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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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Vendetta Receives 5-Star Review

“Vendetta” by J. Douglas Knauer receives 5-Star review from Brandon Awbrey: "Great thriller! An interesting thriller with deep layers of conspiracy. One man's horrible childhood experience leads him to seek the ultimate revenge, no matter the cost. Complex and well written, hope to see more from this author."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Dies In Summer

What Dies In Summer (Southern Gothic)
“A Coming Of Age Novel”
By Tom Wright
ISBN #978-0-393-06402-5
W.W. Norton & Company (Hardback)
Price: $25.95
Publication Date June 2012
Rating 5-Stars

In this intriguing tale of a teenage boy growing up in Texas among a dysfunctional family, young James “Biscuit” experiences life, love, fear, and terror in a story surrounding murder and sexual depravation. It’s a story that captures your heart and emotions as young Biscuit tries to protect his cousin Lee Ann from sexual abuse, while avoiding physical abuse from his stepfather. To add to the terror, a sexual predator is killing young girls and mutilating their bodies, while Biscuit fears his cousin may be next. The human monster is worse than any imagined creature the mind can create.

This was a story impossible to put down. I was amazed at the wide-sweep of dysfunctional families.  It seemed that everyone was a suspect, and there didn’t appear to be any sane families in the plot. The characters were thoroughly thought out, and the pacing moved smooth and easily.  I even picked the wrong person as the murderer, so the author kept me off my toes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Treasure Of Jur Now Available

Tom Johnson’s “Treasure of Jur”, the 5th novel in the popular Jur saga. Nazi Germany has found a time portal giving them access to the treasures of a prehistoric land. But even with superior weapons, Hitler’s supermen may not win through to the ultimate prize. Jungle excitement and thrills await the reader in this current tale of greed and murder in a savage pre-dawn world.

Now available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Treasure of Jur

TREASURE OF JUR by Tom Johnson

Coming to Kindle in May, Tom Johnson’s “Treasure of Jur”, the 5th novel in the popular Jur saga. Nazi Germany has found a time portal giving them access to the treasures of a prehistoric land. But even with superior weapons, Hitler’s supermen may not win through to the ultimate prize. Although a 6th novel was half finished years ago, the series has been forgotten while the author worked on other projects. Now, the 5th novel will be available shortly. Perhaps the final novel, “Drums of Jur” will eventually see publication.

After receiving - and reading - the long awaited 1st issue of the new Shadow series from Dynamite comics, I am again disappointed in the portrayal of Walter Gibson's creation. The comic book has a cover price of $3.99, and contains  36 pages counting front and back cover. There is 22 pages of Shadow story, plus the cover for a total of 23 pages, then 13 pages of advertisements for Dynamite's other comics. In fact, the center pages are devoted to a two-page advertisement for Dynamite's Prophesy. Again, the buyer should feel cheated that this wasn't a two-page spread for The Shadow instead! Seems to me the buyer is paying for their advertisements, and getting very little story for the price. The artwork is good, and The Shadow looks okay, but Lamont Cranston and Margo Lane do not capture the familiar images from the pulps. Nor does the dialog. Yes, The Shadow blurts "The Weed of Crime", etc., but his foolish dialog while shooting crooks is not like the character, but belongs to the modern sensibilities I suppose. Margo Lane seems to merely be a sexual companion for Lamont Cranston. Except for the costume and name, this could have been a modern comic book set in the 1930s or '40s. The cover of my copy is the one with bats in the background. I suppose to connect the image to Batman. My personal opinion? Forget this version of The Shadow. At the price, we deserve much more than this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vendetta By J. Douglas Knauer

This thriller novel is available at Amazon:

The book costs $5.99, but is FREE between April 19 and April 23, 2012. Author’s website address:

When you’re in love, you can’t worry your lover by telling him that men are chasing you and killing people in their path. A continent away, your lover’s situation is no less dire. He can’t reach you to warn you to hide from possible danger, and he won’t tell you that since his plane landed at O’Hare in Chicago, he was kidnapped and is under threat of death from a former friend he helped bury back in Iran.
Those situations have spun Ava Sevani’s and David Badalian’s lives out of control. What they don’t know is that Ava’s former lover, Dirk Brown, a pipeline tycoon, is also Homeland Security’s most wanted mercenary, known simply as Nail.  Brown/Nail wants Dr. Badalian to relieve his chronic pain from a spinal injury…before he kills him to get Ava back, along with her father’s deadly formula.
Nail lives with debilitating pain and a manic vendetta to rid the world of the Republic of Islam, where his mother was stoned to death when he was a teen. But he wants the world to do the job for him. For that to happen, he has to give them a good reason.  Gutting the Heartland by exploding pipeline pump stations using nano-technology that bears an Iranian logo, then placing the poison chemical into municipal water systems, might do the trick.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pulp Echoes Review & Podcast

Following is a Review by JoAnna Senger for Tom Johnson’s PULP ECHOES. Tom & Ginger also join Art & Ric on The Book Cave Podcast at to discuss the short story collection this week. However, Tom warns that he might put listeners to sleep, so keep plenty of coffee on hand.

By Tom Johnson
ISBN #978-0982679586
Price: $15.50
238 Pages
Rating 4 Stars

Memory Lane can take you to some strange places such as comic book stores with impossibly manly heroes even more remote than James Bond.  Unless, of course, they’re women.  Then they are equally remote, impossibly beautiful and deadlier than the male. 

Johnson’s introduction to Pulp Echoes, a collection of pulp fiction stories, qualifies the author as a scholar of pulp fiction as well as a writer.  The reader is privileged to enjoy a history of the genre as well as an index of all the heroes who appeared, disappeared, and now reappear.  The stories are set in various time periods, both modern and wartime. If modern, the author must maintain the action and uncompromising style of the genre while introducing modern touches, such as cell phones.  Johnson does this very well, smoothly and unobtrusively.

The collection includes a Black Ghost story (“Carnival of Death”) ending enigmatically, leaving the reader with a question and waiting for the next story.  The Black Cat appears as “A Cat Among Dogs,” displaying her usual skill with unique weapons and some imaginative ways to short out the lights.  In “Blind as a Bat,” the Bat displays a talent for disguise as well as bringing justice to a Chinese crime operation.  Captain Adventure responds to “Terror in the North Country” and Johnson surprises his readers by referencing Sasquatch and the Mayan language…possibly a first in pulp fiction history.  The Crimson Clown (particularly scary to this reader) takes on the mob and meets The Black Cat, two superheroes in the same story!  Then the reader takes a trip back in time to the late 1700’s in California territory to meet Senora Scorpion on a mission of revenge.

The pulp fiction genre requires that the good guys are clearly distinguished from the bad guys and justice must prevail.  By today’s standards, such requirements would put the writer in a straight jacket.  Johnson breaks out of these limitations by introducing intriguing characters and ingenious weapons, such as a gun that shoots some sort of knock-out gas.  It takes a resourceful writer to stay within the pulp fiction rules and still introduce variety and surprise.
The reader can count on excitement and, if old enough, more than a bit of nostalgia from Pulp Echoes.
            Review by JoAnna Senger