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No Pistol Tastes the Same

Sgt. Grimm (J.P) opts to serve his country. Away from his family, he takes solace in the camaraderie of his fellow Marines, including Joey, his best friend. But it all goes wrong when Grimm loses his friend and other men he could have saved if he had acted faster. The patriotic soldier later returns from the war into the arms of his wife, son, and grandparents. But burdened by guilt and haunted by the bombs, blood, and deaths from the war, Grimm is not the same man he was when he left home. And his new demons threaten to tear apart everything and everyone he calls home. The question is, will he let them?

Although its curious title doesn’t give this away, No Pistol Tastes The Same is a gripping novel on post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans. It peels away the layers of unfamiliarity and reveals the deeply disturbing and lingering effects war has on the minds and lives of those who fight in it.

This story reminds me of why storytelling is a powerful tool to evoke empathy. Author Jacob Paul Patchen’s writing successfully transports readers into his main character’s reality, making an unfamiliar situation seem like a shared reality. Patchen is also great with imagery as he improves the reading experience with evocative descriptions of settings.

The story is delivered with the elegance and precision of a true wordsmith. Make no mistake, there aren’t flowery words or unclear metaphors. Instead, readers feel the total weight of a narrative cobbled with tools whose sophistication is in their cultured simplicity. The writing is so good that it strikes the heart where it matters in many places, ensuring that you feel the raw emotions being communicated. Altogether, the story is free-flowing, mainly punctuated by the moments of reflection and concern it triggers.

No Pistol Tastes the Same is a captivating war novel dealing with life after returning from war. The plot is pretty straightforward but excellently executed. The characters are relatable and make readers care about this remarkable story.

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Valley Fliers

Valley Fliers brings readers into Jay Smalley’s high-flying world. He is a teenager who is determined to get into a prominent aeronautics university and has a passionate hobby flying model airplanes. It may have initially started as a hobby, but Jay is dead set on making it a career and claims that this is his best chance to fly the real thing. As good as he was at his craft, Jay’s mother always cautioned him, and rightly so. Jay is certain that his plan is fool-proof and has already made up his mind. Jay had a good thing going but his flow got disrupted by the arrival of Oren, a mysterious new face in their community of fliers. Is Oren more than he seems? Jay must find out, before someone gets hurt.

If you’re a fan of coming-of-age novels with well-crafted plots, then the Valley Fliers by David Boito is right up your alley. The author brilliantly puts us in the point of view of a strong-willed teen named Jay. Boito succinctly conveys the essential features of the protagonist’s mindset, which helps readers understand him if not relate to him, and his reactions to events always felt authentic.

The author’s knowledge of model airplane navigation is impressive and is used throughout the book to ensure readers are fully immersed in the model airplane world. The lingo is used throughout the book but is never overwhelming, and even if you don’t know the first thing about flying model airplanes you’ll still be able to understand the story.

The plot continually thickens as the protagonist, along with his friends, notice odd things about Oren. The most obvious one being that Oren’s little aircraft has the same build and model to a drone involved in an alleged assassination and terrorist attack. But it couldn’t possibly be Oren, right? This mystery sends Jay and his friends, and readers, spiraling into a rabbit hole of conspiracy and investigations that could potentially put all of them, and their loved ones, in grave danger.

Valley Fliers uses a unique setup to tell a compelling crime fiction story that explores themes of loyalty with charming characters and a budding teen romance to spice things up. This is an entertaining story for anyone looking for a lite crime drama.

Pages: 240 | ASIN: B09J1LP1CT

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GOD OF NOTHING

Author Shane Scott’s God of Nothing is a thrilling fantasy book about Titans, Demons, Angels, Vampires, and Bool. It has an interesting take on God, creation, and all associated with it. If you understand traditional Abrahamic faiths, this book will particularly challenge your perspective. Generally, it follows the story of Satan and God’s daughter, Aja Ashe, and her descendants – Sel and Jaxx. Because of the time difference that exists between its protagonists’ adult years, the story hops from the present to the past, sometimes even going back to the beginning of creation. Ultimately, this book covers the birth of Aja Ashe, her discovery of her immortality, her love life, her son’s life, and the love life of her grandson.

As we read from page to page, we understand who Aje Ashe is, her capabilities, and her values. We also get to see how her life choices have affected those close to her. If there’s one thing that the author does well, though, it highlights the duality of the book’s different characters. Only a handful of characters are just pure good or pure evil. Most are layered, complex, and nuanced, like real-life people. This makes the book realistic even though it’s a fantasy one.

While the story is narrated by Miranda, God of Knowledge, to Jaxx (Aje’s grandson) and his fiancé Olivia, it is mainly in the third person, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the different life stories of the characters. What’s more? The author uses short sentences and paragraphs, keeping everything light and easy to read.

Beyond that, the author uses a lot of descriptive languages that helps readers understand even the most complex of concepts. This is particularly important because the book goes deep into the intricacies of how the various creatures of the world were made. It’s also great that the book includes snippets of wisdom at the beginning of each chapter, allegedly from the God of Wisdom. Each snippet furnishes us with new information that is integral to our understanding of the chapter. Moreover, the book is well-edited and formatted – there are no grammatical errors.

God of Nothing is a riveting epic fantasy that is hard to put down. This coming-of-age novel will appeal to readers looking for something different with a dark edge and LGBTQ themes. Filled with conflict and well-developed plot fantasy readers will not be disappointed.

Pages: 426 | ASIN : B08W3KCRRP

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The Land, The Land

The Land, The Land by Robin Hawdon is about Roger Oldfield, a farmer that enjoys being one and doesn’t see himself doing anything else. He loves every inch of his land and would do anything to protect it. Things have been going decently for Roger, his lovely wife Annie, can’t-be-tamed daughter, Lily, and autistic son, Danny.

It’s not long before Roger finds two strangers on his land. He questions who they are and why are they there. He finds out soon enough they were sent there by a Mr. Collins. It turns out this businessman is interested in talking to Roger about his land. These discussions set the stage for the drama that unfolds in this story, the fight for Roger’s precious land.

As you read the story, it becomes apparent how much Roger loves his beautiful, majestic land. Roger is someone you don’t meet every day. He’s old school because he’s not interested in worldly things. He enjoys spending time with his family and days working on the farm. Those are the things that matter to him most. He also possesses a dark streak that comes out as the story progresses. His willingness to do whatever it takes to keep his families land knows no bounds. Passion for family, traditions and his land are what drive Roger.

Roger loves his wife, and he never forgets what she gave up for him. Readers will find his children lovable and relatable. Tough Lily and sweet Danny are given strong characteristics that make them stand out and become memorable. Danny especially, you come to know more about through his diary entries which can be read at the entrance of each chapter.

The fight for Roger’s land attracts the media’s attention and a group of activists. This adds additional drama to the story as it becomes a public interest, family farms vs. big corporations. As the battle continues to play out, readers will be left wondering what will happen next.

The Land, The Land is an emotionally charged psychological thriller that combines family and political drama. The characters are fresh and original, the setting lush and the story is wonderfully written. The story is beautiful, heart-warming, and shows if you are strong and determined enough, you can achieve great things.

Pages: 229 | ASIN : B09WKTC7RC

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Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Author Kaleb Thompson’s Peace in the Midst of the Storm is a poetry collection that aims to inspire others, offering sanctuary to readers going through life’s crises. This collection is based on religious beliefs and seeks to glorify God and exalt the human spirit. The writer captures the universal experiences of despair, stress, and not knowing where to turn while offering religious-based solutions to navigating these dark times in life.

These poems contain powerful and evocative images; the opening poem describes a peaceful place “my life will soon leap into.” I feel, at times, these poems would benefit from being simplified. Some lines are so long that the rhyme scheme is partially lost or muddled. Nonetheless, there is a promise of healing within these poems through moments of original phrasing and Thompson’s positive, supportive messaging. One message that stood out to me is that we are not who we were in the past, our future can be different, and we have the power to change our lives.

The poem “Blame” really struck me. The lines “A mature young man in the midst of grown adults who don’t know how / and when to grow up is not only surprising, it’s disturbing.” I see this attitude almost every day, at work, in stores, and even at children’s sports games. How can children learn to live in a Godly way when the example set before them is the exact behavior they are told to correct?

This collection is for those passionate about their religious beliefs and who have a strong faith background. The poetry is religious; there are explicit calls to prayer, alongside a sense of owing life’s successes to God. Through God, readers will find a path to overcoming anxiety, fear, a broken and troubled spirit, and an uplifting message of hope. The uplifting energy of this collection and Thompson’s attempt to reach out to the downtrodden are admirable.

Peace in the Midst of the Storm is a collection of poetry that will help guide readers into the light from the darkness that has built up inside them. This inspirational anthology will give readers hope and encouragement to find the best inside of themselves with the help of God.

Pages: 88 | ASIN : B09PSTJPH8

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Unforgiven

Unforgiven is a short story written by Andre Gress. The story is told by the character Henry Fields, a once-famous ex-writer whose life falls apart in every way imaginable in the first chapter. However, there’s no silver lining until he is suddenly informed about a huge family secret that will change the nature of his life catastrophically.

The narrative takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. It’s evident from the start that Henry harbors much anger and bitterness towards his life and perhaps the people in it due to various circumstances. The story is told from Henry’s perspective, but it also contains a lot of italicized side comments. These comments feel like Henry’s unofficial internal monologue and often include points of criticism or snide remarks aimed at both himself and others in the story. The addition of these side comments adds depth and intrigue to the story because you get an inside look at Henry’s thoughts and emotions.

I appreciated that the main character is presented as a person who was both a little flawed and quite sensitive. He has a clear adoration for his little dog Rosy and reminisces about his past. So many male characters are created to be strong and dominant, to the point that the idea of being emotional is nonexistent. It was refreshing to follow a character that is a little more realistic with his emotions, especially with the things Henry has gone through and experienced.

I enjoyed the overall story and narrative development; the development of the main character and his life situation at the start of the story was vividly descriptive and exciting. However, once the big family secret is revealed to Henry, he goes from being outrageously angry to accepting in no time at all. I felt this story aspect was rushed, and some of the storylines were cut out. Still, this is a captivating story and takes the reader on a memorable adventure.

Unforgiven is a gripping story about a man and his journey to self-discovery and learning the truth about his family. As events unfold, he will have to choose what path he follows, and readers will be hanging on edge to see his life’s direction.

Pages: 95 | ASIN : B01NAJSA6N

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I Love the Element of Surprise

R. J. Corgan Author Interview

Mammoth Drop follows a scientist to the Black Hills where she finds herself knee-deep in mammoth bones and a murder mystery. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The Black Hills, and South Dakota in general, is heaven for geologists. In fact, most geologists have to do a field season out West as part of our degrees. I studied in South Dakota and Wyoming in the early 90’s and was blown away by the beauty of the landscape. I’ve also worked with paleontologists who have spent their lives studying mammoths and they’re just as marvelous as the animals they study. I wrote Mammoth Drop to celebrate both their legacy and to share the breathtaking scenery of the region with readers.

Kea Wright is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Kea is smart, kind, and terrible with people. Like many scientists that work in the field for months at a time, Kea suffers from broken relationships, a low self esteem, and bouts of depression. I wanted to create a heroine where those attributes, both good and bad, are superpowers: they’re external to the group, often forced to think differently, and wind up in places they shouldn’t be. While a reluctant heroine, I love Kea and I hope that readers will as well.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book (and what can readers expect in Book 4)?

Each book in the Kea Wright series has a unique theme. Cold Flood examines how being put under intense pressure can and release something inside ourselves that we never knew existed. The Meerkat Murders examines the concept of altruism, Mammoth Drop explores extinction, while Murder on Masaya examines sacrifice. Each book also has a different tone. Mammoth Drop is absolutely a camp romp full of drinking and dancing to celebrate a scientist and his life’s work. In contrast, the final story, Murder on Masaya,(released in 2021) is a much darker story about the hazards that scientists undertake to gather data and the sacrifices people make for their family. These changes in tone are deliberate because, growing up, my favorite television show was Doctor Who – you never knew where the next story would take you, it could be the distant past or the far future, or be a comedy or a tragedy. I loved that element of surprise. These books are very much in the same vein and I hope readers enjoy the variety.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

During Kea’s visit to the Black Hills, one of the scientists in Mammoth Drop Caverns is brutally murdered. Determined to unmask the killer, Kea takes up residence in nearby Woolly Hole, a gay campground filled with boozing drag queens and bottomless mimosas. Knee-deep in mammoth bones and potential suspects, Kea soon finds herself in the killer’s sights . . .

Dilation

Dilation: A 10,000-Year Sci-Fi Epic, by Travis Stecher, is about the human race’s first encounter with aliens. As this encounter leads to humanity’s impending destruction, many people are sent 10,000 years into the future to defend Earth. 21st-century biology professor Denise Walker and DIA agent Isaac Fowler are joined in the 126th century by 32nd-century fighter pilot Nadia Raynor. Follow their journey across time as humankind struggles to find its way into the future and survive the alien invasion.

Stecher captivates the reader from the beginning as he introduces the character Raynor just after she’s arrived in the 126th century. The reader is in suspense as hints are given that something critical is happening. Then, in awe of the historical figures Raynor encounters, the reader is taken back into “our time” and gives the story’s beginning.

The author does a fantastic job of pulling the reader through time as events unfold and connecting the dots to the beginning of this complex book when Raynor is first introduced. Once all the characters and the reader are fully entrenched in the 126th century, he thrusts us into the action of the human race fighting for survival. The action scenes are one to applaud and are filled with such detail you feel as if you are watching a movie. The characters are believable, along with their emotions and dialogue. They are thoroughly fleshed-out characters in a vibrant and detailed universe. The story was not bogged down with technical details, and the author gave enough information to keep the reader engaged.

Dilation: A 10,000-Year Sci-Fi Epic is a gripping time travel adventure that hooks the reader from the beginning and keeps their attention to the very last page. This novel will entertain hard science fiction readers with memorable characters, exciting conflict, and an unforgettable story.

Pages: 464 | ASIN : B09QQLD79Y

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