10.18.2011

Widow of Calcutta


The author of Change of Heart, An Innocent Among Them and Breathe of the Flesh brings you the newest Josh McGowan adventure. A pirate treasure lost in the Caribbean more than 300 years ago becomes the focal point of a contest between a South American drug lord and the wife of the research scientist who uncovered its location.

The treasure is not a chest of jewels and coins but a sacred cross forged of gold and bearing a giant ruby that legend says holds spiritual powers. For the drug lord it is a link to his past, but for the scientist’s wife the value the cross holds is the last hope she has to save her niece.

Josh is attracted to this fearless, beautiful woman but finds himself drawn into her personal competition with the drug lord to find the cross first. Every day that passes brings her closer to losing her niece. Josh is the only one who can find the cross and save the girl’s life, unless he is killed first.

Read a sample chapter of this book.

This ebook is available from these online bookstores:
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8.01.2011

An Innocent Among Them


The new Josh McGowan novel by the author of Change of Heart.

Deception and coercion are the tools of a small terrorist cell operating in a Midwest college town. Their target is Jen Dvorak, a pre-med student with a weakness that makes her vulnerable. Her heart has been wounded by betrayal.

Now she has been turned into a weapon for the terrorists. She is caught in the middle, between an act of terror that could tear the Middle East apart, and the selfless heroism of the man who would throw away everything to stop a holocaust.

Josh McGowan’s only weapon is a courage that drives him to disobey orders to protect her, even if the cost is his own life. But is Jen really the innocent one to come out of it all?

Comments for Jack Allen’s first book:
I am thrilled that this is only the debut of Josh McGowan, and I look forward to the next in the series.
- Tracy Farnsworth, The Mysterious Corner

Jack Allen has a winner in Change of Heart. I can’t wait to read more of Josh’s adventures!
- Briana Lambert, All About Murder Reviews

Read a sample chapter of this book.

This ebook is available from these online bookstores:
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1.31.2011

Change of Heart

As an officer in an obscure, under-funded branch of U.S. Navy Intelligence, Josh McGowan is given the leftover jobs, the scraps, the lousy missions that no one else wants.

In Change of Heart, the CIA has busted Valeria, a former KGB informer, out of a Russian prison, and Josh is given the job to escort her from the east coast of Russia back to the United States. The plan is that she will be debriefed by the CIA at the request of Colonel Mironov, a former Soviet Army officer who has agreed to share his secrets on the condition that she is set free.

Mironov has his own plans, and once he has Valeria in his hands, he’s going to use her as evidence of the ineffectiveness of the Democratic state in Russi, and usher the Soviets back to power by his own hand.

Valeria, though, has her own ideas, and they do not involve Josh, the CIA, or Colonel Mironov. All she wants is to be back with the man she loves, and if she has to kill Josh or anyone who stands in her way, she will not hesitate.

Caught in the middle of a bad mission that gets worse at every step, Josh must decide if he’s falling in love with Valeria, or if he has to kill her himself.

Read a sample chapter of this book.

This ebook is available from these online bookstores:
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11.30.2010

The Viper's Son

Burping Frog Publishing is excited to announce the newest novel from Sandy Cohen, the newest author to our lineup. Sandy's new book is The Viper's Son, a thrilling story about Nazi explosives and sabotage on the coast of Florida.

The Viper’s Son is a tale of intrigue, mystery, greed, murder, betrayal, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption weaving through two generations and two continents. It begins in Germany, in the closing days of World War II along the coast of Florida, when the Nazi high command stepped up their real-life secret mission of sabotage along the eastern shores of Florida burying explosives on the beaches, delivered by the same U-boats that had been doing so much devastation to American shipping throughout the war. But this secret mission is something else as well, something even more sinister and cynical, something the Nazi high command has trained their special forces for years to prepare for the inevitable defeat of the Reich and their ultimate revenge.

Combine these elements with real-life modern international land fraud and betrayal of the most sacred trusts of all, and the fuse is lit. Are such men and women still out there and still as dangerous? When wealth beyond imagining and local political power that borders on tyranny clash, these things can and have happened here in America, and will again when sociopaths without conscious grasp for them.

Read a sample chapter of this book.

This ebook is available from these online bookstores:
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11.06.2008

The first review for Breathe of the Flesh

Breathe of the Flesh is a solidly written, intriguing thriller. I read the last 150 pages at a breakneck pace, which shows I was fully engaged in the story and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. The story sweeps from New York City to southern France, from London to Berlin, and from Washington, D.C. to Portland, Maine, as numerous characters fight their own personal battles amidst the war around them. I found myself quickly getting into the story, and every time I thought I knew where the plotline was headed, it took yet another unexpected turn until finally coming to a bold, unconventional conclusion.

There were times, however, when I felt a bit lost due to the sheer number of characters introduced, some of whom made their entrance early on with no explanation as to their relevance and then didn’t reappear till several chapters later (or never reappeared.) By the end of the book, though, it was clear who the characters were or at least how they fit into the overall story.

The protagonist, Thomas Leopard, is an unlikable character, but still I found myself both feeling sorry for him and rooting for him to finally have some success in catching his prey, no matter how bittersweet the victory. His prey, the German spy Der Tiger/Hermann Van Roeple/William Birch, is a serial killer as loathsome as Hannibal Lector; a sociopath whose spy assignments and career ambitions are only a sideline to his real passion for killing teenage girls. He leaves a swath of bloodshed wherever he goes. But Der Tiger’s not the only repulsive character; many are unpleasant; and I’m not just talking about the Nazis. And even most of the otherwise likable characters seemed morally distasteful.

Miriam Roth, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving employee, for instance, is a lonely, desperate woman so full of self-loathing that she’ll throw herself at any man who’s bound to use and abuse her, while at the same time showing abject disdain for the one man who offers kindness. June Anderson Prien, the American actress married to a Nazi General, finds herself in the deplorable position of having to sleep with her husband’s subordinate in order to extract useful information for Allied agents. And MI6 agent Lynn Nevers, one of the most likable characters, finds herself envying women who can have meaningless affairs without emotional consequence after engaging in a disappointing coupling herself.

Which brings me to my only real objection to the novel: it has more sex scenes than a Harlequin bodice-ripper. Towards the end of the story I tired of them; they seemed included only for titillation rather than to advance any plot. Probably what bothered me most was that the majority of the scenes were between people who barely knew each other and/or didn’t care for each other, so a few of the encounters ended more like rapes than consensual lust. These were pure sex scenes, not love scenes. Call me a romantic, call me a prude, but I can tolerate only so much licentiousness. That said, an old-fashioned romantic entanglement between two characters who meet two-thirds of the way in the novel brought me a glimmer of hope for some sort of character redemption. (I was tragically disappointed.)

If this novel were made into a movie, it would easily garner a NC-17 rating, what with the aforementioned dozen-plus sex scenes, and close to a dozen murders--neither of which group includes the two gruesome rape/murders explicitly described (with a couple more discussed after the fact.) This is adults-only fare, so be forewarned.

In the end, Breathe of the Flesh just wasn’t my cup of tea. Chalk it up to my personal taste in fiction, which runs more towards Pride & Prejudice and Lord of the Rings. Stories with likable characters that follow the standard formula: the bad guys die, the good guys win, the hero gets the girl, and they all live happily ever after. If I wanted to be depressed at the end of a book, I’d just re-read 1984.

Bottom line: Is Breathe of the Flesh well-written? Yes. Does it keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat? Yes. Would I read it again? No. Do I recommend it? Not really. But I admit I would probably read a sequel, if Jack Allen chose to write one. I may read his previous novels. His character Josh McGowan in his novels Change Of Heart and An Innocent Among Them sounds more to my liking.

Lynne Mickley
eBook Reviews Online
eBookReviewsOnline.com

8.06.2008

Breathe of the Flesh

Published by Burping Frog Publishing in July, 2008
Mystery and Espionage Thriller
451 pages

It’s 1942, the middle of WWII. New York City is filthy with German spies. But the Abwher, the intelligence branch of the Nazi military, has a special mission for its most lethal and dangerous spy, and it has nothing to do with his passion for girls.

Breathe of the Flesh is a WWII period espionage novel about FBI agent Thomas Leopard’s tragic descent into failure and loss. He is drinking and suicidal, selfish, loathsome and hateful. And he has a killer loose in his city, a killer who favors innocent teenage girls. This killer is the German spy "Der Tiger", a man who has a taste for fresh blood in his coffee. He has been dormant up to that point of the war, when he comes up with his own plan to go to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington D.C. and steal the printing plates for U.S. currency. When he learns how closely he has been stalked and nearly caught by Leopard, Leopard’s own daughter becomes Der Tiger’s next target.


Read a sample chapter of this book.


This ebook is available from these online bookstores:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

7.21.2008

Welcome to Burping Frog Publishing

Thanks for stopping by to look around. I will be posting some of my novels and ebooks here. If you like what you see, you can buy them directly from me using your PayPal account, checks or money orders.

If you have any questions about my stories or my books, please contact me at burpingfrogbooks@yahoo.com.

Thanks again and enjoy.