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text 2016-09-02 03:28
Did you find your second novel, Loving the Terrorist, restricted by genre?
Loving the Terrorist: Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs (ECO-WARRIORS Book 2) - Rod Raglin

QUESTION: Did you find the plot and the characters in your second novel, Loving the Terrorist, restricted by the confines of this genre?


Despite the lack of success of my first novel, Saving Spirit Bear, my publisher was still keen on publishing two more novels as part of the Eco-Fi series, Eco-Warriors, and I was still keen on writing them. The plan (remember the plan?) appeared flawed, but perhaps not fatally.


As a journalist I'd been following and commenting on a local protest where residents and hardcore environmentalists had joined forces to boycott the development of a highway bypass that would destroy Eagleridge Bluffs, a very rare eco-system, home to migratory birds and at least one endangered species.


Despite a number of other viable options the government was intransigent. In frustration the protestors set up a blockade and eventually were arrested and literally dragged off to jail.


I've spent the best part of my life climbing and hiking in the local mountains. I've seen some awe-inspiring scenery, moments when I truly felt if I died in the presence of such magnificence, well, that would be just fine. But Eagleridge Bluffs was the best.


These ancient rock faces, carved by eons of Pacific storms roaring down Georgia Strait, and decorated by gnarled Arbutus Trees emanated a benign energy that soothed and uplifted the human spirit - no kidding.


When they dynamited The Bluffs they destroyed something very special and to this day I feel guilty. I should have done more to save this wonderful wild place that I loved.


But what could I have done? Loving the Terrorist - Risking it All, is that story.


Miriam is forty and frustrated. In an attempt to enhance her living-just-to-breathe life she joins some neighbours protesting a highway bypass that will destroy Eagleridge Bluffs. Not only are the Bluffs her special sanctuary, they’re also the beautiful home of rare and endangered plants and animals.


The protest gains the support of environmental organizations including the attention of a group of eco-radicals lead by an enigmatic younger man named Zaahir.


Miriam is mesmerized by this charismatic leader and sees him as someone that can save her as well as the Bluffs. But is Zaahir just using Miriam to help him further his radical political agenda?


As legal channels fail and civil disobedience falters, Miriam is seduced into the murky world of eco-terrorism.


The plot of this story follows the actual events that took place over three months that summer - up to a point. I literally lifted dialogue for my characters from news clips and stories. Then I took it further.


I wanted to explore the theme - can violence be condone on behalf of a just cause? Furthermore, is violence effective?


I wanted a sympathetic villain because as an author if you have a political agenda (and boy, did I) the only way to keep from sounding didactic is to also present it from the point of view of the anatgonist - and do it fairly. I gleaned this from Robert Boswell's book, The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction. Not only does this approach work, it was a good idea since I wasn't quite sure where I stood on this issue myself.


I took the criticism of my first novel to heart and "sexed up" this one. This presented a challenge and I wondered how I could write explicitly about sex without it being gratuitous? I decided to make Miriam a virgin, her lover fifteen years younger than her, and she white and him brown. My idea was to let my readers discover sex along with my heroine.


I hit most of the points including a "Happy Ever After" ending but even as I was writing the novel I could tell I was straying beyond the confines of the romance genre. Despite the ending, this wasn't a happy story, how could it be - innocent creatures were wiped out, a beautiful, spiritual place was destroyed, and for no good reason (as if there ever is one).


I couldn't help it, I couldn't change it. It bombed, but I felt better.


By the time Loving the Terrorist was published I was well into the third novel for the Eco-Warriors series. By now I'd learned quite a bit about writing and publishing and even more about myself. This would be my last romance.


I knew I was leaving genre even as I was writing Not Wonder More, Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. I was also becoming increasingly dissatisfied with my publisher (and no doubt, she with me) and had begun exploring other options.


Next Question: Did your third novel Not Wonder More, Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients resolve the issue of whether to write genre or literary fiction? And what about your publisher?




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review 2016-08-26 00:13
Terrorist Summit (The Executioner #44)
Terrorist Summit - Don Pendleton,Steven M. Krauzer

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.anobii.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Terrorist Summit

Series: The Executioner

Author: Don Pendleton & Steven Krauzer

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Action/Adventure

Pages: 184

Format: Kindle digital scan








A maniacal American kidnaps the daughter of a Tech Contractor, who has figured out how to make suitcase nukes. He uses her to get a prototype which he then plans on selling to a disparate group of worldwide terrorists.

Everyone is in one place and it is up to Mack Bolan to rescue the girl, kill the terrorists and put the fear of God into the organizations which they are all from.

If there is one man who can do this, it is The Executioner!



My Thoughts:


My final Mack Bolan book.


In some ways it was a good book. Tons of action and bullets and splatterings of scumbags. I really like seeing Final Justice dispensed to those who deserve it. In other ways it was very disappointing. The descriptions of the kidnapped girl were simply lascivious and not appropriate at all.


That made this an uncomfortable read for me. However, I'm sure this type of thing continues so it makes even more sense for me to stop now. I do think that next year I will pick up the latest Mack Bolan just to see how the series has progressed over the years. To put this in perspective, this book was written in 1982 and the series is still ongoing.

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review 2015-12-24 20:52
Seized (The Profiler) - Elizabeth Heiter

By: Elizabeth Heiter

Series:  The Profiler #3

ISBN:  9780778318620

Publisher:  MIRA

Publication Date: 12/29/2015

My Rating:  4 Stars  


A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Elizabeth Heiter returns with her third installment in the Profiler series (nicely researched) with SEIZED -Evelyn Baine, profiler for the FBI – finds herself in one of the most dangerous situations yet, with what appeared to be "survivalist cult" holed up in the mountains—turns deadly.

Evelyn is sharp and she knows how to think like a killer – whether a serial killer, arsonists, bomb-maker, child abductor or terrorist, as she has crawled around in all of the twisted minds. She had learned their fantasies, and figured out their next moves and chased them down. But no matter how many she found, there were always more. She is a non-conformist and does not always follow the rules. (I like this).

Having read the previous books in the Profiler series (highly recommend) in order to learn more about Evelyn and the motivation behind the woman-- both personally, and professionally:

In Book # 1 HUNTED , we meet Evelyn Baine, a profiler for the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit. She has wanted this job since she was a child, when her best friend disappeared. She is sent to Bakersville, Virginia and comes head to head with a serial killer who is hunting her. She tracks down a deadly serial killer known as the Bakersville Burier and learned just how deadly it can be to get inside the head of a killer.

In Book #2 VANISHED she returns to her home town for another child abduction case in Rose Bay, South Carolina for a suspense psychological mystery thriller with a mixture of light romance and intrigue. Evelyn has waited for this case her entire life after the disappearance of her best friend—when the Nursery Rhyme Killer resurfaced after eighteen years of silence.

In Book # 3 SEIZED, the intensity heats up! Evelyn returns with fellow agent Kyle McKenzie taking them to a remote area of Montana wilderness.

Lee Cartwright had been convicted of bombing two black churches and one mosque. People had died and dozens were injured. He was seeking notoriety. Evelyn is profiling him in the Montana State Prison. He was an anti-federalist. He had told officials he had a copycat, and the FBI wanted to find out if it was true.

Dan Moore, FBI had sent her, because she is on his shit list. A suitable punishment for not following orders on her last case. She was not a team player. Now she has to determine if this guy is telling the truth.

From brain washing, cults, survivalists, home grown terrorism-----Evelyn is sent to check out a dangerous cult of survivalist in the Montana mountains in a compound. What appears to be a routine investigation lands her on the wrong side of a hostage situation and in the middle of an emerging terrorist threat. The cult leader Butler has a score to settle with the FBI. A terrorist.

In addition to the physical dangers, Evelyn has her own internal decisions and crossroads. Does she continue with her position at the FBI or is something else on the horizon?

The one driving force in her career had been her need to solve her friend’s case. However, she learns there are a lot of people out there with their own Cassie's. People with someone dead or missing from their lives, people who needed closure, and Evelyn would give it to them.

It was nice revisiting with Granny Mabel, the woman who had stood behind her, now in a nursing home in SC.


Fans of Allison Brennan, Tami Hoag, Catherine Coulter, and Lisa Jackson will enjoy the gripping series.

Sounds as though Evelyn will return for #4 for a brand-new adventure and more to come with Kyle! Recommend reading all the books in the series. Can’t wait to see what’s next!



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Seized/cmoa/5615cd930cf2a7bb74cd37ec
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review 2015-11-03 00:00
I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One On TV: Memoirs of a Middle Eastern Funny Man
I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One On TV: Memoirs of a Middle Eastern Funny Man - Maz Jobrani 3 1/2 stars. I don't know who this guy is, but I saw the book at the library, loved the cover and read a little and laughed and eventually took it out. I had a lot of LOL moments here. He's easy to read and like, though I got tired by the end of his constant knocking of Fox News. He's not completely clean but most of his humor is.
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review 2015-09-12 21:04
Saving Sophie
Saving Sophie: A Novel - Ronald H. Balson
ISBN:  9781250065858
Publisher:  St Martin's Press
Publication Date:  9/15/2015
Format: Other
My Rating: 4 Stars 
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Love the Cover!

Following Once We Were Brothers, Ronald H. Balson returns with another riveting page-turner, SAVING SOPHIE A child kidnapping, terrorist activity, ransom, and an embezzlement.

Chicago PI Liam Taggart and his fiancée, lawyer, Catherine investigate an act of embezzlement, plus more. A Jewish accountant Jack Somers, has been hiding in Hawaii after misdirecting $88 million—a business transaction, while trying to save his six year old daughter, Sophie. She has been kidnapped by his late wife’s Palestinian father—a suspected terrorist.

Jack is a partner with the prestigious Chicago law firm Jenkins & Fairchild, he marries, concert pianist Alina-- against the wishes of her father, Arif al-Zahani, a prominent Palestinian physician. After they marry and have a daughter, his wife suffers a sudden illness and dies.

The grandparents have not been active in Sophie’s life; however, after the death of their daughter, they fight for sole custody of her. They lose out; however, granted visitation rights. Then Sophie disappears.

Sommers, happens to be involved in a deal with one of his clients, and diverts $88 million of funds, while escaping under the radar to Hawaii. Now, he is on the run—from the feds, while in a race against time to rescue his daughter.

A man questions his faith, how God would take his wife, and destroy his family? What is His grand plan? His daughter has been stolen, and he has been reduced to a common thief. He has lost his self-respect and everything which is dear to his heart.

A complex story of a desperate father seeking to save his daughter. He will do anything to protect her. A compelling read, full of suspense, mystery, and intrigue. Legal fans will also enjoy - From Chicago, Hawaii, to the Middle East.  A well-researched and fast-paced novel, and a courageous little girl caught in the crossfire. Where love proves to be stronger than hate.

With the author's own background as an attorney with a Chicago firm, and trial practice taking him into courts across the US, and internationally---his expertise, legal insights, and passion are reflective throughout the pages of his two extraordinary books.
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Saving-Sophie/cmoa/55e346fd0cf24e84f75c8a58
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