Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini, J.A. Konrath, CreateSpace, 2013

Part of a series, this novel is about Chicago Police Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels. Her nemesis this time is The Chemist, someone who spreads very lethal poisons in public places. The body count, along with the level of panic, rises very quickly. Before heading to parts unknown, The Chemist plans one last act of terror. Can Jack and the police stop it? Do they stop The Chemist, permanently?

This is an excellent story. It easily reaches the level of Stay Up All Night Reading Until Finished. It also gets two strong thumbs up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Get Smart!

Get Smart!, Brian Tracy, Jeremy P Tarcher/Penguin, 2016

Everyone wants to act and think like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. This book shows how anyone can move in that direction.

What do you really, really want to accomplish, either personally or professionally? Writing that Ultimate Goal on paper, and posting it somewhere prominent, is more meaningful than simply keeping it in the back of your mind. Be sure to break that Ultimate Goal into smaller, more manageable pieces. Resolve to do at least one goal-oriented thing every day.

Corporate thinkers are concerned with pleasing their bosses, following the rules and doing the absolute minimum necessary to keep from getting laid off. Customers are nothing but whiny irritants. Entrepreneurial thinkers obsess about customers all the time, they continually upgrade their skills and look for ways to become more valuable to their company. Which one are you?

Is it worth it to be in motion all day, looking like a video tape stuck on fast forward, and ultimately not getting much done? On the other hand, maybe you should prioritize your tasks, doing the important ones first, and resolve to actually work while you are at work. Leave the socializing for lunch time. Also, you should resolve to check your email only at specific times during the day. Stay away from it for the rest of the day.

Every policy and procedure in your company should be periodically re-evaluated, for possible changing or removing.The reason that most people stay poor is because of ingrained bad habits, like procrastination, fear of failure and lack of persistence. This book tells how to change those habits.

Start with "excellent" and go from there; that is how good this book is. It is highly recommended for people from any walk of life, young or old, blue- or white-collar.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Wish, Scott Hungerford, Amazon Digital Services, 2013

The city of Emerald (formerly known as Seattle) is like something out of the Arabian Nights. Communication is done through a form of Skype that uses talking mirrors. Getting around the city is not done with cars or buses, but with flying carpets. The Sultan (the absolute ruler of Emerald) has been deposed in a coup. The new Sultan is a young man named Cassim. He is known to Shea, and her scholar father, as an arrogant, elitist jerk. Several magic rings give Cassim the power to, among other things, command an army of stone soldiers.

Few people know this, but Cassim started his reign by marrying his sister (without her consent), taking her to his bedroom, and, the next morning, ordering the disposal of her headless body. The stone soldiers spread out throughout Emerald, gathering up 500 young women, including Shea, and her best friend, Chloe, to be part of Cassim's harem. The previous night, Shea was attacked by a djinn who forced on her the ability to know a person's complete life story, including when they were going to die, just by touching them. Inside the palace, a sprawling complex of unimaginable luxury, the other women dream of being Sultana, but Shea knows that they have a very short life expectancy. Cassim finds out about Shea's abilities, and orders her to read anyone he wants, and tell him their story, especially the violent and sexual parts.

After being forced to read Chloe, the two manage to get Cassim's magic rings away from him, and help many others to get out of the palace with help from Shea's mother, Eve, a professional assassin. It's now a race to a cavern deep inside a mountain to get a magic lamp, the ultimate source of Cassim's power. It just happens to be guarded by a very large dragon. Do Shea and her parents get to the lamp first? Is Cassim the winner, and does he consolidate his tyranny?

This belongs in that large gray area of Pretty Good or Worth Reading. The story gets better in the second half of the book. Even a small explanation as to how Seattle became Emerald would have been appreciated. Teens will enjoy this book, and adults will like it, too.

Europa Journal

Europa Journal, Jack Castle, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2016

Harry Reed was part of a US military training flight that left Florida in December 1945. It vanished in the Bermuda Triangle. How did his body end up inside a submerged pyramid on Europa about two hundred years later?

Commander Mackenzie O'Bryant is called in, because she has a prominent place in Reed's journal, which she pockets. A member of her crew accidentally pushes the On button. They just manage to escape the flooding of the pyramid, but they don't escape the suddenly-created wormhole that sends them Somewhere Else.

After crash landing on an alien planet, their attempts at First Contact do not go well. They eventually meet up with Reed, who is the only survivor of his flight. He has been accepted by several awumpai (think of a samurai crossed with a yeti). The planet is ruled by a very powerful being called Atum-Khaos. He knows of Earth's existence. His ultimate objective is to take an entire floating city back through the wormhole, and kill or enslave all of humanity. Can he be stopped by a handful of humans, and a couple of World War II-era bomber aircraft? How does Reed's body get to Europa?

I totally enjoyed this novel. It's very easy to read, with heart and emotion along with very alien aliens. It also has lots of action, with a rather high body count by the end. This is another case where just as a novel, this is excellent. Considering that it is the author's first SF novel brings it to the level of Wow.