This novel holds tremendous personal importance for its telling of the stories I heard from and about my grandfather. If you wish to learn more, please visit my website and read My Journey with BLACK SUN. I truly believe you will find this article quite informative.
Thank you to all for your great comments, feedback, and readership of my novels. Knowing that I have touched so many people through my books is inspiring as well as gratifying.
In 1956 Morgan City, Texas, Cory Hunter Bramley has finally returned to learn the truth about his mother’s murder. The killer may be gone, leaving Cory to chase ghosts, yet he’s determined to know what happened that fateful day sixteen years ago. But truth comes in many forms.
The town is under the thumb of a man who considers himself a king and makes Cory’s search for truth more difficult. Five women have been brutally murdered since his mother and their killer remains at large as well.
Cory must walk a dangerous maze of corruption, revenge, bootlegging, brutality and murder as he uncovers a bloody trail leading to the killer. But in the pursuit of justice, Cory didn’t anticipate finding love with the forbidden Emily.
The Councilman is a heartbreaking tale of vengeance, deceit and the anguish of shattered souls wrapped in mystery and suspense.
Greg Valdez walked away from stolen antiquities and the dark side of the art world years ago. No longer for hire as a professional thief, Valdez was enjoying retirement in the Texas Hill Country until the day Japan’s National Police and the Agency for Cultural Affairs disrupted his life wanting a national treasure returned. The Honjo Masamune, an ancient, priceless sword is being held in the United States by the Tonsei-Kai, a notorious Yakuza clan. The Japanese government will make a trade with Valdez—the sword in exchange for information about Kyla, Valdez’s former daughter in law. Kyla believes she is leaving for Japan to become an international model, but she’s caught in a Tonsei-Kai human trafficking ring. If Valdez will retrieve the sword, he can have the information to find her. It’s an offer he can’t refuse. She may never be seen again. But Valdez will need his son’s help to save her and doesn’t realize it will take a miracle to retrieve the sword—and save his own life. The pulse pounding sequel to SOLOMON’S MEN brings Valdez out of retirement and in search of THE HONJO….
Readers kept asking for a sequel to “Solomon’s Men” and now it’s on the horizon. “The Honjo” blends the ancient history of a priceless samurai sword with the present underworld of the Yakuza, and a foreign government’s quest for its return. And caught up in the dark world is Greg Valdez, with more at stake than a sword. Packed with the emotions, action and mystery that everyone loved in the first book, “The Honjo” will leave readers wanting more. Coming in 2018!
The Military Writers Society of America awarded Black Sun its 2016 GOLD Medal for excellence in Historical Fiction. This was a true honor considering the exacting standards of MWSA and the volume of great works Black Sun was in competition against. The accompanying MWSA review equaled the GOLD Medal:
MWSA Book Review
Reviewed by Lee Boyland
Historical fiction at its best—The Mexican Revolution of 1910
To understand a nation you must read its history. The author takes the reader on a journey beginning in 1900, told through the eyes of a fictional young man. Mexico is slowly sinking into chaos under the dictatorial rule of President for life Diaz. Foreign interests are raping Mexico’s resources and people while paying off the president and his cronies. Desperate people are capable of desperate action and the faint scent of revolution is in the air.
The story begins with fourteen-year-old Mexican peon, Arnulfo Triana, laboring in the Ojuela Mine near the village of Mapimí in the State of Durango, Mexico. Conditions are poor and the pay is minimal. Only the native Indians have worse working conditions. Garcia, the foreman, is sadistic and has chosen Arnulfo as his current target. Chamaco, an older miner with a varied background attempts to protect him from Garcia.
Arnulfo witnesses Garcia assaulting a Yaqui Indian woman and uses a shovel to end her rape, giving the reader their first indication of the man the young boy will become. In gratitude, the woman presents Arnulfo with a gift. Events become confused and Arnulfo flees. Chamaco follows on a “borrowed” mule and the two become lifelong friends. Along the way they meet Pancho Villa and join him. During the following years, Arnulfo grows into a man, takes the name Indio, and becomes Pancho’s trusted companion as Mexico continues its downward spiral. Villa is a natural leader and a powerful force for the people against its dictatorial president. Through Indio, the reader meets Emiliano Zapata, Abraham González, and many leaders of the coming revolution, including Francisco Madero, the man who would light the fuse.
The author’s descriptions of people, places and battles allows the reader to become part of unfolding events. Black Sun is a story of courage, despair, patriotism, deception, heroism, betrayal, loyalty, greed, honor, and leadership—both good and bad. It is the story of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and beyond.
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Along with receiving a wonderful “Readers Favorite 5 Star Review” written by Viga Boland, Black Sun has been quite honored with such recognition. But as noted in my blog article “My Journey with BLACK SUN,” this novel was far more than the simple writing of a historical fiction—it was the story of my grandfather’s life as he endured the onset and years of a brutal, bloody revolution that threw his country into violent turmoil. The research seemed never ending and the lead characters of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 were of such madness that I wondered at times if anyone would believe their true, odd idiosyncrasies.
And adding to the awards was the excellent cover design by Jake Starkey who artistically blended the famous mural work of Diego Rivera (used through permission from the Estate of Diego Rivera) with captivating colors and visual presence to further enhance Black Sun.
Black Sun is available in print and eBook from all major booksellers.
It’s not unusual for me to cry at the end of a movie. But it’s totally unlike me to cry at the end of a book. How did Glenn Starkey move me so much with his historical fiction novel, Black Sun? Was it the series of bloodcurdling events presented so clearly in this novel, based on the years leading up to and including the Mexican Revolution from 1910 – 1920?
Was it the characters Glenn Starkey brought to life in his protagonist Arnulfo (later known as Indio), his dearest friend and mentor, Chamaco, and the non-fictional, notorious Pancho Villa? Was it their love and loyalty to each other, along with their camaraderie and mescal-fuelled humor that touched me so deeply? Or was it perhaps their willingness to die for their country in the hopes of freeing its ravaged and poor inhabitants from a rotten dictatorship? Near the end of Black Sun, when Arnulfo’s heart broke as his faithful horse, Cha Cha, fell forward onto a rifle spear and died, my heart broke too as I reflected on the senseless and massive loss of lives Glenn Starkey depicted in Black Sun.
It was Glenn Starkey’s ability to capture humanity at its worst and at its very best that touched me so deeply. It was his incredible skill as a writer that moved me to tears. Where some authors write a great story you can’t put down, Glenn Starkey weaves a richly coloured tapestry and breathes life into every thread of the story. Every sentence, every paragraph, every description, and every character matters. Black Sun is near impossible to put down, but when you finally do, you know you’ll never forget the story and its characters.
Perhaps the explanation for that lies in the author’s own words. Glenn Starkey states in the afterword that for him, “writing this novel was a great exploration of thought.” It is that for the reader too. He states further that the writing reaffirmed his “belief in family bonds and the importance of not allowing foolishness and petty squabbles to drive wedges between family members.” You cannot come away from Black Sun without reflecting on how that theme was evident in all the relationships in this book: Arnulfo with his parents, with Myra, his first love, with Chamaco, Pancho, the Yaqui Indian leader, and even his horse, Cha Cha.
Black Sun provokes the reader to think about our perceptions of others: so many of the “baddies” in this book are really the “goodies” and vice versa. Pancho Villa was a devil to some, a hero to others. It is obvious that Glenn Starkey has thoroughly researched the history of all the key figures, along with times, dates and events in the Mexican Revolution. In fact, he states on his website that Black Sun took years to write because the more he dug into the history, the more he found to research. And he brings all of it together in one block-buster of a book. Book reviews are supposed to be objective, but I don’t apologize for the subjectivity of this review. You see, historical fiction is one of my last choices when it comes to reading a book. That’s why I still can’t believe how much I loved Black Sun. This is one to put at the top of your “must-read” list. You won’t be disappointed.
And a personal note to me was added to the review by Ms. Viga Boland:
Glenn, I’m in total awe of your writing skill, your attention to detail, your ability to capture and keep a reader interested, and your strength in creating such believable characters. As I’ve said in my review, you brought me to tears; no book has ever touched me that way. And even more astonishing to me is you got me to read a genre I would never have touched otherwise. In a word, you are amazing. Thank you for reminding me how a great author writes.
It is a review such as this that every author hopes for after enduring long hours of writing into so many late nights. To emotionally move a reader as I was moved while writing the novel, is truly a priceless reward.
I hope everyone will enjoy BLACK SUN. You may also enjoy my article on this site entitled “My Journey with Black Sun” …
The link to the Readers Favorite review page is: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/black-sun