Smashwords book reviews by Pops

  • A Ditty Bag of Navy Poems on May 25, 2015

    Mr. McDade shows us a sailor's experience through poetry. In this case, it's better than a story or novel because he's able to capture many of the moments that a sailor experiences. I've read quite a bit of nautical literature, and in novels and stories the author and the reader have to go through plot and character development, but not here. Mr McDade throws us right into scene after scene and makes us see and taste and feel the magical moments that make up a sailor's life. I'm looking forward to reading his other books.
  • Sixty-Four Days, A Sea Story on May 25, 2015

    You are right there on an aircraft carrier with an old guy in charge of the crew in a deadly situation. I could feel, smell, see, hear and even taste it. Highly recommended.
  • Miss Inspiration and Other Sailor Poems on May 29, 2015

    I liked these poems because they are about sailors. So many poems I just can't understand, but these were cool because it was like being there in boot camp, on the ship, in foreign ports. There's a lot of romance and mystery in these poems.
  • How He Comes Out of the Sun (A Digital Short Story) on May 29, 2015

    I liked this short story because it put you in the plane with these guys and really made you feel and hear and even smell the whole situation. I don't want to give it away, except to say that it takes place inside an airplane that's having some troubles. I did not read the free sample of the other book at the back but I will some time.
  • Independence on Feb. 29, 2016

    I like sea stories, especially thos involving actual Navy sailors. I think their stories are the best around. Sailors are natural story tellers and they have many good stories to tell. This one is about a few sailors on an aircraft carrier in the Med. It reads like poetry and stream of conscience story-telling. If you were never in the Navy it might be hard to follow. There is a lot of Navy lingo and comments about things that only Navy sailors would understand.
  • SNAFU: Everyone Has Their Demons on Feb. 29, 2016

    I love sea stories. I read this one very quickly. It felt like I was there on a carrier in the Pacific. Then the story took a fun curve, involving paranormal weapons. Would like to read more of this by this author.
  • Smashwords Style Guide on Feb. 29, 2016

    This is required reading for anyone who wants to publish an eBook on Smashwords. It is well written and easy to follow, but I don't have the skills on MS Word to do it myself. If I publish on here, I'm going to find a friend who knows MS Word and pay them to do the formatting. I didn't understand why this is so complicated, but then found out, after you upload it here it also goes to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and several other eBook retailers. Very impressive.
  • The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success on Feb. 29, 2016

    After reading Mr. Coker's book on how to format my manuscript for Smashwords, I almost gave up on self publishing because that process was too complicated. However, I feel much better about marketing my book using the advice he presents here. I do wonder if all these tips will actually add up to the sale of books. I'd like to see thsi book updated with hard data on actual book sales on Smashwords, iBooks and B&N. There's a lot of 'stuff' out there in the media on how Amazon is dominating the market. It seems Apple and B&N are not being too aggressive about capturing the eBook market. Sorry in advance if this hurts anyone's feelings, but here on Smashwords, I don't see much in the way of best sellers. The most downloaded books are published 4 or 5 years ago. The 'highest rated' books seem to have lots of reviews that could be written by friends. Maybe the business aspects of this website would benefit from a facelift.
  • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide on Feb. 29, 2016

    This book has many great ideas but it was last updated in 2013 and most of it seems a bit dated. Sorry for being a buzz kill on this book but it needs an update. It occurred to me that there may not be any updates to make bc the 'self publishing' boom may be over. I don't know, but is it possible that self publishing was exciting back when social media (FB, Twitter, etc.) were new? Maybe everyone had a shot at writing a best seller back then. Don't give up though. This book did motivate me to tell my story and promote it. There are great stories out there and who knows, your story could be the next 50 Shades or The Martian.
  • The Gift of Fiji to Denmark on Oct. 12, 2017

    I'll give any sea story at least 3 stars. This one set me up for an around the globe expedition and sea battle. As many sea voyages go, this one took a few unexpected turns. It ended in an unexpected location for the sailors and the reader. Written with some great, grand language and big ideas.
  • Caroline's Sail on Oct. 12, 2017

    This story went from one thing to another as we follow the main character. I enjoyed all the parts about sailing, racing, accidents and near misses on the water.
  • Echo Beach on Oct. 12, 2017

    This is a unique story about two WWII soldiers who cross paths and have different agendas. One wants one thing the other something else. They work it out so they both get something, is it what they wanted? You be the judge.
  • The Pirate on Oct. 12, 2017

    I read all the sea stories on here. Many I can't finish, but this kept me interested. It moved quickly. Good writing, plenty of action and surprises. Plenty of crime and bad guys, but full of fresh ideas. I especially enjoyed the young characters and their risky / fun antics. I look forward to reading the next installment.
  • The Odd Fellow: A Mystery on June 10, 2018

    This story had a very cozy feel to it, yet it was edgy also. The narrator was a familiar soul, someone I wanted to spend time with and listen to, yet the tale was sordid and full of dirty deeds. There is something I like about a priest telling a story, maybe from hearing them tell all the Bible stories as a child.
  • The Beast Of Renshaw on June 12, 2018

    Now I'm totally afraid something is going to jump out of the shadows and bite me. This is some seriously scary writing right here.
  • Bullfighter on June 12, 2018

    This story deals with a guy who has been wondering for way too long when life's REAL excitement is going to happen. He realizes in a sideways sort of way that you have to make your own excitement. Running with the bulls is just right place to have that realization.
  • The Catania Paper Bag Caper on June 19, 2018

    Follow along with a sailor on shore leave in Italy. Great use of humor and stream of consciousness narrative. We go from the ship, ashore, run into some friends, mysteries spin and are unravelled. It seems we are included on the inside jokes. The author has a great time playing with language.