Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Need an Illustrator For Your Book?

Introducing DART

Dani has illustrated 10 books for me.  I also produce books for clients and she has illustrated 6 books for them.  My web page is www.bentrim.info .  Click on Terrific Illustrator on the left hand tool bar to see examples of the work she has illustrated.   Her prices are very reasonable. 

I am posting this as a favor, no money changed hands for this recommendation.   Dani is attempting to go full time as an illustrator and needs more work.   Please take a look at a page on my web site to see examples of her work. 

She is available at:


Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell



This book is set in a not too distant future that is been impacted by the divisiveness of today's politics. You don't need to be clairvoyant to consider the impact that the divisiveness in our nation today could easily lead to a second Civil War. When the commander-in-chief is suggesting that we assault  our neighbor if they disagree with anything he says then you can see how this could lead to future Civil War.

 The protagonist is a surgeon who has lost her arm in a battle and is currently trying to survive on veteran’s benefits and a prosthetic arm that is insufficient to allow her to continue her profession as a surgeon.

Our protagonist is also black and this fact postulates that in that divisive near future skin color will lead to discrimination and anger. Our doctor is angry, angry at a society that is treated differently based on their color,  angry at a society that can have a civil war and angry about the loss of role of her arm.

She becomes embroiled with a woman who confuses her as to her motivations and talents.  The two of them seek to find what is truly the root cause of the many deaths and the destruction internally of a nation.

This book was really well done and you could feel the anger coming off the pages and say that was justified.

I highly recommend. 

After posting on Amazon, I read some of the other reviews, I don't do that before I write my own for obvious reasons.   I was surprised at the number of people who got hung up on a Sherlock Holmes comparison that seemed like a stretch to me.   

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Rift Coda by Amy S. Foster


This is a third book and an excellent trilogy.  Foster has created a very strong female protagonist and brings the three book series to a very satisfactory conclusion.

Ryn has matured through the 3 books.  I enjoyed how she learned to deal with maturity.  The plot does a nice job of showing how cooperation even among those who are radically different is necessary to achieve some goals.

I have seen this series as a young adult series and I was a bit put off at how detailed Foster made the final connection between Ryn and Levi.  It is probably naivety on my part to think that young readers are not familiar with everything Foster suggested.   I just thought the final connection was more detailed than it needed to be. 

I enjoyed the book and the series however I will not be giving it to my granddaughter. 

The other books in the Trilogy




This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather


This book was entirely too frightening considering the incredible amount of technology that is dependent upon communication. If you take out the net think about all of the things that are currently connected to each other via the internet and what would happen if none of it work.

The author does an excellent job of showing a post Armageddon type of reaction in community as densely populated as New York City.

The characters are well portrayed as having faults and flaws and having altogether too human responses to the collapse of society.

Hopefully those with the ability to cripple our infrastructure will recognize the crippling one nations infrastructure in today's interdependent world could easily lead to a worldwide catastrophe.

I can't say I enjoyed the book as much as I found frighteningly plausible

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Star Nomad:Fallen Empire, Book 1 by Lindsay Buroker


For those of you who read my reviews, you are already aware that I really like butt kicking female protagonists.   If you haven’t read my reviews (or any of my Charlotte series picture books) then take note, I really like strong female protagonists.   I am mystified as to the number of closet misogynists who are unable to understand that strong female characters are essential in helping young women to reach their potential.  Or, maybe they are aware and are terrified of the result.  Digression is part of my nature, while a teacher some of the best class reactions came from going down an unexpected path and discovering new and wondrous things.  However this book is about a down and almost out fighter pilot after an interstellar war.   Her goal is to retrieve her daughter but she needs a star ship to get there.   Along the way she gathers a motley mixed crew and faces dire circumstances.

Buroker has an easy to read style that draws you into the story.   She provides a hard core fighter pilot with a crusty shell who has a strongly developed conscience and a reluctantly open mind.   The quirky support cast provides both humor and depth to the story.   Beck is the first armored warrior I’ve encounters who is also a grill master.

This story has plenty of action, some good role models and provides good old fashioned entertainment. 

I recommend it.






This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Uncompromising Honor by David Weber


I’ve read more Weber than I can accurately recall.  This last couple I read, I felt, were not up to his standards.  This book returned to what I would expect from Weber.  Honor Harrington is back and as in the most recent books she is somewhat secondary in nature.   That changes toward the end of the book and she comes back as full blown Honor!   Simplistically, a formerly small star system, Manticore, has ended their war with The People’s Republic only to discover that they have been manipulated by someone.   The Solararian League is now the obvious adversary but long time readers know that they too are being manipulated.  Interstellar war and mayhem result.

Treecats got a little more verbiage in this story.  Someday I would like to see them featured in one of Weber’s books.   They were alluded to and they picked up some enhancements to their basic lethalness but disappointingly that upgrade was never utilized.  As usual Weber tends to wax eloquently and often wallows in verbiage but overall I thought this was far better than the last couple of his books I have read. 

Weber does portray loyalty and camaraderie quite well.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it.This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

I guess I didn’t realize I was a fan until I looked at all of his books I  have reviewed.  I have never found one any less than four stars and most have been five stars.   This new book is a step above even five stars.  I really enjoyed the book.   Action or adrenaline junkies this book will satisfy your lust! 

One of the aspects that added to the enjoyment was the recognition of many of the places as the book is set in the Philadelphia area.   The gist of the story is two buddies, “contractors” for the military are recovering from their last visit to the “sandbox”.   Kyle is the main protagonist and he is recovering from an IED.   Kyle is also going through a divorce.   His buddy Ryan, has a quick fix for Kyle’s money problems and there is the beginning of the problems.

Smith crafts characters that you actually know.  We all have friends like Ryan and Kyle.  A loveable rogue whose pranks got you into trouble in high school can lead you down the primrose path to incarceration as an adult.  A gullible good guy with a temper and a more robust physic can fall prey to or merely want to believe in a financial panacea having no down side. 

These two are not kids but they do have a less than thoughtful approach to the world.   Rollie, a bonafide adult, brings some maturity to the story.

This is a “can’t put it down” kind of book.  In spite of having a dinner party for 16 and all of the accompanying chores, I finished the book in 48 hours or so.

I highly recommend,  Smith is honing his craft to a new and exciting level!

Links to my reviews of more of J. Gregory Smith’s work:



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.