Review: The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire by Sandra Hutchison

I don’t review anything that isn’t fantasy or science fiction on this blog often unless it was something that really piqued my interest. And Sandra Hutchison’s The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire was something that caught my attention when I first read the summary. I guess it was because it reminded me a little bit of Another Earth, this awesome indie film starring Brit Marling. The movie and this book are quite different but have similar main characters. The story of Another Earth revolves around a young woman who cleans the house of a music professor who lost his family in a car crash. In Ribs and Thigh Bones, the story revolves around a teenage girl who keeps house for a physics professor who lost his family in a plane crash. Interesting, right?

Anyway, read on to know more about The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire and check out my thoughts on the book.

Continue reading “Review: The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire by Sandra Hutchison”

The Asphalt Warrior Series by Gary Reilly

I read Gary Reilly’s The Heart of Darkness Club last year and I really liked it. Reilly’s writing style and language is smooth, clever and quite entertaining. I would’ve liked to review the other books in The Asphalt Warrior Series, but I just don’t have the time. Hopefully though I’ll get a hold of the books in the not so distant future. :)

In the meantime, please read about the newly-released books in the series: Dr. Lovebeads and Home For The Holidays. Also, you might want to check out the other tour stops and enter the giveaways!

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Back in the driver’s seat again, the cabbie who made readers laugh out loud in the first three installments of the posthumously published “Asphalt Warrior” series has returned for two more books written by best-selling author Gary Reilly.

Winner of the 1979 Pushcart Prize, Reilly passed away in 2011 after a two-year battle with colon cancer, trusting a pair of friends to publish an 11-book series after his death. Since then, the “Asphalt Warrior” series has been in the hands of Mike Keefe, a retired political cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner, and Mark Stevens, a former journalist and acclaimed author in Colorado. Following the successful release of the first three books – “The Asphalt Warrior,” “Ticket to Hollywood,” and “The Heart of Darkness Club,” which hit No. 1 on the Denver area bestsellers list – the two friends will publish two more books Nov. 21, 2013 in honor of Reilly through Running Meter Press.

Denver taxi driver Brendan Murphy, aka Murph, returns in Reilly’s fourth book, “Home for the Holidays.” It’s Christmastime, and Murph leaves his cab behind to visit his family in Wichita where he finds himself reluctantly reconnecting with his siblings. Meanwhile, Murph takes it upon himself to save an old friend from making the biggest mistake of his life – accepting a job where suits and ties are everyday attire.

In “Doctor Lovebeads,” Murph ignores the little voice in the back of his head that says to stay out of the lives of his passengers. Instead, he goes undercover as a hippie – muslin, sandals, VW van and all – to rescue two girls he believes have been brainwashed by a cult leader.

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Doctor LovebeadsAbout Doctor Lovebeads

Denver cab driver, Brendan Murphy — known to all as “Murph” — once again violates his vow never to get involved in the lives of his passengers. This time, he is out to rescue to young neo-hippie girls he believes have come under the spell of a cult leader in a commune outside Boulder.

In Doctor Lovebeads, the fifth in novelist Gary Reilly’s Asphalt Warrior series, Murph must go undercover to accomplish his mission. He lets his hair go untamed, dresses in muslin and sandals and arrives on the scene in a beat-up VW van called the “Cosmic Wonderbus and Mobile Mercantile.”

Murph tries to pass himself off as an old live child in his confrontation with Brother Chakra. As the good Brother might say, “It’s a mind-blowing trip.”

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Home for the Holidays

About Home for the Holidays

Taxi drive, Brendan Murphy — known to all as “Murph” — abandons his cab and the mean streets of Denver for his hometown, his “dear ol’ Maw” and an Irish Catholic clan the size of Country Cork. It’s Christmastime in Wichita.

Home for the Holidays, the fourth in novelist Gary Reilly’s Asphalt Warrior series has Murph reluctantly re-establishing relationships with his brothers and sisters while trying to save an old friend from making a soul-killing mistake: seeking a socially-acceptable job.

It will take all of his persuasive powers to rescue Jimmy Callahan from “the suits.” That, and maybe a Christmas miracle.

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About the Author

Gary Reilly was a writer.

Simply stated, that was the essence of the man.

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas he spent his early years in Kansas and Colorado in a large Irish-Catholic family–seven brothers and sisters. The family moved to Denver where Gary attended parochial high school, graduating in 1967.

He served two years in the army, including a tour in Vietnam as a military policeman.

After discharge, Gary majored in English at Colorado State University and continued studies at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.

All along, his overarching ambition was to write fiction. And he did, prodigiously. His first published short story, The Biography Man, was included in the Pushcart Prize Award anthology in 1979.

Later he turned to novels, several based on his army experiences. While he wrote both serious and genre fiction, his greatest invention was the character, Murph, a likable, bohemian Denver cab driver. Starting with The Asphalt Warrior, Gary cranked out eleven Murph novels.

His dedication to writing did not include self promotion. Instead of seeking agents and publishers, he focussed on his craft, writing and rewriting, polishing to perfection. He wrote well over twenty novels before he thought he was ready make his work public.

Unfortunately, he passed away in March, 2011, before he could realize that dream.

Friends and family remember Gary as a fun-loving, generous soul who always had time for other writers, helping them shape their work, getting it ready for print.

Now, through Running Meter Press and Big Earth Publishing in Boulder, Colorado, Gary Reilly’s fiction is finally coming to bookstores in Colorado and across the nation.

 

Review: The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly

I finished this book on the same day I posted that I was late with this review. On that day I finished my work, did a couple of posts (including my tour stop post for this book), had a late dinner and then plopped down on my bed with my iPad and finished the book relatively quickly! Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with any more details about that so let’s talk about the book, shall we?

The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly

The entire book is narrated from a first person perspective by the main character Murph, a 40-something Denver cab driver who also happens to be an English major grad and an unpublished novelist. The book is basically a snapshot of his life as a cabbie or as an “asphalt warrior” and about what kind of person he is, and then it gets pretty interesting when he picks up a guy who may or may have not left him a note on a five dollar bill. He picks this guy up a couple more times before the guy disappears and Murph gets investigated by the police.

The Heart of Darkness Club is the third book in the Asphalt Warrior Series. Find out more about the series here.

Great writing, great story

I really liked this book. I loved the writing style, the flow of the story, the plot itself, the characters, almost everything. The cover could use a little more work because it just doesn’t capture how interesting this book is. I haven’t read the first two novels in the series, but it didn’t matter because The Heart of Darkness Club can stand on its own. There may be references to stuff that happened in the previous books, but the author didn’t dwell on those too much and they didn’t leave any burning questions for the reader.

Continue reading “Review: The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly”

Blog Tour: The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly

Egad, I am delayed with a review again! I’m currently reading this book and it’s pretty interesting so far–flows easily and reads like a casual conversation. I’ll have my review before the tour ends!

In the meantime, read more about The Heart of Darkness Club and its author Gary Reilly (who passed away before any of his novels were published). Also, please check out the other tour stops. :)

About the book

Denverite Brendan Murphy, or “Murph” as he’s known to the rest of the world.

That world consists mostly of fares and doormen and fellow hacks from the Rocky Mountain Taxicab Company. He lives alone in his crow’s nest apartment, fries a hamburger for every meal, does his dish, then channel surfs for reruns of Gilligan’s Island.

He’s a radical minimalist.

Murph has two main goals in life. First, to earn no more from driving his cab than it takes to keep his bohemian lifestyle afloat. Second, never and under any circumstance get involved in the lives of his fares. He’s not very good with the first issue and spectacularly bad with the second.

There are ten adventures total in The Asphalt Warrior Series. The Heart of Darkness Club is third in the series.
Come prowl the mean streets of Denver with Murph and ponder the meaning of the world and all sorts of deep questions, such as:

“Why would anyone want to DO anything?”

Gary Reilly was a writer.

Simply stated, that was the essence of the man.

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas he spent his early years in Kansas and Colorado in a large Irish-Catholic family–seven brothers and sisters. The family moved to Denver where Gary attended parochial high school, graduating in 1967.

He served two years in the army, including a tour in Vietnam as a military policeman.

After discharge, Gary majored in English at Colorado State University and continued studies at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.

All along, his overarching ambition was to write fiction. And he did, prodigiously. His first published short story, The Biography Man, was included in the Pushcart Prize Award anthology in 1979.

Later he turned to novels, several based on his army experiences. While he wrote both serious and genre fiction, his greatest invention was the character, Murph, a likable, bohemian Denver cab driver. Starting with The Asphalt Warrior, Gary cranked out eleven Murph novels.

His dedication to writing did not include self promotion. Instead of seeking agents and publishers, he focussed on his craft, writing and rewriting, polishing to perfection. He wrote well over twenty novels before he thought he was ready make his work public.

Unfortunately, he passed away in March, 2011, before he could realize that dream.

Friends and family remember Gary as a fun-loving, generous soul who always had time for other writers, helping them shape their work, getting it ready for print.

Now, through Running Meter Press and Big Earth Publishing in Boulder, Colorado, Gary Reilly’s fiction is finally coming to bookstores in Colorado and across the nation.

*Book summary and author bio were copied from Goodreads.

Follow the tour here!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Poison Me by Cami Checketts (plus the author’s top 10 favorite literary characters!)

Blog Tour Schedule

Hello! I am actually away at the beach this weekend, but here’s an awesome blog tour and giveaway for you! Read about Poison Me, the latest by author Cami Checketts. There’s a tour-wide giveaway so don’t forget to put in your entries for a chance to win AWESOME stuff! ;)
Alright, I’ll tell you right now what the tour-wide giveaway prizes are! Enter for a chance to win $50 doTERRA Oil basket and $35 wholesale membership, $50 Kate Ryan Skincare GC, or $50 Amazon GC!

Poison Me by Cami Checketts


Jake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, and her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer.

But secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she’s always loved but could never have. Chanel’s unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, and Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love. — Get this book on Amazon


Praise for Poison Me

“Poison Me made me laugh out loud and thoroughly enjoy myself. I wish I had a friend like Ruby! Snappy dialogue, romance, and a strong sense of family made this book well worth reading.”

– Rachel Ann Nunes, bestselling author of Line of Fire and Before I Say Goodbye

Cami Checketts is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She’s never been happier.

A portion of the proceeds from Cami’s books will be donated to The Child & Family Support Center. For more information on this worthy cause, please go to www.cachecfsc.org

Connect with Cami on her Book BlogFitness BlogFacebook, and Twitter!

More about Cami! Here are her Top 10 favorite literary characters:

  1. Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
  2. Autumn Rain from The Imprint Series (Rachel Ann Nunes)
  3. Simeon the Javelin from The Kingdom and the Crown Series (Gerald N. Lund)
  4. Eli Stroud from Prelude to Glory Series (Ron Carter)
  5. Ethan Searle from The Broken Path (Cami Checketts – sorry, but I just love the man)
  6. Athos from The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)
  7. Aibileen from The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
  8. Charly from Charly (Jack Weyland)
  9. Caroline Mendenhall from The Work and the Glory series (Gerald N. Lund)
  10. Atticus finch from To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

$50 doTERRA Oil basket and $35 wholesale membership, $50 Kate Ryan Skincare GC, $50 Amazon GC  Ends 3/30/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Spotlight: Shades of Gray by Susanne Jacoby Hale

Nope, this is not that Shades of Gray. This is a different kind of book and I’ll be doing a review of this next year. In the meantime, read more about it and see if this is something that interests you! Download a preview by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. :)

About the book
In inner-city New York, horrors lurk in the unruly hallways of Malcolm High School. As in-school riots and gang violence consistently envelop the classroom, Olivia Dalton attempts to teach her students while simultaneously directing a drop-out prevention program that embraces an ever-increasing group of at-risk students. Left with little hope she will ever have children of her own, Olivia becomes entrenched in her students’ lives, partly out of love, but also out of an unconscious desire to avoid her own internal anguish.

Meanwhile, Olivia’s devoted husband, Tom, is having trouble facing his own disappointments in not being able to create a family. In an effort to protect Olivia, he attempts to hold her back from the one place she feels useful and fulfilled-her career. But despite her husband’s efforts to quell her desire to help the troubled and confused, Olivia presses on and believes in change, even in the face of her students’ continual mistakes and poor choices. Neither Tom nor Olivia have any idea that everything is about to change when an unassuming gift is left at their door.

Shades of Gray is the profound story of one woman’s unpredictable journey to the truth, new beginnings, and a kind of love she never knew before.


About the author

SUSANNE JACOBY HALE, a former drop-out prevention teacher in a New York City high school, earned a master’s degree from New York University in education and creative writing. Although, when she began teaching in the real ACE program, depicted in Shades of Gray, she had no idea that it would change her life forever. Having been out of the classroom for a few years, Jacoby Hale still felt the need to make a difference in the lives of students.

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Download a preview of Shades of Gray here.

Book Club Bash: Review of X-It by Jane George

This is my second stop for Book Club Bash and I have here a review of X-It by author Jane George. :)

LOVE IS A DRUG.

In 1980 NYC, eighteen-year-old J.J. Buckingham is an uptight trendoid. Working as a mannequin painter and a counter girl, she moonlights as a creature of the nightclubs. J.J. falls for aloof, crazy-talented artist and bicycle messenger X-It. In order to win his love, she succumbs to the dark machinations of drug dealer Marko Voodoo. X-It will love her if she’s the queen of underground Manhattan, right? Her plan backfires with horrendous consequences. J.J. must scrap her way out of a maze of drugs, clubs, and danger before she realizes she’s worthy of a better life. And true love might just come in the form of a clean-cut geek in Buddy Holly glasses.

Continue reading “Book Club Bash: Review of X-It by Jane George”

Giveaway & Interview: Marisol Murano, author of Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion

Here’s a great interview with Marisol Murano, author of Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion. Part “Bridget Jones Diary,” part “Modern Family,” Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion is the story of a South American woman trying to get a handle on her wacky life in America.

Read on to know more about Marisol and enter the giveaway to win one of three e-book copies of her book!

A native of Venezuela, Marisol Murano is the best-selling author of The Lady, The Chef, and The Courtesan (Harper Collins), set in 1950’s Venezuela and modern-day Chicago. The novel won numerous awards, was selected as an Original Voices from Border’s, was picked as a BookSense selection and was has been translated into several languages. Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion is Murano’s second novel. She is also the author of a cookbook, Deliciously Doable Small Plates from Around the World, based on stories and recipes she collected during her travels as an international chef.

About the book:
Set against the backdrop of contemporary Venezuela and the United States, Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion explores issues of identity, clashes and reconciliations universal to us all. The novel is an eccentric and witty exploration of the immigrant life in the United States.

What is Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion about?
Speaking broadly, this is a humorous story about the life of a sassy Latina in the United States. More specifically the book explores issues of identity, of what it means to straddle two cultures while trying to figure out where home is. Like so many of us, Valentina ends up getting a life she never imagined.

What is Valentina confused about?
For starters, Valentina is desperate to assimilate, to blend in. But given how opinionated and eccentric she is, this is next to impossible. In the process of trying to adapt to her adopted country she does crazy things: getting blue contact lenses, then green, dying her hair, changing her name, moving, changing jobs, changing careers. In fact, her favorite saying is: “The secret to happiness is to keep moving.” But while she’s bent on hiding her plight with humor, deep down, Valentina feels like a fugitive on the run. She has no idea where she belongs.

In her offbeat way, Valentina paints us a picture of both: her life in the States and in her native Venezuela, complete with details of the wacky lives of the family she left behind. There are roosters involved, eight uncles, mistresses, bows and arrows and a hamster who commits suicide. Do any of her experiences mirror your own life?
When my first book came out people asked me if that was my life. Now you’re asking me the same question. (Laughs).

I think all the stories we tell are like reflections — angles that shed light on some part of us. I say reflections because they are not the reality itself. For instance, Valentina can’t cook to save her life, whereas I am a chef by training. In order to buck the stereotype that all Latinas have abuelitas who taught them to how to cook, I made Valentina’s first husband — Jean-Pierre — the food connoisseur instead. I have worked with many great French chefs and I speak French, so the character of Jean-Pierre came practically fully formed.

I think good fiction cannot be a copy of reality, but rather a sharp observation of reality which you then mold in the service of telling a memorable story.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Not at all. As a child, I dreamt of being a painter. My high school notebooks are full of renderings of various objects and cartoon characters. The year I turned twelve, my art teacher called my parents to tell them they should not encourage me to pursue painting. As proof, he showed them my oil painting of a seagull which was too large for the rest of the scene, and told them I had no perspective. Almost overnight my parents enrolled me in piano lessons, which I hated.

I don’t know if my decision later in life to pursue an MBA had anything to do with my oversized seagull being rejected. But that’s what I did. After my MBA, I went to work for Citibank in New York. But whenever I went inside the bank building I would stare at all the art on the walls. To this day, if I see art on a wall, any wall, I walk up to it. In fact, one of my favorite scenes in Valentina Goldman takes place at MoMA when she believes she looks like Jackie Kennedy and goes there for an audition.

Your first novel, The Lady, The Chef, and The Courtesan, was received to wide acclaim. Where you surprised at how successful it became? How did your life change after that?
The short answer is that my hands and mind became paralyzed. Odd as this might seem, good reviews can be crippling. As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months I realized that I was terrified of putting another word to paper. I was so unnerved by the expectations of the second novel that I enrolled in writers’ workshops and attended writers’ conferences.

Most unsettling of all were the constant requests for interviews, talks and public appearances. I have always been a very private person. I remember this particular television interview in L.A. where two reporters from Univision were asking me questions at the same time. I couldn’t even keep up with the answers I was giving them. I was going back and forth from Spanish to English, not knowing if I was making any sense. Afterwards, I felt like a clown. I went back to my hotel and cried myself to sleep. What’s most vivid about that time was how emotionally charged it was. In the end — probably subconsciously — I enrolled in culinary school to escape writing altogether. Being a chef has given me distance and perspective. It’s a pressure-filled job, but it is never as terrifying as facing a blank piece of paper. As a chef, you always have ingredients at hand. I can’t say the same of being a writer.

What comes first to you, a voice or a story?
I don’t know for other writers, but for me it is the voice that inhabits me first. I say inhabit because I can be happily going about my day when a voice gets inside my head and it won’t let me go until I come up with a story for it.

Is that how Valentina Goldman came about?
Almost. I heard Valentina’s voice in my head one day when I was working as a chef in Istanbul. But it took years to get to that point, to allow myself to hear her voice, any voice for that matter.

At the risk of sounding like a schizophrenic who “hears voices,” let me explain. Before I could write again I had to go through a painful re-alignment of priorities. It took many years to come to the understanding that I like writing for the fun of it — whether it gets good reviews, bad reviews, or no reviews.

It wasn’t until I left the chaos, the pressures, and the unrealistic expectations that come with being a writer that I was able to create someone as eccentric, as flawed, as offbeat as Valentina. That may be why everyone who reads her story says that her voice is very fresh.

Despite other people’s opinions, despite the ups and downs of the publishing business, despite what is and isn’t popular right now, whenever I think of Valentina, I smile. After all those years fumbling in the dark, it’s good to be able to smile again.

Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion (Marisol Murano)

Since her arrival in the United States from Venezuela, Valentina Goldman isn’t exactly living the American Dream. She’s living the American Nightmare.

Her late husband, Max, has left her a young widow, a step-daughter whom Valentina didn’t want, and a bi-polar ex-wife. And oh, having given up her dream job in New York, Valentina is also unemployed in Arizona.

Part “Bridget Jones Diary,” part “Modern Family,” “Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion” is the story of a woman trying to get a handle on her wacky life in America. In breathless, blog-like snippets, Valentina compares her own story with that of her eccentric sister, Azucena, who has bizarre troubles of her own down in the tropics.

“Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion” is a funny and moving story about what happens when a passionate South American woman moves to the USA and, like so many of us, ends up with a life she never imagined. — Get this book on Amazon.

This book really does sound like an exciting read. I think about Bridget Jones and Gloria from Modern Family and I can’t help but wonder what crazy things Valentina gets herself into. Plus I actually like the cover. It’s a tad bit cheesy but I’d totally get myself photographed like that and have it in a large print. I’d frame it, get an eye bolt and hang it in my quaint little office slash library in my future home. Seriously.

Giveaway
3 e-book copies of Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion
Ends Nov 3

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Book Blast + $50 Amazon Giveaway: Freedom Road by T.M. Souders

Today we’re having a book blast for Freedom Road by T.M. Souders. I recently won an ebook copy of this in a giveaway and I can’t wait to read it. It looks very promising!

Freedom Road by T.M. Souders

Since the tender age of eight, music served as Samantha Becker’s source of solace against her father’s tyranny and her mother’s alcoholism. Now at eighteen, her only dream is to study classical guitar at Juilliard. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” which threatens her ability to play the guitar, Sam becomes despondent. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.

Just when Sam has given up, two unexpected people enter her life, giving her the confidence she needs, and forcing her to evaluate all she’s ever known. Battling her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury, the odds are stacked against her. With auditions approaching and time running out, Sam must relearn to play the guitar, or be destined to give up her dreams forever. — Get this book on Amazon.

About the Author:

T.M. Souders was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh. She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women’s Studies. She is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel,Waiting on Hope, as well as the novelette Dashing Through The Snow and the newly released young adult/crossover novel ,Freedom Road. In her spare time when she is nor writing she is an active volunteer for The World Literary Cafe, a site dedicated to authors and readers. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children. Connect with her on her website, on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Book Blast Giveaway:
$50 Amazon Gift Code
Ends 9/27/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent’s permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Spotlight & Guest Post: The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody

Today we have a guest post by Phil Brody, author of The Holden Age of Hollywood. Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.

Hollywood From A New Angle
by Phil Brody
Lately, I’ve been fascinated with photographs of the Hollywood sign. Mind you, not typical photographs of the ever-popular LA attraction. No, months ago, I stumbled upon the photo below and, while it elicited a smile from me, I was also captivated.
After all, how often do you see the back of the Hollywood sign?

Photo by Ted VanCleave 
I had recently finished a manuscript, which was acquired by a publisher (Medallion Press) after a few dedicated months of querying. The book is set in and about Hollywood. However, like the photo, it’s not your typical Hollywood novel.
The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a modern detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.
The conceit of the story involves the search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.
After all, we all want to be discovered. Don’t we?
I look at that photo and think, that’s my world. That’s my book. I aimed to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Hollywoodland, while turning that world upside down, shaking it, and analyzing the hell out of it.
I believe I succeeded in that goal. So far the reviews for the novel concur.
I’d love to know if you agree. At any juncture, you can tell me what you think by emailing me at: emailphilbrody@gmail.com
Note: That email address is also found at the back of every copy of the book. I want to know what you all think of Hollywood from a new angle—my angle.
About the book

“Hollywood died on me as soon as I got here. Welles said that, not me, but damn if he didn’t nail it, you know?”
Sam Bateman came to Hollywood to settle a score, but amidst the sunny and 75, his plans went astray. Everything changed the day he drank in the intoxicating legend of Meyer Holden, the greatest screenwriter Hollywood has ever known, the one who pulled a Salinger and walked away. Holden now tacks pseudonyms onto his works and buries them in the bottomless sea of spec that is Hollywood’s development process. They’re out there for anyone to find— but at what cost? In his quest, Bateman severs all ties and sinks into a maddening world of bad writing and flawed screenplays. Paranoid and obsessive, the belligerent savant encounters an eccentric cast of characters—each with an agenda—in his search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.
Get this book on Amazon.
Reviews have been rolling in and here’s what the critics have to say:

“The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody delivers the premise and promise of its title. It is an original, rollicking, picaresque novel that would make J.D. Salinger proud.”  ~ Stan Corwin, former publisher/CEO of Pinnacle Books, author of Betty Page Confidential and Oxy-Morons I Have Known

“Brody’s debut novel has an ambitious agenda. It’s a coming-of-age novel, a mystery, a love story, and a stinging, knowing send-up of the movie biz. Brody melds these disparate elements with energy, wit, snarky insider dialogue, and a clipped, telegraphic narrative style. . . The Holden Age of Hollywood is fine entertainment.”  ~ Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (May 1, 2012)

“As the sun came up today, I turned the last page of Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood. That’s because I couldn’t put it down. I can rarely make time for novels, but this one had me rifling through pages with constant anticipation. The back drop of this story is the same backdrop I live and work in. Hollywood. With all its fast-talkers, posers, and users, Brody weaves a tale through all the madness that is Hollywood with a voice of reason, integrity, and hilarious sarcasm. . . I have rarely been this entertained, while being informed, all from reading the same book.”  ~ Doug Jones, Actor, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy I and II, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

“If anyone knows Hollywood, author Phil Brody knows Hollywood. The Holden Age of Hollywood is a cynical and witty look at the real town . . . exposing the often underappreciated business of screenwriting, all while unfolding an unexpected love story. . . .”  ~ Jessica Druck, The Five-Stir

“Readers will enjoy watching a fascinating Bateman get sucked into the Hollywood drama machine. Filled with a quirky cast working humorous scenes, this is a fascinating character study as Bateman goes the extraordinary extra kilometer to find a Holden screenplay.”  ~ Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews (June 18, 2012)

About the Author

Phil Brody lives in Los Angeles and writes every day. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he relocated to Chicagoafter college and enjoyed a successful career in Chicago in advertising. After moving to LA, Brody toiled in development, penned a few spec scripts, and has worked as a writer, producer, and director in documentary TV. His short film, A Blue Christmas, was the grand prize winner in The Short Film Group’s First Annual Script Competition and was acknowledged in the WorldFest-Houston and Cleveland International Film Festivals. Brody is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and an alumnus of Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, California. The Holden Age of Hollywood is his first novel.

Connect with Phil on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or on his blog.

Check out the other tour stops!
8/22 All Things Writing  Review and Giveaway
8/24 Just Me,Myself,and I  Spot Light  
8/24 For The Love Of Film And Novels Spot Light and Giveaway 
8/27   My Devotional Thoughts  Spot Light, Review, and Giveaway
8/28  White Sky Project  Spot Light and Guest post  

8/28   Night Owl Reads  Spot Light, guest post  and Giveaway
8/29  Janiera Eldridge  Spot Light, guest post  and Giveaway 
8/29 Books and Beauty Spot Light, guest post  and Giveaway 
8/29  My Chaotic Ramblings Interview and spot light
8/30   The Bunny’s Review  Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway 
8/31   ¡Miraculous!   Review and Giveaway   
8/31   Window on the World   Review and Interview  
9/3  Dahl’s Doll  Spot Light, guest post  and Giveaway 
9/3 The Self-Taught Cook   Review
9/4  I am, Indeed Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway
9/5    Bibliophilia, Please  Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway 

9/6 Full Moon Bites Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway
9/6 House Millar Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway
9/7 Jenn’s Review Blog  Spot Light and Guest post
9/7 Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More Spot Light, guest post  and Giveaway  

9/7 T B R Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway 

Sykosa: Free Kindle on Amazon (June 7 – 8)

Sykosa by Justin Ordoñez is FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow! :)

About the book

YA fiction for the 18+ crowd. Sykosa is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. Set at her best friend Niko’s cottage, for what will be a weekend of unsupervised badness, Sykosa will have to finally confront the major players and issues from this event, as well as decide if she wants to lose her virginity to Tom, her first boyfriend, and the boy who saved her from danger. — Get a FREE Kindle copy on AmazonFree only for June 7 – 8. 

Read my review of Sykosa HERE.