Revolution (America Book 3) by Mike Bond – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Revolution by Mike BondThe 1968 Tet uprising plunges America deeper into the abyss of Vietnam. Martin Luther King is shot, and riots rage in 130 burning American cities. Students protesting the War take over American universities, and street battles in Paris nearly topple the French government. Senator Eugene McCarthy enters the Democratic presidential race against Lyndon Johnson, followed by Bobby Kennedy, who goes on to win the California Democratic primary.

Mick joins the Paris student street battles, then returns to the US to work in Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Daisy leaves Stanford to work also in Bobby’s campaign. Troy faces increasing dangers as the Vietnam War widens into Cambodia and Laos. American astronauts land on the moon and safely return to earth.

Tara and her band shine at Woodstock. The My Lai massacre is revealed, further darkening the tragedy in Vietnam, and America teeters on the edge of revolution.

His Review:

The draft is actuated in the mid-1960s and deferments were hard to get. Troy has re-upped for a second hitch in Vietnam because he is in love with a Vietnamese woman named Su Li. (For the life of me, I could not understand why our country went from the Korean War directly into the conflict in Southeast Asia!  The French had lost that war at Diem Bien Pu!)

Revolution by Mike BondThe political climate was supercharged with political parties split between following the French into Vietnam or allowing the country to unify under one communist government. The justification was to forestall the entire Asian continent become communist. John F. Kennedy tried to stop it as did his brother Bobby. Both were killed for their trouble. Meanwhile, the flower of American youth are being sent to this war with no opportunity to say no.

Mike’s older brother Troy is listed as a casualty of war. Mike does not want to go into the military although he has been issued a summons to have a physical examination prior to being inducted.  His avoiding this summons results in his arrest and potential ten-year sentence in a maximum federal prison for draft evasion.

The author likens the activities of our military akin to the atrocities leveled by Hitler. The casualties on both sides are exaggerated with death tolls of the enemy being enhanced and the American casualties minimized. Meanwhile, the fighting soldier has nowhere to go and is fighting a determined enemy in their own country.

CE WilliamsThis novel is a long overdue diatribe regarding the Vietnam War and the way that the American people were duped and lied to. Anti-war sentiments at most major universities highlighted the angst born by the average draft-age citizens. Read this enlightening exposé of corporate America making billions on the sale of war material. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Political Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Big City Press
ASIN: B09ZQ7ZTD3
Print Length: 316 pages
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Revolution [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Mike Bond - authorThe Author: Called “master of the existential thriller” by BBC, “one of America’s best thriller writers” by Culture Buzz, and “one of the 21st century’s most exciting authors” by the Washington Times, Mike Bond is a best-selling novelist, war and human rights journalist, and environmental activist. He has covered guerrilla wars, death squads, and military dictatorships in Latin America and Africa, Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, and ivory poaching and other environmental battles in East Africa and Asia.

His critically acclaimed novels take the reader into intense situations in the world’s most perilous places, into wars, revolutions, dangerous love affairs and political and corporate conspiracies, making “readers sweat with [their] relentless pace.” (Kirkus) and drawing them “into a land and a time I had not known but left me with my senses reeling.” (NetGalley Reviews)

His books have been named among the best of the year by reviewers and readers alike. He speaks multiple languages, has climbed and trekked over 50,000 miles on every continent from the Antarctic to Siberia, and is at home in some of the most primitive and dangerous places on the planet.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

Have a merry Tuesday!

The Devil You Know (The Detective Margaret Nolan Series Book 3) by P J Tracy – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Darkness is nothing new to LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, but in P.J. Tracy’s The Devil You Know, even she isn’t prepared for the scandalous deception of deadly proportions that shakes the very foundation of Hollywood and its untouchables…and leaves her entangled in its rotten core.

The Devil You Know by P J TracyLos Angeles has many faces: the real LA where regular people live and work, the degenerate underbelly of any big city, and the rarefied world of wealth, power, and celebrity. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan’s latest case plunges her into this insular realm of privilege, and gives her a glimpse of the decay behind the glitter.

Beloved actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide, a day after a fake video ruins his career. It’s not clear to Nolan if it’s an accident, a suicide, or a murder, and things get murkier as the investigation expands to his luminary friends and colleagues. Meanwhile, Hobbes’s agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he’s scorned.

My Review:

My first experience with LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and perhaps that is part of my problem, this book being #3 in the series. Sometimes, it matters not; sometimes it’s best to have started with book 1.

The Devil You Know by P J TracyDetective Nolan is a hardened, experienced woman on the LAPD force borne of time spent negotiating with the men in the department as well as the three well-known layers of LA society; that of the underbelly, the regular people who work and pay taxes for the lower layer as well as the top layer of the privileged, wealthy, and powerful. It is the top layer she will deal with here.

First, I found that the book gets a slow start with excessive use of descriptive adjectives, losing me several times in the sheer volume of characters being introduced as well as the twenty-dollar words when two dollars ones would do.

“Crawford appeared in the doorway, interrupting her elegiac meanderings.”

There is the death of a popular and well-known actor that is determined homicide (not accident), followed by a multiple pile up of bodies. The slow pace eases somewhat as the sixteen-syllable words decrease, but still I could find no way to engage and lost the thread several times.

It doesn’t take long to discern the guilty party and then it becomes difficult to hang on long enough for the plot to catch up. The focus tends to spread when I wanted to concentrate on the whodunit. It seems like the storyline is carried along by the support characters until Maggie finally takes over towards the second half of the narrative.

I just could not seem to connect and stay connected and particularly wanted to after the invitation from Ms. Haring of St. Martin’s Press. I usually enjoy police procedurals—perhaps this was a bit cerebral for me and those who enjoy a twisty, intelligent crime thriller will embrace.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedurals, Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: ‎ 1250859948
ASIN: B09Y46NXKL
Print Length: 294 pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

P J Tracy - authorThe Author: PJ Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, authors of the New York Times and internationally bestselling MONKEEWRENCH series, and winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards.

After PJ’s death in 2016, Traci began writing the Detective Margaret Nolan series, set in Los Angeles, where she lived for many years. DEEP INTO THE DARK and DESOLATION CANYON are available now, and the third novel, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, will be released in January 2023.

©2022 V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

Happy Holiday week!

Someone Else’s Bucket List by Amy T Matthews – #BookReview – #siblingfiction

Book Blurb:

A bingeworthy, bittersweet, sisterly P.S. I Love You for the digital age, Someone Else’s Bucket List follows shy Jodie Boyd after the untimely death of her outgoing, hugely successful Instagram influencer sister, Bree—and Bree’s last wish: that Jodie complete her bucket list.  Instructed by a series of videos left by Bree, Jodie takes on the terrifying challenge as the world watches. The venture will not only change Jodie’s life, but save the family—and possibly others—from staggering medical debt. Perfect for fans of Josie Silver and Rebecca Serle.

My dying wish is for you to finish my bucket list. I refuse to die without knowing this list will be completed. And I refuse to die without knowing my family will be okay . . .

Someone Else's Bucket List by Amy T MatthewsJodie Boyd is a shy and anxious twenty-something, completely unsure what to do with her life. Her older sister, Bree, is an adventurous, globe-trotting, hugely successful Instagram influencer with more than a million followers. She’s the most alive person Jodie knows—up until Bree’s unfathomable, untimely death from Leukemia. The Boyds are devastated, not to mention overwhelmed with medical debt. But Bree thought of everything—and soon, Jodie is shocked by a new post on her sister’s Instagram feed.

The first of many Bree recorded in secret, the post foretells a jaw-dropping challenge for Jodie: to complete Bree’s very public bucket list. From “Fly over Antarctica,” to “Perform a walk-on cameo in a Broadway musical,” if Jodie does it—and keeps all Bree’s followers—a corporate sponsor will pay off the staggering medical debt. If she gains followers, the Boyds won’t be the only ones to benefit. It’s crazy. It’s terrifying. It’s impossible, immoral even, to refuse. So, despite the whole world watching, Jodie plunges in, never imagining that in death, her sister will teach her how to live, and that the last item on the list—“Fall in love”—may just prove to be the easiest.

His Review:

Bree had her life all figured out. She had prepared a bucket list of 100 things she wanted to do before she died. Climb Mount Everest, run with the bulls, learn martial arts in Brazil; yes, it was all planned out. Then, she went into the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia! What did the doctor mean, she had leukemia?! She still had too much to do on her list!

Someone Else's Bucket List by Amy T MatthewsJodie is living a predictable life until her sister’s diagnosis. She and both of her parents are working two or three jobs each to pay off the medical bills. Ryan Air steps in and offers to not only pay off the bills but help Jodie complete her sister’s bucket list. Jodie agrees to complete the list and embarks on a planned promotional trip to help rid the family of the massive debt. Jodie is less than thrilled with her commitment.

CE WilliamsThe author skillfully works through the minefield that is the endeavor to complete Bree’s bucket list. Jodie ruefully approaches each task with cameras and cell phones recording her every move. The entire task becomes morbid at times and the people tasked with recording the saga are relentless. I applaud Ms. Matthews and her rendering of this experience. It is a unique contemporary tale, gripping and entertaining, easy to become engaged. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Currently on pre-order.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

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Book Details:

Genre: Sibling Fiction, Women’s Friendship Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B0BFC6RJFV
Print Length:
Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Someone Else’s Bucket List [Amazon]

 

Amy T Matthews - authorThe Author: Amy T. Matthews is a novelist and an academic. Her new book Someone Else’s Bucket List will be out May 2023 – it’s a tear-jerking, heartwarming story of sisterly love. Amy’s first novel, End of the Night Girl, won the Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award and was long-listed for The Australian/Vogel literary award, and short-listed for the Nita B Kibble Dobbie Award and the Colin Roderick Award. She has published short stories in collections including Best Australian Stories and co-edited three collections of short stories and poetry. Amy is Senior Lecturer and Discipline Lead in Creative Writing at Flinders University, Deputy Director of Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts, and a former Chair and long serving board member of Writers SA; she is also an Associate Member of the JM Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.

©CE Williams – V Williams

Enjoy Your Sunday

Hemlock Hollow by Culley Holderfield – #BookReview – #southernfiction

Book Blurb:

Hemlock Hollow by Culley HolderfieldCaroline McAlister, college professor and life-long skeptic, is reeling from the loss of her father and her marriage. Her once promising career has come to a standstill. When her father bequeaths the family cabin to her, it comes with a ghost who haunted her childhood. When she discovers a century-old journal in the attic, she awakens the voice of Carson Quinn. The journal reveals Carson’s love for the same hollow that enthralled Caroline growing up. A little sleuthing uncovers rumors that the kind, curious boy in the journal grew up to murder his brother. Caroline plunges into the project of exonerating Carson, only to find herself in the throes of a personal past she’s spent her life trying to avoid. Hemlock Hollow is about how we forever haunt the places we love and how they haunt us in return.

His Review:

Love is sometimes a cruel and hypnotizing mistress. Carson Quinn and Marinda fell in love at first sight. Carson was tongue-tied every time he got around her but she kissed him once and the rest was history. They became inseparable and a long-loving future was surely theirs.

Taylor, Carson’s older brother, also took a shine to Ms. Marinda! There was no question as to who she was interested in, but Taylor was never far out of the picture. Then Carson went away to college and became a revered educator and publicist. Completing his education, he came back to Hickory Nut Gap to marry the girl he loves and is betrothed to.

Hemlock Hollow by Culley HolderfieldHer parents hold him back and his brother cannot be found. He discovers Taylor has taken his place with Marinda. Carson leaves his beloved Hickory Nut Gap.

The tale weaves a lovely setting of Henderson County, North Carolina, and the conflict that was the “War of Northern Aggression.” That is the title the South has named the American Civil War. Carson becomes an officer in the northern army because he and his family do not believe in secession.

Carson does not return to North Carolina for over ten years. Taylor has won the girl and totally split the family. There is no peace in Hickory Nut Gap after this revelation. He and Marinda wind up living within a mile of each other but never talk or share their existence.

CE WilliamsThis book is well written and engenders many of the wild and lovely places that is North Carolina. The description of the woods, mountains, and hollows paints a gorgeous picture of an enchanting country. Read and enjoy this tale! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Southern United States Fiction, Southern Fiction, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Regal House Publishing
ASIN: B09MSLL1KJ
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: December 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hemlock Hollow [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Culley Holderfield - authorThe Author: Culley Holderfield learned to love storytelling on the porch of a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, he ventured to South America, Africa, and Europe. When not writing or working in community development finance, he spends his time hiking, paddling, and wandering the outdoors. His short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications. Hemlock Hollow is his debut novel. He lives in Durham, NC.

©2022 – CE Williams – V Williams

Happy Holidays--Have a great Sunday!

Swamp Story by Dave Barry – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times bestselling author and actual Florida Man Dave Barry returns with a Florida caper full of oddballs and more twists and turns than a snake slithering away from a gator.

Swamp Story by Dave BarryJesse Braddock is trapped in a tiny cabin deep in the Everglades with her infant daughter and her ex-boyfriend, a wannabe reality TV star who turned out to be a lot prettier on the outside than on the inside. Broke and desperate for a way out, Jesse stumbles across a long-lost treasure, which could solve all her problems—if she can figure out how to keep it. The problem is, some very bad men are also looking for the treasure, and they know Jesse has it.

Meanwhile, Ken Bortle of Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer has hatched a scheme to lure tourists to his failing store by making viral videos of the “Everglades Melon Monster.” The Monster is in fact an unemployed alcoholic newspaperman named Phil wearing a Dora the Explorer costume head. Incredibly, this plan actually works, inspiring a horde of TikTokers to swarm into the swamp in search of the monster at the same time villains are on the hunt for Jesse’s treasure. Amid this mayhem, a presidential hopeful arrives in the Everglades to start his campaign. Needless to say, it does not go as planned. In fact, nothing in this story goes as planned. This is, after all, Florida.

My Review:

What a breath of fresh air and a major hoot to boot! I love it when I can get my hands on a Dave Barry book. So much fun you can’t put it down. I also knew this one had to be shared with the CE, so his review is below.

SOOO much to write about, it’d be easy to give away too much, but by the blurb you already know it is about Jesse Braddock and her treasure discovery. She is living in a tiny Everglades cabin with egocentric Slater, a pretty boy who is the father to her infant daughter Willa. Not bad enough she is stuck here with Slater, but now he’s taken in a cohort, Kark, also not large on brains or abilities.

Meanwhile, Ken Bortle of Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer is busy hatching another hair-brained scheme to lure tourists to the long-since failed business he inherited with his brother, Brad. Only Dave Barry could develop these misfit characters as they concoct yet another fantastic idea to make their millions. The idea is so stupid, so idiotic, that it’s sure to get shut down immediately by their buddy Stu but it seems Stu likes the idea. Ken is going to attract tourists by making a video of the “Everglades Melon Monster” and they already have someone in mind to play the melon monster.

Swamp Story by Dave BarryNow it gets even more complicated: There are the bad guys out in the swamp looking for treasure and even worse guys looking for Jesse who found it. Hey, it’s Florida, the Everglades, the swamp, wild boars, alligators. Barry knows how to heap on the absurd with satirical bits of side-splitting observations, LOL analogies, and dialogue dead on to the character; the characters so real you want to either give them a hug or kick some behind. It quickly goes from crazy to wild and dangerous and hilariously tongue-in-cheek.

“That’s Buddy,” said Skeeter. “He’s my emotional support boar.”

This is a book loaded with twists, unique atmospherics, and an outrageously imaginative plot. Engaging, entertaining, and totally recommended. LOVED IT! 5 stars

His Review:

Dumb and Dumber meet the Three Stooges in this slapstick adventure in the Florida Everglades. A struggling business; Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer is trying to drive business to their store. They devise a plan to create a viral video of a “swamp monster.”

Dave Barry is a classic writer who weaves average intellect with personal avarice and jealousy. Between enjoying various illegal substances and devising a script for their story, Ken’s prime motivator is cash flow. Almost losing the store, Ken and his cohorts decide there needs to be a swamp monster that is being investigated by them. The dialogue between these individuals is absolutely hilarious as well as idiotic. A few bucks is all that it takes to motivate the participants.

The plot thickens when a young beauty stumbles across some Civil War gold hidden in Everglades National Park. She is trying to dump the father of her child who turns out to be a real dirtbag. He has already blown through her inheritance and left her nearly barefoot and penniless.

Brad is another character. He is unable to put together a coherent thought when Jesse is around and has fallen head over heels for her. He helps with her daughter while she tries to get the treasure. She is not sure who she can trust.

The video goes viral with the first installment of the search for the swamp monster. I kept laughing as I waded through the antics of the head of the Department of the Interior, the local news agencies, and the instigators. Read and laugh along with this hilarious tale. 5 stars – CE Williams

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from #Simon&Schuster and the author through @NetGalley that in no way influenced either review. These are our honest thoughts.

Definitely a #nottobemissed novel releasing next year, currently on pre-order, and our recommendation for a book that is engaging and humorously entertaining.

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Book Details:

Genre: Dark Humor, General Humorous Fiction, Humorous Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ASIN: B0BHTPVBCY
Print Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: May 2, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Dave Barry - authorThe Author: The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry “the funniest man in America.” But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn’t much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon. Dave Barry Slept Here was his version of American history. Dave Barry Does Japan was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. Raised in a suburb of New York, educated in a suburb of Philadelphia, he lives now in a suburb of Miami. He is not, as he often puts it so poetically, making this up.

Dave’s most recent books are “Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland,” and “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.” His next book, “A Field Guide To The Jewish People,” which he co-wrote with his friends Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel, will be published September 24. Dave is not Jewish, but Adam and Alan are, so it’s kosher.

©2022  The CE and I

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