(Review) Goodbye Paris (Pono Hawkins #3) by Mike Bond

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Goodbye Paris

Publisher and Publication Date: Big City Press. June 11, 2019.
Genre: Fiction.
Pages: 376.
Source: I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Audience: Readers of thriller/CIA operative novels.
Rating: Okay.

Goodbye Paris is #3 in the series but can be read as a standalone.

ISBN: paperback: 978-1-949751-02-4
ISBN ebook: 978-1-949751-03-1

Amazon link

Goodbye Paris_Mike Bond
About the author:
Author of eight best-selling, critically-acclaimed novels, an award-winning poet, ecologist, and war and human rights journalist. Mike Bond has worked and lived
in many dangerous and war-torn regions of the world. Based on his own experiences,
his novels portray the innate hunger of the human heart for good, the intense joys of love, the terror and fury of battle, the sinister conspiracies of dictators, corporations and politicians, and the beauty of the vanishing natural world.

Mike Bond Books

Mike Bond @ Facebook

France Book Tours
Link for the book tour: Goodbye Paris

Summary:
Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins races from a Tahiti surfing competition to France when he learns that a terrorist he’d thought was dead, Mustafa al-Boudienne, has a backpack nuclear weapon and plans to destroy Paris. Pono was once Mustafa’s prisoner, and he is now the only one left alive to identify him. Joining allies from US and French intelligence, including a fearless and brilliant French agent, Anne Ronsard, with whom he soon falls in love, Pono faces impossible odds to stop Mustafa before he can
destroy the most beautiful city on earth. Third in the Pono Hawkins series after best-selling Saving Paradise and Killing Maine, the newest Pono thriller takes the reader into never-before revealed depths of covert action on three continents, insider secrets in the war against terrorism, and intense memories of combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and
elsewhere. Alive with covert action and unknown details of the war against terrorism, Goodbye Paris is a hallmark Mike Bond thriller: tense, exciting, and full of real places, and that will keep you up all night.

My Thoughts:
During a book tour, the material is provided to write the review post. For example: summary or synopsis information. But, the section titled, “My Thoughts” is always my honest review.
Several years ago I read a spy/espionage book written by a retired CIA person. He explained, “most people don’t realize how much of the work is spent waiting and observing.” I thought about his comment while reading Goodbye Paris.
Goodbye Paris is an active book. Whether Pono is surfing, riding on a fast motorcycle, having sex, or catching the bad guys the book is busy. The book reminds me of a James Bond type film. It is busy, masculine, and virile. For the reader, there is rarely a moment of respite.
Pono uses language that would make my mother wash his mouth out with soap. Cursing is one thing, crude language about the female anatomy is ridiculous and uncalled for. It doesn’t make the character Pono any tougher. It just makes him seem juvenile. I understand that when men are together they talk and use coarse language (sometimes.) My point is the character Pono tries too hard and it comes off as a caricature of something he should already be. A person (male or female) who has endured combat, or other military type action, or police action does not need to use language to make them seem brave, courageous, and strong. They just are. They are brave and courageous, because they’ve faced the fear. The people I know personally who have been in combat operations during a time of war, this includes those who were taken prisoner, when they do speak about a memory they are matter of fact, and depending on their audience they choose words carefully. Pono made a life changing choice at the tail end of the book. I’m hoping his character will evolve in to a steadfast, immovable, mature force to be reckoned with. Before I move on from this point, Pono is a character I could grow to love and feel an investment in. At this point, he seems to be a wanderer, not knowing the why of what he does. He needs a focal point, something to live and fight for, something or someone to love and die for.
I love the unpredictable conclusion at the end. I’m so glad the story left me unable to guess how the story was going tie-up at the end.

 

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(Review) Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

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Publisher and Publication Date: Bethany House. April 2019.
Genre: Christian fiction.
Pages: 368.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: Readers who love family saga, World War II, and dual time period stories.
Rating: Very good.

Amazon link

 

 

For more information: Bethany House. At this link you can read an excerpt!

Dykes_Amanda

About the author:
Amanda Dykes (www.amandadykes.com) is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. Give her a rainy day, a candle to read by, an obscure corner of history to dig in, and she’ll be happy for hours. She’s a former English teacher, and her novella, Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, was met with critical acclaim from Publishers Weekly, Readers’ Favorite, and more. She is also the author of a novella in The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection. Whose Waves These Are is her debut novel.

Summary:
In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Its message? Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the harbor village on the coast of Maine, and he sets his callused hands to work.
Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when GrandBob, the man who gave her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is the one in need of help. But what greets her is a mystery: a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Memories of stone ruins on a nearby island ignite a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.
Together with the handsome and enigmatic town postman, Annie uncovers the story layer by layer, yearning to resurrect the hope GrandBob once held so dear and to know the truth behind the chasm in her family’s past. But mending what has been broken for so long may require more of her and those she loves than they are prepared to give.

My Thoughts:
I love the front cover! And, I love the title!
Bethany House is a Christian publishing company. They have some of the best front covers in the publishing industry.

Dual time periods are a popular way of telling stories. I’m tired of it. It is being done way too often in fiction books. It’s time to take a break from this.

What I like about this book (very good rating.)
•The bond of twins. Twin brothers are the main characters in the book. Their twin brother bond never changes no matter what happens in life.
•The setting is Maine. I love books with a setting close to the ocean.
•A moral story. Integrity. To do the right thing no matter how afraid or what the cost will be.
•Scene descriptions are wonderful. Maine is vivid and real.
•For the modern time period the main character discovers her family history.
•The love stories are inspirational. There is a depth to them. The love stories are not focused on the erotic, but on a lasting dedicated love.
•There are layers of stories not just the main story.
Whose Waves These Are is a well-written story to curl up with in your favorite chair.

Book Spotlight for The Fire of Winter by D. K. Marley

The Fire of Winter_Poster.jpeg02_The Fire of Winter

Publisher and Publication Date: The White Rabbit Publishing. June 1, 2019.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 355.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, but was not required to leave a positive review/spotlight.
Audience: Readers who love Scotland history, medieval era, and the story of Macbeth.

This is not a review but a spotlight.

Amazon link. Free ebook if you have Kindle Unlimited.

The book tour runs July 22 to August 19, 2019 @ Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Direct link for the giveaway: https://gleam.io/competitions/2IeSS-the-fire-of-winter

Summary:
She is known as Lady Macbeth.
What leads her down the path of murder?
What secrets fire her destiny?
Gruah, granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin, marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland. At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny as Queen of Scotland, and she vows to do whatever necessary to see her true love, Macbeth macFindlaech, beside her on the throne.
Amid the fiery times and heated onslaughts from Denmark and England, as the rule of Scotland hangs in the balance, Gruah seeks to win the throne and bring revenge upon the monsters of her childhood, no matter the cost or amount of blood tainting her own hands; yet, an unexpected meeting with the King called the Confessor causes her to question her bloody path and doubt her once blazing pagan faith. Will she find redemption or has the blood of her past fire-branded her soul?
The story weaves the play by William Shakespeare with the actual history of Macbeth and his Queen in 11th-century Scotland.
“…a woman’s story at a winter’s fire…”
(Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV)

Praise:
“This beautifully written reworking of the Macbeth tale told from Lady Macbeth’s point-of-view flows from the page and you quickly become immersed in the politics and intrigues of feudal Scotland as she fights for her rightful place and her true love! A mesmerizing read that grips from start to finish and Gruah is now one of my all-time favorite literary crushes.” – Iain Leonard, ARC Reviewer
“Brilliantly conceived and beautifully written, The Fire of Winter is a tale not to be missed by lovers of Shakespeare, lovers of history, or lovers of the written word.” – Riana Everly, Author of Teaching Eliza and Through a Different Lens

Author:
D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare’s plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel “Blood and Ink,” an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio. She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops and is a graduate of the intense training workshop “The Writer’s Retreat Workshop” founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes. She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.
Links to the author: Goodreads. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest.
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(Review) Standing Together by Carlos R. Evans and Rosemarie Evans with Cecil Murphey

Standing Together
Publisher and Publication Date: Kregel. June 25, 2019.
Genre: Biography. Christian nonfiction.
Pages: 256.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: People who have PTSD related to war experiences.
Rating: Excellent.

For more information about the book visit Kregel.

Amazon link

PTSD Foundation of America

About the authors:
•Sgt. (Ret.) Carlos R. Evans is a minister with the Assemblies of God USA, a Wounded Warrior spokesman, and a motivational speaker. Born in Puerto Rico, Carlos was an avid athlete through his high school and college years. At university, he studied Theology and was very active in his church. When the tragic events of September 11th occurred,
he felt compelled to join the family legacy of service in the US Marine Corps, and originally planned to join as a Chaplain.
Carlos served three tours of duty in Iraq and was assigned to Afghanistan for his fourth deployment. In May 2010, he was the squad leader on foot patrol when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. The blast took both of his legs and his left hand. Medically discharged after his rehab at Walter Reed, Carlos served in the Marine Corps for eight years.
•Rosemarie Evans, an experienced nurse, is now a full-time caregiver and student working toward a master’s degree in marriage and family from Liberty University.
Carlos and Rosemarie live in Orlando, Florida.
•Cecil Murphey has written or coauthored more than one hundred books, including the autobiography of Franklin Graham, Rebel with a Cause and the New York Times best-seller 90 Minutes in Heaven. Cecil lives in Georgia. Check him out at www.cecilmurphey.com

Summary:
During his fourth deployment, US Marine Corps Sergeant Carlos Evans stepped on an IED–and the loss of both legs and his left hand was just the beginning of the struggle for his life.
For the next two years, he and his wife, Rosemarie, went through the rehabilitation process together. As a nurse and mother of two young children, Rosemarie was used to caring for people, but the task of taking care of her triple-amputee husband brought new challenges every day. In addition to his limb loss, Carlos faced PTSD and developed an addiction to painkillers. He was sure Rosemarie’s life would be better without him–and that it might have been better if he hadn’t survived at all.
But unlike the majority of marriages put under similar strain, Carlos and Rosemarie stayed together. With the help of family, friends, and–most importantly–a strong faith, they’ve built a solid marriage and discovered a ministry they never expected. By the hand of God, their story, which began in devastation, has turned into one that draws in and lifts up more people than either of them would ever have dreamed.
Not only will disabled veterans and their loved ones find help here, Carlos and Rosemarie’s captivating journey also speaks to those who long for stronger marriages, care for loved ones with disabilities, or are facing a new normal in their own lives, small or large. It is a powerful resource for leaning on God in the midst of life’s great difficulties–and for finding ways that, through faith, profound loss can bring incredible blessing.

To read an excerpt: Standing Together.

My Review:
When I heard about this book I was anxious to read it. My son is a Veteran. He too has PTSD. His tours in Iraq were in the beginning years of the war. Help for Veterans were limited to prescriptions to help with depression and anxiety. The support groups were limited to older Veterans in attendance. A younger Veteran often felt uncomfortable sharing with older Veterans. Counseling was not available unless you had cash to pay the bill.
I’m thankful for progress in helping Veterans. I’m thankful for Veterans like Carlos R. Evans who write books and speak publicly about their experiences and the help that’s available.
Several reason led me to give Standing Together an excellent rating:
•The couple both share their stories. As a result, Standing Together helps Veterans and their spouses or loved ones.
•Carlos Evans is transparent and honest about his feelings post injury.
•Their story gives insight to the process of how the family finds out about an injury or death. Most of the civilian population is not aware of the process.
•PTSD is explained not so much in words but in sharing the symptoms that Carlos has endured. For example: nightmares and hallucinations.
•Carlos and Rosemarie explain their Christian belief. How they came to believe in Jesus Christ. They share points when their faith seemed small and about to disappear. Through their story and words I see how their faith grows.
•Their marriage is a strong witness. All married couples go through hard times. Not all people experience what they have, but they persevered and stayed together.
•And going a little further on the previous point. Standing Together is an inspirational story. They inspire all people to serve one another in love, compassion, and mercy!