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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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Crimes of Winter

Crime, suspense, and marital woes combine in this atmospheric procedural set in the seemingly quiet Mediterranean town of Perpignan.
This winter is going to be a rough one for Inspector Gilles Sebag, for he has discovered a terrible truth: Claire has been cheating on him. Bouncing between depression, whisky, and insomnia, he buries himself in work in an attempt to forget.
But his investigations lead him inexorably to bigger tragedies—a woman murdered in a hotel, a depressed man who throws himself from the roof of his building, another who threatens to blow up the neighborhood—all of them involving betrayals of some sort. Perpignan seems to be suffering from a veritable epidemic of crimes of passion. Adultery is everywhere! And each betrayal leads to another dramatic crime.
Sebag has an uncanny ability to slip into the skin of his suspects and solve apparently unsolvable crimes. Though professionally charmed, he is unlucky in love. He is a perfect protagonist for the town of Perpignan, sleepy and leisurely on the surface, seething with vice and violence underneath.

Crimes of Winter (Police Procedural)
By Philippe Georget
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609453893
Price $18.00
448 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Topnotch writing, Interesting Plot, And Real Characters.”

It’s the Christmas holiday, and Inspector Gilles Sebag has just found proof that his wife has had a four-month affair, and he’s trying to deal with the crises at home. However, it appears that there is an epidemic of adultery in Perpignan. And there  is something curious about several of the cases that have resulted in deaths. Someone is sending photographs to husbands showing their wives’ infidelity. Is this person responsible for the deaths, and why?

We follow Inspector Sebag as he struggles with his own marital problems, and facing family-crises that could ruin his marriage. He begins to drink more, and his mind isn’t on the official case as close as it should be, so clues elude him until he comes to grips with his personal situation. Only then can he run the person down behind the deadly string of violence.

This was another interesting case involving the French police inspector on the Mediterranean shore between France and Spain. A splendid follow-up to his premier novel, Summertime, And All The Cats Are Bored. It shows the teamwork of his team, as they investigate this strange case while dealing with their own lives and problems. There were times I couldn’t keep up with the characters, but I blame this on the foreign (to me) names, not to any fault with the author or writing. The writing was certainly topnotch, and the plot interesting, while the characters were real. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Empire of Doom

It began with the hijacking of a destroyer from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The stolen warship struck midtown Manhattan with its mighty guns, then vanished far out to sea.
         Who were the strange men wearing the golden uniforms of no known power who pulled off the daring highjacking? And who was their mysterious leader, a being of seemingly supernatural abilities?
         Doc Savage did not know. But The Shadow did! Combining forces, the Man of Bronze and the Dark Avenger follow the trail of a superfoe from The Shadow’s past.
But can they learn to trust one another?
         From fog-shrouded New York to a futuristic underground kingdom in the heart of Asia, the battle sprawls––with the world’s fate at stake!

Empire of Doom (Adventure)
“Wild Adventures of Doc Savage”
By Kenneth Robeson (Will Murray)
ISBN #978-1618272850
Price $24.95
460 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Classic Pulp Adventure.”

Shiwan Khan, The Golden Master, once thought dead after battling The Shadow in four pulp adventures, is back and gunning for The Shadow as he prepares to gather his Golden Horde for another try at world conquest. Stealing a destroyer  in the New York Navy Yard, he aims the big guns at a hotel in New York, hoping to destroy The Shadow while Kha Khan’s men steal scientific weapons The Shadow has stored in the Sanctum in the hotel basement. With these super weapons he then heads out to sea in his quest for Xanadu, his Mongol kingdom hidden beneath a mountain range in Asia. This time he believes himself unstoppable.

This novel starts off with action, bringing both The Shadow and Doc Savage into the fight from the start. The Shadow is driven with a passion to stop the self-claimed descendant of Ghanghis Khan before he can set up his kingdom and rule the world. Doc Savage just wants to stop the madman from killing more people. The trail leads Doc and his aides, Monk, Ham, Renny, and Long Tom on the trail of the stolen destroyer, while The Shadow is in hot pursuit of Shiwan Khan. Aiding The Shadow are Slade Farrow and Miles Crofton. Also present in the US is Senator Ross Releston and FBI agent, Vic Marquete. This was a highly action-packed novel featuring the two pulp heroes together for the second time, and I had the idea that Doc Savage wasn’t sure how to take The Shadow and his violent ways, but working together, Doc and The Shadow are also an awesome pair. A really fun story, but I am anxious for Will Murray to write a lone Shadow novel without Doc some day. Personally, I think he can do it with ease. Highly recommended

Tom Johnson


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Signing

Tom’s Book Signing: Signing books at the Baylor County Free Library last evening (1/18/17), from 5-6 pm. Not a lot of visitors showed up, but we did enjoy talking with Jessica Myers, the Librarian, and the few who did stop by. We just took one picture. Here I am signing copies of THESE ALIEN SKIES, WORLDS OF TOMORROW and THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA for Bill & June Sharon. Sadly, Seymour rolls up its streets at 5 pm, and few people will venture out after that hour. Plus, there were some heavy clouds overhead, and thunderstorms threatened.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Your twenties are supposed to be some of the best, and certainly the most fun of your life, but for Emma Taylor, turning twenty-five brought her world crashing down around her. Four years after being diagnosed with debilitating disease, her love life is nonexistent. A series of failed blind dates - courtesy of her friends - has left her depressed and defeated. Intent on turning to her best friend for a vent session, Emma sends off a rapid fire instant message, except her message ends up in someone else's inbox. The inbox of hot Navy man, Bryan Sampson. Her friend Mel’s best friend, and Emma's secret crush.
Bryan Sampson has only met Emma Taylor one time during a night of karaoke while on leave, but in one night, she managed to make an impression. She seemed timid and uncomfortable in her own skin, but underneath it all, he saw how strong she had to be in order to cope with her disease. So when he her message caught his eye, he opened it without a second thought, and realizes almost immediately it wasn’t intended for him. Now that he’s read it though, he can’t turn his back on her and feels duty bound to help the cause. Besides what else is he supposed to do with his free time? He vows he will help her find love never suspecting that the more he talked to her, the more he would find out about himself…the more he would think about her.
Emma is determined to face her demons thanks to Bryan's help, but little by little she begins falling harder for the one person who isn't ashamed of her or her disease. Can she put her heart on the line and take the risk? Can she convince Bryan that love, her love, is worth it?
Sometimes all it takes is one person to expose the person within.

Exposed (Romance)
Book 1 of The Love Seekers Series
By Maria Vickers
Independent Publishing Platform
426 Pages
Price $2.99
Rating 5-Stars
The heroine of this story is struck down by a disease, Myasthenia gravis, in her twenties, and faces a lifetime of traumatic symptoms. She is forced to use a cane or walker to perform her daily chores.
This story follows her as she meets her tormentors, friends, and her hero. We see her trials and tribulations she must endure as she goes about her daily life, growing from a timid person into a strong competent independent person. Highly recommended.

Ginger Johnson


Friday, January 13, 2017

SciFan Magazine

SciFan Magazine (SF & Fantasy Magazine)
Issue #1, January 2017
SciFan Entertainment
ISBN # 978-1520252056
Price $8.95
182 Pages
Rating 3-Stars

We live in a time when magazines are becoming a thing of the past. It’s nice to see a new science fiction/fantasy magazine appear, basically with unknown authors to start, hopefully, a long run.
I wanted to review the production of the magazine this time around, as I don’t have time to read all the stories in my busy review log. First of all, this is a huge magazine, 8.5 x 11 inches, with a glossy cover and white pages. The production looks good.
There are several negative points to this issue, and I hope they will be addressed in future issues. Number one, the price doesn’t seem bad when you first look at it, but that’s not what the buyer pays. Add to the $8.95 price, include postage of $4.98, then a tax of $1.15, and the magazine cost me $15.08, which is too high a price. I do not plan on repeating. The publisher needs to think seriously about creating a subscription price and knock off five or six dollars.
The second negative complaint concerns the TM (Trade Mark image). It’s nice, but almost every page has a full size image of the trademark center page and covering story text like a watermark; this could have been a small image placed in one of the corners of the page, if they want it on every page. But definitely not as a large image covering every page. It is distracting, and not needed. Come on, we know it’s your trademark, gee.
Another complaint concerns interior illustrations. Yes, there are a few, but basically what is known as “postage stamp” small spot drawings. Hmm, the trademark gets almost full page on every page, but we get a tiny spot illustration for the stories? That doesn’t seem right. How about a larger image of interior art?
Okay, that’s my take on this new SF/Fantasy magazine. Recommended with a few misgivings. My 3-Star Rating is strictly on the price and production, not on the stories. I will rate the stories another day. Since I didn’t review the stories, I’ll let the magazine editor tell you what’s inside.
“In this first issue of SciFan™ Magazine, we are proud to present the creative works of thirteen talented authors who write in the Science Fantasy genre. Among these authors, we secured an Exclusive Sneak Peek to Amazon Bestselling Author Blaise Corvin's upcoming novella "Secret of the Old Ones" which is scheduled to be released in late January 2017! In this issue we will also divulge the secrets to his success story in the new LitRPG genre.
To learn more about what Science Fantasy is, or if you are interested in submitting your works for consideration in a future issue, check out our website at
Octav’s Rise to Ainoren by Dawn Chapman:
What the King has to say to Commander Octav Broki not only rocks his very beliefs but will alter the world he knows and loves forever. Despite his most primal need to defend and protect, he must go on this mission and leave his friend to fate.
Seance on Death Row by Douglas Kolacki:
The courts are willing to commute a murderer's sentence from death to life. But first he must face the ghost of his victim.
The Tot of Wonder by John Taloni:
Omniman has been a superhero for decades - and a father for just over a year. His superpowered tot is a joy and a trial for him and his human wife. How can Omniman balance the duties of a superhero against the needs of a baby only he can handle?
Miss Soames by Kyle Hemmings:
A banker, bored with his life and his job, falls in love with a beautiful new employee who seems just as empty and bored as he is. Little does he know what she has in store.
Orlok's Song by David Castlewitz:
When Orlok flees the onslaught of humans, he intends to take his family to the nearby city where a rumored underground sanctuary will shelter them.
Voices Beneath The Ice by Matthew McKiernan:
When three astronauts land on Europa looking for extraterrestrial life, they find themselves trapped in a nightmare from which they cannot escape.
Secret of the Old Ones by Blaise Corvin:
A hardcore gamer has been playing for a year and is about to get his big break. Trent has the keys to massive success, but he also accidentally painted a target on his back… both in, and out of the game.
The SciFan™ Universe: A Scientific Creationist Story
Episode One: The Stirring by Jared Fleming:
Father's creation has been threatened by That-From-Beyond. Entire armies die, planets are torn asunder, and some swear that reality itself is coming undone. And yet, they stand. Despite all odds, tanks and artillery go forth, a bulwark against the Beast.
The Keystone Islands: Portals of the Grave by Lander Allen:
Scott, Miranda, and Dixon are in a race to find out who they really are. As they battle to save Cova from the threat of this new civilization, they must answer this most important question: are they the very weapons that could destroy humanity?
Stormguard: The Invisible War
Episode One by Tom Fallwell:
The Stormguard are the guardian angels of myth and legend, those who protect mortal souls and fight the war against Lucifer and his Fallen. Two of these angels embark on a mission to save humanity from unseen forces and dark terrors.
Spacejacking, First Act by Russell Hemmell:
What would you be thinking if an Asteroid Belt-bound spaceship suddenly vanishes under your eyes with no apparent scientific explanation? Bonus point: the ship's pilot is the girl you're in love with. Remi is going to find out.
The Brat and the Other Country by David Perlmutter:
Responding to a phone call from a colleague, the superhero known as the Brat enters the magical realm of Anthropomorph, where even her formidable powers are put to the test by the many supernatural denizens dwelling there.
In the Hot Mists by John A. Frochio:
A wild and rollicking steampunk adventure about a steam-powered airship race held at the Tenth Annual World Steam and Technology Convention. During the course of the race, the contestants have strange and extraordinary encounters.”

Tom Johnson