I have done a significant number of book reviews over the years, and it dawned on me that they become too easily lost among the other blog post in a typical blog feed.
Therefore, I created a new book review page called DC’s Book Reviews and will display images of the books I have reviewed on the page. Each image will contain a link to that book review in my blog. I have been working on this for several days, and it is now ready to go live.
Voilà! A lot less searching.
I guess I’ve done about 40 or so book reviews. However, 16 have been added to date. I will keep working at this until all of them are on the book review page.
I do enjoy good books and reviewing them for other readers. However, lately, whenever possible. I have turned to audiobooks. I guess my eyes are getting a bit older, and too many years of working at the computer have taken its toll. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books, even with tired eyes!
While I only review books I have an interest in reading, anyone interested in having an honest book review done by me can contact me through my contact form. I will reply as quickly as I can.
Click here to view my new book review page. It is also a menu option a the top of the page.
In the jungles of Vietnam, innocence is the first casualty of war…
Nineteen-year-old Eddie Henderson is a private in the U.S. Army. His parents are deceased, and he has no one in his life except his platoon brothers—Porter, Rocky, and Professor. His fellow soldiers are his family now. But none share a bond as close as he and his best friend, team leader Mitch Drexler.
In the heat and jungles of Vietnam, each man does the best he can to survive. Battles are fought, friends lost, and promises made to the fallen. But when the enemy fatally wounds a platoon brother in a deadly attack, the dying soldier makes Eddie promise to fulfill a final vow… A debt of blood that could change the course of his life forever.
When Eddie and his friends’ tours are over, they return home to a world they barely remember. But Eddie is still trapped in the past. He has no family, no home to go back to. Just a nightmare he lives over and over again. A dark vow he made to a dying friend. And one question, burning in his mind…
Will he keep his promise to his friend? No matter the cost?
My thoughts …
While I served in the U.S. Army several years after the war in Vietnam ended (from 79 to 83), I have always been fascinated by the Vietnam War. I certainly saw enough on the news to be curious about what it must have been like, and this has led me to read a great deal on the subject. Add to this the fact that, later in life, I had a few good friends who were Vietnam veterans, and who would occasionally share snippets of their experiences during the war, which only served to increase my desire to try and understand the background and circumstances.
I have read all four of Glyn Haynie’s books. Each one has been excellent and a real pleasure to read. While the first three were memoirs, Promises to the Fallen was Haynie’s first foray into the world of fiction. It did not disappoint.
This novel is an incredible read! Haynie puts you right in the middle of the Vietnamese jungles, the smells, the mud, the villages, the people, and their rice paddies. It is almost like you are there, and with those young men who find themselves in another world, an insane world full of danger, death, fear, courage, loyalty, and sacrifice. It is also a world of hope and hopelessness, where you can’t tell your enemies from your friends, and you anxiously count the days, hoping you survive until you get to go home.
The author draws on his own experiences in Vietnam and in close infantry combat to make this book one heck of a page-turner. And, for those of us who have served in the U.S. military, whether it was during the Vietnam War, other conflicts, or even during peacetime, Haynie’s narrative will bring to mind memories and experiences of your time in the service of your country.
To those who haven’t served, this novel may help you to understand why those who serve in the military are the way they are … their pride in their service, this country, and its flag. And yes, even its problems and shortcomings.
The bond of brotherhood that exists between those who have served together is a real bond that stands the test of time. When you cut through all the hyperbole, it is really about the man (or woman) in the foxhole next to you. While politicians, the media, and Hollywood love to talk about defending our country, baseball, apple pie, etc., it is really about defending your buddy while he or she defends you.
I found Promises to the Fallen extremely difficult to put down. It took me through a broad range of emotional responses as it laid bare the authentic, unadulterated experience of the American soldier in Vietnam; the good, the bad, and even the ugly. I highly recommend this book to all.
Now, on to Leora’s Lettersby Joy Neal Kidney, another book I have been anxious to read! What great books have you read this winter?
In a thrilling adventure of brotherhood, warfare, and treachery, Giles Kristian takes us into ninth-century England, a world of darkness, epic conflict, and an unforgiving God served by powerful priests. On ships shaped like dragons, bristling with oars and armor, Jarl Sigurd and his fierce Norsemen have come in search of riches. And riches they are promised, by an English ruler who sends Sigurd and his wolves to steal a holy manuscript from another kingdom. Osric, an orphan boy, sees beyond the terror of these warriors, and somehow knows the heathens’ tongue. Renamed Raven, rechristened in blood, he will join them. They are his people. And they will be his fate.
The Story …
Set in England during the late 800s, “Blood Eye” is the story of Osric, a fifteen-year-old carpenter’s apprentice in the village of Abbotsend. Osric has no memory of anything before the Saxon villagers found him left for dead near a burial mound with a bone-handled pagan knife hanging around his neck. To make matters worse, Osri’s left eye is blood red (probably from an injury), so the Christian priest accuse him of being a servant of the devil. This makes Osric’s life in Abbotsend difficult. Things change dramatically when two Viking long-ships arrive on shore.
The Vikings are led by Jarl Sigurd who claims to have come peace to trade, However, the village priest attempts to poison Sigurd with mead laced with hemlock. Osric cannot simply standby and let this happen, so he warns Sigurd about the priest’s treachery. The Vikings take their revenge, and leave, taking Osric and the old carpenter with them. Sigurd believes Osric’s “blood eye” is a sign from Odin. Osric soon discovers he has much more in common with Sigurd and his men than with the English who adopted him.
Sigurd renames Osric “Raven,” and the boy finds himself admiring the Norseman and their way of life. He has discovered he can speak their language, and with the pagan knife, this presents a clue to his forgotten past.
The story begins to take off when a Wessex Ealdorman offers Sigurd a fortune in silver to steal a book, a bejeweled Gospel of Saint Jerome, kept in the fortress of the king of Merica. The Norseman agree and set off on this mission accompanied by a fierce Wessexman named Mauger and an Christian priest named Father Egfrith.
In Mercia, Raven helps save a young woman named Cynethryth, who becomes Raven’s love interest for the remainder of the tale. While there exists a thread of romance, this is not a romance novel. It is a Viking saga of honor, courage, battle, and blood. It is the story of Raven and his return to his origins, and discovering himself in the company of Viking warriors.
My thoughts …
The story moves at a fast pace from one exciting battle scene to the next. It includes several good plot twists and a large dose of a betrayal and comeuppance.
Giles Kristian ends his tale in a way that sets up the sequel, Sons of Thunder perfectly, and I look forward to reading that tale next.
The interesting thing for me is that I read the Rise of Sigurd series previously, which is clearly a prequel to this Raven series, and was written a few years later.
As a new author myself, it was interesting to see how Giles Kristian has grown as an author over time. It looks like there were about three years between the release of Blood Eye (Raven 1) and God of Vengeance (Sigurd 1). The growth of Kristian as a writer between the two works is readily apparent. God of Vengeance is much smoother and better written.
I find that inspirational because it means there may actually be hope for me as a writer. And, indeed, I learned a great deal writing my first novel, Serpents Underfoot and already see differences as I continue working on its sequel, Montagnard.
I found “Blood Eye” to be a very worthy read, and I do recommend it (with the understandings mentioned above) as a very good read. It think it would be interesting to re-read them in the order they were released, and enjoy the great stories while seeing Kristian’s evolution from good new author to excellent seasoned author unfold.
To read additional blog posts and book reviews by D.C. Gilbert, click here!
Milan Marko contacted me through Fiverr.com to write a book description for the new English version of his book, FOREX: Proven Trading Strategies For Financial Freedom. Marko published the original in German in 2016. Until I read his book, I had no idea what Forex trading is. His book is very informative and quite interesting. Therefore I decided to share it on my blog. It is available on Amazon.com. Here is the link.
Can you make money as a Forex trader? What is Forex? How do you trade Forex?
Marko answers these and many other questions in his remarkable guide.
This book is a compilation of his personal experiences as a foreign exchange trader. He also combines with his personal experience the information gleaned from working with other successful traders over the last several years. It is a complete guide to the process of foreign exchange trading for beginners. However, seasoned traders can also benefit. This is a book that should be on any foreign exchange traders bookshelf.
What is most important?
First of all, and perhaps most the important question, are you passionate and enthusiastic about your financial goals? According to Marko, these are two critical ingredients for success. That is because, real passion and enthusiasm will keep you on track and motivated to succeed.
What are your Forex goals?
Do you want to become a skilled and profitable foreign exchange trader? Would you like to avoid the mistakes often made by beginning traders? Finally, how about trading foreign exchange for a living? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, this may well be just the book for you.
This book contains a lot of great information!
Everything from the basic vocabulary, analysis, and several proven trading strategies. It contains everything you need to be successful in foreign exchange trading. We know there no surefire guarantees in any investing. However, by learning the processes and techniques outlined this book you are following the paths blazed by many highly successful foreign exchange traders.
Furthermore, you also can learn the methods used by many foreign exchange traders to preserve their capital while they do generate real returns. As a result of becoming a knowledgeable and confident foreign exchange trader, you could increase your chances of achieving true financial independence.
If you are interested in Forex trading, this is a book you should certainly check out. To order your copy now, just click the button below.
A fellow writer shared a link on Twitter to a little analysis tool that allows you to paste in a chapter of your work or a blog post, etc., and then analyzes your writing to tell you who you write like. For kicks, I thought I would give it a try. I pasted a section of a chapter from Serpents Underfoot in the field, clicked analyze, and held my breath. A few second later, my results came back and I was informed I write like Anne Rice.
So, who is Anne Rice … in case you don’t know
Anne Rice was born on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her first novel, Interview With The Vampire, was published in 1976 and went on the become one of the best-selling novels of all time. Her many books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.
I admit I am not sure what to think about this. I was sure I would come back with Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, or Fredrick Forsyth … but Anne Rice? To be sure, I am not knocking Anne Rice. I have read several of the books in her Lestat series and enjoyed them immensely. I just didn’t imagine that military thriller writers would compare to a writer of metaphysical Gothic fiction, Christian literature and erotica!
If you would like to check out this little writing analysis tool, click here!
I wonder if a sample from my book, Adirondack Bear Tales, would also come back as similar to Anne’s in style? Interesting question. I may need to check that out.
By the way …
If you happen to check out one of my books, please leave a review to let me know what you think. I would certainly appreciate it! Click here to read more of my blog posts.
An important question. Writing is not a get rich quick scheme. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with seeking to earn a few buck from your writing. I must confess that it was a pleasant surprise when people began to buy my books and actually enjoyed the stories I’d written.
I just like to tell stories. So, the question for me was, how do you know people are enjoying your books? It is one thing to tell the tale! It is quite another thing when people truly enjoy your tales. Probably for me, a reader’s enjoyment is the biggest motivation behind why I write.
Question #2: How do you know people enjoy your writing.
I think this question is answered in several ways. Talking to your readers and asking them for their thoughts on your book is one thing I have done.
There is a real difference between, “I thought it was good” …
… “Dude! I loved it. That part where JD spent the night trapped under the NVA tank rocked” or “that barroom fight scene was totally awesome. I loved that line … ‘my mother taught me!’ “
Reviews can also answer this question …
When a reader takes the time to write a review for something you wrote, that really means something.
1) Either they hated it (I had one reader who hated the fact that I had some adult scenes in Serpents Underfoot so much that he never finished the book and gave me a 1 Star review just so he could vent his outrage.)
2) Or, they liked your story enough to take the time to say so.
The Few, the Proud, the Marines!
I really loved this review of Serpents Underfoot because it is from a USMC veteran. Getting a 5 Star Review from a USMC veteran for a book that includes all branches of the U.S. military including the Coast Guard, really meant something special to me. Marines are not noted for lightly giving out praise which is why this review does mean so much!
Definitely a five-star adventure. I was hooked from the first page and read it in one sitting. The plot, which revolved around a conspiracy to detonate nuclear bombs in the U. S., includes many unexpected twists and turns. JD quickly becomes the dominant character with Ajax a close second. I’m looking forward to the next book. ~ usmc – mike
Warning: Bears ahead!
This 5 Star Review of Adirondack Bear Tales made me chuckle. This reader obviously enjoyed the stories and even took the time to write a carefully crafted and entertaining review! Very cool! And, very much appreciated.
Reviews like this are one of the main reasons I enjoy writing. This reader clearly enjoyed this short collection of bear tales from the Adirondacks!
Adirondack Bear Tales is a first-class collection of gripping encounters with Ursus Americanus. Gilbert enjoins readers with the inviting and entrancing aspects of the Adirondacks, only to rapidly transform each tale into a suspenseful and terrifying experience! Suitable for all ages, I could not put this 42 page book down. Adirondack Bear Tales is a superlative blend of family, nature, humor, and fright. ~ Eric Ewald
Pursuing reviews for the sake of pursuing reviews is probably not the best use of your time as a writer. Above all, you need to be writing. However, it doesn’t take too many reviews such as these to give you a good feeling about what you are doing! In addition, reviews such as these can be very motivational!
To read other posts on DC Gilbert’s blog … click here!
Thank you, DD Gott, for the fantastic five star review of Serpents Underfoot.
What did I like? This is the first book that I have read from this author, but I was struck with the realism of the storyline. He truly knew his subject and characters and brought them to life with the stroke of his pen/computer. The reality of the storyline hit me like a ton of bricks. It seems like this was written as an episode of today’s life. Being an animal lover and knowing a little about working dogs, I was very impressed with the information and the use of his K9 partner, it was awesome.
What will you like? Extreme action, passionate characters, powerful storyline, well written, strong and yet touching with many lives put into action and learning curves. Well thought out and shows the intense research in every page from the martial arts to the life of the military. Action and reality make this an explosive action thriller for your next read.
~ DD Gott
How’s that for a great five star review! You can read the whole review here.
Adirondack Bear Tales
In addition, keep an eye out for my upcoming new release! It is a wonderful collection of Adirondack Bear Tales based on real life encounters with black bears in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York. These delightful family stories are enjoyable for adults and suitable for all ages. They would even make great bedtime stories for young children. It is not a long book … 11 short stories … but the stories vary between humorous, exciting, and even sad. Above all, they are very entertaining.
Likewise, if you have the time, I would love to get your help on selecting the cover for this book. I have two versions and like them both.
Please click here to tell me which cover you like better.