking for him in the high-stakes thriller AFTER THE KILL.

A beautiful morning quickly becomes a life and death day. What will the night bring?

Mackenzy earned a doctorate in forensic psychology, specializing in serial killers. She wants to understand them beyond the textbooks. Will a DNA sample give her a clue?

It looks like Oscar night at the house in Malibu as she hosts her A-list clients.

Caitland returns to LA for the party while Jake stays in Phoenix. She is caught totally by surprise when the party’s over. But will Jake get there in time?

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After The Evil (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 1) by Cary Allen Stone

Airline captain Nick Parker has an insatiable sexual appetite and wants sexy flight attendant Megan. On a sexual sabbatical, Fr. Anthony Moralli wants to taste the forbidden fruit. Dr. Thaddeus Abrams married into money, but wants her dead. And Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild?

He meets a man with information. What do they all have in common? Death by serial killer.

FBI profiler Mika Scott and homicide detective Jake Roberts are obsessed on a cold trail that turns flaming hot. Will they get there in time?

Book Review: ‘After The Evil’ is an extremely well written psychological crime fiction thriller that will not only keep you turning the page, but will lock you into this Jake Roberts series.

Author Cary Allen Stone taps into the criminal mind of his characters with a fresh perspective and clarity of the psychological nuances. His characters are realistic with engaging dialog and the plot is unpredictable with detailed graphic violence that is for mature audiences.

Father Anthony Moralli battles his sexual desires while serving in his parish. “Father Anthony loved the whole religion thing—the ceremonies, hearing confessions, and especially saving lost souls. He planned to start saving his soul right after saving all of the others. After years of religious studies and training, he concluded it was beyond his comprehension to truly understand God, so he simply preached the commandments, and left the rest to God.”

Homicide detective Jake Roberts reports to Dr. Thaddeus Abrams after an on the job shooting incident. Professionals can have issues too as we learn that Dr. Abrams who married into money, secretly wants his wife dead while attempting to help clients in his busy psychiatric practice. Jake wrestles with post-traumatic stress and Dr. Abrams tells him “I can’t erase what happened to you Jake. It will always be in your memory. All I can do is to try and help you find some closure and that’s going to take time.”

Lori Powers is a beautiful, seductive flight attendant who cause men’s heads to turn when she walks into the room. She is a widow and a mother with secret inner demons that drive her to the cemetery where her beloved daughter is buried.

Airline Captain Nick Parker believes his position of authority gives him license over one or more of his flight attendants. In the right circumstances the hunter can become the hunted.

FBI Profiler Mika Scott teams up with Homicide Detective Jake Roberts to solve a crime spree. They look at the statically data surrounding serial killers like Theodore Bundy while Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild meets with a man that might have some pertinent information.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is “The mind is truly a remarkable creation, the way it operates. What goes on routinely inside of it is nothing less than miraculous. It can add and subtract, multiply and divide, all of what life throws at us. It is responsible for basic functions of the human body and can contemplate abstract concepts. It’s a fascinating thing, the human mind.”

I invite you to read ‘After The Evil’ and don’t take for granted the intensions of those you work, play and live with.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘After The Evil’ (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 1) by Cary Allen Stone. This is book one in the Jake Roberts series. Also enjoy Mind Over Murder, After The Goode, After The Kill, and three standalone books titled Mother’s Day Magic: With Love – Anthology, Stealing Atlanta: A Cybercrime Thriller and Through A Mother’s Eyes: A True Crime Story. I purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on May 4, 2016.

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Author Augustus M. Cileone

HPIM0669.JPGAugustus M. Cileone won the Dark Oak Mystery Contest sponsored by Oak Tree Press, for the novel, A Lesson in Murder, about homicides associated with a Philadelphia Quaker school.
His second novel, Feast or Famine, a satire, deals with a traumatized man dealing with his Catholic Italian American upbringing in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

His latest novel, Out of the Picture, published by Sage Words Publishing, is a mystery loaded with movie references, and deals with social outsiders.

He has been honored for his writing by Annual Art Affair, Hidden River Arts, the annual Writer’s Digest writing competition for two plays, The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, the Montgomery County Community College’s Annual Writers’ Club Poetry and Fiction Contest, Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards, and the Annual StoryPros International Screenplay Contest.

His short stories appear in the anthologies entitled South Philly Fiction and Death Knell V, and in the literary periodical Schuylkill Valley Journal.

Featured Selection: Out Of The Picture by Augustus M. Cileone

Vince Singleton, a writer, part-time English professor at Philadelphia Sacred Covenant University, and huge movie fan, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He witnessed the accidental shooting of his wife by a policeman during a robbery. Vince, however, suspects that her death was intentional. Now, an old friend of his is found dead amid unusual clues. Vince helps the lieutenant working the case, despite his wariness of policemen. Faculty members associated with animal abuse are murdered and strange items are discovered near the bodies. Vince determines that the clues refer to movies, and, with the help of his daughter, his journalist brother, and a female professor, tries to find the killer before another person is taken … out of the picture.

Book ReviewOut-of-The-Picture: Nothing can go wrong in the close-knit community surrounding Philadelphia Sacred Covenant University in North Philadelphia, USA or can it?

Vince Singleton is retired, but works 3 days a week teaching in the English Department and his co-worker Gina Alimentare makes it bearable with her Italian American homemade cannoli, rum cake, or ricotta cheese cake just to name a few. Even though they have a good working relationship where humor is battered about, Vince just isn’t himself some days and gets under Gina’s skin “What’s the matter with you?” demanded Gina. “Is your crazy barometer reading high today? You know, Patterson asked me to make allowances for your weirdness, but, sometimes you can be annoying as hell.”

Well-developed characters surround Vince Singleton and his daughter Hope. Post-traumatic stress is just one complication Vince faces since the death of his wife Jewel. When his long time college buddy who encouraged and helped him land his teaching position is murdered even his ongoing therapy sessions with Dr. Michael Probst don’t stop the panic attacks.

Vince finds solace with his furry cat friend named Jellybean, as he is compelled as a film enthusiast to get involved in the murder mystery when the clues tie into movie trivia. The pressure is mounting to find this killer before next victim is found dead.

Do the animal rights activists play a role in this evolving mystery?

Theodocia McLean endorses Out Of The Picture by Augustus M. Cileone for the artful writing style that draws the reader into the murder mystery and keeps the reader guessing until the end. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on July 12, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Murder Mystery, Crime, Fiction

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Author Jason Zandri

Jason-ZandriJason Zandri has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group.

He lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).

Jason has six published works of fiction and two “works in progress”. He has three series As Life Goes Series, The Sunset Series and I, Hero Series.

Featured Selection: As Life Goes: Elementary (Book One) by Jason Zandri

As-Life-Goes-Elementary-by-Jason-ZandriMark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.

Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school. Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost.

For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.

“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” by Diane Wakeford.

“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” by Melissa Bancroft.

“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” by Elizabeth Wellsworth.

Book Review: This story of heart-break and divorce plays out across America every day. Unlike the higher percentage of outcomes, the main character Mark Sanford is rebuilding his life with his pre-teen son Matthew. I quote the first paragraph as it is a well written indicative snap shot of life as it now stands for Mark Sanford.

“Mark Sanford stood among the boxes in the living room of his father’s former home—a small three-bedroom cape—with a cup of coffee in his hand. The weak morning sunlight broke through the early winter cloud cover and came in the windows and around the hanging drapes. It had been nearly sixteen years since he’d lived on South Cherry Street with his parents. He remembered the day he moved out of the house to his apartment at eighteen years of age, shortly after his mother had passed away. He now smiled at the irony of wanting to come back to a place he was so ready to leave in order to start his adult life so many years ago, in an effort now to simply start over.”

This is a touching story about a father creating a new life out of the circumstances around him while his son Matthew adjusts to his new home, loss of friendships, new school, challenge of building new friends, awkward adolescence, coming of age, and the desire to be grow up and be included in all of the important decisions that affect his life.

The story is well written and realistic. The characters are probably someone you know and could even be yourself. Life lessons are taught within the situations and dialog between families, friends, and co-workers. There is a mixer of character, moral values, and light romance that show how small town communities, especially in the past, impacted each life within the community. For some of us older readers it brings back some nostalgia. For the younger generation it shows that there is more to life than the electronics that consume them. It is a story of family bonds, community, friendships, life, love, passion, direction, and personal interaction.

Theodocia McLean endorses As Life Goes: Elementary (book one) by Jason Zandri as a reminder of simpler times and straight forward even “elementary” values. As Life Goes: The End Of The Innocence (book two) continues the story. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 14, 2015.

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

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I, Hero – The Beginning by Jason Zandri

An everyday man, living less than ordinary life in New York City, simply makes his way about his work life and one at home. A kind heart and an empathetic soul, who tended to think of others before he thought of himself.

With his childhood totally left behind and gone with the final resting of his father, Nathan has come to terms with his past as he forges his life in the present, unaware of what lies ahead.

An unlikely friendship, a random act of violence, a budding romance, all part of a life changed.

“At any moment, any tiny, seemingly insignificant event can, and often does, change our life forever. How we react and deal with the consequences of that event, is what develops, and defines our character. Author Jason Zandri uses his amazing writing talent to help us understand that reality in this first book of what is certainly going to be a phenomenal series.

Hero: The Beginning is more than just a science fiction, supernatural suspense story, but also a philosophical journey not just for main character Nathan, but for every reader as well. Like each of us, Nathan is an ordinary person, living his life as best he can. But, like each of us, he must one day make a choice, to become the person he was meant to be (whether he likes it or not) or to ignore his conscience and forever change the direction of his life path, and that of everyone around him.” 5 Star Review by Catherine Grainger on September 6, 2015.

“When it’s your time, there’s nothing you can do to change that outcome. The only thing you can do is meet it head on. You have to hope that the life you had with others, while you were here, has made a positive impact.” by Brian Devron

“Where there is darkness, you are light. Where others know fear, you will be brave. When there are setbacks, you will persevere. Where others find weakness, you bring strength. Where there is despair, you are hope. Where cowardice falls, you rise courageously. Where others do not have the ability to believe, you have faith. You will suffer, so that others will endure. You will triumph where others would fall.” by Cici Johnson

“This is it; it all changes tonight. Anything I do tonight, at a minimum, is going to at least expose all of this to the world.” by Nathan Devron.

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

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I, Hero – Nathan Returns by Jason Zandri

Nathan is back in New York City; the place where it all started, nearly one year later. While he has been away, he has been establishing a base of operations and trying to follow the direction his life has taken – making a difference and answering the call for help where and when he is needed.

He has returned to this birthplace of his powers with more questions of why he is on the path he is on and what is expected of him.

During a dangerous rescue, his powers dissipate, and leave him critically vulnerable.

He connects back with old friends who help him rediscover the man he used to be to in order to help him be the man he has become and the man who he must be.

Magical forces come into play, pulling on nature itself, which introduces an unexpected challenge to Nathan while he is at this perilous juncture.

The pendulum swings even farther out of alignment; it is up to Nathan to respond before forces are set into motion that cannot be countered.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mythology & Folk Tales, Mythology, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Superheroes, Fairy Tales

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Author B. W. Prescott

PosterAuthor B. W. Prescott is the public persona of an anonymous, 57-year-old, white male who has spent his entire life contending with serious mental illness and addictions within his birth family. The problems caused by these mental illnesses and addictions have included medical issues and extended hospitalizations, civil litigation, arrests and criminal prosecution, terminations of employment, financial hardships, life-threatening physical violence, and social ostracization. Compounding these issues was the culture of Ben’s puritanical, ultra-conservative, and social climbing extended family that denied any suggestion that either a mental illness or addiction existed, and rigidly enforced a code of silence so as not to tarnish their public image.

When a series of catastrophic events unfolded in 1974 that were so severe that they could no longer be silenced or ignored and which publicly revealed the full magnitude of the problem, Ben, in a mixture or despair, rebellion, and an attempt to anesthetize himself from the pain, buried himself in school and work, and went on an eight-year drug and alcohol fueled bender that nearly ruined him. After hitting rock bottom, and after experiencing a life-changing, not-of-this-world encounter that he can only attribute to Devine intervention, Ben began the process of rebuilding his life and pursuing the path towards emotional intelligence that has become the basis of this book. Over the next thirty years, Ben remarried and raised a family; became a successful entrepreneur; buried half his family; stood by others as they battled cancer; suffered his own life-changing injury; became a multimillionaire–and then lost most of that fortune after 9/11. Along the way he discovered what life is about and realized what he’s supposed to do with the life he has been given.

Today, he is a “C” level executive, management consultant, and author with extensive expertise in the healthcare and technology industries. Ben has been a member of the executive teams of three very successful technology companies taking each from the earliest stages, through multiple financing rounds and rapid growth, to exits through either an initial public offering or acquisition by a larger publicly traded company. In 2000 a company that Ben co-founded and served as President and Chief Operating Officer was honored by the Smithsonian Institution as being one of the ten most innovative technologies on the planet out of field of nearly 4,000 global nominees. He has been a trusted advisor to the senior executives of companies such as Hewlett-Packard, W.R. Grace, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, MetLife, United Healthcare, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, and many other Fortune 500 clients. He currently coaches and advises entrepreneurs and CEOs of early to late stage technology companies and serves as the Managing Director of the knowledge management, advanced analytics, and big data practice for a technology accelerator and venture fund based in California.

Driven by his life experience and a burning need to ensure that others do not have to silently suffer with the twin issues of mental illness and addiction with which he has so long contended, Ben has made these issues a focus of his personal and professional existence. He has authored several articles and book chapters on the application of technology for managing the delivery of clinical services and the administration of public health and patient navigation initiatives. He has edited three books on patient and family journeys through addiction and mental illness. He has been a featured speaker and presenter at several national and international healthcare and technology conferences. He has spent decades working with various Children’s Hospitals and National Alliance on Mental Illness chapters across the United States on outpatient and community outreach programs designed to mentor and serve the physical and emotional needs of patients and families dealing with abuse, addiction and mental illness. In other volunteer efforts he has worked with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boy Scouts of America, and several school districts on mentoring programs to educate and equip at-risk children and adolescents.

He is a former Big Four CPA and Consultant. He pursued his doctorate in Organization Behavior and earned his MBA from programs that were rated in the top five in the nation. He holds bachelor degrees in Economics and Psychology from the University of California. Ben has been married for over 27 years to an educator and parent coach who has dedicated her professional and personal life to the nurture and development of children. Together they are the proud parents of two grown children, a son and a daughter, who carried on the family tradition of swimming, water polo, and lifeguarding. Their son is an Eagle Scout. Their daughter was in the Assistance League and volunteered her time to help homeless families and children of abuse. Both kids are recent college graduates who now work in the software and healthcare industries. Ben maintains his sanity by surfing and hiking the coastal hills and valleys of his native California.

Featured Selection: Managing Your Inner A**Hole: An Unusual Education In The Fundamentals Of Emotional Intelligence by B. W. Prescott

Managing-Your-Inner-A...Hole-An-Unusual-Education-In-The-Fundamentals-Of-Emotional-Intelligence-–-by-B-W-Prescott“Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you? Have you ever felt like events, or circumstances, or other people were controlling you—instead of you being in control of you? Have you ever acted in a way that you later regretted because you were caught off guard, or were tired, or angry, or hurt, or frustrated, or didn’t really know what to do, or just didn’t have the time you needed to think through how you should respond to something or someone before you actually did? Have you ever hated yourself afterward, or wondered how you could be so dumb?

Have you ever wondered why nobody ever wrote down a practical set of step-by-step, bulletproof guidelines for developing and maintaining a healthy relationship? Or have you ever wondered why, if there really is a God and He really is the Creator of the universe, why He didn’t bother to take the time to leave us a simple list of instructions for dealing with the biggest emotional challenges of our lives?
If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then this book is for you! That list of bulletproof instructions not only exists, God wrote them. Managing Your Inner A**hole is an unvarnished, unconventional look at the greatest practical advice the Bible has to offer without a hint of preaching, pretense, or posturing. Imminently logical without the guilt-trip, compassionate and humble without judgment or condemnation, this is a story of acceptance and empowerment about what it means to really love, what you have to do to really grow, and the surprisingly simple steps you can take right now to manage your own Inner A**hole and build a happier, healthier life and network of relationships than you ever dreamed possible.”

Book Review: I am deeply moved by B.W. Prescott’s book, life, and mission.

This is a deeply honest book designed to help others in their healing journey.

The author weaves his own personal experiences and self-discovery into a life resource guide to wake the sleeping spirit inside us and draw us to a deeper awareness of self, others, our existence and the power of God to communicate his love when a person is in their own deepest personal hell.

B. W. Prescott’s is a master of reflecting his intellect, love and deep passion for helping others, and it shines through in a way that makes you stop and ponder where you are, where you are going and where will you end up.

Once this book is in your hands, it will be impossible to put down.

Cold Coffee Press endorses B. W. Prescott’s book titled ‘Managing Your Inner A**Hole: An Unusual Education In The Fundamentals Of Emotional Intelligence’.

Reviewed by Theodocia McLean on July 24, 2014

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Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor

Winner of the Bronze Medal Award and Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards!

Winner of the UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge!

**Top 50 Amazon Bestseller in Teen and Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy Time Travel and Teen and Young Adult Action Adventure categories!

When being stuck in the past has a whole new meaning…

What if your worst enemy sent you on a one-way ticket to the past? Worse, later he shows up and tries to play match-maker with a dominant historical figure while all of history and the future are on the line? Survival is just one problem, but then add your friends into the mix…

Following an intense battle between the Indians and the Crackedskulls, Neiko and her comrades enjoy victory while her enemies suffer a crushing defeat. Victory is short lived for Neiko when Francesco pays her a visit at her home and sends her away in order to collect on his threat of revenge. She is banished into the ancient world of ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramesses II the Great on a one way ticket.

Lost and trapped in this ancient world, it doesn’t take very long for trouble to find her. Taken by a rich man, she is reunited with three of her friends that had been missing, and an eleven-year-old mystery is finally solved, but one of Neiko’s friends is still unaccounted for. After escaping from the rich man and journeying to Thebes, Neiko and her comrades have actually jumped from the pan and into the fire.

Things go horribly awry when Pharaoh finds out about Neiko and becomes infatuated with her. Francesco comes to Egypt on orders to bring her back, but he has other plans. Can Neiko and her friends thwart Francesco, return to the 21st century, and escape from the past and one of the greatest kings that ever lived?

Best for teens and tweens 12-17 and the young at heart adult!

If you love the action, adventure, and time travel intrigue of Back to the Future and Time Machine (except without the time machine) and modern 21st century Native Americans in ancient Egypt, but the story of the Ten Commandments and the Prince of Egypt in reverse with a battle of wills and the motives of passion from Pharaoh, and the comic relief of The Big Bang Theory, you’ll love Escape from Ancient Egypt!

For a Behind the Scenes backstory and the events of the story from Ramesses’ point of view go to: backwoodsauthor.com/2016/10/04/behind-scenes-exploring-backstory-escape-ancient-egypt/

Book Review

Escape From Ancient Egypt by A. K. Taylor is book two in the Neiko Adventure series. Although penned as a series, each book stands alone with action adventure all its own.  ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ is for those young adult readers who enjoy time travel to ancient Egypt with a Native American Indian twist.

The book starts out with a wonderful map drawing of Egypt Ca 1300 BC drawn by author. The seven photo illustrations were produced by a separate artist. Her book cover design is by Mallory Rock.

In chapter one, Neiko (main character) emerges from a portal and makes a log entry concerning Hawote, a “hidden land that coexisted with the United States, Canada, and Mexico”.

Forty-three chapters reveal realistic characters, imaginative fantasy with action suspense drama, easy to follow dialog that will keep the reader engaged anticipating the next carefully placed photo that brings visual enhancement to the story.

In order to give you the reader a feel for the author’s writing style, I quote a passage from chapter three and share a description of the illustration photo in this chapter.

“Neiko’s vision turned from the green light to the world spinning around her in dizzying speed. Neiko wasn’t moving, but she felt like she was in freefall—like someone had cut the cable from an elevator, and she was plummeting with it. Descending in what—space and time? The evergreen and colorful deciduous vegetation of the Hawote woodlands changed to a desert with a river with some greenery and palms nearby. The cool autumn air of Hawote in October transformed into stifling, searing, dry heat. Pyramids, sphinxes, and strange statues spun around her after her house, porch, and front yard disappeared within the vortex. It was nighttime in Hawote, but the sun rose and set as time flew by— from west to east—backwards. Beneath her bare feet the wood from her front porch turned to nothing then into hot, soft sand.

Neiko’s world stopped spinning, and the sun was high in the sky. Neiko watched the sun to be sure it didn’t move again. Wherever she ended up, she guessed the time must be about high noon there judging by the sun’s position in the sky after a few moments of observation. The heat was intense, and she discovered she must be somewhere far from home. “Where?” was the ultimate question.”

There is a photo of an Indian within this script. “The man chattered in a language she didn’t understand—God knows what he was saying to her. He thrust at her a fine scarab necklace. Neiko looked at him puzzled with her right eyebrow raised. The language didn’t sound like Arabic since she watched a lot of action movies. Neiko put up her hands and shook her head and signed “map” and “phone” and spoke the words in every language that she knew of but got nowhere.”

As you can see Neiko is far from home. You must become a detective yourself and read this book to find out how and why Neiko travels through time? What mystery involves Neiko and some of her friends? How does a Native American girl fit into ancient Egypt culture and what is a girl to do when the Pharaoh takes a romantic interest? What will it take to get Neiko out of the past and back home?

‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ was the finalist in the ‘Wisebear Digital Book Awards’, winner of the ‘Bronze Medal Award’,  ‘Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards’ and Winner of the ‘UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge’.

I invite you to read the first book in this series titled ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ as both books stand alone with their own adventure.

Theodocia McLean endorses Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on September 8, 2016.

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Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story by A. K. Taylor

A summer trip to the Klondike can be deadly…

Randi and her friend go to the Mineral Creek mining claim in the Klondike to visit her father during the mining season. Sabotage, theft, and a death threat turn wilderness summer fun and normal mining operations into a fight for survival…

Bloody Klondike Gold is an introductory short story to the new Randi Braveheart Mystery Series by award winning Teen/YA author A.K. Taylor! Stay tuned for the first installment To Catch a Catfish coming in 2017.

Book Review

Short stories are to an avid reader like chocolate to sweet tooth. Bloody Klondike Gold by A. K. Taylor is a short Story introduction to the Randi Braveheart action suspense mystery thriller series.

Two teenage friends, Randi and Brittany drive the long 2, 700 mile trek from San Francisco to southeast Alaska. Randi’s father, William Wallace Braveheart was already on location as his reputation for finding gold at any location made him a valuable asset.

Mining communities are tight knit as the environment, equipment and the mining processes inherit dangers make mining for Gold a driving force with the claim crews but also a draw for the darker side of human nature.

The summer starts out as an adventurous vacation with Randi dreaming of fishing in cool streams to a mining community’s worst nightmare.

If you enjoyed Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries then I invite you to read ‘Bloody Klondike Gold’ to prepare for ‘To Catch A Catfish’ scheduled for release in 2017. If this short story is any indication of what is to come with ‘To Catch A Catfish’ then prepare yourself for an action packed, suspense mystery thriller.

Theodocia McLean endorses Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story as the introduction to A. K. Taylor’s new action suspense mystery thriller series coming soon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2016.

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Author A. K. Taylor

A.-K.-TaylorA. K. Taylor is an award winning YA fantasy/science fiction adventure writer who has been writing novels since age 16. Taylor also draws her characters and maps of the worlds she created sense then. Before this she began loving writing at age 8 and a natural world builder.

She grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections.

She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.

Now she is a compulsive blogger and a genre hopper, but her first love will always be fantasy!

In 2013 she founded Soaring Eagle Publicity. Visit www.soaringeaglepublicity.com to see what it’s all about.

Connect with her on her author site and blog at www.backwoodsauthor.com

Occupations: MG/YA fantasy/sci-fi author (now award winning), beekeeper, amateur herpetologist, scientist, artist, marksman, blogger, outdoor sportsman, and animal lover. Musician and instrumentalist who played the French horn since middle school.

Interesting facts: I love the animals that most people hate. I LOVE snakes. Snakes need love too, but I don’t cuddle with the venomous ones, BTW, so you won’t see my life story on “Fatal Attractions”. Most people hate bees (not the same thing as wasps and hornets), but they aren’t as easy to hold and pet since they are too easy to squash and they sting. I love them enough so that they will make honey.

Chocoholic and action addict. Big Vin Diesel fan. I have a lot of favorite movies: Star Wars, Dirty Harry, Legend…I’ll stop there. Did I mention I was an action addict? I don’t like being bored.

I began my writing career young at sweet 16 that began with my debut novel Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. Instead of a car, I wanted my own computer, but didn’t happen till I bought my own about five years later. I started out on my parents’ ancient slow computer. I received my first rejection slip when I was 21, but it was a blessing in disguise. I chose the indie way instead!

Graduate of UGA with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Total science nerd. I love all science besides biology; chemistry is my fave. I hate political science, but that’s not science–I don’t even think it’s a pseudoscience.

  • Owner and CEO of Soaring Eagle Publications LLC
  • Blog Coordinator for YAPC
  • Owner and Publicist at Soaring Eagle Publicity
  • CEO and Publisher at Soaring Eagle Books
  • For savvy tips, tools, and resources for new and aspiring (sometimes established) authors, check out my other blog Newbie Authors Guide
  • Blog Coordinator at Booklover’s Heaven
  • PT Book Reviewer and avid reader when I have time to read between it all. Not a fan of Romance but I love action!

Why is it called this? There is more than one AK Taylor out there, but as far as she knows she’s the only one from the backwoods, and the backwoods makes up her life!

neikos-five-land-adventure-the-neiko-adventure-saga-book-1-by-a-k-taylorFeatured Selection: Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

What if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Cracked skulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherworldly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination-he is terrifyingly real and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, and she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

If you love the hidden worlds and magic of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, travel to other worlds like Warriors of Virtue and The Never-ending Story, and a strong female protagonist with a bow (only that she’s Native American and a nerd at heart who doesn’t want to completely grow up!) like the Hunger Games, you will love Neiko’s Five Land Adventure!

Awards:

  • Winner of the 2012 Indie Reader Approved Award
  • Nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Praise for Neiko’s Five Land Adventure:

“Plenty of action and inspired imagination.” By Wulfstan Top 100 Reviewer

“From the first word, Taylor delivers a fresh, vibrant tale of two different worlds.” By Steven Knight Book review and author of “Born of Blood”

“An imaginative journey that is that is much of an adventure for the reader as it is for Neiko.” By CC Cole Book Reviewer and author of the Gastar Series

“A great middle school or read to me book with tons of adventure and characters.” By Paper Mustang Book Reviewer

“A fantastical twist to the childhood game of Cowboys and Indians and a wonderful coming of age story.” By Indie Reader Reviewer

“Neiko’s five land adventure is a gripping young adult fantasy tale. You get an exceptional feel for the protagonist, Neiko, as you travel through the rich worlds between reality and imaginary (well not really imaginary as Neiko soon finds out!) alongside her and her cohorts (I particularly liked Quickstrike)” by Michael Dadich, Award Winning Author of the Silver Sphere

Book Review: I can’t begin to imagine A. K. Taylor as a young girl writing fascinating fantasy tales like Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Neiko Adventure Saga Book One). Granted as an adult the author has revised this teen writing project and added the wisdom and balance of being a grown, educated and married woman.

Take a moment and think back to your childhood bedroom. Recall your favorite toys, the ones you played with the most and the ones that caused you some discomfort in the dark. Now imagine your bedroom transformed into a fantasy land were you were called upon to battle for the good and defeat evil between reality and imaginary. What if you found out those imaginary worlds and the people/creatures in it were real and you became trapped there? Some things you imagined were incorrect. What would you do?

Neiko’s has one foot in reality and the other where she is Captain Neiko Kidd, commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons a hidden world that coexists with the known one. These woodland warriors battle with the Crackedskulls and it has to be done before supper.

I always like to share a quote from each book that I review, not to spoil, but to engage. Now imagine yourself back as a teen trying to communicate with your mom and see if it would go something like this:

“Well, here goes nothing,” said Neiko as she walked down the hall. She was trying to measure up what to say to her mother about what happened. She sat down at the table and waited for her mom to hand her dinner. They prayed, and after they finished, Neiko began eating.

“I wonder where your daddy is,” her mom said, trying to break the silence.

“I don’t know, probably got held up at LP again,” Neiko replied with a mouth full of cabbage.

“Is there something on your mind? You’re awfully quiet.”

“Yeah, um—did you hear anything strange—like in my room… like metal hitting the wall or something?”

“No, why?”

“I was just wondering because a couple of strange things happened a few minutes ago.”

“Like what?”

“Well—like…um—I was playing with Ramses, and when he hit the wall he clanged, and then I tried to bring him in the toy box; I missed, and he hit the side and said ‘Ow’.”

“Who is Ramses?”

“One of my toys—the guy with the shiny armor.”

“Amanda,” she groaned in an aggravated manner, then said gently, “Oh—yeah— well… that’s nice, dear.”

“Mom, I ain’t makin’ this up. It really happened.”

“That’s really using your imagination. Did this happen during a battle?”

“No! This wasn’t pretend—this was real. Like in real life,” Neiko stammered.

“Oh, well, that’s a really nice joke—”

“I’m not joking—and I haven’t even laughed about it. If I was joking, then I would be laughing my head off.”

“Has he ever done this before?” “No.”

“Did he come with any special real-life sounds or anything?”

“No, he was just a plain toy. I’ve had him for a long time, and I’ve played with him a million times, and it’s never happened before—never mind, let’s talk about something else.”

The question begs to be answered, would your Mom believe you? What if your real or imaginary friends reveled in the fact that your Mom just didn’t understand.

I encourage teens and young adults to read ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and learn from a peer that you must have courage and the strength to face the odds and fight for what you believe. Teens will enjoy this book and perhaps it will encourage them to write about their toys and action figures that seem to at times, take on a life of their own.

This book was winner of the ‘2012 Indie Reader Approved Award’ and this book was nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Author A. K. Taylor created the Map of Hawote/Georgia and the Map of Qari and has been writing and drawing since the age of sixteen. She worked with another artist to create the 23 black and white photos that help bring the story to life IN THE Sixty-five chapters. There are also letters and an amazing log titled “Neiko’s Log” at the end of this book which details, people, places and events. This log will help young readers as this series continues.

For parents: The author grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She has her degree from University of Georgia with a biology degree. I think she is a good role model for teens and young adults.

Theodocia McLean endorses Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor and encourage teens and young adults to read Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Book One), Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book Two), The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide and her latest book title Bloody Klondike Gold. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 20, 2016.

Genre: Fiction, General

Amazon Author’s Page

Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

Winner of the 2012 Indie Reader Approved Award

Nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

What if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherworldly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination-he is terrifyingly real and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, and she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

Best for tweens and teens 12-17 and the young at heart adult!

Book Review

I can’t begin to imagine A. K. Taylor as a young girl writing fascinating fantasy tales like Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Neiko Adventure Saga Book One). Granted as an adult the author has revised this teen writing project and added the wisdom and balance of being a grown, educated and married woman.

Take a moment and think back to your childhood bedroom. Recall your favorite toys, the ones you played with the most and the ones that caused you some discomfort in the dark. Now imagine your bedroom transformed into a fantasy land were you were called upon to battle for the good and defeat evil between reality and imaginary. What if you found out those imaginary worlds and the people/creatures in it were real and you became trapped there? Some things you imagined were incorrect. What would you do?

Neiko’s has one foot in reality and the other where she is Captain Neiko Kidd, commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons a hidden world that coexists with the known one. These woodland warriors battle with the Crackedskulls and it has to be done before supper.

I always like to share a quote from each book that I review, not to spoil, but to engage. Now imagine yourself back as a teen trying to communicate with your mom and see if it would go something like this:

“Well, here goes nothing,” said Neiko as she walked down the hall. She was trying to measure up what to say to her mother about what happened. She sat down at the table and waited for her mom to hand her dinner. They prayed, and after they finished, Neiko began eating.

“I wonder where your daddy is,” her mom said, trying to break the silence.

“I don’t know, probably got held up at LP again,” Neiko replied with a mouth full of cabbage.

“Is there something on your mind? You’re awfully quiet.”

“Yeah, um—did you hear anything strange—like in my room… like metal hitting the wall or something?”

“No, why?”

“I was just wondering because a couple of strange things happened a few minutes ago.”

“Like what?”

“Well—like…um—I was playing with Ramses, and when he hit the wall he clanged, and then I tried to bring him in the toy box; I missed, and he hit the side and said ‘Ow’.”

“Who is Ramses?”

“One of my toys—the guy with the shiny armor.”

“Amanda,” she groaned in an aggravated manner, then said gently, “Oh—yeah— well… that’s nice, dear.”

“Mom, I ain’t makin’ this up. It really happened.”

“That’s really using your imagination. Did this happen during a battle?”

“No! This wasn’t pretend—this was real. Like in real life,” Neiko stammered.

“Oh, well, that’s a really nice joke—”

“I’m not joking—and I haven’t even laughed about it. If I was joking, then I would be laughing my head off.”

“Has he ever done this before?” “No.”

“Did he come with any special real-life sounds or anything?”

“No, he was just a plain toy. I’ve had him for a long time, and I’ve played with him a million times, and it’s never happened before—never mind, let’s talk about something else.”

The question begs to be answered, would your Mom believe you? What if your real or imaginary friends reveled in the fact that your Mom just didn’t understand.

I encourage teens and young adults to read ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and learn from a peer that you must have courage and the strength to face the odds and fight for what you believe. Teens will enjoy this book and perhaps it will encourage them to write about their toys and action figures that seem to at times, take on a life of their own.

This book was winner of the ‘2012 Indie Reader Approved Award’ and this book was nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Author A. K. Taylor created the Map of Hawote/Georgia and the Map of Qari and has been writing and drawing since the age of sixteen. She worked with another artist to create the 23 black and white photos that help bring the story to life IN THE Sixty-five chapters. There are also letters and an amazing log titled “Neiko’s Log” at the end of this book which details, people, places and events. This log will help young readers as this series continues.

For parents: The author grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She has her degree from University of Georgia with a biology degree. I think she is a good role model for teens and young adults.

Theodocia McLean endorses Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor and encourage teens and young adults to read Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Book One), Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book Two), The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide and her latest book title Bloody Klondike Gold. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 20, 2016.

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Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

Defined By Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M. C. V. Egan

Defined-by-Others-Defining-Ways-Series-Book-1-by-M.C.V.-EganA word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse leaves her at the age of 47, coming out of the closet literally in a closet. She finds herself back in her hometown amongst her high school friends which she left behind in her past.

An inheritance from a friend leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of some of their mutual acquaintances. In an attempt to run from her reality Anne gets engrossed in a game of “fun” and “flirtation” with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie at her side. Anne however did not read all the files and what to her is fun games turns into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game.

Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction Thanks sounds better than Chick Lit

Book Review

Like so many in our mobile society, Anne had left her upper middle class town to live, work, travel, get married and have children away from her small town roots, family and friends. At age forty-seven Anne finds herself back in her hometown, where very little has changed. As bad as the small town rumor mill is, time has added a cyber aspect where it seems everyone ‘knows’ and this increases Anne’s pain, guilt, frustration, devastation and anger that her husband has left her for a ‘man’.

Anne prided herself in knowing just the right word for every situation. What word will come to mind after her high school friend Amanda dies? Amanda’s casket had just been lowered into the ground when Anne finds herself alone in an Attorney’s Office starring at Amanda’s final message on video. Almost in a trance, Anne leaves the office with the inheritance held tightly in her hands as questions swirl around in her head.

Connie whose marriage had also taken a bad turn, is a welcome old friend that makes herself at home in Anne’s childhood home. Connie and Anne reminisce, eat, drink, explore Anne’s mother’s secret room and slowly go through and digest the inheritance that Amanda has left.

Together Annie and Connie tap into what they call “our inner bitch” to deal with the cards that life had dealt them. Intrigued by a “game” that Amanda started and manipulated by the detailed instructions left by Amanda; this game engages them in “harmless” cyber fun that allows Annie and Connie to toy with the emotions and even love interests of mutual acquaintances.

If you could secretly know everything about your friends and neighbors, would you want to know?

If you could secretly manipulate those who had hurt you in the past, would you?

How far would you go?

Would you heed the message on the cover of this book? “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.^^^Keep your secrets safe.^^^Do not share your secrets.^^^.It will destroy you.^^^Secrets give power.”

I always quote a couple passages from the books that reads, so here goes.

P56 “power is great because it makes you the dominatrix. The psychological manipulator, which is the perfect description for what Amanda was.”

P150 “As we sat there judging and discussing our generation we were ridiculously oblivious to our own behavior. Apparently women often do not realize they are addicted until they are in a heap of trouble, and we were no exception.”

P151 “We were addicted to a variety of deceptions: love deception and sexual deception.”

You must read this book to see exactly what was included in the inheritance that Amanda gave Anne, what was involved in perusing Amanda’s game and what if any consequences, real or imagined in life and in cyberspace.

Defined by Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M.C.V. Egan is a well written Women’s Contemporary Fiction with realistic dialog between the characters and a twist of generational similarities and differences.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Defined by Others (Defining Ways Series Book 1) by M.C.V. Egan which is Women’s Contemporary Fiction with realistic dialog and a twist of generational similarities and differences.

I hear rumors that ‘Climbing Up The Family Tree: Defined by Pedigree’ is next in the series. Meanwhile make sure you read The Bridge Of Deaths: A Love Story and A Mystery by M.C.V. Egan. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on January 27, 2016.

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website

Author M.C.V. Egan’s Blogs
http://www.4covert2overt.blogspot.com
http://thebridgeofdeaths.tumblr.com
http://ishistorytheagreeduponlie.blogspot.com

Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author M.C.V. Egan

M. C. V. Egan 2017 FixedM. C. V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.

From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo–mostly the story of how he died. She spent her childhood in Mexico.

When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class.

In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years.

In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish business people.

She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish. Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother.

Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject. She celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd, 2011, and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift. Find M. C. V. Egan and The Bridge of Deaths at http://www.thebridgeofdeaths.com.

Featured Selection: Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M.C.V. Egan

Color coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

Book Review: Although the author has placed this book in the literary, contemporary fiction genre, I would go a step further and also list ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M. C. V. Egan in the psychological crime fiction genre.

This book opens in a most unusual place. We the readers are participates in the funeral of renowned sculptor Bruce Jones. This beginning should have a psychological effect on any thinking reader as this is no ordinary funeral with the normal mourners. In fact the church pew normally reserved for the wife and children of the diseased is filled with Bruce Jones’ five legal wives.

Author M. C. V. Egan casts her characters well and introduces each wife to the reader in the same hue, shape and color that had attracted sculptor Bruce Jones to them. To spice things up a bit, Bruce Jones didn’t die of natural causes and it is Bruce’s daughter-in-law Sylvia who is the keeper of secrets.

All families have secrets, but few have the psychological dynamics of the six women who Bruce brought into the family and the eight children that were conceived by his artistic reflections. Not only is Scott (the private investor), Detective Jim Miller, family friends, in-laws drawn into the drama surrounding Bruce Jones death, but an international community that respects this man as a sculptor and art teacher. His legacy and fortune will touch more than a generation.

Once I read this novelette, my mind created scenarios to answer the many unanswered questions left behind. I invite you read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan. I wish there was a way for me to know, if you the reader come away with the same questions. I can only hope that this book is an introduction to a series where the characters that now live in my head will find their way back to a page where more psychological pieces will craft the completed puzzle with conclusions that will define this Sculptor as the real focus of his art. My mind created a scenario where the story would make a good ‘twilight zone’ episode (if expanded).

Once you have read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan, I invite you to read ‘Defined by Others’ and ‘The Bridge Of Deaths’ as I have enjoyed these books too.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M.C.V. Egan. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on January 11, 2017.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Crime Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

The Bridge Of Deaths: A Love Story and A Mystery by M. C. V. Egan

The Bridge Of Deaths-A Love Story and A Mystery by M.C.V. EganOn August 15th, 1939, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykøbing Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before, Hitler invaded Poland. With the world at the brink of war, the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust.

The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve “one of those mysteries that never get solved.”

Based on true events and real people, The Bridge of Deaths is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through conventional and unconventional sources in Denmark, England, Mexico and the United States. The story finds a way to help the reader feel that s/he is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions. Cross The Bridge of Deaths into 1939, and dive into cold Danish waters to uncover the secrets of the G-AESY.

Book Review

M.C.V. Egan’s book ‘The Bridge Of Deaths’ is unique because the author is driven by childhood memories, family stories and perhaps the spirit of her grandfather who died when an English aircraft (carrying 5) crashed on August 15, 1939. Her exhaustive research, passion for details and networking abilities brings this fiction (based on real events) to life from archives buried during the chaos of World War ll.

Characters like Bill, Maggie and Catalina draw us into their world with conversations and settings that bring the reader to the table, quenches the thirst for love at first sight romance and delves into a quest for knowledge that reaches into the paranormal realm that few of us would dare venture into.

If you like historical fiction (eliminating dry facts) the time frame and mystery behind this historical plane crash and family tragedy will keep you turning the page. The use of skype conversations was creative and the historical documentation such as the use of actual Western Union Telegrams validates the truth behind the fiction.

I personally would have loved to read more about the author’s family and especially her grandfather’s life and see more photos. Understandably this book is mystery based on a tragic historical event and is not a biography. After reading this well thought out, painstakingly researched fictional accounting of a historical event that few of us even know about, I only have one question. Where will M.C.V. Egan take us in a sequel and what nugget of information might be unearthed by the publication of this book?

The blending of facts with mysticism to arrive at the truth is a payoff even for a reader who holds a skeptical view of the paranormal, use of hypnosis and past-life regression.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse M.C.V. Egan’s book ‘The Bridge Of Deaths’ for the author’s nearly two decades of research, thirst for the truth and family bonds. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed in September 2014.

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website

Author M.C.V. Egan’s Blogs
http://www.4covert2overt.blogspot.com
http://thebridgeofdeaths.tumblr.com
http://ishistorytheagreeduponlie.blogspot.com

Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M. C. V. Egan

Death-of-a-Sculptor-in-Hue-Shape-and-Color-by-M.C.V.-EganColor coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

Book Review

Although the author has placed this book in the literary, contemporary fiction genre, I would go a step further and also list ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M. C. V. Egan in the psychological crime fiction genre.

This book opens in a most unusual place. We the readers are participates in the funeral of renowned sculptor Bruce Jones. This beginning should have a psychological effect on any thinking reader as this is no ordinary funeral with the normal mourners. In fact the church pew normally reserved for the wife and children of the diseased is filled with Bruce Jones’ five legal wives.

Author M. C. V. Egan casts her characters well and introduces each wife to the reader in the same hue, shape and color that had attracted sculptor Bruce Jones to them. To spice things up a bit, Bruce Jones didn’t die of natural causes and it is Bruce’s daughter-in-law Sylvia who is the keeper of secrets.

All families have secrets, but few have the psychological dynamics of the six women who Bruce brought into the family and the eight children that were conceived by his artistic reflections. Not only is Scott (the private investor), Detective Jim Miller, family friends, in-laws drawn into the drama surrounding Bruce Jones death, but an international community that respects this man as a sculptor and art teacher. His legacy and fortune will touch more than a generation.

Once I read this novelette, my mind created scenarios to answer the many unanswered questions left behind. I invite you read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan. I wish there was a way for me to know, if you the reader come away with the same questions. I can only hope that this book is an introduction to a series where the characters that now live in my head will find their way back to a page where more psychological pieces will craft the completed puzzle with conclusions that will define this Sculptor as the real focus of his art. My mind created a scenario where the story would make a good ‘twilight zone’ episode (if expanded).

Once you have read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan, I invite you to read ‘Defined by Others’ and ‘The Bridge Of Deaths’ as I have enjoyed these books too.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M.C.V. Egan. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on January 11, 2017.

Kindle

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Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website

Author M.C.V. Egan’s Blogs
http://www.4covert2overt.blogspot.com
http://thebridgeofdeaths.tumblr.com
http://ishistorytheagreeduponlie.blogspot.com

Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Arleen Alleman

Arleen-AllemanArleen Alleman is a former analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she wrote extensively on many topics ranging from satellite systems to endangered species. She has a science education and worked as a fashion model, insurance adjuster, jewelry designer, and proprietor of a home décor shop.

Her interests include reading, health and fitness, world religions, and travel. Her world travels supply authentic backdrops for her stories. Born in England and raised in New Hampshire and Nevada, she spent many years in Colorado before moving to SW Florida with her husband, Tim.

Arleen has just completed the 6th and final book in the Darcy Farthing Adventures.

In order of publication: Currents Deep and Deadly, Currents of Vengeance, Current Assets, Alternate Currents, A Current Deception and Currents of Sin.

Winner of Books and Authors 2012 Best Trilogy Award for “Currents Deep and Deadly” “Currents of Vengeance” and “Current Assets”.

The sixth and final Darcy Farthing Adventure, Currents Of Sin, explores human trafficking. Cold Coffee Press says “challenge your understanding of the problem with Author Arleen Alleman’s newest suspense-filled psychological fictional drama, meticulously researched and skillfully written will underscore the danger that awaits teenage runaways in America.”

The fifth Darcy Farthing Adventure, A Current Deception, explores themes of computer hacking, identity theft, and long-held grudges and revenge played out on a cruise ship sailing around Australia. Murder-mystery with the added plots of a yellow crazy ant infestation as well as food-borne pathogens.

The fourth Darcy Farthing adventure “Alternate Currents” was a finalist in Foreword Reviews Magazine’s 2013 Indie Book of the Year Awards. This is a timely topical story of mystery, child abduction, and murder set in Seattle, WA. Darcy rushes to the aid of good friend, Don Freeburg, when his partner, Charlie Scott, disappears. She is soon immersed in a murder investigation and the shocking abduction of Penelope, Don and Charlie’s daughter by surrogacy.

The first two novels in the series are based on crime and mystery aboard cruise ships. The third in series “Current Assets” is set in South Florida and involves local corruption, terrorism, and the U.S. Marshals asset forfeiture program.

The series is unique in that it addresses social issues along with the murder-mystery elements of the stories. Themes addressed in the first four installments include, family issues and adoption, PTSD, alternative lifestyles, religion, government corruption, and cruise ship safety. This is a series that follows the lives of the characters over time, but the author has taken great care to write each book so it can stand alone. This said she reports that at book signings most people still want to begin with the first book.

Featured Selection: Currents Of Sin: Darcy Farthing Adventure Book Six by Arleen Alleman

Currents-Of-Sin-By-Arleen-AllemanIn downtown Las Vegas homeless teens are disappearing from the streets, and Darcy fears that runaway teen, Pammie Fleetfoot, has succumbed to human traffickers. After Darcy befriends two young prostitutes, their pimp is brutally murdered, but they refuse her offer of help to leave the streets. She finds that they have fallen under the influence of a dubious, self-styled preacher. When she confronts him, her activities draw the attention of brutal Asian gang members, and an old nemesis with a deadly agenda.

When an attack on Darcy and her friend, Sid, brings life-changing consequences, Darcy doubles her effort to end the violence, stop the human trafficking, and finally determine Pammie’s fate. When clues lead to a strip hotel with links to their past, Darcy and husband, Mick, join forces with local law enforcement to free girls who’ve been forced into prostitution, only to find themselves caught between two vicious criminal factions.

Book Review: If you care about the intense suffering that goes hand in hand with global human trafficking, challenge your understanding of the problem with Author Arleen Alleman’s newest suspense-filled psychological fictional drama, meticulously researched and skillfully written will underscore the danger that awaits teenage runaways in America.

With the tension of time ticking way, lives on the line and bold, unrelenting evil will cause your heart to race and blood boil as innocent young lives are terrorized and devalued on the altar of greed. I share a couple of quotes in order to draw you into the story.

Part One titled ‘Persecutors and Prey’ with 19 chapters reinforces every parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, and law enforcement’s nightmare when a teen goes missing. Following in the footsteps of each of these stand-alone Darcy Farthing series books ‘Currents Of Sin’ outlines a criminal drama when Darcy Farthing is contacted and rushes to Las Vegas when a teen named Pamela goes missing.

Quote: “In yet another world apart from downtown Vegas, a beautiful young woman with dark hair and eyes blinked into blackness then rolled onto one side as far as her tether would allow. She didn’t know what awakened her, only that she’d suddenly jerked to awareness. As her eyes adjusted to the gloom she tried to shake off the remnants of sleep . . . and something else.”

Part Two titled ‘Murder and Misery’ has 27 chapters that begins on day six through day nine will thrust you into the world of drugs, gangs, human traffickers that enslave, sell and ship unsuspecting teens to buyers across the continents. No one is safe when billions of dollars the motivating factor.

Quote: “Tom called early in the morning to tell me about Shimmer’s murder. I plopped down on a barstool after my knees almost gave way. I thought I detected a surge in my blood pressure as he was explaining how he was driving down Fremont and came upon the huge police presence. He parked and walked to the motel where he stood as close as possible to watch the action. Part of me wished I’d been with him. Another part, not so much.”

Part Three titled ‘Rescue and Raids’ includes 33 chapters that start on Day 10 and goes through Day 16 keeps the reader turning the page. Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy?

Quote: “In a dark, decrepit room at the Green Door, five members of the Asian gang were planning their next move. The tattered drapes were drawn tight and despite the efforts of an ancient swamp cooler, the temperature hovered around ninety. The room was small and the men were big. Several sat on chairs they’d brought from other rooms they controlled, and an oversized cooler full of beer sat against the wall.

Curtis leaned back in his rickety wooden chair, wiped perspiration from his forehead, and gulped down a Bud while he listened intently to the boss.

“These assholes are going to be history. They think they can send spies down here to run our bitches? Then grab em off the street just when we’re seasoning them? No fucking way, man! Not gonna happen anymore.”

He looked around the room and his eyes fell on Curtis. “You, the new guy, let’s hear what you think we should do about it.”

Wrapping things up 6 Months later, I quote: “All the current ills of the world can be traced back to our failure to embrace and entrench these basic necessary characteristics, simple and broad as they are. We have gotten in our own way. Thankfully, individuals rise above their base natures to embrace one or more of them, often without realizing the impact of their actions on future generations.”

I invite you to read Currents Of Sin: book six in the Darcy Farthing series by Arleen Alleman and answer these questions for yourself:

Can Darcy’s marriage and Mick’s PTSD withstand this test of time?

Is there a psychic connection between Tom, Darcy, Mick, Rachael, Brooks, Sid, Don and Charlie?

Is it possible that a man in Darcy’s past is responsible for these crimes?

What will be Pamela’s fate be and can others be saved?

The Darcy Farthing series books stand alone and you can read them in any order. I encourage you to also purchase Currents Deep and Deadly: Book One, Currents Of Vengeance: Book Two, Current Assets: Book Three, Alternate Currents: Book Four and A Current Deception: Book Five which are all sold in print and eBook format at Amazon.

Theodocia McLean endorses Currents Of Sin by Arleen Alleman. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on July 23, 2016.

Genre: Exciting Suspense-filled Fictional Crime Mystery, Thriller, Action Adventure

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Barbara M. Hodges

Barbara M. Hodges - 2015Author Barbara M. Hodges lives on the central coast of CA. She shares her life with her husband Jeff, two basset hounds (Hamlet and Heidi) and a ginger-striped tabby cat, Wallace.

Barbara is the author or co-author of nine novels. When she is not writing she enjoys going to and watching NASCAR on television as well as decorative painting.

Featured Selection: One Last Sin by Barbara M. Hodges and Randolph Tower

One-Last-Sin-by-Randolph-Tower-and-Barbara-M.-HodgesThe fiery crash of a private jet leaves a mystery in its wreckage. Alone in the devastation is a man, unhurt who has no memory of the crash, himself or his past. It is up to FBI Agent Gail Crane, Santa Maria Police Detective Darcie Devonshire and Ex-CIA Operative Morgan Garrett to solve the puzzle. Not an easy task, because for each question answered, two surface to take it’s place.

Book Review: One Last Sin by Barbara M. Hodges and Randolph Tower is a suspense mystery that begins with a fiery Lear Jet crash. First impressions from the emergency responders indicates that one pilot, one co-pilot and two passengers are dead and burned beyond recognition. Within minutes the crash scene becomes an active investigation as a man with no visible signs of injury is found on the ground outside the cockpit.

Soon it becomes apparent to the first responders that this suspected survivor has no memory of the crash or even his own identity. A well trained team comes together including Special FBI Agent Gail Crane, Detective Darcie Carmichael of the Santa Maria Police Department and ex-CIA Operative Morgan Garrett to solve the mystery of this unidentified man and the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A mystery plot with well-developed characters and easy to follow dialog moves the investigation forward with writing that puts the reader in the present and quickly turns to action that grabs the reader’s attention. “I strolled past the entrance of the Luxor, walked away from the noise and hubbub of the busy casino. I stopped to watch the busy traffic, shook my head. Everyone rushed around like there was no tomorrow, and I’d bet they’d all come here to relax and have fun. We Americans could learn a lot from the African natives live easy and take it one day at a time. Now where did that come from? I don’t suppose I’ll ever get used to these random thoughts that seem to sprout from nowhere. God, will I ever remember my entire past? The splat sound came from behind me. Concrete chips splattered on my pants leg from the wall a few feet away. I turned toward the street. Damn, someone’s shooting. Hell, they’re shooting at me, and they’re using a silencer.”

Twists and turns will keep the reader engaged as more questions arise as some influential people might be involved in this multi-mystery drama. Barbara M. Hodges and Randolph Tower has also authored ‘Ice’, another suspense filled mystery.

Barbara M. Hodges has published titles of her own which include ‘Aftermath’, ‘Return Of The Ancients: A Story Of Daradawn’, ‘The Blue Flame’ (Daradawn Book 1), ‘The Emerald Dagger’ (Daradawn Book 2) and ‘The Silver Angel’ (Daradawn Book 3). In addition to ‘Ice’ and ‘One Last Sin’ Barbara has co-authored ‘A Spiral Of Echoes’, ‘Shadow Worlds’ and she is included in one anthology titled ‘Scattered Hearts’.

Theodocia McLean endorses One Last Sin by Barbara M. Hodges and Randolph Tower as a suspense mystery that will engage sleuth appetites. This review was completed on April 1, 2015.

Amazon Author’s Page

Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.

The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Theodocia McLean endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2015.

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Susan Whitfield’s Published Books

Logan Hunter Mystery Series
Genesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
Just North of Luck (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 2)
Hell Swamp (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 3)
Sin Creek (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 4)
Sticking Point (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 5)

Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Slightly Cracked

Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Killer Recipes

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Susan Whitfield’s Professional Website
http://www.susanwhitfieldonline.com/

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Kidnap The Pope by Jack Duarte

In late July 1943, World War II is in full throttle when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is overthrown. His close friend and long-time admirer, Adolf Hitler, is convinced that Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII are behind the coup and determines to do something about it.

Even though he is himself a catholic, and his physical and mental state are deteriorating, Hitler revives an earlier plot, Operation Pontiff. The plan calls for the Wehrmacht to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.

He selects one of his top Generals, supreme SS Commander of Italy General Karl Wolff to put the plan into effect. Wolff feigns support for the plan but secretly takes actions to postpone its beginning. Other top German officials in Italy become involved along with some high officials of the Vatican itself.

A lone Catholic priest from New Orleans who studied at the Gregorian University and now works for the Vatican becomes a key figure in thwarting the plot’s implementation.

Germany occupies Rome and events and actions become fast and furious as certain factors play out to the novel’s conclusion.

Book Review

If you enjoy reading World War II history, ‘Kidnap The Pope’ by Jack DuArte needs to be in your library. Great writing with intense research has allowed the author to present in an easy to read journal format a scenario that depicts Adolf Hitler’s attempt to invade the Vatican and capture Pope Pius XII. This book is written to the best of the author’s ability from both German and Vatican points of view. The author says, “History is a most sacred gift and should not be distorted in any manner.”

‘Kidnap The Pope’ is book six in Jack DuArte’s World War II series. Although a series, each book stands alone. In this book there are eighteen easy to follow chapters set up in a diary/journal format. The time frame ranges from March 10, 1938 through Sunday, April 30, 1945.

Historical characters include heroes, heroines and adversaries from America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Vatican in particular. At the end of the book, the author offers a detailed list of the characters with their title, location, dates, ages and historical significance.

Each chapter starts with date, location and often the character or characters of importance. For example: August 23, 1939, Cabinet Room, West Wing, The White House, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia “All right, Mr. President.”

There are so many examples of the author’s style and content that I would love to share with you. The author’s research has allowed him to share letters, memos, wire cables, and other documents that detail historic thoughts and conversations of historical importance. One example is on Friday, September 4, 1939 at the Polish-German border “a Franco-British meeting determined that no major ground or air operations would be undertaken against Germany. Great Britain did indeed send bombers over Germany to drop propaganda leaflets and make reconnaissance of the areas, but no direct contact with the Germany military was ordered.

Adolf Hitler had reached out to Mussolini when he originally planned the assault for August 26, but cancelled the attack when the Italian dictator told him that Italy was not prepared to go to war at that time. Mussolini later assured the German leader of his political backing and the order to attack was rescheduled for September 1st.

Adolf Hitler knew he was taking a big chance when Germany attacked Poland. Many of his generals were not in favor of the move and asked for more time to get the Wehrmacht better equipped for battle. On several occasions prior to the beginning of hostilities, France had insisted that the Poles not mobilize and that factor helped the Germans easily overrun the poorly equipped nation.

The Second World War had officially begun with the appeasement governments of both Britain and France afraid to take more than token steps to prevent Hitler from seizing additional territory. The United States was quick to condemn Germany’s action but President Roosevelt was determined to keep his country out of the conflict.

The world settled back to see what came next to the world stage and in what form.”

Another great example is on Sunday, December 7, 1941 in The President’s Private Study, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia. “Mr. President, the Japanese have attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor a few minutes ago. Our first reports indicate hundreds of Japanese fighter-bombers. We already know there is significant damage on Battleship Row. Admiral Stark at the Navy Department is trying to determine the consequences of the attack. All I can tell you is that it is bad, really bad…”

Enjoy reading for the first time or refreshing your memory with historical events like President Roosevelt’s famous speech made on December 8, 1941. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler, many world leaders, dignitaries, and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Theodocia McLean endorses Kidnap The Pope by Jack DuArte as a historical fictional that is illuminated with history and facts that the world will not soon forget. Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse. Theodocia McLean purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on February 13, 2016.

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The Resistance by Jack Duarte

The French Resistance is determined to safeguard the masterpieces of the Louvre Museum. With the help of Britain’s SOE, a plan is developed to insure these great paintings’ safety. Nazi Reichsmarschall Herman Goring is actively seeking the paintings to send to Germany.

The rapid fire action starts in Great Britain and moves to France where a fierce showdown with the Vichy Milice proves pivotal to the fascinating story.

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Malta by Jack Duarte

For centuries, the Island of Malta has stood as one of the most sought after places by any nation wishing to control access to the Mediterranean Sea. Its strategic location just off the coast of North Africa allows it control of the sea lanes vital to any passage, either east or west. In early 1942, the Axis powers step up their efforts to secure Malta and thus allow supply efforts to its armies in North Africa.

The Luftwaffe begins a horrendous bombing effort that sees the tiny island bombed incessantly, both day and night. The island’s defenders are short on water, food and practically every other necessary means of survival. After a few weeks, the Germans and their Italian allies have almost complete control over the skies of Malta and the Mediterranean.

The British Admiralty develops a desperate plan to resupply Malta’s depleted air forces with a number of the new Spitfire Mark VI b’s, Britain’s finest fighter. The first Spitfires fly off a British carrier and succeed in reaching their destination only to be bombed into destruction within days. Additional missions involving the United States Navy bring more Spitfires to Malta and slowly the balance of power begins to turn.

This fragile stability is the result of honored British fliers who somehow beat the odds and deliver a series of defeats to the Germans and Italians. Malta is the personal story of a number of these heroes and a glimpse into horrific conditions they faced on a daily basis. Lack of food, water, petrol and ammunition make their jobs even more difficult. The ‘Malta Dog’ is also around to make their plight even more miserable. Malta will keep you glued to its pages from beginning to end. You will identify with British King George VI who awarded the Island of Malta, the George Cross—Great Britain’s highest civilian honor during wartime. The lives and loves of some of these heroic airmen are chronicled within the pages of Malta.

The novel is the much awaited sequel to DuArte’s best-selling Spitfire that chronicled the epic Battle of Britain at the start of World War II.

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Singapore by Jack Duarte

In 1941, the Far East’s great island fortress of Singapore is the key impediment to the Empire of Japan’s plans for domination of the Western Pacific.

The Japanese Imperial Staff makes several important decisions and directs the formation of a special unit to meticulously plan for the invasion of Malaya and the subsequent siege of the fortress of Singapore. Colonel Manasobe Tsuji is assigned as the Staff Officer in Charge of Operations for the 25th Army and sets out to chart and plan the operational aspects of Japanese military forces for the campaign.

Within the bastion of Singapore, the British are content to wait behind their fortress’s huge guns, secure in the knowledge that their island is practically impenetrable. Royal Navy Lieutenant William Elliott is an assigned to the SOE’s secretive Oriental Mission. He has been in Singapore for eight months and has fallen in love with a Malaysian woman, a doctor in Singapore’s General Hospital.

Commander Elliott is temporarily assigned to Brigadier Ivan Simson, one of the few people on the island who realize the extent of the island’s weaknesses. As international events begin to bracket Singapore’s fate in the destiny of world events, Lieutenant Elliott is thrust into a series of movements throughout South East Asia as he tries to alter Singapore’s ultimate fate. When his beloved Pai Lin also gets caught up in the calamity of Singapore’s tragic fate, Elliott must choose between his love for her and duty to his country.

Singapore accurately follows the events of this incredible historical event in its sublime majesty, from beginning to end, at a time when world power and western civilization were both at stake.

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The White Mouse by Jack Duarte

The White Mouse was the name given by the Gestapo to Nancy Wake Fiocca, an Australian woman setting up escape networks from France during WWII. After fleeing to England, The White Mouse joins the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and returns to occupied France around the time of the Normandy invasion in 1944.

Through sheer determination and with the help of other SOE operatives, she manages to bring together a number of Maquis units in the Auvergne Region to harass and delay German reinforcements attempting to reach Nazi coastal defences.

Aided by an American Army captain on loan to the SOE, the White Mouse finally arranges the escape of a number of Maquis prisoners during a pitched battle. The White Mouse reunited US Army Captain Brian Russell with his French Resistance love that was brought to life in Jack DuArte’s first novel, the best-selling The Resistance.

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Author Jack DuArte

Jack Duarte-FixedJack DuArte is a native of New Orleans with a varied career in writing. DuArte attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans and worked for the Times-Picayune as a teenager. After attending the University of Kentucky and later graduating from the University of Evansville, DuArte served as an Air Force officer in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star for his efforts. He returned to New Orleans in 1971 and went into the wine business. He also authored a weekly column called Gastronomy for the Times-Picayune for a number of years and later hosted a radio talk show for WWL.

DuArte later enjoyed a full career in the wine business where he owned several Napa Valley wineries. DuArte always enjoyed a long time love affair for the thoroughbred horse industry and returned to Kentucky in 2001. He is an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds.

Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse.

Featured Selection: Kidnap The Pope: World War II Series Book 6 by Jack DuArte

Kidnap-The-Pope-World-War-II-Series-Book-6-by-Jack-DuArteIn late July 1943, World War II is in full throttle when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is overthrown. His close friend and long-time admirer, Adolf Hitler, is convinced that Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII are behind the coup and determines to do something about it.

Even though he is himself a catholic, and his physical and mental state are deteriorating, Hitler revives an earlier plot, Operation Pontiff. The plan calls for the Wehrmacht to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.
He selects one of his top Generals, supreme SS Commander of Italy General Karl Wolff to put the plan into effect. Wolff feigns support for the plan but secretly takes actions to postpone its beginning.

Other top German officials in Italy become involved along with some high officials of the Vatican itself.

A lone Catholic priest from New Orleans who studied at the Gregorian University and now works for the Vatican becomes a key figure in thwarting the plot’s implementation.

Germany occupies Rome and events and actions become fast and furious as certain factors play out to the novel’s conclusion.

Book Review: If you enjoy reading World War II history, ‘Kidnap The Pope’ by Jack DuArte needs to be in your library. Great writing with intense research has allowed the author to present in an easy to read journal format a scenario that depicts Adolf Hitler’s attempt to invade the Vatican and capture Pope Pius XII. This book is written to the best of the author’s ability from both German and Vatican points of view. The author says, “History is a most sacred gift and should not be distorted in any manner.”

‘Kidnap The Pope’ is book six in Jack DuArte’s World War II series. Although a series, each book stands alone. In this book there are eighteen easy to follow chapters set up in a diary/journal format. The time frame ranges from March 10, 1938 through Sunday, April 30, 1945.

Historical characters include heroes, heroines and adversaries from America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Vatican in particular. At the end of the book, the author offers a detailed list of the characters with their title, location, dates, ages and historical significance.

Each chapter starts with date, location and often the character or characters of importance. For example: August 23, 1939, Cabinet Room, West Wing, The White House, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia “All right, Mr. President.”

There are so many examples of the author’s style and content that I would love to share with you. The author’s research has allowed him to share letters, memos, wire cables, and other documents that detail historic thoughts and conversations of historical importance. One example is on Friday, September 4, 1939 at the Polish-German border “a Franco-British meeting determined that no major ground or air operations would be undertaken against Germany. Great Britain did indeed send bombers over Germany to drop propaganda leaflets and make reconnaissance of the areas, but no direct contact with the Germany military was ordered.

Adolf Hitler had reached out to Mussolini when he originally planned the assault for August 26, but cancelled the attack when the Italian dictator told him that Italy was not prepared to go to war at that time. Mussolini later assured the German leader of his political backing and the order to attack was rescheduled for September 1st.

Adolf Hitler knew he was taking a big chance when Germany attacked Poland. Many of his generals were not in favor of the move and asked for more time to get the Wehrmacht better equipped for battle. On several occasions prior to the beginning of hostilities, France had insisted that the Poles not mobilize and that factor helped the Germans easily overrun the poorly equipped nation.

The Second World War had officially begun with the appeasement governments of both Britain and France afraid to take more than token steps to prevent Hitler from seizing additional territory. The United States was quick to condemn Germany’s action but President Roosevelt was determined to keep his country out of the conflict.

The world settled back to see what came next to the world stage and in what form.”

Another great example is on Sunday, December 7, 1941 in The President’s Private Study, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia. “Mr. President, the Japanese have attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor a few minutes ago. Our first reports indicate hundreds of Japanese fighter-bombers. We already know there is significant damage on Battleship Row. Admiral Stark at the Navy Department is trying to determine the consequences of the attack. All I can tell you is that it is bad, really bad…”

Enjoy reading for the first time or refreshing your memory with historical events like President Roosevelt’s famous speech made on December 8, 1941. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler, many world leaders, dignitaries, and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Theodocia McLean endorses Kidnap The Pope by Jack DuArte as a historical fictional that is illuminated with history and facts that the world will not soon forget. Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on February 13, 2016.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

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Spitfire by Jack Duate

Spitfire is the third installment of Jack DuArte’s World War II Series. The setting is Great Britain in 1940, immediately before and during the epic Battle of Britain. Fighting a superior number of Luftwaffe bombers and fighters, the valiant Royal Air Force wages a desperate air battle to save their country from certain defeat.

Flight Lieutenant Anthony Nelson and his younger brother, Fletcher, are pilots of 54 Squadron Spitfires, the great British fighter plane that is Britain’s only hope for survival. Through a suspenseful series of events, both find they are in love with the same woman. A hair-raising set of circumstances brings Spitfire to a spellbinding conclusion that will keep the reader glued to the final pages.

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