A Kevin Review: Grasping at Shadows (and looking under the bed…)

As you probably know by now, BookRix has recently decided to invite a couple of our more entertaining and insightful team members into the blogging inner circle to write some book reviews. Here is the fourth one, written by Kevin: The dark and thrilling Grasping at Shadows: A Collection of Dark Shorts by Laurie Paulsen (lauriemariepea).

Not for the kiddies.

Not for the kiddies.

These are not tales for children. However, IF you like having what I call “the pattooties” scared out of you – and delight in images so frightening they linger and wait for you in that short-cut through the cemetery in the wee hours, epitomizing our worst fears from childhood not yet convinced there is nothing really out there, or under the bed or in the closet or the basement or in the mind of the person standing before you, to be afraid of or at least a little concerned about – you’ll really enjoy this one.

Ever read something so disturbing you keep stopping to look up, scan around the room, you feel vulnerable, feeling the people around you, on the subway, bus or in the laundry, can sense your…discomfort, “Hahaha, this is…sure is scary…”, wet armpits, nervous laugh?

There is something about the way women write about the hardships of life, abuse, retribution, justice, love in chains, children, etc., in art. For me, these were obviously penned by a woman. They are all startlingly original, with an eye peeled for our sometimes twisted “humanity” (whatever that is) in the most bizarre of circumstances and an acceptance of it.

Laurie Paulsen obviously sees the world a little differently than most of us, but after a peek at her list of favorite books/writers it all made sense immediately. She’s raised on the milk of the wild, mad, great ones. S.M Stirling, Stephen King, and Alice Walker to name just a few from her list (some of my favs too).

Lessee, I will here sidestep my inclination to want to allude to each story. They’re so different, it’s impossible to have an absolute favorite so I’ll just say this; “Killing Chickens” and old Egg….the love of Egg…wow, where did that come from?

An exciting, fast, chilling read you won’t want to end. Remember, not for the kiddies.

Buy it now:

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Author Birthdays, Xmas Shopping & Weekend Reading!

What will YOU be reading this weekend?

What will YOU be reading this weekend?

December birthdays can be a bummer. Depending on which day it falls on in the month, your special day can be completely overshadowed by Christmas. For those of you who have experienced this problem, our hearts go out to you! But you’re not alone. This Sunday, December 16th, marks the birthday of two famous authors: Jane Austen and Arthur C. Clarke.

Austen is best known for her written work on romantic fiction (namely Pride and Prejudice). She is still currently noted as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Clarke is on the other end of the writing spectrum, as he became famous for his novels in Science Fiction. People often remember him for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Let’s raise our glasses (or eReaders) to two excellent authors who helped shape the minds of many.

TGIF? Kinda. The weekend is upon us and for those getting their last minute Christmas shopping done, well – put on a brave face at the mall, cause it’s going to be crazy. Just remember, Amazon is your friend. If you’ve never been a fan of online shopping, try it out this holiday season. We’re confident that you’ll change your mind. And hey – while you’re cruising around on Amazon trying to find your Uncle Jeff that ultra fancy fishing rod, check out our weekend reading selection from BookRix authors:

Fantasy, Romance

Fantasy, Romance

Short Stories, Fiction

Short Stories, Fiction

Juvenile Fiction, Vampire

Juvenile Fiction, Vampire

Book Review: From the back country of Muddy Fork.

Muddy Fork welcomes YOU!

Welcome to Muddy Fork, a town with every kind of folk you can imagine: Hard working farmers, preachers, crazy uncles, moonshine brewers, mail order brides, first time drivers, prophets, gold diggers, drunk deputies, trouble makers, young lovers and many, many happy families. Stanley Mcqueen has created an entire world filled with the charming, everyday lives of these down-to-earth hillbilly folks. He has more than 30 short stories for sale at Bookrix (and the external shops) and another few just for free. Each story is filled with wisdom, humor and, more often than not, good ol’ fashioned morals.

Today’s review is based on The New Harvest, one of my personal Muddy Fork favorites. The story begins with breakfast, in a hard working farmer’s kitchen. Pa and his son Tabby are getting ready to start their day. What I love about this is how genuine their conversation is; Pa speaks out of love, but also out of the desire to teach Tabby and raise him to be respectable. This is the kind of simple life city dwellers often dream about. As a writer (and an avid reader) I’ve always wanted to move out to the country, buy myself a nice log cabin, and live a quiet life with nothing but my typewriter (or laptop…) and a wall filled with paperbacks (or my eReader…). The greatest thing about Mcqueen’s writing is that it isn’t filled with crazy adventures, wild characters, or violence; it’s about the real, everyday events that truly matter in life.

After working hard in the tobacco fields, we get to visit the charming “courting” swing, strung up between two trees down by the river. This is where Tabby brings his special gal, Martha, the local shopkeeper’s daughter. They while the time away, enjoying the cool evening air and the uncomplicated conversations of young love. Never once do you think something bad is going to happen. For once, as a reader, you just get to sit back and let the story unfold. I felt safe and comfortable in Muddy Fork and by the end of the story, I didn’t want to leave. Lucky for me, The New Harvest is just one of many lovable folksy tales about Muddy Fork. You can also find a collection of these short stories, all together, in The Folks of Muddy Fork.

Before you get reading, have a listen to the theme song from “The Andy Griffith Show” – it will help set the mood.

Can Censorship Be Wrong? You Decide



Like many of you, I appreciate having freedom of speech. I may not agree with the thoughts and opinions of others who share this freedom, but I’m thankful to have it. But where do we draw the line exactly? Amazon is currently dodging bullets surrounding the self published “pro” pedophilia book that has been available for purchase on their site since October, 2011. Why did removing it take so long? That’s a question many are asking.

In my research, I learned (via CNN) that another similarly themed book put Amazon in the hot seat. In November 2010, Amazon removed The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct from their site. When questioned, an Amazon spokes person told “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”

Before you decide for yourself, maybe you should read a portion of the description for Age of Consent:

“Are you soon to set off travelling the world? The single most important law that you can know in alien nations is the age of consent. It may be 16 in your current state or country of residence, but having sex with a 16 year old in some countries could result in many years in jail. In some countries it is even illegal to have sex outside of marriage, with severe consequences if you are caught doing so!

On the flipside, there are many countries on this planet where the age of consent is as low as 12 or 13, whilst one country has no age limit whatsoever! Before travelling, whether you are going as a backpacker, for business purposes, or as a sex tourist, you need to invest in this comprehensive guide to the age of consent laws in every country in the world! It will keep your fun legal!”

And there you have it. Is it censorship? Do you agree or disagree with Amazon removing these two books? Share your thoughts and opinions below.

$4-Tastic: 8 Days Left!

As we’ve mentioned before, our $4-Tastic self publishing packages have been doing awesome this month. With only 8 days left, we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to take advantage of this 90% savings! Sell your eBook on BookRix, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and more for only $4. Don’t miss this amazing deal!

Listed below are some eBooks published during our $4-Tastic promotion. Check ‘em out and let us (and the authors!) know what you think. We’re all ears!

Fall Into MeFall Into Me by H.L.B. Adams: Lily James has a hard time dealing with grief, or as her therapist says she doesn’t deal with grief properly. After her grandmother dies she goes on a downward spiral. The only person there for her, surprisingly, is her ex, Jace, the boy who cheated on her. He is there to help her through this tough time in her life, but when she gets better she moves on to another guy, Andy. Andy is sweet and kind and most importantly trust worthy. But in the end who will she choose? Jace, the guy who broke her heart and then saved her from herself or Andy they guy who made her believe in love again?

The Forgotten WayThe Forgotten Way by Aaron Redfern: Two years after the events of The Long Way, Spiff still bears his scars both outside and in. Haunted by his memories, he is compelled to leave the peaceful existence he has known and set out on the second great journey of his life, accompanied by his friend, the Merai girl Miriel. Together they strike out, knowing only that they travel south–to the end of the world if they must. Stories never really end. The Forgotten Way is about what happens after the world is saved and everyone else has gone home.

They Walk Among UsThey Walk Among Us by Mario Cacho: A romantic getaway to a Central American country brings Monica face to face with departed souls lurking in a murky limbo between life and death.

Write, Publish, Distribute: Rinse & Repeat

zen book coverAt BookRix, we offer a variety of self publishing options designed to suit the needs of all writers. Whether you choose to sell your work or make it accessible for free is your choice, however we encourage our authors to choose our ‘Professional’ package (currently $4 through 6/28). Not only does this package distribute your eBook through major retailers like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, but by doing this you’re allowing yourself to make money on all your hard work! Who wouldn’t want that?

Take BookRix member and self published author Peter Jalesh, aka “bmusteata”, for example. He joined our site in November, 2011 and already has 23 books available, 9 of which are for sale! Peter has a plethora of books on a variety of topics including  Zen, Chinese philosophy, and meditation as well as children’s books, songs, poetry and romance.

Writing a book is no small feat! It takes a lot of time to create the plot, write it out, edit and re-edit, create a cover, etc. If you’ve done all this, pat yourself on the back. That’s a huge accomplishment! Now take the next step and sell it. You’ll be happy that you did.


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