Rod Raglin

This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection,  the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.

Military weaponry, tactics and protocols highlight sci-fi non-stop battle thriller

Seven Soldiers: War of the Worlds

by Clark Wilkins

A REVIEW

Military weaponry, tactics and protocols highlight sci-fi non-stop battle thriller

 

 

In September 19, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill claimed they were abducted by aliens on a rural road in New Hampshire. After being taken aboard a spaceship they were subjected to a number of examinations including tissue samples, then released unharmed. The Hills informed the authorities and under hypnosis divulged the details of the events including the alien’s home star of Zeta Retiucli. This event was sufficiently genuine to be investigated by the FBI, CIA and Air Force.

 

Fast forward three hundred years.

 

The Interplanetary Defense Force (IDF) is in full retreat. They arrived on the planet to put down a rebellion and in their first encounter have taken a vicious beating. Who is this unknown enemy that turns their own weapons against them? An enemy they have yet to even see.

 

Their only chance is to regroup but how can they do that when the enemy is picking them off as they fall back. Once the army has withdrawn across a dam, they might have a chance but only if they can hold the dam and stop the advance. They need volunteers to make this stand. Seven soldiers step up for what is most likely a suicide mission.

 

Not only must they keep the enemy at bay, but the beautiful Dr. Nirawon Kaiser demands they capture one of the enemy to discover possible physiological vulnerabilities.

 

The battle ensues and Kaiser gets her wish only to discover an astounding link between the capabilities of the enemy and a UFO incident three centuries ago.

 

Once again, author Clark Wilkins excels in detailed research, this time into weaponry and military tactics and protocols. It’s well worth the read as an entertaining education into these specific areas. Seven Soldiers: War of Worlds is well structured with rising tension building to an unexpected climax.

 

Characterization is thin and stereotypical though thorough enough to carry the plot from one detailed description of weapons, their deployment and tactical strategy to another.

 

In previous works, Wilkins has cleverly blended fact with fiction adding an extra level of authenticity. However, in Seven Soldiers: War of Worlds, since the suggested link introduced by the actual Zeta Retiucli prologue doesn’t manifest itself until some three hundred years in the future the technique fails to invoke that sense of eerie intrigue.

 

 

 

 

 

The death of love – and what comes after

 

“Ah, so this is what the world looks like from the epicenter of grief–”

 

Songs for Solo Voice

By James R. Whitley

 



This quote from Here, one of the poems in James R. Whitley’s Songs for Solo Voice, sums up this entire book of thirty-five poems.

After a second reading, I realized the works reminded me of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. Though Whitley’s book only has four parts, with a little rearranging and a bit of imagination the poems began to take on a significance for me they didn’t have initially.

The entire collection appears to focus on a failed relationship, the death of love, and begins with works that address anger and bargaining. A stanza from Souvenir says it best, “If I take it all back—the jagged insults hurled like careless daggers, the failing stargazer lilies and their accusations of neglect, every unconscionably late anniversary gift—could there be room left for negotiation?”

In Quite Taken, the bargaining continues for a reprieve from the unrelenting pain: “Does it explain my pleas for mercy that continue long after the church has crumbled to dust around me?”

Depression that comes with loss is expressed in Sostenuto“No matter how striking the tune, the sound after a song has been sung is no sound at all."

The suffering continues, but with a glimmer of acceptance with the realization in Here“is not just where I am, but where I am meant to be.”

Gradually the poems convey a hint of optimism as in Here, Finally, “…there comes a point when you realize that, no matter how long or torturous, no road is your enemy.” By the end of Songs for Solo Voice, the impression is one of reconstruction and working through, “but know that, when it comes to loss, none of us is immune." (Trembling Deliciously) and “…a game played—however badly, however distressing the ultimate defeat— was an option to win something. (The Inside Story of It)

And finally, in She Hangs Brightly, a declaration of hope; “Trust me when I say you will survive this, despite the difficult music lurking in the background. This is just the music of never-forgetting-her, the score of the rest of your life.”

Whitley uses a number of musical terms, which this reviewer did not understand or initially appreciate. But after looking up their definition found them to be remarkably appropriate in subsequent readings.

When read individually, most of the poems in this collection are exceptional for their raw beauty and intensity. However, as a theme, the bitterness and disappointment, the self-flagellating, and accompanying insecurity become burdensome.

Regret, like worry, is unproductive and tedious

The Rez: Brutal truth - no blame assigned

 

 Brutal truth - no blame assigned

 

The Rez: An American Love Story 

By g. Michael Madison

★★★★★

 

 

 

It’s 1956 and the Tulalip Indian Reservation on the coast of northern Washington State is not where Ginny Thomas wants to live, nor is it where she wants her daughter Nikki-D, to be brought up. But it’s where her husband, Nick, is able to get a job managing a small regional bank. Despite her disappointment, the family still lives in the biggest house at the top of Mission Bluffs, looking out over Puget Sound and down on The Rez.

It’s a "them and us" community separated by wealth (or the lack of it), race, and elevation. The Indians stay below near the shoreline. Going where you don’t belong can be met with derision and violence, so it’s not surprising when Jonny, a young Indian boy, climbs the bluffs he’s confronted by two older white kids who set about beating him up. What is surprising is when Nikki-D happens upon this altercation and takes the side of the Indian boy. This chance meeting leads to a life-long friendship that has ramifications that change the perspectives, if not the lives, of both individuals, as well as their families and community.

The Rez: An American Love Story is set in a tumultuous time in America’s history and the characters are impacted by events including the Vietnam War but because of their disparate circumstances, each experiences them differently.

The powerful narrative voice of author g. Michael Madison imparts the story with brutal honesty and authenticity. His use of multiple points of view, not just that of Indians, bestows impartiality to the message. The multitude of characters wash over the reader like an extended family and are depicted not as stereotypical victims or oppressors but as genuine individuals.

Madison addresses prejudice, discrimination, and how the gap between rich and poor affects a community providing advantages for some and denying the opportunity for others, but he does it without assigning blame.

Despite the extremes, the author manages to instill empathy for even the most privileged. There is suffering and success, anxiety and joy despite their situations.

The Rez: An American Love Story, is not only about romantic love, but it’s also about loving yourself, loving your neighbors and community, and even loving your country. It’s about being tolerant and understanding of their flaws and shortcomings and striving to improve all that it entails. The deep humanity depicted by Madison can serve as a guide toward truth and reconciliation with First Nations people by acknowledging that accepting and encouraging diversity neither denies nor diminishes ourselves.

 

Reviewed by Rod Raglin

 

Mutane Town chilling blend of fact and fiction

 

What kind of people would choose to live in such a toxic environment,

even fight to stay there?

What’s wrong with them?

What are they hiding? 

 

It’s 1975 and the American military is about to undertake a two-day top-secret mission. It involves helicopter insertion of a four-man camera crew in full battle gear into a government-ordered abandoned town. Their assignment is to film any evidence of anyone still there, then return and report their findings. 

 

The town is Boston Mills, Ohio.

 

Chief Corporal Mason Wyatt and his three-man team have been cautioned that those who are left may not appreciate them coming it. In which case they could be armed. 

But as far as the unit is concerned, this mission is just routine. After all, this is Ohio, not hillbilly country or Vietnam, and it’s only for 28 hours. It can’t be dangerous. It will be a cakewalk. 

 

But Boston Mills isn’t just another hamlet in the rural Midwest. It’s now known as “Hell Town” and is home to a hazardous waste dump where the nearby river is so polluted it can actually be lit on fire. The poisoned environment smells like sulphur and has propagated mutant weeds that have overrun the landscape growing up through asphalt and blocking roads. 

 

What kind of people would choose to live in such a toxic environment, even fight to stay there? What’s wrong with them? What are they hiding? 

 

Corporal Mason and his team are about to find out. 

 

Mutane Town is Clark Wilkins at his best, blending fact with fiction creating the eerie feeling perhaps the author has some insight into these macabre actual events that are the basis of many of his stories. 

 

His extensive research and use of bona fide findings from government reports give this fast passed story a chilling sense of authenticity. Indeed, as Wilkins points out, what the reports don’t reveal is even more disturbing. 

 

 

Online Reviews - Is it time for an integrity check?

 

 

 

Manipulating book reviews is hurting readers and writers alike.

 

 

First, I must disclose I get paid to write book reviews.

 

I’m contracted by a company that gets paid $200 by the author, publicist, marketing agency, publisher, someone, anyone, to have a book reviewed. They send me a list, I choose the book I want to read and then write an honest review. They pay me 20% or $40.00USD. I’m not told what to write only that it has to be thorough, well-written and between 400 and 450 words.

 

What’s a bit disconcerting is I don’t own the review, the client who paid for it does. My review goes back to the client and they decide whether or not it gets posted. Not surprising, anything less than four stars gets killed.

 

But as a writer for hire that’s the deal. Hey, as a journalist I’ve had news stories killed because they offended the publisher’s golfing buddy.

 

The difficulty I’m having is when it comes to reviews of my own fiction.

 

I won’t pay for reviews. I know it doesn’t make sense does. I get paid to write reviews of other people’s books, but I won’t pay to have people write reviews of mine. Anyhow, I can’t afford to pay $200 for a bad review, and, yes, at least half of the reviews I get paid to write you wouldn’t be posting on the back cover of your book or highlighting on your author’s website.

 

As I’m sure you have, I’ve tried many ways to attract reviews, mostly with free books. I ask the recipients to write and post an honest review though less than one percent do and some aren’t favourable.

 

But let’s talk about those unfavourable reviews.

 

I’ve learned a lot from well-considered bad reviews and unfortunately, there have been quite a few. I’ve been told my characters are stereotypes, had plot holes pointed out and been condemned for not tying up the loose ends in the denouement. What I’m saying is you can learn from bad reviews, but not if you don’t allow any to be posted.

 

This brings me to the point, (finally, you say),

of authors collaborating in review exchanges.

 

When I've entered into these collaborations, I’ve frequently been asked to agree not to post our reviews until each of us has had an opportunity to review the review. I’ve agreed on their behalf but suggest they post the review of my work regardless. However, if my review of their book is less than four stars or even has a hint of criticism it’s invariably declined.

 

The other disconcerting thing is getting a five-star review when it’s apparent the reviewer never read my book. The review is a couple of paragraphs scant on details and big on generalizations like “unique voice”, “great find”, “memorable characters”, “thrilling plotline”.

 

So, my question is, who is benefitting?

 

  • - Certainly not the reader if he or she is buying a book on the strength of the review rating.
  • - Not the author who refuses to accept legitimate criticism thus never improves as a writer.
  • - Not authors who let legitimate criticism stand if they’re compared against bogus good ones.
  • - Not the writing community since the pool of reviews has been poisoned by bogus ones and no longer has any credibility

 

I understand how important it is to have our work reviewed, but I’m urging you to not only let the opinion of the reviewer be posted regardless of the rating, insist upon it. That will motivate you to improve your craft and also begin to return credibility to the review pool. A fringe benefit may also be keeping your integrity intact, though today that’s becoming more a liability than an asset.

 

To paraphrase, you can fool some of the readers some of the time. In other words, it’s highly unlikely you’ll achieve a level of real success on the strength of bogus reviews. If you’re going to become truly successful you must first become a good writer. Participating in anything less than ethical reviews won’t help you succeed and you’re making it more difficult for everyone else.

 

BOYCOTT BOGUS REVIEWS

As a reader and as a writer, I will no longer purchase books I believe have achieved their rating through less than ethical means. If you’re serious about writing I encourage you to consider adopting this policy as I believe it will benefit us all in the long run and face it, it is a long run.

 

Here are some tips that may indicate

reviews have been less than ethically achieved:

 

- A new self-published book has a lot of 4-5 star reviews in a short period – 3 months.

- There are more ratings than reviews and all of them are 4-5 stars.

- Do a web search of the reviewer. If it’s a company like Kirkus, then their policy is likely not to publish reviews of less than 4-5 stars.

- There are no bad or even mediocre reviews or ratings.

- Reviews use generic language and don’t address the story. Examples would be “original voice”, “thrilling plotline”, “memorable characters” “great find”. 

- Read the preview. Do the reviews reflect the level the author is writing at?

 

Do we have the courage to do this?

 

30

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

 

Project Renaissance mostly notable for seamless morphing of multiple tropes

 

Project Renaissance: White Wings

by Brian Gates

 

Booker Vaux and his friend and partner Sam Murphy are best buddies and super cops, you know the kind who wisecrack when facing down violent criminals armed to the teeth intent on killing them and a host of innocent bystanders. Outnumbered, outgunned, they take down the bad guys without even losing their sense of humour.


When Booker’s devoted wife and two loveable kids are kidnapped without motivation or ransom, he and Sam will stop at nothing to get them back. With the help of an anti-establishment hacker who feeds him clues, they set out on a search that includes a prerequisite car chase, numerous shootouts and gruesome murders all leading toward the high-tech mega-maniacal corporate mogul with plans to take over the world by introducing humanoid artificial intelligence who are programmed to do his bidding.


Project Renaissance: White Wings by Brian Gates is notable mostly for the morphing of several genre tropes into one seamless story. The introduction of some imaginative next-generation social technology also has to be appreciated, though unless you’re a gamer or have a keen interest in this area you may find the author’s extended explanations tedious. Plot twists keep the story interesting, but the outcome is never in doubt no matter how impossible it may appear to be.

 

 

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Tempest: Poems that provide personal poetic epiphanies.

 

You can’t expect in a book of fifty poems that each one is going to speak to you. If the majority do then I would suggest the poet has done a very good job. 


In Tempest: Poems, poet, Ryan Meyer didn’t make the cut, but there still are a good number of poems in this collection that are nothing short of astonishing.

Meyer is at his best when he comes at a subject obliquely, understanding coming as a satisfying surprise. Examples, where this is best achieved, are with Flamingo, the weekend, and drinking and dreaming of being somewhere, anywhere else. And again in Straight Bs, “Still, the lights guide me, Inch by inch, to the dance floor, Where glances have evolved Into lower back rubs … It’s dim enough for anyone To be a dance partner.”

Good poets have a way of saying what you already know or have experienced but saying it with originality. Meyer taps into this secret to universal appeal in Somewhere Else, that “…ends up just as disappointing as right here.” And again, in Cavernous where “Even my dreams leave me An anxious mess, feeling as if I’ve missed something, that I Have reason to be worried.”

This originality can also be illustrated in a unique perspective as is the case in On Evolution, where the poet compares his own purpose to that of a caterpillar and worries, “I hope growing wings doesn’t have to hurt”. And then with Long, Long After, a unique reflection of the past “The way everything was Before pie tins on the kitchen table Became ashtrays beneath wrinkled faces”.

Sometimes it’s diction, cleverly choosing the exact words. This is exemplified in A Melancholy Album Cover for a Coffee Shop Artist where Myer nails the affectations of an amateur. He achieves it again in Come Around, with this description “… the women who wouldn’t have Let this go any other way, who stood, Arms crossed, one foot tapping, Eyes staring daggers, unmovable, In the way of all other outcomes." Unique imagery that resonates on the periphery of your consciousness. 

His success is with poems that are not momentous, but just moments, like the heartrending description of the death of a sparrow in No Science to Loneliness.

However, themes of relationship angst, reminiscences of misplaced or wasted youth and existential anguish are too often revisited. They’re accompanied by a lack of intensity along with lots of garden analogies and weather metaphors. A few resemble the self-indulgent verse of adolescents using clichéd phrases like “tear-stained pillows” and “You leave me speechless.”

But despite the shortcomings, Tempest: Poems by Ryan Meyer is worth the read for a handful of jaw-droppers that provide personal poetic epiphanies. 

 

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#booklovers #newfiction #readers #read

#PoetryCommunity #poetry #poems

 

Nowhere days

Nowhere days.
..and it's raining.
 

Unexpected Find by Hayleigh Sol

Unexpected Find

By Hayleigh Sol

 

★ ★ ★ ★ 4 STARS

 

Free E-book - FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend

FREE E-BOOK

 

FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend

 

Free 'til January 19, 2021 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Matt Bennett grew up in a dying town on the edge of the rainforest on the west coast of Canada. He knows the dark secrets behind that impenetrable wall of green where species can come to life, thrive and die without anyone except God ever knowing they ever existed. Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home. The Forest is waiting.

 

 

As soon as they can they plan to leave behind the small town and small minds of Pitt Landing. They will embrace life and experience the world, maybe even change it.

 

Man plans, God laughs.

 

Raminder’s father has a stroke and her commitment to her family means she must postpone her plans and stay in Pitt Lake. It’s just the opposite for Matt. A family tragedy leaves irreconcilable differences between him and his father and forces him to leave. They promise to reunite, but life happens.

 

Twelve years later, Matt is an acclaimed war correspondent. He’s seen it all and it’s left him with post-traumatic stress, a gastric ulcer, and an enlarged liver. He’s never been back to Pitt Landing though the memory of Raminder and their love has more than once kept him sane.

 

He’s at his desk in the newsroom, recuperating from his last assignment and current hangover and reading a letter from his father, the first contact they’ve had in over a decade. It talks about a legendary lost gold mine, a map leading to it, and proof in a safety deposit box back in Pitt Lake. He’s sent it to Matt in case something happens to him and cautions his son to keep it a secret.

 

Matt is about to dismiss the letter when the telephone rings. It’s Raminder telling him his father has disappeared somewhere in the wilderness that surrounds Pitt Lake.

 

Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home to Pitt Landing, a dying town on the edge of the rainforest on the west coast of Canada. Will he find any of these, or does something else await him?

 

Free 'til January 19, 2021 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

#books #bookworm #twitterbooks #newbooksnetwork #goodreads #amreading #readingcommunity #booklovers #newfiction #readers #read #environment #conservation #climatechange #endangeredspecies #habitatdestruction #Interracial #multicultural #environmentalfiction #ecofi #Mystery #romance #Sasquatch

Free E-book - Abandoned Dreams

ABANDONED DREAMS

Free ‘til Jan. 19 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Have you ever wondered what dreams you might have fulfilled

if life hadn't got in the way?

What if you had an opportunity to try again?

 

 

At twenty-seven years-old, George Fairweather is “the voice of his generation”, a poet whose talent has garnered him accolades from the literary establishment and homage from the disenfranchised “hippie” youth of the late 1960s.

 

George is the embodiment of the times with his long hair, rebellious attitude and regular use of mind-expanding psychedelic drugs.

 

Then the sudden and tragic death of Fallon, his friend, his muse and his lover shatters his world, his sanity and nearly ends his life.

 

Katherine is the one person who stands between George and destruction. A hanger-on, a groupie, a go-for, she’s a woman George never considered – for anything.  Katherine idolizes George and makes it her personal mission to keep him alive, doing whatever it takes, twenty-four seven. 

 

Because of Katherine’s sacrifice and devotion, George slowly begins to mend his soul and rebuild a life. But guilt and gratitude make it a much different life than he’d previously led.

 

Thirty-seven years later, George Fairweather is a husband, father and grandfather and a successful copywriter at an advertising agency. Another death, his wife Katherine’s, is about to change his life again.

 

Can dreams be resurrected?

 

Can a life you’ve abandoned be taken up again?

 

Is it worth it?

 

Will they let you?

 

Abandoned Dreams - Free 'til Jan. 19, 2021at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

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#FreeEbook. The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, a Young Woman, an Uncompromising Ethic

The BIG PICTURE

– A Camera, a Young Woman, an Uncompromising Ethic

 

Free ‘til Jan. 10 at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

“This is a fascinating novel...adventure, excitement, drug cartels, family issues, romance...themes that are important and questions we sometimes need to ask ourselves.”

- Judge's commentary - 2nd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

 

 

Young, talented, ambitious, Freyja Brynjarrson’s a photographer struggling to crash the art establishment, the challenges presented by her family, and still keep true to her uncompromising ethic.

 

Fate places her on the front line of a political demonstration where soldiers open fire on civilians. She photographs death for the first time and finds the surge of adrenaline  breathtaking

 

Because of the sensitive nature of her pictures the current government, facing an imminent election tries to suppress them. But someone far more unscrupulous than government spin-doctors also wants those images destroyed.

 

Gunnar Brynjarrson, Freyja’s eldest brother is the head of an illegal narcotics empire. He’s concerned about the opposition party’s platform to decriminalize drugs. His sister’s photographs could influence the outcome of a close election and put his business in jeopardy.

 

As events unfold, Freyja slowly becomes aware of the far-reaching impact the billions of narco dollars have on the government, the economy, friends, family, and even herself. Something insidious has infected society and like a superbug, it’s resilient, opportunistic, and appears as a mutation in the most unexpected places.

 

Free ‘til Jan. 10 at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

REQUEST FOR REVIEW OR RATING

Reviews and Ratings are important to authors and readers.

In exchange for this Free book, an honest review or rating would be appreciated.

To leave a review or rating visit Amazon.com and enter

The Big Picture by Rod Raglin

Click on the cover and scroll down.

On the left-hand side, you’ll see CUSTOMER REVIEWS

And below that REVIEW THIS PRODUCT

Click on WRITE A CUSTOMER REVIEW

THANK YOU!

#FreeEbook. SAVING SPIRIT BEAR - Eco-Warrior Series Book 1

 

Corporate Climber challenges Eco-Warrior

to decide the fate of the rare and endangered Spirit Bear.

 

Free ‘til Jan. 10 at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

 

 

Kimberley James is hoping her new assignment will jumpstart her stalled career with a New York corporate relations firm. Her client wants to develop a mega ski resort in northern Canada. Her job is to convince the current owners of the land to sell. With millions of dollars to be made, it seems like a done deal. Until she runs up against Jonah Baker.

 

Baker is part owner of a lodge on the land and an ardent environmentalist. He'

s not about to permit a development that threatens ancient rainforests and the habitat of the rare and endangered Spirit Bear for any price.

 

Kim begrudgingly respects his principles before profit, but cannot allow a tree-hugging, bear-loving zealot to derail her fast track to success. Jonah admires her determination and worldliness but will fight to the end to stop a materialistic corporate climber from destroying something rare and unique.

 

Spirit Bear is the first in the stand-alone series ECO-WARRIORS.

 

“I loved Spirit Bear and was hooked by the second page

- Five Star review from Bitten By Books

 

"An exciting read and I couldn't put it down."

- Lewis Dakin, Goodreads Review

 

"...beautiful description of the landscape and wildlife...it really is a joy to read it!"

- Elspeth, Goodreads Review

 

“I liked the concept of Spirit Bear. It was unique...something I haven't read a million times before.”

  • Reviewed by Tina Gibbons at Readers' Favorite Book Reviews

Free ‘til Jan. 10 at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

The perfect anecdote if you’re taking yourself too seriously

 

 

 

It’s Not You, It’s BFJ, one of the eleven humorous short stories in Gregg Greenberg’s collection, F*cking Argentina and 10 More Tales of Exasperation, has the protagonist breaking up with the love of his life because he can’t abide she’s a huge fan of Billy Joel. The author cleverly works seven of the artist’s hit song titles into the story for emphasis. 


This is only one example of Greenberg’s whacky wit that will have you chuckling with relatable moments. “You may be right, (he) may be crazy”, but since “(I) Didn’t Start the Fire”, I’m using the occasional lyric or title from a Joel song where appropriate in this review. 

“Honesty is something seldom heard”, but it rings true in Weinberger’s Back-to-School Night, a tortuous tale of a father attending back-to-school night for parents of children in kindergarten. 

In F*cking Argentina, the South American country is anthropomorphically depicted as a deadbeat trying to hit up a wealthy acquaintance for a loan. Historically it appears that’s “Just the way (they) are."

Greenberg is “Only Human” and “allowed to make (his) share of mistakes” and he does. You have to be a Broadway buff to understand the significance of Officer Krupke Strikes Back and even then it’s not funny. 

Likewise, it’s a double fault for A Journeyman Tennis Player’s Prayer. A very select audience may enjoy this but not being one of them I can’t attest to their sense of humor. 

Malodor on the Number Five Express is also a bit off. The whiff of intolerance and elitism emanating from the protagonist isn’t appealing. 

But Greenberg recovers with The Last Couples Dinner. It’s about the guy we all know, the “Big Shot”, who has to have “the last word, last night … know(s) what everything's about”. 

A dutiful son accompanies his elderly mother to a stage performance only to discover upon leaving the theatre she’s forgotten her handbag. You may have “Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway”, but it’s nothing compared to the pandemonium created by a lost purse, effectively conveyed in Panic in Shubert Alley.

 

A Side of Exasperation on the NJ Turnpike could be described as a high-maintenance-family, fast food fiasco exacerbated by the “Pressure” of “you never-ever-ever stop the car when you are making great time”. 

In Back Off Baxter! the author missed the opportunity to develop this frustration into a “Karen” pet confrontation. Instead, it’s the protagonist’s daughter who challenges the pet owner and “Tell(s) Her About It”. 

Little Timmy’s Birthday Battle is presented as texts between parents, one at home and one in the car with his son trying to find the location of Timmy’s birthday party. Not being a rabid texter like the rest of the world, I had to go on online to look up the meaning of the text abbreviations and acronyms. Suffice to say, that kills the spontaneity of humor. BOMEI (But others might enjoy it). 

The stories in F*cking Argentina are flawlessly written, well-structured, and a welcome respite. Something I haven’t seen “For the Longest Time”. The perfect anecdote if you’re taking yourself and your circumstances too seriously. 

 

 

Free Ebook - The Bird Whisperer - Mattie Saunders Series - Book 3

The BIRD WHISPERER - Mattie Saunders Series - Book 3

Save a bird. Save the world. Save your soul.

 

Free ‘til Jan. 3 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

“A very entertaining story with plenty of action and a strong female main character.”

 

“The storyline is very good and contains several subplots.”

 

“All the characters “gets” are realistic”.

 

“A highly recommended novella that was very enjoyable.”

 

Oiled seabirds

Two freighters have collided in the harbour. One has a ruptured fuel tank and is spilling toxic oil onto the beach. Seabirds are mired in this toxic muck.

The Saunders Exotic Bird Sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of exotic birds. A seagull is hardly exotic but it’s still a bird and Mattie loves birds.

She’s never rehabilitated an oiled bird. It’s more involved than just giving them a bath in dish detergent–a lot more.

 She might as well learn how since there’s likely to be more of them.

The reporters want to do know if Mattie supports a ban against more oil pipelines? More pipelines mean more oil that has to be shipped which amounts to an increase in oil tanker traffic in local waters.

Mattie supports whatever is good for the birds.

Does she have to take a stand on bigger issues to have any hope of resolving the smaller ones?

Do you?

 

Free ‘til Jan. 3 at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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Free E-book, Loving the Terrorist 'til Jan. 3

What would you risk to save a very special wild place? Everything?

 

 

LOVING THE TERRORIST

 

“…a wonderful and thrilling tale.”

 

“I loved this book! It had everything from romance to action,

and it also addressed some important environmental issues.”

 

“You are captured from the first page until the last and want more when it’s over.”

 

Fill your new E-reader. Download your FREE e-book now at

 

 https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU