Roberta Writes: Book Blog Tour – The Last Drive by John W. Howell #readingcommunity #paranormalthriller #newbook

Today, I am delighted to host John W. Howell with his latest book The Last Drive. Welcome, John.

I am so pleased to be with you today, Robbie. Thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. It amazes me that not only are you an accomplished author, chef, wife and mother but a chartered accountant as well. The worlds of accounting and putting together a killer meal have some common elements of precision which could explain the synergy of those two talents. I have to wonder how fiction writing fits into your skill set as well. Accountants and chefs are not encouraged to make things up but that is exactly what fiction requires. All I can say is you do a great job at all those things. This does remind me to point out that Lucifer also does a great job at being evil in this story.

Here is the blurb and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.

The Blurb

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey take the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

An Extract

Sam grips the doorknob and turns it slowly. Beyond the open door, a guy in a chair sits with a guitar on his lap.

“Oh, hi.” The man half-rises from the chair but sits back as if he’s changed his mind.

“Hi, yourself. I’m Sam, and this is James. What are you doing here?”

“Let’s just say playing has become an obsession, and I’m not particular about where I do it.”

Sam shakes her head. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t get your name.”

“Holly. That’s my last name. My friends call me Buddy.”

James says, “Buddy Holly, the rock star?”

Buddy blushes and smiles. “I wouldn’t go that far. Maybe Buddy Holly, the singer, would be good enough.”

Sam and James stand with their mouths open. After a second or two, James speaks up. “You’re a legend. Don McLean wrote a song about you that’s been popular enough to keep your memory alive.”

“Yeah, I like that song. I feel bad that it makes me out to be some kind of hero. I mean, The Day the Music Died? Come on. I had some hits, but there’ve been many who came after me who did a great job in keeping the music alive.”

Sam presses, “I must ask you again … what are you doing here?”

Buddy looks down at his guitar. “It’s kinda hard to explain. Two guys showed up at my last concert and told me they had information about a plane crash. One of the blokes volunteered to pilot the plane since he felt the pilot I hired wasn’t qualified.”

James turns to Sam. “This sounds all too familiar.” He turns back to Buddy. “Was one of the guys named Ryan?”

Buddy frowns. “Yeah. I think he was the one who offered to fly.”

James nods. “Makes sense. He’s an—er—he was an Air Force pilot. Did you get the other man’s name?”

Buddy shakes his head. “No, he was a real quiet one and tried to talk Ryan out of taking control of the plane.”

James takes a step toward Buddy. “Back to our original question … how did you get here? And why?”

Buddy glances toward the ceiling. “I was minding my business in the garden of song.”

James says, “Excuse me, but where’s the garden of song?”

Buddy brightens. “That’s what I call my Eternal Home. A whole bunch of us are there, waiting on our loved ones.”

Sam asks, “Do you know when Maria Elena will join you?”

Buddy’s eyes shift downward. “No. Anyway, I was doing some riffs with Roy Orbison, and up walks the Archangel.”

James puts his hand to his forehead. “Roy Orbison?”

Sam grabs his arm. “For heaven’s sake, let him finish.”

“But Roy Orbison!”

Buddy smiles. “Yeah, he and I have become pretty close. He’s trying to teach me to sing in his range. I can tell you that’ll never happen.”

Sam shakes her head. “Back to the question. How did you get here and why did you come?”

Buddy lets the guitar slide lower on his lap and gives Sam his full attention. “The Archangel stopped Ryan from disrupting history. I have a message from him.”

“Okay, we’re all ears.”

“Forget finding Ryan. He’s made enough of a mess already. You should forget him.”

Sam puts her hand to her forehead. “I met with the Archangel, and he never mentioned having a conversation with you.”

Buddy’s eyes grow wide. “He didn’t? How strange.” Sam puts her hands on her hips. “You’re not Buddy at all, are you? You know you need to be truthful with an angel.”

Book Trailer

Purchase The Last Drive

The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon. Here are the universal links. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.



My review

This book is a unique and entertaining adventure about two souls, Sam and James, who are sent on a mission by Archangel Michael to help find two missing souls. A recently deceased young pilot named Ryan has disappeared, together with his spiritual guide, Eddie Rickenbacker. Eddie is a war pilot hero and he and Ryan were last seen together at the Super Bowl One in 1967. Lucifer is understood to have had a hand in their appearance at, and disappearance from, the football game.

Sam and James set off in the Oldsmobile to track the pair down. Their visit to the Super Bowl One is the first in a series of historical visits facilitated by Lucifer. The devil is determined to trick Ryan into forfeiting his soul and he attempts to manipulate Sam and James into inadvertently helping with the achievement of this goal. The devil’s word sparring matches with Sam and James and Ryan and Eddie are amusing and I thought this read was on the lighter side despite the dark historical undercurrents.

The book is fast paced and exciting with the main characters travelling to scarier and more challenging historical situations as the book progresses and Lucifer becomes more determined and desperate to achieve his goal. The history of each event is fairly brief but is well researched and factually accurate and does not go into any of the gory detail or political and emotional complexities of the time or place. It is an intriguing idea to put four angels in the path of human induced destruction and describe their reactions.

This is the second book in the series but it can be read as a stand alone. I have not read the first book and had no trouble following the story or working out the relationships and dynamics between the various characters.

An enjoyable and light read with plenty of colourful historical events to spice up the plot.

About John W. Howell

John is an award-winning author who after an extensive business career began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written Six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Find John W. Howell

Blog Fiction Favorites: Fiction Favorites | with John W. Howell (

Facebook –

Twitter –

Goodreads –

Amazon Author’s page –

BookBub –

Eternal Road Buy links

Kindle Universal link

Paper universal link

116 thoughts on “Roberta Writes: Book Blog Tour – The Last Drive by John W. Howell #readingcommunity #paranormalthriller #newbook

  1. Thank you, Robbie, for hosting me today. It is a delight to be here, and I appreciate you helping with The Last Drive launch. Also, I am in love with your review. It is gratifying to know you liked the story, and I am grateful you are sharing your opinion. Thanks again. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. HI John, I am delighted to host you with this new book. I enjoyed your approach to sharing history in such a novel and inspired way. The conversations with the devil were great, and I liked that the history didn’t become to dark. The angels leave before the worst of the situations so the reader gets a good taste and flavour of each historical event, but not enough to make it overwhelming. Perfect for a book like this.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I loved this scene in the book! It shows how Lucifer could transform himself into anyone. And, of course, I love the reference to Buddy Holly. Thank you for hosting today, Robbie! Congratulations, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is yet another wonderful review that entices without revealing too much. It’s always interesting to see what the reader picks up and shares… It’s true there is much humour considering the heaviness of the subject. It’s what makes this book so enjoyable to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another excellent review, John! Since you’ve closed your blog to comments, I’ll say here that I love your generosity toward your hosts. Each post teaches me something new about your authors. Thanks for hosting John, Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This was an excellent review, Robbie. I like how you mentioned the bit of amusing dialogue between the characters. A fast-paced thriller without gory details, focusing on the mission of the characters sounds like a perfect read.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It was great to swing by and find John here with your excellent review, Robbie. I liked your comment: “The history of each event is fairly brief but is well researched and factually accurate and does not go into any of the gory detail or political and emotional complexities of the time or place.” I hadn’t noticed that, but now that you mentioned it, that was a wise decision on John’s part. A great read and another congrats to John!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hello Roberta!
    I’ll be reading John’s book this month, and I’m looking forward to it.
    I’ve read “Eternal Road”, and things look promising. (but not for Lucifer)
    Thank you for the fab review!

    Liked by 2 people

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