Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blood and Justice - Rayven T. Hill

Blood and Justice is the first novel in the Jake & Annie Lincoln Thriller series. This book is free for the kindle.

Jake and Annie Lincoln are partners in marriage and in Lincoln Investigations. They're private eyes who specialize in missing persons and security problems. Lincoln Investigations is contacted about 16 year old Jenny James by her mother Annie. Jenny is missing and the police don't have the resources to keep searching. What nobody in the town of Richmond Hill knows is that there's a serial killer out there and Jenny got in his way. This story is good. There's plenty of suspense and danger. The problem is the writing is very stilted. It's almost like this book is written for kids. A good editor could tighten the writing up and improve the book, but it is what it is. If you're willing to have patience with the style, I recommend this novel.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Good Man Gone - A.W. Hartoin

A Good Man Gone is the first novel in the Mercy Watts Mystery series. This book is free for the kindle. When your Dad is a detective, what choice do you have?

Mercy Watts is a nurse. Her Dad's a private investigator and a retired St. Louis police detective. Mercy's parents are on vacation and she's enjoying the break from their presence. Then a close family friend, her Dad's ex-partner, dies of a heart attack. Mercy has to call her parents with the news, and then she finds herself on the hook to solve the mystery surrounding the death. There's suspense, danger, and plenty of humor in this great story. The quirky characters and settings add to the book's appeal. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Innocent in Las Vegas - A.R. Winters

Innocent in Las Vegas is the first novel in the Tiffany Black Mystery series. This book is free for the kindle. This murder mystery is equal parts humor and danger, with just a hint of romance.

Tiffany Black is a dealer at the Treasury Casino in Las Vegas. Since she hates her job, Tiffany is also working to become a private investigator. Tiffany's first case is one nobody else in town will touch. Her client has been indicted for murdering her husband, and the murder weapon was found in her nightstand. Tiffany has to prove her client didn't do it, and that means finding the real killer. When people start getting rough, and then shooting at her, Tiffany gets some help from Jonathan Stone. Too much help or not enough remains to be seen. Is there more going on here than murder? Tiffany threads her way through the mystery with humor and help. This is a great story. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stark Warning - James Raven

Stark Warning is a murder mystery that takes place in London England. This book is $2.99 for the kindle. It was free when I downloaded it.

Jessica Lee is the host of the biggest show on British TV. She's the English version of Jerry Springer, but much cuter. Jessica receives a phone call one night with this stark warning, "Every time you appear on screen someone will die." To drive that point home a women is murdered that same night. Detective Chief Inspector Sam Quinn is put in charge of the case. Sam heads up Scotland Yard’s Celebrity Crime Squad. The tension builds as the bodies pile up. This is an enjoyable read, but I get a headache trying to decipher British English sometimes. It's worth the headache though. Highly recommended.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rest For The Wicked - Cate Dean

Rest For The Wicked is the first novel in the Claire Wiche Chronicles series. This book is free for the kindle.

Claire Wiche has a simple life. Claire owns a small Wicca shop in Santa Luna California. She sells crystals, jewelery, candles, and more. Claire has a secret though, and someone who knows her secret it about to make her simple life very complicated. The problem is Claire's friends are in danger too, so Clair's secret is about to be exposed. This is a great story. The characters are interesting, the action is suspenseful, and the twists in the plot are surprising. The ending is good on its own, but you'll want to read the next book when you're done. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heart of the Hunter - Lara Adrian

Heart of the Hunter is the first novel in the Dragon Chalice series. This book is currently free for the kindle. This one gets too steamy for young adults. It's a great story though.

Lady Ariana of Clairmont is on a quest. Her brother Kenrick has been captured and is being held for ransom in Rouen France. Ariana is trying to get to Rouen, to trade Kenrick's research for his life. When Ariana is attacked in London, the rouge Braedon le Chasseur comes to her aid. The paths of Ariana and Braedon become reluctantly tangled at this point, as the pair continue her quest. Danger and magic are just some of the perils they must overcome to rescue Kenrick, and ultimately find the Dragon Chalice. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Frozen Past - Richard C Hale

Frozen Past is the first novel in the Jaxon Jennings series. This book is free for the kindle. That's a real bargain for this great mystery.

Luke Harrison is just a freshman. He's more concerned with snow days than grades. Then while Luke is trying to scrape up more ammunition during a snowball fight, he discovers something that's going to change his life and the lives of his friends. Eliana Pemberton is a freshman too. Eliana is upset because her dog Bentley is missing. Bentley is just the tip if the iceberg in the horror that's coming for Luke and Eliana. Their best hope will be Detective Jaxon Jennings, homicide investigator for the Fairfax County Police Department. Jaxon has been through his own personal horror, and it's very similar to the one Eliana and Luke are experiencing. This is a great mystery. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Decay: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Survival - Roger Hayden

The Decay: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Survival is the first story in the Decay series. This is more of a novella than a full length book, and free for the kindle, but it's still overpriced.

I'm not even going to bother with trying to explain the story line. The author suffers from terminal plot non sequiturs. Be aware there are spoilers here to make my point. The story goes from some unknown bystander being questioned about a terrorist attack on the NYSE, to a nuclear attack on Philadelphia. In between we have a man and his step-daughter trying to get from work to home, a mob collector killing a bystander while trying to abduct the man, a flash mob robbing and vandalizing a grocery store while the step-daughter is buying groceries, and some unseen menace from somewhere that is going to cause an apocalypse. To top that off, there is no concept of paragraphs to break up dialog, and a few missing words from time to time. The second book in the series is free too. Not even going to start it. Not recommended.

High Heat - Lee Child

High Heat is a Jack Reacher Novella. Imagine a 16 year old Reacher, in New York City, during the blackout of 1977. How much trouble can he get into?

Jack Reacher is on vacation. He's coming from Korea to visit his older brother at West Point. He has some time to kill, so NYC is a good place to spend it. Then Reacher interrupts a confrontation, and his trip takes a detour that could be dangerous, but probably not for Reacher. Very highly recommended.

A Tide of Shadows - Tom Bielawski

A Tide of Shadows is the first novel in the Chronicles of Llars series. This book is free for the kindle. Magic, monsters, and more complicated than the tax code.

Carym is doing his best to be a simple carpenter. Carym lost is wife and daughter to raiders, gave into revenge and the bottle, and is doing his best to recover. Then Carym is thrust into a conflict he can't avoid, and his life is changing again.

Shalthazar is a powerful wizard. He's about to embark on a plot he's been planning for centuries. Shalthazar is on a collision course with Carym. The question is who will survive the collision.

This could be a good book. At the pace of this first novel, there may not be a conclusion for volumes though. There are too many characters, too many plots, and too much introspection by the main players. I finished this book mainly to see how the story progressed. Not very far. If you really like epic tales that run to books in the double digits, where the author is more in love with his words than his characters, you might like this book and the other volumes to follow. There are at least four out there so far. Not recommended.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Haunted on Bourbon Street - Deanna Chase

Haunted on Bourbon Street is the first novel in the Jade Calhoun series. This book is free for the kindle. This is a paranormal tale of ghosts and dreams and things that go bump in the night.

Jade Calhoun is an empath. Jade came all the way from Idaho to New Orleans to be close to her best friend. When she moves into an apartment above a strip club, Jade doesn't realize that ghosts are involved, or gorgeous landlords either. Jade soon finds herself entangled in a haunting that becomes dangerous, and a romance that poses its own risks. Humor, suspense, and romance combine into a paranormal story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.

Blood of Requiem - Daniel Arenson

Blood of Requiem is free for the kindle. This novel is the first in the Song of Dragons series. This is a fantasy book where there are dragons, and then there are dragons.

The Vir Requis are a race of men with the magic to become dragons. They've been driven almost to extinction by the jealous vindictive son of their last king, Dies Irae. Dies Irae vilifies the Vir Requis as weredragons, and has blamed them for all the world's problems. Fighting for their lives, and the life of their race, the last few Vir Requis are searching for the true dragons, creatures of legend, in hopes they'll help them in the fight to survive. This is a great book. A bit overly dramatic at times, but full of great characters, adventures, and some romance. The ending is just slippery enough to leave room for the second book. Very highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Reason to Live - Matthew Iden

A Reason to Live is the first novel in the Marty Singer Mystery series. This book is free for the kindle.

Marty Singer was a homicide detective on the DC police force. Then cancer forced Marty to retire. Twelve years ago Marty failed to close a murder case, and the killer walked free. Now the victim's daughter is being stalked by the killer, and she comes to Marty for help. Marty has to help the daughter to make things right, but that means he's fighting for her life, and his life in ways he never understood. This is a great mystery. There are twists and turns that sneak up and smack you on the back of the head. The ending is good, but bittersweet. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jenny Pox - JL Bryan

Jenny Pox is the first novel in the Paranormals series. This book is free for the kindle.

Jenny Morton is 18 and she's never been kissed. She's almost never been touched, but there's a good reason. Jenny's touch brings pain and even death. Then Jenny discovers she's not the only one who's touch has power. Jenny discovers someone she can touch and someone who is out to destroy her. This book is amazing. It's a small town America horror story and love story all in one. Evil never had a prettier face and good never had an nastier champion. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Island of Fog - Keith Robinson

Island of Fog is the first novel in the Island of Fog series. This book is free for the kindle.

Hal Franklin is just 12. He's lived his whole life on the island with his Mom and Dad. Hal goes to school with the other seven kids who live on the island. They're also 12. The island is always surrounded by fog. In fact, Hal has only read about sunshine and blue skies. He's never seen them. Then things start to change. Hal starts to itch. What that itch turns into is a fantasy that will change his life, and the lives of all the other kids on the island. This is a great story. The characters are interesting, the adventures are exciting, and the ending is excellent. Granted you're going to want to read other books in the series, but it's still a great ending. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Whiskey Rebellion - Liliana Hart

Whiskey Rebellion is the first novel in the Addison Holmes Mystery series. This book is free for the kindle.

Addison Holmes is a 9th grade world history teacher at James Madison High School in Whiskey Bayou, Georgia. Addison has some expenses, like a car payment, her panty of the month club subscription, and the fact that her apartment building has been condemned. Addison has to find a new place to live, so she needs to make some money and fast. In desperation she decides stripping at the Foxy Lady could be her way to make that money. That's when the bodies start piling up, and Addison keeps tripping over them. There's plenty of humor, suspense, danger, and a little romance in this romping adventure. The ending is good, but it leaves you wanting to read more. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rules for Radicals - Saul Alinsky

Rules for Radicals is a handbook for organizers; community organizers, labor organizers, civil rights organizers, all organizers. Don't dismiss this book out-of-hand because of the reputation of the author. Alinsky was intelligent, knowledgeable, ruthless, and very affective. This book has lessons for everyone.

Alinsky divides the entire world into three groups; the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores. The purpose of his book is to teach the Have-Nots how to take power away from the Haves. Power is clearly important to Alinsky, and is key to his recipe for organizing the Have-Nots. He even lists his 13 rules of power tactics. The disturbing part of the book isn't that Alinsky considers all humans to be driven by self interests. What's disturbing is that he thinks it's just fine. Alinsky has no scruples at all, as far as you can tell from the book. Even when he's denouncing the violence that Have-Nots have engaged in to take power, it's only because he doesn't consider violence the best way to take power. For Alinsky, the ends always justify any means. He changed the standard question of conscience, "Does the ends justify the means," to "Does this particular end justify this particular means?"

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand what's going on in politics today. Alinsky's influence on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is well documented. In fact, Obama's slogan to energize his supporters, "Hope and Change," sounds very similar to Alinsky's desire to, "get people pregnant with hope and a desire for change." Very highly recommended.