Review of ‘I Know You’

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After Bree Walker’s younger sister, Alissa, goes missing, she gets a chilling note. The kidnapper will release Alissa, but Bree must trade her brother, Tyler, in exchange.

 

I Know You by Erik Therme is a chilling thriller that follows Bree as she realizes that the kidnapper knows her family’s darkest secrets, and that her brother is involved in something that is far too big for him to handle.  The more she discovers, the worse her situation becomes, and to make matters even more complicated, she must deal with her sister’s best friend who she’s sure knows more than she’s telling, and who insists on being involved in Alissa’s rescue.

 

A heart-stopping story with more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, this one will keep you turning pages until the ‘out-of-the-blue;’ ending that you won’t see coming. Sorry, I’m not telling. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

 

I give the author four solid stars for a good story.

Review of ‘Courage Betrayed’

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When a man seems to be admitting to a murder while talking in his sleep, his wife hires PI Ray Courage to investigate. As Ray digs deep into the man’s dark past, more things come to light than he expected.. R. Scott Mackey hits another one out of the park with Courage Betrayed. Though shorter than previous offerings, the author still manages to pack a lot of punch in the few pages. Don’t miss this one.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. It gets five stars from me.

Review of ‘GameNite’

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Josh Johnson finds himself on a flying bus, and he must find his way back to his reality. But he’ll have to fight to win. GameNite, Episode #01 by Bec J. Smith and Cassy Josh is an action-packed, illustrated romp inspired by the Fortnite story from Epic Games. It is designed to entice young gamers away from the screen for a period of reading. Though written for ages 8 – 12, it’s even interesting to older readers, and you don’t have to be a fanatical gamer to appreciate it.

 

I received a complimentary copy of the book. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Refuge Ending’

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Seeking respite from his hectic calling, Pencheval, a Silver Lion Adept, travels to the Emerald Refuge, but serenity soon becomes boring. Therefore, when a patrol disappears on the far side of the valley, he accepts a contract to determine their fate. In pursuit of his mission, he encounters deadly goblins bent on conquest, and he is tested to his limits.

 

Refuge Ending by Gene Herington is the first book in The Stonemaster series, and is an entertaining read for fans of stories with swordplay and odd characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. It was quite enjoyable, and I give it four stars.

Use of Military in Civilian Law Enforcement

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I don’t usually post non-book related items, but this one is important.

Review of ‘The Neuromorphs’

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In the year 2050, a class of androids have been created to make people’s lives easier, but greedy rogue programmers and Russian thugs have reprogrammed the androids to kill their wealthy owners, take their place, and siphon off their wealth. Former navy SEAL Patrick Jensen and his wife, Leah, discover this, but also learn that the crooks have unwittingly created a new race of androids with a desire for survival. The Neuromorphs now threaten humanity’s survival. With help from his former SEAL team members, Patrick must stop the seemingly unstoppable evolution of what could be Earth’s new dominant species.

 

The Neuromorphs by Dennis Meredith is part futuristic military action, part sci-fi, with plenty of action to satisfy thrill junkies. The science behind the Neuromorphs is not as strong as sci-fi fans would like, but the author keeps the action going fast enough that most will probably not notice.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Killer Space Clown’

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Killer Space Clown by Eli Taff, Jr., is a collection of short stories about things that bump and grind in the night. If you like your horror stories with a twist, you’ll like this wacky collection. I received a complimentary copy, and found it weirdly interesting. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Another Man’s Freedom Fighter’

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Mark Sanders, an IT security consultant just wants to live the quiet life in Berlin with his wife and daughter, but when a plan by the president of Poland to break the stranglehold the Russians have on the international coal market goes awry, and Russia invades the smaller country, Mark finds that he must make a choice. He can run away, or he can throw in his lot to help the brave, but outgunned Polish stay-behind forces fighting for their lives against Russian hit squads of spetsnaz. While his Polish-born wife feels for her former countrymen, all she wants is for her family to be safe. Mark knows, though, that running away will not guarantee their safety, so he joins the fight.

 

Another Man’s Freedom Fighter by Joseph Carter is a day-by-day, sometimes moment-by-moment account of the conflict between Russia and Poland, with the specter of NATO and the US being drawn into what could become a global struggle ever on the horizon. While the kinetic battles are well done, it is the struggle taking place in cyber space and on social media that is the most compelling element of this story.

 

While I found the ending a bit conclusive, I still enjoyed the ride. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Daughter of Neptune’

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Seeking the love and approval of her father, Theresa, beset by alcohol addiction and a poor self-image, decides to follow in her father and brother’s footsteps and go into commercial fishing. At times feeling depressed and wanting to quit, she nonetheless perseveres, and in a torturous journey that takes her from the tuna fishing grounds of the east Pacific to the frigid waters off Alaska, facing the dangers of the elements and fighting for acceptance her male shipmates, she finds healing in an environment that is, for most, as alien as the dark side of the Moon.

 

Daughter of Neptune by Theresa Wisner is undoubtedly autobiographical, but it reads like a novel. The author makes the alien environment come alive, populated by an astonishing cast of characters, the most compelling being the narrator.

 

Humor, pathos, danger, and discovery. A well-told tale. I received a complimentary copy of this book, and found it educational as well as enjoyable. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Immortal’

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Tim Boston and Samantha Turner are working on Francis MacKenzie’s signature project, MedOps, a scheme to provide free medical treatment, essentially immortality, to people in exchange for their willing participation in polls that allow massive data mining. Though they have misgivings about MacKenzie’s true motives, the monetary rewards keep them quiet. Then, they receive a strange message from somewhere in Neptune’s orbit; a race of beings calling themselves the Ankor, warn that Earth is about to be bombarded by gamma rays, and in exchange for following their enigmatic directions, they will help save humanity.

 

Immortal by Nick M. Lloyd is a sci-fi novel of humanity’s first contact with an alien species that is not your usual ET invades earth story. It combines some current-day issues, such as invasion of privacy and government misuse of personal information for profit with the all-too-human reactions to the unknown, in this case, a mysterious race of beings who it turns out want 50,000 human brains to help their species survive.

 

This story has more twists and turns than a Coney Island rollercoaster, and it will keep your pulse racing from page one. I received a complimentary copy of this book.

 

I give it four stars.

Review of ‘A Broken Reality’

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Four days after ten-year-old Danny Madsen goes missing, Jesse Carlton begins his own search for him. On an icy road late at night, he sees the boy, too late to avoid him. There’s a crash, and the body goes flying into the dark. The car crashes. When Jesse regains consciousness, he has no memory of the events, but there’s a witness who, instead of going to the police, begins to psychologically terrorize Jesse.

 

A Broken Reality by Rob Kaufman is a compelling psychological thriller, pitting a mentally tortured man against a sociopathic kidnapper, in a story that will suck you in like an undertow. The rollercoaster of emotions, false leads, and dramatic twists, you’ll find it hard to sympathize with anyone but the poor unfortunate Danny, a pawn in a game of mind twisting horror.

 

If you’re a fan of stories with a macabre twist, this is highly recommended reading. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give Kaufman five stars for a thoroughly gripping thriller.

Review of ‘The Forgotten Painting”

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A painting, lost during WWII when it was taken by a Nazi officer, comes up for auction. The son of its original owner, along with Jack Rogan, an Aussie investigator, played a large role in bringing this event about. The Forgotten Painting is a novella by Gabriel Farago that introduces Rogan and some of the author’s other works. A great way to get to know this iconic character, but also great stand-alone reading.

 

Highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy of the book. I give it five stars.

Review of ‘Letters from my Attic

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In Letters from my Attic, best-selling Aussie author, Gabriel Farago shows readers his creative process through the memories of a grandfather he only knew from the memorabilia left in a trunk in the attic. In this charming little book, Farago details a journey that most writers can identify with. A quick read that will stir your creative juices if you’re a writer, and just entertain you if you’re just a reader.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I give it unreservedly five stars.

Review of ‘A Life for a Life’

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After a messy divorce, DC writer Della Kincaid moved to Laurel Falls, NC and bought a failing general store. With the help of the former owner’s developmentally challenged son, Vester ‘Abit’ Bradshaw, she gets it up and running, and is beginning to slowly become an almost accepted part of the community. Then, while out walking one day, she finds the body of a young woman and her world starts to come apart at the seams. The sheriff calls it suicide, but she’s not so sure. When she and Abit start to snoop, things get even dicier.

 

A Life for a Life is the first of Lynda McDaniel’s Appalachian Mountain mysteries, and it’s a keeper. Told alternately from Della and Abit’s points of view, it walks and then runs through North Carolina’s mountains and small towns at a not-so-leisurely pace that will leave you breathless. The author has an eye and ear for her subject—locale and people—that will plunge you into the scene in a big way.

 

A series to watch for. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Down in the Belly of the Whale’

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Kelley Kay Bowles’ Down in the Belly of the Whale is the story of Harper Southwood, a young woman dealing with angst and abuse, love and loss, as she navigates the tricky waters of her teen years. Uncomfortable with herself, and her ‘gift’ of being able to sense when others are ill, Harper nonetheless retains a deep empathy and desire not just to ‘fix’ her own life, but to help others.

 

This is not your usual ‘coming of age’ novel, but a profound, at sometimes funny, look at some of the most serious issues of our time. The author tackles teen mental illness and child abuse head-on, but without preaching or burdening the reader with excessive detail. What you get instead, is the magnitude of these problems through the eyes of a teenager who must cope with them.

 

This is a book that will forever change your life. I received a complimentary copy.

 

I give this book four stars.

Review of ‘The Scent of Distant Worlds’

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Cassie Clearwater, a Seminole, has forsaken the traditions of her tribe for science and has won the position of science officer aboard the interstellar exploration ship, Far Traveler. When they arrive at a dark, forbidding planet many light years from earth, which they name Obsidian because of its blackness, Cassie learns the wisdom of things her grandfather told her just before his death, things like ‘travelers to strange lands must keep an open mind,’ and ‘trust your heart when your brain is confused,’ when they encounter strange plants and animals which she suspects are intelligent.

 

The Scent of Distant Worlds by W. D. County is a deep science fiction novel that explores the complexities of encounters between entities whose systems of communications are incompatible, and how intuition and the intangible elements of trust and love can succeed where hard, objective fact fails.

 

A thoroughly riveting and interesting book, particularly when the author switches to the alien (non-human) point of view. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Infernal Curse’

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Half-goddess Alexandra Shaw is only days away from attaining her full goddess status, but things are not looking good. Demonic and vampire incidents are on the rise, and her nemesis is still after her—only, now, it’s her magic he wants. Can she and her sidekick, the fae Kagan Griffith prevail?

 

Read Infernal Curse by Antara Mann and find out. Book two of the Half-Goddess Chronicles picks up where book one left off, and keeps the magic flowing. Exciting from beginning to end. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give it four and a half stars.

Review of ‘Ghost Country’

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In a post-apocalyptic United States, survivors, huddled on a beached ocean liner in a Mississippi port, must not only contend with gang attacks, hurricanes, famine, and an army of religious zealots, but with a tyrannical president who seems bent on finishing the destruction of the world. Loyalties, values, and courage are tested to the limit in Ghost Country by JK Franks. Fairly well paced with good character development. Not a bad read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I give it three stars.

Review of ‘Blue Bears’

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When a courier is caught transporting tactical nukes, called Blue Bears, through the Republic of Georgia, the CIA sends their resident agent, Randy Sawyer, to work with Georgian Special Forces to find and terminate the seller—and the buyer, a mad Saudi billionaire out to start World War III, and establish a terrorist caliphate. External enemies are not their only problem, they must deal with betrayal within their own ranks.

 

Blue Bears by Dan Andreescu and Don McQuinn is a spine-chilling international thriller that will keep you nervously flipping pages. Taut drama and suspense make this a must-read for thriller fans.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Shadow of the Jaguar’

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Dr. Martin Stokes and his daughter Nancy are in the Amazon basin in Peru, on the verge of finding a lost city mentioned in a conquistadores’ ancient manuscript. When an armed group of narco-traffickers kidnap Nancy and threaten to kill her unless he leads them to the site of the city, Stokes calls on his brother, Lou for aid in rescuing her.

Leine Basso is dispatched to find and rescue Nancy, but is forced to take her own daughter April along on the mission. April, who has worked with the anti-trafficking organization as a counselor, has no experience in the field, and Leine is worried that she will have to take care of her as well as concentrate on the job at hand.

In the jungle, Leine and April find things have gone from bad to worse, and don’t know who to trust. With greed, deceit, and perfidy at every turn, they are challenged just to stay alive.

Shadow of the Jaguar by D. V. Berkom is another offering in the stellar Leine Basso series, and they just keep getting better. If you like your heroines strong, focused, and uncompromising, you’ll love this one, and it it’s your introduction to this character, it’ll whet your appetite to go back to the beginning and read the preceding volumes.

This one will grab you by your attention span and pin you to your chair until, soaked with sweat and panting, you reach the end.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, couldn’t put it down until I finished it, and give it five stars. Heck, I’d give it more if I could, but five’s the limit.