Just Holding On

Broketown by David Wheeler is an excellent novel but one not to read if you are in a dark mood. If you feel that life is too routine, that there is nothing in the future that will ever improve on the current condition, that everybody is flawed and the best thing you can do is retreat within yourself and ignore unpleasantness, you are in a dark mood. This book will reinforce those feelings. On finishing this novel, I had an overwhelming feeling of despair. There was also my feeling of sadness about a life wasted in mostly meaningless activities just to fill the time until death arrives to the rescue. After reading this I will move on to a novel with graphic violence and horror just to wake up from the ennui generated by this novel. So it may come as a surprise to read that I liked this novel a lot.

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Let Them Eat (Chocolate) Cake

From the cover of Sam ’n’ Patty’s 1st Adventure Hidden Gems by Jerry Dawson we can infer that there might be some follow-up stories coming. That is true, there is a three-story series that follows Sam and Patty plus other novels written by this author. I received an author request to read and review this short novel. I was quite happy with the reading experience because I learned new things presented in an entertaining way. This short adventure novel should appeal to the YA crowd. I couldn’t find anything offensive as far as language or cultural slights. The author does take aim at a “southern” way of speaking that can become so pronounced it borders on unintelligible but the observations are appreciative, not critical.

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A Comfortable Detective Story

The Lost by Ari Rose is short story #10 in a Jill Hunter private investigator series. She started out as a police officer but at this point in the series, she is a private investigator. Each of the short stories takes on a different type of crime or social issue. This story is the first in a three-part set that sells on Amazon for free. That is not a KU subscription deal, it is an outright sale for free.

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It Is More Than Making Dinner

The Stellar Life of a Superhero Wife by Joynell Schulz doesn’t appear on Amazon. What does appear is The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives, a 316 page novel by the same author. The story I am commenting on here measures 718 locations on Kindle which might be 30 pages. It gives readers a sample of the authors writing style and an example of short stories available through Instafreebies.

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What Did You Do For Your Summer Vacation?

I received One Night by Deanna Cabinian from the author. At first a bit reluctant to read something described as a “coming of age” novel, I am glad I did. I have a category I like to call a “comfort read.” Nothing in it should give offense to anyone (IMHO). It borders on fantasy in that the characters are almost too perfect and, in several cases, too mature in behavior and opinion for their chronological age. In the first few pages, I worried the story would spiral down into sappy, syrupy, sentimental storytelling in a nostalgic search for an imagined perfect past. That did not happen. The tightly controlled crisp writing moved the story along at almost page-turner speed. There are nicely woven reflections on quality of life, the inevitability of death, different perceptions of love (requited and unrequited) and the values of a strong family life. What could have been sappy was rescued by the writers skill into something really good. On an Amazon scale, I gave this a five-star rating, something I have never done with a “comfort read.” I highly recommend this for the YA crowd and will nag my son until he reads at least parts of it.

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Who Cares About Liam?

From the beginning of the novel, the cover, The Breaking of Liam Glass by Charles Harris presents an unrelenting series of double (maybe triple) meanings along with wry, dark, and tongue-in-cheek humorous observations on daily life. It is not just that daily life is humdrum, boring routine; it is a set of circumstances that we have to get through. Jason reflects on great truths such as these as he seeks a break-out story that he can use in his career as a tabloid journalist. He needs to find something that will allow his career to soar. So far his lot has been to report the mundane while employed on what might be called a D-list tabloid. He aspires to international recognition on a well-known and widely circulated A (or at least B) publication. His reflections tend to the grandiose “For every great prophet whose chariot rose into the heavens there were a thousand little people who got crushed under the wheels.” (p. 338). Jason wanted to be that prophet.

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This is a reblog from Kat Myrman, one of the most prolific thinking bloggers I have come across. This article hits hard twice. First look at “Mental” and reflect on that a bit before scrolling down a bit to read her comments on a background that led to this writing. Her comments about her father are absolutely amazing given the parent child relationship. What a brave and sharing person she is to share such an experience in the hope that it will help others!

like mercury colliding...


The pyramids he built had magical powers, sharpening his used razor blades while happy-sad Jesus watched from a frame on the wall.

Then he dismantled the family car, replicating a Chilton’s Manual diagram on the driveway.

He often argued with a gun barrel. It had the last word eventually, silencing the voices.


A word about this week’s 52 Words in 52 Weeks Story. The prompt was “pyramids”.

When most people think of “pyramids” they think of the ancient wonders in Egypt. When I hear the word “pyramid” it triggers memories of my dad and one of his many obsessions.

No one noticed the signs, or if they did they didn’t say, because we didn’t talk about mental illness back then. People suffered in silence, or self medicated with alcohol like my dad. He may very well have been a genius, but he was also bat-shit crazy. I…

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