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Whole Countries Who Despise Women – Though They Wouldn’t Exist Without Us

LPut yourself in her shoes | the human provinceet’s face it. Men, overall, absolutely despise women. They fear us, hate us, would just as soon see us tied up in a basement to be raped and abused, then forgotten until the next time they need to get off. Or get their food made. Oh, not all of them, certainly. There are men who follow this site who are wonderful, caring gentlemen. But the good ones? The good ones are so very, very few. As Foreign Affairs Reporter for the Toronto Star put it in her March 8, 2008 article, “These things are universal,” says Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of New York-based Equality Now. “There is not one single country where women can feel absolutely safe.”

Yes, the Middle East is a horror story for women, no matter their cast. But watching the first Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders  reminds me that, no matter how bad the treatment of women in the Middle East is, they aren’t the only guilty country. Hatred of women is worldwide. Women and children are not safe. Not in Thailand, where the first show is set (let’s face it, I have always thought Gary Sinise is a great actor. I am excited to watch this show develop. I just hope it lasts longer than Suspect Behavior. I really like Forest Whitaker as well – and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia had a cameo on each of those as well…. I want to be Penelope in my next life) Horiffic Abuse Of Little Children In Middle East |

OK, off the point. It isn’t just “foreign” countries that hate women. American men are just as bad. Sex slavery is rampant here, with American women and children being victimized just as much as foreign women. Websites brag about how happy American men are with their  “submissive,” “malleable” foreign mail order brides, who can be treated any way the males want without fear of being punished for their brutality. No standing up for themselves or having personalities of their own like American women.

Women carry you in their wombs. They bear you for nine months, withstand the wear and tear of feeding your growing bodies within their own, and suffer the excruciating pain of childbirth. They raise you, feed you from their body and soul. And how is that love returned? With hate, brutality, torture, rape, murder. All that love, and this is what women have to look forward to.

I really believe that, until men learn to love and respect women, to love their children and wish to protect them and the women who bore them above all else, we will never settle as a species. We will never be able to live with one another on this tiny blue planet without totally destroying ourselves and the world we live on. Someone asked  me why I read so much Paranormal Romance these days, and why the particular authors I read. Honestly? There is so much evil in the world, it is refreshing to the mind and the soul to sit down with a good PR, where the men and women are both strong in their own right. Where men are what I consider to be real men, who not only love women, but respect them as well. Who will die rather than injure a child. And who realize that, yes, they may be physically stronger than women and children – but that their strength can be tempered with love and protection without being considered weak. Instead, their love and protection of those who depend on them makes them stronger in mind, body and soul.

 

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Review: Gray Back Broken Bear (Gray Back Bears #4) by T.S. Joyce

Gray Back Broken Bear (Gray Back Bears #4)The Trailer Park Bears are here again, with the fourth in the Gray Back Bears Series.
The Gray Backs, and all the others of the Trailer Park Bears group of multiple series, truly do live in trailer parks. Broken-down singlewides, parked in the middle of the forest, where Dragon Shifter Damon Daye has brought them in to clear trees devastated by bug infestations. The TPB’s series is actually more than one series. The first tells the story of the Saw Back Bears, this second series is all about the Gray Backs. While the Ashe crew, the stars of the Saw Bears series, is the “A Team” of lumberjacks, well, the Gray Back crew is, as Alpha Creed puts it, “The C Team”. Rowdy, constantly battling, and constantly covered in blood, the Gray Backs are a misfit band of dominant bears. Broken dominant bears. Creed the alpha, Matt the man-ho, Clinton and Jason the goofballs. And then there is Easton, a bear so broken he can’t stand to live close to the others – and can’t seem to stop fighting, even when it might mean his death. A broken clan with a brutal and savage history, they are the clan that nobody wants to mess with.

Book one was Matt’s story. Book two took us deeper into Creed’s story. Gray Back #3, Gray Back Ghost Bear, was Jason and Georgia. Now, we finally get to Easton’s story, the one I have been waiting for. Easton’s life was a horror show of infinite proportions, and it has left him fighting every second for some form of sanity. The Gray Back crew is his last chance. If Creed can’t keep him under control, he will have to be put down. And that knife’s edge is cutting closer.

Then, a ghost from his past reappears, and the thin line of his sanity, which has left him with the name ‘Beaston’ among the crew, wobbles dangerously. For there is a Raven in their midst – a Raven Beaston is certain he only dreamed. Aviana – the raven who once visited him in the darkness and terror of his childhood. Can they renew that bond and save both their souls?

Book four is the one I was waiting for, and it didn’t disappoint. A wonderful story, full of hope and forgiveness.

 

Review: Duty, Honor, Love (Toronto’s Elite Book 1)

Duty, Honor, LoveAs iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion. Antisthenes

“That’s why crazy people are so dangerous. You think they’re nice until they’re chaining you up in the garage.” Michael Buckley, The Fairy-Tale Detectives

A new audit of the California foster care system has revealed that over 1,000 foster home addresses match those of registered sex offenders, according to the Los Angeles Times. It seems that child welfare official failed to compare the addresses even after they were told to do so in 2008. According to the Sacramento Bee, about 600 of the highlighted offenders were considered high risk.” — The Huffington Post – By Dean Praetorius, 1,000 California Foster Care Homes Match Sex Offender Addresses: Report

 

Her name is Marissa Preston. Nine years old. Blond and blue. Her mother is frantic to find her, and Detectives Jaden Black and Cameron Olsen know that, if they don’t find her soon, the worst will happen. But the worst quickly becomes even more horrific. For Marissa isn’t alone in her dark and painful place. There is another little girl with her, in a dark and terrifying basement. Emily Knight looks enough like Marissa to be her twin, and she too is missing. Finding these little girls is urgent if they are to live.

Of course, Cameron and Jaden have a secret weapon – Jaden is the most powerful telepath in the Toronto PD. She may be the most power telepath anywhere – and she has just found Emily Knight’s mind.

““She’s being held captive by a man. She thinks a new girl who joined her looks like Marissa. So there’s a chance she might be alive. The girl also said there were others, but they’ve all gone.”

There. Were. Others. Those words hit Cameron like a sledgehammer to the heart. This isn’t just a single kidnapping, or even two. There. Were. Others. And as Jayden and Cameron begin to dig, the picture becomes darker and darker, until the sheer evil of the tale reveals itself in a horrifying miasma that stretches long into the past.

“Missing and unsolved, all in the last three-and-a-half years. Six girls, including Emily. Why the heck has no one noticed?”

Easily explained, with a bit of research. Six little girls, all six to nine, all blond haired, pretty and fragile. All, in one way or the other, have been involved in the foster system. A foster system broken and criminally mismanaged, a system which ignores repeated reports of sexual and physical abuse – of the deaths of children in their care.

According to a report published in 2005 by Rick Toma, “A Critical Look At The Foster Care System”:

“. . . in nearly half the states (studied), cases take years to come to completion as agencies repeatedly fail to investigate abuse reports in a timely fashion, find permanent homes for children, or even keep track of those children under their care and custody.” — Fred Bayles and Sharon Cohen, “Chaos Often the Only Parent for Abused or Neglected Children,” Associated Press as reported in Los Angeles Times, (April 30, 1995)

Just one case of thousands:

“. . . case involved a nine-year-old boy who weighed only 28 lbs., and who could hardly speak after the suicides of his parents. County social workers failed to visit him in his foster home for four months. During that time, he was beaten, sodomized, burned on his genitals and nearly drowned by his foster parents. He became a spastic paraplegic.” Margot Hornblower, “Fixing the System,” TIME Magazine, (December 11, 1995).

I used to think this sort of abuse was more prevalent in the US. Surely those nice Canadians didn’t wallow in the kind of monstrous mismanagement we suffer here? Apparently, this isn’t the case. You see, three of these little girls had been moved through a single foster placement – and all six had, at one point or the other, been shuffled through other homes in the system. And the terrors these children suffered . . .

Duty, Honor, Love” is a brutal tale of the kind of sadistic treatment children are routinely subjected to in the foster system told through a story of psychopaths, pedophiles, and the people who are left to clean up the mess. This is a fast paced tale of suspense that kept me turning pages on my reader so fast I nearly set my fingers on fire. But Marissa and Emily’s story isn’t the only tragedy involved in this narration – for there are other monsters trolling the darkness – and one of them is after Jaden.

Parts of this book I absolutely adored. There is the truly excellent tale of pedophiles and stalkers, of the police who work tirelessly to capture them, and a foster system that allows the horrors to occur over and over again, ignoring report after report of child abuse in foster homes. But there is also a very heavy sexual storyline that, in my opinion, lowered the overall tone of the storyline. There is M/M, M/F, and M/M/F action in the book, which is perfectly fine in the right setting. Hey, I can get into erotica just as well as the next person. Here, however, it ate up too much of the storyline and detracted from the very important writing that the author accomplished, leaving me dissatisfied with the overall tone of the book. The sex scenes could have been paired down to a couple and been an enhancement to the overall story. Spending more time on character development and background for the characters would have been a more efficacious use of word count. However, a good third of the book was down to sex. I like spicy – but not so much that it debases the narrative.

I still highly recommend the book. As I said, it kept me turning pages at a blistering pace to see what happened next. It will stay on my reader, and I will be looking forward to more from Angela S. Stone. I just hope she can find the line between writing erotica and writing a solid novel with an important story line.

“Duty, Honor, Love” came to me from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. If you enjoy my reviews, please click here and click “Like”. It helps my authors to draw attention to their books through my reviews. Thank you!

About The Author

Angela S. StoneAngela S. Stone is a twenty something Registered Nurse living in Ottawa, Canada. Her first novel, Sometimes It’s Fate, was published by Phaze books in 2011. Angela finds inspiration in real life personal events for her books, often writing about issues she’s experience in her life. She is a proud Canadian and an even prouder girl from back east. She thoroughly enjoys writing novels featuring character that live in or are from the Maritimes. She’s recently met Mr. Right and when she’s not occupied with him she can be found hanging out at her local Bridgehead writing. She spends her free time advocating for minorities and persons with disabilities.

Angela has a severe learning disability called Dysgraphia. Despite this she has written several novels, graduated from university, and will, eventually, be starting her Master’s degree in nursing. All things she was told she would never be able to do.

Angela has never met a challenge that she couldn’t overcome. She believes strongly in the philosophy of saying “I can’t” means “I won’t” and advocating for yourself. She has spoken about these topics on provincial, regional and national levels.

Published! Night Without Stars: Supergirls 2

Henrietta can choose when to remember and when to forget, when to feel, and when to let go. To survive, you must become.

 25460423After Jenn escapes the Pig’s house of horrors, she wanders the countryside with May, her dead sister’s ghost, until a rogue priest finds her and tucks her away in his uncle’s deserted cabin.

Jenn cares for Tina and Tony, children rescued from the sex trade. Together they find the peace she and May had always dreamed of. But her dark past catches up with her, and it has a helluva big knife.

She turns to the priest for help, but he has a dark past of his own, and even darker enemies. Together they have a decision to make. Fight or run?

“I’m just asking you to accept that there are some people who will go to extraordinary lengths to cover up the facts that they are abusing children.
What words are there to describe what happened to me, what was done to me? Some call it ritual abuse, others call it organised abuse. There are those that call it satanic. I’ve heard all the phrases, not just in relation to me, but also with regard to those I work with and try to help. Do you know what I think? It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, it doesn’t matter what label you put on it. It is abuse, pure and simple. It is adults abusing children. It is adults deciding – actually making a conscious decision, a conscious choices that what they want, what they convince themselves they need, is more important than anything else; certainly more important than the safety or feelings or sanity of a child.” – Laurie Matthew, Groomed: An Uncle Who Went Too Far, a Mother Who Didn’t Care, a Little Girl Who Waited for Justice


 

22742696October 31 of last year I reviewed Supergirls by Mav Skye. You can click the title to read the review.

At that time, I quoted the following:

Jason Michel, in Pulp Metal Magazine said of Mav Skye’s Supergirls: . . . (It) is grounded in the mundane reality of poverty, yet as it unfolds becomes an increasingly surreal and cinematic experience; as if Sam Peckinpah or Tarantino had directed the girls from Scooby Doo, who were all grown up and had taken some real bad life choices.

This second installment ramps up the surreal, cinematic experience to eleven, then breaks off the dial.

Can you handle the pain?  If you read and loved Supergirls, number two cranks up the story to 80’s GG Allin levels.
Prepare for the REAL, Baby!

Review: Last Shot by Eve Gaddy

25342525“My mother detested me. Don’t try to tell me she didn’t. She did. Ask anyone who lived here when she was alive. She wasn’t shy about bad-mouthing me.” – Della Rose, Last Shot

This is what starts it, for the hated child. From this point, no love, no safety, no hope. No loving hugs or kisses for skinned knees. No warm meals or being tucked in at night with a song or a story. This is what starts it. The night terrors, the strange men creeping into your room in the middle of the night when mom is too drunk to notice – and if she is awake, blames you for her scummy boyfriends advances – no matter that you are only six, or nine, or twelve . . . This is what starts the pain, the terror, the loneliness. The choices that must be made, in order to survive. And survival sometimes means doing things, suffering things, which are unimaginable to “normals”.

This was Della’s life. Hated, abused, and made to suffer unimaginable things – things that led to even more unimaginable things. Life has been brutally hard for Della from the time she was born. But now, life is finally stabilized. Oh, she and her daughter Allie aren’t rich, not by any means, but Della’s job as a waitress at the Last Shot Bar and Grill, working for Charlie, her good friend and supporter, cranky old good-hearted man that he is, keeps Allie in clothes and food and a roof over their heads, and her friendship with Mary Lou means that there is always someone home when Allie gets home from school. Life is calm, stable, and more than Della has ever had.

Then, in one night, and a blaze of gunfire and death, everything changes – and Della, Allie and Mary Lou’s life will never be the same. With Charlie dead, and one terrible thing after the other happening, they are all in danger from unseen forces who are apparently searching for something valuable – something they think Charlie had – and that they think Della now has access to. And they are willing to kill to get it.

I have ranted lately about how the perception of women in romantic suspense novels has been canting towards the “Oh, save me, Big Handsome Man! Save poor pitiful me!” mentality. Ugh. Women are no longer the swooning Victorian era victims they once were, and contemporary literature should reflect that. “Last Shot” restores some of my hope for the possibilities of strong women characters.

Della is NOT a victim. Far from it. Instead, after all that has happened to her, all the horrors, all the pain, she comes across as strong and self-sufficient – almost to a fault. She takes nothing from anyone, making her own way, taking care of her daughter. And she certainly HATES cops… for very, very good reasons. So imagine her surprise when she finds herself attracted to Nick, the visitor to their small town of Freedom, Texas. Someone she pegged as a cop the minute he walked in the door. Della hates men, is terrified of them – but cops are on the very top of her list of “kill them all and sort it out never”. But Nick? Well, Della feels things she has never felt before. And that oddity has her off-balance, frightened, and terribly confused. Why can’t she take her eyes off of him? And why, when she despises the touch of a man, is she so fascinated with this one? A hated cop?

Nick has his own issues. Issues which leave him screaming up out of sleep, reliving the horrors of his last case – a case that may have broken him for good as a detective. Can these two discover what the murderers were looking for, find out why Charlie was murdered before their eyes? It doesn’t help that Police Chief Brumford Hayes is everything that Della expects him to be – dirty. And Officer Kingston Knight is definitely “off”. Are they involved in what is going on, or are they just despicable?

Eve Gaddy has done spectacular research for this novel. I honestly wondered if she had been subjected to the things that Della was in her childhood, in her life. Apparently not – she is simply that good at doing the research and writing realistically about what a person who has suffered what Della has goes through – how she handles herself and others. Having been through a lot of what Della has, I found Eve’s portrayal of the mindset to be spot-on. I completely identified with Della. Even the part that apparently irritated a one-star reviewer. The first time I was actually attracted to a man as an adult, I was, literally, fascinated. How could this happen? Why? I had never felt attracted to “any” man! It was as if I had lost my mind… all I could think about was what his skin would feel like. I wanted to touch. How did THAT happen? I was, in a word, obsessed. This obsession is shown here as well, so I guess I wasn’t as perverted as I thought I was at the time. All I can think is that ‘one-star reviewer’ has had no experience with, or friends who, have gone through anything like what Della has. The vituperation rained on Ms. Gaddy’s head is unwarranted – but lack of knowledge in this case is based upon valid arguments, even if they don’t apply in this particular scenario. I never carried out my own “lust” for that fascinating guy – which makes Della a great deal braver than I am. Removing oneself from the wasteland of pain, fear and asexuality isn’t something that everyone can do. I wish I had been as brave.

Overall? I loved this book. It is well researched, well written, and touches on issues that, even today, are not addressed nearly enough. Issues of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, dirty cops, and a system that betrays the most fragile and helpless amongst us. It is going on my “Keeper” shelf, and I will be adding Eve Gaddy to my “Must Read” shelf.

WARNING: There are remembrances of rape and child abuse in this book. If you can’t read these sorts of things, please take note.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Highly recommended.

Bosch – Amazon Original Series

The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be. – Raymond Chandler

Law is not justice and a trial is not a scientific inquiry into truth. A trial is the resolution of a dispute. – Edison Haines

 

Hieronymus Bosch. Better known as Harry to his coworkers at the Los Angeles PD where he works as a homicide detective. Harry is that rarest of entities – a cop who cares more about justice than politics, about solving cases rather than simply finding a suspect to pin it on in order to clear cases. Of course, this doesn’t make him popular in either the police department or the District Attorney’s office. But it sure as hell makes his character popular with me. For you see, Harry searches out the truth – not popular truth sometimes, but the honest to goodness truth.

Harry came up rough. His mother was a prostitute who was murdered when he was eleven, throwing him into the brutal madhouse of the foster care system in Los Angeles – a world where everyone has it hard, and the son of a prostitute is fair game for every sadistic teenager and adult in the system.

Because of who she was, and what she did, the cops didn’t care. That’s the reason whoever killed her is still in the wind.

Harry made it through – but now, it comes back to haunt him. When Harry shoots a suspect who pulls a gun on him in a dark, rainy alley, the Viper posing as an attorney on the case is given access to his personal history and psych reports by one of the upper echelon political cops on the force who has a hard-on to pull himself into the top cop job – and wipe out the real cops in favour of the political yellow-bellies who will kowtow to his every word, destroying true justice for what is politically popular at the time. Attorneys don’t care about right or wrong, justice or truth – they simply care about winning. And that fact is shown over and over again in this dark, pitiless tale.

He operates under this code, everybody counts, or nobody counts. – Michael Connelly on what drives Bosch

I was afraid, when Bosch was first offered as an Amazon Original that they weren’t going to make any more than the one episode. Thankfully, the first full season premiered on February 13th – and it meets every expectation I had when I first viewed the premiere. And what a premiere it was.

It starts with a dog finding a bone. Not all that exciting, finding a bone in the woods. But this bone is neither coyote nor deer. Rather, it is the humerus of a child. As Bosch and his team find the shallow grave and dig up more bones, it is clear that this child suffered pitilessly at the hands of a monster. A monster who savaged him on a daily basis, breaking nearly every bone in his body, over and over again, until he finally found the relief of death. But who brutalized this child, torturing him mercilessly, day after day, dehumanizing a small child until even his bones refused to grow? Who did this horrific thing – and who finally ended his painful existence?

Layers grow upon layers as a serial killer takes credit for murdering this brutalized child, this ultimate victim. Bodies are lost and found, and darkness throws a pall over everything within the story. This is unquestionably a story from the heart of Michael Connelly, beautifully recreated on screen by Titus Welliver. I have now watched three of the episodes (I am hording them!) and they are amazing. If you love dark noir police stories (and who can’t love a noir story set in Los Angeles?) this is an amazing series. So far there are ten episodes, I hope they make more. There is a dearth of really good mystery series out there (yes, that is my personal opinion) but this is a truly wonderful one.

About Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote, before publishing The Poet in 1996–a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist. In 1997, he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. It was inspired in part by a friend’s receiving a heart transplant and the attendant “survivor’s guilt” the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly had been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. The movie adaptation of Blood Work was released in 2002, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Connelly’s next book, Angels Flight, was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. The non-series novel Void Moon was released in 2000 and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night, united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

In 2002, Connelly released two novels. The first, the Harry Bosch book City Of Bones, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. The second release was a stand-alone thriller, Chasing The Dime, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Lost Light was published in 2003 and named one of the Best Books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. It is another in the Harry Bosch series but the first written in first person.
Connelly’s 2004 novel, The Narrows, is the sequel to The Poet. It was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times. His 11th Harry Bosch novel, The Closers, was published in 2005, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly’s first-ever legal thriller and his 16th novel, was published in 2005 and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book introduced Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. The movie adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller, was released in 2011. This is the second film adapted from a Connelly novel.

Crime Beat, a non-fiction collection of crime stories from Michael’s days as a journalist, was released in 2006, as was the Harry Bosch novel, Echo Park. The Overlook, Michael’s 18th novel, was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This Harry Bosch story was published as a book with additional material in 2007.

Michael’s 19th novel, The Brass Verdict, was released in 2008, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It introduces Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in a fast-paced legal thriller. Michael’s 20th novel, The Scarecrow, was released in 2009, and reunites reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent Rachel Walling for the first time since The Poet. It too debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Michael released a second book in 2009, the 15th Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. In this story, Bosch goes to Hong Kong to find his missing daughter.

In 2010, The Reversal was released and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book has Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch working together on the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. The Fifth Witness, a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2011 and also debuted at #1. Michael’s 2011 novel, The Drop, a Harry Bosch novel, debuted at #1. Another #1 ranked book, The Black Box, focuses on Harry Bosch once again and is Michael’s 25th novel. Its release came in Michael’s 20th year in publishing, 2012. The Gods of Guilt , a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Burning Room, a Harry Bosch novel, was released in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Fifty-eight million copies of Connelly’s books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into thirty-nine foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, “Bosch,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video now. All 10 episodes can be watched here: http://amzn.to/1A1czNcTo read Michael Connelly’s wonderful Harry Bosch novels, the list below has links to the books in publication order. Enjoy!

Books in published order:
The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook  (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013)  (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (November 2015)

Review: Coveted by the Bear: A Bear Shifter Romance

24237782We’re all caught up in circumstances, and we’re all good and evil. When you’re really hungry, for instance, you’ll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing – well, maybe that’s too strong – but certainly a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance. – Anthony Hopkins

The human race is a herd. Here we are, unique, eternal aspects of consciousness with an infinity of potential, and we have allowed ourselves to become an unthinking, unquestioning blob of conformity and uniformity. A herd. Once we concede to the herd mentality, we can be controlled and directed by a tiny few. And we are. – David Icke

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. – Bertrand Russell

 

Mira is hungry. Starving, actually. Alone. Isolated. Brutalized by family, hated by a whole town, to whom she is known as “Crazy Mira” and “Mira the Witch”. She suffers attacks – verbal, emotional and physical – from the town-turned-human pack. Even those who don’t attack turn their heads, ignoring the pain that Mira suffers. Ignore her youth, her loneliness, and her literal starvation. The humiliating acts and viciousness of the townspeople makes it hard, nearly impossible, to come to town, to buy even the simplest of food supplies with her meager funds.

The amazing thing? Mira is not bitter. Instead, she accepts – no, she expects their treatment, and doesn’t blame. She considers it her due. After all, she has never known anything but cruelty in her life, so there must be something wrong with her.

Right?

Right?

Mira lives alone, on a mountain deep in the woods, in a falling down shack left to her by her uncle (An uncle who died on the bathroom floor in a pool of his own alcoholic vomit.)

Out hunting her woods, hoping with all her might to bag a squirrel or rabbit, to ease the terrible pains of days of starvation, she comes across something she never expects. The town ‘pretty boy’ and member of one of the “five families” of their small town, Caleb McCreedy, is sprawled on her land, bleeding to death as a massive grizzly bear eats his horse – in all likelihood as an appetizer before eating Caleb.

Saving the pretty boy is hard – Mira’s life has left her terrified of people, especially those whose personal power can make her miserable existence even worse. But save him she does. And though she tries to warn him that being attacked by that particular grizzly may mean that he hates her for saving his life rather than appreciating her deed, he doesn’t listen. She is, after all, only “Crazy Mira”.

Let’s face it. There are a lot of paranormal romances out there. Some good, some not so good. But this particular PR is something different. Something better. Yes, it is a PR, and a well written one at that. But it is more important, at least in my estimation, as a lesson in the human condition. A lesson in how superstition and the pack mentality can turn even the best of us into cruel monsters, without a drop of compassion or kindness.

“My bones stuck out so much and my skin was thin as rice paper. When I hit something, it would split me open, and I was too young to know how to stitch myself up yet.”

This book is well worth your precious reading time if you want something different from the normal “boy meets girl, they boink, they marry, the end”. No. This is something richer, fuller, which I have now on my “keeper” shelf. T.S. Joyce’s books are bargains – anything from .99 to 2.99, or free with kindleunlimited, so there is really no reason not to enjoy them. I haven’t read her before, but I am looking forward to reading more to see if they are as good as this one.

Review: Supergirls by Mav Skye

22742696I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars. . . . I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness. . . – H.P. Lovecraft – From Beyond, 16 November 1920

I realize that I live on the bubble of insanity. I feel the weight of human suffering, loneliness and despair on me all the time. It’s not getting easier; if anything, it’s always right on the edge of my skin. – Erwin McManus

As you step into Supergirls, you are transported. Transported to a world, a life, straight out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. A visit to Dante’s Inferno, a glimpse into the minds of the damned. Brutal. Savage. An acid trip into Naraka, tortured by Yama, denied the relief of rebirth.

Jason Michel, in Pulp Metal Magazine said of Mav Skye’s Supergirls: . . . (It) is grounded in the mundane reality of poverty, yet as it unfolds becomes an increasingly surreal and cinematic experience; as if Sam Peckinpah or Tarantino had directed the girls from Scooby Doo, who were all grown up and had taken some real bad life choices.

I can only agree.

Supergirls is, in its own way, a story of sisterhood and family, the bonds of love and sacrifice, all played out on a screen of the absurd that would send chills up the back of Dahmer and make Spring-Heel Jack and Béla Kiss feel emphatically mediocre. The horror is horrifying, without a doubt – but to my mind, the portions that are real, and all too common in our world today, are the scariest moments, the most frightening horrors of all.

The pages of a graphic novel flashed through my mind as I read Mav Skye’s work, the scenes backlit by a bloody light, built of straight black lines and soulless eyes. For anyone who adores dark fantasy, this is a luscious treat for the mind, a glimpse into inane, mundane, yet horrific madness that kept my eyes glued to the page and my heart pounding as I traversed the darkness into the cellar of Skye’s mind.

Watch out for the rotting stairs . . .

I received Supergirls from the publisher in return for a realistic review. This is a novella, only 87-pages, and would make an incredible Halloween night read! Highly recommend.

Review: STREET CHILD: A Memoir by Justin Reed Early

street
What breed are we, what nightmare, what disgrace, that humans can treat children in this manner? Like offal, throwaway to be tortured, abused, and thrown aside like garbage.

STREET CHILD: A Memoir
Justin Reed Early
4.7 Stars (50 Reviews)
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs | Children’s eBooks | Religion & Spirituality | Self-Help

FREE for a limited time

“The books the world calls immoral, are books that show the world its own shame.” Oscar Wilde

“Street Child is not for the faint of heart…” – Nicole Broduer, THE SEATTLE TIMES (Article)

Street Child is the true story of a young boy who runs away from his increasingly dysfunctional and violent family. Placed into state custody at ten years old, his journey in foster care and survival takes many drastic turns until he finds safety with similar peers on the seedy streets of Seattle and San Francisco. While dodging serial killers (Green River Killer) and pedophiles, including a juvenile court judge who oversees his custody, these children develop credulous bonds while trying to protect each other amidst the increasingly dangerous elements.

Author Justin Reed Early takes you on a journey into a life where children become victims and victims become criminals. He brings intimate clarity to real life characters through authentic interactions with frequent devastating outcomes.

Many of the children in Street Child, including the author were featured in the documentary STREETWISE, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Street Child is a journey no child should ever endure.

Click here to get this book for FREE

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