Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Book Details
The Broken Parachute Man: A Novel of Medical Intrigue
Author: Robert B. Bolin
Format: Hardback and Paperback Print.
Number of Pages: 300
Summary: After middling pharmaceutical company executive Clyde Young boards an airplane to attend a national meeting to make a presentation concerning his employer’s premium drug, his schedule is thrown into a curve when terrorists hijack the plane. After refusing to keep his head down, he is hurled out with a parachute that barely functions.

He is able to survive in the wilderness, but upon his arrival back to civilization, no one believes his story. They assume he is one of the terrorists that hijacked the airplane, so Young escapes to Las Vegas to determine why he was targeted and who was responsible for his ordeal. He lives as a street person and meets four people who believe his story: a sociopath, a prostitute, an alcoholic doctor and a pickpocket.

These people become his allies. They travel with him to the east coast and then to Europe. As Young continues his investigation, he discovers abuses on the part of his employer that could result in mortal danger for innumerable innocent patients. He must act quickly to expose the danger by staying one step ahead of the unknown criminals who are closing in on him and his allies.

Price: $18.95 (paperback)
Author Bio: Author of Unwanted
, Robert B. Bolin practiced oncology in a small northwestern town in the United States for more than twenty-one years and has written several medical articles. He currently lives in eastern Oregon.



As a thriller, The Broken Parachute Man suffers from an identity crisis: it starts out
with a bang, but soon veers into a wilderness survival guide, then a gritty life-on-the-streets drama before settling into a detective story wrapped around a lesson
on pharmaceutical drug research and development. But in the end I liked it as a coming-of-middle-age character study.

Clyde Young is a middle-aged, middle-management type with average looks. He’s a bit
frightened of the world, unsure of himself, and is hopelessly stuck in a dull, predictable life. Getting thrown out of an airplane by terrorists is probably the best thing that could have happened to him. He survives a hard winter stranded in the mountains, learns to live on the streets, and finally pushes to discover why he of all people was targeted for elimination by a pharmaceutical company. He doesn’t instantly transform into a rough, self-assured man, but as he perseveres through each small victory, he slowly comes to realize his own strength of will. The Broken Parachute Man isn’t the best thriller I’ve read; it rarely gets you on the edge of your seat with nail-biting action, but I really liked Clyde, and rooted for him throughout the book. He was like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable; each plodding step bringing him closer to solving the mystery that started with a shove out of a plane.

The book starts out as a thriller, what with Clyde getting pushed out of an airplane and landing in the mountains and all. However, he doesn’t get rescued right away. Instead, he has to survive several months in the wilderness. This part of the story doesn’t fit the “thriller” genre, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. After he gets rescued, he ends up homeless in Las Vegas, and we see him developing friendships with other homeless
characters and learning to live in a different type of wilderness: the streets. Again, not a thriller, but it works as a drama of sorts. Finally, Clyde decides to start investigating the company he worked for, and he slowly solves the mystery, which includes an overly  complicated explanation of drug formulation. At one point near the end, Clyde says, “I think I can see the players, but the plot is too complex for me.” That’s about how I felt; there were several “bad guys” each with multifarious motives. Keeping it all straight took a bit more concentration than I prefer. The author apparently thought so too, because after the main mystery is solved, he has the characters explain the plot in detail to each other to make sure we, the readers, understand who did what and why.

The Broken Parachute Man is filled with memorable characters, though I had trouble
telling the difference between two of them: Dan and George, Clyde’s homeless buddies. I blame this on myself rather than the author, however, because he infused both
characters with their own quirks and disparate personalities. I don’t know why I couldn’t keep them straight; perhaps because both were introduced at about the same time and have rather nondescript names. The rest of the characters were quite clear in my mind, and all were fleshed out.

The book, however, contains a most egregious error for a thriller/mystery: the character Dan asserts that another character couldn’t have been responsible for a particular criminal attack because that character was already in jail. This claim didn’t sound right when I read it, so I immediately went back and read the previous chapters and discovered the criminal attack happened a full four days prior to the arrest.
Oops. Looks like the storyline was too complex for even the author to keep straight.

But the one thing about The Broken Parachute Man that really irritated me was the
author’s choice to periodically speak directly to the reader throughout the first several chapters. The moment Clyde gets a parachute strapped to him and shoved out the
plane, the author interjects the story with this: “At this time, I’m sure you, the reader, are questioning the story and wondering if I’m confabulating.” Huh? I’m in the middle of one of the most exciting moments in the book and the author yanks me out to tell me what I’m thinking? Later when Clyde wakes to discover he has survived the fall out of the plane, the author asserts, “Now, if I was a reasonable reader, at this point, I would scoff at the whole story.” Once again I’m pulled out of the adventure and told to question the validity of the events. Um, I’m reading a fiction book here. The suspension of disbelief is a given. Don’t jump in and tell me I shouldn’t trust every word. Did Tolkien constantly interrupt his readers to say, “I’m sure you’re having trouble believing in the existence of hobbits.” Or “As a reasonable reader, you’re probably scoffing at the idea of a magical ring.” Absolutely not. When I’m reading Lord of the Rings I totally believe in hobbits, elves, wizards and powerfully evil rings. Thankfully the author quit jumping in with unwanted opinions after the first few chapters.

Overall, The Broken Parachute Man is a lousy thriller, but the characters were so lively
and sympathetic, I didn’t much care that the plot was a convoluted, slow-paced mess. I’m unlikely to read it again, but I’m don’t feel cheated for having read it once. Experiencing Clyde Young’s transformation into a hopeful, confidant individual was worth it.

Buy The Broken Parachute Man: A Novel of Medical Intrigue
Visit the authors website at


A Worthy Legacy

   Posted by: Lynne Tags: ,

Book Details
A Worthy Legacy
Author: Tomi Akinyanmi
Format: Paperback Print. Also available as Hardcover Print, Ebook, and Amazon Kindle.
Number of Pages: 101
Summary: The Harmattan wind scorches across Nigeria, and an old man lies dying. His community gathers to pay its respects; their haunting songs echoing in the warm twilight. Around his bed his family is gathered and they listen as he speaks his last words. Yet in the face of death this old man doesn’t talk of regrets, neither does he talk of petty grievances, instead he talks softly about life; how to survive, how to be happy and how to achieve self-respect.

A Worthy Legacy has won the following awards: Silver Award in the Inspirational/Spiritual Category of The Young Voices Foundation’s 2009 Young Voices Award, Second position in the Inspirational/Spiritual Category of the 2008 Reader Views Literary Award, Second position in the Young Adult Non-fiction category of the 2008 Reader Views Literary Award, and Top Book Awards by Black Pearls Magazine sponsored by EDC Creations.

: $13.95 (paperback)
Author Bio: Tomi (aka Ibitomilade) Akinyanmi discovered her enthusiasm for writing at an early age, and has been writing for over twenty years. Though poetry is her first love, Tomi was inspired by personal experiences to create A Worthy Legacy as her first book.

Her works include Voices in the Wind winner of the inaugural Voices Anthology Contest sponsored by The Voices Anthology Network. Some of her poems have also appeared in Free Focus, Northern Stars and Soul Fountain as well as online on poetry websites.

A Worthy Legacy

A Worthy Legacy


In the eloquently written A Worthy Legacy, a granddaughter hurries home to her Nigerian village to gather with family as her grandfather lays dying. Although technically a work of fiction, the words of wisdom conveyed by the grandfather in the story are based on years of conversations the author had with her own father before his sudden death due to a car accident. She wrote A Worthy Legacy as a loving tribute to him, preserving his memory and the impact his teachings had on her life.

Akinyanmi sketches out the story’s setting, letting us feel the scorching sun and hot winds of the Nigerian village, but doesn’t dwell on the scenery. Characters are named but not fleshed out; their backgrounds and personalities remain untold. Instead, the focus is on the parting words and writings of the grandfather. At barely 101 pages, A Worthy Legacy promises to be a quick read, but the truths presented by the grandfather necessitate a slower pace to truly appreciate the insights imparted.

A Worthy Legacy should be viewed not so much as a novel, but as a book of poetry, quotations, and age-old wisdom. Much of the book reminded me of the Biblical Proverbs; filled with advice and admonitions from someone who’s lived and learned it the hard way–and who hopes subsequent generations heed the guidance.

Read Akinyanmi’s comments about getting A Worthy Legacy published.

Learn more about A Worthy Legacy and Tomi Akinyanmi.
Buy A Worthy Legacy here.
Check out the book trailer on Youtube

eBook Reviews Online is just one stop on Tomi Akinyanmi’s blog tour!
Visit the other sites of the tour here:

Write for a reader July 5
Merry Weather Book Blog July 5
Drey’s Library July 6
Violet Crush July 6
A Bookworm’s World July 6
Lost in books July 7
Book Nest Reviews July 7
Mis(h)takes July 8
A Circle of Books July 8
Peeking between the pages July 9
Reading Frenzy July 9
A Book Blogger’s Diary July 10
Luxury Reading July 10
Bella is reading… July 11
Jenny loves to read July 11
Belle of the books July 12
The Unadorned Book Review July 12
Worducopia July 13
Poisoned Rationality July 13
Socrates’ Book reviews July 14
My thoughts…your thoughts July 15
eBookReviewsOnline July 15
Grace’s Book Blog July 16 July 16
The Friendly book nook July 17
Just Another New Blog July 17
I’m on a bookathon
Simply Stacie
Real page turners
Booksnake reviews
The Eclectic Reader
The Bookworm


Bumps in the Night

   Posted by: Lynne Tags: , ,

Ebook Details
Title: Bumps in the Night
Author: William Todd
Format: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) Also available in HTML and Microsoft Lit
File Size: 473kb Unzipped (.pdf).
Number of Pages: 111
Summary: A collection of nine chilling short stories of the supernatural and the macabre.
Author Bio: William Todd has been writing online for almost ten years. He was the third most popular author on the website before it shut down. He has an 8 year old son Kiaran, who is a budding author himself, and a 6 year old daughter Alina, who has Down’s Syndrome. He and his wife Joan have been married for 10 years, and make Erie, PA their home. When not writing, he is a full time histologist and a part time pathologist assistant at a local hospital. His hobbies are writing, running, reading, and watching old movies.


Bumps in the Night hits a few bumps in the road in its endeavor to terrify the reader,
but for the most the part the anthology contains well-written and entertaining tales. William Todd has a great knack for capturing the narrative style of nineteenth-century characters, which enhances the gothic feel of two of my favorites: The Whitaker House Curse and Jack. And either Todd has a vast vocabulary–or made ample use of a good thesaurus–because several words sprinkled throughout the stories sent me searching
for definitions at It isn’t often a fiction writer stumps me with a word, much less several, so I’m impressed with that alone.

The Whitaker House Curse is a first-person account in which the protagonist hurriedly relates his fateful tale under threat of an imminent deadline. It has such great voice I almost felt I was reading something from Edgar Allen Poe. However, the epilogue seemed a bit tacked on and unnecessary, and it almost ruined the ending for me. I think the story would be better without it. On the other hand, Jack, a chilling first-person take on the infamous serial killer, probably has the most surprising–and ultimately,
pleasing–endings in this collection.

Rounding out my favorites of the bunch are The Night Stalker and Bumps in the Night. In The Night Stalker, a prostitute suspects her latest john may just be a killer when he drives her down a dark, isolated road. The second half of the story is terrifying, and I loved the ending. Bumps in the Night is told from the viewpoint of a Down Syndrome girl–a delightful young protagonist with a fresh, new voice–who once a month listens to the horrifying sounds of her father’s transformations. My only quibble with this story is that because it’s written with Todd’s wonderful slightly turn-of-the-century tone, the mention of computers by the protagonist jarred me; until then my mind’s eye had placed the setting in the distant past, not modern times.

Similarly, the characters in The People Under The River speak like 1930’s gangsters, so their references to 1970’s pop culture (and use of a weapon created in the 80’s) made me reorient my initial impression of the time period. This story, in which two killers’ dumping ground is at risk of discovery by an innocent young couple, is the least frightening, since it doesn’t deal with anything supernatural, though it has a satisfying ending. The malevolent entity encountered in Ghost Hunters had the potential to be the most terrifying for me, but the ending fizzled instead of sizzled. The same was true for The Delivery, in which a scientifically-minded courier has his beliefs turned inside out, though the narrative benefits from Todd’s period tone of voice.

In Eyes, an arrogant businessman disses the wrong old woman and finds himself fighting for his life. The storyline was predictable, but I found the consequences of his actions chilling nonetheless. An FBI agent investigates the disappearance of several people in the creepy and macabre Flesh and Blood, and though I thought the ending was darkly humorous, I couldn’t tell whether it was intentionally so.

I generally don’t read (or watch) horror, because though I enjoy being scared in the moment, I typically regret it by nightfall when I urgently feel the need to go to bed with an ornately bejeweled cross and a spray bottle filled with holy water. So Bumps in the Night elicited just about the right amount of spook for me–I was entertained but slept just fine after reading it. While not all the stories are perfect, Todd has great writing style, likable characters, and knows how to keep the reader in suspense. I look forward to reading more from him.

Click here to read an excerpt
Click here to order Bumps in the Night


Breathe of the Flesh

   Posted by: Lynne Tags: ,

Ebook Details
: Breathe of the Flesh
Author: Jack Allen
Author Bio: Jack Allen is the best unknown mystery author in the Detroit area. He lives with his wife and their boys, hoping one day to build his dream hot rod Mustang, and get the basement cleaned out.
File Size: 1391kb Unzipped.
Format: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) (Also available in Mobipocket, Word, text, MS eReader, and Kindle.)
Number of Pages: 451 
: It’s 1942, the middle of WWII. New York City is filthy with German spies. But the Abwher, the intelligence branch of the Nazi military, has a special mission for its most lethal and dangerous spy, and it has nothing to do with his passion for girls.

Breathe of the Flesh is a WWII period espionage novel about FBI agent Thomas Leopard’s tragic descent into failure and loss. He is drinking and suicidal, selfish, loathsome and hateful. And he has a killer loose in his city, a killer who favors innocent teenage girls. This killer is the German spy “Der Tiger”, a man who has a taste for fresh blood in his coffee. He has been dormant up to that point of the war, when he comes up with his own plan to go to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington D.C. and steal the printing plates for U.S. currency. When he learns how closely he has been stalked and nearly caught by Leopard, Leopard’s own daughter becomes Der Tiger’s next target.


Breathe of the Flesh is a solidly written, intriguing thriller. I read the last 150 pages
at a breakneck pace, which shows I was fully engaged in the story and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. The story sweeps from New York City to southern France, from London to Berlin, and from Washington, D.C. to Portland, Maine, as
numerous characters fight their own personal battles amidst the war around them. I found myself quickly getting into the story, and every time I thought I knew where the plotline was headed, it took yet another unexpected turn until finally coming to a
bold, unconventional conclusion. 

There were times, however, when I felt a bit lost due to the sheer number of characters introduced, some of whom made their entrance early on with no explanation as to their relevance and then didn’t reappear till several chapters later (or never reappeared.) By the end of the book, though, it was clear who the characters were or at least how they fit into the overall story.

The protagonist, Thomas Leopard, is an unlikable character, but still I found myself both feeling orry for him and rooting for him to finally have some success in catching his prey, no matter how bittersweet the victory. His prey, the German spy Der Tiger/Hermann Van Roeple/William Birch, is a serial killer as loathsome as Hannibal Lector; a sociopath whose spy assignments and career ambitions are only a sideline to his real passion for killing teenage girls. He leaves a swath of bloodshed wherever he goes. But Der Tiger’s not the only repulsive character; many are unpleasant; and I’m not just talking about the Nazis. And even most of the otherwise likable characters seemed morally distasteful.

Miriam Roth, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving employee, for instance, is a lonely, desperate woman so full of self-loathing that she’ll throw herself at any man who’s bound to use and abuse her, while at the same time showing abject disdain for the one man who offers kindness. June Anderson Prien, the American actress married to a Nazi General, finds herself in the deplorable position of having to sleep with her husband’s subordinate in order to extract useful information for Allied agents. And MI6 agent Lynn Nevers, one of the most likable characters, finds herself envying women who can have meaningless affairs without emotional consequence after engaging in a disappointing coupling herself.

Which brings me to my only real objection to the novel: it has more sex scenes than a Harlequin bodice-ripper. Towards the end of the story I tired of them; they seemed included only for titillation rather than to advance any plot. Probably what bothered me most was that the majority of the scenes were between people who barely knew each other and/or didn’t care for each other, so a few of the encounters ended more like rapes than consensual lust. These were pure sex scenes, not love scenes. Call me a romantic, call me a prude, but I can tolerate only so much licentiousness. That said, an old-fashioned romantic entanglement between two characters who meet two-thirds of the way in the novel brought me a glimmer of hope for some sort of character redemption. (I was tragically disappointed.)

If this novel were made into a movie, it would easily garner a NC-17 rating, what with the aforementioned dozen-plus sex scenes, and close to a dozen murders–neither of which group includes the two gruesome rape/murders explicitly described (with a couple more discussed after the fact.) This is adults-only fare, so be forewarned.

In the end, Breathe of the Flesh just wasn’t my cup of tea. Chalk it up to my personal taste in fiction, which runs more towards Pride & Prejudice and Lord of the Rings. Stories with likable characters that follow the standard formula: the bad guys die, the good guys win, the hero gets the girl, and they all live happily ever after. If I wanted to be depressed at the end of a book, I’d just re-read 1984.

Bottom line: Is Breathe of the Flesh well-written? Yes. Does it keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat? Yes. Would I read it again? No. Do I recommend it? Not really. But I admit I would probably read a sequel, if Jack Allen chose to write one. I may read his previous novels. His character Josh McGowan in his novels Change Of Heart, An Innocent Among Them, and Widow of Calcutta sounds more to my liking. 

Click here to read the first chapter of Breathe of the Flesh
Find out more about Jack Allen’s novels at Burping Frog Publishing
Click here to order Breathe of the Flesh in pdf, Word, text, Mobipocket, or MS eReader
Click here to order the Kindle edition on Amazon