Saturday, October 31, 2015

Guest Post from Erica Lucke Dean, author of Splintered Souls

When I found out I would be guest blogging for Big Al, and on Halloween of all days, I knew my post had to be brilliant. I mean, nothing less would do. But every time I sat down to write, I found myself staring at a blank screen, day after day, waiting for that brilliant inspiration to hit. Should I write something about my brand new urban fantasy/paranormal romance, Splintered Souls? Should I write about my crazy farm (for those of you not in the know, I live on a working farm, but I do very little of the actual work)? Or maybe I should list my all-time favorite scary movies and the perfect candy to accompany each one (you’re dying to read that list, aren’t you?) But at 10pm on the night my post is due, I’m still staring at that blank screen.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I may have waited too long to get started. Why? Well, I’d like to say I’ve just been too busy to write, what with a new litter of piglets to photograph in every possible pose imaginable, a sequel in the works, and karaoke to sing, but the sad truth is I’m a writer, and therefore, a master of procrastination. In fact, my procrastination skills are legendary. Case in point, with the clock ticking down on my deadline, was I hard at work at my desk (i.e. comfy chair and laptop parked directly in front of the widescreen TV)? Um, no. I was in the kitchen whipping up a pumpkin pie—from scratch!—and cooking an epic dutch-oven dinner. I even have a third degree burn on my finger to prove it. And if you knew me, you’d know I don’t cook (because I tend to injure myself or others in the process.) And yet, my need to procrastinate supersedes self-preservation. I totally need an intervention before I procrastinate again. Or worse. Like burn the whole house down. And trust me, that’s a real possibility. I once flooded my stove. With water. Yes, the stove. It’s a long story. But I digress…

Blog post. Right. Here goes. Step one in beating the procrastination demon…

My new book is chocked full of suspense, romance, and time travel. Check out Splintered Souls.

I have eleven brand new stinking cute piglets down on the farm, and if it wasn’t a life-threatening undertaking to snatch one from its mother, I would totally have done it by now.

The original Halloween with a whole bag of candy corn.

And drop the mic. Blog post complete!

A great big thank you to Big Al for inviting me to hang out and talk nonsense for a little while. Let’s do it again, soon. :) 

Pick up your copy of Erica's latest book, Splintered Souls, from Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble. Amazon also has piglets you can order. That's why it is called The Everything Store.

Thanks to Erica for the piglet pictures as proof.(All porcine pictures (c) 2015 Erica Lucke Dean for you picture rustlers.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Larry the Horrible Time Traveler / Andrew Coltirn

Reviewed by: Sam Waite

Genre: Comedy/Science Fiction

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Andrew Coltrin is on the young end of Generation X. He ends up hanging out with Millenials quite a bit, even though he doesn't always understand them. Andrew used to work in bookstores and coffee shops. Now he works in schools. In his spare time Andrew writes bizarre fiction, belts out oldies at working class karaoke bars, and every now and then steps up to a comedy open mic. He keeps busy.”

For more, visit his website.


Larry doesn’t know he’s a time traveler, but that doesn’t stop him. Stumbling through time and space, under the power of special tacos and sheer chutzpah, Larry’s pretty sure there’s a great party right around the next corner. What’s in front of him is another story. From high seas kidnapping, to gangs of velociraptor time smugglers, to the robotic legions of the Grand Cyberian Imperium”


Load up a diesel-engine, maybe even steam-engine, driven freight train with inane silliness the likes of which have seen Charlie Chaplin slip on a banana peel, Kurt Vonnegut create microscopic Chinese and Douglas Adams do whatever it is that Douglas did.

Then, prep the Large Hadron Collider with masses of intelligent wry wit the likes of Charlie Chaplin doing Hitler, Kurt Vonnegut pondering Dresden and Douglas doing whatever it is that Douglas has done.

Next smash all that together at nearly the speed of light.

What do you get?

Chaos for sure, in some kind of white-hot ether. Then when it cools and the chaos gets lumpy with bits of coherence, one of those bits most likely will be identified as Larry the Horrible Time Traveler.

What’s it all about, this time travel? Check out Michael Caine with his big ole Alfie question. (Not Caine really, just the question.) I’m not sure what Alfie thinks, but for the rest of us there it is, the answer anyone who passed puberty already knows, but it’s cool to have it reaffirmed after a totally scary battle the outcome of which the fates of mankind, fashion conscious dinos, and robot ninja monkeys, hinge.

Who wins? Is it no one, or everyone, or did some group of sentient folk make out better than others? Battles of that magnitude can be confusing.

Then there’s the question of time travel as it applies to naturals who don’t need a device to skip about. Larry is a natural, sort of. All he needed was a taco to roam hence and thence. Is he really so horrible at it? He came out OK.

I’ve had a taco or hundreds in my time. Could I be a time traveler too? Am I horrible at it, or not so bad?

That’s a question each reader of Larry the Horrible Time Traveler needs to answer in quietude after, of course, coming to terms with the Orb, a dinosaur invasion beyond the concierge desk that normally stops that sort of thing and a gang of Gonzo-Destrocto Mechs.

Andrew Coltirn works with a mind in creative overdrive but manages to maintain discipline in the crafts of writing and storytelling.

Among tons of coal in the world of publishing, including major, indie, and self-produced works, there is the occasional diamond.

This is one of them.

Format/Typo Issues:

As a professional unpaid reviewer, I’m obligated to point out that there are a noticeable number of misspellings. Really, though, when you’re facing a hungry allosaurus that talks, the prospect of being burned alive as a Christmas ornament, and racing through sewers filled with what sewers are filled with--who cares?

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Recently at The IndieView

The most recent interviews at The IndieView starting with a refresher on the different kinds of interviews. 

The IndieView

This is an interview with a standard set of open ended questions. While they focus on a specific book, they also delve into the author's history as a writer and the path they took in becoming an indie author.

The BookView

This is a shorter interview format for authors who have already done an IndieView which focuses just on their most recent book.

Reviewer IndieView

These are interviews with reviewers who have their own review blog that delve into their approach to reviewing. A great way to find other book blogs you might like to follow. (For authors, there is also an extensive database of indie friendly review sites you might like to check out.)

Allirea's Realm

By invitation only, these are quirky, often irreverent interviews done by longtime Books and Pals follower, Allirea.

(Authors and reviewers interested in doing an IndieView should visit this page for details.)

IndieView with Dee Dee M. Scott, author of Sent from Heaven

Years ago, while vacationing with my family, the idea for the story popped into my head. It stayed on my mind for the remainder of the trip. I couldn’t wait to get home to write out my thoughts. 

IndieView with Yasmine Hamdi, author of Spirit of the Wind

I am fifteen-years old and I speak three languages fluently. I love to read, write and travel. I’ve been to about seven countries so far!

IndieView with G.K. DeRosa, author of Wilder

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get some of my inspiration from my favorites like The Vampire Diaries, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Mortal Instruments, Vampire Academy, etc. For me,

IndieView with Ken Hart, author of Reinforcements

I would say that a reader who would enjoy my work would have to be open minded about language and sexual situations. That the reader would have to have an interest in recent American history and also have an interest in education.

BookView with Kate Moretti, author of While You Were Gone

I learned that, while my tastes are changing (I’m starting to favor more plot heavy suspense books), I still love dipping into that character driven romance a bit.

BookView with Rebecca Chastain, author of A Fistful of Fire

My novels are geared toward people looking to escape into a fun world and come out the other side feeling energized by the happy ending.

IndieView with Merrill R. Chapman, author of Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver

I’ll share some things I’ve learned and provide some contrarian views on a few things I’ve read from other The IndieView interviewees.

IndieView with Angelika Rust, author of My Name is not Alice

Over the past years, I spent a few months teaching English to pensioners, which required me getting up at 6am to walk the dog before work. You get all sorts of ideas when you’re walking in perfect darkness, no lanterns, and loads of mysterious sounds reaching you through thick fog. Half the story came to me then and there. The other half I owe to a friend who caught me writing ‘leftover bear’ instead of ‘leftover beer’.

IndieView with Tiffany Reyes, author of Behind the Chimera

When I’m writing a scene and the thought crosses my mind, “Should I write this? My mom is going to read this,” I know I need to write it.

BookView with Erica Lucke Dean, author of Splintered Souls

The doctor prescribed me some potent meds that made me seasick if I stood up, so I laid in my bed for 3 weeks and wrote a book.

#Free for your #Kindle, 10/29/2015

The author of each of these books has indicated their intent to schedule these books for a free day for the Kindle versions today on Amazon. Sometimes plans change or mistakes happen, so be sure to verify the price before hitting that "buy me" button.

Love and Lust in the Tropics by Derrick West

No Good Deed by M.P. McDonald

Author's interested in having their free book featured either here on a Thursday or a sister site on a Monday, visit this page for details.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Behind The Eight Ball / Craig Furchtenicht

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Crime Fiction

Approximate word count: 50-55 ,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


The author was born and raised in Iowa where he currently resides with his wife. Craig enjoys rock hunting, horticulture and the outdoors. He has released other work including Dimebag Bandits, The Blue Dress Paradigm and Night Speed Zero. Craig has also contributed to crime anthologies 12 Mad Men and Rogue.


The plan was simple enough, as far as spur of the moment plans went. Robbing a junkie with no hands of his copious stash of smack and hopefully a respectable sum of currency should have been no sweat. Park a couple blocks down the street, walk in and rush the place to liberate the dope fiend pervert of his ill-gotten goods. Knocking off a helpless cripple and his handful of strung out groupies that probably didn't really want to be there in the first place was easy as taking candy from a baby. Or so they thought.

The two surviving members of The Dimebag Bandits are back and this time they may be in over their heads. When a seemingly easy job turns bloody, the boys haul in the score of a lifetime. Only problem being, that lifetime might just be ending sooner than they think. Amidst the junkies, the terrorists and the constant backstabbing... they may truly be stuck Behind The Eight Ball.


It is worth saying at the outset that strictly this is a follow up to the author’s novel, Dimebag Bandits, however it can be read entirely as a stand-alone.

The two survivors referred to in the description are Kori and best friend, Todd. The novel opens with a drug theft, the two protagonists doing the thieving. What they expected to be small time and easy unfortunately turns out to be anything but. The ramifications for everyone even slightly near to them are catastrophic. The drugs and cash they’ve stolen amount to a small fortune. The people the illicit products belong to aren’t pleased to say the least. They’re the Kaddoura’s, the local gangsters who provide everything anyone could want – for a fee. Ibrahim is the top dog, his two nephews, Akil and Abdel, are vicious screw ups who take whatever they feel like.

The friends have a few other problems to deal with. One of their party is wounded and needs treatment. They’ve also the stack of drugs to move on. They turn to another old friend, Jacob, a vet, to fix up the wounded girl. They also happen across an Indian who can buy the drugs. All seems to be progressing well, but the Kaddoura’s are soon on Kori and Todd’s trail, cutting through the population like a wrecking ball.

This is a step on from Dimebag Bandits which received four stars. It is just as pacy and action packed, but tighter and the characters a little more developed. The narrative is an intriguing outcome, then situation, approach. In other words, we see the consequences before reading about the activity which produced it. The dialogue is snappy and coarse. The location, rural Iowa, is well painted and an excellent backdrop for the story. The strongest element are the characters, from the sleazy Kaddoura’s to Todd and his misfiring love life, to junkies and conflicted bodyguards they suit the plot perfectly.

If you enjoy hard hitting, no nonsense crime, this would be right up your street.


Plenty of swearing, drug use and violence.

While a sequel, can be read as a standalone.

Format/Typo Issues:

Minor issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A BOO-tiful Halloween / Angela Shori

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Children's Picture Book

Approximate word count: 21 pages of content (excludes front and back matter.)

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Angela Shori is an author, publisher, and marketer living and writing in Austin, TX. She is an expert on content strategy, traveling with children, and bedtime monster removal.” This is Shori's first book.

For more, visit the author's blog.


Gather all your ghouls and goblins for a colorful journey with the friendly monsters of A Boo-tiful Halloween.”


This book is advertised as being aimed at ages 2-5, so I nabbed two grandkids, one two years old, the other seven, to help me check it out at the little one's bedtime. Big sister and I took turns, reading two pages and passing the book off to the other. Each page is simple, with a color illustration on a white page, which supports the words. The vocabulary was easy for big sister to read and the story, while simple for the target audience, still fun. The little one even played along for part of it, looking at the pictures as we read. (Getting her to sit still for even a few seconds is an accomplishment.)

The illustrations are simple enough with a lot of contrast in the colors so that reading on a black & white e-ink Kindle isn't a total waste. You'll need to hold your Kindle sideways as it is formatted to automatically display this way. However, to get the most out of it, I'd advise a Fire or Kindle app on a tablet, computer or smartphone as the better method.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues with typos.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Monday, October 26, 2015

Cars and Girls / Various

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Anthology/Noir

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


This anthology contains four short works (novelette length on average) by four different authors. All are members of the Pankhearst author's collective.

Evangeline Jennings

Born and raised in Liverpool, where they invented football and popular music, she now lives in Austin, Texas. The black sheep of her family, she comes from a long line of California beauty queens on her mother's side. As she so often says, Northern Scum, Southern Belle.”

Tee Tyson

Tyson is best described as a nature lover, wordsmith, music nerd and genius, playgirl philanthropist. Her dream is to move into the mountains where she will perfect her hermit-like tendencies, grow a vegetable garden, bake fruit pies and own a claw foot bathtub.”

For the final two authors all I can find is the one line bios in the book which say that Madeline Harvey “enjoys adverbs” and Zoë Spencer “thinks umlauts are important.”

For more, visit the website for the Pankhearst collective.


Bad things happen. Everybody dies. But the girl in the red dress kicks against the pricks. Four merciless and compelling stories by emerging writers from Canada, the UK, and USA.

From behind the wheel of her father's lovingly restored Barracuda, a waitress will protect her baby sister at all costs.

A nihilistic junkie whore hell bent on revenge snatches a last-gasp shot at an unlikely redemption. Her father sold her virginity for the price of a custom paint job. Now she's back and she's taking the whole damn car.

An English aristocrat drives across Europe to end a bloody feud before it consumes the next generation.

And two young runaway lovers with a steep price on their heads take a savage road trip through all kinds of crazy.”


Beyond the obvious of a female and a car figuring into the story in some way, each of the four works in this anthology have much in common. They're noir, so if stories with a dark side and an ever increasing body count bother you, this might not be for you. Each is a well-crafted tale and although the main characters are all flawed and possibly not your first choice for a neighbor, they're also easy to root for, as whatever bad things they might do are aimed at someone much worse.

I find it difficult to pick a favorite. If forced, I'd probably give the nod to Evangeline Jennings' story Crown Victoria because her subtle musical references (at least those I caught) were amusing. Your favorite could be different. There isn't a clunker in the bunch.


Adult language and content.

Format/Typo Issues:

While what I received was an ARC, it had no significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Commode Companion / Rolf Margenau

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Adult Picture Book/Humor

Approximate word count: Less than 1,000.

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Rolf Margenau “has been a scrub nurse in an operating room, a professional photographer, a sergeant during the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit dedicated to housing the homeless, a manager of large and small businesses and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.”

Margenau has three novels and a poetry/picture book available in addition to this volume.


An interactive photo book that exposes the innermost thoughts of animals, birds, bugs, butterflies, and frogs. Designed to induce laughter and thwart constipation. No commode should be without a copy.”


If you've ever had a friend post a humorous looking picture on Facebook and ask his or her friends to provide a caption, you'll have a good idea of what to expect with The Commode Companion. The origins of the name should be apparent. It's the perfect book for those times when you're looking for entertainment in bite-sized bits. The just shy of 100 pictures and Margenau's suggested captions should do the trick for a few visits to the room down the hall. How many will depend on how regular you are. I found the captions humorous and amusing. For the Kindle edition, the book works fine on an eink based ereader, but the pictures are much better in color. Use your tablet computer or smartphone for best results.

The book description calls this book “interactive.” What this is getting at, explained more fully in the book's introduction, is the author invites readers to propose alternative captions. The intent is to update the book from time to time based on these suggestions.


Some mildly adult content.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues except for several instances of hyphens in the middle of words where they don't belong. I suspect these were hard-coded for the print edition and incorrectly left in the Kindle version.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Splintered Souls / Erica Lucke Dean

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Romantic Fantasy/Time Travel

Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


After walking away from her career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, Erica moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains where she lives in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with her workaholic husband, her 180lb lap dog, and at least one ghost.

When she’s not busy writing or tending to her collection of crazy chickens, diabolical ducks, and a quintet of piglets, hell bent on having her for dinner, she’s either reading bad fan fiction or singing karaoke in the local pub. Much like the characters in her books, Erica is a magnet for disaster, and has been known to trip on air while walking across flat surfaces.

How she’s managed to survive this long is one of life’s great mysteries.”

To learn more about Ms. Dean, visit her website or stalk her on her Facebook page.


When Ava Flynn walks away from a scholarship to Georgetown and moves into her grandmother’s abandoned summer home in coastal Maine, she steps into the center of a centuries-old curse. On her first night, she notices a mysterious leather-clad stranger looking up at her third-story window. For weeks, everywhere she goes, Ava catches more glimpses of him, but she can never get close enough to find out who he is.

Over three hundred years ago, Lady Catherine Fairchild risked everything to protect her unborn child, sending a ripple through time that would change Ava’s future. As the mystery unravels, the horrifying consequences of Lady Catherine’s choices drag Ava deeper into a world she never knew existed, trapping her in a conflict that’s been raging since before she was born. A winner-take-all battle for her soul.”


I am totally beside myself after finishing this book. I have to admit I moved Splintered Souls to the top of my TBR list as soon as I received it. This story is different from any of the other stories Ms. Dean has written before. This is a star-crossed lovers story with a twist and right now I am torn. The story began with elegant, crisp prose that paints the picture of desperation Lady Catherine was feeling as she tried to outrace a coming storm. Here the blessing-turned-curse was laid out for the story to continue in present time.

After her husband’s untimely death Ava’s mom decides to move the family to their grandmother’s empty summer house in Port Michael, Maine. Ava has decided to go to a small local college—a branch campus of U-Maine—so she could stay close to mom and her eleven-year-old brother, Josh, after everything that has happened.

Ava is an academically smart but naïve heroine who is a little vulnerable right now. She feels drawn to a guy who seems to be stalking her. Maddox appears to be a nice guy, he’s courteous and friendly with her classmates. However, she knows very little about him or his family. Ava’s school friends are a diverse crowd, they are each well-developed and unique. Their conversations at lunch are typical for young college students. There were off campus parties and beach parties at the lighthouse that needed to be rehashed. Ms. Dean always does a nice job with her secondary characters, they are great friends and I liked them all, even Paige.

After Ava has a wild, vivid dream with who she thinks is Maddox but he says his name is Laith, she starts questioning her sanity. Not long after that Maddox starts acting possessive and jealous. Then an unexpected twist happens when Josh disappears. Maddox has to confess certain truths. Ava doesn’t know what to think now or who is who. Is her boyfriend, Maddox, being completely honest with her? She is caught up in all the sexual tension between them and she can’t think straight. The plot moves fast, I had trouble putting the book down to sleep. I was completely thrown at the ending. But don’t despair… I would describe it as a soft-core cliffhanger. I am chomping at the bit for book two.


Only one F-bomb.

Format/Typo Issues:

None that I spotted.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Friday, October 23, 2015

Make Money Online / Chittaranjan Dhurat

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Non-Fiction

Approximate word count: 5-6,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Chittaranjan Dhurat is a software developer. He has one other work available for your Kindle, a short co-written work on the importance of a healthy diet.


This book covers seven ways of “making money online” with little or no investment. The seven areas covered (all listed in the book description on retailer sites) are:

Google Adsense
PTC sites (“pay to click”)
Amazon Affiliate Marketing
Self-Direct Publishing


The niche this book is aimed at, making money online, is one that certainly has a market. Whether you're looking to use the internet to find a market for your unique skills, as you might do on Fiverr, or find additional ways to generate revenue from an existing website, maybe through advertising using Google Adsense or affiliate income through an affiliate program, understanding the best techniques and partners to maximize your income is valuable information. Maybe that book exists. But this isn't it.

Make Money Online suffers from two fatal flaws. The first is that while it points you in the right direction, too often it seems as though the author thinks the reader is already somewhat familiar with a particular site or money making method and can read between the lines. While you might be able to glean enough to be able to search out what you're missing, that won't always be the case.

For example, when talking about “PTC sites” which are sites that pay you to click on or view advertisements, he explains what they are and how they work, but doesn't give examples of any sites or how you might find them. The description was convoluted enough that I'm still not positive I understand, but think he is talking about sites like Swagbucks. Were I not aware of that site and how it functioned, I'd have had no idea what he was even talking about.

Another example was in the discussion of advertising from Google Adsense in conjunction with Youtube. Among other things the advice was given to “tag with the right keywords” when uploading your video, but no indication of how to determine what those should be is given.

The second issue, which I touched on above, is understanding what the author is trying to say. At one point I actually wondered whether the book was written in another language and translated using Google Translate because the grammar is so bad and the language often convoluted. However, the author uses too many idioms for that to be true. This paragraph is an example of the language used. It is representative, neither the best, nor the worst. I'll leave it to you to decide if it is acceptable.

Whether an educational program course, an expert course or any leisure activity that we needed to seek after, we would ask our companions or family to recommend a class in our neighborhood, if were not able to discover such a class, we would be constrained by the absence of accessibility to surrender the quest for our fantasies, interests or distractions.

I'd like to say that there is enough valuable information buried here that if you're willing to take enough time to parse the language that you'll find enough to make it worthwhile. I can't. Your time would be better spent finding another book on the subject or using the list of sites from the description and Google to dig up more information on your own.

Format/Typo Issues:

Issues with grammar, wrong words, missing words, and convoluted sentences. In roughly 5,000 words this book far exceeded the number of such issues I'd find acceptable in a full size novel.

Rating: * One Star

Thursday, October 22, 2015

When A Warrior Comes Home / Pete Barber

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Suspense

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


A native of Liverpool, England, who now lives in North Carolina, Pete Barber has two prior novels, NanoStrike and Love Poison. He's also written a few reviews you might have read.

For more, visit Pete's website, follow him on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.


Sarah Braeman’s Skype connection to Iraq is lost during a video call to her husband, a US Army sergeant. As air raid sirens shriek from her computer’s speakers, her laptop displays an image of Mike’s face, frozen in fear.

Medics repair Mike’s leg injury. But when he returns home, Sarah is thrust into the role of caregiver to a man she hardly recognizes. Tortured by wild mood swings, flashbacks, and anti-social behaviors, her husband becomes a danger to himself and others.

A business opportunity seems to offer a way out for Mike from a military that now considers him weak and surplus to requirements. But can Sarah risk her family’s future on a man who may be damaged beyond repair?”


When a Warrior Comes Home is an intense page-turner. This is true of the war scenes, early in the book, and the intensity continues when the warriors bring the war home with them. It's populated with some great characters that you'll like or, when some of them aren't very likeable, you'll at least sympathize with them.

While there is a lot more to the story, ultimately this book is about the human cost of war. Not the obvious, of lives lost on both sides, but of lives broken and the domino effect in the impact on families and communities. If you've ever been around an ex-soldier who suffers from PTSD, you'll recognize the authenticity of Mr. Barber's portrayal. It would be easy for a book like this to take an overt political stance. (I'm having a hard time not doing that in this review.) It doesn't, instead leaving it to the reader to figure those things out themselves which is as it should be.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: ***** Five Stars

#Free for your #Kindle, 10/22/2015

The author of each of these books has indicated their intent to schedule these books for a free day for the Kindle versions today on Amazon. Sometimes plans change or mistakes happen, so be sure to verify the price before hitting that "buy me" button.

Meet the Beast by Claire Grimes

Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer

Author's interested in having their free book featured either here on a Thursday or a sister site on a Monday, visit this page for details.