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Review: The Perfect Defective

The Perfect DefectiveThe Perfect Defective by Clark Casey


My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Perfect Defective is a booze-fueled train wreck of a detective story. I couldn’t pull my attention away even though the plot doesn’t make much sense, the protagonist is a drunken misogynist jerk and the humor is pretty juvenile.


The Good: At least Casey’s protagonist knows he’s a drunken loser. He never gets anything right and has the nerve to make fun of his own loserdom. While juvenile, The Perfect Defective has some wit. There are a few laughs, or a whole lot of laughs depending on your taste in humor.


To the novel’s benefit, Jack Hannigan is a well fleshed out character. He’s rather offensive to pretty much everyone, but his character is interesting and engaging.


The Bad: The plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The protagonist/narrator wanders around the novel’s landscape drunk and without much purpose other than procuring more booze and sex. At times it seems like The Perfect Defective is a poorly constructed delivery vehicle for some crude one-liners.


The Bottom LineThe Perfect Defective‘s sense of humor isn’t for everyone. It’s crude and offensive but sometimes funny. Reader beware.

Good resources!

Writer's Block Party!

Well hello there beautiful blog followers! (beautiful describing the followers, not the blog…any editors out there that can help me with ambiguity problems!? :/ )

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the interview scheduled for today has been delayed, so I’m here to share some useful tools that I’ve discovered around the webs.

Edit Minion

This little gem makes my life so much easier! Now, this obviously cannot replace a pair of human eyes looking at your work – but this is a great little tool that you can use as you write to keep out those pesky adverbs, passive verbs, and common misspellings. Just copy and paste a chapter in and it’ll point out for you six common editing problems so you can easily go back and re-write where necessary. I do this every time I write a new section.

Write or Die

This is single-handedly the most effective solution…

View original post 360 more words

A new review from The Cheap Reader

Review: Social Punk

SocialpunkSocialpunk by Monica Leonelle


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Socialpunk delivers on its promise of young adult oriented, dystopian fiction with a love (triange? square? pentagon?) thrown in for good measure. It’s full of teenage angst and all of the other things that make young adult novels so popular right now. With the right marketing, it’s sure to be a hit.


The Good: Socialpunk delivers a fast-paced young adult adventure full of dystopian themes and teenage angst. The world that Leonelle creates is engaging and refreshing. Artists are the economic drivers of the world Cinder stumbles into. Instead of dollars, people earn “clout” from influencing other people and pointing to good content. It’s a physical world modeled off of the internet world of social media. Socialpunk even offers a lengthy commentary on copyright law and its relationship to content producers in a virtual world, proving that young adult literature doesn’t have to be devoid of ideas.


The pace of Socialpunk is fast. The action starts immediately and continues the whole way through. The characters are decently fleshed out, with the exception of the protagonist, but she is still a work in progress in the first volume. Hopefully we will learn more about what really makes her tick in the next two.


The Bad: Cinder is sometimes hard to like. She is full of teenage angst on top of coming from an abusive background. The reader may wonder why she is the heroine because she needs to be rescued so many times. On the other hand, Cinder does grow as a leader during the story. Maybe she will be a stronger heroine in the next installments.


The love story is pretty flat as well. Cinder whines about the guy she wants a lot, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason she would be attached to him because we really don’t know anything about him. I guess the point is that neither does the heroine. Dash is a foil for another relationship that will bud later on, but I wish he were a little more fleshed out in the first book.


The Bottom LineSocialpunk is a fun read that fans of young adult dystopian fiction will devour.


In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme from The Story Siren



Bernice Babbitt, a sexually inhibited, thirty-nine-year-old woman, leads a peaceful life in the tiny resort town of Valentine, Nevada.  Living only two miles from the famed bordello, The Honey Bunny Ranch, she can’t imagine what goes on inside its closed doors. 

Things begin to change when Bernice buys an old, black-lacquer makeup case in an antique shop.   The case once belonged to Blissful Night, the most famous and powerful concubine in Hong Kong.  According to legend, Blissful Night could give a man more pleasure in one night than he would have experienced in an entire lifetime. 

Inside the makeup case, Bernice discovers a forgotten jar of face powder with magical properties, the secret to Blissful Night’s success.  Thinking the face powder is an herbal concoction that will beautify her skin, Bernice begins to use it, only to find that the powder causes her to see visions of other people’s sex lives. 

Bernice is horrified to discover that the only way she can rid herself of the visions is to blurt out sexual advice.  Soon the entire town is in an uproar.  But it isn’t until she learns more about Blissful Night’s past that she knows what she must do. 

The Concubine’s Gift is a delightfully sexy novel in which Bernice is drawn into a seductive world she never knew existed.  A provocative and entertaining Pandora’s Box of a tale!


Author Bio for K. Ford K.

I became a storyteller by accident. It all began in Mexico where I attended university and where I learned to accept the supernatural as a normal part of life. From the revered opinions of the local witch, to the preparation of meals for dead grandmothers, I learned to see the world through different eyes and I came to understand that things are not always what they seem.

Later, on my way to attend a university in France, I traveled to Morocco. I stopped at a marketplace in Marrakesh and while eating my lunch of dates and oranges, I watched a tattered beggar transform himself into a storyteller. He moved with the practiced gestures and fantastic expressions of his trade, surrounded by a growing circle of people who listened to him with eyes wide open, their own lives forgotten. In another culture, at another time he might have been a rich man, but here he was selling beautiful tales for coins in the dusty marketplace. I longed to be like him, this mendicant from Marrakesh.

Years later, I moved to Tokyo to teach and write articles for The Tokyo Weekender Magazine. Every day I traveled the crowded trains, sharing space and breath with millions of strangers.

There amid the crushing humanity, I watched the surreal combinations of east and west in language and life, the painful and beautiful growth that occurs when two cultures collide. I witnessed two public suicides, and felt firsthand not only the temporality of life but also the beauty of a single moment.

The time spent crushed between strangers, doors and windows of the train became a quiet meditative place where I learned to accept life and death. There on that Tokyo train, I began to write novels in my head, while that tattered beggar from Marrakesh, who had captivated me years before, whispered in my ear like a nagging dead man, “Tell me a story.”



David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they’re safe?


Deadlocked puts you into David’s head as he struggles to get home. Then a final confrontation occurs that will guarantee his family’s survival, but at what cost? 



The world can be a bit negative sometimes, which is kind of like saying rain is wet. Smiles have been replaced by cell phones and cynical is the new normal. The pursuit of happiness has been changed into the pursuit of dollars and in a tough economic climate, it’s a race most of us are losing. Comedian and author Bryan Cohen thinks that it’s time to remember what happiness is all about. He believes that normal people like you without diamond wearing Chihuahuas can still be happy with a few changes to your attitude, your beliefs and a short training routine to build up your joy. 


Cohen has laid out 35 exercises that you can use to create a happiness workout plan to help you in the following areas: 


• Keeping your negative thoughts at bay and learning to control your emotions


• Finding things to like about the job you hate and how to quit it to start a job you love

• Loving the one you’re with and strengthening your family’s happiest memories

• Learning more about yourself and what you’re good at without requiring a masters degree 

• Embracing silence in a world overrun by digital doohickeys 

• Finding time and energy to embrace your creative side and live your dreams

• Making your beliefs inclusive and turning to spirituality for health and wealth 


Whether you’re just graduating from college or headed into retirement age, The Post-College Guide to Happiness will help you turn that pessimism upside down and put you back on the path to a happier life. After years of joyous research, Cohen has found the most effective happiness boosters from all sorts of places, including business books, self-help audio programs, autobiographies, spiritual classics and even his experiences to get you out of your funk for good. If you’ve had no luck looking for happiness in all the wrong places, pick up this book and learn how to look forward to life again. 


Bryan Cohen is a comedian and an author of several books, including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More and Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job. Cohen has been giving people happiness advice since middle school and he hopes this book will spread that advice to the world slightly beyond the lunchroom. He lives in Chicago.




The Story The Return is an action thriller that challenges us with the possibility that Jesus Christ is returning now. “The world currently in a state of upheaval and getting more chaotic everyday,” states Carter Vance, author of The Return. “Many of the prophesized signs of the end times are here, now, and are an indication of the possible return of Christ.”

What if the Knights Templar never disbanded  and have amassed, over the centuries, virtually unlimited resources in anticipation of His return?
Aided by the manpower and financial, technological, and military resources of the Knights Templar, the parents and their unborn son face challenges from the most evil of the dark forces in society.
“The grail will be found in the thistles, but it’s not there./If you break it, victory is yours./Else, you battle the first son for 27 revolutions for the prize of a thousand years.” 
Their nemesis races to solve this riddle for the prize, but where the answer lies is a mystery to him and his minions. Always aware and on the move, the First Family never rests until the ultimate battle is waged with fleets of the most advanced vehicles and armaments known to man. Who will be left when the battle ends and who will know it ever happened? 
About the author. 
Carter Vance is a financial executive who has extensive knowledge of prophesies, religions, relics, and the esoteric. Drawing from actual rare, ancient, secret prophesy records in his possession, and the work of his staff astrologer, Carter has written his debut novel, The Return. The story is a spellbinding account of how the prophesies may be fulfilled in the return of Christ to our modern world
“Move over James Bond. It’s Rex Randall in the 21st century.” This is what Vince Carter says about his
new novel, Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret. This action thriller is about an adventurous author and the
5 beautiful women with whom he lives. 
The Story
Rex Randall is the world famous author, known for his Incognito series of books and movies.
His main character, Jason Hendrix, has a loyal following around the world, eager to read about his next
exploits. This is especially so, since it is widely known that his life is modeled on the real lifestyle of Rex. 
It is an unusual lifestyle, only dreamed of by most. That’s because, in real life, Rex lives with five beautiful
women in a polyamorous, non-monogamous relationship. It is also a luxurious lifestyle, fueled by the
enormous wealth generated by all those books and movies. They want for nothing and enjoy the many
pleasures of life. They work hard, play hard, and rest easy. 
In his series of thriller books, Rex’s alter ego, Jason, is a chameleon-like investigator that assumes
numerous identities to pursue his assignments. In order to give the stories an increased level of realism,
Rex spends countless months, himself, thoroughly researching key elements of the story concept by
accepting assignments in real life and donning various cover identities. 
Then, with exacting detail, Rex would be able to convert his actual experiences into an exciting series of
scenes for Jason in the novels. It is the distinguishing factor that gives his books that air of authenticity, no matter how unusual the premise. 
In preparation for his next novel, Rex and his five female loves, engage in their reality based research by
going undercover and posing as security consultants to the U.S. Secret Service. In the process, they
discover the Jericho Secret. 
This secret, unknown even to the Secret Service, is so explosive that, if revealed to the world, could put the
President of the United States in mortal jeopardy. 
Author Vince Carter is a financial executive and not a professional basketball player. He has authored a
number of books under different pen names. 
This is the first book in a series of the adventures of Rex Randall and his family.
On the cusp of the new millennium, James fulfills a promise. Reenacting a childhood ritual, he places a mud pie upon a grave. This simple act triggers powerful memories. 
Meet the people that shaped James’s life. Shannie, who among other things, introduces him to the sport of dodging freight trains. Count, the cemetery caretakers son, helps James navigate the minefields of adolescence until destiny is met in Desert Storm. Russell, an aging blind African-American, guards a horrifying secret behind a cloud of cigar smoke. Diane, Shannie’s mother, a college professor dispels the notion of tweed jackets and elbow patches. Steve Lucas, a mortician’s son, who despite bizarre obsessions, stands by James during his most challenging times. 
Laugh, cry, and blush as James recounts events of late twentieth century American life 
Uncover the secrets of a Jewish love triangle, why the IGA checkout lady trashes a car, why a trip over the coffee table is better than Novocain, and more importantly, the difference between a Canadian Passport and a Kentucky Waterfall. Hop on board with Maistoinna for a crazy forty-eight hour ride through the world’s most dysfunctional trailer park. 
WARNING! Don’t read if your are: A) easily offended B) politically correct C) like everything nice or D) believe in the Easter Bunny!  







“In a world of presumptuous people, irony is alive and well,” concludes James Morrison, the narrator of this touching coming of age novel. A view Shannie Ortolan – James’s longtime friend, sometimes lover, and full-time obsession – wouldn’t argue. From their first encounter as teenagers until Shannie’s death, experience the twists, turns and enthralling characters that populate Cemetery Street.


If an Indian falls in the woods, can you hear him scream? Dora Shear did, and her life was about to get interesting. After Maistoinna Standing Bear tackles a tree, Dog Shear Dora – as she’s known in the trailer park – is left to pick up the pieces. Only she’s up to no good. 




When Riga Hayworth finds her new client dead, she smells a set up of metaphysical proportions. Now, to find a killer, Riga must travel from San Francisco to the underworld – and make it back alive…

When Riga’s parents named her for silver screen goddess, Rita Hayworth, they had no idea she’d grow up to be a dead ringer for the actress. It’s just one of the many oddities that the metaphysical detective has had to learn to live with – along with blacking out streetlights and dealing with wisecracking ghosts.

Riga’s new client, Helen Baro, believes her husband is trying to kill her. One problem: Helen’s husband is dead. Riga isn’t sure what to think. Is Helen mad? Is someone else trying to harm the woman? Or is this really a case of attempted murder from beyond the grave? But then Helen is found dead, leaving a strange haiku and tarot for a clue, and Riga is hurled into an investigation that threatens the detective and those she loves. 

A noir paranormal mystery based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Metaphysical Detective explores the power of the archetypes through the double lens of tarot and Greek mythology.





The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way. Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. As his health waned, my own breath evaded me, like I was the one who needed the ventilator—the life support. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. When they tried closing his casket, I nearly fell on my face, not wanting them to shut the lid on my baby. 

We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief. Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and even grew out his damn hair. At the time, I was sick of “the oatmeal option” (the only food we had), so I kicked Cade out of the house, and started modeling and working as a diesel mechanic. That was how I met Earl, an old man and unlikely best friend; the “big sag,” a middle aged woman who still flashed folks, and “The Cowboy” a man who fell in love with me. 

It was slow at first, but Cade reverted to the man I’d busked with years before. It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance. But could our marriage recover from the death of our son?

Free Kindle Book of the Day

The Free Kindle Book of the Day is Surface Tension by Christine Kling. From the synopsis: 


From Publishers Weekly

In this strong suspense debut, Seychelle Sullivan owns a salvage tug near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and makes a precarious living piloting luxury yachts and sportfishing boats in the Florida waters. When her radio picks up a distress call from the Top Ten, she hurries to the scene, hoping to net a windfall. The luxurious yacht is skippered by her former lover, Neal, who seems to have abandoned ship and left a dead body behind. Who is the dead girl, where is Neal, why do the police suspect Seychelle, and how much can she hope to recover for salvaging the yacht? When she finds her modest cottage has been searched and her stash of emergency money is missing, she figures Neal must be alive, hiding from the police or from the girl’s killer. The Top Ten’s representative offers a paltry sum to settle the salvage claim, so Seychelle decides to find out who the real owner is and go to arbitration. As the tension and suspense build, Seychelle’s existence becomes increasingly precarious. Kling vividly portrays a characteristic dichotomy of the Sunshine State-native Floridians trying to earn an honest living in an atmosphere where anything and anyone can be tainted by loan sharks, drug money or worse. As a female tugboat captain, Seychelle is one of the genre’s more unusual amateur sleuths, and Kling makes her one of its more endearing ones as well.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


From Library Journal

Salvage boat operator Seychelle Sullivan has a good reason to rush to the rescue of a beleaguered yacht: an old flame is the hired skipper. Complicating matters, though, is the dead body onboard. A much-touted debut. 
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick butter, chilled
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup half and half, milk, or cream
  • Strawberries, sliced mashed and sweetened to taste
  • Whipped cream
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut chilled butter into small pieces. Work butter into dry ingredients with your hands until it is a texture similar to corn meal, with a few pea size pieces of butter. Mix in milk, but do not over beat. Roll out onto a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. Bake at 425 degrees until slightly browned. Serve with strawberries and cream.

Free Kindle Book of the Day

The Free Kindle Book of the Day is Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim.

From the synopsis: 


“Ibrahim balances the story well, crafting immensely complex and multi-faceted characters and putting them in an atmosphere as tense as the air before a thunderstorm. 

Yellow Crocus is an engaging, thought-provoking story. It’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys Antebellum historical fiction or is looking for a compelling story to add to their book club reading list. In fact, practically anyone who enjoys period reading will find this book as wonderful as discovering freshly bloomed crocuses poking through the snow. “

Katerie Prio
ForeWord Clarin


Product Description

In 1837, Lisbeth Wainwright is born to the white mistress of a sprawling Virginia plantation. Seconds later, she is delivered into the arms of her black wet nurse, Mattie. For a field hand like Mattie, her transfer to the big house is supposed to be considered an honor—except that the move tears Mattie away from her beloved grandfather and her infant son, Samuel. But Mattie is a slave, with no say in the matter, and so she devotes herself to her master’s daughter, though she longs to be raising her own child. Growing up under Mattie’s tender care, little Lisbeth adopts the woman’s deep-seated faith in God, her love of music and black-eyed peas, and the tradition of hunting for yellow crocuses in the early days of spring. 

As the years pass, Lisbeth is drawn slowly back into her white parents’ world and begins to learn the ins and outs of life for a high-born young lady. Still she retains her connection to Mattie, befriending Samuel and drifting comfortably between the two worlds. She accepts her parents’ assertion that their slaves depend upon them for guidance and protection, yet that notion becomes more and more difficult to believe as she gains awareness of the inequality of life in the big house versus the slave quarters. When, on the threshold of her society wedding to debonair Edward Cunningham, Lisbeth bears witness to a shockingly brutal act, the final vestiges of her naiveté crumble around her. Just twenty-one years old, she is forced to choose between what is socially acceptable and what is right, a decision that will change her life forever. 

This compelling historical novel chronicles young Lisbeth Wainwright’s coming-of-age during one of the most difficult chapters of American history. Lisbeth’s powerful bond with Mattie makes her loss of innocence in the face of society’s ugly secrets all the more heartbreaking, and yet it is the courage she learns from her stand in mother that enables Lisbeth to blaze a new path for herself. Yellow Crocus offers moving proof of how the greatest social change often blooms forth from small personal acts of love.

Review: Narrative Loserdom by Ryan Collins

Narrative Loserdom: From Journal One by Ryan Collins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.




With its protagonist struggling to reach maturity and failing miserably through a series of misadventures, Narrative Loserdom has echoes of great novels like J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye or The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. This is a format where the protagonist intentionally does not advance and instead remains stuck in a case of arrested development that echoes the problems of the society that surrounds them.

The Good: The journal entry format aids in creating a well-characterized protagonist that is interesting and engaging. Justin Taggart is the best aspect of Narrative Loserdom.

A lot of the misadventures are humerus. Ryan Collins has a good, mild wit that is refreshing.

The BadNarrative Loserdom relies on the strength of the protagonist to tie its elements together. While Justin Taggart is a strong character with a lot of detail and lots of interesting internal motivations, he isn’t strong enough to tie the narrative together. Instead we get lot of little incidents that don’t go anywhere.

Justin Taggart’s failure to start a relationship with Sterling is one of the strongest themes in the book, but she hardly ever figures into any of the misadventures, so Taggart’s pinings for her ring hollow. Even if Taggart is never meant to get the girl, it would be nice to know more about his motivations for wanting her. Symbolically this may represent his failure to reach maturity, but I’d love to see it fleshed out.

A lot of the pop culture references went right over my head, but that may just be me.

The Bottom Line: This debut novel from Ryan Collins marks him and an author to watch. Despite its flaws, its intelligent design and wit show an author with a lot of potential.


About the Author

Ryan Collins was born in Texas in 1985. While attending Texas State University he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in writing, and moved toward a post-graduate degree in computer information systems. In the company of a few unpublished short stories, Narrative Loserdom represents his first self-published novel. Ryan works for a local communications company in Austin, Texas, where he resides with his girlfriend and pugs.