Readers! Hoping to Hear How you enjoyed the Free Holiday books!

Dear readers of one or all of my books: The Ghosts of Ukuthula by Rick McBee or Rough Enough by Richard McBee  or Beachcomber Seashells of the Caribbean by Richard McBee 

I hope that those of you who took advantage of the holiday sales and either purchased or collected a book free of charge have had the chance to finish that book and can now review the book on Amazon by going to the book’s page and clicking on the reviews. It only takes a moment, but your feedback whether positive or negative will allow other readers and myself to know what you thought and ways that I might improve my writing in the years to come.

Thanks again for reading my books and I am hoping you had a wonderful holiday and will enjoy a prosperous year of 2018.

Rick McBee

 

 

 

 

Giving and Getting Consent – Short but to the point.

The British Police have an excellent short video on U-Tube using the metaphor of Tea for giving consent. It’s with simple Stick Figures. Well worth watching and showing your kids both before and after they reach puberty! Also well worth sharing with your adult friends who might not have figured out what this is all about and why it is important.

Go directly Click here: The Very British Consent Video

OR

Cut and Paste this link–   https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfpt&p=British+Police+U+tube+video+on+concent#id=1vid=ff3360ffb3a525e2ed5bb0c125fc40b8&action=click

I hope you will share it with the world. It needs to go viral!

Rickmcbee.me

Book Review: “Home Invasion” by ghost writers of William W. Johnstone

Home InvasionHome Invasion by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Here we have a novel with serious flaws and misconceptions put together after the author’s death from notes and outlines. Could this book be prophetic and was W.W. Johnstone thinking of writing it as a satire? It wouldn’t take a lot of vocabulary changes to make this 2010 novel mirror our 2017 situation today.

The ghost writers have attempted to make it into a thriller by slinging a lot of lead around. The reader will therefore be advised to wash their hands before eating directly after reading to avoid a case of lead poisoning. That said, the original plot had potential:

The President is off his rocker and hopes to be able to take away all American 2nd amendment authorized weapons. Must be off his rocker! POTUS is also orchestrating a secret nerve gas experiment in S. Texas. Whoa!  The little town of Home, TX is going to be his experimental test site since it’s just down the road from the factory. Crazy man!

You will want to root for Pete McNamara whose spunky first chapter shootout with some Mexican Drug cartel guys actually is the best chapter in the book. Too bad he isn’t featured all the way through! You’ll also like Police Chief Alex Bonner and her tiny department of cops who try to stand against first the government takeover of Home after the guns have been removed. She also makes stands against a bunch of drug cartel thugs who would steal the President’s nerve gas for their own purposes. But the nerve gas is on its way and someone has to stop it before it gets tried out on Home. The side story of the two rogue CIA agents and the runaway factory chemist gets a little too complicated for this whole scenario, so you probably won’t bond with Fargo and Parker. More lead will soon be flying! Minor characters fit the microbiologists nomenclature TNTC (Too numerous to count). I lost track. Some questions for the ghost writers arise after my reading: The President is a liberal? Oops! Liberal Presidents are the best thing since Mother Flag and Apple Pie for gun and ammunition sales and proliferation in this country without guns ever being taken away. Why would a liberal President destroy our economy so badly? Must really be off his rocker! This book is not written by “the master” whom we remember as the man who actually rode the Indian, Mountain Man and Cavalry trails that appeared in his original writings. His legacy is gone but you can still find his original amazing historical fiction novels. My rating of a 2 out of 5 would have been lower but for his name on the cover. I had hoped to find a smidgen of W.W. in this book. I didn’t. (R.I.P.) W.W. Johnstone.

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Thought Questions for CW book “Rough Enough” #1 Why Did Boys Join the Military in the Civil War?

Here’s the first set of Questions you can use when reading and thinking about my Civil War History book “Rough Enough” Free on Amazon Kindle Nov.27, Dec. 2, 10, and 16! Visit https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001K8HIXI

Rick McBee's Writings to Enhance your Life

Rough Enough follows the true life of young Richard Clow through his letters to his sisters while he was fighting at Petersburg, VA during the Civil War and later on the Montana/Dakota frontier.

As the book opens, the first question that comes to mind, is that the bloody battles and horrendous loss of life in the field could not have been a mystery by Feb. 1865, when young Richard falsely states his age as “19” (he was only 17) and enlists in the Infantry to fight at Petersburg.

So, what were some of the influences that would bring a young man to make the decision to enlist? Also, why would a young man decide to join the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, when an enlistment in Artillery or Engineering would have been safer and still have gotten him to the battlefront?

My book hypothesizes several reasons in Chapter 1.

It would be…

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Book Review: “The Deceiver” by Frederick Forsyth

The DeceiverThe Deceiver by Frederick Forsyth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forsyth has done an outstanding job of detailing the circuitous paths of the old espionage game along with giving us a lot of reasons why our world of the technocrat spy really isn’t a lot different from the world of dubious political activities taking place during the cold war.  The KGB or what would now be called the VSR is still out there being led from the very top by a guy who was once one of the insiders of that organization under Gorbachev. The Colombian drug dealers may have been replaced by the Mexicans or S.E. Asia’s Golden Triangle, but they all use many of the same old fashioned methods and don’t need to rely on spy satellites, drones, or having to keep clean white gloves on for clean hands in a clandestine war that may have to go wet at times to tidy up messes. McCready and all the old school spies he represents, may seem like a fossil to the guy with a cell phone, a gps and a ‘beam me up’ team sitting back home with computers, but he’s not traceable, when the electricity fails he’s not at a loss of how to contact home, and when the ‘beam me up’ guys don’t get the chopper into the right sector on time to pull him out he’s still got a hole in the ground to go to and a backup plan to get his defector out. Each of the tales is a classic. Well worth reading several times. I did have one criticism of his use of the term ‘Claymore’ for a mine which should have been classified as a ‘Bouncing Betty,’ but I can forgive one error to an author who has been so on top of the game for years and who is now living in a time when his young editors probably wouldn’t pick up on the nuances of Vietnam era weaponry. Read it. enjoy it and know that there are still men and women out there who can really pull off the job when the slick joy-stick kids on the computers screw up on a mission. That’s what happens on an Op. You go in thinking you’ve got the mission down cold and halfway to the goal line you better have another plan or you’ll be just another piece of cannon fodder.  Keep the McCready clan, both men and women alive and well. We need them!

PS don’t forget to check Amazon for my free book offers! See the previous blog for the dates they are going for FREE!>)

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Book Special: A Month of Free! From Me!

Rick’s 15 Day Book Sale for the coming Holidays!

As always this time of the year, I give a “Free” book deal to the world. This year it’s going to run for 15 Days of my Kindle books between Nov. 19, and Dec. 18 – 2017! The paperback book versions are also available at excellent prices but not for free. Enjoy!    

Visit Amazon!  http://www.amazon.com

Or look them up on Book Gorillahttp://www.bookgorilla.com/

Or visit and click My web site! http://www.richardhmcbeejr.com/

Rough Enough: ASIN: B00HCQNBB0  A unique personal history of the last months of the Civil War and the life of a young man as he then continues his military career and then moves on to the Deadwood Gold Rush. Free: Nov. 25, 27, Dec. 2, 10 and 16.

Rough Enough - Front Cover

The Ghosts of Ukuthula: ASIN: B01GNGCKHK  An historical fiction spy novel about the liberation movement behind the downfall of South African Apartheid. An African born CIA agent risks his life to come in from the “cold” and cause the downfall of a plot to take over the decaying South African government during the times of Nelson Mandela.
Free: Nov. 24, 19, 29, Dec. 3, and 5.

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Beachcomber Seashells of the Caribbean: ASIN: B00IP954W2
A seashell key and guide to identify over 250 of the finest seashells you can find along the coast of the Caribbean from Florida right on down onto the northern coasts of Venezuela. Made especially for the e-reader and smart phone so you can take the key right onto the beach! Free: Nov. 22, 26, Dec.. 1, 9 and 18.

Enjoy the Reads! Have some wonderful vacation and holiday time leading to a

Happy New Year!

Book Review: Jury of Six by Matt Braun

Jury of Six (Luke Starbuck, #2)Jury of Six by Matt Braun

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here’s an excellent fast read that both enhances and rehashes the fables and mystique surrounding the 1878 Lincoln County war in New Mexican Territory along with the colorful characters of William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and fictitious characters surrounding Chisolm’s JingleBob Ranch. This is a second installment in the Luke Starbuck tales in which Matt Braun has created a Manhunter of excellence who will ride the shady edges of the the law with or without a badge in order to get his man. There weren’t a lot of nice clean-cut men out working the ranches in those days and Braun has excellent descriptive abilities to pull us into both the story and the hard scrabble lives of his characters. Starbuck becomes the dirty unshaven lone rider in some cases as he tracks his quarry, but is also backed by John Poe and four other LX cowhands as they search for the killers of rancher Ben Langham and the gang of rustlers surrounding Billy the Kid. Enjoy the read, it’s a model for those of us who are wannabe writers about the old west.

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Book Review: Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance and the Future of Evolution by Jonathan B. Losos

Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of EvolutionImprobable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution by Jonathan B. Losos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Professor Losos has done a very interesting job of trying to elucidate historical and modern convergent evolution studies and experiments in a manner that the layperson can understand based on some excellent examples, many of which have been known and available for study for a good p0rtion of the 19th and 20th centuries. As a Biologist and educator I found the entire book to be full of the kind of examples that would be extremely helpful to the professional teacher to bring variety and interest into the classroom when elaborating on sections of evolutionary biology at both the high school and college levels of study. Thus it is well worth buying and reading. I do have two criticisms of the author’s uses of terminology in his writing. First, I note that Losos does not from the get-go make it clear that his plethora of initial developmental similarities are more likely due to similar plastic materials (read, vertebrate DNA sequences) being similarly shaped or selected for by a common mold (read, similar environmental pressures) to arrive at similar endpoints (read, streamlining of water vertebrates, wing construction of flying vertebrates, camouflaged colors, etc.). Thus the non-biologist reader needs to be careful not to misinterpret Losos’ examples as evidences of Teleology, ie., evidences of some grand planned design in nature. A Theist could go halfway through the book reading his information as the indication of the directional guiding hand of God leading to big brain humans. This was not the author’s intention. Secondly, I would criticize Losos’ tendency to state some of his examples in the terms of Lamark’s theory of acquired characteristics (of dogs evolving longer legs or camouflaged colors to escape a predatory tiger population, rather than a population of dogs being selected naturally over time for longer legs or camouflaged colors due to a predator’s actions.). Again this does not destroy the whole nature of an excellent work of pulling together evidence and research for how convergent evolution works. With these two caveats in mind, I rate this book as an excellent read for both professionals and lay persons desiring to broaden their understanding of one of the mechanisms of evolution.

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Book Review: The Blue Eyed Shan by Stephen Becker

The Blue-Eyed ShanThe Blue-Eyed Shan by Stephen Becker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here’s an amazing historical fiction adventure about some of the little known sections of “old” Burma. If you have visited modern Myanmar in the south of the country, don’t expect this to be a joy ride through the places you are familiar with. Our story is set in the north east of the country in 1949-50 when the world was very different from today. WWII historians of Burma will remember that Merrill’s Marauders jungle crashed for months on end to take the Japanese occupied town of Myitkyinia in Northern Burma. Then following the war, Mao Tse-Tung chased many of the Nationalist Chinese army under Chiang Kai-shek, the Kuomintang, into the highlands of Burma. They fled with their weapons, south into the Golden Triangle of Burma ultimately taking over the opium trade. Against this background, our hero, Greenwood, an anthropologist, is pulled into WWII to work as an OSS because he speaks Shan and has lived in the hills as a Shan tribesman in Northern Burma. Following the war, Greenwood returns to America, becoming a Professor of anthropology in university life. Growing jaded with civilization, he decides to revisit his Burmese wife in the up-country village of Pawlu. Of course, in the intervening years, life in Burma has changed. The village has a new religious leader, a green skinned man, formerly a slave in the tin mines. The local wild head-hunting mountain tribes now have more modern weapons and are a threat to the village and to any strangers crossing their territory. The dwindling Kuomintang under a failed general and womanizing Russian are searching for a place to call home. Armed with his favorite weapon, a Thompson machine gun, Greenwood and his guide set off into the unknown to find his wife and daughter and alter forever the fate of the village of Pawlu.

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Book review – Traitor’s Kiss – by Gerald Seymour

Traitor's KissTraitor’s Kiss by Gerald Seymour

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here’s a writer who has definitely found his groove in the modern spy, suspense world. A position that rivals John LeCarre’s original supreme level. You’ll want to dig out the world atlas and locate Kaliningrad, Russia to see why it’s both forgotten and at the same time one of the most strategic of Russian missile and troop sites on the North Sea! The tension within the book is palpable. A high ranking Russian military spy, living and working within this fortress of Russian defenses, with access to a General’s top secret papers. The play-off and intrigue between the spy and the old style Soviet KGB counterspy system is accurate and well written. The resurrection of the old British commando type unit with all it’s quirks constantly undercut by a modern Whitehall man who no longer believes in boots on the ground makes for a classic chess match of wits, bullying and countermoves in this race to pull out a spy who has been made but not yet put in chains. The side story of the Russian spy catcher and interrogator is absolutely amazing. It doesn’t take water boarding to break even the toughest of men, only patience, empathy and the one on one techniques of a master. This is my pick for the best spy novel I’ve read. Action to the very end!

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Book Review: Condition Black by Gerald Seymour

Condition BlackCondition Black by Gerald Seymour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here’s a really well written book showing the flaws in Whitehall’s old boys methodology of handling an active shooter and spy suspect. A good insight into the differences in the way the US and Brits handle situations. The little angry underpaid government nuke scientist who gets passed over until he becomes a target for the Iraqi WMD program. Excellent characters, I love his hit-man, Colt. The kid from the British sticks who rebelled against Daddy, still loves Mommy and has sold his soul to a Colonel in Iraq. The side story of the scientist’s wife is well done including her pent up sexual frustrations, guilt and ability to clam up in the end. The semi-rogue FBI man is a bit of a bumbler and not as good a shot as I would want one of my “finest” to be. I guess sometimes we get our man and then… sometimes we don’t. Enjoy it, this writer is up there with LeCarre in understanding the psych, double-cross and intrigue of the spy world even today.

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Oregon Burns Up while Texas Drowns

forest-fire-from pixabay

Fire Scene from Pixabay! See Coumbia Gorge pictures of wild-fire below!

Gorge Fire Pictures

Just when you think summer and fire danger should be ending, some teenagers apparently spent over 5 hours hiking in the ultra-dry woods of the Columbia Gorge witness report and trew fire crackers for several hours into the tinder like forest. The consequence – BOOM! A big wild-fire that will cost millions of $$ to stop if it can be stopped. Otherwise we will have to wait until winter!

Columbia Gorge Fire Watch the fire live!

Multnoma Falls Lodge Saved! Eagle Creek Fire

Links plus Oregon Live information:  Views of Town Hall meeting, the Fire and Maps

Recent fire activity in the Gorge is shown on this large Geomac map in red. (A screen grab from https://www.geomac.gov/viewer/viewer.shtml  by Darryl Lloyd)

See this link for Oregon Smoke levels right now: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

With all the national/international news focused on the Hurricanes which will affect millions of people, the Western USA is largely ignored despite one of the worst fire seasons with poor air quality distributed from the Oregon Coast in the west to the continental divide in Montana in the east and from north central California in the south to the Canadian border and Northward up north. Jill and I have been living in smoke conditions that require a mask to be worn for the past 10 days (for the first 7 days in Bend, you could hardly find a facemask on any but the most hidden of construction or automobile stores.

Here are some sites other sites to check the fire in the Columbia gorge which jumped the mile wide Columbia river four days ago and headed off into the State of Washington:

Our Indian Creek and Eagle Creek combined fire. https://www.facebook.com/EagleCreekandIndianCreekFires2017/?hc_ref=ARRPuwNsOxFIP3rfd4A-_9rGFU6jGk3XlF0tJxKS2KlMcrrPzJu_kPrn4hnoOz1F2Lk&fref=nf

I went to a Hood River town meeting tonight after the fire marshal came by today to tell us that we were on Level !, (That means “Get Ready”) So Jill and I are packing stuff and planning to drop it off with friends. If we get the level 2 (“Get Set”) warning, then we will shut everything down, drop the dog a t the pet camp and go stay with our stuff with friends. We won’t wait for the “Go” since there ereally aren’t that many roads out of our area and we don’t want to get trapped.  Luckily, this evening at the town meeting, the meteorologist said that the conditions that caused the big fire break-out two days ago have changed and the chances of a big fire run to the East and into Hood River are much less.

Keeping optimistic that the weather and winds will change and my home will be safe!

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