Tuesday, February 17, 2015

They Met at Shiloh and The Friday Edition

Nowadays I receive more than just bills in my personal email. I also get polite requests for book reviews and tempting offers on new books. I rarely commit myself to the former and seldom give in to the latter. I can’t make a promise that I can’t keep. Books take time to read and review, especially those you have committed yourself to. Under the circumstances, spotlighting them is the best thing I can do.

Last week, I found two new ebooks in my inbox: They Met at Shiloh, a historical novel about the Civil War by American researcher and ex-army man Phillip M. Bryant, and The Friday Edition, a mystery novel by American journalist Betta Ferrendelli

© Phillip Bryant
They Met at Shiloh, the first novel in the Shiloh Series, is about the great battle of the American Civil War, fought April 1862, also known as the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing. 

This is the description.

Pittsburg Landing was a place at peace—one that never expected to be the site for one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Peace is shattered as Confederate and Federal troops meet on the fields and farms surrounding a tiny Methodist church. In the midst of death and destruction, friendships form as four soldiers struggle to survive the battle. 

Forced to leave his position as minister, Phillip Pearson knows his life is in danger, but not just from the Confederates. The Harper family, incensed at Pearson's refusal to bury a philandering son, has a vendetta against him that is played out on the battlefield. Demoted from his command by a West Point graduate, Capt. Michael Greirson is forced to choose between ambition and duty. 

Phillip Bryant
When a bumbling youth becomes his shadow, Private Robert Mitchell gains an unlikely friend—something that has been missing from his life. Afraid to trust, he is forced to confront those fears and depend on others in the heat of battle. War is an adventure to Private Stephen Murdoch and his best friend, William Banks. For months they dream of the glory of war before volunteering together. On the eve of battle, they sense something momentous is about to happen. Their idealistic views fade in the blood of their fallen comrades.

Of the 40,000 Confederates and 30,000 Federals about to come face to face along the banks of the Tennessee River, these four soldiers will experience fear and questions of faith for what lies beyond. Two days of horrific fighting turn boys into men and sever the sacred bonds of comradeship in the bloodiest days of the war.

© www.amazon.com
In The Friday Edition, the first in the Samantha Church Mystery Series, Betta Ferrendelli has set her suspense novel in Denver, Colorado. 

This is what it is about.

A beautiful, young district attorney tumbles from her balcony to her death. Police suspect suicide, but the DA’s sister, newspaper reporter Samantha Church, isn't buying it. 

Samantha discovers evidence linking her sister to a drug smuggling case and quickly learns she has stumbled onto a major news story. She must summon the courage to not only face a cartel of criminals, but her own fears and shortcomings when she is confronted by the inescapable specter of a far greater enemy—her addiction to alcohol. Samantha’s dependency has not only cost her job at a major metropolitan daily, but, worse, custody of her daughter, April. 

Betta Ferrendelli
Samantha pursues her sister’s killers, maneuvering through a minefield of intrigue deliberately set out to divert her from the truth. Despite being betrayed, physically beaten and facing the possibility of sharing her sister’s fate, Samantha refuses to stop her investigation. However, when the killers threaten to harm April, Samantha realizes that, for her daughter’s sake, she can no longer continue the investigation on her own. She knows she must swallow her pride and turn to her ex-husband and police detective, Jonathan Church, for help. Can Samantha ultimately prevail—find her sister’s killer, write the story of her career, confront her drinking problem, and finally begin to change her life, or will she and April become the killer’s next victims?

Both Bryant and Ferrendelli have banked on their areas of expertise to write their respective novels. The two books have great covers and, inside, thrilling stories await the reader, I'm sure.


  1. Of the two the second appeals more than the first, though I probably wouldn't rush to read it.........mainly because I have sooooo much waiting already. Possibly a different story if the decks were clear.

  2. I too like the story behind the second book. So many features being brought together

  3. I don't read a lot of historical fiction or non-fiction, but the Civil War book would hold more interest for me. Somehow an alcoholic newspaper journalist sounds too 1950s, plot-wise.

  4. I get requests constantly for reviews. If I tried to do them all, even for free books, I'd never get any other reading done, and certainly no writing.

  5. A writer friend, Bobbie Ann Mason wrote a story called "Shiloh," about modern-day characters paying a visit to the battlefield.

  6. They both sound good. I always find the name Shiloh to be a come-on, and I like books about reporters....

  7. I have to turn away email requests for reviews. I already review for several sites and it is practically a full time job if you want to do it correct.

  8. Both of these sound interesting, Prashant. I don't get that many requests for reviews and sometimes I take them on just to give a new author a chance and sometimes because I have read other books by the author. But really committing to a review by a specific time messes up my reading and blogging, so I try to keep it down.