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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Annie's Bones

In the fall of 1967, Grayson Melvin met the girl of his dreams. Annie Lineberger was so far out his league that he felt like she was playing an entirely different game, but somehow he won her affections. He couldn't believe his good luck while it lasted. They both were 18, but Grayson was a baby, and Annie had been around. She was beautiful, smart and funny. When she told him she loved him, he would have died for her, right then and there.
Instead, Annie died or at least disappeared from the face of the earth. On the same night when she broke Grayson's teenage heart by giving him his walking papers, she vanished.
Everyone believed he killed her. Without a body, though, nothing could be proved. And so Grayson Melvin lived his life. Kicked out of his university, he went from the Army and Vietnam to bartending to another college to newspapers, where he discovered that Annie s well-connected and vengeful family still had the power to step into his stunted life and punish him.
Then, in the spring of 2016, Annie reappears. Our at least her bones do, dug up by a backhoe operator clearing land for a strip mall in a small Virginia town. Grayson, now teaching at a community college in Richmond and creeping toward retirement, is back in a spotlight he has tried to avoid for all his adult life.
With the court of public opinion almost unanimously against him, Grayson goes back to North Carolina to try to make the past go away, with disastrous results. Then, he gets a call. A woman he doesn't know in a town where he's never been has found a ring his high school ring last seen in Annie Lineberger's possession. Grayson Melvin has one chance to prove his innocence, by chasing a ghost and figuring out what happened on that long-ago night, the one when he lost Annie.

Annie’s Bones (Murder Mystery)
By Howard Owen
The Permanent Press
ISBN #978-1579625221
Price $22.19 (Hardback)
Price $9.99 (Kindle)
224 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Case That Will Keep The Reader Guessing”

I was given a copy of the book for an honest review. While excavating an industrial property for a new mall, human bones are unearthed. Bones that reopen a five-decade old murder mystery. The bones prove to be those of a missing college girl named Annie Lineberger, from a wealthy family. The suspect in the case was her college sweetheart, Grayson Melvin. He could not be prosecuted at the time because there was no body, but he was assumed guilty regardless. Now that there is proof of murder, the family wants the case continued, and Grayson must prove his innocence.

This is a well-written mystery of a cold case file, as the story jumps from present day back to 1967 and we follow Melvin searching for clues to clear his name or find the real murderer. Although this is a stand-alone novel, the reader is treated to the appearance of reporter Willie Black, the author’s main protagonist in another series of novels. Willie and other citizens come to Grayson’s aid even though everything points to his guilt.

Tom Johnson
Author of THE COBRA

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Guest Author Cheryl Lawson

Guest Post Author Cheryl Lawson

Cheryl Lawson (Bezuidenhout) lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, with her husband and son. Cheryl grew up in South Africa, moving to Canada in 2006 when her son was just a year old. They settled in the lower mainland of BC, before moving, in 2017, to Kamloops.
After a long career as a graphic designer, photographer and artist, Cheryl began pursuing writing, full-time, in 2014. She released her first non-fiction book in 2016. When she is not writing, Cheryl continues to pursue her passion for nature through her art and photography. She has recently exhibited a selection of water colour paintings at a local, Kamloops art gallery, and volunteered time as an editor for the BC Lapidary Society’s quarterly magazine, the BC Rockhounder.
Cheryl is a member of the Federation of BC Writers, the Interior Authors Group and the Kamloops Arts Council.
Her non-fiction book, a manifesto of her career as a creative professional, is entitled Authentic Creativity, How to Make the Most of Your Creative Intent, Strategy & Perspective. It is penned under her married name, Cheryl Bezuidenhout. It was released in 2016.
“We Are Mars” is Cheryl’s first fiction novel. Genre: Science Fiction (Thriller), with 390 pages. Part One of a two-part series. Sequel, “Storm At Dawn” is work in progress. Due Fall 2019 (Hopefully! No cover yet, although I’m currently conceptualising it and looking for images.)

Here is a brief story breakdown:
Rubicon is in Trouble...
         The year is 2128.
         For the people of Rubicon, Mars is Home - hostile and unforgiving - but still Home. When Rubicon is taken by surprise by an unexpected and deadly threat, it’s a race against time and a desperate fight to stay alive. 
Jax and Dana, Ridley and Chuck, Lenny and Maliyah all stand on opposite sides of a class divide, battling passions and tensions in equal measure. But can they work together to avert a disaster? Could the fundamental differences between them be the key to their survival, or to their destruction? 
To make matters worse, unsettling events on Earth put the entire Mars Mission at risk and Rubicon – with little choice left – declares its independence. The news of this is not welcomed by powerful politicians that devise dubious plans to shelve the settlement, once and for all. 
Mistakes are made, allegiances shift and lives hang in the balance. No one can be trusted as allies become enemies and the true nature of life on Mars is revealed – One wrong move, and it could be your last.
Links to social media and website: (contains a bunch of links on the home page direct to We Are Mars on bookseller websites)

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Seventh Trumpet

We interpret much of the Old Testament in light of the New Testament, but the keys to the signs and symbols of the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ are found in the Old Testament. This is where we discover the message of the seventh trumpet. It will sound along with the previous six trumpets on the last day, but the Lord has been sounding this message throughout all of history. The trumpet symbolizes the direct voice of God and the gospel of redemption. It was blown to warn of danger and announce that there is shelter and protection in God.

The Seventh Trumpet (Biblical Study)
By Russell Stendal
Life Sentence Publishing
ISBN #978-1622450985
Price $14.95 (Paperback)
Price Free (Kindle)
167 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“Worth The Read”

This is a nice Biblical study concerning the Biblical symbols and signs concerning the End Days revealed in the final book of the Bible, Revelations. The author begins his studies in the book of Genesis and works his way into the final book. I was surprised that the author even covered the book of Job; I don’t remember any preacher ever giving a sermon on Job. But the author does bring up some good points that might throw some meaning to the book that we haven’t considered yet.

Overall, I enjoyed reading what the author had to say concerning the End Times, and what God’s people must do to obtain Heaven, and be that perfect person in God’s Kingdom. It worries me a little that some non-believers reading this book may feel there is no hope for them reaching Salvation, and some Christians who aren’t there yet, either; but remember none of us are perfect yet, and the Way is easy once you accept Christ as your Savior and repent of your sins. Yes, that road is narrow, but we can strive to reach that place, so never give up.

Tom Johnson

Author of The Soul Stealers

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bloody January

When an 18-year-old boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, McCoy knows it can’t be a random act of violence. With a newbie partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to build a picture of a secret society run by Glasgow’s wealthiest family, the Dunlops. Drugs, sex, incest; every nefarious predilection is catered to, at the expense of the lower echelon of society, an underclass that includes McCoy’s best friend from reformatory school – drug-Tsar Stevie Cooper – and his on-off girlfriend, a prostitute, Janey. But with McCoy’s boss calling off the hounds, and his boss’ boss unleashing their own, the Dunlops are apparently untouchable. McCoy has other ideas.

Bloody January (World Noir)
By Alan Parks
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609454487
Price $17.00 (paperback)
Price $8.69 (Kindle)
331 Pages
Rating 3-Stars

I was given a copy of the book from the publisher for an honest review. Detective Harry McCoy doesn’t always play by the rules, but he’s a tough cop, and won’t stop his investigation once on the scent. Receiving a tip about an upcoming murder, he dives in only to be met with obstacles from the rich and influential, as well as his own superiors in the “shop”.

This is Glasgow in 1973, and the author paints a picture of its citizens and seedy byways in a panorama of visual scenes and characters in the turmoil of drugs, sex, incest, and murder, where it’s difficult to distinguish the upper class from the sewer rats.

This was a good mystery, with good characters, but I can’t help thinking it could have been handled with more finesse. We have bright, intelligent, educated characters that have trouble speaking words longer than four letters, and the profanity was above board in my opinion.  The story could have used a little less profanity, and a bit more intelligent thought, perhaps.

Tom Johnson