I don’t like to boast, but in this instance I can’t help myself.  Earlier this week and by surprise, I received the kindest and most trenchant review anyone could possibly hope for. I’m posting it because the lady who wrote it, in addition to being an author and literary figure of some distinction, pierced in her reading of my book the very depths of the story I had worked so long and hard to tell. I needn’t go on; read her words. You will understand why I feel both honored and humbled:

“Review for: ‘3 Aces’

“It is somewhat of an unspoken rule that the title and the cover can be instrumental in the success of a book, especially a new novel by an unknown author. Those two elements are crucial in drawing the reader to pick up the book. Next, might be the story synopsis on the back cover, the ‘hook’ that grabs the potential reader as a ‘must read’.

“As a reviewer, I chose ‘3 Aces’ from the list offered me based on the ‘hook’, so the third element of this equation was, indeed, instrumental. I was fortunate as the title and the cover simply do not do this book justice. ‘3 Aces’ is a five-star ‘sleeper’ which shuns even a designated genre. It’s too all-encompassing for that restricted labeling.

“Richard Ide’s writing talent is immediately apparent in the page and a half prologue. Four pages later at the end of Chapter One, there was no putting this book aside. I was hooked. I was also in for one hell of a road trip; not just in the cab of a flaming red Peterbilt eighteen-wheeler, but through a man’s tortured mind and compassionate heart. What Mr. Ide was able to do in ‘3 Aces’ is a rare accomplishment in creative writing. Three in-depth stories, each one almost capable of standing alone, have been skillfully woven into one epic chronicle.

“Enticed to choosing this book for review by having spent two years on the ‘road’ in a ‘big truck’ myself, I anticipated a trip down memory lane; of revisiting the majesty of the land, the routes, small towns, truck stops and the politics of the loading docks. I got all that and so much more.

“Abner Weaver and Dawn Carlisle, the two protagonists, take the reader on a journey not only across country and the perils of life on the open road, but into the frightful world of the Viet Nam jungles, the seedy practices of power brokers, and the pitfalls of gambling and alcohol. Thrown together on a chance happenstance, bonded by a terrified, injured dog on an interstate highway, Abner and Dawn’s individual stories begin to entwine. Their trials and challenges, their strengths and weaknesses, their ‘ghosts’ hiding in shadows, evolve into a page turner for almost any kind of reading preferences.

“‘3 Aces’ reads like a memoir, a mystery, a thriller, a romance. It’s historical, it’s an adventure, and it’s informative and thought-provoking. It belies any one category. It’s life and it’s genuine. As an author myself, Richard Ide has been yet another teacher in the craft of writing. And, in the joys possible in reading. My kudos, sir.”

Susan Haley, Author

**Susan Haley is the published author of two books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and the copy editor and book reviewer for Peppertree Press Publishing. She is a columnist for “The Florida Writer” the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, and serves as Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel “RAINY DAY PEOPLE” was recently awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines, newsletters, and local papers, and is currently working on her second novel “The House is Burning”. Susan can be contacted at or

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