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TRANSFORMED POTUS: A Quirky Queer Spy Novel ~Susanne Falter & Jack Harvey

Monday, November 27th, 2017

I was requested to review TRANSFORMED POTUS by the author; Susanne Falter and she had her team send me a PDF file of the book.  I see that the book is still free on KINDLE on this day in October when I am reading and writing this review.

Now TRANSFORMED POTUS is not a very lengthy book and maybe we could just call it a very long short story that is upbeat and fast- paced and really rather a fun read.  Chance Vaughn is the newly elected President after Trump and he is a single, 40 something year old tech wizard billionaire that folks thought would make up for the mess that Trump made while in office.  The President heads to Las Vegas every chance he gets because his mother is First Lady and holds a tight rein on a tight ship. This story is about the clumsy, distracted, unfocused President when he lands in Vegas and all the people assigned to keep track of him while he is there.

Oh No! The President has lost the “biscuit” with the nuclear codes!

“The first post-Trump President is a POTUS who can’t keep his pants on and loves to hang in Vegas. Undercover agent Charley MacElroy is called in to vet his possible flings just as a bad actor tries to infiltrate. But then Charley’s dominatrix fiancée, Electra, shows up … Is she the one who will take this naughty President in hand? “Join the romp in Vegas when the President finds out Charley’s about to marry Electra.”

About the authors:

“Susanne Falter is a writer and a speaker who tells highly vulnerable essays about grief and joy at her blog, http://suzannefalter.com/blog. Her novels are about uncommon heroes who overcome the odds. She is currently at work on a memoir about finding her way back to happiness after the sudden death of her daughter Teal. Suzanne also speaks to audiences about self-care and her experience as a donor mom in the world of organ donation.

“Her online writing and videos can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. She is the author of the book, Surrendering to Joy as well as How Much Joy Can You Stand? and Living Your Joy (both Ballantine.) She is also the author of several novels, Doin’ the Box Step (Random House) and most recently, Transformed: San Francisco and Transformed: Paris, which she co-wrote with Jack Harvey. Transformed: San Francisco was recently named Runner Up in the prestigious Rainbow Awards.” (From Amazon page)

Jack Harvey’s Amazon page

Truly a fun read and quite a romp around the Strip and some very good descriptive sections on hikes in the desert, including some very strange characters and classic characters.  Everyone is tempted and I think most readers would be too!   I enjoyed this read and will share it with you.

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THIEF’S MARK: A Suspenseful Mystery ~Carla Neggers

Monday, September 18th, 2017

“A murder in a quiet English village, long-buried secrets and a man’s search for answers about his traumatic past entangle FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan in the latest edge-of-your-seat Sharpe & Donovan novel”

THIEF’S MARK begins with Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan finishing up their honeymoon by visiting Emma’s Grandfather in Dublin as they begin their journey back to New England.   Grandfather has started an Art Recovery Business, which he still works on finding and recovering art and Emma’s brother has taken over the business at the New England office.  Wendell enters the Inn, out of breath and finally shares that his home has been broken into and he has not yet called law enforcement onto the scene.   The story keeps a steady pace of new mystery and questions and then a few answers.

Sharpe and Donovan think they have a lead and head to England and Oliver York’s country home where another murder has implicated York and a retired MI6 Officer. Oliver as a young boy was kidnapped and witnessed his parent’s brutal murders and the case has never been solved.  Sharpe and Donovan do not believe that York committed the crime and with perseverance and a cast of interesting characters they figure it out.

The story takes place in the UK, Ireland, and New England.  There is lots of background material and the descriptions of the countryside and the seaside are very good.  The story has a complexity, which holds the reader’s attention and makes it difficult to put the book aside.  Fortunately, I had several days to travel through this story to resolution and truly enjoyed curling up with this good read.

Mystery readers and murder mystery readers will truly enjoy this story and the revelations of the plot.  The farm and garden recovery added a nice dimension to the aspects of the story, and then there was another body discovered!

I did not feel as though I had an art history lesson or that the story was as fast paced as say the Di Vinci Code, but it was a good read and engaging.  The writing was good and captivating.  I was touched by Oliver’s recovery from the trauma and how he was coming to terms with having a future as an adult.


Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, including her popular Sharpe and Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 35 countries. A frequent traveler to Ireland, Carla lives with her family in New England. To learn more and to sign up for her newsletter, visit CarlaNeggers.com.

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SUPREME JUSTICE: A Thriller ~Max Allan Collins

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

“I have a hundred cases in mind, Agent Rogers, a hundred rulings.  Take Rove v. Wade.  Before it was overturned, nearly a dozen murders were tied to that decision, as well as two dozen some attempted murders and hundreds of death threats.  The thing is, not one of these very real attacks was perpetrated against any of the justices voting in favor of what was once called a pro-choice stance.”

“’In fact,” Reeder put in, “no Supreme Court justice had ever been assassinated before this week.’”  (Unproofed copy of book – Chapter 12)

SUPREME JUSTICE is a powerful fast read about the Supreme Court of the USA and the first assassination of a conservative judge.  The book takes place just after the second President, who is Democratic and black, has been elected.  The country is attempting to balance after a President padded the Supreme Court with 6 conservative judges and so many human rights and laws had been changed.  A citizen can be fired or incarcerated for speaking against a politician or the country.  Roe v. Wade has been overturned, only the very rich and the extremely conservative folks can afford services that they need.  Women are particularly at risk.

It is rather exciting to read this book and get a glimpse at how folks might be handling all these restrictions.  Of course, there are no search warrants necessary and nearly everyone has a gun and feels free to use it.  The murder takes place and a former Secret Service agent, who has been fired because he took a bullet for the previous conservative President, and then stated that he disagreed with nearly everything that President stood for and had accomplished.  He was worried about the future of the country and so was fired and now ran a security systems company for businesses.  He was put on the task force for the FBI and instructed with figuring out the crime master.

Max Allan Collins has written many books and the number of awards took up a whole page in small print.   He also writes books with his wife under her name Barbara Allan, and with his co-plotter/researcher Matt Clemens.  His characters include Nathan Heller and Mike Hammer and his comic credits are Dick Tracy, Batman, Ms. Tree and on TV – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  Do you know Tom Hank’s Road to Perdition?

The writing was smooth as silk and refreshing in speed and delivery.  The language was not insulting and it was precise.    It took me over half the book to figure it out and that made my imagination work wonders also.  It was also amazing to be reading this book as the Supreme Court justices allowed religious single owned companies to remove women’s reproductive rights from the Affordable Healthcare Act. Feelings were running high with the justices in so much focus.

The format of the book was wonderful too.  Because it was an unproofed copy I do not know if the quotes started or ended a chapter, but they were poignant and telling.  I find so often quotes do not add to the story, but these quotes so pinpointed the problem inherent in the Supreme Court – the justices are there for life and they cannot often retire when the court is unbalanced.  The public cannot get rid of a justice or make changes when a President has stacked the deck?

tlc logo TLC online book tours  sent me a copy of SUPREME JUSTICE for review and I so enjoyed this book and the pace.  I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down.   I have certainly changed my mind about thrillers and mysteries in the last 5 years, and yet they still need to be well written and a timely read – Wow!

Max Allan Collins on Facebook

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THE DIRTY BOOK MURDER (Rare Book Mystery Series -ebook) ~Thomas Shawver

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

“Antiquarian: “: a person who collects, studies, or sells valuable old things” Especially old books! Miriam Webster Dictionary on line

What could be more fun for an avid reader than a murder mystery set around an antiquarian bookman who owns a book store? The Dirty Book Murder: A Rare Book Mystery is a very fun read and just provided a great escape, some good new knowledge about Japanese Erotica books, and their value.  This read had a good pace and the language and dialogue was well scripted. The book gave me new words to look up and some ideas to research; books which expand my thinking are terrific.  I enjoyed the good descriptions of Kansas City from both sides of the river.

Michael Malachy Bevan age 44 is the bookstore owner and is a well-developed character.  I thought it was inventive how the author wrote Bevan’s biography as a classified ad in a newspaper. The reader then had to keep moving forward in the story to discover how he became a widower, disbarred and why he had an “unforgiving daughter.”

An ad is placed in the newspaper for the local auction barn and within is the words Erotica books and Bevan’s thinks the “Shakee Hen” reference means that they might be Japanese Shoku-hon; very valuable old books and a possible find of a lifetime.  When Bevan arrives at the auction he discovers a book by Collette, with her inscription inside the front cover – a reply from Ernst Hemingway; a very valuable book indeed.  What a find for a bookman, but there are others attending who do not want the kitchen utensils or the bar stools either. They are eyeing the big deal, chatting on their phones and Michael Bevan’s is hiking up the bidding process and thinking about going into debt.  This action sets Michael into the major plot action of a bigger story.

For a book about erotica, there are not great bodice ripper scenes and only references to S&M kinds of sexual behaviors.  The book contains references about money, sex, drug use and murder for pleasure and it is fairly spicy.  The police involvement and the lawyer connections are interesting and truly move the action forward.  Bevan’s being of Irish heritage has issues to resolve around his wife’s accidental death, and his daughter’s drug usage and anger; there are some robust pub and drinking segments to the story.  All in all, I thought it was a good read and I would choose the next book in the series when I needed a good murder mystery which was well written.   I would recommend THE DIRTY BOOK MURDER.

“Tom Shawver, the author, owned an antiquarian bookstore in Kansas City for fifteen years. Prior to that, he was a Marine officer, lawyer, and journalist. He is an avid rugby player.  This, his first novel and begins a series featuring bookman Michael Bevan.”  Book cover

TLC online book tours
Bloomsday Books Blog 

tlc logo An unproofed copy of the book was sent to me by TLC Online Book Tours for review.  It was a good read and I enjoyed the bookstore reference.  I think everyone I know who likes to read would enjoy this book.  The plot involves Erotica so please be advised for youthful readers – THE DIRTY BOOK MURDER.

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