The Rise of the American Navy

The Rise of the American Navy: Published, copyright, and written by John Williams Ptolemy.

This author has contributed numerous books and articles to help the person with similar interests gain knowledge of this fascinating subject. Subtitled Maritime Battles through the First 100 Years, he again has added a sizeable number of not particularly well-known activities by several individuals and has provided a large number of footnotes from whence his supportive data have come.

Discussion: Simply stated, the author has proceeded to write another volume to add individual, lesser known facts about this section of the country’s history. The book contains a certain amount of redundancy and repetition that, if removed by thoughtful editing, would greatly enhance one’s pleasure in reading.

4* 5* addition of interesting material; -1 as explained.

Cameleon: The Poacher’s Enemy

Chameleon: The Poacher’s Enemy: ISBN: 9781801284127, published, copyright and written by Brandon Kimbrough.

The author has written this story to heighten awareness of the high level of illegal poaching imposed upon the beautiful animals of the world and inspire people to aid in saving them from their rapidly approaching extinction. Reviewing this completed apparently first volume in an anticipated series will require a somewhat difficult procedure to do justice to his goal as well as his manner of presentation.

Plot: To accomplish his goal, he has chosen a young, seemingly oversensitive boy raised in a loving and supportive extended family including a Veterinarian father, doting mother, grandparents and siblings and subjecting him to a heart-rending experience at a very young age. Ben’s first discovery that all ‘bad’ activities cannot be overcome and conquered by ‘good’, and certainly not by immediate direct action when he was reprimanded for fighting with another grade school child “because he had hurt  a friend, the groundskeeper’s dog”. His loving and understanding father attempted to enlighten the child with perhaps a modicum of success and life went on in a somewhat curtailed manner. Somewhat later, the father arranged to take Ben and the family on an African Safari where they were able to witness these magnificent animals living in all their glory. The trip was progressing beautifully until they were observing a male Lion sitting regally surrounded by his pride on the open plain when the animal was struck in the head by a high power rifle round from a distant stand of trees that literally destroyed the magnificent animal’s head. The young boy experienced a traumatic psychological shock of almost inexplicable magnitude hat required extensive treatment. Ultimately he recovered and became a highly understanding and successful Veterinarian, but with a burning hatred for all poachers and especially a gradually developing desire to destroy the particular killer he had witnessed. His post-kill life provides the basic plot of this book- his desire to wreak havoc on all poachers and especially the one who had killed the lion.

Discussion: The author has made an exceedingly good effort to present a case against poachers for the totally uninformed reader and has employed several characters with nicely explained flaws to aid in this endeavor. There are Dylan, a lifelong childhood friend who has provided Ben with much of the social familiarity he exhibits; Jill, his well-positioned, beautifully adept at many functions office manager, Dana Harper, the well-trained investigative journalist with additional talents and Stan with his group of somewhat unusual animal activists. The overall attempt has been a well-worthwhile endeavor that hopefully will increase interest in this important subject. Most regrettably however, from the perspective of what this reviewer hopefully would believe to be the more generally knowledgeable individual, the level of approach would appear to be positioned toward the less knowledgeable and/or young adult.  Too many occurrences depend upon chance and facts per se are totally distorted or missing. The description of ‘poaching’  largely, is distorted, jungles really are not that close in appearance as the ‘woods or forests’ he appears to indicate, transport to the United States of animals to be ‘poached’ is not a usual operation, and most ‘poaching’ per se, is done by a different breed of individuals, although financed, no doubt by wealthy individuals. The ‘fight scene’ descriptions are obviously put together by individuals unacquainted with such activity. And as a pertinent aside, Krav Maga, a prominent attack/defense developed I believe in the 1940’s and reportedly used effectively by the Israeli is not a sport that is ‘picked up in one’s spare time’. As with all martial arts, time and constant practice are required to acquire and maintain any level of competence. Also, the shot destroying the lion’s head that Ben witnessed as a child, probably was a ‘miss’. A prize of the type described would not be one to destroy, rather a trophy to be retained. Thus a killing shot but non-destructive of tissue would have been more likely.

In Summary: Chameleon is a book that provides many interesting features, especially of the effects life’s vicissitudes will force upon one’s psyche, and ‘en toto’, an interesting indoctrination for the uninformed on animal ‘poaching’. As such, it is a well-worthwhile read. It is hoped that the author will acquire more familiarity with some of the other subject matter he discusses.

5* important message for the uninformed; – 2* or more for oyhers.

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.

The Authors Institute Method

      The Author Institute Method The quick and Easy Way to Become an Author by Jason Schenker Founder of the Author Institute ISBN: 9781946197 87 (Paperback) 795 (Hardcover) 757 (EBook)

The book opens with a Preface, presenting the fact that the author established The Author Institute Method “to teach you how to quickly and easily write a book and become an author”; because “Everyone wants to have written a book, but no one actually writes a book”. “Becoming an author sounds awesome. But it also sounds hard.” He claims it is not that difficult and is why he created the Author Institute Method because he now has decided to share his secrets in this book so others also can “reap the rewards” quickly. An Introduction in more detail explains why he wrote this book and chapters ensue explaining how it will help “you write your own non-fiction book in under 30 days” and build your leadership and visibility as a professional speaker and consultant. To accomplish his goal, he has reduced the presentation into an Overview, The Format, The Value and Looking Ahead and briefly describes his approach in each. He emphasizes establishing a team for proceeding it the selection of a title, cover, format, production and ultimate production as well as eventual marketing and distribution. The team also can be most helpful in aiding determination of your target audience. He also explains the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing, and how a book can make the best Business Card. But again he emphasizes first you must identify the audience you wish to reach, establish reasonable goals and establish your team to aid the writing and selection of an attractive cover, title and format and ultimate production, and eventually for marketing and distribution. He also explains that a lot of people don’t read more than the first part of what is written, so you have to get that material into the very first to be read and points out why cover and title also are so important. Also an admonishment that people seldom read a book in one sitting so summaries of what has been presented, often are necessary. Also touched upon are Audiobooks and a reminder that you don’t make most of your money from book sales, but from the recognition your name generates through lectures, consultation, etc. You know more than anyone else about your subject – act like it.

He summarizes with attention directly to “The Author Institute training program” which “has 7 online courses in the program as well as “The Vault” which includes templates, checklists, and other documents I have personally used to write dozens of books.” Other help beyond that can be obtained online. The book concludes with End Notes and About the Author.

Discussion: The author is an accepted authority in the field of finance and as the author of several successful books on the subject, is eminently qualified to present a book of this nature. As such an individual, he has indeed assembled a rather complete overview of the requirements – all of the minutia as well as the highs and lows of the subject. The only caveats this reviewer* would suggest is a cautionary note really with respect to publishing a successful book of the type he is describing in the time he sets forth. Such a feat is possible, and especially for the purposes he indicates. However, it would seem that a ‘newbie’ might require a little more time than 30 days to move through the steps Jason lists. I always told my students that writing books is a ‘crap-shoot’ and becoming a successful author, no matter what your goal, better include a tremendous amount of desire to reach that pinnacle, or you would need to settle for accomplishing only ‘writing a book’.      *(author of several textbooks, an anthology in four languages, a memoir and several award-winning novels, as well as time spent providing a university level course in writing and marketing.)

5* Recommended; but important caveat included.

Awful Reckoning

   Awful Reckoning. A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel by John M. Vermillion.

Seemingly, the author is beginning a new series based upon his successful run of the Pack series and a character, Cade Chase introduced in the last of the Pack series. Here Cade again is presented in a Preface as a non-West Point graduate who finished as a heavily decorated four star general now residing in a small Appalachian town because he hated the type of crime that is steadily growing in this country and was trying to do something about it. Following is a list/description of the principal characters The story itself is to retrieve the Stanford Univ. student daughter of a highly successful multibillionaire entrepreneur who has been kidnapped by members of Antifa with threats of dire action if any investigative authorities are notified. Cade receives a call from the father who calls in a long standing mutually reciprocal assistance in desperate circumstances agreement. Cade accepts, gathers his small but highly efficient team and proceeds to devise a brilliant plan that is carried out without a hitch leaving the Antifa Head almost without funds, how it happened and any even vague ideas of who was involved.

Discussion: For readers who like well written action, presented by an eminently qualified author and loaded with suspense and activities that are totally credible this definitely is a book for you. One particularly noteworthy feature is that the plan as devised and executed does not leave any weak spots that can provide the one feature that causes the ‘last minute appearance of some factor that allows for an unexpected ‘hiccup’ that provides for a last minute introduction of ‘surprise’ activity. However, there is even more for the ‘thinking’ reader, especially if adverse to vigilante activity. A fact the author briefly addresses.

Summary: Generally speaking this is a book that will be thoroughly enjoyed from the perspective of the action/suspense aficionado as well as from that of the more cerebrally inclined individual.

5* Enjoyable thriller/suspense on many levels.

Dutch Preacher Boy

        Dutch Preacher Boy ISBN: 9781098382420 TunaFiscch Publishing by John Kommerinus Trinstra.

Sub titled “Coming of Age in Grand Rapids, Taking Wing Beyond* From Ethnocentric Religion to a Wide World of Wonder. A MEMOIR.

This is a fascinating tale most especially if you have an interest in any phase of religion. It is told by a man born and raised in the Netherlands in the Dutch Calvinist faith – Calvinist College 1962-1966 and Calvin Seminary 1966-69 and after immigrating to America, 2 weeks at Moody Bible Institute – and wanted to be a Fundamentalist (Religion defined as Religion as written is the last word). However, as explained in the gradually developing story, his extensive travels throughout a goodly part of the world changed quite drastically his perspective. His description of these travels and the changes wrought make for a story similar to few, if any other ‘coming-of-age’ tales in that the process extends far beyond what usually is considered that period in one’s life, into sessions as a missionary where threats were encountered in the Mexican Border area; working with Inmates in Cook County Psychiatric Hospital where he picked up a most thought-provoking answer to a simple question and read a sign posted on a near-by wall the reader will love. It simply read “I’m absolutely crazy about change. I just can’t handle it well.” And many more incidents of interest including close encounters with royalty and celebrities, a number of ‘secrets’ of well-known radio/TV preachers of various faiths, “sexual awakening, athletic fields of battle, heroes, tragedies, escapes, with lots of humor and playful banter”.

Discussion: The book ends with a brief notation about the former pastor, educator, and entrepreneur author and an Index of his wide range of people encountered and exact page(s) where it took place with the referenced person. Some of the discussion with respect to the individual and/or his/her perspectives may appear biased to varying degrees, but certainly lie within the author’s prerogative.

5* Interestingly, thoughtfully assembled memoir

A Fox in the Lion’s Den

 

 

A Fox in the Lion’s Den ISBN: 978173609000 Beverly Hills Publishing. Story and copy right by Dr, Hal Bradley DD. Text Jennifer Myers, on behalf of Story Terrace Design Copyright ©  Dr. Hal Bradley.

The actual story begins by introducing the protagonist as a blue eyed, blond teenage boy in the spring of 1969 riding a burro he had acquired for transportation around the mountain trails of a part of Mexico under control of a cartel dominant in that part of the region. No problems were likely to occur because he was “a kid from America protected by the controlling cartel.” Home actually was Seattle, Washington where he had been thrown out of school for six months for being caught smocking “weed”, a standard procedure for school at the time. He had been shipped to work on the properties owned by a friend of his mothers who acted in desperation hopefully to ‘save’ the wayward youngster. The story as it unrolls, is a fact-based fictional account of his gradual involvement with the cartels but also his slowly developing empathy with those affected by the drugs and slow emergence from his involvement. HE spent a period in prison for his actions with the cartels but emerged to cooperate with the DEA and ultimately work with the often destitute victims of desperation, drug abuse and the rest.

Discussion/Summary: This book might be referred to as a ‘memoir of sorts’. It is a remarkable story that presents sections of the author’s life in chapters in an uneven pattern. However, owever  HHHHHhhhhhthe ‘whole’ makes a fascinating picture and provides glimpses of the activities in which the author was involved along with hints of how the cartels function as well as the DEA. It also provides glimmers of inner prison activity as well as vague descriptions of his activities after ‘accepting God and entering into his ministries’. There is much redundancy although in large part probably understandably excerpted. So to summarize, there is much to learn from this book that as a whole presents an interesting and most unusual read, but is not for everyone.

4* 5* material; -1 possibly 2* for presentation.

 

Jupiter, Illinois

Jupiter, Illinois a novel assumed published, copyright and written by William Graham.

The story begins with an explanation about the birth of Jupiter, Illinois.  In 1867 two staunch friend graduates in the classics from Yale University arrived in the prairieland of central Illinois about two hundred miles south of Chicago and decided to build their own college with surrounding town. As sons of wealthy shipping magnates from New York City, they could well afford to purchase and establish the college and with complete faith that their institution named Byron College after their favorite poet, Lord Byron, would excel in teaching all aspects of scholarship and business to its assumed burgeoning supply of students, they proceeded with the next step. The town was established and named Jupiter after the Roman god of sky and thunder. From this introductory description the story moves immediately to a number of years later when the college appears not to have developed to the founders intended level and is pretty much forgotten. However, several plots develop within the town and its residents and are followed through a number of years. The town also has been hit hard by the closing of a factory that manufactured automobiles, the main source of income for the residents. The story from hear on, follows the activities of the largely middle class residents with advent of a tremendously wealthy entrepreneur who makes a deal with the mayor to reopen the abandoned automobile factory. He intended to produce a new version of an electric automobile and had decided to build a new and extravagantly designed home as well. Rules of the new factory employment were not particularly compatible with the employees’ best interests and together with the plant owner’s outrageously expensive house design, trouble ensued. The story proceeds as it plays out the activities of a number of the residents.

Discussion: This is an interesting book in that it provides an unvarnished picture of the lives of important players in a relatively small Midwestern town formerly dependent upon a now closed factory as the main source of income for most residents and a college that also had not lived up to the founders’ expectations. New blood is provided by entree of an extremely wealthy entrepreneur who offers to reopen the empty factory owned by the city, and also to join the community by building a new home of very costly design for him and his younger new wife. His rules of employee function, quite unfavorable to the employees, begin to generate dissatisfaction and are exacerbated by the costly construction of his new home. The activities of a number of the involved citizens are followed as each of their stories unfold.

The author appears to be a well-developed writer with excellent educational background and a large number of credits in published works including poetry, adult and young adult fiction, travel and biography. His style seems to be to present the unadorned facts of activities, whether business or more personal relationships. It is a style that brings to mind the theme of an old TV series based upon the main character, Sgt. Friday, stating to an interviewee, “Just the facts, Mam, Only the facts.” It is a technique allowing the reader to decide whether or not characters are ‘worthy’ of empathy. (A psychological note – perhaps a thought pattern that could develop in residents of a town who had lived through this town’s past and present problems?)

 

5* Enjoyable story from several perspectives

The Tidings

                  THE TIDINGS ISBN: 9781648036682 Westwood Books copyright and written by Nick Mezins.

 Sub-titled “Further Extracts From The Book Of Tidings of the Almighty and his Spirits to Humanity. Volume One November 1943 to January 1945”, a short “Forward” provides the source and manner in which this unusual material originally was discovered, and brought to light along with the revelations that further appeared at a much later date. An Introduction to Revelations follows along with a number of chapters covering these from a period beginning with 1943. Reading and understanding the “Forward” and “Introductions” is a necessity in order to correctly and completely comprehend the “Tidings” delivered “not of human origin”. (It has been through the human mind in the language of Latvia and meticulously translated to English.)

“The material in this book originated from The Almighty, from God, from the chief spirits and the other spirits and has been passed on to humanity on the planet Earth by these chroniclers. They are the Almighty’s heralds to the planet Earth, appearing outwardly as ordinary human beings.” These Heralds wrote the material in longhand, it was typed and several copies made. Errors were corrected and the material distributed in particular bracketing styles and other peculiarities to compensate for differences between Latvian and English word usages. Following these explanations, another “Introduction” is offered from the original publisher in 1992 serving as background for the author’s description of his organization of this and the books to follow. Now, the reader is presented with the book’s contents, chapter by chapter.

The chapters follow a somewhat rambling pattern that this reviewer finds quite difficult to follow, some ranging from sayings of a sultan, the German Nazi party, the Almighty, who also includes Satan as his vengeful portion, and other strange messages delivered by purported spirits of importance with certain facts: “I am not allowed to reveal that to you”. Also: “The spirits do not talk with everyone, but only with chosen ones, and those who believe in them.” Spirits further are described in appearance, duties and means of travel.

Certain known facts also occasionally are interspersed; e.g. “What was a miracle at the time of Christ is no longer a miracle. Science performs miracles. The day will even come when science will liberate man from all diseases and labors and will transport him from one planet to the next.”

Further on in the book the ‘tidings bearers’ offer more explanations by way of vignettes of persons in longer messages, but one seemingly prominent feature is the apparent desire not to offer any specifics with respect to the number, structure and hierarchy of the saints, and it even is difficult to ‘get a firm hold on’ the overall position/activities of “The Almighty”.

The admonishment is offered that you no longer are in Latvia, but you are in the world which is where the Almighty rules. And with respect to miracles?  The statement that man is not a prophet in his own land presents Christ as a perfect example. He was simply the son of Joseph the Carpenter from Nazareth and known to many. Thus, he required miracles to convince people of the Power of God.

Discussion: The main theme seemingly being provided in this book of Tidings or Messages is that man is incapable of understanding things beyond what his mind is able to absorb and is the reason God and Jesus spoke in simple words and provided simple stories. Not a single word written by Christ remains and those of the Apostles are carelessly written words of “common people” and are ‘remembrances’. None kept diaries. Also transcription errors exist in abundance.

Thus, it would appear that these “Tidings” have been set forth to provide the true picture of “The Almighty’s” relationship with man and a closing statement that most cleverly covers all aspects of the apparent incomplete explanations, descriptions, answers and other missing features has been set forth. To provide the statement would be a disservice to the author as well as the prospective reader who will recognize it immediately when he reaches its opening portion – “Anyone who has read a book without striving to delve into the writer’s thought, . …. …”.

3* 4* probably challenging read for the curious mind.

 

 

SHORT AND SWEET

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