Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category


by Cody T. Luff
Genre: Horror
Set in the far future, Ration is an unflinching take on the ways society
can both thrive and go wrong as pressure to survive builds.
All the girls who live in the Apartments are forced to weigh their own
hunger against the lives of the others living in the building. When
Cynthia is wrongly accused of ordering an “A” ration, she
punished by the other girls. Eventually, she is forced to leave the
Apartments along with Ms. Glennoc, one of the former managers who has
tormented and abused her for years. Together, they encounter a world
of even more scarcity, but one filled with politics and intrigue.
Cynthia struggles to return to the Apartments and help the girls who
are still there.
Forced to reconcile her role in the destruction of these girls with the
greater needs of society to find any sustainable source of calories,
Ms. Tuttle makes one bad decision after another while she grapples
with a mother who is growing more and more impatient with her
Ration is a dark and forceful book, written in a surprisingly nuanced and
accessible way. It combines the darkness and despair of The
and The Handmaid’s Tale, but has notes of
charm like Lauren Oliver’s Replica.
Cody T Luff’s forthcoming novel, Ration, will be released by Apex Book Company in
2019. Cody’s stories have appeared in Pilgrimage, Cirque, KYSO
Flash, Menda City Review, Swamp Biscuits & Tea, and others. He is
fiction winner of the 2016 Montana Book Festival Regional Emerging
Writers Contest. He served as editor of an anthology of short fiction
with twelve contributors titled Soul’s Road.
Cody teaches at Portland Community College and works as a story editor. He completed
an intensive MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Cody grew
up listening to stories in his grandfather’s barber shop as he
shined shoes, stories told to him at bedsides and on front porches,
deep in his father’s favorite woods, and in the cabs of pickup
trucks on lonely dirt roads. Cody’s work explores those things both
small and wondrous that move the soul, whether they be deeply real or
strikingly surreal.
My Review
5 Stars

This is a world of Women and Girls. Cynthia and Imeld are two girls that live in the Apartments. Their world is ruled by calories and the girls constantly starve. They can request A, B, and C rations to eat. But the A rations get more girls sent to the Wet Room. Cynthia is falsely accused of eating an A ration and punished by the girls on the third floor.

This leads to Cynthia getting bloody revenge and punishment from Ms. Tuttle, the woman that runs the Apartments. Thing go from bad to worse when Ms. Tuttle is punished by the counsel and Cynthia and Ms. Glennoc, Ms. Tuttle’s assistant, are sent away to the Commons to live or die.

This is a new and brutal world. All men, animals, and plant life have dies many years earlier leaving only women left. There are not many options for food or any form of health care. The Girls were a solution to the problem but as the years have gone on other problems have arose from them.

This is an amazing and dark read. I had a hard time putting this book down and constantly thought about what I read and couldn’t wait to get back to the story. I felt for Cynthia the more I learned about this world and yet I wanted to bash her head in with her insistence to get back to Imeld. Ms. Tuttle and Me. Glennoc are pure evil but are born from this world.

I would have liked to learn more about the Clear but I also understood why we don’t know more. This book is an amazing read that brought the movie Soylent Green to my mind. I would love to read more about this world and what happens to Cynthia and Imeld. I can’t wait to read what Cody Luff comes up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win $20 Amazon
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Becoming Superman


Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood by J. Michael Straczynski

In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder and a terrible secret.

For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has been one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, one of the few to forge multiple careers in movies, television and comics.  Yet there’s one story he’s never told before: his own.

Joe’s early life nearly defies belief. Raised by damaged adults—a con-man grandfather and a manipulative grandmother, a violent, drunken father and a mother who was repeatedly institutionalized—Joe grew up in abject poverty, living in slums and projects when not on the road, crisscrossing the country in his father’s desperate attempts to escape the consequences of his past.

To survive his abusive environment Joe found refuge in his beloved comics and his dreams, immersing himself in imaginary worlds populated by superheroes whose amazing powers allowed them to overcome any adversity. The deeper he read, the more he came to realize that he, too, had a superpower: the ability to tell stories and make everything come out the way he wanted it. But even as he found success, he could not escape a dark and shocking secret that hung over his family’s past, a violent truth that he uncovered over the course of decades involving mass murder.

Straczynski’s personal history has always been shrouded in mystery. Becoming Superman lays bare the facts of his life: a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who became the hero of his own life.  It is also a compelling behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful TV series and movies recognized around the world.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

J. Michael Straczynski

About the Author

Michael Staczynski was born in Paterson, NJ in 1954, from a lower-middle-class blue-collar family that moved 21 times in his first 18 years. He began writing in earnest and selling at the age of 17 and hasn’t stopped since. He graduated San Diego State University with degrees in Psychology and Sociology.

As a journalist, he has written over 500 published articles for such periodicals as The Los Anglees Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Penthouse, Writer’s Digest, San Diego Magazine, the San Diego and Los Angeles Reader and TIME, Inc. He has also published numerous short stories in Amazing Science Fiction Magazine, Pulphouse, and various anthologies.

As a television writer and producer, he has written over 200 produced episodes, including workj on The New Twilight Zone, Nightmare Classics and Murder She Wrote. He also wrote, created and produced the series Babylon 5, Crusade and Jeremiah.

Moving from TV to film, he wrote Changeling (directed by Clint Eastwood), Ninja Assassin (produced by the Wachowskis), provided the story for Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh), wrote Underworld 4 (starring Kate Beckinsale), and has written numerous other films that are currently slated for production.

He has won the Hugo Award (twice), the Saturn Award, the Eisner Award, the Inkpot Lifetime Achievement Award, the E Pluribus Unum Award from the American Cinema Foundation, the Space Frontier Foundation award, the Ray Bradbury Award, the Christopher Award, and over a dozen others.

He was also nominated for a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his screenplay for Changeling.

He writes ten hours a day, every day, except for his birthday, New Year’s Day and Christmas Day.

My Review

5 Stars

When I received this book in the mail I didn’t know what to think about, I hadn’t officially requested it but I try to review all books that come my way. By reading the blurb on the back of the book I was interested but still didn’t really know who J. Michael Straczynski was and kinda thought this would be another biography about how this famous person just struggled with life and are now rich. Boy was I wrong.

The first pages sucked me in with the story of a young boy that grew up rough with some of the worst people I can think about. The constant moving and abuse was hard to read the brutal honesty of it. But that is just the beginning. Not having friends, constantly on edge about what is going to happen next and where he was going to be dumped made me sympathize with Straczynski.

All of this helped shape him for his many trials and for Hollywood. Watching Straczynski rise about the beginnings and fight through everything until his film career and beyond is nothing short of inspirational.

This is a wonderful read. Difficult in some places but very encouraging. No matter what Straczynski faced he kept fighting and kept working. I learned so much that I have a new found appreciation for J. Michael Straczynski. What an amazing individual!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read it and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Harper Collins Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »


39867093. sy475

Roam by Erik Therme

When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly.

Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Audible US     Audible UK     Goodreads

About the Author

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Website      Goodreads Author Page     Facebook     Twitter

My Review

5 Stars

Sarah Cate is out with her boyfriend for her twenty-first birthday when their car breaks down. Matt is drunk and belligerent and Sarah can’t take any more and starts walking for help. She is approached by Kevin and Mark and decides to get a ride home. On the way she starts thinking about her relationship with Matt and realizing how things are not very good.

When Sarah gets home things go from bad to worse and she leaves. She gets back in the car with Kevin and asks him to help her find her friend Scott. But things are never easy and Matt warned her that if she left him he would make her pay. And Scott might not be the savior that Sarah thinks he will be.

This story is filled with characters that you feel both good and bad for. My heart broke for Kevin and I really hoped things would work out for him. I had a hard time liking Sarah on the other hand although she does show some improvement. Then you have Scott, part of me liked and understood him and the other just wanted to get away from him.

Although it is a simple premise, there is a lot happening in this book from a budding romance, abuse, to simply learning from ones choices. I was easily sucked into this world and had a hard time putting the book down. The book is a lot deeper than just following around Sarah and Kevin as they roam about.

I loved I Know You and was very excited to read Roam. This is a great story and one that I recommend checking out. I can’t wait to read more from Erik  Therme.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Enter for your chance to win either a digital copy of Roam which is open world wide


An audio copy of the book of which is only open to UK & US readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would like to thank Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

43890707. sy475

Dorothy and the Glass Key by Christopher Finn

14-year-old Dorothy Alston had to grow up fast when her father’s alcohol-induced carelessness resulted in a house fire that claimed her mother’s life. She finds a new life on her uncle’s farm in Florida…but not for long. Now, thirty-four years later, Dorothy’s in a permanent vegetative state and it’s up to Ellen Steward – the hard-working, slightly jaded administrator at an upscale rehab facility – to unravel the mystery that landed Dorothy in this condition. With some unexpected help, Ellen unwinds Dorothy’s fantastical narrative. It begins with a strange glass key that leads Dorothy to worlds that exist between time and space. She awakens a dark creature who feeds on the pain of the young. Ellen discovers that even she is wrapped up in Dorothy’s strange saga. If she wants to save her, Ellen will have to give up everything. But if she fails, much more is at stake than anyone could have imagined.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Christopher J. Finn

About the Author

Christopher J. Finn has long been a fan of things that are quirky, odd and dark, believing those aspects make for the best stories. Dorothy and the Glass Key, his debut novel, falls right into those categories.

Christopher J. Finn lives in Missouri with his wife and three kids. When he isn’t writing his next novel, he is painting, woodworking, playing PS4 with his pre-teens or watching the latest supernatural thriller show with his wife, his dogs, and pet leopard gecko.

Dorothy and the Glass Key 2nd edition is now available.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

My Review

5 Stars

We start this story at a mental health facility where rich Ragesh Dutta has brought his ward Dorothy. Ellen is the administrator but figures if Ragesh is willing to pay she has no problem letting him. Then Ragesh starts telling Ellen Dorothy’s story. When Dorothy was 14 years old a fire killed her mother. Together her father and she move to Florida to live on her uncle’s farm. Things are strained between the two since Dorothy blames her mother’s death on her father.

When Dorothy discovers a key that will transport her to other worlds she is excited for the escape. At first Dorothy loves her new friends and the escape but as time goes on we learn that there is a dark side to these worlds, one where a creature feeds off children.

Oh my, where to begin? The first thing I want to say is not to think this is a Wizard of Oz type story, yes I made that mistake. This is a whole new world of wonders and darkness. Dorothy has lost her mother and blames her father. It was hard to read this part because both have lost someone and Dorothy wants to blame someone. Of course she is going to jump at the escape, I didn’t blame her. The fantastic worlds he found herself in along with Charlie and Ragesh make the adventures more and more addicting. When we meet Spintwister I was creeped out. He was clearly insane, the perfect bad guy, and I hoped that they three friends could find a way to stop him.

This is a great read and has many things that teens will relate to. I loved the story and all the twists and turns. Dorothy and the Glass Key is a first book from author Christopher Finn and it is executed wonderfully. This is a book I recommend checking out. I can’t wait to see what else Christopher is going to come up with.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Smith Publicity

I would like to thank Smith Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »


45484751. sy475

Chameleon (DCI Jack Mason – 4) by Michael Foster

It was meant to be a harmless adventure…or so he thought.

When a ten-year-old boy playing hooky from school sees a young woman’s body hanging from a tree, a man at the scene gives chase.

Still recovering from near fatal injuries, Jack Mason is sent to investigate. He knows the boy’s life is in danger, but that’s the least of his worries. There’s a much darker side to this investigation, and one that threatens to change many people’s lives.

What really happened in the woods that day? What dark secrets was the dead woman hiding?

And who, or what, is Chameleon?

You will be hooked from the start by this gripping crime thriller. There’s tension, suspense, and a plot full of unexpected twists and turns. Order your copy today.

Don’t miss out on the rest of the series:

The Wharf Butcher (Book 1)

Satan’s Beckoning (Book 2)

The Suitcase Man (Book 3)

Chameleon (Book 4)

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Goodreads

About the Author

Michael K Foster has been writing crime thriller novels since 2006, all of them based in and around the North East of England. His bestselling debut novel, ‘The Wharf Butcher,’ was released in 2015 and offers a unique insight into this rugged landscape. He has now written four full-length novels featuring the hard-hitting DCI Jack Mason and local criminal profiler David Carlisle. His latest book in the series, ‘Chameleon,’ is scheduled for release in June 2019.

Michael was born in Plymouth, England. After ten years’ service in the British Army, he moved to Newcastle where he gained a master’s degree. A former Magistrate, he now writes full time and lives with his family in County Durham.

Website     Facebook     Goodreads Author Page

My Review

5 Stars

Ten year old Martin skips school to explore the woods but what he finds is going to put him in the cross hairs of some seriously bad people. DCI Jack Mason has not officially been released to come back to work but is called in to a woman hanging in the forest. This is just the first step for Mason and Martin when it comes to the Russian Mafia and everything they are involved in.

This book is an edge of your seat, nail biting ride. Jack Mason is one tough character that is determined to both keep Martin safe and to stop the killer. He has his hands full with money laundering and a hitman. The more he discovers the more trouble he finds.

This is the first book that I have read from Michael Foster but it won’t be my last. I was instantly sucked into the story and couldn’t put the book down. Although this is the fourth book in the series I had no problem figuring out what was going on but also didn’t know what really happened in the previous book for his injury. I feel confident that I can read that book without any spoilers.

This is a amazing read and one that I recommend for anyone that enjoys a fast paced and engrossing thriller. You will be sure to add this one to your library.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


I would like to thank Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Storm Raiders

35446109. sy475

Storm Raiders (Storms of Magic – 1) by PT Hylton and Michael Anderle

In a time when magic rules the sea, she only trusts her sword.

Abbey has always been an outsider in Holdgate. While the people of her adopted city dominate the seas with their weather-controlling storm magic, she prefers the work in her father’s blacksmith shop.

Besting any foolish enough to question her skills with a sword.

But when her father is falsely accused of murder, she has to sneak aboard a stormship and take to the seas in a quest to clear his name.

Teaming up with a young storm mage and a no-nonsense Captain, Abbey sets off on a swashbuckling adventure.

She’ll soon learn that the legendary Storm Raiders–a terrifying group of seafaring pirates–are all too real.

Set on the foundation laid by the Kurtherian Gambit Series, Storm Raiders tells an entirely new story in the Age of Magic–and of the heroes and villains who battle for control of its destiny.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Authors

P.T. Hylton 

PT Hylton

I mostly write about secrets. People with secrets. Towns with secrets. How keeping secrets tears people apart, and how sharing secrets, even terrible ones, brings people together.

In that spirit, I’ll share my own secret origin story.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve written in some form or fashion ever since I could. But it wasn’t always fiction. After college, two friends and I started a small production company called Plethora Films. We spent a few years making short films and almost-but-not-quite finishing a feature film. For better or for worse, we disbanded just before YouTube hit the scene. To my knowledge, none of our shorts are even online.

I spent the next eight years putting all my creative energy into making podcasts, most successfully with the long-running guitar podcast Six-String Bliss. I also had some short-lived podcasts, including Guitar New Weekly, Real Dad Fitness, and Time-Traveling Film Critics.

One day I was talking with my daughter and encouraging her to go after her dreams.

“Do you have any dreams, Daddy,” she asked.

“I want to be a writer,” I said.

“Then why aren’t you doing it?”

That lit a fire under me something fierce, and I got to writing.

The things I’ve published so far:

The Deadlock Trilogy – A science fiction suspense series about a small town with a secret. Includes Regulation 19, A Place Without Shadows, and The Broken Clock.

Zane Halloway -The Zane Halloway series takes place in a world of magic, mystery, and assassins. It’s an epic sword and sorcery tale told in novella-sized chunks.

Website     Twitter

Michael Anderle

Website     Facebook

My Review

5 Stars

Holdgate is a regular seafaring community that has storm mages that are there to help protect and defend the town along with helping captains on ships. Abby and her father came from another town when Abby was an infant. Her father is the local blacksmith but everyone always looks down on them as outsiders. Dustin is a young storm mage that grew up with Abby but then followed the path of a storm mage and now has taken his test and passed.

Abby’s father is falsely charged with murder and Abby is determined to find the real killer. She convinced Dustin to let her on the ship he is traveling on to find the real killer and traitor to Holdgate. But there is much more happening than just a murder and Abby and Dustin are in for one heck of an adventure.

I’m sorry to say that I have never read or heard of the Kurtherian Gambit Series. I went into this story fresh and absolutely loved it. I felt for Abby always being the outsider even though she grew up in Holdgate. But finding out about her father’s past was a great twist.

Dustin was a bit of a pompous jerk in the beginning. He just knew that he was a powerful storm mage and Abby is quick to put him in his place. I loved how powerful he became and how it happened. That was a great twist that I didn’t expect but was hoping he would eventually figure out.

Gabra Zackman did a fantastic job narrating this story. I was drawn into this story and had a hard time walking away for regular life. I instantly purchased the complete collection of this series and can’t wait to listen to the rest of the books. It’s definitely one I recommend for the fantasy lovers out there.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily listened to it and chose to post an honest review.

I would like to thank Michelle Cobb for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Surviving the Forest

43906443. sy475

Surviving the Forest by Adiva Geffen

Five shots on Saturday morning changed their fate …

She was a beautiful and happy young woman who lived a fairytale life. Shurka, her beloved husband and their two small children lived in a pretty house in a village in Poland, surrounded by a little garden with lilies. This was their life and nothing could harm it, or so they thought…

WWII broke out and though the happy family thought the Germans would never reach their idyllic village, they quickly understood they were wrong and their happiness came to a brutal end. The family had to flee their house and find shelter in a neighboring Ghetto where they realized that the Gestapo was taking Jews away on trucks every night, and they were never seen again.

The family decided to escape into the deep dark forest. There, surrounded by animals, they knew that this was their only chance to get away from the real beasts. They had no idea what would await them, but they knew that doing nothing was not an option if they wanted to survive.

Amazon      Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Adiva Geffen

About the Author

Adiva Geffen is a prolific writer and playwright. She lectures and leads many writing workshops, and she’s a board member of the Israeli writers Association. Adiva has published 21 books, including children’s stories, reference books and, most famously, suspense novels; most of which were best-sellers. In fact, Adiva is widely regarded as the best suspense writer in Israel. Her plays have appeared on major stages in Israel.

Drawing from rich life experience and pure imaginative force, Adiva Geffen creates compelling characters and captivating scenarios in which suspense, humor, passion and joy are woven into an almost addicting emotional thrill-ride. Her latest duo, detectives Sami and Dikla, have become staples in Israel’s literary community.

Geffen began her career as a special-ed teacher. After leaving the education field, she served as the spokesperson for the Habima National Theater for more than a decade. She founded and subsequently led the Israeli Theater Award for 10 years.

Born in Haifa and the mother of three sons, Geffen now lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, with her partner Aharon Meidan.

Her latest book “Klara’s Boys” is set to be published in 2017.

My Review

5 Stars

The small village of Wolka Zablocka had a mixture of religion and families. Everything worked together and got along. Then Hitler and his Nazis start trouble. Sarah “Shurka” Shidlovsky and her family thought that this little village was too small for the Nazis to worry about, but they were wrong. They still came and gathered the Jews. There were stories of families being taken in the night and never coming back.

Finally Sarah takes her family into the Parczew Forest. There they lived with others fighting against the elements and animals. Illness and raids killed many in the two to three years that Sarah lived in the forest until they were liberated by the Russians. Sarah lost almost all of her family and finds that even though the war is over she is still looked down on.

It is always hard to read the stories from the survivors of World War II. People that were prosecuted just because they were Jewish or were different did whatever they could to survive. This is a touching account of Sarah Shidlovsky’s life in this hard time. All she wanted was a simple life on her farm with her family but that was not to be.

If you like reading stories of those that lived through World War II, this is a great addition to your library. It’s touching, heartbreaking, raw, but a great look at what many had to do to live.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Ari at Candid Book Reviews for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »