Book Review: Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Blurb:

“I live in a coastal town in the deep south of the Mekong Delta. During the war this was IV Corps, which saw many savage fights. Although the battles might have long been forgotten, some places cannot forget.” Thus begins the harrowing yet poignant story of a North Vietnamese communist defector who spends ten years in a far-flung reform prison after the war, and now, in 1987, a free man again, finds work as caretaker at a roadside inn in the U Minh region. One day new guests arrive at the inn: an elderly American woman and her daughter, an eighteen-year-old Vietnamese girl adopted at the age of five from an orphanage in the Mekong Delta before the war ended. Catherine Rossi has come to this region to find the remains of her son, a lieutenant who went missing-in-action during the war. Mrs. Rossi’s Dream tells the stories of two men in time parallel: Giang, the thirty-nine-year-old war veteran; Nicola Rossi, a deceased lieutenant in the United States Army, the voice of a spirit. From the haunting ugliness of the Vietnam War, the stories of these two men shout, cry, and whisper to us the voices of love and loneliness, barbarity and longing, lived and felt by a multitude of people from all walks of life: the tender adolescent vulnerability of a girl toward a man who, as a drifter and a war-hardened man, draws beautifully in his spare time; the test of love and faith endured by a mother whose dogged patience even baffles the local hired hand who thinks the poor old lady must have gone out of her mind, and whose determination drives her into the spooky forest, rain or shine, until one day she claims she has sensed an otherworldly presence in there with her. In the end she wishes to see, just once, a river the local Vietnamese call “The River of White Water Lilies,” the very river her son saw, now that all her hopes to find his remains die out. Just then something happens. She finds out where he has lain buried for twenty years and how he was killed.

Please read the author interview with Khanh Ha here

Review:

If you love books that teleport you to a different culture and time, Mrs. Rossi’s Dream will not disappoint you!

This story is about Mrs. Rossi, who had lost her son in the Vietnam War. She arrives at Vietnam and comes in contact with Giang, who was a communist defector in the Vietnam war. She tells him the purpose of her visit to Vietnam; which is to find the remains of her son.

The story is told from the voices of Giang and Mrs. Rossi’s late son. The author had done an excellent job in weaving the gripping details of the Vietnam War, and the harrowing experiences the warriors had gone through. 

It felt like as if the readers are invited in to the world of the Vietnam War and at many times, the book would make you feel so bad for those affected by war. It somehow reminded me of my visit to the Memorial Park at Cambodia, which was very disturbing.

A book I cannot put down and I loved how the author invites us to the lives of the two main characters of the book, coupled with the love of a mother who relentlessly searches for the remains of her dead son.

A five star for this book.

https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Rossis-Dream-Khanh-Ha/dp/1579625681

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Book Review: The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque (The Mists of Palenque Book 4)

Book Review: The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'inuuw Mat of Palenque (The Mists of Palenque Book 4)
The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque (The Mists of Palenque Book 4)

The Review:

If you’re into the ancient histories, especially on the Mayan prophecy, you will find this book interesting. The author of this book, Dr Martin, is
she is a non-professional ancient Mayan civilization and cultural researcher . This makes the read very interesting as the Mayan cultural background in this book feels very real and the author literally brings you into the world of the Mayan. I think if an author with little to no knowledge on ancient histories were to write a similar story, I don’t think the story would have felt this real and inviting.

The main character in this story is K’inuuw Mat and she is married. As the story develops, she finds out shocking truth about with whom she would have her dynastic heir with. It is her husband’s brother. I love the romance between Mat and her brother-in-law. There will be family conflicts and there is a mounting pressure on Mat to answer the Goddess’ mandate to preserve Mayan culture.

As the story develops, what I like the most is Francesca who enters the Mayan village to discover her grandmother’s secrets. It’s a book that brings you to a different dimension. The names of the characters in the book can be a little difficult to pronounce and they don’t really stick on my mind. But, other than that, I enjoyed reading the book.

A 4 star for this book!

Book Review: Tenacity by Ron Coury

Tenacity by Ron Coury
Tenacity by Ron Coury

‘Tenacity’! Some people are just not born to settle down. Some people are never satisfied, always seeking more, pushing farther and climbing higher. ‘Tenacity’ by Ron Coury is about one of those people. ‘Tenacity’ is a memoir about Coury’s life and all of the trials and triumphs that he has faced in his time.

Born in Brooklyn to second generation immigrant parents, Coury knew from a young age that he wanted to be a business man. His first job was shining shoes at the subway station for a dime. From those meager beginnings, Coury quickly realized that he enjoyed making money and doing it through hard work. The story of ‘Tenacity’ is in Ron Coury’s hard work, clever machinations, determination and, of course, tenacity in the face of adversity.

I greatly enjoyed this book and Coury’s perspective on life in general. Apart from funny anecdotes about his no-nonsense parents and occasionally less-than-reputable friends, ‘Tenacity’ was filled with a lot of genuinely good life advice. This book is surprisingly aspirational and almost functioned like a self-help book for me in some ways. I also learned quite a bit about the world of casino-ownership which is something that I never had any reason to think about before but I ended up finding very interesting.

Coury tells the entire story of his life in a stylistic, ‘Wonder Years’ sort of way that really makes you feel as though you are being taken along on the journey with him and that he remembers everything perfectly. I loved this style of writing that is based on recollection and has a dash of humor and embarrassment. Coury owned something like 35 business in the Las Vegas area at one point and reading about a man who starts out with nothing building an empire is like reading about the American dream.  I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Ron’s book at https://www.amazon.com/Tenacity-Businessman-Survives-Brooklyn-Corruption-ebook/dp/B07KDLDB66/ref

Book Review: Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck

Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck

Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck and Judy Belshe-Toernblom

Publisher:  Christian Faith Publishing, Inc. (April 4, 2018)
Category: Fantasy,  Romance, Science Fiction Lite, Post Apocalyptic
Tour dates: October-November, 2018
ISBN: 978-1641401678
Available in Print and ebook, 157 pages

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Ground-Thomas-W-Starbuck/dp/1641911611

Deadly Ground” – a riveting story about the human race under threat, with a rare DNA condition providing a second chance for humanity. A fast-paced novel that reads like an apocalypse movie with a biological viral disease, some romance, and aliens in the mix, centered on the unforgettable human main character AB, who becomes the hope for humanity’s regeneration.

By author Thomas W. Starbuck, whose storyline for “Deadly Ground” was adapted and written by Judy Belshe-Toernblom.

Review:

This book is basically about the end of the world, written from the authors’ perspective. The story is interesting as I find AB to be a character that makes you want to read the book further. With a little bit of sci-fi, fantasy, post apocalyptic, and romance, it all boils down to whether your genes could save you or not. If you like stories with aliens in it, you’ll love to read this book. A fast read and definitely a page turner. I would give it a 4 star.

Book Review for Stinger: Operation Cyclone (A Rick Fontain Novel Book 2) by Bill Fortin

Stinger: Operation Cyclone (A Rick Fontain Novel Book 2) by [Fortin, Bill]

Stinger: Operation Cyclone (A Rick Fontain Novel Book 2)

Book Review:

It is hard to believe that this is a work of fiction. It is so realistically written that it feels like a real adventure. I enjoy stories based on the Middle East and therefore this story is a good reading treat. The story dwells heavily with the military operation and how the supply of arms to foreign country is made difficult under the control of the USA. I like how the author described places like Afghanistan and Kuala Lumpur in detail that literally makes me feel like being transported to those places. Some parts of the book will require you to pay close attention to different timelines as the story jumps back and forth to different dates.

A great read and a well thought-out book!

A 4 star for this book

The books blurb:

Rick Fontain is back… A Cold War adventure that peers inside the exploits of Senator Charlie Wilson and CIA’s Task Force Chief Gust Avrakotos. Strange bedfellows they were… their alliance proved to be one of the most successful partnerships in the history of the CIA. Stinger: Operation Cyclone centers on the results of these efforts.

The adventure begins with the election of Ronald Regan in 1979. This was the same year that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Early in 1982 POTUS called for a plan of action to arm and finance the Jihadi warriors known as the Mujahideen. Operation Cyclone was the code name assigned to this project.

CIA Officer Mike Vickers, not a participant in this story, was solicited by Avrakotos to help design and roll out the blueprint to equip the Mujahideen. Included in this Covert Action program was the Stinger guided missile. This weapon system would be credited as the major factor in the Russian withdraw in 1989.

General Gerald Bushman returns as the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency. Rick Fontain, who was now a Member, Technical Staff of AT&T’s Bell Labs, is brought in for his expertise with the Stinger technology. His familiarity with the Russian gunship, the Mil Mi24 was just icing on the cake.

Rick is re-united with his Redeye instructor, Andy Davis, and together they would lay out a plan to kill buku Russian aircraft. However, the operation stalls in 1982 and would not move forward until Rick thwarts an assignation attempt on one, Maalouf Torki bin Taisei. Mr. Taisei is a Malaysian government official. He is also the largest arms dealer on the Pacific Rim.

The KGB gets wind that the Pakistan ISI has agreed to support Operation Cyclone. Their attacks are fierce. However, the result was not what they expected. President Regan issued a change to the original operation requirements. The gloves were to come off. Rick Fontain is told to do whatever it takes to get Stinger into the hands of the Afghan Freedom Fighters.

In 1985 President Zia finally OK’s the American plan to provide the Stinger technology to the Mujahideen. American Special Forces, the Green Beret and DELTA, were assigned to the training center at the ISI’s Ojhri Camp. CIA’s, LTC Jim Pezlola and CWO Gary Larson, solicit the Mujahideen Command to provide students for the very first class of Stinger shooters.
Rick takes the graduating class into Afghanistan to the Russian airbase at Bagram. The rest… as they say… is history. Operation Cyclone may not have ended the Cold War, but it certainly had weakened the Soviet Union’s resolve. So much so… that in 1993 it financially collapsed.

Purchase link:

Book Review: Parisa by Conrad Trump

Parisa by Conrad Trump

Book Blurb:

When world class snowboarding sensation Scott Locke returns to his home in West Virginia to be honored by the ski resort where he worked as a teenager, a freak accident costs him the opportunity to compete in the upcoming X-Games. Broken and distraught, the competition soon becomes a secondary consideration when Scott unwittingly releases a force that has been locked away for centuries, a force so powerful and dark that it threatens all mankind. Parisa is an ancient spirit; exotic, beautiful, and mysterious, yet out of place in today’s world. Scott must find a way to help her acclimate and nurture respect, love, and tolerance for humanity. The plan begins to backfire as Scott develops feelings for Parisa and he is drawn into her world of magic and power. In the face of great temptations, Scott must make the ultimate choice. He must decide to sacrifice his love for the sake of all mankind or give in to his passion and enjoy the riches and rewards of unlimited power.

Review:

What I liked most about this book is the author’s choice to have Parisa, the lead woman in the story as the antagonist. This story is about the struggle of a man who fell in love with a spirit, Parisa while trying to save  mankind from an evil force. This story is a great escape for anyone wanting to get lost in a world full of mystery and fantasy as the lead character, Scott, struggles with the ordeals of having released a Genie out of a bottle.

I love the plots and character development, and that makes ‘Parisa’ easy to read.

A 4.5 star for this book

Book Review: Demon Within (Last War, Book I) by Josh Gagnier

The Demon Within (The Last War Book 1) by [Gagnier, Josh]

The Demon Within by Josh Gagnier

Blurb:

Joe grew up listening to the voice in his head. It helped him through school, helped him gain wealth in his career.

The final temptation of power was too much. He hadn’t considered the cost.

Now he must find a way to defeat The Demon Within.

Little does he know, his every move is being recorded. Every misstep is being judged. As he gets ever closer to winning over his demon, heavenly eyes watch from above. Some root for his success while others hope he’ll fail.

While Joe fights his demon on the battlefront, the angel Michael fights for his Soul.

Will Joe win out? Will Michael be able to save Joe’s soul?

Or will the Demon win and thrust Joe into the Abyss.

Review:

A fast-paced dark fantasy that makes you crave more for what is next as you flip through the pages. The author creatively weaved the story to integrate complex characters that sound very relatable. I like how the author used Joe’s own thoughts that turn out to be favourable and against Joe as the story develops. This is not a very long book and you can complete reading it in one sitting.

A 4-star for this book

Amazon link : https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Within-Last-War-Book-ebook/dp/B00T69ZCRC