Author: Paul Mark Tag

Book Review | “Category 5” (Book 1: Science Thrillers Trilogy) by Paul Mark Tag a technothriller involving catastrophic weather conditions and storms

Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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Category 5 by Paul Mark Tag

{ Book 1 of the Science Thrillers Trilogy }

{ Book 2 : Prophecy }

{ Book 3 : White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy }

Published By: iUniverse (@iUniverse)

Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, & Ebook

Genre(s): Fiction | Science Technothriller | Espionage & Intrigue | Science Fact

Converse via: #ScienceThrillersTrilogy, #technothriller#PaulMarkTag

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Acquired Book By: Whilst my path crossed originally with Mr. Tag through my participation of his blog tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media (on behalf of “How Much Do You Love Me?”), we have continued to stay in touch since the tour ended. What I found most fascinating about his historical fiction debut is how soul stirring the narrative was depicted against the backdrop of war and the timelessness of his approach to etch a story out of our collective emotional hearts. I was very moved by his multi-cultural characters and of a story taken straight out of history and World War II. Thus, when I was approached to receive his Science Thrillers Trilogy in exchange for an honest review, I was most delighted indeed! To be honoured with the chance to read his science fiction based on science fact thrillers would enable me to see a new dimension of his writing style and voice!

I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Paul Mark Tag, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Review | “Category 5” (Book 1: Science Thrillers Trilogy) by Paul Mark Tag a technothriller involving catastrophic weather conditions and stormsCategory 5
by Paul Mark Tag
Source: Direct from Author

Dr. Victor Mark Silverstein is a Jewish African-American whose background is as unusual as his personality. He lives a privileged life as the Naval Research Laboratory's preeminent meteorologist and scientist. But beneath the facade of a self-centered, arrogant personality lies a seething, vulnerable man whose secrets have plagued his sleep since 1982. That's when he discovered the truth about what happened to his girlfriend, Sylvia.

In the year 2007, his nightmares become a reality when weather satellites detect an environmental aberration. Memories from college at Penn State -- and their accompanying heartbreak -- push their way back into Silverstein's life. Only he knows the root cause of the phenomenon and its scientific basis -- and the mastermind behind it all.

This fast-paced thriller spans the globe: from the Suez Canal and Christmas Island to Istanbul, Turkey; to Monterey, California and Washington, DC; and finally to Bermuda. Silverstein and his feisty female assistant, Dr. Linda Kipling, begin a desparate and harrowing pursuit for the truth and for those responsible. With time running out and the environmental catastrophe unfolding, they must survive a terrifying ride through the eyewall of a hurricane. The final showdown pits good against evil and intellect against loyalty. Along the way, Silverstein finds peace and becomes reacquainted with a faith he abandoned long ago.

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: How Much Do You Love Me?, Author Interview : Paul Mark Tag (on "How Much Do You Love Me?")

Series: Science Thrillers Trilogy, No.1

Also in this series: Intangible, Beneath Creek Waters

Published by iUniverse

on 31st April, 2005

Format: Paperback

Pages: 324

About Paul Mark Tag

How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

Paul Mark Tag graduated with degrees in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University and worked for the Naval Research Laboratory as a research scientist for over thirty years before retiring to write fiction. For years prior to retirement, and the following year exclusively, he honed his skills writing short stories. These have been published in StoryBytes, Potpourri, Green’s Magazine, and The Storyteller, as well as The Errant Ricochet: Max Raeburn’s Legacy.

In 2005, Tag published his first thriller, Category 5, which took advantage of his knowledge of meteorology and weather modification. Prophecy and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy followed Category 5, with White Thaw tackling global climate change, a topical subject these days. With his historical novel How Much Do You Love Me? Tag has switched genres. He lives with his wife, Becky, in Monterey, California.

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The science within Category 5:

I have oft wondered why there isn’t more talk about modifications and protocols to augment the severity of natural disasters as we have seen played in science fiction modules. Weather modification has been a hearty subject for a long time, but I was always drawn to the natural disaster films which attempted to either clarify the issue in layman’s terms or give a plausible example of what could happen if we start to monk about with natural systems we have no business altering by artificial means. The theory within the novel Category 5 is hugged close to my own thoughts and musings on the topic at large; if you could find a way to interject a change of severity and course of a storm whilst it is already in-progress and growing in strength. It is plausible because anyone who has stood outside during a severe weather occurrence starts to denote a few things in the atmosphere; the least of which is the changing colours of the sky itself, but moreso, the change of ambiance of the time of the occurrence itself.

I have observed there is a stillness when your outside observing weather as it occurs; hurricanes by far have the worst calm within the eye whereas the calm center of a tornado is daunting on a different level completely. Both the eye and the center of both storms do have one particular thing in common: they are fair warning of what is coming next. If we start to use science to control what is naturally occurring and thereby has it’s own cycle of influence on the natural world, are we then able to justify the results if the outcome is less than equal to the projected end results? Sometimes what you beg trouble for is far worse than living through what has already arrived.

Part of me is curious of what is not understood and cannot be explained; climate and meteorology have always held strong influences on me (where I live notwithstanding) and a part of this might stem from my great-grandfather whose fascination with electricity was directly linked to his curiosity about lightning. If only I could travel back in time to speak to him about his own observations and what he gleamed by staring down the bolts of pure electricity as they lit up the evening skies and gave a shuddering start to the extreme weather of his era.

When they started to talk about ocean temperatures I nearly chuckled to myself — I still remember flying over the Gulf for the first time and noticing the differences in both density and colourations of the ocean’s surface. Part of me mused if the variations had anything to do with temperatures as much as the depth of the particular portions I was flying over; as that is one observation you cannot gleam standing on the ground. Flying reveals a lot about our world as the juxtaposition increases the mind to accept the larger view more to scale than when we are looking down rather than sideways or up. The ocean sciences (from oceanography to geophysics to geothermal plate tectonics) were a keen interest of mine whilst growing up. Naturally I would evolve into appreciating every sub-field inter-related to Environmental Science, Climatology, Meteorology and Natural Weather or Disasters such as Snow Science, Vulcanology, and Glaciology. Tag has written a novel a science geek like me is overjoyed to have found existing in science fiction! It is a thread of theory combined with real-life plausible scenarios which have the most direct impact on mass causality and aftermath; a warning of a tale about the temptations of where science can lead man to technology that can offset the balance of order and chaos.

There is a point in the story where Silverstein is mentioned as studying forensic meteorologist – giving me a bit of pause as I was most intrigued at that designation. (the forensic sciences are another thread of interest of mine) I was curious if this is what Paleoclimatology was originally called or if the forensic side of meteorology is a sub-field exploring a completely different branch of data. Considering climate and weather are generally studied separately, I found it quite fascinating to see this inside the novel. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, #SciFiReadathon, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, African-American Literature, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Debut Author, Debut Novel, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Espionage, Go Indie, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Meteorology, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Military Fiction, Modern Day, Natural Disasters & Catastrophic Events, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Sociological Behavior, Space Science, The Sci-Fi Experience, Uncategorized, Vulgarity in Literature

+Blog Book Tour+ How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag An achingly passionate World War romantic drama of two courageous souls entwined!

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

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How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

How Much Do You Love Me? Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Published By: Sweetwater Books ( ),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)
12 August, 2014
Official Author Websites:  Site | @Thriller_Writer | Blog | Facebook
Available Formats: Paperback
Page Count: 256

Converse via: #HowMuchDoYouLoveMe

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “How Much Do You Love Me?” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I have always been inspired by stories from the World Wars, the lives in which were altered by circumstances no one could control and how the human spirit survived against harrowing odds. I studied the World Wars in school but we never studied the Internment camps in the United States which displaced the lives of the Japanese who were either living here or already bonefide citizens. It is one part of my country’s history as the author himself mentions in his Preface that does not put our best foot forward. I grew up learning about Japanese culture, with a strong empathise on their fine art and musical traditions as my maternal grandparents had a fondness for their heritage. I had the kind blessing of cultivating friends from Japan in my teen and twenties, of whom introduced new layers of their heritage to me and also gave me the blessing of knowing that some parts of the past are forgiven, as one of my dearest friends was from Hiroshima. Her light of kindness and acceptance of me as a friend has not left me even though her path and mine led apart when she married. A close friend of mine from Okinawa gave me the gift of understanding multicultural families up close and personal as she married an American Marine.

Whilst knowing of the darker hues of our history are difficult to process and read through, there are enlightening moments of true heroism and strength of the will of man to not only survive but overcome injustice. I felt compelled to read this story whilst I read the synopsis as a window back through time into one family’s journey through an experience that is inconceivable. I appreciated the extras include with this novel, as the Preface delve into why Tag was inspired to relay this story as much as the Appendixes in the back are warranted to become introduced to the characters ahead of their presence and a knowledge of the terminology threaded into the story.

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Book Synopsis:How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

Keiko Tanaka, along with her twin sister, Misaki, and two other siblings are first generation children of parents who emigrated from Japan in the early 1900s. Born in the US, they are American citizens. Nonetheless, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in December of 1941, politicians whip anti-Japanese rhetoric into a frenzy, claiming that anyone who looks Japanese should be suspected of being an enemy agent of the Japanese emperor, Hirohito. Although government officials (including FBI head, J. Edgar Hoover) report no evidence supporting such suspicion, public opinion turns against the Japanese. Consequently, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signs Executive Order No. 9066, sealing the fate of 120,000 West Coast Japanese—including the Tanaka family of Bellevue, Washington—sending them to internment camps.

 Prior to the tumult of this anti-Japanese hysteria, Keiko falls in love with a Caucasian, James Armstrong. Contrary to their families’ wishes, they decide to marry before Keiko leaves for the camps and James goes to war. At Tule Lake, the Tanaka’s internment camp in northern California, Keiko’s and James’s daughter, Kazuko, is born.

Nearly sixty years later, Keiko has a stroke and lies near death, while James suffers from Alzheimer’s. Coincidentally, a chance occurrence makes Kazuko suspect that her mother has been hiding a secret from the internment. Fighting the clock before her mother’s death, she races to unearth the mystery. What she uncovers represents nothing short of the epitome of human love and self-sacrifice. But, beyond Kazuko’s realization, only the reader knows that is only half the story. 

Author Biography:

Paul Mark Tag made a career as a research scientist before switching gears to write fiction. In the late 1990s, in preparation for a career in writing, he wrote short stories only. Author/Publisher Arline Chase was his mentor. In 2001, when he made his career change permanent, he spent a year writing short stories only. These have been published in StoryBytes, Potpourri, Greens Magazine, and The Storyteller.

 In 2002, Tag began his first novel, a thriller entitled Category 5, which took advantage of his knowledge of meteorology and weather modification. Prophecy, a sequel, followed in July of 2007. White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy, is the third in the trilogy. With How Much Do You Love Me? Tag has switched genres, trying his hand at historical fiction. He lives with his wife, Becky, in Monterey, California.

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Multicultural heritage, marriage, and blended families:

What I appreciated the most about Tag’s presentation of the romance blooming between Keiko and James, is that he did not make any part of their lives cliche or expected. Keiko grew up in the Methodist faith whereas James was a Unitarian; two separate worlds of thought on faith and at the time they were living in the 1940s neither denominations understood each other as well as they do today. The fact that they were both American citizens, one of Anglo-Saxon heritage and one of Japanese is what put them at the greatest risk on the fringes of war with Japan. James was given a strong countenance for a man of his young years but determination to be with the love of his life endeared him to me on the spot. They each saw past their own differences and how those differences were viewed by others inside their own community to forge a life together that was rooted in love and faith. Keiko might be nineteen at the opening of How Much Do You Love Me? but her spirit of self-awareness and knowledge of the current events slowing turning the tides against her make her mature beyond her years.

The manner in which their love story unfolds is a slow arc towards their union, as we know in the beginning that they were able to be wed, but it is how the story revealed their path towards their wedding and the life after the war ended that proved to be the most special. Especially considering the fact they were breaking tradition, not only for the culture of Keiko’s heritage but for James to marry an Asian at that point in time was nearly not able to be done legally. I had not realised it myself, as to when multicultural marriages had been approved but I silently cheered that four states led the way forward for all relationships to become equal. (Washington was one of the four)

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, California, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Life Shift, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Pearl Harbour (WWII), Romance Fiction, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, Sweet Romance, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The World Wars, Twin Siblings, US Internment Camps (WWII), War-time Romance, Washington