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 fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Friday, August 16, 2019

King Ra Ra: Carrots For Sale

One morning will harvesting his carrots he notices a lot of old ladies buying them as quick as he pulls them. He wasn't intending to sell them but he liked the feeling of money in his hands. He decides that if he made them more expensive and more rare that they might make him rich ! but when no one buys them ..........he needs to find someone to buy them...........can you guess who ???


King Ra Ra: Carrots For Sale (Children’s Story)
By Kieron Seamons
Independent Publishing Platform
ASIN: B00O4LJOJO
46 Pages
Price Free (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

King Ra Ra of Africa has grown some very beautiful carrots, and as he admires them one day the jungle animals come out to see what their kind has. All want his wonderful carrots, and immediately begins buying them. Although he doesn’t want to sell his prized carrots, the money does feel good in his hands. Thinking about his carrots, and the money they made, he decides to offer more for sale the next day – and the next. The animals want the carrots badly, and this gives the king another idea, he can offer his prized carrots for higher prices, until they finally hit the top of the market at one million dollars each. What can the animals do? Where can they get so much money for the wonderful carrots, and keep the king happy?

This was a fun little story. The author writes and illustrates the story. My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is that the interior art was not in color. The story is probably aimed at children five years old and younger, and can be read at bed time, in libraries, and at home. Highly Recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of Wire Dog And The Ransom of Red Chief 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The City Burns At Night

She was just like a high-speed drive down Mulholland. Dangerous and full of curves!
Home from the War, hotshot reporter Tom Miller trades the frigid battlefields of Northern France for the warm sunshine and bright lights of Hollywood. Now dusting a chair at the Los Angeles Chronicle, Miller is looking to make his bones. He gets his chance after risking life and limb to rescue two endangered tykes from a brownstone inferno.
This not only gets him on the front page of every paper in town, but hot on the trail of a mysterious firebug who’s loose in the City of Angels. Plus an invitation to a Tinseltown soirée at his publisher’s oceanfront Malibu mansion.
After regaling the assembled glitterati with a dramatic recount of his heroics, Miller enters the orbit of two beautiful women who will forever change his life.
Trudy Wilkes is a young ingenue looking to make her Hollywood dreams of stardom come true. Miller is taken both by her innocence and her vast industry knowledge. She could be just what he needs to build a new future.
But then there's Irene Faye. A sizzling, blonde bombshell who’s career has been on the skids since separating from her studio honcho husband. Miller is just as drawn to her. But for completely different reasons.
As he works overtime to track down the arsonist and break the story wide open, Miller finds that Irene may actually be the key to the whole mystery. As he’s continually pulled deeper into her inescapable orbit, he risks both his job and his future with Trudy in his search for the truth.
And maybe even his life.
The City Burns at Night is the first book in the Hollywood Newshawk series, detailing the exploits of Tom Miller, hardboiled reporter in 1940s Los Angeles. If you like L.A. ConfidentialThe Black Dahlia, and Philip Marlowe, then you’ll love Roger Alford’s gritty mystery that effortlessly combines new pulp with a classic noir style.


The City Burns At Night (Pulp Noir)
By Roger Alford
Black Hood Press
ASIN: B07TKHHTLD
Price $.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

After the war ends in 1945, Tom Miller settles in California where he gets a job with the Los Angeles Chronicle. Covering an arson fire in town, he rescues children from the burning building, making a name for him, and is assigned to the arson case by the paper. A chance meeting at a party given by his boss, he meets two actresses that will be instrumental in his prime investigation. Both have knowledge that will help him solve the case – or be his death.

This was a fast moving noir that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, with just enough twists for a few surprises, and a slam-bang ending. There’s lots of pulpy fun with characters that come alive. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of INVITATION TO DEATH

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Oklahoma Winds

In Oklahoma, spring brings storms raging across the American prairie, too often spawning tornadoes that lash the land. But this spring Sydney St. John finds herself fighting for her life against another danger, one from the past. When her intern's body is discovered in the archives processing room, everyone wants to believe the girl's death was an accident or a horrible mistake. But Sydney sets out to discover whether the cruel murder of today resulted from another crime committed nearly seventy years earlier, searching for clues as only an archivist can. Her search leads her to another danger, different, in the person of Ben Bartlett, grandson of the creator of the very collection at the center of the mystery. Is he to be her lover? Or her murderer?


 Oklahoma Winds (Cozy Mystery)
A Sydney St. John Mystery #1
By Cary Osborne
Crossroad Press
ISBN # 978-1941408704
Price $12.99 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
194 Pages
Rating 4-Stars


Sydney St. John is the archivist for records in Gansel, Oklahoma. It’s May of the present day, and tornado season. Everyone is watching the weather for violent storms. Arriving at work one morning she finds her university intern dead. Sydney believes her murder involves the latest material donated to the archives. While the local and state police investigate the homicide, she concentrates on the material, believing the answers lie there.

In 1938, Josiah Bartlett was a filmmaker that travelled to small towns making short films using local children. In Vernon, he wrote a play that involved a young 12-year-old girl being kidnapped, and two young boys rescue her from an old barn. But something goes wrong. The girl, Violet Parsons really disappears. At the same time, a banker is reported kidnapped and ransom of two hundred thousand dollars is asked for his return. The money was paid, but his body was later found. Sydney follows the clues in the archives and films, and a story slowly unravels making her believe that Violet Parsons is still alive, but using another name, and may have been involved in the murder of the banker. But complications arise when Josiah’s grandson, Ben Bartlett comes from California to look through the material. Sydney’s afraid she may be falling for him, and he could be the murderer. Mixed with the danger of a killer loose in Gansel, there are severe storms, as well as tornados that make life difficult in the area.


I was given a copy of the book for an honest review. This was an interesting plot, and I wanted to find out the truth about the missing girl in 1938, but like most cozy mysteries, the story moves slow, even with the storms and attempts on Sydney’s life. The story is clean, and sex is kept in the background. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES




Monday, July 1, 2019

ASTOUNDING

Astounding (SF/Biographies)
By Alec Nevala-Lee
Dey Street Books
ISBN #978-0062571946
Price $16.50 (hardback)
Price $13.39 (Paperback)
544 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Monument To The Past”

Astounding was the leading science fiction magazine in the Golden Age of SF. When John Campbell took over editorial control the stories became more believable than the previous soap opera appearing in the news rack magazines of the day. The authors submitting to Astounding knew that their stories better show real science and nuts and bolts technology if they wanted published in John Campbell’s magazine. Three such authors were Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and L. Ron Hubbard. This book covers them and John Campbell in biographies that dig into their backgrounds, showing not only their talents, but also their faults. It also looks at the women behind the men. It’s a history that looks into the magazine in that period when Astounding led the field.

I was captivated by the stories I heard about these men and women. As a young reader in the early 1950s, I discovered Astounding and the other SF magazines, and read everything I could find, especially these authors, but also other science fiction masters like A.E. van Vogt, Ray Bradbury, George O. Smith, and the rest. For those of you that want to learn more about Astounding and the Golden Age of science fiction and the authors, I highly recommend this book.

Tom Johnson
Author of WORLDS OF TOMORROW 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Haunted Charlottesville

Charlottesville, Virginia, and its 12 surrounding counties are filled with history and charm. They also hold spirits who aren’t ready to leave their beloved homes or families behind. Visit more than 75 haunting locations with this experiential and historical guide. Shiver your way through haunted graveyards, mansions, parks, private residences, and other locations as you discover the past and learn of current lingering ghosts and the havoc they continue to instigate. Have you ever pondered about the spiritual implications from murders of olde? Think you might like to be pinched by a ghost or have your name called when no one is there? Interested in what a paranormal investigative group might find? Then make plans to explore these strange and frightening locations. Contact information is provided for those places allowing visitations. But when you visit, be ready for a haunting good time!


Haunted Charlottesville (Paranormal)
“And Surrounding Counties”
By Susan Schwartz
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN #978-0764357556
196 Pages
Price $18.99 (Paperback)
Rating 5-Stars

“A Look At Haunted Places In Virginia”

In Charlottesville and the surrounding counties are a number of places and buildings that appear to be haunted. The author and her brother tour the wide area, she looking for signs and stories of hauntings, and her brother taking pictures of the places they visit. Most hauntings appear to be connected to battles of the Civil War that took place in this area of Virginia, but there are murders that also tend to have ghostly apparitions, as well.

Reading about the hauntings was fun, though in my opinion they are not restless souls that haven’t crossed over yet, but the evil reflections of violent death and murder that remain in those areas, leaving a passageway for demons to emerge. I also love great architect, and the photographs of the mansions and homes where these hauntings took place are beautifully displayed throughout the narrative.

War is violent and evil, and if we learned anything from the Civil War, brother should not fight brother again. There are other ways to achieve peace without massive killing of one another. Regardless of your opinion of ghosts and phantoms, this book will hold your interest to the last page. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of CARNIVAL OF DEATH

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hologram: The Abduction of Hui Chien Song

As a cadet with the Arizona Highway Patrol, Hui-Chien got hands-on experience and some street-cred with the officers while she worked toward a degree in Criminal Justice. Homicide Detective was her goal—until a blistering hot August day when a routine dispatch to a traffic accident changed her life forever.
News of the abduction hit Detective Fallon Brooks hard. However, Brooks had troubles of his own—he was out on leave due to an injury suffered during an incident involving the shooting death of an unarmed black man, an incident that had him in hot water with the LAPD. Nonetheless, the thought of the young Asian woman at the mercy of two convicted murders—one a child molester—shook him to his core. Brooks puts his conflict with the department and his current status as pariah of the force aside, and sets out on a desperate mission to find Hui-Chien.
A romantic suspense-thriller packed with twists and turns and a touch of erotic spice!


Hologram: The Abduction of Hui Chien Song (Romantic Suspense)
Hologram Book #3
By Nancy Miller
Hologram The Novel
ISBN #978-0989455756
Price $12.99 (Paperback)
Price $3.99 (Kindle)
297 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Two prisoners escape when the prison van turns over on the Arizona highway. They take Hui Chien Song a hostage. Song, an exchange student is studying criminal justice in hopes of becoming a homicide detective. For practical experience she is riding patrol with the Arizona Highway Patrol. Her unit responds to the accident report, putting her in harms way.

The story follows her captivity and Detective Fallon Brooks who wants to rescue her. Brooks partner shot an unarmed black man and the same bullet wounded him. His report clearly states the black man was unarmed and his boss wants him to change his statement. Meantime, Hui Chien is falling for one of her abductors, Hasan Khan, who is running from a murder conviction of his previous girlfriend. 

There are several sex scenes, as well as some profanity in the book, but the plot and characterization is topnotch, and there are several twists that are unexpected. Plus, we have a good cop and bad cop situation. The bad cop that plants evidence to convict. The good cop that plants evidence to prove the opposite when he knows the original evidence was planted by the bad cop. I couldn’t put the book down, as it kept my interest throughout, and the ending was certainly a surprise. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA

Friday, June 14, 2019

Rope On Fire

John Crane is an elite secret agent…until his agency suddenly closes. But if the government doesn’t want Crane’s talents, Internet billionaire Josh Sulenski does. Someone’s going to a lot of trouble to sabotage a harmless project he funds. Josh wants to know who and why.
When Crane investigates, he quickly turns up a lot more trouble than he bargained for. On his own and under attack from all sides, Crane makes up new rules for the spy game. His only assets: a talent for improvisation and Josh’s very deep pockets.
From the beaches of Puerto Rico to the gritty alleys of Eastern Europe, Crane works his way back to the man pulling the strings—a ruthless gangster out for global power. With his back against the wall and innocent lives at stake, John Crane charges into a war he may not be able to win.


Rope On Fire (Men’s Action Novel)
By Mark Parragh
Waterhaven Media LLC
ISBN #978-1733975605
Price $14.95 (Paperback)
Price #4.99 (Kindle)
324 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Smooth Reading, Plenty of Action”

John Crane worked for a secret government agency, the Hurricane Group, where he was a field agent until funds shut down the group and left him out of a job. Then young billionaire, Joshua Sulenski offers him a job. One of his projects he is funding is being harassed in Puerto Rico, and Josh wants him to find out who and why, and put a stop to the destruction of valuable equipment.

The first half of the book takes place in Puerto Rico where scientists are discovering microorganisms in the mud on the riverbanks. When men attack the lab wearing all black, Crane kills one of them and discovers they are cops. But they appear to be working for a Russian. He eventually stops the rogue police officers and Russian, but learns that someone else was heading the attack from the Czech Republic. The second half of the book takes place there, as Crane discovers a Russian crime boss behind the scenes.

This was a smooth read, with plenty of action. Well written, and fun. Thankfully, there are no sex scenes to slow the story, and the use of profanity does not clutter the narrative, though there is some language. This was all about plot and characterization. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA