Book Review : Orphan Train



This is a story involving a real period in history when children, who were orphaned or just given away, had been put on train from one state to another state of the U.S.A. into the care of a new family.
The children in this story were intrusted to families in many cases to help with household chores or cheap labor and the family was supposedly to give in return food, shelter and schooling. The sad fates on the children in this tale make hard reading and the negligence of those that handed them over shocking and careless. These new carers had no suitable checks their personalities their behaviors and minds were damaging to the characters in this story. There is a some joy for the main girl of this story eventually after being in the hands of harm they found some safety.
This story is told through two women, a teen Molly, and an elderly lady Vivian.
They both meet due to Molly, who lives with foster parents, having to do some community service time, she is pointed in the direction of Vivian who has a large home and an attic that needs cleaning out and sorting. What she finds is that she embarks in a conversation on the past of this wise woman, Vivian, and her life that partook in her being on an orphan train. This woman Vivian tells her journey, her harrowing experiences. She tells of the people she encountered in her youth, her journey makes heartbreaking reading.
She was a young red head from Ireland whose family when arriving in the USA found life very tough, and when the 1930′s depression era hit they found it even harder.
Together in their conversation and speaking of their past their piece together and settle some pains and reunite lost hearts.

A great important story that was handled wonderfully by this very capable writer.

I loved this book :-). I had never heard of the Orphan Trains so it was great to learn something while reading. The parts of the book set in the past were my favorite although I did like Molly’s story as well. I had a few tears at the end. Looking forward to the movie :-).



Release Blitz : A Kiss to Keep You by MariaLisa deMora


Title: A Kiss to Keep You
Series: Rebel Wayfarers MC, #9.25
Author:  MariaLisa
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: November 21,
Buy Links
Love will find a way, and for Brute and Bexley it
comes to life standing under the bright lights of a grocery store aisle. ‘A
Kiss to Keep You’ is a short, sweet, happily ever after story that you are
going to adore.
Richard Monte had it all. A satisfying career in the
military, where he took pride in serving his country. He had close friends,
good ones, and a goddaughter he doted on. His life was filled with riches, and
looked to stay that way for the foreseeable future. All of that was stripped
away in an instant, destroyed along with his face in the flash and explosion of
a roadside bomb. Struggling to find his way in a new world, one where his very
appearance is cause for fear and dismay, he stumbles upon a woman who seems to
see beyond the surface, a curvy blonde named Bexley. Her reaction to him is so
different, and she offers him an unexpected taste of beauty from her sweetly
upturned lips. They seem destined to be together, but a rising danger in a far
western state threatens everything he’s worked to build. Not without her own
demons, Bexley has to fight overwhelming odds to hold onto the man she’s come
to love.
All that we see or seem, Is but a dream within a dream.Edgar Allen Poe


From chapter one, Brute’s Girl:
He sat on his bike and
watched her. Gorgeous, reserved, she seemed unaware of her own beauty, and just
as unconscious of his regard, because she never looked up from the book held
balanced on her knees. Never raised her gaze to find him watching her. To see
the other men in the area looking their fill. Seated on the green grass of the
park, back to a tree, she rested with her heels drawn up tight to her bottom
while her skirt draped gracefully over her angled legs. With a bottle of water
lying nearby, her slouchy messenger bag was tossed to one side, phone nowhere
in sight. She had lost herself in the story, as she so often did. Blonde,
stunning, and so unattainable, especially for a man like him. She might as well
have been on the moon.
Ricky sighed and started his
bike, checking traffic before he smoothly pulled out of the lot where he had
been sitting for over an hour. The first minutes had been spent anxiously
waiting on her arrival, then the remainder, he’d been avidly watching his girl.
That was what the guys in the motorcycle club, his brothers, all called her. As
he rolled the throttle and accelerated up the street, he was already
anticipating the jeering catcalls that would greet him when he pulled into the
clubhouse. Brute’s Girl.
Gliding the bike to a stop
behind traffic, as he waited for the light to turn green, he turned his head,
glancing into the car beside him. Without thinking, he smiled fondly at the
young girl driving the aged two-door vehicle. She looked a lot like his
goddaughter, pert nose covered by freckles, untidy hair tucked behind her ears.
Seeing her made him think he needed to call Dylan, see how their Natalie was
doing in her first year of college, ask about the family. Then the girl turned
her head and saw him. Her reaction was instant and dramatic, hands slapping at
the controls on the inside of the door to lock the car, mouth falling open in
silent horror. Swiftly, he wiped the smile from his face and turned to face
forward, not wanting to make her more uncomfortable than he already had.
Richard Monte was well
acquainted with the societal challenges he had to work within, and around. He
should be, he saw evidence of them every time he looked in the mirror. Face
mangled by the roadside bomb that had taken most of his patrol, his skin in
turns was glossy smooth and cratered from the burns and shrapnel. He knew how
the barest glimpse of his countenance could affect those who were unprepared.
That was why he didn’t go out often; choosing instead to stay in his apartment,
his work-from-home job as a help desk technician was without much outside
contact. Not content, but merely pragmatic enough to recognize what it did to
him every time he provoked a reaction like this one.
The men of the Rebel
Wayfarers MC were the exception. Introduced to them by a friend, these people
judged him not by what remained of his face, but by his actions and words.
Fiercely honorable in their own way, the outlaw group of bikers had folded
themselves around him protectively, finding him a job allowing him to support
himself. Providing both independence and giving him a community of people he
could count on, no matter what.
The girl in the park, the
blonde. The beauty he would only ever be able to look at from afar. She was
another anomaly in his world. Months ago he had seen her in the grocery store,
and she had shocked him by not reacting. Well, not reacting to his face, at
least. She had reacted to him as a man, something he hadn’t experienced for
nearly a decade. Reaching for a boxed dinner, he had clumsily knocked it to the
floor, and before he could grab it, the blonde had bent over and picked it up.
Holding it behind her back, she had smiled up at him, her tone light and
playful as she had asked, “What’ll you give me for it?”
Bright blue pools looking
right at his face, smile curling her full red lips, cheeks lifted, and that
same smile making her eyes fucking dance, she had looked him in the eyes and
teased him. Exactly as a woman would do with a man she found attractive.
Without hesitation, he’d answered as he would have before the injury, boldly
stating the cost. Two words shaping his desires. “A kiss.”
Immediately, she’d responded,
“Deal,” and leaned forward, lifting her chin. Standing there in the grocery
store aisle, he had bent slightly, pressing his lips in a brief, soft,
closed-mouthed kiss to raspberry-flavored ones. Lips belonging to a beautiful
blonde who was curvy but carried it well, cute and knew it, standing close to
him in a strapless sundress still swinging slightly around her calves.
When he’d pulled back, she’d
held the pose for a moment, lashes a shade darker than her hair resting on her
cheeks, lips slightly parted, an adorable flush rising in her cheeks. Then her
blue eyes had opened, and she again looked at him without distaste or fear, no
cringing or hesitation in her expression. “Here’s your box,” she’d murmured,
and he’d reached for the container. She’d handed it over but had stayed in
place for a moment, then an expression of regret had flashed across her
features before she’d said, “See you around.” Ricky had stood there watching as
she’d walked up the aisle away from him, turning to offer him a friendly wave
before she’d gone out of sight, the hem of her colorful, swirling skirt the
last thing he saw.
He had abandoned his cart in
the store to follow her outside, noting the make and model of her car. Then,
like the sad sack he was, he’d stalked her all the way to her house on the
outskirts of town. He had been surprised to find she didn’t live too far from
his apartment, only four blocks. Rare beauty, and so close to hand. Her house a
tiny cottage tucked in alongside family homes in a well-established
neighborhood, an oddness for the area. A generation ago it was probably used as
a mother-in-law’s residence.
Back at the clubhouse that
night, it had been hours later, and he was still turning the encounter over and
over in his mind, trying to figure out what had actually happened. It was
confusing on many levels. He didn’t get flirty anymore. Didn’t get sweet. Sure
didn’t get kissed in public exposed under the too-bright lights of a grocery
One of the guys had plied him
with booze and then worked to pry the story out of him. That was when she got
her name. They already called him Brute, a plain statement of his looks but one
that held surprisingly little sting, because it wasn’t done maliciously, but
supportively. His looks didn’t matter to them, and the name they dubbed him
with was a way for them to show it. So Brute’s Girl, well, that just came
Since then he had watched her.
He didn’t think she had caught sight of him again. Probably harbored no memory
of the gift she had given him, but oh, how he watched her.
Now, sitting at a light
alongside a girl who was horrified just by looking at him, he snorted. Sure, he
could be a fairy godfather. Right.
Copyright © 2016. MariaLisa
deMora. All Rights Reserved.



Lone Star Warriors Outdoors donation
Novella Sales to Raise Money for Charity Benefiting
deMora announced Lone Star Warriors Outdoors (LSWO)
selected for yearlong donation efforts
Author MariaLisa deMora
announced the start of a yearlong literary charity effort today. With the help
of book bloggers and related social media she intends to raise money to help
support the Lone Star Warriors Outdoors nonprofit organization in their efforts
to assist combat wounded military veterans.
“Research for a number
of my fictional characters led me to interview military veterans from all walks
of life. So many of these warriors are struggling with Traumatic Brain Injury
(TBI), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in addition to devastating
physical injuries received while serving our country, most with minimal support
as they do so,” Ms. deMora continued. “I want to give back in a way
that will make an impact at the local level. Lone Star Warriors Outdoors is
focused on reconnecting individuals who were injured serving our country with
things they once loved: outdoors and hunting. There is an additional benefit to
bringing the warriors together for an organized excursion, because they are
provided with a priceless opportunity to bond with men who share their service
experiences. My family has a strong military history. All his life, my father
remained friends with men he’d served alongside during his 22-years in the Air
Force. I also saw the instant kinship he would find with virtually any serviceman
he encountered. There is a soul-deep camaraderie between men like that, and
Lone Star Warriors Outdoors (LSWO) recognizes and provides an environment where
that connection can thrive.”
Ms. deMora began her
self-published writing career in 2014 with the release of “Mica,” book #1 in
her Rebel Wayfarers MC (RWMC) series. Followed quickly by another several
books, this saga has inspired a spinoff series, as well as several short
stories and novellas. Her novella, “A Kiss to Keep You,” will be the foundation
of royalty-earning efforts on behalf of LSWO. With a story centered on the
struggles of a combat vet returning from overseas, the book is a natural fit
for this charitable campaign.
“I’m an advocate for paying
success forward. Or sideways. Or backwards. It’s important to me to ensure the
gifts I’ve been given are shared, in whatever fashion. During February 2016,
all royalties earned from sales of ‘Jase,’ book #4 in the RWMC series went to
support Puck Cancer, a charity that provides assistance to families dealing
with cancer diagnosis. That effort was very successful, and I’d like to build
on what I learned,” deMora said. “The tie-in for that book was that the main
character was a hockey player, which made an easy bridge from the book world to
the real one in order to help Puck Cancer. For this one, the hero is a wounded
veteran attempting to pick up the pieces of his life back home.”
For the period of one year,
half of all earnings from sales of “A Kiss to Keep You” will be donated to Lone
Star Warriors Outdoors, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization located
in Tyler, Texas, near deMora’s hometown.
“Moderately priced, ‘A Kiss
to Keep You,’ is on the long end of the novella literary form, both things that
readers enjoy. The story’s sweet happily-ever-after ending should be a hit for
readers, too,” deMora continued. “Once I had the idea, I sat down and did the
math, and saw I could swing it to donate half of all earnings for this book to
the charity for at least a year. I’m so glad that Lone Star Warriors Outdoors
will benefit from this project. It’s a great cause.”
Starting November 21, 2016, “A
Kiss to Keep You” will be sold on all popular book retail platforms including
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Scribd. $2.99 per electronic
copy, $12.99 for paperback. Read more about the story at deMora’s website,
MariaLisa deMora is a
best-selling author of eleven contemporary fiction and romance novels in three
series. Represented by MLK Publishing, her books and stories have topped
numerous categories at Amazon, and one short story has been listed in the
top-100 of its category for more than a year.
Lone Star Warriors Outdoors
mission is to say “Thank You” to our Nation’s combat Wounded and Injured
Warriors who have sacrificed mind and body in the fight on terrorism by
providing a fun and relaxing atmosphere while introducing or reconnecting and
teaching the American tradition of hunting, fishing and other outdoor
activities. Second to provide a time of mental healing or therapy by allowing
Wounded Warriors to meet others that have been in the same situation, allowing
each to talk about issues that only they understand.
Learn more about LSWO charity


Series Reading Order & Series Buy
Author Bio
Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic
of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local
library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she
says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I
adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known
to read the back of the cereal box.”
A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a
special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech
field for a publishing company for a couple decades.
Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love
music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical,
bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen
dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live
music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read:
small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila,
then that’s a plus!”
Social Media Links

Release Blitz : Family Ties by Perri Forrest



Book Blurb




Everything I do is for my daughter. I only want the best for her life. So when her father finally decided that after three years he wanted to get to know her, I put my feelings aside and allowed him in. Not to be with me, but to be a daddy to her. Well, a few things came with him that I wasn’t prepared for—a crazy ass girlfriend who wanted to guard her territory at any cost and a fine ass uncle that made it clear he wanted my attention.


My sister/friend Laney is telling me to go for it, but my conscience is messing with me on a daily and telling me that it’s just too close for comfort. But the heart wants what the heart wants and before long, I start to feel that pull toward this man who makes me feel like no other man ever has.



When I first saw Malina, I knew I had to have her. Yeah, there’s code that says if your family has touched the merchandise, then you don’t entertain it. But Malina isn’t just any woman. Because not one woman that I’ve ever encountered made me want to reach out and touch her on sight—but she did. From the way she carried herself, to the way she looked at me, I knew that if she let me in, she would know what it was like to be loved for real . . . and by a real man.



I’m not perfect by any means. I’ve done my share of dirt. I can’t even say for sure that my dirty deeds are done. I love women . . . a lot of them. As a result, I’ve had a few babies along the way—babies that I haven’t always done right by; so I’m setting out to change that and do what a real father is supposed to do. Problem is the woman I’m “with” doesn’t really grasp the concept of what it is I’m trying to do and her reaction to it all causes a whole lot of chaos.



I’m territorial. I don’t make excuses for it. It’s who I am. And when I feel that somebody is trying to step into my zone and steal what belongs to me, I react. This chick, Malina, who opened her legs to my man and had his child, thinks she’s going to come in with her daughter and claim a spot that never belonged to her. She’s dead wrong. If I have to show her what that means, that’s what it’ll be. But she won’t like it if it does come down to that, so if I was her, I’d tread carefully.


“Family Ties” is a love story at its core, but inside of this love story, many other themes appear; the primary one being that love really has no boundaries when it comes to family…


Click here to read a full 6,000 word excerpt





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Perri Forrest


Perri Forrest is a California based author with seventeen titles to her credit. A writer who becomes one with her characters, Perri has produced numerous outstanding titles including having reached number one in African American Romance on the Amazon Best Sellers list. The fan favorite novel, Captivated was an international hit debuting at number two in Women’s Fiction for three consecutive weeks on the Amazon Best Sellers list in the United Kingdom and the United States.


Having studied psychology, Perri delves into the intrinsic elements that make her characters tick. She consistently creates strong female leads weaving in the complexities of fiction and real life. This dynamic writer, who has penned stories since a preteen, ensures that each novel is mixed with insight, passion and love. Having only professionally written for just shy of three years, Perri was nominated Best Romance Author of 2015 by Urban Books, Authors, and Writers of America (UBAWA).


An unintentional venture into blogging allowed Perri to express her raw emotion, break down her personal barriers and explore her gift of writing. Ultimately Perri’s blogs resulted in fans adoring her work and clamoring to read more. Writing quickly became her sole driving force, her goal is to nurture the minds and hearts of the readers who trust her to feed their literary appetites.


When not creating her own captivating characters, Perri can be found enjoying a good suspense thriller. She lists the work of James Patterson, Terry McMillan and Jackie Collins as being among her favorites. She also loves playing Words with Friends, which has been a constant companion while writing the bulk of her literary works.



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Watcher by MariaLisa deMora

Title: Watcher

Series: Rebel Wayfarers MC, #9

Author:  MariaLisa deMora

Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: November 14, 2016


Watcher is known in the MC community as a man with strong beliefs. His sense of honor has been built in him from childhood, forged in the mountains of Kentucky, rooted there by family and circumstance. In the ever-changing world of outlaws, he’s made a place for himself, winning a seat at the table for negotiations and decisions that impact not only his club, but those around him. Powerful men ask for his counsel, revealing a trust and respect that can only be earned. His family loves and supports him, too, and he protects his wife and children with a fierceness that consumes. Enemies loom on the horizon, because for every man he calls brother, there are those who would take everything from him.
Full description:

Michael Otey learned early in life that people outside the ranks of family and close friends were not to be trusted. They were the kind of folks who would use you right up, betraying and throwing you away once your usefulness was exhausted. At sixteen, life nearly derailed in a moment of rage, he was presented with two impossible choices. He selected a track, prayed it was the right one, and set foot on the path of honor, because even at such a young age, he knew honor mattered.

Almost immediately things started looking up in his life. The Army molded him into a soldier, giving him no choice but to excel. Through years of service, the men in his unit forced him to become a leader, moving him to that role by demonstrating with every action that they believed he was trustworthy. Brothers in arms.
That was when death and destruction once again rocked his world, forcing another impossible choice. Pierced through with a thirst for vengeance, raging and alone, he gravitated towards the kind of men who shared his feelings. Hard men, but ones filled with an unshakable sense of honor. Members of a motorcycle club who were not afraid to wreak devastation in support of the found family they shared. The Outriders MC. Brothers in spirit.
To escape the ghosts haunting them both, his older brother had launched his own club, filled with veterans and soldiers. His brother’s stories about his members set up a longing deep inside him, and Mike found himself reaching towards the forgiveness and peace his brother had found. But, in an atmosphere drowning in blood and hate, peace was hard to find. Determined to start fresh, it wasn’t long before Mike, now known as Watcher, followed his brother west, finding a true home as a Southern Soldiers. Brothers in truth.
Then, on what should have been a routine run into Old Mexico, Watcher was confronted by both loss and hope. He saved a doe-eyed beauty from a life branded by pain, but in turn lost the last close link to his family. In her it seemed he found a reason for carrying on, even perhaps a chance at love. As he rebuilt his life, he vowed to keep her safe and the club strong, promising to protect everything that mattered. Brothers. Family. Honor. To do that, Watcher would need to open long-tattered connections to Kentucky, reaching far into his pain-filled past and calling on Davis Mason and the Rebel Wayfarers MC.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

– Nietzsche




From Chapter 1: Kentucky backwoods
Fifteen-year-old Michael Otey stood at the top of the path, shoulders back, long arms relaxed at his sides. His ma promised he’d grow into his reach soon, said Mikey just had to be patient. From where he waited, right where the path doglegged sharply, he could see the pitch in the grade as the dirt track plunged down the steep mountainside towards the holler. He was watching his pa and one of their neighbors walk the trail that led towards the mine entrance. Not quite dawn, the early light streaming through the fog-filled air created odd shadows, making the men appear as dark silhouettes—featureless and eerie when glimpsed through the trees. His pa turned just before the path crooked at the bottom of the hill and waved, one long arm extending far over his head and holding there until Mikey waved back.
Next year Mikey would be pacing the same trail alongside them, taking his turn in the elevator to be deposited into the bowels of the earth. Not yet, though. His pa was adamant Mikey not take the burden on until he was at least sixteen.
Turning and jogging five long strides off the path and into the woods, Mikey oriented himself, then set off at a steady trot back home, staying off the path for this leg of the trip. Eyes down, he scanned the ground ahead and to either side, occasionally stopping to collect black morel mushrooms growing from the hillside. Practiced motions allowed him to leave the roots intact, the soft stems of the black and gray fungus falling to the pinching pressure of thumb meeting fingertip. Elbow tucked inside the bag slung over his shoulder, Mikey cradled the mushrooms in both hands as he opened the container and placed them inside. With a self-satisfied grin, he allowed himself a moment of pride at the haul he would be dropping on his mama’s table in about five minutes. Morels were a cash crop on a good week and a stew-stretcher on a bad one. She would be well pleased because most of the ‘shrooms were big and clean.
In the barn later that afternoon, he’d been working his way through the daily list of jobs, and was measuring out chicken feed. This was normally Tabby’s chore, but at only six, she was too short to reach the bottom of the barrel, and was prone to lean too far, tipping herself inside. So, when it was nearly empty, as it currently was, dipping out a scoop or two of grain on her behalf was far easier than retrieving an angry little sister from the depths of the round prison. It hadn’t happened often, but for him even once was too much, so if he were in a place to do so, he would meet her in the barn of an evening and help fill her bucket. Mikey was head-and-chest inside the barrel, scraping down near the bottom, having tuned out her little voice ratchet-jawing away above him. Tabby was jabbering animatedly about a dolly she’d seen in the mail-order catalog and how her birthday was only four months away when he felt it come over him. A spine-tingling strangeness washing through the air like soot before a storm.
First was the stillness. It seemed like noises were caught on the wind like cottonwood seeds in a cobweb; the waves of sound suspended as if they were dust motes in a sunbeam.
Then Pa’s old mare squealed. The normally sedate horse kicked out hard at the walls of her wooden stall, the sounds she made were both sharp and dull at the same time.
The earth underneath his feet stretched, jolting everything in the barn. It set the tools hanging from the long wall jangling discordantly against each other. Thinner metallic pings of hay tongs fighting against deeper gongs from shovels and rakes. Rattling and tumbling off the wall, falling in an awkward heap along the edge of the floor. Tabby’s voice, raised in a shout, quickly cut off. As fast as the ground had lifted, it seemed scarcely a breath later when it fell back into place, the shudder that accompanied it moving through Mikey’s bones, setting his teeth to aching as it tumbled him into the barrel headfirst. He pressed his hands to the sides of the container, legs kicking, arms working to edge himself backwards.
Finally, sound re-entered the world with a rush, coming with the faraway shrill racket of the emergency whistle three hollers over. Tinny and high-pitched when heard from his location, he knew if he were closer—when he stood under the tower during one of their monthly tests—the sound would beat like a fist, threatening to split his head down the middle with its ferocity. Tabby’s frightened questions echoed through the metal, words warped until they were unrecognizable. “Hold on,” he told her, shoving again and feeling the barrel’s metal lip bite into his waist. “Can’t hear ya, Tabby. Hold on.”
He had barely extracted himself from the barrel when Ma ran into view, coming to a halt in the barn doorway. Chest heaving from her sprint from the house, her eyes were wide and nearly as frightened as the mare’s, showing whites all around. “Mikey,” she half screamed, half yelled, “you see to Tabby. I’ma goin’ to the mine.” She didn’t even wait for his response. She simply whirled on her heel and then raced away, long legs eating the distance, toes flying out in front of her to punch down into the ground. Then her knee lifted and she hit her stride, the kick of her muscles driving her on again. He stood and stared at the slowly swinging door for a long time. Long after she was out of sight. Long after Tabby had gone quiet—questions lodged in her throat as the seriousness settled onto her. Long enough for the siren to cut off, winding down to a silence more painful than the whistle had been.
Something bumped into his hip, and he looked down to see Tabby had her face buried in his side, arms wrapped around his waist. Her grabbing him hadn’t registered, but the sight—her bucket, empty but still dangling from her arm, handle digging into her skin, swinging once again to tap lightly at his hip—broke him from the paralysis threatening to swallow him whole. Carefully peeling her off him, he took the bucket and dropped it into the barrel, then bent in and filled it. “Here you go, Tabs,” he said gently, straightening and holding it out. A taste of normal would help settle them both. “Go take care of the hens.”
She reached and took the bucket from his hands, her little arms strained with the weight. Still facing away from him, her words asked the empty doorway, “When’s Ma gonna be home?”
“I don’t know, Tabs.” Gaze on the same doorway, bereft of movement, stripped of hope, he repeated himself, underscoring his feelings of helplessness at the moment. “I don’t know.”
© MariaLisa deMora


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Author Bio

Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.”

A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a publishing company for a couple decades.

Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”

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Book Review: What Light by Jay Asher



I went back and forth on this, because I genuinely hate leaving bad reviews for authors, particularly authors whose past work I’ve admired. In this one though- I think it’s important that parents/educators get a heads up about some of the messaging. There will be spoilers below, so please stop reading if you’re uncomfortable with that

This book centers around the romance between Sierra, whose parents run a Christmas tree lot that takes her to California for a month each season, and Caleb- a boy she meets with a shady past. We learn pretty quickly that Caleb’s past centers around badly reacting to his parents divorce in a way that made him once run after his sister with a knife, and begin stabbing her bedroom door. We’re told over and over again that this was an accident, that he never *really* meant to hurt his sister, and that he’s a charming nice guy who needs to be given a second chance.

I wonder if Mr. Asher ever considered how toxic a message that is to write for an audience of primarily teenage girls: That a boy who went into a violent rage could be charming and kind in spite of it, and that warning messages from her parents and friends can be ignored if he seems like a really good guy underneath it. Teen dating violence is an issue that puts (mostly) young women at risk, and I really dislike that this narrative centers around ignoring some pretty real warning signs of problems in the name of romance. Sierra also seemed to only exist as a character to fix Caleb’s problems- she was a pretty boring blank slate of a character, overly preoccupied with fixing everything for a boy who she had just met, knew had a violent past, and immediately jumped into fixing.

All of the characters aside from Caleb, including Sierra seemed like hollow stereotypes- especially her friends. Their relationships seemed like exactly what they were: and adult man’s impression of what teenage girl friendships are like. (Mostly centered around boys and shopping, with a little fake and overwrought drama)

It also meandered- for a book that was meant to take place over a four week period, I feel like I lost a year of my life. I had to force myself to keep reading several times.

I feel like the story Mr. Asher really wanted to tell was Caleb’s- and it’s a real shame his editor didn’t help him center the book around him, rather than making it a book about a girl who makes this boy the center of her world, immediately and without any judgment about possible repercussions.

I wouldn’t recommend, and if your daughter/student reads this- I’d probably try and layer in a conversation about the risks of dating violence, of warning signs, of girls not trying to do all the emotional work of “saving” a boy… and I’d try and get them to read some of the books about this topic.

13 Reasons Why did a good job in some cases of explaining how rape culture can hurt a teenage girl over time. This one made a girl taking on all the emotional burdens of a boy’s bad judgement into a romance and encouraged girls to ignore real warnings signs that a boy could be violent and a threat to them.

Cover Reveal : Duplicity By Lisa J Hobman.

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Book: Duplicity
Author: Lisa J Hobman
Estimated Release: December
Cover Designed by: JC Clarke of the Graphics Shed
Hosted By:Francessca’s PR & Design


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Fin Hunter has spent his life striving for his father’s elusive love and approval by following a life path set out for him and not of his own choosing. However, when he is yet again blamed for something out of his control, he snaps. Deciding to stand on his own two feet, he chooses to follow his true passion – music. But will he find real happiness?

Star Mendoza is living her dream in Edinburgh, a place she discovered in British novels while growing up in a small USA town. Now working in a city coffee shop, the tattooed, pink-haired young woman fantasises about the handsome businessman she serves on a daily basis. He’s totally out of her league but a girl can dream. Suddenly he stops calling in only to show up again in the most unlikely of places. Could her fantasy now become a reality? Or is the attraction of opposites doomed to fail?

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About The Author

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I’m a happily married mum with two crazy dogs and a thing for men with tattoos! In May 2012 I relocated from Yorkshire to my favourite place in the world, Scotland. The time since then has been a rollercoaster!

I love writing, singing and I’m very passionate about music. My tastes are quite eclectic.

My debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic was shortlisted in the 2014 RoNA awards and I have written many more since!

Stalk Lisa J Hobman Here:


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