Hunting Teddy Roosevelt by James A. Ross

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It’s 1909, and Teddy Roosevelt is not only hunting in Africa, he’s being hunted. The safari is a time of discovery, both personal and political. In Africa, Roosevelt encounters Sudanese slave traders, Belgian colonial atrocities, and German preparations for war. He reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, Maggie, now a globe-trotting newspaper reporter sent by William Randolph Hearst to chronicle safari adventures and uncover the former president’s future political plans. But James Pierpont Morgan, the most powerful private citizen of his era, wants Roosevelt out of politics permanently. Afraid that the trust-busting president’s return to power will be disastrous for American business, he plants a killer on the safari staff to arrange a fatal accident. Roosevelt narrowly escapes the killer’s traps while leading two hundred and sixty-four men on foot through the savannas, jungles, and semi-deserts of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, and Sudan.

REVIEW

Everything I’ve read or heard about Teddy Roosevelt paints him as a larger than life, irrepressible force of nature. In Hunting Teddy Roosevelt, the author adds to that persona a man of honor, loyalty, and compassion. It is a taut, exciting thriller of a tale full of wonderful episodes on the African plains and in the steamy, critter filled jungles. The main plot is an assassination attempt on Teddy setup by three of the most powerful men in American industry – mightily put out at Roosevelt for his trust-busting activities, and to make sure that Teddy doesn’t run for President again, they want him to not return from his self imposed ‘exile’ from American politics. I fell in love with the varied array of characters the author has placed around his ebullient protagonist…the meddlesome, fiercely determined Hearst newspaper journalist; his devoted, yet flawed son; a city bred assassin completely out of his element on an African safari; unscrupulous captains of industry; Boers, and Sudanese bandits… An easy flowing narrative for the most part, even with the numerous action scenes of hunts and skirmishes with bandits, the author had me stop and gasp occasionally, e.g. stalking a leopard in the dark…that scene is a fine example of the detailed description, and sudden pulse pounding action that permeates the pages of this breathtaking tale. So, my fellow readers, put on your slouch hat, make yourself comfortable and prepare to be entertained in a Bully fashion.  5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing: Troubles at Traymore College by Duncan L. Clarke

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When David Pritchard is hired to teach political science at a remote women’s college in 1969, he anticipates a quiet year before moving on to bigger things. However, it soon becomes apparent that all is not well at Traymore College. President Barton and his administration curtail basic academic freedoms, harass tenured professors, and impose tight constraints on students’ personal lives. Appalled, David engages in intimate alliances with sympathetic faculty and several members of student leadership to stand up to the school’s administration. Together, they aim to ignite the press and spark far-reaching legal action. But Barton will not go down without a fight.

EARLY PRAISE

“Tremendous. The book is a hoot!”
Edward D. Jervey, Professor Emeritus of History, Radford University
[While Ed — who is 90 years old —  didn’t know it until well after the book was written, “his” character is a significant actor in the story]
“Dr. Clarke has rendered an accurate description of relationship dynamics at play in an anachronistic institution trying to futilely isolate itself from turbulent forces of 1960s America. The smooth flowing prose makes this book a pleasure to read while gaining historical perspective on changes unleashed then that are still affecting America today.”
Dr. William Rosolowsky, DVM
[Dr. Rosolowsky is a veterinarian. Xena, a German shepherd, is a major character is the story]

 

About Duncan L. Clarke

Duncan L. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and former Director of the United States Foreign Policy Field at American University’s School of International Service, Washington, D.C. He was Visiting Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Professor of National Security at the National War College. He served in the intelligence community and authored numerous articles and five books on U.S. defense and foreign policy. Clarke lived and taught in Washington, D.C., for many years before moving to the Central Coast of California. He earned his BA at Clark University, JD at Cornell University, and PhD at the University of Virginia. A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing was inspired by his experience as a faculty member in 1969-1970 at Radford College, which was then a public women’s college in Southwest Virginia. Clarke is writing a second novel titled, Murder on the Appalachian Trail: A Love Story. He has twice hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. 
To learn more about the book visit https://dlclarke.com/

Why Write A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing?

For fifty-years I’ve considered writing a novel about my experience as a young professor at what was then Radford College in Radford, Virginia. Like others of my age, I’ve lost many who were dear to me, but no time was more traumatic than Academic Year 1969-1970 when I found myself at this rural public women’s college.

The civil liberties of students and faculty were systematically and cruelly violated by the longest serving college president in the state, something I learned only after arriving on campus.

I had just passed my PhD orals at the University of Virginia and, in 1966, I’d received my law degree for Cornell University. Because of my involvement in law suits against the college, demonstrations, public speeches, etc., I was at the center of a “rebellion” against an authoritarian administration. The personal costs were great: the experience almost ended my academic career, and my life was threatened. But the president left office, academic and personal freedoms were implemented, and the college evolved into the coeducational Radford University which today has 11,000 students.

One of several reasons the book had to be presented as fiction is that I was a twenty-seven-year old unmarried male in a sea of 4,000 single women. I allied closely, sometimes very closely, with key student leaders to effectuate change.

Why write this book? Because it’s a damn good story, and sometimes fiction is truth. Few others are better positioned to tell the story. Moreover, it is always appropriate to remind ourselves that our freedoms are secure only when women and men are prepared to fight for them.

Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Belle Isle Books (August 5, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1951565878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1951565879

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The Arlington Orders by Elliot Mason

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Elliot writes, “In the dying days of the Civil War, an assassination attempt is made on Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Faced with this ongoing threat, the decision is made to evacuate the Southern capital of Richmond, Virginia. Everything must be moved, including the Confederacy’s substantial gold and silver reserves, which must be kept out of Union hands. Thus, a covert plan is devised to transfer it to a secret location. However, during the move, the treasure vanishes without a trace.

One hundred and fifty years later, two historians, Des Cook and Madison Callum, stumble upon clues that could solve one of the war’s greatest mysteries while leading them to the richest and most significant find in American history. But others are searching for it too and will do anything to obtain it.

Now, Des and Madison find themselves entangled in a race that, if they fail to win, would not only result in their deaths but also change the very future of the country.”

REVIEW

A savvy mystery/treasure hunt/thriller – yes, that what The Arlington Orders is, my fellow readers. The long lost Confederate gold spirited away from Richmond before it fell is being hunted by a diverse group of people for a variety of reasons…not all of them altruistic. The story is well paced, and filled with twists and turns in the plot. The characters are well written; interesting and imbued with believable emotional responses and motives for their actions. Page turning suspense sprinkled with edge of the seat action, The Arlington Orders keeps the reader engaged and entertained. You could compare it to National Treasure, but with a villain who is even nastier than Sean Bean. 😎                                        4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hunting Ground by Meghan Holloway

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Fifteen years ago, Hector Lewis’s wife and young daughter vanished without a trace. People have long thought he was responsible, but the man he knows is behind their disappearance still walks free. As a police officer, he is sworn to uphold the law. But he has seen how little justice there is in the world. And when a newcomer’s arrival sparks a harrowing series of crimes, Hector finds himself in a race to catch a man he is convinced is a killer.

Evelyn Hutto knows what it is to be prey. She moved west to start over. But the remote town of Raven’s Gap, Montana, is not as quiet and picturesque as it appears. The wild borderlands of Yellowstone National Park are home to more than one kind of predator. Women are going missing, and Evelyn’s position at the local museum unearths a collection of Native American art steeped in secrets. As she traces the threads of the past and the present, she finds them tied to one man.

Hector is a man obsessed with finding answers. Evelyn is a woman with secrets of her own. As winter whittles the land to bone and ice, the body count rises, and both become locked in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a dangerous man. A man who is as cunning as he is charismatic. A man whose new hunting season is only just beginning.

REVIEW

Psychological thrillers are not my usual choice for reading. Heck, that goes for movies as well…I remember a time when I was in my teens going to a double feature of Premature Burial and The Pit and the Pendulum. I didn’t even make it through the first film before I left the theater. 😱 However, based on how much I loved the author’s previous book, Once More Unto the Breach, I decided to dispense with my idiosyncratic character flaw and read Hunting Ground. It is, as the author mentioned to me, quite different from Breach, but there are similarities nonetheless. The characters are well crafted, realism in their demeanor’s, their responses to events, the motives behind their actions, all lead the reader into an intense, taut drama. Meticulously detailed descriptions, whether it is of a small Montana town, or the sprawling, winter bound wilderness of Yellowstone immerses the readers in the surroundings, in the chilling events. As the story unfolded, and more secrets emerged, more details came to light, the twists and turns of this page turning thriller had this reader/reviewer pausing to remember to breathe. Oh, yes my  peeps and fellow travelers on the reading road, this is a good one for sure. A psychological thriller that even the idiosyncratic flawed, like me, can enjoy.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Virgin of the Wind Rose (Christopher Columbus) by Glen Craney

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While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam.

Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon’s Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:

The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal’s Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.

Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world’s most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer’s connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

REVIEW

A sprawling tale spanning 500 years, The Virgin of the Wind Rose, is about as exciting as it gets. It is also a very erudite tome…the reader will inevitably have to think about what they just read…the word square, the navigational methods, the zealous religion aspect, etc. The story alternates between the late 15th century – the mysterious Portuguese sea going activities, and modern day where Jaq and Boz are pulled into a conspiracy to usher in The Last Days – The Rapture. Meticulously researched, the author creates a plausible scenario for the activities of the Portuguese sea going visionaries, and the cult like evangelicals. The characters are well written; their thoughts and emotions on full display. I enjoyed the inner debate of Jaq’s Christian beliefs versus her mounting doubts…but even she, a talented, well educated person can blurt out ,”Everyone knows Jesus was a Christian.”…cults will do that even to smart minds.

The Virgin of the Wind Rose is an unusual read. A page turner with a caveat – must slow down a bit to understand the arcane nature of the narrative, but once the pieces of this 500 year old puzzle fall into place, it is a good read..a very good read.   5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Uncovering by Lorelei Brush

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Shahnaz is a liberal but observant Pakistani Muslim, a nurse with a dream that all pregnant women will deliver healthy babies. At her parents’ command she weds Naseer, a gentle man who encourages her work. But marrying Naseer means she must live with his extended family, including his fundamentalist older brother, Raja Haider. When their father dies, Raja Haider becomes head of the family. With this new power, he orders Shahnaz to quit her job and stay at home. Mild Naseer respects his brother’s authority, but Shahnaz rebels with the strength of a courageous warrior.

Brush explores a Muslim society threatened by extremism. The story churns with the struggles of obedience versus self-determination, piety versus zealotry, and tradition versus progress. Some seek peace, and others pursue violence to achieve what’s holy.

REVIEW

This, my fellow readers, is one intense story. A culture driven by centuries old traditions forms the basis for this tale of an amazing woman caught between the restrictions of her religion and the very real need for her work with pregnant Pakistani women. The characters jump off of the page with the reality of the time and place. Uncovering is one of those books that is so emotionally charged that it tugs at the reader’s heart. Repressive, insular, power over the less fortunate is something that we all need to face up to. Despite the obstacles, we can, like Shahnaz, dare to hope, dare to change.  5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nexus (Roma Nova #4.5) by Alison Morton

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Mid 1970s. Ex-Praetorian Aurelia Mitela is serving as Roma Nova’s interim ambassador in London. Asked by a British colleague to find his missing son, Aurelia thinks it will only be a case of a young man temporarily rebelling. He’s bound to turn up only a little worse for wear.

But a spate of high-level killings pulls Aurelia away into a dangerous pan-European investigation. Badly beaten in Rome as a warning, she discovers the killers have kidnapped her life companion, Miklós, and sent an ultimatum: Back off or he’ll die.

But Aurelia is a Roma Novan and they never give up…

Set between AURELIA and INSURRECTIO in the Aurelia Mitela Roma Nova adventures

REVIEW

I have read all of the Roma Nova stories, and have enjoyed them all immensely. It’s one of those series that although it is an alternate history, a made up geo-political world; it rings so true as to seem real. In this backstory novella, the author has not diminished that effect at all.  Nexus gives us another chapter in the life of one of my favorite fictional characters, Aurelia Mitela. An exciting tale that follows Aurelia on what started out as a  search for a missing person and becomes a roller coaster ride of adventure, and danger…two things that are sure to bring out the Praetorian in our heroine. So, my fellow readers of Roma Novan history, prepare to be entertained, and to learn a little more about Aurelia Mitela.  5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Passage by Prue Batten

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Meeting Alex Tremayne changed Annie’s life.
Losing him through a shocking farm accident shattered her.

Passage is the story of one woman, Annie Tremayne, and her journey through grief.
After Annie loses Alex, her husband and soulmate, she withdraws into the state of solitude that has always been her refuge.

Unsure how to move forward, she leans on Blighty, her bizarre little Jack Russell terrier for comfort, wishfully encountering the spirit of her late husband and craving the dry wit and understanding of her French friend, Lisette.

Amongst the raw beauty of Tasmania’s east coast, Annie discovers stalwart friends where she thought she had none and, ever so occasionally, there are glimmers of what could be.
With the help of feisty Blighty, her husband’s earthy wisdom, and the glaring honesty and wit of Lisette, Annie begins the journey back from sorrow.

Will she reach the other side?
Maybe only her diverse companions know…

REVIEW

I know that in every review I’ve written about the books by Prue Batten, I have waxed effusively on the beauty of her prose; the eloquence, the spot on emotions, narrative descriptions that linger, like the smell and sound of the sea, and so on. So it might seem ironic that my favorite sentence in Passage is this:

‘You know what, Blighty?’ she mumbled into his coarse fur. ‘Life is such shit sometimes.’

Then again, maybe not so ironic when taken in context. Passage is one of the most poignant stories I have read in a long time. The coming to terms with grief for Annie is a grueling passage, and the author has given her an eloquent, heartrending tale to tell. A highlight feature, for me, is Annie’s conversations with her recently deceased husband, Alex. The give and take between them is priceless and helps set the tone for dealing with the other people in her life…a new way of understanding the events..a new way of understanding herself.

So, my peeps and fellow readers, Hoover Book Reviews gives it 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, and it’s highest recommendation…

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Editor’s note:

Yeah, I know it says historical fiction on the Paulitzer, but hey, like I said I don’t read contemporary fiction very often, and this is the only Paulitzer currently in stock. 😁

Go Down the Mountain by Meredith Battle

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Go Down the Mountain was inspired by the stories of the people who lost their homes to Shenandoah National Park in the 1930s. At once dramatic adventure, moving love story and recollection of a vanished life, the story follows mountain girl Bee on her harrowing journey to discover the truth about her family, living and dead.

Bee is a nervy, teenage beauty whose beloved father’s sudden death in a snake charming accident has left her alone with her abusive mother. Her one salvation is Miles, the big-city photographer who promises escape and a life full of the adventure she craves. But when Bee is caught in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with a government man who takes her family’s land and won’t stop until he claims her too, it may be Torch, the boy she grew up with on the mountain, who becomes the man she needs.

REVIEW

An out of the blue read and review request…I suppose my small contribution to the literary world does have its perks. I was, at first, intrigued by the locale of this novel, as I drive through the region often, but have always looked upon it as a repository for Civil War story fodder – the exploits of General Thomas Jackson or General Philip Sheridan. It is, however, the stories and lives of the ordinary folk and their daily struggle for existence that captured my attention in this riveting account of Depression Era Appalachia. The main character, Bee Livingston, is a feisty, resourceful, and totally captivating young woman caught in the throes of dispossession and the harsh reality of her family life. If any of my peeps and fellow travelers have seen the old John Wayne movie, Shepherd of the Hills, you may, as I did, sort of model Bee after Sammy, the young heroine in the movie. Written in a very engaging style, the tale flows nicely through the trials and tribulations of the Hollow folk facing eviction from their homes by an unfeeling, and downright cruel government. The author captures the essence of mountain culture, and reminds us that there are periods of our country’s history that aren’t too reflective of our stated ideals of justice and equality. An entertaining and informative tale awaits you, dear reader.  5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lords of St. Thomas by Jackson Ellis

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Born and raised in St. Thomas, Lord lived in a small home beside his garage with his son, Thomas, his daughter-in-law, Ellen, and his grandson, “Little” Henry. All lived happily until the stroke of a pen by President Coolidge authorizing the construction of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam. Within a decade, more than 250 square miles of desert floor would become flooded by the waters of the Colorado River, and St. Thomas would be no more.

In the early 1930s, the federal government began buying out the residents of St. Thomas, yet the hardheaded Henry Lord, believing the water would never reach his home, refused to sell. It was a mistake that would cost him―and his family―dearly.

Lords of St. Thomas details the tragedies and conflicts endured by a family fighting an unwinnable battle, and their hectic and terrifying escape from the flood waters that finally surge across the threshold of their front door. Surprisingly, it also shows that, sometimes, you can go home again, as Little Henry returns to St. Thomas 60 years later, after Lake Mead recedes, to retrieve a treasure he left behind―and to fulfill a promise he made as a child.

REVIEW

Intrigued as I was by the premise of this tale, a look at an obscure part of the country, an obscure bit of our history, I was not prepared for the drama and emotion that like the making of Lake Mead, flood the pages. It is a coming of age story in a town that is destined to disappear due to the building of The Hoover Dam. Though it is the mid-1930’s, I could still resonate with young Henry, especially the honing of baseball skills by throwing a ball against a wall.  The author has crafted a tale that while unique in its setting, is not so unique as to the human condition – tense family situations, the fear of the unknown future, the struggle to live up to expectations – all of that and more make this an enjoyable read.  I have driven the southern shore of Lake Mead, and the stark barren, desert landscape is vividly described by the author, as is the out of place look the lake has in this drought ridden, sun baked land. As the blurb states, Henry returns 60 years later as the lake has receded and uncovered parts of St. Thomas. Without spoiling it for future readers, I can say that the author has provided the reader with an exciting, dramatic conclusion to this wonderful tale.  5 stars