My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire this December, instead of waiting until 2016. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Friday, October 14, 2016

Phantom Patrol

The Phantom Patrol (Action/Adventure)
By L. Ron Hubbard
ISBN #978-1592123278
Price $9.95
148 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Thrilling Pulp Adventure.”

Johnny Trescott is CPO of the Coast Guard Patrol boat CG 1004. Johnny is hoping to run down Georges Coquelin, captain of the notorious Phantom Patrol. Coquelin is transporting drugs to the US, and anything else he can get his hands on. When Trescott receives a radio alert about a plane in the water, he turns the boat towards the sinking plane. It’s carrying millionaire businessman James Ferguson, two pilots and a stewardess. They reach it barely in time to rescue the crew and Ferguson, but Coquelin and his pirate crew have sneaked up in the storm and all disappear for three months. Although CG 1004 is reported attacking and robbing ships and killing passengers, and the captain of the boat looks a lot like Trescott. The Coast Guard believes Trescott has turned crook, and is holding Ferguson for ransom. Meanwhile, Truscott and his crew, as well as the plane crew and Ferguson, are all prisoners of Coquelin on an island. It’s up to Truscott to escape somehow and bring help to capture the Coquelin and rescue the prisoners. This short novel was originally published in the January 1935 issue of FIVE NOVELS. As with all of Hubbard’s early pulp writing, there is plenty of action to go with a good plot and interesting characters.  These old stories were some of his best writing during the heyday of the pulp magazines. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mystery Men

Mystery Men contains three interrelated short stories, as the Crimson Crusader (a vigilante), Karma (a martial artist) and Dr. Stellar (a scientist) each face a different aspect of a deadly threat to mankind. These heroes bridge the gap between pulp vigilantes and superheroes, operating in the 1936 Argentverse.

Mystery Men (Superhero Fiction)
By Jeff Deischer
Westerntainment Publication
ISBN #978-1537500003
152 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Fun Read”

From the Argent universe, the author brings us three entertaining stories featuring three different heroes in connecting stories. The time is the mid 1930s, and otherworldly aliens are on Earth. They are using higher technology to force humans to work for them. The stories reminded me of Saturday Matinee serials and over-the-top pulp heroic tales of the Thirties, as well as the super heroes of the comic books from the same period; great characters, and lots of action. The author spins tales of daring-do, with heroes facing great odds, yet overcoming in the end, and we know that good will triumph over evil when we turn to the last page. The Crimson Crusader, Karma, and Dr. Stellar are thrown into the war in separate tales, stopping space aliens from conquering our planet.  A quick and fun read, not to be missed. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


Monday, September 19, 2016

Crossroads of Fate

With the Primus Elites' training almost complete, Wil and his men relocate to H2 to make their final preparations. Everything seems to be staged for a swift TSS victory over the Bakzen as Wil assumes the position of TSS Supreme Commander with Saera and his most trusted friends by his side.
But, Tek won't let the Bakzen go down easily. He will find Wil's greatest weakness and do anything to make him crumble. The generations-old war began as a feud of races and ideals, but with this fight, it's personal.
Crossroads of Fate is the fifth installment in the Cadicle series. This character-driven novel chronicles the decisive space battles to end the war with the Bakzen so a new era for Tarans can begin.

Cadicle Book #5
By Amy DuBoff
BDL Press
ISBN #978-1537185910
Price $12.99
370 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“World Building At Its Best.”

With the final war with the Bakzen at hand, Wil is promoted to Supreme Commander, and he leads the TSS in a calculated battle with their enemy, an enemy not truly an alien race. Wil is now aware that the Bakzen are clones of genetically modified Tarans created by the Priesthood, and it’s really the Priesthood who forced the clones out, making them enemies of those who created them. But the hatred of the Bakzens, against their creators cannot be dismissed with less than a war to destroy one or the other. But for Wil, this is something that might destroy him as a person when he’s responsible for innumerable people dying on worlds caught in the crossfire because of his actions. Can he live with the knowledge that his power and leadership is the ultimate weapon that will wipe out an entire race of people? Will he come out of this unscathed, even if he survives the battles? And what of his friends, his parents, and his wife, will they also be damaged by his actions?

Again, the author gives the reader a well thought out novel of mysterious forces moving people around a chessboard to reach a certain goal. It is world building at its best. The writing is smooth, and fast, with realistic dialogue, and memorable characters that you won’t soon forget. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Imagine that your father is one of New York City’s top gangsters, and that you want nothing to do with him or his criminal empire. Now imagine he’s been murdered . . . and the only person who gives a damn is you. Meet Mat Lawrence, a stand-up guy—think Gary Cooper—who’s got one thing on his mind: revenge.
The last place Mat wants to go is back to New York, but that’s where the killers are, and he won’t stop until they’re dead . . . or he is. And there’s only one man who can help him track them down: his father’s criminal attorney—the Mouthpiece.
But there’s more than a desire for revenge at play in this deadly game. When Mat’s old man went down, a million dollars went missing. Put it all together—a cold-blooded murder and a cool million gone—and it’s a pretty good bet that the one thing Mat is sure to find is some serious heat.
Also includes the tales of mystery, Flame City, the story of one man’s harrowing attempt to save his father and the city from a serial arsonist; Calling Squad Cars!, in which a police dispatcher goes to extraordinary lengths to bring down a gang of bank robbers after he is accused of working with them; and Grease Spot, the story of a former racecar driver, now the owner of a wrecking company, who plays fast and loose with the police . . . and may have to pay for it.

Mouthpiece (Mystery)
By L. Ron Hubbard
ISBN #978-1592123568
Price $9.95
142 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Good Read.”

This volume contains four stories: Mouthpiece from the September 1934 issue of THRILLING DETECTIVE; Flame City; Calling Squad Cars; and The Grease Spot.
            In MOUTHPIECE, Mat Lawrence returns to the city from honest work in the desert building a dam to find his mob boss father dead and his money missing. His father’s lawyer claims that another mob boss killed him and took his money. Setting Mat up with a couple gunmen for a ride to visit the mobster, Mat is taken for a ride instead. Turning the tables on the gunslingers, he figures out the real facts, and forces the mouthpiece to admit that he was the murderer. With his father’s murder solved, Mat decides the desert is a better place than life on the streets.
            A firebug is setting fires all over town in FLAME CITY, and the mayor is ready to force Blaze Delaney out as fire chief because his crew can’t handle all the fires. His son, Detective-sergeant Tom Delaney rides with him to the latest fire scene and discovers evidence that gets him waylaid by two hoodlums. He’s left to die in a fire across town while his father works on one elsewhere. Escaping the burning building, he rounds up the hoods, and then goes after the gang boss, stopping an insurance fraud that has resulted in several deaths. The insurance company is happy with the fire chief and offers to fit the station with brand new equipment, and the chief has his job secured once more.
            CALLING SQUAD CARS! Jim Collins is the radio dispatch officer for the police department, but he appears to be aiding the mysterious “One-Eye” Tasori Mob. While on duty, Collins’ voice directs squad cars away from Tascori’s activity, letting the mob operate without interference from radio patrol cars. When he’s relieved of duty, Collins accidentally runs across the Tascori mob during a robbery and follows them to their hideout. Unfortunately, he is captured, but he spies a short wave radio set where Tascori himself imitates Collins’ own voice, and now understands the set up. While the crooks eat in another room, Collins sets up the radio and brings the police down on the bad guys.
THE GREASE SPOT: Bill Milan and Joe Pagett run the Milan Wrecker Service.  With a police band radio set up in the shop, and Bill an ex-racer, he always beats the police and other wreckers to scenes of accidents and is hired for his service on the spot. But other wrecker outfits want his advantage stopped, and the police are upset that he beats them to the scene, and they’re ready to lock him up if he doesn’t stop. Then comes the night he’s again first on the scene, but this time a couple of bank robbers are in the wreck and they take him hostage and force him to drive them out of state. Now he’s in a fix and must use his brain to get out of some real trouble – alive.
Four good stories, each plot different, and each a fun read. Hubbard was an excellent writer, and could spin a good yarn, regardless of the genre. This is fast paced, with plenty of action, and with interesting characters. A good read.

Tom Johnson


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Blackstar Bomber

Five average guys call themselves the Thursday Night Mafia and their weekly blackjack game appears to be innocent. But looks can be deceiving, as casual talk leads to a plot to scam Lake Tahoe casinos. Caught red-handed by mob goons and facing certain death if they don't repay a fortune, they turn to Rick. He uses their inside knowledge to commandeer a B-52 with nukes on board and hold it for ransom.
But the BlackStar Bomber holds Cold War secrets bigger than Rick's and a crack Air Force/NSA team, headed by the legendary spy Tupelo, races against time to hunt him down. His vengeful plan includes the destruction of Lake Tahoe and the death of thousands of people.
The Consortium, an intelligence organization born from the old Soviet system, schemes to help Rick auction off the nuclear weapons—including the deadly BlackStar system—to the highest bidder.

Blackstar Bomber (Military Thriller)
By T.C. Miller
Timber Creek Press
ISBN #978-0996248334
Price $14.95
334 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Fun Read.”

A Russian mole placed in America during the Cold War era contracts with an international organization to aid in a scheme to steal and sell nuclear weapons from an alert pad on Mather AFB in California. He has become friends with a group of ex military and civilian employees of the base, and during booze and poker games has found out enough information to pull off the theft, but first he needs to lead the card players into something that will force them to work with him on the theft. He sets them up on a “sure thing” of beating the casino that backfires, putting the men under threat of death from the Mafia if they don’t come up with money that disappeared from the casino (taken by the mole). Now comes the big scheme, if they will follow his plans, he will steal thermal nuclear bombs from Mather and demand millions from the government for their return, and they can escape, with his help, to another country.

The attack is set up nicely, with distractions in key locations, as well as drugs fed into meals of the security personnel, then easy access to the alert pad where B-52 aircraft are loaded with nukes on board. Problems arise on the back gate where AIC Joanna Davies is alert and quite capable of performing her security duties. She recognizes a situation and calls for back up by her security supervisor, Sergeant Jake Thomas. Both she and Thomas are trained in martial arts, with knowledge of defending the base against attack. She takes out one terrorist while Thomas takes out another, but the alert pad is now under control of the invaders. With control of the nukes, they soon make their demands known. Millions are moved into an offshore account, among other things as a bargaining tool. Or they will set off the bombs. Of course, while other things are set up for them – this is merely a distraction - the mole escapes through an underground tunnel system with the bombs.

 The novel takes place at Mather AFB, California when the base was part of SAC Command. The dialogue talks about the end of the Cold War, as if it’s in the past, yet the Cold War ended in December 1991, and SAC was deactivated in 1992, and Mather AFB closed in 1993, so I’m a little confused concerning the time this story takes place. There’s just not a lot of room in the time we’re looking at. There were also a lot of highly unbelievable scenarios we’re asked to believe, such as a Security Police officer (Lt/Col) being used as a NSA or CIA field agent working as a spy in Europe during the Cold War (code-named Tupelo – his wife, an ex-AF OSI operative, and CIA agent code-named Delta), as well as a non-commissioned officer (sergeant rank) security policeman, also used as an asset for the CIA (or NSA, I wasn’t really sure who he worked for) whenever they have a mission for him. Well, that is why this is called fiction, though, so let’s overlook these minor things.

I loved the story because it involves military police (AF Security Police, in this case). I’ve known officers and enlisted men who were in SAC, however, and from all I’ve heard SAC was a monster. Once they had you in their grasp, you didn’t get out. Officers whispered, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get your wish.” Of course, we’re talking about rank, and the way to make rank was in command positions. That’s where the warning comes in. Colonels are moved into base and wing command slots in preparations for their first star, but that star could be fleeting, and careers ended easily by merely failing an ORI (Operational Ready Inspection) rating, or an incident that brings attention to them. The incident in this story would have caused heads to roll, including the Base Commander, Wing Commander, Provost Marshal, and many there-in. It is highly unlikely the security police would have been sent off base chasing across California after the terrorists attempting to retrieve the stolen nukes. It just wouldn’t have happened. The base would have been locked down tight, and everyone left in high security alert until those nukes were returned and the situation back under control. In fact, there would have been more FBI/CIA/NSA/ and Secret Service involved than just a couple AF cops, and two NSA agents. But this is a fun story, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Forget the impossible scenarios, and just accept the story for what it is. Fiction. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson