Book Reviews

Book reviews are essential for both readers and authors alike. 

For the reader, book reviews save time, energy, and reduce risks. Book reviews give potential readers the chance to become familiar with what a book is about before investing their time and money into getting a copy for themselves. Through book reviews, readers also have the opportunity to become a part of the author's world by providing their intake and input on their favorite works of literature. 

For authors, book reviews increase awareness, sales, and visibility. Often, books with greater reviews have a higher chance of being read. Through book reviews, an author's work is also shared with a wider audience, giving the author an opportunity to influence a whole new group of people.

My Book Rating System


5 Stars – Absolutely flawless and intriguing. I don’t understand why this isn’t on every bookshelf everywhere.

4 Stars – The book has either mass appeal or cult appeal. Very few flaws and the premise of the story, characters and plot are extremely good. I’d recommend you to my family and friends.

3 Stars – Very much worth the read. I found the story intriguing and entertaining, but I also saw issues with structure and flow. I’d still recommend you to my friends and family.

2 Stars – You have a promising story, but it’s also filled with plot holes, dropped plots, cliches and reads like a second draft.

1 Star – Shows promise, needs a developmental editor. Wasn’t ready for publication.

No Mention of Stars – I couldn’t decide where the book belonged on the rating system, but I thought it was still good enough to receive a review. You have an audience somewhere, but it probably wasn’t me, and any star rating I would have given it would not precisely fit it.  My estimated rating may have also been vastly lower than what you've already recieved, and I was unwilling to put a rating in that would ding you.

Where You can Expect Your Book Review

You can expect your book review to be posted in the book reviews on this website.  The benefit to having your book posted on this website is that it will also feed into my Twitter feed with an image of your book cover until I read and review the next book, which could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Reviews may also be posted to Goodreads, depending on the rating I gave it.  Amazon reviews are a whole different beast.  In order to post an Amazon review, I'd need a copy of the ebook from Amazon.  This is because Amazon is extremely strict about their reviews.  The best way to get an Amazon review is via one of your organic readers, not necesarily a book reviewer. And trust me, I understand the importance of Amazon book reviews.  I wish I had more of them.  With that being said, I encourage you to send me an epub or a .mobi version of your book to review, not a prepaid Amazon ebook link.  All book review requests can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by contacting me on Twitter.

On Fractured Ground came to me with a warning for sexual abuse and violence and overall dark sexual themes.  It lives up to that.  It is a variation on the sex trade industry in that it involves The Cellar Institute, which is a school that is specifically designed to groom girls to be sold for sex.  There's no way to sugar coat that.  This book's theme is sex slavery.  It's listed as a psychological thriller, but due to the overall theme and plot, it's also has elements of erotica, so this could also almost be considered an erotic psychological thriller.  Now, if you're looking for something that condemns the sex industry, this is not that book.

This book takes you into the world of The Cellar Institute, specifically Tylar and Chase's world.  Tyler is the 18 year old who is stuck at institute and desperately wants out, so much so that she abuses and manipulates her "trainers".  Chase is the man who agrees to train her for her last year so that she can be successfuly sold to some rich, older man, thus earning the family that owns The Cellar Institute money.  But oh wait, the current owner doesn't like this particular business his family owns.  This is a complication.  Tyler is also instantly attracted to this man and he to her.  So, there is plenty of sexual tension.  There's also the threat of dealth.  Unruley girls who refuse to particpate in their training aren't simply let go from the insitute.  They might talk about what goes on there.  Instead, they're killed.  Finding that an unpalatable solution for Tylar, the owner of the institute and Chase agree to retrain her for her final year so that they don't have to kill her and bury her in the woods.

Is it worth reading?  Absolutely.  In fact, if you don't want to read it in 24 hours, you'll probably have to pace yourself.  It is incredibly interesting.  It does have its slow points, but it doesn't tend to take long for it to pick back up.  This is probably on purpose to not overwhelm the reader.  To me, this is a five star book, but I happen to really like dark themed books where there are no good characters.  This fits the bill.  It's extremely well written and worth reading. I could not find much at fault.  In fact, there was so little that it's not even worth mentioning. The good news about this book is that it's the first in a series, so if you like this one, there will be more.

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I am going to start off by saying this is not something I would normally review.  My standard categories are adult fiction with dark themes, crime fiction, erotica, bad guys as the main characters fiction and dark/alt religion type fiction.  This is a traditional Christian fiction book.  With that being said, the reason I chose to review it was because the writing in the Amazon sample chapters was absolutely stellar.  It would have been a complete injustice to the author for me to refuse it, and my initial perceptions of the book were not wrong.  The technical writing is stellar.  I did not see a typo anywhere.  A lot of effort, editing and polishing went into this book and that is something I can appreciate both as an author and as a book reviewer. 

Now, you may be wondering - Was it any good?

Yes, Alexandria - World Class Life Story by BDL is a good book.  The premise is that an Olympic sprinting champion, Ruthie Sharone, is 106 years old, and she wants to write her biography before she dies. Ruthie believes deeply in God, and she regularly prays and talks to God.  As a result, God has told her that she shall live long enough to see her next great-grandchild born, and she will live long enough to finish her biography, but she needs to make it happen immediately.  Ruth takes those words seriously and immediately begins her quest to find a suitable biographer, who turns out to be a woman who is down on her luck, Bridgette.

The book is written as a biography, not an autobiography, so it's in third person, past tense.  Readers take a trip down memory lane with Ruth. The biography starts in Ruthie's college days before she met her husband and while she was training to be a track star.  During the subsequent pages, you are taken on a blow by blow of Ruth's life as it happened.  You get to see all her trials and tribulations and all the trials and tribulations of those around her, and there's plenty to go around. 

To spite them all being deeply religious, they all make their fair share of mistakes and how they resolve the mistakes, disagreements, all-out fights and even interpersonal and family shockers.  Through Ruth and other's recollections, you get to see her entire family and friends' lives play out on the pages.  

Being that this is a Christian family drama, it's not a fast paced novel.  It's a leisurely walk down memory lane.  This book won't keep you on the edge of your seat with scare tactics, intense fighting or horrific external conflict.  It will keep you turning the pages to see how these guys manage the chaos in their lives with the help of the Lord.

Where does it fall on the ole book rating system?  It's a 4. I would say somewhere between a 3 and a 4, but there are no structural issues with it.  There are no flow problems. It's going to have appeal for Christians trying to figure out how to manage the challenges in their lives, and it's going to appeal to anyone who likes deep family dramas.  It's evenly paced throughout the book.  You'll also get to enjoy this book for longer than a few hours.  It's 760 pages.  So yeah, I'm not particularly fond of this genre, and I think it's worth the read.


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Riding Shotgun: And Other American Cruelties by Andy Rausch – A Review


Set in 1933, Riding Shotgun by Andy Rausch has an absolutely fantastic premise. Bored with his current lifestyle and possibly marriage, Emmett Dalton, a late 1800s bank robber that was shot 23 times during his last heist decides that he wants to go out with a bang! There’s only one catch, he’s now in his senior years and the rest of the Emmett Dalton Gang has long since died via the authorities or old age, and as we all know, it’s not a good idea to go robbing banks by yourself when you’re in your late 60s and 70s.


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Dream of a Lifetime is a Good Solid 3 Star Book. It is a memoir of a gentleman who spent 10 years living in the Amazon with only sporadic trips back to the US. For that alone and reading about his personal experiences and the hazards of his journey, it is worth the read. It’s definitely a real account of a very interesting journey and time in this author’s life. I understand exactly why he wrote it and why it needed to be written. After all, who gets to have this experience. It really is the adventure of a lifetime, and perfect for those who want to read about the beginnings of the Yacumamma Lodge.

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If you love pictures of interesting places and architectural details and fiction written in first person, you'll love B.F. Spath's new metaphysical and visionary fiction novel, The Sun Temple.  Set in New York City, the main character finds himself miserable, paranoid, alone and poor with little hope of escape. 

The Sun Temple is best described in B.F Spath's own words:

A man is trapped in a dark and miserable NYC tenement, crippled by fears, isolation, and poverty. He has one thing going for him: he is a visionary! He escapes daily to Battery Park and the euphoria of life under the sun.By night he explores vast and opulent cities that extend as far as his imagination will take them. But when his energies wane, the great cities crumble and evaporate as he sinks back into squalor, despair, and darkness. 

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Under the Dome


I’m going to start off by saying every writer should read Under the Dome by Stephen King. It’s told from a mostly omnipresent point of view, which is great when you have multiple characters that you want the audience to see in detail. I’m very good at this, but most writers aren’t. My skill came from years and years of on-line role-playing where I had to switch characters and points of view within a matter of minutes. 

It’s also good because this looks to be a primary example of a book that was planned beforehand. I would almost bet money that he wrote the Synopsis, outline and character lists beforehand. Stephen King even says this in his author notes at the end of the book. He’s had the idea since 1976 (I was -1 in 1976). He was waiting for technology to catch up to him.

This is an Author Driven book. It is not a character driven book. Keep that in mind when you’re reading it. There’s a lot of summary, flashbacks, briefings, and Author “push”…

It is fantastic for what it is. Very few Authors can pull this off with any kind of success. With that being said, read it as something to learn from and remember all those writing books you’ve read. All the suggestions and examples and thoughts in those writing books is going to solidify and clarify in your mind after you finish reading this.

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BrandShamansLife Successfully/Brand Shamans provides book reviews for most genres.  They also have book review packages starting at $200 for blog reviews and Goodreads Reviews. (Their $200 package is for finding book reviewers for your book.  They do not pay reviewers or accept money for the actual book reviews)

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Thriller Book Suggestions


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The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Paranormal
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Shadow Tales
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