Rewards and Reviews

Awards

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The Gomorrah Principle, by Rick DeStefanis is a riveting tale written with the skill and precision. In this genre blend, DeStefanis proves that he is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. The plot is well crafted, and the pacing is spot-on. Once people read it, I think word of mouth will make DeStefanis a must-read for anyone who enjoys recent history, war stories, mysteries, and romance.
Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards

silver-shiny-web reader5star
The Gomorrah Principle is the winner of the prestigious Readers’ Favorite 2014 Silver Medal Award for military fiction. The Gomorrah Principle works…I know it’s something I’ll remember.
Samantha  Rivera for Readers’ Favorite

Valley of the Purple Hearts is the winner of the 2017 Best Indie Book Award for Literary Mainstream Fiction. Read more here.

BIB

The Gomorrah Principle Reviews

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686  I would have to say it is one of the best books I have read in years
By Hirsberg “Pink Tower OB” on  April 16, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
From the very first chapter I could not put this book down. I would have to say it is one of the best books I have read in years. The book is beautifully written and very suspenseful . I read this book while I was on vacation at the beach and each day I could not wait to get back to the book. The characters and the settings we so well described I felt like I knew the people and the places. I could tell a lot of research went into the writing of this book. I can not wait for his next book. A+++ A 5 star!

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 Great story of friendship, love & war!
By Chris on  April 3, 2015
Format: Paperback
Life jumps off the pages! Whether its the hills of Tennessee, the jungles of ‘Nam, Music City USA or Saigon there is excitement and drama to keep you turning the pages. I found myself wondering if Brady would ever love again, who his real enemies were and if he would discover what happened to his childhood best friend.
I was instantly hooked. Brady, the good-ole country boy from the Tennessee hills, grew up learning to hunt and knowing right from wrong in the hard-working blue-collar mining country. Leaving his girl friend to find out about his best friend’s (her brother) death makes us ache for him and her both. Understanding our God-given tendencies gives Brady the edge he needs in landing in a position to find out what he wants to know only to put his life at risk.
I highly recommend getting a copy and joining Brady Nash on his quest through love, war and government espionage to find out what happened to Duff Cowan. Thanks Rick DeStefanis for this exciting book!

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 love, etc.
By michele on March 9, 2015
Format: Paperback
The author’s thought-provoking mention of Richard Connell’s, “The Most Dangerous Game,” offered the audience a literary comparison. Connell is unquestionably known for his ability to successfully blend literary devices and use various types of genre to capture his audience attention. Rick DeStefanis offers a similar composition which allows him to appeal to a broader, nonspecific, audience base. Whether or not, you are attracted to war, mystery, action-adventure, suspense, thriller, love, etc., DeStefanis brings it home in his all-captivating, spellbound, masterpiece, “The Gomorrah Principle.” –Michele C.

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 5  Best Vietnam experience in print
By Steve Scattum on April 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition: Verified Purchase
Excellent in all categories, suspense personified thru out book, a must read, one of the best I’ve read for sure Super! 

Melody Hill Reviews by Amazon.com Readers

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 Take a journey to Vietnam by way of Melody Hill May 6, 2015
By Carol Carlson
Format: Kindle Edition
Driving to work this past Monday, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had been away for a long time, like on an extended trip to some exotic place. I felt disconnected to everything around me. But I had not been anywhere. In fact, I’d spent the weekend at home reading Melody Hill. That’s when I realized that it was Vietnam I was thinking about. I felt like I’d been there, and now needed to readjust to being home and going to work. All day my mind would drift, wondering what was happening to Duff, Roland, and the rest of the guys back in Vietnam.

Okay, perhaps I was losing my mind. But this is how realistic Rick DeStefanis’s writing feels. At the time, I was only halfway through the book, and it was difficult to pull myself out of the story and go about my normal life. I’d say that’s a rare kind of writing talent, since I’m not commonly known to confuse my suburban life with the sweltering jungles of Vietnam, circa 1967.

As the prequel to Rick’s first novel, The Gomorrah Principle, Melody Hill is the satisfying answer to all that was previously uncertain or unexplained, introducing the characters as they are just becoming the people we came to know in the original story. This is exactly the ‘back story’ a prequel should be. But this one is so much more. In its own right, Melody Hill is a war story (much more so than The Gomorrah Principle), it’s a love story – two love stories actually, it’s a coming of age, finding your way, good vs evil, who do you trust, band of brothers, family loyalty, searching for truth kind of story. Read more ›

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 you always get great writing. That writing makes you feel as if … May 1, 2015
By Ellen Morris Prewitt
Format: Kindle Edition
From the first sentence of Melody Hill—”Duff Coleridge stood over a freshly killed deer, one he hadn’t meant to kill.”—you know things will not proceed as expected. With author Rick DeStefanis, you always get great writing. That writing makes you feel as if you’re in Vietnam, living the dangers along with Duff. We’re there when Duff meets the gorgeous Lynn Dai Bouchet (“a woman as beautiful and complicated as the country she called her own.”) and the evil Spartan. Duff quickly finds himself entangled in something he doesn’t understand, where he must navigate not just the dangers of combat, but the traps of corruption and betrayal as well.
For those who have read The Gomorrah Principle, Melody Hill is an opportunity to again spend time with Brady and Lacey, getting to know their relationship better. For those new to the series, after reading Melody Hill, you’ll want to quickly run out and find The Gomorrah Principle to keep the story going.

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 Thoroughly enjoyed it! May 4, 2015
By Myates
Format: Paperback
Having read The Gomorrah Principle a few weeks ago, I was delighted to find that Rick DeStefanis has completed the prequel to it. Melody Hill recounts the story of Duff Coleridge and the swirling web of truths and lies that define the U.S. participation in the Vietnam war. Duff’s unintentional venture into the corruption that existed amid that “war on communism” parallels the manner in which evil often lies its way into the lives of “good” people. The contrasts seen in the life of Melody Hill and the hamlets of Vietnam add tension as the plot unfolds to reveal how completely foreign this warring country is to Duff, yet his ability to see some of the people he meets as honest and true men show his acceptance of the Vietnamese people as equals whose lives have value.
I thoroughly enjoyed Melody Hill as well as The Gomorrah Principle and look forward to this Mississippi writer’s next fictional adventure.

20px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-4268620px-gold-star-42686 DeStefanis hits it out of the park… May 4, 2015
By Brian
Format: Kindle Edition
It Is always hard to write a sequel as good as the first and a prequel is even harder, but DeStefanis delivers a great read. Even though he had to write within the time constraints of The Gomorrah Principle, he delivers a great back story to Duff, one of the original characters and does so with believability and that is something I pick apart in most thrillers. If it is not believable then I lose interest, but this book really details the early days with multiple story lines and most of all, we find out just how Duff finds his way, for better or worse. His vivid descriptions make it easy for the reader to imagine the surroundings as if you are there and you can really connect with the characters. Even though this series is listed as military thrillers, the story is about more. It’s about life, morals, devotion and love. You won’t regret this book. I actually read it twice. Job well done.

Read These Reviews on Amazon

Recent Posts

Part Two: Wyoming and Montana Road Trip-Grizzly, Bison and Moose

Grizzly, Bison and Moose…IT’S NOT A PETTING ZOO PEOPLE!!

He is not a Grizzly, but this is how a Bison looked after a bunch of European tourists bailed out of their vehicle and ran to within 15 yards of him where they began taking selfies–I kid you not!! Janet and I were on the opposite side of the highway (The Bear Tooth Highway north of Yellowstone) photographing him with a telephoto lens. Occasional snowflakes were darting about (the real ones) when these snowflakes began posing for their photos.

A Very Agitated Tetonka

They seemed to think this giant beast was as docile as a cow and they remained otherwise oblivious to the signs of agitation he was exhibiting. Thankfully, before he could decide if he wanted to gore a few of them, they loaded up and left. This was how he appeared shortly afterward. Anyone who knows wildlife can look at this critter and tell he was definitely at the limit of his patience.

 

Then there was the big grizzly out in the Shoshone River Valley west of Cody, Wyoming. He was on the opposite side of the river, about a hundred yards off the highway, guarding the remains of an apparent kill. Several people had stopped to take photos, and everyone remained on the highway near their vehicles–at least until the crowd grew. Then, as you might have figured, the 3% crowd showed up. That’s the ones lacking common sense. Two women and a man left the roadside and walked down closer to the river with their cell phone cameras. They approached to within fifty yards of the big Griz as many of us on the highway could only mutter “Oh $h%t!”

Big Grizzly, Shoshone River Valley

As you can see from my photo, he became focused on them. Grizzlies don’t look it, but they are agile as cats and incredibly fast. He could have sprinted across the river and reached them in as little as three or four seconds. Thankfully, they got their photos and returned to the shoulder of the road without incident. A few minutes later the bear left his kill and came down to the river, about 80 yards away, where he got a drink of water.

Griz Getting a Drink From the Shoshone River

 

The three most aggressive animals in this part of the country (and the ones responsible for the majority of attacks on humans) are the Grizzly, the Moose, and the Bison. Because they have often become accustomed to the presence of humans they do not run away and often appear deceptively at ease, which leads tourists to believe they are docile and relatively harmless. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and any of the three can kill a human in seconds.

We caught this bull moose crossing a sage flat early one morning near Moose Junction (go figure) in the Grand Teton National Park. Thankfully, none of the 3% crowd were around.

Moose, Teton National Park

Again, my 400mm telephoto lens brings him in close, while Janet and I remain nearly a hundred yards away.

I will leave you with the shot below, as a means of explaining how we get these photographs. During our travels, we ran into more than a few tourists who said, “We’ve seen very few animals. Where are you seeing them?” A few questions usually reveal they have risen a little after sunrise, had a nice breakfast at the restaurant and arrived at the park sometime around mid-morning–the time when most critters are bedding down for the day. As the photo below reveals and I explained to the tourists, “It’s not a matter of ‘where,’ but a matter of ‘when.’ You must get up before dawn if you want to see more wildlife.”  By the way: My next blog will announce the publication of my next book: Rawlins, No Longer Young, a historical western. https://rickdestefanis.com/rawlins-historical-fiction-western-book/

Tetons Before Sunrise

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