Book Review: ‘Hurricane Kretschman’ by Jeff Lee. Book 4 of the ‘Adventures in La-La Land’ Series.

 

Meet the author.

Jeff Lee image for review
Jeff Lee.

Born in New York State, Jeff Lee was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles.

For more than thirty years he has been a copywriter and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity. None of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have a solid alibi.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you have just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily armed men.

Jeff lives about halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, in a house he shares with his two sons and a cat that’s part golden retriever.

 

BOOK COVER HURRICANE KRETSCHMAN BY JEFF LEE JPG

 

HURRICANE KRETSCHMAN:

BLURB

All wisecracking, Harley-riding Repo Man and Bounty Hunter to the Stars Fish Fishbein wants is a cool vacation. It’s just him and his three best buds, potato-potato-potatoing down the highway — along with a force of nature named Shawna Kretschman, a bad-ass blonde with her own full-race hog. Not to mention a short fuse, serious fighting skills and an outfit that leaves zippo to the imagination. All lickety-splitting their way to Sturgis, South Dakota to link up with better than a million hard-drinking, harder partying Harley owners at the town’s annual Motor Cycle Rally.

But a high-powered real estate developer wants all the bikers gone, so he can sell the area as a family-oriented resort town. And he’ll stop at nothing – including murder – to get what he wants. Bikers and locals suddenly start dropping like road racers on a rain-slick GP course. And Fish, his friends and his big mouth are all in the developer’s crosshairs.

They’re on a hysterical collision course that includes phony cops, bar fights, pepper spray-laced paint balls, a no-holds-barred wrestling match in a ring full of chocolate pudding, getting adopted by the entire Sioux nation and manscaping.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally might be an 80 year-old tradition. But it’s going to take all of Fish’s brains and a ton of luck to keep himself and his buds alive long enough to enjoy a few more seasons.

My Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Hands-down, one of THE funniest Books I have read.

Every once in a rare while an author comes along with the comedic timing essential to writing a fast-paced one liner such as ‘Hurricane Kretschman’. Having been totally entertained by the three preceding books in this series, I was both curious and excited to see if this talented author could make me laugh out loud in public yet again. He did. Author Lee’s wonderfully creative touch has given substance to several amazing characters in his journey through the mayhem that is crafted within these pages.

Central character “Fish” Fishbein is more complex than you would suspect at first viewing. The layers of this hilariously funny and deeply caring man are peeled back slowly, and every clever line of dialogue is intertwined with the characters love for his crazy companions, Kenny and Einstein, as they decide to head across the USA to the Motor Cycle Rally to end all Rally’s in Sturgis, South Dakota.

His constant companions and partners in  … well … everything, are cleverly drawn. Well enough in fact, to become clearly visual and as equally lovable as they are chaotic.

To my delight (And Fish’s) a new character explodes into being along the way.

How on earth does a reviewer ever hope to encapsulate the outrageously funny, and often diabolically dangerous persona of Shawna Kretschman aka the Hurricane Kretschman of the books title.

Suffice it say that this beautiful blonde PTSD suffering, Harley riding ex-Military M.P with attitude to ‘die’ from …er … for, adds further dimensions to the reading enjoyment. She sets “Fish’s” pulses racing as fast as a hog on a racetrack. Has our hero found love at last?

Whether they live long enough to find that out remains to be seen.

Enter the villain in the unflattering shape of Dale Kimbrough, a land developer set on making the bikers (All of them) disappear so he can develop a family friendly place. What’s not family friendly about bikers?

Suffice it to say, bodies start appearing, and bad guys start disappearing in rapid succession. The developer badly underestimated just how much mayhem he was unleashing when he chose to take on our heroes.

I laughed out loud so often along the road of this amazing journey, it was indeed a pleasure to become reunited with author Jeff Lee’s superbly talented writing. I simply can’t recommend this book highly enough.

OTHER OUTSTANDING BOOKS BY JEFF LEE.

BOOK COVER JEFF LEE THE LADIES TEMPERANCE CLUB FAREWELL TOURBOOK COVER JEFF LEE CHUMP CHANGE

purchase CHUMP CHANGE on Amazon.com

Purchase The Ladies Temperance Club Farewell Tour on Amazon.com

Purchase Hurricane Kretschman on Amazon.com

Jeff Lee Author Page on Amazon.com

Book Review: “Paper in The Wind” by Olivia Mason-Charles.

Book REVIEW Paper in the wind by Olivia Mason Charles.

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Blurb

Paper in the Wind is a compassionate and riveting story depicting a single father’s dedication to his daughter. In the midst of the overwhelming struggles that accompanied autism, he continues to persevere. Her father’s love enabled her to overcome insurmountable obstacles, discovered the power of love and embraced the gift of life.

MY REVIEW. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Read, learn and be inspired. An amazing journey.

This book is written with a deep understanding of Autism, and a thought provoking, and inspirational message of hope. It is not written blindly … it is not written without great thought and the exploration of human failings and tribulations, for it truly encompasses all that and much more.

It is written with all the damage exposed of a couple coping the best way they know how with their autistic daughter. They fail and they falter in the face of all the pain, stress, and worry for the future of their beloved Alexa. In short, the author makes them very human, so human in fact that I caught myself nodding my head in sad tears of understanding. Life throws such massive challenges in the path of these parents. The author permits us to see how constant stress and unrelenting concern for their child rips apart the fabric of a love once a towering wall and now forced to crumble into ruin … exhausted by circumstances.

Olivia Mason -Charles doesn’t ease you into this story, you are confronted and challenged every step of the way. The length of the book should not to be judged by the number of its pages, but rather for the incredibly powerful messages imparted within each page. How many of us would not turn to something, anything to help deal with the unrelenting stress? Whether that something is a spiritual guide to support strong held beliefs, or a substance that gives temporary relief, such as alcohol, we are not asked to make judgement here … we are invited to try and understand.

This author invites you into the world of an Autistic child, in all its complexity. She shows the debilitating effects and the incredible and naive cruelty of those that do not, and cannot, even begin to understand.

Alexa is wonderfully characterized with all the intricacy of learning to comprehend a world that she perceives differently to others.

We are invited to cry for her, and rejoice with her, and cheer her on from the sidelines!

Yet despite the confrontations these marvelous characters face, the overwhelming message within these pages is hope. Hope that exists because of the unrelenting love of a father, a human man, a man with all the imperfections that simply being human can bring. Take this journey Olivia Mason-Charles invites you on with her inspiring words; I believe you will find it a truly memorable one.

Paper in The Wind on Amazon here.

The Author On TWITTER:

@omasoncharles

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Book Review: ‘How Can You Mend This Purple Heart.” by Terry Gould.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: “How Can You Mend This Purple Heart?” By Author TERRY GOULD. T.L Gould.

 

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Winner of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb Award for distinguished fiction

In this riveting first novel, author T. L. Gould draws on his experiences in a military hospital with severely wounded Marines recovering from the Vietnam War. He has created a plain-truth, no-holds-barred narrative, stark in its simplicity, detail, and humor. From dressing changes and morphine drips to off-site forays under a fence and into neighborhood bars and brothels, Gould chronicles the precipitous journey to recovery of the men of Ward 2B: how they learned to walk again, to love again, and to triumph over crippling injuries.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is not a story about combat in the jungles of Vietnam. It is a story about boys who returned from combat as men—men who left the better part of their youth, a bit of their souls, and a lot of their flesh in a battlefield on the other side of the world. It’s a story about their longing to recapture the spirit of boyhood and rekindle the optimism and fearlessness of youth. And it’s about their struggle to be whole again—or at the very least, to feel whole. It chronicles a journey of love, redemption, sorrow, and joy; a journey of pain and anger . . . and a journey of hope. But most of all, a journey of the human spirit and its triumph over the most impossible odds.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a tribute to all the combat-wounded veterans of past and present conflicts. May they find the strength to continue their lives’ missions and know that the entire nation is grateful for their sacrifices.

 

The human spirit standing tall.
This 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Review is from: How Can You Mend This Purple Heart? (Paperback)
I am privileged to own a copy of this book. Privileged indeed. Bookshelves hold the things we treasure; those books that linger in our memory and raise a smile, or cause our throats to constrict with unshed tears, our chests to tighten in helpless anger.

‘How Can You Mend This Purple Heart” does all of those things and more.

Do not read this book if you are looking for bloody scenes of war, they exist, but they exist in the memory of the men who returned from that war torn apart from planted mines.

They exist in the screams of night terror that echo through a hospital ward filled with men who survived the blasts, but not intact. They exist in the agony of knowing that for these men, life can never ever be the same again.

Do not read this book if you are looking for an easy read of mate-ship. It exists, but in the way of all things cruel and true, the mate-ship grows from shared terror, loss of limbs and shredding of innocence. Once the trust is established it can never be rent apart again.

Do not read this book anticipating only sadness; oh yes …  It exists, but in the way of the gallant and often surprising ways men reach out with unspoken need it is tempered with humor.

I laughed often during this journey of a book. I cried as well. but mostly I closed the final page with a feeling of kinship with the broken men who refused to just lay down and die. I closed it still angry about a war that they should never have had to fight.

I closed it with a smile at their kinship: and with hope for their futures.

I closed it with reluctance.

I recommend it with a certainty that the human spirit shines strong within those that have seen the worst man has to offer. I recommend it with a heartfelt hope, that their  indomitable  spirit will help prepare those whose innocence remains intact.book-cover-how-can-i-mend-this-broken-heart-terry-gould

Book Review: “Ingrid.(Daughter of The Alvar) Book 1.” By Hannah Warren.

Welcome to my first BOOK REVIEW of 2017 “Ingrid. (Daughter of The Alvar) Book 1.

Let’s meet the author, Hannah Warren.

Talent spotter Hannah bio

When I’m not writing or thinking about writing, you can find me at the paid job at my local university translating stuff and recruiting international students, experimenting with organic food in my kitchen, stretching my old bones in Yoga or glued to WhatsApp exchanging funny messages with my grown-up kids.

But writing is the real deal for me. I love creating complex characters (mostly women), who are faced with impossible choices in life and still they crack it, whether they perish or not. I write both contemporary and historical fiction and suppose I’m quite old school with my descriptive, character-driven style.

Recently I joined the writer’s collective 13th Sign Publishing. Apart from publishing books, we bring out a quarterly free eZine on topics we love: healthy living, healthy eating and great reading.

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On a lonely windswept island off the coast of Sweden, there is a place so desolate it feels abandoned by the fates. And yet, it possesses a strange beauty, which summons souls to awakening. This is the Alvar. Its very nature is a contradiction, and it is this ambiguity that calls to Ingrid, daughter to the vicar of Smedby.

Raised as God-fearing, she believes in charity, and when Kalle returns unexpectedly to the island community, her instinct is to help him. Considered a pariah by all due to his sordid past, one that saw him exiled for many years, he ventures into the Alvar to live, to escape the censure of the villagers. In this desolate place, how will he survive? Ingrid resolves to help him.

No one will tell Ingrid why Kalle was exiled. Her father commands her to stay away from the poacher. Their housekeeper warns her off. Her brother does not know what happened. Her French tutor, Max, is new to the island. The mystery is overwhelming and the only one who knows the truth is Kalle himself. In the spirit of charity, and also curiosity, Ingrid befriends Kalle, hoping to uncover the past, hoping also to help him survive the Alvar.

A gypsy reveals to Ingrid that she will lose everything, but the cossetted vicar’s daughter is headstrong. She enters the Alvar despite every warning … and meets her fate there.

MY REVIEW:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I made a decision in the past year to explore genres hitherto outside my usual comfort zone. Historical Fiction is a relatively new genre for me, and I approached it with an open mind, guided also by the fact that I have read and enjoyed other works by Author Hannah Warren.

Let me first explore the primary character of Ingrid.

Ingrid at the age of sixteen is the over protected and exceedingly naive daughter of the Vicar of Smedby. Her decision making process is governed by the strictest of upbringings  and the socially acceptable behavior patterns of a community isolated from the influences of the outside world by location, and crafted by the prejudices that exist within such a closely bound village.

Ingrid’s position as the vicars’ daughter is viewed with eyes that hold her both above, and accordingly protected from, anything even remotely connected with scandal; and herein lay the foundations of future behavior as this young girl experiences her first tantalizing and unexplored tastes of burgeoning womanhood.

Rebellion in teenagers can take many forms, and Ingrid finds herself both intrigued by, and more than a little curious about the arrival of a man whose actions when he was a part of this community earned him both the disrespect and hushed whispers that accompany anything considered outside of acceptable parameters.

Ingrid’s first acts of disobedience, are, in part, retaliation against the confines of her upbringing, and her newly dawning awareness of womanhood, and her need to exert her own will, whatever the cost. The arrival back in the village of the forbidden Kalle is simply too intriguing to resist.

Kalle’s character is less finely drawn, for to do so would reveal more than the reader needs to know if tension is to be maintained. Suffice it to say that he, along with other lesser characters is crafted beautifully.

The location itself is what helps drive this work to its unexpected conclusion. Author Hannah Warren invites you to experience the stark windswept place known as The Alvar. A place that invites secrets, and houses its own deep sense of mystery and darkness.

I detest spoilers in reviews, and to share more here would detract from what I found to be a enormously enjoyable and unpredictable reading experience.

I highly recommend this work, and look forward to reading more of this series.

Purchase ‘Ingrid’ here on Amazon.com.

Find Hannah here on Twitter; @hannah_war

Find Hannah here on FACEBOOK:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: “His Revenge” by John W. Howell.

bio-pic-john-howellAbout the Author

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a daily blog at johnwhowell.com where he writes about a number of subjects related to reading, writing, and life in general. John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife Molly and their spoiled rescue pets. He can be reached by e-mail at johnhowell.wave@gmail.com

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America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.
The second John J. Cannon Thriller moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena. If John refuses, Matt plans to murder innocent Americans including John’s latest relationship. John’s only way out is to pretend to go along with the plan and hope for a miracle.

The first John J. Cannon Thriller is titled My GRL.

 MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Can’t wait to read the next in this series!

This is the second book I have read by this author. The first in this series is ‘My GRL’ which I enjoyed immensely, so I was looking forward to seeing just how things evolved in book 2.

I’m so pleased that I have read this series in order, although “His Revenge” could stand alone, I’m already a little familiar with the central character of John Cannon.

Familiar enough for me to already have formed a very real and almost comfortable liking for him. Author John W Howell allows us to become a part of just what makes reluctant hero Cannon tick, whilst still managing to surprise us with actions that are both a little uncharacteristic and yet highly understandable.

I’m reminded (happily) of Tom Clancy’s marvelous characterization of ‘Jack Ryan’ not so much by the actions of that character, but by the inherent decency of the man. Not so much naivety as an all pervading sense of what’s right.

Author John Howell evolves that differently with John Cannon. Nonetheless, he crafts a memorable and intensely readable persona.

Much has been said by others about the plot. I found it not only intriguing, but also formulated with a certain knowledge of just what makes readers eager to turn that next page.

Cannon is taken and drugged by terrorists out to destroy not only the American economy but to cause a worldwide financial crisis with all the possible catastrophic flow on that would ensue. He is forced to make a choice. He either records an interview that will blatantly lie, and consequently destroy the country he loves, financially, or, face the consequence of the death of a woman he has come to care for and all the many hundreds of other folks recovering from injuries at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Faced with a dilemma that no man would ever want to make a conscience call on, John Cannon agonizes over what will do the greatest harm.

The action packed conclusion is stunning. The dialogue excellent, and my eagerness to read book 3 of the series caused me to buy ‘ Our Justice’ immediately.

Talent Spotter images links for Liza Oconnor

 

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BOOK REVIEW: “Deadly Ties.” By Maggie Thom.

DEADLY TIES

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She went to jail for the right reason but the wrong murder.

With her mom in a coma, Kyara is determined to discover who is behind the brutal attack. Does her grandmother’s recent release from jail have anything to do with it? The police believe that some meth addicted youth are responsible but what Kyara uncovers is shocking. Is anyone telling the truth? Even Ryan who she thought might be able to help her is harnessing his own dark secret. Is he truly trying to help her or does he have his own agenda?

The golf course wasn’t built because the sport was gaining in popularity but to hide a deadly secret. Those responsible are determined to keep it buried and those who know anything are being silenced. Kyara finds herself trying to catch an old woman, stay ahead of those trying to kill her and unveil the truth. But can she do it before a town pays the ultimate price?

MY REVIEW.🌟🌟🌟🌟 🌟 Nothing tastes as good as revenge!

Once I had accustomed myself to Author Maggie Thom’s pacing I settled down for what proved to be a fast-paced and suspense charged thriller of a book!

The author has a marvelous talent for laying out numerous plot lines, and merging them with the skill of a surgeon. Many reviewers have covered the basic story-line and it is a complex one. I enjoyed the characterizations so much that they deserve a strong mention.

Meet, Getty. Sixty-seven years old, newly released from a twenty-year prison stretch, for a murder she did not commit. Oh, make no mistake, she murdered someone alright. Just not the man she was alleged to have killed. Getty is fueled by an overpowering need for revenge, intertwined with a guilt she will never shake.

She is out for blood, no matter who gets in her way. The character development is well handled. Getty is not quite what she appears to be. Or is she? That is just one challenge facing the reader, as Author Maggie Thom leads you deeper into the story.

Meet Kyara … Getty’s grandaughter. Kyara, shattered and damaged from the stigma she’s carried all her young life. Wanting to trust, and not knowing how, without exposing herself to yet more hurt and shame.

The author shows us Kyara’s guilt at her own treatment of a mother she’s ashamed of, and her proud determination to discover just who had been responsible for injuring her. Kyara is a strong character amidst a cast of strong characters. The author has created a character we can identify with, making Kyara human and three-dimensional, so she comes alive on the page.

A Myriad of supporting characters enrich the plot, all of them intensely visual, but it is the ever threatening aura of the characters even when they are not present on the page that makes this book the terrific thriller that it is.

Author Maggie Thom has created memorable characters that will linger long after you close the last page.

 

PURCHASE HERE ON AMAZON.COM  http://amzn.to/2gHpkb1

BOOK REVIEW: “Finding Gina” by Lizzie Chantree.

FINDING GINA by LIZZIE CHANTREE

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A contemporary romance read with a magical twist! By Lizzie Chantree.

Can a sprinkling of stardust overcome a past full of demons?

Gina had traversed the breadth of the country in her little campervan to try and find everyone on her grandmother’s list, before her father drunk himself into an early grave. She leant down and pulled the battered and worn journal from her bag and opened it to the latest page. The neatly written names were etched onto her heart and she was determined to visit every single one and compensate them in some way. Her family’s debt had to be repaid.

Lewis read another provincial story about a ‘guardian angel’ who had been helping families across the country and his reporters nose began to itch. He was sure that if he could track down the girl they were talking about, he would unearth an even bigger story. He just had to work out how to locate her and then find out what it was that she was running from!

MY REVIEW. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 + A warm and entertaining read.

Romance isn’t a genre I read a great deal. When I do, I would normally look for something perhaps a little more gritty. However; I recently watched the book trailer for “Finding Gina” and it left me curious about just what the book would hold. So I went into the book understanding that it wouldn’t be offering the steamier side of romance. I read it based on that understanding.

Other reviewers have commented about the few editing glitches the book has, and yes, I noticed them, but they weren’t numerous so they didn’t prove to be too great a distraction.

The characterizations in the book are well drawn, and most, but not all the people you meet on Gina’s journey towards happiness are necessary and great additions to the overall story line.

The humor is quite delicious, and the misunderstandings between characters are a delight; and a reflection of the very human failing we all seem to possess, of looking for the worst case scenario and refusing to see the possibility of people just caring without a hidden agenda.

I was cheering for the good guys and hoping that all would come right in the end. If you are looking for steamy romance, you won’t find it here. This book plays gently with love, it offers up hope and just that feel good aftertaste of something sweet.

I wish we could give a 4+ rating, sadly we can’t. I enjoyed the book for what it is, a feel good and light, easy read, for those days when that is exactly what we need to sit down with.

It is a lovely story.  I found the only distraction for me was too many characters that didn’t need to be added to further the storyline. Would I read more of Lizzie Chantree’s work? Absolutely, yes! I believe her to be a very talented author.

PURCHASE ON AMAZON.com

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