Book Review Godwin’s Law

godwin_coverTitle: Godwin’s Law

Author: Bernard Maestas

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5 stars

Buy: Amazon

Gwen Kane, estranged daughter of a Forbes millionaire and the bearer of a horrifying secret is lured into a dangerous international cult. It falls to Alex Kirwan and Ted Reagan to rescue her. What should be easy money for the mercenary team of a freerunning ex-commando and his computer hacking partner proves to be anything but as they find themselves doggedly pursued across Europe, Canada and the United States by highly trained forces with resources vastly disproportionate to the recapture of one missing acolyte.

Will Alex and Ted unravel the mystery of Gwen’s importance in time to survive?
Will Gwen pierce the seemingly impenetrable armor around Alex’s heart?

Will Alex and Ted get paid?”

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading. I expected to enjoy this book…but turned out, I did more than just enjoy it – I loved it. Gwen Kane is the estranged daughter of a Forbes millionaire, holds a terrifying secret, and has been lured into a dangerous cult. It’s up to Alex Kirwan and Ted Reagan to rescue her, and they do so in fast-paced, breathless style, in a book packed with action from start to end. What should be an easy mission ends in a manhunt across Europe, Canada and the USA. The duo starts to wonder why Gwen is so important, and more importantly, if they’ll ever get paid for all their hard work.

This is the second book in the series, but I managed to follow it just fine without having read the first book. The book was so action-packed, I barely had time to breathe, let alone take a break while reading. It also has a good dose of humor, sometimes subtle, and as a reader, I couldn’t help but root for the two main characters. Flawed as they are, they immediately appealed to me.

An excellent thriller, highly recommended to anyone who loves this genre.

Promo for The Noise Beneath The Apple


About The Book

1-TNBTATitle: The Noise Beneath The Apple

Author: Heather Jacks

Genre: Performing Arts & Music

The Noise Beneath the Apple® is a limited-edition, 200-page deluxe collector’s edition art-style book full of high quality photographs and intimate stories from 35 groundbreaking musicians in New York City’s underground music scene. It also comes with a very special eleven track vinyl record, which features the original music of a select number of participants. The audio component was mastered by Academy Award winning  engineer Reuben Cohen.

This book is a BOTYA winner.

Author Bio

Headshot-for-RH-580x537Heather Jacks was raised on an Indian reservation in southeastern Oregon, until age fifteen. Jacks was the first ‘experimental exchange student’ to Australia with an organization called YFU, Youth for Understanding, where she spent 10.5 months in 1982. Once she returned, she received her B.A. from USF and followed that with two years of study at UC Davis.  She has worked in the music industry in various capacities, since the eighties; radio, production, A&R, booking and most recently as a music journalist.  She recently won a Book of the Year Award for her multi-media project, The Noise Beneath the Apple®, which was inspired by her love for street music, busking and the people who make it.


My site:

To order the Book or Music:  eShop  Amazon

Twitter:    @TNBTA

Facebook: TNBTA




Book Review Phoenix Rising

23287678Title: Phoenix Rising

Author: Leila Lacey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Phoenix James is plus sized dynamo, she is tall and light skinned, very earthy and eclectic in the way she dresses.

Phoenix is funny and fun loving; she has the personality that can make friends in the desert. Outgoing and charismatic, easy to talk to. She is the girl that all the girls want to have as a friend and the girl that all the fellas think is cool. She is loyal to her friends and family to a point of sometimes hurting herself if they are not being true to her.

She is single and has no kids, she has been married once and that relationship ended in divorce after he cheated on her. Although on the outside she seems totally confident and comfortable in her own skin to the public; she is sad and insecure about her weight and finding true love, Because of her insecurities her choices in men have been bad and most times disastrous.

Nick Crowne is 6’2” with broad shoulders and chocolate brown skin and brown eyes. He was born and raised in Britain so has and accent. His dimple on his right cheek gets him out of a whole lot of trouble with the ladies. Always being a slender man he is not much of a gym rat but still has an amazingly toned body with a deep sensual voice; he was married to the love of his life who died in a car accident 6 years ago, with their two year old daughter. He is not looking for nor does he have a desire to be in a relationship. He has decided that he will never let that pain touch him again. Besides the fact that being married to him was dangerous because of his family.

Nick is a man with culture and pride in being a black man. He donates extensively to scholarships for under privileges black children to go to college. He is a shark in business and a teddy bear in private.

He does not lie or sugar coat things he feels that, is just a way to cause more heart ache in the end. Being that he is so blunt and honest many people feel he is cruel and do not understand him. Born to a…. what American’s would call mafia family, he once worked 3 jobs and went to school full time to create a good life for himself and his family outside of a life of crime. He has worked hard for all he has and will fight dirty to keep it.

Phoenix is a fun and loving person, with a charming personality. However, she also suffers from a crippling insecurity about her weight, especially after her husband cheated on her. She’s made some bad choices in love, and is reluctant to fall for anyone again. Nick Crowne, broad-shouldered with an amazing voice, lost the love of his life in a car accident six years ago, along with their young daughter. He’s been haunted by depression ever since, and is reluctant to fall in love again.

But when the two of them meet and the chemistry is off the roof, they might have to give love another chance.

This is an inspiring, romantic read featuring realistic characters that instantly captured my heart. The writing works, and the plot is believable, and heart-warming. Recommended to all contemporary romance fans.

Author Interview Outcasts of the Worlds Tour


I’m interviewing Lucas Aubrey Paynter, the author of science-fiction fantasy novel “Outcasts of the Worlds”. My questions are bolded, author’s responses are in regular font.

What’s the hardest part of being an author?

 Largely, it’s been the continuous fear that anything I’ve written will be too strange and alienating and that the reader won’t be able to accept the oddities of the story for what they are that they might see the overall work for what it is.

 Seriously, I wrestled with the prologue and the first chapter more than anything else, in heavy part trying to establish the peculiarities of what Flynn and Jean as the first protagonists are without it feeling distracting. Whether I’ve succeeded or not, it’s in the wild now, but I hope from the early chapters on, the story will engage and not repel the reader.

Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?

 Flynn has drawn many people close. He has gained confidence and trust. He has been welcomed into families. He has ruined lives, sold out those who thought him a friend. He has destroyed communities, ensnared trusting hearts, left his victims helpless. Only now does he begin to regret.

 Imprisoned, Flynn faces a choice: freedom, despite his sins, or the punishment he deserves. His selfish choices will take him far, beyond the ruined Earth he has known all his life. He will find himself in the company of those unwanted by nature or deed. And for all the horrible things he has done, he may find the chance to do something good with his life, if he can only force himself to be a better man.

What inspired you to write this book?

 Outcasts of the Worlds is something I’ve been developing for a long time, and at first it was a love of epic fantasy and eclectic, ensemble casts. Along the way, it became complicated, as redemption stories and ambiguity tangled in more and more. Outcasts is meant to go to dark places and deal with characters who’ve done dark things but, for it all, I feel it’s the most optimistic thing I could write.

How many hours per day do you spend writing?

 The amount varies. I try to write at least one scene every day I have the time, and that usually takes a few hours. And, to be realistic, a portion of that is spent staring at the screen, re-reading what I’ve written and wondering if it’s working.

Sometimes whole paragraphs are deleted. Occasionally, I just start over. If things go well though, a few hours. If they’re going badly, I may be there until I figure out what isn’t working (which at times comes down to what character I’m focusing on), but I end up stuck at my desk quite a while longer before anything gets done.

Name your top five favorite books.

To note, the numbering is probably quasi-arbitrary. Probably. A few of the books may also be quasi-arbitrary. But these are ones I really like.

 1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – That’s where I started and, hell, that’s probably where half of everyone started.

 2. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony – The Xanth series has become increasingly mixed for me as time has gone on, but there’s a lot I loved about the first entry, and it had me reading Anthony’s works for years to come.

 3. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – Yes, I saw the Will Smith movie first (which I don’t think was all that bad), which led me to look into the book and–in short? I adore the book. I wrote a paper in college on it entitled “All Hail Our Vampire Overlords, or Much Ado About Staking.” My Rocky and Bullwinkle themed title landed me a B. I have no regrets.

 4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – Though a good read in its own right, I appreciate Jekyll/Hyde’s role in literary culture more than anything else. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Jekyll and Hyde being the same person was supposed to be a plot twist! It’s the older spoiler in the book! (so to speak)

 5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – This is probably an odd one to round this list out, but aside from the excitement of the ending, I consider Half-Blood to be the dullest of the Potter books (in terms of events). It was also a favorite to read though, as I ate up the backstory material that was finally being doled out.

What are you working on now?

Outcasts of the Worlds is the first book in a (presently) unnamed saga. The second book in said (presently) unnamed saga is titled Killers, Traitors and Runaways. Think happy thoughts, everyone.

About The Book

OutcastsFrontTitle: Outcasts of the Worlds

Author: Lucas Aubrey Paynter

Genre: SciFi Fantasy

Beyond the remnants of Earth lie many worlds, connected by pathways forgotten and invisible. They were left by the gods and have been found by Flynn.

A confidence man. A liar. A monster. Flynn has seen himself for what he really is and has resolved to pay for everything. Even if it means spending the rest of his days locked in Civilis, a tower prison for society’s unwanted – “half-humans” gifted by the fallout of nuclear holocaust centuries past.

Jean, a prisoner in the neighboring cell, has different ideas and despite himself, Flynn finds himself joining her daring escape. After rescuing her friend Mack, the three flee Civilis as Flynn pieces together the hours before his capture and finds himself drawn to an abandoned facility where a rift to another world opens at his nearing.

Together they will venture farther beyond the stars than humanity ever imagined, find others like them that will never belong, and tangle with forces both ancient and immortal. They stand alone, hated and scorned – and the last hope of making things right in a cosmos gone terribly wrong.

Author Bio

IMG9776Lucas Aubrey Paynter holds a Creative Writing degree from California State University Northridge—which looks really good when one talks about how they want to write for a living. A fan of engaging storytelling in any medium,  he spent years developing the worlds, characters and conflicts that Flynn and his company encounter, before settling at his desk and writing Outcasts of the Worlds, the first part of a much larger tale to come.

Currently residing with his wife in Burbank, California, Lucas enjoys reading in a variety of formats, potentially overanalyzing character motivations and arcs, and the occasional good, stiff drink.


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Twitter – @OutcastWorlds
Website –
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Amazon – Amazon

Barnes and Noble – B&N

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Book Review A Differet Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp

bookcover_smallTitle: A Different Kind of Safari

Author: Helen Hipp

Genre: Children’s Books

Has a book ever changed your life? Not just inspired you but helped you to see you’re life differently? In a tale that celebrates differences “A Different Kind of Safari”  addressing the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. Engaging and fun young children begin to figure out how they are the same and different from other people, and how they feel about the differences. Full of fun and enjoyable teachable moments that move children and allow them to make personal connections with the characters handling of similar fears, interests, and concerns that they experience.

I love kids books! I find that libraries too often focus on books for grown ups, and not for kids, so I’m always eager to review a kids book in my spare time. “A Different Kind of Safari” is a unique book – rather than just tell a story, it gives responses to some of life’s most intriguing questions, but in such a way that children will understand it too.

The story focuses on a young boy who meets a hippo on a safari, and that’s when the adventure begins. Ray, the main character, is different from other children and struggles to fit in. His friend the hippo offers him some interesting perspectives and life lessons, mostly through stories and adventures. The book isn’t preachy at all, instead it’s a fun adventure for parents and kids to live through together.

Book Review A Dead End in Vegas

DeadEndVegasTitle: A Dead End in Vegas

Author: Irene Woodbury

Genre: Women’s Fiction

When the nude body of Dave Sloan’s wife, Tricia, is found dead at the Bellagio in Vegas, he’s stunned.  Why was she even there when she told him she was going to a conference in Phoenix?  Tricia Sloan’s mysterious death shatters, and later transforms, the lives of those closest to her.

I wanted to read this book mostly because it seemed like a not-that-easy to solve suspense novel, with a mix of romance thrown in, and focusing on relationships and betrayal, and all of that sounded good to me. What surprised me the most however, was the complexity of what was going on – and I mean that in a good way.

When Dave SLoan’s wife, Tricia dies unexpectedly – murdered – Dave’s life is altered forever. He struggles between being overwhelmed by anger, and trying to understand what happened. As he tries to recollect the pieces of his life, so do the others closest to Tricia – Sally, our narrator, and Mike, her husband. But the shattered pieces of a life lost may change more than just their relationship with each other, their friendship, their history.

Great writing and a solid plot that doesn’t focus as much on the who-dun-it as on the consequences of losing a loved one, and a great cast of characters, Sally being my favorite.

Book Review This Beautiful World

ThisBeautifulWorld500x750Title: This Beautiful World

Author:  Elisabeth Jackson

Genre: Romantic Suspense / Mystery

As children, RaeAnne and her sidekick King were held captive after they discovered the body of a boy their age in a crate of apples in their small town’s peculiar orchard. Now RaeAnne is grown and the mother of a troubled young daughter. After her mother is killed in an accident, she travels home to her father with her daughter. But RaeAnne finds that she is not welcomed by everyone, and frightening incidents start to happen involving her and her family. As RaeAnne unravels the mysteries of her childhood, including what happened to her older brother, who vanished on the same night RaeAnne and King found terror in the orchard, she reunites with King. The boy she knew has grown up to be very handsome and guarded. But can the two ever be more than old friends who share a terrifying secret?

The past collides with the present in this romantic suspense / mystery novel. RaeAnne and her sidekick King were the best of friends when they were kids. But an event in the past scarred them for life – the discovery of a boy their age in a crate of apples in the town’s orchard. The same night of the discovery, RaeAnne’s brother disappears.

Now, years later, RaeAnne returns to town. However, as soon as she arrives, something or someone seems to target her and her family. The incidents are related to what happened that day she found the boy in the orchard, and if she wants to protect herself and her family, she’ll have to figure out what happened that fateful day. Meanwhile, she reconnects with her old friend King, as they try to solve the secrets that’ve been haunting them.

The characters were surprising – I could connect with most of them easily, RaeAnne being my favorite though. The book relies heavily on characterization, but at the same time provides an interesting plot that kept me guessing until the end. Good writing, and a book that’ll be enjoyed by all fans of romantic suspense and the old-friends-turn-lovers trope.