The Collaborators

 

The Collaborators first published 2020 by Cassiopeia Publishing copyright and written by R. P. Nathan.

The author cleverly has divided this book into two parts; 1. Day into Night and 2. Night into Day with the significance not truly discernable until close to the very end of the presentation. The story itself is that of the Nazi occupation of France replete with descriptions of the brutally cruel treatment of villagers as the army searched for Jews being hidden by them. It particularly depicts the activity of Karl, a Nazi army Captain and two of his detachment who have been with him through his campaign in Russia previous to this assignment as he performs under the approving eye of his immediate supervising Major. As the story unfolds, it also details much of his earlier life – a close friendship and secret love for a beautiful French university student, Céline, and the third member of this close triangle, an accomplished Jewish Athlete against whom he constantly competed and who also was in love with, and favored by, Céline. Now just a short time later, Germany and France are at war and Karl, along with his accompanying invaders are employing their inhumanly cruel tactics in searching the neighborhoods for hidden Jews, and Céline and her family as they hide her now Jewish fiancé 3rd member of the old closely related triumvirate and his family, are directly in their path.

Discussion: The author quite adeptly has employed the remembrances of several characters to explore factors of good and evil as they affect basic morality, love and loyalties developed through years of learning and the struggle provided when faced with duty to country, personal honor and perhaps even survival that require action totally contrary to long existent already thoroughly incorporated attitudes and beliefs. The author has set forth a most introspective thought-involving study in a fictional setting. The tale contains only one scene that provided a questionable moment for this reader, but may be an individual thought feature of this reviewer and thus, overlooked by most.

5* Cleverly written fictional tale that should provide introspective material for thoughtful readers.

Gentleman’s Guide to Flirting

Gentlemen’s Guide to Flirting ISBN: 9781736798409 (print) Assumed published, copyright and written by David Sharpe.

After a disclaimer, the book opens with a short descriptive poem describing for whom the book is written. Following are an Introduction that emphasizes it is NOT a book “for Pickup artists, scammers or players.” Conversely, it describes “a mindset and approaches described here are more effective for boldly meeting and connecting with ladies in high-quality ways while being respectful of them and having fun at the same time.” It literally is an attempt to provide communication skills (tools) to aid guys in attempting to acquire a woman who is equally serious in her desires to find a man with whom she can be totally compatible in a close relationship that shares similar beliefs about personal independence, decision making, money, children and the rest of the factors that must be considered when living together in a close relationship. The work is presented in five parts. 1. Planning and Preparation; 2. Meeting In-Person; 3. Meeting Online; 4 Cultivating & Sustaining; 5. Tools & Links to employ. Especially featured are a list of 10 rules that the author insists must be closely adhered to for successful completion of any serious thoughts you have about attaining your goal. It is well-thought-out and his insistence is justified. The examples he provides for building the readers confidence and initiating the approach to the possible ‘candidate’ are numerous and varied according to a plentiful supply of suggested opportunities. The book closes on a depressing, but thoroughly necessary to understand quote, to which few people give thought in their earlier years of life.

Discussion: The author has set forth a book that probably is much needed at this particular time. Discussion is plentiful with respect to the loss of conversational powers in the present generation and constantly referenced are use of digital intercourse sources even when sitting in close proximity. Furthermore, the result of interpersonal relationship restrictions from appearance of covid-19 have had a devastating effect on any formerly normal methods of meeting and conversing and large numbers of both young men and women have been left stranded with no possible entrée to  the ‘normal’ methods employed. The author has offered a book that may present some seemingly sophomoric suggestions and redundancy is at a high level. However, considering the wide spread existence of the problem and the obvious need to present material usable by individuals whose social/conversational talents are at widely different levels of development, but who are totally sincere persons, the author’s presentation would appear to provide a helpful addition to the literature of today. BUT this factor must be understood and kept in mind by readers from this somewhat more advanced level of social/conversational position. Thus, the rating of this presentation is provided accordingly.

4* Only -1* assuming author’s knowledge of flaws described in greatly needed presentation.

A Good Man

A Good Man assumed published, copyright and written by S, M. Revolinski. First printing 2020, Sterling Productions.

This volume is the first in a series of ‘standalone’ short stories of the Old West in one volume entitled “Tails of Wyoming”. This initial tory is quite brief and is the tale of a lone traveler travelling alone through the mountainous country hearing a single pistol shot followed shortly by a second. Figuring someone is in trouble, he moves in the proper direction and discovers a man who has fallen partially down the side of a a large elevated area into a position where he is impossible to reach without special equipment. The man is bleeding to death from injuries sustained in the fall, but is alive and requests this stranger stay with him and then take his horse (tethered above on the top) and word of his demise to his wife in a not too distant town.  He does, is well received by the townspeople and, from notations about succeeding books develops a relationship with the man’s former wife. A portion of a second tale also is incorporated. Brief notes are offered about other stories that follow in the collection. This introductory story is quite interesting as are the notes supplied later with respect to the following stories in the collection.

Discussion: the author’s web page is included and describes a writer who has become quite knowledgeable about his subject and seemingly has produced enjoyable stories of this period of time in these early developmental stages.

5* For readers who enjoy tales of this developing section of America.

Stories of the Night

Stories of the Night ISBN: 9780996527385 Two Tales publishing, copyright and written by J. T. Ellison.

Sub-titled “A Bundle of Shadowy Tales”, this short collection of dark stories consists of Catwood, a monologue by an unfortunately mentally disturbed girl; Gray Lady, Lady Gray a tale involving the occult and of a young couple desiring and participating in a ‘dream wedding’ in an old Scottish castle and its aftermath with a follow-up description by the author about research done prior to the story; The Endarkening, another most unusual occult tale again followed by the author’s interesting notations; The Omen Days, a story following the activities of a Nashville, Tennessee Police Officer who cannot bring himself to enjoy especially this time of Christmas and the 12 days following after losing the love of his life 7 years previously – again an usual tale involving the occult and the Author’s provision of the meaning of the Omen Days. This story only partly fits into the dark nature of the others. The book seemingly then ends with About the Author and a list of her books that are available. But then an oversize SURPRIZE! Offers a SNEAK PEEK! An excerpt from her “latest standalone thriller, LIE TO ME published “in the fall 2017.” It is termed “a domestic noir”.

Discussion: According to the material supplied, this is a well-received author who prides herself on unusual stories following dark thoughts with occult features and unusual twists. This book appears to follow her usual production and should be thoroughly enjoyed by her usual readers and those who enjoy similar themes.

3* 5* for readers specified; regrettably -2* for this reader’s estimation of general reading interest.

The Cambria Deception

The Calabria Deception ISBN: 9870999057018 assumed published, copyright and written by Phillips Dickerson,

The story, although travelling through several countries and their most prominent cities, is based on initial, following and anticipated further action in the Calabria Region of Southern Italy where the story’s protagonist awakens in bed with Portia, the woman whom he has decided he wants to marry. Much would depend upon the next forty-eight hours and weather he could wrap-up two years of careful work as an elite spy for the FBI, or whether he would be dead. Thus begins a story of endless intrigue where numerous things go wrong and questions abound. Paul has been arrested for murdering his trusted, but strangely acting for several weeks before disappearing, partner and stealing 64 million dollars’ worth of uncut diamonds that is secreted somewhere only known by the missing man. He is free before his trial because another close FBI agent is able to obtain a position for him in an exclusive school which also offers tangential problems. Ultimately the trial is a mere weeks away and he still cannot remember important parts of the last two days of his mission. A seemingly empathetic psychiatrist gradually begins to ferret out the problem but this too is complicated with the Calabria mafia continuing a vendetta against him. Factions of other Mafia and Mafia-like organizations also are involved as well as arms deals involving a Mexican Cartel. The entire story with its almost constantly evolving unexpected twists and turns and fast pace is sufficient to provide devotees of the mystery/thriller genre a tale they will thoroughly enjoy.

Discussion: Fast paced mystery/thriller most enjoyable for all devotees of the genre. An unfortunate caveat for the aficionado who may be ‘bothered’ by the activity of the protagonist as an FBI agent.

5* for mystery/thriller devotees with a caveat, as described, for a few readers.

Legacy

LEGACY ISBN: 9781800468870 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data, Matador imprint of TROUBADOR Publishing Ltd, copyright and written by Chris Coppel.

The story opens with a description of a person who had survived in her original dimension while others of her persuasion had been hunted down and burned at the stake or drowned. Now, in this new dimension, she had managed to live several centuries by returning to the original every twenty-five years where she was able to once more gain renewal from taking the life force of one of the younger members of her family blood line. She was frustrated that she almost had waited too long this time as she was close to expiring, but had been able to find and select her next subject to disappear by transporting her through the required entrance tunnel she was able to supply. The reader next is introduced to Craig and his wife Jenny who live in a very old house close to being recognized as a National Treasure in a remote part of Utah. They are rudely awakened very early in the morning by a delivery man who leaves ultimately before they decide to arise and answer the door. The decision is aided by intense barking by their large Labrador “Steeler” and the interest of their 4-year-old daughter Sally and 5-year-old son “Tim”. They discover that a large heavy package has been left that, when opened, is found to be an old mirror that fits beautifully with the house’s ancient décor. It also is revealed that Craig is an ex-Marine sniper finally released from active duty with PTSD but perfectly functional as a well-respected member of the local Sherriff’s Department. As the story progresses the reader is appraised of the facts that Craig’s early life was rife with disruption from a gradually increasing confrontational mother and father whose lives were ended by a murder/suicide while she was very young and of the series of activities that ensued. Also revealed are numerous facts about Jenny’s past life and that of quite an extensive family history. Also of their totally loving relationship from a most unusual beginning. The plot gradually unfolds with numerous twists, appearance of an old Indian Medicine Man, activity by the ‘witch from another dimension’ and introduction /activity of a number of other characters mostly on a lesser level of importance.

Discussion: a quite engrossing, well-paced, suspense/occult/alien (?)/thriller that regrettably is flawed by ignoring a series of activities that lead up to the final stages of action. This probably will create no problems for most readers but will present a bit of one for those with more pragmatic thought patterns, although not sufficient to ‘spoil’ the story per se. Thus, a good read with a couple of ‘hiccups’.

4* 5-1* Suspense/Occult/Alien (?)/ Thriller with a couple of ‘hiccups’

Can-Do Real Estate

CAN-DO Real Estate ISBN: 9781946633811 ForbesBooks copyright and written by ALI JAMAL.

This volume, sub-titled “Stable Success from the ground up”, consists of 13 Chapters, Looking for an Investment Property, and About the Author. The first chapter describes the author’s beginning moves with a condensed summary at the end of the information presented and suggestions therefrom. Chapter 2 describes his move from “Condo to Career” with again a summary of information and suggestions as does each of the following chapters. 3 is a description of his decision to devise a model for growth potential; 5, its growth, a most interesting presentation of “Personal Lessons” learned from a poorly researched story published related to his business with suggestions how to counter such an occurrence; Chapter 6 how to build a team of workers and supporters: 7, the importance of the “Social Aspect” of the project; next, 8, the action of “Buying Undervalued Assets” to add to your portfolio; followed by “How to buy your first multifamily property’ with the myriad investigative activities necessary and suggestions particularly helpful to succeed; Chapter 10, entitled “Airbnb – How to get started”, is prefaced by a quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt with respect to purchase and management of a certain type of real estate and, according to the author, is one involving real estate that is ‘particularly situated’; number 11, is about “Asset Diversification” and the need to follow this procedure; chapter 12 offers excellent instruction on “Raising Capital Responsibly”; number 13, “Investment Lessons” presents pertinent information generally required. Following this chapter are 12 references and “Looking for an Investment Property” where the reader is offered to join the author’s group to be part of his company’s innovative investment group.

Discussion: This book would seem to be a must read for any entrepreneurial person interesting in following a similar career. Additionally it is a fascinating tale for anyone intrigued by how other individuals choose and advance careers in any unusual area of endeavor.

5* for readers described in the discussion.

The Danger Within

The Danger Within.  Assumed published, copyright and written by E. L. Pini. Translation from the Hebrew by Tal Karem.

The story follows the actions of singularly daring, rule-breaking Avner Ehrlich, functioning (in name only) as 2nd in command of one section of Mossad agents whose almost irreplaceable commander is heroically fighting pancreatic cancer. The story progresses through a maze of International political intrigue and vicious confrontations ranging largely through European countries and the Middle East. Ehrlich’s counterpart is Imad Akbariyah a ruthless, cunning Muslim rapidly gaining stature in Al-Qaeda activities. (The book’s Prologue provides an early look as his abilities.) His ultimate goal is to unite all Muslims into one huge group of activists that can control the world. His scheme is to have a number of terrorists implanted with a highly destructive, undetectable explosive surgically implanted in their bodies that will wreak wide-spread damage and havoc when detonated in leading cities and Holy Places throughout the world. An additional goal is to gain ultimate revenge upon the man responsible for his father’s death, as well as numerous others closely associated. The story as presented here, contains three episodes (labeled Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3) each addressing another Mossad action to attempt to nullify the ever increasing thrusts provided by Imad. Further intrigue is provided by the involvement of this latter character’s close personal physically involvement with a Mossad agent whose psychological problem lends to her unique personal attachment. Together with other included features, “The Danger Within” builds to provide readers with a fascinating, often gripping, thriller.

Discussion: The author has created a Mossad agent who portrays all that one could expect from information constantly reiterated about this shadowy organization of security for the much maligned and almost constantly attacked Israelites. The plot develops from a somewhat slow-moving beginning to accelerate to a high-speed pace leading to an action-filled conclusion that is filled with suspense to the very last page. Readers who enjoy thriller/suspense tales especially will find this book most satisfying.

5* Highly recommended, especially for thriller/suspense devotees.

The Fabric of Everything

The Fabric of Everything assumed published, copyright and written by Alex Mullin.

This is a book of short stories. Each selection appears to express an attempt by the author to turn snippets of conversation and actions of individuals observed and/or overheard by the author purportedly over a period of time, and seemingly memorable enough to the author, for her to attempt to work them into a number of short fictional tales. The book consists of 19 individual selections and About the Author.

Discussion: The author has made a valiant attempt to provide a series of short stories from the fragments of conversation and actions she has observed over a period of time. These observations have resulted in stories that may provide varying degrees of interest for readers from varying walks of life, but perhaps largely those who think in a manner closely related to the authors thought patterns. Regrettably, it was one difficult for this reader to attain.

2* As described in the discussion by this reader.

The Road to Delano

The Road to Delano EPUB ISBN: 9781644281253”A genuine Rare Bird Book” copyright and written by John DeSimone.

The author has fashioned a fictional story surrounding the violent period around Delano, California during the bitter disputes between the grape growers and the poor Mexican and Philippine workers bused in, and poorly housed/treated while working on the grape vines. It is a story of the resulting confrontations between the brutal, even viscous, supporting strike breakers heaping humiliation, and violent abuse on the Latino/Filipino strikers who were supported by Caesar Chavez and his insistence on non-violence among his United Farm Workers. It also is a coming of age story centered on two couples, each discovering love for another with roots in the opposite side. Adding further to the depth of the troubling situation for all concerned, is that each male character has the ability to gain a full college athletic scholarship that will take him from the chaotic situation in which he now resides. Still more, a mystery is part of the tale that involves the death of one of the protagonist’s father, an earlier occurrence that is highly contributory to the entire situation. Overall, the basic theme of the story is the requirement for individuals occasionally to make the most ‘gut-wrenching’ decisions to do what is morally correct in spite of the fact that it may result in a change in one’s life dreams.

Discussion: The author has presented a fascinating look at this particular time in American history and used it to provide a most interesting coming-of-age story of decision making involving the most basic of moral values. The tale projects a ‘feeling’ of being somewhat contrived in following the actions of probably the main character, but still makes for an intriguing read.

4* Intriguing story with flaws that largely may be overlooked.