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Underground in Tinseltown

Jay steps off a bus and into 1980s Hollywood. Based on a true story, a homeless young man with only a few dollars in his pocket becomes attached to the first people to provide him with the basics that he needs; a roof over his head, some food, and a stiff drink. Discovering just how wild and unkind the city can be, the friends quickly turn to a life of crime in order to fund their basic desires. Hollywood’s large parties, celebrities, and excitement were not enough to disguise the dark and disturbing occurrences of everyday life in Tinseltown.

Underground in Tinseltown, by John F. Wilkie, features a fascinating cast of characters that quickly make the reader feel as if they are part of the group. The author follows a young homeless man, Jay, as he desperately tries to become the next great name in Hollywood. The scene is set perfectly, painting a crystal clear image of what the city was like in the 1980s, transporting the reader to a new and intriguing world while spilling the darkest secrets that happen behind the scenes, in the shadow of the glitz and glamor that we know as Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The author has brilliant character and scene descriptions and the book naturally flows. The story progresses quickly, which I enjoyed because there is no unnecessary fluff. It is an intense story that could have easily been told across multiple books, allowing the reader to feel fully invested in the events of Jay’s life. Once I got to the end I found myself wanting more of Jay’s life and backstory and was left unfulfilled.

Underground in Tinseltown is a thrilling action-filled novel with crime and suspense. The author immerses readers into the glamorous world of Hollywood filled with fascinating characters, and the reality of what 1980’s Hollywood really is like.

Pages: 455 | ASIN : B09ZQD3HGG

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Innocence Derailed

Innocence Derailed, by Jane Catherine Rozek, is an inspirational book that turns the mundane events Kate experiences into a deep encounter each and every time. In today’s world, where everybody prefers the comfort and safety of one’s home, her story goes to show that there are people who opt to surround themselves with the outside world, specifically nature and all its beauty, and find out that there is a higher being within the smallest things one sees daily.

The author has written the book in a way that makes it feel personal even to its readers. The first pages makes the story seem like a romantic novel, but when the relationship ends, readers will see that there is more to this story than meets the eye. It motivates its audience to think about philosophical queries and reflect on their own answers. It also raises questions about rights, politics, and religion that are often silenced, not just during the 1970’s, but still today. Lastly and surprisingly, it also promotes the importance of taking breaks, may it be through the means of traveling, surrounding oneself with new people, or having a single day to yourself. You never know where your decisions will take you, and that is the fun of it all. In Kate’s case, her entire journey only brought her to a new one, only this time, she is now an enlightened woman; more prepared to take on what her next story holds.

Innocence Derailed is an emotionally-resonant coming of age novel that provides readers with a compelling exploration of a relatable and fascinating character. I would recommend this to young adults, because I personally share the struggle of not knowing where I am supposed to be in this age. The fact that the story is also based on true events will serve as a great inspiration for its readers, for it is a positive reminder that one’s path can progress with the will of God.

Pages: 315 | ASIN: B0B2D6KW88

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Truth is Indestructible

The names have been changed to protect the innocent — and the guilty — in this non-fiction memoir by Stuart Nagero. As a small child in India, Nagero’s wife, Vidhi, suffered seven years of brutal physical, sexual and mental abuse at the hands of her adult cousin, Varun. As Nagero makes explicit in the title, Truth is Indestructible is a husband’s reaction to learning of this part of his wife’s history.

This short book of only 52 pages focuses almost exclusively on the author’s reaction to learning of his wife’s trauma and his philosophical musings about the nature of evil and social reform. He tells Vidhi’s story in outline only. There are few gory details of exactly what Varun did to her, apart from a couple of examples of his depravity. Instead, we are told that when her family fell into poverty, Vidhi and her mother were placed by her absentee father with extended family. In this family, Vidhi became the “sexual target” and “punching bag” for a violent, psychopathic man seventeen years her senior.

When at last Vidhi confesses her history, she and Nagero seek justice, but there is no justice to be had. The police are not interested in such an old crime, and the family covers up and denies everything to save social face.

In a bid for a kind of healing, Nagero seeks to give a voice to the millions of other silent victims. He holds up Varun as just one example of an evil that infests the world, taking the specific instance of Vidhi’s experience and extrapolating that to comment on the human condition and society as a whole in which “evil individuals take advantage of the power and social taboos to protect them.”

Nagero is knowledgeable and articulate; through his novel, he provides a voice for his wife and other abuse victims. This memoir is a good read for those that want to know they are not alone, and that there is hope for the future.

Pages: 67 | ASIN : B09YT1MW5L

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105 Steps

When Stephen Trigwell’s wife falls ill, the life his family has always known is forever changed. Their lives are consumed with doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, surgeries, and an overwhelming sense of fear. In March of 2021, Glen Trigwell was diagnosed with an aneurysm that required immediate surgery in order to set a stent in place. From that day forward, Stephen Trigwell made the decision to document the events that followed not only for his family but for his wife’s sake as the months that followed proved to be a time she may just lose. This memoir was written so she would know the love, care, and time that went into her experiences.

105 Steps is the true story and memoir of Glen Trigwell’s journey as documented by her husband, Stephen. Her shocking diagnosis in March of 2021 took their family down a frightening road. The aneurysm that changed their lives would pull them even closer together as they watched Glen fight to regain her life from this beast.

Stephen Trigwell’s writing is raw, open, and honest. He gives readers a deeply personal look into his family’s life as they cared for Glen from the beginning with her diagnosis through the moments from which they begin to believe she may never recover. Readers will feel each and every triumph and the devastating lows along with Stephen as he recounts each moment of her hospital stays and the harrowing days following her surgeries.

It’s difficult to say that I loved a story like this one because it’s true and painful, but I truly do. Trigwell has given readers an amazing gift with this account of his wife’s experience. I can see how his willingness to share his family’s pain and joy will help others living through the same type of challenges. His generosity is amazing and appreciated.

105 Steps, by Stephen Trigwell, is for anyone who wants to read a heartwarming and touching story about real unconditional love. The Trigwell family’s story is as inspiring as it is amazing and goes a long way to making so many feel less alone in such trying circumstances. I highly recommend Trigwell’s work to any reader looking for a beautifully-written true story of love, faith, and the determination to overcome the most incredible odds.

Pages: 222 | ASIN : B0B21XQFZ6

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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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The Golden Gladiator – Book Trailer

The Golden Gladiator. . . .

Myth? Urban legend? Hero? Antihero?

Myth or urban legend? Not at all. This is the true story of senior citizen Michael Lynch and his inspirational journey back to the gridiron and glory. In his mid-sixties, he played on one of the best semi-pro football teams in America, and was coached by a former NFL veteran.

After seeing his nephew play in a high school All-Star game on Long Island during the summer of 2012, Michael Lynch had an epiphany. He wanted to play football again. In the late 60s and early 70s, he had been a football star in high school, college, and in the semi-pro leagues on Long Island. Forty years later, he decided to turn back the clock and risk life and limb to play football again in one of the toughest semi-pro leagues in America: the Florida Football Alliance.

This is a story of courage, redemption, tragedy, and love as Lynch played for four years in over fifty football games. He was a game captain, an Honorable Mention on the 2014 Florida Football Alliances All-Star team, and was honored at the leagues’ banquet in his final year in 2018 for his inspiration and dedication to the game he loves. He played on two championship teams, in 2015 and 2018.

Michael Lynch was inducted into the Guinness World Records in 2019 as the oldest American football player ever, and the oldest American football player to catch a touchdown pass—which he did at the age of sixty-eight.

Hero or antihero? You decide, but first read Michael Lynch’s epic tale, his Iliad and Odyssey of football journeys—the true story of . . . the Golden Gladiator.

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Never Give Up

Michael Lynch Author Interview

The Golden Gladiator is a memoir about one football player’s life, and how he refused to give up on his dream just because of his age. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important to write it to show everyone that it is important to dream and to follow that dream. Of course, sometimes following that dream takes hard work and sacrifice and only the individual pursuing it can determine if all of the work is worth it. It also let me get back in the time machine to go back and fondly recall the place I always love the most, home.

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

The hardest thing for me was just trying to STOP writing. When I sat down and started writing it was very easy and I put the story down in linear form. My editors change it around and when I told them it was complete, I kept adding more and more story and details. They told me in the end that I had added almost thirty pages to the first manuscript by the time it was ended.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

My father told me to when you do a job do it as perfectly as you can. You may never be perfect, but strive for it. My mother told us as children that the battles of our adult lives would be won on the playing fields of our youth.

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

That is easy, to never give up and always remember as you face adversity to remember that each and everyday you wake up that day is the beginning of the rest of your life. You cannot change the past, but you can control the present and the future.

Author Link: Website

The Golden Gladiator. . . .
Myth? Urban legend? Hero? Antihero?
Myth or urban legend? Not at all. This is the true story of senior citizen Michael Lynch and his inspirational journey back to the gridiron and glory. In his mid-sixties, he played on one of the best semi-pro football teams in America, and was coached by a former NFL veteran.
After seeing his nephew play in a high school All-Star game on Long Island during the summer of 2012, Michael Lynch had an epiphany. He wanted to play football again. In the late 60s and early 70s, he had been a football star in high school, college, and in the semi-pro leagues on Long Island. Forty years later, he decided to turn back the clock and risk life and limb to play football again in one of the toughest semi-pro leagues in America: the Florida Football Alliance.
This is a story of courage, redemption, tragedy, and love as Lynch played for four years in over fifty football games. He was a game captain, an Honorable Mention on the 2014 Florida Football Alliances All-Star team, and was honored at the leagues’ banquet in his final year in 2018 for his inspiration and dedication to the game he loves. He played on two championship teams, in 2015 and 2018.
Michael Lynch was inducted into the Guinness World Records in 2019 as the oldest American football player ever, and the oldest American football player to catch a touchdown pass—which he did at the age of sixty-eight.
Hero or antihero? You decide, but first read Michael Lynch’s epic tale, his Iliad and Odyssey of football journeys—the true story of . . . the Golden Gladiator.

Drunks: An Alcoholic Drama

Drunks by Ken Fry is a tale that’s deeply personal and dramatic and is an ultimately inspirational story that is told with an infusion of romance. This story is narrated by Alan Markham, the main character, and his journey and experiences with alcoholism, marriage, and learning to conquer and control addiction. Alan and his wife, Chrissy, appear to have the life everyone wants – Alan has a successful career, and Chrissy lives a free, luxurious, and enjoyable life. Still, just below the surface, there’s trouble in their marriage.

As both Alan and Chrissy struggle with their marriage and lives together, they share a common addiction, alcohol. While the couple attempts to keep an illusion of normalcy in their lives, they quickly descend into severe alcoholism, which impacts every level of their lives, from Alan’s career, their marriage, and financial stability. The author does an exceptional job of highlighting the compound impact of an alcoholic couple and how dangerous their health and lives become within a short time.

I enjoyed Ken Fry’s narration as Alan Markham and the gritty and realistic story that unfolds. It’s both sobering and inspirational. It does a fantastic job of stripping away the glamourous façade of sipping martinis and cocktails in upscale lounges and reveals the dark and tragic lives of alcoholics and their various struggles.

The author gives his characters interesting layers and shows how they appear successful and prestigious in their upper-class lifestyle while suffering from their addiction and dysfunction. Maintaining the appearance of perfection and success takes a toll on the couple, who eventually must face their inner struggles, and this dueling lifestyle makes for a compelling drama but a tragic life.

Ken Fry’s Drunks is a poignant yet inspirational story that focuses on the reality of what many couples face and how financial success can mask alcoholism. It’s an entertaining read that gives the reader an in-depth look at how codependency impacts people, even when they appear to be self-sufficient and content.

Pages: 336 | ASIN: B09HP26Q76

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