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

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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

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  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!

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 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!

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 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.

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 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

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 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 ›

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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Recent Posts

Designer Dogs and Such

…Or, a failed July beach landing…

Okay, I am certain there have been numerous articles written in dog-world publications about the fad of creating designer dogs for the bored rich. I finally met both at the beach in Florida last week—the bored rich couple with their boutique dog. Properly trussed in a decorative harness with leash, the mutt was tethered to their Yeti cooler, which of course was well decorated with travel decals from around the US. To say the dog looked strange would be an understatement. On occasion, I’ve watched the grandkids with their little animal puzzles assemble such things: A unicorn head with a giraffe body and such, not that the dog had either, but the breeding process must have been similar. The dog’s head resembled something like a Brittany or a Cocker Spaniel, but its body was strangely tapered to very small hips which were covered with a wiry fur resembling that of a Schnauzer.

After studying the animal for a while, I decided to ask the obvious question: Why bring a dog to bake in the July sun at the beach? Just kidding. No, I didn’t, but I did ask what kind of dog it might be. The woman quickly donned a beach wrap upon my intrusion, which was actually a favor to the eyes of nearby beach-goers—not that I am a showpiece of human manhood myself, but just sayin’. The response from the dog was considerably less frosty as she furiously wagged her stubby little tail. The man answered my question with something that sounded like he was trying to say “Cockroach Cereal” with a mouth full of marbles.

After studying the dog for a moment I proceeded to put my foot in my mouth by saying, “Oh! She’s a mix.” And I suppose I could have offended them worse by kicking sand into their wine glasses, but calling the mutt a “mix” seemed to have done the trick. The woman’s lips parted and Mister Dog Owner’s cheeks grew noticeably flushed as his voice tightened to the tone of a blender trying to grind ice. “No! She’s a very popular breed in Souyuth Jawja (I think he meant to say South Georgia)…” but whatever he was saying was lost to my ears as I realized what an inept social klutz I had become.

The thought occurred to me to make amends and regain some social equilibrium by introducing a little humor. “Oh! I see. Yes, we have quite a few dogs like that where I am from. We call them full-blooded Mississippi Mutts.” Their faces solidified into something resembling crimson granite countertops as I tumbled miserably into the abyss of the totally gooberfied nerd world. “Nothing to see here, folks–move along, now.”  I wished them a good afternoon and continued scavenging for seashells.

Update July 2019: Hopefully, in a week or so, I will be announcing the publication of the second book in the Rawlins Trilogy, Rawlins, Into Montana. Rawlins into Montana book coverIn the meantime, I have begun work on the fifth book in the Vietnam War Series, tentatively titled The Birdhouse Man. There’ll be more to come on that later in the summer. As always, I humbly beseech you to write a review on Amazon for any of my books that you have read. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace. A single line is enough as long as it describes some facet of the story you particularly enjoyed.

 

Rick DeStefanis

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