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. 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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bewitching Blog Tours & The Book Cave

Bewitching Blog Tours will be hosting me during my book release of PANGAEA: EDEN’S PLANET, from FIRST REALM PUBLISHING the week of June 23rd through June 30th. I will update the information as I know more. I am also scheduled to tape an interview on THE BOOK CAVE on June 15th, to air June 19th. You can tune in to the Podcast throughout the week here I will be discussing the book and characters, and probably go off on a few tangents about paleontology, dinosaurs, and ancient reptiles. It should be fun so don’t miss it. I will also take pictures of the Whiteside Museum of Natural History that opens on June 7th in Seymour, Texas. Seymour is the home of the Seymouria, a Permian reptile/amphibian that was discovered in the Craddock Redbeds in the early twentieth century and named after the town. Dr. Robert Bakker has discovered many Permian fossils during his Dig at the Site. The museum will feature fossils of Permian life as well as dinosaurs and mammals from other periods in our past. June is going to be an exciting month.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day
I want to wish all our Members a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Our local fire station is cooking breakfast for the veterans today in Seymour, and if the weather doesn’t get bad Ginger and I will be there. And if you are traveling, please be safe.

I must have been 19 or 20 when this was taken. Gads, was I ever that young?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Green Ghost Volume One

The Green Ghost Volume One
By Michael Panush, Greg Hatcher, B.C. Bell, Erwin K. Roberts
Airship 27
ISBN #978-0615993300
Price $15.29
172 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

The Green Ghost originally appeared in the early 1940 pulp magazines from Ned Pines’ Standard Magazine line. The author was G.T. Fleming-Roberts, whose name was appearing in many pulps of the day. He had already written a good chunk of Secret Agent X yarns over at Ace Magazines before starting The Ghost/Green Ghost stories. The Ghost was George Chance, famous stage magician, who now and then took on the guise of a mysterious crime fighter, with the aid of several friends. Fleming-Roberts was a master of mysteries with hidden motives behind the crimes. There are four stories in this volume by different authors.

“The Phantom Elephant of Coney Island” by Michael Panush gives us an odd story about a phantom elephant haunting an abandoned amusement park. Chance, Harper, and Tiny Tim go there one night to catch the ghost, and find a group of old carnival freaks hiding out, and a mobster trying to destroy the park, even if he has to kill the freaks. To be honest, the story was terrible. George Chance reveals the long-kept secret of his alter ego. There were at least five editing problems in the first two pages, but I’ve come to expect that from all the small press books, and it doesn’t bother me. What does bother me, however, The Green Ghost is ineffective even with his aides helping him; it’s a wonder there was a conclusion to the story. But thankfully, it did come to a merciful end.

“The Case of The Ectoplasmic  Escapist” by Greg Hatcher. Magician George Chance is invited to a museum honoring one of his mentors, Barry Bourdain, who died performing his trade magic act several years previously. In fact, all of the magicians he mentored are invited to Bourdain’s gothic mansion for a party. Chance believes his old friend was murdered, and the tragic magic act was not an accident, so The Green Ghost plans to attend the event.
This one was a gem. Chance, Harker, Tiny Tim, and Merry White sound and act like they are supposed to. One sour note was again revealing The Green Ghost’s identity to a fellow magician (and undercover agent), but the story was topnotch.

“The Case of The Rocketeer Ripper” by B.C. Bell. George Chance and Merry White are traveling across country to speak to servicemen about gambling traps around military bases. Their current stop is at Camp Burlington, but they make a stop in the city of Burlington where Judd Walters works as a rocket engineer for the government. Chance had known Walters when he worked at the circus during college. Arriving at his house, an ambulance and police are already there. Stepping from the car, the police chief recognizes the famous magician immediately, and takes him into the murder scene where he finds Walters, his head severed from his body. Now he has a murder to investigate while in the area.
This one needed to be fleshed out more. I think it would have worked better if expanded to a short novel or novel length. For instance, the policeman had never met the famous magician, and newspaper or poster pictures would not be a good image of him. He could not have been instantly recognized stepping from his automobile in a strange town. Nor would the police have let him enter the crime scene. Even the Phantom Detective had to show his badge. But with more space, this could have been an excellent plot.

“Murder In Sound Effects” by Erwin K. Roberts. George Chance, invited to speak on a radio station, finds a dead man during the program. All may not be what it seems at the station. He discovers that Wonderful Bakery, Inc. bought out the radio, and was it’s main sponsor.  He sent Joe to look in on the bakery, and Merry White to check records, while Tiny Tim visited a friend at the library for other information.
            As with the previous story, “Murder In Sound Effects” this one could have used more space to flesh out the story. We are “told” too much of the mystery, instead of seeing things discovered. A character named Johnston becomes Johnson by the end of the story.

Some final thoughts: The book has a great cover by Zachary Brunner, as well as some fine interior illustrations. I still contend that pulp illustrations had action scenes, but we see too many scenes with no action here - a room with people standing around, or eating at a table, or just standing around talking, etc.  The language in a couple of these stories dishonors the old series, as well. I did notice a bit more editing problems than usual for Airship 27 books, but this should not keep the reader from enjoying the volume. The gem of the volume is “The Case of The Ectoplasmic Escapist” by Greg Hatcher. Overall, the issue is a fun read, and I hope we see more volumes in the future. It would also be fun to see B.C. Bell and Erwin K. Roberts expand their novelettes into novel length adventures.

Tom Johnson

Echoes Magazine

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Voodoo Ridge

Voodoo Ridge (Murder Mystery)
By David Freed
ISBN #978- 1579623555
The Permanent Press
288 Pages
Price $28.00
Rating 5-Stars

“An Action Packed Thriller”

Cordell Logan, a private flight instructor in Rancho Bonita, is taking some time off to remarry his ex-wife, Samantha. They are flying down to Lake Tahoe for the ceremony. However, a few miles out from the airport, Logan spots what he believes is the wing of an airplane that has crashed in Voodoo Ridge. Notifying the police upon arrival at the airport, he’s asked to lead a rescue team to the crash site. From here, things go decidedly wrong. They discover the plane had crashed in 1956, and the pilot was long dead, but another mystery is apparent: another body is present, one killed the day before, and something has been taken from the plane.

As the mystery deepens, Samantha is kidnapped, and Logan is forced by the kidnapper to fly the stolen package to Santa Maria, if he wants to see his Samantha alive again. Meanwhile he and the police have been searching for her, but nothing solid has surfaced. Then, he finds out what is in the package, and must make a decision that could well kill the woman he loves.

This was the third novel in the Cordell Logan series. Cordell is an ex-government assassin, trained in finding terrorists and eliminating them. He knows he will eventually catch up with the killer and kidnapper, and will kill him, if the police don’t stop him first. But his hands are sufficiently tied, as he can’t afford to put Samantha’s life in jeopardy by his own actions, and it appears he is under observation by the bad guys. The series has just been getting better, too. Now, there is a hint that Logan may become more active with his old unit again, which means we will be in for more fun and action. Highly recommended for a page turner.

Tom Johnson

Detective Mystery Magazine

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Bronze Gazette #70

The Bronze Gazette #70

"Expanding the Bronze Age" by John L. Vellutini
Doc Savage comic book story: "Castle's in the Air" from SHADOW COMICS, February 1945
Front Cover by Tim Faurote
Interior illustrations: Edd Cartier, David Burton and Kevin Duncan

Now accepting subscriptions for The Bronze Gazette issues #71, 72, 73.
Prices are as follows:
Cost is $15.00/3 Issues US
Cost is $16.00/3 Issues Canada
Cost is $20.00/3 Issues Overseas
For those that have stuck with TBG all of these years, thanks for your continued support.

Send orders and  back issue inquiries to:
Green Eagle Publications
2900 Standiford Ave 16B
PMB #136
Modesto, Ca 95350

Checks and money orders should be payable to: Green Eagle Publications