Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

End Game by David Baldacci



Robi and Reel are back and just as deadly.   Both are dealing with the aftermath of Mississippi in their own way.   While they are doing what they do best, dealing death to America’s enemies, the Blue Man disappears.   Robi and Reel are tasked to find out what happen to the Blue Man.

This book takes place in the wide open west and is not always complimentary regarding the wide open spaces.   There is a suggestion  that folks out there in that wilderness may not be overly friendly and possibly might be somewhat demented.   Gun control bills will not fly far.   There are skinheads, neo-nazis, religious cults and millionaire bigots to add flavor to the disappearance of the Blue Man.  

Meanwhile Robi and Reel are dealing with some personal issues of their own.


I highly recommend it.



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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham



This is the first Grisham I have read in years.  I don’t know if the interim books have been like this but this was a change of pace.  It was comedic, perhaps intentional, perhaps not.  Two clueless law school students and a somewhat less clueless cohort are the primary characters.  The law students are overwhelmed by debt and try and find a solution.

The solution includes many, many questionable decisions.  The problem of student debt and the willingness to loan kids far more money than their eventual career will be able to repay is current news.   Many kids today are still paying off student loans into their 5th decade.  The cost of higher education, not the quality, has soared.   This book peripherally address that issue.  

The humor comes from the blatant disregard for law and consequences from Todd and Mark.   Their approach to solving the problem while questionable was far more practical than their friend Gordy.

The book was an entertaining and light read.

Web: http://www.jgrisham.com/

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

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

Midnight Line has gotten mixed reviews from my friends.  I’m not sure why.  It may be some ambiguous ethics from Jack but that should be a surprise.  Jack Reacher goes for results with an occasional blind eye to legalities.  There is a message that may not be palatable to all.  Sometimes the government and or military may be a factor in societal ills such as the current opiate crisis.  Child does not hesitate to dive in and express his fictional take on a current situation.

Reacher finds himself being told by several sources that he is avoiding some internal issue by his footloose lifestyle.   It is also suggested he is motivated by guilt.   I do not recall previous books dwelling on why Reacher is who he is with the exception of his upbringing.  Michelle Chang, of Make Me, has a very , very brief cameo. 

Reacher becomes involved with another diminutive woman.  Of course his size means that most women would be diminutive in comparison. 

Opiate addiction is addressed in the book as well as the economics of pharmaceutical malfeasance. 

Violence and mayhem are expected in a Jack Reacher book and this book is no exception.

As in most Lee Child books, I suggest you block out some time so you can read it as fast as you will be driven to do so.   I recommend the book.

Web Site: http://www.leechild.com/
           

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

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Daughters of Bad Men by Laura Oles


I was unsure of what to expect when asked to review this book.   I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new author that I thoroughly enjoyed.   The story was character centric with plot secondary to character development.   Two friends have an investigation business that is not flourishing due to their soft hearts and frequent pro bono work.   A family crisis arises that forces them to use all of their talent and connections to survive. 

The author does a very good work up of the main protagonists and their motivation.  She provides the reasons for their character and behavior.  I really like an author that provides the underpinnings of the story.

The setting is a shore town in southern Texas.   This an area that I am completely unfamiliar with but the similarities to Jersey shore towns were very strong.  

Cookie and Jamie were very likeable characters with easily seen flaws that made them more real. 

I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Web: https://lauraoles.com/


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

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Shattered Trident by Larry Bond


Bond did his homework.  The plot of the book centers around the Chinese claiming the entire south China sea.   The research I did to see if Bond was foreseeing the future was pretty darn depressing.  Just this past week there was an article in the newspaper (I know old school.) about a US ship sailing close to an island that the Chinese took from the Philippines several years ago.  With the plot being in the news, reading the book was a touch frightening.  

Bond clearly points out that nations can be as blind and stubborn as the people who populate that nation.   The main characters are members of the alliance formed to curb Chinese expansion and the main American submariner who is featured as thwarting both the Chinese and the alliance.

This book is well worth reading and hopefully decision makers in all of the countries included in the plot will, at least, read the Cliff Notes and recognize that the world has reached the point where globalization has become a reality. 

I recommend the book.

Web: http://www.larry-bond.com/

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

To All Who Serve, Thank You!

A Different Christmas Poem
 
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said, "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

 PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

I can't verify if this is actually who sent this out, it really doesn't matter, it is imperative that we remember all those who proudly protect us

Thank you Gerry my friend, a Marine who shared this with  me.