MONTAGNARD

MONTAGNARD ISBN 9781734602302 assumed published Copyright and written by D. C. Gilbert.

A JG Cordell Action Thriller consists of a number of intertwined threads of activities engaged in by an assorted number of characters of different nationalities and/or ethnic backgrounds. They include Dish, now somewhere around 70 is of one of the small tribes in the mountains (and known as a group by their name), the Montagnard. He has a Laotian wife whom he saved years ago from a stalking tiger. He was active with the Americans in the resistance to the Viet Cong.  Like many he was disappointed when the Americans moved out after winning the war (which American media had convinced them otherwise). Today he maintains a small guerilla group that still fights the hated communist regime now running Vietnam and the abundant gangs working for vicious drug lords that infest the jungles around the Golden Triangle after Thailand began cracking down on them. One of the worst and most powerful is a former Viet Cong Colonel, a vicious killer who had annihilated every male, female and child of Dish’s village. Ellen Chang, a physician with “Doctors without Borders”, who is the daughter of a Chinese couple who fled to America and survived by establishing a successful restaurant. The first thread followed is Tran’s kidnapping of Ellen. The second thread is when Tran kidnaps Dish’s adopted sister, Mia who had married an American Officer during the war and returned with him to the United States. Recently widowed, she returns to attempt to get Dish to come to America and retire quietly. Mia, of course is the mother of the protagonist, highly decorated, Navy Seal now just retiring after the involved series of activities demanded of him and his group to rescue Ellen. There are a large number of other characters involved in various activities of greater or lesser importance even up to and including the President of the United States. And most importantly, his attack canine Ajax who is a hero par excellence.

Discussion: This story is a thoroughly enjoyable, high octane thriller following the guidelines of the genre that made it so popular. The author, is an army veteran and highly respected Martial Arts specialist, who seemingly has acquired quite extensive knowledge of the area of the world and those involved in this book.

4* Thoroughly enjoyable read for thriller devotees.

The Covid Legacy

The COVID Legacy assumed published, copyright and written by Lance Haynes,

The book opens with a description of areas of the country/world completely devastated from “The Dying Time’ when large portions of the world’s inhabitants were wiped out by a pandemic viral infection. It then introduces the reader to Brian, the son of Anders and Melissa Thorson and his wife Desta. He was from the northern section of the inhabited world and she was from Ethiopia. They discovered each other via an internet search and were allowed to get married and assigned to a home previously owned by a deceased billionaire near Jackson Hole by the UN Authority who functioned as the regulatory arm of the shadowy but all-powerful Dominus. They had been living here for 15 years and recently had been permitted to have children, or at least, a child. Brian possessed a brilliant mind and performed requested duties for the administrative body. The house assignment and other ‘favors’ signified their importance to the controlling authority. The story evolves as Brian attempts to learn more about his grandfather, Carl. From notes and other mementos of his grandfather he received and/or discovered from his father, he was able to discern the brilliance of the man and his manipulation by the controlling force of Dominus. Also revealed were the fate of his grandmother, existence of an equally brilliant aunt and more. Ultimately, the entire situation in large part designed and developed by his grandfather is addressed by the unexpected appearance of a believed long dead relative who with Brian, and a small cohesive group attempt to somewhat alter it for the good of all.

Discussion: The author has employed the present viral pandemic in a fictional setting that uses a tentative agenda where such an instrument, coldly but efficiently, was set in motion to solve the constantly discussed world problems of overpopulation, intercountry as well as personal greed and scrambling for dominance, cold and hot wars, global warming and the rest. It is a very readable thoughtful but in some ways ‘uncomfortable’, philosophical discussion brought to mind by China’s seeming culpable involvement. The discussion may be a little heavy for some, but coverage as set forth generally is acceptably comprehensible as pertinent to its placement within the story.

4* 5* story, probably -1 for (really required) lengthy philosophical passages.

Boot, A sorta novel of Vietnam

BOOT, A Sorta Novel of Vietnam published, copyright and written by Charles L. Templeton.

Now a Marine Sergeant assigned to the Presidential Helicopter Squadron after completing 150 missions in Vietnam, George Orwell (G. O.) Hill had just completed a flight mission for “one of the many alphabet organizations that crowded Washington, D.C.” He was sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looking at the Reflective pool while trying to decide “Are you going to look at that damn Wall (Vietnam Memorial) or are you going to di-di (move rapidly) back to Georgetown?” “He squinted into the pool’s reflection. His face was a mask hiding his shadows…. His heart raced and his brain whirred, like a nickelodeon … replaying images from his tour in Vietnam forever camped in his memory. Why would he want to think about that crap anyway? That was then; this is now.” But thoughts came rambling through. His youth and desire to serve as had his father, uncles and grandfathers, his pride reflected in his grandfather’s eyes. But suddenly in the water of the Reflecting pool, he saw the image of a headless North Vietnamese regular. Some creative grunt had pinned a note on his blouse that read, “I just wanted to get ahead in life.” At the time he had lost his lunch. These days he chuckled about the grisly scene.” Such is the reader’s introduction to the ruminations of a man who has lived and experienced the repetitive re-interspersing periods of mind-numbing boredom with those of terror and horrifying activity experienced by any person who ever has participated in combat.

Discussion: Assuming the part of the protagonist, G.O. Hill, the author has examined the highly diversified cultural, religious and racial beliefs existing among the group of Marines involved along with those of the enemy. Additionally, he has injected a perhaps unexpected glimpse of a human tendency that exists even in enemies fighting for survival. His portrayal of characters is most realistically accomplished, the humor included, and the story provides, often unwanted memories for the initiated but is of tremendous educational value for the uninitiated,

5* Educational for the uninitiated; often unwanted recall for participants.

Money, Truth & Life

Money, Truth & Life ISBN: 9781734752830 Impact Driven Publishing, Copyright, written by Judy L. Copenbarger, JD, CFP, AIF.

Sub-titled Practical Wisdom to Strengthen Families for Life, the book opens with several Testimonials; an interesting Dedication; Special Thanks to several people. Following are 9 chapters; an Appendix; About the Author and an invitation to Continue Online. The discussion in each chapter is simply presented with an approach and verbalization set forth for the average family and its members. Chapters 1 and 2 discuss some basics of money and other fundamentals; #3, matters of taxation; #4, how to legally protect you, your business and your family; #5, cash flow planning; #6, growth and protection of your assets; #7, use of insurance to reduce financial risks; #8 how to live a life of Integrity; #9, preparing your next step summing up ‘The elements of mastery straightening your “life spokes” (elements explained earlier), Finances and Faith and Creating Your Plan. The Appendix includes in brief, a Spending Plan Template for Families, Additional notes on Laddering, an “Earn, Save, Sell” Exercise; 3 Methods to Pay Credit Cards.

Discussion: This is a most unusual book written by a woman of considerable talent married to an equally, but differently talented man, who has developed a rather unique ability to equate with and explain things in a simple manner understandable by families from any walk of life. The prospective reader acquires a quite definite implication both from the positions held by, and the friendly, personal tone used by, the providers of the opening Testimonials. Specifically that the book will set forth easily read and helpful prose for an audience that unfortunately more usually is overlooked or ignored.

5*  Highly recommended book specifically for targeted audience.

The COIN

The COIN assumed published, copyright 2013 and written by Maria Elena Alonzo-Sierra.

A prologue finds a man searching an area in the mountains of the Côte d’Azur looking for a stash of coins and records he previously had hidden there. A recent naturally caused upheaval in this section had caused a re-arrangement of the territory that had eliminated any familiarity with its former formation. With intense frustration, he realized that it was impossible to find any remnants of the material he had secretly stashed away. Unexpectedly, a lost tourist stumbles upon him, thinking he had found someone who could help. Instead, he is slowly and cruelly put to death by the intensely frustrated man. The story then opens to follow the subsequent results of Gabriela Martinez discovering an unusually marked coin while hiking in the same area, La Marbriére, a short time later. Gaby, along with her parents, was a refugee brutally forced out of Cuba when Castro moved in. Quite sheltered while a Cuban resident, she now is happily married to her first love whom she met in college, and the mother of two young children who are visiting their grandparents in the United States for the summer. Her husband, Roberto, an innovative designer of new materials, frustrated by not being able to proceed, had been offered a position in Europe, had found a considerable degree of freedom and had extended his assignment. He loved his wife dearly, but with a totally ‘old-fashioned’ mindset that the husband was the bread-winner, and the wife a mother and housekeeper, was completely involved with his work. Simultaneously, Gaby had developed into an artist of tremendous talent and was being mentored by an enormously wealthy and influential man who was readying her for an exhibition of such importance as to launch her into a career that would make her one of the leading artists in the world. Unfortunately he had further designs on making her his mistress. Now, Richard Harrison, a lead member of an American special operations unit, as a courtesy to the Israelis’ request and favor to his boss is in France on vacation but has consented to interview Gabriela with respect to the special coin she had discovered during here trip to the mountain. Richard is a man typical of such operatives – handsome, pleasant and charmingly accommodating, but calculating, coldly uninvolved and with no compunction against killing when necessary. When meeting her, he is startled with the natural warmth and seeming degree of underlying naiveté – qualities he never had, or expected to, encounter in any woman. A set of circumstances develop, where Gabriela is to be introduced to a collection of world art connoisseurs with the latest of her works on the same night Roberto is to sign an important contract providing all he ever has wanted. Complicating the situation further is that Gabriela’s life has been threatened because of the coin that had been found and Richard has become her 24-hour-per-day bodyguard. The interrelationships that develops among these individuals, aided and abetted by an interesting group of supportive characters, develops into a mysterious, thrilling chase and sex-laced romance about which furnishing further details would be a great disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: The author has positioned three individuals in situations of almost insurmountable tension production with adequately supplied supportive personnel. The plot providing a thrilling, fast-paced tale and engaging climax. A number of inadequacies or unusual mental activities are difficult to totally accept, but no doubt are a personal consideration arising from this reader’s pragmatism. If noted at all by other readers, probably they will be observed as an unimportant ‘blip’.

5* Fast paced psychologically oriented mystery/thriller/romance.

 

A Laughing Place

A Laughing Place Berwick Publishing, copyright and written by Christian Hageseth, M.D.

This offering is a relatively short but quite thorough look at the position of humor in the content of an individual’s mindset and the extent of its importance in an individual’s well-being. It includes an introduction that once again reiterates the importance of Hippocrates’ statement “It is far more important to know what person has the disease, than what disease the person has. The difference between patients is the content of their minds.” Twelve chapters follow, opening with a humorous, tenuously embarrassing incident that occurred with the author’s first lecture with respect to the subject. An incident that gave rise to the quote “Life and adversity: You can’t have one without the other” and an opportunity to provide further discussion of the importance of how the individual deals with adversity when encountered. Years of treating patients who were almost impossible to help finally brought this psychiatrist to a realization of the vital importance of Positive Humor. Thus he decided that rather than treat the aftermath of adversity, he wanted to prevent some of the pain that poured out in his consulting room and instruct his patients to learn about humor – what it is, how it constantly is modified, what purpose it serves and when properly couched and utilized, what it can bring to alleviating some of the suffering individual’s most debilitating episodes of despair.

Well aware of present day demand for short, crisp, to-the-point- comments, in the book he first provides what he believes are the ten basic components of humor. And he does so simply, “without detail, without examples, without metaphor”. With these as a basis, he then expands to examine the subject from its very first appearance to its many levels beyond. Many psychologists believe that humor is a function of language and a process involving abstract thought. As such, its first appearance is around the child’s first grade. The author contends that the first humor experience emerges even before with the smiling response which occurs at about eight weeks of life. Regardless, from this initial emergence, he traces it through the stages of mental and physical growth accompanying childhood, adolescence and into the adult. He explains how humor is more than jokes and that three pathways exist to a humor experience; that one’s surroundings, culture and subculture dictate the acceptance or non-acceptance of a humorous statement, with occasional exceptions as noted. And he provides numerous true stories of the effectiveness of humor in certain disastrous situations. Further presented are “the four elements of successful humor” and how they are achieved as well as how it may be used to combat illness as well as depression. The book ends with again a succinctly presented list of twelve affirmations of positive humor.

Discussion: The author has set forth a quite thorough overall discussion of humor. Further, he has provided the material in an easy to read form that the neophyte looking for help will discover to be simple to follow. Amusingly perhaps, is the fact that he most obviously is well aware of the extent of decrease in the general public’s attention span. Whether watching TV, reading or conversing, this activity measured 12 seconds in the year 2000; 8.25 seconds in 2015 and seemingly is dropping even lower in newly acquired data. (Comparatively, that of a goldfish is 9 seconds.). Resultantly, he has provided much material in quite simple to read lists and individual phrases. As an aside, his inclusion of certain humorous incidents/tales are quite hilarious for any reader with a degree of imagination. One word of caution seemingly would be helpful for the self-help reader – no matter how easily comprehensible one discovers the material to be in this book, it would seem wise to find a competent individual with whom to discuss this subject before embarking on any extensive personal change.

5* Thorough presentation of humor and its importance to human health.