Shattered Glass

I picked up Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard with a narrow purpose. I wanted to read about the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I wanted to know what it felt like to be the Marine standing Post when five heavily armed terrorists stormed our compound, killing … Continue reading Shattered Glass

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New Middle Grade Fiction

Appreciated the chance to chime in on Robbie Yates latest release, The Kooky Kids' Club, and honored to have a blurb on the cover. I found the story relatable and empathetic, the story-telling spare and true. In the author's own words: Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives … Continue reading New Middle Grade Fiction

Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings

Blog of the Week

This pleasant surprise came across my desk yesterday. A blogger at The Skeptical Bureaucrat writes: I picked up some nice items at the AAFSW* book fair last week, and one of them was this quirky novel Two Pumps for the Body Man, which the author describes as a soft-boiled diplomatic noir... The story is a … Continue reading Blog of the Week

American Tabloid*

In one quick blow The AP updates James Ellroy’s 1950’s noir as contemporary political sleaze. National Enquirer hid damaging Trump stories in a safe WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump... Tabloid … Continue reading American Tabloid*

Always

Puzzled that I’d spend my time doing this, people will ask, ‘How long have you been writing?’ Part accusation, part sincere inquiry, it deserves consideration. The truest answer I have—and it’s not a wise guy answer—is always. I say ‘truest’ because of the stages leading up to my present output: two published novels; two mid-grade … Continue reading Always

Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

From the start, we know what crime lands ‘Cool Hand’ Luke on the county chain gang: cutting the heads off parking meters. He’s sent up for decapitation of authority, and all that follows bears the symbolic weight of his crime. Ted Prokash gives it to us another way. Napawaupee County Blues (Expat Press, 2018) describes life … Continue reading Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

Posting from a New Home

After five years posting from DC, BenEastBooks moves on to Mumbai. Expect the same focus on craft and reviewing serious books by independent authors. Expect new writing invigorated by travel and adventure. Expect postings flavored with the exotic, the ancient, the extraordinary, and the very new. I welcome contributions, requests for reviews, and sensible observations. When … Continue reading Posting from a New Home

Maximum City

We are neither here nor there. The carpets are up and the curios down. The boys are packed and shipped off south for a week with Naniji. A week from tomorrow the packers arrive. They'll invade for 3 or 4 days to box up several categories of shipment: 700 lbs of air freight; 7k lbs … Continue reading Maximum City

Can He also Ride a Porcupine?

Two weeks ago (yes...) I visited my son's second grade class. I read to them from my current work in progress, a novel soon to be presented IHO Mohan's eighth birthday. Before I finished the hands were up and all the mouths were saying 'Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!' They had plans for my principal foil, a … Continue reading Can He also Ride a Porcupine?