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Archive for January 20th, 2017

Call to Valor

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Call to Valor by Gary Beck

President Valerie Beaumont is struggling to cope with a crumbling economy and military setbacks. A call for her impeachment is pending from all sides including some of her own constituents. Marine Major Sam Hanson refuses a presidential order to surrender his battalion to be butchered by ISIS when they overrun the Mid-East. He’s reduced to the ranks and sent to a company of Marines that provides security to the hospital complex in New York City that serves the now dominant U.N. He meets Dr. Carver, they become friends and cooperate in dealing with the aggressive Arabs. A deadly terrorist attack kills Hanson’s son and Carver’s daughter. They make a plan to identify the terrorist cell and eliminate them. They target a safe house in Brooklyn and after a brief fight they discover nuclear material, intended for a dirty bomb. Government agencies dismiss the threat of more nuclear material out there, and it will be up to a new President to avoid a nuclear disaster.

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Author’s Bio

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. Published chapbooks include: ‘Remembrance’, Origami Condom Press; ‘The Conquest of Somalia’, Cervena Barva Press; ‘The Dance of Hate’, Calliope Nerve Media; ‘Material Questions’, Silkworms Ink; ‘Dispossessed’, Medulla Press and ‘Mutilated Girls’, Heavy Hands Ink. His poetry collection ‘Days of Destruction’ was published by Skive Press; ‘Expectations’, Rogue Scholars Press; ‘Dawn in Cities’, Winter Goose Publishing; ‘Assault on Nature’, Winter Goose Publishing. ‘Songs of a Clerk’ and ‘Civilized Ways’ will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novel ‘Extreme Change’ was published by Cogwheel Press; ‘Acts of Defiance’ was published by Artema Press. His collection of short stories, ‘A Glimpse of Youth’ was published by Sweatshoppe Publications. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

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My Review

4 stars

This is not the America we know. A weak president has given the UN control of the country. Arabs and Saudi’s have more rights and everything is slanted against the infidel pig Americans. This story starts with Dr. Carver and Gunnery Sergeant Hanson preparing for United Nations Days. Things are planned to security but last minute changes to security let a veteran suicide bomber detonate and kill a couple higher up Arabs. Things manage to get smoothed over. But it will soon be the Veteran’s Day parade and everyone is afraid of retaliation.

We also meet Hanson and Carver’s children, Kyle and Mavis and their friends. Kyle and Mavis meet during a Halloween ball and become obsessive over each other to their friends chagrin. They fall madly in love and are excited for the Veteran’s Day parade. But things do not go as well and Hanson and Carver lose their children to a suicide bomber. Not to seek revenge, several people band together to fight back against those that killed the kids and stop those that wish to further destroy America.

I liked this story. You follow along with a war hero and a doctor that are fighting against the current affairs of the United States to the best of their abilities. It’s kind of scary to see how America is portrayed in the story but I also it’s a possibility with how the world is working in real life.

There are two things that did catch my attention. The book does move very slowly. There is a lot of planning, meeting, planning, revising, meetings, and more planning. It does drag the pace of the story down, but it is very realistic. In real life the same thing would happen.

The second thing was the instant over obsessive fascination that Kyle and Mavis have for each other. It irritated their friends in the book and irritated the heck out of me. I started skimming these sections because they were more annoying than relevant to the story.

This is a great story with a touch of possible realism to it. You will cheer Hanson and Carver on and you will morn with them. They draw you in and have you on the edge of your seat as they seek to punish those that hurt them. This is one book. That I recommend you read even if you don’t usually read this genera.

I received Call to Valor from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book

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Planted

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: June 2016
Publisher: Asdee Press
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It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there’s a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?
 
 
 
 
Excerpt
Lyssa sobbed and punched her pillow and finally fell deeply asleep.
Sometime after midnight, a hand rose from the hole in the center of the garden, found her in the guest room, and grabbed her by the throat.
She bolted upright and sucked air with noisy gasps. Stroking her throat, she scanned every corner of the room. She was alone.
White window curtains fluttered as the heat came on. She studied the lacy pattern traced on the linen panels by the streetlamp as it shone through the branches of a tree.
Her breathing eased, and her hand slid instinctively lower, to her breastbone, where she massaged with soothing pressure. Her newfound calm brought awareness. She wasn’t alone.
Death was in the room with her.
About the Author
C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits. Her setting: entirely fictional, Tompkins College is no college and every college, and Tompkins Falls, is a blend of several Finger Lakes towns, including her hometown, Seneca Falls, NY (AKA Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life).

Contact Links
Facebook: /kate.collier.315
Twitter: @TompkinsFalls
Purchase Links
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The Rainbow Virus

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The Rainbow Virus by Dennis Meredith

It’s the weirdest bioterrorism attack ever!
(In this Second Edition, Dennis Meredith has recrafted his science thriller to make it even more dynamic and exciting.)

Loner scientist Arthur Lupo at first seems the most eccentric bioterrorist of all time. After vanishing from his lab at a biotech company, he releases viruses that only turn their victims a palette of colors. But then his chief pursuers—disgraced FBI agent Bobby Loudon and obsessive CDC epidemic-tracker Kathleen Shinohara—discover a horrifying fact. The brilliant Lupo has stolen the world’s most lethal viruses from the Army’s bioterrorism center.

Lupo reveals that his first viruses were only a test. He dramatically proves their infectivity by transforming the terrified citizens of Denver into a rainbow of colors. In a chilling declaration, he announces that he will now release an unstoppable artificial virus whose spread will decimate the world’s population.

Loudon and Shinohara must race against time, a mysterious assassin, and a secret government faction to find Lupo and stop him.

The Rainbow Virus is a gripping, realistic bioterrorism tale that launches readers on a harrowing adventure with the flips and plunges of the wildest roller coaster.

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Author’s Bio

Dennis Meredith brings to his novels an expertise in science from his career as a science communicator at some of the country’s leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has worked with science journalists at all the nation’s major newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV networks and has written well over a thousand news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.

He has served on the executive board of the National Association of Science Writers and has written numerous articles and guidebooks on science writing and science communication. He has also served as a judge and manager for the NASW Science-in-Society Awards and the AAAS Science Writing Awards.

He was a creator and developer of EurekAlert!, working with The American Association for the Advancement of Science to establish this international research news service, which now links more than 4,500 journalists to news from 800 subscribing research institutions.

In 2007, he was elected as a AAAS Fellow “for exemplary leadership in university communications, and for important contributions to the theory and practice of research communication.” In 2012 he was named the year’s Honorary Member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

He holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Texas (1968) and an M.S. in biochemistry and science writing from the University of Wisconsin (1970).

He is currently writing science articles, non-fiction books and science fiction novels. He also develops and conducts communication workshops for researchers seeking to enhance their communication skills, both professional and lay-level. He has developed workshops for researchers at universities, research foundations, and government agencies and laboratories.

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My Review

4 Stars

Arthur Lupo has just released a virus on the public. The results? It changes people into different colors. This doesn’t sound too scary until you learn that he made off with some seriously bad viruses from the Army and that the Rainbow Virus was just a test. Now he is getting ready to release the really bad ones to decimate the populous. It is up to disgraced FBI agent Bobby Loudon and Kathleen Shinohara from the CDC.

Bobby is not very likable but when you learn about his past things make more sense and I felt sorry for the poor guy. Kathleen is a workaholic and obsessively trying to figure out more about the viruses that Arthur took but it was sweet how she and Bobby get close. But they are not the only players in this game. There is another group that has other plans.

I’m sorry to say that I was not as impressed with the other side story and think the book should have stayed focused on Lupo. One thing that I really liked was there was scientific information on viruses without making it feel like you were slugging through an information overload. I really did like this story an am curious about other books from Dennis Meredith.

I received The Rainbow Virus from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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All Darling Children

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All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe

All boys grow up, except one.

On the tenth anniversary of her mother’s death, fourteen-year-old Madge Darling’s grandmother suffers a heart attack. With the overbearing Grandma Wendy in the hospital, Madge runs away to Chicago, intent on tracking down a woman she believes is actually her mother.

On her way to the Windy City, a boy named Peter Pan lures Madge to Neverland, a magical place where children can remain young forever. While Pan plays puppet master in a twisted game only he understands, Madge discovers the disturbing price of Peter Pan’s eternal youth.

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 Katrina Monroe

Author’s Bio

Katrina Monroe is the author of several novels. Her newest, ALL DARLING CHILDREN, will be out from Red Adept Publishing in fall 2016. She lives in Minnesota with her partner, two daughters, and a cat who eats better than she does.

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Book

My Review

4 stars

Madge Darling is Wendy Darlings grand-daughter and she is not happy. Wendy told Madge that her mother died but Madge doesn’t believe her. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Wendy treats Madge horribly. Madge keeps trying to run away and one night she succeeds.

Peter Pan has been watching her and when she finally breaks free he snags her and takes her to Neverland. But Neverland is not like the happy Disney world that we have come to believe. Pan is a psychotic leader that kills to keep his youth. Then there are Captain Hook and Tiger Lily. We thought they were bad but it seems there is more to their story. Will Madge find her place in Neverland and be able to stop Peter?

I admit that I don’t know much more of the Peter Pan story than the Disney cartoon. I do plan on reading it shortly to find out what I have missed out on. But I love dark twists on classic stories and I loved All Darling Children. What does living like a kid with lots of power do to you? Orwell said that absolute power corrupts absolutely and it is clear that is what happened to Peter. I really enjoyed reading Wendy’s diary as you follow along with Madge. You can kind of understand why she became so bitter and it also shows how Madge is not the same person.

This is a great, dark story and clearly geared toward adults. I really enjoyed this book and would like to read other books by Katrina Monroe.

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I received All Darling Children from Red Adept Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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