The Gypsy

The Gypsy: A Romantic Thriller so designated by the author T.  J. Jones. Assumed published, copyright and written by the author

This is an unusually presented volume that opens immediately with a prologue describing the protagonist’s situation tied in a torture chamber, being provided a possible means of escape by “The Gypsy’.

From this and ensuing action, the story expands as the reader is introduced to and learns about (Adam) Cain, the protagonist who seems to function in a somewhatsecondary capacity, his girlfriend Jenny, and brother Jack, The Gypsy, whose forte is stock, bond and similar negotiations and the ‘round-about manner in which her name has been coined. Other characters gradually appear and lead the reader to surmise some type of uprising is being planned by an international group that is attempting seriously destructive caos.

All the characters exhibit interestingly emotional instability that leads to fascinating situations and the Gypsy gradually evolves to be a most interesting notable part of a significant international family that long has functioned ‘behind-the-scenes’ as well as being the main ‘love interest’ in the story

Summary: As the author describes, this is a Romantic Thriller, but perhaps  not one that may be thought of in the usual manner. It might be described as ‘tough’ love.

Highly recommended as a ‘different’ Romantic Thriller.


Jenny lost girlfriend.  Gabriel (the Gypsy) so called because she has had a tremendous run on the Market. He is emotionally incapable of sincerely dedicating his relationship to a particular woman. 10 years in Army, just barely honorable discharge allowed him to obtain ‘Permit-to-carry’ and a job as a security officer in Las Vegas Strip Clubs. Mother died when he was 12. Father missed her but as Navy ‘Lifer’ was never home. Raised by Grand mother but had left for Army. Adam Cain goes strictly by Cain. Chapter introduces Cain, 2 introduces Gypsy. Chapter 3 all hell breaks loose as four gunmen with Ak-47’s start shooting. Chapter introduces the l\Local Law and the story evolves.

Vicious Ripples

Vicious Ripples: A suspicious Thriller (The Desire Card Book 4) Kindle Edition eBook ISBN: 9781685491390 copyright and written by Lee Mathew Goldberg.

Story opens with the brutal kidnapping of the daughter of a divorced couple travelling from the Central Park apartment of one parent to the other. The story then begins with the introduction of Detective Monica Bonner who has just transferred into the area from the Northwest of the country. From this opening the reader is introduced to a most unusual plot, that hinges on a basic power struggle among the rich and powerful Hollywood characters whose names all readers have been acquainted with for many years. The kidnapped child is not part of the scene, per se, but is the granddaughter of a seemingly still powerful part of the overall picture and is the present victim. Monica is an introspectively psychological involved individual whose idiosyncrasies perform perfectly for the role she plays in the tale. The entire unit of presentation is as suggested, set forth as a Book of Desirable books, this volume is the fourth.

Discussion: A well-written, uniquely thought-out and plotted fantasy thriller, beautifully but most unusually characterized. Specifically, the weight of discussion appears to concentrate upon presenting evidence or even vicious aspects of personality exhibited by well-known and/or remembered celebrities. Another noteworthy item: the reader may have benefitted by reading the entire series in order. However, all is sufficiently clear so reading this individual volume alone leaves nothing to be desired. A most interesting read especially from the unusual psychological aspect.

5* especially for readers who enjoy unusual thought patte

Pop Smoke

 POP SMOKE Palmetto Publishing eBook ISBN: 9781641119788. A Memoir Copyright and written by Bill Lindsay.

   Overall, the author has written a book that anyone with no knowledge of what the Marine or Army foot soldier endured daily in combat situations must read. It is a simply told presentation of facts dealing with how bodily functions occur and must be dealt with as time and the occurrence of deadly circumstances simultaneously must be dealt with. The author has set forth the facts of this type of warfare in a unassuming manner that the reader is aware of only if he/she reads the account thoughtfully.    

   Discussion: This entire book is a thoughtfully and empathetically written book by a man who was recruited while in college and exhibited the same empathetic attitude toward his Platoon during his entire term of service. It also provides many interesting additions for the reader only vaguely familiar with much of the Vietnam Conflict. It provides a verbal explanation of the country and those associated with it; a glossary of terms for the uninitiated; a manner of looking at the ‘cost’ of war from several different aspects and it describes the author from a different aspect than usually presented. Overall, a must read for any person interested in this portion of our history but additionally a description of warfare from the perspective of the foot soldier.

5* A must read for reasons presented.

The Tom Brady

The Tom Brady by Alex Diaz. Football Biography Books Published, copyright and written by the author

This book, sub-titled The Best Story of Tom Brady – one of Football’s Greatest Quarterbacks is typical of the importance attached to athletes who are elevated to heroic status by segments of the American public. Tom was not a particularly outstanding choice in his first draft and more specifically was selected very late in the draft at a very high number. He has since reached heights in Football not previously attained by other quarterbacks. This book details his growth and accomplishments through his entire life as a young man growing up in California along with discussions and instructions with respect to ‘what makes a good quarterback especially in the school system as it is set forth and utilized today.

Discussion: The author is an individual heavily involved in teaching the fundamentals of the game as provided in the modern system and attempts to illustrate the fundamentals required for an individual to reach the height of attainment exhibited by Brady. The lessons provided along with the changes that have occurred within the game are employed here to explain his hypothesis.  In general, the presentation is acceptably provided and sets forth the author’s point to use a particular high achiever to demonstrate the results he is attempting to explain. Unusual but acceptable presentation of particular facts about one superior athlete’s attainments to simultaneously explain the necessities of teaching modern football.

4* Unusual presentation using an outstanding athlete’s accomplishments in reaching a controversial position.

My Life in the Wilderness

My Life in the Wilderness. An Alaskan’s Story by Robert L. Hilliker. Written and copyright by the author in 2016. Ebook version published by Alaska Dreams Publishing (First eBook publication May, 2016. Print version ISBN: 978-0692642634 by author).

This is one man’s story beginning with his hopes and dreams of living in Alaska in some of the early days. After a number of preparatory moves educating himself in the ways of the early Mountain Men and concentrated activity in practicing these activities, he was ready to make his move. Now a middle-aged man with a family, he embarked upon a first year-long attempt beginning in December 1980 for a sojourn in Alaska. This gradually progressed to the establishment of life as his preferred way of living with a new family, personal construction of a home and a lifetime of satisfaction.

Discussion: This is an interesting tale describing many of the features of Alaska from the trip up the Alaskan Highway into many different parts of the intriguing land by “a normal work-a-day man who was able to realize his dreams by sheer perseverance.” The story is simply written and loaded with activities about which most people only dream. There is much repetition and or redundancy, but acceptable because of the occurrences in different settings and involving different individuals. The book is not for everyone, but especially of interest to readers who think about unusual places, participate in ‘specialized fun groups’ and even dream about actually making the same ‘break-from-reality’.

5* Of special interest to readers noted.

Ruby Roy and Murder in the Falls

    Ruby Roy and Murder in the Falls, ISBM: 9798985878219 copyright and written by Rima Ray.

This book initiates a series by the author that follows the activities of the unusually mixed heritage protagonist as she discovers the murdered body of the dean of the Business College at which she has reached close-to-tenured status. The student body appears to be from many parts of the world, as are much of the faculty at the young school with a number of original faculty in responsible positions at the school situated in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Ruby, as discoverer of the murdered man, becomes involved with the police and eventually proves to be a very tenacious sleuth.

Discussion/conclusion: generally considered, the author has set forth a most intriguing murder mystery with a surprisingly difficult to discern murderer. The story is much delayed in beginning and becomes ‘bogged-down’ in several places in her story because of indulging in her flights of fantasy and need to present many of the episodes in detail. Granted, these are the activities of the well-developed presentation of such a ‘scatter-brained’ individual and do provide much of the humorous content the author has stated she wished to present. They also more thoroughly define the character, as portrayed. Thus, any fault suggested well may be attributed to this reviewer’s dislike of being provided with often lengthy interruptions in the plot’s flow, and the author appears to successfully have accomplished her mission.

4* 5-1* for as suggested ‘over-presentation’ of details of imaginative occurrences


The END of an ERA

This is NOT a review, but rather an Addendum that has been added to the recently published book – The END of an ERA

     Note! So much has occurred within the relatively few months since delivery of The END of an ERA to the publisher (Nov. 2021 to now Feb. 2022) with respect to the direction the U. S. appears to be heading. The long associated attendant politics to decide who is to direct the country’s direction has always been regrettable, but particularly if rising to a position of dominance. Today, those dwelling in the U.S. constantly are assailed not only by the obvious differences exhibited within the party handling the direction the country is heading but also by chaotically diverse ideas on what to do to correct concerns exhibited by the entire population of the country with respect to a number of subjects – civic matters, policing within cities, inflation and shortage of gas, food and other supplies, the lack of enforcement of existing immigration rules along with associated policing problems, voting rights, education, and even a large amount of distrust of the country’s legal system and its practitioners all of the way up to and including the Supreme Court. Health experts including those of the CDC and World Health Organization seem to fare no better. Worst of all perhaps, is that much of the unrest and actual fear seem to be generated and even exacerbated by the open discord so prominently displayed by members of the political party in charge of the direction the country now is headed.

The way of life that has been forged within the United States of America is too valuable to allow to disappear.  BUT, to regenerate its health, it may well be necessary to reexamine and even reinstall much of the thought and activity patterns that brought the country to the pinnacle of success it had reached. And yes, the thought of any regression to these “ancient” patterns of the beginning of the last century certainly are an anathema to the more recently arrived generations and their newly invented utensils that already they have ‘set in stone’ as the way to proceed. And yes, the ‘old’ mores are antiquated and require modifications, but certainly should not be rigidly denied a consideration when attempting to find a solution.

Why not at least reexamine some of the ideas set forth and utilized by the dwellers of the early part of the last century?  A brief “Addendum” to this book “End of an ERA is offered here to suggest a few features that in the first third of the preceding century appeared to be very effective to produce a most satisfying result for the ‘good of the country as well as for the individual’.

The book’s Introduction sets forth several examples of activities that are heralded as some of the problems “for which no one seems to be able to find an answer”.  Could simply adopting the mannerisms (manners?) of members of those who dwelled in the earlier days of the last era do wonders at correcting many? Let us look briefly at just one, the irritatingly dismissive attitude of large store workers purportedly hired specifically to be helpful to the shopper, or the AI chip incorporated to aid the telephone caller. What has happened to empathy? Are there any true professionals in today’s workforce? A true Professional is anyone professing an ability to perform a specific function in a particularly adept manner for compensation. Many claim this title but perhaps could use another observation.  Would not he/she gain immensely if exhibiting a better work ethic that will demonstrate an ability to perform at his/her top level in a disliked position until able to reach the level/type of work wished to be performed? If the situation includes dealing with people, courteously listening with empathy and understanding, if necessary, and not only listening but hearing what is being said. Actually it may go far in gaining the time and importance of the bottom line that has become the Holy Grail of the business world.

Readers should give serious thought to the existent possibilities because simple changes could provide answers to todays searched for questions and aid in restoring the States as “One great Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for All” as it was known in the first third and somewhat beyond, of the last century and envied by the world.

(Book submitted to publisher, and published in July 2021.  Addendum written February 2022 and recently published. John H. Manhold.)

Fifty States


50 STATES A collection of Short Stories, published by Copyright, Ink, and copyright and written by Richard R. Becker.

The author has set forth a series of fifty short stories, each taking place in a different state of the United States on a different date. Each is unique, many on the dark side and all of different length and level of ability to generate carrying a projected interest in advancing thoughts beyond the material presented.

Discussion: The author has provided a highly ‘thought producing’ series of independent stories. They are well-written by a man who understands how to generate an interesting plot that  a reader can ponder and dwell upon, and as such, are most thoroughly enjoyable for the many reasons short story readers follow their work. A number of the stories would make longer, complete stories most interesting as well and, according to statements by the author, are exactly the future he has in mind for many of these individual ‘samples’. Thus, it would appear to be well worthwhile for the interested reader to look for these proposed releases.

5* with an additional eye to the future.


SHORT and SWEET published by Park Langley Editions, London copyright and written by Raymond G. Taylor.

This is a collection of a sizeable number of short stories mostly on the dark side with a few consisting of only a few pages. The range in topics is wide as are the characters and close to the collection’s center is a sizeable number of pages following two different wolves, a male and female, each of whom has been forced from the pack for reasons of nature as described by the author and is the author’s way of presenting an introduction to a single, or perhaps series, that will follow the journey of these two mavericks.

Discussion: In many ways a strange collection of stories to read, as did this reviewer, when there is time on one’s hands and if a reader, you prefer using free moments to indulge in this pastime. The author seems to be relatively well-known in England and writes well. In summary, a strange but interesting volume that well serves its intended purpose.

5* For readers searching with ‘time on their hands’ searching for entertainment

The Andean Cross

The ANDEAN CROSS ISBN: 9781648038372 Westwood Books copyright and written by Lawrence Clayton.

The story begins by ushering the reader into the world of mystery, cruelty and intrigue heralded by the Conquistadores and their invasion and mutilation of the culture and peoples on the New World under the guise of Christianity. Mathew Weston, a relatively young Texas History Professor, is on a summer break and joins a group looking for the wreck of a Spanish Galleon lost on its trip back to Spain with treasure. The unusual Andean Cross purportedly was included among the gold and silver that was lost during its journey to Spain from the Land of the Incas in 1544. The expedition make positive discoveries and he is fortunate to obtain funding to establish a dive team to investigate further the supposedly exact spot where the vessel was sunk in the Bay of Panama. But even before his obtaining this grant, the story initiates leads with respect to this particular shipment. It appears that the description of all of the items is not to be divulged. The nature of this secrecy and the underlying reasons provide the fundamentals upon which the author has constructed this unique historical, religious, suspenseful mystery with a large component of romance. Clair Snowden, an expert on one phase of history pertinent to some of the artifacts also is a member of the team and she and Weston gradually attain a level of understanding that reaches new heights for them both as the story continues to provide further information about the long rumored extent of the early dissemination of Christianity by its apostles.

Discussion: The author appears to be well known for his scholarly approach to the early rise of the Christian religion. The sites have been well researched as well as the material and the entire package is relatively well-assembled. Fundamentally, this is a plot driven tale in which a large group of characters are gathered together, and although somewhat vaguely presented as to exact positions within the story occasionally, function well. Regrettably for this reviewer, occasional character activities appropriate to the story are difficult to accept when assembled within the picture the author’s earlier descriptions have provided to build a mental picture of a person; e.g., Mathew is presented as a well-trained, knowledgeable diver who can qualify to gain a grant for money sizeable enough to run a dive team, yet he can almost pass out in a simple faint when thoughts occur to him about possible repercussions about his possession of the Andean Cross illegally, ‘because it provides a needed advancement for the overall forward motion of the plot’. Unfortunately, attributing such an action to a certified Deep Sea Diver will be unacceptable to most even slightly knowledgeable individuals and impossible for anyone with any information of the rigors of the required training alone. However, for the average historical fantasy, thriller, mystery, romance devotee this is a story that will satisfy in all areas. For the more casual reader, following the plot as it develops still will provide an interesting story and possibly new thoughts with respect to some aspects of the origins of Christianity.

4* 5* multi-genre plot-driven tale for many readers; at least 4* for most.