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Phantoms of the Shah

Phantoms of the Shah by [Dana Duthie]

After writing masterpiece war thrillers like Dark Rain and Tremble, Colonel Dana Duthie brings us yet another riveting adventure in the life of pilot Brad Mitchell. This time, much of the action takes place in the Iranian airspace at the time when the Shah is in exile and seeking asylum in America for a medical condition. A U.S. Air Force squadron of F-4 Phantoms is deployed to Shiraz Air Base in Iran to train the Iranian Air Force (IAF) to fly the jets that they have purchased from the U.S.

However, things get hot after an American spy is captured by the Ayatollahs, who have grown in power. He is mysteriously extracted from the prison, and all hell starts to break loose. It is time for the U.S.A.F. to leave Iran. But things get complicated and difficult decisions need to be made, much to the enjoyment of the reader.

One of the jets is left behind and needs engine replacement. In the meantime, 14 Americans are held hostage by the opposition forces. This has eerie parallels to real life where we see the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and taking over old military equipment as the U.S. leaves the country. Our hero Brad Mitchell accompanies the Tango Team in the rescue mission. But once again, the operation is compromised as the Secretary of State Bob Taggart is seduced by a young Washington Post reporter. This complex web of relationships, that stretch across the globe, is something that author Dana Duthie excels at. This story does a great job of balancing human drama with tactical military action.

The story has tons of fighter pilot jargon, which firmly places readers within the unique world, but sometimes blunts momentum where we have to take in explanations of what it all means. But I’m sure readers who love to immerse themselves in the details of military procedures will have plenty of depth to dig through in this story.

Phantoms of the Shah gives longtime fans of author Dana Duthie more of the same military fiction they’ve come to enjoy. I would have liked a bit more action throughout the story, but otherwise I think this is a thrilling military adventure story that feels real, pays attention to details, and keeps the tension and intrigue high.

Pages: 239 | ASIN: B08QDSDK5K

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Dearest Mother and Dad

“One hundred and twenty Marines wounded. Eighteen dead. All for one lousy hill.”

Corpsman Orrin Connor’s faithful letters with a touching twist shield his parents from the horrors of war. His buddy Rawley Armstrong’s poignant letters give his sister the harrowing truths. Throughout their dangerous assignments during the Korean War, they debate the consequences of their choices. Orrin gains comfort in downplaying his experiences while Rawley feels a healing purge. As they get to know the Marines in their charge, the corpsmen gather a variety of opinions. Although Orrin and Rawley disagree, their friendship remains true until the bitter end.

“It all happened within minutes. For some, it would last a lifetime.”

Based on her father’s letters to his parents throughout the Forgotten War, author Christina Thompson has produced this work of historical fiction to pay tribute to Navy corpsmen by remembering their service to their brothers and their country. Imagining her father had guarded his parents from the carnage of war, Christina elaborates on what could have happened while staying true to the dates and experiences her father shared in his actual letters.

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Convoy Cover

Convoy Cover by [Dana Duthie]

Convoy Cover is a story full of adventure and written with the knowledge of a military veteran. Author Dana Duthie has first hand experience with the inner workings of the Air Force and it clearly shows in his writing.

The story starts with the introduction to our main character, Captain Brad Mitchell who is a fighter pilot in the Air Force. We follow Brad through some training exercises that feel like we are just getting ready for the bigger action, but we are also treated to rescue missions that he goes on which are much more exciting. I know I’ve made this reference before but I’m gonna make it again as this novel brings back that same nostalgia and excitement I have for the movie Top Gun. But one thing I find Dana Duthie’s writing does better than Top Gun is it provides various details throughout the book that make this story feel more authentic. What I found most fascinating was the kind of trainings they go through and simulation of scenarios; like what if we were captured a prisoner-of-war?

The story is filled with action. Secrets spilled, fighting and how to fight a war. With each mission you gain victory, and everything has to be carried out with perfect execution. Not to mention the politics that hold the reins over all operations. From the administration to the warriors in the field, everyone is involved. Convoy Cover does a fantastic job of providing readers with this holistic view of war.

The story is well written and the pacing is great. The settings, the tone, the theme are written with plenty of details that will appeal to military aficionados, and fills a genre niche that I’m sure they are looking for. Readers who enjoy war stories and demand well developed and researched books will absolutely love this novel.

Convoy Cover is a riveting military fiction novel that gives readers a glimpse of the troubles warriors go through and how much courage it takes to do their job.

Pages: 259 | ASIN: B094Q391BX

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Dark Rain

Dark Rain by [Dana Duthie]

Dark Rain is an exciting terrorist thriller written by former Air Force Pilot, Dana Duthie. The story opens up with the protagonist, Col. Brad Mitchell “Conan” flying in his F-16 along with his wingman who turns out to be an impersonator. At the same time, a series of similar “Starkville” penetration unfold at different parts of the States, including a failed attempt to bring down the White House. The investigation into the “Starkville” families reveals Barak El-Kamani as the main handler who is pulling all the strings.

Duthie has expertly utilized his twenty-four years of Air Force experience to paint a realistic picture of military operations with a detailed account of events, from the cockpit of the fighter jet to the White House Situation Room. The author has given a great deal of attention to character development as well. President McDivitt’s role remains refreshing throughout the operation. The Washington Post reporter portrays the tendency of media to go to any ends to get the news. The chapters are brief but very engaging, rarely losing focus on the action and events that are propelling this story forward. The chapters are organized according to the place where the events unfold. This allows the reader to understand the full scope of the story. Which is vital because this is a global story with far reaching effects. The riveting action in the story reminds me of the movie Top Gun, but mixed with the intrigue of Robert Ludlum novels.

Dark Rain is both a novel and an encyclopedia at the same time. The author has included a plethora of military and fighter pilot jargon which is likely to be a delight to any military enthusiast. While the beginning half of the book sets up the larger storyline, the ending half of the book is filled with thrilling action and combat. For anyone with a military background, especially the Air Force, Dark Rain is a goldmine.

Dark Rain is a captivating military thriller that takes readers around the globe and places them in the middle of some high stakes world politics that ensures there’s rarely a dull moment in this suspenseful action novel.

Pages: 330 | ISBN: 1645509699

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24 HOURS TO DOOMSDAY

24 HOURS TO DOOMSDAY: Terrorist thriller that’s filled with twists, turns and military action by [Colin M Barron]

Sergeant Rick Fernscale of D Squadron, 22 Special Air Service’s life fell apart when his first wife, Helen died. He never imagined he’d find love again until he met Laura. As he and Laura embark on a pleasure cruise to celebrate their honeymoon, an object is spotted in the sky above. The object, a drone, is shot down and debris kills Laura. Angry and mourning, Rick sets out to solve the mystery of the drone. It is a mission that will change his life forever.

Author Colin M. Barron has created a compelling political thriller that is told with a command of military strategy and jargon that imbues the novel with an air of authority that few action adventure novels possess. The action feels organic and hard hitting but always grounded. Readers comfortable with military fiction will be able to follow this suspenseful narrative easily, but I felt overwhelmed occasionally by the amount of information given.

The dialogue throughout the book is sharp and fits the relentless pace of the novel. Rick is an intriguing character that shows more dimensions and depth as the story progresses and is someone who was fun to follow.

24 Hours to Doomsday is a riveting action adventure novel that takes the kinetic action of Tom Clancy novels and adds the depth of character of Robert Ludlum books. As an American, I enjoyed seeing British Armed Forces in combat operations as it gave me the thrill of military action with the exotic feel of a foreign power. 

Author Colin Barron ends this novel with a nail biting twist that any action fan will surely appreciate. I don’t want to give away too much, but Kokorov attempts to kill Rick, and Andy Harrington steps in with stunning results. 

24 Hours to Doomsday provides readers with a thrilling novel that parallels real life in the potential release of a deadly virus. This is a high octane terrorist thriller that is hard to put down.

Pages: 287 | ASIN: B096CNYYHV

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Bringing the Collection Full Circle

Kristine Raymond
Kristine Raymond Author Interview

Seasons of Love is a collection or thrilling romance short stories with interconnecting characters which each taking place in different season. What was the inspiration behind this short story collection?

The collection originally started out as a single short story – Dogwoods in Springtime – which was included in a limited-release anthology. Once the rights reverted back to me, I began toying with the concept of expanding Caroline and Rick’s story. Then, in keeping with the seasonal theme, I came up with the brilliant idea to add three more, thus bringing the collection full circle.

My favorite story from the collection is ‘Aspens in Autumn’. Do you have a favorite story from this collection?

Oh, thank you! Aspens in Autumn was my first foray into romantic suspense and I had a lot of fun imagining Ramsey and Bishop running for their lives. Is it wrong to enjoy your characters’ dire predicament? Hmmm…

To answer your question, my favorite is Snowflakes in Winter. I absolutely love Chloe, and her sizzling chemistry with Alex. Her quirky personality was fun to write, too.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I don’t write with a particular theme in mind, but I have a personal connection to each of the locations depicted in the stories. I currently live in Kentucky (Dogwoods in Springtime); in my teens, I visited Nantucket Island (Seashells in Summer); I met and married my husband in Flagstaff, Arizona (Aspens in Autumn); and my family and I vacationed every year in New Hampshire (Snowflakes in Winter).

Describing that first glimpse of a dogwood in bloom, the smell of salt air blowing in off the ocean, the majesty of fiery-gold aspens lighting up a mountainside, and the warmth of a crackling fire – all of those images were a walk down memory lane for me.

Do you have plans to write more short stories with these characters in them?

While I don’t plan to expand on these characters, I’ve learned to never say never. Who knows? One or more may pop up in another story someday. You’ll have to keep reading my books to find out. 😉

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Four couples. Four seasons. A lifetime of love.

Dogwoods in Springtime

Still in mourning three years after her husband’s death, Caroline Ballard’s solitary life in rural Kentucky is disrupted by a broken water line, of all things. As if the lack of running water wasn’t bad enough, her immediate attraction to plumbing contractor Rick Spencer unearths emotions long thought buried. Opening her heart to love for a second time, a malicious lie told by his ex-wife threatens to end the budding relationship before it begins.

Seashells in Summer

Having adopted her four-year-old daughter, Lily, at birth, Taylor Brightman is suspicious when former Marine Sergeant Grant Cutler appears on her Nantucket Island doorstep claiming to be the girl’s biological father. Wary of his motives, his good looks and charming personality win her over, but can she trust that she won’t lose custody along with her heart?

Aspens in Autumn

Ramsey Fiorentino is having a bad day. On the run for her life after witnessing a murder, she’s being pursued by none other than Bishop Hamilton, a private investigator hired by the person who committed the crime. When he catches up to her and the truth comes out, they flee to the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona to hide, but it’s only a matter of time before their newfound romance is tested in the wake of a deadly confrontation.

Snowflakes in Winter

When New Hampshire State Trooper Alex Ballard becomes stranded during a blizzard in the middle of the night, he seeks refuge at a local bed and breakfast, surprised to discover the owner, Chloe Mancuso, is the sole occupant. A passionate night spent in each other’s arms ignites feelings neither thought possible, but there’s someone else with his eye on Chloe and he’s not willing to share.

A Most Fraught And Perilous Time

Author Interview
John Odell Author Interview

Elmer & Virginia tells the personal and emotional story of your parents through a collection of letters they wrote one another during World War II. Why was this an important book for you to write?

These letters sat mostly untouched and unopened for the better part of half a century. When I began reading them after the deaths of my parents, I realized what a treasure they were. Their writing and story-telling skills were superb, and they vividly brought to life their experiences and their era, as they grew up during a most fraught and perilous time. I couldn’t let them stay hidden from the world.

Was there anything that you learned about your parents that was surprising when you read their letters?

I always knew what basically honest and decent people they were, from observing and being raised by them. But these letters brought out their kindness, their goodness, their integrity, and their courage. And it was a wonderful experience to “meet” them as young people and not as “your parents.”

Were there any letters that nearly made it into the collection but didn’t?

Oh yes. There were many that fell by the wayside for considerations of brevity and focus. Also passages about family matters, that would be of little interest to the general reader, were cast aside. And in a few cases there were letters our family just didn’t want to share.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your parents’ story?

This book really illustrates the incredibly brave responses of ordinary people to extraordinary events. And it shows that –really – there are no such things as ‘ordinary’ people. The book also shines a bright light on a lost form of communication – words written on paper and preserved for posterity.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Website

Elmer Odell and Virginia Schill were high school teenagers from separate “sides of the tracks” when the first chapters of the Second World War began to be written. They would become a part of that narrative as they grew to adulthood and joined the Greatest Generation. As Elmer flew combat above the battlefields of Europe, Virginia wrote newspaper stories about life on the home front. Between 1939 and 1944, Elmer and Virginia exchanged hundreds of letters, which sat in shoeboxes for decades. Here are the best of them. These missives vividly chronicle their separate odysseys and their growing love for each other. To open this book is to follow them through the turbulent years of World War II.

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, by Marcus A. Nannini, is the riveting story of Harry Watson Jr’s time as an aviation pilot during World War II. Harry Watson recounts his time enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, as well as his home life, in this stirring and dramatic memoir.

Harry Watson Jr. dreamed of being a pilot. He knew his only chance to get out of a life in the coal mines was to enlist in the military. He went through the necessary training to become a C-47 Pilot/Instructor and earned many awards throughout his time in the Air Corps. One of the most important flights during his career was to bring Franz Von Papen back to base from Nuremberg, Germany. Von Papen was held high in German society and a key contributor to Hitler’s rise in power.

Author Marcus Nannini tells Harry’s time in the Air Corps with precision and a keen eye on the key aspects of a gripping story. As a reader, you feel as if Harry is telling you about his experiences himself. Nannini does Harry justice in the way he tells this story. The reader is able to see what is behind the scenes for a soldier during World War II, the path to becoming an aviation pilot during those times, and who Harry was as a person. Nannini was also able to give the reader a glimpse into the lives of Harry’s fellow crewman and friends. The friendship between Lang and Watson was one I adored reading about. This book not only tells Harry’s military story, but offers further insight into tactics and important figures during Hitler’s reign of terror, making this perfect for military history enthusiasts.

Midnight Flight to Nuremberg is a wonderful retelling of Harry Watson Jr’s experiences as a pilot and instructor during World War II. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys history, listening to real-life experiences from World War II, and to those who want to follow a compelling person through one of the most dramatic times in history.

Pages: 224 | ISBN:1526792737

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