July Rosepoint Reviews Recap—It’s the Dog Days of August

Our daughter arrived early July and the hunt for the house kicked into high gear. As she has her mind set on Missouri, we’ve been through a number of trips to check out houses—few looking like the pictures. My reading/reviewing schedule has run well off the rails and will continue to do so until she is settled, now appearing to be early September. In the meantime, posting reviews will be erratic and apologies ahead of time if I’ve missed release dates. I’m getting there, albeit slowly.

We posted fourteen book reviews for July that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library.  

Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders One Little Lie by Christopher Greyson The Making of Outlander Man On Fire by Humphrey Hawksley Dublin Moon by Mike Faricy Seven-Year Witch by Angela M Sanders His and Hers by Alice Feeney The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'Connor The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman This Much Huxley Knows by Gail Aldwin Vortex by Catherine Coulter Bad Medicine by James B Cohoon

Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron
When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W “Buzz” Bernard
One Little Lie: A Thrilling Suspense Novel by Christopher Greyson
TV Netflix Series Outlander vs #Audiobook by Diana Gabaldon (Author) and Davina Porter (Narrator)
Man On Fire (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 3) by Humphrey Hawksley
Dublin Moon (Jack Dillon Dublin Tales Book 10) by Mike Faricy
Seven-Year Witch (Witch Way Librarian Mysteries) by Angela M Sanders
His & Hers: A Novel by Alice Feeney
The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby
Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Carlene O’Connor
The Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman
This Much Huxley Knows: A Story of Innocence, Misunderstandings and Acceptance by Gail Aldwin
Vortex: An FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter (Book 25)
Bad Medicine (The Medical Students Book 2) by James B Cohoon

I haven’t been able to keep up with my challenges, so will try and get that updated during the month as I believe we’ll be away from the computer the first week of September. You can check out my challenges progress by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

Welcome to my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers. Hang in with me, please. Hopefully your August won’t still be facing Covid or its variants. Have a happy and peaceful Sunday!

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Vortex: An FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter (Book 25) – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 Best Seller in Psychic Suspense

Book Blurb:

#1 New York Times bestselling Catherine Coulter returns with a brilliant new novel in her FBI thriller series, in which agents Sherlock and Savich find themselves dealing with very powerful figures from the past who could wreak havoc in the present.

Vortex by Catherine CoulterSeven years ago, Mia Briscoe was at a college frat rave with her best friend, Serena, when a fire broke out. Everyone was accounted for except Serena, who was never seen nor heard from again. Now an investigative journalist covering the political scene in New York City, Mia discovers old photos taken the night of Serena’s disappearance and begins to uncover a sinister string of events going all the way back to that disastrous party. Working with Sherlock, the secrets begin to unravel. But some very powerful—and very dangerous—people will do anything to keep them from learning the truth.

CIA Operative Olivia Hildebrandt is a team leader on a mission in Iran to exfiltrate a betrayed undercover operative. She’s nearly killed by an exploding grenade and saved by a team member. But by the time Olivia is released from Walter Reed Hospital, that team member and a critical flash drive he was carrying have disappeared. When Olivia is attacked on her first night home, Savich suspects that the strike is a direct result of the compromised mission and the missing team member and flash drive. But what intelligence was at stake and who betrayed them?

His Review:

A young gamer is killed by an accidental punch in the face by Snake, a master gamer. They had been having a great time but things got out of hand. Snake claims it was an accident and her death was not intentional. Wrapped in an old tarp she is being forever lost to her family and friends.

Vortex by Catherine CoulterMia and her friend Serena are on their way to a rave. Mia is miffed at Serena because she seems to want to forego the party. Mia is angry because the rules for men and women are entirely unfair. How did things get so messed up?

Fraternity brothers were offering a drink called a “Crazy Mary,” guaranteed to make even the most virginal woman put out. Serena begins to act strangely and then winds up missing. How could this be? She did not even want to come to this party.

Seven years later Mia still wonders what could have happened to Serena. She currently has a position as investigative reporter for Guardian Magazine. Her current assignment is a political candidate.

Alexander Talbot Harrington is a very rich society climber who does as he wishes with women. He is tall and handsome and has no problem having opportunities. He is running for the mayor of New York City. Most of the population feels he is a shoo-in for the job. His “wing man” is his social equal but lacking in self-confidence. He is a possible candidate for weakest link in the crime and investigation.

Ms. Coulter is a master story teller with multiple plots happening simultaneously. The result is a continuously intriguing tale which is difficult to put down. With three police agencies working to solve this and other crimes, the criminals are quickly in their cross-hairs. Alex and his wing-man feel they are smarter than anyone and will not be caught. The writer puts them into their proper place.

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Psychic Thrillers, Psychic Suspense, Historical Thrillers
Publisher: William Morrow
ASIN: B08N18WD7Q
Print Length: 400 pages
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Vortex [Amazon] 
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Catherine Couler - authorThe Author: Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of 87 books. Her numerous historical romances established her as an icon in the genre and a must-read for readers world wide. Coulter’s readership has also grown exponentially with her hugely popular “unputdownable” FBI thriller series, starring the husband and wife team FBI agents Savich and Sherlock. Her FBI thrillers have expanded to include a new international thriller series — A Brit in the FBI — co-written with popular thriller writer JT Ellison. This six-book series has also captured a dedicated readership with high-stakes, fast-paced international cases involving new characters Nicholas and Mike. Coulter has also added a new novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Grayson Sherbrooke Otherworldly Adventures. Currently there are four novellas — the 5th installment will be released later this summer. (The Grayson books are available only in ebook.)

Upcoming new release! The 25th book in her FBI thriller series, VORTEX, will be released on August 10th, 2021. Coulter lives in northern California with her thriller cat Eli and her thriller husband. She enjoys hearing from readers and posts on her Facebook page daily. Please visit her at her website http://www.catherinecoulter.com for more information.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Carlene O’Connor – #sundayselfie

#sundayselfie

Yes! I’m a winner! I recently won this beautiful book on Goodreads. Murder in Connemara by Carlene O’Connor. Thank you to the author and the publisher, Kensington Books!

Book Blurb

The bestselling author of the Irish Village mysteries sets her new series in Galway County, where former New York interior designer Tara Meehan finds murder in the ruins. 

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorFormer New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She’s in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O’Farrell bursts in to announce she’s ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she’s invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.

But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart—the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she’s a prime suspect, along with Veronica’s guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It’s up to Tara to pin down the guilty party . . .

AUTHOR LINKS

Website

Goodreads

About the Author

Carlene O'Connor - authorCarlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

Book Details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBF7RJQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Books
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 27, 2021
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
  • Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

I haven’t read from Book 1 but enjoyed several others in the series, including Murder in an Irish Cottage, Murder in an Irish Pub, Murder in an Irish Bookshop, and Murder in an Irish Christmas and have enjoyed them all. If you’ve missed this atmospheric series, now is the time to check them out. This novel currently on pre-order. My review on Tuesday, July 20.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby – #Audiobook Review

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby

Book Blurb:

The death of a former presidential candidate in a fiery car crash at her Virginia vineyard has ties to a 30-year-old murder, as well as to Lucie Montgomery’s own near-fatal accident 10 years ago, as she searches for a killer who now may be stalking her.

When Jamison Vaughn – billionaire real estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful US presidential candidate – drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia, is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide? Or was it murder?

Before long, Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends, an elite group of academics, and the brutal murder 30 years ago of a brilliant PhD student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced – for good. 

My Review:

Book 8 in the Wine Country Mystery series, I reached back aways for this one. I’ve enjoyed the Wine Country series and the aura, mystique, and history of the Virginia vineyards and countryside. There is always more to learn about the craft of wine making.

The Vineyard Victims by Ellen CrosbyIn this installment, Lucie Montgomery witnesses a horrific accident at the same location she experienced the accident that resulted in her permanent disability. She tries to rescue billionaire and unsuccessful US presidential candidate Jamison Vaughn but was driven back by the flames. The accident—or was it an accident?—starts an investigation into his death that ultimately reaches back thirty years. Something he said to her before Jamie died—and she’s promised to deliver the message.

This particular entry became multi-layered, tying not only the former presidential candidate, but her own past. She has never forgiven her ex-boyfriend for the accident and her injuries and it still weighs heavily on her.

When she gets closer to the secrets held so long, people told her to back off. But she wouldn’t and didn’t and with the help of her fiancé Quinn, discovers the shocking truth. In so doing, she may have found, at long last, the way to ease her burden as well.

This entry just didn’t grab me as well of two previous reads, The Angels’ Share and Harvest of Secrets. I suspect because of the complexity involved in the plot, the normal share of history and wine making secrets devolved well into the background and concentrated instead on the mystery.

I’ve tended to jump around and borrowed whatever I could and each have been interesting though obviously I have my favorites. It’s a series I’ll continue reading or listening to.

Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio
ASIN: B0778Z14SP
Listening Length: 7 hrs 57 mins
Narrator: Christine Marshall
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Vineyard Victims [Amazon]

Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point Five of Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Ellen Crosby - authorThe Author: Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries, two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone. THE FRENCH PARADOX, the 11th book in the wine country series will be out 1/29/21 in the UK, 4/6/21 in the US and 3/1/21 as an ebook. Before writing fiction, Crosby–who has lived in England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union–worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, an economist at the US Senate, and Moscow reporter for ABC Radio News. Visit her website at http://www.ellencrosby.com and follow her (very) occasionally on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, sometimes on Twitter at @ellencrosby–but mostly on Instagram at ellencrosbyauthor. She also writes an erratic (but interesting) newsletter.

 

Christine Marshall - narratorThe Narrator:  Christine Marshall is an actress, director, and designer who makes her home in Maine. She is a member of the Mad Horse Theatre Company and the Maine State Ballet, works on many independent Maine theater projects and films, and appears regularly on local commercial television. As a narrator, she recently won her first Earphones Award from AudioFile magazine for her work on Dancer.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Dublin Moon (Jack Dillon Dublin Tales Book 10) by Mike Faricy – #BookReview – #InternationalMystery and Crime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Dublin Moon by Mike FaricyUS Marshal Jack Dillon, assigned to An Garda Síochána, Special Branch is just about to settle into an enjoyable evening with his neighbor Tara when his phone rings. Against his better judgment, he answers… Good thing he does. It’s his boss, Detective Chief Inspector McCabe. There’s been a shooting in Dublin and it’s all hands on deck. Turns out two police officers have been murdered. US Marshal Jack Dillon and Detective Inspector Paddy Suel begin an investigation that seems to be going nowhere— and yet…  It’s bad enough two officers have been murdered, but apparently, that’s just the beginning. The bodies begin to pile up and Dillon and Suel can’t seem to get ahead of the game or find out who is responsible.

The Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series is written by Mike Faricy and was originally released under the pseudonym, Patrick Emmett. Faricy also writes The award-winning Dev Haskell series, the award-winning Corridor Man series, and the Hotshot series. 

His Review:

Someone is killing people in Dublin at random! US Marshal Jack Dillon is called in to assist in the investigation. He has been on loan to the Dublin police for a couple of years. Two of their new officers were brutally killed execution style near the station. Who would do such a thing?

Dublin Moon by Mike FaricyThis is unheard of and a task force is immediately set up. Marshall Dillon and his partner go the crime scene to look for clues. How could two trained police officers be brutally executed in broad daylight? The clues are few and far between and everyone is on edge.

A fairly new forensic specialist finds two shell casings found under part of the tent set up to isolate the crime scene. Dillon’s partner is always putting him down and Dillon is always coming to the specialist’s defense. His partner feels that Marshal Dillon is coddling the investigator. Tension builds within the department due to the partners myopic attitude towards the investigator.

Other people start being found dead and the mystery intensifies. The killer or killers need to be stopped. One of the victims leaves a two-year-old boy who becomes parentless and Marshal Dillon presses harder to solve the crime. One of the leads points to a criminal syndicate which had left Ireland for the Spanish Costa del Sol. Clues indicate they may have come back to Ireland.

CE WilliamsMike Faricy writes an engaging novel which will keep the reader up at night in order to solve the mystery. The clues and methodology keep wrapping the reader up into the story. I enthusiastically recommend his novels. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions. 

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Cozy Mysteries
ASIN: B095L91293
Print Length: 229 pages
Publication Date: June 17, 2021
Source: Author gift
Title Link: Dublin Moon [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Mike Faricy - authorThe Author: Mike Faricy was awarded the 2016 IACM Silver Award for Best Mystery Author.
His books have held the #1 slot in the Kindle Store in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India.
Mike Faricy was listed as the IACM Author of the Month for April 2018.
His Dev Haskell tale, The Office, was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Awards and the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.
He was awarded the Crime Masters of America Poison Cup Award in January of 2019.
His Dev Haskell tale, Star Struck, was a mystery finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.

The Dirty Lowdown called Mike Faricy America’s hottest new mystery writer.
Robert Carraher referred to him as Minnesota’s Master of the Bizarre.
Crime Scene referred to him as the next Carl Hiaasen.
Crime Capers said; “Open at your own risk, you won’t put him down.”
UnderCover wrote; “This guy is nuts and one hell of a lot of fun.”
The Irish Gazette referred to; “The laugh a minute storylines of Faricy’s deliciously engaging worlds.”

Mike’s Dev Haskell series books are stand-alone, they can be read in any order. His Corridor Man series was initially written under the pseudonym Nick James and should be read in order. His Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally written under the pseudonym, Patrick Emmett. His Hotshot series are standalone tales that can be read in any order. Faricy’s novels are filled with the sort of oddballs we’re all curious about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. His characters serve not so much as an example as they do a warning. None of them will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. Rather, Faricy’s characters inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society. The circumstances they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting stories.

Reminiscent of the late Robert B. Parker, Faricy’s tightly woven Dev Haskell series is penned with a delightful sense of humor and even some romance. Entertainment is the name of the game as back-slapping, corner-cutting, babe magnet Dev Haskell interacts with such quirky characters as ice cream mogul Mr. Swirlee, The D’Angelo brothers, local crime lord Tubby Gustafson, ‘Fat Freddie’ Zimmerman, former NFL tight end Luscious Dixon, exotic dancer Swindle Lawless, and gorgeous Heidi Bauer. The Dev Haskell novels can be read in any order.

Faricy’s Corridor Man series was originally released under the pen name Nick James. The series is a bit more gritty than the Dev Haskell series and a lot more violent. Disbarred attorney Bobby Custer makes his way back into the legal game. He’s neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, narcissistic, greedy, unprincipled and . . . always charming.

Faricy’s Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally released under the pen name Patrick Emmett. US Marshal Jack Dillon is sent to Dublin to escort a prisoner back to the US. Things don’t go exactly as planned and trouble ensues. Dillon becomes permanently stationed in Dublin, just to get him out of his boss’s hair. Things take an entertaining turn from there, think of a cross between Dev Haskell and James Bond.

Faricy’s Hotshot series are zany, delightfully entertaining standalone crime tales.

Enjoy the reads!

Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Faricy still spends six months of the year in the saintly city as well as six months in Dublin, Ireland. Contact information for Mike is listed just after this shameless list of titles. Thanks for taking the time and be sure to tell 2-300 of your closest friends.
[Truncated…]

Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series.
Welcome: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 1
Sweet Dreams: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 2
Mirror Mirror: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 3
Silver Bullet: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 4
Fair City Blues: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 5
Spade Work: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 6
Madeline Missing: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 7
Mistaken Identity: Jack Dillon Dublin Tale 8

You’re Mine Valentine! Jack Dillon novella

Novella: Irish Dukes (Published in the Fight Card series under the pseudonym Jack Tunney)

Visit Mike on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MikeFaricyBooks
Visit Dev Haskell’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DevHaskell
Email Mike” mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com
Follow Mike on Twitter @mikefaricybooks
Mike’s web site; www.mikefaricybooks.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

TV Netflix Series Outlander vs #Audiobook by Diana Gabaldon (Author) and Davina Porter (Narrator) – Time Travel Romances

“This romantic odyssey earned three Golden Globe nods and won “Most Bingeworthy Show” at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards.”

TV Netflix Series Outlander vs Audiobook

Once again, trust the CE to find a series we carefully parceled out (depending on the last episode watched) to make this series last longer and still burned through it quickly. I never was really able to see the sparks between Jamie and Claire (always viewing her as so much more mature than he), but the stories were riveting and kept us glued. Those who have followed me for some time know I’m not a big fan of romance—but these stories—getting past the romance part—put you back in time, the beauty and barbarism, the daily struggle of life. And I do so enjoy that historical aspect. 

Netflix Series

Currently, there are five seasons (67 episodes) on Netflix. Season six possibly May of 2022 and strong hope of a seventh season—some time. It was developed by Ronald D Moore.

It’s a historical drama, so you know it got my attention. Basically, a married WWII nurse is transported back to 1743 during the Jacobite rising. There she meets Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior. But Jamie is just the start of a roster of stellar characters, manly men in kilts. They set the scene of the people, the time, the country, and their fierce loyalty to the clan they belong. First the clan—then the country—and they have a common enemy, the English.

There are eight books in the Outlander series with Outlander: Book 1, kicking it off. Many of the seasons storylines can be traced directly back to the original books:

  1. Outlander
  2. Dragonfly in Amber
  3. Voyager
  4. The Drums of Autumn
  5. The Fiery Cross
  6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes
  7. An Echo in the Bone\Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

The Making of Outlander

I listened to Audiobook 1 in its entirety and then couldn’t find either Book 2 or 3 and started Audiobook 4, The Drums of Autumn. Within Season 1 are sixteen episodes.

The male lead, Sam Roland Heughan was born April 30, 1980 in Balmaclellan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. He’s 6’2” and owns that Highlander part right now to his tricorn. He is a co-founder of My Peak Challenge, a charitable community-based organization.

The female lead, Caitriona Balfe was born in Dublin, Ireland and grew up in County Monaghan. She worked as a model (she is 5’9”) and was studying drama at the Dublin Institute of Technology hoping to become an actress when she was scouted.

 

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved the swoon-worthy Jamie and still not sure Claire “fits” him, although looking at Hepburn and Bogie you’d not think they’d fit any better. I feel she’s a little light on chemistry, but, hey, that’s just me. Otherwise, these storylines move so fast, appear so authentic you’d swear you took that stone journey right along with Claire, a delightful fantasy in itself. I appreciate the inclusion of the Scottish Gaelic, the speech patterns, from sassenach to bhalaich and glimpses of the countryside. It’s a series that bombards the senses with sight and sound and teleports the imagination. Escapism when we truly needed it. 5 stars

Audiobook

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?

My Thoughts

Oh, ouch! Here I go again! Watched a G-rated Netflix series thinking I’d get the same rating from the audiobook. Nope. Reminds me a great deal of the experience I had with another well received and popular Netflix series only to find out that the author wrote a sexually laden series—not the toned down small town fiction series we got on the home screen.

While much of the action-adventure, spirit of the eighteenth century works a strong background, the romance between the two main characters take front and center stage, sometimes getting more graphic than I’m comfortable with. Claire, not a nurse but a practiced surgeon, falls for a warring Highlander with little romantic experience. She becomes the teacher.

Otherwise, it would appear most of the support characters echo those presented in the TV version with various degrees of debauchery. Claire becomes a strong presence among the men, owing to her medical prowess, while still clinging to the secret of having been plunked into their midst from another time. Wincing narrative scenes are easier to read (or listen to) than broadcast in full sight to a general audience? Torn between 3 ½ and 4 stars, perhaps I’ll settle at 3 ¾ stars.

Overall Impression

Hazzah to those who created and went with a romantic time-travel adventure! More about the people, the time, the culture than the two love interests. I loved the costumes, the authentic touches of the Netflix series and the plot that continually builds into another period journey and I didn’t have to hide my eyes or block my ears once. This is one VERY long series and in either printed or audiobook form may constitute an epoch undertaking. I found my own quota after completing Book 1 and sampling Book 4. Probably no different for those who follow long running series well into the double digits. Some never get old and some just wear you out. I’ll happily watch another season on Netflix, but think I’ll move on to other audiobooks now.

Book Details

Outlander: Book 1

Genre: Time Travel Romances, Scottish Historical Romance, Historical Fantasy
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B000GW8NVA
Listening Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
Narrator: Davina Porter
Audible Release: July 13, 2006
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Outlander: Book 1 [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Diana Gabaldon - author
Photo by Gage Skidmore

The Author: Diana Gabaldon is the internationally bestselling author of many historical novels including Cross Stitch, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow Ashes. She lives with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is a New York Time bestselling author.

Find her at https://www.dianagabaldon.com/

Davina Porter-narrator
Photo by Jo Anna Perrin

The Narrator: Golden Voice narrator Davina Porter has performed not only the entire Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, but also other fantasy classics including many of Marion Zimmer Bradley Avalon audiobooks, and Erika Johansen’s widely praised THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING.  Davina’s audiobook work includes titles ranging from classics to mystery to philosophy, with an enduring thread of splendid fantasy audiobooks.

“I was born and raised in England, my father was English, a true “Londoner” (read Cockney!), and my mother was born in St. Andrews, Scotland. Two accents under my belt! I am married to a Glasgow-born Scot, more diversity. Being a product of my background, I am very familiar with the English and Scottish way of life, and all its foibles!”

©2021 V Williams V Williams

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W “Buzz” Bernard – #BookReview – Military Fiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

“Freedom is not free” is credited to retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Walter Hitchcock.

Book Blurb:

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La RaidersInspired by the true story of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japan in 1942, The Shangri-La Raiders is the next stunning installment of the When Heroes Flew WWII historical fiction series.

This gripping novel follows an American bomber crew through their secretive training, a harrowing raid on Japan, and on their desperate journey through occupied China to Chungking, the seat of the country’s wartime government.

The crew, along with an American missionaries’ daughter whom they’ve rescued, must evade the Japanese occupiers every step of the way. And amidst all the horror and turmoil of war, a romance blossoms between the rescued woman and the crew’s pilot.

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders is a captivating tale of bravery, determination and an unlikely love that will leave you hooked until the very end.

His Review:

A tale of love during a time of war mixed with historical fact! Lt. Colonel Jimmie Doolittle and a squadron of sixteen, B25 Mitchell bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet to bomb the Japanese mainland in WW II. The takeoff of a heavy bomb-loaded aircraft from the carrier deck was unheard of! They usually needed well over a thousand feet of runway to get airborne. These planes only had 360 feet. The first plane off the flight deck was Doolittle himself!

When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders by H W BernardThe training and heroics of the young crews cannot be overstated. Training was done at numerous bases in the United States and then actual carrier training was done at Pensacola, Florida. The crews were selected from among the best B25 bomber crews in the Army Air Force.  Colonel Doolittle did not ask them to do anything that he didn’t do. He also led the attack on the Japanese islands. The United States needed a victory after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, HI.

After the bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, the planes flew to mainland China, as they had no way of getting back to the USS Hornet. The flight took off nearly 600 miles from the Japanese coastline. The worry was that the planes would not be able to get to China after the bombing run. All of the crews were volunteers who knew that they may need to ditch in the ocean! Some of the flight crew were unable to swim and the planes carried only one life raft!

After bailing out over mainland China, the crews were frantically searched for by the Japanese. They were considered war criminals and would surely be executed upon capture. The narrative spells out some of the heroic efforts made to evade capture and return to the U.S. for further military deployment. A fictional officer named Lieutenant Raymond “Boss” Howser was the flight leader of one of these planes. His was the seventh bomber that took off from the deck of the Hornet. As his plane was running out of fuel he had his flight crew bail out of the coughing plane.

CE WilliamsThe assistance of the Chinese people who were being brutalized by the Japanese military was at great personal risk. Thousands of Chinese men, women and children were brutally murdered if suspected of assisting the American devils. Lt. Howser and his crew are aided by a missionary, his wife and daughter. The assistance was found out and the parents were savagely tortured and executed. The crews escape back to U.S. held lines included hiding in the jungles of central China and getting aide along the way from the Chinese people who hated the Japanese. The story is a compelling read and heartwarming in the execution of the tale. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions. Now on pre-order.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction, Military Thrillers
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B08GKX9SVK
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders [Amazon]
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Harold W Bernard - authorThe Author: H. W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

PLAGUE (“One of the best thrillers of 2012″–novelist Al Leverone) came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

SUPERCELL (“Races along with the speed of a twister”–novelist Michael Wallace) was published in late 2013 and became a best seller on Kindle as well as the winner of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

Buzz’s fourth novel and third in his “weather trilogy,” BLIZZARD (“A terrific book”–novelist Deborah Smith) was released in February 2015. It led to his nomination for a 2016 Georgia Author of the Year award.

CASCADIA (“heart pounding”–Reed Farrel Coleman, NYT best-selling author WHERE IT HURTS) hit the market in July 2016 and went on to garner the 2018 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category, making Buzz a three-time “Eppie” winner.

Buzz’s newest novel, WHEN HEROES FLEW (“vivid, unforgettable”–P. T. Deutermann, author of award-winning PACIFIC GLORY), was released in April 2020.

Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades.  He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit.

His “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).

In the past, he’s provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska’s arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama.

He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.

Buzz is a past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He’s a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club, Willamette Writers, and Military Writers Society of America.

He and his special needs adult grandson live in Roswell, Georgia, along with a fuzzy and strangely docile Shih-Tzu, Stormy . . . probably misnamed.

Buzz’s Website can be found at www.buzzbernard.com.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams – V Williams