Posted in reviews

If Only By Melanie Murphy Review

If you had the power to see what life would have been like had you made a different choice in your life, would you use that power? That is the question for Erin as chaotic life gets turned upside down in author Melanie Murphy’s novel “If Only”. 

The Synopsis

Erin is about to turn thirty and her life is definitely not where she thought it would be. She hates her job, she’s jealous of her perfect flatmate – and she has just called off her wedding.

A trip home to Ireland to celebrate her birthday with her beloved grandmother is exactly what Erin needs, and she’s spent days preparing herself to break the news about her broken engagement. 

What she’s not prepared for is the gift she receives: a secret family heirloom that will change everything.

Could this be the answer Erin has been looking for – the key to the happy life she’s always dreamed of? Only time will tell…

The Review

Wow, what an incredible read. I had to get that out there right away. While author Melanie Murphy has received wide acclaim on my website for her first novel Fully Functioning Human (Almost), the author’s second novel and debut fiction book was a massive success in every way.

The author does a masterful job of creating a cast of characters readers can relate to. From protagonist Erin and her journey of self-discovery while dealing with the struggles of life, to her core group of friend she rallies behind when dealing with these struggles, all the while trying to manage their own lives and issues, each character brings an important element into Erin’s story and makes the reader truly care about these fictitious people. 

The author’s ability to create such descriptive atmospheres truly immerses the reader into the settings of this novel, from the bustling streets of London to the cosy warmth of the Irish countryside and small town villages, readers will instantly fall in love with this novel at every turn. For me personally as a reader, I instantly connected with Erin and her relationship with her grandmother. 

For some of you who know this already, this year hasn’t been easy as I lost my own grandmother in early January. She was one of my best friends and truest supporters, and not a day goes by where I don’t miss her. Reading this story and the close relationship Erin had with her grandmother made me instantly feel closer to my own, bringing a small bit of tears of joy to my eyes as the author’s characterization of the protagonist brought fresh memories into this reader’s mind. 

The Verdict

 This is a must read novel of the year. A top contender for contemporary romance of the year, Melanie Murphy has cemented herself as a not only entertaining author but a writer who creates characters readers will instantly connect with and be entertained by. What the author does best in this novel is use the more supernatural elements of the other lives that could have been lived sparsely, focusing more on the lessons learned from these trips and the life Erin is constructing for herself. It is a fantastic novel that everyone should check out, so be sure to grab your copy of “If Only” by Melanie Murphy today!

Rating: 10/10

After reading a book that deals so much with relationships and finding the right person for you, one starts to think about their own relationships and keeping it healthy and maintained. In that regard, sites like Regain have the resources to help those seeking counseling or advice. Click this link https://www.regain.us/advice/counseling/ to learn more.

About the Author

Melanie Murphy is an author and online content creator from a small village in Dublin.

Her YouTube videos have amassed more than sixty million views online, reaching people with warm personality and her life lessons as well as her views on divisive topics such as sexuality, women’s rights, health and relationships. Also some silly fun stuff, just ’cause.

In 2017, Melanie published her first non-fiction book, “Fully Functioning Human (Almost)” which sold thousands of copies, received many positive reviews and topped the Irish book charts. Her debut novel, ‘If Only’, was released in the summer of 2019. It spent weeks in the Irish fiction chart and was chosen as one of the Diet Coke Book Club summer reads!

She lives in her home country of Ireland with her pilot partner, Thomas, her modern family and her two glorious rescue kitties, Bilbo and Molly Weasley. Her BSc (hons) degree in education & training from DCU catches dust above the fireplace as she writes books and uploads random videos to the internet for a living.

https://www.melaniemurphy.ie/

https://www.melaniemurphy.ie/book/

Posted in reviews

Life Sliding by S.L. Mauldin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young man forced to give up his summer vacation in order to serve as a camp counselor takes an emotional and roller coaster turn in author S.L. Mauldin’s novel “Life Sliding”. 

The Synopsis

As Gavin’s junior year comes to a close, he faces an inner conflict with his status as the most popular kid in high school. It’s not lost on his father, who sensed for some time that his overly indulged son needs redirection. Making matters worse for Gavin, his dad sends him away for the summer to assist at a camp for children with special needs. 

Arriving at camp Life Me Up, Gavin is suddenly forced to dabble in a world less familiar. After his first uncomfortable encounter with a strange girl with multi-colored fingernails, who refuses to waiver his arrogant behavior, Gavin comes face to face with a person from the past, which leaves him uneasy. 

Inevitably, three people clash and collide, but when tragedy strikes, they come to an understanding regarding their differences. Becoming a young adult, Gavin faces a summer of harsh lessons in reality. Once he crosses the bridge from a self-inflicted prison to the road to freedom, Gavin and his new friends implement a strategy to stir up the social order when they return to school in the fall. 

Because of one jaded person jumping to conclusions, the plan backfires. Will they be able to survive the fallout of what they’ve put into motion? #LifeSliding

The Review

A truly powerful read, author S.L. Mauldin has created a truly accurate portrayal of the harsh reality of high school life, the social hierarchy that often rules the school scene, and the dangers of intolerance and hatred of the unknown. More relevant now than ever before, the issues faced by the protagonist and the cast of characters is a reflection of our society as a whole, and the sad reality of judgement and cruelty that knows no bounds in society. 

The journey of Gavin to rediscover who he truly is, as well as the emotional toll of the loss that hits Gain early into the summer, makes him such a compelling protagonist. More than anything however, what the author does a masterful job of showing is that everyone is going through private struggles in life, and not only should society realize that, but work to help those struggling whenever possible, and to fight hatred and ignorance with love and compassion whenever possible as well. 

The Verdict

A brilliant YA drama that creates a relatable story as old as time, and yet breathes new life into the story of a young man struggling to define himself and determine what is more important: his image or his self-worth. Fantastic writing all around and a great cast of characters make this quick read a must have, so be sure to grab your copy of “Life Sliding” by S.L. Mauldin today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Born in the suburbs of Atlanta, where he now resides and continues to write young adult books but stories relatable to readers beyond those turbulent adolescent years. 

Shannon is a producer, screenwriter, and  author of the young adult novels Life Sliding and Always Here. 

Currently, he is editing Kudzu, a fiction title and working on a new adult novel tentatively Somebody Else.  

Posted in reviews

Always Here by S.L. Mauldin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A story that begins as a young woman’s dream of becoming a musical theatre star begins with a local high school production turns into an emotional story of painful secrets, things that are not always what they appear, and shocking loss in author S.L. Mauldin’s novel “Always Here”. 

The Synopsis

Miranda is an awkward teen, who dreams of musical theater stardom and following some encouragement from her eccentric best friend Christian, she decides to audition for their school’s upcoming performance. It comes as no surprise when she is beat out by the most popular girl in school. 

All is not lost however since Miranda is selected to understudy the girl whom everyone views as perfect. Perfect looks, perfect money, and the perfect boyfriend. Even her younger brother’s goofy best friend falls prey to allure of Pam who Miranda jokingly speculates might be a vampire. 

Soon after the leap of faith, Miranda and Christian uncover that someone in a seemingly perfect high school romance is hiding something. The bruises and the public displays that aren’t so affectionate initiate the discovery. The secrets are well hidden behind the walls of popularity and gated communities where proper fork placement takes priority over the frivolous dreams of a teenager. 

Rushing to save someone dramatically alters to the lives of six young adults when late one night on a two lane road a flickering brake light leads to the revealing of truths and the fulfillment of promises. One of those promises Miranda and Christian made in the third grade. With an auditorium fully seated on opening night, it becomes necessary for Christian to remind Miranda of a pact they made at a very young age. It came with two words “Always Here.”

The Review

A gripping tale that hits all of the emotional chords in perfect procession, author S.L. Mauldin does a magnificent job of creating characters readers will be able to relate to while also showcasing the everyday struggles that people don’t always think happen around them. 

From Miranda’s journey to realize her dreams and escape from under the shadow of another’s popularity and her attempt to cope with a shocking loss, to Christian’s inner conflict regarding his parents reflecting the way he handles another couples violent romance and a young woman seeking to find her own way in life despite an overbearing mother and an abusive boyfriend, this novel touches on truly emotional, deep and imperative questions of not only social views, but of mastering one’s own self-worth in the process. 

The Verdict

A one of a kind, passionate and emotional read, author S.L. Mauldin’s novel “Always Here” is a must read story. A fairly quick read, this YA drama never misses a beat, and creates an engaging story with a fantastic cast of characters that readers will instantly identify with. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Born in the suburbs of Atlanta, where he now resides and continues to write young adult books but stories relatable to readers beyond those turbulent adolescent years. 

Shannon is a producer, screenwriter, and  author of the young adult novels Life Sliding and Always Here. 

Currently, he is editing Kudzu, a fiction title and working on a new adult novel tentatively Somebody Else.  

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #5

Supergirl, Volume 1: Reign Of The Cyborg Supermen

(Supergirl (2016) #1)

by Steve Orlando (Writer), Brian Ching (Artist), Emanuela Lupacchino (Penciler), Ray McCarthy (Inker), Michael Atiyeh (Colourist), Steve Wands (Goodreads Author) (Letterer)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! 

Supergirl moves to National City! As Kara Danvers, average American teenager and high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara will find herself face-to-face with her father: the sinister Cyborg Superman!

Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando (Midnighter) comes a new beginning for Kara Zor-El in Supergirl, Volume 1, Reign Of The Cyborg Super-Men a new series that is sure to appeal to fans of the TV series!

CollectingSupergirl 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

A well written intro to the new story of Kara Zor-El, the first volume of Supergirl’s Rebirth era kicked off with a major story arc like no other. With her father now running around as the Cyborg Superman, Kara’s inner conflict between the family she loves and misses dearly clashes with her love for Earth and the people she has sworn to protect. The emotional component to a major threat facing the Woman of Steel makes this a compelling story, and the artwork is vibrant and shifts in tone at the moments that will make the most impact to the story, making this a truly engaging story. Incorporating aspects of Supergirl’s television run in the Arrowverse, this is a must read comic for any longtime Supergirl fans. 

The Flash: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(The Flash (2016) (Collected Editions) #1-2)

by Joshua Williamson (Writer), Carmine Di Gianmenico (Illustrations), Neil Googe (Illustrations)

Synopsis

The creative team of Joshua Williamson and artists Carmine Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe proudly present THE FLASH: THE REBIRTH COLLECTION—DELUXE EDITION BOOK ONE! Exploding from the pages of the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event, this hardcover collects the first two paperback volumes of the acclaimed series together in one volume for the first time!

 The Speed Force that fuels the incredible powers he uses as the Flash has been unleashed upon the unsuspecting citizens of Central City, creating an entire army of speedsters. Even if the Flash trains a new team of metahuman crime-fighters—a true “speed force”—will it be enough to combat criminals who have the same godlike powers?

 Plus, when Kid Flash decides to prove his abilities to Barry by investigating reports of a strange creature made of shadows in downtown Central City, he finds himself in a whole world of trouble…literally! Suddenly, Flash, Kid Flash and Iris West all become trapped in the Shadowlands of Flash’s old nemesis turned ally the Shade—only the Shade is no longer in control of his own shadows.

 Includes THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1 and THE FLASH #1-13!

Verdict

Possibly one of the strongest opening chapters for one of the DC Heroes in the Rebirth Era. The Flash not only utilizes the introduction of the Rebirth era’s most promising mystery, (the individual responsible for changing the timeline), and bringing the original Wally West back into the DC Universe, but also the first volume of Barry Allen’s Rebirth story brings new speedsters into the mix. Some rise to become heroes both in Central City and worldwide, while others become some of the DC Universe’s next great speedster threats. A big full of emotion, betrayal, love and secrets, this is a master class in storytelling and one of the best entries of the Rebirth era yet.

Batman: Night of the Monster Men

(Batman (2016) #1.5)

by Steve Orlando (Writer), Tom King (Goodreads Author) (Consultant), Tim Seeley (Goodreads Author) (Consultant), James Tynion IV (Consultant), Riley Rossmo (Artist), Ivan Plascencia (Colourist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)

Synopsis

The first crossover of the “Rebirth” era is here! As a huge storm approaches Gotham City, Batman, Batwoman and Nightwing try and prepare for the worst, but nothing can prepare them for enormous monsters rampaging through the streets! Batman will need all of his allies to unite in order to stop these mad science monsters from tearing their city apart! Will the Dark Knight, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Spoiler, Orphan and Clayface be enough? And who is the mastermind behind it all?

Collects BATMAN #7-8, NIGHTWING #5-6 and DETECTIVE COMICS #941-942. 

Verdict

Probably the strongest way to kickstart the first crossover of the Rebirth era, DC brings the Bat family and new allies to the forefront as a battle is waged on multiple fronts. While one of the deadliest storms in years to hit Gotham forces the citizens to seek higher ground, Hugo Strange makes his villainous return as he unleashes the Monster Men, grotesque monsters made up of the bodies of victims left in the morgue. With the power to infect others and create more monsters, Batman and his allies must fight to not only help Gotham survive, but stop the monster plague working its way through the city. With allies targeted and possibly turned, Batman is pushed to the limits and learns how important teamwork truly is in this strong crossover event. 

Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition

(Batman (2016) #3.5)

by Joshua Williamson (Contributor), Tom King (Goodreads Author), Jason Fabok (Illustrator), Howard Porter (Illustrator)

Synopsis

THE NEXT PIVOTAL CHAPTER OF THE DC REBIRTH!

An unseen force has been manipulating our world. The only clue they left behind is a strange bloodstained yellow button. Where did it come from? Who left it here? The button could easily be the most important object in not just our world, but in every world – which is why the Reverse-Flash will kill to possess it!

In BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON, all-star creative team Joshua Williamson, Tom King, Jason Fabok and Howard Porter answer the critical question poised at the start of Rebirth: Who’s been watching the DC Universe? Collecting BATMAN #21-22 and THE FLASH #21-22, the road to DOOMSDAY CLOCK begins here!

Verdict

One of the best crossovers of the Rebirth era has to be The Batman and The Flash in “The Button”. Diving head first into the mystery of the smiley face button found embedded into Batman’s wall in the Batcave, the mystery becomes deadlier as Eobard Thawne is awakened, his memories of the Flashpoint returning and his mission for revenge drawing him to Batman’s headquarters. The attack shockingly ends with Eobard running into the Speed Force to find the power responsible for disrupting the natural order of things, only to come back in a shocking way. The mystery takes the two heroes into the Speed Force, where Batman must confront a shocking figure and The Flash fights to determine who has been messing with the DC Universe as a whole. It is a stellar arc that brings two of DC’s most popular heroes together in a rare treat for fans. 

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Vol. 1: Sinestro’s Law

(Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1)

by Robert Venditti (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Ethan Van Sciver (Artist), Rafa Sandoval (Penciler), Jordi Tarragona (Inker), Tomeu Morey (Colourist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Jason Wright (Colourist)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! 

Hal Jordan is about to go from the head of the Green Lantern Corps to an army of one. Jordan’s long, illustrious–and tumultuous–tenure with the Corps takes several hairpin turns. At lightspeed. Toward a black hole. In a blender!

For starters, the Green Lantern Corps has disappeared, and now Sinestro’s own Corps enforces his uniquely brutal brand of law and order in the universe. As a result, Jordan has no ring to sling, or Sector 2814 (a.k.a. Earth) to protect. (So more of the usual for Hal!) 

Green Lantern veteran Robert Venditti teams up with Rafa Sandoval and Ethan Van Sciver to pilot Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps, Vol. 1: Sinestro’s Law!

CollectingHal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps 1-7, Rebirth 

Verdict

A fantastic start to the Rebirth era of the Green Lantern Corps. Not only does it return Hal Jordan to the spotlight as the most powerful and heroic of the Green Lanterns, but it doubles down on his potential as he develops a new power that even shocks the remaining Guardians. With a slew of galaxies in fear as the Sinestro Corps establishes themselves as the supreme law, Hal must face the might of Sinestro in a major battle to show the universe that the power of will and hope is far stronger than fear. Featuring the fate of the rest of the Green Lantern Corps and a new era in the Corps’ history, this is a must read for any GL fan! 

Doctor Strange: Damnation

(Doctor Strange: Damnation #1-4)

by Donny CatesNick SpencerRod Reis (Illustrator), Szymon Kudranski (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell. Who escapes alive, who escapes undead and who doesn’t escape at all? DAMNATION is going out in a blaze of glory, and you GOTTA see who gets burned!

COLLECTING: DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION 1-4 

Verdict

The Marvel Universe was left reeling after the shocking and controversial events of Secret Empire. With the heroes left scrambling to return the publics trust in them, Doctor Strange feels compelled to bring life back into the world, and does the unthinkable: brings Las Vegas back to life, along with everyone in it. However things don’t go as planned, (as they rarely do for Stephen Strange), and not only does he become imprisoned by the evil Mephisto, but the Avengers who come to his aid become pawns in the demonic villain’s game with the Sorcerer Supreme as well. That leaves Stephen’s friend Wong to gather the worlds best supernatural fighters and morally flexible heroes to gather in an unprecedented way, showing a new kind of team that is pushed to the limits and takes readers through some surprising twists and turns they won’t see coming. A truly must read event for longtime Dr. Strange and Marvel fans. 

Posted in reviews

At the Point of a Knife by Kenneth Richard Fox Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Readers are given a glimpse into the tragic reality of a faulty mental health system that fosters and allows those suffering form the most severe cases to be untreated, and a man’s struggle to fight a losing battle against an unprecedented legal fight like no other in author Kenneth Richard Fox’s “At the Point of a Knife”. 

The Synopsis

A memoir about a life-saving invention, the hijacking of a hi-tech start- up, and the explosive meltdown of a nuclear family

At the Point of a Knife is a real life thriller about a doctor who invents life-saving laser technology, his wife’s destructive inheritance and the legal conspiracy to steal his successful hi-tech start-up. Dr. Kenneth Fox fights off predatory companies as he battles globally for his company’s rights. But he ignores the threats to his family. By day, he has a successful career. By night, he lives with an increasingly mentally ill spouse. Although she is physically abusive with him and their son, Fox is emotionally co-dependent. At the same time, he is helping his dying mother and his chronically ill father.

There is an attempted murder. After this explosive nuclear family meltdown, Fox learns of his wife’s secret fortune including several homes. He also discovers the true story about her dead father: a hereditary bipolar disorder and the scandal that drove her family from her childhood home. In a final twist of fate, manic depression, money and judicial corruption intersect. Fox’s company is wrested away in a plot that includes a crooked lawyer and a corrupt judge who owes his career to his former partner in crime. 

Dr. Kenneth Fox is a physician and surgeon, an inventor of patented medical laser technology and a medicine and business professor. 

The Review

This was a powerful non-fiction read that people will have a hard time putting down. The story was clear and concisely written, showcasing a multitude of incidents that contributed to the deterioration of a family, the personal and business losses of a man and the gross injustices that often plague our society. 

The author’s in-depth study of the law practices in relation to medical field lawsuits and divorce proceedings which favor one person over the other really brought the harm endured through this man’s life to the forefront. Each chapter has the reader shaking their head, unable to believe that one man would be forced to endure such hardships.

More than that however, the novel allows readers to see the grave injustice that comes with failing to treat those suffering with mental illnesses, and how the taboo of suffering from such a disease or the inaccurate assumptions about mental illness often lead to a lack of diagnosis or care for such individuals, who if given proper treatment and care could avoid the unfortunate damage and suffering endured by both the patient and those closest to them, in this instance the author himself. 

The Verdict

Although a short read, this was a powerful and great read that fans of law cases, medical practices and the struggles of mental health will thoroughly enjoy. A whirlwind case that will get readers emotions stirring, this was a heart-pounding story that draws the reader in and gets them invested immensely, so be sure to grab your copy of “At the Point of a Knife” by Kenneth Richard Fox today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Kenneth R. Fox is the inventor of a great deal of laser medical technology and the patentee of many international patents. Dr. Fox has practiced Medicine in six countries on four continents and has lectured in many others. He has taught both Medicine and Business at several universities in a number of different countries. He is the author of many peer- reviewed medical and scientific articles, quite a few published poems and several short articles, mostly related to various aspects of health, but all based on his personal experiences over many years, as is At the Point of a Knife. 

Your can find more at http://www.kennethrfox.com

Posted in reviews

Breakdown: A Clinician’s Experience in a Broken System of Emergency Psychiatry (serious mental illness, psychosis, reform) by Lynn Nanos Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An in depth look into the world of mental health care and the ways in which it can be improved take center stage in Author Lynn Nanos novel Breakdown.

The Synopsis 

When hospitals release seriously mentally ill patients too soon without outpatient follow-up, the patients can end up homeless, jailed, harming others, or even dead. When patients are deemed suitable for inpatient care, they can languish for weeks in hospital emergency departments before placements become available. Meanwhile, patients who fake the need for care are smoothly and swiftly moved to inpatient settings.

Breakdown opens a dialogue with anyone interested in improving the system of care for the seriously mentally ill population. This book helps to answer questions such as:

  • Is inpatient care too inaccessible to those who need it most?
  • Do mental health professionals discriminate against mentally ill patients?
  • Are more stringent measures needed to ensure that patients take their medication?
  • Is borderline personality disorder too serious to be classified as just a personality disorder?

Using vignettes based on real interactions with patients, their families, police officers, and other mental health providers, Lynn Nanos shares her passion for helping this population. With more than twenty years of professional experience in the mental health field, her deep interest in helping people who don’t know how to request help is evident to readers.

  • A woman travels from Maine to Massachusetts because she was ordered by her voice, a spirit called “Crystal,” to make the trip.
  • A foul-smelling and oddly dressed man strolls barefooted into the office, unable to stop talking.
  • A man delivers insects to his neighbors’ homes to minimize the effects of poisonous toxins that he says exist in their homes.

Breakdown uses objective and dramatic accounts from the psychiatric trenches to appeal for simple and common-sense solutions to reform our dysfunctional system. This book will benefit anyone interested in seeing a glimpse of the broken mental health system way beyond the classroom. It can guide legislative officials, family members, mental health professionals, and law enforcement officers toward a better understanding of the system.

The Review 

As someone who has advocated for mental health awareness and seeks to improve and see the mental health education and rehabilitation of this world improve, this was a book that spoke volumes to me. The author does a spectacular job of presenting the struggles and heartbreak of the profession. From the book’s opening pages readers are shown the levels of illness and sad state of affairs for both the patients and the doctors attempting to treat them.

What really stuck out to me reading this novel was how the author wrote it all out in a methodical and precise tone of voice, and yet was still written in a way that the average reader, someone who isn’t an expert in the field of mental health, will be able to understand and empathize with. Each chapter elevates the struggle by showing not only individual cases the author worked, but the journey to fight for the rights for all mentally ill patients to seek help or get help they need. The details given by the author and the statistics laid out for the mandates for mental health by state showcase a lack of cohesive treatment plans and emphasizes the need to expand and grow the mental health profession in this nation and the world at large. 

The Verdict

A well written, powerful and heartbreaking non-fiction read that everyone should try for themselves. Breakdown by Lynn Nanos is a detailed and meticulous book that gives readers the inside look into a very under appreciated field, and novels like this are the steps needed to take the United States and the world forward into the mental health profession for both patients and care providers alike. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Part of taking care of one’s mental health and overall health in their daily relationships has to be seeking advice from counselors or those well versed in the hardships of any relationship. If you are looking for such advice, visit our friends at Regain to learn more by following this link https://www.regain.us/advice/ .

About the Author

Lynn Nanos is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in her twelfth year as a full-time mobile emergency psychiatric clinician in Massachusetts. After graduating from Columbia University with a Master of Science in Social Work, she worked as an inpatient psychiatric social worker for approximately seven years. She is an active member of the National Shattering Silence Coalition that advocates for the seriously mentally ill population. She serves on its Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee committee and co-chairs its Blog committee. 

Posted in reviews

The Code Hunters – A Nicholas Foxe Adventure by Jackson Coppley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A shocking discovery leads to a massive hunt to decipher a tablet that could change the world and leads to an action-packed thriller like no other in author Jackson Coppley’s “The Code Hunters – A Nicholas Foxe Adventure”. 

The Synopsis

Get Ready for Action and Adventure! 

Meet Nicholas Foxe and his team of code hunters…

• In Afghanistan, a young boy stumbles into a fierce firefight. 

• An Army Ranger makes a snap decision that sets in motion events beyond his imagination.

• In New Mexico, caver Tom Littleton discovers a 10,000-year-old coded tablet far too advanced for ancient people to have created it.

• In Boston, Rachael Friedman, a leading physics professor, unlocks a key to the mysterious code.

• And in Italy, a violin maker and his autistic daughter show the way to a secret chamber where a medieval scholar has locked away more clues.

Wealthy adventurer Nicholas Foxe leads this unlikely team to solve the mystery of the code. But dark forces threaten to destroy The Tablet and the people who know about it…

• The Televangelist who intends to profit from his “religious” interpretation of The Tablet.

• A Washington Senator who secretly serves a powerful constituent.

• The mysterious Texan who foresees extraordinary wealth by owning The Tablet.

• A Bombmaker in Queens who serves the latest in destructive products.

The Code Hunters is a Thriller for the reader who:

• Wants the Adventure of Indiana Jones,

• Likes the pace and puzzles of The Da Vinci Code,

• Or just enjoys a Mystery Page-Turner. 

The Review

My first reaction as a reader is…wow. Just a fantastic collection of action, adventure and thrills that delve into so many different genres and facets of the story that it immediately draws readers in. From the introduction of the mystery discovered in caverns by cavers to the people brought together by Nicholas Foxe to decipher the mysterious discovery and the people trying to exploit or profit from it, the author does an amazing job of creating a cast of characters readers will either love or hate. 

What really stuck out to me as a reader was the various moving parts of the novel thanks to the wide array of characters the author brought into the narrative. The way readers are given a look into the mindset and actions of each character really set up the shocking action scenes and built up the importance of the discoveries to be had. The use of a slow burn to build up the suspense early on before revealing the discoveries was an inspired choice of writing style, and created an engaging read that is not to be missed.

The Verdict

This is a brilliant thriller that really gets the mind working and the heart pumping. A lengthy read to be sure, the novel does an amazing job of keeping the reader interested and creates a cast of characters readers will thoroughly enjoy reading about and becoming invested in throughout this story. It’s a must read action/adventure and thriller that captures the spirit of classic mysteries, blending a mix of Indiana Jones style action and history with a The Historian thrill. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “The Code Hunters” by Jackson Coppley today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Jackson Coppley, a consummate storyteller, illuminates in his writing what happens when technology intersects with human behavior and emotion. Coppley weaves his stories from a sophisticated knowledge of technology and an understanding of human behavior. Coppley’s resume includes a dynamic career with leading world communications and technology companies, and the launching of what the press called “a revolutionary software program” during the rise of personal computing. As a world traveler, Coppley developed an interest in and an understanding of cultural differences and nuances which play an important role in his stories. His YouTube video on the Hmong people of Vietnam, as an example of how he investigates other cultures, received thousands of hits. It is this sensitivity about human behavior combined with the understanding of the potential of technology that brings to his writing a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/jcoppley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jcoppley

Website: www.JacksonCoppley.com

Posted in reviews

Ration by Cody T. Luff Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A harsh world where food is scarce and two young women must decide what they are willing to do in order to survive and whether they can help others survive in the process in author Cody T. Luff’s novel “Ration”. 

The Synopsis

Cynthia and Imeld have always lived in the Apartments. A world where every calorie is rationed and the girls who live there are forced to weigh their own hunger against the lives of the others living in the building. It’s a world where the threat of the Wet Room and Ms. Lion always lingers, and punishments are doled out heavily both by the Women who oversee them and the other girls.

When Cynthia is wrongly accused of eating an “A” ration which leads to the death of another girl, her peers punish her harshly. In seeking revenge, she is forced from the only home she has ever known, out into the broader world with one of the Women—Ms. Glennoc—who has tormented her for years. Hunger mixes with politics, intrigue, and social status, and Cynthia needs to figure it out quickly if she’s going to survive and make it back to the Apartments to save Imeld.

With her friend and Ms. Glennoc gone, Imeld is lost. Ms. Tuttle forces her to step into Ms. Glennoc’s shoes, taking on the role of a Woman in charge of all the girls, the punishments, and the Wet Room. The new role feels wrong, especially as Ms. Tuttle’s behavior becomes more and more erratic. Imeld can’t turn her back on the other girls in the Apartments, but how can she save them when she isn’t sure how to save herself? If they rebel against Ms. Tuttle and the other Women, will they starve?

Set in the far future, Ration is an unflinching take on the ways society can both thrive and go wrong as the pressure to survive builds. 

The Review

This book was incredibly well written. From the novel’s first pages, readers get a sense of being in the opening scene of Stephen King’s Carrie, if Carrie took place in the world of author Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale. A world ravaged by an unknown virus that has taken the lives of all men in the world, and the women left created a brutal system of survival like no other. 

The two main perspectives shown throughout the novel are stark contrasts with one another, as we see the innocent protagonist Cynthia thrust into a cruel reality and fighting not just to survive, but to find a way to punish those who made her and her fellow “girls” suffer. Then there is Ms. Tuttle, the strict leader of the Apartments, who follows the rules to a T but finds herself caught between a secret of her own and the harshness of her mother and the political world they come from. 

A truly gripping tale, the novel does an excellent job of delving into the despair of a dystopian novel while inciting horror and terror into the actions and ways in which the survivors of this world have adapted, where flesh and lower class “girls” are a commodity for the higher class “women” to use as they please, and even amongst advocates for change, no one can truly be completely trusted. 

The Verdict

This is a breathtaking thriller and horror adventure like no other. While the book has it’s gruesome moments when delving into the specific “payments” made by the girls, it is the pacing of the author’s writing that sells the horror aspect of this novel. Combine this with the despairing the reader feels in the dystopian setting, and readers can expect a truly engaging read that is sure to become a cult classic in the genre. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “Ration” by Cody T. Luff today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Cody’s stories have appeared in Pilgrimage, Cirque, KYSO Flash, Menda City Review, Swamp Biscuits & Tea, and others. He is fiction winner of the 2016 Montana Book Festival Regional Emerging Writers Contest. 

Cody teaches at Portland Community College and works as a story editor. He completed an intensive MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Cody grew up listening to stories in his grandfather’s barber shop as he shined shoes, stories told to him at bedsides and on front porches, deep in his father’s favorite woods, and in the cabs of pickup trucks on lonely dirt roads. Cody’s work explores those things both small and wondrous that move the soul, whether they be deeply real or strikingly surreal.

https://codytluff.com/

http://www.mindbuckmedia.com/

Posted in reviews

Secrets of the Sanctuary (Coven Chronicles #2) by Octavia J Riley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An influx of magical creatures seeking asylum drives Thea Bauer to search for the answers that the Coven seeks in author Octavia J Riley’s “Secrets of the Sanctuary (Coven Chronicles #2).” 

The Synopsis 

Thea Bauer has earned her way to being a highly skilled member of the Coven. Ranked as a Spellweaver, she’s assigned the more dangerous missions. Corralling a herd of wild unicorns? No problem. Taking down a witch riding the high of black magic? Piece of cake. Finding out why magic-based creatures are suddenly flooding the local sanctuary, protected by a powerful sorceress with a hatred for the Coven? Thea might need more than her tethered demonic partner to see this mission through.

She calls upon Summoner Rafe MacBain, a trusted colleague she’s known for years whose dreamy eyes might keep her up at night—but she’s not admitting that to anyone. He’s got his own demonic companion, and altogether they’re a force to be reckoned with. But, even with their combined strength, it might not be enough against feral demons escaping some of the farthest reaches of Hell.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Thea must conquer her own demons residing within herself that conjure up a painful past. Will she be able to overcome herself, or will the memories she’s tried to stray from keep her from fighting enemies in the physical realm? Thea is starting to wonder if the sorceress may be one of those enemies too. What secret is she hiding at the bottom of the sanctuary, and how will it affect everything Thea has come to know?

The Review

This was a fun and fascinating read that fans of the Fantasy/YA genre will love. While the second book in the series, newcomers like myself will easily be able to get into the narrative of this magical world where magic and magical creatures are an everyday part of life. Readers are instantly drawn to the characters introduced early on in the story, from protagonist Thea and the Summoner Rafe to the Kelpie she calls an ally and friend and the mysterious forces working all around them.

What was truly fascinating was the world building the author did for this novel. As part of a series with another author, this second book showcased the various levels of hell from which certain creatures or either summoned or imprisoned, and seeing the way each creature was categorized and divided up amongst the others was a major draw for any fans of the fantasy/YA genre. Readers truly felt immersed into the world as Thea and her friends went looking for answers, and found some of hell’s deadliest creatures loosed upon the world. Readers will love diving into the complex mythology created by the authors for this series, and the dangerous creatures chosen as the book’s antagonists.

The Verdict

This is a truly engaging and entertaining read that truly lives and breathes the YA/Fantasy genre in every page. Filled with mysteries, action, scares and a healthy blend of character and world building, this evenly paced read is something that will keep readers attention heavily focused in the moment and by book’s end, will have readers on the edge of their seat as the shocking conclusion plays out. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy of “Secrets of the Sanctuary” by Octavia J Riley today or grab your copy when it is released on October 15th, 2019!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a passion for story-telling.

I grew up in and around Nashville and the surrounding suburbs until I was old enough to co-sign on an RV with my mother. Together, we traveled the southeast searching for the next phase in our lives.

We found it next door in good ole South Carolina, though not in the ways we planned. This is where I first met Nia Rose. From there, Coven Chronicles was born. The world we helped create together strengthened our friendship, and our friendship spawned more ideas that bled into the early hours of the morning, broadening the boundaries we had placed on ourselves and our imaginations.

Currently, I’m pursuing my BA in English Language & Literature at Southern New Hampshire University, writing my second novel (book four in Coven Chronicles), brainstorming ideas for a standalone, learning a second language, and working part-time. I have plans to teach English overseas one day, maybe find Mr. Right, and expand on the world I’ve come to love so much.

Who knows, though. Life is unpredictable. Just ask my characters.

– Octavia 

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