#FridayReads – A TIME TO TELL by Maria Savva – New Release!

Friday Reads

Family secrets and lies rarely stay hidden…


A Time to Tell A family saga spanning fifty years and three generations…

Cara fell for the tall, dark, handsome stranger, fifty years before. Now Frederick is about to return to her life. Can true love stand the test of time?

When Cara’s granddaughter, Penelope, flees her home to escape a violent husband, Cara’s world is turned upside down. She returns to Huddlesea, the town she grew up in. Her estranged sister Gloria is less than happy to see her again. Can they rebuild their relationship after the tragic circumstances that tore them apart?

Benjamin, Cara’s eldest son, has been missing for sixteen years. She longs to see him again. Will their reunion be everything she had hoped for?

In this romantic drama, history repeats itself for a family lost in secrets.

After the lies, the TIME has come to TELL.

Published: October 14, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


Trailer for A Time to Tell found on YouTube:


About the Book Interview with Maria Savva:

Which is your favorite minor character and why?

Toby the cat. He only appears in one scene, but it’s a good one, and I have a soft spot for cats 😉 If you mean human characters, then it’s probably the mother with the little green car who is watched by Cara from the bedroom window. I like the way she appeared again towards the end of the book as it links back nicely to the start of the novel. Again, it’s only a brief appearance but something that I think adds a little something extra to the book. I’m not sure why that scene stands out for me.

What is your favorite personality trait of your main character?

As has been pointed out by a few people, my main character Cara can be annoying because of her stubborn nature. She is quite hypocritical, but I think that part of her nature reflects the real world and the fact that we can usually see other people’s faults but not our own. So my favourite personality trait would be that she is annoying.

Your character is at a bookstore. Which section is she shopping in? What book is in her hand right now?

Cara is quite romantic at heart, so she’d be shopping in the romantic fiction section. She’d probably be holding Gone With The Wind.

Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one? 

That’s a good question. Why should they? They probably shouldn’t, but I hope they do. It’s just something I made up, but even after reading it over 100 times, I still like the story and I hope that means others will too. I think the ‘stand out’ thing, in my mind, about A Time to Tell is that it is all about the endurance of love and that strange phenomenon of ‘love at first sight’. It was inspired by me falling in love at first sight and being sure that I knew the man, ‘recognising’ him, even before I’d met him. It was unrequited and nearly 25 years ago, but it still fascinates me to this day. Yes, I am weird, but you knew that already :)

Fiction can often provide powerful life lessons. What message do you hope readers get from your book?

As with all my fiction, A Time to Tell is a study of human nature. I always hope that readers will find at least one character in my books that they can relate to. I believe that no matter how different we all think we are, there are certain fundamental elements to the human condition that unite us. Books are meant to comfort as well as teach, and it’s my hope that someone will read something I write and realise that they are not alone. I sometimes set out with a message I want to convey when I start writing something, but I’ve learnt that everyone will get something different from a book they read; it all depends on our own life experiences. People always read the right book at the right time, though, of that I am certain; it’s happened too many times in my own life for it to be a coincidence. The important thing is I hope it will entertain people and maybe show them a different way to look at things. I always like to make people think.




Thanks for reading. :)

Terrifying Abduction! BASKING IN THE LIGHT by Saylor Storm

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Title: Basking in the Light
Author: Saylor Storm
Published: October 6th, 2015
Recommended Age: 18+

Basking in the Light Ambitious budding reporter, Ellen Singer, grows weary of being alone and pursues a partner through an online dating site; it turns out to be the worst decision of her life. Courted by a handsome, successful author, she is abducted and held captive by his murderous younger brother on a remote island. Ellen fights for her health and sanity while in captivity. She is forced to witness monstrous acts by her captor all the while dependent on him for her survival. Ultimately she is saved by seasoned FBI agent, Arnie Darrow, and rushed to the hospital in a fight for her life. Family and friends stand by hoping for Ellen’s complete recovery. The young reporter pulls through only to struggle with the psychological aftermath of her abduction. Is tenacious Ellen capable of returning to her former self or is she forever altered by her horrific experience? And, what part, if any, does Arnie Darrow play in her recovery?

reclamationTwo-4-One BONUS – During the blog tour – Purchase Basking in the Light, and receive the novella Reclamation FREE … After purchase send Saylor an email at Saylor@SaylorStorm.com And Saylor will respond with your bonus book.

Ellen and Arnie’s story continues …

In Basking in the Light, aspiring reporter, Ellen Singer, survives being captured and held hostage by serial killers for months. Reclamation takes us where Basking in the Light left off; where Ellen is left with the arduous task of rebuilding her life both physically and mentally. With devoted FBI agent, Arnie Darrow, by her side she is able to overcome her many obstacles and in the end he proclaims his deep love for the woman he has grown to admire and revere. Does Ellen reciprocate his feelings, or has her ordeal left her emotionally incapable of returning Arnie’s love?


Basking in the Light: Excerpt – Chapter 6

A boy’s view of the world is affected by what the mother has demonstrated.

Jonny meticulously swept his tiny cabin. The sand was a constant problem. Living on the beach had its benefits, but Jonny had no patience for the daily task. He grumbled under his breath as he opened the front door and pushed the sand back outside with his broom.

He had a daily routine and did not like to alter from it. After sweeping, he took a long walk to town. Jonny wore the same outfit every day: a beige shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a pair of well-worn jeans, and a grey vest. On his feet was a pair of Keen sandals. His long hair, tousled with curls, bounced slightly as he walked. With determination he walked directly to his favorite spot with his treasured cooler in tow.

As odd as Jonny was, the townspeople were used to him and his daily walks to the local coffee shop, where he sat every day, talking to himself and ordering nothing. People ignored him and found him to be harmless.

Jonny returned to his small cabin, before dark, where he would prepare a simple meal and go to bed early. This day there was an interruption in his routine. When he returned to the cabin, he had a visitor.

“Where have you been?” Jim wanted to know.

“I t-took a w-walk, like I always d-do, so w-what?”

“You didn’t talk to anyone, did you?”

“No, I n-never t-talk to anyone. Just like you t-told me. Why are y-you here?”

“I have a surprise for you. I told you that I found her; she’s here, in the car. Come help me get her out of the car.”

“D-do I get to k-keep her?”

“Yes, but you have to keep it a secret.”

“I will! I promise!”

Jonny followed his older brother to the blue sedan in the driveway. Jim popped the trunk. Jonny could make out a woman wearing a white blouse and red shorts. She was tied with rope and tape and was passed out cold.

“She is p-perfect! Why is she s-sleeping?”

“I had to drug her. Help me get her inside.”

The men each carried an end of the body. Jim was at least a foot taller than his younger brother. They placed her on the bed. Jim returned to the car and retrieved a small duffle bag.

“W-what are you g-going to d-do with that?” Jonny asked.

“Just watch.”

Jim pulled an old wooden rocking chair to the center of the room and chained it to a hook he had screwed in to the ceiling.

“Help me get her in the chair,” Jim instructed.

The two men placed her in the chair and cut loose the rope and tape. Jim re-taped Ellen’s ankles and wrists together, then placed a heavy chain over the tape and secured it to a hook that he had screwed in to the floor.

“This should hold her.”

“W-what d-do I d-do if she w-wakes up?”

“She can scream all she wants to, no one will hear her out here. She’s yours; you can do whatever you want with her. I’ll be back tomorrow with food and supplies.”

Jonny smiled at his big brother, “Thank you, J-Jim, she’s p-perfect.”


About the Author:

Saylor Storm Reality becomes fantasy, or is it that imagination turns into real life experience? Saylor Storm is fascinated by how frequently the line between reality and fantasy crosses in her writing practice. She feels that writing novels is an astonishing way to play with something from real life and turning into something fun or playful and sometimes a bit twisted. Her characters all experience real life joy and pain, reinvention, survival and victory. They share the process of evolution and expansion. The places in her stories take place where she has lived or visited, from the beaches of Malibu to the islands in Fiji and destinations in between, including the monastery in one of her novels. Saylor’s stories reflect her many personal interests including fitness, wine, healthy foods. She’s intrigued by the spiritual world and that of metaphysics. She hopes the reader is as entertained reading her books as she is writing them. One of Saylor’s many passions is hiking. Readers can enjoy fabulous photos of her treks posted on her Facebook page, author Saylor Storm. She loves hearing from her readers.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website


The Writing Life Interview with Saylor Storm

When you first begin writing a new book, is your main focus on the characters or the plot?

I start out with a plot in mind first and then I spend quite a bit of time getting to know my character before I begin writing. I learn about their family, upbringing, and childhood issues, hopes, dreams and fears so that I will have a good idea of who they are within the plot.

How much research goes into your fiction writing? What is your approach?

A ton of research goes into my writing, not just for the story, but also for the “factoids” that I insert at the beginning of each chapter: a fact that relates to the story. For example, in my new book, Basking in the Light, I spent months researching about serial killers before I started writing and also added facts about them as I worked on the book.

Do you write a book sequentially, from beginning to end? Or do you sometimes write scenes out of order?

Ninety-five percent of the time I write sequentially. The only exception would be that occasionally I will go back and fill in a section of the story line.

Do your characters sometimes surprise you with their behavior? Or do you always have complete control?

My characters always surprise me, and for me that is part of the fun of writing. I never know what’s going to happen next with my characters!

Do you outline first or take and idea and run blindly?

I have never used an outline and believe that for me writing an outline would negatively impact on the natural flow of my writing. When I start a book, I have a beginning and ending in mind, but what happens in between can sometimes be a complete surprise!

Do you edit as you write? Or do you write an entire rough draft before doing any edits?

Generally, I edit as I go as well as editing after the first rough draft. I find that no matter how much you edit, you will always be able to find more mistakes!

Do you set your books in real locations or do you make them up?

The places that I write about are real and I’ve spent time there, either as a visitor or a resident. No amount of research can replace the first hand experience of taking in the local sites, orders and colloquialisms of a location.

Tell us about your process for designing a cover. (Do you design it yourself? Do you work with a graphic artist? How much say do you have in the final product?)

I have been very fortunate from my first book, Dr. Selfish. My Webmaster at the time asked if he could take a shot at the designing the cover and I was very happy with the result. I’ve had three different webmasters and they have all designed the covers for me. Sometimes, they come up with something completely different than what I had in mind, but I still am pleased with the result and I do have final say.

My current cover designer, Jamie Roehrig, has taken the job on as a personal challenge. He has put a lot of time and thought into the covers and I think he has done a beautiful job!


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#BookReview – WHERE THE BODIES WERE BURIED by T.J. English – Nonfiction

Where The Bodies Were Buried

The New York Times bestselling author of The Westies and Paddy Whacked offers a front-row seat at the trial of Whitey Bulger, and an intimate view of the world of organized crime—and law enforcement—that made him the defining Irish American gangster.

For sixteen years, Whitey Bulger eluded the long reach of the law. For decades one of the most dangerous men in America, Bulger—the brother of influential Massachusetts senator Billy Bulger—was often romanticized as a Robin Hood-like thief and protector. While he was functioning as the de facto mob boss of New England, Bulger was also serving as a Top Echelon informant for the FBI, covertly feeding local prosecutors information about other mob figures—while using their cover to cleverly eliminate his rivals, reinforce his own power, and protect himself from prosecution. Then, in 2011, he was arrested in southern California and returned to Boston, where he was tried and convicted of racketeering and murder.

Our greatest chronicler of the Irish mob in America, T. J. English covered the trial at close range—by day in the courtroom, but also, on nights and weekends, interviewing Bulger’s associates as well as lawyers, former federal agents, and even members of the jury in the backyards and barrooms of Whitey’s world. In Where the Bodies Were Buried, he offers a startlingly revisionist account of Bulger’s story—and of the decades-long culture of collusion between the Feds and the Irish and Italian mob factions that have ruled New England since the 1970s, when a fateful deal left the FBI fatally compromised. English offers an authoritative look at Bulger’s own understanding of his relationship with the FBI and his alleged immunity deal, and illuminates how gangsterism, politics, and law enforcement have continued to be intertwined in Boston.

As complex, harrowing, and human as a Scorsese film, Where the Bodies Were Buried is the last word on a reign of terror that many feared would never end.

Published: September 15, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

I grew up just south of Boston, where any reference to “Whitey” didn’t need to be followed by a last name. Even those of us who didn’t know the details, knew Whitey was a notorious local mobster, loved by some and hated by others. This book unravels the tangled mess of mobsters, connections, and the various law enforcement agencies involved from start to finish in Whitey’s criminal life.

Talking to Joe Salvati was like being in the presence of a living ghost. He was the link between what I had been observing daily at the federal courthouse in Boston during the Bulger trial, and the historical quagmire that had given rise to Whitey. For the first time, I realized that the trial wasn’t only about Bulger, it was about the vast network of people and events that were wrapped up in a historical continuum that seemed to never end.

I found this to be an easy read, as far as writing style and the way the content is presented. But it’s not a light or a quick read, nor could it be given the subject matter. The author provides a detailed account of events, with all the intricacies within the many relationships. We’re taken into Whitey’s life as his crimes become more blatant and brutal. Then we’re taken through his trial, where witnesses relive the events.

In the case against Whitey Bulger, history was on trial. There were those aspects of history that had been cobbled together to form the RICO charges against Bulger, acts of crime both depraved and voluminous. But there was also the history that was being omitted; history that the jury would never hear about because the prosecutors and the Court – meaning the judge – would do everything in their power to make sure it did not become a significant factor in the trial.

The corruption and complicity regarding the FBI’s treatment of Whitey and his associates is, for lack of a better word, astounding. This, I think, is the heart of the story, because without that complicity, Whitey’s criminal enterprise would never have gone on as it did.

Hoover authorized Jimmy Flemmi’s role as a Top Echelon Informant knowing that he was a homicidal maniac whose stated goal was to become the biggest hit man in Boston.

This book shines a spotlight on our government’s practice of recruiting high-level criminal informants, of protecting them, and of the shroud of secrecy surrounding it all. For that reason alone, whether you care about Whitey Bulger or not, this book needs to be read and talked about. Until we demand changes, this type of atrocity will happen again and again, and will remain cloaked in government secrecy.


Thanks for reading. :)

Book Review – CUTE EMERGENCY: Bad Day? The Doctor Is In. by Tony Heally

Cute Emergency

Puppies in sunglasses. Sleeping kittens. A hedgehog in a teacup.

If the thought of animals in adorable situations makes you feel just a little bit happier, then Cute Emergency is the book for you. Based on the popular Twitter feed, it is the antidote to all of life’s little annoyances. Not even the coldest curmudgeon could stay frazzled when faced with the heart-melting animals and witty captions contained in these pages. So fulfill your recommended daily allowance of cuteness and let furry creatures come to your rescue!

Published: October 6, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

Feeling grumpy? Overwhelmed? Irritated? Take a break, grab this book, and you’ll find yourself smiling whether you want to or not.

This book reminds me of a child’s picture book, as far as size and paper quality. The pages are thick, so they don’t tear easily. The cover is sturdy, like a hard paperback or a soft hardcover.

Each page throughout is an excellent quality, full-color photograph, with the caption placed somewhere over the photo. The majority of photos are dogs and cats, but there are also monkeys, rabbits, pandas, and a variety of other animals.

This book definitely has a major cute factor. Some of the photos and captions had me giggling. All of them gave me a reason to smile.

This is a perfect book to have on a shelf for those moments when you need a distraction. It also makes a perfect gift for friends and relatives, especially the grumpy ones.

*I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, via Blogging For Books, in exchange for my honest review.*


Thanks for reading. :)

One Touch Could End It All – ELI’S COMING – #99cents Sale!

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He is an empath.
But that isn’t the ability that makes him so dangerous…


Eli’s dark legacy holds murder as his rite of passage. They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse. A life of violence and heartache leaves him with nothing left to fight for.

Or so he thinks.

Amanda steals his heart, but love makes him vulnerable. He must give her up or accept who he is and fight.

Will he risk stepping into the darkness that could consume him?

99 cent sale through Friday, October 9th!

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble



When Eli and Luc arrived, three of their fellow members were already seated at the conference table, which was, as always, headed by Tristan. Eli walked past them, to the back of the room, where he sat on one of the armchairs. Tristan watched him. Though the council leader said nothing, Eli felt the relief. That was only one of many emotions flooding him. He felt them all, emotions not belonging to him but his just the same. When he was a child, he often didn’t know the difference between his feelings and someone else’s. He hadn’t understood the panoply of emotions swirling in a vortex around him. At times, he felt as if the frenzied energy would break him apart.

Now, for the most part, he was able to separate himself from the emotional energy fields of the people around him. He only ran into trouble in two situations: He struggled with control when his energy was wrapped with someone else’s, or, in layman’s terms, when he loved someone. And he was often overwhelmed when surrounded by other Yati. The word translated to sorcerer, and referred to Timucuan descendants like himself. Their energy was far more powerful than the average person’s, and he had a difficult time deflecting it.

One touch could end it all.


Thanks for reading. :)


#FridayReads – CONSEQUENCE by Steve Masover – New Release!

Friday Reads

He’s playing a dangerous game…


Consequence_SteveMasover_CoverSan Francisco activist Christopher Kalman has little to show for years spent organizing non-violent marches, speak-outs, blockades, and shutdowns for social and environmental justice. When a shadowy eco-saboteur proposes an attack on genetically engineered agriculture, Christopher is ripe to be drawn into a more dangerous game. His certainty that humankind stands on the brink of ecological ruin drives Christopher to reckless acts and rash alliances, pitting grave personal risk against conscientious passion.

Published: September 29, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK

Behind the Scenes with Steve Masover:

As Consequence begins, Chris Kalman engages in anonymous internet chat with Chagall, a self-proclaimed saboteur.  Chagall is trying to recruit Chris into a plan to stage “spectacular political theater” in opposition to environmental damage caused by genetic engineering. Chris, who lives in a household of San Francisco activists along with the teenage boy they co-parent, is skeptical. Despite Chagall’s assurances, he worries that the saboteur’s sketchily outlined plan might violate nonviolent principles to which he and his housecomrades are committed.

At the start of Chapter Three, excerpted below, Chris’s longtime friend Brendan unexpectedly returns to San Francisco. Brendan thought the truck he drove into Mexico early in the previous year was packed with medical supplies and radio equipment he had agreed to smuggle into the southern state of Chiapas, for the revolutionary Zapatista communities there. But when federal police pulled him over in Oaxaca he was imprisoned for gunrunning.

Brendan is bitter and haunted that he still doesn’t know who set him up on a weapons charge. His ordeal serves as a warning and a brake as Chris edges deeper into secret collaboration with Chagall. Consequence explores both the allure and the peril in taking responsibility for fixing what’s wrong in the world. “Still,” as Chris insists, “you have to find the border between standing up for what’s right, versus acts that are dictatorial or violent. Or worse.


Excerpt – from Chapter Three of  CONSEQUENCE by Steve Masover

Sprawled against the trunk of a budding sycamore, Brendan James watched the Triangle’s front porch through half-shut eyes. He was scrawny as a speed freak, gritty as Duboce Avenue used to be before the neighborhood gentrified. Mothers with toddlers, hipsters with iPods, even the occasional gutter punk stepped around him gingerly, hugging the inside edge of the sidewalk. No one answered the collective’s doorbell when he’d rung, maybe a half hour before. He didn’t mind. He wouldn’t say prison had been an enriching experience, but Tlaxitlán sure as hell taught him to wait.

After a while longer, Jonah turned the corner, sun glinting over his long blond hair. He’d grown it out just like his mom’s, Brendan thought. And he was taller by a foot since Brendan last passed through San Francisco. Approaching home, Jonah scowled at nothing in the manner of coddled norteamericanos who have little to scowl about, and scuffed clear of Brendan’s legs. Didn’t even look up.

Brendan cleared his throat as the kid fumbled for a key. Jonah stopped. Turned. Looked like he was deciding whether the sun-scorched man outside his gate posed an actual threat. Crusty denim and muddy boots. Reddish stubble blurring bony features. Hair cut to bristle.

“Where the hell’ve you been, kid?”

He watched recognition dawn as he stood and let himself grin. Joy, incredulity, and cool battled for ascendancy in Jonah’s face. The boy stood paralyzed, hand hanging slack in his pocket.

Brendan did the math. Thirteen years old. “How ’bout you open the gate, Jonah Rayle?” He stepped forward to wrap Allison’s son in a bear hug. “I gotta take a wicked piss.”

Jonah laughed. “Nobody said you were coming. Nobody even told me they let you out of … Mexico. Does Chris know?”

Brendan shrugged and turned to his beat up motorbike, parked by the driveway. He unbuckled a pair of saddlebags.

“That’s all?”

“You know me,” Brendan said. “He who travels light—”

“—travels far.” Jonah held the metal gate open, then let it clang shut behind them.

Brendan winced at the sound of steel on steel, of the latch snicking into place. He forced his breath steady. The kid hadn’t meant to startle him.

He stood aside as Jonah unlocked the inner door, at the bottom of the Triangle’s steep staircase.


Thanks for reading. :)

#BookReview – LOCKDOWN ON RIKERS by Mary E. Buser – Nonfiction

Lockdown on Rikers

Mary Buser began her career at Rikers Island as a social work intern, brimming with ideas and eager to help incarcerated women find a better path. Her reassignment to a men’s jail coincided with the dawn of the city’s “stop-and-frisk” policy, a flood of unprecedented arrests, and the biggest jailhouse build-up in New York City history.

Committed to the possibility of growth for the scarred and tattooed masses who filed into her session booth, Buser was suddenly faced with black eyes, punched-out teeth, and frantic whispers of beatings by officers. Recognizing the greater danger of pointing a finger at one’s captors, Buser attempted to help them, while also keeping them as well as herself, safe. Following her promotion to assistant chief, she was transferred to different jails, working in the Mental Health Center, and finally, at Rikers’s notorious “jail within jail,” the dreaded solitary confinement unit, where she saw horrors she’d never imagined. Finally, it became too much to bear, forcing Buser to flee Rikers and never look back – until now.

Lockdown on Rikers shines a light into the deepest and most horrific recesses of the criminal justice system, and shows how far it has really drifted from the ideals we espouse.

Published: September 29, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

“A society can be judged by the condition of its jails.”

I’m torn on how to review this book. I’ll start with what I liked: The author shares some extraordinary stories and anecdotes of life behind prison walls. For readers unfamiliar with the truth of our prison system, many of these stories will be shocking. Even those hardcore readers who believe people in prison need to be punished, as opposed to rehabilitated, can’t possibly read this and not be horrified. But there is also humor to lighten the mood, as well as some moments of hope to raise the spirits.

Once again, I didn’t understand how a nonviolent drug sale could draw the same sentence as murder.

Now the not so good stuff (for me): I felt the book lacked a thread of continuity. This reads a bit like journal entries, with stories from each workday blended in with rants about the frustration of bureaucracy. We go from one thing to the next, a steady stream of stories without much insight. I would have liked more focus, or some way of connecting everything with specific discussion points.

So, this is the War on Drugs – up close and personal, the side that no one ever sees: a newly sentenced human life coming apart.

My other problem comes with the writing style, which felt, at times, oddly removed, particularly for a memoir. The author tells us that certain things upset her regarding inmates’ treatment, but I never felt it. I never saw a real reaction. Instead, as with many people unhappy with their jobs or their lives, the author plods along and tries to block out the things that upset her. And when it finally all becomes too much, she resigns. I just didn’t feel the outrage from the author that I was feeling as a reader.

Solitary confinement induces the bleakest depression, plunging despair, and terrifying hallucination. The Mental Health Department looms large in these units, doling out antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mountains of sleeping pills. If these inmates didn’t have mental health issues before they entered solitary, they do now.

This memoir ends in the year 2000, when the author left her job. I have an advanced review copy, which ends rather abruptly. I understand that the published book will have an epilogue. I think that will be an important aspect, but of course I can’t comment on the quality of that epilogue.

Solitary confinement was far worse than I’d ever imagined. Behind so many of these doors were blood-smeared cells, makeshift nooses, and agonized shell-shocked faces. The degree of suffering was staggering, and I didn’t know how I could possibly adjust to this.

I do commend the author for writing this book. That alone earns extra points from me. We simply cannot call ourselves a civilized society, while behind prison walls we’re tossing the poor into isolation cells (Supermax) for years at a time. And, yes, it’s always the poor. You will not see a wealthy person in Supermax, and that is not because wealthy people don’t break the law. We need more people like Mary Buser to speak up so that, maybe, enough of us will get too angry to sit back in silence.

*I received an ebook copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*


Thanks for reading. :)

#FridayReads – Trippin’ Through Space with A. Lightbourne

Friday Reads

A space adventure like no other…

Space Trippers

About the Book Interview with A. Lightbourne

Tell us about your main character.

Valesque is a Scientific Engineer that just wants to mind her own business. She initially wanted to make up with her people for abandoning tradition by choosing her own career, but having miserably failed that, and ended up on their most wanted list, she now just wants to live a quiet life and do what she loves. Unfortunately for her, that never goes quite as planned when ex-clients become megalomaniacs intent on enslaving the universe and you are the only one standing in their way.

Just Passing Through Which is your favorite minor character and why?

That would be Nahni, Valesque’s digitized Grandmother. She is introduced in book 2, but doesn’t play a big part until book 3. She is a bit off her rocker and it takes all of Valesque’s limited patience to deal with her antics. You never know what she will be up to next, but it is sure to be something beneficial to herself in some way.

One of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where does he/she go and what does he/she buy?

This would be Tim. He has been dying to find ‘Gorgeous’, AKA Valesque, better clothes. His first stop would definitely be a swim shop to get her a sexier swimsuit. That over-concealing one-piece is just not cutting it.

Your character is at a bookstore. Which section is he/she shopping in? What book is in his/her hand right now?

Valesque feels she is in need of some support to get her through working with these new ‘friends’, as they like to call themselves. ‘How to deal with stupid people and not kill them’, seems to be just the ticket.

A Frosty Farewell I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make?

Meat is a good idea, if you don’t want to trigger her hunting mode…..and you don’t want to trigger her hunting mode. Some very rare meat. Crisp on the outside, raw on the inside. Go light on the carbs, her body cannot tolerate them well.

Your main character is planning a vacation. Where is he/she going?

Anywhere the others can’t follow her to. Perhaps somewhere on the dark fringes of known space, with a high-security lab where she can work in peace… if Nahni would just shut up.

Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?

Sometimes they like to steer conversations where I never intended them to go. Mostly Tim does this, he insists on being in conversations he wasn’t scripted in if he is anywhere in ear shot….and he has very good hearing.

Also when I first started writing Space Trippers I never thought Tim would have the slightest chance with Valesque. But things about him have been revealed and his personality is not what it seemed at first. And Sanic, poor sad Sanic, I am disappointed in him. He showed a weakness of character in book 5 that took away a few of his points and gave them to Tim. This does not mean however that Tim will get her in the end…. that remains to be seen.

Will Work How did you come up with the title?

The title of the series is based on an important invention of Valesque’s: The Space Tripper. She had intended it to be a peace offering to her people, to get them to forget about that whole casting her out of society thing. But, of course, it didn’t work out. So when it ended up getting stolen she was almost happy, after all she was the only one who knew how to use the space warp device, right?

Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?

Space Trippers is a Fun, Light, Humorous series. I find it fun to write, and I hope others find it fun to read!

Space Trippers has a serious underlying plot, but each book is one episode or stop on their adventure and they can be quite humorous as the main characters get to know one another and learn to get along.

Readers comment on how vivid my writing is. Some say it reads like a script, others say they could picture it as a movie. I try to be detailed without being overly wordy, and I like to give everyone’s point of view so you get the whole story.

My Husband likes to tell people to picture it as an animated movie. Because then you can imagine thought bubbles over people’s heads and get the humor better.

I highly encourage people to try my Free Sample Chapters before they buy my books. You can read them on my website ALightbourne.com or any ebook retailer should have a sample to try.

Don't Even Ask


Purchase Links:

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble


Thanks for reading. :)

#BookReview – THE BLENDER GIRL SMOOTHIES by Tess Masters

Blender Girl

A beautiful collection of vegan smoothies from powerhouse blogger The Blender Girl, featuring photographs, flavor boosters, and nutritional add-ons for every recipe.

The Blender Girl takes smoothies to the next level in this comprehensive guide, helping you blast your way to good health and blended bliss. These 100 creative and delicious recipes are designed to fit your every need, whether you want to detox, lose a few pounds, get energized, or guard against seasonal colds. Each smoothie has three optional boosters (like chia seeds, ginger, coconut oil, or wheat grass) that allow you to ramp up flavor, nutrient value, or both. Featuring gorgeous photography throughout, a smoothie pantry that demystifies unusual ingredients, icons to identify smoothies that fit your particular dietary needs, and strategies for achieving smoothie success, this accessible handbook makes it fun and easy to find your perfect blend.

Published: June 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

This is such a cool book! To start with, the book itself is pretty to look at and easy to navigate through.

As for the recipes, each one gives simple instructions, along with optional boosters for nutrition, weight loss, etc. There are beautiful quality color photos to go with each recipe. And nutritional information for each smoothie is listed at the bottom of the page.

Some of these recipes immediately sound yummy, while others not so much. But even those taste surprisingly good! This book has a whole lot of smoothie recipes, and I haven’t even tried half yet, but I’m enjoying each experience.

*I was provided with a free copy by the publisher, via Blogging For Books, in exchange for my honest review.*


Thanks for reading. :)

#BookReview: GO DOWN HARD by Craig Faustus Buck

Go Down Hard

Sex, Thugs, and Rock-n-Roll

The wild, daring, sexy and outrageously original crime novel from Anthony Award and Macavity Award nominee Craig Faustus Buck.

Nob Brown is a divorced, disillusioned thirty-something ex-cop turned bottom-feeding tabloid writer. His best friend and occasional lover, Gloria Lopes, is an LAPD detective who needs an Excel spreadsheet to chart her sex life. When Gloria slips Nob the confidential file on the unsolved twenty-year-old murder of a legendary rock-and-roll goddess, Nob hopes to solve the crime and propel himself out of the tabloids and into a lucrative book deal. But he pokes into the wrong holes and unearths rotting secrets that give rise to fresh corpses. As the cold case comes to a fast boil, Nob is forced to battle for his own survival.

Published: May 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

This book has a lot of glowing reviews. I’m going to step outside the norm; I didn’t love it. For the most part, I didn’t even like it.

The genre is marketed as a “noir mystery”, but it’s more like whodunit crime fiction. The attempt at noir mainly comes through as sarcastic humor and juvenile sex references. This is only an observation meant for those serious readers looking for a true noir experience. Genre isn’t an important factor for me when I read, though it does create expectations.

At the station, a cop might absently pick up the wrong set of cuffs from time to time, but Gloria doesn’t have to worry about hers since they’re powder-coated hot pink.

With any fiction book, I’m always drawn to characters first. These characters, for me, are stereotypical and one-dimensional. The story is told in first person, from Nob’s perspective. He’s a cop-turned-writer who acts like an inexperienced PI. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to his professional training. I didn’t like him. He’s sarcastic, all the time, and rarely has a serious or honest conversation.

I’m stunned. He calls his own granddaughter a sick bitch? Mental problems? Lies? The interview is veering wildly off course.

Then there’s Gloria, his best friend with benefits. She’s an unprofessional homicide detective, who is brash and apparently can’t keep her clothes on around Nob. I think the author intended her to be bold and independent, but she comes off instead as childish, impetuous, and needy. She’s always grabbing at his crotch and making inappropriate comments in public, which feel more like she’s trying to lay claim to property than her being a free sexual spirit. This is accented by the fact that, despite claims of her not being monogamous and wanting new sex partners all the time, Nob is the only man she’s falling all over.

“Are you trying to turn me on?” she asks. “Because I’ll spank you right here in public.”

We also have Nob’s assistant, Melody, who has a small and annoying part. I can only assume the author intended for her to be quirky. I thought she was ridiculous. Throughout the book, she’d randomly drop into a split or stick her foot up behind her ear, in the midst of a conversation, just because she could. She behaved like an eight-year-old.

Melody lifts her leg straight up and touches her ankle to her ear. She’s wearing a short plaid skirt that falls immodestly onto her shoulder revealing her black leotard crotch, but it doesn’t faze her. She stretches like that for a few seconds, then rests the heel of her Capezio jazz shoe on my brick mantel. She holds that pose as she talks.

And, finally, I have to mention the cast of bad guys. They were all thoroughly interchangeable, like stock characters picked off a shelf. Each had all the expected bad guy traits – nothing more and nothing less.

Big Ugly Guy glares at me, but we both know he’s not going to do anything. Bigger Ugly Guy reaches out and pushes my arms up to frisk me. I stand as if crucified, waiting for the minor humiliation to end. The Ugly Twins separate and I walk through the mountain pass.

Now on to the plot. From my perspective, it’s kind of a tangled mess. I have to give the author credit for his attempt in tackling a serious topic. But the sarcastic, childish nature of the characters took away from any real meaning behind the content.

I was also bugged by some inconsistencies. For instance, early in the story Nob mentions that Lana named her two daughters after classic movie stars. Then, later in the story when a clue pops up having to do with classic movies, Nob states that he never saw Lana as the “classic movie type”. Also, at one point in the story he digs out his gun for protection, commenting that he rarely carries one because they make him uncomfortable. He was a cop! I likely noticed this stuff more because I was already irritated by all the sarcasm, brashness, and unprofessional behavior.

“I never saw Lana as the classic movie type,” I say.

I wish I could be as enthusiastic about this book as the majority of readers. I was excited to read a book combining rock ‘n’ roll with the noir genre, but it just didn’t work for me.


Thanks for reading. :)