Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson #bookreview #YA #contemporary #humor #TuesdayBookBlog

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson.

Two girls. One night. Zero phones.

Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong?

Well. Kind of a lot?

They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore.

Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future.

That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight. 

I have to admit – it was the Ferris Bueller comp title that cinched the deal on requesting this book from NetGalley. There were no Save Ferris water towers, but this sure was a fun romp.

Kat and Stevie are ride or die besties, but polar opposites in interests, actions, and physical attributes. Despite a planning checklist for their trip into NYC, their adventure goes sideways from the moment they step off the train at Grand Central Station. The evening lands them in some unexpected, chaotic, and humorous situations, and they meet a Pomeranian named Brad who will steal your heart. Kat and Stevie are both very relatable and flawed, and each of them experience their own coming of age moments over the course of the story. Those more serious moments aren’t something I expected going into this book, but I like how they’re life-changing issues and the ways the girls deal with them.

Something I feel could have been left out was Teri’s subplot. After reading Kat’s and Stevie’s chapters, her sections felt like a speed bump that took me out of the story.

Is it likely most of this storyline could happen? No. But if you suspend your disbelief and just go with the flow, you’ll soon find yourself caught up in an unlikely, but whimsical adventure.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Michael Reed #IndieAuthor #humor #satire

Happy Friday!  Our weather forecast has flipped back and forth over whether we’re expecting snow tomorrow night.  In April.  It’s not like I live very far north, or even in Canada.  That being said, some humor might make me feel a little better about it all, and Michael Reed brings us two humor-related books today.  Enjoy!

I’ve read quite a few good books lately, but I’ve decided to make my recommendation for “Generation Dementia” by Michael Hartnett. It’s an indie book that could certainly use more attention than it’s gotten so far. I chose it based on a promotional blurb and a quick look at the writing style. That’s how I end up reading most works by people I’m unfamiliar with. I’d call the book a cautionary tale except it’s too wickedly funny to be viewed in such a narrow way.

At the center of this intricate tale of urban angst is narrator Hash O’Connell, who as an intern in a trash pickup program discovers a box of old 5¼ floppy disks at the home of a recently deceased Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Levon Gallagher. As Hash reads the disks’ content intermittantly throughout the book, he learns not only about past technologies, but also about Gallagher’s link to his family. The result leaves him a changed person. There are other secrets to be found as well, but I think it’s best to leave discovering the rest to new readers.

I will say that along the way, the trash program becomes wildly popular with other troubled teens, and three of its participants, which include what I’ll describe as a garbage kleptomaniac and a trash-hauling violinist become reality TV stars – certainly seemed apropos of our times. In truth, there is a lot of Pynchon in Hartnett’s worldview, at least in this novel.  That said fear not, this tale is more accessible than the bulk of Pynchon’s work. The writing is crisp and for me the pages flew by. “Generation Dementia” strikes that rare balance between side-splitting humor and thought-provoking (though never preachy) social commentary that is hard to come by.


As for my latest release, “Songs From Richmond Avenue,”  deals mostly with drunks as I’ve started telling people who ask me to pigeon-hole my book, which I think fits best under the heading of literary fiction or urban satire.

It’s primarily about the denizens of the Relix Club, who wile away the hours engaged in their two favorite activities – drinking and betting. Until recently that was good enough for our storyteller, a journalist of questionable work ethic, who undergoes an epiphany following a bus stop meeting with pretty Michelle, a woman he declares has “skin so perfect I doubted she even had pores.”

Could she be his redemption? Maybe, but first he’d better contend with her baseball bat-wielding former beau, her nihilistic stripper roommate and the suspicious death of a friend, who fancies himself the father of Brute Generation poetry.

I’m told it’s wildly unpredictable and mostly centers on whether the protagonist of “Songs From Richmond Avenue” will put down his beer long enough to learn anything of true value.


Michael Reed, a finalist for the 2017 McGrath House indie book award for fiction, is a Texas journalist, meaning he’s used to living in inexpensive apartments and driving paid-for used cars. He does not have a wife or children, which is probably best for all concerned, and has never owned a washer or drier, something he takes great pride in. “Songs From Richmond Avenue,” which recently received a Literary Titan Gold Award, is the Southern Illinois University graduate’s first novel.

Indie Author Friday: Lucinda E. Clarke #IndieAuthor #thriller #autobiography @LucindaEClarke

Today’s author, Lucinda E. Clarke, has lived a colorful life so far – and after reading this interview, I’m inclined to believe more adventures lie in her future.  She shares with us a variety of award-winning books and a special talent I can identify with – ‘I’m a very average cook and my claim to fame is I’ve not poisoned anyone yet.’  My family can confirm this.

Walking over Eggshells:  myBook.to/WoE – available on all outlets

My story of growing up with a mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and my whirlwind life with a Walter Mitty husband who country hopped all over Africa. It covers 5 decades, 8 countries with never a dull moment.

Truth lies & Propaganda: http://goo.gl/Ws7b4w  &

More Truth, lies and Propaganda http://goo.gl/Ws7b4w – available on all outlets

Tales of my writing and filming career in Africa, from meeting Nelson Mandela, witchdoctors, royalty and everyday people in rural areas.

Amie: African Adventure Book 1 of 4 myBook.to/Amie1  – in Amazon KDP

I take Amie from her comfortable home and family outside London to Africa, but the moment she settles in, civil war breaks out and soon she fighting for her life.

Amie and the Child of Africa Book 2 myBook.to/Amie2 – in Amazon KDP

Amie and her husband are in hiding, but she is determined to rescue the little African child she fostered in book 1. Little does she know that Angelina is being held by a group affiliated to IS and she must use all her wits against this group of international terrorists.

Amie: Stolen Future Book 3  http://amzn.to/2ie5N72   – Amazon KDP

Amie loses everything, her possessions, her home, her family and even her name. She has never been more helpless or more alone. She is now forced to work for those who do not have her best interests at heart but she is determined to survive.

Amie: Cut for Life – due out in September 2017

Amie the most reluctant spy in history is sent on a look see mission which turns out to be more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. She has no idea who to trust or how to get 4 kidnapped children home to England.

Unhappily Ever After: A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups http://goo.gl/s7IQT4

A parody set in Fairyland in the genre of Rowan Atkinson and Tom Sharpe which shows the well-loved characters in a whole new light.

The very Worst riding School in the World – my free novella  myBook.to/WRS

What do you love most about the writing process?

Power! Now, this is going to sound awful, but I promise you I’m quite a nice person and would never do anyone any harm or hurt them in any way – but the same cannot be said about my writing. I just adore creating characters and then doing exactly what I want with them. I can put them in wheelchairs, give them a fatal disease, transport them unwillingly across the world and then, if they begin to annoy me I can kill them off after they watched the love of their life being tortured to death. As a writer I can do all those things I would never dare – or possibly want to do – quite safely, and know I’ve not broken the law.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

“Sign it and make time!” I’m going back now over 20 years to the day I wrote in my diary “My publisher flew down from Johannesburg and took me out to lunch.” One of those magical moments in any writer’s career, and yes, she worked for one of the big 5. They had already published one of my educational books, she held out a contract for a whole series and I turned it down. Not as crazy as you might think. At the time I was writing for radio, television and videos and they paid me quickly. I knew that royalties from further books would take months to arrive, and I needed to pay the rent and put food on the table. I didn’t have time to write books, scripts and go out on location, I was working 24/7 as it was. Now I’m retired and self-publishing I often wonder what if I had signed? Probably starved to death!

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

I had no intentions of publishing my first book, a memoir “Walking over Eggshells.” I wrote it to explain to my children my life with my mother who could not or would not love me. It was only after her death that I discovered she suffered from a personality disorder and that knowledge washed away years of guilt. I met someone who’d had the same experience and after comparing notes, I decided to share the knowledge. I’ve received dozens of emails from all over the world thanking me for telling my story and how it has helped them. Those readers’ responses mean more to me than the silver medal I won.  It was worth all the hard work and I hope it will continue to enlighten many more people in the future.

Oh and a couple of readers have called me the new Wilbur Smith – for the Amie books – I loved that!

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’m not sure I have! It has been a massive leap from radio and TV to the printed page, even though in my almost 40 years I’ve scribbled all the other stuff from mayoral speeches, to brochures, plays, adverts, articles, newspaper column etc. Each day I write I learn something new but the hardest thing for me is to keep track of timelines and characters for over 100,000 words. My editor tears her hair out. I am getting there, but I’ve always written from the heart, not mechanically plotting out from scene to scene before I write the first paragraph.

My biggest learning curve is the marketing side – what a nightmare for a techie idiot like me!

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I really shouldn’t answer this one as I’m pretty mediocre at most things. My daily exercise – on the odd occasion I’m not writing – is to walk from the front door to the car. I’m a very average cook and my claim to fame is I’ve not poisoned anyone yet. I used to knit and sew, but nothing earth shattering. Is it unusual to move house at the drop of a hat? I’ve got permanent itchy feet, lived in 8 different countries to date and would relocate again if asked. I know the moment I press end on this I’ll remember some amazing talent I’d quite forgotten about, but right now, no, I’m nothing special.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

I’ve retired – the retired bit is a joke – to Spain so we don’t get Netflix and only watch a couple of programmes a night if that, but my favourites are the European series and the one I watched last night on BBC 4 “I Know Who You Are” a Spanish production is excellent. Needless to say we read the subtitles! – but we do that with a lot of British programmes too, after living in Africa for most of my life, I can’t understand many of the local UK accents. I love series like “The Bridge,” “West Wing,” and “House of Cards,” programmes that are cleverly written and make you think and try to guess the end.

Author Bio

Abandoned in the African bush with a 9 week old baby and no resources Lucinda could look back on a childhood of mental abuse, without knowing that before her lay an even more bizarre future. She would run the worst riding school in the world, broadcast live with a bayonet at her throat, be fired from her teaching position and thrown into the media world. She would learn how to lie in the name of propaganda, write about dozens of topics for a variety of clients and have her own newspaper column. She would meet kings and statesmen, international artists and rural Africans. She would win several awards along the way for her scripting and films. Eventually she would reluctantly leave Africa to retire in Spain. A few months later she would begin writing books – seven to date in a variety of genres – and start a whole new career, collecting more awards.

Back in Europe Lucinda met many people who knew little about Africa except for what they had seen in the media. And so, the Amie stories were born, to paint a true picture of the peoples and culture on the Dark continent wrapped up in a thrilling series of adventures which reflect the author’s love for the lands she unwillingly left behind.

Social Media

Web: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com
Blog: http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com
Amazon author: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucindaEClarke
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author


Indie Author Friday: Martin Allen #IndieAuthor #YA #Fantasy

It’s Friday again – and today Martin Allen is here with his extensive collection of multiple genre books.  Martin would like to be one of my favorite Avengers, and if any of you are looking for book reviews, he offers some ideas below.

An exploration of the perceived infallibility of DNA and Fingerprint Evidence as presented in UK Law. Until relatively recently there have been virtually no challenges to the reliability of these types of evidence. This title explores not only the cases that have challenged these evidential types in the UK but also persuasive authorities from overseas and expert opinions on their scientific validity as they are currently presented in the UK.

Recondite is a number of abstract digital pieces combined into one collection. Each piece is an invocation of a particular mood or concept. The pieces are grouped according to the original source material into a number of “series” to illustrate the dimensions of experience within each image.


A short story set in the same universe as the forthcoming “Phoenix: Rising” Novel. There is a sample of this novel after the short story.
Set in a Dystopian world ruled by a Theocracy a non-descript clerk finds himself thrown into the very prison camps he helped to fill while working in the “Justice” System.


As the pyres of the Inquisition burned, the faith of Decimus Vespilo did not waiver. Holding to the tenants of his training he remained detached from that which he visited on others. Assigned to an Investigation he deemed beneath him he is caught up, not only in a rapidly growing movement but a conspiracy that could destabilise the teachings of the temple to which he devoted his life. Is the mysterious preacher the “Phoenix” a threat or the salvation he has been subconsciously seeking since consigning his own grandfather to the flames when just a child?
As his ties to the movement grow stronger during his undercover investigation, will his affection for Histar sway his course? The emergence of a Shadowy mastermind casts a sinister foreboding to Decimus`s mission as his every move is predicted and countered. Could it be the “Phoenix” is an unexpected ally to forestall the inhuman manoeuvring of those seeking to subvert the original message of the Empire? Manoeuvring that has been bastardising this message for years,so much so that the original is lost and incompatible.
Decimus must decide between his beliefs and the Empire he has been trained to protect at all costs.

“A snowflake can start an avalanche, as one act of compassion can change the world.”

Under the brutal oppression of the Empire, a new era of repression is to begin. The show trials will cease, and the bloody massacre of those deemed unclean or unholy will commence. Calidus Squad of the Imperial Guard has been recalled to Earth, the very seat of the Empire and is tasked with transporting these prisoners to their final destination, where they assume the prisoners will stand trial. Calidus Squad are among 7,000 Imperial Guardsmen assigned to this task by Investigator Celeris. The convoy starts at Jerusalem and ends in Rome. Lieutenant Gratius and Sergeant Curtius are all too aware that the involvement of an Imperial Investigator, the Empire’s trained killing machines, heralds a dark undercurrent to this mission, but other members of the Squad, such as Guardsman Amatius Balbus, have much to learn about the Empire that they serve. The one light in the dark is Mya, a small child who attaches herself to Calidius Squad, and she may just change the course of the Empire.

This prequel to “Phoenix Rising” is the story of the 7,000, worshipped as Demi-gods in the Empire of “Phoenix: Rising”.

A short story set in the same universe as the Author’s “Phoenix: Rising” Novel. There is a sample of this novel and Phoenix: Ashes after the short story.

Terenitus Catilina awakes in a military hospital, her life changed forever. Gone is her carefree existence, safe in the middle classes of the Empire of Sol Invictus. She must now come to terms with all that she has lost, and the horrific injuries that she has sustained. Taken in by the Inquisition after they saved her life Catilina is now beholden to this dark and terrifying chapter of the Empire’s clergy. She must now complete her training to join their number as the prototype of the Dark Eagle protocol.

(Prequel to Phoenix: Deliverance)

A humourous Science Fiction short story in which a failed writer, dependant on the favours of family friends, on his last chance to get published discovers a portal to an alternative Universe. can he use this discovery to launch his writing career?


As a turncoat mercenary Beorma is on the run. Once engaged in an ill-fated Norse invasion of the Scottish lands, he must now attempt to throw off his Norse pursuers. He turned on them in the midst of battle and they care nothing for the fact that he was trying to stop the slaughter of children, for they were the ones perpetrating this evil. In his flight he happens on a band of Angles who had escaped the Vikings he had once served.

It was once said that “man hath no greater love than this, that he would give his life for a friend.” but perhaps man hath no greater love than to give his life for a stranger.

When a mysterious visitor to Brawley appears out of a special rift, Mariah Beck faces her greatest challenge. Despite leaving legal practice to draft legislation for the good of Supernatural beings and their struggle for Equal Rights she must now return to her previous calling to save the soul of an elderly German Supernatural, and her own. Her opposition; Mephistopheles himself!

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

I have to say the following review for “Phoenix: Penitence” really made my day:

“This author has a unique and delightfully artful way of writing. The expert mastery of dialogue and language is as entertaining as the story itself. I was immediately transported to this world and its totalitarian structure which is analogous to The Inquisition set in a far flung future after a nuclear event. Usually I can read quickly, not so with this prose. Impressively, the sentence and paragraph structures require close attention to each word because much meaning is attached. That is not to say this story is hard to understand or tedious to read, it is to say that this writing is not dumbed down. True lovers of literature will love this no doubt, regardless of a preferred genre.

The first tale and the introduction to the Phoenix: Rising novel use the far future to shine a light on the horrors of fanaticism and totalitarianism. Excellent.”

Thank you Ron Baker, if you ever read this.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

I think Histar from “Phoenix: Rising” would really hate my guts. She’s a woman that went through a lot (and will go through more – in at least one other book [I’m not saying which]) .


One of her friends was killed in the following of the Phoenix and at the time of writing this she thinks this great teacher of peace that she followed is now dead. She has departed to follow her own path of teaching the lessons she has learned. All in all she’s quite a together lady and would see me as something of a pathetic looser holed up in my office in my house trying to make connections with people without ever having to meet them. She’d really let rip into me about how good I have things and she’d be right. I feel sorry for her having a creator who she’s so much better than…

What do you do to get book reviews?

Over the years I’ve tried some advertising (it didn’t work), I’ve tried contributing to anthologies (there’s one set in Brian Parker’s Sci-Fi Film Noir world of Easytown hopefully being released either the end of this year or early next), I have E-mailed out large numbers of copies to reviewers, set up free days on Amazon, I’ve even started a book review circle where authors give out copies of their books to the circle of authors and readers in exchange for honest reviews. That last one is in progress and time will tell how that turns out – the link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/596504473878835/ if anyone is interested in joining.

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I have done so many things, mainly out of a sense of boredom and they interested me at the time. As well as being awful at a number of musical instruments I have learned to make chainmail, appeared on stage as a Magician over several years, appeared on stage in a musical (yes, it was a singing role – sigh), I design my own book covers (and I hope to get a lot better at that), I’m a 2nd Kyu (brown belt) in Karate, I practiced Aikido for around 10 years, I’m a Grade 3 and 3 Star fencer who attended the West Midlands Centre of Excellence for Fencing, I won the North-East England Mooting Competition in 2002 (Mooting is presenting a legal argument in a competition – like debating but only in law) and I accidentally learned how to make home-made cider (for American readers, I’m talking the alcoholic variety).

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

The Brain, because things would be so much better if I took over the world and I have no realistic plans to do so. I can come up with any number of UNrealistic plans to do so…

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

Tony Stark, genius, billionaire play-boy, philanthropist – what’s not to like. That and I don’t play well with others either, so it wouldn’t be much of a culture shock on that front.

Author Bio

Martin Allen graduated from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 2003 with a Law LL.B (Hons) Exempting L.P.C. Degree. He has worked in many different areas of the Legal Sector and built up a wealth of experience in the sector.

Martin enjoys reading and writing Science Fiction but has taken the time to write a Legal piece, “The Prosecutor’s Fallacy: The Reliability of DNA and Fingerprint Evidence” and has contributed to CCR Public Sector Magazine on the subject of psychology.

The Phoenix Series is a Science Fiction series set in a world where a Theocracy has come to power. “Phoenix: Penitence” is a short story set in this world. The first Novel “Phoenix: Rising” charts the rise of a new interpretation of the theological teachings of this Empire and the lengths this Empire will go to protect itself from it. The story is told from the point of view of an Imperial Investigator caught in the middle of the Empire’s manoeuvrings.

In other bouts of creativity Martin appeared as Gaston in Storytime Productions performance of “Once Upon a Dream” and has appeared supporting a number of bands in the Birmingham UK area as a Semi-Professional Magician (he has a number of videos on his You-Tube channel. He also sold some works of art in his own lifetime (which technically on a like-for- like basis makes him currently more successful than VanGogh… just). He has also been a Rock DJ in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK.

Social Media


Buy Link


The Old Man at the End of the World: Bite #1 by A.K. Silversmith #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Gerald Stockwell-Poulter couldn’t help but feel it was extraordinary just how 34338410quickly his life had changed. One moment he was earthing up leeks in the West Sussex sunshine and the next he was rooted to the spot as Rodney Timmins from the end allotment ambled towards him, arms outstretched, blood pouring from a hole in his neck and a look in his eye which suggested that he was less after help and more after a helping of Gerald.

Now, as Gerald’s life takes a quick turn for the worse, he must do things he has never done before. After 87 largely well-behaved years as a model citizen, less than four hours into the ‘zompocalypse’ and he has already killed a neighbour, rescued a moody millenial drug dealer and forged an unlikely allegiance with a giant ginger Scotsman. And it isn’t even tea time.

Join Gerald as he and his newfound allies navigate the post-apocalyptic English countryside in their hilarious bid to stay off the menu. – Goodreads.com

This was such an entertaining read!  Gerald is in no way prepared for the zombie apocalypse, and is even oblivious to the fact that it’s happening around him as he works in his garden.  The banter between Gerald and his neighbor, Ham, had me laughing out loud more than once as they beat the odds and fumbled their way through several precarious situations.

Being American, I missed some of the British references, but didn’t feel it detracted from this well-written novella.  This is a humorous take on the ‘zompocalypse’ that isn’t filled with doom, gloom, gore, and body parts (well, not many).  I’ll definitely be looking forward to the second bite.

I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team.


Indie Author Friday – Michael Reed #IndieAuthors #bookpromotion #humor @trends_to_reed


Welcome Michael Reed to Indie Author Friday!  Michael and I have a few things in common – we share the same publisher, if we don’t write something down it’s lost forever, and Batman would win in a fight against Spiderman.

A Houston Kind of Love Story, with Beer and a Couple Dead Folks Along the Way

Songs From Richmond Avenue by Michael Reed offers an off-kilter, satirical take32847470 on big-city misfits, the bars they frequent and the occasional, albeit, misguided quest for something better.

For the blurry-eyed denizens of the Relix Club and our narrator, a serially employed journalist with questionable work ethics, whiling away the hours engaged in their two favorite activities – drinking and betting on just about anything – is a pretty good life. That is until he meets pretty Michelle, a woman who he declares has “skin so perfect I doubted she even had pores.”

Could she be his salvation, he wonders. Maybe, but not until after he completes an alcohol- fueled urban odyssey involving Michelle’s Nihilist stripper roommate, a paramilitary Buddhist barfly, a pair of dumber-than- dirt, debt-collecting hoodlums, and the usual ration of Bayou City sweat and torrential rain.


What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

“Slow down now and then or you’ll burn out and be really bad company on top of that.” I’ve learned to take a few minutes here and there, step back and enjoy my accomplishments along the way. I’m more of an “Okay, cool, that’s done, on to the next thing” kind of guy by nature. I don’t want to be, I just am. Writing is too difficult and too time consuming, particularly long-form writing, not to pause and recognize good work once in a while. (Or, stop and recognize bad work, knock off for a while, then start over.) Plus, watching Netflix or going to the beach tends to do more for my creative juices that staring at a blank page and muttering profanity ever did.

What are your favorite books in your genre?

Songs From Richmond Avenue is literary satire, though I doubt everything I write going forward will be satirical. That said, my favorite satire works would be 1984, Animal Farm, Confederacy of Dunces, Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and pretty much everything by Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain. Of more contemporary satirists, I started reading Carl Hiaasen fairly recently. His Sick Puppy was a lot of fun.

How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

I don’t think it’s changed what I do very much, except for a brief period when I started blowing off doing much actual writing and telling myself it was OK because I was spending that same time helping to promote my book. I did do some promoting, for sure, but in reality I was also wasting time by checking my Amazon chart ratings way too often and avoiding getting back to a project that had started to bog down. At any rate, I’ve quit checking my chart position – at least for the most part.

I’ve also gotten in the habit of taking notes when I think of things that might work in a book or story, and I do so immediately – or as close to immediately as I can get away with. They may not always be good notes or even coherent notes, and they are certainly not always good ideas, but I’ve found this extremely valuable. I used to just tell myself I’d remember things. Most of the time I didn’t.

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

I’m not really a Comic-Con kind of guy, so I offer this purely as an outsider looking in, and relying heavily on some limited childhood recollections of the two: I’ll take Batman because he’s a darker kind of dude, and because he’s got bigger muscles – unless that’s just his form- fitting costume making him look all buff like that. Spiderman looks too fragile for a brawl, and I don’t see squirting spider web gunk on Batman as doing much beyond making the big guy angry.

Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Infinite Jest. It’s really long and has lots and lots of footnotes. I’ve never read it, and who knows how long I’ll be on the island, so it just seems like a good fit. Plus if life on the island got really grim, I’d have a lot of pages to start fires with. Just kidding, I’d never burn a book. Okay, maybe if I got really cold I’d burn the title page and a couple those in the front that are almost blank anyway.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

Brian Griffin of Family Guy. Brian’s a writer, too, you know.

About the Author:Mike Reed's profile photo

Michael Reed is an award-winning Texas journalist, which means he has lived in inexpensive apartments and driven paid-for used cars most of his life. Experience as a reporter and editor, along with extensive, though at the time completely unintended research into the many facets of Houston’s dive bar scene, provided him with the requisite background material for this novel.

This is the Southern Illinois University graduate’s first novel.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Richmond-Avenue-Michael-Reed-ebook/dp/B01N039ZM7

Black Rose Writing: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/literary/songsfromrichmondavenue


Twitter: @trends_to_reed


Instagram: @miker0130


Curses by Calvin Dean #bookreviews #supernatural @JCalvinDean

Martin Gallagher buys an old house in the country. While pursuing Hannah, a widow 32822338from the neighborhood, he encounters a sexy but psychotic ghost named Agnes. To make matters worse, Agnes is dead set on derailing his blossoming relationship. Meanwhile, an eccentric medium offers to help Martin exorcise his home, but this means resisting the temptress, encountering the bizarre, and braving the unknown. Can Martin overcome his desires and fears long enough to lift the curse? Curses is three connected stories that elicit laughter, warmth, even tears. – Goodreads.com

After a long corporate career, Martin is looking forward to a relaxing retirement in a charming old home in the country, working in his garden, and possibly romancing the widow down the street.  It sounds good in theory, but the ghosts in his house have other plans.

Curses is a light-hearted read for the most part, and the blend of supernatural and humor is very enjoyable.  That being said, when Martin is awakened by voices and bumps in the night, the author certainly creates some atmospheric, spine-tingling scenes as well (which thrilled my inner horror fangirl).  I laughed at Martin’s awkward attempts to juggle both Hannah and Agnes and his reluctant acceptance at having to share his home with a tempting and meddlesome ghost.

I’ve never read a book quite like this one and wonder if Dean has created a new category – cozy supernatural maybe?  Curl up with this novel on a lazy weekend and spend time with some charismatic characters (both human and ghost) for an engaging, humorous read that may also raise some hairs occasionally.

I received a copy of this book from the author.


Curses by Calvin Dean #FridayBookShare @ShelleyWilson72 @JCalvinDean


Friday Book Share was created by Shelley Wilson.   Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on a book you are currently reading/finished reading this week and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare.  The rules are as follow:

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favorite line/scene.

I just finished Curses by Calvin Dean – the full review will be posted here on 11/14.

First line:  Ghosts live in my house.

Recruit fans by adding book blurb:    Martin Gallagher buys an old house in the country. While pursuing Hannah, a widow from the neighborhood, he encounters a sexy but psychotic ghost named Agnes. To make matters worse, Agnes is dead set on derailing his blossoming relationship. Meanwhile, an eccentric medium offers to help Martin exorcise his home, but this means resisting the temptress, encountering the bizarre, and braving the unknown. Can Martin overcome his desires and fears long enough to lift the curse? Curses is three connected stories that elicit laughter, warmth, even tears.

Introduce the main character:  Martin is incredibly patient, well-meaning, and creative.

Delightful design:














Audience appeal:  Anyone who enjoys a supernatural tale – with humor.

Your favorite line/scene:  This scene occurs in the wee morning hours – and Martin lives alone.

I pushed back the covers, sat up in bed, and swung my feet to the floor, but as I stood, a most horrifying scream penetrated the darkness.

“You animal!” a woman’s voice shrieked.  “How could you…you…you beast!”  Something crashed to the floor.  “I’ll make you pay if it’s the last thing I ever do!”

Though muffled, I’m quite certain I heard these words through the walls.  A struggle ensued followed by a slamming door and footsteps racing down the hall in my direction.  I huddled beside a chest of drawers to hide.


My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix #bookreview

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a 26118005shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act…different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? – Goodreads.com

Don’t let the title fool you – yes, there is an exorcism but, more than that, this story is about a strong friendship that endures over seventy years and I enjoyed the hell out of this book.

As the setting is in the 80’s, when I was a teenager, the references to television shows, movies, fashion, and slang brought back memories – some fond, others horrifying.  Each chapter name is taken from popular songs or lyrics from that time (Don’t You Forget About Me, We Got The Beat, Sunday Bloody Sunday) and aptly describes the contents of that chapter – something I thought very clever.  The author perfectly captures the angsty, hormone-riddled interactions between the high school students and their attitudes and reactions are entirely believable and genuine.  Why anyone would want to relive those years is beyond me.

More satirical than horror, this book contains humorous, repulsive, and even touching moments demonstrating the bond between Abby and Gretchen, but horror fans will also be satisfied with some creepy and chilling content.

Readers who grew up in the 80’s will especially enjoy this book, as well as those who prefer their horror on the lighter side.  My Best Friend’s Exorcism is scheduled for publication May 17th, 2016.

Thanks to Edelweiss for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Bob by Tegon Maus #bookreviews #RBRT

After 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away, at least it was, until he stumbled upon 23120251the story of a lifetime. Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes upon a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape, she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from. His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain . . . the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide . . . “IS BELT.” – Goodreads.com

This book is about UFOs, aliens, and a newspaper reporter’s desperate attempts to maintain a credible career…..or is it?  If you ask me, this book is about the Russian immigrant Bob and his highly questionable, yet entertaining assortment of ‘cousins’.  They make the book and rightfully deserve a spin-off of their own, in my opinion.

Bob is part light sci-fi with some dashes of suspense and a generous helping of humor.  Nearly every obstacle Peter encounters in his quest to obtain the story of a lifetime, Bob “have cousin” to solve the problem – and I laughed out loud several times at the situations they found themselves in.  This is a quick read, but much is packed into these pages and it rambles along at a brisk pace.  Some things are left to reader interpretation, but I have no problem with that.

Maybe you’re not a sci-fi fan – don’t worry, Bob doesn’t lean too heavily on that genre – but if you like light, humorous reads, you won’t be sorry you gave Bob a chance.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Rosie’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.