Sunday, December 11, 2016

State Police Corporal Sam Deland leads his tight knit squad of troopers desperately trying to solve a brutal double murder that has stunned their quiet upstate community. SINK RATE BY MIKE FULLER

Title: Sink Rate
ISBN: 978-1-62420-196-7
Author: Mike Fuller

Genre: suspense
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3


State Police Corporal Sam Deland leads his tight knit squad of troopers desperately trying to solve a brutal double murder that has stunned their quiet upstate community.


Corporal Sam Deland has a lot on his plate. He’s a dog lover, single dad, jet pilot, likes girls and his tight knit state police squad is buried under the weight of an unsolved brutal double murder that has stunned his quiet upstate community. The pressure mounts as Sam’s team tracks the bad guys into Philadelphia’s tough, gritty streets. The characters are the real story though, and with humor, hard work and luck, Sam’s team draws the reader’s mind to unexpected and surprising places. Realistic police work with a rich descriptive character and scene portrayal is carefully crafted into a story that you will not want to put down. 


Calvin said, "He's slowing down." Just as he said that, the brake lights came on and the passenger door came open.
"Wait, Johnny. A man's getting out. Man, that guy fits Yancey's description!" Calvin had to make the call. He grabbed the mic and said quickly, "Valley 17 to Philly 35, blue van out front pulling away, grab Dugan and try to get it stopped, we're going in." Calvin popped the door handle and was out on the sidewalk. Johnny shut off the car and grabbed the keys. He was about six steps behind Calvin as they sprinted toward the figure walking from the van up to the front door.
Don thought he heard something on the radio. It was muffled from where he was standing in the dark alley just behind the big station wagon trying to piss as fast as he could. He drank a lot of Mountain Dew with the salty ham and it was catching up to him.
Frank Dugan saw the van pull up and the black guy get out. The light was better on his side of the house and he recognized Jerome Yancey from the mug shot. The van was driven by another, bigger, black male and it pulled quickly away as soon as Yancey was out. Dugan decided, fuck the van, he knew the troopers wanted to talk to Yancey. Now appeared to be the time. He popped his door open and figured he would meet up with the troopers and see what Jerome had to say.
"Hey, Jerome, got a minute?" Calvin called from two houses away. Jamal was on the step and turned to see two men, one black and one white, running toward him. He knew what that meant, cops.
"Valley 17, did you call me?" Don spoke quietly into the radio microphone. "Calvin, did you say something?"
Jamal accelerated into the front door and hit it hard with his left shoulder and turned the handle at the same time. It was locked, but only with the knob latch. That gave under his weight and the door burst inward with a crash. Dugan saw the suspect slam into the house and started running as fast as his out of shape legs could move him.
"Johnny, do you copy?" Don asked over the air.
Calvin got out, "Police, stop!" but only Jamal's back was visible going through the door. Calvin caught the movement of Detective Dugan to his left and shouted to Johnny, "He's gonna come out the back!"
The two women and the older man visibly jumped when Jamal exploded into the room from the front door. The mother got out a "Hey!" as Jamal leaped the coffee table and knocked over the bottle of beer in front of the man, flashing between them and the new television.
Calvin started his turn to the right and motioned with his left hand pointing to Dugan advancing on the front steps. Johnny was just registering Calvin's warning about the back and now tried to interpret what he meant by the hand signals. They hadn't gone over this part. Calvin was even farther ahead of Johnny by now and was up to sprinter's speed angling for the right side of the house. It flashed in Johnny's mind that Calvin wanted him and Dugan to go through the house to keep Jerome from going back in and they would grab him in the alley. Yeah, that was it.
Dugan huffed across the small lawn, almost tripping over the short step up onto the front walk and could see the front door was open and lights were on inside.
Jamal was through the dining room and into the kitchen in four long strides and went straight for the back door. His right hand was behind him reaching for the Colt and he extended his left to the lock set above the knob. He knew it would be locked. He reached the door and his forward motion pushed him into it hard. The .45 wasn't firmly in his grip and almost tumbled from his hand. He caught it by the barrel and held on.
Calvin crossed the yard and went down the side of the house. Several lawn chairs and a small table were on a concrete slab between Calvin and the back. He had to slow and clipped one of the chairs as he passed through them. His feet stumbled in the dirt and he had to slow even more to regain his balance.
Johnny watched Calvin pulling away and move into the dimmer light of the side yard between the houses. To his left he could see Dugan trudging to the steps and followed him up and onto the porch.
Jamal got it on the second try and yanked the door open. He took a quick step out, bringing his pistol up and out in front of him. Hesitating just a moment, he looked for any cops at the back before starting onto the landing and down the steps to the alley.
It was close enough to see the back door just past the red Lexus open and a figure step out. The figure sort of jumped onto the little porch and stopped. Jeez, that guy's got something in his hand, Don thought. The man on the porch then jumped down the steps and was in the alley looking to his right.
Dugan stopped at the door and Johnny almost ran him over. He sidestepped around him and brushed past to enter the house. Even with the television on, Johnny could hear the back door bang against the frame.
Calvin did a stutter step and got back on course for the right rear of the house. He took three more big steps and saw something move behind a big bush at the corner of the house. He knew it didn't belong there and as his body moved closer, the movement turned into the shape of a gun barrel. Calvin thought gun and started to reach for his Glock at his right hip. The next step he took was a bit longer than the last and his foot didn't hit the ground at the same level as the last one did. Calvin's left knee extended and his upper body began to drop.
Jamal heard the noise as he moved in the alley to the right rear of the house. The .45 swung at chest level toward the corner and he closed the distance in two quick steps. His thumb pushed the safety off and he started his trigger squeeze.
He couldn't move fast enough. Don saw the man take the steps down in a leap and swing the gun out toward the corner of the house. Don's left hand was on the door handle and his right was gripping his automatic, while his whole body moved left to get out of the car.
Johnny slowed to look at the occupants of the room. The younger woman was starting to get up out of the chair and the woman on the couch with the man had her hands up to the sides of her head and began a scream.
Calvin was falling and he knew it. The hole was only four inches deep, but the effect it had when he stepped into it with all his weight was to jolt him hard and force him down and to the left. He couldn't get his hand on the gun and now could clearly see it was Jerome standing just beyond the bush pointing the gun at his chest.

Join Jenni as the man in her dreams becomes a reality and the lusty adventure to find their way home begins.. DEEP SPACE DREAMING BY LORETTA LAIRD

Title: Deep Space Dreaming
Author: Loretta Laird
ISBN: 978-1-62420-164-6

Genre: Sci-Fi/Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 4
Book Heat Level: 1


Join Jenni as the man in her dreams becomes a reality and the lusty adventure to find their way home begins..    


Humankind has spread like roaches across the universe thanks to the technology provided by a benevolent race known as the Trinz. Little did they know of the greed of humanity. A few pure souls began to dream of a paradise called Killanti, a new world where life could begin again.

Jenni dreams of a man who passes through her dreams and into her bed. Together they embark on a quest for answers that leads them across the universe and into each other’s hearts. Can their love transport them to their own utopia?


Deep Space Dreaming
Loretta Laird

By David Cairns 
4 Stars out of 5

What appeared at first to be a cheesy romance novel, the kind which I seldom read, turned out to be a really fun read. I'm more of a soft sci-fi fan than a hard one when it comes to books, so the plot of this story which involved a number of planets and species really appealed. Lead character, Jenni is a human who literally meets the man of her dreams. He happens to not only be Trinz,not human, but also devastatingly handsome and in possession of a forked tongue. (engage imagination for erotica) Deep Space Dreaming is at heart a love story, or more precisely, a red hot love story but the science fiction setting and plot which house the love story make it very interesting,more interesting than I expected. It's soft science fiction which supports the plot rather than overwhelming it, and the reader with technicalities.

I don't read a lot of erotica because I tend to find it all amusing rather than arousing, and I'm just not that into reading descriptions of love making regardless of how poetic they are, but I really enjoyed Deep Space Dreaming, and Laird's turn of phrase. This is an easy to read and entertaining novel with nicely imagined creatures from other worlds and a running commentary from them on the faults of humankind which might have upset the late, great Gene Roddenberry, Deep Space Dreaming works as entertainment. I highly recommend it.


As her eyes opened and the early rays of the simulated daylight bombarded her senses, a cry of disappointment escaped Jenni's rosy, swollen lips. She reached up a hand and touched the tender flesh, feeling where the pressure of rough lips had assaulted them with desperate fervor as she bid a passionate farewell only moments prior. It seemed so real, her head throbbed where it struck a rock and her fingers gently explored the spot. Gasping Jenni felt the tender swell of the lump and recalled how she lost her footing on the rock. Her dream returned as it did each and every night. Yet this time it changed; this time he had been there. He revealed himself, no longer content to linger in the shadows of her mind.
It was a dream that haunted Jenni's every waking moment, pulling her back to blessed slumber each night. Her days were spent moving from task to task in a kind of trance, her mind elsewhere, thinking of the vivid dreams that were becoming more and more real.
Jenni's colleagues noticed a change in her in recent weeks. They commented on the way her pallid skin contrasted with the dark circles that rimmed her pale blue eyes. Their concern was touching to a girl who had no remaining family. Jenni, at the tender age of twenty three, was the youngest navigational pilot assigned to a seeker vessel. Her grades at the University of Holborn 4 had been exemplary. At her post on Chicago 3, Jenni was in charge of navigation. Her role was to patrol and seek out rebels who may be harbored among the, thus far unchartered, planets of the Romeo Zone.
She was content with her lot. She loved to charter the planets and stars, marveling at the beauties of the universe. Jenni loathed the created atmospheres of the planetary domes. She longed for the freedom to explore a planet such as the one in her dreams where fresh air prevailed and greenery surrounded her. The feel of her bare feet on the soft, damp grass appeared to her as real as the constant presence that eluded her until last night. For last night, the bare chested man sought her out and made himself known to her.
The dreams started shortly after the tragic death of her parents. Jenni was eighteen. She had just begun her space pilot training and was awaiting her first leave. She planned to spend time with her parents on their home world of Texas 9, in the Lima Zone, when news of their demise reached her. Jenni's grief had been raw. Her tears fell relentlessly and none of her classmates could rouse her from her mourning. Sleep brought her only comfort as it blocked out the pain that ripped through her heart. At first, Jenni dreamed of a world cloaked in mist that swirled and moved in mysterious patterns around her. She sensed mountain ranges looming through the vapor, but no concrete images would form in her mind. Each wakening, she would try in vain to recreate the land she conjured in her dreaming. After many nights, hills and valleys had taken shape and Jenni felt a calmness that aided her sleep and refreshed her tired mind. Each night she would long for slumber to engulf her so she could escape from the metal world in which she resided to the landscapes of her dreams.
Time passed and the dream did not fade; rather the world grew around her. New life sprung up as flowers and streams appeared. Jenni was soon among the fragrant growth, strolling through gardens that seemed to be hers alone. Small flying creatures buzzed softly in her ear as gentle breezes caressed her face. The grass beneath her feet was as soft as the covers on her bed and she reveled in the sensation of sinking her toes into its lush pile.
The man appeared one night at the edges of her consciousness as if watching her wonder and contentment. She tried to turn her head and observe him fully, but he remained elusive and distant. Jenni could feel it was a male presence. She didn't know how but she just knew. Each waking, Jenni would try to recapture her dream; try to piece together the puzzle of his identity. As he continued to observe her, Jenni felt a sense of peace settle upon her. His presence somehow brought comfort to her pain and loneliness. She tried to engage him, tried to draw him into her dream more fully. She sensed a deep reluctance, a wave of regret that left her breathless. In the dawn, Jenni would awaken, her face wet with tears as she mourned for her own loss as well as a loss she could not explain.
With time, Jenni began to learn how to move freely within her dream. No longer was she an observer of her own actions but in control of them. Each night she would seek out new wonders, new glens and pools in which she would frolic. Each night, the same benevolent force regarded her conduct with silent appraisal.
One night, not long after she had been assigned to Chicago 3, Jenni's dreams changed. She drifted off to sleep as usual, eager to return to the land where she roamed free. Finding herself beside her favorite pool, Jenni shed her loose white shift and stepped naked into the crystal blue water. The edge of the pool was shelved, allowing her to stand waist high in the water. Beyond the rocky ledge the pool opened into a deep clear lagoon. The motion of her body in the still pool caused gentle ripples that lapped against her silky skin. Enjoying the sensation, Jenni threw back her head and laughed with unbounded joy. She paused as an unfamiliar sound reached her ears. It was a low rumble as if an animal growled in the dense trees beyond. Waiting to hear if anything was approaching, Jenni held her breath. When no further sound shattered the peaceful glade, she continued with her bathing. Dipping herself under the water then submerging, she repeated the pattern, finally emerging breathlessly at the surface. Flicking her long strawberry blond hair so it cascaded down the sun kissed flesh on her back, Jenni shivered. Chilled by the depth of the water, she decided to exit the pool and restore her body temperature. The large, smooth rocks that circled the pool provided a place to lay and feel the warmth of the sun on her bare flesh, and she eagerly climbed upon them, stretching out and basking in the glow of the fiery orb. As usual the perpetual presence lingered out of her reach, just at the edge of her vision, elusive yet constant.
The sun quickly did its work, and Jenni was soon aching for the feel of the cool water once again. She stood up, this time with the thought of diving from the rocks into depth of the pool. Smooth and slippery, the rocks proved to be a hazard for the adventurous diver as her foot slipped and she fell into the water, striking her head on the rock as she tumbled.
As water rushed into her body, quickly filling her lungs, Jenni sensed a blackness overwhelm her. Her eyes closed as she lost consciousness. Unsure if she were still dreaming, Jenni felt two strong hands pull her from the water across the hard surface of the rocks and onto the soft blanket of the grassy bank. Unable to open her eyes yet fully aware, she coughed as a deluge of water travelled through her body, anxious to make its escape. The same two hands turned her on her side as water spewed unceremoniously from her mouth. Gasping for air, Jenni forced her eyes open against the glare of the sun. Two dark eyes looked back at her from under a scowling set of eyebrows.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Silent Sonora is a life history centered in depression era Scottsdale, Arizona. A tent-dwelling family's struggles, aspirations, tragedies, and triumphs--are revealed.SILENT SONORA BY JEFFREY ROSS

Title: Silent Sonora
Author: Jeffrey Ross

Genre: Life History
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1


Silent Sonora is a life history centered in depression era Scottsdale, Arizona. A tent-dwelling family's struggles, aspirations, tragedies, and triumphs--are revealed.


Silent Sonora details the life of a heroic young girl, Lillian Carroll, whose family resides in two tents during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Set in depression-era Scottsdale Arizona, the book reveals Lillian’s daily life experiences, the family’s struggles, and her quest for a better life through education. Lillian tells readers directly about tent life, the local “emerging” Arizona communities, and the ongoing hardships she and her family confront.  Both of Lillian’s parents are deaf—her father works in the local agricultural industry, while her strong-willed mother endeavors to make the best home she can for her children.  Lillian admits that “life was tough,” but assures us she and her family had good times, too. Ultimately, Lillian’s desire for a better education helps her situation—her love of family and strong faith give her the support she needs to finally gain independence.


The Tent Household

About 1930, we were living in two tents, a twenty foot by twenty foot tent, and a sixteen foot by sixteen foot tent. Dad always put our dwellings up in a road's right-of-way or else worked out an appropriate arrangement with a property owner, like Charles Miller. Mom and dad never paid any rent to set up our tents.

The tents had poles inside to provide support, and both tents had flaps and screened places to let in fresh air. A smokestack stuck through the roof of the larger tent to allow cook stove smoke out. Our tents had been coated with a chemical to make them waterproof. Living in tents was rather primitive, as you might expect.

Our tents were connected by a kind of patio covering my dad created. This covering was quite large, about twelve feet in length. We would sit under the cover to be comfortable. When company came, we would always sit out there. One tent, the smaller one, had the kitchen, the kitchen table, and a small cot for my oldest brother. The table was about nine feet long. Dad made this table much like a big picnic table, with nice benches on each side. The rest of our beds were located in the larger tent.

Early on, when were very little, we'd have to sleep four or five in a bed. We slept in a big double bed. One time, I didn't know it, but I had rolled down the far side to the floor. Nellie was hollering for covers because she was cold. I had tangled all the covers with me on the floor. Jim woke me up and said, "Hey, get up, you've taken all the covers." John, Clifford, Bill, and Nellie and I were sleeping together that night. Quite a crowd.

We had a back house, a big building, with an outhouse attached. We were the only people living in tents at the time, and our family was often ridiculed for our way of life.

Dad built a "portable" wooden floor for the kitchen area. Whenever we moved and set up the tent, he would water down the dirt area under the floor so the surface stayed hard and dry.

We didn't have any inside plumbing, and we didn't have a shower hook-up. I guess my Grandfather Birchett, my mother's father, was very clean. He would always come home and put on fresh clothes before he sat at the table. But not this Carroll bunch. The boys and my father took a bath about once a week. They would use a big washtub with a little hot water and P & G soap. Grandpa took his baths downtown. I don't think I ever saw him bathing in the big tub by the tent.

But remember, times were tough in the 1920's and 1930's. WW II, a few years later, significantly changed the way we all lived.

We didn't mind the cold in the wintertime because the cook stove kept us warm.

But during the summer, we would often place damp sheets over us at night so we could sleep. And we tried to sleep outside. We always cooked outside in summer.

We lived in those tents for a couple of years, actually for several years, as we moved back and forth between Laveen and Scottsdale.

Later, dad built a trailer with two beds: one for my mother and youngest brother, and the other for Nellie and me.

Those homemade trailers made us look like gypsies. Ha. One time a group of "real" gypsies stopped by and dad ran them off. Do you find a bit of irony or humor in this gypsy story?

Years later, when we resided in a tin-roofed house north of Scottsdale, our dwelling still had sheds and trailers connected. My room was in a trailer. Even then, we lived so far north of Indian Bend, about a mile, that we didn't have electricity for a long time

Living in the Tent

What was it like living in that tent? Well, tent life was tough, but it wasn't so bad. Early in the mornings, my mother would get up and cook breakfast, typically fried potatoes, biscuits, and gravy. My father and Jim would drink coffee. I don't think anybody else liked coffee. Occasionally, mother would make oatmeal. I never became fond of oatmeal, and I don't like oatmeal today, either. She had those enameled dishes. Mom had pots made from same material. The coating wasn't tin, so you had to be careful to avoid chipping. We had forks, knives, and spoons, and those tin cups common to the time. Mother also had big cast iron pots and skillets she used for cooking. We'd use heated water and P & G soap to do dishes. Mom had a big washtub for soaking and cleaning all the dirty utensils, plates, and pans. We always seemed to have dishrags nearby.

My father fabricated a nice cabinet for her dishes, and his creation sure was a nice piece of furniture until wearing out.

Additionally, she had a spatula, a can opener, and lots of wooden kitchen matches. We depended on matches.

Once, later, a small fire started out at the Douross house we were living in because mice bit into the matches, which were stored in an uncovered bowl. The place would have burned down if mom hadn't noticed and quickly put out the fire. Mom kept the bowl covered after the fire. By the way, revenge was sweet. We made war on those mice and did quite a bit of damage to them.

We depended on kerosene for light. At times, we'd get ice, but we didn't have a regular icebox. Do you know how mom kept her eggs and butter cold? She had lard buckets covered with wool. Mom would put eggs in the buckets, cover them with wool, and wet the wool. Evaporation would keep the eggs, or whatever she put in the bucket, cool and reasonably fresh. I don't believe she had a refrigerator until my brothers came home from the war in 1945 or 1946. Of course, we didn't need to keep our milk cold. We didn't get milk very often, and when we did, the ten or so kids at home would drink it up rapidly.