Kidnap The Pope (World War II Series Book 6) by Jack DuArte

Kidnap The Pope (World War II Series Book 6) by Jack DuArte

In late July 1943, World War II is in full throttle when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is overthrown. His close friend and long-time admirer, Adolf Hitler, is convinced that Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII are behind the coup and determines to do something about it.

Even though he is himself a catholic, and his physical and mental state are deteriorating, Hitler revives an earlier plot, Operation Pontiff. The plan calls for the Wehrmacht to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.

He selects one of his top Generals, supreme SS Commander of Italy General Karl Wolff to put the plan into effect. Wolff feigns support for the plan but secretly takes actions to postpone its beginning. Other top German officials in Italy become involved along with some high officials of the Vatican itself.

A lone Catholic priest from New Orleans who studied at the Gregorian University and now works for the Vatican becomes a key figure in thwarting the plot’s implementation.

Germany occupies Rome and events and actions become fast and furious as certain factors play out to the novel’s conclusion.

Book Review: If you enjoy reading World War II history, ‘Kidnap The Pope’ by Jack DuArte needs to be in your library. Great writing with intense research has allowed the author to present in an easy to read journal format a scenario that depicts Adolf Hitler’s attempt to invade the Vatican and capture Pope Pius XII. This book is written to the best of the author’s ability from both German and Vatican points of view. The author says, “History is a most sacred gift and should not be distorted in any manner.”

‘Kidnap The Pope’ is book six in Jack DuArte’s World War II series. Although a series, each book stands alone. In this book there are eighteen easy to follow chapters set up in a diary/journal format. The time frame ranges from March 10, 1938 through Sunday, April 30, 1945.

Historical characters include heroes, heroines and adversaries from America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Vatican in particular. At the end of the book, the author offers a detailed list of the characters with their title, location, dates, ages and historical significance.

Each chapter starts with date, location and often the character or characters of importance. For example: August 23, 1939, Cabinet Room, West Wing, The White House, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia “All right, Mr. President.”

There are so many examples of the author’s style and content that I would love to share with you. The author’s research has allowed him to share letters, memos, wire cables, and other documents that detail historic thoughts and conversations of historical importance. One example is on Friday, September 4, 1939 at the Polish-German border “a Franco-British meeting determined that no major ground or air operations would be undertaken against Germany. Great Britain did indeed send bombers over Germany to drop propaganda leaflets and make reconnaissance of the areas, but no direct contact with the Germany military was ordered.

Adolf Hitler had reached out to Mussolini when he originally planned the assault for August 26, but cancelled the attack when the Italian dictator told him that Italy was not prepared to go to war at that time. Mussolini later assured the German leader of his political backing and the order to attack was rescheduled for September 1st.

Adolf Hitler knew he was taking a big chance when Germany attacked Poland.  Many of his generals were not in favor of the move and asked for more time to get the Wehrmacht better equipped for battle. On several occasions prior to the beginning of hostilities, France had insisted that the Poles not mobilize and that factor helped the Germans easily overrun the poorly equipped nation.

The Second World War had officially begun with the appeasement governments of both Britain and France afraid to take more than token steps to prevent Hitler from seizing additional territory. The United States was quick to condemn Germany’s action but President Roosevelt was determined to keep his country out of the conflict.

The world settled back to see what came next to the world stage and in what form.”

Another great example is on Sunday, December 7, 1941 in The President’s Private Study, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia. “Mr. President, the Japanese have attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor a few minutes ago. Our first reports indicate hundreds of Japanese fighter-bombers. We already know there is significant damage on Battleship Row. Admiral Stark at the Navy Department is trying to determine the consequences of the attack. All I can tell you is that it is bad, really bad…”

Enjoy reading for the first time or refreshing your memory with historical events like President Roosevelt’s famous speech made on December 8, 1941. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler, many world leaders, dignitaries, and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Theodocia McLean endorses Kidnap The Pope by Jack DuArte as a historical fictional that is illuminated with history and facts that the world will not soon forget. Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse. I purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on February 13, 2016.

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Author Jack DuArte’s Available Books (the series can be read as stand-alone books)
Kidnap The Pope
Malta
Spitfire
Singapore
The Resistance
The White Mouse

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Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.

The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Theodocia McLean endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2015.

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Susan Whitfield’s Published Books

Logan Hunter Mystery Series
Genesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
Just North of Luck (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 2)
Hell Swamp (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 3)
Sin Creek (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 4)
Sticking Point (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 5)

Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Slightly Cracked

Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Killer Recipes

Contact Information
Susan Whitfield’s Professional Website
Susan Whitfield’s Blog
Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

 

 

Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

OK, women, here it is!

Finally, a gut honest personal journal written by a man that hits the pages of Signs of (a) Life with both serious and laugh-out-loud stories.

To begin with, Liam speaks of issues that we can all relate to as we stand in front of a mirror and are surprised to see the older, graying image of someone we barely recognize staring back.

Liam states this right off the bat, “Warning: this book contains within it accounts of real conversations which may therefore occasionally include naughty words and rude phrases. I’ve even made up some words of my own. That’s the real world for you.”

Within the 502 pages and 61 topics this author presents his half century of life experiences in a relaxed, well thought out format that lets the readers empathize with him. His stories involve experiences not just a man, but as a boy. Very few men will bare their souls to share experiences of awkwardness while moving from childhood into manhood. Liam shares some of his experiences while attending a single-sex school for boys. He shares his discovery of girls, cars and various medical issues.

Some of the most interesting stories involve his experiences as a police officer in England. The most touching are his stories about the birth of his children. Liam dedicates this book to his children.

I invite you to come laugh and cry with Liam Samolis as we wait to see what happens in his next fifty years of living.

I leave you with this quote from Liam. “Like the vast majority of men; I feel. I enjoy (which, by the way, seems to be an ‘allowed’ emotion), I grieve, I feel sad, I feel hurt. I screw up. At times I am emotionally vulnerable. And there is nothing – to my mind – remotely un-masculine about any of that; feeling is part of living – an integral part. In fact for me, feeling is THE essential part of living. Feeling can never be wrong in principle (because it simply happens without conscious intention) – and neither can displaying or being honest about our emotions. Being overtaken by emotions in a situation where action is necessary could, of course, be problematic, but feeling and showing our feelings is essential in the long term for our personal health. I wonder how much happier many men could be if their emotions were not effectively under lock and key? Hey – that almost rhymes.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis as the honest account of a man living his life with all the human emotions that men typically try to avoid speaking about. This review was completed on October 18, 2015.

Genre: Biography, Memoir

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ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy) by Geoff Nelder

ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy) by Geoff Nelder

Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia Today, Jack caught a bug at work. He catches a bus home. By the time he disembarks in the desert town of Rosamond, all the other passengers and the driver have fuzzy heads. Jack had caught an amnesia bug, and it’s infectious. Imagine the ramifications: The passengers arrive home, infecting family; some shop en route infecting everyone they meet. The bus driver receives more passengers giving them change for last week’s prices and today’s amnesia. Some passengers work at the power plant, the water treatment works, the hospital, fire station. All shut down in weeks. One man, Ryder Nape, realizes what’s going on, but can he persuade friends to barricade themselves in a secluded valley, hiding from the amnesia bug?

“Geoff Nelder inhabits Science Fiction the way other people inhabit their clothes.” — Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

“Geoff Nelder’s ARIA has the right stuff. He makes us ask the most important question in science fiction–the one about the true limits of personal responsibility.” —Brad Linaweaver

Robert J. Sawyer calls ARIA a “fascinating project.”

“ARIA has an intriguing premise, and is written in a very accessible style.” —Mike Resnick

ARIA Voted best science fiction novel of 2012

Book Review: Let me answer the first question that came to my mind when the book ‘ARIA: Left Luggage’ arrived. The word ARIA has its roots in Italian meaning air.

Science Fiction as a genre literally is in a world of its own because human beings are obsessed with how to destroy or alter all of humanity by a single threat. It is rare that we find an author who can approach this kind of fiction from a new perspective, but Geoff Nelder has a truly unique concept.

As the first chapter begins the reader is introduced to Nelder’s large cast of characters like Vlad, Jena, Dan, Abdul and Antonio. His quantity of characters almost overwhelms the reader at first, but each has a role to play in this ordeal. The variety of solid, believable interpersonal relationships like the between Ryder Nape and his fiancée Teresa are essential as the world is threatened with massive memory loss by an alien virus. ARIA begs the intriguing question that as people lose their memories what is so important to their lives they must make a note of it to read when they wake up each morning?

The year is 2015 and there is never a dull moment as the reader joins the crew of “the shuttle, Marimar, in orbit approaching the International Space Station” and follows the science at the Dryden Space Laboratories at Edwards Air Force Base in California and the NASA Goddard Labs in Maryland. Travels to London and to the Anafon Valley in North Wales. Follow the viral repercussions to the Chester Zoo in UK, Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and to Banff National Park in Canada.

The author caused this reader to ask how the world would handle such a virus if brought back to Earth from an exploratory mission, who on earth might be immune, and what secrets could NASA and WHO be keeping from us? That is what good science fiction does. It captures the readers’ imagination and takes us to places that we believe are impossible, but somewhere in the dark corners of our minds we recognize that there is a slim probability.

Theodocia McLean endorses ARIA: Left Luggage by Geoff Nelder (volume one in the ARIA series) as a science fiction, action filled fiction that has already won the coveted Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for best science Fiction novel of 2012. Please consider purchasing and reading the whole ARIA series (available at Amazon): ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1), ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2) and ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3). Review completed on September 26, 2014.

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Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Geoff Nelder’s Website
Author Geoff Nelder’s Blog
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Hot Air by Geoff Nelder

Hot Air by Geoff Nelder

Erica is a nine-to-five office temp with flaming red hair, emerald eyes, and black lipstick. The highlights of her day usually include coffee meetings and intoxicated fumblings. An adventurer at heart, she hires a hot-air balloon ride for she and her boyfriend, complete with a champagne lunch.

While in the air, she witnesses an unsavory crime happening on the ground below. The perpetrators spot the balloon, and begin shooting at it, hitting the pilot and killing him. Somehow, Erica and Paul manage to land the balloon but their troubles are not over. They are tracked down and abducted by a gang engaged in human trafficking, and taken to an island in the Mediterranean. Erica soon adapts to gangland ways and uses her charms to escape. Along the way, her life shifts from bored office temp to a feisty Lara Croft now living on adrenaline and dangerous men. She is chased by a rogue named Dean, who is annoyed by Erica but falling for her at the same time.

Hot Air is a contemporary crime novel and a winner of both the Wuacademia Silver Award in 2007 and Prix d’Or (Gold) 2008 for best unpublished novel.

Book Review: Award Winning action, adventure, contemporary crime novel Hot Air by Geoff Nelder will keep you on the edge of your seat as a romantic hot-air balloon ride for Erica and Paul turns ugly as they glide over an active crime scene.

Shots ring out and their pilot is killed leaving Erica and Paul to not only land the balloon, but run for their lives as their romantic endeavor escalates into their abduction by a human traffic king. Erica learns quickly and uses her sexy adventurous spirit to study her captors’ behavior in order to escape and then she must turn to crime to survive.

Author Geoff Nelder finds himself looking down the barrel of a gun while in Mallorca Spain doing research for Hot Air. BBC.co.uk (radioscotland) does an interview where Geoff explains:

“For the main purpose of my fact-finding trip I needed to get up close to a watchtower, a torre, of which there are dozens on the island built to look out for pirates and invaders.

Ironically, in my book, Hot Air, I have the Gorda, a local Mafia, using one to look out for the police authorities.

I had to scramble up a mountain to reach the torre. Hooray, I could see it. Oh no, there was a new fence to stop me reaching it. Traversing the top I discovered a gap in the fence. So hands on the tower was achieved along with lunch in its shade.

This was rewarded by the sight of a gun barrel up my nose. It belonged to a security guard demanding to know what I was doing there. He said the mountain was privately owned and he had to arrest anyone trespassing and taking photographs of the villa below.”

Confiscating Geoff’s camera and giving him a stern warning the judge let him go.

Thanks to Geoff’s tenacity he came away with the research needed to give Hot Air the authenticity that it needed.

His hands on research taught him that the locals are German, the English are Scottish, the sheep wear cowbells, the beach grows Christmas trees, the sage and wild lavender fill your nose with heavenly aromas as you climb the hills, the police arrest you if they catch you photographing them, the rich buy mountains (Actress Claudia Schiffer bought an entire mountain in Mallorca to protect her and her £2 million villa from prying eyes) but the riffraff still climb them and most important to the book, the watchtower is made of limestone.

Theodocia McLean endorses Hot Air by Geoff Nelder for its action, adventure, contemporary fiction crime that brought about the author’s escapades that allow his readers to experience the validity of his research while enjoying this fast paced novel. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on September 2, 2015.

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Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Geoff Nelder’s Website
Author Geoff Nelder’s Blog
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles is the sequel to Finding Billy Battles. I jumped right into this book without reading the first in this trilogy and found it to be a compelling story based on fact and expanded by narrative fiction.

Ted Sayles who is the great-grandson of Billy Battles inherits Billy’s journals and while writing this trilogy he stays very true to the language of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. While this book opens in 1894 with William (Billy) Battles heading for the Orient aboard the SS China it covers his time in the Far East, Latin America, and Europe.

It is aboard the SS China that Billy meets German Baroness Katharina von Schreiber. She is gorgeous and regal, far out of reach of a Kansas scribbler (journalist). Since you have probably read the book’s description I wrestle with what to share with you from this amazing story and journey that Billy Battles is about to embark on. So I have decided to quote this passage to whet your appetite. I quote:

“Katharina’s cabin was a bit larger than mine was, and like mine, its walls were covered with dark mahogany panels. In addition to the two overstuffed chairs and writing table, she also had a small dining table. That is where we settled, she on one side and me on the other.

“I’m sorry, I have nothing to offer you to drink.” Then she paused, stood up, and walked to her wardrobe where she produced a tear-shaped bottle of Glenglassaugh single malt Scotch whiskey and two heavy cut crystal glasses. “Except for this.”

She returned and placed the glasses on the table in front of us. “May I?” she asked, and then uncorking the bottle, she poured two fingers in each glass. “This was my late husband’s favorite.”

I shuddered imperceptibly at that remark but pulled the glass toward me anyway. Images of Katharina pushing Baron von Schreiber over a cliff or poisoning him with arsenic-laced Wiener schnitzel flooded my mind.

I forced those macabre thoughts out of my mind by focusing on the rich amber hue of the whiskey as I uneasily swirled the glass around and around in front of me.

What was I doing? I found myself thinking. Why was I in Katharina Schreiber’s cabin about to drink expensive single malt Scotch whiskey with a woman who had just admitted she had killed, but not murdered, her husband?”

Murder, mystery, intrigue, people, places and events that were intended to divert Billy’s attention from his past soon gets him embroiled in Katharina’s past, with the German government, not to mention Chinese and Malay pirates. Later on he finds himself perhaps the first American to be involved in the Anti-French insurgency in Indochina which will later be called Vietnam and involve America. War will not end there as he is forced into the Spanish-American War while in the Philippines.

Just as life takes many unexpected turns for Billy Battles so will your desire to keep turning the pages of this book to find out what is it about Billy Battles that causes him to try to escape his past, endure his new reality and find measured peace as he heads into the twilight of his life.

I invite you to read The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles as it is a journey worth your time. Be sure to read Finding Billy Battles (book one in this trilogy) while waiting for the author to write the final book in this amazing trilogy.

Author Ronald E. Yates life experience as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America gives him the authority with which he writes. It is important to point out he won “three Pulitzer Prize nominations and several other awards, including the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; The Inter-American Press Association Award for coverage of South America; and three Edward Scott Beck Awards for international reporting. He is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. He lives in Murrieta, California.”

Theodocia McLean endorses The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates. Ronald E. Yates is the author of the Finding Billy Battles (book one in this trilogy) and The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a global Economy. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on June 17, 2016.

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milijun by Clayton Graham

milijun by Clayton Graham

Mankind has always had a fascination with extraterrestrials which dates from ice-age cave walls, ancient Egyptian carvings all the way to milijun by Clayton Graham.

This well written novel explores our deepest darkest fears that as a planet we are not ready for an alien incursion, in fact we pretend our intellect can save us. However, in Australia 2179 AD main character Laura Sinclair is faced with the unimaginable when she and her son Jason witness aliens descending to earth.

It is earth’s exploration and mining on the lunar surface that begins the conflict that ultimately results in the alien incursion into the Australian outback. Laura and her son Jason are faced with alien-driven technology that severely tests a mother’s love and resolve to protect her offspring at whatever cost.

It is my intent to share a quote to show you the author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “It was almost 6:30 pm when Laura came across what would later be called the Rawlinna nest. The sun was dropping in the western sky as she staggered wearily to the top of a modest incline and surveyed the collection of old aluminium shacks spread out before her.

She dropped to the ground, partly to avoid detection but also from sheer fatigue. Her face was covered with sweat and there were several dirt marks down both cheeks where she had attempted to clear bothersome flies from her face. Closing her eyes briefly, she sat in silence, not wanting to act in haste but acutely aware that time was crucial. Earlier, she had made a brief stop to drink water from the choppa’s emergency rations but now felt the need for more. She quenched her thirst then nibbled at a foul tasting energy bar as she thought through her next move.”

I invite you to the Australia outback where things are not as you might imagine.

Milijun is a striking name for this novel. I dare you to find its meaning. It is an Australian aboriginal word which also has a Serb-Croatian context.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘milijun’ a science fiction debut novel by Clayton Graham. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 9, 2016.

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