Book Review – Shifting Sands: Tradecraft: Phase One by Michael Shusko

About the Book:

Shifting Sands: Tradecraft: Phase One

Iranian physicist Dr. Sara Qaderi has been leaking intelligence to the UN detailing her deadly work at a nuclear facility in Iran for months—but her time is running out. Colonel Mostafa Sabri is on the hunt for the traitors who have been compromising Iran’s national security. And he always finds his prey.

Since birth, Sara has been taught that Americans aren’t to be trusted. Now her life is in the hands of Nick Shane, an American Marine whose mission is to get her and the vital information she carries to Afghanistan before Israel drops the first bombs of the next world war. He has his own reservations about this Iranian physicist and her motives. But he also has his orders, and will carry out his mission at all costs.

Will they make it in time to save the world from erupting into a violent global conflict—or die in the unforgiving Iranian desert?

My Thoughts:

The plot is good, the story solid and well-written. Shifting Sands takes the reader into a world at the brink of war, showing us the harsh reality of the conditions around. We are introduced to Nick and his brothers on one side, and Dr. Sara Qaderi on the other. Israel is on the verge of dropping bombs on Iran, and the good doctor’s testimony may be the one thing that can stop it all. While there is friction between Nick and his elder brother, it is clear that each one has issues of their own and Nick is trying to deal with his demons.

As the story progresses, the reader is given some insight into each of the characters and their lives. However, this proves to be a little confusing since we are introduced to so many people and chapters abruptly jump to describe someone completely new. Everyone of the characters has an angle and a mission. Experience and some knowledge of the area plays a big role in this story. It takes a little while to get used to the concept and style, but the writing is simple and straight forward. As a result, it may take some time to complete the book, but it’s worth a read, especially when all the action starts! The author portrays how the war affects people and how they deal with it and this is clearly from some experience, otherwise it would be difficult to articulate and explain the emotions behind it all.

This book is definitely worth a read for those who enjoy the action and a slightly fast-paced story of duty, honor, and protection of countries and their people.

 

Book Review of The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards by Steve LeBel

About the Book:

Gods vs. Wizards ~ an epic struggle for survival

Bernie fixes broken universes for a living. Unlike other gods, who tend to take a hell-fire-and-brimstone approach to problem-solving, Bernie prefers a more gentle approach.

Bernie’s job is to restore production on the planet Photox, but he soon discovers a world caught up in a civil war. With a hard-to-please boss breathing down his neck and a personal life in desperate need of relationship advice, Bernie’s chances of success are dwindling fast. The gods on Bernie’s world are no help. If he fails to restore production, they will destroy Photox’s entire population.

Bernie is desperate to keep this from happening, even if the murderous wizard causing all the problems is powerful enough to hurt a god…

My Thoughts:

 In this next book of ‘The Universe Builders’, Bernie now has a job and he is working on creating universes to please their customers. This book takes off from where the last left off, with the main characters now out of school and trying to find their footing in the commercial world. It is wonderful to see how the characters have grown and changed. If you have read the previous book(s), you’d understand this. If not, here is a brief idea of the basic plot.

Bernie and his friends are young gods. They have just completed God school where they learnt the art of creating universes, how to create life and how to find out what are the elements that when combined, would sustain life. In this book, Bernie has to restore the production of a particular plant on a planet. When Bernie arrives on the planet, he finds that there is a lot more going on. As he teams up with his friends to try to figure out a solution, he is faced with problems from the people of the planet. This story is also one of discovery and understanding, of strong bonds and friendship and trust. We watch them grow and mature a little, while Bernie’s cloud becomes naughtier by the minute!

A well-written novel, this book proves to be fun to read and is more mature in the nature of the plot as compared to the previous story. There the focus was on introducing the characters and making us familiar with them and the world. Now, it is more focused on the emotional depth of the characters and the plot. The story moves quickly and it is nice to read about a developing relationship between Bernie and Susie, which most of you would have seen coming. An entertaining concept, the author brings out a different perspective on life and creation.

Everyone who enjoys a good read in the fantasy genre would really enjoy this book and the others in the series!

Check out this new and upcoming romance: Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne

SERENITY HARBOR
FROM NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
RAEANNE THAYNE
ON SALE: July 2017

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s newest book in her wildly popular Haven
Point series, SERENITY HARBOR, one kiss might be enough to change the course of three people’s lives.

Tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. She’s only back in charming  Haven Point for one month, just to see her sister get married, and then she’s heading back to Colombia here her teaching job, and someone special, are waiting. Not to mention, as far as Kat can see, Bowie is arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. Milo, who is on the autism spectrum, may have just been dropped in Bo’s lap and sure, Bo is trying to do right by
him, but it’s obvious that Bo’s job takes top priority. Or at least that’s what Kat thinks. So when Bo convinces her to take a temporary, three week nanny position with Milo, Kat is really doing it for the cash, and because Milo is pretty darn sweet. Kat is desperately trying to save enough to help adopt an orphaned little girl back in Colombia and if this short-term job can get her there, then she’s willing to do pretty much anything. But as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there’s more to sexy, wary Bo than she’d ever realized.
Bo never imagined he’d be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn’t know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight, especially when he can’t afford to lose her. She’s the only thing keeping him and Milo together until the new, permanent nanny shows up. But after that kiss, Bo realizes that he might be the one to make Kat’s dream of family come true…and he’s hoping there’s room in it for him, and Milo, too.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.
Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have on many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career  Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.

Book Review: The Dante Connection by Estelle Ryan

About the Book:

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Art theft. Coded messages. A high-level threat.

Despite her initial disbelief, Doctor Genevieve Lenard discovers that she is the key that connects stolen works of art, ciphers and sinister threats.

Betrayed by the people who called themselves her friends, Genevieve throws herself into her insurance investigation job with autistic single-mindedness. When hacker Francine appears beaten and bloodied on her doorstep, begging for her help, Genevieve is forced to get past the hurt of her friends’ abandonment and team up with them to find the perpetrators.

Little does she know that it will take her on a journey through not one, but two twisted minds to discover the true target of their mysterious messages. It will take all her personal strength and knowledge as a nonverbal communications expert to overcome fears that could cost not only her life, but the lives of many others.

My Thoughts:

After having read the Gauguin Connection, it was imperative that I would read the next in the series. Even though I felt that the first book had some flaws that I felt existed, it felt right to read on to find out what happens to Genevieve. The story starts off with her feeling lonely and rather angry at her new friends who had supposedly deserted her. She falls back into her usual routine of work and stops talking to people once again. Everything changes when Francine turns up at her doorstep, hurt and begging for help. Genevieve is once more forced to revisit her outlook on life and people and to once again learn to trust people.

Thus follows a series of events that force Genevieve to work with the very people she had thought had abandoned her. This story though quite good, seems to be a little repetitive and many points that were already introduced about our characters are repeated again. This may deter the reader a little and make them pause for a while. However, as the story progresses, it gets better and if we overlook these small things, the story is rather interesting and well written.

For a book filled with mystery revolving around art, this is well thought out and the clues are wonderful. The connection to Dante and the coded messages are intriguing for both the characters and the reader. This is worth a read for fans of this genre. It may seem slow, but is readable even when reading with pauses.