Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad

Genre: Young Adult Non-Fiction
Publisher: Amazon KDP
Date of Publication: September 1, 2018
Pages: 19

Whether you are young or old, The Life and Lessons of a Young Author can offer those who dream of finding the right path in the world of writing and publishing. Sunayna Prasad shares her experience as a young author and discusses what went well for her and what she suggests to those who long for success.

Talking about her life as a published writer, Sunayna Prasad teaches you the rules of the writing craft and the standards of the publishing world, as well as additional tips and tricks. The Life and Lessons of a Young Author can help you choose your own writing and publishing paths.

Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars 
The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad is a short booklet divided into eight sections that offers her perspective and experiences in the writing and publishing industry. The booklet is less than 20 pages, therefore, my review will be quite succinct as to not give too much away. 

I certainly applaud anyone who takes on the seemingly daunting task of writing. It is, indeed, a labor of love. Seeing that the author of this piece has embarked on the writing and publishing journey at such a young age is brave and admirable. 

Having said that, there is still much room for Ms. Prasad to grow. In this booklet, I found many consistency and formatting issues that distracted from her overall message. As a whole, I think the booklet lacks focus. It is difficult for the reader to discern if the booklet is about writing, marketing, or the author herself (with its detailed autobiographical elements). Much of the information she provides is repetitive, and I found some of it irrelevant to writing and publishing. For example, she shares finite details about Google searches and social media platforms that is not necessarily germane to the narrow topic this short booklet offers in its synopsis.

Prasad did offer some valuable nuggets of truth in her booklet. In section 3, she stated: 
Writing is a life-long process. There is no level of "perfect" writing. 
Even the greatest authors' stories do not appeal to everyone. 
However, with some of her advice I tend to disagree. She downplays the notion that great writers need to also be great readers. I think this is absolutely necessary. Prasad also writes that she hardly ever reads for fun. If ever I got the chance to meet her, I would implore her to entertain the idea of reading more for leisure to help improve her writing skills. 

RecommendationThis little booklet is a nice attempt. The tone is conversational making it an easy read in one quick sitting. I do think we need to read all kinds of literature to help expand our minds - even if it's not top quality. I also think there's value in Ms. Prasad's perspective, and I appreciate her sharing it with me through the iRead Book Tour platform. 

Until next time ... Read on!

I received a free electronic copy of The Life and Lessons of a Young Author from iRead Book Tours. Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 

Sunayna Prasad has been writing since she was six. She continues to write fiction and non-fiction today and has even won a Pacific Book-Review award. She lives in New York, and when not writing, likes to create art and cook.

Connect with Sunayna.: WebsiteFacebook 

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Length: 325 pages
Published: 1985

I know there is much hubbub surrounding Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and its resulting Hulu television series. The book was published in 1985 and appears to have been popular from the start and even more so now with the recent show. I am certain Ms. Atwood does not need my approval or two cents, but, nevertheless, I will give it in this review. 

The Handmaid's' Tale is a dystopian/fantasy book set in the future that could very well be the present - if all hope was lost. In the book, people are segregated by class, and women are only regarded for their bodies and ability to bear children. The tone is dark, depressing, and plain ole sad. 

In one of my online book club discussions, someone smartly said: Every book is not for every body, but every book is for someone. Full disclaimer: I am not a fan of the dystopian genre. I find it to be an imagined future of hopelessness. My life and belief system is one based on faith, hope, and love, so I am often unable to connect with, view, or even imagine the world this way. Therefore, it's always a struggle when I attempt to embark on a dystopian novel. (I did enjoy Ready, Player One, though!) 

I prefer reading realistic fiction. I don't think a dystopian society can ever really happen, and I know many people believe part of Atwood's genius in this novel is displayed because she predicted so much at the time of publication that has come to pass. And, if I am honest, I can see where people get that; however, I don't believe we will ever get to a point where all will be lost. I think of ABC's television show, What Would You Do? It's a situational show that employs actors who play out these scenarios that can be pretty awful (e.g., someone being shamed for their sexuality, someone abusing animals, or stealing, etc.). The actors are placed in the real world where real people, none the wiser to the acting, witness these scenarios. With smart editing, we see situation after situation where no one speaks up, no one does the right thing. And just when you think we're a world full of Kitty Genovese onlookers, someone speaks up and does the right thing. (And this is the point where I usually start crying.) But I digress. I don't believe we will ever be in a dystopian society because I believe in humanity. 

So, on to the book. Overall, I found The Handmaid's Tale to be a skewed view of the institution of African American slavery in the United States that was co-opted for white women. And to add insult to injury, Atwood intentionally omitted characters of color in her fictional, future world. (Sorry, Ms. Atwood, we are here to stay and we aren't being shipped off anywhere else.) I nearly threw my iPad across the room when I got to the part about the Quakers' home that served as a station on the Underground Femaleroad. Seriously? Seriously. Furthermore, the premise of this Gilead Society seemed to mock Christianity, which did not resonate with, and often angered, me. The novel's conflict is somewhat intriguing, but I often got bored with the protagonist's stream of consciousness droning about her day-to-day life. It was a bit repetitive and morose. My sole motivation for completing this book was to discuss at my August book club meeting. 

RecommendationEvery book is for someone, and this book was not for me. If I want to read about women being forced to produce children for the benefit of society, I can just re-read Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad or read any of the thousands of novels that discuss a very real historical situation. And because of that history we know better and will do better as a society - dispelling this whole idea of a dystopian society! 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Length: 308 pages
Published: February 2018

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was chosen as the August selection by a Goodreads Group I am a part of - Literary Fiction by People of Color. I wanted to read this book for some time, so this gave me the perfect excuse. I attempted to read this book while in the middle of another, but this one quickly took top billing as it grabbed me from the beginning, and in all honestly, still hasn't let go. I finished this book two days ago and am still thinking about it. 

This beautifully written tale is about a young, newly married African American couple - Roy and Celestial. While visiting family in Louisiana, Roy is arrested and wrongly convicted of a horrific crime. The remaining three-fourths of the book is about the after effects of his case and imprisonment. 

In this story, Jones not only personalizes mass incarceration and it's far-reaching effects but she also shares the human experience through an African American lens. Her book was so real to me, and it made me feel all sorts of emotions. Part of the book takes an epistolary format where Roy simply writes these complicated love letters to Celestial. The letters demonstrate so much more - a longing for someone and something once had but so unjustly ripped away. The prose, the dialogue, and the imagery make this book. 

Overall, I enjoyed the story and the journey to the satisfying yet imperfect ending. While I didn't find Celestial to be a likable character, her actions and motives seemed realistic considering the circumstances. There are a few weak points in the plot (e.g., DNA testing), but not enough to take away from what Jones has accomplished with this wonderful piece of literature. 

My review cannot do this book justice. Please get a copy and see for yourself. Thank you to the Grand Prairie Library for allowing me to borrow this book through the Hoopla app! 

RecommendationMuch like the abhorrent slave trade, Roy lost his wife, his family, and in some ways his soul. I think part of the author's motivation was to change the way we think about the "justice" system. What she created was a thought-provoking tale that left me with a beautiful ache. I hope you take the time to read this book. It is outstanding. Get intrigued by the plot, but please don't miss the message. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux

Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Ezekiel 12 Publications
Date of Publication: March 11, 2017
Pages: 304

Andrew Foster, a real estate developer in San Diego, is a man suddenly haunted by his past. Memories, like specters from his former life of sex, drugs and rock and roll have come crashing into his current world of business in this sunny coastal city. The ominous, repeated appearance of a black SUV at the beach where he meets his sister each week, has triggered fears that it’s payback time for a bad choice he made years ago.

To add to his frustrations, his hopes of a big breakthrough in the San Diego real estate market haven’t come to pass. He’s starting to wonder if his visions of success will ever come true when an investor offers to finance his dream project. Soon things start to fall into place for Andrew in business, life, and even love. He starts dating the beautiful and business-savvy Nicole but even with her at his side he can’t seem to shake the ghosts of his past. As the relationship with Nicole deepens, Andrew opens up to her about the many loves and adventures that have taken him from the crazy days of living in Big Sur and Joshua Tree to business success in San Diego. Her wise insights help him face the character flaws that have caused him to fail in his past relationships. 

Rounding out his social life is his once-a-week task of assisting his sister with her nanny job watching a young boy named Chandler. They build sand castles on the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature together. But the now ominous weekly appearance of a strange car at the beach has awakened Andrew’s fears. Is the boy in danger? Or worse, has an enemy from Andrew’s past come seeking revenge and now Chandler’s caught in the middle? 

A strange twist of events threatens to destroy Andrew’s dreams, but as he searches for answers, a sudden revelation offers hope of a future he never imagined.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars 

Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux is a moderately-paced yet suspense-filled drama featuring Andrew Foster as the protagonist. Andrew is a 57-year old real estate developer who is down on his luck in his professional life and filled with regret regarding his personal one. The one spot of joy for him is his weekly visits with Chandler, the young child for whom his sister is the nanny. When Andrew notices a strange vehicle that seems to be following he and Chandler, he wonders if Chandler is in trouble or if it's his past that is catching up with him or both! The reader is taken on an engaging emotional rollercoaster that alternates between present day and 37 years in Andrew's past to a surprising conclusion! 

I found the book's synopsis enticing, and I looked forward to diving into this story. The title of the book is a bit of a misnomer as it leads the reader to believe the book's focus is the little boy - Chandler. The actual story is interesting and pushes the reader forward in a quest to learn what's really going on in Andrew's life. Therefore, I think it would be better served with a more appropriately-descriptive title. 

The story is set in California, and it helps frames the plot. However, the author offers up acronyms and shortcuts without explanation for the non-Californian's benefit. There was an overabundance of the main character's mental or self talk. While each chapter changed perspectives from one character to another, the majority of the chapters focused on Andrew's perspective, and he often appeared a little whiny in his self-reflection. While an interesting character, I didn't find Andrew to be very likable. I honestly feel like some of what he received was just. 

As an African American blogger, I often try to read and review from that perspective. One interesting tidbit in the book for me was the description of Nicole, Andrew's love interest. When they first meet, in his mental talk, Andrew focuses on her age (40-ish) and her physical appearance saying she was "working hard to keep the wrinkles at bay." It made me pause and smile because being a 40-ish woman, wrinkles are not something I have to contend with. 

In many of Andrew's flashbacks he shares his experiences during the period of free love in which people pretty much did whatever they wanted with respect to sexual intimacy and drug use. The author provides some pretty detailed accounts of what it feels like to have an acid trip, making me wonder if some of this was autobiographical. Not to sound like too much of a prude, but I will never understand what people get out of drugs. The whole thing sounded rather unpleasant to me. 

At about the halfway point of the book, it's hard to discern exactly because the book contained no page numbers, the author finally tied the past with the present to get us to the peak of the action and make an understanding of the previously two disparate stories. The second half of the book takes the reader to the rather nice and tidy conclusion.  

RecommendationThis book kept my attention. I liked the story, but I think there could be some improvements to the structure and writing to help make this great premise a tighter, more enjoyable novel. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 

R.D. Maddux has story telling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.

Living in California for over 60 years he couldn't help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it's inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it's finally coming to the page.

Connect with R.D.: Website | TwitterFacebook | Instagram

Win a print or ebook copy of Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux 
(print for United States only, open internationally for ebook and gift card) 
5 winners will also get a $15 or $10 Amazon gift card - 7 winners total

Enter today! Giveaway ends August 25, 2018

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Length: 311 pages
Published: January 2018

After several weeks on the waiting list, I finally got to borrow Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna from the Fort Worth Library last week. The mystery novel is set in Philadelphia, and the plot revolves around two young girls, Kylie and Bailey (aged 10 and 8), who are kidnapped from a retail parking lot while their single mom, Jamie, makes a quick run in the local Kmart for a birthday gift. After several days with little-to-no progress from the police department, Jamie's aunt hires California native and private investigator - Alice Vega - who has a high recovery success rate to aid in the search for the girls. In turn, Vega partners with former, disgraced police detective Max "Cap" Caplan to help her get inside, local information. The remainder of the relatively short book is Vega and Cap on a fast-paced search for the girls before it's too late!  

I can certainly understand why there was a wait list for this suspense-filled book. I found myself pushing through to the next chapter eagerly yearning to learn the fate of the girls. While the story was fast-paced, there was also some beautiful, thought-provoking prose in a story that told carried such a dark topic. Some of my favorites: 
Cap truly believed there was nothing harder than being a kid. You were always an alien trying to learn the earth rules. 
"You said every day we make a million little choices, and we should try to make the right ones as much as we can. And you said rarely in life do the big choices present themselves, so when they do, we have to take advantage of the opportunity. We have to do the right thing." -Nell, Cap's teenage daughter
And my absolute favorite. (Please forgive the language.) It truly illustrated what a strong, no-nonsense character Vega was. 
 And then she (Vega) said what Perry had taught her — someone asks who you are, you tell them the only thing they need to know. "I'm the motherfucker who gets. Shit. Done." 
I seriously wanted to high-five someone after reading that line, but alas, I was home alone. 

I really don't have any critiques for this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made for a great summer weekend read. The end was satisfying, but the author left it open. I am hoping for a sequel because I'd like her to delve into what happened to one of the secondary characters. 

Recommendation: Go get this book. Borrow it from your library or buy a copy today! You won't be disappointed. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Length: 449 pages
Published: January 2018

I took advantage of a June ebook sale and grabbed a copy of A.J. Finn's The Woman in the Window from the Amazon Kindle store. Since its publication, I'd seen this psychological thriller advertised on all the on-and-offline bookish places I visit. It was nominated for my book club's mystery/suspense read but did not win. So, I was really excited to get some time to read it this summer - and at a discount to boot! 

The story is about poor ole Dr. Anna Fox who is suffering from a pretty extreme case of agoraphobia. While at home, she witnesses something sinister in her neighbor's home across the street through ... you guessed it ... the window. The book is told from Anna's point-of-view, and as the reader discovers more about this protagonist her account of what she witnessed becomes less reliable. Her mental health condition, coupled with the physical trauma that caused it, and a cast of dynamic supporting characters that serve as red herrings throughout the novel make this a true page-turning mystery for the reader. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It moved along at a good pace, and Anna was a well-developed character. I liked that she was kind of the winner and loser of her own story. Her flaws made her character realistic. There were some elements that were predictable. The bit we learn about Anna's family read like a scene from the movie The Sixth Sense. I do wonder if Mr. Finn is vying for a movie adaptation. [As an aside, it does bother me a bit when I feel like the author is writing for the book to become a movie.] But I digress. I do think the part about Anna's family was supposed to be a plot twist, but I don't know how successful it was. I saw it coming from at least 30 chapters away. 

And speaking of chapters, I found the book's structure odd. There were 100 chapters in this relatively short book. Some of the chapters were barely a page long. To me, a page does not a chapter make. Also, the present date preceded each section of chapters in chronological order, which I did appreciate. However, Anna had several flashbacks throughout the story and there were no date markers for those flashbacks. So, sometimes I would be a few sentences in before I realized that she wasn't narrating the present day. It caused a little confusion as did the interspersed dialogue from the old black and white movies Anna enjoyed watching. After finishing the book, I do wonder if this was intentional to give the reader a feel for how disoriented/disconnected (read: drunk and high on psych meds) Anna was. 

Mystery is becoming one of my favorite sub-genres of fiction, and The Woman in the Window fit the bill. If you enjoyed Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, you will probably enjoy this book. It has a similar tone and pace. All of these books have been on the market for awhile so you can probably borrow a copy of all three from your local library to compare! 

Recommendation: If you enjoy a suspense-filled novel that keeps you on your toes, this would be a good one to add to your summer reading plan. If you check it out, come back here and let me know who is "the woman" in the window to which the title refers? 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 

Clutch: A Novel by Lisa Becker

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Lisa Willet Becker | 2018
Narrator: Suzanne Barbetta
Date of Publication: May 30, 2018
Length: 8:11:00

Synopsis | ExcerptMy Review | Buy Now

clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Sometimes I just need a good chick flick, and sometimes I just need some good chick lit. I was excited to give a listen to Clutch: A Novel by Lisa Becker. This romantic comedy features protagonist Caroline Johnson who is a Harvard grad, originally from Georgia. After college, she moves to the west coast with her best guy friend, Mike, and starts her own handbag company. As the listener, we learn all about Caroline's adventures (or misadventures) in dating, many of them on the back drop of Mike's bar - The Last Drop Bar.

As a lover of words, I really appreciated the consistent puns of each chapter title that identified a particular handbag style and correlated it with the guy Caroline was dating at the time. I also liked how the narrator acted out the characters to help create distinctions. This is vital for audiobooks However, sometimes, I did find Caroline's "southern" accent was a little over done. Also, as a fan of the late, great Tupac Shakur, I was a little disappointed in the mispronunciation of his name ("two-pack"). Finally, I didn't particularly care for the repetitive use of foul language nor the abundance of detailed sex scenes. I think the comedic value and fast-flowing story stood well enough of its own without having to go into all the graphic and explicit details.

Overall, I found the story to be predictable, but it was engaging enough to keep me listening. The author did offer character development and growth for Caroline, which was refreshing. I'd say the delight of this audiobook wasn't so much about the destination, but rather the journey in how Caroline got there.

Recommendation: If you like purses and you're looking for a light, fun read this summer that gives you a happily ever after, this may just be the book for you!

Until next time ... Read on!

Thanks to the Becker Press and Audiobookwork Promotions for an copy of
Clutch by Lisa Becker. Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money - on books and margaritas. In addition to Clutch: a novel, she is the author of the Click trilogy, a contemporary romance series about online dating and Links, a standalone, second chance romance readers call light, fun, sexy and smart. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at

Connect with Lisa: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

About the Narrator: 
Suzanne Barbetta became a voracious reader when she realized the magic of books allowed her to become anyone, anywhere, and in any world. A storyteller and performer since age 5, she later apprenticed at 2 regional theaters and earned her Actor’s Equity card. She’s also a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, the Audio Publishers Association and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Audiobooks are a way to satisfy her pathological addiction to reading. Now based in NYC, she is also the voice of the Fierce, Funny, Fab Fangirls of the series Geek Actually for Serial Box Publishing.

Connect with Suzanne: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?
When I was writing the Click trilogy, (Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click, and Right Click), I was obsessed with NCIS re-runs and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode where a character refers to a man as a “handbag husband,” or something useless you carry on your arm.  I started thinking about that, and the idea for Clutch grew from there. I believe that everyone deserves a happily ever after and would like to think there’s a “clutch,” or someone worth holding onto, out there for everyone.
If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
I think Eloise Mumford, who played Kate in Fifty Shades of Grey, would make an outstanding Caroline. She has the right mixture of warmth, gumption, vulnerability, and beauty to bring this character to life. I still can’t decide who would play Mike, although I know I’d love to sit in on those casting sessions.  ;)
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
In the past, when I’ve typed the final “the end” on a manuscript, I celebrate with a box of my favorite chocolates. However, with Clutch, I thought it fitting to buy myself a new purse – a Michael Kors shoulder bag that I use every day.
How did you select your narrator?
When searching for a narrator, it was important for me to find someone who really understood not only the individuality of each character but the unique dynamic between the two main leads. I needed someone who could make Caroline relatable and showcase her intelligence, ambition, vulnerability and hopefulness in finding true love. And at the same time, the narrator needed to bring to life Mike’s irreverence, sense of humor, loyalty and drive. Early on in my search, I was lucky to find the very talented Suzanne Barbetta who was able to capture all of this effortlessly.
Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
Spend the time and money necessary to find the right partner who is professional, personable and truly gets the material. There’s a magic that happens when the connection is right, and you’ll reap the benefits from that to more than compensate for your initial investment.
Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
There are quite a number of a quick-witted exchanges between Caroline and Mike including the use of clever puns and rapid-fire jokes back and forth. I think an audiobook is a great way for those to come across and bring out the humor in the story, as long as you have a talented narrator with comedic timing and an understanding of the dynamics between characters. Again, I feel so lucky to be working with the talented Suzanne Barbetta as she was able to capture the chemistry between these two characters, which is the heart of the story.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
I love the idea of audiobooks and giving people the opportunity to enjoy amazing storytelling in a convenient and accessible way. So, whether you want to read a book in a traditional manner or listen to a story while exercising, making dinner, lounging around or doing a myriad of other things, the important point is that you are enjoying the escapism and the beauty of the written word.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
Clutch actually started out as a screenplay that had been optioned by a production company at Sony Studios. The movie didn’t progress past the initial stages, so I turned it into a novel to bring this light and breezy story about love and handbags to the public.  It was only after I received so many positive reviews of the story, its characters, humor and heart, did I think to turn it into an audiobook. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to expand the reach of this story that hopefully will inspire people to seek out their own happily ever after.
What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
Like all writers, I’ve encountered my share of writer’s block.  My solution: Chocolate! No joke, I eat chocolate. If I’m stuck on a certain section or not feeling motivated to write, I give myself little chocolate incentives to get past the blockage.  Judging by my thighs, I had some serious problems writing this book. ;) I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a reading slump, though. If anything, I need to find ways to stop reading so much, as it sometimes affects time with my family or work.

What’s next for you? Included in Clutch is a preview of my next book, Starfish, a new adult story of unexpected love, the redemptive power of music and hogging the bed.  Starfish is expected to be released in spring 2019.