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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. 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. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of 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 fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Daredevils

1925 – What happens in the roaring twenties when a daredevil barnstormer falls in love with a wing-walking flapper threatened by dangerous men who will exploit her? Orphan and wing-walker Gloria needs a job when her boss dies in a barnstorming accident. With no other jobs available, she sweet-talks Rand into letting her walk his wing. Flying Ace Rand fights wartime injuries that hamper his flying even as he works to gain the world-record for solo flight across the Atlantic. He bucks his wealthy dad’s plans for him to settle down, join the company, and marry a socialite. Rand falls in love with the courageous, fun-loving, talented, and above all daring Gloria. But Orphan Gloria’s experienced too many men who promise love and marriage and instead take advantage of her being alone in the world. She holds Rand at arm’s length. Without her knowledge, Rand protects her and makes sure she doesn’t starve. When Gloria’s offered a movie contract Rand knows he must intervene. Will Gloria turn her back on fame and fortune to wed a man addicted to danger?


Daredevils (Action/Christian Romance)
By Anne Greene
Winged Publications
ISBN #978-1944203900
102 Pages
Price $5.74 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

“The Kind of Story I wish I had Written”

Gloria Richards, an orphan who has chosen a life of danger and excitement, works as a barnstorming wing-walker to earn her living. When Buzz Greenwood, her last pilot, crashes the Silver Lining, on her day off, it leaves her without a job. She hasn’t collected her last paycheck, but Buzz left a wife and twin daughters, and they would need the money. She can either go back to singing at the mob run local dive in Kitty Hawk, or get a job with ex-war ace, Rand Maitland.

Maitland is trying to make it on his own, without his family’s money, using his government pension he received for a war injury he doesn’t want anyone to know about. To be sure, he doesn’t have enough money to pay for a wing-walker, but Gloria appears to twist him around her fingers when she’s near. He eventually comes around to her way of thinking when he learns she can also work miracles with a plane’s engine, as well as his heart.

Okay, this is the kind of story I wish I had written. It’s set in the period I love, the early 20th century, 1925 to be exact, just seven years after WWI, and features bi-planes. Barnstorming is a plot that should appeal to all action lovers, and this has a little of everything: mobsters, Jenny bi-planes, an injured war ace, and a beautiful girl who is not afraid of danger. The author is a Christian. Her writing is topnotch without preaching, and the story moves quickly and smoothly, and I loved it. If I have a complaint, it’s that we don’t really have a scene of Gloria performing on the wing during a stunt. I think such a scene would have added a tense moment more frightening than the confrontation with the mobsters. If that wasn’t enough for readers, just look at that great cover, it’s what attracted me to this author, and I’m glad it did. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of PANGAEA: EDEN’S PLANET 

Monday, November 20, 2017

War's End: The Storm

In the day after tomorrow, after the socioeconomic collapse of the United States, one young girl fights for survival. Violently ripped from her family, abused and now pregnant, Jess must somehow survive while fleeing those who pursue her. Jess must come to peace with the life growing inside her as she struggles to return home.


War’s End: The Storm (Post-Apocalyptic War)
By Christine D. Shuck
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1499170504
Price $9.98 (paperback
Price $ (Kindle)
263 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“This Could Happen”

The town of Warsend is in the path of a lawless army of violent men, raping and looting as they pass all communities in their path. At Warsend they capture young men for their army and young women for their pleasures. Jess and her brother Allen are among the captured, as is Erin, Jess’s friend. If they are to survive they must escape while they still have their sanity and will to live.

I like the author’s writing, but I must admit this was a horrific tale to follow. There is rape, torture, and vicious killing of the young and elderly. America is under the guns of every vicious would-be army of killers and violent men without humanity that ever played war. They travel with their tent whores – young girls captured from towns they rape and pillage. It’s not a story easily read, but it does serve to show us what could happen in a lawless state of no government or law. The army takes what it wants, and does what it will, and there are no repercussions. Read this book, and appreciate your local law and city government, for without them we would live in a world of chaos. It could happen if we’re not awake and prepared for the eventuality. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of WORLDS OF TOMORROW


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Suburra

Suburra takes a deep dive into a politically and financially corrupt contemporary Italy, where a mighty local crime family, the Mafia, corrupt politicians, and new rabid criminal elements battle each other for control of a glittering prize—control over a multibillion dollar development twenty miles from the Italian capital.
         During the final days of Silvio Berlusconi’s reign, a massive development proposal that will turn the depressed coastal settlement of Ostia into a gambling paradise, a Las Vegas on the Mediterranean, is winding its way through the Italian legislature thanks to the sponsorship of politicians in the pay of crime syndicates. It’s business as usual in the Italian capital. Or so it seems. A vicious gang of local thugs loyal to nobody but themselves is insisting on a bigger cut than agreed upon. The Mafia and their political puppets aren’t going to back down without a fight.
         Orchestral in its movement and sweeping in its ambition, Suburra is a compelling, provocative portrait of contemporary Rome—a city prey to pitiless criminal factions and political opportunism. Suburra has already been adapted into a critically acclaimed Italian film and soon to be a Netflix Original Series.


Suburra (International Crime)
By Carlo Bonini & Giancarlo De Cataldo
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609454074
Price $12.02 (Paperback)
Price $9.99 (Kindle)
521 Pages
Rating 2-Stars

Modern Italy is the contemporary setting for this yarn. It pits a local criminal gang, corrupt politicians and the Mafia against each other, as they battle over a multi-million dollar development project, bringing a gambling casino to a town near Rome. Thankfully, there is a two-page listing of the cast of characters at the first of the book, so we can refer to it to remember who everyone is. As it was, I almost gave up on the story a long time before I reached the final pages. Why I continued reading, I don’t know.

I knew going into the story that there would be violent crime, sex, and profanity, but I stuck it out because Europa Editions usually brings us interesting writers from overseas. But this story is packed solid with crime and political corruption, and I found very little to like in the book. The characters are stereotypes of every Mafia movie you’ve ever seen, and the dialogue is so stilted it left me in pain. There is very little to recommend about this book. You have to be a die-hard fan of violent Mafia and corruption to enjoy this type novel. I am not. Let’s hope the Netflix series is written better, with actors able to bring the story off, but I’m not counting on it.

Tom Johnson

Author of ASSIGNMENT: NINA FONTAYNE

Friday, November 10, 2017

Gliese 581: Departure

In the final days of the 21st century, Daniel Medry and a crew of brilliant and talented scientists and researchers leave Earth on a mission to the Gliese system - the first extra-solar journey of its kind. Shortly after their departure, a terrible virus is unleashed upon Earth, highly infectious and nearly 100% fatal. Soon the colonists will learn that they are some of the last unaffected humans left. And if the challenge of establishing a colony on a distant alien world and re-creating the human race wasn't enough, someone on board is trying to kill them all. Will Daniel and the rest of Calypso's crew survive the journey?


Gliese 581: Departure (SF/Apocalyptic)
Book 3 in the Kapalaran Universe
By Christine D. Shuck
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1523820498
Price $13.95 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
312 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

It’s the later part of the 21st century, and our planet has all ready experienced a second Civil War. Monsanto has become EcoNu, and America is readying the Calypso, a space ship to take 250 top scientists to Zarunina’s world, a newly located planet identified as Gliese 581, where humans might live and start a new civilization. EcoNu hopes to conquer the pork market on Earth by introducing genetic viruses into pigs. The project goes awry after Calypso leaves the Earth for space, and the virus decimates the population left behind. It’s a Level 5 extension event, killing 99.95 percent of the population, which hasn’t occurred since the Permian-Triassic extension over 250 million years ago. Now it’s up to the men and women of Calypso to start that new civilization on a distant planet, if they can survive the voyage, while the 15 million survivors left on Earth try to repopulate the planet. And the virus in interfering with births at an alarming rate.

The author did her research on many subjects, including viruses and their effects among world population. The story begins on the Calypso after someone has sabotaged the bay where 200 men and women rest in stasis. And if the system can’t be corrected, they will die. From there the story jumps back and forth to different people and places before the virus and after, and back and forth to the Calypso, also before the sabotage. Normally, I don’t like stories that jump around so much. It’s too easy to forget characters and why we met them in the first place, but the story line keeps the reader involved, and the pure immensity of the situation makes you want to learn more. This was a chilling prediction of what could actually destroy the human race, if we aren’t careful. I highly recommend this to fans of apocalyptic science fiction. You won’t be disappointed.

Tom Johnson
Author of PANGAEA: EDEN’S PLANET


Monday, November 6, 2017

The Adventures of The Incognita Countess

It's the easiest assignment a British intelligence agent could hope for. Lucy Harker needs only see the secret plans of the Nautilus safely across the Atlantic. As German spies are largely a fantasy of newspapers, she anticipates no activities more strenuous than hiding her heritage as Dracula’s dhampir daughter. Then among her fellow Titanic passengers she discovers the incognita Countess Karnstein—and it seems the seductive vampire is in Germany’s service. Can Agent Harker stake Carmilla before her own heart—and her loyalty to the British Empire—are subverted by questions as treacherous as a night-cloaked iceberg?


The Adventures of the Incognita Countess (SF/Alternate History/Vampires)
By Cynthia Ward
Aqueduct Press www.aqueductpress.com
ISBN #978-1619761193
Price $12.00 (Paperback)
Price $5.95 (Kindle)
126 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Great Story Telling”

Lucy Harker is an agent of the British Empire’s Secret Service Bureau, and when she’s given an assignment nothing earthly – or unearthly will stop her. The HMS Titanic is about to make its maiden ocean voyage a few years after the Martian’s attempted invasion. On board is an American military officer carrying documents Britain is sharing with America on alien technology. The officer has booked passage on the Titanic, and Lucy’s job is to shadow him for protection of those documents. There is also a vampire on board, and Lucy just happens to be a dhampir, a killer of vampires. So she must watch out for German spies and the vampire.

This was a rollicking fun adventure from the first page till the conclusion. Though most of the story takes place on board the Titanic – and we know what happens with that unsinkable ship, it’s full of action, and we meet real and fictional people; even a certain British Lord who may have been raised by apes. There is a German scientist also on board who will make a name for himself in G-8’s WWI. I’ve never really been a true fan of vampire stories, but this yarn pulled me instantly into the action, and kept me turning the pages. All of the characters were real to me, including the vampire. The story is definitely pulpy, but the author’s writing is intelligent and the story telling excellent. I highly recommend this short novel to all readers who like good story telling and great writing. I could not put this book down until the final page.

Tom Johnson
Author of PANGAEA: EDEN’S PLANET