What would you do if you found out your husband was a serial killer?

Olivia Campbell has the life most women want. A respected husband, beautiful home, and the freedom that only financial security can provide.
But not all is as it appears…
Olivia has secrets, and after discovering a hidden journal in her husband’s study, she realizes that she’s not the only one.

As her picture perfect world starts to fall apart around her, Olivia wonders just how deep the secrets run as she finds herself immersed in the investigation of a young missing girl. 
Some coincidences are just too hard to ignore, but how far is she willing to go to discover the truth?

As Sick as Our Secrets is a dark, fast-paced thriller with strong characters. If you are a fan of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Liane Moriarty, and Caroline Kepnes, and enjoy TV shows and movies like Twin Peaks, The Killing, Law & Order: SVU, and 8MM, then this book might be your next favorite read. 


I enjoyed this book enough to maybe read more by the Author, however I wish it had went through one more round of editing. At one point, I don’t even know who was who as a wrong name was used. 

Also, the Author needed to be a little more descriptive, as I couldn’t picture the scene and sometimes lost track of where a character was exactly in the scene. 

I would not call this a psychological thriller, but it was thrilling in general for the most part.

After you read this book, please get back with me so we can discuss. I believe there is one glaring error in the story, but it might just be me. I may have read too fast and missed it, but I really don’t see how.

Also, the introduction of a new character in the last chapters didn’t work.

The main character and her friends playing detective bordered on juvenile and silly.

The reviews on this book vary between loved it/hated it.

I’m in the middle.

If you are looking for something to read on a cold Winter’s day, I would recommend this book.

Think of it as a beach read type book, but in the Winter, and the sand is snow and everything is cold!







This review is going to be a little bit different, and there will be some slight spoilers.

I typically do not blog about books I did not enjoy, but this one is different. This falls in that rare gray area of maybe you will like it and maybe you won’t, so I’m going to let you decide on whether you want to give it a try or not.

Let me know if you do!


Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother, growing up in foster care. But her husband Simon is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France – nothing is too good for his family.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career behind when she got married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne begins to learn more about Caroline. But once she starts, she can’t stop. Because what she finds makes her wonder whether the question she should be asking is not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared’?


I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either. I only finished it to find out what happened, but I did a TON of skimming.

The main character, Marianne is a weak person. I mean, pathetically weak.

She acted like she had the perfect life, but her twin boys were complete brats, and her daughter (who was from her husbands first marriage & is deceased), had an eating disorder.

Her husband expected a full and complete meal as soon as he hit the door after work, disapproved of her having friends and hobbies, and constantly made her feel as if she were crazy.

He isolated her, and controlled her. He even monitored her phone messages.

When Marianne suspected him of having an affair, she did have a few brave moments, but it never made sense to me why she didn’t print out the e-mails of proof.

Surely she could have found some place to hide them.

Now, the way she got him was worth drudging through the book!

It was EPIC!

Unexpected and EPIC!

Not everything is as you expect it to be, and the ending gives you several surprises, which are perfect!

So, if you want to slog through a lot of “poor me” and many spots of repeat dialogue, go for it.

The premise was good, but the execution was poor.

I may or may not read more by this Author.

If you read it, let me know what you think. The Amazon reviews go from 1 to five stars, so I guess it really depends on taste with this book. 

Right now, the Kindle edition is only 99 cents, so it wouldn’t hurt to try it at this moment.



I hope all of you have a safe and wonderful Holiday, no matter how you spend it.

Regardless of if you will be surrounded by family or spending it alone, I hope you can grab a moment of quiet.

Maybe pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read?

Between life getting in the way, and just being in a reading slump, my TBR pile is ready to topple!

As I posted over on my LipstickZombie ~beauty & brains~ blog, we are having a quieter, non-traditional Thanksgiving in my house, so it looks like I will finally be able to sit down with a book or two, or three…

I have several books from Indie Authors I’m looking forward to reading, along with some of these:



Those are just a few, but it really is hard to tell what I will read.

So many books and such little time!

Tell me what you hope to do and read over Thanksgiving, I would love to hear from you!


Adorable & interesting Children’s picture book!





A great educational tool!



We loved this book so much, that we implemented it into our home schooling program!  Great to use as a learning tool, especially when the weather is nice!

A big No-No, but we do it anyway! (Recipes for snacks to enjoy while reading.)

We all have had it pounded into our heads not to eat while reading. “Do nothing to damage the book!”


I think most of us do eat while reading. Of course being able to read books on a tablet, phone, or computer has probably increased in.

Personally, I do VERY little of the cooking in our household unless it’s something simple like grilled cheese. However, I do make a mean chilli!

I’ve recently started using the Slow Cooker as well, for things such as meatballs or tiny links.

Fall is here, the time will be changing soon and darkness and cooler weather is creeping in.

I thought I would share some recipes that we can all try for our Reading/Eating Autumn season.


italian snack

My husband makes these with a mild Italian sausage instead of the chicken.




I was not much of a Seafood person until I met my husband and we moved to Seattle.

I actually first tried Smoked Salmon at a little Bed and Breakfast we went to in WV.

To me, Smoked Salmon has more of a Smokey flavor than fishy.



We have not tried this recipe, but we have bough similar from Sam’s Club, and they are divine! Perfect for you non-meat eaters. 🙂



We are definitely going to try this one when the Holidays roll around!




Not only are these fun for you to make with the kids, they make a wonderful little gift for neighbors, mail delivery people, etc.

You can decorate them all festive, and even tape a small gift envelope with a Gift Card onto them.

What do you eat/drink while reading?

Happy week to all!


ALICE ISN’T DEAD ~by Joseph Fink

alice isnt dead

Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

Published by Harper Perennial on October 30, 2018
ARC from Publisher
336 pages


From the New York Times bestselling co-author of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead.

“This isn’t a story. It’s a road trip.”

Keisha Taylor lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country.

Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job with a trucking company, Bay and Creek Transportation, and begins searching for Alice. She eventually stumbles on an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system—uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.

Why did Alice disappear? What does she have to do with this secret war between inhuman killers? Why did the chicken cross the road? These questions, and many more will be answered in Alice Isn’t Dead.

“Keisha had made the decision that she wouldn’t be afraid no matter how afraid she got.”

Where do you even start with a book like this? Alice Isn’t Dead is incredible, inspiring, and easily one of the best books of 2018. And possibly my life. It’s like nothing you’ve ever read.

Alice Isn’t Dead is kind of about Alice, but it’s mostly about Keisha. Alice is Keisha’s wife, who presumably died months ago. Then, Keisha starts seeing her in the background of new coverage on every major tragedy in the US. Creepy, right? So Keisha takes a job as a truck driver that allows her to travel across the country in search of her supposedly dead wife. Along the way, she gets caught up in a dangerous scheme that threatens her life and the life of everyone she loves.

There are horrors lurking along the highway. These monsters hunt people in parking lots, in bars, in hidden nooks and under motel lights. But no matter how public, no one seems to notice. The ones who do, die next. The first monster you’re introduced to are the Thistle Men, grotesque with flappy skin and a bad smell. There is also the woman, their creator/leader. She has no name, but also many names. The last supernatural being in this book are the oracles, who are on the good guys’ side.

I really love what Joseph Fink did with these creatures – they’re a big plot twist that changes the entire book and makes you read it in a very different way. I can’t say as much as I want to because spoilers, but what you discover makes this book worth reading twice. It makes it worth reading once, in your life, but also twice just so you can read it again knowing what you know.

The last thing I’m going to say about the plot twist is that it’s what makes this novel really scary. In the beginning, it’s mostly a thriller, the Thistle Men are creepy and scary but it’s not exactly nightmare-inducing. And then things get real.

Other than that, I also love Keisha and Alice and Sylvia (a teen that Keisha meets on the road). Keisha’s journey to find her wife isn’t only about finding her wife, it’s about finding herself. Keisha has anxiety, something that Fink – and many other people, all of whom I hope read this book – also suffers from. She learns how to manage her anxiety, that it’s a part of her and not a monster hunting her. Her story is something that I really needed and I’m so thankful to Joseph Fink for writing it.

The post Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink appeared first on Stay Bookish.

A realistic approach to 31 days of Gratitude




AN UNBIASED EAR~Seeking advice in the age of overwhelming opinions~



Sometimes in life, we seek the advice of others.

Oftentimes, this is a very difficult thing to do.

It is hard to let others know we are having problems or have an issue that needs a solution.

It is hard to find an unbiased ear.

I have learned that upon seeking advice, opinions vary greatly, and these opinions often rest on which decision will benefit the person giving the advice.

You have:





They all have specific wants and needs from you, and will unintentionally (usually) try to guide you in the direction that most works for their benefit.

Unless you are dealing with a manipulative person, the advice giver most likely has the best intentions for you, but  self-interests  step in sometimes.

And, sometimes there are too many opinions floating around, too many voices.

So much so, that you might shut down and stop listening at all.


It is difficult to find an unbiased ear, but I urge you to actively seek one.

It is a wonderful thing to have someone you trust, no matter what their part in your life.

Having someone listen to you…REALLY LISTEN, is a wonderful thing.

Even better is when you find someone who is not affected by the choices you make.

They are outside looking in and usually offer the best of advice.

Remember to always consider your options before seeking advice from someone else, and try to have a goal (resolution.)

The person of wisdom you choose, will help you clear the muddy waters.




SEATTLENESS~by Tera Hatfield, Jenny Kempson & Natalie Ross








The thing I appreciate most about this book is that it goes deeper

into the culture of Seattle, just as the title suggests.

This would be helpful to the tourists, but it goes even deeper than

that. Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a guide to the best sites in

Seattle and all of the ins and outs, this actually shares charts, graphs

and the history of Seattle.

I highly recommend this book for Seattle natives, tourists who really

want to understand Seattle more, and for those just curious.

Very enjoyable read that gave a lot of details but without being

bogged down.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #Seattleness #SasquatchBooks and the Authors for allowing me to read and review this very enjoyable book!



DRY! A realistic novel for many ages!




When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is

forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of

survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod


The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while

now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn,

don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a war zone of desperation;

neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when

her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened,

Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.


I tried to get this book for review on NetGalley, but I missed it by a day.

I downloaded a sample, and was hooked!

Fair warning, grab a cold pitcher of water before you

start reading!



I am not a big water drinker (I know, shame on me), but I have drank more water the past few days than I have the past three months.

With the environment in poor shape these days, and with Flint, Michigan and other places not having access to water, this book seems way to REAL!

Droughts, water line breaks, water shortages…

Several years ago, there was a leak of a chemical from a tank in poor condition, that leaked hazardous chemicals into our water.

We all had to stop using water from the faucet immediately.

It happened while I was downtown, so I thought I would run into the store and grab a few cases.


Stores were out of stock, the local stop n’ robs…everywhere was empty.

Nothing was available.

I went to my office building, and raided the drink machine for bottled water.

We had a little bit of bottled water and home and a few gallon jugs in our deep freeze, but we didn’t know how long the water would poisoned.

Thankfully, I did find some bags of ice and my cousin who is in the National Guard was able to bring us two cases.

To this day, we still don’t believe the water is clean.

This experience made us think, just as this book will make you think.

We are not full blown Preppers, but we before Winter, we always winterize our cars, and stock it with items in case we would get stuck out unexpectedly.

Since we have harsh Winters here (or used to), we do have a camp cook stove and other supplies to get through a long power outage due to a blizzard.

(We plan to get a generator soon)

But, our supplies would not last beyond a storm.

This book makes you realize how immediate and urgent things can become.

It is well written, fast paced, and very believable.

This book is great for Teens, Young-Adults and us “grown-ups!” 😉

I hope you enjoy!

And remember, have water ready before you start reading!







I highly recommend reading this, along with The Zookeepers Wife. Even if you have seen the movie of The Zookeepers Wife, I highly recommend reading both of these together.
The journey to build from the ashes is incredible!



Are you dreaming of having a She Shed? I am! I browse Pinterest like a hunting lioness!

This book goes beyond Pinterest and gives you full ideas and info.

Author Erika Kotite has emerged as the leading authority in the hugely popular She Sheds movement.Creating a She Shed has become a popular craze worldwide and has received considerable attention in major media outlets.This hardworking book features over 100 creative projects and tips designed specifically to help She Shed owners crete their own style.The follow-up to the hugely successful She Sheds book – which got media attention at print, online, TV, radio – for almost all of 2017

I highly recommend this book! Keep dreaming and maybe one day we will all have our She Sheds!

Here is the link for purchase, available October 16th 2018.



A year of Living Axiously!




A humorous look at serious/and not so serious issues.
I highly recommend!
Very insightful and enjoyable!

This book touched me



This is a great book regardless of your religion/or lack of. Personally, I’m raising my  children to follow their hearts when it comes to religion, but this is a delightful and touching book.





Ok gang, so I have to do therapy for my knee twice a week. It takes two hours but the last half hour is 15 minutes ultrasound treatment, then 15 minutes TENS unit and ice.
It feels longer than that, so I took my Kindle Oasis with me last time I went.
#NetGalley sent me this book and as soon as I opened it, I could NOT put it down!
Great characters, great storyline!
I hope this becomes a movie one day!









A Renaissance woman long before the Renaissance, the visionary Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) corresponded with Europe’s elite, founded and led a noted women’s religious community, and wrote on topics ranging from theology to natural history. Yet we know her best as Western music’s most accomplished early composer, responsible for a wealth of musical creations for her fellow monastics.
Honey Meconi draws on her own experience as a scholar and performer of Hildegard’s music to explore the life and work of this foundational figure. Combining historical detail with musical analysis, Meconi delves into Hildegard’s mastery of plainchant, her innovative musical drama, and her voluminous writings. Hildegard’s distinctive musical style still excites modern listeners through wide-ranging, sinuous melodies set to her own evocative poetry. Together with her passionate religious texts, her music reveals a holistic understanding of the medieval world still relevant to today’s readers.

Honey Meconi is Chair and Professor of Music in the College Music Department and a professor of musicology at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Her many books include Pierre de la Rue and Musical Life at the Habsburg-Burgundian Court. She is a cowinner of the Noah Greenberg Award for “distinguished contribution to the study and performance of early music.”


Sit back and relax while reading this book. Exhaustive research must have been done on it.

Easy to read and simply beautiful!





Around the World in 80 Ways~Children’s book.




Football guide for the new & learning fan!



This is a good book for those trying to understand football. My kids enjoyed it and they learned a lot from it.
Informative, yet doesn’t get bogged down with deep details.

New Release by Jodi Picoult!!”a spark of light”






Do yourself and your children a HUGE favor and buy this book! Amazing isn’t the right word to describe it! It is beyond amazing!
This will stay in you and your child’s memory for a very long time!

Win a Bitter Orange Hamper — Claire Fuller

Bitter Orange is published in the USA a week today (9th October). Tin House, my US publisher is running a competition for US readers to win a Bitter Orange hamper if you pre-order the book before publication day. And you can get a 30% discount off the full price if you order online through Powell’s […]

via Win a Bitter Orange Hamper — Claire Fuller



WATCH THIS SPACE! and Book Lamp Reading Room ( are gearing up to host a Giveaway for Indie Authors!





Writing is hard, and getting professional services is expensive, so keep an eye out on how to enter!










I often write here, in my beautiful office,  sipping a hot cup of coffee while Classical music plays softly in the background.

Everything is neatly organized, and I’m all set to sit down and start writing.

The words flow like a river, uninterrupted…

Later, I will relax on the patio for a light lunch, and then return to writing.

I love being a writer.

It’s a calling, not a choice,  you know.

I’m happy that I was called.

dream office.jpg





It was only a


Alas, it is only a dream.

Yes, I do have an office for writing, and of course, my book reviews. It is not my dream office, but it is nice.

It’s filled with playful kids, a supportive husband, a couple of dogs, and too many cats to count.

It’s filled with cold coffee, writers block, too many ideas and not enough time.

I would like to thank Jason H. Abbott from Twitter, for giving me the idea for this post, with his words below: 

The uninitiated think authors write at grand desks in erudite studies.

But you know the truth, fellow writer.

We write in our pajamas.

We scribe our souls into stories while laundry tumbles, while children are sleeping.

Amid chaos and insecurity, we are warriors with words.

Jason H. Abbott~via Twitter

We write between loads of laundry and kissing boo-boos and applying Minion or Sofia the First Band-aids.



NO! My laundry room is more like this:

laundry pile.jpg

I write in my favorite blue plaid pajamas, or my purple Minions on rainbow unicorn pajamas.

I write between this hug and that crisis.

I write between playing Super Hero and Princess.

I write between being a Sex Goddess and “not tonight, dear.”

It isn’t romantic in any sense. I think tv shows and movies have given the wrong idea about a writer’s life.

And that’s okay.

Because we get to write in our pajamas!

Have a great day, luvs!




that month in tuscany

I am one of those readers, who, even though I have a ton of books to read, will still buy more. Frantically, almost like they will disappear.

I am not doing anything to  improve this condition. 🙂

Amazon suggested this book to me and after reading about it, I wondered why, because I super rarely ever read romance.

Especially the boy-meets-girl-loses girl-will he get the girl back?- type of Romance.

I downloaded a sample, and was semi-hooked as I started reading.

I was afraid with the Rockstar in it, it would give me too much of an 80’s vibe. Now, the 80’s were awesome, but unless it’s the movie Sixteen Candles or Pretty In Pink, I’m not interested.

However, this did NOT give me an 80’s vibe at all.

At the end of the sample, I purchased the rest of the book.

Granted, it was predictable in a few places, but overall it was a very, very enjoyable read.

So much so, that while I was on a conference call that didn’t require much of my attention, I finished reading it on the Kindle app on my smartphone.

ALL of the characters are solid and well rounded.

The story flowed and was beautiful.

This book was originally titled Rock Her, but I feel the new title is so much better! And so much more fitting.

That Month in Tuscany . . .Ren Sawyer and Lizzy Harper live completely different lives. He’s a rock star with a secret he can no longer live with. She’s a regular person whose husband stood her up for a long planned anniversary trip. On a flight across the Atlantic headed for Italy, a drunken pity party and untimely turbulence literally drop Lizzy into Ren’s lap. It is the last thing she can imagine ever happening to someone like her. But despite their surface differences, they discover an undeniable pull between them. A pull that leads them both to remember who they had once been before letting themselves be changed by a life they had each chosen. Exploring the streets of Florence and the hills of Tuscany together – two people with seemingly nothing in common – changes them both forever. And what they find in each other is something that might just heal them both.




Virginia author Inglath Cooper is a RITA® Award winner for best long contemporary romance novel chosen each year by Romance Writers of America. “I first fell in love with reading as a little girl, devouring most of the books in my elementary school library. At some point, I decided I wanted to pursue a writing career, creating romance fiction that might do for others what my favorite books did for me. I love character-driven books that leave me feeling as if I’ve really known these people and make me wish I didn’t have to turn the last page.””Romance fiction has always appealed to me because it deals with so many of the relationships in a woman’s life. Not only the love of her life, but often her relationship with her mother, sister or best friend. Romance authors have so much room to explore many of the meaningful moments and transitions in women’s lives. And who doesn’t love a good love story?”When aspiring writers ask her how to be an author, she says, “Everything I know about writing books I learned from reading books.”Outside of writing, Inglath is actively involved in dog rescue, working with The Franklin County Humane Society to place dogs and cats in need of rehoming. She has volunteered her time in every capacity possible: serving on the Board of Directors, fundraising, photographing dogs and cats available for adoption and serving as a foster home. “Helping an abused or neglected dog go on to have a wonderful life with a family who loves them is more rewarding than I can possibly say.“Visit her website at: http://www.inglathcooper.comFollow her on Facebook at: She loves to engage with readers there.



I seriously hesitated before requesting this from Net Galley. I figured this was simply a book added to the already over saturated news of the Menendez Murders.

The author did an excellent job of covering both the Prosecution and Defense sides, and interviewed some Jurors.

It is hard to fathom kids killing their parents, especially when we only look at the outside of a life of wealth and privilege.

But, this book digs deeper and really goes inside to show the full picture.

I highly recommend this book.

Here is the link for purchase in multiple formats.

#TheMenendezMurders #NetGalley

DISGRUNTLED BOOK THIEVES: the case of OceanofPDF book piracy


A couple of weeks ago, it came to my attention that a book piracy site, known as Ocean of PDF, was taken down due to an Author complaining about it.

It is illegal to pirate books, as you are giving away something for free that does not belong to you. 

This Author had EVERY right to complain.

Before I show you some of the appalling tweets, let’s discuss why I, along with my writing  collegues are so very livid over this.




I’ve blogged about the value of an Author’s work before, because I have  seen so many readers asking writer’s to give their books away for free.

Sometimes they do.

I’ve seen new Indie Authors have books available for as low as 99 cents, and then slowly raise it as they grow their audience.

They are giving you a chance to give them a chance, for a very low cost.


when an Author refuses, I’ve seen the readers get very, very angry.


I cannot, for the life of me, make the connection between being a book lover and not valuing the work an Author put into it.

Is it because writing is romantisized in the movies?

Ah yes…

the scene…

the writer wakes up, feeds his loyal, adorable dog, fixes coffee and then sits on the porch of his writing cottage by the lake.

Then he goes in and types, types, types, types,



He’s done! It goes to the publisher tomorrow!


It’s a movie.

Many writers hold steady jobs outside of writing. They have bills to pay, responsibilities, families.

I really wish I could blame it on Hollywood, but in true seriousness, I can’t.

As a writer and reader, when I’m reading an amazing book where the words and story flow perfectly, I often pause to wonder how long the Author agonized over the paragraph I just read.













It covers why we buy more books than we can read, 12 easy ways to support Indie Authors, and much more!

Happy Tuesday!







e-BOOKS: $10-$35 PER PAGE









I have spent most of my life working as a Journalist, and Freelancer for many companies and publications across a wide variety of subjects. I worked under the guidance of many incredible and strict Editors, so I promise you will receive top-notch work from me.

Feel free to e-mail me at:


Thank you, I look forward to working with you.





Yes, dear Authors, you are still waiting on your review from me…


…and waiting

I give you a date and then I miss it. Life has seriously gotten in the way of my reading time, etc…



Starting September 1, 2018, I will be Reviewing, Editing, and Blogging FULL TIME!

So please continue to patiently wait, as I WILL get to your review!

I will also be  giving a discount for my Editing Services for the rest of the year.

I have added a BUY ME A COFFEE button on the right side of my blog.

ALL proceeds will go towards the Editing Discount for Indie Authors, and Giveaways for ALL!

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you soon!







It’s Wednesday, and I thought someone needs a pick me up to help them through the week. So, here is a Giveaway courtesy of January Gray Reviews!

Enter to win a Free Kindle book!

Remember, you do NOT have to own a Kindle to get Kindle books! You can download the FREE App onto your phone or desktop.

All you need is an Amazon account!

Good luck to all!

And to the winner, please share your thoughts on this book with me!


Here is the link! Happy Wednesday, luvs!

If you don’t win (Sorry, but stay tuned as I will be doing more on many books.)

Here is the link to purchase. As of this posting, it is only $1.99 for Kindle.




On a rare day when I was actually watching television, I saw a preview for a new series starting on September 9th on Lifetime.

At the end, the preview told me it was based on a BOOK! YAY!

So, I checked it out on Amazon, downloaded it, and started reading it. It was hard to put down!

There is a link at the bottom of this, where  you can view the trailer.





I enjoyed this book, yet I didn’t. I feel guilty for enjoying it. It’s like passing an accident, and you don’t want to look, but you do.

Every character in this book has major issues. Even the stalking victim, Beck.

Even the Doctor who isn’t a Doctor, has major issues. (Psychologist)

Oddly, at times, I found myself rooting for Joe (the stalker)

He was likable, yet you loathe him as you read further along.

What is unique about this book is the style of writing the Author used.

It is told from Joe’s point of view in a deep and disturbing way.

Although this is Fiction, if you like watching shows on ID, or true crime, you will like this book.

Even though I have already read the book, I’m considering purchasing the Audio version because I’m interested in how this book is read by someone else.

Here is the link to purchase:

It’s available in Hardback, Paperback, Kindle and Audio. The Hardback is almost $50 so good grief, Amazon what is up with that?

Please purchase elsewhere if you prefer Hardback!



Happy 4th of July!


<a href=””>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

seattle forth.jpg

I’ve had a blast taking a long vacation. There were a few minor interruptions, but the time away was enjoyable nonetheless.

Soon, I will have a large assortment of incredible books I suggest you get your hands on!

Stay safe this Holiday!



the way he loved me.png



Wow what a read! I stayed up WAY too late reading this from cover to cover, but it was worth it!

Tess is a woman who is dealing with a split with her husband due to the deaths of their two children.

She’s recovering from breaking down and losing almost everything while suffering from depression due to all of these events.

So…the book starts out with her walking home from her job at the garden center, and once she enters her home, she finds a little boy sitting in her kitchen drawing.

He tells her an angel brought him, and that she is his new Mom.

The police are summoned, and due to a an event in Tess’s past, she is accused of kidnapping him.

There are also moments throughout the book where she doubts herself and wonders if she indeed did kidnap the boy.

This is not simply a story about proving herself innocent, this is a story where all of the characters have a solid backstory, a goal…an agenda, and it all intertwines perfectly.

I “kinda sorta but not really,” had the conclusion figured out. I did theory wise, but not who and why.

Totally enjoyable book!

The author made you feel like you were there. You could imagine and feel the cold weather, and the emotions of the characters.

I downloaded this last night, planning on reading it while on vacation starting late next week, but when I opened it to see what the first few pages were like, I was hooked and read it all!

Oh, and I adored the character named Ben.

This is an amazing read and I highly -beyond highly- recommend it!

I’m looking forward to reading more from this Author.

Here is the link for purchase. It is available in several formats, including audio!








I did not love this book, nor did I hate it. I got it because of the title, because I LOVE Def Leppard. (Yes, for that reason.)

This book would make a good Summer/Vacation or “too busy to really read much,” type of read, as in that it is interesting, however, you won’t miss it if you have to put it down for awhile.

It starts with the main character (Amy) listening to her daughter practice piano, and while doing so, reflects back on her life. It is interesting enough, but then kind of wanders, and sometimes it takes you a minute to realize who is nararating.

I think this was intended to be a Girl Meets Boy-loses boy type of book, but I seriously ended up not caring if she and Nick got  together or not.

I realize Amy was fresh out of college, but she was 12 year old love struck/forlorn all throughout this book.

And, there are several characters in this book who are just there. They really don’t have a reason or story line.

But never fear, this IS worth reading. As light as it is, I recommend still giving it a read.

Amy is one of those types of people who will take the road of least resistance. That is fine, however I was left feeling she was left unhappy with her job choice, and unfortunately took a career path that probably wasn’t of her choosing.

But…that is the point of this book. Looking back at choices made, re-evaluating your life, and possibly going after your original dream.

I could have done without Nick’s journal completely.

Again, this is a good book to read when you are just looking for something entertaining, but don’t expect a deep or complete read.

There were a few annoying spelling errors:

Head over Heels was written: Head Over Heals

And several times, it should have read, “An MBA, not And MBA.”

This book is getting mixed reviews, and in full-disclosure, most of you know a book like this isn’t my particular cup of tea, but I still recommend it. Stick it in your bag for those times you are stuck waiting for the doctor, or want something to read on your lunch break.

It’s an excellent book to take outside when your kids are playing and you want to read, but still need to give them proper supervision :). You will enjoy this book, but you won’t mind when you are interupeted.

Here is the link for purchase, and last I checked it is on Kindle Unlimited.

I think more people will enjoy it than not.

I think the author means for this book to be a stand alone, but I wouldn’t mind reading another book of hers telling Nick’s side of the story, or continue Amy and Nick’s story with him telling it.



A Mystery with a Twist! THE FLOWER GIRL MURDER~by Keith Hirshland


Keith Hirshland keeps getting better and better with every book! This is the third book of his that I have read, and I am grateful to him for sending me review copies! 🙂

This book has murder and a bit of romance. Just a bit. Just enough for someone like me who isn’t into romance but likes a bit of it within the story.

There are many twists and turns in this book and you may or may not be satisfied with the ending, but I personally liked it.

I enjoyed the characters and story line, and look forward to reading more books written by Keith.


Daisy Burns was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events. Everyone loved Daisy. So why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina?

With no witnesses and few leads, Raleigh detective Marc Allen turns to the press for help—specifically, veteran news anchor Lancaster Heart. Heart agrees to broadcast the police department’s plea for information in his nightly newscasts.

Elderly viewer and longtime social worker Blanche Avery is positive she recognizes the photograph on the television as an older version of her friend Daisy— the young, heavily pregnant girl she met years before who made the decision to give her child up for adoption.

When Tanner Goochly Jr.—a member of a notorious crime family—becomes the victim of another point-blank shooting, Allen races to discover the connection between the murders. Could it be that Daisy was somehow involved with an illegal enterprise, or was she hiding something else, another secret to be discovered?

The body count is rising, and the suspect pool is widening. As Allen’s investigation reaches a fever pitch, he realizes that a mother’s choice could have killer consequences.

Below are the links for purchase of all of his books.



Overlooked Voices- Audio book Narrator



I used to loathe the idea of listening to a book. I do not like being read to, even if it’s something as simple as a news article someone wants to share with me.

But…life got busy, super busy, and finding time to actually sit down with a book became more difficult.

I took a chance on e-bay with a Lot for sale of Brad Meltzer audio books.

I am already a huge fan of his, so I thought that would help make the audio book transition easier.

I have tried various audio books throughout the years, but just could not get into them.

One day, on my long drive into town, I put the first CD of his audio book The Zero Game, into my cars CD player…and fell…in love!

The Narrator  is Scott Brick. His voice is amazing! He uses different voices for each of the characters, but doesn’t go overboard.

His inflection is perfect on each point.

My Mother listens to a lot of audio books, so I asked what draws her to certain ones.

She said the narrator. Some audio books she has to give up on because she finds the voice dull or annoying.

I was thrilled to discover that the other audio books I had purchased from e-bay were also narrarated by Scott Brick.

One is done by Tony Goldwyn, so I’m looking forward to that one.

The kids love their audio books, and I love that there are so many that make learning fun for them and stimulate their blossoming imaginations!

The training and coaching that audio book narrators have to go through is quite long. I was impressed.

In the future, I will do a post about my favorite audio book narrators, but until then, I would LOVE to hear who your favorites are and why!


WOW! “THE WIFE BETWEEN US” by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

the wife

I received this book in my first box from Book of the Month at the end of 2017. When I opened the box and saw the title, I went, “BOTM didn’t pay attention to my ‘What do you like to read’ answers at all! (In full disclosure, I cannot remember if they asked those questions or not, but I was initially disappointed. I love BOTM now.)

I assumed. Even after reading the short description inside the front flap, I assumed.

So, I put the book back in the box and set it aside for ‘some day.’

‘Some day,’ turned out to be around 11:30 pm last night.

When starting the book, I assumed I knew what direction the story was going to take.


I do not want to give anything away, so bear with me while I try to tell you a little about this book without ruining anything for you.

First, I finished this book maybe a little after 4 a.m. I only paused long enough to absorb what I read, and then continued.

I stayed up reading this book, knowing I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. and had a busy day ahead.

WARNING: Do NOT start this book until you have time to read it cover to cover!

Call out sick from work, call a babysitter, fake an emergency…do whatever it takes to find uninterrupted reading time for this book. (*January Gray Reviews is not responsible for how you choose to find reading time should you choose any of the options above and face consequences. 😉 )

I am SO sleepy today, but it was SO worth it!

First, do not assume you know anything.

You will think this is a story of a jealous ex-wife stalking her ex-husband’s new love.


You will think the ex-wife takes after her Mother and is crazy.


You will think the ex-husband’s new love is simply an ‘upgrade’ from his ex.


Do Not Assume ANYTHING!

You will enjoy  the well rounded characters and  perfectly woven plot.

You will get irritated with certain characters weaknesses, and celebrate their strengths.

At times you will root for all, for some, and none, all in a matter of a few pages.

There were a couple of times I wanted to skim and move on, but only because I was excited about what was coming up. Do Not skim. Every. Word. Is. Important.

That’s what I loved about this book. Every word was important and mattered. There wasn’t any filler.


“Action and reaction propel the scene.”

And that’s exactly what these two authors followed while plotting and writing this book.

Also, if you aren’t into sexual scenes and swearing, this is a perfect read for you.

You will be pulled into the story immediately as you wonder who is who and what are they doing?

I would love to chatter on about this book, but as I said, I do not want to ruin a single bit of it for you, so trust me…you do NOT want to miss this one.

This book was SO awesome, that I wish I could wipe my memory of it, and enjoy it all over again.

I apologize for not telling you more about it, but you will thank me after you read it. Go into it without any assumptions and absorb every single word.

Get back to me with your thoughts about it.

There will be a movie made with the date to be announced in 2019. Read this book first. I have a feeling it will be similar to when The Zoo Keepers wife came out, and those who read the book enjoyed the movie much more than those who hadn’t.

Here is the link for purchase. It is available in several formats, including Audiobook.







Guest Blog by Author Leslie Tate!

Leslie reading Heavens Rage The Studio




When I interview authors on my blog I want to find out what lies behind their latest book. So I avoid exchanges about sales or promotion, asking them instead about the process of writing. One of the questions I ask is, ‘Can you tell me about the beginning, growth and development your book?’ Applying the same question to ‘Violet’, my latest novel, I came up with the following three-part answer.


I don’t plan my novels. I’ve never felt able to find an anecdote that translates neatly into a finished story. So I set off writing ‘Violet’ knowing only that it was about a late-life love affair. I’d a picture in my head of meeting my wife, Sue Hampton, in a West End restaurant, and I used that as my guide. I wanted to capture the fragile immediacy of our first encounter, how important it was, and how quickly it all happened. Beth and James are not like us, so their words and acts were largely imagined, but the feelings they experience were based on ours.

My first few pages are usually the most autobiographical. After that the characters take over and the ‘me’ in the story narrows down to a few borrowed details.

So here are a few examples of real-life borrowings, taken from ‘Violet’:

  • Before our meeting, Sue and I exchanged numerous letters and talked for hours on the phone.
  • On the day I had difficulty finding the restaurant.
  • Like Beth in the book, Sue turned up very early.

But the 3½ hours of intense table talk that followed between us wasn’t going to work in a novel. It was too static and far too long-winded. Even cut, it wouldn’t hold the reader. So I said goodbye to Sue and Leslie and allowed Beth and James to take over.

But I did want to capture the power of the experience. This was the story of two experienced adults diving in and going through a sea change. Translated into fiction, that meant taking risks. So James oversteps the mark, drinking from a glass smeared with Beth’s lipstick, plays mime games, and invites Beth, in the middle of the restaurant, to dance.

You can read this section of the book, together with a commentary describing how it was written, at

I was aware that I was pushing it in the restaurant scene. Of course Beth and James have already had contact, making them more open, but for weeks after writing it I kept revising and re-reading to check for plausibility. In the end it seemed to work, mainly, I believe, because the mind in the act of reading takes things for granted and often jumps ahead.

As an author, I use the selective nature of the novel to foreshorten time and work the changes. The remote is in my hands and I can press ‘hold’, ‘rewind’ or ‘fast forward’. I can also change channels. So the restaurant scene moves quickly from the nervous reality of a conventional first meeting to a lover’s dream. And the dialogue is twofold, mixing short and meaningful quips with going in deep. Everything is imagined: so Beth and James come out with things we’d all like to say but usually keep shtum, while the reported conversations blend author-talk with voices in the head. The aim is to surprise and take a view on life, but not to break the spell.


Once I have a start, the discoveries begin. Mostly I find my direction by writing it, but I also have a long-term feel for what I’d like to happen. If the two are at odds, then the short-term wins. So starting ‘Violet’ with Beth and James meeting at 50 meant I had to find a way to tell their full stories. I’d thought I might be able to flashback during the restaurant scene but found, in the end, I needed to give them separate treatment. And that meant, in James’s case, telling his backstory through his letters to Beth. In her case I began from birth in close third person, using her own juvenile stories to show how she’d changed.

So the book became layered, moving back and forth between present-day romance and Beth’s failed marriage to a born-again minister. At the same time I had an underlying feeling that the story was developing in a direction I had to follow…


Two things happened when I’d finished the book:

  1. a) Despite my resistance, the old, old tale that unconditional love has no place in an uncaring world took over.
  2. b) My wife and author, Sue Hampton, had already noticed that three of the main characters in the trilogy had traits in common. So during the writing of ‘Blue’ (the novel before ‘Violet) we drew up a family tree. This required me to write in passages connecting Matthew Lavender in ‘Purple’ to Richard Lavender in ‘Blue’ and to James in ‘Violet’.

These changes were structural. They showed me that a book is never finished. And of course there’s a ripple effect, every minor change has its repercussions, and it’s always possible to add in links and connections to improve the flow.

In the end, a novel is complex. It has to be so since people and the world can’t be easily summed up. In ‘Violet’ I tried to reflect that complexity by writing in both third and first person and by including letters, stories and Beth’s diary. But the central idea is simple: boy meets girl in later life, they fall for each other, but have to cope with misfortune. In the words of the blurb: ‘The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister.

Telling stories runs in Beth’s family, so she keeps up with her friends, following their efforts to find love in a soulless, materialistic world. But Beth’s own passion for giving and commitment is pushed to the limit as she and James struggle with her divorce problems, each other’s children, and life-threatening illness. In the end, tested by pain, they discover something larger than themselves that goes beyond suffering and loss…’


  1. Anne Williams March 16th




Books are sold in packages. On the outside they are shiny shop windows; inside they’re arranged in sections with signs and labels pointing the way. If the shop’s online then unseen assistants are steering you to the ‘right’ department where the products are neatly set out to help you ‘know what you’re looking for’. So the book shop browser is looking for the titles she/he has heard of, the nerdfighter wants TV books to act as badges, the book group choose from the competition shortlists, and we’re all conditioned to believe that we know what we want and kept safe and happy under the umbrella of brand and genre.

My new novel ‘Violet’ isn’t so easily labelled. If I had to pigeonhole it, I’d call it literary, meaning that it’s cross-genre, character-driven and language-led, with its own distinctive style. It begins with a story written by my main character Beth when she was eight, called ‘The Girl Who Began Again’, before switching to her meeting, at 50, with teacher and garden designer, James Lavender. From then on, Beth’s backstory alternates with her wildly romantic love affair with James. In the words of the blurb: ‘The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister…’

So is it Romance? Not really. It doesn’t have a HEA (happily ever after), strong males, glamour or unexpected plot twists. Yes, there is a dark prince, Beth’s ex, whose lurking presence inspires Beth’s Bluebeard’s-Castle-type story, ‘A Housekeeper’s Tale’; and there’s a teen-talk story, full of vampires and dysfunctional American families, written by Hannah, Beth’s step-daughter. But if ‘Violet’ does belong to a category, perhaps it’s lyrical realism, mainly because the novel is written in close third person, examining the intimate detail of a modern relationship. On the other hand, the book also contains sub-genre writing, including texting between lovers, a parent-teen dialogue set out as a play, dream sequences and sixty pages of Beth’s diary in the second part of the book when she’s ill.

An elegy to Beth wasn’t what I’d intended when I began writing. A doomed lovers’ tale felt like a something out of the past, but in the end it forced itself on me. That’s probably because fiction has its own conventions and adds to life rather than mirroring it. And the ‘overheard’ style of a diary allowed me to enter Beth’s mind, mixing memories with reflections, making it more about a state of being than its physical manifestations.

The final part of the book begins with James’s heartfelt, self-questioning, and ultimately therapeutic letter to his dead wife; continuing with tributes to her from old school friends, work colleagues and fellow-spirits.

But the ending, when it came, surprised me, transcending genre and passing through to the ‘other side’, where Beth sees all the characters from outside and inside, embracing even Conrad, her evangelical ex, with an author’s stereoscopic view. In afterlife she retells her father’s story, ‘The Girl Who Didn’t Like Her Name’, writes a valedictory letter to James and ends with Hannah’s picture-book ‘The little boy looked up at the grey sky’, written for Beth and echoing her own story that started the book, ‘The Girl Who Began Again’.

So the story is driven by the characters passing through extreme states, the vehicle is language in all its hybrid forms, and if ‘Violet’ has a genre it’s Relationships.


  1. Susan Hampson March 20th




I began the third novel in my trilogy, ‘Violet’, on a University of East Anglia writing course. At that time the working title was ‘Beth’. I’d chosen that name for my protagonist because it had several shortened forms, but in the end I only used two: Elizabeth and Beth. When I started the course I had the first chapter written where Beth meets James, but no idea what might happen next, except that the book was about a late-life relationship.

Novels are versions of life where we don’t declare our sources. So the beginning of ‘Violet’ drew upon my first meeting with my wife Sue Hampton in a West End restaurant. Like Beth and James we’d exchanged letters and talked for hours on the phone, but what we shared openly – Sue’s alopecia and my cross-dressing – plays no part in the book. I wanted to write about older people in love, and these issues would get in the way. In any case, according to ‘story theory’, key information like that has to be held back for a later ‘reveal’ – raising the question whether plot-driven novels falsify experience. Because in life, Sue and I knew that it was better to be completely modern, declare our secrets and risk rejection, rather than end up trying to make it work against the odds.

So fact is stranger than fiction, and hidden secrets return to haunt you.

Of course, books have their conventions, but they need to be relevant. So one of the challenges to the modern novelist is that we no longer have extended courtships where the characters can be introduced gradually. ‘Bed first, talk later’ leaves the reader with little to discover and nothing to look forward to. The action has all happened and the author is left picking up the pieces – which often translates to a voyeuristic focus on loveless relationships.

I don’t buy that way of viewing people because it’s narrow and predictable, and I’m more interested in what E.M. Foster called ‘round characters’, rather than ‘flat characters’. So ‘Violet’ mixes light and shade, shifting between Beth’s passionate, crazy relationship with James and her dark past with Conrad, an evangelical minister; Beth and James’s children develop during the story, and Beth’s relationship with her parents deepens – even if her friends Amy and Rachael become ‘flat’ materialists and Conrad, at times, turns into a one-dimensional horror stereotype.

The group on my UEA course met weekly to comment on each other’s writing. Although we’d seen advance copy – an improvement on writers’ groups critiquing pieces they’ve only heard once – I found the discussion limited by the belief that novels must be pacey, always look forward, and intrigue, disturb, impress or thrill. It seemed to me a narrow view, suitable for some genre, but lacking the reflective qualities to be found in character-based and language-led work.

There was, perhaps, another reason for this approach. It could have been a way of preparing us for the rigours of the marketplace. Because writing today is all about marketing. An army of agents, editors, promotional gurus and creative writing tutors filter ‘the product’ to fit the latest fad – leaving the authors to ‘read my lips’ and deliver. So the book trade wants action-filled page-turners where the reader is kept in the dark, and most creative writing courses privilege minimalism, post-modern trickiness, and non-disclosure. I prefer Kurt Vonnegut’s version of writing: ‘Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such a complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.’

So writing ‘Violet’ was about fleshing out everything about my two late-life lovers, including their upbringing, letters, telephone conversations and texts; it also meant following them through a series of wild outings, doing the things lovers do, without ending in cliché. In the words of the blurb: ‘The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister…’

And the story developed from there, going where it had to and alternating past and future to reveal unexpected sides of the characters – including Conrad.

To quote E.M. Foster: ‘The test of a round character is whether it is capable of surprising in a convincing way. If it never surprises it is flat. Flat characters … in their purest form … are constructed round a single idea or quality; when there is more than one factor to them, we get the beginning of the curve toward the round.’

My aim with ‘Violet’ was to flesh out those curves.



In the UK you can buy signed copies of ‘Violet’ at

You can buy ‘Violet’ on Amazon USA at

You can buy ‘Violet’ on Amazon UK at


‘Violet is a captivating novel narrated through letters, diary entries, instant messages, poems, and other writings that create a multi-textured depth to the storyline. Leslie Tate’s fluid, musical sentence structure, vivid use of imagery and description, and skilful storytelling bring to life a memorable protagonist in the character of Beth Jarvis, an imaginative and sensitive woman. A pleasure to read!’ – Beth Copeland, Pushcart Prize nominated poet & winner of the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize


‘Leslie Tate has a beautiful turn of phrase and this work is threaded with elegant descriptive passages. The central characters are instantly likeable, and the reader has a quick and affectionate bond that hooks right from the opening pages.’ – Dawn Finch Trustee, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Children’s Writer & Librarian.



Leslie Tate’s Author Page on Amazon USA is at

Leslie Tate’s Author Page on Amazon UK is at


In the UK, you can buy:

  1. signed copies of the first novel in the trilogy, ‘Purple’, at:
  2. signed copies of the second novel, Blue, at
  3. signed copies of his trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’ at


Leslie’s website is



Leslie Tate studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and has been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes. He’s the author of the trilogy of novels ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, as well as his trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’, which has been turned into a film. Leslie runs a mixed arts show in Berkhamsted, UK, where he lives with his wife, multi-talented author Sue Hampton. On his website he posts up weekly creative interviews and guest blogs showing how people use their imagination in life, in many different ways.

Violet Front Cover.png





CHRISTMAS TREE BOOKSI hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas!

I wish you peace, joy, happiness and much reading and writing success!

I hope you get some reading time in!

What books did you receive or choose with a gift card?

What books did you gift?

What are you looking forward to reading in the coming New Year?




CHRISTMAS BIRDS-Art & Inspiration for the Season and Beyond- by Kathleen R. Bates

Are you looking for a unique gift for the book or bird lover in your life? This beautiful book not only has artwork and information about beautiful birds, it also has inspirational messages that will be read and reread during the entire year.

This is not just a Christmas book, but it would make a lovely gift!

Here is the Amazon link:

Duet Review with some spoilers.

I apologize in advance for the spoilers, as that is one thing I do not like to do. I will try to keep them at a minimum.  I recommend these books, however the second book is not near the quality of the first one, and the ending of the two book series is sloppy and rushed.

These are the first two books I have read by this author. I found the first one by accident and was so excited for the second one I went ahead and pre-ordered it and waited three weeks.

Okay, so Lyra is the female main character in these books. She can see the date of when someone is going to die, printed on their eyes. She cannot see her own.

This makes her keep to herself and live a quiet uneventful life, until she meets Tavian and he is an outgoing, adventure seeker who changes her life.

If you like squishy, over the top romance, you will love these books, especially the second one.

The Authors’ use of Tavian calling Lyra, “Buttercup” a bazillion times is over the top annoying.

Lyra was not a well fleshed out character, actually neither character was that well evolved.

Lyra went from being a shy almost girlish , over the top teen crush type of woman, to a sexy, flirty seductress. Back and forth, back and forth.

I love a good sex scene, but these were the typical, “she stroked his long, hard c**k, he licked her juices,” typical scenes we’ve all read a million times.

Okay, to cut down on spoilers, let me put it this way.

The premise is GREAT, unique and original.

The delivery lacked horribly.

That being said, I did enjoy the first book, and I read it in one weekend.

The second book, I skimmed a lot because every three pages was sex, second verse same as the first. Bland. Bland sex scenes.

The ending will not answer your questions, and will literally not make sense. It is like the Author needed to wrap it up, so she rushed it.

I typically do not like to leave poor reviews on my blog, but even though I did not LOVE these books, they did make okay reading if you need a break from books that had more depth.

They can be purchased on Amazon.



Two chances to win a two series six book set!






An unputdownable EMP thriller with a brilliant twist!

Best Selling EMP Thriller author James Hunt, author of “Surviving the Collapse” and “Static”, which have collectively accumulated 200+ five-star reviews come together in this SUPER BOX SET for the first time! That’s TWO complete book SERIES comprised of SIX NOVELS at a discounted price!

Surviving the Collapse:  A Tale Of Survival In A Powerless World

What happens when all means of transportation and communication suddenly vanish? What happens when you can’t call for help? What happens when the only person you can rely on is yourself? Captain Kate Hillman is about to discover those answers after an EMP sends New York City, and it’s nine million residents, back into the stone age.

Static: An EMP Thriller 

The thin thread holding the civilized world together has been severed. Millions of citizens have been thrust into the unknown, breeding fear into the minds and souls of those seeking to survive. Wren Burton, an architect from Chicago, has been engulfed by the chaotic aftermath of an EMP blast. Her family is injured. The enemy is unknown. And help is nowhere to be found.


I saw the sale for these on social media, and immediately went and purchased them. I read all six books in two days!

I could not put them down!

Great plot, especially if you are concerned about the safety of our electricity grid these days.

Solid, well rounded characters with flaws. I always enjoy books when the characters aren’t perfect in their thoughts and actions.

These books have a lot of twists, turns and action!

I promise you will devour these!

And remember, Christmas is right around the corner!

Here is the link. 99 cents for six books as of this posting!



If I owe you a book review, you will get a book review. I pinky promise.

Thank you for your patience, and understanding, and I look forward to reading, reviewing, editing and promoting your books in the coming year!




How I Got a Publishing Deal and What’s Next


It’s a pretty incredible story that I have a hard time believing. I wrote Monsterland and self-published it in 2015. My mom is my publicity manager and she blitzed the bloggers with my book. That fall I was reading a book called Selling a Screenplay by Syd Field. In the book, there was an entertainment attorney named Susan Grode who seemed very knowledgeable about the publishing and film industry. I told myself, when I receive my first contract, I’m going to reach out to her to see if she could help me. About two months later, I received a post on Facebook from an agent in London who asked to represent me. I said sure and asked him to send me a contract. I emailed Susan and introduced myself and mentioned that I had someone who wanted to rep me and I was hoping she could read this contract. She told me before I sign with this London agent, why don’t I meet her friend in Brooklyn, an agent named Nick Mullendore with Vertical Ink Literary Agency. I met Nick for lunch and he signed me that day as his client. That evening, Susan brought me on as her client as well.


Nick began trying to sell my book Monsterland to the big publishers and, as expected, it was rejected. Throughout his attempts of selling, he had a call with a film agent and he was pitching her a romance novel. She said she wasn’t really into romance and was looking for something with monsters. He sent her my book Monsterland, she read it over a weekend, and we had a call that Monday. She told Nick and me if we get the book published, she will get it into a producer’s hands to make into a film. Nick found a publisher called WordFire Press owned by Kevin J. Anderson, who has written all the Star Wars and Dune canon books. WordFire signed me to a two-book deal for Monsterland 1 & 2. After the deal was signed, my film agent did what she promised and got my book into the hands of a billion-dollar grossing producer who is now shopping my book to certain studios.


In two years, I went from a self-published author, to a published author with a literary agent, an entertainment attorney, a film agent, a two-book publishing deal, a publicist, and a producer who is interested in turning my book to a film. It’s been one wild ride, to say the least.


Now, what’s next? Well, one may just sit back and relax, and do nothing. Not I. I’ve already completed Monsterland 2 which comes out May 26, 2018. I’m knee-deep in Monsterland 3. I’ve already started beating out the stories for Monsterland 4 and 5. It seems that the next five years are going to be extremely busy with creating stories centered on monsters. What could be wrong with that?



michael okon headshot



Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat  @IAmMichaelOkon #Monsterland!


YouTube – Monsterland Book Trailer #1:

YouTube – Monsterland Book Trailer # 2:



FRONT GATE public relations. Christy Awards 2017 winners!



For Immediate Release
November 9, 2017
LONG WAY GONE Awarded “Book of the Year” at
2017 CHRISTY AWARDS™ Christian Fiction Gala
Annual Christian Fiction Program gives Awards in Nine Categories that Celebrate the Best in Christian Fiction

November 9, 2017. Nashville, TN – Last night, LONG WAY GONE by Charles Martin was awarded top honors at the 2017 CHRISTY AWARDS™ Gala.  Presented by The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), the 18th annual event was held at Lipscomb University and hosted by a trio of award-winning, bestselling authors in the genre: NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, musician and writer Andrew Peterson, and award-winning author and radio host Chris Fabry. Fabry also took home honors in two categories at the event.
The full list of winners in each category are:
Book of The Year: LONG WAY GONE by Charles Martin (Thomas Nelson)
Contemporary Romance: HER ONE AND ONLY by Becky Wade (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
First Novel: STARS IN THE GRASS by Ann Marie Stewart (Barbour Publishing)
General Fiction: THE PROMISE OF JESSE WOODS by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
Historical Fiction: THE MARK OF THE KING by Jocelyn Green (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
Historical Romance (TIE): A NOTE YET UNSUNG by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group) and THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART by Joanne Bischof (Mason Jar Books)
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: WHEN DEATH DRAWS NEAR by Carrie Stuart Parks (Thomas Nelson)
Short Form: LOOKING INTO YOU by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
Visionary: THE LONG JOURNEY TO JAKE PALMER by James Rubart (Thomas Nelson)
Young Adult: THE SILENT SONGBIRD by Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson)
THE CHRISTY AWARDS™ Gala also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the novel “Christy,” the award’s namesake and now rereleased through Evergreen Farm, an imprint of Gilead Publishing.  The evening capped off two days of events that helped inspire, train and encourage those established in the publishing industry as well as those aspiring to break into the market as writers or business leaders.  PubU: The Art of Curation was held as a training and networking event for Christian publishing professionals. The Art of Writing Conference was created to build community and explore the leading questions and pressing issues facing creators and curators.
“We are thrilled with the tremendous response we received to these three writing and publishing events,” said Stan Jantz, executive director of ECPA. “So many talented writers, along with members of the professional publishing community, have reinforced our belief that the art of storytelling is more important than ever. We congratulate this year’s eleven CHRISTY AWARD winners and look forward to another year of incredible storytelling.”
Sign up for award and event updates for the 2018 program at, where complete information can be found.
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non-profit trade organization comprised of member companies that are involved in the publishing and distribution of Christian content worldwide. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building networking, information, and advocacy opportunities within the industry and throughout multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.
The CHRISTY AWARD™ is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999, and is named for Catherine Marshall’s novel, “Christy,” which has sold over 10 million copies since its publication in 1967. ECPA assumed ownership and administration of the award in 2017 to focus and grow the unique opportunity of fiction in Christian publishing.
Pictured are the award winning authors present at The Christy Award Gala with ECPA executive director Stan Jantz:
(left to right) Chris Fabry, Tamera Alexander, Jocelyn Green, Becky Wade, Ann Marie Stewart, Melanie Dickerson, Stan Jantz
1. Looking Into You (Short Form) and The Promise of Jesse Woods (General Fiction), Chris Fabry, Tyndale House Publishers
2. A Note Yet Unsung (Historical Romance), Tamera Alexander, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group
3. The Mark of the King (Historical), Jocelyn Green, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group
4. Her One and Only (Contemporary Romance), Becky Wade, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group
5. Stars in the Grass (First Novel), Ann Marie Stewart, Barbour Publishing
6. The Silent Songbird (Young Adult), Melanie Dickerson, Thomas Nelson
7. Stan Jantz, Executive Director, ECPA
Photo credit:  Kristen Fields


Thank you dear one!


Today, I’m delighted to introduce Miss Scruffy.
She’s my own little terrier and the inspiration for ‘Pudding’ – Lady Ophelia’s dog in my 1920s romance, ‘Highland Pursuits’.
If you’ve read the story, you’ll know she’s a feisty little madam, and just as big a character as Ophelia herself.
I’m also excited to tell you that  ‘Highland Pursuits‘ is free today – so please do grab a copy if you haven’t already done so.
(…you can also pre-order the sequel, ‘Highland Christmas‘, for just 99p/99c at the moment)
Also on sale for the first time is my Gothic romance, ‘Italian Sonata‘.
It’s just 99p/99c – but until Friday only.
If you’d like a peek at some kinky short stories, you mustn’t miss out on claiming your copy of the latest anthology in which I feature: ‘The Big Book of Submission Volume 2‘.
As a contributor, I may invite you to receive a free download
(with my toes crossed that you’ll kindly leave a review)
Scroll down to find out more.
Last, but not least, you’ll find a selection of guest authors in my ‘steals and deals’ section.

sending you all warmest wishes

Sent by


            FREE   –  for a few days only 
Defiant debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to the Highlands of Scotland, where a bizarre selection of suitors are soon lining up. Ophelia only has eyes for the castle’s estate manager but he’s already spoken for, and glamorous French coquette Felicité has no intention of letting ruggedly attractive Hamish slip from the service of her bed. Intrigue abounds, as Ophelia discovers that the Castle is a hotbed of illicit cavorting.

A wickedly naughty 1920s romance.

psst – if you’ve read and enjoyed ‘Highland Pursuits’, please do leave a review. xxx
Take me to the Highlands
99p/99c – for a few days only
What dark secrets lie within those walls?
Madness, abduction, imprisonment… murder?
The past does not lie quietly.

Towering above its island of wave-lashed rock is Castello di Scogliera.
Look up at the narrow windows, and you might think yourself watched.
Something, or someone, has been waiting for Lady McCaulay to arrive…

A sumptuous Gothic Romance, filled with mystery, intrigue, and the lure of the sensuous.

Give me the shivers…
       Ready for a
feast of erotic
Another fabulous anthology release, to which I’m a contributing author, and can invite you to receive a copy with an eye to review. Just click through to complete the form (by end Nov) and editor Rachel will be in touch. Fab if you can review by end Feb 2018.
xxx- Em
ps – the story I’ve written for this anthology is one of my all time favourites – all new and unseen
Bring it on !
Sign me up !
Scroll down to find books by my fellow authors.
We love helping each other reach new readers and I’m always happy to play host to some intriguing titles.
Amazon Giftcards and free books
Over 35 authors are offering their books FREE – for a limited time. Even better, we’ve pooled funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards – just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media.
Freebie-tastic !  
   Rita Stradling
We’d hated each other since childhood. Now he’s occupying my thoughts, and we may soon step over a line that should never be crossed.
Culter isn’t just irresistible. He’s  my stepbrother.
Bad choices are the most fn !
Scorched Anthology
Thirteen new, exclusive dragon-shifter paranormal romances from NYT, USA Today and other bestselling authors.
 Burn me!
  Janine Ashbless
In rural Italy, a priest keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel. This is a thrilling story of an archangel banished from heaven and the human woman with whom he falls in love.
A stunning romance story – with a personal thumbs up from me!
Janine Ashbless
When Milja released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did so out of love and dity. What she hadn’t bargained on was being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage war against the Powers of Heaven.
The sequel to ‘Cover HIm With Darkness’ – a stunning romance story with a personal thumbs up from me!
Samantha MacLeod
Six juicy, ruby seeds, staining my lips and fingers. Sealing my fate. Damning me.
Every year, as the seasons turn, I must travel to the darkness of the underworld.
You think you know the story but you haven’t heard the truth.
 Tell us more…
  Maggie Carpenter
Avery has been trespassing on a private beach as payback for a broken promise, but the owner catches her and she must pay the price.
If you go down to the beach today…
Six Holiday Inspired Novellas
From humorous Regency and tender historical to quirky contemporary and gritty urban tales of faerie magic, human redemption, and the power of love.
Ooooh !
      Scarlett Scott
.She’s the American heiress he married for her fortune. He’s the heartless English rake who abandoned her after their wedding night. When they’re thrown together again, their marriage of convenience turns into something much steamier.
 We’re with you Baldr 
      Ellie St. Clair
Lord Joshua Greville, seeks adventure, secretly leading a group investigating criminal activity, the latest affecting the peerage. When Violet becomes entangled in his current case, he must act quickly to protect her.
A mystery to solve…
For Kindle Unlimited Readers
All the tiles listed are ‘free reads’ with Kindle Unlimited.
There’s a giveaway to enter too (to win Amazon giftcards).
Yes please!
More from me towards the end of November.

Miss Scruffy sends you a kiss



GRAMMY-winning Singer/Songwriter/Comedian
Mark Lowry and DOVE-nominated Songwriter/Author
Andrew Greer Launch All-New Film Series Podcast.
Debut Season of “Dinner Conversations with Mark Lowry
and Andrew Greer” Premieres Today.
Presented by Project Beautiful, First Ten Episodes Capture Table Talk
with Thought-Provoking Artists and Authors.
November 7, 2017, NASHVILLE, Tenn.  GRAMMY and singer/songwriter/author and GMA Mark Lowry-winning singer/songwriter/comedian and GMA Hall of Fame member ®DOVE Award nominee Andrew Greer have launched DINNER CONVERSATIONS WITH MARK LOWRY AND ANDREW GREER, an all-new film series podcast.
Dinner Conversations is based on the concept that communion begins with good conversation, and good conversation often begins around the dinner table. The first season, consisting of 10 episodes, finds Mark and Andrew inviting acclaimed artists, authors, and topic experts to gather around the dinner table to weigh in on a broad range of thought-provoking human interest conversations.
“In our modern day culture where we are constantly striving to be ‘heard,’ it is becoming increasingly important to make space in our lives for good conversation,” explains Andrew. “Some of the best conversations I have been a part of began around the dinner table. I keep thinking, If we could really listen to one another, perhaps we might also hear from God. So I am thrilled to host this series of table talks with my friend, Mark.”
Subtitled “Turning the Light On One Question at a Time,” Mark explains the show’s discussion-starter premise, “I love conversations that make me think. My buddy, Andrew, and I first met last year during an interview that inspired new thoughts and new ideas in both of us. I think the trend in podcasts is to provoke fresh thoughts through good conversation. With the help of our guests—some of our favorite good thinkers and table talkers—I am excited to help fire up a new batch of conversations in our homes, in our communities and within ourselves through Dinner Conversations. There’s one seat left … and it’s yours!”
Some of the season premiere episodes of Dinner Conversations include:
“Comic Grief” featuring Chonda Pierce and Ken Davis
“Blessed Are the Blended” featuring Sandi Patty
“What’s the Point of Grace?” featuring Point of Grace
“Adopted, Aren’t We All?” featuring Mark Schultz
“Fear, Forgiveness and Friendship” featuring Patsy Clairmont, Anita Renfroe and Jan Silvious.
The show’s title sponsor is Project Beautiful, an organization focused on human trafficking prevention. By targeting potential victims, Project Beautiful monitors have strategically intercepted 12,000 people from the traps of sex traffickers. The organization also provides post-rescue care for victims and helps prosecute traffickers.
We are thrilled to partner with Mark and Andrew on Dinner Conversations,” shares Doug Dvoak, Executive Director and Sr. Vice President of Project Beautiful. “Slavery still exists in the world, and that is a conversation everyone needs to hear. We love the desire they have to start the conversation and partner with us at Project Beautiful to save lives from human trafficking.”
Dinner Conversations is Produced and Directed by Andrew Greer and Mark Lowry serves as Co-Producer. Celeste Winstead is Executive Producer, and Chris Cameron of Center Street Recording is Assistant Director.
Viewers can subscribe to Dinner Conversations with Mark Lowry and Andrew Greer by clicking here.  Dinner Conversations can be viewed on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud and many other popular audio and video podcast outlets.
Mark is an internationally known singer, storyteller, humorist, As a staple member of the GRAMMY®-award-winning Gaither Vocal Band, Mark has served as the sidesplitting comedic sidekick through Bill Gaither’s best-selling HOMECOMING video series and live tours. His musical recordings have earned him multiple Dove Awards, the highest honor in gospel and songwriter. His world-famous lyric to “Mary Did You Know?” resulted in one of the most loved modern Christmas songs of this century. Co-written with Buddy Greene, the captivating Christmas tune has been recorded more than 400 times by a broad base of music luminaries like Pentatonix, Reba McEntire, Michael English, Sandi Patty and Rascal Flatts.
A deep thinker with an outrageous sense of humor (for which he often credits Attention Deficit Disorder), Mark’s life work consists of a deep discography of gold and platinum recordings.  But it is Mark’s desire to communicate profound truths through songs and stories that keep his multi-generational audience on the edge of their seats. “I leave the lights up in the audience so I can see the audience,” Mark comments. “I love getting closer to the people. And I treasure the serendipitous moments when God shows up, without warning, but very expectedly.”
A native Texan, when Mark is not ping-ponging cross-country on tour, he settles down in Houston. Visit Mark online at
A six-time Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter and respected author, Andrew Greer is known for his old soul sound and thoughtful prose. His folk-gospel discography displays a deep affection for vintage spiritual songs, instinctively captured on his critically acclaimed Angel Band hymn series, having reached the Top 10 on Amazon and iTunes’ mainstream charts upon release.
“Hymns are as true to my human experience as my own catalog of songs,” Andrew shares. “In fact, if it hadn’t been for the impact of those indelible tunes, I may have never fallen in love with musicor been introduced to God.” Andrew’s 2013 recording, All Things Bright & Beautiful, held the #1 position on Nielsen Christian SoundScan’s Instrumental chart for 25 consecutive weeks.
On tour dates at home and abroad, Andrew has shared the stage with folks like Amy Grant, Andrew Peterson, and Brandon Heath. His songs have been recorded by artists like Jaci Velasquez, Seth & Nirva, and John Tibbs. And his stories have appeared in publications like Christianity Today, In Touch and CCM Magazine. Andrew’s second book – Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth: Spiritual Conversations Inspired by the Life and Lyrics of Rich Mullins – released on Worthy Publishing this fall.
Also a native Texan, Andrew now gladly calls Franklin, Tennessee home. Visit Andrew online at
Project Beautiful is a community of people who give monthly to Love Justice International to save precious lives from sex trafficking and slavery. Since 2004, Love Justice International (formerly Tiny Hands International) has worked primarily in Nepal, Bangladesh,and India, but they have recently expanded into South Africa, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Thailand. Through transit monitoring and interception, they attack trafficking at the most strategic moment—while it is in the process of occurring and BEFORE women and children have been exploited or enslaved. Love Justice staff have intercepted over 12,000 people to prevent them from being trafficked. For more information, visit
# # #

A magical, unforgettable read! THE TRICK ~by EMANUEL BERGMAN

The Trick


Sweeping between Prague during World War II and modern day Los Angeles, this deeply moving debut follows a young Jewish man in 1934 who falls in love and joins the circus as the country descends into war. Decades later, a young boy seeks out the now cynical, elderly magician in the hopes that his spells might keep his family together.
Prague, 1934: The fifteen-year-old rabbi’s son Moshe Goldenhirsch marvels at the legendary circus magician known as the Half-Moon Man. Unexpectedly, he falls madly in love with the magician’s delightful assistant, spurring him to run away from home to join the circus, which is slowly making its way to Germany as war looms on the horizon. Soon, he becomes a world-renowned magician known as the Great Zabbatini, even sought after by Adolf Hitler. But when Moshe is discovered to be a Jew, only his special talent can save him from perishing in a concentration camp.
Los Angeles, 2007: Ten-year-old Max Cohn is convinced that magic can bring his estranged parents back together before they divorce. So one night he climbs out of his bedroom window in search of the Great Zabbatini, certain this powerful magician has the power to reunite his family.
Perfect for fans of All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, this radiant historical novel is both a deeply moving story of a small boy who believes in everything and an old man who believes in nothing—as well as a gripping and heartfelt tale about the beauty and fragility of life.


This book grabbed my attention from the very first sentence. The writing is beyond anything I have ever read before. I felt as if the Author was sitting in the same room with me, quietly telling me this tale.

Author Emanuel Bergman seamlessly switches between characters, and the story flows seamlessly.

This is one book I look forward to reading again in the future.

It will be available for purchase on September 19, 2017.

AN AMERICAN CAGE w/trailer by Ted Galdi


Three inmates break out of a maximum-security prison in Texas, one of them Danny Marsh, a suburban kid in his twenties who landed in jail because of a crime he never intended to commit.

An American Cage follows Danny and his two escape partners over a twenty-four-hour period as they struggle to cross Texas to freedom in Mexico. On this dangerous journey, Danny has to evade the rabid Texas authorities, and even worse, the schemes of one of his closest allies, who isn’t who he seems.



A provocative new novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.

Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice?

While Jake is trapped in the web of his deceit, Phoebe is caught in an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning him feels cruel and impossible.

From penthouse to prison, with tragic consequences rippling well beyond Wall Street, Randy Susan Meyers’s latest novel exposes a woman struggling to survive and then redefine her life as her world crumbles.


I requested this book from NetGalley because the description interested me, but I feared it would be too much like the true Bernie Madoff story or even the Trantel true story of Wall Street husband turned bank robber.

I shouldn’t have feared.

This story excels so well on its own that I never gave those two stories a thought while reading.

The pacing is perfect. The Author gives you their life together from teenagers to advanced age without dragging it out.

The main character is Phoebe although both she and her husband Jake tell the story. This too, is handled flawlessly by the Author.

You will love/hate Phoebe because she is so stupid in love, and Jake will make your skin crawl.

But, you will still root for Phoebe as she grows stronger as the story moves along.

I am ignorant at math, numbers and Wall Street, and the Author gives you enough detail about the subject to help understand the story, without confusing you or overwhelming you.

This is more a story of life, love and how we let love blind us to things we should really take note of, and I highly recommend it.

This book will be Available on Amazon April 11th 2017.




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Recommended Reading




be back soon


Reading Recommendation! “A HOPE AT THE END OF THE WORLD” by~ SARAH LARK

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A Note From the Publisher

Cookbook:”Burma Superstar”





Not just for Vegetarians! “Vibrant India” from Chitra Agrawal



True History graphic novel. The Ukranian & Russian Notebooks by Igort


Very well written. Broke my heart, but I recommend everyone read it.~January Gray


The Saga is complete! The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London! <3



#WatchMe Fan Made Teaser of #Triumph by Cecilia London ►

══ What Readers are Saying about Triumph ══

5 ✰ Review: “The conclusion to The Bellator Saga is, in a word, epic.” ~ Pop Kitty Reviews

5 ✰ Review: “This whole story was just so well written, and these characters just felt so real. I hope that she writes a spin off of the series with some of the other characters, because I’m not ready to let these guys go yet.” ~Jenn

5 ✰ Review: “ There were moments that were OMG..unbelievable, jaw dropping. The ending was completely satisfying. I must say I went through lots of tissue.’ ~Silvia

Check out the latest release from Author Cecilia London:

►►► SYNOPSIS ◄◄◄

“All of your ideals, your hopes and dreams…they cease to matter if you abandon them in your darkest hour. We have to see this through to the end.”

Jack McIntyre and Caroline Gerard have never shied away from a challenge. As dual commanders of the American rebel forces, they now face the greatest adversity of their lives. Every decision has permanent consequences. Relationships are tested and restored. Hard truths come to light. When the reality of their situation finally hits them, there is one thing they know for certain.

No sacrifice is too great for love.


 is the 



and final

 book in The Bellator Saga. It should be read after the first 


 books in the series.

Buy Links:


Purchase the series today →

Cute little romance. “The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts” by~ Jennifer Joyce




Shared post

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis: Image: Publishing Executive ( Written World Media, one of my favorite sources of information on publishing, published earlier this month a post on the trends that will define our industry in 2017 (if you don’t subscribe to its newsletter, you should; it’s free, comes out only once or twice…

via 9 Hot Trends In Publishing In 2017 — Don Massenzio’s Blog

A Favorite of mine! Children’s Book.”The Green Umbrella”by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Maral Sassouni



When Elephant takes a peaceful walk with his green umbrella he’s interrupted by a hedgehog, cat, bear, and rabbit—each claiming that they’ve had exciting adventures with his umbrella. After all, it is an umbrella, and it certainly hasn’t been on any adventures more exciting than a walk in the rain. Or has it?

Things aren’t always what they seem in this charming tale of imagination, sharing and friendship.
Jackie Azúa Kramer was born in Manhattan, New York. Many lives ago Jackie was an actor, singer, and school counselor. Her work with children presented her with an opportunity to address their concerns, secrets, and hopes through storytelling.
Many of Jackie’s best ideas happen in a bathtub full of bubbles. Jackie and her family live happily in Long Island, New York. The Green Umbrella is Jackie’s first picture book.

Maral Sassouni was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has been an illustrator for more than 20 years. In 2013 she won the SCBWI Portfolio Grand Prize. Her work was selected by the Society of Illustrators in New York (2014), and also honored by the 3×3 Picture Book Show in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Her art has been exhibited in group shows of children’s illustration all over the world: in Sàrmede, Italy, for the Immagini della Fantasia exhibit (2011, 2012); in Mexico City, at the Museo Franz Mayer in conjunction with the IBBY Congress of 2014; in South Korea, at the 2013 Nami Island Illustration exhibit. Also in Geneva, at the United Nations Headquarters, and in Brussels, at the European Parliament.


I think this is one of my favorite Children’s books! Such a cute story, and the Illustrations are AMAZING!

I really think you will enjoy sharing this with your child!

I do not have Children, but I have read this book several times. It truly is a treasure of a book.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase, available January 31, 2017

I received this from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher.







I am madly in love with this YA fiction book! “THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR” by NICOLA YOON


This treasure of a book is pure magic.

It is listed as YA Grades 8 and up, and it certainly fits the bill for grown adults as well.

This book really made an impact on me, and I am still thinking about it, days after reading it.

It really portrays how much happens to us and around us and to others we interact with, in the span of one day.

How one brief interaction with a stranger can change their entire life.

The main characters are teenagers, Natasha and Daniel.

Natasha and her family are getting ready to be deported, and Daniel is struggling with what his parents want him to be and what he wants to do with his life.

Their lives touch for a brief random moment, and that brief random moment changes everything.

Nicola Yoon is an amazing and talented writer.

She writes in a way that truly draws you into the story.

I was torn between wanting to read faster and see what happens next, and slowing down to savor every moment.

I did not want this book to end.

And when it did end, I said, “WOW!”

The impact of this story.

It is only January of the new year, but I am positive that when I do my end of year review of my favorite books, this will still be on my top ten list.

I requested this book from Blogging For Books, and read and reviewed at my choosing.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase.

Shared post. A true story of Murder in the Arctic. “AT THE END OF THE WORLD”

A horrific event took place decades ago — but could the key to explaining it exist in the modern day? Author Lawrence Millman asked himself that question as he undertook the writing of At the End of the World, and the answer to it surprised even him. LAWRENCE MILLMAN: Here are the bare bones of…

via The Big Idea: Lawrence Millman — Whatever

How to solicit a book blogger/reviewer and other helpful information.





I know, I know. Hard to believe.

Truth be told, we would love nothing better than to lounge with a book and our favorite beverage and do nothing but read, type out, post and share our reviews all day. Sometimes I myself get lucky enough to do just that, but not often enough.

But, life gets in the way.

So first, please always be understanding and patient. Sometimes you will have a long wait.

Selling books is a marathon, not a sprint.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…

I know you often meet Book bloggers/Reviewers on your social networking. Yes, it seems nice to have such easy access, I mean, you’ve been Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest “friends” for a bit of time, right?

But…this is a very rude way to contact us for a review.

I cannot tell you how many Facebook messages I’ve received of, “Free book for review?”

That’s it.

Look, I have an inbox or messages on my blog full of people asking for reviews. Why would I take the time to go research yours when I don’t even have a title to start searching?

Most Bloggers/Reviewers have Guidelines listed somewhere. Usually on their blog.

If you don’t know, ask.


I do not review Romance, Erotica, Paranormal, Horror or Fantasy, and I daily (several times a day), spend a lot of time hitting delete, delete, delete.

Think of your precious time as well.

Why waste your time soliciting someone who does not read your genre?

For example, would you send your Erotica book to a Publisher of Children’s books?

I certainly hope not.

Look, we are here for you. ALL OF YOU, regardless of genre.

But please be thoughtful enough to search for our Guidelines or ask.

Do not automatically attach your book to an e-mail.

I don’t even look at those.

Who are you even? 😉

I want all of you to succeed. People LOVE the genres I don’t read.

Remember one of the biggest rules: FIND YOUR AUDIENCE.

That includes Book Bloggers/Reviewers.

Keep writing! 🙂




All Good Things must come to an end. The FINAL book of the Bellator Saga by Cecilia London coming soon!


The lovely thing about books is we can read them again.

I’m looking forward to reading this 6th and final installment of the Bellator Saga, and I’m looking forward to reading the entire series again.

Drama, sex, romance, politics, this series has it all.

While we are waiting, go check out the other five books in her series. I promise you will love, love, love them! ❤

Always free to download on Amazon! Publishers Lunch Buzz Books! Get Sneak Peeks of upcoming books!








Must we go over this again?

Some of you Indie Authors and Readers need to throw your “New year, new me”bullshit right out the window!

Why am I still seeing Indie Authors being mean to one another, and why Oh why am I seeing readers still complaining that 99 cents is too much for a book?

Why the jealousy and backstabbing between Authors?

Why the disconnect with readers?

Supporting another author does not extinguish your flame.

And 99 cents for a book is a bargain, even if you don’t like the book. Even if you don’t finish reading the book.

I don’t have the answers.

The true answer is within each individual.

Writing is hard work.

Reading is a treasure.

In a crazy unpredictable world, can we all join together to at least make the Indie World a peaceful place?

This has gotten beyond ridiculous.

Technology thriller! “ADVOCATE OF THE TRUTH” ~by ADRIAAN BOS



This gripping novel paints a grim picture of what the future may have in store for us.

When Thomas, a former partner of a prestigious law firm, promises his best friend Sam to keep his groundbreaking Spider technology away from mankind, he has no clue what awaits him.

A chilling scenario unfolds when Thomas is plunged into a web of greed, corporate espionage, politics, organized crime and murder. As he finds signs pointing to a high-level conspiracy, a mysterious and deadly virus originating in Europe sweeps across the earth. Frightened politicians take advantage of the panic, with populism hitting fear buttons worldwide. A pandemic is looming, and so is anarchy.

Suddenly Sam’s Spider technology has life-saving potential, raising profound ethical questions:

  • Do we allow fear, greed and status to overrule the natural bonds between people?
  • Should the privacy of individuals be sacrificed to the illusion of safety?
  • How do we prevent technology from casting a dark shadow over the future?
  • And ultimately: is mankind nearing its expiration date?

His tense search for the truth leads Thomas to the medieval Italian city Assisi, oppressive boardrooms, back alleys, dimly-lit churches and a former monastery overlooking the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, he has two women vying for his heart: Sophia, a sensitive violinist who cared for his father in the final days of life, and Juliëtte, an alluring and intriguing Parisian he meets by chance in Tuscany.

Advocate of the Truth is a novel about the digital dragon that feeds on our privacy and the serious implications of nanochips registering and managing human behavior. On a more personal level, it is a deeply moving novel about friendship, love and the compassion Francis of Assisi stands for. This thrilling literary novel prompts you to reflect on wisdom from the past and ethics for the future. It is an intense struggle between good and evil that hits home in today’s society.


This is a must read, especially if you are curious or even fearful of the advances in our technology.

A very touching story about friendship as well, which only makes this book more realistic.

Well written and gripping. I could not put it down.

I received this book from Amsterdam Publishing in exchange for my honest review.




National Soup Day Contest – Win A Free Private Cooking Lesson & Have Your Soup Recipe On The Menu

Enter for a chance to have your favorite soup recipe featured on the Joel Palmer House Restaurants Menu & win a private cooking lessons with Chef Christopher

Send your favorite soup memory and recipe to by 1/31/17 to enter.


The chill of midwinter always revives the tried and true soup recipes that we keep stashed away for “those days” that feel just right. Days that welcome memories of running inside after a long day of jumping in snow piles and being greeted with the silkiness of creamy tomato or gobbling down bowls of chicken noodle. Being the comfort food that it is, soup is so deeply personal and tells a story in a way that no sandwich or salad ever could.

Chef and fourth-generation restaurant owner, Christopher Czarnecki, has many fond memories of soup recipes handed down from grandfather to father to son. To celebrate these honored family traditions, Chef Christopher and the Joel Palmer House restaurant are sponsoring a soup contest throughout January (which is National Soup Month) and in honor of National Soup Day on February 4th. Chef Christopher and his team will be collecting soup recipes and the memories that make them special until January 31st. The winner will be announced on Feb. 4 to celebrate National Soup Day. The winner of the competition will have their recipe featured on the Joel Palmer House’s menu for a week in February and also enjoy a one-on-one Cooking and Q&A session with Chef Christopher Czarnecki to gain tips and tricks about cooking and creating that fine dining experience at home.

The Joel Palmer House is a fine dining restaurant nestled in the magical forests and rolling hills of Oregon’s wine country in the Willamette Valley. The dishes are creative and inviting as Chef Czarnecki makes his own mark on family recipes that have been passed down through 4 generations of Czarnecki Family chefs. The menu showcases the wild mushrooms and truffles unique to the Oregon region that are known for their alluring smell and subtlety they bring to each dish. One dish that highlights both the family’s history and Oregon’s local ingredients is the hearty and vegetarian Joe’s Wild Mushroom Soup.

The Pacific Northwest region’s wild mushrooms and Pinot Noir are a “match made in heaven” for the menu at the Joel Palmer House as the wine’s natural earthiness connects directly with the menu’s theme.

Czarnecki’s ability to take these wild, gnarled, “diamond in the rough” looking ingredients, and reveal its true character in intimate recipes is what makes the Joel Palmer House the unique food destination that it is.

Christopher Czarnecki began his food journey at a very young age, making whipped cream in 4th grade and starting to learn the art of hospitality and how to properly serve food at the family restaurant in Pennsylvania in the 5th grade.

“I literally grew up in the restaurant business,” said Czarnecki, as he recalled his time spent living above their restaurant as a child.

He continued explaining that he had always enjoyed cooking for himself and the joy it brought him to see others appreciate his food. Czarnecki stepped away from the restaurant business to join the United States Army and was deployed to Iraq, but upon his return, his father asked him to carry on the family business.

His days now starts at noon planning the evening for the restaurant where Czarnecki and his sous chef begin to plan the menu and discuss dish development. From there they begin preparing dinner as guests arrive for dinner between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Once the dinner rush is over, they shut down the restaurant and are home by midnight to get some sleep and prepare for another busy day.

On cold and cloudy days Czarnecki shared that he finds joy in a bowl of rich and creamy clam chowder.

“Days like that I enjoy being able to sit down on the couch with my wife, eat, and enjoy each other’s company.” said Czarnecki.

In case you’re taking notes to try and gain and edge in the competition, French Onion soup is another favorite of Czarnecki’s as well as the wide range of possibilities that are available for Gazpacho.

With respect to pursuing your own culinary adventure and deciding which soup recipe to submit to the competition, Czarnecki advises to be creative and “…don’t let your fear of failure hinder you. Learn as much as possible. You should experiment! Whatever it is that you had at a restaurant, try making it at home. Look up 20 different recipes before you start and see what they have in common. From there you can get creative.”

This sage advice, Czarnecki says, comes from his time spent in the “culinary school of Nanny and PopPop” and his own journey in taking traditional Polish food and intertwining it in a dance with modern cooking methods, beautiful local ingredients and local Oregon wine pairings.

Share your own story through your favorite soup recipe at before Jan. 31, 2017 to be considered for the contest.

More information about The Joel Palmer House and their menu can be found at




Assignations at the Astoria Hotel Brussels, Belgium

August/September 1914


When war broke out in August 1914, women everywhere were desperate to “do their bit” for the War Effort.  Amongst them were a British aristocrat and a German Doctor of Political Economy.  Larger than life characters, both were temporarily resident at Brussels’ luxurious Astoria Hotel following the city’s fall to the Germans in late summer 1914.  The ruthless German Governor of Brussels, Field-Marshall Colmar von der Goltz had little idea of what awaited him when these two women, independently, set about battering his defenses.  Who were they and why exactly were they there?


In August 1914, 47-year-old Millicent Duchess of Sutherland, an internationally renowned Society hostess, volunteered the services of the Millicent Duchess of Sutherland’s Hospital Unit to the Belgian Red Cross.  Having established a makeshift hospital in a convent in Namur, they were soon in direct and continuous line of fire of German heavy artillery.  When Namur fell on August 24th, they were trapped behind enemy lines.  Hastily burying one of her revolvers under a tree, tucking the other into her bloomers and, throwing all convention to the wind, Millicent laid siege to the German commander General von Bülow demanding her staff and their patients’ release.  In mid-September, no longer able to withstand the daily ducal bombardment, he ordered the imprisoned Unit to proceed to Brussels.  Let the Governor-General of the Belgian capital deal with the woman once dubbed “Meddlesome Milly”.  Ensconced (at German expense) in the Hotel Astoria, amused by the two sentries posted at the door of her suite, delighted by the excellent poached eggs and toast and her well-appointed bathroom (after the Spartan convent one), Millicent resumed the tactics she had used so effectively in Namur and demanded constant audiences with von Goltz.  Eventually the German Commander capitulated, contacting the Kaiser himself for advice about what to do with this woman who was running up a very sizable hotel bill and seemed determined not to understand that Germany faced more pressing concerns than what to do with a small voluntary Hospital Unit.


Perhaps having seen the bill, the Kaiser ordered the Unit’s release.  He foresaw endless trouble and expense if Millicent remained a prisoner.  Better, he felt, to save Germany the inconvenience and, to make ensure their immediate departure from their superior prison quarters, he underwrote the cost of the petrol of their return journey to England.


In her account Six Weeks at the War, Millicent warned, “spy fever rages on the Continent.”  However, the British authorities were dismissive, “I was told I was overstrung!”  Time would prove Millicent right.  Unbeknownst to her, another Astoria resident was poised to become a key player in the murky role of espionage.  As resolute as Millicent, she too had bombarded von Goltz.  Although he and she were on the same side, he would have been forgiven for doubting this.  Her name: Elisabeth Schragmüller.


In 1908, despite few German universities accepting women students, Elisabeth entered the Fribourg-en-Brisgau university.  An able linguist, she proved so brilliant that she was reluctantly allowed to continue her studies.  The first German woman to earn a doctorate in Political Economy, her wealthy family considered her outstanding brain an inconvenience for a female.  Dubbed ‘Fraulein Doktor’ Elisabeth began social work amongst what she termed ‘the broad strain of the population and with the working-class; this increased her knowledge and understanding of human psychology, skills she would put to excellent use in the service of her beloved Fatherland.


When war broke out, cursing fate that she was female, she hastened to German-occupied Brussels.  Her sister who was performing a suitably feminine role as a nurse, begged her to do nothing that might endanger the family’s reputation.  Residing at the Astoria, Elisabeth daily waylaid von der Goltz demanding a job.  As worn down by her as he would be by Millicent, he shunted her off to a backwater, a military office handling mail confiscated from Belgian soldiers.  Her ability to pick out every vital nugget of information and create a bigger picture to provide military commanders with an accurate overview of troop morale and movements drew the attention of Walter Nicolaï, Head of the German Intelligence Bureau.  He sent her to be trained in military intelligence.  His staff were outraged when they discovered that she was to head up the entire anti-French Intelligence Bureau.  Unheard of for a woman working alongside members of the German Army, she was placed in charge of the recruitment and training of agents as well as de-briefing them after their mission across the entire Western theatre.  To her, every aspect of intelligence gathering was a ‘mind game’ which she relished and played to the very best of her superb intellectual abilities.


She set high standards for those whom she recruited.  What Millicent had termed “systematic espionage”, was a skill which could be taught and learnt, not an adventure to be undertaken for cheap thrills and a quick buck.  From her brief career in social work, she realized that a good spy can be found in unlikely places.  An illiterate florist and a music-hall artiste in Marseille proved amongst her most effective agents, responsible for sinking thousands of tons of Allied shipping and contributing to France’s defeat on the Chemin des Dames.


What of the Astoria itself?  Having accommodated the highest echelons of the German Army between 1914 and 1918, in 1919 Brussels’ premier hotel resumed its glittering pre-war life where anyone who was anyone went to be seen.  Its distinguished guest list for the 20th century includes the Crown Prince of Japan, the Shah of Persia, Winston Churchill, David Ben Gurion, Arthur Rubinstein and of course, Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland and Fraulein Doktor Elisabeth Schragmüller.


Read about more extraordinary women during World War One in historian Viv Newman’s books:

We Also Served: The Forgotten Women of the First World War

Pen and Sword: or Amazon

Nursing Through Shot and Shell: A Great War Nurse’s Story

Pen and Sword: or Amazon

Tumult and Tears: The Story of the Great War Through the Eyes and Lives of its Women Poets Pen and Sword: or Amazon

Singer, Siren, Spy: The Undercover World of Agent Régina Diana will be published by Pen and Sword n November 2017


Trends in book titles

In 2016, I saw many books with Light or Air in their title. I also saw a lot of “50 shades of…”

This year I am seeing a lot with water in the title. Interesting to me. Curious as to how authors come up with their titles.

I am not a reader of Romance novels, and I no longer read (or at least I don’t review) Erotica, but I am sick to pieces of seeing “50 Shades of…” in the title.

Even if I did read Romance or still reviewed Erotica, the lack of originality in the title would turn me away from buying that book.

I’m sure the sales numbers on these books would disagree with me, but I am seriously sick of the “50 Shades” trend. And yes, I got caught up in the excitement of The 50 Shades of Gray noise. I read the first one, skimmed the second one, and barely glanced at the third one.

I did not enjoy them at all. There are WAY better stories out there than 50 Shades of Gray. The BDSM lifestyle was not portrayed accurately at all, in my opinion.

But again…the sales for those books and movies, will be in disagreement with my opinion, and that is okay.

At this point, anything with “50 shades” in its title makes it feel gimmicky to me.

How do you feel about this trend?

How did I not find this one sooner? “UNLUCKY DAY”J.R. McLEAY




A mysterious sniper is killing random New York City citizens every day at the same time.

Detective Joe Bannon and his partner Hannah Trimble follow the breadcrumb trail of clues down repeated blind alleys. With citizens fearing to venture outside, the streets of Manhattan have become nearly deserted.

When the sniper begins escalating the profile of his targets, higher level government agencies are pulled in. But the shooter always seems to be one step ahead of the law and slips away whenever the authorities get close.

As copycat killings begin spreading to other cities across the U.S., the President hatches a dangerous plan to trap the killer. Can Joe and Hannah catch the assassin before he executes the most closely guarded man in history?


I opened my Kindle Oasis the other day, to finish reading an entirely different book. Of course, Amazon gives me ads, and this book is what popped up as a suggestion for me.

“One click and that was it!” Those of you addicted to Amazon like I am, know what I mean! 🙂

I read this book cover to cover in one sitting, and did not want to put it down the few times I had to stop to refill my coffee mug.

The plot was believable, especially this day and age in the real world. In this book, the Sniper shoots at a certain time of day, so the general public changes their typical daily routine because of it.

I really like Detective Joe Bannon, and I hope…REALLY hope, that the author is considering maybe doing a series of books with this Detective? (Pretty please.)

Joe is a smart detective, but he makes mistakes and has flaws, which makes him more likable and believable.

So, I’m hoping to see future books with him. I mean, REALLY REALLY hoping!

There are a couple of sad and shocking moments in this book, and the conclusion was realistic.

I am currently reading The Cicada Prophecy by this author. It is a medical thriller. It too would be a ‘read in one sitting book,’ if life would quit interrupting me.

Author J.R. McLeay is an incredible writer and his range is broad. I really think you will enjoy his books!

Here is the Amazon link for purchase. I promise you will not be disappointed. My review for The Cicada Prophecy will be up in a few days.



The Cicada Prophecy

Check out this book on Goodreads: The Cicada Prophecy

Unlucky Day: A Crime Thriller

Check out this book on Goodreads: Unlucky Day: A Crime Thriller



Here is the link to my Face Book Page: Book Lamp Reading Room. CJ Soyer has just joined me as an additional administrator.

We post writing/reading tips, book reviews and Giveaways.

Also, the wall is open so you are free to post your book related stuff there as well.

The Page is strictly monitored and anything not writing or reading related will be deleted.

Be sure to post your sales links there too.


Shared post

The writing I seek to produce is one trimmed of fat. Reading bulky writing is exhausting and has a tendency to ramble. It does pay to switch up sentence length however, so don’t misunderstand me there. One issue that irritates me is the word “that”. Let’s look at the first sentence of this paragraph: “The […]

via Writing Tips: Extraneous “That” — Writings By Ender

BERLIN CALLING~by Kelly Durham



Germany 1938. While young and old are captivated by the country’s rapid ascent under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, naive Maggie O’Dea, an American studying abroad, finds her own fortunes turning after falling in love with a handsome soldier and landing a job with the Propaganda Ministry. Embodying the infectious spirit of nationalism sweeping the country, her powerful dispatches launch her broadcasting career as a champion of the Fatherland.

But as Germany invades one peaceful neighbor after another and the wheels of World War II are set in motion, Maggie starts opening her eyes to the grim reality of Hitler’s intentions. Torn between her successful career rooted in the allegiance to her adopted land and a growing dread over her role in a tyrant’s ruthless reign, Maggie—supported by a new love—must fight her own war of conscience. Will she survive a conflict threatening the world…and her own life?


It took me a few chapters to get into this book, and to start caring about the characters, but once I did, it was an amazing ride!

It really makes you think about the multitude of decisions people had to make during WW2.

To have to severely examine ones morals and options? More difficult than we realize.

Lake Union Publishing offered me the book to review at my choosing.




I enjoyed this book for the most part. The main character, Kate Bishop makes a strong heroine. I could see this book being turned into a television mini-series, say six episodes over a two week period.

The book starts off strong, but from about Chapter six through Chapter thirteen, it is nothing but Kate and a female detective talking over coffee. And talking…and talking…and talking… Now, there conversation is very important to the plot and story, however it does drag out for a bit.

Hang in though, because it is worth it.

This is NOT for the faint of heart. It is very graphic, but also a very gripping tale once you get past Chapter 13.

Even though the book slowed for several chapters, I highly recommend this book.

I was approached by SkyHorse Publishing to review this book, and received a complimentary hard back copy to read and review at my choosing. I would like to express my gratitude to the Publisher and Author. 🙂

Here is the Amazon link for purchase:

An update from January in January!


I hope everyone is staying safe and warm this Winter season!

Sorry for the silence. I recently had a minor medical procedure and the recovery is taking longer than expected because…well…I am getting older and stuff like this takes longer! Lol!

I have most likely read your book if you have sent it to me or if I have chosen it from the Publisher or places such as LibraryThing or NetGalley.

Please be patient as I get around to turning my notes into a readable review!

This is the year Indie Authors will shine and I will be with you every step of the way, even though at times my steps might be a little slower!

Much love and Happy 2017!


The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London concludes.

This is a bittersweet moment. I am looking forward to reading the final book of the Bellator Saga, but I hate to see it end.

I will certainly re-read this series again. I have already read the first four twice.

I highly recommend this entire series. It has everything. Well rounded characters, a thrilling and solid plot, and even Romance!


Berlin Calling

Check out this book on Goodreads: Berlin Calling

What was your most disappointing read of 2016?

It happens. It is going to happen. Especially if you are an avid or constant reader.

You get hyped about a book, only for it to disappoint your terribly.

I am not talking about a story going in a direction that was unexpected, or you wishing the Author hadn’t killed off one of your favorite minor characters.

I am talking about a book that completely fell flat and you were horribly disappointed.

What book was it for you?

For me, it was this one.




Why was I so disappointed? Because it fell totally flat. I would not consider this a full-length look at Zapple at all, and I feel the Beatles’ was used as a selling point, as it covered very, very little specific to the Beatles.

Even the photos were grainy and disappointing.

I like to promote books. Sometimes I come across a book that just doesn’t hit the spot for me, but I feel others will enjoy it, so I share it.

But sometimes, a book just fails me completely.

What book or books disappointed you in 2016 and what books are you waiting to read in 2017?


Failed New Year’s Writing Resolutions? Stick to New Writing Goals — Archer’s Aim

Every writer’s New Year’s resolution is to write more. But it’s easy to fall short of those writing goals. Here are tips to set new goals, and stick with them. Source: Failed New Year’s Writing Resolutions? Stick to New Writing Goals

via Failed New Year’s Writing Resolutions? Stick to New Writing Goals — Archer’s Aim

Novel about the Polish Jews during WW 2 ‘WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES’ by~ GEORGIA HUNTER



It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.

As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.

In a novel of breathtaking sweep and scope that spans five continents and six years and transports readers from the jazz clubs of Paris to Kraków’s most brutal prison to the ports of Northern Africa and the farthest reaches of the Siberian gulag, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can find a way to survive, and even triumph.


A novel about so much more than the Holocaust. Expertly told and written. You will read this in one or two sittings.

An epic journey. ‘THE PATRIOTS’ by~SANA KRASIKOV



A non-fiction Children’s book about the Holocaust that I recommend without hesitation.



Review in Covers