Friday, June 29, 2012


Hard to put down! Customer service suffers as readers get engrossed with Jeff Gephart's 'Out of Dark Places'

"This grim account..."

R. Rubenstein "RJR" (looking for a place) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME)ON THE FIRING LINE 5 STARS***** This review is from: The Sharpshooter 1862-1864 (Kindle Edition) When life and death are as near as the trigger finger, Jake Baker's aim is far from narrow. The Sharpshooter 1862-1864 delivers this top-shelf Civil War page turner with raw, absolute power. C.D. Phillips is on the firing line with stunning accuracy, hitting broad targets with a cannon of universal truth. Jake Baker, a sharpshooter assigned to the Texas 1 Regiment during the oxymoron called the Civil War, has fought in all the great battles through Gettysburg. But there is one fight remaining. It is when the night comes to the spirit and the past invades the violence of the moment. There's a lot of bloodshed in C.D. Phillips novel. But the blood sometimes seems like a metaphor in a house of contradictions or ambiguities. Our bloodthirsty hero, somewhere near the Texas-Mexican border, becomes haunted by his heritage. Much later, when he meets a pacifist colony of Brethren's in war-torn Virginia, that ambiguity begins to lift out of the fog like a paradoxical death or rebirth. And we understand the theme of Phillip's sharpshooters is no less than the abolition of war and the humanity found among men and women when their bodies and soul are on the firing line. "The skirmishers were still killing at a distance but their own men, comrades, were dying nearby.They screamed, gurgled, or fell silently. They died in as many ways as they lived. Some died with resignation and sadness. Others died spitting at the world and a God they thought deaf to their pleas. Some never knew they died. One moment they were sighting down the barrel of their rifle, and the next moment a minie ball entered their forehead .... Company G. Berdan's men were not strangers to death, but they were strangers to this type of mass death at close-quarters, and it unsettled them." This grim account of when the very existence of our nation was on the line is told in simple, compulsively readable fashion. Like the blood that flowed in Antietam's tributaries, the palpable way of war is often too close to us to truly absorb. For a while, I thought, The Sharpshooter 1862-1864 was too narrow, too bloody to contain the immense saga of our nation's most terrifying times. The aim of the shooter seemed so simple; the backdrop of names too awesome to be contained. But C.D.'s Sharpshooter has a more deadly aim. In the humanity of rebels and Yankees, talking to each other across enemy lines, or the split-second decision whether to fire and kill, or not ... when life and death is on the firing line, as close as the trigger finger, there is a moral lesson that Jake learns. It is a lesson we all must learn and the teachings, rather than narrow, become a universal truth. "On the battlefield, death wore no ceremonial cloak. Here they moved the dead out as fast as possible to make room for the dying." Among this backdrop, Mr. Charles Phillip has created an American classic about the Civil War. I believe it will be considered an unforgettable, singularly focused, top-shelf fiction. The battlefields are alive with death and glory, and the ambiguity of killing. The tension created, not when death is meted out, but when it is delayed or ignored for a higher principle, is what makes this book a sure shot. Mr. Charles Phillip has become the new sheriff in the town of historical fiction. Robert Rubenstein,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012




Authored by Charles Phillips

Jurian Baecker's journey leads him from breaking and trading horses in central Texas to heavy involvement, as a member of an elite unit in the Union Army, in the fighting at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Over time, Jurian's youthful recklessness becomes the deep maturity found among some of those who daily see and face death. As he makes his personal journey, Jurian, known by some as Jake Baker, finds two extraordinary women, but he can keep the love of neither. He experiences both the brutality to which men can sink and the heights of compassion they can reach, even on a torn and bloody field of battle. He also assumes the terrible weight borne by those whose decisions may mean life or death to the men who fight beside them.

About the author:
Charles D. Phillips is a native Texan and a public health professional living and teaching in College Station, Texas. His short fiction has appeared in Flashshot, flashquake, HeavyGlow, Long Story Short, the Angler, Static Movement, Smokebox, Toasted Cheese, and the Vestal Review. His Old West historical fiction has appeared in The Copperfield Review, Short Barrel Fiction, The Western Online, and Rope and Wire. His stories in Rope and Wire can be found in its Featured Authors' section. His essays on social and political issues appeared in Bent Magazine, Clockwise Cat, Events Weekly, Smokebox, and Touchstone Magazine. KEOS 89.1FM Community Radio for the Brazos Valley has aired a number of his commentaries on current events. His short fiction has been nominated for StorySouth's Million Writer Award, the Pushcart Prize, and for inclusion in the Best of the Web. His one-act play, 50 Minutes, was chosen as a finalist in Fifty 7 Production's off-Broadway One-Act Play Festival, 2011.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spiked Punch and Sky Castles


A Collection of Short Stories of Emancipating Discourse

Authored by Alexandra deScheel

Spiked Punch in Sky Castles is a collection of four interwoven tales; each of which touch on the most important elements of human life and our shared existence on this planet. It details the true essence of happiness and acceptance, albeit occasionally in a dark and subtle way. Through time, through love, through mental illness, through abuse, through prejudice, through enlightenment, and though haphazard adventure; the entwined lives of protagonists within four sagas illustrate the surprising impact of even the most minuscule and seemingly irrelevant of encounters. This book depicts the significance of living mindfully and acknowledging the presumably random meetings, trivial conversations and subtle moments which may change your life and the lives of all you come into contact with ... often in ways you could never have foreseen.

 About the author:
Alexandra de Scheel was born in New York City to a Danish businessman and an Austrian Princess. She has spent much of her childhood traveling America, Europe and the Middle East. She attended Institut Le Rosey, an international school in Rolle, Switzerland for four years, gaining insight into different cultures in a multinational environment. She has previously published a book with Kallisti Publishing, entitled the Science of Satisfaction, due to be released in September. This is a nonfiction work which explains, in layman's terms, how one can find happiness by altering our perception, our thoughts, our biology, our neurotransmitters and our neural associations. Alexandra has also been a journalist for the past ten years. She was the editor of GstaadLife, an English-language newspaper in the tourist region of Gstaad, Switzerland. And she is the Seattle Libertarian Examiner for the Examiner in America. Alexandra possesses a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Sociology obtained from one of the top journalism schools in London and a Master's degree in the prestigious Cognitive Semiotics program at Aarhus in Denmark. She wrote Spiked Punch in Sky Castles after years of both studying psychology and writing professionally. All of the stories have a basis in real events which have occurred around her or unfolded in her studies.

Friday, June 15, 2012

"keep the pages turning" for Robert Rubenstein

THE WHITE BRIDGE-MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW The consequences of racism can be felt strongly through a small community. "The White Bridge" is a follow up to Robert Rubenstein's previous novel Ghost Runners, bringing a combination of dark history and comedy to the impact of racism as it poisons the well of a small town, and the proponents of change lash back not going lightly. "The White Bridge" is a thoughtful and intriguing novel that should keep the pages turning.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One of PG County's and ATTMP's Finest

5 STAR AMAZON REVIEW In Sheep's Clothing March 1, 2012 By Samfreene Format:Kindle Edition In Sheep's Clothing Author: Edward P. Ciesielski, JR. The men who serve our country deserve the honor and respect of the America people and those they serve. When they come home after their tour they should receive all the support, help and financial assistance to assimilate back into their community and support their families. Some never make it home and others come home fraction of what they were before. Lives are lost during a war it is unavoidable. Tow or more sides fight to win and casualties are incurred and the war continues along with the fighting. No matter how you turn it the end result for some is inevitable: Death. Some pay dearly with their lives and others in different ways. One man, Cpl. Paul Pinski paid the ultimate price when he used his body as a human shield to stop a hand grenade from exploding on others and saved many lives. Author Edward P. Ciesielskim JR. begins his debut novel with an inside and up close description of the mission that cost Paul his life. Taking the reader into the trenches, the jungle and hearing the communications between the men you can picture their final moments as if you were there yourself. But, this is just the beginning of this powerful novel. Although Paul would be awarded, posthumously the Medal of Honor for his act of heroism it does not bring him back to his family. Taking the reader on a short journey back in time you learn about Paul and Lucy, their relationship and their upcoming knowledge that they were going to become parents. Captain Matthew Kilmun was his commanding officer. Hardnosed, a West Pointer, and army bound, would not take anything less than being on the front lines. Offered a high- powered position at General Motors he resigned in order to serve his country. Paul never returned home and neither did his commanding officer. Paul died on June 6, 1944 at 12 noon at the exact time his son, Alec came into this world at 6: A.M. in America. Lucy was elated when giving birth to her son. An army wife and excited and hoping Paul would come home to meet his son. But, no army wife, no one wants to open the door and find a soldier holding that fateful note or telegram stating that your husband, son or daughter was killed in action. Lucy was fragile and could not handle life without Paul and went insane. Locking her away was the only solution. Victor Pinski was Paul's adopted son who came to live with them hoping he would not have to serve if they realized he was a parent. Victor was not the best kid in the world. He was smart, artistic and definitely cunning and here is where our story begins. Lucy learns to cope with Paul's death and soon after she is released from the hospital she gets a job as a waitress and meets someone and marries. Thinking about her life and marry Luke made Lucy happy. Luke being a top mechanic wanted her to stop working and focus on taking care of her sons but Lucy loved working and refused knowing that she wanted and needed her independence. Both of her sons were smart Alec, the younger was friendly, manipulative and knew the value of a dollar. Alec made some fast friends one being Herman the bookmaker as his courier but not for long. Alec and Victor were basically two of a kind. When Alec wanted in on Victor's antics he had no choice to relent to his demands. Alec was quick and fit right in with the gang and all of their antics. But, sometimes even innocent fun can turn ugly as they decided to jump a train and waited too long to return, lost their way, ran into a man who decided to beat on them, killed the man buried him and were found by the police when Luke called them. Little did they know that one of their gang would confess to the murder, show them where the body was and start a chain of events that just might send them to jail? The investigation is not handled the same it would be now. The officers and detectives are called in from different areas whether they wanted to be there or not. As the victim is identified and they realize he was a vet many of the officers remember the wars they fought and the battles they encountered. As Bloodsworth remembers the POW's and the Japanese another remembers Normandy. Filled with information and research about WWII and the lives that intersected as a result this book is truly unique and keeps the reader wondering what will happen to the seven boys who killed the man and what will happen next? Questioning done and the evidence assessed and the end result to release the boys' stating the murder was in self- defense. Then things change for the family and another child is born. But, Alec realizes the change in the dynamics of his family and this young man "In Sheep's Clothing," is hiding his venomous side from the world. Two brothers both starting out with the same mother and different fathers yet bonding. Both having troubled pasts and presents but when Luke comes into their mother's life things appear to straighten out but Alec has his own agenda in mind and his true feelings are heard when shared by the author. Attention, the main attraction the one in the limelight until Terri was born. Alec decided that she needed to be eliminated and how he manages this is horrific. Getting away with it frightening but creative. Lucy goes crazy again but this time she cannot be contained even in the hospital. A dangerous outburst proves deadly and one doctor would be haunted forever and one son seems to have adjusted with no problem. Victor falls prey to the wrong group and decides to take the easy way out and winds up facing the barrel of a gun. Detective Jimmy Saukas made a judgment call and the end result will end the life of another one of Luke's children. But, the detectives that handle telling Luke do not realize their words and the end result is anything but what you would expect. Every step of the way you learn more about the close-knit family among in the police and fire departments. He learns about the cover-ups, the corruption and the ties that bond them together. It seems that there is no accountability when things happen even when Lucy is murdered under the watchful care of a noted doctor. Prejudice's ugly head shows its face when a black firefighter begins at the same house as Luke but partners up with him despite what the others say and do. A ten- alarm fire, which could have avoided his death, occurs and once again Alec loses the only constant in his life his father. But, the story is far from over. When Alec moves in with his uncle and goes off by himself he learns a hard lesson when meeting up with some rough gang members. Alec Bazey never forgets anyone or anything. His revenge is swift, without remorse and painful. In front of his family and real friends he is kind, warmhearted, helpful, caring and pretends to be forgiving. In reality he is a coldhearted and cruel but he was unstoppable and his next step was becoming a police officer. His career as a police officer, the retribution he enacted on others and his final act will stun the reader as Alec raises the top and manages to create a persona that the world accepts. Manipulator, impersonator, coldhearted, justifies his actions in his own mind and validates them; the ending is just the beginning. There is much more to come. Lies, betrayals, murders, cover ups and revenge so well planned the victims never see it coming and this author is the master at creating the illusions, the many masks of Alec and the man he has become. A character so evil and so filled with hate he believes his own actions and enacts justice his own way. Alfred Hitchcock and Patterson never created an ending so diabolical as author and master of the twists and turns and unexpected Edward P. Ciesielski, JR. IN PRINT, KINDLE AND NOOK!