The Compass Island Incident – a Book Review

The Compass Island IncidentTitle: The Compass Island Incident: November 1963 by Wade Fowler

Genre: Currently #1551 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Assassinations

Publisher: Sunbury Press – Milford House Press

Publication Date: November 22, 2017

Source: Sunbury Press – Milford House Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Compass Island Incident – Compelling cover

I was excited to read this book for several reasons; one being yet another theory about the assassination of JFK, (2) it’s about one of our Navy ships, and (3) we certainly have history back then and can well remember the day. (Who can’t)

I’m sure we’ve never been satisfied with the findings of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. It was too monstrous, too heinous, too difficult to imagine that one disgruntled ex-Marine could have pulled off that act alone. No one believed it and wasn’t particularly surprised when the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” It’s not like the barn door has ever closed on that discussion.

Therefore, another conspiracy theory may be laid out as a compelling fictional story and I enjoy those ship details and vernacular, the stories at sea of the roiling mountains of salt water and survival. “The Compass Island was no scat back. Evasion wasn’t her running style.” Continue reading “The Compass Island Incident – a Book Review”

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The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel – a Book Review

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean KoontzTitle: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #76 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Publication Date: To be released November 21, 2017

Source: Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley

Title: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel 

See what I mean? Obviously, I have been living under a rock, as if I’ve read a book by Dean Koontz before, you know I’d have remembered it. The Whispering Room is, yes, the second in the Jane Hawk series, having best-seller The Silent Corner directly preceding it, and apparently preceding it by only a few months(?! Is that even possible?). Apparently so, as here it is continuing exactly where the first left off (so I’ve been told). And–old story–I haven’t read the first one. Holy Moses! Mr. Koontz really puts the prose out prominently, doesn’t he? Continue reading “The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel – a Book Review”

#AmReading – The Compass Island Incident: November 1963 by Wade Fowler

#AmReading - Compass Island Incident by Wade Fowler

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Wade Fowler and his book The Compass Island Incident: November 1963. I received an ARC from the publisher Milford House Press and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 22, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and assassinations at 317 pages will be a quick one for most of you bibliophiles looking for an interesting Kennedy theory thriller by the anniversary date (54 years)!

I will be presenting my review in the next few days, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb: (Blurb from Amazon)

John Franklin Kincaid clocks out at 4 PM on Thursday, August 27, 1953, after his shift at New York Shipbuilding Corporation’s sprawling shipyard in Camden, New Jersey, never to be seen or heard from again.

A little more than a decade later, a little girl is assailed by a terrible recurring nightmare. She dreams she is a man, buried alive in a dark compartment in the bowels of a ship under construction.

On November 16, 1963, President Kennedy helicopters to that ship, now a US Naval vessel called the USS Compass Island, as it steams off the coast of Florida to witness the firing of a Polaris missile clandestinely targeting Cuba’s Fidel Castro. And so topple the first dominoes in a chain of events leading inexorably to the president’s assassination one week later in Dallas, Texas.

Who killed JFK — the president and shipyard worker? The answers abide on the Compass Island as the old ship casts off on its final voyage to the scrap yard in October of 2003 with descendants of John Franklin Kincaid on board and determined to solve not one, but two murder mysteries.

Author:

Wade Fowler (No info found on either Amazon or Goodreads)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?

After I released my grandfather’s books on the world, I started reading and then reviewing in earnest. It wasn’t long before I discovered BookBub, and I absolutely loved it, gleaned free books that for the most part turned out to be exceptional, fun, and compelling books. Shortly after came series–lots of them–and I proceeded to read books from one series or another, sometimes exhausting them and looking for more, which might be considered a “con.” The wait for the next in the series–sometimes up to a year–then will you have to get reacquainted?

When you pick up a new book, do you prefer to start a new series or a standalone?

And, if you are starting a series, do you absolutely have to start with #1?

(Yes, sometimes!)

How can you read this? There's no pictures!

Continue reading “Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?”

#AmReading – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

#AmReading - The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Dean Koontz and his book The Whispering Room. I received an ARC from the publisher, Bantam, and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 21, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as literary fiction and a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 528 pages. Even so, I see where some advanced readers flew through it in one sitting. (I’m not one of those.)

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Author:

(Amazon) Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

I might also note that Goodreads has his average rating pegged at 3.91. Remember Goodreads ratings generally run slightly lower because of their own interpretation of star ratings, which is not the same as those of Amazon. Out of 2,054,464 ratings, he’s garnered 77,801 reviews and his books have been shelved over three million times. I figure that at around 3.8%. It’s difficult even for him to get reviews, huh?!)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Tell-All – a Book Review

The Tell-All by Libby HowardTitle: The Tell All (Locust Point Mystery Book #1) by Libby Howard

Genre: Currently #281 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Supernatural, Ghosts, and #968 in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: July 24, 2017

Source: Direct request from Erin Zarro, Assistant for Libby Howard

Title and Cover: The Tell All – Cute, obvious cozy mystery

Kay Carrera is sixty and a recent widow with no support network of children or grand-children. Facing a silent home, she stops at a local shelter and picks out what appears to be an independent adult cat (aren’t they all) that shouldn’t require a lot of exercise or attention, but will be a warm body. A journalist prior to being a caregiver for her husband, she has managed to wrangle a position with a local PI as a skip-tracer. It still won’t be enough to forestall foreclosure on her beloved Victorian, so she accepts a suggestion from the realtor/friend to take on a boarder (a judge in the midst of a contentious divorce with two children). Also, she recently had cataract surgery and decides it’s time to learn to knit.

But the eye surgery leaves her with a small, but interesting side effect. Continue reading “The Tell-All – a Book Review”

#AuthorsTalkAboutIt – 2018 Book Award Contest

Authors Talk About It

Whether or not you are heavily embroiled in your NaNoWriMo quest at the moment, you will finish your manuscript. What will you do when that WIP is finished? What is your next step?

You worked hard and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into writing your book. In fact, you may have already invested a good deal of money into an editor, cover designer, online marketing and more.

Remember those book award contests I wrote about last year? I wrote one in January about the ATAI 2017 Book Award Contest! I wrote again in February about a number of additional book award contests. There will be LOTS of them surfacing and each vying for your attention after the first of the year. Most will cost money. Every contest is different; therefore, it’s important to do some research and make sure that you’re entering a valid contest, especially if there’s an entry fee. (However, free contests may not benefit you as much as those with an entry fee. You get what you pay for–right?)

If your pulse quickens with a touch of excitement mixed with a hint of fear, you are not alone! It’s akin to laying your soul bare to put your work out there. What’s next in your journey to publish? What will it really do for you? Continue reading “#AuthorsTalkAboutIt – 2018 Book Award Contest”

#AmReading – The Tell All: A Locust Point Mystery by Libby Howard

 

#AmReading - The Tell All by Libby Howard

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! Today I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and (part of) my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Libby Howard and her book The Tell All: A Locust Point Mystery (Volume 1). I received the download in exchange for a fair review by Erin Zarro, an assistant for Ms. Howard. The book was released in July, 2017 the first in the series of three. Amazon classifies the novel as a cozy mystery, thriller & suspense, and women sleuths and at only 156 pages will be a very fast read for most of you bibliophiles!

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the:

Book Blurb:

Life at sixty isn’t quite what Kay Carrera expected. She’s working as a skip-tracer for a PI who is desperate to land his own reality TV show. She has a new roommate who arrived with more than the usual amount of baggage. And her attempts at knitting are less than stellar – way less than stellar. Worse, the cataract surgery that restored her sight has also delivered an unexpected and disturbing side-effect. Kay sees ghosts. And when the dead turn to her for help, she just can’t say no.

Author:

(Amazon) Libby Howard lives in a little house in the woods with her sons and two exuberant bloodhounds. She occasionally knits, occasionally bakes, and occasionally manages to do a load of laundry. Most of her writing is done in a bar where she can combine work with people-watching, a decent micro-brew, and a plate of Old Bay wings.

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Stay Calm and Collie On – a Book Review

Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane StoneTitle: Stay Calm and Collie On (a Pet Palace Mystery #1) by Lane Stone

Genre: Currently #11374 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Lyrical Underground

Publication Date: To be released November 7, 2017 – Happy Release Day!

Source: Lyrical Underground and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Stay Calm and Collie On – Absolutely compelling cover-definitely generates interest

Just look at that cover! It gets you, huh, pulls you in. And actually, it also conveys the plot of the book very well. The Buckingham Pet Palace has a British co-owner who comes over to inspect her investment. The Lewes, Delaware US side of the upscale doggy daycare and spa co-owner Sue Patrick, knows her business, and generally has a good crew who caters to their furry clientele. That is, until one of them goes off the puppy pad just about the time Lady Anthea Fitzwalter arrives from across the pond to investigate her asset. Henry is found deceased in a van with several dogs he was supposed to be taking home. So much for first impressions! Continue reading “Stay Calm and Collie On – a Book Review”

Outside the Wire – a Book Review

 

Outside the Wire by Patricia SmileyTitle: Outside the Wire (a Pacific Homicide #2) by Patricia Smiley

 

Genre: Currently #4329 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, and Police Procedurals

 

Publisher: Midnight Ink

 

Publication Date: To be released November 8, 2017 – Happy Release Day!

 

Source: Midnight Ink and NetGalley

 

Title and Cover: Outside the Wire – Love the cover–striking colors

 

Outside the Wire features Davie Richards as a LAPD Homicide Detective. At last–a female protagonist not damaged beyond saving or sporting model-like height and classic features! Her Kung Fu will worry no one, but she is packing. This lady sounds real and with her years on the force as an officer and detective, she has history. This is the sophomore release of this series by Ms. Smiley and is an intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective narrative on our military back from ‘Nam. (Some fared better than others. Few were exempt from memories best left in the jungle.) Continue reading “Outside the Wire – a Book Review”

How Review Swaps are Hurting Your Book

Richard Klu, a fellow author/blogger and book reviewer, wrote this piece I found to hit very close to home. I tried the review swap–it didn’t work for me. This is short, sweet, and to the point. From Richard’s About page: “My name is Richard Klu and I am from western Michigan. Always an artist at heart I write to explore. I grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan and still reside there with my 3 dogs, 3 cats, 23 fish, and 1 wife…I have been a Store Manager, a Cook, and various kinds of Salesmen as well as having owned my own business for a little over a year. All the while I’d neglected one of the few constants in my life, writing….On my blog I am sharing stories and what I’ve learned to better help other writer[s] and to keep myself motivated…I believe in giving back to the indie community. If there’s anything I can do to help you please let me know.”
Enjoy!

Richard Klu

I see this all the time. “Who wants to do a review swap?” on Facebook or Twitter or writing groups and it boils down to a waste of time for everyone.

Best scenario, you and someone else in the same genre with the same type of fans review each others books and each have 1 more review. That one review is biased based on the fact that you  can’t give them a bad review because they are giving you  a review and you wont want them to give you a bad review. If you do this 100 times you might be getting somewhere, but then what do your also reads look like? Probably decent. But that’s not how this is working.

More likely what happens is you and someone in another genre get together and swap books (hopefully at the same price or free) and then you both review each…

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#AmReading – Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone

#AmReading - Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane StoneWelcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget promoting blue skies, following seas, and the Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Lane Stone and her book Stay Calm and Collie On (A Pet Palace Mystery). I received an ARC from the publisher Lyrical Underground and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 7, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, cozy mystery, and women sleuths at 164 pages will be a coffee break read for most of you bibliophiles!

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb: Buckingham Pet Palace is known for treating dogs like royalty-until murder dethrones its good reputation! As owner of an upscale doggy daycare and spa, animal-lover Sue Patrick pampers pooches for the most elite clients in Lewes, Delaware. Surely she can survive a weeklong visit from Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, her well-to-do business partner from England. But before Sue can serve her guest a spot of tea, she discovers more-than-a-spot of blood inside the company van-and all over the driver’s dead body . . .

Someone abandoned the van full of dogs at the Lewes ferry terminal and got away with murder, leaving Sue and Lady Anthea pawing for clues. With a fundraising gala approaching and Buckingham Pet Palace facing scandal, can two very different women work together to fetch the culprit from a list of dodgy suspects-or are they heading toward a proper disaster?

Author: (Goodreads) Lane Stone is a native Atlantan. She, her husband, Larry Korb, and their dog, Abby, live in Alexandria, VA during the week and in Lewes, DE on the weekend. Lewes is the setting of her new cozy mystery series, Buckingham Pet Palace mysteries. Her volunteer work is extensive and includes media & communications for the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation… She’s a graduate of Georgia State University, with a degree in Political Science, and is currently pursuing a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime. She tweets as Abby, The Menopause Dog (@TheMenopauseDog) and her Facebook page is LaneStoneBooks (https://www.facebook.com/Lane-Stone-B…); go follow! Check out her book here www.LaneStoneBooks.com. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!