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

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hatteras Island Mystery

Wedding photographer, Misty Gordon, photographs a mysterious man at a late December wedding. He disappears before she can discover his name. Next morning as she walks the beach, she discovers his body floating in the ocean.As Misty summons EMT, the man wakes but has no memory. After he disappears from the hospital, Misty discovers him aboard a million-dollar yacht. As she talks with him, two assassins try to kill them both. Is this a murder for hire, a revenge killing, or a political assassination? Is the man with no memory a drug dealer, an FBI agent, or a billionaire? Can Misty solve the mystery before they both end up in the morgue?

Hatteras Island Mystery (Romantic Mystery)
By Anne Greene
Winged Publication
ASBN 978-1690762157
Price $6.74
130 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Misty Gordon, the local wedding photographer, notices a handsome man unattended at the latest wedding party. The next day she is walking the beach and finds this gentleman floating in the water. Fearing he is dead, she pulls him from the water. Discovering he is still alive, she begins asking his names, but he appears to have lost his memory. It looks like someone has tried to kill him, and the police is interested in him and the incident. He escapes from their custody, and Misty helps him recover his identity, falling in love with him in the process.

The author sent me a copy of the book for an honest review. Although the man’s name is Quin. A curious note, the pulp character The Black Bat’s real name is Tony Quinn. However, Quin also goes by Captain Hazard, another pulp hero. I was further amazed when his million dollar boat is named The Doctor Is In. I remember an article written on Doc Savage titled The Doctor Is In. Curious there are so many tags to pulp characters. Although the mystery was small, the characters were topnotch, and the story was lots of fun. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sunken Treasure Lost Worlds

His knowledge can make them all rich... or get them killed.
From the depths of the Atlantic off Cape Canaveral Florida, searching for sunken Spanish treasure, to the Andes mountains of Ecuador chasing the legend of a lost golden library, Dr. Colten X. Burnett and the Risky Business team are on a quixotic adventure.
While trying to make an honest, well sort of honest living, searching for remnants of the lost 1715 fleet, Risky Business Ltd. becomes entangled in a mystery that covers two continents and may rewrite history.
The lure of uncovering a lost civilization, as well as the secrets it holds, motivates the team on their dangerous journey into a cosmological unknown.

Sunken Treasure: Lost Worlds (Adventure/Mystery/Action)
By Hep Aldridge
Budy Media
ISBN 978-1083049780
Price $15.99 (Paperback)
Price $4.99 (Kindle)
308 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Adrenalin Pumping Excitement”

Risky Business, LTD is a company formed by a group of friends seeking adventure. They are interested in a fleet of ships that went down in 1715, and may contain sunken treasure. Dr. Colton X Burnett leads the team, but all are well trained and tough. From the start, the story kicks off with excitement, and never lets up. The trail will lead them to two continents, and they may encounter more than they bargained for in their search for a lost civilization.

I was given a copy of the book for an honest review. Readers will find this story filled with thrilling adventure and lots of gunfights and explosions. The adrenalin pumping excitement will keep you turning the pages. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Friday, September 13, 2019

Shadow of The Dagger

A Secret Map to Priceless Treasure, A CIA Analyst Turned Detective
Three people are murdered and one kidnapped to find the solution to the map. As Nicole Phillips seeks to find her kidnapped brother, she doesn’t know whom to trust. No one is who they appear to be. All is deception.
To bring his brother’s murderer to justice, CIA Intel Analyst Josh Baruch puts his life on the line. Can he walk the tightrope between obeying the killers’ instructions and bringing them to justice?
Because Nicole Phillips’s husband died in a mysterious plane crash, she fears falling in love again with a reckless, danger-loving type like her late husband. Josh Baruch, the CIA analyst using her as bait to track her brother’s kidnapper, is just such a risk-taking man. Besides living on the edge, Josh is bitter about women and questions God.

Shadow of The Dagger (Christian/Romance/Thriller)
By Anne Greene
Elk Lake Publishing
ISBN  978-1951080204
400 Pages
Price $12.99 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

We meet Nicole Phillips when she travels to the crash site of the plane piloted by her husband. There was no body, but investigators believe coyotes may have dragged the body away. A year later her brother is invited to an archeological dig in Turkey, and he talks Nicole into joining him. Unfortunately, when she arrives in Turkey she discovers Ian has been kidnapped. In the meantime, CIA analyst, Josh Baruch believes the man who killed his brother is responsible for the kidnapping, and is waiting in Turkey for Nicole Phillips when she arrives, as he plans on using her for bait to catch Helmut Meier, better known as The Viper, and the murderer of Josh’s brother.

The author sent me a copy of the book for an honest review. This is a complicated plot, with interesting characters, set in a location known for international spies and intrigue. Josh Baruch is a Jewish American, and well familiar with Turkey, as he was stationed at Incirlik AFB in Adana, Turkey, a place I am also very familiar with. I was stationed there with the Army in 1964, at TUSLOG, as a squad leader with the rank of corporal. 

This was a great read, though a few things did bother me. The villain is supposedly the third richest man in the world, but seems to be after small profit in current crime, and a man so rich should have enough lawyers to keep him out of jail (in this case, an American federal prison). Plus, we find that there is someone pulling his strings also, a minor criminal that is behind the whole mess, and he is after Nicole Phillips, as well as the treasure. Now for detective Pavlik, a Russian with the Turkey police, and master of disguise who plays many parts that just don’t seem to fit. In the end an American Air Force rescue team saves the day on Turkey soil, which also was a worrisome finale to a great plot – personally, it would have appeared more legit if the team was led by a Turkey command. Over all, the Christian background is a delight in this international thriller set in Muslim controlled Turkey, and well worth the read. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Welcome To Miskatonic University

Odd tales of campus life at Miskatonic University from Brandon O'Brien - Bennett North - Kristi DeMeester - Elliot Cooper - Liz Schriftsteller - KG McAbee - Brenda Kezar - Nate Southard - Scott R. Jones - Gina Marie Guadagnino -Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. - Marcus Chan - Gwendolyn Kiste - Matthew M. Bartlett
This is your first year? Welcome! Oh, you're going to love it here at Miskatonic. Just . . . be careful. I mean, I'm sure everything will be fine, but you know, things happen. This can be a strange place. You hear stories: people changing and buildings rearranging, ghostly sounds and overly attentive textbooks, odd notions and foul deeds . . . even monsters! Hah. Just stories, right? Sure.
Faculty struggling for funding in the occult sciences. Students trying to navigate whole new worlds of possibility. Administration striving for growth and progress and not just damage control. And Arkham residents adjusting to the constant influx of new faces.
Just study hard. Party safe. Maybe find love. And don't die.

Welcome To Miskatonic University (Horror Fiction)
By Various Authors
Broken Eye Books
ISBN 978-1940372235
258 Pages
Price $19.99 (Paperback)
Price $6.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

An anthology of top authors, all stories taking place at the Miskatonic University, where horror abides. A fictional university created by H.P. Lovecraft in a 1922 novel, the university is located in Arkham, a fictional town in Essex County, Massachusetts. The university and its faculty come alive - for a while, at least - in these 13 tales. Believe me, monsters find their way here to feed off those unwary souls who bring them forth.

I was given a copy of the book from the authors for an honest review. All of the writing is excellent, and the stories honor H.P, Lovecraft, as each author tells their tale of weird menace. As with any anthology, there will be one story that the reviewer will like a bit more, perhaps, than the rest. Although I enjoyed them all, I think my favorite yarn was Official Inquiry Into The Waite-Gilman-Carter Antarctic Expedition by K.G. McAbee. Wasn’t that a great title? You just know that expedition has brought back some terrifying monster for the professors to examine. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Thursday, August 29, 2019


A little more than two years before the events of Bounty, Jill Andersen makes a life-altering decision. But this decision comes with consequences she didn’t foresee, and her first night as the vigilante Bounty winds up being something for which she was wholly unprepared. 
A crisis of faith eventually gives way to certainty: both in terms of discovering who killed a young man named Johnny Ruiz and in terms of coping with the latest change in her own life. 
Along the way, Jill defies death and discovers just how deep the city’s corruption runs. But will she survive the experience long enough to decide if a life of vigilantism is for her?

Boundless (Superhero Fiction)
Prequel To Series
By J.D. Cunegan
Independent Publishing Platform
Price $0.99 (Kindle)
44 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

      This prequel to the series introduces us to the main character, Jill Anderson. Believing her policeman father was framed for three murders, Jill becomes a detective in the same department to try and prove his innocence after serving in the Army. While in the Army she was created to be a super warrior by a cybernetic scientist, Dr. Trent Roberts. It doesn’t say how she was able to leave the Army after all that expense, however.

This was an interesting, and fun story, with plenty of action, but it did leave me with one worrisome question: after spending so much money and time on her in the Army, making her a super warrior, why did they let her go? But it shows where she obtained her super powers at least.

Tom Johnson

Guest Post: Why I Self Publish by J.D. Cunegan

Guest Post: Why I Self-Publish
J.D. Cunegan

It seems like every time I hop onto social media, I see some version of the traditional-versus-self-publishing debate. People are wondering which route they should take, and others on either side of the debate state their case. I think part of it stems from the stigma that’s still attached to being self-published — a stigma that, while diminished, still exists.

Now, I will say this: the decision of which publication method to pursue is up to each individual author. Different people have different aspirations and expectations, and ultimately, the decision as to which path to follow is up to you and you alone.

But I can offer insight as to why I chose the self-publishing route.

Mostly, it boils down to something I don’t have: patience. I’m not a patient person; I never have been, and I likely never will be. As such, the traditional route holds little appeal to me. I don’t have it in me to submit a manuscript to an agent or publisher, only to wait weeks — if not months — for a response (which, let’s face it, would likely be no). That’s a lot of time wasted on… what, exactly?

As a self-published author, I operate on my own timeframe. Yes, I have more responsibilities; as a self-published author, I have to worry about editors and formatting and cover design and marketing — all things a traditional publisher would (probably) take care of for me. But that added responsibility also brings with it a sort of freedom. I have control over the entire process. I control the content, and I control the timetable.

By self-publishing, I’m able to tell the stories I want, the way I want to tell them, when I want to tell them. That freedom holds a great deal of appeal to me, particularly as I write stories that are just on the outside of what a mainstream publisher might be willing to publish.

Someday, I might pursue traditional publishing; there’s something to be said for receiving advances, writing stories, and letting the publisher handle all of the other stuff. But I see self-publishing as a trade-off, and it’s one I’m willing to make right now. Yes, I have to secure my own editor and I have to format my manuscripts myself. Yes, I have to either hire a cover designer or find my own cover another way. Yes, I’m the one who has to blow up Goodreads and social media to tell people about my work.

But I get to do all that on my own time. I decide when my books come out. I decide what gets published and what doesn’t. And because of this, if I publish a book, then you know damn well it’s something I really wanted to be out there.

Again, it’s your call which way you go. I just wanted to give you all a glimpse as to why I chose the path I did.

About J.D. Cunegan
J.D. Cunegan is known for his unique writing style, a mixture of murder mystery and superhero epic that introduces the reader to his comic book-inspired storytelling and fast-paced prose. A 2006 graduate of Old Dominion University, Cunegan has an extensive background in journalism, a lengthy career in media relations, and a lifelong love for writing. Cunegan lives in Hampton, Virginia, and next to books, his big passion in life in auto racing. When not hunched in front of a keyboard or with his nose stuck in a book, Cunegan can probably be found at a race track or watching a race on TV.
Follow J.D. on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

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
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. 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
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

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

Monday, July 1, 2019


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sarah And Zoey

From award-winning author, Linda Watkins, comes a story of two women, from different walks of life, and the one dog who loved them both.... A feature writer for the Boston Globe, Sarah Palmer had it all – a beautiful apartment, a great job, and a family she adored. A thousand miles away, Mindy Sue Watson didn’t have it so good. Trapped in a marriage to an abusive alcoholic, her only pleasure was in tossing a ball to a skinny dog she’d adopted from the local shelter. Sarah & Zoey is the tale of these two women and the one remarkable dog who saved them both. It is a story of the power of unconditional love. "Three disparate lives - two human, one canine - whirl through a circle of circumstance that is poignant, involving, and especially moving to dog lovers who want a novella about crisis, escape, and recovery. Sarah and Zoey can be read in short segments, so it's perfect for busy fiction readers who want high drama packed into succinct chapters. The mechanics whereby loss and endangered lives heal are nicely portrayed in a winning story that emphasizes hope and offers an involving tale dog lovers will relish.

Sarah And Zoey (Literary Fiction)
By Linda Watkins
Argon Press
ISBN #978-1944815066
Price $7.97 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

“For Dog Lovers of Any Age”

Two women thousands of miles apart are brought into the life of a rescue dog named Zoey. Sarah Palmer, a writer for The Globe loses her husband and son in a storm on a boat, leaving her broken and not wanting to live. Mindy Sue Watson is married to an alcoholic and wife beater. Unable to leave him it ends in a final beating that almost takes her life until her dog, Zoey comes to her rescue. She flees the house but her husband catches the dog and drags it behind his pickup, almost killing it. Mindy reaches the hospital, and a neighbor calls the police about the man dragging the dog. Mindy’s husband is arrested while she goes through several years of recovery. Zoey is turned over to the Humane Society and ends up where Sarah learns of the animal’s history. She adopts Zoey and the next two years she gets her life back with the dog’s help. The writer in her wants to learn more about the dog’s past history and discovers the story of Mindy Sue. She takes Zoey on a road trip to visit his first “momma”, only to discover Mindy living in a protective home, and her husband released from prison early. Bringing Zoey back to Mindy Sue puts them all in danger once more.

This was a wonderful story about a dog that helps two women in danger. It saves the life of one, and helps the other want to live again after great loss. For animal lovers, especially dog lovers, this story will tug at your heart. It’s a short novella, and fast read, but the story moves smoothly, and keeps the reader interested to the last page. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson