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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Valley of Silent People

The Valley of Silent People by Greg M. Sarwa

Joe is a grieving husband.  The sudden loss of his wife Sally was a tremendous blow to him.  No good explanation could ease his pain.  Not only that, but his daughter Rosie is in a hospital in a coma, with no hope of recovery.

Sally’s father, Pete, tries so hard to help Joe, but Joe cannot let it go.  Pete gives Joe a letter Sally wrote, which only confuses him even more.  Joe loved Sally so, and would do anything for her.  Pete tries to get Joe to remember his trust for Sally, and her final request for her husband.

Without giving away the ending, it is a must read.  Great suspense, depth of emotion for feeling for Joe, adventure and so much more.  You’ll want to keep reading until you get to the end.

My complaint lies with the conversion to Kindle.  There is nothing more aggravating than to have the page number, book title and author from the written text in between the Kindle version.  In addition, there are space and missing letters in words.  Finally, the first letter of each chapter was a few lines below mixed in with the text.

After Midnight, A Denver After Dark Suspense

After Midnight, A Denver After Dark Suspense by Kathy Clark

We all know the life of a street cop is dangerous, and when one of your own go down, it is devastating.  But what if you watch him go down in front of you, and you are also wounded?

Officer Sam Morgan was out on his usual patrol with a ride along when they stopped to try to get a hooker off the street corner.  When his backup arrived, a friend in the force, the pimp emerged out of the darkness and things went out of control.

The hooker, who really was an actress, Kate was in shock at what she witnessed, especially when the ride along took a gun and fired at the pimp, killing him.  When Kate heard the sirens, she blended into the background in an effort to get away unnoticed.  Concerned for the wounded officer, she went to the hospital the next day to check on him.  What little they saw of each other sparked a romance that neither would own up to for fear of being hurt.

But who was this pimp, and why did he shoot to kill?  Sam was determined to find out.  Along the way, his desire for Kate increased, but she seemed to be a magnet for trouble.  Someone tried to run her off the road, break into her apartment and other circumstances that should not continue to happen for no reason.  The more Sam digs, the more he finds out, and the more their relationship blossoms.

As the story unfolds, you will begin to put together who is the cause of all this, or at least have your suspicions who it is.  While the detailed intimacy between Sam and Kate could have been scaled back a bit, it does show their desire for each other.  Minimal amount of characters make it easy to follow, but also easy to play detective yourself.  Great detail for making you feel like you are there, seeing all they see, doing all they do, feeling all they feel.  Good who-done-it for those who like a good mystery.

Becoming a Superhero

Becoming a Superhero by Oliver Galang

Oliver was one of 4 children born to parents from the Philippines.  He was lucky to be born in the United States, or was it more unlucky?  He was also a military brat, as his father was proud to be in the US Navy, even if he was only a cook.

All Oliver’s life he was never the most popular, in fact, he was usually considered the nerd.  But all his life he wanted to be a superhero and help people.  Knowing he was not born with any superpowers, he likened himself to Batman, having to work hard to become a superhero.

His parents loved him and wanted only the best for him, as well as his sisters.  Moving from one base to another, he never really made friends, but the relationships with his sisters was like any sibling relationships, some closer than others, but always together no matter where they traveled.

As Oliver grew older, he was determined to work out to build his body strength on his way to becoming a superhero.  Unfortunately, he always seemed to make the wrong choices, or choices that would irk his parents, although he did attend college and did get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.  But he never put his business sense to good work.  Instead he did not succeed well in his jobs, but found gambling was very profitable, and watching strippers was something he loved to spend his money on.

His life continues in the same pattern, gambling and strippers, and bad relationships.  Seems like some people never grow up.  Sad to think it’s based on a true story.

Very nice detail of the family and their relationships, along with nice detail of where they were stationed.  Interesting mix of characters along his life, from bullies to strippers to shrinks.  The story flows along nicely from his early years on through his life.

My one complaint is the conversion from print form to Kindle.  It is very annoying to continually have page numbers from the printed version intertwined with the Kindle text.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Deadly Chaos

Deadly Chaos by Annette Brownlee

What father gives his daughter, Annie, the nickname “Chaos”?  A girl who has had trouble, pain, hurt and death follow her all her life.  Her mother died while she was young, and anyone she ever got close to ended up hurt in some way, even though it was unintentional.

Even an act of fighting off an attacker who tried to rape her, ended up dead.  And Bill was not happy with her.  Dead Bill decided to haunt her.  She ran hoping to run away from him, only to find he followed her everywhere she went.  Running to a different state, she met a group of people with special abilities to speak with ghosts, spirits, etc.  Even though a hunk of a man, Dakota, was someone she felt she wanted to get close to, she knew based on past experience not to let anyone get close to her.  Her new friends tried to convince her otherwise, that it was not her, it was her necklace that was cursed.

Chaos went along to see how her friends used their special abilities, even though she didn’t really believe in ghosts.  But Dead Bill kept tormenting her, forcing her to trust in her friends.

While most of us have a hard time believing in something we cannot see, the author makes it easy for you to believe.  A minimal amount of characters, but each plays an important part in the story.  Easy to follow, the chapters flow right into each other.

If you like friendship, relationship, romance with a mix of ghosts, spirits and the paranormal, this is a book for you.  Looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Aisha: The Search for Yaser Abdel Said

Aisha:  The Search for Yaser Abdel Said by Denis W. Schulz

Bernard Piffy is a private detective hired by a couple of guys from a Joe’s Bar & Grille and Gun Club to locate Yaser Abdel Said, a taxi driver who killed his two daughters then fled the country.  What Bernard thought was going to be easy, ended up anything but easy.  Along the way he met Asma bent Marwan a 7th century poet, with strange abilities.  Abilities like being able to travel through a portal to another time/place, or the ability to turn Bernard into an eighty year old man or a ten year old boy, who met Aisha.

Aisha is also ten years old, but her father beat her.  Aisha called her father Ahmad al-Mohammed, however, when Bernard saw him, he was Yaser Abadel Said, the man he was hired to find.  Holding to the ongoing theme, if it can go wrong for Bernard, it did.  He was thrown in jail numerous times, attacked and beaten and even broke into the Archbishop’s residence.  After meeting Aisha, he was determined to save and rescue her, in addition to finding Yaser, who kept eluding him.  Along the way, Bernard also meets so many unusual characters, and a few thugs determined to harm him.

Good mix of characters, although Aisha is a very minimal character.  While the story flows nicely and is easy to follow, it becomes tiresome as Bernard continually refers to himself as the ex-champion bronco buster and calf roper, in addition, constantly comparing himself to Mike Hammer and others.  We get he isn’t perfect and is determined, but is repeated too much, move on with the plot, not the comparisons.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Malevolent by David Searls

What evil lurks in the deepest, darkest shadows of your mind?  What kind of evil can bring out your biggest fears?  An evil that you cannot see.  Would you think you were going crazy if you were accused of raping a woman but can’t remember a thing?  Even though you see a video of yourself doing the crime?  But when the police view the video, there is nothing about a rape on it.  Griffin Solloway thinks he is losing his mind.

Luckily, a caring person, Tim Brentwood, with some prodding from the police detective Melinda Dillon, befriends Griffin.  Poor Germaine Marberry, the victim of the rape, and her family are starving themselves to clear the area of those who sin, according to the minister, Vincent.

Laney, the ghost spirit, constantly prods her not dead husband he must kill again.  But who is her husband?

The more Tim and Griffin talk and hang out, the more strange things become.  Everyone’s biggest fears seem to be coming to light, but only in their eyes.  No one else sees what they see.  The more Griffin tries to prove his innocence, or others try to prove his guilt, the more evil and strange things become.  Luckily Tim and detective Melinda work together to get to the bottom of the crime, and eventually the cause of all the evil.

Great mix of characters and great writing to keep you turning pages to see what happens next.  You feel for each of the characters as they struggle with their fears.  While I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to others who like suspense and mystery, the transfer to a Kindle version was poor.  It is very bothersome to have page numbers, author name, book title and website randomly appear during your text.  It made for a slower read.

Blue Rose in Chelsea

Blue Rose in Chelsea by Adriana Devoy

Haley is an intelligent girl and was granted a full scholarship to an Ivy League college, something her family could never have afforded.  So when she decides to quit school so she can experience life instead of debating with other intellectuals, her protective brother, Dylan, is not happy, but because he loves his sister, he agrees to let her come and stay with him.

Haley meets all his friends, including Evan, the near perfect guy that just seems to take her breath away.  Everything Evan does seems to be perfect, so why is it that they just can’t seem to get together?  Haley also makes her own new friends, including Sinclair, who tells her like it is, and not to give up on Evan.  Travel along with the gang as they go about their lives, Dylan trying to become a musician, and Haley trying to become an author.  While Haley gets a job as a nanny, Evan is getting acting offers and needs to leave.  Haley is heartbroken that they will never be together again.  Evan surprises Haley for her birthday when he comes back to visit.  Haley’s job as a nanny causes her harm and Evan tells her she can stay at his place.  Thinking they are moving in together, she is happy, until Evan tells her he is leaving to go home to Texas.

With support from Sinclair, Haley continues her life.  Without giving away the ending, do fairy tales always come true?  You will have to read to find out.

While the characters are unique in themselves and you can imagine each one of them and their own personalities, the story itself seems to go at a slow pace for the most part, only a short amount of time goes by.  Then the last part of the book, so many things happen but in many years of time, almost as if the author was trying to hurry up and wrap everything up to finish the story before it became a book so long no one would want to read it.  Overall a good read if you like romance.

A Mediocre Man

A Mediocre Man by A.K. Hill

Francis Humbleton was a plain, ordinary man who was very precise and punctual.  He lived his life very simply but on a schedule that he did not veer from.  “Friends”, if you could call them that, were few, and enemies did not exist.  So why would someone murder him?

Detectives Smith and Johnson were going to find out.  Each chapter is written as a day, what the detectives did each day, trying to solve the case.  Chapter One, day one, they went to the back where a meticulous Mr. Humbleton worked and met his colleague Fiona, who told them what she knew about him.

The story continues on each day, learning more about him with each passing day and each new person they met.

For a murder mystery, you would not expect the bit of humor that is written in, but that is what makes it unique.  Quite the mix of characters that will tug at your heart for Mr. Humbleton and his ways.  A quick read but worth it. 


Tymurs by Scott Bartz

Tymurs is not your typical book with a cast of characters and a plot.  Yes, it does have a plot - the death of innocent people from taking a simple medication.

This is a story about the Tylenol murders back in 1982.  The FBI gave this case the code name “Tymurs”.

Had it not been that more than one person died from the same location, and the cause found to be the Tylenol capsules, we might never have known to research this farther.  Yes, they were all from the greater Chicago area, but it seemed by pure luck the cause of their deaths was found.

Yes, there are a cast of characters, including the 7 people who died because of the poisoning on Tylenol capsules.  There are people from Johnson & Johnson, the processing facility, the warehouse and shipping facility, the local police and  the FBI.  Then add in all the media.There are so many people involved it is hard to keep track, but rather easier to read with where they are from, not who they are.

I would also suggest reading with two bookmarks, as at the end of each chapter, there are pages of notes with sources and further reference.

Definitely a very interesting read and I would recommend it to everyone.