Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 30th, 2013

Crystal Meth – Or Were You Afraid to Ask?

Emily Walker

Long Road Full Speed Ahead by Emily Walker is the fictional account of one young woman’s descent into hell on the wings of crystal meth. It’s depressing but it’s marvelously well written and has the ring of truth.

Grace is ostensibly a student at college, being supported by her parents, but you’d hardly know it from the descriptions of her activities. Going to class happens exactly once in the entire novel. Instead, from morning till night, Grace goes from one sort of high to the next in an increasingly deadening ritual. Her part-time job as a waitress is punctuated by carefully planned trips to the ladies room to snort some more of her favorite drug until her jaw is grinding and her motor-mouth has gone into overdrive.

Grace’s focal point on the one hand is her abusive, loser boyfriend, who strings her along while endlessly hurting and demeaning her, and on the other her self-absorbed drug addict best friend Miranda, who likes “dirty sex,” e.g. sex in the woods with a rotting log for a mattress. With support from people like this, Grace’s plunge into a self-induced destruction is all but assured.

One website I checked claimed that there were more than 12 million users of crystal meth in the United States, more than either cocaine or heroine. It is easier to manufacture than those drugs, and just as addictive. Have a look on the internet for before-and-after pictures of users, and I suppose you yourself will never use.

But the fact remains a lot of people are falling victim to this drug, seduced by a lifestyle of least resistance and maximum high. Emily Walker has sketched this world with a devastating and haunting portrait that will make an indelible mark on you.


§ § § § § § §


Has meth touched your life, or that of anyone you know? Give them a gift. Give them this book.

January 19th, 2013

Basel Book Club Does Max Vinyl

We sure had a nice time yesterday, talking about villain Max Vinyl and his nemesis, Annie Ogden. Thank you Mary for the coffee and cake! Rajni, thank you for organizing the event. I had a lot of fun. Happy reading everyone!

Basel Book Club discussing Doing Max Vinyl, first book in the mystery series featuring woman sleuth Annie Ogden, by bestselling author Frederick Lee Brooke

The Basel Book Club

January 16th, 2013

The Momnesia Epidemic

Lori Verni-Fogarsi bestselling author of women's fiction book Momnesia

Lori Verni-Fogarsi

Being a Dad, I was curious to see what author Lori Verni-Fogarsi would be up to in her book Momnesia. My goodness, did she beat my expectations, or what? This mother narrator runs her own business, does everything for the two little girls, takes care of the household from A to Z, AND has to answer herself in conversations with hubby Paul.

Every time she asks him a question there are only three possible answers: yes, no, and I don’t know. Paul suffers from a disorder that makes him practically powerless to make decisions. When it’s time to plan a date, he can’t choose a restaurant. Put a menu in his hands, he can’t decide what to order. Oh, and as you might have expected Paul is much more interested in TV than having sex.

Killing him isn’t an option; after all, Paul is the girls’ father, isn’t he? Yet this mommy has her needs. First and foremost she would like someone to talk to. Might be nice if he listened, for a change, for once. Her day is a whirlwind of getting the kids out of bed, washed, dressed, fed, and off to school, then cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, then taking care of customers.

Like moms everywhere, this suffering mom devotes every waking moment to the other people in her life. She suffers from “momnesia,” a syndrome of disappearance, the disappearance of the actual woman. She feels she’s invisible.

Endings are difficult, even unimaginable to a mom, thinking of her kids, but when she has a kind of near-death experience in the grocery store parking lot, she realizes enough is enough. Paul will go on like this until they’re old, perfectly happy in their roles as perfect strangers. But she won’t.

Mustering the courage to leave Paul doesn’t come easily to this narrator. One of the things I love about Momnesia is that we are given intimate access to her thinking process all the way through the year in which all this takes place. Paul is drawn rather starkly, completely unsuitable as a partner for anyone.

Even so, the decision she has to make is a gigantic one. She turns to her friends for advice and support, and meets new friends as well. Nothing happens suddenly. Everything evolves naturally and feels right. Yet when a friend asks her for a photo of herself, a search through her computer reveals 400 photos of the kids, Paul, the pets, her with the kids, her with the pets, but none of her alone. Why are there no pictures of her? Because she’s always been the one to snap the photos! No one ever snaps a photo of her. Why would they? She’s invisible.

Cover of bestseller women's fiction book Momnesia by bestselling author Lori Verni-Fogarsi

Key events always involve courageous decisions to rebel against invisibility and once again do what she hasn’t done since she became a mom. Listening to her old favorite music; going out dancing with friends; experimenting with a new sex toy she calls “Wascally Wabbit (I nearly fell off my chair laughing);” making friends with a stranger.

Zest for life returns in direct proportion to the positive payback she gets from stepping out of the roles people expect her to fill. She doesn’t have to neglect the children; she just has to focus on her own needs now and then every day. It’s no spoiler to say Paul is a lost cause. We know it from the beginning.

Observing the gradual transformation of the mommy-narrator is the beauty of Momnesia. It’s a classic story, with a loveable, huggable narrator.

Reach for the phone or your reading device or whatever it is you use right now, and order this book. Moms, Momnesia will give you strength. Read the book and let me know how you liked it. Dads, it will give you pause to think. I’m sure you’re not at all like this dude, Paul, right? Please tell me that you’re not.

January 13th, 2013

Ode To Zombie Candy by Corinne O’Flynn

My good friend Corinne O’Flynn penned this “review” of Zombie Candy back in June 2012, when it first came out. I loved it so much I asked Corinne if I could reprint it here on the occasion of my Orangeberry Book Tour (see info at right). I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.

the broken heart caused by an unfaithful partner

Ode to Zombie Candy

by Corinne O’Flynn

Hubby’s home from his business trip

Then into his man cave for a zombie flick

You’ve tried to join him, but it doesn’t ring true

The zombies hold no allure for you

You unpack his bag, your chore since forever

But this time you’re totally shocked to discover

The feel of the fabric is foreign, that’s clear

As you pull out one tiny, black, lacy, brassiere

You don’t need a mirror to know it’s true

This little black number can’t belong to you

What now, you ask? Is it all over, then?

Enter your friend, dear Annie Ogden

We met Annie back in DOING MAX VINYL

After duty tours, her third was her final


She’s returned home with her very own set

of personal baggage that brings a cold sweat

Together they hatch and scheme and they plan

They can’t let him off the hook, this man

Let’s teach him a lesson, some shock and awe

To combat one black inappropriate bra

the tiny black bra one of Larry's lovers plants in his suitcase during a business trip, which is then found by Larry's wife Candace in the novel Zombie Candy, by bestselling author Frederick Lee Brooke

What happens next? You’re invited to read

A fun, dark, book, you’ll devour with speed

You’ll learn about so many things as you go

Like: never ever ask for some cilantro







Please visit Corinne on her blog. She’d love to meet you!

January 9th, 2013

Orangeberry Book Tour and G!veaway

photo credit AP Photo/NY Public Library, Alexander Gardner

Another Famous Touring Person

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln spent 11 days riding a train from Springfield, Illinois to Washington D.C. He gave speeches in town squares, set off helium balloons, and the balconies were decked in patriotic bunting.

My whistlestop tour is a virtual one. I’m on the Orangeberry Express, travelling around the world for the next 50 days, giving interviews and offering my books for reviews.

Lincoln was on his victory tour, rallying the nation to support emancipation of the slaves. My book tour serves a more modest purpose: I want you to rediscover the pleasures of reading by sampling my mystery series featuring woman sleuth Annie Ogden.

To make it easy for you to buy both books in the series, Zombie Candy is FREE from January 9 – 13 here, so you could download both books for just $2.99.

In addition, you can win a $25 gift card or the equivalent in cash in your paypal account just by entering the contest here. No purchase is required to enter. We’re going to have four $25 winners as well as giving away a lot of free books, so enter today!

First stops on the Orangeberry Tour? Here they are:

January 11 Twitterview at 6:30 p.m. EST and follow Pandora on Twitter here

January 12 Interview and Book Review at Mommy Adventures

January 13 Guest Post and Book Feature on Delphina Reads too Much

January 14 Interview and Book Feature at Promiscuous Diva


So, you wanna win one of the $25 gift cards or cash money? Don’t do another thing until you’ve entered the contest here!