Book Review: Kidnap Marilyn

In KIDNAP MARILYN, a government whistleblower reveals what could, and more importantly, should have happened to the icon.

The CIA psychologist assigned to spy on her discovers the Deep State’s assassination plot. Knowing she does not deserve to die, he goes rogue and plans her kidnapping. But how can he prevent relentless pursuers from murdering them both?

Throughout her life, Marilyn was the quintessential Me Too victim. She became intimate with John and Robert Kennedy, who tried to impress her by revealing some of this nation’s darkest secrets.

Singing “Happy Birthday, Mister President” caused an instant scandal, and they dumped her. RFK then demanded Marilyn conceal their affairs. Shocked, the jilted actress threatened to disclose the top-secret information to prove their trysts.

Central Intelligence Agency officials, determined to prevent this, assigned Dr. Dirk Mitchell to analyze her behavior. Realizing Monroe was depressed and drug dependent, he recommended she be abducted and taken to an Agency’ black site’ where he could employ hypnotic techniques to remove any memories of classified information.

But when CIA officials instead planned her assassination, he decided to risk his own life to save her. Mitchell then discovered that an erstwhile Marilyn impersonator had just died of a drug overdose and staged a body swap. During their escape attempt, Mitchell must employ his secret agent skills to outsmart would-be assassins while treating Monroe’s mental problems and resisting her amorous overtures.

The scenario described herein is consistent with the known facts of this epic mystery.

The author received numerous classified assignments and prestigious awards during his career. He also worked with CIA and FBI operatives, including one that knew RFK. But to avoid becoming a whistleblower again, he presents this information in a novel.

His first book, Silent Knights: Blowing the Whistle on Military Accidents and Their Coverupswas nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and he has appeared on numerous programs such as CNN State of the Union, Fox News Sunday, and BBC Witness History.

John J. Nance, New York Times best-selling author, says:

“A fast, exciting, and thought-provoking read. Dr. Alan Diehl has cleverly crafted the known elements of Marilyn Monroe’s reported demise with a second and third layer of probability that suggests a very different conclusion. This is a tightly woven tale of intrigue, and one you will not want to put down, even at 3 AM.”

Joseph Badal, Amazon #1 Best Selling Author of the Danforth Saga series, says:

Kidnap Marilyn has it all: iconic characters, intrigue, tension, and a proposed solution to a conspiracy that will make you question everything you have ever read about Marilyn Monroe’s death. This is a thriller that you will not be able to put down.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Alan E. Diehl, PhD, is a former US government investigator, whistleblower and acclaimed author whose views are often sought by the media and officials. He reveals what could and more importantly should have happened to the icon. While this book was inspired by real events it is historical fiction. In Dr. Diehl’s book #Marilyn Monroe doesn’t die but in fact is abducted by a CIA agent, who wanted the agency to use their MK-Ultra techniques to erase her memories of the secret information the Kennedy brothers had given her rather than kill her. The book is a lot like Quentin Tarantino’s blockbuster movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” where actress Sharon Tate escapes death.


Book Review: All The Rivers Flow Into The Sea by Khanh Ha

Author of Mrs. Rossi’s Dream, a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver and Bronze Winner (War & Military Adult Fiction); and A Mother’s Tale & Other Stories, a Foreword Reviews INDIES Bronze Winner 

From Vietnam to America, this story collection, jewel-like, evocative and layered, brings to the readers a unique sense of love, passions and the tragedy of rape, all together contrasting a darker theme of perils. The titular story captures a simple love story that transcends cultural barriers. The opening story “A Woman-Child” brings the shy eroticism of adolescence set against a backdrop of the seaside with its ever present ecological beauty. A youthful love affair between an older American man and a much younger Vietnamese girl has its poignant brevity in “All the Pretty Little Horses.” In “The Yin-Yang Market” magical realism and the beauty of innocence abounds in deep dark places, teeming with life and danger. “A Mute Girl’s Yarn” tells a magical coming-of-age story like sketches in a child’s fairy book.

Bringing together the damned, the unfit, the brave who succumb by their own doing to the call of fate, their desire to survive never dying, it is a great journey to inhabit this world where redemption of human goodness arises out of violence and beauty to become part of its essential mercy.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Having read one of Khanh Ha’s books before, I knew his writing style is going to leave an impact on me, at least for a few days, with the melancholic plots and stories with very real and relatable characters. This book and its short stories are no different too. I particularly enjoy Khanh’s stories, as they depict struggles the Vietnamese face, from the time of war and its impact post-war. The everyday lives of people are filled with sadness, contentment, and a mixture of feelings that leave you feeling sad.

I like how each story, like the one in The Woman-Child, reflects the life of a young girl, and how being born into a poor family, she yearns to go to school, and also perceives Americans to be rich in general. Overall, I loved reading these stories and I would highly recommend it if you would love to explore different cultures and the impact wars have on people.

Book Review: José and the Pirate Captain Toledano

Set in the shadows of the Spanish Inquisition, this is the coming-of-age story of José Alfaro, a young refugee who forms a powerful bond with the mysterious Pirate Captain Toledano. It’s also a dynamic pirate adventure on the high seas, with hand-to-hand combat and ship-to-ship action, and the powerful story of a dark time in history when people took different paths to survive.

José Alfaro is a cocky, rambunctious teen in the 16th-century colony of Santo Domingo, pulling pranks and dodging the authorities. One day, José’s mischief lands him in serious trouble.

Hoping for a fresh start, he stows away on the Laqish, not knowing that it’s a pirate ship. From his hiding place, he watches the pirates divide their loot and plan their attacks on long days at sea. He also takes note of the respect they have for their captain, the intimidating Toledano.

But the captain has a secret―like José, he is a Jew. For him, piracy is not about the gold; it has a different purpose.

Under the tutelage of the ship’s quartermaster, José learns the intricacies of pirate life. But when he can, the captain finds ways to pull José away from the crew, to teach him about his ancestors.

José finds his community. His place. His voice. His purpose.

This is a pirate story, but also a story of survival―a story of a young man’s deep need to know who he is, where he comes from, and where he’s going.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great read for kids who love reading about pirates and histories. I think it is suitable for older school kids due to the length of the book, which is close to 100 pages, but it has interesting illustrations to keep the kids invested in the reading process right until the end. I love how the author has chosen to explain about the Jewish culture in ways that kids would understand and this is an excellent way to introduce cultures to kids. If you are Jewish or would want to expose your kids to new culture, this is an excellent read.

Book Review: Song Girl: A Mystery in Two Verses Paperback by Keith Hirshland

Detective Marc Allen is ready to leave the Raleigh, North Carolina, Police Department. Two murders that happened on his watch have apparently been solved thanks to a suicide note confession written by a distraught father. But Allen isn’t buying it. He’s convinced that the man’s adopted daughter, Teri Hickox, is the one responsible for the heinous crimes. With his personal life a muddle and his professional career unsettled he decides the best thing for him is a change of scenery. The detective, now in Colorado Springs, is working new cases and making new friends. One of those friends is Hannah Hunt who, after suffering a freak accident, finds herself only able to speak in song titles. Another is a mysterious drifter who lives out of an old Dodge van and goes by “the champ”. But as Allen builds a new future, events unfold showing him that he can’t escape his past.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Song Girl’ is a highly entertaining, fast-paced and engaging read. The author did a great job at detailing the scenes and the characters, literally bringing you into the scenes with the vivid descriptions of characters and emotions behind them. The main character, Detective Allen is a resilient man who goes after his instincts despite having issues in his personal and professional lives. We soon see him making new friends and trying to step out of the environment he is used to being in. That is when he sees a girl who is able to speak only in song titles, due to a freak accident. He is also forced to face the evil female antagonist in order to resolve a crime. An entertaining mystery read overall!

Book Review: Mom of Two – Study case: Erik and gluten-free life at 3 years old

Catalina brought us along to walk down the memory lane, as she struggled with her toddler who is gluten intolerant and how she found ways that worked for her in replacing gluten products in the home and family meals, and how they had to avoid restaurants that are not catering to the needs of Erik’s diet. I do believe that this book provides an overview of what parents should be aware of when they have kids needing special diet, not just in terms of the dietary needs but also the mental preparation that parents can expect along the way.

Book Review: Never Quit Climbing by Gary Sinclair

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I like how Gary brings us with his climbing journeys, relate them with his own personal struggles and suggests how those challenges and key takeaway messages can be incorporated into our lives, no matter what we are going through. I personally feel that Gary’s love for climbing teaches him to embrace the uncertainties in life and that trains him to feel comfortable with challenges. I think it is an excellent way of looking at toughening ourselves up by being open to carrying out difficult activities in life as it gives a feedback to our body of what we are capable of handling in life.

A great read and I enjoyed reading this book.

Book Review: Time and the Tree by Róisín Sorahan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Róisín very creatively weaved a story filled with interesting characters that teach important life lessons. The Time and the Tree has two important characters in it, The Boy and Time. The character development adds to the whimsical plot and lyrical writing, .making readers feel like they are reliving the experiences reading Aesop’s Fables.

The Time and The Tree mostly has healthy arguments on life, making readers ponder upon their own lives. I felt like I was watching an animated movie with these characters breathing life to the story. If you have been struggling with life, especially in this post pandemic world, this book will encourage you to relook at life from an honest point of view, and help you live a truthful life.

Book Review: Attitude of Gratitude: 30-Day Gratitude Journal

Start each day with gratitude. This is a self-exploration journal, designed to make you feel more thankful and build a new outlook on life. Each day dedicate some time to self-reflect and check in with yourself.

  • 30-Day Gratitude Journal
  • Gratitude Daily Habits
  • Explore Self-Reflective Questions
  • Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great 30-day gratitude journal that helps to develop the attitude to practice gratitude. A pretty book that makes you want to look forward to spending time for self-reflection. The writing prompts include:

1. Name three things you are grateful for today.
2. Use the emoji’s below to rate your level of happiness.
3. Use the space below to reflect on your day. What went well? What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting kickstart their journaling habit in a sustainable manner.

Book Review: The Stars Beyond the Mesa – In the Giant’s Shadow Book One by Pete A O’Donnell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

An exciting page-turner that features 5 kids whose parents are scientists. Their parents are on a dangerous and secret mission, and these kids try to decipher the mystery along the way. An enjoyable fast-paced read that takes place within three days and therefore offers a lot of suspense and thrillers for readers. A great middle-grade read that would entertain just about anyone who reads it.

Book Review: The Cursed Item Merchant: A Young Adult Fantasy of Cursed Enchanting Tales by Endlyn

The cursed items are powerful… But not as strong as their friendship.

Menda spent her whole childhood living a simple life in the village. A serene and happy existence surrounded by the love of her family and friends. But all changed on one perilous evening when the blight of the Dark Dragon emerged, raining fire down upon the people of her home.

In a chance encounter, a cursed coat binds to her as a power source saving the town by absorbing the fire of the dragon’s breath. Fulfilling her part of the deal, Menda’s life changes forever. After a separation and a reunion the two learn to become friends.

Together, they journey the land discovering other cursed items and finding opportunities for the mysterious artifact to find mighty attachments just like theirs…

An illustrated fantasy packed full of stories of cursed items that will entwine and wrap around the reader. For Young Adults, New Adults, and Adults. A low Fantasy tale with beautifully drawn illustrations not to be missed.

Grab your copy of “The Cursed Item Merchant” Now and find out how indestructible a friendship can be.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is a short joyable read and the first written by the author. I particularly liked the world building aspects and how the main character, Menda, was covered by a curse coat which enabled her to save her village from the destruction of Dragon. She then brings us for a roller-coaster adventure where she saves many more others using her newfound power. I like how the author has woven the story to connect one characters with the others, making it an enjoyable read. It is a little over 200 pages and can be read within a few days. A fairly easy read. Highly recommended if you like Young Adult & Sorcery Fantasy