Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review – November Echo by James Houston Turner

november echo
November Echo
Aleksandr Talanov Thriller Series
Published by Regis Books (November 1, 2013)
Paperback: 298 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0958666435
E-Book File Size: 2944 KB
ASIN: B00G727L70



Every spy has a beginning and this story is about Colonel Aleksandr Talanov’s beginning. For Talonov, an agent of the KGB, his life as a spy started back in 1985 at the height of Cold War tensions between the Americans and Soviets. It was after the the Biological Weapons Treaty of 1972 and the Soviets ignored the treaty. They instead set up several facilities to create biological weapons to use around the world whenever they decided to attack. In 1985 one of the Soviet scientists working with these deadly toxins decides to defect and Talanov is assigned to bring him back. This assignment changes the entire course of Talanov’s life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Wow! Wow! Wow! My husband and I read this book at approximately the same time and we both uttered those words as we finished the last page. We had the same reaction to Turner’s Greco’s Game which I reviewed last year and named Best Indie Suspense Thriller of 2012.

James Houston Turner packs a lot into the pages of this book, car chases, hand to hand combat, bombs, fires, gunfire, truth, lies, compassion and fear.  A major twist turns the whole story upside down. It was a non-stop ride from the first page until the last. I can easily see this as a movie. The drama was vivid in my mind’s eye. 

Turner is an awesome writer. He has created this fabulous character, Aleksandr Talanov, and masterfully written another fantastic espionage thriller that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.  I can’t believe how fast I read this book. The pages were flying.

There are 3 books featuring Aleksandr Talanov, Department Thirteen, Greco’s Game, and November Echo. I can’t believe I have not read Department Thirteen, but it is on my Wish List and I am going to get it on my reading schedule as soon as I can. These books can all be read as stand-alones and in any order. It is because of books like this that I had to add another level to my rating system because this book deserves more than 5 stars!!

Bravo James!!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about James Turner Houston here.

You can even find out more about Aleksandr Talanov here.

Like James Houston Turner’s Facebook Fan Page here.

Want to win a copy of November Echo???
James is giving away 6 copies over at GoodReads.
Click Here.
Contest ends December 15.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2013where are you reading

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

Greco’s Game Virtual Book Publicity Tour 2012 + Kindle Fire Giveaway + Russian Chess Set Giveaway

2012 self published mystery thriller

I often wonder what we did before the internet. You know when we actually had to write letters and make phone calls. But today I am so happy we have the internet, Facebook, and blogs. It lets me share the books I love with all of you but it also helps me connect with the authors who write the books that I love.

Back in June James Houston Turner filled out one of my contact forms telling me about his new book Greco’s Game and invited me to be part of this tour.

This is all I needed to read of the synopsis to know I had to read this book:

Colonel Aleksandr Talanov – the “ice man” – is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can’t, and it’s an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experienced: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes. Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction.

Jim and I will probably never meet in person but because of all this wonderful technology I have found an outstanding author and made a truly awesome friend.

Let me tell you about Jim before I tell you about Greco’s Game.

A native of Kansas, James turned to writing fiction as a result of his years as a smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain. He has been on a KGB watchlist, organized secret midnight meetings with informants, located hidden mountain bunkers, and investigated legends of forgotten tunnels buried beneath the cobblestones and bricks of some of Central Europe’s most venerated cathedrals. Department Thirteen, his debut thriller featuring former KGB informant, Colonel Aleksandr Talanov, was inspired by those experiences and went on to win the USA Book News “Best Thriller of 2011″ award, a gold medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher “IPPY” Book Awards (thriller/suspense), and a gold medal in the 2012 Indie Book Awards (action/adventure).

A former journalist in Los Angeles, James holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Baker University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). His 2011 “Too Ugly Tour” saw him drive 4500 miles across America promoting his books and speaking to thousands of students about not letting the hard knocks of life defeat you, which in his case included years of rejection, surviving cancer, and once being turned down for a customer service job because he was “too ugly” — a reference to the facial scars he still carries from his successful 1991 battle against cancer. He and his wife, Wendy, a former triathlon winner, live in Adelaide, South Australia.

Comfort Publishing (September 1, 2012)
Suspense Thriller
Book 2 in the Aleksandr Talanov series *
Paperback: 329 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936695485
E-book File Size: 625 KB
*Reads as a stand alone very well

Greco’s Game finds Talanov witnessing the brutal murder of his wife. Convinced the bullet was meant for him and wracked with guilt, he spirals downward on a path of self-destruction, hitting rock-bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles. But in a seedy world ruled by the Russian mafia, all is not as it seems. Was her murder an accident, or was it a carefully-planned strategy? The answer lies in Greco’s Game, a chess game played in 1619 that Talanov’s old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Wow! This is an outstanding story! Riveting, intense and full of suspense!

You have the CIA, FSB (Federal Secret Service/Russia), LAPD, the Russian Mafia and Aleksandr Talanov, former KGB agent, all coming together in Los Angeles, California. Who killed his wife? Until he knows he can’t trust anyone!

While clues play out we learn that they are patterning a chess game played hundreds of years ago but you do not need to like or understand chess to follow this story. Just hold on tight you are in for a wild ride.

Turner takes us on a journey into the gritty world of human trafficking in a universe where much has changed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Men Talanov knew back in his time in the KGB could be working for anybody. He can’t even trust his former mentor. The author takes us through the clues and strategy at an amazing clip making it impossible to put down. This story would make a fantastic movie.

The author has created rich and colorful characters that just seem to leap off the page. We follow them through chilling car chases, cars crashing through buildings, and cars with surprises in the trunks. Gun blazing, bombs blowing, bouncers dishing out beatings and worse.

I have not yet read Department Thirteen and had absolutely no trouble loving this deadly game of pawns and queens. I did learn James Houston Turner loves to leave us hanging.  He resolves most of the issues but baits us with just a few lines and a bit of book #3, Dragon Head coming in 2013.

This is one of those books I want to shout about from the rooftops!! It is amazing! A MUST READ if you like mystery, suspense, action and thrills!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


You may visit him at

James loves hearing from readers and bloggers. To contact him directly,

Follow James on Twitter:

Follow James on Facebook:

Follow Greco’s Game on Facebook:

Follow Talanov on Facebook:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”