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The Delivery Cut-was written by Joseph Rakowski and published by Black Rose Writing  in 2012. You may purchase it at Amazon.com/Kindle. Visit the author here: www.josephrakowski.com.

By Joseph Rakowski

“I am not an unreliable pimp or cracked out drug dealer. I am not a billionaire from some foreign country, or from wherever, who does not care where his product ends up. I am not a smuggler, pusher, indirect seller, buyer, middler, lookout, or anything in between. I don’t cross borders. I am a new addition to the drug world hierarchy. I am simply and responsibly the man who brings you your needs in a suit, with a smile, and a touch of customer service.”

What struck me the most about this novel was the morally and socially acceptable path that it didn’t take me down. This story doesn’t hamstring you into the horrors of drug abuse, it literally and figuratively gives you a huge snort of reality as you take in the high flying and lucrative experience of being in the drug trades- and yes, and even with the dangers, the success that it can offer.

The Delivery Cut amazingly explains how cocaine is seen as just another simple product in a supply and demand world and it educates us, through its interestingly dark and rich characters, into how to respectfully and responsibly deliver the product with a huge emphasis on good customer service. The main character in the story delivers the drugs but he is also introduced to his merchandise and samples his goods on more than one occasion.

He describes the effects while snorting cocaine for the first time over a mirror:

“I could feel the powder running up my nose and back into my sinuses stinging a little as I finished….  I could taste the battery acid again as it dripped down my throat and I brought it into my mouth. After the third line I had a pulse in the palm of my hand and my face was entirely numb. I felt fast as my mind raced.”

The story line (no pun intended) moves along at a routine pace as the main character leaves behind his life as a law school student and begins a life of “delivering packages” for a living. The tempo of the story remained fairly consistent, with the interest of the characters holding me to the page until the surprising ending- but I would have liked to have seen  more conflict injected into the story. Even so, this is a solid work of some very good writing and I would suggest going out and buying this book for your book shelf. It’s only the first in a long line of “best selling” books that I’m sure Joseph Rakowski is planning to deliver.

I give The Delivery Cut 4 stars.

Please visit the author of this post: Tom Riddell: www.tomriddell.com

Joseph Rakowski will be our guest on The Writers Lounge Blog Talk Radio Show on Monday January 7th, 2013 at 7PM Central Time-USA.

It’s Christmas time and once again millions of families and friends will gather to give their gifts to the ones they love.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

But this year, for far too many, there will be a present left unopened under their Christmas tree. My heart breaks for the families in Newtown who will have to endure and face the extremely painful sight of such a colorfully wrapped unopened gift- meant for the big bright wonder filled eyes of a 6 or 7 year old on Christmas morning. For those kids, those intended happy and magical memories will never be.  But, Christmas continues for the rest of us and memories will be built and gifts will be opened…without the ones who were taken from us.

I too will feel the pain of loss this Christmas.  Last year I sat in front of my Christmas tree thankful for the people in my life who reached out to me during a very painful time when my marriage came to a shockingly abrupt end.  This year, the gift I have received and opened- was forgiveness.  So, I  am holding onto the 10 years of happy memories when my wife and I would spend Christmas mornings opening our gifts together.

But this year, the woman that I loved and spent all those Christmas’s with is also tragically gone from this life. Divorce and death has overpowered me and defined this year but forgiveness and thankfulness has also endured. And so has a sense of joy in the giving of gifts and in the living of those happy memories.

As I sit in front of my Christmas tree I am watching a gold carousel whirly ornament twirl around over the heat of a blue bulb; an exact replica of the one that my grandmother put on her tree more than 50 years ago now. Every year my grandmother and I would place that ornament in a place on the tree that would hopefully keep it twirling around through the Christmas season. “Nan” wouldn’t rest until we could find the “right spot“.  That gift of memory will never die.

The unopened gifts in our lives can still be opened. We shouldn’t be afraid. We just need to understand what it all really means…to give and to live- no matter what the outcome.

The ornament needed the right amount of heat to keep it moving.  For every year that I’m alive I will carry on the tradition of keeping the twirly whirly in motion.  It needs warmth. It needs love to keep it going.  We all do…

Merry Christmas!

Please visit the author of this post: www.tomriddell.com

Escape To Big Fork Lake was written by Mary L. Ball and published by Inspired Romance Novels in 2012. You may purchase it at Amazon.com/Kindle. Visit the author here: http://MaryLouwrites.weebly.com

By Mary L. Ball

Escape to Big Fork Lake is a little bit country, a little bit mystery and a lot of small town romance.  In fact, the romance, along with small town life, is the best part of this debut work from author Mary L. Ball.

Touted as a Christian romance/suspense, I normally don’t read Christian fiction, although I have made a few exceptions.  This book doesn’t fit into my normal literary wheelhouse but I was not disappointed and found it a highly enjoyable, if somewhat predictable, read.   For those readers who appreciate the Christian fiction genre, Escape to Big Fork Lake will be a welcoming tale of inspiration, morals and finding God’s love.  For readers who don’t care to have a strong religious message in their books, the general story, along with the light mystery, should be persuasive enough although the religious aspect is a major part of the book.

I was a bit confused about this book in the beginning.  I wasn’t sure I could identify with heroine Sam and I felt a few of her actions were off and plot driven.  The character of Rob seemed a bit cliché and I thought the story could have moved along nicely without him or the situation involving him, although later on in the story he did have more of a potential focus.  I had actually forgotten the story was going to have a suspense angle by the time Sam left the city of Atlanta to head to Big Fork Lake, Alabama.  This is when the story really took flight.

Once Sam arrived in Big Fork Lake, I liked her.  She came to us full of flaws and took a less than smooth voyage of self-discovery throughout the course of the book.  She turned out to be much more of a fighter than I figured her for at the beginning of the book and I was very satisfied with her at the conclusion.

The same can be said for Noah.  I liked him immediately and immediately recognized that he would be Sam’s love interest.  It was refreshing in this Fifty Shades of Grey saturated market to read of a man who truly courts a woman, in every old-fashioned sense.  Their romance is sweet, leaving the reader with a warm longing for this innocence.  Noah was an honest, upstanding man with no apparent issues and baggage – - exactly what Sam needed.

The character of Bo is a vital one, although we never actually meet him.  Only in flashback and when Sam arrives at his former home and business can we piece together something about this man and his character and it becomes quickly apparent that he is the heart that drives Escape to Big Fork Lake.  A selfless and basically simple person, even though he is gone before the story starts, he was a favorite character.

The mystery was on the light side, more a cozy type, and I had it figured out before it was officially cracked but the mystery was really secondary to the romance and the path was still enjoyable to take.

If there was any fault I could find with Escape to Big Fork Lake, it’s a relatively minor one.  I do wish the facets of small town life were explored in more detail.  Sam moved from a big, bustling city and I would have liked to have seen her transition as an outsider to a very small town more clearly. I think it would have been fun to have had more “town regulars” that were featured as the cast of characters was a relatively small one.  I also would have liked to have seen Sam’s struggle or train to learn the inn and restaurant business as that appeared a bit glossed over but again, minor issues.

Overall, I found Escape to Big Fork Lake a pleasant and gratifying diversion with an uplifting message and a feel-good conclusion.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to readers looking for a clean romance and/or light mystery.  It’s a good, solid debut work from Mary L. Ball and I look forward to future works by her.

Review copy of this book provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review.

Please visit the author of this post: Lori Hedgpeth: www.psychoticstate.net

Mary L. Ball will be our guest on The Writers Lounge- Blog Talk Radio Show on Monday December 17, 2012 at 7PM Central Time- USA.

The Audio Sensory Guide to Schroedinger’s Cat was written by William Lutz in 2012. You may purchase it at Smashwords. Visit the author on Facebook.

By William Lutz

From marketing a moon base on behalf of NASA, flying an old fashioned World War I biplane (after only a 5 minute lesson) to exploring the underground tunnels of an abandoned SAC airbase and hanging out with the political elite in New York city’s upper eastside, the author shares his experiences and insight, demonstrating that to live your life, you need attitude and a willingness to take chances.

When we endeavor to sit down and write some of the interesting stories of our lives, we realize at the end of the writing process that what we have just produced most often defines us as human beings and adds clarity and hopefully purpose to the time that we have spent on this little blue marble.

The author of The Audio Sensory Guide to Schroedinger’s Cat ponders an idea of physicist Erwin Shroedinger who poses the notion of what will happen to a cat in a box with a vial of poison in one corner and a bit of radioactive material in another corner- and a hammer. Sound a bit out there? It is but consider a more meaningful and deeper point put forth by the author that we all can relate to:

We all exist in a box of our own creation based on our beliefs and notions, facing situations beyond our control, held hostage to an unknown fate. You are made up of a multitude of discrete moments; how you draw the lines of your life is entirely up to you.  Life feels like we’re living through a film or a book; sometimes the only choice we ultimately have any control over is our choice of soundtrack. Within our respective boxes the only thing you can do is determine what you’re going to do while you’re in your box- and figure out what music you’ll listen to while you’re doing it…”

The moral of the idea here, as the author points out, is to “make each moment worthwhile” and to “draw a life worth remembering and sharing with others.” And to do it now before the end comes- or do it before the hammer falls.

William Lutz takes us on some of his life’s adventures through the scope of 10 interesting stories. Some of his stories will have you scratching your head and you will be nudged to wondering: Are these stories for real???  For instance the first story is about his learning to fly a biplane at the instruction of a  drunk land owner. Other tales in this collection include selling magnetic levitation trains for a moon base, his experience with ghosts, his political exploits and in another one of his life’s adventures he touches on how he stuck a goat filled with Ex-lax in the deans office.

Through it all, the author makes his point. He has made a life worth remembering and a book worth buying.

I give The Audio Sensory Guide to Schroedinger’s Cat 4 stars.

Please visit the author of this post: www.tomriddell.com

William Lutz will be our guest on The Writers Lounge- Blog Talk Radio Show on Monday December 10, 2012 at 7PM Central Time- USA.