Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Living the Writing Life

Review # 12 for 2017 A Merciful Death ***** By Kendra Elliot

Merciful DeathA Merciful Death *****

By Kendra Elliot

Mercy Kilpatrick, an experienced FBI Special Agent, is called upon to return to the community where she grew up to investigate the murders of two men she once knew. She was raised to be prepared for the worst that could happen to society, but the society of her own family deserted her when she most needed their support. Fifteen years before, she left town at the age of eighteen and built a life for herself, apart from those she loved. Mercy hides her estrangement from her parents and siblings from her FBI partners, making her return doubly awkward because she’s on edge, nervous about being recognized and probably shunned. When she meets the new Chief of Police, Truman Daly, they begin to work together comparing notes of past and present. It soon becomes clear that the very events that drove her away in the first place have an intrinsic connection to the current victims, one of whom was Chief Daly’s uncle. Mercy has never told anyone the full truth behind her reasons for leaving home and family. But knowing Truman Daly has as much at stake when it comes to solving the mysterious links, she wants to come clean with him, but he’s a lawman, too, so she doesn’t dare.

Ms. Elliot paints a vivid picture if life in a “prepper” community, and the attendant stresses that lead to inevitable conflicts between different factions with the same goal in mind, but whose methods are at odds. Set in the countryside if eastern Oregon, this story brings to life the sights, sounds, and smells of an area she clearly loves. Highly recommended for fans of both mystery and romance novels, though the romance plays second fiddle to the crime-solving,

 

Standard
Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Living the Writing Life

Reviews 8, 9, & 10 of 30, for 2017

Preserving Hope *****

Book 2 in the Aliomenti Saga By Alex Albrinck Preserving hope

Book 1 Reviewed this site

Suspend disbelief—and enjoy!

 

In Preserving Hope, Will Stark, a 21st Century man is carried forward in time beyond his own era, then taken back to the historical period one thousand years before his own birth. There, his task is to infiltrate an Aliomenti village hidden in a forest in medieval northern England. The Aliomenti had once been normal human beings, serfs, living on and farming the land, when a small group of men believed they could, with the right diet  of herbs to enhance mental abilities in their laborers, produce more intelligent, stronger, and better workers, thus increasing the profitability of their lands. This proved true, and the Aliomenti came into being. As a newcomer, Will must try to fit in with the villagers as well as help them toward their goals of mental, physical, and financial superiority. Though Will has been imbued with many of the strengths known to the Aliomenti as Energy, he must conceal this fact while helping improve their lot.

His main focus, though, is the security of a young woman, motherless woman, Elizabeth. Her safety is key not only to Will’s personal survival, but to that of an entire line of her descendants. Elizabeth’s father, Arthur, the highest-ranking man in the Aliomenti village, is cruel and his determination to maintain dominance over the others endangers Elizabeth’s life. All Will can do is protect her in secret, and help nudge the Aliomenti along the path he already knows they must travel. With his knowledge of future technologies and methods, he tries to guide them into becoming better traders and better builders, which will add to Arthur’s profits. If the village leader sees what can be done with hard work and ingenuity, Will hopes to reduce a portion of Elizabeth’s misery of some of her agony,

Arthur, however, is a selfish, stubborn man with no feelings at all for his only child…

 

Mason ***

Book 1 in the Remington Ranch Series Mason

No way to run a relationship.

 

Gina Delaney, successful photographer whose work is being shown in a posh, New York art gallery, needs to go back to Montana to help her elderly father move east to live near her. There are two major problems—her dad, Al, doesn’t want to sell the ranch he can no longer run, and Gina fears when she returns to make things happen the only way she sees possible, she’ll inevitably run into Mason Remington, the man who broke her heart ten years ago.

When Mason learns Gina’s back in town, he knows he won’t be able to stay away from her. It’s a small place. They’re bound to meet. When they do, of course things heat up like they always did before. Mase has no problem with this. He wants her. He’s spent the last decade wanting her. It’s clear her body has no problem with the desire springing to life between them, but she will not give in.

Gina can’t let herself succumb to the physical attraction she and Mason share. It would be wrong. She’s engaged to marry Liam, owner of the NY Gallery. Not only that, she cannot bring herself to trust Mason. What she heard him say about her just before she went off to college preys on her mind. Even if he does think he loves her now, what about his actions all those years ago? He claims not to know what he did to break them up, but she’s not buying that one.

When Gina’s engagement to the NY man falls through, Mason sees no further impediment to him resuming his affair with her, but again, she refuses to talk things out with him. As the story winds on, both Mason and Gina realizes they have a long way to go before than can reach Happily Ever After—but are they both adult enough to take the chance of accepting the person each other has become during their time apart?

I could have awarded more points but for Gina’s childish intransigence and Mason’s inability to understand he didn’t have to control everything.




 

Code Name: Money Man ***

By Mark Arundel Money Man Cover

 

“We want you to kill someone.”

 

The former elite SAS trooper has been kicked out of the army, the only real life he knows. He has no home, few friends, and no money. When the offer of employment comes from what might or might not be the Foreign Office, the ex-trooper is taken aback. Yes, he has killed before. But not the way an assassin might. He killed in combat, not in cold blood. However, the money sounds good, and he doesn’t have many options. Still unsure if he can do as he’s asked, he accepts the position and flies to Tenerife in the Canary Islands where the job is to be done.

From there, things go sideways. The action bounces from one cliff-hanger to another. None of the opposition that continues to crop up is who or what he thinks they are. With the truth cloaked in shadows and lies, the trooper only slowly begins to catch on: He’s part of a plot to expose a mole deep inside the British Secret Service.

This book would have a higher rating if the punctuation hadn’t been so lacking. Too few commas and periods created a tough trail for a reader accustomed to knowing who’s speaking, when he finishes a sentence, and when he begins another.

Standard
Uncategorized

Review # 5 of 30

This book is so good I hope everyone will reblog my review of it.

A Novel Lifestyle

The Rainbow Virus *****

By Dennis Meredith

This is by far one of the best books I’ve read in the last twelve months. Robert Louden, a somewhat disfavored FBI agent has been getting crap assignments but when seemingly random individual citizens in California start turning up with inexplicable color changes; blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and shades in between, the suspicion grows that this may be the result of a strange virus. Then, a common element turns up; the newly “colored” people are all patients of an allergist who’s given them injections. rainbow-virusBut the allergist is as mystified as everyone else, so what can Louden do but go to work, as ordered, with the CDC? As Louden and the old CDC master, Doc, whose partner is the beautiful but unapproachable and unpredictable Kathleen Shinohara begin to gather facts and follow evidence, they realize little is what it first seems to be. The…

View original post 457 more words

Standard
Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Living the Writing Life

Review # 5 of 30

 

The Rainbow Virus *****

By Dennis Meredith

This is by far one of the best books I’ve read in the last twelve months. Robert Louden, a somewhat disfavored FBI agent has been getting crap assignments but when seemingly random individual citizens in California start turning up with inexplicable color changes; blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and shades in between, the suspicion grows that this may be the result of a strange virus. Then, a common element turns up; the newly “colored” people are all patients of an allergist who’s given them injections. rainbow-virusBut the allergist is as mystified as everyone else, so what can Louden do but go to work, as ordered, with the CDC? As Louden and the old CDC master, Doc, whose partner is the beautiful but unapproachable and unpredictable Kathleen Shinohara begin to gather facts and follow evidence, they realize little is what it first seems to be. The person who’s disseminating the virus—is he a prankster or a dangerously sociopathic microbiologist who does not have the world’s good health as his primary aim? When bullets, not aimed by the good guys, start flying toward the elusive skin-color-tinkerer, Team Louden has to consider that may Someone Even Bigger has an interest in this entire mess. But what interest? What aim? Good or bad? And worse, what Alphabet Agency might it be? Domestic? Otherwise? Those they thought the could trust, well, maybe they shouldn’t. But if this is all for real, it’s their duty to bring the perpetrators to justice before it’s too late–even if it means going against orders.

Though this is a serious book that warns of world-wide dire repercussions with terrifying possible outcomes if the virus is weaponized and not contained, it’s also extremely funny. As Meredith takes us through his delightful tale and turns nearly all of Denver into a multi-hued fruit basket (or maybe that should be ‘nut’ basket), the characters come alive and his rich sense of humor crops up over and over, leaving the reader smiling, grinning, and even laughing out loud with his quirky turns of phrase and exquisite timing.

Really, don’t miss this book.

♠♠♠

And now, not a review, but an announcement, My latest novel, CAVERNS, Book 4 in The Chronicles of Storn is now available pretty much wherever digital books are sold, readable on most, if not all, devices.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it starts out with REFUGE 2nd Edition, in which a dedicated group of scientists and others who care, plan to escape from a draconian Committee that oversees every aspect of life the settlers live on their accidentally-arrived-at new home planet, Storn. Storn is not what they were promised. The winters will kill them unless precautions are taken. Summers, as the planet swings too close to its primary, Magnus, are equally deadly. But somehow, those who care are determined to rescue a couple dozen extraordinary children whose talents terrify the committee. If the Refuge they plan proves inadequate, will the special abilities of the children be enough to save them all?

I you’re wondering, why a Second Edition, I needed to go back and make some changes so when the characters from The Group eventually meet up with those from the Dirtsider Troop, there is better cohesion. This series had been a long, ongoing work which I’ve enjoyed for some time. I hope readers will too.

REFUGE 2nd Edition IS FREE across the board. This link will take you to Kobo, Apple, Scribd, and many other venues. https://www.books2read.com/u/3LdK73

For Kindle, copy and past this link into your browser. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D154606011&field-keywords=Refuge+2nd+Edition

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about LIFELINE, Book 2 in the series.

 

Standard
Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Uncategorized, What writing's all about

Reviews 3 & 4 of 30

Review: Blaming the Wind **

By Alessandra Harris

www.instafreebe.com gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Blaming the Wind is primarily the story of two couples, next-door-neighbors and good friends. Unfortunately, the novel, which is well-crafted as to plotting, grammar, spelling, and points of view, failed to hold my interest. I found my mind wandering throughout the tale of these people and their various problems. The trouble was, I did not like any of them. Each, in his or her owblaming-the-windn way, whined too much, was too self-absorbed, and showed little evidence of working to make life better. I found few uplifting moments, fewer reasons to cheer for any of the characters, and had to force myself to keep reading to the end.

One, a stay-at-home-dad, resents his wife’s success and in a way, seems to hold her responsible for his own unwillingness to find a new job, a different way of earning a living after an accident deprived him of his original career. For her part, the “successful” woman comes across as weak and indecisive and much too easily influenced by a charmer anyone with the good sense of a gnat should have spotted at ten paces. If she’d been starved for love at home, it might have made some sense, but she was not.

The other couple consists of a childless woman who wants a job almost as much as she wants a baby, but fears while she needs the first, won’t be able to cope with the second. Her outside influence, her mother, drags her down. Her husband, who likes to live well above his means, is frantically trying to hold onto his position as a sports agent so he can maintain the large house they can ill-afford.

The characters lie not only to themselves, but to each other, and to the peripheral personalities in the story, making for a typical “tangled web” that simply did not have to be if only they told each other the truth. Of course, if they had, there wouldn’t have been a story, but their numerous motivations seem thin and not strong enough to hang the plot on. Ms. Harris clearly has talent and potential as a writer, but this book doesn’t cut it.

Review:  The Day After Never ***

by Russell Blake

 

the-day-after-neverThis is a long, Post Apocalyptic series. Its main saving grace is that it doesn’t contain zombies. The world (read: The U.S.) as we know it, has all but disappeared thanks to a pandemic and the subsequent monetary and societal collapse. Anyone who enjoys a story that reads almost like an old-fashioned Western, shoot-em-up adventures will certainly find this series of episodes captivating. The author displays a keen knowledge of  battle tactics, guns, and fighting. The books are well-written, but they are only installments in an ongoing struggle for supremacy. None of them can be considered even close to stand-alone novels as each ends with a cliff-hanger which, if the reader is concerned enough, begs one to make another purchase. When I buy a book, I like to think I’m getting a beginning, a middle, and an ending, a resolution to the plot twists and the lives of the characters, not a requirement to buy another book to see what happens next. Because I liked Book 1, Blood Honor, and felt sufficiently involved with the characters, I did continue with the series. The next book. Purgatory Road, takes the story one step farther, but still offers no resolve. So, on to Book 3, Covenant. Again, no chance of closing the book with a sense of satisfaction because it, too, ends with a question as to how—and even if—the promised or proposed treaty will work to the betterment of the community. The inevitable cliff-hanger pushes us on to Book 4, Retribution. By that point, this reader was tired of Blake’s particular Post-Apocalyptic America, and declined to carry on with the characters and their (always) perilous journeys.

 

Standard
Uncategorized

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Well, okay maybe not “ridiculous”, but definitely showcasing the difference between a really good writer and one whose work, in my (seldom) humble opinion, doesn’t quite make the grade. The first one of my 30 reads and reviews for 2017 is an incredible yarn written by one Helen B. Henderson. I’ve read a number of her books, most of them Dragon stories which, while equally wonderful, don’t qualify for this blog because they weren’t 2017 reads. I’ll undoubtedly review them at another time, but here’s the one I’ve most recently read, though not the one she’s most recently written. I often find myself playing catch-up with writers whose books I’ve discovered and gotten started on their back-lists.

So, here is my review, Number one of the 30 I’ve promised for 2017–

Windmaster windmaster

By Helen B. Henderson

 

This beautifully crafted novel is filled with fascinating characters, both two- and four-legged, both magical and worldly.A strong, independent and talented woman must choose which realm holds her future. A man of many different abilities is forced to bury his love for her in order to protect her from evil.

The scruffy dock-hand Captain Ellspeth of Sea Falcon hires to help unload her vessel’s cargo, turns out to be Lord Dal, a mage, soon to be her passenger. When he must use his magic to save the ship, he nearly dies. In her desire to save the handsome and intriguing magician, Ellspeth soon finds her own, untapped and hitherto unsuspected powers struggling to surface. Try as she might to suppress them, they are alive and a great threat to the captaincy she’s spent much of her life striving to attain, for as everyone in her world knows, ships, the sea, and magic are a bad mix. Will she have to give up one to retain the other?

Windmaster is undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read. It kept me reading long past my bedtime, despite my iPhone’s attempt to tell me what to do. Trust me, if you’re an avid reader, never sign up for that iPhone “bedtime” feature app. The developers may mean well, and have my best interests at heart, but since I was about eleven years old, I’ve chosen my own shut-eye-time, if not my wake-up time. Next, if I dare, I plan to delve into  WINDMASTER LEGACY, the sequel to WINDMASTER.

 

And now, review Number 2, for 2017

 

SOMEONE ELSE’S DAUGHTER ***

By Linsay Lanier

 

 

As I said above, the following novel is not exactly ridiculous, and it may be grossly unfair of me to compare the work to one of a writer so much more adept with a plot whose talent far exceeds what someone-elsesMs. Lanier managed to convey. In truth, I did enjoy SOMEONE ELSE’S DAUGHTER, a mystery with a romantic theme, though the problems it presented with regards to the writing quality dropped it from a possible 4 stars down to three.

Miranda Steele is bold, brash and independent, as well as tough, and maybe a little too roughly spoken, but she wasn’t always that way. When her brutal, sterile husband took her newborn daughter (born as the result of a rape) and put her up for adoption, then threw Miranda out with nothing, not even shoes, she made two life-changing decisions: She would not be bullied, beaten, or taken advantage of ever again–and she would find her daughter. She learned self-defense and has practiced it well in the new life she concocted for herself. Her search for her child has already taken over a decade when she ends up finding the body of a murdered child. While afraid the dead girl might be hers, she can only cling to the hope it’s someone else’s daughter. She teams up with the area’s wealthy, powerful, and handsome Private Investigator to find not only the murderer, but her own child. Her affair with the man can, she is certain, go nowhere, but that’s all right with her. She has yet to complete her self-imposed task and is determined to finish it, not allowing the desires of her body to sway her from the path she has chosen. Ms. Lanier does provide a sneaky twist at the end that made the read well worth-while. It just took a long time to get there.

.

 

Standard
Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves

My Latest Reviews

As fellow writers have come to know, I not only write novels, I read widely in many genres, and review a lot of what I read, to the point I’ve been getting review requests from other authors sometimes three and four a week. I don’t accept all, of course, or I’d never get my own writing done, but if I like the concept and the query letter is well written, I usually say yes. My goal for 2017 is to read AND REVIEW a minimum of 30 books. These two don’t count, as I read them and reviewed them in late December, 2016.

Once A Wife (A Mother’s Heart Book 2) (Kindle Edition) ****

Patricia Keelyn gives readers an insightful look into the lives of a couple who married too younonce-a-wifeg, for the worst reason, and parted for reasons equally wrong, but completely understandable. Reece, from a family of wealth, is hard-working and driven. Sarah, with a background unacceptable to his parents, abandons not only Reece, but her ailing infant son, determined to make a life for herself apart from them, to give them all a chance at a better life. When she realizes how wrong her actions were, she sees how much too late it is. But, with children involved, can she do anything but fight to regain what’s hers?

Momentary Stasis (The Rimes Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition) ****momentray-stasis

P.R. Adams presents a well-written tale. The author clearly has a good grasp not only of battles and the psychological effect on the participants, but also uses the language well.
Jack Rimes is a warrior. It’s what he does. It’s what he knows. He fights for his unit, his team, and his country. But when he suspects he’s being drawn deeper and deeper into the unknown, when he begins to suspect and doubt those he has a.ways trusted–himself included, he becomes a troubled man. Still, he fights on, trying to right wrongs, even those he might have unwittingly committed, because he is a man of honor.

If you have a book you’d like reviewed, please let me know. I accept only e-books because that’s become the only way I read.

Standard