Friday, October 26, 2012

My Review for Chupacabra A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels

Title: The Chupacabra: A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels
Author: Stephen Randel

233 pages
Publisher: Knuckleball Press
August 19, 2012
Genre: Dark Comedy

Available at: Amazon

He is called El Barquero. He makes his trade along the border, smuggling guns and killing without remorse. As he faces his one last mission, his perfect plan is unwittingly foiled by Avery, a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone. 

What unfolds is a laugh out loud dark comedy of madcap adventure stretching from Austin to the West Texas border featuring a lunatic band of civilian border militia, a group of bingo-crazed elderly ladies (one packing a pistol nearly as long as her arm), a murderous and double-crossing cartel boss, a burned-out hippy, and a crotchety retired doctor and his pugnacious French bulldog. Read it to believe it.

Stephen Randel, CFA, was born in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Steve now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and their two rescue dogs.

Expert #1

"To: President and CEO
TummyTuck 9000
Dear Sir,
I’m writing to express my extreme displeasure with your
latest product, the TummyTuck 9000. In a nutshell, your
revolutionary, state-of-the-art, laboratory-tested, patent-
pending, doctor-approved, celebrity-endorsed, portable,
battery-operated, electronic abdominal stimulation
exercise device sucks Himalayan yak testes. Although
the product is purported to stimulate the muscles of the
abdominal region over nine thousand times in a ten-minute
period, after two weeks of using said torture device,
I’ve seen no noticeable improvement in my physique. In
particular, the conditioning and definition of my upper
and lower abdominals, oblique muscles, and intercostals
is significantly worse than when I began your training
regimen of lies. Instead of sporting a “Sexy, Athletic Six
Pack of Firm, Toned Muscle” as promised, I find myself
afflicted with debilitating back spasms, excruciating
abdominal swelling, and pain when I urinate. According
to my team of personal physicians at the famed Mayo
Clinic, emergency abdominoplasty may be required to
surgically repair the damage your insidious equipment
has caused me before it becomes permanently irreversible.
I am currently awaiting the results of a second
opinion from my team of specialists at Johns Hopkins
Hospital. Additionally, according to your felonious halfhour
TV commercial, once beginning your daily program,
I would immediately appear more attractive, virulent,
confident, secure, and energetic. None of this has materialized.
Bevies of beautiful, voluptuous, tan, bikini-clad
women wearing high heels do not approach me unannounced
on the street and beg to caress my midriff as
your miserable advertisement so clearly illustrates they
would. I’m assuming this is why you only broadcast your
pathetic infomercial of deceit in the early morning hours.
I demand immediate quittance of the first of my “Three
Easy Payments of Only $19.99.” Please be completely
aware that if you fail to immediately reverse payment on
my Diners Club card, or have the audacity to charge me
for the two remaining payments, I will unleash my unholy
legion of permanently retained attorneys to destroy you!
By Zeus I swear.
Avery Bartholomew Pendleton"

Expert #2

"Some five hundred miles west of Austin, the entire brigade of
militia had gathered in the physical training and hand-to-hand
combat gymnasium of STRAC-BOM’s headquarters. General
X-Ray paced down the row of men, each of whom had meticulously
arranged his gear and weapons in front of his. In addition
to his desert combat fatigues, the General wore a vintage
World War II tanker helmet with matching goggles propped
on top. He slowly walked down the line, examining the eclectic
collection of spare fatigues, dehydrated food, plastic gallon
jugs of water, tents, and sleeping bags.
“Private Foxtrot!” the General bellowed. “Where is your
duct tape?”
“Right here, sir,” the private replied, pulling the tape from
his rucksack. “Forgot to take it out. Sorry, sir.”
“Don’t let it happen again, private,” the General scolded.
“Each man is required to carry the appropriate equipment for
immobilizing prisoners at all times.”
Continuing down the row, the General surveyed his troops’
weapons. They were an odd mix of old shotguns and deer rifles.
The General, however, sported a pair of silver pistols with ivory
grips holstered at his waist.
“Fire Team Leader Bravo!” the General barked. “How many
rounds of ammunition for your weapon?”
“Seventeen rounds for my scatter gun, sir,” Fire Team
Leader Bravo responded. “But ten of them got wet when them
Mexican Federales tossed me off the bridge.”
“Well, mind you use the dry ones first.”
“Aye-aye, sir.”
Resuming his review, the General noticed a Louisville
Slugger with a taped handle resting in front of Fire Team
Leader Charlie. He bent over at the waist to closely examine the
baseball bat, and then slowly turned his gaze up to its owner.
“I know what you’re thinking, general,” Fire Team Leader
Charlie said sheepishly. “But my brother-in-law took my deer
rifle for a hunting trip in New Mexico this weekend. This was
the best I could do.”
“See here, Fire Team Leader,” the General said. “I will not
have you endangering our mission because you surrendered
your weapon to a civilian. Fire Team Leader Alpha! What additional
weapons do we have in the armory?”
“Sir, I believe we have a pellet gun remaining,” Fire Team
Leader Alpha responded. “Maybe a wrist rocket, too.”
“Good man,” the General replied. “Fire Team Leader
Charlie, retrieve both weapons from the armory, but make sure
you sign them out first.”
“Yes, sir.”
Reaching the last man in the row, the General noticed
something odd.
“Private Zulu!” the General shouted as he pointed to the
offending object with his riding crop. “What in the hell is that
“A handheld video game, sir,” the private responded. “I just
got the new Zombie Slaughter 5.0 yesterday.”
“There are absolutely no video games allowed in night
operations!” the General bellowed.
“If it helps, I can play it with my headphones on,” the private
responded timidly.
“Out of the question!” the General roared. “The enemy
could spot the illumination of the screen from miles away.
You’ll jeopardize the safety of every man on the mission. Hand
it over immediately.”
The despondent private offered the game up.
“Headphones, too.”
“Here, sir.”

My 5 Star review
A really good read. 
It was all that the author promised. Dark comedy expertly laced in a interesting plot which involved the drug cartel, murder and paranoid characters. 
Adding a small dog with a superior complex and you find your self reading the book with a smile on your face. Chuckles and shaking the head for the stupidity of the characters a definite during the read.
The five old ladies colored it in with their quirky comments, insane driving and a general love for people. While the murderer roamed the desert adding suspense to the realistic plot as it unfolds.
I really liked all the characters, each bringing his/her own unique characteristics into the story. From the obnoxious Avery who thinks the government is after him to Ziggy a old hippy, and every one else in between. Playing their parts beautifully to entertain you during the suspense story of drug shipments, murder and schemes. All the quirks and laughs adding to suspense filled story.
The cliffhanger end was a bit disappointing and I hope that the author would continue with the story so that we can learn more from the characters continued lives and if Avery would finally be stopped. 

{Rolling the eyes.} Really do we get people like that?
Get the book and see for your self. {smile}

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