Archive for November, 2013

Giveaway – Journey to Galumphagos – Seth Eisner

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Thanks to Teddy at Virtual Author Book Tours I”m able to offer my readers 1 print or ebook copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 12/05/2013.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

Review: Journey to Galumphagos – Seth Eisner

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1491082321
ISBN-13: 978-1491082324
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Order E-book here:


Chloe Miller –
Jacob Miller – Six or seven year old boy.
Emily Miller – The eldest of the Miller Siblings.


Three young children, bored, and tired of living at home set out for the imaginary land of Galumphagos Island. Once there they learn that sometimes getting what you want isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


I found this to be a very cute little story. At just 84 pages it can be read in one or two nights. While I don’t have kids, it’s aimed at the third grade and above level, and I think kids at that level will find it a very enjoyable story. The more timid kids though may find themselves having nightmares of the Galumphers. However the book I think is very good at teaching cooperation, thinking creatively, and never giving up. It is both entertaining, and educational and for that alone I’m happy to recommend it to anyone with children or grandchildren.

Thanks to Teddy we are able to offer 1 copy of Journey to Galumphagos to a lucky reader. Simply go here and enter.

About the Author

Seth Eisner was an unemployed English professor who wrote a 400-page dissertation on Jane Austen before he gave up trying to be poor and went to law school. He spent most of his career as inside counsel at Kraft Foods. He retired as Vice President and Associate General Counsel.

Seth has been married to Rosalind for 44 years during which she has shown almost infinite patience. They have three adult children, three children-in-law, and six grandchildren, none yet old enough to read Journey to Galumphagos, but they will be by the time the sequel comes out next year.

Seth Eisner on Facebook:

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Teddy at Virtual Author Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Joshua Stone – James Barney

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062021397
ISBN-13: 978-0062021397
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Some secrets belong to the past. Others refuse to stay there . . .

In 1959, in an underground laboratory in a remote region of West Virginia, a secret government experiment went terribly awry. Half a dozen scientists mysteriously disappeared, and all subsequent efforts to rescue them failed. In desperation, President Eisenhower ordered the lab sealed shut and all records of its existence destroyed. Now, fifty-four years later, something from the lab has emerged.

When mysterious events begin occurring along the New River Valley in West Virginia, government agents Mike Califano and Ana Thorne are sent to investigate. What they discover will shake the foundations of science and religion and put both agents in the crosshairs of a deadly, worldwide conspiracy. A powerful and mysterious force has been unleashed, and it’s about to fall into the wrong hands. To prevent a global catastrophe, Califano and Thorne must work together to solve a biblical mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries. And they must do so quickly, before time runs out . . . forever.


Mike Califano – Department of Energy Agent.
Anna Thorne – CIA Agent.


This novel was fun for me to read on many levels. First of all, it took place in WV, and that’s where I grew up so it’s always nice to see some fiction set there. Then it was a nice blend of science fiction and history. Anna and Mike are sort of like Mulder and Scully type characters sent to investigate the mysterious happenings.

The characters are well developed and the story is well researched. Readers are taken on a journey from WV, to Washington DC to Saudi Arabia. It reminds me of both Dan Brown’s series and James Rollins with it’s blend of biblical stories, science, and mythology.

I think the author has definitely left room for more stories and I look forward to them. On a rating scale, I’d rate it as PG-13 for older teens and adults due to subject matter, and some strong language. But for fans of science fiction as well as fans of the two authors previously mentioned, I’d heartily recommend it.


Thurmond, West Virginia

October 5, 1959

IT was time. Dr. Franz Holzberg stood at the security desk of the Thurmond National Laboratory and waited patiently for the guard to buzz him through the heavy steel door that provided access to the lab. Funny, he thought as he waited. They don’t even know what they’re guarding. He shook his head and considered that thought for a moment.

If they only knew . . .

A second later, the door opened with a loud buzz, and Holzberg stepped into a steel enclosure about five feet square and seven feet tall. He turned to face the guard and pulled a chain-link safety gate across the opening.

“Ready?” asked the guard.

Holzberg nodded, and the compartment in which he stood suddenly lurched downward and began its long descent toward the laboratory spaces, nine hundred feet below the ground.

Two minutes later, the elevator shuddered to a halt, and Dr. Holzberg exited into a wide, empty passageway, about twenty feet across and two hundred feet long. The cracked, concrete floor was sparsely illuminated by overhead industrial lighting. A pair of rusty trolley rails ran down the middle of the corridor—a remnant of the mining operations that had once taken place there decades earlier.

Holzberg took a deep breath and savored the pungent smell of sulfur and stagnant water. After three long years of working on this project, he actually felt more at home underground than in the charmless cinder-block rambler that the government had provided for him “up top,” in Thurmond.

He started off toward the laboratory at the end of the corridor, his footsteps echoing loudly throughout the vast space. As he walked, the protocol for Experiment TNL-213 streamed through his mind for the thousandth time. Today is the day, he reminded himself, allowing just the faintest of smiles. Today, God would heed his command. Just as God heeded Joshua’s command at Gibeon.

Holzberg passed through the laboratory’s heavy security door and entered a long, rectangular room resembling a tunnel, with unpainted cement walls, ceiling, and floor.

The middle of the room was dominated by a large pool of water, twenty by thirty feet across and thirty feet deep, with a steel catwalk extending across it. A sturdy steel railing circumscribed the edge of the pool. Overhead, four long rows of incandescent bulbs illuminated the entire room with bright, white light. High up on the walls, thick, multicolored bundles of wires and cables snaked like garlands across sturdy brackets, with smaller bundles dropping down at uneven intervals to various lab equipment and workstations around the room.

Holzberg spotted four technicians in white lab coats busily preparing the lab for the upcoming experiment. He acknowledged them with a nod and then quickly made his way to an elevated control room overlooking the pool. He entered without knocking and greeted the room’s sole occupant, a bespectacled man in a white lab coat. “Good morning, Irwin,” said Holzberg in a thick German accent. “How are the modifications coming along?”

Dr. Irwin Michelson swiveled on his stool. He was a wiry man in his midthirties, with disheveled black hair and a two-day- old beard. He pushed his glasses up on his nose.

“They’re done,” he said.

“Done? You’ve tested it?”

“We changed out the power supply, like you suggested, and increased the cooling flow to two hundred gallons per minute. We tested it last night and were able to generate a ninety tesla pulse for twenty-five seconds with no overheating. We probably could go higher if we needed to.”

“Good. And the sensors and transducers?”

“All set.”

Holzberg nodded appreciatively to his tireless assistant.

“Sehr gut. Then let’s proceed.”

It took nearly three hours for Holzberg, Michelson, and their team of four technicians to complete the exhaustive checklist for TNL-213.

This experiment had taken three years to plan and had required millions of dollars in upgrades and modifications to the lab.
Nothing would be left to chance today.

By early afternoon they’d finished their thorough inspection of the equipment. They’d checked, double-checked, and triple-checked each of the hundreds of valves, levers, and switches associated with the lab’s “swimming pool” test rig. Everything was positioned according to a detailed test protocol that Dr. Holzberg carried in a thick binder prominently marked top secret—winter solstice.

Michelson knelt on the steel catwalk that bridged the 160,000-gallon pool of water and carefully inspected a rectangular steel chamber that was suspended above the water by four thick cables. Numerous electrical sensors were welded to the exterior of this chamber, and a rainbow of waterproof wires radiated out from it, coiling upward toward a thick, retractable wiring harness above the catwalk.

“Transducers are secure,” Michelson said over his shoulder.

“Good,” said Holzberg from the railing. He made a checkmark in his notebook and read the next step of the protocol aloud. “Mount the seed.”

Michelson stood and turned slowly to face his mentor.

“So it’s time?”

Holzberg nodded.

Michelson dragged a hand over his unshaven face and cracked a smile. “God, this . . . this is incredible.” He was barely able to contain his excitement. “This’ll give us a whole new understanding of the universe.”

“Perhaps,” said Holzberg.

“Right, perhaps. And perhaps the Nobel Prize, too.”

“No,” said Holzberg firmly, his expression suddenly turning dark.

“But . . . if this works, we could publish our findings. By then the government—”

“Irwin, no. We’ve had this discussion before.”

Michelson sighed and looked deflated. “Right, I know. Not until the world is ready.”

Holzberg inched closer to his protégé. “Irwin, this is a responsibility you must accept. Einstein himself was confounded by this material.”

“Einstein was overrated,” Michelson mumbled.

“Perhaps. But that does not change the fact that we have been entrusted with something very special here. We must study and solve it. Until we do, it is simply too dangerous to expose to the world. That is our burden. Do you understand?”
Michelson nodded sheepishly. Holzberg patted his younger colleague’s shoulder.

“Good. Now, let’s get the seed.”

The two men made their way to the far end of the room, where a circular vault was mounted flush with the cement wall. The vault door was protected by a bank-grade, dual-combination lock with twin tumblers. “Ready?” Holzberg asked.

Michelson nodded.

One after the other, the two men turned the pair of dials on the vault door four times each, alternating clockwise and counterclockwise. When the last of the eight numbers had been entered, Michelson pulled down hard on the heavy handle in the center of the door, and the vault opened with a metallic ka-chunk. He swung the door open slowly, and, as he did, the vault’s lights flickered, illuminating the interior with an ethereal blue light.

There was only one object in the vault: a clear glass cylinder about eight inches high and four inches in diameter housing an irregular black clump about the size of a golf ball. “The seed,” Holzberg whispered as he reached inside and retrieved the cylinder, cradling it carefully in both hands. He held it up to the light and peered inside. “Your secrets unfold today.”
Thirty minutes later, with the seed securely mounted in its special test chamber, and the chamber lowered deep into the pool, the two scientists returned to the control room for their final preparations.

“Transducer twenty-one?” said Holzberg, reading aloud from the test protocol.

Michelson pressed a button on the complex control panel and verified that transducer 21 was providing an appropriate signal. “Check.”

“Transducer twenty-two?”

Michelson repeated the procedure for transducer 22.


“That’s it then,” said Holzberg, turning to a new page in his notebook. “We’re ready.”

He checked his watch, which indicated 4:15 p.m. Then he picked up a microphone that was attached to the control panel by a long wire. “Gentlemen,” he announced over the lab’s PA system. “We are ready to commence experiment 213. Please take your positions.”

In the lab space below, the four technicians quickly took up positions at their various workstations. One after another, they gave the thumbs-up signal that they were ready.

“Energize the steady-field magnet,” announced Holzberg.

A loud, steady hum suddenly filled the lab, followed by the sound of rotating equipment slowly whirring to life.
Several seconds later, Michelson quietly reported over his shoulder that the steady-field magnet was energized and warming up.

“Remember,” Holzberg said, “bring it up slowly.”

Michelson nodded. “We’re at thirteen teslas and rising,” he said, his attention focused on a circular dial on the control panel.

“And the cooling water outlet temperature?”

Michelson glanced at another gauge. “Sixty-two degrees.”

Eight minutes later, Michelson announced they were at 25 teslas, the peak field for the steady-field magnet.

“Outlet temperature’s creeping up slightly,” he added with a hint of caution.

“What about delta T?”

Michelson pushed a button and read from a gauge on his panel. “Nothing yet. Zero point zero.”
Holzberg pressed the microphone button and announced to the lab, “Prepare to energize the pulse magnet.”
There was a flurry of activity in the lab space below as the technicians quickly went about opening valves, flipping switches, and starting various pumps and other equipment. Eventually, all four gave the thumbs-up signal.

“Ready,” reported Michelson.

Holzberg swallowed hard. This was it. He paused for a moment before giving the final command. “Energize it now.”
Michelson pulled down on an electrical breaker until it clicked loudly into place. A deep buzzing sound immediately permeated the entire laboratory. The overhead lights dimmed momentarily and then slowly returned to their original intensity. “Energized,” he reported nervously.

“Bring it up slowly.”

“Total field is twenty-seven point three teslas.” Michelson was slowly turning a large knob in the center of the control panel.

“Outlet temperature?”

“Seventy-eight degrees.”

“Keep going.”

Michelson continued turning the knob slowly until the magnetic-field strength had reached 70 teslas. There he paused and quickly checked his instruments.

“Outlet temperature is one hundred twenty-two degrees and rising,” he said nervously. “We don’t have much more room.”

“Any delta T?”

Michelson checked again and shook his head. “No. Still zero point zero.”

“Keep going,” said Holzberg.

Michelson nodded and again twisted the dial clockwise. He read out the magnetic-field strengths as he went.
“Seventy-six point four. Seventy-eight point zero. Eighty point two . . .”

“Temperatures, Irwin.”

Michelson quickly turned his attention to the outlet temperature gauge. “One hundred forty-five degrees and rising.”

“Keep going,” Holzberg said.

“Eighty-one teslas,” said Michelson nervously. “Eighty-two. Eighty-three.”

His voice cracked slightly. “Uh . . . we’re getting close to the outlet limit.”

“Any delta T yet?”

Michelson quickly checked. “No. Zero point zero.”

“We need a higher field.” Holzberg touched Michelson’s shoulder and nodded emphatically for him to continue.

Michelson’s voice grew increasingly nervous as he continued reporting the rising magnetic-flux levels. “Eighty-seven point three. Eighty-eight point four. Eighty-nine point six . . . ninety point one.”
Suddenly, there was a loud beep, and an amber light began flashing on the control panel.

“Outlet temperature alarm,” Michelson reported. “One hundred seventy-five degrees and still rising. Should I bring it back down?”

“No,” said Holzberg firmly. “We need a higher field.”

Michelson started to protest, but Holzberg cut him off.

“Irwin, the flux levels!”

Michelson snapped his attention back to the control panel. “Ninety-three point one . . . ninety-four point four . . .shit.”
Another shrill alarm sounded on the panel.

“Core temperature alarm!” Michelson shouted above the noise. “We’ve got to shut it down!” He began turning the knob counterclockwise.

“No!” Holzberg barked, grabbing his arm. “Check the delta T.”

Michelson wiped his brow and checked. “Delta T is . . . zero point one seconds.”

“My God,” Holzberg whispered. “It’s working!”

“Zero point two seconds,” Michelson reported, still holding down the button. “Zero point three . . . zero point four.”
“Bring it up just a bit more,” said Holzberg over the constant noise of the two alarms.


“Do it!” Holzberg snapped.

Michelson swallowed hard and slowly tweaked the knob clockwise to increase the power to the pulse magnet.

“We’re gonna lift a relief valve.”

“What’s the reading?”

Michelson pushed the delta T button. “Whoa . . .”

“What is it?”

“Ten point five seconds. That’s incredible.” He continued holding the button down. “Fourteen seconds . . . twenty . . . thirty . . . fifty . . .”

“We’ve done it!” Holzberg exclaimed, patting Michelson on the back. “Okay, you can bring it back down now.”

Michelson quickly began twisting the knob counterclockwise. After several seconds, however, he suddenly looked confused.

“What is it?”

“Outlet temperature’s . . . still going up.” Michelson quickly pushed the button for delta T again. “Holy shit.”

Holzberg leaned in close and observed that the dial for delta T was now spinning rapidly clockwise. An odometer-style counter below the dial indicated that the accumulated value was now at 500 seconds . . . 600 seconds . . . 700 seconds.. . . The dial was spinning faster and faster.

“Shut it down!” Holzberg bellowed.

“I am. Look!” Michelson showed that he had already twisted the knob for the pulse magnet all the way to the left.

“Cut the power!”

At that moment, a thunderous scream erupted in the lab space below, and thick plumes of steam instantly billowed up from the pool. The technicians could be heard screaming emphatically to each other.

“Relief valves are lifting!” Michelson yelled over the cacophony.

Holzberg was just about to say something when suddenly there was a blinding flash of white light below. Instinctively, he shielded his eyes.

“My God,” Michelson shouted. “Look at that!”

Holzberg uncovered his eyes and gazed in awe at the spectacle now occurring in the lab below him. A brilliant aura of light was hovering directly above the reactor pool, swirling in undulating patterns of blue, green, red, and yellow. The aura lasted for several seconds before giving way to a violent, blinding column of light that shot suddenly out of the pool, straight to the ceiling.

Holzberg again shielded his eyes.

A split second later, there was a loud whoosh and the entire lab filled with blinding white light. The control room windows shattered instantly, and Dr. Holzberg hit the floor.

The blinding light and whooshing sound subsided after several seconds, leaving in their place a terrifying jumble of alarm sirens and horns and the panicked shouts of the technicians below. Holzberg groped on hands and knees through the broken glass until he found the prone body of Dr. Michelson, who was either unconscious or dead.

“Irwin!” said Dr. Holzberg.

There was no response.

With effort, Holzberg pulled himself to his feet and gazed in utter disbelief at the chaos unfolding below him.
“Mein Gott,” he whispered. “What have we done?”

A second later, a man in a black leather coat suddenly appeared in the lab space below, seemingly from nowhere. Who is that? Holzberg wondered, utterly confused. And why does he look familiar?

About the Author

James Barney is the critically acclaimed author of The Genesis Key. He is an attorney who lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Gina at Partners in Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Classic Corner Review: Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly – Agatha Christie

Thursday, November 21st, 2013
E-Book: 75 Pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (November 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-
Order e-book here:


Hercule Poirot – Belgian Detective.
Ariadne Oliver – Mystery Writer and Amateur Sleuth.


Ariadne Oliver is hired by a wealthy family to host a murder mystery event at their lavish party. Hercule Poirot is called in to consult. However, things soon go very wrong, someone is murdered for real and Hercule Poirot is left to solve the case.


A very short mystery from one of the masters of the genre. This was originally written as a short story to be given to a fund to put stained glass windows in a church near her. HoweverThe amount was ₤1000 ($1,619) or ₤18,000 ($29,149.20) in today’s money. The length however proved to be a problem. It was too short for the novel market, and too long for the short story market. It was pulled from publication, and Ms. Christy used some of the information in her next full length novel Dead Man’s Folly. A much shorter story called Greenshaw’s Folly was published in 1956 and can be found in the short story collection The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding which was published in 1960.

When the opportunity to read this, a story that hadn’t as written here, been published, and not seen in 60 years, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I love Ms. Christie’s work and was eager to read it.

Having read it, I’ll say I enjoyed it. While it’s appeal will most likely be only to hard core Christie Fans, I found it an enjoyable short weekend read. There were some issues with it that made it apparent that it hadn’t had all the kinks ironed out. In the final solution, there are events that happened, that the reader had no way of knowing. In the field of mystery writing, that’s looked at as cheating. However, since this was never intended to be the completed product as-is, I look past that.

On a historical basis, I found it very interesting and a great looking into the development of a classic mystery novel. For fans of mysteries and particularly for dedicated fans of Ms. Christie, this is definitely one you want to pick up, just for a glimpse into the development cycle. If I had to rate it, I’d rate it PG-13 because there is a murder. It’s also, as common with all of Ms. Christie’s events, a tougher reader due to the British idioms, than a more modern mystery would be. Overall thought, for fans I’d recommend it. For $2.99 for the ebook and an entire evening or weekend’s entertainment, you can’t beat the price.

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920).

She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.


*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Danielle at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Abe Lincoln: Public Enemy – Brian Anthony & Bill Walker

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Bill Walker dba Lowtide Books (October 5, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: ISBN-10: 0989745708
ISBN-13: 978-ISBN-13: 978-0989745703
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Abraham Lincoln – 16th President and 1920s Mobster.
Hannah Wheelhouse – As a young girl, her grandfather cast a spell over the bullet used to shoot the President.
Melvin Purvis – An FBI Agent pursuing Lincoln on the Orders of J. Edgar Hoover.
Charlie Barns – A young drifter that Lincoln befriends.


John Wilkes Booth has shot the President. However, something went wrong, and the President did not die. Instead he remained in a coma to awaken in the 68 years later in 1933. Now he’s being pursued by the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover. He’s become a public enemy.


I found this quite a fun story. As a fan of this time period, it was interesting to see Lincoln interact with historical figures from that time period. If I had one issue with it, the character of FDR was a little more hostile than I would have thought. It didn’t seem to match his character as well, based on what I’ve read of him in other books. However, given the storyline, I was able to overlook that small discrepancy.

The rest of the book I found quite enjoyable. The action scenes were fun, and it was just kind of enjoyable to see Lincoln go full on gangster. While it’s not going to be the greatest story ever written, it’s a fun read especially for those interested in alternative histories.

I’d rate it for older teens and adults to the content of it, but I do recommend it for historical fiction fans. Grab a copy, and be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

Enjoy the Trailer

YouTube Preview Image


March 3, 1934
Lake County Jail
Crown Point, Indiana

Counselor Louis Piquett felt a trickle of cold sweat roll down between his shoulder blades and silently cursed God, the courts, and the governor of the state of Indiana. He couldn’t afford to be nervous today, yet his head pounded and his stomach churned from the breakfast he’d eaten at a roadside diner on the way to the jail. He fought back a wave of nausea and cranked open the Ford’s passenger side window, letting the raw March air wash over his face. He closed his eyes and breathed it in.

“You okay, Louis?”

Piquett turned toward his law partner, Arthur O’Leary, and nodded. “Right as rain. Just wish you’d turn down the blasted heat.”

O’Leary’s lips curled in a lopsided grin, which gave his narrow hawk-like face an air of mirthful menace. “Sorry…you know I’m always cold.”

Piquett took off his fedora and wiped his forehead with a wrinkled linen handkerchief. “Yeah, I know. You should go see the doctor about it.”

O’Leary grinned, and Piquett gazed out across South Main Street at the late-Victorian pile that was the Lake County Jail and Courthouse, his eyes scanning the mounted machineguns and the dozens of National Guardsmen manning them behind a four-foot high wall of fifty-pound sandbags.

“You’d think they were expecting the Kaiser’s army,” O’Leary said, chuckling.

“They just don’t know what to make of our client, Arthur. Lord knows, I sometimes wonder about him myself.”

“He doesn’t belong here, that’s for sure,” O’Leary said, shaking his head.

“Unfortunately, his enemies think otherwise. You and I both know he didn’t kill that federal officer.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Piquett stared back at his partner, his dark eyes like flints. “I know what you meant.” The handkerchief came out again. “You take care of the guards, like I asked you?”

O’Leary nodded. “There won’t be a search.”

Piquett patted the left side of his suit jacket. “They find this on me and we’ve got a lot more trouble than we ever bargained for.”

O’Leary shot his partner a look of annoyance. “Nobody’s got a gun to your head, Louis.”

Despite the rumble in his guts, Piquett smiled. “That’s why I like you, Arthur. You always look at the bright side.” He glanced at his watch. “Time to go. Wish me luck.”

O’Leary nodded, and Piquett eased himself out of the Ford and closed the door. He hesitated a moment then leaned in through the open window. “If I’m not out in twenty minutes, you get on out of here. You remember where I put the emergency funds?

“I remember.”

“Good. Keep lookin’ at that bright side, Arthur.”

Piquett slapped the roof of the Ford and strode toward the jail. Passing through the narrow opening in the sandbags, he gave the soldiers a cordial nod, climbed the steps and disappeared into the building.

Following an official clearance, and after passing through a succession of remotely-controlled gates, he stood before the final door separating him from his client. The lone guard, seated at a scarred oak desk, motioned toward the open logbook lying in front of him. Piquett picked up a pen off the blotter and signed his name with a flourish.

“Morning, officer,” he said, handing back the pen.

The guard, a scrawny young man with greasy black hair and a dull look in his eyes, took back the pen with a smirk spreading across his face.

“Yeah, well, it ain’t so good for that client a yours, counselor.”

Piquett’s trial-winning smile widened. “Well, we’re all innocent in the eyes of the law, until proven guilty, officer. That’s the very foundation on which our great and glorious nation resides. Besides, you never know how a day’s going to end, until it’s over.”

The guard frowned, his puzzled expression making him look even less intelligent. “You mind standing back and raising your arms, counselor?” he said. “Gotta search ya.”

Piquett’s stomach rolled over, but he managed to keep the grin plastered to his face, even as he felt the sweat break out anew.

Just then an older guard stuck his head in the doorway.

“He’s clean, Jeff.”

The younger guard’s frown deepened. “But Sheriff Holley said we was to search every visitor ‘fore I pass ‘em through this point.”

The older man leaned into the room, his face flushing. “And I’m tellin’ you he’s clean.”

Piquett watched the tense exchange between the two guards and said a silent prayer.

The younger guard appeared to think about this for a moment, the gears in his mind grinding slowly. Then he sighed and shook his head. “You say he’s clean, Irv, then fine, he’s clean.”

The older guard nodded, giving Piquett a knowing look the younger guard missed then left the room. The younger guard stood and threw the lever that operated the automatic doors. There was a loud “clunk,” followed by the whir of machinery. The door slid open and clanged to a stop.

Another guard appeared on the other side of the open doorway and motioned for Piquett to follow.

They passed through a corridor lined with empty holding cells. At the end of the hall Piquett spotted a wooden chair facing one of the cells. The guard motioned for him to sit. For a fleeting moment, Piquett toyed with the notion of turning around and leaving, going back to the car and driving away–maybe take that vacation he’d always promised himself. But then, whatever was left of his tattered code of ethics took over and he eased himself into the chair.

“Thank you, officer,” he said to the guard. “I’ll let you know when we’re done.

The guard nodded, retraced his steps down the corridor and disappeared around the corner. Piquett kept his eye on the corridor for another moment then turned toward the cell.

His client sat in a matching hardback chair dressed in a white shirt, charcoal-gray vest and matching pants. He was impossibly tall–even sitting down–and impossibly…there. The face he’d grown up admiring, the face that graced the penny and the five-dollar bill now sat watching him with a look of bemusement, gray eyes twinkling in the harsh glow of the bare bulb hanging from the ceiling.

“Good morning, counselor,” Lincoln said in his high, soft-spoken voice.

“Good morning, Mr. President.”

“Please, Mr. Piquett, I do not think it fitting to refer to me by that hallowed moniker, especially when viewed in the harsh light of my present circumstances.”

Piquett felt his face redden. “I’m sorry, sir, you’ll have to forgive me. I much admired your administration, your achievements.”

Lincoln smiled revealing gaps between his teeth. “And while my achievements may make me immortal, I am an inconvenient reality whose presence is a reminder of things some would prefer to forget. As far as those demigods who now reside in Washington are concerned, I am a man out of time and out of step with the problems of the day.”

“I disagree, Mr. Lincoln.”

Lincoln slapped his knee and chuckled. “You know what’s truly ironic, counselor? The tenor of Washington has not changed all that much. I suspect the streets are cleaner and summers are more tolerable nowadays, but those puffed-up politicians have raised backstabbing to a high art. Practice makes perfect. Did you bring it, Mr. Piquett?”

The abrupt shift in the conversation flustered the lawyer for a moment. “Y-yes, sir.”

He reached into his jacket and pulled out a small package wrapped in butcher paper and tied with twine. He handed it through the bars and Lincoln took it with his large, calloused hand. The package disappeared into his pocket.

“Thank you, counselor, you’ve been most helpful. And I appreciate all that you’ve done. I was especially inspired by your performance in the courtroom during my arraignment last month.”

Piquett puffed with pride. “It was an honor, sir. I just wish I could’ve done more.”

Lincoln stood and thrust his hand through the bars. “You’ve done more than any man could ask. If I have need of you again, I will surely call on you.”

The lawyer grasped his client’s hand, feeling the strength in the older man’s grip.

“Where will you go?” Piquett asked.

Lincoln’s expression turned melancholy. “Back into the history books where I belong, counselor…if they’ll let me….”

Ten minutes later, as O’Leary guided the Ford through the crush of late morning traffic, Piquett thought about the small wrapped package he’d given Lincoln and wondered–in spite of his sordid lack of ethics–if he’d done the right thing, after all.

* * *

Jail Handyman Sam Cahoon went cold all over when he felt the barrel of a pistol jabbing into the small of his back. But it was that high voice in his ears that sent his heart racing.

“I’ve got to be going, Sam,” Lincoln said, “and I need your help. Please don’t make me use this. I know only too well what it can do.”

Lincoln guided him over to the locked steel door leading to the adjoining room and motioned for Sam to call out to the guards. A large black man rose from a nearby table where he’d been playing solitaire and joined them. When Sam continued to hesitate, Lincoln kicked the door with his foot, sending a booming sound reverberating around the Day Room, which now fell silent.

“That you, Sam?” came the voice from the other side of the door.

Sam looked to Lincoln, his eyes wide with fright. Lincoln pressed the barrel harder into the handyman’s back and nodded.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Sam said. “I’m done in here.”

“All right,” the voice replied.

A moment later came the rattle of keys and the door swung inward. Lincoln kicked the door hard, sending the startled guard behind it sprawling, then he shoved Sam Cahoon aside and grabbed the guard, who was scrambling to his feet.

“Y-you out of your mind?” the guard sputtered.

“So they tell me, son. Now you go on and get us into the guardroom, and no tricks.”

The guard’s hands trembled, causing him to fumble with the keys. Lincoln jabbed the barrel harder into the guard’s back, eliciting a moan of fear from the man.

“Hurry, now.”

“I g-got it,” the guard said, slapping the key into the lock and twisting it. They burst into the guardroom, where a civilian fingerprint technician and one other guard sat drinking coffee and chewing on jelly donuts, their eyes as round as saucers. Lincoln spotted two Thompsons with fully loaded drum magazines sitting on the windowsill and nodded to the black man.

“Mr. Youngblood, we shall require those fine instruments of destruction.”

The black man chuckled and grabbed them, handing one to Lincoln, who then held up the pistol he’d used for all to see. A sly grin spread across his face. It was a crudely carved wooden gun blackened with shoe polish, the words “Colt .38″ etched into its side.

Both the guard and the fingerprint technician shook their heads in disgust.

Lincoln’s grin widened. “Well, now, it does seem one can fool some of the people all of the time.” He put the wooden gun back into his pocket and waved the barrel of the submachine gun towards the exit door.

“Mr. Youngblood, take this officer to one of the cells.”

“Yes, sir.”

Youngblood manhandled the guard out of the room and returned moments later.

Lincoln looked at the fingerprint technician, who sat frozen, the jelly donut still hanging from his mouth.

“What’s your name, son?” Lincoln asked.

The young technician yanked the donut from his mouth.

“Uh, Ernest Blunk, sir. You gonna shoot me?”

“I have no desire to kill anyone, Mr. Blunk, but I am getting out of here. It’s your choice.” Lincoln’s gaze was implacable and Blunk nodded soberly and stood up.

“All right, gentlemen,” Lincoln said, “shall we take our leave?”

After a short trip down two corridors and one flight of stairs, they emerged into the alley. Lincoln eyed the narrow passageway in both directions, noting the way was clear. He smiled and turned to Blunk, who stood with his arms wrapped around himself, shivering in the cold.

“Where’s the garage, son? The one with the private cars.”

“Down the alley, around the c-corner, behind the courts.”

“Let’s go.”

The garage was in a shed-like building with a sliding wooden door that reminded Lincoln of an old barn. The door shrieked on its rusty rails as Youngblood slid it open. Inside it was toasty warm and reeked of gasoline and spilled oil. A lone mechanic lay under a late-model Chevy, banging away at a water pump and cursing under his breath. Another man sat behind a desk in the small glassed-in office. Just then a woman walked into the garage.

“Mr. Saager, is my car–” She stopped in mid-sentence when she spotted Lincoln and Youngblood wielding the two Thompsons and fainted dead away, her limp body slapping against the grimy concrete.

Youngblood handed his Thompson to Lincoln, picked up the woman and deposited her inside the office on a battered sofa. The black man motioned for the man at the desk to move and the man scrambled out the door with his hands in the air.

“What’s the fastest car in here?” Lincoln asked, handing Youngblood back his Thompson.

The man from the office looked around and nodded toward the mechanic under the Chevy.

“Hudak’d know best.”

“Ask him to join us.”

The man eased over to the Chevy and gave the mechanic’s leg a nudge with his foot.

“What you want, Saager?”

“We got a man here asking about fast cars.”

“What do I look like, a salesman? I’m up to my butt in work here, in case you hadn’t noticed, and I got to get this damn Chevy out of here by two.”

Saager looked to Lincoln and shrugged. Youngblood raised the barrel of his Thompson and Saager paled a few shades whiter. He kicked the mechanic harder and said. “You get on out here, Hudak, if you know what’s good for you.”

The mechanic slid out from under the car, the curses on his lips dying away when he spotted the two men and their machineguns.


“What’s the fastest car in here?” Lincoln asked.

Hudak jabbed his finger toward a sleek brand-new car parked in a corner, its jet-black paint gleaming under the hooded lights. “That there Ford. Got a real honey of a V-8.”

“That’ll be fine, Mr. Hudak.”

“But that’s Sheriff Holley’s new car.”

Lincoln laughed. “Even better. Mr. Blunk, you will drive. Mr. Hudak, you and your partner will disable all the other vehicles in the garage.”

Hudak looked incredulous.

“Now, Mr. Hudak.”

The mechanic walked toward the Chevy, shaking his head. When he reached the car, he opened the hood and started gingerly pulling wires.

Youngblood rolled his eyes, grabbed a hammer and pushed the mechanic aside. “Not like that–like this.” He swung the hammer down onto the spark plugs one by one, shattering them then pounded holes in the carburetor. He handed the hammer to Hudak. “Now, go to it, my man. Just like the boss says.”

In moments every other car was disabled and Blunk pulled the Sheriff’s car up to the door, the engine revving with a throaty roar. Lincoln and Youngblood climbed in and Lincoln hung his Thompson out the window at Saager and Hudak. Neither man moved.

“All right, Mr. Blunk. Let us proceed.”

The car pulled into the alley and then out onto East Street. Lincoln swiveled his head back and forth, looking to see if anyone followed. “Nice and slow,” he said. “It wouldn’t do to draw attention to ourselves.”

They passed the courthouse and Lincoln smiled when he spotted all the soldiers. They swung around a parked bus and pulled up to a stoplight. A bank sat on one of the corners and Lincoln stared at it. “Mighty tempting to procure us some traveling money, but I think we’ve worn out our welcome here, Mr. Youngblood.”

Yes, sir, Mr. Lincoln,” the black man said, grinning from ear to ear. The light turned green and the car sped out of town. When they reached State Road 8, Lincoln relaxed and began singing an old hymn. His singing voice was surprisingly tuneful and brought a smile even to Blunk’s dour face.

“Where we going, anyway?” Blunk asked when Lincoln had finished singing.

“Wherever the winds of fate shall take us.”

Youngblood laughed as the car sped off down the road.

The Great Emancipator was free.

About the Author

Bill Walker is an award-winning writer whose works include novels, short stories and screenplays.  His first novel, Titanic 2012, was enthusiastically received by readers, and Bill’s two short story collections, Five Minute Frights and Five Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites.  A highly-respected graphic designer, Walker has worked on books by such luminaries as Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King.  His most recent novel, A Note from an Old Acquaintance, was published in 2009.

Brian Anthony is a writer and award-winning filmmaker. His first feature film, Victor’s Big Score, was praised by Variety as “A tremendous calling card for writer-producer-director Brian Anthony.” As a writer-producer Anthony has contributed to shows for American Movie Classics, Arts and Entertainment, and Fox Syndication, including Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Lost in Space Forever. A veteran film historian, Anthony has been interviewed on network television regarding film history, and co-authored the acclaimed biography of the film comedian Charley Chase, Smile While the Raindrops Fall, in 1998. Brian is an expert art and book restorationist, and you can see his work at Anthony Restorations.

Tour Participants:

10/05 ~ Showcase, Review & Giveaway @ Deal Sharing Aunt
10/06 ~ Review & Giveaway @ rantin ravin and reading
10/11 ~ Showcase @ CMash Reads
10/16 ~ Review @ Vics Media Room
10/17 ~ Review @ Community Bookstop
10/18 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Gabina49s Blog
10/25 ~ Review & Giveaway @ The Stuff of Success
10/28 ~ Review, Interview & Giveaway @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
10/29 ~ Guest Post, Review & Giveaway @ The book Faery reviews
10/30 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Tales of a Book Addict
11/04 ~ Review & Giveaway @ My Cozie Corner
11/05 ~ Showcase @ Thoughts In Progress
11/06 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Popcorn Reads
11/07 ~ Review @ My Devotional Thoughts
11/08 ~ Review & Giveaway @ Now is Gone
11/11 ~ Review & Giveaway @ WTF Are You Reading?

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Giveaway – Abe Lincoln: Public Enemy

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Thanks to Gina at Partners in Crime Tours I”m able to offer my readers 1 e-book copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 11/21/2013.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

1 people like this post.

Review: A trio of Dog stories by Susan Wilson

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

One Good Dog
A Man of His Own
The Dog Who Danced

Susan Wilson has written a number of books, but the three above are her dog stories. Since I’m a sucker for a good dog story, these are the three I’ve read. The Dog Who Danced is the story of a blue merle Sheltie and his owner and how they accidentally part ways and then find each other again. A Man of his Own is a WWII story, and a love story, as well as a dog story. When Rick Stanton goes off to fight for our country, he leaves his beloved dog Pax with his wife. But she discovers that dogs like Pax are in demand to help fight the war, and protect soldiers like her husband. She sends Pax off to be a war dog. Both Rick and Pax return — changed. How they deal with the changes is the heart of the story. And One Good Dog is the story of a power-driver who, in one very bad moment, destroys everything he’s built up in his life. How he rebuilds his life, and how a pit bull helps him do it, are the heart of this story.

First let me say — I can’t stand dog stories where the dogs are portrayed as little humans in fur coats. When one like this makes it to the best seller list, I do usually read it, but I roll my eyes a lot in the process. So, full marks for Ms. Wilson, who never made me roll my eyes once in the process of reading these three books. Her dogs are dogs. We are privy to some of their thoughts, especially in One Good Dog, but they are dog thoughts — or at least, thoughts that could reasonably be attributed to dogs, by people who know them well. The dogs are well drawn characters, which is the best thing dogs can be in books. They are not props, and they are not people. The human characters are well drawn too and their stories well told.

I haven’t quite committed to reading any of Ms. Wilson’s other books, which tells you I’m not totally in love with her writing. But if she comes out with a new dog story, I’ll definitely be reading it!

About the Author

Susan is the author of seven well-received novels including her 2010 novel, ONE GOOD DOG, which enjoyed six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Her 1996 novel BEAUTY was made into a CBS Sunday Night Movie starring Jamey Sheridan and Janine Turner and can still be seen occasionally on the Lifetime network.

She is working on her next novel, another work featuring the complicated relationship between humans and the dogs they love.

She lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. She has two grown daughters and two grandchildren. Susan also lives with her demanding terrierist, Bonnie. You can visit her site at Susan Wilson Writes.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

2 people like this post.

Guest Post: – Giacomo Giammatteo – Murder Has Consequences

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

What Do You Expect From A Book?

I’m writing this post as a reader, not an author. I read a lot of books, although admittedly it’s been sporadic of late. I read mysteries, fantasies, science fiction, history, business, and any others that happen to pique my interest at the time. I’m usually a sucker for a good animal book. And quite often, my reading habits will run in spurts. I might go a month or more of reading nothing but mysteries, but if I hit a run of bad or mediocre books, I’ll switch to another genre to jumpstart my enjoyment.

When I was thinking about this I realized that I expect different things out of the different type books. As an example, if I’m reading a business book, I want nothing but the facts, and I don’t like it when the authors beat around the bush and waste my time. If I’m reading a business book, it’s to learn something, not to be entertained. Not that the two can’t go hand-in-hand, but I like business books to get to the point quickly.

If it’s a fantasy book I want to be whisked away to a different world, or a different time. I’d like to get lost in an imaginary place where impossible things can be done. A science fiction book should make me believe that whatever technology they’re talking about could really happen sometime in the future. A mystery doesn’t necessarily have to keep me guessing, but it should be filled with suspense. I want to be tempted to turn the page at the end of each chapter.

The Negative Side

The things that bother me probably play more of a role in whether I enjoy a book or not.

  • If there are mistakes, like typos, misused words, spelling errors, or bad formatting—I’ll probably stop reading. (A few are okay,
    but more than 6 or so, and I’m through with that book.)
  • If the characters are flat and one dimensional, I’ll probably stop reading.
  • If the plot falls apart or if it has too many holes in it, I’ll stop reading.
  • And if the ending is put together as if they had to trim a puzzle piece to fit that last slot—then I probably won’t read that
    author again.

The Positive

Assuming the book doesn’t have the pitfalls mentioned above, the one thing that all books need to have—with the exception of history and business—is a cast of strong characters. Characters I can relate to and believe in. Characters I understand so well that I know what
they’ll do before they do it. For me, that’s what makes a great book.

What about you? I’d love to hear what you expect from a book?

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.

Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals–12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs.

Oh, and one crazy–and very large–wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.

Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night–late at night–I turn into a writer.

Go check out the website: Look around, click some links, and, if you’ve got time, tell me what you think.

Review: Murder Has Consequences – Giacomo Giammatteo

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: Inferno Publishing Company (May 21, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985030267
ISBN-13: 978-0985030261
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Frankie Donovan – New York City detective, friend to Nicky Fusco.
Nicky Fusco – Ex. Con attempting to turn his life around.
Tom Jackson – A just released from prison killer, going on another killing spree.


Three stories, three murders. Many questions. Will Nicky Fusco break his promise to his wife? Why is Tom Jackson going around killing people, and who committed the other murders?


Mr. Giammatteo has done it again with Murder Has Consequences. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and every book has been an extreme pleasure to read. This latest is no exception. Mr. Giammatteo manages to spin three different stories at one time, eventually tying them up into a neat package.

The characters have become embedded so much in my mind, that each time I read of them, it’s like making a trip back home. He brings the city and streets of New York to life, and I can almost picture myself there with Nicky or Donovan.

Overall, I think my favorite character has to be Nicky. He’s the bad guy with the heart of gold, and would do anything for someone he calls a friend. The new character of Tom Jackson is a very disturbing individual, and a very nicely developed character. You can tell why the other characters would fear him.

Overall, Murder has Consequences is a great mystery, a great addition to his continuing series, and a very enjoyable book. If you’ve not read Mr. Giammatteo’s books, pick up the first one and start there. I look forward to his next entries in both this series and his others.

We are pleased to provide you with the opportunity to win a copy of this book. To enter the contest go here and sign up.

About the Author

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.

Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals–12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs.

Oh, and one crazy–and very large–wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.

Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night–late at night–I turn into a writer.

Go check out the website: Look around, click some links, and, if you’ve got time, tell me what you think.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Gina at Partners In Crime for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

2 people like this post.

Giveaway – Murder Has Consequences

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Thanks to Gina at Partners in Crime tours, I’m able to offer my readers 1 copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 11/14/2013.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

1 people like this post.