Rewards and Reviews

Awards

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

  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!

 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!

 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.

 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

 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 ›

 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.

 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.

 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

The Birdhouse Man

This is the official announcement: The Birdhouse Man is Now Available.

The Birdhouse Man, a novel by Rick DeStefanis, is now available on Amazon.com at https://amzn.to/2ySrJ0H, or bulk wholesale for booksellers through Ingram Books at https://www.ingramcontent.com/, or can be ordered retail through your local book store. Currently available in Kindle E-reader and paperback formats, The Birdhouse Man is a story about an aging Vietnam War veteran and a young college journalism student and the trials they both face. Fair warning: This is not an action/adventure story.

This is a story summary:  Sam Walker pulls no punches when he tells his Vietnam War story to college journalism student, Claire Cunningham. As Sam shares his unapologetic and unvarnished viewpoint, he begins to suspect Claire’s thesis work isn’t her only reason for interviewing him. When his tale unfolds, the seventy-three-year-old veteran and the young woman discover they are both grappling with questions, loss, and loneliness, but believe that together they may find some answers to help bring the closure that has eluded them.

In the Birdhouse Man, as Sam relates his time in Vietnam, the story ranges from 1967 jungles of Vietnam to the current day campus at Appalachian State University and point between.

Now Available on Amazon

I wish to extend sincerest thanks and appreciation to the many editors, Beta-readers, and content experts for their contributions to the writing of this story. In no particular order, they are listed here:

Robert (Doc Enz) Enzenauer, Brigadier General, Retired, United States Army, United States Military Academy, Class of 1975, 19th Special Forces (Green Beret), OEF2, FOB 195, July 2002-June 2003, Kabul, Afghanistan, 5/19th SFG(A), Colorado Army National Guard, OIF2, Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq, 928th ASMC Area Support Medical Company, Colorado Army National Guard, 004. MD, MPH, MSS, MBA, Professor of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics, Chief of Ophthalmology, Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado. Oh, yeah, and one knee replacement—happens when you jump out of enough airplanes: All the Way, Doc, AIRBORNE!

Robert (Bob) Walker, Captain, Drafted 1966, OCS 8/1967, Fort Benning, GA. US Army Ranger, Republic of Vietnam 1968-69. Recon platoon leader for 2 months then company commander for the remainder of his tour. 2nd/39th Infantry, 1st Recondo Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (AO-Mekong Delta). Twenty-six decorations including four Bronze Stars with V devices, Soldiers Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Silver Stars and The Distinguished Service Cross. Bob was my first boss at FedEx and I believe he can still wear his original set of dress blues. He is also a man for whom I hold the highest respect.

Lionel (Tony) Atwill, Lieutenant, OCS-6/1967, US Army Ranger, and Airborne School-Fort Benning, Georgia. Third Special Forces Group-1967, 1st Infantry Division, Republic of Vietnam 1968-1969, Recon platoon leader, 2/18th. Two Bronze Stars with V devices, Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Tony lived it and provided much of the vital detail for this story. He lives in God’s country, smack in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. I am jealous.

Orlando (Orie) Illi, LTC, U.S. Army (Ret) retired from the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps after a 36 year combined Active Duty / Federal Civil Service Career. He was Commissioned from OCS in 1978 and retired as a LTC from the Faculty of the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC). He was subsequently appointed as a HQDA GS-15 where he served as Deputy Product Manager for the Army’s Tactical Electronic Medical Records Program until his retirement from Civil Service. LTC Illi is a designated National Security Professional and attended training at the Department of State, FEMA, DHS and National Defense University on Inter-Agency National Security Coordination. LTC Illi was a Finalist for the 2009 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America National Security and International Affairs Medal and was inducted into the Army OCS Hall of Fame in 2019.

Jeremy Klages, Captain, United States Army, 1992-1997, United States Military Academy, class 1992. Military Intelligence 1-6 Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Germany (Balkan Theater), Task Force Able Sentry 1994, Joint Task Force Provide Promise 1995, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal. Jeremy provided some of the most detailed feedback and suggestions that made this story what it is. He is also an author and an outstanding writer in his own right. Check out the Kade Sims technothriller series by Jay Klages.

Carol Carlson, childhood friend, editor, fact-checker and mother and daughter of military veterans. It’s a fact: In the 1960s, we sat in the limbs of a mimosa tree between our yards and chewed the fat long before either of us reached puberty. Ellen Morris Prewitt, friend, author, and an accomplished writer of Southern Fiction. Her input and suggestions always make me a better writer. https://ellenmorrisprewitt.com/

Chris Davis, friend, writer, and an outstanding critic and story editor.

Todd Hebertson, friend, writer, and the best cover designer in the business. Email: mypersonalartist@hotmail.com or visit his website at www.bookcoverart.webs.com.

Elisabeth Hallett, unmatched as a line editor, she is the last set of eyes on the manuscript before it goes to print. Elisabeth is another of those fortunate souls who live in God’s country, the Bitterroot Valley of Southwestern Montana. Contact her at soultrek@montana.com.

Author E.M.S., My All Everything! My formatter, guide, and general “keep me from screwing up” people, they are top-notch professionals.

If you are one of these contributors, I beg your patience. You will receive a copy soon.

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