Posted in reviews

Pretending by Holly Bourne Review

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

TRIGGER WARNING: PLOT INVOLVES MENTIONS AND PLOT LINES INVOLVING SEXUAL ASSAULT AND TRAUMA. 

A woman dealing with a traumatic past finds herself leading a somewhat double life after dealing with a series of bad relationships in author Holly Bourne’s “Pretending”. 

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The Synopsis

April is kind, pretty and relatively normal—yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry. Until she realizes that what men are really looking for is Gretel.

Gretel is perfect—beautiful but low maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not a slut. She’s your regular, everyday Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl-Next-Door with no problems.

When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun—especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

The Review

This was a fantastic yet harrowing look into the modern world of dating, relationships and the boundaries that people cross every day. The story is also one of cycles, as cause and effect play a pivotal role in the theme of this narrative. 

The author dives emotionally into the sad yet true nature of a male-dominated society that makes things such as dating such a harrowing experience. Add on top of that the trauma of an experience where the protagonist found someone in her life crossing a line that should never be crossed, and in the process left her emotionally and mentally scarred by the event. The way the author showcases the impact this event has had on the protagonist’s psyche is really engaging to read, and how the character evolves over the course of the narrative keeps the reader invested throughout.

The Verdict

At times darkly comical, at others a shocking yet much-need narrative on the modern world of dating and holding those accountable for crossing horrific lines, the novel “Pretending” by Holly Bourne is a must-read story. The way the story plays out really highlights the need to not only help those who have suffered tragic events but to work to prevent them from happening by having more open and honest discussions in society is perfectly felt in this narrative, and the intimate inner dialogues the protagonist has with herself and her alter ego make the character growth throughout the novel feel much more impactful. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health.

Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, Holly wrote her first adult novel, ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’, examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, Holly has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She’s helped create online apps that teach young people about sexual consent, works with Women’s Aid to spread awareness of abusive relationships, and runs Rethink’s mental health book club.

Posted in reviews

The Light Tower by Laurie Lisa Review

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

A young woman must take a journey to discover not only herself but the mother she never knew after she was born under tragic circumstances in author Laurie Lisa’s mystery novel, “The Light Tower”. 

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The Synopsis

In this dramatic mystery, a daughter returns to Chicago to find the truth about a mother she never knew–and her tragic death. Will her journey bring answers or more questions?

Thirty years ago in Chicago, a troubled, full-term pregnant woman escapes from the maternity ward of a hospital and climbs to the top of a 100-foot light tower in an abandoned railway yard. Melody Arnold is convinced that her baby is dead, and neither reassurances from her doctor nor the fact that she is a nurse can convince her otherwise. She jumps. Melody doesn’t survive, but miraculously, when the paramedics arrive, a tiny foot protrudes from the woman’s stomach, twitching.

Now, Kat Flowers is living in Arizona and celebrating her thirtieth birthday. Stuck in a rut of dead-end jobs and a failed relationship, she receives a cryptic birthday card from a father she ran away from fourteen years ago. Desperate for answers, Kat takes a journey back to Illinois—to see a family she left behind and learn the truth about a mother she never knew.

Kat shares the journey with the charismatic Zen, who has his own reasons for returning home. There, Kat tries to solve the complicated mystery of her mother’s identity . . . and then understand why she made that tragic leap.

A compelling novel about a mother’s dark secrets, The Light Tower explores the lasting connection between a mother and her daughter, even when they never knew each other. This story about one family’s hidden past is a riveting must-read for your book club.

The Review

This was a truly powerful, emotionally-driven narrative. Author Laurie Lisa once again shines through with this incredibly tragic yet real and loving story of a mother and her daughter, whose lives were tragically torn apart one fateful day. As Kat works to solve the mystery of why her mother Melody met such a tragic fate, readers are given a glimpse into some powerful storytelling that touches on the struggles so many faces in our world today.

From mental health and addiction to family and love, the author does a brilliant job of bringing these themes to life within the core story. The best and most engaging aspect of this novel however is the characters, as their arcs and the slow unraveling of the mystery surrounding this horrific event are heightened by the growth they undergo as time goes on. The anger and pain Kat feels at her mother’s fate and Melody’s despair and helplessness as time goes on are all traits so many people can identify with, and allows the reader to feel these emotions as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

A moving, evenly-paced, and emotionally-driven narrative, author Laurie Lisa’s “The Light Tower” is a must-read mystery and drama read of 2021. The depth of character development the author presents and the heartfelt emotions that are poured into the themes of this narrative are truly engaging on every level. If you haven’t yet, preorder or grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Laurie was born and raised in Southern Illinois. She obtained her B.S. in English Education from the University of Illinois (Champaign), where she also met and then married her husband Steve Lisa. Laurie earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University (20th Century American Literature), where she also taught literature and composition. After her time spent in Academia and raising her three children (Anthony, Michelle, and Caitlin), Laurie returned to her passion for writing fiction.

Laurie is a prolific writer and has completed eight novels in the genre of literary women’s fiction. Each of her books follows its own distinct and sophisticated plot with well-developed characters. In addition to her novels, Laurie has published two academic books, several short stories and poems, and edited other’s works. Laurie resides with her husband, Steve, in Paradise Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.

You can read more about Laurie and her novels at her website, LaurieLisa.com

Posted in reviews

The Wine Club by Laurie Lisa Review

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

Two friends go down a dangerous path in order to provide for their daughters in author Laurie Lisa’s “The Wine Club”. 

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The Synopsis

Be ready to get hooked, with The Wine Club.

Most people can’t tell a good wine from a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck.

At least that’s what best friends Reggie and Audrey decide one night while celebrating their daughters’ election to the elite Mohave High Tigerette Pom Squad. But cheerleading in Scottsdale Arizona doesn’t come cheap, and both women are strapped for cash and going through a rough patch. Reggie’s husband has announced he’s gay and wants a separation. Audrey’s husband is entering rehab. But what if they could earn money by selling cheap wine in fancy bottles? How hard could it be?

As the housewives perfect their high-stakes con, their greed and mistrust of one another grow…as does the realization that they’ve become a small team of female criminals.

The Wine Club is a witty, wicked tale of crime in the suburbs. With its dark humor, twisted plot, creative use of satire, and female protagonists who turn to a life of crime, this women’s suspenseful crime novel filled with surprising twists and turns is a novel you won’t put down, and one your book club will love.

The Review

A truly fun yet twisted read. Author Laurie Lisa does an excellent job of setting the tone and pace for this novel early on, and blends family drama with corruption and crime thriller incredibly well. The way the author is able to showcase each character’s personal struggles adds depth and background to the cast of characters who help bring this story to life. 

Character growth and story play equal parts in this narrative, with the novel taking readers through twists and turns as this late-night money-making scheme turns into a full-blown crime drama like no other. The shocking twists to each of the women’s families and the growing actions each character finds themselves participating in showcase how greed and power can turn anyone into a completely different person.

The Verdict

Entertaining, witty yet delightfully wicked, author Laurie Lisa’s “The Wine Club” is a must-read crime drama. With a cast of relatable characters and themes such as sexuality, body image, and family becoming key factors in the actions of the two protagonists, readers won’t find themselves lacking any incredible drama to sink their teeth into. With a shocking final chapter, fans won’t want to miss another smash hit from author Laurie Lisa, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Laurie was born and raised in small towns in Southern Illinois. She obtained her B.S. in English Education from the University of Illinois, where she also met and then married her husband Steve. Laurie earned both a M.A. and a Ph.D. in English, 20th-century American Literature, from Arizona State University, where she also taught literature and composition. In addition to her eight novels, Laurie has published two academic books, several short stories and poems, and edited other’s works. After much time spent in Academia and raising her three children (Anthony, Michelle, and Caitlin), Laurie returned to her passion for writing fiction. She is a prolific writer and typically completes one novel each year. Laurie resides with her husband, Steve, in Paradise Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.

https://laurielisa.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurielisa/

https://www.instagram.com/laurieolisa/

Posted in reviews

Across the Street by Laurie Lisa Review

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

Twin sisters embark on an emotional journey as one becomes a surrogate for the other, and in the process both of their families undergo hardships, struggles and upheavals as secrets are revealed in author Laurie Lisa’s novel “Across the Street”.

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The Synopsis

Does love between sisters last forever? In a novel about the bond between twins, relationships are complicated by anger, resentment, and impossible choices.

Alex Carissa is thrilled when her identical twin sister, Sam, and her husband move into the neighborhood. For Sam, years of infertility, followed by an unthinkable tragedy, have left her despairing of ever having a child. Money is tight, and IVF is expensive. Sam’s only hope may be to ask her sister to be a surrogate. Alex will do anything for Sam, but when the sisters embark upon an unorthodox route to surrogacy, jealousy, guilt, and legal complications soon follow.

As the limits of sisterly devotion are tested, the family’s hidden wounds and secret addictions come to light, shaking the foundation of their marriages and their lives.

An emotional story of a woman’s struggle with infertility and a riveting book about the complexities of family, Across the Street makes an excellent selection for book clubs.

The Review

The author has crafted a truly engaging story here. The drama and emotional core of this story rest within the relationship not only between Sam and Alex but between their families as well as each member struggles with their own problems. The story is equally balanced with fully developed and evolving characters, who are relatable and realistically written in connection to the larger story being told. 

The author’s writing style was descriptive and entertaining and written in a way to feel almost visual in its use of imagery throughout the narrative, painting a picture in the reader’s mind of the scenes unfolding here. The way the author was able to showcase the point of view of so many characters and still make the story feel fresh and alive was a fantastic accomplishment, as I felt drawn into the narrative more and more as each chapter passed by.

The Verdict

A lengthy yet entertaining and emotional read, author Laurie Lisa’s “Across the Street” is a must-read drama novel. Full of suspense, shocking secrets, and twists and turns in the character’s arcs that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, this is a novel readers won’t be able to put down. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Laurie was born and raised in small towns in Southern Illinois. She obtained her B.S. in English Education from the University of Illinois, where she also met and then married her husband Steve. Laurie earned both a M.A. and a Ph.D. in English, 20th-century American Literature, from Arizona State University, where she also taught literature and composition. In addition to her eight novels, Laurie has published two academic books, several short stories and poems, and edited other’s works. After much time spent in Academia and raising her three children (Anthony, Michelle, and Caitlin), Laurie returned to her passion for writing fiction. She is a prolific writer and typically completes one novel each year. Laurie resides with her husband, Steve, in Paradise Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.

https://laurielisa.com/

https://www.instagram.com/laurieolisa/

https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurielisa/

Posted in reviews

The Fabulist by Samuel W. Reed Review

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

A failed novelist and sports writer goes on a journey of self-discovery in author Samuel W. Reed’s “The Fabulist”. 

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The Synopsis

Failed novelist and dispirited blogger Frank Shaw is hired to cover the Maui Classic Invitational, a pre-season collegiate basketball tournament in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. But after meeting a cute bartender he wants to impress at the resort, he dismisses his assignment and sets out on a path toward self-discovery, mind-bending adventure, and quite possibly love.

“The Fabulist” is a gonzo tale of one man’s obsession with finding joy in his life, consequences be damned! As Frank Shaw ruminates on the mistakes of his past, he hurdles headlong into uncharted emotional territory on an ever-escalating adventure in a place he deems “Paradise.”

Inspired by the tales of Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Pahlaniuk, Charles Bukowski, and others, this is one unforgettable ride you won’t soon forget!

The Review

This was a powerful, character driven narrative. The author does an amazing job of crafting complex, multi-dimensional characters that draw the reader in with their layered problems that drive the plot forward. The down on his luck writer who throws himself head-first into a trip fueled by drinking, a beautiful woman and a need to discover himself makes for a complicated protagonist that readers will be fascinated with. 

The author’s style of writing definitely feels cinematic in its approach, as if the author has utilized a theatrical approach to the story. The brilliant use of imagery really paints a picture not only of the setting and story but the characters themselves, immersing the reader into the narrative first-hand and making the story come alive.

The Verdict

A creative, dramatic and stunning narrative, author Samuel W. Reed’s “The Fabulist” is a must-read. Filled with the magic of an adventure, the complex drama of a man discovering his true joy, and the hardships we endure on the road to that discovery, this book really delves into some personal character growth for the protagonist and comes with some twists and turns that will keep readers intrigued. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Samuel W. Reed is a novelist, screenwriter, director, and film producer with a keen eye for emotionally impactful, character-driven stories. Sam was instrumental in the decade-long production of the groundbreaking disability-rights documentary “CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion” starring Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck, Marlee Matlin, and others. He contributed narration to the SXSW award-winning documentary “Take Me To the River,” starring Terrance Howard, Snoop Dogg, and Mavis Staples, and he served as ghostwriter on the Sony Pictures International film “Beyond Valkyrie.” A frequent collaborator with notable producers, directors, actors, and writers, Sam is always on the lookout for a great new story, and the perfect cup of coffee.

Facebook: @samuelwrite

Twitter/Instagram: @samuelwreed

For more information, please visit: www.samuelwreed.com

Posted in reviews

Hinterland by L.M. Brown Review

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

Trigger Warning: Themes revolving around mental illness are present in this novel. If you or someone you know suffers from illnesses such as schizophrenia and are easily triggered by these storylines, reader discretion is advised.

A husband and father trying to take care of his wife and child finds himself struggling as a childhood friend returns home, bringing complex feelings back to the surface and a dark secret threatens to tear apart his family in author LM. Brown’s “Hinterland”. 

The Synopsis

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

The Review

This was a well written, slow-burn style mix of family drama and thriller. The author explores two important themes in this narrative: the lengths a parent would go to in order to protect their child, and the hardships of trying to care for someone suffering from a severe mental illness. 

The protagonist Nicholas is a complex man, with both many faults and a desire to protect his daughter Kate from heartbreaking truths. From the return of his childhood friend Ina to the struggle he has with his wife Kathleen and her struggle with a serious mental illness, the author beautifully focuses on character development to highlight the story within this book. 

The Verdict

An emotionally charged, dramatic, and evenly paced read, author L.M. Brown’s “Hinterland” is a must-read thriller drama. The heartbreaking circumstances that push Nicholas and his family to the edge are truly engaging and keep the reader on the edge of their seat, and definitely felt like the delivery of the narrative was very reminiscent of a classic Hitchcock thriller. If you haven’t yet be sure to preorder your copy today or grab it on October 13th, 2020!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

L.M Brown is the author of novels Debris and Hinterland, and the linked short story collections Treading The Uneven Road and Were We Awake. Her award winning stories have been published in over a dozen magazines. She grew up in Ireland but lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.

https://www.facebook.com/LornaBrownAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/l.m_brown/

Posted in reviews

Out of the Basement by James Rourke Review

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

A writer with a haunting past must face his history and forge a new path forward in author James Rourke’s novel “Out of the Basement”. 

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The Synopsis

Michael Tanner is a citizen of two worlds. His outer world as a respected college professor affords him the opportunity to quietly pursue his joy of learning. His inner world, shaped by childhood abuse, is a prison of shame and pain where he battles mythological monsters that draw power from his nightmarish memories.

Though Michael has mastered the art of hiding his pain while in full view, the unexpected success of his new book, Bruce and Buddha: How Rock and Roll and Ancient Wisdom Can Guide your Life, pushes him well beyond his comfortable existence.

Bolstered by the possibility of romance, the encouragement of old friends, and a new ally, he decides he must face his past. Only by challenging humiliation can he earn the inner victory necessary to bring authentic peace to his life.

The Review

A truly powerful read, the author does an amazing job of creating a personal story of inner-turmoil that the protagonist has to fight from bleeding into his everyday life. Interspersed with the protagonist’s personal struggles is a fantastic and intellectual study of philosophy and mythology that really fascinated me. 

While exploring the study of great philosophers and how modern-day equivalents exist even unwittingly in music, television, and film from some of pop culture’s greatest artists was a fantastic concept to explore. One of the early discussions that the protagonist had with a reporter that immediately stood out to me was the concept of synchronicity, as this is something that has played into my daily life for the last year or so and the study of it has been a truly remarkable journey to undertake, so getting to see the protagonist’s perspective was incredible. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, emotional, and grounding, this was a quick yet engaging psychological drama that readers will instantly love. Memorable and relatable characters showcase the inner demons so many people must face and yet hide behind a carefully orchestrated mask to hide the pain, creating a truly one of a kind narrative that cannot be ignored. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James Rourke has been a high school of teacher of history, psychology, and philosophy for twenty-five years. His commitment to the idea that these three disciplines can assist his students to connect not only with his material, but to the unifying aspects of humanity, also guides his writing. “The Comic Book Curriculum” is praised for revealing”how major superheroes and their stories raise some of the deepest and most important ethical and psychological questions we all need to ask and answer.” This aspect of storytelling, the quest to tell stories that entertain, challenge, and uplift the reader, inspires James in his fiction as well.

Posted in reviews

The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen by Ray Smith

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

A woman tells her story of being a middle aged divorcee and discovering her true self in the midst of a passionate love story in author Ray Smith’s novel, “The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen”. 

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The Synopsis

“You’ve seen the woman in the photo. The woman screaming . . .”

So begins the story of Molly Valle, who at forty-eight thinks she knows all that life has to offer a single, middle-aged woman—namely, men’s dismissal and disrespect. But when handsome activist John Pressman arrives in her Mississippi hometown, he challenges her self-doubt along with nearly everything else in her world. Soon, Molly discovers a strength and beauty she never knew she had—and a love so powerful, it can overcome the most tragic of consequences.

The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen is a love story, an adventure novel, and a self-realization journey. It reignites the truth that many women—and men—have unconsciously extinguished: you are special and worthy of love, and it’s never too late to make your dreams come true.

The Review

This is a wonderfully written and relevant novel in today’s age, as readers are taken through a romance set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. The author has created a cast of characters that are memorable and worth investing in, and really captures the essence of that era. 

The author excels at two things in this novel. The first being their amazing writing skills in bringing descriptive imagery to life and making the novel feel alive on the page. The second would be the author’s ability to transcribe the atmosphere and culture around the civil rights era and the revelations it often left about those surrounding us at that time. 

The Verdict

A true page-turner, author Ray Smith has created a fast-paced read that will immediately grab the reader’s attention and creating a tension-filled atmosphere with this romance blooming before the reader’s eye caught in the center of it all. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and everything in between, this is a must-read for anyone who enjoys drama, romance, and the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Be sure to get your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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www.themagnoliathatbloomedunseen.com

Posted in reviews

Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes by Jeremy Rubinstein Review

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

One man’s journey through a painful home life and a life of addiction takes a drastic turn in author Jeremy Rubinstein’s “Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes”. 

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The Synopsis 

“Just call it the memoir love story of a drug addict white rapper with unresolved mommy and daddy issues.”

Ha. Yeah, that’s a laugher.

(Cause everything’s changing – just not myself lately / What have I become, Mom, this is not how you raised me / I pray to God save me – ‘fore the Devil he claims me / And I unleash the curse I was given when I was a baby)

The love story part of course being my wife Alice.

Except she forgets that my rap career in Southern California essentially ended –

(. . . like I was cursed from the start / As the fault lines start to shift again, the Kingdom falls apart / Another rapper’s got beef – it goes from the studio to the streets / And before we know what happens – Gunshots replace the beats)

With the shootout in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble, sending us pinballing across the country like a couple of wanna-be Bonnie and Clydes.

Only Bonnie and Clyde weren’t high on drugs, and they stuck to banks –

(Call it a Spiritual Malady – Attracted to what’s bad for me / As we give a new meaning to Comedy and Tragedy / Masks on, Guns drawn – as we run up in the Applebee’s / And turn our moral values into a pile of blasphemies)

Alice was a waitress when we met, so restaurants just made sense.

And I’m pretty sure Bonnie and Clyde never had children.

Our son Caleb was born in a crack motel while the cops were out in full force looking for us.

But all that comes later – like way later – after Alice first goes into labor with our daughter Hannah on Halloween night – the night Corey and I got robbed at gunpoint by the Three Stooges.

Of course, that wouldn’t have happened had I not let Alice convince me that selling crystal meth would make me more money than just pot and ecstasy.

But then Corey always said events like that tend to serve a Higher Purpose.

Kinda like that dream I had where I was trapped in the circus and the White Rabbit who’s foot had been chopped off lead me back to my childhood apartment where my long lost father was teaching my daughter Hannah how to skip stones over our linoleum kitchen floor while Fred turned my Mom into a Ventriloquist’s Puppet and then those teenagers dressed up as the characters from the Wizard of Oz set fire to my neighbor’s bush.

What can I say – Halloween has always had a weird significance to me. There’s something symbolic about running around at night with a mask on trying to be Master of your own Universe surrounded by ghosts and ghouls and goblins with your toy weapon in one hand and goodie bag in the other trying to score as much candy as you can before the real darkness takes over –

(Where did that child go? That kid with the He-Man mask? / Sometimes our biggest fears are the answers to questions that we ask)

Any other questions?

Just read the damn book. 

The Review

A well-written novel, author Jeremy Rubinstein does a fantastic job of bringing out the painful, cringe-worthy and heartbreaking moments of the protagonists life in a very real way. Readers are able to see the steady decline in the life of this young man named Paul and a young woman named Alice, both of whom go on a journey of addiction, crime and family life. 

The author does a wonderful job of character building in this novel, really fleshing out the backgrounds and histories of the characters that clearly contribute to their mental states and the choices they make as the book progresses. As time goes on however it is the shocking events they find themselves in and the consequences of their actions that reveal the troubled lives they’ve lead and forces them to make a decision that will affect not only their own lives but the lives of those they love most.

The Verdict

A lengthy yet moving read, author Jeremy Rubinstein’s “Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes” is a gut-wrenching, emotional read that delves into the painful process one goes through with addiction and the impact it has on so many factors in a person’s life. The author speaks with a tone and quality that speaks of authenticity and emotion, grabbing the reader’s attention thoroughly and keeping them engaged until the final page. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Not really sure what to say about myself; I’ve been writing since I was a child. I started getting ideas for stories and movies and even poetry as far back as Kindergarten. I was also in love with music from a very young age, and at 13 got my first guitar and took off writing my own songs almost immediately.

I’m also sort of a wanna-be scientist and inventor, and have recently developed and obsession with Bill Gates, as well as a new-found love for speed reading.

Thanks to this, my new goal for reading this year is about 50 books.

I draw all of my inspiration for both my writing and my music from life, and all of its experiences, much of which has been centered in the world of drug abuse and addiction – and all the drama and trauma that comes along with that – followed by recovery (in January I picked up 6 years of sobriety).

Because of this particular life experience, my writing, as well as music has deep undertones of spirituality, which lends a sort of hopeful wisdom to the darkness. I like writing about the human condition, and all of its many facets, both heartbreaking and beautiful. Oftentimes, my inspiration will come in the form of a rather mundane daily experience that my overactive imagination will toy with, adding the “What if?” element, and I’ll just go from there.

Or, it’s therapy – as a way to keep from committing any felonies.

In May – God Willing – I’ll be starting school again with a major in psychology to become first a certified drug and substance abuse counselor, followed down the road with simply working with troubled teens. I expect much of this will play into my future fictional writings.

My book, Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes, is of course based in part on my own life experiences as a person in active addiction, being in a relationship during that time, and growing up in a dysfunctional household. It was my way of processing and healing, but it was also my love for the Bonnie-and-Clyde style of outlaw romances that I’d grown up with as a child. Natural Born Killers with Mickey and Malory, True Romance with Clarence and Alabama, these films were always near the top of my list as favorites and I just always wanted to do my own version of that, so that’s really what Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes was: my way of processing my own pain and trauma from life, using a vehicle/plot that I’d always found engaging and entertaining.

I also brought in my love and talent for music on the story, so most of the songs that the characters do in the book are actual songs I’ve written, or am in the process of still producing, along with the rap/hip-hop lyrics of the main characters.

So it was a rather large project, even aside from the writing itself. 

https://jeremyrubinstein.com

https://booksprout.co/arc/32702/broken-mirrors-and-burning-bushes