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"I can't recommend this book highly enough." HopUp Magazine Jan 2013 issue.

"First of all, the car on the cover has been in Hop Up, built by a friend of Hop Up; or you may have seen it at Lone Star Roundup.

Jim began to write the story of his 'Special' build...and the story got legs, became a smash of a first novel and God knows where it will lead. Don't miss it: cars, lakes history all the right names of the pre war, wartime and immediate post war, a little bit of sex and intrigue and excellent development of characters and plots that, well, professional writers can do." Editor, HopUp Magazine

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite --

World War II era history never fails to fascinate me. I personally think that most of the stories that took place during this time are captivating and the world needs to know them. It is a joy to read a book that is exceptionally honest and well executed, with a good flow of words. However, it is the depth of the plot that strikes me the most. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy carefully and masterfully constructed plots. The Special is a story that also involves wonderful characters that will move your heart. This book is for all readers, regardless of their gender, hobbies, and favorite subject. 

I love how J.E. Pendleton presents his characters because I could easily understand their personalities. Most importantly, the author makes them believable. Reading the book, it feels as if I have been taken on a journey and towards the end I suddenly feel sad because I know that the journey is about to end. One thing is for sure: I will always remember the wonderful moments in this book that captivated my attention.

"This is the first ever book review on the BEGI website. Several years ago, an old buddy (Jim) sent me a rough draft of a novel he had just completed. I read it and was completely surprised and delighted with the combination of fast cars, beautiful women, World War II, and baseball. The biggest surprise of all was how my old hot rod buddy and fellow racer was able to write a story that completely captured my imagination and drew me completely into the scene. Jim put together words and phrases that literally put your mind right into the story. His magic use of words is absolutely stunning and beautiful. I now think of the characters as treasured friends. I'm not going to admit what I think about Sally.

The book is set in 1941 San Diego and follows a young Texan as he builds a dry lakes hot rod before the term even existed. The car is built from scratch, with help and parts from legends such as Harry Miller, Fred Offenhauser, Frank Kurtis, and Tommy Lee, a future founder of the SCCA. Oh, and I did mention beautiful women, didn't I? His most devoted assistant was beautiful Sally Anthony, and just so you know, she's already taken, after all it is my website.

The car is a dry lakes streamliner. It uses a cast off Indy car engine and a hand-built body and chassis. The book details aspects of the car's construction and its performance. Its builder, my friend's uncle, names the car "The Special". What can be better than a beautiful woman, Sally, driving a beautiful car?

As the car nears completion, the country is plunged into the horrors of a world war and lives are changed forever. Race cars are set aside for bombers, romance is put on hold for duty, and Sally pulls out all the stops.

By this time you may think I'm obsessed with Sally, I just have to say that obsession doesn't even come close. This is a great read."

Corky Bell
This article was published on Monday 24 September, 2012. To view the original review, visit:

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!, January 20, 2012 "This book is a must-read! The author wrote an incredible story that appeals to men and women alike. Every detail is thorough, the characters are well-developed, and it flows in such a way that makes it read very easily. Whether you enjoy it for the technical aspects surrounding the race car or WWII, or are drawn by the phenomenal story of love and family, you will not be disappointed by 'The Special'."
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