Monday, November 25, 2019

In the Spotlight: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied by Preston Howard

Author: Preston Howard & Anne Howard
Publisher: PHP
Pages: 335
Genre: Noir Crime Thriller

Retired attorney Preston Howard obsesses about the newly elected, bombastic and narcissistic president, and three corrupt Austin police officers whom he represented and saved from capital murder charges and execution ten years before. After his wife divorces him and his drinking reaches gargantuan proportions, Howard’s thoughts turn to murderous impulses as the only way he can stamp out one, or both of his fixations. Howard and his co-author, daughter Anne Howard, tell the story, often with hilarious observations, of compulsion, addiction, love, and in the end, the search for justice.


“I thought Preston Howard’s first book was terrific, but Justice Delayed is Justice Denied is a home run! One of the best books I’ve read in years.” – John P. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee
“Preston Howard’s writing and insights into politics and the legal system keep getting better and better. Justice Delayed is hilarious and on point!” – Amy Margulies, Austin, Texas

order your copy below

Amazon →



I cackled while watching The Donald in June, 2015, as he descended the elevator at Trump Tower like an Arabian potentate, Melania walking below him in one of her bazillion-dollar outfits (or more...can there be more than a bazillion?).
Right off the bat, I figured no rational person would listen to this clown as he ranted about Mexican rapists, recapturing oil in the Mideast, jobs lost to China and Mexico, blah, blah, blah. Right after the Great Bloviator announced his candidacy, Jon Stewart licked his chops and rubbed his hands together in glee but expressed sorrow that he would soon be leaving The Daily Show, unable to skewer this phony poohbah in Jon’s inimitable style.

Boy oh boy, did Jon and I ever get this one wrong, as did most of the elitist commentators—the FOX reporters impostering as legitimate media excluded, of course. And as well did the multiple Republican candidates, who scorned Trump as a laughable huckster not worthy of consideration. His list of gaffes during the campaign mounted day by day, but the Trumpster shrugged them off like water off a duck’s back each time and just kept lying all the way to victory and the White House.

I wonder often how many times after the Republican Convention, Jeb Bush and Marco “Trump has little hands” Rubio asked themselves, “How the fuck did this nimrod beat me?” And Hillary, bless her heart, she must wake up every day thinking “I deserved to win; I was entitled. How could all those deplorables snatch away my victory? How dare they?”



Preston Howard has retired from his rewarding profession as a labor lawyer, where he represented law enforcement officers not only in Texas but across the country. As a renowned expert, he spoke at meetings and conferences about topical labor law issues not only in the United States, but in other countries as well.  He now lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he spends his time writing novels.
His first book, “The Sheltering Palms,” was highly praised. One reviewer said, “…had me hooked right from the start.” Another person wrote, “…storytelling at its best.”

His latest effort, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied,” tracks his struggles with retirement: a divorce from his wife, alcoholism, and thoughts of murder either of the president or three corrupt police offices he represented ten years before. As he wrestles with these concerns, he also dips his foot into the dating scene, meeting an attractive senior lady. As in his first novel, Preston Howard’s observations about the human condition are hilarious and on point.

website & social links

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Authors To Watch: Lustily Ever After by Stephanie Bentley #AuthorsToWatch

Stephanie Bentley is the creator and composer of Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical, a funny, sexy love story inspired by romantic fiction and ’90s pop music. Stephanie is a musical theater/musical improv comedy performer and audiobook narrator with experience acting in television and film. She studied improv at Upright Citizens Brigade and has performed all over Los Angeles and New York.

Stephanie and her cast are available for live performances of pieces from the book.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

Combining a titillating collection of romance tropes, LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL, created and composed by Stephanie Bentley, and performed by a multitalented musical cast from the Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade, makes a surprising and innovative
contribution to the audiobook listening experience. With 20 original songs inspired by ’90s pop music and a spicy story penned by erotica ghostwriter Miranda Ray at its core, the musical parody pushes the limits of sexual innuendo right to the edge before tipping over into the throws of uproarious ridiculousness.

When sassy Raleigh Jackson interviews for a six-week contract to be the fake girlfriend of Trystan Lay—schmillioniare playboy, politician, ex-Navy Seal, songwriter/astronaut, and “the world’s most perfect human”—she knows the outcome will change her life.

A student/waitress/intern living with her obligatory best friend, Kim, Raleigh overcomes her medical condition—chronic clumsiness—and snags the job, thus beginning a whirlwind of extravagant travel and glitzy events.

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL covers the span of romance novel clich√©s from the brooding playboy to the fake romance with sprinkles of paranormal love. The story is sultry, silly, snarky—and hilarious. Chapter titles are sung in harmonies invoking the R&B group En Vogue. The characters voice their own dialogue and routinely burst into song, as they fumble through pillow talk, and relive steamy memories in songs such as “Talkin’ Dirty” and “50 Shades of Lay.”

The creator’s inspiration for LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL came from her unusual day job. “I’m a romance audiobook narrator by day and a musical theater performer by night. Every day in the booth, I giggle at the same tropes coming up again and again. Then these song lyrics just started coming to me, “The models in my bed don’t keep me warm at night,” for example. I started writing and pretty soon, the whole musical just came tumbling out!”

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL has an e-book companion containing the story and all of the lyrics, and there may be plans for a sequel: “I thought we had hit most of the tropes, but now I realize we may have only just begun,” Stephanie says.

Book Info:
Audiobook, $6.95; 2 hours 37 minutes; ISBN: 978-1089023753
E-book, $2.99; 104 pages
Publication date: August 2019
Published by Stephanie Bentley

Order Your Copy below

Amazon →

We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

Thank you so much for having me! So, this might be a little different since I’m a musical writer, but after performing and singing my whole life I studied improv and musical improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater, and that is really what changed me from just a performer into a writer. I was on stage all the time making up entire musicals with just a suggestion from the audience, my teammates and a piano player, and I would often leave a show having made up several songs that I was still singing days later. I started to realize that maybe my lifelong dream of writing a musical didn’t have to be so out of reach if I just started with making up little choruses here and there, or lyrics that made me laugh. So, I wrote my first musical in 2017 which was a two-woman staged production, broke through that fear of actually doing it, and now here we are with my second musical featuring 20 original songs and available for a much larger audience than the 100 seats of the theater where we performed.
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
Since I have two ridiculously adorable and noisy kids, I have to write on the fly, during lunch time, nap time, stroller time, while driving in the car. I have several early versions of ‘Talkin Dirty’, one of the songs in the book, recorded on my phone set to the background noise of splashing and yelling as my kids battled each other for some toy in the bathtub. The cool thing about writing a musical for me though, is that when I’m in the middle of writing a song, it feels like being in love. I’m daydreaming about it and humming it all the time, jotting down little love notes to it here and there. There has never been any real ‘time’ to write any of this book, but somehow, when I’m in love there is always enough energy and stolen moments to keep the story moving forward. 
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical is the first audiobook musical for adults, and I am so honored and excited to share it with your audience! I had the great fortune of partnering with erotica ghostwriter Miranda Ray, who penned the book around the 20 original songs that I wrote. 
Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical is a musical parody of romance novels with music inspired by 90’s pop music. It features comedians from The Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade theater voicing their own dialogue and frequently bursting into comedic songs about their hilarious and exaggerated storybook lives. 
How did you get the idea for the book?
The inspiration for this whole project came from my day-job, as an audiobook narrator reading mostly romance titles 5 days a week. I know that by romance reader standards, 5-7 books a month isn’t that unusual but for a novice like me that was a huge amount of romance to act as my introduction to the genre! I had only ever read 50 Shades of Grey on my honeymoon like a real pedestrian.  So, suddenly I was knee-deep in romance novels from every kind of sub-genre and I kept seeing the same tropes and stereotypes coming up again and again, making me giggle (or groan!) I quickly became a big fan of romance in general and could write a whole paper on why I believe it’s so popular, but I’m also an improv comedy performer at heart, so these lyrics started coming to me, ‘The models in my bed don’t keep me warm at night…’ for example. I started writing them down, gathering more and more funny lyrics to add to my characters every time I went to work, and the whole musical kept writing itself from there.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
The book features 3 main characters:
Raleigh Jackson, the classic good girl student /intern with a full schedule of volunteer work and a desire to find out who she really is. “I was diagnosed with a medical condition: clumsiness.”
Kim (no last name), the forgettable but supportive obligatory best friend who has no discernable features and who’s driver’s license is just a library card. “Sisters before shifters!”
Trystan Lay, bad boy schmillioniare, astronaut / politician who according to NASA is ‘the world’s most perfect human’. He’s definitely my favorite because he gets to say and do the most hilarious things and it's perfectly reasonable in his world. “They want astronauts with ‘je na sais quoi’, which is French for ‘strength’.” - Trystan
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
The most challenging aspect was most certainly finding the time to do it at all! Coordinating the collaboration with the writer and music arranger, and the performers. I hope that listeners enjoy the book because it’s funny, but I also hope that a mom who wrote this thing with two kids under the age of 4 and a job helps to inspire other writers and creators out there that they can do the same thing! For me it’s all about finding that inspiration and then just following one single lily pad at a time across that pond without looking up! Head down, keep hopping, baby. 
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, getting the word out about Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical is truly all I have time for despite my Ted Talk answer above, but I know that the next inspiration won’t be far behind! Creating for me is a calling, a divine appointment, in whatever form it happens to be. I’m sure I’ll be onto my next hare-brained scheme in no time. 
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
Follow the inspiration! Hop on those lily pads, just one single one at a time, don’t look up and don’t worry about the next stage and all the million reasons why it won’t work. Usually, once the next stage arrives, things have a way of working themselves out. And, always remember to stay in love with the story. If it’s not the right time, I don’t force it, I just wait for the words to come to me and I do my best to be ready with my voice memo app when they do. You can do it! I did!

New release: Maximilian's Treasure, by James D. Bell

Genre: Romantic Adventure 
Author: James D. Bell
Find out more on Amazon       

About the Book:

Rumors of a legendary treasure fuel a battle over possession of a Choctaw family farm.  Two young lawyers, John Brooks and Jackson Bradley, agree to help the family keep their farm.  Early legal success prompts the drive-by murder of the patriarch of the family.  The grandson chases the suspects whose bodies are found on the farm, scalped.  At the same time clues to a vast treasure are found on the farm.  Jackson, pursued by fortune seekers, adventurers, an exotic beauty and a homicidal maniac, follows the clues from a Caribbean reef to the Chiapas jungle.  John stays behind to defend the grandson and continue the fight for the farm.  His efforts are complicated by arson, murder, race riots, and the realization that he lost his one true love.  Though there is great distance between them, their adventures are intertwined as they rush toward a triple climax that could shake the world.  Join the adventure and discover your Maximilian’s Treasure.

About the Author:

James D. Bell is an award-winning author and retired Judge who received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. He is listed in Preeminent Lawyers, Outstanding Lawyers of America and Top 100 Attorneys of North America.  He is the author of two novels, Vampire Defense and Maximilian’s Treasure.  His short story, The Adventures of Sherlock Hound, was published in Mardi Allen’s collection, Dog Stories for the Soul, alongside stories from Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Willie Morris and others.  The son of a Choctaw mother and a Mississippi businessman, Judge Bell is devoted to his wife, Joanne.  They live near Jackson, Mississippi and have four children.  Judge Bell returned to law practice but is frequently called back to the bench by the Mississippi Supreme Court for short term assignments.

Find out more: 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Book Feature: TETRASTATUM by Dr. Richard and Tim Smith


Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
* Time Travel Thriller *

Author: Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
Publisher: Epigraph Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Time Travel Thriller

In their debut novel TETRASTATUM, authors Dr. Richard and Tim Smith combine heady concepts about the universe with a thrilling science fiction story about the search for a new kind of time travel. The result is a stunning mixture of dense cosmology and old-fashioned storytelling that will appeal to a wide readership, from science professionals to lay fans of science fiction.

“Dr. Richard” and “Tim Smith” are the pseudonyms of Dr. Richard Connor and Marcus Rodriguez, respectively.

TETRASTATUM (‘the fourth state’) is the culmination of my 30 years working in the field of photonics,” Dr. Richard says. “I am an avid reader of sci-fi, and I wanted to create a new type of work that is both educational and entertaining in the genre. TETRASTATUM gives the reader a unique understanding of the existing laws of physics and extends them to provoke further thought from novice readers as well as advanced experts in the field.”

Kirkus Reviews notes that “authors Dr. Richard and Smith … tell their cerebral story with a heady mix of dense theory and absurdist humor.”

The Independent Review of Books declares:  “TETRASTATUM is like nothing you have ever read before. This is an impressive work of science fiction …”

The San Francisco Book Review adds that, “These recurring themes of characterization and distortion feed into the concern that is being voiced over the current state of our political climate…The layering of these themes is ultimately what gives TETRASTATUM a relevance that will keep readers turning pages and asking questions.”

“The book ultimately explains how human perceptions alter the future and puts forth a model based on quantum physics to explain ‘reality’,” Dr. Richard continues.  He calls science fiction “the perfect genre to explore socio-political ideas within the context of futuristic technologies and scientific theories.”

Dr. Richard and Smith are currently working with Norith Soth on adapting TETRASTATUM into a screenplay. Mr. Soth has penned work for Justin Lin (“Fast and Furious”), Stephen Chin (“War Dogs”), and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”).

order your copy below





“Well, Dr. Smith, your colleague…uhm, whom you claim is watching us on some monitor-type device, has quite an imagination.  Images, imagination, create that which brings wonder into the realm of understanding.  I concede that I didn’t contemplate the idea of two spheres and two sets of waves when I derived my equations.  I missed the duality, nature’s constant.  But I confirm that this appears to be mathematically accurate and a plausible theory as to the nature of reality, itself.”  –Dr. Erwin Schr√∂dinger





meet the author

Dr. Richard has been involved in the field of Photonics for over 30 years. He received his BA in physics (honors) from the University of California Fullerton. He was in a full scholarship PhD program in physics at the University of California Irvine and a PhD program in philosophy at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Richard completed his two dissertations (involving human interpretations of laser and electro-optical images) while under top secret clearance. He also has an advanced placement teaching credential, an advanced certification (from the University of Wisconsin) in laser and optical design; and other advanced certifications in fiber optics, computer programming, technology business development, financial products, dance, anatomy and physiology.

website & social links



Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Feature: Streetcar Sandwiches by Curtis Orloff - Win a $25 Gift Card

Title: Streetcar Sandwiches
Author: Curtis Orloff
Publisher: Authorhouse
Genre: Performing Arts/Screenplay
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover

Streetcar Sandwiches is a screenplay showing the efforts the owner of a sandwich shop in Uptown New Orleans undertakes to keep her business running. Not only does she have to deal with a menagerie of all types of employees, she has to comply with onerous and often conflicting regulations from several government bureaus. How she handles what turns into an ordeal threatens to change her naturally optimistic and pleasant personality. It leads directly to an outcome that could only have occurred in the Big Easy.




Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 18 and ends on November 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 18
A Book Lover
My Bookish Pleasures

Tuesday, November 19
The Hype and the Hoopla
Write and Take Flight

Wednesday, November 20
Harmonious Publicity
Book Cover Junkie

Thursday, November 21
Fiction to Fruition
From Paperback to Leatherbound

Friday, November 22

She Writes
A Title Wave

Monday, November 25

All Inclusive Retort
The Literary Nook

Tuesday, November 26
Voodoo Princess
C'est La T

Wednesday, November 27
The Revolving Bookshelf
The Dark Phantom

Thursday, November 28
The Book Refuge
The Book Czar

Friday, November 29
The Zen Reader
I'm Shelf-ish