Blog Archives

Regrets, Love, Sex and Life Lessons

Regrets, Love, Sex and Life Lessons by Melissa Owens will take you on an evocative and scandalous journey through a series of short stories about relationships and life choices that have expected and unexpected outcomes. This provocative compilation of narratives will be relatable to many and shocking to most. Should you keep quiet about inappropriate affairs in the workplace? Can you ignore the red flags with the new boyfriend? Is your gut feeling about someone reliable? Should you act upon passion driven impulses? These are the questions the characters have to answer for themselves and live with the consequences: good, bad, or indifferent.

2 Imperfect People threw me for a loop and was a story that I did not expect. Author Melissa Owens sets a quick pace with this story and I wanted to read more. From there the stories took me on a roller coaster of emotions and I found myself rolling my eyes and rooting for the main character for sticking up for herself. I feel many of these stories will be relatable to many readers, especially women. The sex scenes were incredible; many of the characters in the stories were having sex for three hours! The author created vivid scenes that are filled with passion and yearning and sometimes that ended in disappointment for one of the characters, mostly the women. Country Carlton Has Taught Me a True Valuable Lesson in This Thing Called “Life” is another short story that surprised me because of Carlton’s behavior.

Author Melissa Owens has provided readers with a collection of intriguing stories about women and their experiences with dating, having sex, and regretting many decisions with the men that they choose. This is a captivating read and, while relatable, the last story in the book gives hope to many that there are still good ones out there.

Pages: 122 | ASIN: B09B4F7SS4

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Love, Kisses, & Crazy White Jackets

Love, Kisses and Crazy White Jackets by Amelia Stephen is the love story of two teenagers -Amelia and Mitch, whose relationship seems to be “made in the stars.” In time, Amelia sees another side of Mitch she fears. “He was a picture of contrast, gentle, but yet so full of conflict and rage.” After seeing this side, their relationship changes. She is left to deal with her conflicting feelings. She loves Mitch and yet hates the physical abuse he has inflicted upon her. Now she questions what she should do?

While dealing with the serious issue of teen domestic violence, the author is able to show the humanity of both Amelia and Mitch.  The reader senses Amelia and Mitch’s love for each other despite their difficulties. Both are multifaceted characters shaped by their life experiences. Within the story, Mitch is not just an abuser but also a victim of abuse himself.  The author also shows how Amelia can love the abuser while hating the abusive behavior. This author’s message is powerful because it is based on her life story.

However, the limitations of the author’s telling of this story occur when scenes change. Often the transitions from one time/place to another seem abrupt and unconnected to the main story. The reader was often left to make the connections on their own about the relevance of the scenes. It was not clear how the scenes connected until one reaches the end of her story. The scenes that often appeared random were the author’s way of showing the two separate lives she lived in order to keep the abuse a secret from family and friends. 

Love, Kisses and Crazy White Jackets is a compelling true story about one woman’s ability to love and the challenges that come with love. The author had to make choices that many women, unfortunately, will face, and she gives inspiration and strength to those women that they can move forward and that it is ok to feel hurt at leaving a bad situation. If you enjoy memoirs and stories of survival, this book is for you.

Pages: 226 | ASIN : B079651FQR

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Violet by Sabrina Simon is a collection of emotionally riveting poems about love, especially unrequited love and the relationships that come after that pain. This thought-provoking collection contains poems from throughout Simon’s life, starting from the time she was 14 to the present. It follows the great loves of her life and explores the experiences of young love, unrequited love, and healing love.

Although the book itself is not divided into sections, a breakdown of the time periods in which the poems were written is given, along with a preface outlining Ms. Simon’s inspiration and frame of mind during the different periods. This allows readers to be taken on an engaging journey both through Ms. Simon’s growth as a writer and through the trials and rewards of love and relationships.

Author Simon gifts the reader with really powerful pieces, and the author has such a connective style of describing her experiences that I was completely mesmerized by her words. The author is very direct about her feelings, her struggles, and the journey she has been on, making these poems relatable to the reader.

I found myself getting lost in her poetry as she vividly described her experiences and emotions. I was emotionally invested and connected to each poem, and I was disappointed when it ended. Simon’s poems will connect with many readers who understand the thought of loving someone and dreaming about a life with them that you won’t get to have and the impact that has on future relationships. This doesn’t just negatively affect us, but there is also the beauty in looking forward to future relationships and when you finally feel the love you have is returned.

I highly recommend this collection of poems for its sheer relatability, honesty, and raw emotions that the author brings to us. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Pages: 66 | ASIN : B0B6D95JZK

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Evoking An Incident Emotion

Sherman P. Bastarache Author Interview

An Erotic Phenotype answers some interesting questions about Romantic Love and human reproduction. What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write this informative book?

I am an avid reader, more notably in all the sciences. I was reading Darwin’s Black Box because it claimed that it found flaws in Darwin’s theory of natural selection. That was on the molecular level, false as they were. I noticed that everywhere there were claims that some traits could not possibly be selected for without a creator or intelligent design: language, “the soul” or “spirit” was a big one, emotions… I was also quick to notice that some of these arguments contained answers to their own questions. Ignorance! I began looking at life and science in complete ignorance to see how far natural processes could carry an incident of biology. I.e. how an incident of sight can become an incident of beauty, evoking an incident emotion. That sparked the idea! The need to write this book was created by another book I wrote: Moral Indignation, which due to available topic space, I was forced to omit the natural course of events leading to love.

What research did you do for this novel to get it right?

I read everything I could get my hands on, in every science, every mythology, including scientific papers, books, and articles. I must point out that my father was a woman hater to the core! Mentally dealing with his absurdities helped me recognize how really amazing women truly are! It is not possible to know enough, or even learn enough, to cover every topic in complete detail. I tried to learn as much as possible. I read a few books on female same-sex erotica in an attempt to gain some mental/emotional concept of the same-sex female brain, thinking it might be close to a cisgender male brain. Also, I find that the best teacher is life. I watched people interacting with other people.

What is one thing that people point out after reading your book that surprises you?

The book is a new release and as far as I know only a few family members and friends have read it. That said, I am questioned about the topic a lot. The word “Erotic” makes people think about erotica, which it is not. The joking stops when they understand it is about “eros”. Honestly, I have not asked anyone I know that did read it what they thought. Maybe I should.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

That is a beautiful question. There are so many topics that are not fully understood. There are still so many claims of intelligent design which need to be addressed. I am currently working on two books, both untitled. With all the current conspiracy theories and false news claims, I think it is important to explore how humans were selected for having the ability to analyze our world. We need to see how our two innate instincts, “belief” and “reason”, in that order, play havoc with one another. I am hopeful that I can publish by 2024.

Author Links: Amazon | Twitter | Website

What does the female capacity of having multiple orgasms have to do with reproduction? What part does hidden ovulation play in the formation of erotic relationships? Does natural selection create pleasure—make sex fun—to trick us into reproducing?
Being in love requires you to be physical. It requires you to be emotional. It requires you to be mindful. To exist as an erotic phenotype.
Eros, commonly called Romantic Love, is more than just emotion. We have an entangled ménage à trois of sensations happening in our bodies and brains. It is the total of our entangled sensations that drive us to this insanity—that thing we call love.

Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles Book 3)

Fresh off a chaotic battle, Colonel Walker and his band of superhuman kids, created through government-sanctioned experiments, realize that the world is in more danger than they thought. There’s a breach in the barrier separating earth from the dimension housing demons, and dark entities are slowly seeping into our world. Even worse, Ms. G, a strange but powerful woman, is bent on opening the gates between both worlds to let demons into ours. Once again, Alex the healer, Colonel Walker, and the group, with help from the Pentagon, the Vatican, and others, must stop Ms. G before she causes untold darkness to overrun the world and end the human race.

Spoiler, by Michael J. Bowler, is the third book in a gripping series that is brimming with adventure and imaginative science fiction elements. It’s a compelling coming of age story of camaraderie, exploring what is means to be human, and the evils that are lurking on the fringes of the world as we know it.

The book sounds a tad spooky, right? It is, but only when it has to be, otherwise it has an adventurous spirit overall. The author finds a great balance between the dark themes and the refreshing fantasy ones. Frankly, reading Spoiler took me back to the description of Netflix’s Stranger Things which once caught my eye: “hair-raising and heartwarming.”

There are no flowery words or complex descriptions. The writing is simple and evocative as Bowler relies on the strength of his plot and characters to keep you spellbound. It’s been a while since I read a book that had me wondering, “how have I read 100 pages already?” Spoiler reels you in with the promise of chaos, drama, and twists and delivers massively.

The author has a fantastic ability to create gripping tension. He expertly teases several possibilities and leaves a few crumbs of evidence here and there, just enough to heighten your suspicion without giving too much away too soon. I think the book moves along at a good pace. Bowler nicely builds up to the inevitable chaos and uses that buildup to connect readers with the characters before everything devolves into chaos.

Spoiler is a real page-turner and an occasional tear-jerker. If you’re looking for an exciting young adult urban fantasy story with imaginative paranormal elements then you’ll heartily enjoy The Healer Chronicles series.

Pages: 377 | ASIN: B0B2V5J6C4

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Love, Bruises & Bullsh!t

Love Bruises and Bullsh!t is an anthology book consisting of stories detailing abuse towards the different women who are featured. The book was compiled by Sheree Schonian & Yasmin Walter and features twenty different stories from different women who have experienced abuse. These stories deal with abuse from family and significant others and they share how the women involved have either dealt with that trauma or how that trauma affects the victim and their families. Some stories have names associated with them and some are left completely anonymous, demonstrating how hard coming forward and telling your story can be. Some of these stories are also told from the perspective of a child dealing with the abuse. That really added another level to the book, showing the abuse from all angles.

This is a book everyone should read, even if it makes you uncomfortable; especially if it makes you uncomfortable. That is because this book shows the true, sad reality of abuse from those who have experienced it firsthand. The two authors who compiled these stories, Sheree Schonian & Yasmin Walter, do a great job of choosing stories that have weight and really leave an impact on the reader. The definitions of the three pillars in the title, love bruises and bullsh!t, are given at the front of the book. This is a perfect introduction to the reader for what is to come and also gives insight into how it might be hard to see an abusive relationship while you are in it.

I appreciated that the authors added resources and statistics within the book, providing women with information on how to get help if needed. I especially loved the how to support someone section, as people who have not dealt with abuse might not know exactly how to help when they see someone in danger. That is a very important resource provided. This is a book everyone should read, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or experience of abuse because it shines a light on an issue that affects everyone but is rarely talked about.

Pages: 280 | ISBN: 0645255882

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I’ve Always Felt Empathetic Toward Others

Author Interview Michael J. Bowler

Shifter has the two main characters grappling with some big moral decisions. What was the inspiration for putting them into this position?

I like stories where characters, especially teenagers, have to grapple with more than just who to ask to prom because it’s when we’re faced with serious issues of right vs wrong that we show what we’re made of and who we are inside, and most of us will face tough choices throughout our lives. As a reader, I can ask myself the same questions I pose to my characters and consider which way I might go. My hope is that other readers will do the same. I’ve also thought about the ramifications of having such a power that I could decide who lives and who dies. As pointed out in the book, would it have been moral to kill Hitler before he got very far in his bid to take over the world? Even now, with what we know of history, some people would still argue no and others would say yes.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your characters of Alex and Andy?

I’ve always felt very empathetic toward the pain of others, even as a child and a teen, and wanted to “cure” those people of what ailed them, so I created this character of Alex to do that for me. I just don’t like seeing people unhappy or suffering, which is one reason I could never have become a doctor. Alex’s skills with his wheelchair and his innate tenacity were based on a boy I taught in high school. Despite his wheelchair, that boy could do whatever he put his mind to, sometimes with help from his friends, but mostly by himself. For Andy, I used much of the pain I absorbed from incarcerated kids I worked with who told me horrific stories of being locked in closets for years on end or about how some despicable adult slaughtered their pets in front of them. I sought to depict how hard it might be for such a child to accept love and friendship once released from such an evil upbringing, and I hope Andy comes across as believable in the minds of the readers.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in the development of Alex and Andy’s relationship?

Neither knew of the other’s existence until shortly before they met at the conclusion of Spinner (The Healer Chronicles 1), so I tried to imagine what it would feel like to meet a twin brother I never knew I had. Given the respective backgrounds of the two boys, I felt they could relate as outcasts and that might be the beginning of a friendship and even familial ties. The small moments they shared—when Andy would learn something new from Alex, or when they were washing dishes or working out in the fitness center—these moments helped cement their relationship. Learning how to combine their power and work together defined the growing connection between them, not just because their minds were linked, but because they needed to trust each other, and that must’ve been hard.

Will the next book conclude the story of Alex and Andy or is there more to tell? When will the next book be available?

The next book will conclude this particular storyline, but I have opened enough doors to tell other tales involving these characters and hope to return to them in the future. Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles 3) releases on July 12, 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Fifteen-year-old Alex and his learning-disabled friends barely survived the events of Spinner, but their nightmare has only just begun.

Alex’s wheelchair has never stopped him from doing what he wants, but his supernatural power to heal every human ailment known to science has put him in the crosshairs of a dangerous doomsday cult that will stop at nothing to capture him and his long-lost twin, Andy, who can shift illness from one person to another. When the boys combine their “gifts,” they unleash the power to control life and death.

Now Alex, Andy, and the others have been kidnapped by the U.S. military. On a creepy Air Force base in the remote Nevada desert, they must decide who to trust and who to fear while uncovering secrets this base wants to hide from the world. Who is the young boy with unusual abilities who’s treated like a soldier? What is hidden in an ultra-secret hangar that no one can access? And what unnatural experiments are conducted in that closed-off laboratory?

As Alex unravels these mysteries, he strives to bond with his twin, but Andy is distant and detached, trusting no one. He’s also more attracted to the dangerous power they wield than Alex would like. When misplaced faith in science ignites a hidden lust for supremacy, rescue can only come from the most unlikely source, and Alex must confront a terrible truth.

The Healer Chronicles continue…

It Is Intoxicating

Natalia Lazarus Author Interview

My Love Affair: Thorns and Roses shares through poetry your amazing and transformative love affair. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important to me because it helped me to look at the love affair objectively. By placing the girl in the love affair as a character in a story, I could be fully honest with the raw emotions that the love affair induced. I could unleash all those feelings, release them, recover, and move on to the next journey. It was an important book for me to write for other men and women that may find themselves in this very same type of triangulating love affair. By sharing my story, perhaps others can experience that they are not alone and don’t have to feel ashamed, or hopeless. There is light at the end of the tunnel – with more roses and love arriving.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The feelings of desperation were the hardest and to disclose the fact that the gentleman involved was married – separated but married. I felt really silly and immature to have fallen into such a clichéd trap – but then again, the beau in question did fall for a single woman.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about love?

That it will fix everything, that it will take all the previous pain away, that it is intoxicating, and that it is all that you must live for.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

That love is like death – we must all go through it – in order to have truly lived. Whether a love affair fails or succeeds is not important. What is important is that you have loved and been loved. Consider life a series of love affairs. When one door closes – you can be certain that another one will open.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Actress/Director Natalia Lazarus, in her critically acclaimed, starring performance in the dramatic, two-character play A Picasso, fell madly in love with a dashing banker in the early days of the play’s run in Paris. Her book, My Love Affair: Thorns & Roses, tells – in verse – the intimate story of her passionate, erotic romance that became an unforgettable moment in time.
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