Arthur M. Doweyko
Looking for a comfortable sci-fi read for a rainy afternoon? You need look no further. My Shorts, by Arthur M. Doweyko will fill the agenda admirably. My Shorts is a collection of thirteen award winning sci-fi short stories gathered in one thought-provoking volume with a tongue-in-cheek title with a cover guaranteed to invoke a grin. Beginning with a story about computer that predicts the future and progressing straight through to a story about the ghost of an Indian girl I found these stories to be quick and entertaining read.
The stories are:
The Probability Machine – can the machine predict a doubter’s death?
Linda – A young girl fights for her family to flee Cuba
P’sall Senji – Do aliens really want to assassinate the President?
Harry and Harry – How does one travel in time to obtain a disease cure?
The Catch – Others hunt for food too. Some of them hunt us.
Little Snowy Mountains – How did I get 65 million years into the past?
Mars1 – Are there alternate ways to survive on Mars?
The Boy Who Couldn’t Lie – What? The dog ate my homework?
Cold Heart – Bizarre planet; smart inhabitants
Companion – Is it possible to murder a computer chip?
Blue Ice – Why do people always die on the date of death predicted for them?
Andrew the Last – If you had the last organic human brain, would you know it?
Cherry Creek – A good-timing, rowdy accident; now there’s hell to pay
My Shorts should appeal to sci-fi lovers, to any reader who likes speculative fiction or any reader who turns the plot of a story over in his mind for hours after the reading is finished. These stories are like that.
A. G. Riddle
People begin to die in Africa of a strange viral illness. CDC responds by sending its best and brightest; Dr. Payton Shaw, a world-class epidemiologist, who leads a team of field response epidemiologists.
Desmond Hughes awakes in a hotel room in Germany with no memory of his past; not even his name. There is a dead man in the room with him; apparently an employee of Rapture Therapeutics. A vague code suggests a phone number and a message to deliver; “Warn her”. The “her” is Payton Shaw.
With these cryptic events begins the bizarre tale of a world-wide pandemic that infects and kills millions; and a massive conspiracy with more twists and dead-ends than a human DNA strand.
Each and every one of the complex characters has personal relationships, and obscure family and inter-family relationships that span generations leading as far back as World War II. I can’t say much more without including spoilers, except to say these relationships unfold at critical points of the story to neatly sew pieces together in way nothing else could. They will keep the reader guessing throughout. They did me.
Pandemic is an extremely well written and edited novel of epic proportions; one that will keep practically all readers on the edge of their chairs until all hours of the night. It is, in my humble opinion, a job well done.
Walter Jon Williams
Jason Adams is a young boy caught in a natural disaster as is everyone else along the Mississippi River and its tributary river basins.
What’s happening? Continental plates and overlying sediments are shifting to relieve stress once again just as they did in the fall of 1811…before the area was thickly settled by white settlers; before the area became the industrial axis of the United States.
The scenario is realistic and ultimately frightening. It is a stark testimony to the powerlessness of humanity to control and manipulate nature; and to mankind’s vulnerability to both natural disasters and the darker, baser, more sinister predilection for violence, prejudice and taking advantage of others who have been hurt.
Using a cast of complicated well-developed characters, the author paints a picture of both the good and the bad in people who are all facing a struggle to survive whether they all realize it or not.
The Rift is a great read. It should be required reading for everyone who believes that Earth will remain unchanging in its present form forever.
John Sandford & Ctein
Human political competition carried to critical extremes.
When an unknown object is observed entering Saturn’s rings on a trajectory that implies intelligent control a political space race is touched off between the United States and China causing the Chinese to scrap their Mar’s colonial expedition and the United States to re-purpose a space station and cobble together a makeshift space-craft capable of flying Saturn and, perhaps, even returning.
In the capable hands of Captain Naomi Fang-Castro, and Chief Power Engineer, Rebecca Johanassen the spaceship Richard M. Nixon undertakes an unprecedented voyage carefully documented by Sandy Darlington and Cassandra Fiorella. Powered by a unique propulsion system, the Richard M. Nixon held certain advantages over the Chinese space craft, a re-purposed Mars colonial freighter; advantages that were not advantageous in all circumstances.
The story focuses on first encounters with alien civilizations and their technology and the human nationalistic competition that renders mankind incapable of being entrusted with advance alien technology. Human politicians readily gamble human lives for political expediency without consideration for safety, technical and engineering expertise.
Personally, I love science fiction but found Saturn Run to be bland. Late in the story, sufficient activity occurred to make it interesting and the ending is exciting, however, I felt the background buildup and the Sandy/Fiorella documentation story was distracting from the real story which was could humans be trusted with alien technology, what would they do with it if they had it, and is humanity ready to take its place among more advanced alien cultures. Having said that, I did find the concept of converting an existing orbital space station into an interplanetary spaceship intriguing if a bit far-fetched.
When Marshal Danielle Metreaux and her junior partner, Sebastien, answer a call to investigate a student’s death at the Académie Superieur de Goin, (Sebastien’s upper class private school alma mater) she was as unprepared for the uncaring defensive posture of the school administrator (an old friend of Sebastien’s family) as she was the free use of narcotics among the students. With nothing to indicate a homicide, they must assume the death was the result of accident related to the student’s use of drugs.
However, when other Weeia began to act strangely in a manner that would reveal their presence to normal humans, Danni and Sebastien must intensify the investigation. At a loss to explain the phenomena, they must enlist the aid of the CUT Team to resolve issues until a full time command center is organized with Danni’s boss, Francois, in command. When Danni is side-lined during the investigation with a personal loss, Sebastien steps in with the help of a Syrian chemist and provides the expertise need to allow Danni to figure out what is causing the disruption among the Weeia.
Once again, we have Danni Metreaux who is beginning to feel increasingly comfortable in Paris, and who is more comfortable with Sebastien as well. Her boyfriend, Iaen, is a big help to her adjustment, but is not destined to be a permanent part of her life. The intensity of the crisis for Weeia forces Francois to become more active, and Danni who has come to the attention of the CUT team leader may have a chance for advancement outside Paris.
As are the other Weeia books by Elle Boca, Smells Like Weeia Spirit should be entertaining to anyone who likes an investigative adventure with a light fantasy flare.
Prince Dietrich is a thoroughly disgusting individual; one who, unfortunately, reminds me of a few people I’ve encountered through the years who invariably cause their supervisors and co-workers to spend huge amounts of unproductive time doing damage control. His attitude is such a turn-off that I almost refused to read the book.
I did read it, however, for one reason and one reason alone; Dietrich’s stupidity is so profound that the reader is held spellbound wondering what disaster he will cause next and how he will rationalize it. Despite his efforts to the contrary, the idiot comes out on his feet, exactly where he was destined to be.
The Amazing Adventures of Dashing Prince Dietrich is a study in human nature; the part consisting of envy, greed, pervasiveness and disobedience, and the part consisting of murder, back-stabbing and the demands of self, without the benefits of self-awareness. It is well written and edited, and should be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of readers along with a mixture of disgust, a little dark humor, and compassion for Dietrich’s companions.
Copyright 2017 by John A. Heldt
This book will find a special place in the hearts of many readers, especially those, like me, who have adopted children to fill voids in their families and their hearts. Beyond that, however, this story will tug at the heartstrings of the remaining generation who endured World War II, and their children; both as active military and as the children, spouses and parents who anxiously waited for news in the deafening silence back home.
Claire, a young wife with a broken heart who wants a family, is torn by the grief of a stillborn child, the joy of adoption and the fear she will lose her husband to circumstances beyond her control. Ron, Claire’s husband is torn by events that leave him with no choices that do not involve separation from Claire and, Hannah, their newly adopted daughter, and which ultimately threaten his life. David, Claire’s brother, has fallen in love. He is responsible for the family’s well-being in 1945, but who has lost their round trip ticket to the present. Margaret, their neighbor from across the street in the very different Chattanooga of 1945, is torn between her love for a naval officer involved in the Pacific war and growing love for David, and her high regard for the Claire, Ron and Hannah.
And then there is Hannah…who was born under a full moon.
Oh, did I mention, that Claire, Ron and David are from 2017 and Margaret and Hannah are from 1945 Chattanooga, Tennessee; a time and city dominated by concerns about the war?
The result is a riveting story that effectively captures the emotion and anxiety of the times and of the personal emotions and anxiety of the characters. Readers will be particularly pleased with the significance of “Hannah’s moon”.
Time travel facilitates and complicates the story, but it is only marginally science fiction. This book is about emotions, courage in the face of adverse circumstances and about climbing back on the horse after being thrown. It is well written and edited and should appeal to just about any type of reader.
The Alcatraz Coup is a novella; a prequel to Patricia Loofbourow's Red Dog Conspiracy Series consisting (to date) of The Jacq of Spades and The Queen of Diamonds. It is currently published as part of the Dark Humanity collection of science fiction novellas and short stories available on Amazon.
Three hundred years after Benjamin Kerr build the domed city of Bridges, the elderly King of Bridges, Taylor Kerr, is assassinated by his son, Polansky Kerr. The assassination is witnessed by Xavier Alcatraz, captain of the King’s Guard who is threatened by Polansky in an effort to ensure that the real story of King Taylor’s death is never revealed.
Acevedo Spadros, a high-school teacher of Bridges history and Xavier’s former history teacher, now teaches Xavier’s son, Jack. Teacher and former student, now reacquainted, are in a position to compare notes and feelings about the assassination of the old king and the inhuman cruelty of the new king, Polansky Kerr, who has ordered annihilation of every poor family in Bridges on March 13th. Together, they plot his overthrow; Alacatraz leading his Guard in clandestine training and Spadros coordinating plans to remove civilians from harm’s way, while the criminal gangs make plans to loot the city. Spadros is shocked to learn his family is one of the largest criminal gangs, but makes peace with the idea when his father unexpected funds a large portion of the insurrection. However, the success of the coup is threatened by competing interests and a devious last minute act by Polansky Kerr.
The Alcatraz Coup contains many strong developed characters beginning with Acevedo Spadros who genuinely cares for his students and their families; Xavier Alcatraz who must weigh his loyalty as captain of the King’s Guard to the throne no matter who occupies it, against his sense of right and wrong. Vincenzo (“Uncle Vinny”) Spadros who has no illusions about what it means to be a gangster and who tells Acevedo the unvarnished truth, does the heavy lifting for the Spadros family while Acevedo’s father, Trapasso “Papa” Spadros bankrolls the whole operation, probably more as an investment in future territory and an opportunity to demonstrate to Acevedo (who had previously been clueless) his family’s wealth and power, rather than from any sense of altruism. Katherine Bluff and Acevedo have fallen in love; any guesses whether Trapasso will see Katherine Bluff as a suitable wife for Acevedo?
The Alacatraz Coup is very entertaining. It is, however, confusing because of the large number of interested groups: separate groups of Guards with different loyalties, students, masses of poor people outside the fence, others the king is throwing outside the fence, the Dealers and innumerable criminal organizations. The fundamental essence of a political coup is secrecy; it can’t be general knowledge and expect success; and they’re not successful…not in the way they intended. There remains unfinished business and tons of unintended consequences enough to haunt Bridges for book after book to come!
Copyright 2016 by Elle Boca
When we last joined Danni Metreaux, a third level Weeia marshal assigned to Paris in Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia, she had just finished dealing with a threat from a band of Gypsies with the grudging assistance of her boss, Francois. In the course of the earlier Gypsy investigation, she met a young Weeia man named Iaen and now the beginning of a romantic relationship begins to bloom through Danni’s confusion about her job and her life in Paris.
She is beginning to feel more comfortable as she meets more people and she begins to feel a little less isolated, but only a little since Francois is more remote than ever and Madame Marmotte continues to trash her behind her back. Now, she’s faced with training a new level 1 marshal, Sebastien, whom she was neither expecting nor prepared for. Worse, he is Madame Marmotte’s nephew, has Francois’ approval and comes from an influential Parisian family. To top it off, Sebastien appears just in time to save her from getting her ass kicked by a gang of Serbian-Croatian mobsters. How embarrassing!
Despite that, they are soon deep into a case involving one of a kind art pieces apparently stolen from a private collection, and case in which a Weeia exhibiting a particularly strong gift of mental manipulation is allegedly manipulating humans to commit theft.
Like Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia, Weeia on My Mind is entertaining and the reader finds themselves rooting for Danni to overcome her challenges in Paris. There are hints about why Francois is not supportive, but his real story remains to be told. This book introduces Sebastien as Danni’s junior partner and the route through which she can begin to interact with some the Parisian elite. It likewise identifies Iaen squarely in the role of Danni’s boyfriend. Ho hum, I guess action and intrigue aren’t enough; there must be some romance somewhere I suppose.
Oh…the story? If you want to know about it, buy the book. Those who love cozy mysteries, light fantasy and intrigue with occasional intense action should love it!
Copyright 2016 by Matt Coleman
Spencer disappeared. That may not seem too important to the world as a whole, but to Ellis Mazer, a first year seventh grade English teacher, having one of his students go missing was a natural disaster.
What follows is a bitter-sweet, even darkly humorous, trek into trailer-trash hell along the Texas/Arkansas border. Juggling Kittens has a cast of characters who are products of an impoverished culture with few expectations, other than those driven by drug or alcohol addiction; except a driving desire to live their lives, right or wrong, in their own way without interference. Mess with it at your own risk, Mr. Mazer! These characters recognize common social bonds such as growing up in the same geographic area, going to school and, sometimes, to church together and tend to protect each other despite the law or any value represented by an outsider such as Mazer.
Enter Shane Charbeau and Daniel Mallory. Mallory is a manipulator who is likely to do anything just to avoid boredom. Charbeau, unlike Mallory, has a conscience. Brad, the deputy sheriff, needs a bad guy to blame for a suspected murder and an excuse to rid the county of a drug dealer. Reverend Mallory will protect his son, Danny, at the expense of everyone in Ruddy Creek. And, oh, incidentally…what do you suppose Spencer wrote about in his English essay that caused him to disappear?
Matt Coleman has produced an engaging piece of rural Americana spiced with humor, well written in a style all his own and ‘drop dead’ entertaining. I was afraid for Spencer’s life throughout the book; you will be too! Many teachers are likely to identify with this story and mystery, detective and crime/action readers should like it as well.
Clabe Polk is into a second career as a fiction author. He has taken more than thirty-seven years of professional managerial experience, scientific background, a lifetime of practical skills, his love of reading, research and writing and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.
See the books Clabe has reviewed on Pinterest. Buy them through their purchase links!
eLibrary - Free for addition of one's own e-books. eBooks rating. Free eBooks. Directory of most eBooks, sold in the Internet. You can quickly find the ebook of your interest on this site, read a review, made by those, who have read the ebook.
Authors need reviews!
Need reviews? I will provide a FREE honest review for 4-6 fiction books each month from specified genre. Reviews are always FREE, I read the following genre: mystery, crime, and science fiction/fantasy only. No romance, young adult, religious or erotica. As a lifelong reader I do not care for serial series books; I will accept them, but I will review them based on my satisfaction with only the story contained in the volume I reviewed.
Reviews will be posted on your choice of Amazon or Smashwords, Goodreads and Library Thing, Barnes & Noble and/or Kobo. In addition, I will post the reviews on this site, on my Tumblr site and my Pinterest Blog Review Board. My reviews also appear in the Midwest Book Review, Polk's Bookshelf, during the following month.
Please contact me by using the Book Review Request Form link above providing all the requested information.
Guest bloggers are welcome here! Additional exposure can only help you sell books and get you better known as an author. Would you like to write about your book or series, your inspiration, your experiences as a author or things you have found to be helpful as an author? If so, contact me at CPolk625@gmail.com attaching a copy of what you would like to like to post (preferably in .DOC or .DOCX format). We're all learning together, so give it a try!
We would like to be fair and help everyone as much as possible.
The same rules apply to guest blogs as to review requests. No erotica or porno, no gratuitous bad language, no overtly religious books or messages, nothing negative, detrimental, derogatory or prejudicial toward any ethnic or social group, race or organization of any kind or toward any other author, writer or their works will be allowed.
While I normally do not review romance, youth or young adult books for review, I will accept guest blog pieces from their authors for promotion purposes as long as the proposed post is consistent with the other rules.
When your guest blog appears links will be posted to your author and/or book sites and/or at least one book purchase site. Please place a back link to this site on the URLs that we publish wherever possible.
The CPMA Book Review Blog is growing and would like to expand into other genre to better serve author needs. We need new honest reviewers who are interested in reading and writing 200-400 word reviews with Star ratings for various books in accordance with simple review guidelines typically within thirty days of assignment. .
If you are interested, please see the guidelines on the Review Forms Page.
Link to Goodkindles Free ebooks, bargain kindle books. Book promotion site for authors