LIFE WITH BILLY by Brian Vallée is the true story of the horrific abuse suffered by Jane Stafford at the hands of her spouse – 5 Stars 

Title: LIFE WITH BILLY

Author: BRIAN VALLÉE

Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME, CANADIAN BOOKS

Length: 238 PAGES

PUBLISHER: A SEAL BOOK – FROM MCCLELLAND-BANTAM INC.

RELEASE DATE: JULY 1986

ISBN: 0-7704-2239-X

PRICE: $6.99 CDN

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

This book is one I picked up many years ago and has been sitting on a shelf for years. My husband picked it up and read it which prompted me to do the same.

This book was published in 1986 and the version I have is that 1986 book. It reflects the attitudes of that time period and even some of the desvriptive words that are included would NEVER appear in books written nowadays. For example, when describing one of the people who knew Billy Stafford, it says: “Warrington, a black, channels his energies into improving race relations in his province.” No modern author would ever describe a person as “a black” since it sounds derogatory, but in 1986 there was nothing wrong with using those words as descriptors.

In LIFE WITH BILLY, the reader learns early on in the book that Billy Stafford was killed by a shotgun blast and that the “murderer” was his wife, Jane.

As you continue to read, you realize that Jane Stafford was more of a victim than the person she killed.

This is the true story of an abused wife who just could not take another beating and who in desperation and fear did the only thing she could think of to stop the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse once and for all.

The location of the isolated hamlet of Bang’s Falls, Nova Scotia where Jane and Billy lived.

This story is NOT for the faint-of-heart. The descriptions of the abuse Jane suffered are truly horrific and her husband, Billy was a true sadist and in my opinion, was as evil as it is possible to be.

Billy Stafford was a man who was basically a bully and a sadist. He forced Jane to commit many acts of sexual depravity and who abused not only her but their son as well.

One of the police officers who arrested Jane was overheard saying that she deserved a medal. It is my belief that Billy damaged her psyche so severely that she became a shell of a person who was not living – she and her son were merely existing.

This book was published at a time when spousal abuse was treated as a matter between husband and wife and was not a problem that law enforcement wanted any part of. The killing of Billy Stafford shone a spotlight on this issue in Canada and the United States. The media coverage was extensive and battered wives who thought they were alone finally realized that they were not alone at all.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

PURCHASE “LIFE WITH BILLY” ONLINE 

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MORE INFORMATION


WHAT HAPPENED TO JANE AFTER HER TRIAL AND PROBATION ENDED  

1991 – Jane with her new husband on their honeymoon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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Brian Vallée, 70: ‘Terrific journalist’ was everyone’s best friend

Award-winning journalist and passionate campaigner against domestic violence, Brian Vallée, dies at 70.

Combatting domestic violence was a consuming passion for Brian Vallée. He is seen here at a 2008 book signing for The War on Women, which chronicled cases of women murdered by their male partners, and the failure of the justice system to protect them.

Combatting domestic violence was a consuming passion for Brian Vallée. He is seen here at a 2008 book signing for The War on Women, which chronicled cases of women murdered by their male partners, and the failure of the justice system to protect them.  (COURTESY OF NANCY RAHTZ)  

A tireless voice against domestic violence.

A master of the tourtière meat pie.

But above all else Brian Vallée “was a terrific journalist,” said Ron Base, Vallée’s best friend of 40 years and former colleague at the Star.

“He strongly believed in accuracy. He would go after a story with a doggedness I always found quite remarkable.”

The former Toronto Star reporter died from cancer in St. Michael’s Hospital on Friday morning.

BORN OF THE PHOENIX: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES by David Murray Forrester IS A GORGEOUSLY ILLUSTRATED AND EXCEPTIONALLY WELL WRITTEN NOVELLA Fully Deserving of a 5 Star Rating 

Title: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES

Series: BORN OF THE PHOENIX: BOOK ONE

Author: DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER  

Illustrator: MATOELGRANDE 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: FANTASY, NOVELLA

Length: 62 PAGES

Publisher: DELENAIR PRODUCTIONS

Release Date: MAY 28, 2016

ISBN: 9781533504999

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


* I received a free softcover copy of this novella from the author through the 
Goodreads Giveaway program. 


 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 The champions of old have passed. The end of heroes has befallen the continent of Sapphiron and with no mighty warriors of valour and chivalry the moral conscious of the people is falling into decline. Born a Larrosan descendant, Ravage faces not only the dangers of living on a continent fraught with monsters and sorcery but also constant prejudice yet her strong soul does not wither under adversity, the challenges only temper her unyielding constitution forging a soul that burns with indomitable fortitude. With a hideous shorku devouring the flesh of hapless travellers on the outskirts of her home town of Delepode, Ravage finds herself interwoven with the violent events that are taking place all around her.

MY REVIEW:

This may only be a 62 page novella, but it is full-length quality.

The world building was outstanding and the character development was excellent.

I did not expect this novella to be so wonderfully written and illustrated, but I absolutely LOVED it. In fact, I am very much looking forward to reading more books and/or novellas in this series.

Yes, it is a fantasy story, but it is so much more than that. The characters face not only terrifying monsters that rip unwary travellers to pieces, but they also have to face prejudice based on their heritage and/or on their chosen occupation.

There is also a gripping storyline with twists that the reader will not see coming and which setup the storyline for the next episode.

My only complaint? That I don’t yet own the other book in the series, but I plan to rectify that soon and I will be keeping an eye out for more books in the series.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

You can purchase this book online at: 

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AMAZON     

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

 

DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER (1981) Growing up in the Blue Mountains in Australia David quickly developed a love of forests and adventure (much like the elves of Lothlorien hehe) He spent the 80’s watching cartoons such as Voltron, He-man and Astro boy and building Lego castles. As he continued aging his interest in cartoons evolved into an anime fascination with The Twelve Kingdoms and Claymore being at the top of his list. He muchly enjoys Playstation, fast cars, Pepsi, cats and tomato sauce. His book writing began at an early age with short stories and over the years his passion for words grew and blossomed into his first novel Born of the Phoenix. David plans to continue his career in writing until he is old and grey.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK AND IT’S AUTHOR AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

FACEBOOK   

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GOODREADS  

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  

BOY ROBOT – Simon Curtis’ debut novel will be released on October 25th – A terrific Young Adult character driven Sci-Fi. 4 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: BOY ROBOT  

Series: BOOK ONE OF A PLANNED TRILOGY 

Author: SIMON CURTIS

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: YOUNG ADULT, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 432 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER TEEN 

Release Date: OCTOBER 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7564-8 

Price: $17.99 USD / $23.99 CAN

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Imagine losing your mother before you even had a chance to meet her because  she died giving birth to you.

Historically, women used to die in childbirth all the time, but with the advent of modern medicine, this has become a rare event. The fact that it doesn’t happen very often is no consolation to Isaak who ends up being raised by “parents” who show him not a single ounce of love.

He thought his life already sucked. Little did he know – it was about to get worse – much worse.

On the night of his eighteenth birthday, his life is changed forever.

Lying in bed trying to fight off the mother of all migraine headaches, a mysterious and incredibly strong girl tells him to come with her if he wants to live. (Yes, it sounds kind of like a knock off from a scene from the Terminator – but it is my opinion that she was trying to add a bit of levity to a terrifying situation.) Turns out she showed up just in time and the pair end up running for their lives.

Isaak has no idea what is happening. He has no enemies and can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt him – nevermind someone wanting him dead.

His savior is a girl named Azure and it is her that explains to him that they are both robots and that a highly trained, highly deadly, secret branch of the US government is hunting down and destroying any and all robots.

His only hope for survival is to reach the hidden, secret base of the Underground, which is a group of robots (and some humans) that are fighting back.

The way my description makes it sound, it seems like this book is a science fiction novel, which I guess it is, but really it is a story about the characters themselves.

The character development is excellent but the world building leaves much to be desired. I would have liked to have had more information about the resistance and it’s leaders. I am hoping that this information will be included in the next book in the trilogy. 

This book includes so many personal, moral and ethical issues that readers could literally discuss this book for hours before exhausting the different topics. This makes it especially perfect for book clubs.

Here is a list of just a few of the topics and issues that are included in this book:

* Death of a parent
* Child abuse – physical
* Child abuse – mental and emotional
* Puberty
* Teenage Angst
* Bullying
* The desire for acceptance
* The desire for love & connection
* Transgender youth
* Sexuality
* Confusion over sexual identity
* What is the definition of life?
* What makes you human? Is it biology or psychology?
* Moral dilemmas such as:
– Would you leave a friend behind to face certain death in order to save yourself?
– Would you be willing to kill to save yourself?

I could go on and on with the list, but I think you get the idea.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I think that Simon Curtis has done a terrific job on his debut novel. I give BOY ROBOT 4 out of 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

  • Pre-Order online at AMAZON 


* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  


SIMON CURTIS was born in Michigan and raisef in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10 and began performing in musical theater and opera that same year. He was the happiest bald, chemo-therapy-addled cancer patient ever seen on stage. At eighteen, he moved to L.A. After various roles on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, Simon left acting to pursue music, releasing his first album, 8bit Heart, as a free download, followed by his second album, RA, which landed at number 20 on Billboard’s Dance & Electronic Albums chart.

Simon continues to write and release music as an independent recording artist, and looks forward to his new chapter as an author. Above all else, he strives to inspire hope in young people.


BOY ROBOT is his first novel.

To learn more about this inspiring young man, visit the following links:

PUBLISHER OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

GOODREADS       

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM   

SIMON’S MUSIC WEBSITE   

AYAHUASCA by Jonathan Huls is disturbing and truly horrifying. COMING SOON – Release Date September 1st

Title: AYAHUASCA

Author: JONATHAN HULS

Genre: HORROR, FICTION  

Publisher: DUVINCHI MEDIA GROUP
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 

ASIN: B01JH0HW4A 

Price: $9.99 CDN (EBOOK ON AMAZON)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟


** I feel compelled to warn potential readers that this book is 100% NOT suitable for anyone under the age of 18.


*** This book contains graphic violence, sexual sadism and other adult content. If scenes of violence or rape are triggers for you, you should not read this book.

Wow! What a way to start a review. I almost feel bad for writing warnings, but I would not want someone to damage themselves emotionally just to read a new horror novel.

OFFICIAL BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Best friends since childhood, Damien and Paxton are going on a college graduation trip of a lifetime to the jungles of Peru. Their adventures along the way will culminate in a night of consuming the mind-altering drug ayahuasca – the most potent DMT based hallucinogen known to man. Will the experience expand their consciousness and change them into the men society beckons? Or will the young men’s shadowy backgrounds turn the trip so dark that it will consume them and everyone around them?

  

MY REVIEW

AYAHUASCA is the story of two entitled rich young men who have just graduated college and who have carefully planned out a very special trip to celebrate.

Imagine the trouble that two young men with lots of money can get into. Add to that the fact that they are both extremely good looking with great bodies. Plus, Damian does not care about anyone other than Paxton. “Love ’em and leave ’em” seems to be a way of life for Damian.

Not only do Damian and Paxton have lots of random sex, but they also take ridiculously large amounts of drugs and their alcohol intake would kill most people or at the very least would end up with a trip to the hospital to have their stomach pumped.

Damian and Paxton seem to be compelled to keep upping the ante as to how dangerous and extreme their behavior is. Any drug is fair game and every time they take something, they take so much of it that they are lucky to be alive.

Until reading this book, I had never heard of the drug AYAHUASCA. But Damian and Paxton had not only heard of it, they wanted to try it. It seems to similar to, but much more potent than peyote.

According to http://www.ayahuasca-info.com and http://www.azarius.com AYAHUASCA can be used for healing and can also be used to inflict harm. “In the Amazon bad luck and illness are generally assigned to sorcery.” 

Shamanistic Ayahuasca Ceremony

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogen and users are believed to experience often profound visions. Shamans use it to contact spirits and sometimes those spirits take control of the person who has consumed the ayahuasca. 

Will Paxton and Damian experience visions?

What exactly will they see? And what impact will it have on their lives and behavior?

You will have to read Jonathan Huls’ book AYAHUASCA to find out.


This book is due to be released on September 1st, 2016 and you can pre-order your copy now.


I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I have to say that this is the first book I have read by this author and in my opinion, Jonathan Huls is one twisted guy. Lovers of horror fiction (those who have strong stomachs) will love this book.


* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. *


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JONATHAN HULS has a permanent home in San Diego with his wife, Brigette, but they travel the world extensively at every moment they can. They can be sighted attending the World Cup, relaxing on the beaches of Colombia, eating ceviche in Peru, or climbing the various rock formations throughout the world.

For more information about the author or his works, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

TWITTER    

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM  

ALTERNATE COVER: 

In 10 days THE JOYS OF LIFE by Michelle Hoppe – A hilarious memoir about parenting is being released. Check out my 4 Star Review NOW!!!

Title: THE JOYS OF LIFE 

Series: THIS AUTHOR’S LIFE: BOOK ONE

Author: MICHELLE HOPPE 

Type of Book: EBOOK

Genre: HUMOR, PARENTING

Length: 124 PAGES

Cover Artist: VALERIE TIBBS of TIBBS DESIGN 

Publisher: BOOK BOUTIQUES   

Release Date: AUGUST 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-944003-49-4

Price: $ 3.99 USD
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 


* I received a free Advance Review Copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“In 1995, my husband and I uprooted our three children, much to their disgust, and moved them to the state of Washington. Our oldest daughter, Nicole, age 13, was convinced we’d lost our minds and ruined her life. The middle child, also a daughter Renae, age 11, was at least open to the possibility that things might be okay as long as she got her own room in the new house. The youngest, a son James, age 3, didn’t really express his feelings in full sentences, he just wanted the front seat for the drive to our new home.”

Thus begins THE JOYS OF LIFE. This first paragraph had me smiling and immediately nodding my head. Anyone who has ever had a thirteen year old child knows how dramatic everything seems to them at that age. Author Michelle Hoppe has nailed the reactions of each of the three age groups perfectly. And just like that, I was hooked.

The author states that “It is [her] hope that by sharing these stories, people will see that humor can be found in most of the oy veys life dishes out; and if not, at least you can enjoy [hers]”

The author then goes on to talk about events that have happened in her everyday life. She writes about moments with her husband, son, granddaughter, daughters and even her son-in-law.
Somehow she is able to see the humor in almost every situation, even if it is often in hindsight.

What I loved most about this book is that I can totally relate to many of the scenarios she describes. In fact, if I wasn’t 100% sure that she doesn’t know me or my husband, I would wonder if she has been spying on my life. (Not really, but many moments in her life mirror my own).

For example, while shopping for a new mattress she “… got into a conversation with [her] mother about which of the beds would be best for sex. The color of the salesman’s cheeks set off the blue of his eyes very nicely.” This made me laugh as I could easily envision the shock the salesman felt.

This book is full of more and more humorous moments. It will put a smile on the face of every reader. This is a GOOD THING. This world can definitely do with more laughter because, after all,  as the saying goes, LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE.

It is for this reason that I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars.

I almost forgot to mention how much I like the cover of this book. The Mom juggling a bunch of things at once is both humorous and true-to-life. Every Mom will be able to relate to the illustration by Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design. 
 

This book is set to be released on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
which is less than two weeks away. I suggest adding that date to your calendar along with a reminder to be sure to pick-up a copy of this ebook as soon as it is available for sale.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

Michelle Hoppe first discovered a love of writing in a high school creative writing class and has been putting fingers to keyboard ever since. From romantic comedy and chic lit to paranormal and contemporary, her novels tend to be hot, sexy, erotic romances with a few twists and turns. She also writes poetry as well as this book which is based on her crazy life.

She lives in a quiet little town on the coast of Washington with a beautiful beach close by.

Visit the author online at any of the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

GOODREADS   

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK   

GOOGLE +   

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 

Valerie Tibbs is a military veteran and aspiring writer who currently works as a network administrator by day and who owns and operates Tibbs Design and Consulting. 

To learn more about Illustrator Valerie Tibbs visit her online at any of the following links: 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

TWITTER 

FACEBOOK 

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