HEAVEN BESIDE YOU                          CHRISTA MAURICE
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Heaven Beside You (Drawn to the Rhythm, #2)He’s her rock n’roll fantasy, but could he ever be more?

Half the year, Cassandra Geoffrey runs In The Pines Campground, and spends the other half alone on a West Virginia mountain. She’s not completely happy with the situation, but she loves her wacky, close-knit hometown. Besides, the man of her dreams isn’t likely to appear anytime soon—until Jason Callisto, lead guitarist for Touchstone, her ultimate fantasy crush, shows up. At her campground. It’s gotta be fate.

After being dumped by his supermodel girlfriend, Jason has been impossible to live with. Now he’s been exiled by his manager to West Virginia, before he breaks up the band on the eve of the Grammys. Clearly, Jason is Cass’s adventure of a lifetime. To him, she’s just an ego boost….Or is she? With so much at stake, can they take a risk and reach for more?

This story Heaven beside you, is about a rock star being sent away by his manager for two weeks to find himself. When he arrives in West Virginia at a camp ground that is normally closed for the winter the owner Cass knows who he is immediately and tries not to embarrass herself in front of him. The next day they go into town and he meets some locals and he is really starting to like her. As the story goes on and they get snowed in as they start finding out things about each other he still feels like she is taking advantage of him even though he is the rock star. That is really the part I had a problem with because earlier in the story she cut down a tree with a chain saw and was starting to cut into portions and then using a sled taking it to the house for fire wood. He really did not help at all until he wanted to go someplace, then he helped with moving the tree. I think most guys would have gone out to help her even if they were a guest and especially if they were attracted to her and not just watch her do it. She didn’t him if anything he needed her and really they needed each other. His mother and sisters set him straight in the end which actually helped the story. Overall I did like the character from the town and her parents and his sisters and mother. The book was a quick read for me I finished it in one day. A good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 Stars.


STRIKING GRIDIRON                            GREG NICHOLS
Posted: Feb. 28, 2015

Striking Gridiron: A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American HistoryIn the summer of 1959, most of the town of Braddock, Pennsylvania---along with half a million steel workers around the country---went on strike in the longest labor stoppage in American history. With no paychecks coming in, the families of Braddock looked to its football team for inspiration.

The Braddock Tigers had played for five amazing seasons, a total of 45 games, without a single loss. Heading into the fall of ‘59, this team from just outside Pittsburgh, whose games members of the Steelers would drop by to watch, needed just eight victories to break the national record for consecutive wins. Sports Illustrated and other media descended upon the banks of the Monongahela River to profile the team and its revered head coach, future Hall of Famer Chuck Klausing, who molded his boys into winners while helping to effect the racial integration of his squad. While the townspeople bet their last dollars on the Tigers, young black players like Ray Henderson hoped that the record would be a ticket to college and spare them from life in the mills alongside their fathers. In Striking Gridiron, author Greg Nichols recounts every detail of Braddock’s incredible sixth, undefeated season---from the brutal weeks of summer training camp to the season’s final play that defined the team’s legacy. In the words of Klausing himself, “Greg Nichols couldn’t have written it better if he’d been on the sidelines with us.” 

But even more than the story of a triumphant season, Nichols’s narrative is an intimate chronicle of small-town America during the hardest of times.Striking Gridiron takes us from the sidelines and stands on game day into the school hallways, onto the street corners, and into the very homes of Braddock to reveal a beleaguered blue-collar town from a bygone era---and the striking workers whose strength was mirrored by the football heroics of steel-town boys on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.

This book about a high school football team from the 50’s in Pennsylvania, Braddock Pennsylvania, to be exact. Opens with the last game of the 1958 season North Braddock High against Braddock High, Braddock won 9-6 and now along with the championship coach Klausing has another year to see if they can remain undefeated for six years. The story entwines his love of his family and how important they are to him, 5 children and his wife who at this time they have been married 15 years. The author takes you back to how they met and where her parents came from and his conversion to Catholicism. His father is a Methodist Preacher, being a winning coach did allow him at times to some perks like on Saturdays when they had a game when he went to confession everyone would make sure he went first so he would not be late. Thought that was funny. The author also brings in the story of a steel strike that is affecting the town with the plant being idle and most of the boy’s fathers working there the strike would go on for the season. He shows how they would go to a camp for a week or two before school starts to get conditioned for football and the new players to learn the plays, also bonds the team. In high school we called this hell week. Some of the stories brought me back to high school football and the coaches I had, and some of the yelling all to get you to play as a team. This is a wonderful story and though now the high school record is well over 150 games, this takes you back to a time when coaches would give players rides and look out for them because sometimes they did not have a father at home. Coach Klausing like many other coach’s wanted the best for those boys and that is what he got. A fantastic story of a time lost. A very good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 Stars.


Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Savoring the South“Good Southern food is not Soul food,” Edna Lewis told Angela Mulloy when they first met some twenty years ago. “It is not sweet or greasy. Southern food is real food, honest food, food that is based on the freshest local ingredients. It is a tasty combination of American Indian, African, and European influences that relies more on vegetables, grains, beans, fruit, and fish than on meat. Southern cooking is home cooking at its best, with more care in the kitchen and more respect for the seasons.”

I found this to be an excellent cookbook with many different recipes that were from the south but not what I was expecting. Each chapter is broken down by seasons and before each recipe is a little story or history about where the recipe or the type of original ingredients would have been used. For example for some people who still hunt there are some venison recipes along with duck and one with a whole pig. Each meal has a drink, salad, vegetables, and then a dessert. Most recipes are light with no frying or grease which I was surprised, but this was the way people ate back in the 1800’s or so. The only frying was one recipe of chicken. Many pictures and some very nice stories of the author and how she came to know Edna Lewis, and how these recipes were passed down. A few of them reminded me of the way my grandmother cooked simple, not fried, not sweet, just fresh food simple and good the way people used to cook. A wonderful book, and the pictures were a nice touch. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 Stars.


DUKE CITY HIT                                     MAX AUSTIN
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Duke City Hit (Lawbreakers Thriller, #2)According to Vic Walters, the secret to happiness is low overhead and few demands. Living rent-free in a modest bachelor pad behind his boss’s house, he has no debts, no entanglements, and no expensive relationships. He works just a few days a month, but his bank accounts keep growing.
Vic is a high-priced hitman with a legendary record of success. That is, until someone starts eliminating his marks before he can get to them . . . until his manager puts him in the middle of a vicious drug-cartel feud . . . and until a young man walks into his life with a big .45 and a startling revelation.
For Vic Walters, it’s time to step out of the shadows. Which means it’s killing time in Duke City.

I read the first book Duke City Split, thinking this would pick up where that one left off, but no. this is a totally stand-alone book and I really enjoyed it. Vic Walters is a hit man and has been one for many years, he lives in Albuquerque New Mexico, he found out he has a temperament for it and he works out of a bail bonds office. He only works in a certain area that he knows and does not deviate from that. When things start to happen on a couple of hits that he cannot explain he sets a trap and finds out that he is a father. His knew found son wants to take up with him in his life and after everything checks he is deciding what to do. But all of a sudden he is starting to have more problems from a hit he did a while back and now with the help of his son he must find out who is causing him these problems. This was a very entertaining book with good characters and a fast paced story. I enjoyed this book very much. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 Stars.


ALL THAT GLITTERS                           MICHAEL MURPHY
Posted: Feb. 28, 2015

All That Glitters: A Jake & Laura MysteryJust arrived from New York, Broadway actress Laura Wilson is slated to star in Hollywood’s newest screwball comedy. At her side, of course, is Jake Donovan, under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But peace and quiet are not to be had when an all-too-real murder plot intrudes: After a glitzy party, the son of a studio honcho is discovered dead from a gunshot wound. And since Jake exchanged words with the hothead just hours before his death, the bestselling author becomes the LAPD’s prime suspect.
In 1930s Tinseltown, anything goes. Proving his innocence won’t be easy in a town where sex, seduction, and naked power run rampant. With gossip columnist Louella Parsons dead-set on publicizing the charges against him, Jake has no choice but to do what everyone else does in the City of Angels: act like someone else. Blackie Doyle, the tough-talking, fist-swinging, womanizing hero from Jake’s novels wouldn’t pull any punches until he exposed the real killer—nor will Jake, to keep the role of a lifetime from being his last.

This is the second book in the Jake and Laura series. They arrive in Hollywood for the making of the film that Laura is to be in and of course there is a murder and Jake is a suspect. The difference this time around is that he knows the detectives you are working the case plus he knows the area of L.A. and the surrounding parts because he worked out their while being a detective foe the Pinkerton agency. This story reminded me of watching an old 40’s movie and the references to places that where famous or that are still famous is something that I could relate to either by going to or reading about them. This brought the story closer to home for me and made the characters a little understanding. The whole murder plot in this book I could get and you had had a set of characters and for the most part they were right there for you like an old fashion mystery that now you had to figure out who was the killer. I like stories like that. This was an excellent and the bantering between to the two main characters just got better and their parts got more in depth. A good old fashion mystery. A good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 Stars.


THE YANKEE CLUB                               MICHAEL MURRY
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

The Yankee ClubIn 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.
Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.

This book begins with Jake Donavon, a mystery writer returning to New York after being away for a few years. He was turned downed by the love of his life when he asked her to marry him and when she said no not right now he left, now returning he is in for more than a few surprises. One she is engaged to someone else, his friend and former partner in the private eye business is murdered and then he is shot and the police are looking at him for the killing of his former partner. He is also be hounded by his publisher to come up with pages for the new book he is supposed to be working on. Instead he is trying to clear his name, find out who killed Mickey, his friend and figure out what happened between him and Laura. The story is set in the 30’s during the depression after Roosevelt was elected. This part to would also come to play into the story and add another story line and more characters. Though for the most part I enjoyed the story from Jake and Laura, and their friends who they grew up with when the story went into the government part it lost me at times. I know things like that happened back then maybe not like exactly like the story but a few times it kind of took away from the rest of the story when I know the author had it being part of the story. Not a bad book, I did like all of the characters and the descriptions of the characters that really helped with the story.   I give this 3 Stars.


Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Dead Man's ThoughtsNominated for an Edgar Award, this book puts the spotlight on a new voice in mystery writing as she introduces her witty, gritty heroine, Cass Jameson. When her lover and colleague, Nathan Wasserstein, is murdered and the main suspect is a street hustler, Cass must face two possibilities--either the cops have the wrong man or she never really knew Nathan at all. HC: Dell.

This story is a murder mystery and has a legal aid attorney Cass Jamerson trying to find the truth behind the murder of her boyfriend and also a legal aid attorney Nathan Wasserstein. She is not getting any help for their friends or the detective assigned to the case. She is all alone and must find a way to keep herself going even when she gets discouraged or it looks hopeless. The story overall is okay there are times when it drags a bit but I noticed that this is the first book in the series. The characters are good and actually the detective kind of makes the story and pushes it along. So though my review is not very long this a good mystery and who done it. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 3 Stars.

The Closer: Mariano Rivera

Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

The Closer: My StoryMariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.

With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.

In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam.

When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.

This is more than a baseball book. Marino Rivera who becomes the greatest relief pitcher with 602 saves is probably the most humble athlete that I have read about. Starting from his life in Panama, going out with his father who was a fishermen, he speaks of a man who got up early every day and went to work really for very little money but to them it was a lot because not everyone had a fishing boat. When he was not helping his father or his mother he would play baseball but not with the type of equipment we have they would make things for a bat and a ball. He does not speak of himself as a perfect son he talks of the mistakes he made and for dropping out of high school. But one day he goes with some friends to play an actual game in a stadium where they had to take a bus to get there and when he is always playing the outfield he is asked to pitch. A local scout who was there saw him and asked him to come back the next day. He did, he was asked to pitch again. This went on for a few days when he was finally offered a contract with the New York Yankees. He left his village and not only went on a plane for the first time but when he showed up at camp he did not speak the language or even have a baseball glove. He takes you through the people he meets and the struggles he has and also the team mates that helped him even though they would not make it to the big leagues. If you are a Yankee fan you will notice some names like I did that were drafted but because of an injury afterwards they were never the same. He speaks a great deal about when he decided to marry Clara his girlfriend from his town and how she has helped him stay grounded and focus. They are still married and have three children. He first starts off as a starting pitcher before they put him in as a setup man for their first championship under Torre, with John Wetland as the closer but you know the next year he will be the man. He speaks of how the split finger fast ball pitch just started to happen when he first was throwing in warm up then it turned into his main pitch. He goes into the team mates he had and playing with Jeter, Posada and Pettit in the minor leagues then in the majors. What it was like for Posada and his family going through their son being born with craniosynostosis and still playing at a high level. That is just one story there are many more. He speaks a lot of his faith and how it has helped him not only in baseball but in life in general and also how he and his wife have done for their village not forgetting where they came from, they still have a home there. Overall a good book and I don’t think you need to be a Yankee fan to enjoy this book or his story.  I give this 4 Stars.


THE REAPER                                           NICHOLAS IRVING
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops SnipersGroundbreaking, thrilling and revealing, The Reaper is the astonishing memoir of Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicholas Irving, the 3rd Ranger Battalion's deadliest sniper with 33 confirmed kills, though his remarkable career total, including probables, is unknown.

In the bestselling tradition of American Sniper and Shooter, Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary career, including his deployment to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, when he set another record, this time for enemy kills on a single deployment. His teammates and chain of command labeled him "The Reaper,” and his actions on the battlefield became the stuff of legend, culminating in an extraordinary face-off against an enemy sniper known simply as The Chechnian.

Irving’s astonishing first-person account of his development into an expert assassin offers a fascinating and extremely rare view of special operations combat missions through the eyes of a Ranger sniper during the Global War on Terrorism. From the brotherhood and sacrifice of teammates in battle to the cold reality of taking a life to protect another, no other book dives so deep inside the life of a sniper on point.


I found this to be a good book about Nichols Irving and his time being a U.S. Army Ranger Sniper and his last deployment in Afghanistan where he got the nick name the reaper by having 33 kills. I know to some people that may not seem like a lot with other people in the news but this was only one tour and the other men were snipers for multiple tours so they add up. The men that Irving was with were grateful he and the other snipers were there. I found this book to be a different read than some of the other military books that I have read in that he did not go into great detail about his training, that was very refreshing for Rangers like all Special Forces are highly trained and the process just to be a Ranger is difficult. His friendship with his spotter and how they each liked to use a different weapon was interesting as was when he got injured and Irving had to get used to being partnered with a new person and how it took a while for them to work things out. How he did not realized how he had gotten so use to the way his spotter before him had worked together. I liked how at times in the book he talks about how when in training he would talk about a mistake made and how he overcame it for next time. Made you feel like just a regular guy and then made into or worked into a solider. Not being perfect which a lot of times these kinds of books come across as. He goes into some of the different missions that they went on. One turned out to be a 10 hour firefight and he and his partner were pinned downed by an enemy sniper he thought was the chechenian, during this fight as they were in the lead the unit being under attack the officer called in for an air strike and was denied multiple times. This is like the third book where I have read that our soldiers are not only under heavy fire and have wounded and are being denied air support. Finally Irving and his partner get to a point where they can start returning fire and take out a machine gun that is on one of the roofs. When they finally get out and the wounded are getting medivaced out he realizes that he is down to ten rounds after starting with 200, everyone else is the same. One of the wounded a Corporal. Benjamin Kopp, died a week later and being that he put down to be an organ donor, a grateful Judy meikle, recovering from surgery said. “I have the heart of a 21 – year old Army Ranger war hero beating in me”. Other organs were also donated he fought to stay alive to give back. I am sure that there are others that have the same but this was the first time I had read about this act in a book from the war. Irving you can tell lost not only fellow Ranger but also a friend and each were on their third tour. One has to think also why do you send our troops into action but then do not provide them with any air support, this is my opinion. Irving does not get into any of the politics or the reasons we are fighting. That is just one story but it touched me greatly as the whole book did. This is an excellent book. I got this book from net galley. I give this 5 Stars.


Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Whiskey Bottles and Brand-New Cars: The Fast Life and Sudden Death of Lynyrd Skynyrd This intimate story of Lynyrd Skynyrd tells of how a band of lost souls and self-destructive misfits with uncertain artistic objectives clawed their way to the top of the rock 'n’ roll world. Based on interviews with surviving band members, Whiskey Bottles and Brand-New Cars shares how lead singer and front man Ronnie Van Zant guided the band’s hugely successful five-year run and, in the process, created not only a new country rock idiom, but a new Confederacy in constant conflict with old Southern totems and prejudices. Placing the music and personae of Skynyrd into a broad cultural context, this book gives a new perspective to a history of stage fights, motel-room destructions, cunning business deals, and brilliant studio productions. It also offers a greater appreciation for a band whose legacy, in the aftermath of their last plane ride, has since descended into self-caricature.

This is an in depth look at the rise and tragic crash of the Band Lnyrnd Skynyrd. This book starts with Ronnie Von Zant, and how he went from a rowdy kid to a rock musician who still fought but could write music, sing and play guitar. This band lived life liked they played music loud wild and free. There are fights, yelling and with fists. There are deals made and deals broken. Goes into how much they drank, took drugs, how long they were on the road and how much money other people made off of him and the band. How the so call manger bought a plane that Aerosmith would not buy, and while the band flew on the plane he flew first class on a commercial airline, all to save a few bucks. Aerosmith thanked there guy and gave him a raise, they were flying in their own private jet bought for 200,000 a Cessna 310. Which by the way Skynyrd could have afforded. You get a look at Ronnie’s broken personal relationships and what it took for them to get certain songs they wanted recorded. How it was so frustrating for them to get a record deal but then to do the music their way, and to record Free Bird. This book starts off with the author talking about how Ronnie Van Zant loved to fight as kid and even when he was older. The book ends the same way, for either the surviving members are either fighting for their lives because of drug and alcohol abuse or they are still fighting one another since the crash. The end of the book is the saddest because of instead of the survivors coming together they went after each other and tried to destroy each other that they were bigger than the other one. When in fact they were all there because of Ronnie, he made them practice, he made them write songs, and yes they fought but they did it together and when they all got on stage or in a recording studio they made magic. Why? Because their music is still great today as when I bought their first album back 1973 and the ones after that, I even have the album with the flames on the cover before they pulled them from the shelves. I still listen to their music and it means more to me now than it did to me as a teenager. This is a good book with a ton of information that I have left out you will not be disappointed in this book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 Stars.


SOUND MAN                                         GLYN JOHNS
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Sound ManA memoir of a remarkable rock-and-roll career from Glyn Johns, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame producer and sound engineer whose resumé includes work with the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Who, the Clash, and many more.

Sound Man the life of Glyn Johns, was just an okay book. Starts off with how he got into music and into working behind the scenes as an engineer. He then takes you along his journey of the different bands that he worked with and solo artists, which were some of the top stars of the 60’s, 70’s, and into the 80’s. The part for me that was disappointing was towards the end of the book when he talks about working with the Eagles on their first two albums he could start seeing a problem between Frey, Henley, and the other two. By the third record he was not their producer and their sound had started to change. He went into detail how he like their original sound and explained why. He does the same with Eric Clapton’s album Slow Hand, which is a fantastic record. He goes into detail how they worked to get the songs and how Clapton and the band worked for the sound he wanted. But he really did not do that for any other groups or solo acts in the rest of the book. He does make reverence to when he first heard Zeppelin and was asked to work on their first record but that really was the only other time. Would have been nice to have more stories like that. I thought this book had the potential to be so much more but instead I felt let down. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 3 Stars.


SCRIBE                                                    BOB RYAN
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Scribe: My Journey As a SportswriterEver since he joined the sports department of the Boston Globe in 1968, sports enthusiasts have been blessed with the writing and reporting of Bob Ryan. Tony Kornheiser calls him the “quintessential American sportswriter.” For the past twenty-five years, he has also been a regular on various ESPN shows, especially The Sports Reporters, spreading his knowledge and enthusiasm for sports of all kinds. 

Born in 1946 in Trenton, New Jersey, Ryan cut his teeth going with his father to the Polo Grounds and Connie Mack Stadium, and to college basketball games at the Palestra in Philadelphia when it was the epicenter of the college game. As a young man, he became sports editor of his high school paper—and at age twenty-three, a year into his Boston Globeexperience, he was handed the Boston Celtics beat as the Bill Russell era ended and the Dave Cowens one began. His all-star career was launched. Ever since, his insight as a reporter and skills as a writer have been matched by an ability to connect with people—players, management, the reading public—probably because, at heart, he has always been as much a fan as a reporter. More than anything, Scribe reveals the people behind the stories, as only Bob Ryan can, from the NBA to eleven Olympics to his surprising favorite sport to cover—golf—and much more. It is sure to be one of the most talked-about sports books of 2014, by one of the sports world’s most admired journalists.

The book the Scribe is about the life of sports writer Bob Ryan, and how he got into becoming a sports writer and the people and athletes he met along the way. He talks about his time covering the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Olympics, and the good and the not so good. He is I must say a true Boston person because he thinks that certain Celtic teams are the greatest ever in the history of the NBA and though I may disagree that does not take away from this book. I liked the part about hockey and the short section on Bobby Orr, and I do agree with his take on college hockey back in that area is probably the best for games in a small to see so many games, plus you have the frozen four. His take on baseball was nice and how he enjoyed traveling to the games with his wife was a nice change of pace and that they bought tickets for the last three games at old Tiger Stadium to see the games together gave the book a nice personal touch. There are some other stories like that as well. He also goes into how he got into working at ESPN and how that changed his life as far as being recognized. Overall I thought this to be a good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 Stars.


OUTRAGE AT BLANCO                         BILL CRIDER
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Outrage at BlancoOn the day the bloodthirsty gang rode into Blanco, Texas, the bank was robbed, Ellie Taine was brutally assaulted, and her husband and another man were shot dead. Something within Ellie also died that day, and she would never be the same. Shotgun at her side, she rode out after the desperadoes and gave Texas one more outlaw--a woman bent on bloody revenge.

Outrage at Blanco, is a western story that did not start off as any old fashion western book that I used to read. Ellie Taine, on her way back to her ranch, farm to see her husband Burt, was stopped by two men and then taken advantage of. She fought like the devil and bit one of them but was knocked out. When she come to they were done and riding off. When she got back to the ranch her husband knew something had happened and asked her what the men looked like and then rode into town. Not knowing that they were meeting up with another man planning to robe the bank. When he got to town the delivery stable was on fire and the three men were on their horses riding towards him when he pulled on the rains his horse bucked because of the rain and one of the men shot him dead. Ellie did not find out until the next morning and then over hearing everything that went on in town buried her husband and rode out to the Crossland ranch where she overheard people talk in about Crossland son Gerald. When she got there the son was dead along with the Marshall from town. She told Mr. Crossland she was going after the two men who harmed her and killed her husband. He ends up going with her and actually helps her in tracking and giving her the fortitude to continue. The story goes back and forth between the robbers and Ellie and sometimes the town people. I am not going to tell you how it ends but I will say that over all it is a good story and probably more true to life than we would like to think and for that reason I am saying this is an outstanding book and true to life book. A very good read and the characters are hard when they need to be and in their mind wondering if it is the right thing. A very good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 Stars.


Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

The Owl: Justice Never SleepsThe most daring and original hero in crime fiction… in a debut novel that’s a relentless, pure-adrenaline rush. 

It’s the mid-1980s. Crime in Los Angeles is running rampant. When the law can’t help you, there is one man who can: Alexander L’Hiboux, whose ability to sleep was destroyed in the ghastly tragedy that cost him his family. Now he’s justice-for-hire, prowling the streets and solving crimes with deadly finality. A desperate, grief-stricken shipping magnate hires The Owl to find the scum who brutalized his daughter…a quest that uncovers a shocking conspiracy that will rock the city.

This book titled The OWL, is a dark and gritty book about a man who does not sleep and after something horrific that happened to his family he is now taking up lost causes for people. Sometimes for money sometimes for free. This story starts off fast paced as soon as you start reading and goes on from page to page. Someone is trying to kill him but he is taking them out as fast as they come after him. He starts looking at every angle at who it could be and likewise you the reader are caught up in the story from the very beginning. For me nothing about this book felt make believe the author made a character and characters around him that I could see really taking place, or my mind can go to the dark side real easy. But as the story moves along you realize you are coming to the end and you are wondering why it has to be over. The sign of a good book. Fast pace, murder mayhem, and who done it? The makings of a good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 Stars.


COMPANY OF HEROES                         ERIC POOLE
Posted:  Feb. 28, 2015

Company of Heroes: A Forgotten Medal of Honor and Bravo Company's War in VietnamOn May 10, 1970, in the height of the Tet Offensive, Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr., 22-years old, married only 30 days and on active duty for just 6 months, died as his patrol was ambushed near a remote border area of Cambodia. When an enemy grenade landed near a wounded comrade, Sabo used his body to shield the soldier from the blast as he tossed the grenade out of the way. Despite being mortally injured, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and threw a grenade into the bunker. The explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Sabo's life. This attack by North Vietnamese troops killed seven of Sabo's fellow soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division and would come to be known as the "Mother's Day Ambush." Sabo's commanders nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the request was somehow lost. A campaign to correct the oversight began in 1999, ultimately leading to legislation that eliminated the three-year time limit on awarding this medal.
Forty-two years after his selfless acts of heroism during the Vietnam War saved the lives of his fellow soldiers; Leslie H. Sabo Jr. posthumously received the Medal of Honor on May 16, 2012.
Using military records and interviews with surviving soldiers, journalist Eric Poole recreates the terror of combat amidst the jungles and rice paddies as Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne forged bonds of brotherhood in their battle for survival.Company of Heroes offers an insight into the incredible and harrowing experiences of just a small number of men from a single unit, deep in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia.

This book titled Company of Heroes, is just that. It begins with a look into how the author became informed of this story and then the research into the life of Leslie Sabo Jr. who began his tour in Vietnam on November 13, 1969 with Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion 506 Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division. The author starts each chapter with a part of a letter that was written home by Sabo, and he goes into the back ground of not only Sabo and his family but as you meet each soldier you find out where they were from and a short back ground into their history. You also learn about the history of the 506. He then takes you the first days of when he arrives in Vietnam the men who is with him and how they go in to be replacements. He also gives a little back ground about the war that is not what you always saw or read about the actual truth that are young men were winning but the media was making it out like it was a losing cause. You then get to go with them out on patrol and get a sense of what it was like in the jungle with the weather and the equipment that they had to carry. How the guys that had been there for a while would look after the new ones. As the book goes along you also see what they go through when they lose a friend and the author does have all of their names in the front of the book. You can see how they become a close knit unit relying on each other to do their job for all of their lives depend on it. You begin to see how they all began to work together. You also get to see the type of person Sabo was before he entered the Army and the effect that he still had on people even after decades had past. This all leads up to a battle that takes place in Cambodia in May of 1970. The 101st along with a few other units were sent into Cambodia to take the battle directly to the enemy and their supply route the Hoe chi mien trail. They would have a few run ins but nothing serious until May 10, 1970 mothers while on patrol like most days the unit came into an area surrounded by trees and brush. They were not grouped together kind of a scattered line. When all of a sudden they were attacked liked they had never been attacked before. The first four lead men went down and the rest of the men followed returning fire but not really being able to see anything. The radio operator found out that he could not get a call out because he was being stepped on and another time had no single. As the battle continued some men were trying to get to the ones in front to pull them back to help them in first aid, but to no avail. There were many acts of valor that day, Donald Smith, attacked an enemy machine gun bunker with grenades that silenced the guns and his live. James Debrew and Ernie Moore were found the next day still next to the 60mm machine gun that they were in charge of. Larry Debrew ran into an open clearing to recuse a wounded soldier. But they said Leslie Sabo’s actions were outstanding because when he took assessment of the situation he made sure that they did not get out flacked and over run. 2nd Platoon took the brunt of the casualties nearly 100%, 3rd Platoon was still fighting. Sabo, would jump onto a wounded soldier to deflect a grenade, he charged a machine gun bunker and when help was finally there in the form of medivac he stepped out from his cover and directed fire to open up a landing zone for the wounded. He sacrificed his life for his comrades. The author then takes you through the lives of the ones who made it out and Sabo’s family. You jump to 1999 when a man by the name of Alton Mabb Jr. Came across Sergeant Sabo’s Army’s service record and noticed the thickness. Size matters” the Army does not waste paper”. This would be the beginning of the fight for Sergeant Sabo to be recognize through it would take a lot of work and changing the three year after the deed is done, but on May 16, 2012 he was awarded the Medal of Honor and the remaining men from his unit and that day were at the White House also and were also asked to stand and be recognized for their service. Truly a very moving and touching story, sad that the paper work got lost and took so long for him and all the men to be recognized. Being a son of a WWII AND Korean Veteran plus an Uncle who fought in Vietnam, this book gave all the men and their families much Honor in how their memory was shared with the reader. An outstanding book and outstanding men. A great book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 Stars.


Shout Outs:
An Author’s Place
David K. Bryant


Captain Flint is the last of the long line of notorious pirate captains. The halcyon days for the buccaneers have passed and the Royal Navy is making it difficult for the pirates to raid ships and cities.  But one more crime is needed to secure the pensions of Flint and his crew so Flint agrees to an audacious plan to kidnap the adopted daughter of the Governor of Jamaica.
On the night of her 21st birthday she is stolen away from her home.  But things go wrong.  Flint’s men attempt to prevent the interference of a Royal Navy captain and his lieutenant but are forced to take them captive too.  Then the handover of the ransom is botched and the release of the hostages does not take place.  They are taken prisoner on Flint’s imposing ship and a desperate chase across the Caribbean begins.
All the horrors of life in the 18th century are experienced by the hunters and the hunted.  An outbreak of dysentery decimates the Navy ship pursuing Flint; there is a sea battle which brings devastation to both the Navy and the pirates.  Flint has his pension but faces a double threat: from the Royal Navy and from one of his own young officers who wants to replace him.

David K. Bryant:

I started writing fiction after retiring from journalism and public relations. I suppose the books waited their turn during all the years I wrote articles, features, speeches and promotional material for other people. My career included running a district office for a daily newspaper, helping to introduce professional PR into the British police service and promoting a major parliamentary Bill for Margaret Thatcher’s government.
I live in Somerset, one of the nicest counties in England, and am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Stephanie and I have been married for forty years. We are proud of our two children Matthew and Melanie, grandsons Henry and Toby, son-in-law Jamie and daughter-in-law Fleur.
I have a big brother Dennis and I cherish the memory of my other brother Ray. He was also an author, his biggest accomplishment being a story based on the Bayeux Tapestry called Warriors of the Dragon Gold. It’s still available and is a damn good read.


LET’S WELCOME SHIRLEY JUMP   AUTHOR OF: Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with this concept for this book? Sh...