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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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Endlight Event

It's the end of time predicted by the Mayan Calendar. The year is 2012. Nobody expects the ancient prophecies to be real, yet they occur as sure as nightfall precedes darkness. Scientists, Mesoamerican anthropologists and theologians quibble over the ultimate meaning of the cosmic event as it comes full force into our world, crippling everything around it. The Earths surface plunges to cryogenic temperatures while deep inside Carlsbad Caverns, an eccentric billionaire has plans to save all of earth’s life forms. Conditions deteriorate leaving the underground colony in peril. As internal chaos overtakes the doomed survival plan, a benevolent entity appears on the horizon. Will we survive the Endlight Event.

The Endlight Event (SF Thriller)
By John P. Cater
Dailey Swan Publishing
ISBN #978-0981584508
Price $14.95
346 Pages
Rating 5-stars

“An Interesting Look At How Life May End.”

Astronomer Galileo Pruitt discovers a dense cloud in space on a direct course with Earth, and estimates it’s arrival will coincide with the Mayan’s December 2012 prediction of the end of days. The cloud will come between the Earth and our sun, blocking light for a period of four years, and dropping temperatures to several hundred degrees below zero, causing an extinction extinction event (ELE), and bring in a new Ice Age.  With the approaching calamity, the government prepares for a few key government officials to survive in the bunker beneath Sheyenne Mountain, while others flee to caves with little hope of surviving even the initial months. Billionaire Jackson Morrow has bigger plans. He is gathering top scientists and important men in their fields – doctors, biologists, and people with the no-how to rebuild mankind after the coming extinction. An underground Noah’s Ark of sorts, as he is bringing animals of every species along with the human population to the Carlsbad Caverns, where he has built a complex deep below ground to support thousands of survivors along with the animals.

As with any big plans, things will go wrong. An animal virus, murders, and the human factor come close to shutting the complex down before it even gets started. And then comes the bad news, the event will last six months instead of four, two months longer than originally planned for. Their only hope may be an SOS sent into space. If an alien race is listening, perhaps they can save us.

Wow. Hollywood, where were you while this book languished in limbo, and you were releasing junk movies? Look around you; there were some gems like ENLIGHT EVENT you could have filmed instead. I picked up the 2008 version from Dailey Swan Publishing, which was a bad mistake. Through no fault of the author’s the publisher’s formatting and poor editing damages this edition. The 2004 edition from Author House is the version to buy. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lost In Tanganyika

In 1862, William and Elizabeth Darmon escape from Zanzibar, crossing hostile territory to Lake Victoria. Pursued by ruthless slavers, they flee to Niam Niam country in Darkest Africa. There, William is forced on a desperate mission to save his wife from cannibals. Upon his return, he discovers evidence that she has been sold as a slave to the Arab Rashid family in Hayil across the Red Sea. His chase ends in a disaster beyond imagination, with redemption dependent upon solving Emir Talal's demise.

Lost In Tanganyika (Adventure)
By Thomas Thorpe
Black Rose Writing
ISBN #978-161296464
Price $16.95
224 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

An African Adventure.”

Lieutenant Colonel Hamerton puts a British couple, William and Elizabeth Darmon on House Arrest after they unknowingly commit an offense against local customs in East Africa. Forced into imprisonment for a year, they seek a way to escape and reach the Nile River returning them to Egypt, and then back home. With their guards missing, and the heavy rains causing flooding, they attempt a trip by boat via the river, but the boat is destroyed and they are left afoot, and must travel across an unfriendly land. Their journey through Tanganyika is a hazardous one, and filled with danger and loss before it’s all over.

This is historical Africa in the 1860s. They will be faced with slavery, separation, cannibalism, and warring tribes, while the land itself offers no sure protection. Africa is still untamed, and civilization far away. It will take all they have to survive, even with the help of their new friend, Nyayoo.

I believe this is an on-going series, but LOST IN TANGANYIKA can be read as a stand-alone adventure. Although sometimes reading like a travelogue and descriptive encyclopedia entry of Africa, I found the story quite readable, with excitement, suspense, and enough thrills to keep me turning the pages. Highly recommended for adventure lovers.

Tom Johnson


Monday, April 18, 2016

If I Were You

Does size matter?  Is bigger better? That’s no small question to Tom Little—the circus midget with giant dreams. 
         Tom may be king of the midgets, but he’s got far grander ambitions—to become the muscleman at the top, the ringmaster.  Now, drawing on some dark ancient secrets and mystic texts, he’s about to get his wish.  Imagine a pint-sized Mickey Rooney on steroids, trading up into a body like Burt Lancaster’s.  Then imagine paying the biggest price of all…. 
Assuming another man’s identity, Tom discovers he must also take on his sins, debts, and enemies.  He may be living large—but now there are those who want to make him pay for the big man’s sins.

If I Were You (Fantasy Adventure)
By L. Ron Hubbard
ISBN #978-1592123599
Price $9.95
121 Pages

“A Fun Fantasy Romp.”

This book actually contains two stories: IF I WERE YOU, originally published in the February 1940 issue of FIVE NOVELS MONTHLY, and THE LAST DROP, co-written with L. Sprague de Camp.
         IF I WERE YOU is a circus setting. Little Tom Little is only 30-inches tall, and wants to be bigger. Well, not just bigger, but he wants to also be the Ringmaster of the Johnson Super Shows circus, but standing in his way is Hermann Schmidt, a huge, powerful ruffian that currently holds that possession. Tom has made the Professor mad, because he won’t bend to his will. On his deathbed, the Professor call Tom to his bed, leaving his trunk of magic and books of evil knowledge to the little man, knowing that Tom will use the books to get into trouble. Which, indeed, he does. Learning the power of switching minds with anyone, Tom chooses Hermann Schmidt, and then everything starts going wrong for the diminutive fellow.
         In THE LAST DROP begins in the Hole In The Wall bar, where bartender Euclid O’Brien has received another whiskey bottle from his brother in Borneo. Euclid’s assistant, Harry McLeod decides to make his own mix with the strange brew, but nobody will take a chance, so Harry swallows it down, then leaves the bar. He’s not gone long before a fly lands on the mixture, sips the nectar and instantly begins to swell to enormous size. They also learn that Harry is now the size of a building, and one of the wise men figures out an antidote – if that mixture makes them bigger, then his mixture will reduce them in size. Yes, it works, but the local mob enforcer gets shrunk instead, and now the mob is involved. It can only get worse from here.
         The stories are definitely odd, but totally fun. I highly recommend the book for its fast-paced entertainment.

Tom Johnson


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dark Debts

In Dark Debts, Karen Hall masterfully combines southern gothic, romantic comedy, and mystery in a wildly original theological thriller that has become a cult favorite since being published twenty years ago. In this new anniversary edition, the author has reimagined her work. The result is a suspenseful, irreverent, and deeply spiritual novel that captivates from the very beginning and doesn’t let go.
When Randa, a reporter for an alternative newspaper in Los Angeles, receives an urgent phone call from her estranged lover, Cam, she rushes to his apartment. She arrives to discover that he’s leapt from the building to his death. Police believe that before committing suicide, Cam also murdered someone in a convenience store, but Randa does not believe Cam is capable of such an act. She seeks out Cam’s brother, Jack, who is living off the grid, somewhere near Atlanta, in hope of figuring out what really happened.
Meanwhile, a Jesuit priest named Michael Kinney has been exiled from New York City to the boondocks of Georgia after making controversial public statements. He has said things that educated people of faith are not supposed to express. Even more problematically, he has fallen in love with a woman, and the last surviving member of his family has kept a shocking family secret from him.
How these characters converge is part of the thrilling mystery of Dark Debts, a cult favorite first published twenty years ago. In this new edition, author Karen Hall has re-imaged her southern gothic tale and the result is a work of even greater power—a brilliantly realized and suspenseful evocation of the conflict between good and evil.

Dark Debts (Thriller)
By Karen Hall
Simon & Schuster
ISBN #978-1501104114
Price $13.50
415 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Satanic Possession.”

When Randa Phillips gets a call from her old boyfriend, Cam Landry, asking her to come over, she does, only to discover he has jumped from his widow in an act of suicide. To Randa, a newspaper reporter, it doesn’t make sense. Cam had just received a two hundred thousand dollar advance for his next book. Everything appeared to be going his way. Suicide could not be true. Now she felt responsible for getting his property to a brother that may not ever care that he had died. When Randa starts digging deeper into his background, she discovers a family secret so horrible it has resulted in many deaths and other atrocities.

Father Michael Kinney, a catholic Jesuit priest is called in by family friends to talk to their son, whom the parents believe is possessed. What he finds is too big for him to handle alone, and the church power refuses to help him, so he seeks the aid of an independent priest who has performed exorcisms before, but the demon is too powerful for them, and before the church can save the boy he murders his parents, leaving Father Kinney feeling partly responsible. But when his mentor dies, he learns there is a deeper secret that goes beyond the boy, and connects to an evil even more powerful than he imagined, tying him into a family cursed through several generations.

 The writing was excellent, and the story moved smoothly. In a world of evil, when men are as evil as the demons they hope to defeat, the battle seems to be unwinnable. Demons know our weaknesses before we will admit them, and they use those weaknesses to possess our bodies. The author uses the Catholic Church and priests in this story, but she could have used men of any denomination, for men are sinful regardless of what cloth they wear. To see men trying to solve problems while wallowing in their own sin is likely a sin against God itself. First, we need to truly turn over our lives to Him before we can act for Him. That the world is filled with such sin can be seen all around us, and the author paints a clear picture of one family’s curse, but doesn’t notice how large the problem really is. Still, the painting is plain, and the message is clear. There is a war going on. A war between Good and Evil. I did get the impression that the author did not believe the Bible, her characters often calling it a book of fairy tales. I wasn’t so disturbed, as one reviewer was, by Jesus wearing jeens in the story, only that the Bible tells us when He returns, He will return in all His Glory, and all eyes will see Him. To have Him appearing to the priest in jeens, or anything else, was not a good idea. But I highly recommend this as a work of fiction. The story of a family possessed could give you nightmares – if you don’t have the Savior.

Tom Johnson