Michelle Reagan, alias Eden, is a CIA covert operator who conducts secret missions all over the world, and does what only a few can: take away someone’s life without getting caught. But having an undercover profession like this is not easy. Michelle works hard to be successful and gain the recognition of her boss and colleagues while trying to maintain a personal life and relationship. Every day, Michelle has to live with a burden, the moral consequences of killing innocent people. But can she handle it without going insane? And can she succeed and stay alive in this dangerous, male-dominated career?
The Confessions of Eden by Scott Shinberg is by far the best espionage thriller I have read this year: rich in action, danger, and unexpected turns. The plot is made up of Michelle’s reminiscences. This novel serves as her memoir in which she tells her story. The missions mentioned in the book are gripping and adventurous and filled with dangerous events. I liked the way the short stories and the descriptions of the missions came after each other and, despite the time gaps, there was no break in the story line, everything just falls into place to create a bigger story.
Michelle Reagan is an ambitious, hard-working agent, or assassin, who grows more confident as the story progresses. At first, she suffers from the psychological consequences of killing someone whose only fault is to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but then, as her character develops and transforms from Michelle into Eden, she learns how to handle it. Her boss Michael and her two colleagues play an important role in Michelle’s life, and I appreciated how they supported her character development and I felt like they bring out another dimension to her character which really rounds her out. Because Michelle’s private life is built upon lies, she has difficulties finding and keeping a partner without getting exposed. This contrast between personal and private lives is something that I found intriguing and well balanced in this book.
Scott Shinberg is a talented author who can make you feel like you are in the middle of a CIA office with undercover agents. He catches the reader’s attention with the very first sentence and holds it right to the end. I look forward to reading the next Michelle Reagan novel.
Pages: 333 | ASIN: B07PTPHTXS
Pheobe Douse, Secret Society for Special Abilities and Artefacts allows a view into the life of young Pheobe, a high school student whose tendency to be unusually distinct has her feeling like an outcast. After her grandmother dies, it leaves her even more unsure about herself. Her grandmother would always tell stories that seemed fantastical about her life and travels. Phoebe took those moments for granted and when she can no longer have them, she is left feeling guilty. When she receives a strange invitation to attend school in Scotland she accepts the offer with the approval of her parents. She has no close ties outside of her family and she hopes for an adventure like the ones her grandmother had lived.
She soon realizes that while she fits in more readily than she ever has before, this sense of belonging actually makes the new school, her new classmates and her surroundings pretty extraordinary. When she finally begins to accept the possibilities that come with being extraordinary in an extraordinary place, she finds herself torn between her loyalty to her new friends and her grandmother’s legacy. Pheobe has to figure out who she is able to trust before secret forces lead her on a path of no return.
It would be unsurprising if L. Samuels’ debut novel lands on the bestseller list. Any of the millions of Harry Potter fans would be a fan of Pheobe Douse and the well crafted, gifted characters L. Samuels brings to life. The origin of the main character is seeped in a legacy that is undeniably powerful but shrouded in mystery.
Every event and continuation was strategically laid out in a way that caused constant anticipation. Even so, at each moment of conflict, climax and revelation, there were still surprises. There were no moments of overwhelming unpredictability but the pace of events varied and provided an emotionally dynamic experience.
The least agreeable aspect of the book is that the reader is left wanting to know what happens next and in the world of storytelling, this kind of itch usually happens after a satisfying read. The best part is that a second installment is expected so the anticipation continues!
Pages: 348 | ISBN: 978-1-7322846-7-8
The Trial of Connor Padget follows Jack as he must defend his friend in a murder trial that has life changing consequences. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
As a trial lawyer, I often thought of the forgotten Atticus Finch. How might he react to our modern world? I created Jack as a man who has experienced the dangers of combat and the demands of loyalty. I wanted to portray him as a successful lawyer with all its worldly trappings. How would he react when his way of life was unexpectedly challenged? How much would he risk in order to stay loyal to a longtime friend?
I enjoyed the backstory to Jack Carney and the depth of his character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
An unexpected event forces Jack to reassess his life. He loves the practice of law but wonders if he hasn’t begun to go through the motions of handling cases in an automatic way. He misses his time of flying missions in the Air Force and questions the man he has become. Defending his friend in what seems to be a hopeless case brings him a sense of freedom he didn’t expect.
This is an exceptional legal drama that asks some serious moral questions. What were some themes you wanted to capture in this book?
Jack sees a parallel in defending one’s family and defending one’s country. He is grateful for the chance to come to the aid of a family facing fallout from our, now transient, society which puts our children at risk.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The title is The Rise and Fall of the Pink Alligator: Jack’s T-shirt shop located on the beach in St. Augustine. Four other shopkeepers share a strip mall with Jack and, though they are all new friends, they spar over most everything – especially parking. A suspicious fire causes concern about a possible arsonist in their midst. The story explores the dream of a new life.
I hope to finish the first draft in seven months, but new ideas will appear to offer more depth to the writing, and I don’t like to tie myself to a strict schedule. Writing to me is a discovery process and to put it into a strict time frame would ruin that. I am now reading The Life of Pablo Picasso and hope to get some new ideas from his story to add to my characters’ lives. The spirit of modernism fascinates me and provides a contrast to the unique history of St Augustine, the oldest city in our country.
Jack Carney’s life is unexpectedly put on hold. He is not a criminal lawyer, but his friend needs help. He remembers his time in Japan flying covert missions against the Russians. What would his flight crew think of him now? By comparison his legal career lacks purpose. If he defends Connor, there will be consequences: his firm does not allow involvement in criminal cases.
This is the story of a trial that changes the lawyer’s life. If you like a bit of legal intrigue laced with a touch of Southern culture and the drama of a trial, you’ll like this story.
A threat that most readers can see as a real possibility considering how far science and technology has progressed. Coupled with down to earth characters that you feel a real connection to make this book an outstanding ‘end of world’ saga that has your heart racing right till the end. While overtly spiritual in it’s plot, even the most atheist person could come to enjoy this story because it is a masterful blend of science and religion. With horrifying villains and inspiring heroes plus a few characters who you are never quite sure of which side of the good versus evil fight they stand on, this story is well worth the read.
This book takes a little while to explain how the prologue fits into the narrative but after you see how it all comes together and with various chapters outlining the back stories of the various characters, you begin to understand why the author took time in slowly building toward the most eventful parts of the story.
Once you understand how everything fits together, it takes you on an edge of your seat ride where you wonder how things will turn out. Each character has their part to play and readers get to see both the best and worst aspects of each character, which allows you to become invested in their adventure more deeply than you usually would for a fictional story.
There are a few repeated phrases and words that could have been left out or replaced with a simplified explanation but the intensity of the plot line and anxiety inducing obstacles that are thrown in the way of the main characters do enough to make you forget these minor annoyances.
If you want a thrilling story that takes you to the depths of what an evil mind can cause in this world with the excitement of whether the heroes can triumph. This is a book for you.
My best piece of advice to any would be reader is to make sure you don’t give up on the slow build up toward the real plot because it is well worth the wait and actually helps you understand and feel more invested in the entire story.
Pages: 317 | ASIN: B078LWJ632
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WAND is a revolutionary new medical tool that cures diseased tissues in human beings without the use of drugs or surgery. Ten years in design and production, the technology has a 95% success rate in curing most forms of cancer in animals and human beings.
The brainchild of 48 year old Harvard Medical School graduate, Clyde Daniel, WAND (Wave-Altering-Nanoparticle-Disrupter) is going to move the profession of medicine out of the dark ages and into something that closely resembles science fiction. That is, unless the pharmaceutical industry, which stands to lose billions of dollars in lost drug revenues, can intervene with its hired assassins and destroy the technology and its team of creators before it ever has a chance to see the light of day.
The Target List is a medical science fiction thriller, a real page turner that will have readers hooked from the first chapter through the very end of the book.
The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
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Marcel Freeman is an ordinary man, prisoner of his ordinary life. He goes to work every morning, from his workplace he heads directly home and then goes to sleep. There is nothing special about his life until one day, something exceptional happens. He decides to leave work one hour earlier, without permission, without explanation. This decision seems trivial, but it will start an unlucky chain of events for him, soon he finds himself in the middle of a forest with strange people and he has to face danger, mystery, and crime. But the most important question is: can he run away from his fate?
The Silver is Mine by Jason Roger Phillips is a gripping mystery novel. The story is very impressive, the author creates a complex cryptic story after outlining more separate stories. The novel takes place in two different places: in a big city’s ghetto and in the countryside in Geronimo Bay. The weather is mostly rainy or stormy, which has a symbolic meaning and also provides a good base to the mysterious mood. I liked how the real and the imaginary events alternate through the story, and how all the dreams, metaphors and poems have a deep meaning.
The characters are introduced separately in the novel but their lives get connected somehow as the story unfolds. The main characters are well worked out and all of them have a very strong personality, even the young ones. Marcel is an average office worker, who gets tired of his boring life and the fact that the woman he loves can never be his. His character develops as the story goes on, first he is impulsive in his actions, but later he starts to make rational decisions in order to gain his freedom. Gemma, Marcel’s lover changes a lot also, from a rich, drug addict, co-dependent woman she becomes someone who has values and appreciates simple things, like other people’s love. Shippie’s character is very interesting, I think that her mysterious personality would be worth a separate book.
Although the story is engaging and interesting, I think the book’s value is in the effect it has on the reader. While reading, I stopped multiple times to think about what I read and even after finishing the book, I still keep thinking. Such an amazing novel!
Pages: 239 | ASIN: B01N2V2MT4
Left for Dead at Nijmegen follows the extraordinary true story of an American paratrooper in WWII and the challenges he faced to survive in enemy hands. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this biography?
In 2014 I was in the process of drafting a series of WW II first person “remembrance pieces” for a WW II publication. I came upon Gene Metcalfe while researching the subject and drove out to interview him. By the end of the first interview, which ran more than five hours, I knew I had a story that needed to be told in a hard-bound, full-length book.
Life interfered and I was unable to pick up again until the summer of 2017. A publisher, Casemate Publishers, in response to my query, stated an interest in Gene’s story. Gene was all for it so I transcribed my tapes and re-wrote all of my notes into a book outline and began researching. In October, 2017, Gene and I commenced twice weekly meetings. I learned his sense of humor, his views on life and the War and many other aspects of his personality.
I researched every facet of what he relayed to me, and quite a bit more. I found it necessary to read the 1968 biography of Heinrich Himmler “Himmler” (Roger Manvell and Heinrich Frankel) as well as “The Private Heinrich Himmler” (Katrin Himmler and Michael Wildt.) I expended in excess of 2,000 hours piecing together Gene’s story.
As an aside, there is reference to a castle in one of the chapters. I could find no trace of it until I found it was actually referenced in Himmler’s biography. I have a “no stone unturned” research philosophy.
Observing Gene as he described grisly details of his experiences and proceeded to explain how humor got him through the ordeal impressed me. His sketches have a humorous flair too, as one can see from those he drew for the book. I will admit there was more than one time he had me on the edge of my chair, even when I was hearing the story for the 8th time.
The war was a series of ups and downs, sometimes happening in a dizzyingly fast sequence. Gene found it to be a matter of bending to the flow of events or being overwhelmed and succumbing.
I intentionally set out to write a book that conveyed the essence of Gene Metcalfe. In my opinion it was the best approach to truly convey what, and how, he experienced WW II.
The historical accuracy was exceptional in this, even down to the smallest detail. What kind of research did you undertake to write this book?
I read three books, including one book that focused only on the Nijmegen aspect of Market Garden. I researched US Army debriefing reports of POW’s and information on every base where Gene was stationed. I also read after-action reports.
I am a researcher by trade. Along the way I accumulated an entire box of print-outs. What pleased me the most was coming across the most rare and perfectly timed photo possible, the encounter with two older German soldiers. It took me six months to get permission to use the photo. The uniformed Dutch guide in the photo apparently did the “dirty work” and is the man who disappeared before the combat patrol encountered the tank. Mike, the bazooka-man, was carrying a bag of hand-grenades as in the rush to jump from the plane he left his bazooka rockets on the floor.
I understand that your “intention was to convey the essence of” Eugene Metcalfe. What were some important ideas or themes you felt were important to convey to readers about Gene?
I felt it important to provide Gene’s background as the basis for better understanding who he was and why he was/is that man. The fact he was an only child, but “not my mom’s favorite” played a large part in the formation of his personality. He was on his own.
He was talented as an artist and musician and is gifted with the ability to draw or paint anyone or anything he has come into contact with. The sketches in the book, though produced by Gene in 2018, are accurate reproductions from 1944-45.
I wasted little time in establishing his sense of humor. Without it, Gene would not have survived and there would not have been a Left for Dead at Nijmegen.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Nannini: Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the Explosive Skies of Nazi Occupied Europe in my next WW II biography and is ready to go. In this new book I actually spent weekends at the subject’s home interviewing him. I anticipate it will be considered to be at least as good as Left for Dead at Nijmegen and is jammed with photos, some of which have never before seen print.
I am in the process of placing Midnight Flight and, and four additional books, with an appropriate publishing house. If all goes as planned, I will have two new books on the market next year.
Left for Dead at Nijmegen recalls the larger-than-life experiences of an American paratrooper, Gene Metcalfe, who served in the 82nd Airborne during WWII. From his recruitment into the military at Camp Grant to his training with the 501st Paratroop Infantry Regiment at Camp Toccoa, it wasn’t until D-Day itself that he first arrived in England to join the 508th PIR.
When Metcalfe boarded the C-47 which would drop him at Groesbeek Heights, just outside of Nijmegen, Holland, he was handed a box of twelve dozen condoms by an over-confident British lieutenant. He was to be among the first to jump into what should have been a picture-book meadow, free of German troops. Instead, it was defended by three German anti-aircraft cannon emplacements.
As he jumped into a hail of bullets and exploding shells he watched his plane roll over and plummet into the ground. It was at that moment he realized the condoms had either been a bad joke or the planners of Operation Market Garden had seriously underestimated German resistance. Gene was listed as KIA and left for dead by his patrol, who presumed the worst when they saw his injuries from a shell explosion.
The rest of his story is equally gripping, as he became a POW held outside Munich, being moved between various camps ridden with disease and a severely undernourished population. Eventually, after making an escape attempt and being captured within sight of the snow-capped Swiss mountains, his camp was liberated by American troops in April 1945.
Gene’s story is both remarkable for his highly unusual encounter, and his subsequent experiences.
An adventure story of a young man trying to escape his past and punish himself for the death of his brother. Set in the wild and lawless country of Liberia, this story is an epic roller coaster ride that takes you through the exciting highs of life in a proper libertarian society, while not being shy about the harsh realities of life without law. It has romance, action, villains and an unconventional good guy pilot who might be rough on the outside but has a big heart for the country he decided to call home. Quite an education into the airline industry in a third world nation.
This novel does a great job of highlighting some inconvenient truths of emerging countries who accept deals from international companies and the harshness that occurs to the regular people.
Resource rich nations with uneducated citizens have been dominated by the rich since history began and The Dung Beetles of Liberia does a fantastic job at unmasking the on the ground truth of this exploitative situation.
Told through the eyes of a young American man running away from his problems back home, it does a great job of placing him in many different situations and meeting many different people involved in the shady business of a resource rich country, capitalizing on the lack of education of the majority of its people.
Some of the language used makes it hard to read when the author is trying to convey the accents of the natives and other pilots in the story. I felt that it could do without the misspelling of words that conveyed and the accents of characters.
The plot of the story is a bit scattered, leaving me to wonder what the central adventure/struggle was that the main character should overcome. Whilst this kept things interesting, it would have preferred to have had a few less love interests, and a stronger focus on just a few issues Ken was to face in his journey.
Overall, this story is well worth a read and does a great job in depicting what it would be like in an emerging 3rd world country that is run by dictators who are making obscene amounts of money off the backs of the native people. This is a story that is hard to put down and keeps you on your toes as to what will happen next, right down to the last chapter.
Pages: 289 | ASIN: B07PJ1K929
Jack Carney, an Air Force veteran, is now a lawyer specializing in civil cases. Jack’s life takes an unexpected turn when his friend, Connor Padget, shoots a man at the Baton Rouge Airport live on the five o’clock news and gets charged with murder. Although Jack decides to defend his friend, it comes at a price. Jack does his best to justify what Connor did and bring to light the reason he had to kill: he was protecting his family. But will it be enough? Can he save his friend?
The Trial of Connor Padget by Carl Roberts is a fantastic legal drama that describes the everyday life of an attorney and the ins and outs of the legal system from the commission of the crime to the verdict; all punctuated with military and religious elements. All the while readers get an insight into the complexity of a criminal case. The story of Connor Padget, and how he comes to shoot someone who kidnapped his son, is interesting and raises some serious moral questions.
The novel contains a wide range of characters, but there are big differences in their development and portrayal. I felt that the novel focuses on the description of the legal process, rather than on deep character building. However, the narrative for the main character Jack Carney is very well developed. He is a successful lawyer, but he is loyal to his friend, which causes some problems at the firm. The reader is treated to many details about his former profession in Air Force personnel; which will peak the interest of any military fan. With his private life causing turmoil, Jack is left to balance his profession with his personal life.
Although some details from Connor’s past are shown, his life – except some basic facts – and his characteristics stay a mystery until the end. Connor’s wife, Mary Beth and their son, Scot play a big role during the trial, yet in some cases, the motives of Mary Beth’s behavior were unclear for me.
Carl Roberts’ book is a fantastic addition to the legal drama genre. The main idea of the book is intriguing and creates a strong base for a stunning story.
Pages: 215 | ASIN: B07RC95PZZ