Tag Archives: drugs

Review: Riverside by Brett Burlison

RIVERSIDE

 

by

Brett Burlison

Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Action Romance
Publisher: Barton Creek Press
Date of Publication: January 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 348

 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

It’s summer 1993 in Austin. Two young lovers decide to move in together and open a cafe only to be hindered by their own pasts, drugs, and bad guys from New Orleans. Set in Austin, Texas in the early nineties.
Bobby Patrick, abandoned by his mother as a child and by his alcoholic father during high school, wants a better life for himself and his true love, Katie. The couple decides to open a café and chase their dreams under the radiant Austin sunsets. There, the long, hot days of summer in inspire their passion–but complications arise when Katie’s former love interest returns, bringing with him a whirlwind of trouble.
As Katie’s dark past reveals itself, Bobby fears it could threaten all they have been striving for. Along with Katie’s best friend, Sara, with whom Bobby has his own secret history, the couple becomes tangled up in a drug deal and falls under close watch by Austin police and New Orleans mobsters. 
Bobby must find a way to protect Katie, help Sara, and help himself to thousands of dollars from the ill-fated deal. If he can’t, his future with Katie could be shattered forever. 

Part romance and part suspense story, Riverside is a tell-your-friends-about-it, good old-fashioned crime novel about a young couple struggling for the American dream, and the lengths to which they will go to protect it.

 

“A steamy tale and beguiling thriller, with plenty of local color and some provocative twists.” – Kirkus Reviews
CLICK TO PURCHASE

 

300b2-review
I didn’t even read the synopsis before signing up to review this one. To me, there is only one Riverside in Texas. And just as I figured it would be, that Riverside is Burlison’s Riverside as well.
My Riverside was cheap, somewhat ghetto (really depended what complex you lived in), but had great eats and epic college parties. In fact, most apartments on east Riverside wouldn’t let you live there unless you were a college student.
Burlison’s Riverside houses college dropouts with a similar backdrop, despite the 20-year time difference. (By the way, I didn’t notice the year it was set in until they talked about the Clinton administration.) These young 20-something-year olds seem to drink beer, smoke weed, and have sex around the clock when they’re not working shifts or eating at iconic restaurants such as Kerbey Lane and Trudy’s.
As soon as Paul shows up leading a parade of coke heads to back bedrooms, you know that something bad is going to go down. Especially when you find out that he’s responsible for the stitches on our protagonist’s noggin. The ape chest thumping of young males throughout the book can be annoying, but I found myself worried about Bobby’s well being.
As juvenile as Bobby and Katie’s romance is, I still wanted them to make it out of this thing unscathed. A tall order when Katie’s best friend is the increasingly erratic Sara, who is obviously jealous of the two’s relationship (you find out later why). Not to mention, Sara is willing to do anything to help her boyfriend Paul. And Katie wants to look out for her friend. Of course, Bobby is a standup guy who won’t let anything bad happen to his girlfriend Katie. You see where this is all going?
Throw in an older lesbian couple who grows hydroponic weed and a cop buddy willing to help with messy matters for a cut of the money, and you’ve got quite the colorful cast. I didn’t know what to expect but I found myself hoping that the two lovebirds didn’t end up in jail or dead.
Riverside was an entertaining read and I recommend it especially to anyone who has lived or partied in Austin. I will be on the look out for more of Burlison’s work.

 

Brett Burlison is a writer, lawyer, and Texan living in Northern California. He grew up in the piney woods of East Texas and went to school in Austin.

He practices law in San Francisco, and writes romantic suspense stories about young couples up against difficult odds.

 

 

  
 ————————————— 

 

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

THREE SIGNED COPIES!

 

(US ONLY)

 

September 13September 22, 2016 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

 

9/13
Excerpt 1
9/14
Review
9/15
Author Interview 1
9/16
Video Guest Post
9/17
Review
9/18
promo
9/19
Excerpt 2
9/20
Review
9/21
Author Interview 2
9/22
Review

 

 


 

blog tour services provided by:

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Review: Guardians in Blue by Ken Bangs

GUARDIANS IN BLUE 
by
Ken Bangs 


Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date of Publication: March 31, 2016
# of pages: 382

 

A fatherless boy growing up in a small Texas town is taken under wing by the local lawmen. They work with the town leaders to provide his basic needs and help him escape the shame and poverty of his circumstances. One in particular becomes his guardian.

He teaches the boy about life, how to face his fears, that honor is more important than comfort and that defending those who cannot defend themselves is the highest duty of a man.    

 

The boy learns the lessons well. He hears the call and his heart opens to it. He too becomes a Guardian.

 

This is the novelized story of the authors’ thirty-seven years service in law enforcement and public safety. It is unique in that the reader is given an inside look at what motivates one to the calling and the process of becoming a police officer.

 

It is told from the first person perspective of one who walked a beat in downtown Dallas at the age of 19, answered the calls as a radio patrol officer and worked the cases as a detective.

 

It gives an inside look at the understanding of not only the criminal act but the issues that lead to criminality and the processes by which criminal justice professionals identify and apprehend those responsible for given crimes.  
Drawing on interviews/interrogations of criminals the author provides an exposé of the experiences, the anger, and the fantasy that captures the mind and controls the will of those who rape, rob, and kill.

 

PRAISE FOR GUARDIANS IN BLUE:

 

“As a man who was privileged to work the streets with Ken Bangs, I can tell you that he was the Guardian.  If you want to understand police work at the base level, then The Guardians is a must read.  It goes beyond the violence and the sensationalism and gives you a window into the hearts and souls of those men and women who ride toward danger when everyone else runs away.” 
Doug Sword, Captain of Police (Retired), Dallas Police Department

 

Guardians In Blue is an action packed book about actual crimes from the Dallas Police

 

files.  These cases as retold by Ken bangs come alive in a format that makes you feel


like you are at the location and involved in the investigations.” 
Gary Holly, Retired Police Officer
 
“The story is so realistic; it so reveals the rawness of life experienced by a police officer that any who have ever worn the badge will be drawn in as they see themselves in the Guardians.” — G. David Payne, Lieutenant of Police (Retired), Dallas Police Department

 

  PURCHASE LINKS:
  AMAZON        BARNES & NOBLE

BLACK ROSE WRITING

Review
Although this is a novelized version of Bangs’ life as a police officer, you get a very real sense of what it might have been like to be him. When a police officer comes to his aid as a child, you start to understand that law enforcement has to make judgement calls every day, and they just hope that they’ve made the right one. Seeing how much K.W. cares about the safety of the people under his protection, I think that the police officer made the right call for turning a blind eye all those years ago. I’m not a fan of small-town thinking, but the men in that town rallied around a little boy and made sure he grew up to be a good man.
I hadn’t thought much about what kind of “razzing” or hazing police officers go through, but I thought it was pretty funny. And when K.W. becomes a trainer himself down the line, the jokes and old stories come full circle. I suppose it’s as much character building as a bonding experience. It also made me think that all the crap he took from his senior officers prepared him for the army as well.
Bangs paints a vivid portrait of a town I’m not too familiar with (Dallas) at a time I wasn’t yet conceived. But I’ve watched some old copper shows, and found his stories much more interesting. Some of the bad guys made my spine tingle in a bad, bad way. The descriptions made my nose wrinkle a few times since Bangs often liked to describe the stench of someone’s bowels letting loose in death. But that’s real, right? And I like that he admits to his rookie mistakes and has to often write “Dear Chief” letters as a result.
The story of an officer losing his life after not following the protocol of his beat and not working the safety properly, was sobering. It gave me a deeper respect for all the training and regulations that police officers have to follow. Also, seeing how dangerous it can be to train a rookie opened my eyes. With all the negativity toward law enforcement lately, I think that people don’t realize how nerve-wracking it is to be on the firing end of a gun. That an officer might have only a split second to react, which might end with his/her own death or an innocent civilian’s.
My only notes on this book: K.W. knew at age 10 that he wanted to be a police officer and to find a Godly woman to marry. I wanted to know more about his wife. Maybe the next novel?

Ken spent 35 years in public safety. A veteran of the United States Army, he was with the military police in the Alaskan Command.  He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, M.S. in Human Relations / Business Management from Amberton University, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Counseling from Jacksonville (Florida) Theological Seminary.  Ken and his wife, Trudy, have been married 46 years. They live in McKinney, Texas.

 

Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

6/28     My Book Fix Blog – Review
6/29     Books and Broomsticks – Excerpt #1
6/30     Missus Gonzo  – Review
7/1       The Crazy BooksellersPromo
7/2       StoreyBook Reviews  Author Interview #1
7/3       The Librarian TalksReview
7/4       It’s a Jenn World – Guest Post
7/5       The Page Unbound  – Excerpt #2
7/6       Country Girl Bookaholic  – Review
7/7       Margie’s Must Reads Author Interview #2

 

   blog tour services provided by
  

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Lone Star Book Blog Tours