My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blurred Vision

Six men; a General at Area 51, interviewing a Grey on a potential global threat; a Professor announcing to the world's media the gift of time travel to the past, only to discover a horrifying truth at the crucifixion of Christ; a young man, desperately trying to survive amongst a human resistance group amidst the invasion; a man who will do whatever is necessary to protect the woman he loves, as they watch the horrors unfold on the television; a suicidal man, dejected at life, seeks answers from the archangel Michael, only to find more horror; an everyday normal nobody, rallied into a fate worse than anything anyone could ever imagine...


Blurred Vision (SF/Horror)
By Chris Botragyi
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1910565858
Price $0.00 (price not listed yet)
185 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“I Was Unable To Put The Book Down”

Six men mysteriously awaken as prisoners aboard an alien space ship. Locked in a cell together are Tom Valentine, Professor Mark Bennett, Air Force General James F. Hargreaves, James Jones, John Chapman, and Daniel Lambert. Their captors are seven-foot tall Grays with large black eyes and slender bodies. The prisoners remember very little about the past or how they were captured, but hear voices elsewhere on the ship so know they are not alone. They do wonder why they are together. Why them, specifically? General Hargreaves appears to know more than the rest about what is going on, and Professor Bennett remembers that he was at Stanford University and was a theoretical physicist, and from what the general told him he had worked on a time machine. The general also admits he had one of the aliens captive at Area 51, under interrogation, but the creature had lied to him.

Spoiler alert. There is no way I can review this book without giving away some spoilers. So if you don’t wish to hear them, stop reading this review now. First, the author drops a strong hint about the plot simply with the characters’ names: John, James (Jones), Daniel, James (the general). Mark, and Tom (Thomas Valentine). We learn more as each of the six tell their (final) stories. Tom tells us about the invasion. The aliens interrupt television news broadcasts to explain why they are here: (Paraphrased) “We are from Heaven, and we are here for Judgment Day. Everyone will be judged for their sins, and punished accordingly.” Of course, we are all sinners, so we’re all going to be judged – and punished. As each tells their story, we learn a little bit more about the invasion and the aliens, but it is in the professor’s story that the closest truth is revealed. A horrible murder two thousand years ago is now bringing retribution down on us, and it could wipe out the human race. The aliens tell them the writers of the Bible didn’t exactly lie to us, but they didn’t explain everything, either.

Okay, this was an interesting story, and I couldn’t put it down. I had to find out what was happening on the next page, so I read this book in one setting. It had my full attention. I picked up on the names at the very beginning, and thought I had the whole story figured out, but I didn’t. Close, but not quite. The names were mere namesakes of the Biblical writers, but maybe they “represented” the actual writers to the aliens. Or the author was just playing with the reader, maybe. The story has no ending, just the death of these six men. At the story’s conclusion, our planet’s population has dropped from seven billion to 150 million, and the reader is left hanging. Will there be a remnant saved, or will the human race cease to exist? Unique storytelling, and highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES


Monday, June 26, 2017

Scions of Change

As Raena's and Jason's training with the TSS nears completion, the return of the Aesir is imminent. Whether the Aesir are adversaries or allies will be put to the test as the final pieces of the Sietinens' plan to bring down the Priesthood fall into place. Facing an unstable political landscape and with the future of telekinetic abilities among the Taran people on the line, Wil and his family must wage one final war to correct past injustices and usher Tarans into a new era of peace.

Scions of Change is the seventh installment in the Cadicle series. This novel brings together the final pieces for the High Dynasties to attempt an overthrow of the Priesthood and restore equity in the Taran worlds.


Scions of Change (SF)
“Book 7 in the Cadicle Series”
By Amy DuBoff
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1548119324
Price $13.99
350 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“The Long Awaited Conclusion Is Here”

The children of the Cadicle, Raena and Jason are finally put into position to help bring the reign of the Priesthood to an end. Raena has been moved to Sietinens’ High Dynasty to take her place as future heir, while Jason is moved in position to train teams for telekinetic warfare. Ryan, the heir to the Dainetris Dynasty is groomed to ascend to his place. With the other five High Dynasties in the wing, they must be brought on board before an all out attack can be launched against the Priesthood, and even then it may not be possible without help from the Aesir.

The seven Dynasties are brought together for this final volume: Joining the Sietinen and Dainetris Dynasties are Vaenetri, Talsari, Baellas, Makaris, and Monsari Dynasties. Wil discovers that both the Priesthood and Aesir want something on the other side of a rip in the fabric in the Rift, which could be a hole into another dimension. The rip is acting like the mythical Sirens, calling the unwary to approach its sweet call. Will it give them godhood or destruction? Wil intends to keep that from happening, for he’s tasted the call also, and knows its danger.

Although I enjoyed all the volumes in this fantastic world building science fiction yarn, I think this seventh volume is the best in the series. Basically, each story was a similar plot, the Priesthood moving children of the Sietinen Dynasty towards the birth of the Cadicle, Wil Sietinen, who was to destroy the Bakzen, but it doesn’t end there; it must now follow the Cadicle’s children for more plans of the Priesthood and Aesir. However, they had not counted on the fighting spirit of the Sietinen children or their powerful telekinetic abilities. Highly Recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES








Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Split Seconds

Twins separated as toddlers, reunited as adults and now switching places in a deadly game to take on organized crime.
Her sister is alive! Excited to discover that her twin didn't die as a toddler, Tijan can’t wait to meet her other half but she struggles to understand why her only sibling hasn’t reached out in almost thirty years. Although the reunion is joyous, not everyone is excited to discover that there are two of them. Using it to her advantage, Tijan is determined to take down the one man, responsible for it all… her father. The secrets and lies that have kept them apart, soon unravel but with deadly consequences.


Split Seconds (Suspense Thriller)
“Caspian Wine Book #3”
By Maggie Thom
Quadessence Solutions
ISBN: 9780991727247
329 pages
Publication date: July 20
Preorder date: June 20
Price: $4.99 but Pre-Order price will be $2.99
Rating 5-Stars

“A Suspenseful Rush!”

Tijan grew up feeling someone was missing from her life. A sister, but was she a figment of her imagination? Her mother says her sister died when she was a child, but there is that feeling, and then she sees a picture in the newspaper of a wedding, and a hand is in view; that hand shows a birthmark, a matching birthmark that is also on Tijan. Is her sister, Tarin, still alive? She decides to go to Toronto and find out, but things happen too quickly and she’s thrown into several dangerous situations. She is kidnapped a couple of times, and people she meets think she’s her twin sister. Then a secret trip to the Caspian winery and she sees Tarin, but is too shocked to speak, and runs off instead. Now she discovers her father, whom she’d always suspected was dead, running a giant hotel chain, and working with a Mafia gangster to obtain Caspian winery. Gangsters and Canadian government officials want Tarin, and mistake Tijan for her twin, and things get even more complicated.

My apologies to the author, it’s been three years since I read the previous book in this fascinating series, and unfortunately my memory isn’t too good any more. I had trouble remembering the characters and what happened in the first two stories, so it took me a bit longer to get back into the swing of the series. However, the new characters not only grabbed my interest but it brought me quickly into the current plot, and names and incidents began coming back. Once I was pulled into the story, I was there for keeps, and I wasn’t disappointed. “Split Seconds” continues the series in a highly suspenseful rush of adrenalin. And did I mention the romantic angle? I hope the next book isn’t long in coming. For lovers of suspense thrillers don’t miss this latest light romantic mystery involving danger and intrigue.

Tom Johnson

Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA

Monday, June 19, 2017

Interview With Author Maggie Thom

I became acquainted with Maggie Thom through her thriller suspense novel, Captured Lies, the first novel in her Caspian Wine series, about five years ago. I’m not sure why I waited so long to ask her for an interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed her novels about the Caspian Wine empire, along with her stand alone books, plus she has a way of weaving twists into her stories when you’re least expecting them, and placing her characters into highly suspenseful situations that keep you on the edge of your seat. So, without further delay, please meet the talented author, Maggie Thom.


Tom: Maggie, thank you for sitting down with me for this interview on PULP DEN. First, how about telling your fans a little about yourself, your family, and where you live?

Maggie: Hi Tom. Thank you for this interview, I have truly enjoyed ‘meeting’ you and feel honored to do this interview. I’m married, a mom of just out of their teen twins and I live on beautiful Vancouver Island, Canada.

Tom: From reading your five novels it is easy to tell you are an intelligent writer, and interested in the thriller suspense genre. This current novel, Split Seconds, is your third novel in the Caspian Wine book series, and your fifth novel in the thriller suspense genre. What made you decide to create The Caspian Wine series in the first place, and what was the particular influence for these stories, if any?


Maggie:  Well, I actually hadn’t planned on writing a series. I had told myself they were too much work. Captured Lies came about from a simple incident – a plane flew over us and was really low. I thought it will never make it to the airport, what if it crashed. Then my mind went wild. What if there was a baby onboard that survived? What if that baby had been kidnapped in the first place but was then kidnapped after the plane crash, how could she ever unravel her past. That was the end of that story… or so I thought. Then after a fan had read Captured Lies, she emailed me and asked when book 2 was coming out. I said that I wasn’t writing a series. Almost as soon as I sent that reply the ideas started coming to me. So, then I wrote Deceitful Truths and again said that was it. But… another fan emailed me and asked when book 3 was coming out. Eek. This time I just said I’m not sure. The ideas started coming and book 3, Split Seconds was born.

Captured Lies (Book 1) is about Bailey.
Kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead. Her life was a lie!


Deceitful Truths (Book 2) is about Tarin.
Someone has stolen a week of her life and now wants to steal the secret she is now hiding.
Split Seconds (Book 3) is about Tijan.
Twins torn apart as toddlers… reunited as adults… and now switching places to take on organized crime…

Tom: Along the same line above, what other writers influenced you, if any, and whom would you say your writing style most resembles? And are your stories more plot driven or character driven, do you think? For me it was hard to choose between the two, for both plot and characters are strong.

Maggie: There are many authors that I have read and love their work but two really stand out for me – Robert Ludlum and Sandra Brown. Each taught me something different. Robert Ludlum taught me how to tell a story from different points of view and not lose the reader. Sandra Brown taught me how to add in the twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. I’m not sure who my writing most resembles although I have been told authors like –  Amanda Quick/ Jayne-Anne Krentz, John Grisham…

Thank you Tom. I think I do a mix of both character and plot driven stories. I like creating strong, believable characters and someone that the reader will feel a connection to.


Tom: Tell us a little about your latest novel, Split Seconds, without giving any spoilers away.

Maggie: Tijan knew that she had a twin but had been told that she’d died when they were two. Through a fluke discovery, Tijan is sure that her twin is alive. She is determined to find out. What she discovers is that she also has a father that she never knew about and one who is not at all what she imagined a father should be like. He’s a cold and deceitful man, one who will step on anyone to get what he needs. And he’s involved with organized crime. When Tijan finally meets her twin, she’s not sure what to expect. Excited to be reunited, they soon discover that not everyone is happy there are two of them. To save her sister and ultimately a father who got them into the mess they find themselves in, Tijan switches places with her sister. She takes over her father’s multi-million-dollar hotel business, something she knows nothing about. All in an attempt to save her sister, their father and his business from organized crime.

Split Seconds is book 3 in The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery Series.

Tom: Besides Thriller Suspense, have you considered writing other genres down the road, and if so, what would they be?

Maggie:  Actually I have written a few other genres – romance and young adult – but I’ve never done anything with them. Someday I think I’d like to venture into the genre of fantasy. I love to read it, so we’ll see.

Tom: In your novel, Split Seconds, we actually follow Tijan, who has found her missing twin sister, Tarin, believed to have died as a child. Trailing her from a mere photograph and birthmark, she quickly becomes enmeshed in a suspenseful fight between a Mafia mob boss and her father for control of the Caspian Wine Empire.  This is where her twin sister comes into the picture. Tarin refuses to help her father obtain that control. This may be an off the wall question, but do you have further plans for the Caspian Wine series, or do you think the series may have run its course after three novels?

Maggie:  Great question. I thought it was done after book 1. And then after book 2. So now that I’m publishing book 3, I really don’t know. We’ll see what happens moving forward. There are always more stories to tell but at some point it’s about whether it’s too much or not. Right now, I truly don’t know.


Tom: Tell us about your two stand-alone novels, Tainted Waters and Deadly Ties. Although I love the Caspian Wine series, I think I favor these two novels slightly more.

Maggie: Each of these novels were interesting to create and both mean a lot to me but for different reasons. I like to write about people and situations that I feel are important.

Tainted Waters: Sam is a woman who has struggled to find herself, she has flipped from job to job and just can’t seem to settle down. The suicide of her father when she was seven has left her scarred and lost. He’d been her world. After being fired from her latest job she moves to the family cabin which she hasn’t been in over twenty years, since her father’s suicide. A series of events happen that soon pull her into a web of mystery, where she soon discovers that not only might her father have been murdered but so might a few of the other owners around the lake.


Deadly Ties: Kyara has always been embarrassed about her home life. Her grandmother went to jail for murdering her husband and her mom is hopeless and helpless. After her mom is attacked Kyara realizes that what she knows is not the truth. Going on a quest, she discovers many secrets that others will go to any lengths to keep hidden. A golf course was built but not because the sport was gaining in popularity but to hide a deadly secret. It pulls Kyara into 30 years of lies that she must untangle before a whole town ultimately pays the price.

Tom: What do you find to be the most exciting part of the creating process?

Maggie: Letting the ideas fly. I used to worry that my story sucked when I was finished writing it. It wasn’t until I realized that rewrites weren’t a form of punishment that I really realized that is where the magic happens. I love rewrites because that is where I get to really make the story the one that I want. The one that has twists and turns and is full of lies, deceit and secrets.

Tom: Along the same subject as above, what do you find to be the most difficult area in the creating process?

Maggie: I think I’m at the point that I don’t really find any of it super difficult. To me it’s all about focus and time. I used to think the rewrites were impossible but that was because I saw it to mean I wasn’t a very good writer. In truth, all it means is that I get to create the story I want. Each part of writing has its own challenges but I just remind myself I could be working my 60 hour a week director position again. Writing is so much easier and more enjoyable.

Tom: There was a three-year gap between Book 2, Deceitful Truths and Book 3. Split Seconds. Are you working on a sequel or anything else right now? And if there is a sequel in the works, when do you expect it to be out?

Maggie:  There is not a sequel in the works right now. Actually, I’m working on a fiction story that I wrote years ago. I really like the story but it needs a lot of work. I had originally written it as a romance but want to change it to a suspense/thriller. Which is what happened with Captured Lies. I am also working on two nonfiction books.

Tom: Besides family and writing, tell us about any hobbies or community service you may be involved in, and any other activity you would like to mention.

Maggie:  I love going out in nature – hiking, kayaking, just walking, sitting and enjoying. I love to read – fiction and nonfiction - but don’t read as much as I used to. I also build websites and love to create images with quotes for social media. I am currently a member and on the board for a Women’s Business Networking Group. We do everything from fundraising, to networking, to training, to community events. I belong to a few author groups online, where we work together to help each other with everything from writing to marketing. I’ve also started a women’s writing group online, to help women find their voice through writing. I also teach writing workshops – on and offline. And I teach how to write compelling fiction book blurbs.

Tom: What advice would you give other aspiring authors hoping to break into the writing field today?

Maggie:  Go for it. Writing is such a gift but there are many fears and issues that might get in your way. Connect to other writers and authors, ask for help, join groups, take writing classes… know that you are on the right path. Keep writing and know that your first draft is meant to suck. It’s just about getting the ideas down. It’s in the rewrites that you get to create the story that you want.

Tom: And most important, where can fans find – and buy - your novel, and do you keep copies on hand for autographs? Please include website and Blogs.

Maggie
(pre-order Split Seconds and receive some amazing bonuses).


Tom: And now another question from left field.  If you could, would you choose to live in a parallel universe as one of the people in the worlds you create?

Maggie:  Interesting question. Hmmm…  I think to some degree I do. Although I don’t live with or see a lot of what I write about, truly most of what I write does happen in our world.

Tom: Maggie, thank you very much for sitting down with me for this interview.

Maggie Thom’s Bio
Want to take an adventure beyond your fingertips?
Award winning author, Maggie Thom loves the challenge of creating a web of secrets, lies and deceit. She doesn’t want you to figure it out until the end. Author of The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery Series – Captured Lies and Deceitful Truths with Split Seconds about to be published – and her other individual novels Tainted Waters (2013 Suspense/Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine) and Deadly Ties. Take the roller coaster ride. It’s worth it. Get your free copy of Captured Lies.
Her motto: Read to escape… Escape to read…

"Maggie Thom… proves her strength as a master of words, plots and finely chiseled characters… she weaves a brilliant cloth of the many colors of deceit.”  Dii - TomeTender