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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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Spy Thrillers

Dirty Deals (Olesia Anderson #1) by D.D. Marks

26053869

 

Concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT
Done dirt cheap
Neckties, contracts, high voltage
Done dirt cheap

Dirty deeds
Do anything you wanna do
Done dirty cheap
Dirty deeds
Dirty deeds
Dirty deeds
Done dirt cheap

AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Lyrics

Olesia Anderson knows all about Dirty Deals. Well, let’s just call a spade a spade, a heart a heart, and a dirty deed, a Dirty Deed. Working for Blackrock means guns, bombs . . . and of course, explosions. But, darn! It was one tiny office block! One! Can’t a girl get a break?

Whether it was her or the Blackrock quartermaster who miscalculated the weight of the thermite used to blow the door, nobody would ever know. Nothing was left of that office block now but ash and sticks of concrete smoking in the wind.” Sigh. And just like that, Olesia goes from an AA-rated operative to a G-rated operative. Just call her “Crappy Jobs Are Us.” So, she isn’t really surprised when she is jerked out of bed with the boy toy of the evening and shipped off to the wilds of rural Maryland to take on a milk run which should have been a breeze. After all:

“IRS comes knocking, and there’s things that you can’t show . . . call Blackrock! If your Directors gone missing, and your shareholders can’t know-ow-ow . . . Blackrock! Competitor threatening your life? Got a leak in accounting and you think that it’s your wife? Call . . . Blackrock!

Yeah, well. Lockheed’s lost a tarball of highly confidential material, and getting it back means grabbing the engineer who lifted it and offered it for sale on the DarkNet. But when said engineer ends up dead in his house, things go way sideways for Olesia.

This book was, for want of a better word, a ‘Romp Through Spy-Land’. Jean Bonsour is old CIA, but sometimes works on the side for Blackrock, and he is her handler on the op. Their history is fascinating, in the “Old CIA” fashion, with exploding scientists, a wild escape across Pakistan, drones, IEDs and sex in the sands to spice up the mix. As her handler on the mission Jean’s job is to make sure Olesia has everything she needs to finish the job. But when the engineer ends up dead, Oleisia’s job gets a lot more interesting than expected – in a very ‘guns and knives’ sort of way. Intrigue, suspense, betrayal, it’s all here.

Olesia is an interesting character. She’s good at her job – but she is also a wildcard, with a tendency to do stupid things on the spur of the moment. This time? It could get a lot of people dead.

This was a relaxing afternoon read, not on the level of the greats of the Spycraft Genre, but an interesting read none-the-less.

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Review: Seal Team Six: Hunt The Wolf By Don Mann

sealwolf
An interesting novel, full of testosterone! LOL

 It is a principle of human nature to hate those whom you have injured. – Tacitus

 

It begins with a bomb. With a roar and devastation the U.S. Embassy building in Rabat, Morocco explodes in a blast of heat and light and death. An explosion brought about by hate and envy, pride and religion and everything else that is wrong with the world. All die. The good and the evil, the foolhardy and the wise. Dead is dead, and nothing shall ever be the same again.

And so begins an adventure covering much of the world, from the slopes of K2 to France as Seal Team Six, lead by Chief Warrant Officer Tom Crocker, the assault leader of the infamous “Blue Team” of the U.S. Navy SEALs, involve themselves in a massive manhunt across countries, and through the mountains.

Waylaid by the CIA, Crocker and his team are taken off their training mission to climb K2 and sent after Abu Rasul Zaman, third in the power structure of al-Qaeda. As the hunt for Zaman is to begin, however, they are given yet another mission – assist the King of Norway in finding a young girl, Malie, who has been taken by white-slave traders.

As the story becomes more and more exciting Crocker and his team being to connect the dots – dots which show connections between Zaman, a known associate of Zaman’s named Rafiq who has been providing bomb making materials to Zaman and his co-conspirators and the white slave trade. When Crocker and Akil (Akil Okasha El-Daly, aka Akil Daly) one of his team members are captured, tensions ratchet higher and higher, leading to an explosive story of crime, punishment and layers upon layers of conflict – just as expected from a novel set in such a volatile part of the world.

The author, Don Mann, is a Navy SEALs veteran with seventeen years of service, and his eight years served as a member of SEAL Team Six, later known as DEVGRU, significantly defines the plot and the characters. Mann has a grip on character development, especially in how I would expect a Navy SEAL to react to the conditions and happenings of the story line. Overall, this is an excellent story for lovers of action, adventure, suspense and military intrigue. The first of a series, I will be reading the others as well.I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review.li

Review: A Savage Death – Erich Penhoff

savagedeath
Click to order in paperback or Kindle.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned . . .” – William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

Marco and his friends, Karl and Michel, partners in “investment planning and security” for more than thirty years, have returned from the DRC having recaptured millions of Euros in stolen investments. Marco should have time to relax, and enjoy his dogs and horses at home in Canada.

Instead, a Mountie is on his doorstep, and the world will never be the same. One of Marco’s companions is dead. What follows is a brutal race across Europe as Marco leads his compatriots into a world of drugs, guns and people smuggling, terrorist organizations and European gangs. Marco Resnic knows who is responsible. His enemies have made a serious mistake. Marco will go to any lengths to avenge the death of his friend, no matter the cost. Because when Marco gets mad, the last place anyone should ever be is in his cross hairs. He will not stop until the guilty pay. Revenge is best served now.

A Savage Death is a wild and hugely exciting trip across continents, delving into the horrors of drug running, gangs, terrorists and murder. Marco is unlike any any other hero I have met. He isn’t some hot, hunky young guy with more testosterone than brains. Instead, his intelligence and experience lead him, helping him to track down and punish those whose evil is a plague on society.

This book is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys action, adventure and espionage. It is a high intensity, high thrill joyride into the dark-side that I greatly enjoyed. Of course, as I edited the book, I had a lot of time to enjoy it!

Author Erich Penhoff writes a vivid and graphic novel, depicting the harsh realities and the dirty politics that occur across borders and among mercenaries, as only one who has been there knows.

A Sunday Update of This and That

There are a lot of things going on for me in the book world in the next couple of weeks. I am doing a re-edit for Erich Penhoff’s Savage Roads, the first book in the Savage Series. I have finished the edit on the second book in the series, A Savage Death and it will be published mid-month. Watch here for the publication announcement! Aren’t the cover’s great? They are by LLPIX Photography. If you like high action, unusual characters, and wonderfully drawn international locations, you are going to love these two books. The third, unnamed volume will be hitting my desk soon, and I can hardly wait!

savageroads A SAVAGE DEATH

Today I am hoping to finish the edit for Kelly Graham’s Eyes of the Many. It seems like all of the books I am working on these days have killer covers!  This one is awesome too, isn’t it?  I will add the name of the artist later. Currently, my list is being developed of different cover artists who have been recommended to me, or who I have found myself that I really like and who do a great job. Watch for it to show up soon.

eyes of the many

coconut-lemongrass-chai
Coconut Lemongrass Chai Tea

A few things of a more personal and “just for fun” nature!  I just made a big pot of Cucumber Mojito tea, after guzzling about a gallon of English Tea this morning. I finally took a minute to order more tea from Tea Guys (woo hoo!) so will be receiving more Pu-Erh (an aged black that my housemate is addicted to), Darjeeling (my favorite straight black) and smaller bag of Coconut Lemongrass Chai . It is very refreshing, and besides, who can’t love something that is this pretty when it comes out of the bag?

I also threw in small bags of Watermelon Lime Green Tea (hey, my two favorite flavours, gotta try it, right?)

morning-americano
Morning Americano Black Tea
watermelon-lime
Watermelon Lime Green Tea
coconut coffee
Gotta have my Dunkin’!

Along with these, I am also trying the Morning Americano which I am hoping will sort of make up for the fact that I have always been addicted to coffee, but really need to cut back (but I am NOT giving up my Dunkin’ Donuts Coconut Coffee!)

In other news, I am working on a cover for my 7-cup tea pot (isn’t it a hoot? It has a matching cup that goes with it…)

teapot
Fun Teapot!
grecian lovely
Grecian Lovely from Really Wild Tea Cosies

So, I am using the Really Wild Tea Cosies book by Loani Prior again. The pattern is Grecian Lovely. Of course, I have to do things differently, right? So my Grecian Lovely is a bit brighter than this one – the side I am working on looks all neat and tidy, huh? Well, of course, it doesn’t really look like that on the other side – LOL!!  Of course, it will be good to get a cosy made for it, seeing as how this one’s ‘skirt’ is a bit short!

Well, 4-pot covers aren’t really made for 7-cup pots, huh?

teapot cover
Teapot showing it’s bottom . . .
IMGP1685
Starting on one side. Flat knitting on each side.
IMGP1686
What a mess, huh?
new directions in lace
New Directions In Lace
lace yarn
Eggplant lace yarn from See Jayne Knit.

Oh, and I signed up for a class at Craftsy.com called New Directions in Lace.  I can take the class any time I want, in stages, so any time I get a moment to play with it, I can do it. Cool, huh? It is a really beautiful pattern, and I have this lace-weight yarn from See Jayne Knit.  It will be interesting to see if she can make me more of this, as there are 825-yards and I need about 1200-1300 yards!

Well, enough piddling around. Time to get to work on Eyes especially as I am really looking forward to it!

Review: The Chimera Vector – Nathan M. Farrugia – Four Stars

chimera vector
Click to order the book.

The Chimera Vector is special. A heart-pounding blend of science fiction and thriller, the story line grabs your attention at the first and doesn’t let go. Not only does the story provide all the action and thrills that I love in a book of this sort, Farrugia knows his stuff when it comes to genetic manipulation, world governments, secret organizations, and the human need for power and wealth above all else.

Imagine the horror of waking up one day to discover that everything you thought was real was a lie – that instead of being the good guy, you find out that you are the monster under the bed. The horror destined to change the fate of the world. And truly, not in a good way. Hidden agendas, terrorism disguised as patriotism, genetic manipulation and deadly viruses (oh, my!) and plots within plots make this a lively and breathtaking read.

As some have said, there is a comparison to be drawn between Rollins and Farrugia. The action and adventure and edge of the seat thrills are definitely there. I would agree, however, that Rollins is in a class of his own when it comes to this genre. As this was Farrugia’s first book, before The Searphim Sequence: The Column 2, I will have to see how the next one goes to see how much closer he gets to that Rollins ideal.  As the reviewer on Amazon identified as “lifeguard48” stated, there is a very “Manchurian Candidate” vibe. I would add in a heavy dose of Huxley, a smidge of “Gattica” and a bow to   Methuselah’s Virus. Toss in a bit of Crichton and le Carre and you have a book with all the energy of a triple shot of espresso with a side of terror.

This is a great book. If you like action, check it out!  Recommended.

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