Monthly Archives: April 2016

Nazis and Nudists by David Haldane (Book Review)


The real baby boomer story laid bare.

Ever wondered what it’s like to get so lost in the nether regions of an era that you can barely find your way home? A ward – winning journalist David Haldane tells you with verve and humor in his new memoir, Nazis & Nudists, set for release on October 1st , by Black Rose Writing. The book is aimed at baby boomers, would – be counter culturists, news reporters, their audiences, history buffs and anyone who’s ever struggled toward the light or appreciates the gripping tale of someone who does.

Haldane eventually achieved salvation the way increasing numbers of American men do these days; by finding love via the Internet on a distant and exotic Philippine island. En route to marital bliss, however, he traversed some rocky terrain from the cluttered newsroom of the Berkeley BARB to the disintegrating halls of the Los Angeles Times in its waning days. He also encountered such iconic purveyors of the time as a grandfatherly Walt Disney, a young bodybuilding Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Manson’s lawyer who got murder ed for his troubles, Timothy and Joanna Leary at the gates of hell, a famous beatnik’s ghost on the railroad tracks, American terrorists with stolen identities fixing to take down the country and Bernie Sanders as a young mop – haired politician cursing at t his own image on the screen.

“The story follows the arc of an era,” Haldane says. “ It will interest baby boomers, their younger siblings who wished they were there and their children and grandchildren who are glad that they weren’t.”


Purchase this book at Black Rose WritingAmazon or Barnes & Noble.


(request submitted by author for an honest critique) 
David sure has lived an eventful life and it’s not over yet. I wonder what other adventures are in store for him. So far, he has traveled all over the world (ex. Germany, Mexico, Greece and Philippines). He’s met the most interesting people (ex. Walt Disney and Arnold Schwarzenegger). He’s also participated in antiwar demonstrations, worked at The LA Times, and been married more than once. Folks, that’s not everything he’s lived through. 
Compared to his life, mine seems rather low key which is mighty fine in my book. 
Ladies and gents, if you like biographies/memoirs, then pick up Nazis and Nudists. If nothing else, it’ll be a great conversation starter when your friends ask what you are reading. I mean, who could pass up asking follow-up questions after hearing this title. 🙂
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Purchase this book at Black Rose WritingAmazon or Barnes & Noble.


David Haldane’s career in journalism has spanned more than four decades, beginning as an underground reporter for the Berkeley BARB and culminating in twenty – three years as a Los Angeles Times staff writer. Currently he live s in Joshua Tree, California , where he writes magazine articles and books. His work has appeared in many publications worldwide including Los Angeles Times Magazine , Orange Coast , Islands , Penthouse and Salon . It has been anthologized in two previous books.


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Seven of I: The Keeper of the Words by Valerie Ryan (Book Review)



Syntyche is a fifteen year old girl who lives in a world struggling to survive the aftermath of religious wars and a growing controlling government. Her unique abilities to see guardian angels has left her feeling like an outcast but little does she know that her gifts will soon expand with a blessing from the archangel Barachiel. She discovers that she is part of an old prophecy that must bring together angels, sins and virtues to close the gates of Hell – all seven of them. In order to do this they must defeat each demon that guards the doors.

There are many dangers in her future but Syntyche knows she will survive to see the day when a great prophet can preach without the fears of evil getting in the way. With the help of a griffin, phoenix and dragon what could possibly go wrong?


(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Let me start off this review by stating Seven of I: The Keeper of the Words is 500+ pages long so if you’re looking for a fast read, this isn’t the book for you. Also, if you are seeking out a story that doesn’t require you to really pay close attention to details, again you might want to pass on this. 
Seven of I: The Keeper of the Words had so much going on, so much information to absorb, that I was tempted to take notes. I’m sure readers will be wishing for a cliff note version. 

Between comprehending the prophecy, the various angels (the hierarchy of the angels), and the creatures that arise…… Not going to lie, it’s a lot to retain. Good thing I have a mighty good memory. 🙂
On the positive, Valerie imagination knew no bounds. Her visions, descriptions of the angels and beasts were very detailed and creative. Ex. dog-aroo: big black hair mutant kangaroo dog on steroids.  See what I mean? Inventive.
On a final note, this book did not end with the final page. Yup, you’ll have to wait for part 2 to see what happens next. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤1/2
Purchase Links
Valerie lived most of her life in Indiana and considers herself a Hoosier at heart, however, she now lives in the Tampa Bay area in Florida with her husband and two beautiful children. She has always worked with animals and has been a groomer, veterinary technician and dog trainer. She loves to write and cannot think of a time when she wasn’t thinking of a story to share.


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Wayward Soul by Glenn Maynard (Book Showcase)

While visiting a psychic, Carter Spence and Brenda Raycroft’s reading turns tragic. The psychic touches them, suffers convulsions, and frantically runs into the street into oncoming traffic. Their fate is sealed in a coma and they must use any means possible to reach the psychic in the spirit world as they dodge deadly complications in an attempt for answers. They pursue the psychic’s message before she can die and take the answers they need with her. When the spirit of the previous homeowner returns, this haunting soul begins tampering with the comatose psychic. The sequel to Desert Son takes place four years after Carter and Brenda discover they are a couple reunited beyond the grave. The spirit world becomes intertwined with their own as they attempt to tap into these secrets to uncover disturbing truths about their fate in this paranormal roller coaster that will shake your soul.


“How about you…Wendy?” Brenda asked. “I bet you have your hands tied with twin boys.”

Wendy made a whistling sound, tilting her head forward so her hair flopped out of her bun and hung where her face had been. She then flipped her head back until her face returned, and her eyes grew in size. “Let’s just say it’s a full time job.” Wendy looked down at the boys who were just sitting and giggling quietly in their chairs as they played patty cake, unaware that the conversation was now on to them. “It was an extremely difficult birth.” She glanced over to the twins again as she said this.

“She almost didn’t make it,” Carl broke in.

“I made it, though,” Wendy replied. She looked over at the boys again. “They are identical twins,” she continued, “if you couldn’t tell. Billy and Willy. The only way that we can tell them apart is that Billy has a bottom tooth that is slightly crooked.”

“They’re twins and you named them Billy and Willy?” Carter asked. Brenda then shot him a look. His follow up question earned him an elbow to the ribs. “Isn’t that the same name?”

“No,” said Carl. “One is Billy and the other is Willy.”

“Yeah, but they’re both a nickname for William,” Carter said.

Brenda’s look evolved into a laser. She could not believe Carter was having this conversation, but he just wanted to know the reason they named their twins virtually the same thing.
“We don’t look at it like that,” said Wendy. We look at it like Billy and Willy are two different names, and you’re actually the only one to challenge us on it.” She laughed a short laugh.

“Those names are adorable,” Brenda said. “Just look at them playing Patty Cake. Carter watched them interacting, then said, “Hi Billy and Willy!” The clock in the room seemed to stop. Billy and Willy still had their hands connected, but they both turned to look at the man who just called out their names. Carter looked around at the others at the table, but all eyes were on Billy and Willy.

He wasn’t even getting a smile out of the twins. They appeared to be sizing Carter up. They were staring right into his eyes without so much as a blink. Carter noticed that everything about them was the same; everything, including their blue eyes and blonde hair, right down to the bowl-cut trim. Head shape: check. Eye shape: check. Body size and shape: check and check. Personality: check.

Nothing was different. Carter was a bit taken aback, and smiled out of nervousness. Finally the tension of the room dissipated when the twins smiled back at Carter. Their wide grins were cute, but they also revealed identical smiles. Missing was the identifying bottom tooth. Carter could not find one difference between the two.


Also found on Goodreads
 and SmashWords



Glenn Maynard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and a degree in Communications. After spending 4 years living in Denver, Colorado, he returned home to Connecticut and now resides in Wethersfield. He has a 14 year-old son named Andrew. He was a travel correspondent for three newspapers while traveling through the United States, Canada and Mexico during his one-year journey. He had a total of twenty newspaper articles published. His story was captured on the evening newscast upon his return.



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His Wicked Highland Ways by Laura Strickland (Book Review)


Widowed following a marriage of convenience, Jeannie MacWherter has fled lowland Dumfries, Scotland, for the highland cottage bequeathed to her late husband by his brother-in-arms, laird of the glen. Though she’s never met the laird, local rumor labels him both murderer and seducer—a wicked, dangerous man who Jeannie learns is determined to chase her from his land.

Finnan MacAllister has come home to Glen Mhor in order to right past wrongs. He doesn’t care that Rowan Cottage is the beautiful Widow MacWherter’s only refuge. He’s convinced she’s a wanton who deliberately broke the heart of his best friend, Geordie, and he’s vowed to get even with her: seduction is his weapon of choice. But will his own heart betray him?



(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Ladies and gents, be prepared to meet your next book boyfriend. Finnan was described deliciously — tall, tanned, muscular, tattoos, shoulder-length hair, and sporting a nice package. *winks* 
Sounds yummy, right? 

Oh yeah, once Jeannie gets a taste of him, she has to go back for seconds, and thirds, and so forth. 

She also proved quite addicting for him. His head and heart might’ve been conflicted due to his vow of revenge but in the end his heart reined victorious. 
But theirs wasn’t the only love to shine through in this tale. Nope, there was lots of lovin going on. 🙂
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤



Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romances Devil Black and His Wicked Highland Ways as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she has also published two Steampunk romances, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and two Christmas novellas: The Tenth Suitor and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship. Her Lobster Cove Historical Romance, The White Gull, is followed by a Lobster Cove novella, Forged By Love.


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Twist of Faith by Darlene Fredette (Book Review)


Katrina has one goal—follow through on her late-grandmother’s last request, to oversee the renovation of Katrina’s childhood home. The handsome contractor is distracting, but she refuses to be swayed by his deep brown eyes and broad shoulders. A summer romance is not part of the plan. When the truth is discovered about her family’s past, Katrina fears her own future is in jeopardy. She doesn’t have faith, but the twists that lie ahead may just change her mind.

Nick refuses to accept help from anyone, until Katrina gives him an ultimatum—one he can’t refuse. Her renovation project will save his business, but puts his heart on the line. Can he convince Katrina to stay or will a promise to her late-grandmother pull her away? With a little twist of Faith, the odds may be in his favor. 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


First I’d like to start off this review by stating don’t read this book on an empty stomach. The characters were always talking about food, eating food, and (because of this) my stomach was rumbling nonstop. No joke. 🙂

Ok enough about that, now onto the critique………

Most people dream about being swept off their feet. Nick did just that for Katrina — LITERALLY. He saved her from harm in a construction zone. He then, not so politely, informed her about the importance about proper work attire — aka a hard hat which BTW he bestowed upon her as a gift later on. Sweet and surprisingly romantic gesture.

He continued to be quite the sweet, loving man even after encountering a bombshell regarding Katrina. Heck, he stood by her while she was dealing with a life changer of her own.

An all their ups and downs wouldn’t have been possible without dear ole’ Gram. A woman with a heart of gold but harboring life-altering secrets of her own.


Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5v(highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤

An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the stories swimming in her head. Following a career path in administration, she excelled in the art of editing and design, which eventually led to a position as Director of Administration and Marketing.

Now, making her dream come true to write full time, Darlene writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners.

Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family.



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