PRIMROSE AND BRIMSTONE BLOG TOUR – Be sure to check out this 5 Star book of Horror stories guaranteed to scare the heck out of you!!!

Title: PRIMROSE AND BRIMSTONE  
Author: JASON MUELLER

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Length: 302 PAGES

Publisher: DARK SERPENT

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: RAVENSWOOD   

Release Date: OCTOBER 2017 

ISBN: 978-1974683215  



DESCRIPTION: 
 

Primrose and Brimstone is an anthology of twenty-four stories including eight new stories with the addition of the sixteen stories from previous releases Darkness Apart and Thoughts of Hell. These stories range from the monsters under your bed to the monsters who live next door. Each story is a little piece of something you aren’t sure exists, but worry that it just might be out there or is it all in our heads. 

It’s probably just in your head. Take a walk with me through the Primrose and Brimstone.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Jason Mueller’s closest friends call him Jake. As he is mostly a horror and supernatural writer. It is yet to be seen if you want to get close to him or not! He bites.

Jason studied for the ministry for several years before life took a giant swing at him, forcing him to change courses a bit. He’s read the Bible, both Old and New Testaments more times than you would believe. But don’t worry he’s no choir boy, and his writing will take you closer to hell then you ever thought you could go without feeling the flames.

Jason escaped from Illinois when he was just about to enter his 20s and hasn’t looked back. He currently resides in Indiana and has four children who are his entire world – two boys and twin girls.

Jason is currently working on various projects and hopes to keep you scared to go to sleep for years to come.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOODREADS   
TWITTER    
FACEBOOK      

AMAZON     
  

BUY LINKS

AMAZON US 

AMAZON UK     

AMAZON CA       

BARNES & NOBLE     

CREATESPACE    

PAPERBACK    


This Blog Tour was brought to you by:

 RAVENSWOOD PUBLISHING      

Advertisements

NEW RELEASE – THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL by Eliza Maxwell earns every one of the 5 Stars and then some. THIS IS A MUST READ. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL     

Author: ELIZA MAXWELL   

Genre: FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 332 PAGES  

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 1, 2017

ISBN: 9781542045858  

Price: $14.95 USD (PAPERBACK)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

DESCRIPTION:

In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.

Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.

Eve is about to take charge of her own destiny—and that of Henry’s family. As both their worlds spin violently out of control, Henry must make an impossible choice: protect the broken young woman who’s claimed a piece of his soul, or put everyone he loves at risk in order to do the right thing.

MY REVIEW:

“In this place, it was easy to forget that the world had turned the corner into the twenty-first century. Time was different here, as if a spell had been cast that slowed the revolution of the earth. Those who lived and died nearby were touched by it, carrying the traces on their fingertips, in their lungs, woven through their hair. It was inescapable.”

It is here, in the deep forests of East Texas that Henry lives with his parents. They live in the cabin where he grew up. The  difference is that he and his parents have switched roles and Henry is now the breadwinner. His bootlegging business won’t make them rich, but they have enough to scrape by.

When a ragged, dirty young woman emerges from the woods, Henry isn’t sure what to think, but his mother immediately senses something about the girl and takes her in.

That one simple act of kindness has a profound effect on Henry’s entire family, and after that day, he knows, their lives will never be the same.

Rife with tragedy, both past and present, and filled with more secrets than the entire US Government, this book will draw and hold your attention for its entirety.

Author Eliza Maxwell’s descriptions are so wonderfully vivid that I felt as though I was immersed in each and every scene. I was entranced, and despite the fact that it was 3am, I couldn’t put the book down even though I knew I would suffer from lack of sleep the next morning.

Don’t believe me? Read the following:

“The tall, stately pines that grew in drier soils soon gave way to the curving, dripping beauty of the cypress that thrived in the swamp. The ground sloped downward, giving a body the subtle sense of being pulled into the bottomlands that waited patiently just around the corners, where the dark heart of the marsh beat with a symphony of life. Stinging, singing, ancient, and deadly life, where the alligators were king, the snakes and snapping turtles were barons, and the woodpeckers were court jesters jangling their bells from the tops of the trees.”

Eliza Maxwell clearly has a gift for descriptive setting and, as if this were not enough, she also has the talent of perfect pacing. Filled with moments of heart-breaking tenderness, and others of extreme terror, this book is impossible to put down.

With realistic characters and so many surprising twists and turns that readers will be thinking about this book long after turning the final page.

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

I would like to thank NETGALLEY for providing me with a free copy of this book. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

ELIZA MAXWELL lives in Texas with a patient man, two impatient children and a bird named Sarah.

There’s also a bird dog. She lives a tortured existence.

A writer, painter, and a British television addict, Eliza loves nothing more than the quiet parts of the world, a good cup of coffee, and sitting on the front porch.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    
GOODREADS     

SMASHWORDS           

PINTEREST         

TWITTER           

FACEBOOK         

INSTAGRAM         

AMAZON    

CHAPTERS     

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:  

Lake Union Publishing offers absorbing works of contemporary and historical fiction that make perfect book club picks. From lush sagas to laugh-out-loud fare, Lake Union Publishing has a story for every taste, season, and mood, from bestselling and debut authors alike, including Allison Winn Scotch, Camille Pagán, Rhys Bowen, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Helen Bryan, Catherine McKenzie, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, Emily Bleeker, Elizabeth LaBan, and Steena Holmes.

To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE    

FACEBOOK       

TWITTER     

INSTAGRAM          

INSTAGRAM SECOND PAGE      

 

QUOTES FROM THE BOOK THAT I JUST HAD TO COPY:

…he had enough on his own plate to keep from eyeing what was on his neighbors’.” 
“[Henry] didn’t drink because he’d seen every kind of reason for diving into a bottle, seen them up close and personal. But he’d never seen a solitary soul come out of the back end of a bottle any better off thanthey had gone in.”

Maybe God did live here … But if that were true, there was no denying God had a cruel side.”

“It was late. The part of the deep night when it’s impractical to do anything useful, but sleep won’t come, so the mind swirls around in the dark, skirting past old memories and bumping against unvoiced desires.” 

 “A stray thought occurred to him that if it weren’t for women, in all their cloaks of unfathomed mysteries, men would lead very boring lives.” 

“I’ve found that most people are generally a danger only to themselves.”  

Some places hold on to death the way used fireworks hopd on to the stench of gunpowder and flames.”

“Yeah, you got that look on you too. Like trouble done got your number down by heart.”

“But I gotta tell you, friend. You’ll never appreciate the daylight till you’ve walked on the dark side of the night, without even the stars to show you the way.”   

“Nothing on God’s green earth can make a man feel as alive as the love of a bad woman.”

There’s no shaking loose of that. Doesn’t matter where you go, once she’s in you, that’s where she’s gonna stay. It’s like a virus. Nothing to do about it but hope you’re still kicking once it runs its course.”

“Grief had melted away most of the humanity that Livingston had possessed, leaving little behind. A mechanical man with a suit of skin hanging off him, powered by a smoking, burning passion.”

RELEASE DAY BLOG BOOK BLITZ – CHOSEN by R.S. BROADHEAD – Horror Fiction at its Finest PLUS GIVEAWAY

Chosen

Author: R.S. Broadhead

Genre: Contemporary, Supernatural, Thriller, Horror

Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Read for FREE in KindleUnlimited: Amazon

Black eyes. No emotion. No sympathy. Only emptiness.

Piper McAdams’s life was normal. Career? Check. Boyfriend? Check. Friends? Check. One unsettling run in with a homeless man turns everything from normal to terrifying. She begins seeing…things.

Things she can’t seem to explain or make any sense. 

As if things aren’t already getting out of hand, Piper receives news that the only family member she has is dead. She thinks maybe a trip across the country to her hometown will get her away from all the strange events happening.

After a late night accident, Piper isn’t in her hometown burying her loved one. She’s in a town called Hell. All she wants to do is leave, but the people seem to be holding her there for some reason.

A reason she feels threatens her life. Around every corner things become darker and scarier.

Can she escape what is coming for her?

About R.S. Broadhead


I was born and raised in the small town of Jackson, AL, which was chosen as the back drop for my story. Growing up with very little recreational activities I had to do something to help the time pass and make things in my life sound more exciting than what they actually were. That’s when it all started….a scrapbook that held a countless number of photos of my friends and me. Of course these were normal photos, but I would take these photos and create an array of different stories that lead into one blossoming fictional world.

I have been married for nine years to a wonderful and very supporting man and have been blessed with two spunky, prissy girls. However, our family wouldn’t be complete without our whizzy, gassy Pug. I graduated from Troy University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/classic/ce71d14/main.html

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

NEW RELEASE – HUNTING THE FIVE POINT KILLER by C.M. WENDELBOE is a thriller that will keep you guessing. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

Title: HUNTING THE FIVE POINT KILLER           

Series: A BITTER WIND MYSTERY BOOK ONE       

Author: C. M. WENDELBOE          

Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, MYSTERY 

Length: 456 PAGES

Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK BOOKS      

Received From: NETGALLEY    

Release Date: OCTOBER 8, 2017   

ISBN: 978-0-7387-5320-1    

Price: $15.99 USD (PAPERBACK) 

Rating:   5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    


DESCRIPTION:    

Former Denver homicide detective Arn Anderson never thought he’d be broke enough to take on a cold murder case. Or desperate enough to do it with a TV reporter. Or pathetic enough to go back to his rundown childhood home, after he swore he’d left Cheyenne for good.

But here he is, hunting a serial killer who also appears to have come out of retirement.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the murders, the Five Point Killer is back for blood—and Arn could be next.


MY REVIEW:

Do you enjoy thrilling mysteries with head-shaking twists that you won’t see coming? If you do, HUNTING THE FIVE POINT KILLER is the book for you.

This is the first book in a new series following a retired former Denver Policeman named Arn Anderson.

Arn left Cheyenne many years ago and had planned never to return. That was before he lost both his beloved wife and his mother. After their deaths he became the sole owner of the now dilapidated, but once regal home built by his great-grandfather.

After leaving the house boarded up for almost a decade, Arn has decided to renovate and to bring it back to its former glory. However, renovations are more expensive and much more difficult  than Arn had anticipated. So, when an old friend, a reporter for the local news channel, offers Arn a job helping her to investigate a cold case, Arn reluctantly agrees.

Thinking that he may rattle a few feathers, but not caring in the slightest, Arn puts his investigative talents to work.

What happens next will put lives in danger as the serial killer becomes active once again.

Author C.M. Wendelboe has mastered the art of character believability. Arn Anderson may be a brilliant detective, but he is also human. He has flaws, and is due to these flaws that he comes across as so “real.” As readers learn more about Arn’s past, the reasons behind some of his actions and behaviors become clear, exactly as it is in everyday life.

The Five Point Killer is unlike any other serial killer I have read about in the past few years and everytime I thought I had pinned down his (or her) identity, something else would happen to change my guess. Even the ending was unexpected and as far as I am concerned, this is the earmark of a truly great mystery. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

C.M. WENDELBOE entered the law enforcement profession when he was discharged from the Marines as the Vietnam war was winding down. In the 1970s, his career included assisting federal and tribal law enforcement agencies embroiled in conflicts with American Indian Movement activists in South Dakota.

He moved to Gillette, Wyoming, and found his niche, where he remained a sheriff’s deputy for more than 25 years. In addition, he was a longtime firearms instructor at the local college and within the community.

During his 38-year career in law enforcement he served successful stints as police chief, policy adviser, and other supervisory roles for several agencies. Yet he always has felt most proud of “working the street.”

He was a patrol supervisor when he retired to pursue his true vocation as a fiction writer.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

GOODREADS           

FACEBOOK        

AMAZON             

CHAPTERS   

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE    


ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

Celebrating ten years of the very best in mystery fiction, Midnight Ink publishes everything from quirky cozies to chilling thrillers.

From the outset, Midnight Ink has been dedicated to sleuthing out and fostering new talent, from their longest standing series by Jess Lourey, Sue Ann Jaffarian and Karen MacInerney to award-winning mysteries by G.M. Malliet and Catriona McPherson.

Prepare to burn the midnight oil with a Midnight Ink mystery.

To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK      

INSTAGRAM         

PINTEREST         

THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE by Tade Thompson will be available on October 3rd and will scare the heck out of you. 

        🌟🌟🌟🌟 = 4 STARS 


Title: THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE  

Author: TADE THOMPSON

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Length: 128 PAGES

Publisher: TOR BOOKS              

Received From: NETGALLEY     

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017 

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9713-3 (PAPERBACK)  

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9712-6 (EBOOK)

Price: $1.99 USD – EBOOK

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:    

The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way—and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

MY REVIEW:

Despite only consisting of 128 pages, and officially being considered a “novella” rather than a “novel,” THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE does not lack readability. Yes, it is a quick read, but that is due to the fact that once begun, it is nearly impossible to put down.  

The concept of the “Doppelganger” is not new, even so, author Tade Thompson has taken the concept to places no one ever has before.

This story is all about Molly.

Molly may look normal, but she suffers from a unique genetic quirk, one that makes her the only person alive with her bizarre condition.

It’s all about the blood.

Every time Molly bleeds, another copy of herself grows from that blood and a new molly is created – a perfect physical copy of Molly at the moment in time when her blood was shed.

The problem occurs because the new molly may start out seemingly normal, but inevitably, the new copy turns on the original and attempts to murder her.

Imagine knowing that at least once a month (thanks to her gender,) a new molly will come to life and that you have no choice but to commit murder in order to preserve your own life.

What would that do to your pysche? Could you ever hope to lead a normal life?

You will need to read this novella to find out if Molly ever figures out a way to control her disorder or if she ends up dead at the hands of one of the mollys. 

If you enjoy reading books where the storyline begins with a high degree of suspense which continues to build until it is at a frenzy, then THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is the perfect book for you.  

The best thing about this book is the totally unexpected and explosive ending which also opens up the potential for a sequel. Personally, I hope Tade Thompson does write an additional book based on this one. I give THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

An exciting announcement was just made – THE MURDERS  MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is being made into a full-length feature film. To read more about the upcoming film’s details, click HERE.

** Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


TADE THOMPSON
 lives and works in the south of England. His background is in medicine, psychiatry and social anthropology.

His first novel Making Wolf won the Golden Tentacle Award at the 2016 Kitschies.

His second novel Rosewater is on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, and his short story “The Apologists” has been shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association award.

He enjoys jazz, comics, and baking deformed bread.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS   

TWITTER        

AMAZON    

CHAPTERS      

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     
ABOUT AMIE’S BOOK REVIEWS: 

**** To receive an email every time I post a new review, sign up here on WordPress. 

**** To follow me on INSTAGRAM click HERE

**** To follow me on TWITTER click HERE

WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD and Check out the new release EARTHLY CONCERNS by Xavier Axelson 

The Incident

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: August 18, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

Michael Carmac is a small-town cop on the verge of a breakdown. After a split-second decision leaves an innocent child dead, Michael’s reality unravels. Suffering from PTSD, he finds comfort in a bottle while struggling to find forgiveness. Fellow officer Bertram Angel offers Michael support, and what starts as friendship turns into something deeper–two men looking to find love, forgiveness and acceptance while moving forward and healing wounds that don’t always show.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is an extensively re-edited and expanded title.

Earthly Concerns

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: September 2, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

It was a peaceful night when Barrett and his daughter were driving home … then something happened. Something sinister.

Something took Barrett’s daughter from him.

Now the only person Barrett can turn to for help is Anson, a man gifted with psychic abilities beyond reason. But Anson is also his ex-boyfriend, a man whose heart he’d already broken.

As Anson delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding Barrett’s accident, he begins to realize he’s in a race against time. Whatever has taken Barrett’s daughter is a force of evil beyond anything either man has ever encountered. Can both men put aside their heartaches and past to save Barrett’s daughter from an entity that has the power to destroy them all?

Dutch’s Boy

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: September 8, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon – coming soon! | Publisher

Fulfilling your dream isn’t easy, especially if you’re the son of well-known rodeo rider Dutch Reynolds. Dutch doesn’t want to see his son Harry leave the family ranch until he feels Harry is ready. But for Harry, his dream of riding broncos at the rodeo seems to be passing him by. With the moral support of his best friend Reb, Harry takes his life in his own hands and leaves the ranch before Dutch can stop him. Chance encounters, sex and love soon teach the young cowboy life lessons that he will not forget.

The Birches

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: August 5, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner.

Then Leo meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches.

Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.

About Xavier Axelson

Xavier Axelson is a writer and columnist living in Los Angeles. Xavier’s work has been featured in various erotic and horror anthologies.

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon  

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/classic/bcf694d/main.html

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY – Shattered Pieces – Win a $20 Amazon gift card 

Shattered Pieces

If I Break Series
by Portia Moore
Publication Date: April 30, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When you’re heartbroken, it lies beneath everything that you do. It’s in all of who you are. Foreshadows who you’ll be.

It hides underneath your smile, rests between your laugh, revels in your tears and taunts your every thought. You wish it away but are too terrified to let it go….

When Cal first disappeared I swore my heart had broken, and before all of this is over I swear it will shatter into pieces.

About Portia Moore

I’m obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I’m infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey, Dorthy, Marilyn, Elizabeth.

I’m a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea…

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodreadsNewsletter | Fan Club

ENTER TO WIN A $20 GIFT CARD 

Click on the link below to enter: 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/classic/3e4b22e/main.html

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

THIS IS NOT MY LIFE: 

Title: THIS IS NOT MY LIFE

Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, PRISON, AND OTHER COMPLICATIONS    

Author: DIANE SCHOEMPERLEN

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR, CANADIAN NON-FICTION

Length: 351 PAGES   

Publisher: HARPER COLLINS 

Release Date: FEBRUARY 7, 2017

ISBN:  978-1-44343-420-1  

Price:  $24.99 CDN

How I Received This Book: This book was one I purchased for myself at CHAPTERS

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

Any memoir that begins with the words this one does is bound to be both interesting and shocking. Author Diane Schoemperlen is NOT the type of woman who I pictured as one that would fall in love with a man in prison – especially one who had been convicted of murder. I’m not sure who I thought of as the type to fall for a prisoner, I just know that a well-known author and journalist would be the furthest choice from my mind.

Diane’s memoir begins in 2006 with the following sentence:


“It is safe to say that never once in my life had I dreamed of being in bed with a convicted killer, let alone one with his teeth in a margarine container in the kitchen, his mother in the next room, and the word HI! tattooed in tiny blue letters on his penis.”

Now, if that sentence does not make you want to read more, then, this review is probably not for you either.

I was intrigued.

What would an educated and highly intelligent woman find attractive about a convicted killer? What the heck was wrong in her life that she would see prison as a viable dating venue? How could she ever feel safe around him?

Diane met Shane at a soup kitchen where they both volunteered. He was still incarcerated, but he was allowed out while escorted by a nun to work at the soup kitchen. No one, Diane least of all, had any idea what his crime had been or how long he had been in jail. In fact, at first, she thought he was just another volunteer.

Eventually Diane and the rest of the volunteers learned the reason he was in prison. Diane describes the moment like this:


“This was when we finally learned why he’d ended up in prison in the first place and that he’d been there for almost thirty years. Now we understood that in the language of tattoos, the tear-drop below his left eye meant he had killed someone. Now we knew he was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Whatever initial alarm we might have felt about this was tempered by the fact that it had happened so long ago and that he had become an essential and popular part of the kitchen crew. We saw him as a person who had paid his debt to society and deserved a second chance.”

This blows me away. I cannot say for sure what my reaction would have been, but I doubt that learning Shane had killed someone is something that I would have been able to overlook. But, that is the exact reason why I wanted to read this book. Well, that and the fact that author Diane Schoemperlen is not only Canadian, but she and I live in the same province (Ontario) and our homes are only a three hour drive apart.

I found this memoir to be compelling reading. Diane does not shy away from difficult topics. She opens the readers eyes to what life is like for those incarcerated in Canada’s prisons and how these prisoners become institutionalized. What I had never considered before was how the loved ones of these inmates end up institutionalized as well.

Yes, this book contains details about the often ridiculous world that is Canada Corrections, but it is ultimately a story about the desire for love and acceptance and to the lengths people will go in their quest to achieve those feelings and the seemingly bizarre choices they make that they normally would not. 

Diane Schoemperlen’s memoir is beautifully written and well thought out. Since it is written after the relationship ended I do however believe that she has glossed over many of the events. But I also believe that she did not do so with the intention of deceiving readers, rather because, in her own mind, she didn’t want to sensationalize her fear. It is human nature to downplay fear-filled moments after the fact – I believe this is an unconscience psychological defense mechanism. 

Clipping from THE TORONTO STAR



MORE THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK


*** Caution – This section may contain spoilers ***

I have done some research and I believe I know exactly who “Shane” is and if I am right, he committed multiple murders, multiple prison escapes and multiple robberies. However, whether he killed one person or three people, he is still a murderer who was sentenced to life in prison. I also do not believe the bit about his “teardrop tattoo.” I think this was included to throw off those who might be curious as to “Shane’s” actual identity. 

Despite the sentence of life in prison, somehow “Shane” is now allowed to live and work amongst the rest of us. WHY?

Personally, I used to naively believe that when someone was sentenced to life in prison, that they would actually remain in prison until they died. SILLY ME!!! I guess I should have known better. I could probably rant for many, many more paragraphs about why I think it is wrong to allow murderers to be free to walk the streets of my home  province, but I will refrain from doing so here in my review of THIS IS NOT MY LIFE by reknowned author Diane Schoemperlen.

Suffice it to say that Diane’s book/memoir is a MUST READ. This is true not only for those who love a good read, but also for everyone who has even a passing interest in Canada’s jail system and what I perceive to be its fallibility (which should be every Canadian of voting age.)


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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Diane Schoemperlen is the Governor General’s Award winning author of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently By the Book: Stories and Pictures, a collection illustrated with her own full-colour collages, which was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.


ACCOLADES, MEDIA AND PRIZES won by “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE” 



– One of five finalists for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize 

  
 – Mar 02, 2017 – 41 minute video

About this Video: 

Three memoirs and two biographies are nominated for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize. Max Eisen writes about surviving Auschwitz; Matti Friedman recounts his combat experience in Lebanon in the mid-1990s; Ross King examines Claude Monet’s fascination with painting water lilies; Marc Raboy reveals Guglielmo Marconi as a global communications pioneer; and Diane Schoemperlen remembers her six-year relationship with a convicted murderer. The Agenda welcomes the five non-fiction finalists to discuss what impelled them to write their books.

Dianne Schoemperlen’s book has been nominated as part of the #ygkChallenge    


MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE ARTICLE with video interview        

HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D.Vance is a brilliantly written memoir that is unputdownable  – Check it out… 

Title: HILLBILLY ELEGY  

Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS   

Author: J.D. VANCE     

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, SOCIAL COMMENTARY  

Length: 257 PAGES

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Publisher: HARPER COLLINS   

Release Date: JUNE 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-230054-6

Price: $27.99 USD / $34.99 CDN

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟

There are a plethora of books being written and published that focus on minorities and the struggles they have had to endure both in the past as well as today. But, there is one minority group that seems to have been completely neglected – that group consists of poor white people.

The word “Hillbilly” in this book refers to poor, white people whose ancestral roots come from the Appalachian Mountain region.

This book is in no way a treatise of what every “Hillbilly” family is like. It is a memoir of one man’s family, how he grew up, and how he was able to break the cycle of addiction and poverty that stalked his family tree. He professes to have “escaped” the fate of many of his friends through education.

J.D. Vance also writes about how most of the people in his community lost jobs when manufacturing moved out of the area. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Rust Belt. 

The author, at times, portrays “hillbillies” as a lot of lazy, law-breaking lowlifes who think the world owes them a living. This may be true of some of these families, but I have a hard time believing that it applies to the majority.

I have to admit that I was fascinated by details of the author’s tales of his childhood and by the various members of his extended family. These people, especially his crazy (and violent)  uncles almost seem too clichéd to be real. His mother is portrayed as an addict who cared little for her children and much of J.D.’s emotional pain seems to trace directly back to her and to her actions.

There are so many shocking and seemingly crazy anecdotes included in this book that at times they seem too insane to be true.

Despite the abuses and the flagrant disrespect for the law, two admirable traits shone through all of J.D. Vance’s stories, and those qualities are; the theme of family loyalty and the sense of community. His family may have been poor, but if they were able to help out a community member in trouble, they would.

The one character who is central to the story is J.D.’s grandmother – or MAMAW (pronounced maam-awe) as she is known. Readers will find themselves drawn to her and despite her rough and tough demeanour, her love for J.D. shines through and becomes a beacon for him to follow when making life choices, even though her own life choices included killing a man.

This is a picture of Mamaw in her younger days.

I enjoyed reading this memoir and I am glad that the author escaped the poverty of his youth and embraced upward mobility. He has since become a successful lawyer (and now a successful author.)

If you want a glimpse into a world that most “outsiders’ never see, then this is the book for you. *** I must warn potential readers that this book does include stories that are NOT suitable for children under the age of sixteen. ***

I rate HILLBILLY ELEGY as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

 

 

//www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?419678-4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J.D. Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq.

A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and is a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm.

Vance lives in San Francisco with his wife and two dogs.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS     

TWITTER AUTHOR ACCOUNT      

TWITTER BOOK ACCOUNT     

FACEBOOK    

AMAZON   

CHAPTERS        

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

J.D. and his beloved Mamaw

The author with his dogs

NEW RELEASE — GULLY DIRT: A MEMOIR by Robert Coram will make you laugh, it will make you cry and you won’t want to put it down. 

Title: GULLY DIRT

Subtitle: On Exposing the Klan, Raising a Hog, and Escaping the South: A Memoir

Author: ROBERT CORAM

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR

Length: 266 PAGES

Publisher: FIVE BRIDGES PRESS 

Release Date: JANUARY 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9983820-0-5

Price: $15.99 (Softcover on Amazon)
Price: $6.05 (EBOOK on Amazon)

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


“A lot of romantic claptrap has been written about the South. I was born in rural Georgia and grew up there during the 1950s, and I never saw the romance. All I ever saw were people who were as mean as uncovered cat shit, people who took pride in being on the losing side of just about everything, people who could quote the Bible one minute and go into a violent rage the next.”    

Paragraph one and I was hooked.

This is a pull-no-punches memoir that does not shy away from the ugly truths about growing up dirt poor in the South in the 1950s. 

GULLY DIRT is cleverly written and filled with vignettes of his pre-teen and teen years beginning at the age of 12.  Robert Coram has achieved an excellent balance between humor and drama and readers will swing between wanting to laugh and wanting to cry.

Growing up in the deep South in a tiny town, Robert dreamed of escaping his retired military father and the blatant favoritism of Robert’s younger brother. He may have despised his father, but like all boys on the cusp of adulthood, he both needed and craved his father’s love and attention.

Author Robert Coram describes his birthplace as “… a place that has always been separate from the rest of the world.” The stories in this book prove that to be true.

Because Robert grew up in the 1950s, he grew up in a time that is completely foreign to how we live today. His hometown of Edison had its own prejudices and they held onto them as tightly as possible.

I read this book in a 24 hour period because I did not want to put it down. Some of the phrases the characters say in the novel will make you chuckle audibly. For example, saying that he was as “…mean as uncovered cat shit…” I mean, really, who talks like this? The answer is that in the 50s, that is exactly how the residents of Robert’s town spoke.

If you are: 

A) Easily offended by books that contain swearing or if 

B) you are offended by the word “nigger” then you might want to skip this book. However, the only reason the “n” word is used in the book is because that was what Robert’s parents called black people and so he called them the same. It is historically accurate speech and it is not meant to be offensive. 

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

If you are interested in an authentic accounting of growing up in the deep South with an overbearing and uncaring father and yet somehow turning out normal, then this is a must read. 

* I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley


MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:


“…mean as uncovered cat shit…”

“This land, this place, this searing furnace, marks its children more indelibly and more visibly than does any other part of America.”

“Once this land was sea bottom. But not even the ocean liked this place …”

“Gully dirt ain’t good for nothing.”


“…that August I discovered the MAGIC of books, how words on a page could bring tears to my eyes or fill my heart to overflowing.”

“That summer I learned that the contents of a book could resonate in the heart and linger in the memory.”


“I realized at some subliminal level that a book is more than pages covered with printed words. A book is a package of wonder, a container of bliss, a vale of emotion, an unexploded bomb. A book can not only draw the reader into a new world and toward new friends but also separate him from the old world and old friends.”

“One book can change a person’s life. A library can change the world.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Coram’s career as a writer began in Edison, GA, a town of about 1200 located deep in the southwestern part of the state. Edison is a farming town. Most young people leave as soon as possible. Coram is the only person from Edison ever to become a writer.

Coram was hired as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal when he was a sophomore in college. Like many who suddenly discover their life’s work, he was enthusiastic and prolific. He was a general assignment reporter & also wrote features, book reviews, travel stories, & aviation stories. He covered the civil rights movement in Atlanta during the 1960s and he wrote freelance articles for the Atlanta Magazine, for aviation publications, and for national magazines.   

For several years Coram wrote for McGraw-Hill publications out of the Atlanta bureau. He covered the early days of the environmental movement and he covered the civil war in Biafra.

Coram spent four years as a staff writer for Atlanta Magazine. Then he moved to Cumberland Island, an island off the Georgia coast. The first year he was a house sitter & the second year he was a ranger for the National Park Service. Thus, he is one of the few writers who also has been a federal officer. During his two years on Cumberland he wrote for Sports Illustrated and did several travel pieces for the Sunday New York Times.

He returned to Atlanta in the mid-1970s and resumed his freelance career. He wrote a media column, the first in Atlanta, for the weekly Atlanta Gazette.

A piece he wrote for Esquire in 1976 was the first piece about narcotics trafficking in a national magazine. The latter part of the 1970s he traveled extensively in Colombia, Jamaica, the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, and south Florida, writing about narcotics trafficking.

These articles resulted in his being asked to become a reporter for The Atlanta Constitution. The first year he received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his stories about drug smuggling. The second year he covered the war in El Salvador. He received another Pulitzer Prize nomination for a series of articles that stopped the National Park Service from developing Cumberland Island. The third year he was fired by a new assistant managing editor who said Coram’s interviewing techniques were too aggressive.

Coram now had the unique distinction of having been fired from both The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. The two papers later merged, so his feat can never be duplicated.

While he was at the paper he became a part-time instructor at Emory University and taught writing courses there for 12 years.

He also resumed his freelancing and, at the same time, began writing books. He wrote five books before he published his first one. The five were not proposals nor were they a few chapters; they were 400-page manuscripts. That they were not published he considers proof God is sometimes merciful toward the reading public.

Signet published his “Narcs” series. These three books were based on his experiences writing about drug smuggling. Then came four police novels based in Atlanta. Woven among the novels were three non-fiction books: an investigative book about Antigua, a book about an Irish woman who works in Saigon with street children, and a fishing book for National Geographic.

As the 1990s drew near the end, Coram looked back over his books. He said that writing 10 books in 10 years was both good and bad: good in that it showed a certain professionalism, bad in that rarely are lasting books written at such a speed.

Today Coram lives in Atlanta with his wife, business owner Jeannine Addams, president of J. Addams & Partners, a public relations company.

When Coram is not writing, he is fly fishing on the Georgia coast.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

GOODREADS   

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK      



OTHER BOOKS BY ROBERT CORAM: 

MY AWARDS FROM NETGALLEY

Follow me on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER