My Pick of Good Writers

My Pick of Good Writers

Happy Author

While writing my political thrillers—I have taken a break from my science fiction Shadow Gods books, although another adventure in this saga is possible—I keep myself abreast of what other writers have come up with by doing book reviews. Every writer deserves credit for giving life to his idea, spending many lonely hours to produce a book. Unfortunately, some of those efforts don’t deserve to see the light of day. When I do come across a book that inspires, enchants, thrills, or just gets me thinking, it makes up for those others that didn’t make the grade. Out of the many books I reviewed, I want to share with you several writers whose works have expanded my horizons.

Pa Joe’s Place by Clancy Tucker

Hoei, Boo! With Pa Joe’s Place, Clancy Tucker has created an extraordinary piece of writing. From the first page, I fell in love with little Boo’s unpretentious yet endearing character, as will every reader, whether young or young at heart. Wherever Boo goes, she touches people in a special way. Told from a child’s perspective, the story doesn’t have much of a plot, but what Clancy Tucker offers will tug at every reader’s heartstrings, which more than makes up for that small deficiency. The novel has superb writing with excellent narrative and dialogue; a jewel. This book can be read more than once, revealing flashes of pleasure that may have been missed before. Pa Joe’s Place also plunges the reader into aspects of Thai culture and the harsh life of its people struggling to survive in an environment tourists perceive as idyllic. Given this glimpse, the reader will be tempted to visit Singkhala for himself and see that land through Boo’s eyes. The ending is sure to leave the reader tearful. This is a story no one will forget soon.

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Pa Joe's Place

Clancy Tucker writes young adult fiction for reluctant readers, and has achieved success as a poet and photographer. He has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, has photography accepted and published in books I the USA (Innocent Dreams, Journeys & A Trip Down Memory Lane), used as covers for magazines (‘The Australian Writer’ – s008, and ‘Victoreian Writer’ – 2008). His works are registered with the International Library of Photography, published in literary magazines, and he has written over 90 short stories.

The Fourteenth Protocol by Nathan A. Goodman

The Fourteenth Protocol takes the reader on a whirlwind ride that doesn’t let up until the final page. The fast-paced story leaves no room to pause and reflect or you will miss something important. Nathan A. Goodman’s writing is crisp and eloquent, a pleasure to read. I would have liked the plot and the characters to be more developed, giving me insight into their motives, hates and desires, particularly the developing relationship between Cade and Jana. As a reader, I like to snuggle with a character and find out what he or she really thinks, but this lack is more than made up with constant action and plot twists. If you like tense drama and conspiracies, The Fourteenth Protocol will be a thriller.

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The Fourteenth Protocol

Nathan A. Goodman is an Atlanta native (almost) and works in the email marketing and CRM software industry. He is married and has two daughters. Outside of God and family, Nathan has three passions: the great outdoors, great friends, and writing.

Playing out of your Mind by Dave Johnston

What can I say. Dave Johnston’s Playing out of your Mind is an astonishing book that every part-time golfer should read. I know it will help me with my game – provided I stick to Dave’s tips. Instead of presenting his observations, conclusions and recommendations in a dry textbook style, by using a real event story, observing how Jonathan plays, immediately engages the reader in a way that educates and entertains. I sympathized with Jonathan, reflecting on my own golf play, nodding as I read the book, realizing I was caught in the same mental traps. ‘Playing out of your mind’ is a brilliant analysis of golf play and the importance to approach every shot positively, banishing the negative demons.

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Playing Out of your Mind

Dave Johnston obtained his degree in pychology from York University. He has been teaching golf for 31 years and given over 11,000 lessons. He is the Director of Instruction at the Bloomington Downs Golf Club in Richmond Hill, Ontario. After playing his first game at 18 and scoring 75 without any formal instruction, he had visions of playing the PGA Tour. After following a regimen of professional instruction and diligent practice, his game deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t break 100!

Journey of the Tree Child by Joni Smothers

As I started reading Journey of the Tree Child, I was drawn inexorably into the flowing prose spun with exquisite skill by Joni Smothers. I allowed my mind to roam and soar among the images he conjured, free of earthly cares, becoming one with everything. The writing is melodious and compelling, drawing the reader into a mystical, dreamland tale, sprinkled with philosophical truths our modern lifestyle has forgotten, or at best neglected. What I like about this very short book is the absence of any moralizing, leaving the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. The only regret I have is that Joni Smothers has not given me more.

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Journey of the Tree Child

Joni Smothers was born in Conrad, Montana, and lived in North Dakota, Minnesota, Oregon, and Arizona throughout her childhood. She attended two years at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida, then moved to Alabama where she married and lived for 30 years. After she divorced, she and her son and daughter traveled west to San Diego, eventually moving north to Mt. Shasta where she settled and began work as a nanny and caregiver. She wrote “Journey of the Tree Child” 15 years ago while living in Alabama, and carefully carried the manuscript with her through nearly 2 years of homelessness while living in her car between the time she arrived in San Diego, and settled in Mt. Shasta. She holds the belief that nothing is coincidental, and that her soul created her earthly journey before birth. Therefore, she looks on her years of homelessness as a deep journey within and rich opportunity to be intimately involved with nature and elemental life.

No Mistakes Interviews by Giacomo Giammatteo

Having been in the industry for some thirty years, Giacomo Giammatteo’s experience and deep knowledge of every aspect surrounding job hunting shines throughout ‘No Mistakes Interviews’. Combined with an easy and engaging writing style, presenting information concisely in a very clear way, it made reading the book not only informative, but a pleasure. I wish I had something like this when I was looking for a job!

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No Mistakes Interviews

Giacomo has been a headhunter for 30 years, doing retained searches in the medical device/diagnostics & biotech/pharmaceutical industries. He has completed more than 500 searches, which translates into evaluating, editing, and writing thousands of resumes. He also interviewed and done reference checks on more than 1,000 candidates. What does all that mean? It means he has seen a lot of crazy…stuff. If he allowed this to get to him, he could have ended up in a small room with padded walls. He decided to write books instead. You can check out his mystery/suspense books at: http://giacomogiammatteo.com/

Eternal Redemption by Paul Andreas Wunderlich

Eternal Redemption creates a beautifully written and enchanting short story that is a reflection of man’s desire for power at any cost, only to realize what a hollow victory it is without love. I would love to see Mr. Wunderlich apply his superb writing skills to a full length novel.

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Eternal Redemption

The Decline of the Epic by Jason Goetz

The Decline of the Epic provides the reader with an intellectual smorgasbord from which he can satiate himself or be violently sick. This work is not for the fainthearted. Without some familiarity of classical writing and understanding of history, politics and socio-economics, the reader will be left floundering. There is much to agree with and even more that rises one’s hackles. Although the title suggests an analysis of why epic writing has declined over time, the work is fundamentally a critique and social commentary on Western society that bemoans the passing of what is perceived was a simpler and easier time. The reader may not agree with everything the author proposes, but he will definitely find the material challenging and thought provoking.

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Decline of the Epic

Jason R. Goetz is a young, charismatic author and educator. He attended school at the University of California, Berkeley, Pierce College, and California State University, Northridge, from where he received a B.A. in Liberal Studies. He has read extensively in the Great Books, including epic poetry, Greek and Roman history, British history, political theory, epistemology, classic novels and plays, and great American nonfiction. He wrote his first book, The Bubble Boys, shortly after graduating, and has since written The Decline of the Epic, and the first six volumes of the Essays on the Classics series.

Murder Down Under by Nancy Curteman

This book takes the reader through a fast paced murder mystery, throwing in a glimpse of Australian lifestyle. Her writing is crisp and easy to read, with excellent dialogue. The plotting is straightforward and the reader doesn’t have to follow any tortuous routes. The story has a lot of secondary dialogue between the two women that is engaging and provides a window into their backgrounds and relationship. An entertaining read.

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Murder Down Under

Nancy Curteman has lived most of her life on the majestic Pacific coast. After graduating from San Francisco State University, she studied at the University of Nice in France and has a Masters in French literature. She loves to read mystery novels so of course, she loves writing them. One of her novels, “Murder in a Teacup”, placed second in the California Writers Club Jack London novel contest. Solstice Publishing has released her latest novel, “Murder Down Under”, set in Australia. She is completing her fourth Lysi Weston mystery novel set in South Africa.

Isia’s Secret by Ray Stone

With Isia’s Secret, Ray Stone takes the reader into the shadowy world of investigative journalism, exposes the fierce struggle between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, and what powerful men are prepared to do to keep power. I enjoyed the smoldering interaction between Edna and Jessica, which made the book come alive. Ray Stone’s characters are rounded and believable, and support well the flow of the story. An entertaining read.

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Isia's Secret

Ray Stone is an author of several publications, including ‘The Trojan Towers’, five Blues lyrics, a poetry book ‘Life Over a Cup of Tea’, and his latest novel, a political thriller, ‘Isia’s Secret’, the first in a trilogy of Enda Osin mystery thrillers. His second in the series is ‘Twisted Wire’, published in September 2014, with the third, ‘Glass Frogs & Chameleons’, to be published early in 2015.

Running Scared by S. L. Smith

In Running Scared, S. L. Smith presents a superbly written work filled with exquisitely crafted dialogue, immersing the reader into some of the less glamorous aspects of police work. Peter Culnane and his partner have an engaging relationship that relieves the tedium of lengthy interviews and sifting through fiddling details. S. L. Smith keeps the reader guessing, like a good mystery should. The only flaw I can find with this book are the laborious interviews that go into unnecessary specifics. If someone wants to experience and understand how police conduct an investigation, this novel will be rewarding.

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Running Scared

During my 32 years with the State Department of Public Safety, I worked with law enforcement and fire officials at the state, country and municipal levels. Those interactions assisted me with writing mysteries, but were just the starting point. Without the help of a friend who spent 35 years as a cop, I would never have ventured into writing police procedurals. He contributed to my understanding of the perspectives of my two protagonists, Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney.

If you liked this article, check out my insights into writing, editing and publishing on my Blog. I would appreciate your feedback!

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