#BookReview “What’s That Growing in My Sour Cream?” by Brad Graber

Author: Brad Graber

Narrator: Derek Neumann

Length: 3 hours 35 minutes

Publisher: Dark Victory Press

Released: May 26, 2020

Genre: Humor

Why is a fly circling the deli? What can you learn from your dog about aging? Is Mahjong the real game of champions?If you’re a fan of David Sedaris, Erma Bombeck, or Andy Rooney, you’ll love Brad Graber’s new release What’s that Growing in My Sour Cream? – a compilation of over 70 humorous essays on the joys, challenges, and absurdities of life in America. Drawn from Graber’s blog “There, I Said It!” Graber introduces listeners to his sharp observations on everyday subjects such as Facebook friends, the odd messages stuffed into fortune cookies, and awkward man hugs. A bold new voice, Graber’s humor and wit are on full display in What’s that Growing in My Sour Cream?.

Buy on Audible
Buy on iTunes

Brad Graber writes novels because he grew up in a family where no one listened to him – so he made up stories about them. He’s the award-winning author of The Intersect and After the Fall, and writes a humor blog: There, I Said It! He currently resides in Phoenix with his husband, Jeff.

Narrator Bio

Derek Neumann is actor and voice professional in the recording arts and sciences who has studied at both the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the British Academy’s Midsummer at Oxford’s Shakespeare program.

The musings and observations of Brad Graber’s What’s That Growing in My Sour Cream are not only humorous and entertaining but also relatable. From germs on planes to germs in the home (I think Brad’s a germaphobe! HA!), to food on cruises and holiday meals, to family dynamics and aging gracefully (or not), I found topics and situations I’ve often pondered and was encouraged to find I’m not the only person lamenting the extinction of authentic customer service.

Compiled of posts from Graber’s personal blog, this audiobook is perfect for a relaxing evening or drive. Derek Neumann’s smooth, unhurried narration felt as though I was listening to the observations of a good friend, and just as I was ready for more, the book ended.

Graber’s insight and wit remind us not only that it’s never too late, but also that we’re never truly alone.


I volunteered to review this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Brad Graber. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Top 10 List
Brad Graber’s top ten reasons you will love listening to What’s That Growing in My Sour Cream?
  1. You see humor in everyday happenings
  2. You enjoy Seinfeld, David Sedaris, Erma Bombeck, and the Chicken Soup Series
  3. You think Mahjong is the true game of champions
  4. You’re curious about what your dog can teach you about aging
  5. You’re perplexed by the odd messages in fortune cookies
  6. You keep walking into your spouse
  7. You laugh at awkward man hugs
  8. You’ve gone to the theatre and experienced the big head show
  9. You’ve noticed that the medicine cabinet is now in the kitchen
  10. You enjoy pedicures
View the full schedule here

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

Sign up as a tour host here.

#BookReview “Comfort Zone” by Stephen Bentley


5/5 Stars!

Comfort Zone opens with what appears to be stalking, which turns into a kidnapping, that turns into a horrific murder.

And that was just the prologue!

Phil Mercer, an English barrister, has lost much… his brother, mother, and beloved wife, Liz, all in two short years.

Phil also appears to be losing his mind.

A “voice” who introduces himself as Vincent is encouraging Phil to kill… to take revenge on those people he believed to be friends, but they instead hindered or stifled his legal career and financial situation.

While he agrees with Vincent, Phil Mercer isn’t a killer. Or is he?

The back and forth with Phil/Vincent reminded me of Smeagol/Gollum and I wondered who would win in the end.

Phil decides retribution is his to take, but as he moves closer to his parlor game, a summons from court convinces him he’s going to prison for perjury and he sinks into depression. However, spurred on by Vincent, he sets his plan in motion.

Stephen Bentley’s plot twists kept me on edge. Learning Phil’s military backstory brings clarity… and pity for the barrister, but things are still not as they seem and I don’t know who’s more confused, Phil or me. HA!

I’m not saying anyone deserves to die because that would be… wrong, of course, but Phil Mercer is surrounded by some pretty awful people who evoke little sympathy in every stage of his life, and even after, however, in the end, I still can’t decide if Phil is crazy, or crazy like a fox.

This quick read is great suspense with psychological and noir elements you won’t see coming. It looks like an easy, open and shut case on the surface, but trust me, there’s nothing easy about Phil Mercer or the Comfort Zone.



There’s a killer lurking in all of us. Sometimes you just don’t know it.
Take Phil Mercer, for example, what dark secret from his past changes a decent man, and respected professional into a man with murder on his mind?
Down to earth Northerner, Phil Mercer, begins to question why so-called university friends failed to help him establish a practice at London’s Criminal Bar.
Despite that and colleagues’ professional jealousy, he goes on to achieve success as a fearless defender of society’s less fortunate until his career is threatened by events triggered by something completely out of his control.
Figuring his life and career are about to change forever, Mercer strives to find a way to right wrongs by inventing a new parlour game called ‘Comfort Zone.’
At a dinner party surrounded by colleagues he insists they all play the game. He introduces it after dinner as a ‘storytelling game.’
He adds – “the easy choice is not an option at all. What terrifies you? What scares you shitless? Be brave. Be reckless. You are among friends. What can possibly go wrong? It’s just a parlour game, right?”
Get this dark suspense noir crime novella now.

Purchase Links

Amazon Universal Link

All digital stores https://books2read.com/b/4Dygjr

Goodreads Button




AUTHOR BIOStephen Bentley

Stephen Bentley is a former police Detective Sergeant and barrister (trial attorney) from the UK. He is now a freelance writer and occasional HuffPost UK contributor on undercover policing.

His memoir Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story is a frank account of his pioneering undercover detective experiences during Operation Julie – an elite group of detectives who successfully investigated one of the world’s largest drugs rings.

His memoir became a UK bestseller and now translated into Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. It is available in English in these formats: eBook, hard cover, paperback, and audiobook.

He also writes crime fiction in his Steve Regan Undercover Cop Thrillers and Detective Matt Deal Thriller series. He has also written an award-winning short story, The Rose Slayer, which has now been published in an anthology of murder mystery short stories titled Death Among Us​​​​​​​, along with over twenty short stories from ten authors.

When he isn’t writing, Stephen relaxes on the beaches of the Philippines with his family where he now lives often with a cold beer in one hand and a book in the other.



HuffPost UK Blogger



Amazon Author Page

All Author



AI Sheets for trade booksellers may be found here at hendrypublishing.com




#BookReview “The Dead Tell Lies” by J.F. Kirwan



5/5 Stars!

A psychologist who works with New Scotland Yard profiling serial killers, Greg Adams has figured out the pattern of the latest spree serial killer, The Divine, and rushes with law enforcement to stop the man from killing his next victim. However, only moments after seeing the psychopath led away in handcuffs, Greg’s world is upended when he learns his wife, Kate, was just murdered by another serial killer known as The Dreamer.

The hunt for The Dreamer goes nowhere. Burdened with grief and guilt, Greg walks away from his job. At the end of his sanity, he opts to take his life with a cruel game of Russian Roulette… that is interrupted by a frantic phone call telling him Kate wasn’t killed by The Dreamer a year earlier because he was already dead.

Despite knowing he’s too close to the case… and too close to the edge of his sanity, Greg is allowed back on the job to pursue the case. The info the mysterious caller gives him ignites his coldfire—his ability to get inside a serial killer’s head—and become the killer.

However, before this read is anywhere near the end, Greg Adams will be arrested for serial murder, locked up in a mental hospital, come face to face with true evil… and his own mortality.

I loved the plot and foreshadowing of The Dead Tell Lies and could barely catch my breath at the constant twists thrown in my path. But, it is the well-written characters that kept me turning pages!

Greg is a sympathetic character, but not for the obvious reason… the death of his wife. He’s smart and good at his job. Sometimes too good, and it takes him to some dark places few can go and return sane. He must revisit the crimes and lives of the six killers he helped capture to keep any more lives from being lost. Including his own.

DCIs Donaldson, Finch, and Matthews are more than just supporting players who seem unlikable in the beginning. Convinced of Greg’s innocence, they’re each put through their paces, risking their jobs and their lives to solve the case.

Having read and enjoyed J.F. Kirwan’s last suspense series, I had high expectations for The Dead Tell Lies, and it met… and surpassed them all.



Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

Grab this one fast while it’s still 99c / 99p!

Purchase Links







full tour banner


Release Blitz & Review: “Summer’s Destiny”

Summers Destiny Banner

Summers Destiny Cover

Title: Summer’s Destiny

Author: Ariel Marie

Cover Designer: Ariel Marie

Releasing: March 12, 2016

 Genre: Vampire Erotic Romance



 The hunters came in the middle of the night. Killing every vampire in sight. Their screams still haunted her. Summer Rayne was one of the lucky vampires to escape the massacre. She did what every other vampire had been doing for the past decade— she ran. She ran as fast and far away as she could, not knowing that destiny would lead her to her future.

He failed his people. Vampire king Ryan Valerian lived in his own personal hell for years. Vampires were no longer the top of the food chain— they were now the hunted. The hunters wanted to eliminate the vampire race, killing them as they hunted them down. Ryan did as other vampires did— he ran. He remained hidden until destiny presented him a small curvy vampire that blew into his life like a hurricane.

Their meeting was destined. Their love was instant. Their chemistry sizzled. Summer was convinced that the vampires would once again rise but would her love be enough to convince Ryan to be the king he was destined to be?


Finding an unconscious female on his private property was odd. Having to fight an animalistic attraction to the unconscious female left Ryan Valerian speechless. Soon the curvy vampire would turn the missing vampire king on his ass.


Sneak Peek

“It’s okay,” he said, his dark eyes remained on her as she stood to make her way to him. “My blood will give you back the strength you need and more.”

Summer trembled on the inside. She knew that she needed blood from the starving pains she experienced in her abdomen. She knelt at his feet as he offered her the sustenance that they both knew she needed.

She was still in awe that it was the long-lost king that was her rescuer. It had been ten years since he was last seen. Everyone knew of the Valerians and their role in leading the vampires. He was the last of his family and in order to save their race, he would need to come out of hiding.

He presented his wrist as her gums burned from her fangs descending. She gripped his wrist and brought it to her lips. Her incisors pierced his flesh, taking in his coppery nourishment. The taste of his blood was sweeter than regular blood and gave her an instant power rush.

Her body flushed as she swallowed his royal blood. Her breaths came in rapid succession as she continued to feed from him. The pains disappeared, her head no longer ached, and the small lump at the base of her neck was no longer present, as her body finished the healing process. She sat up on her knees, gripping his wrist tighter as the need to consume him filled her.

“That’s enough, Summer,” he gasped, sitting back into his chair. He pulled his arm away, leaving her wanting more.

She gasped for breath, trying to get control of herself. He may have healed all of her aches and bruises, but now, she was left still very much aroused with a pulsating pussy that was aching for release. She gripped his leg as her eyes traveled up his body, finding that he was just as shaken as she was.

Copyright © 2016 by Ariel Marie
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

My Review

4/5 Stars!

The Power of Love
A vampire king in hiding for over a decade after being overrun by hunters, regains his pride and purpose after fate delivers his destined mate to him.

Ryan Valerian is humiliated and embarrassed. He feels unworthy of the Valerian name after he ran away while hunters methodically slaughtered entire vampire towns. A true king would have stayed and died in the fight. Or so he believes.

Fleeing the latest hunter attack, Summer Rayne runs until she collapses from her injuries and exhaustion. She has no idea how far she’s run or where she is. She awakens in Ryan’s home and recognizes him instantly as the king. As destined mates, their connection is instantaneous, and Ryan already knows he’ll never let her go. Perhaps it’s because of this, Summer is able to convince Ryan that his people anxiously await his return and will fight for him. I got the feeling that it wasn’t so much “what” she was saying, but that it was her saying it. She believed in hm. She had faith in him. She would fight for him. When he tells Summer he needs her at his side, it’s obvious her love and their connection is responsible for restoring the king.

The battles are swift and retribution is fierce. When vampires and hunters are involved, it’s not always easy to say who’s “good” or who’s “bad”, but this time we know…the humans started it. LOL!

This is a short novella – it ended at 77% on my Kindle – but the author has not skimped on development or details. You might come away with questions, but only of what happens “next”…after the ending. And yes, if this story were expanded on in a series, that would only be a good thing. I’m already invested in the story. (Said the woman who prefers standalones! LOL!)

Take a wild ride with Ryan and Summer…and remember to breathe!


Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU


Add to Goodreads


About the Author

Ariel Bio Pic

Ariel Marie fell in love with books at an early age. She can remember her first favorite book. She read the book so many times that it fell apart and she was devastated! Fast-forward thirty years later, Ariel now writes books she hopes readers will fall in love with and read over and over. Paranormal romance is her favorite genre. Who doesn’t love Shifters, Witches, Faes and all the other paranormals? She just loves writing about couple’s first meeting, the magnetism of when their eyes first meet and the first kiss! Her favorite part of writing paranormals is creating the world that the characters live in.

Ariel Marie’s Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/the_ArielMarie

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00WB1SBFC

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/the_arielmarie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorarielmarie

Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ArielMarieauthor/

Summers Destiny_Front

Blog Tour & Review: “Toma (The Dark Shadows 2)”


Title: “Toma”
Series: The Dark Shadows Book 2
Author: Ariel Marie
Cover Designer: Natasha Snow
Release Date: February 20, 2016

Genre: Paranormal Romance


For centuries, the Dark Shadows have been charged with protecting the Vampire nation. Necromancers, their mortal enemies, are growing bolder and stronger in their attempt to destroy the vampires.

Anika Massey, best friend to the vampirian princess, has lusted after her friend’s older brother, Toma, for years and he doesn’t seem to even notice she exists. At least, she didn’t think the Dark Shadows warrior did, until the necromancers turned their focus on her.

He noticed her. One touch and Toma Olaru knew he wouldn’t be able to give her up. Since their first meeting he could not get the curvy human female off of his mind. He knew it wasn’t right for him to have feelings for his sister’s best friend, but fate had decided that she’s his mate. She’s human and according to Vampire laws, he cannot have her and should have never touched her.

Anika understands the ways of the vampires and knows she must let Toma go, but will Toma be willing to let her go?


Toma Olaru is the middle offspring of the Vampire King. He’s one of the most deadly members of the Dark Shadows. His presence has been known to produce fear in the heart of most… except Anika’s. Fear is the last thing that comes to mind when he’s around her.




Sneak Peek
After working a 12-hour shift she took a deep breath and stared out into the eerily quiet parking lot. A pitch-black parking lot, she added, laughing nervously to herself. Anika Massey never thought that she would be too chicken to walk out of the hospital at night by herself.
“You can do it, Massey!” she muttered to herself.
She had become accustomed to having her vampire guard trailing her everywhere she went after her best friend, Nadira, had been attacked about a month ago. Today was her first day with no guard and she was more nervous than a prostitute walking into church.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door to the hospital and practically ran to her silver Toyota Camry. She looked into the car first, made sure no one was hiding in the back seats and then jumped in and locked the doors.
“This is crazy!” she said, shaking her head as she started the car and put it into drive.
She didn’t live far from the hospital and made sure that she drove a little faster than normal to hurry home. She thought of all the tips that her Vampire guard, Idris had given her before he was pulled from guarding her. He had taught her tips on how to spot someone following her; he had installed a new alarm system in her condo and even taught her a few self-defense maneuvers, just in case someone threatened her.
Her best friend Nadira Olaru, a vampire princess, wanted to have a purpose in life and had become a nurse. They met back in nursing school and have been inseparable since. Nadira was even able to pull some strings to help Anika get her nursing job at Lutheran Hospital, a private paranormal hospital that few humans were privileged to know about and Anika was one hundred percent human. She was one of the few humans that work at the hospital.
In all of her twenty-nine years, she would never have thought that there were supernatural beings walking this Earth with humans. Nadira was patient in explaining about her being born a vampire and the other paranormals.
A little over a month ago, Nadira became the target of a group of powerful beings called necromancers who were currently at war with the vampires. An attempt was made to snatch Nadira, and Anika was with her right before it happened. As a precaution, Nadira’s father, the king of vampires, assigned a guard to watch over Anika. It had been a month now and since there were no other occurrences involving Anika, it was decided that she would no longer require a guard.
“I’ll be fine. The necros do not want a pleasantly plump human,” she tried to reassure herself as she pulled into the parking lot of her condominium.
She didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods but at least there were plenty of street lamps illuminating the parking lot. Her building was an all brick three-story building with two condos on each level. Goosebumps spread across her arms as she began walking up to her third floor condo. The Cleveland night air could be chilly in the fall.
She hurried up the stairs when a feeling of dread began to appear in her belly. She slowed down as she made it to the top of the stairs on her level. She silently cursed herself for taking the top floor condo and the buildings lack of an elevator.
At five foot five and one hundred and sixty pounds, she wasn’t drastically over weight but she was definitely out of shape and had thought it would be great exercise when she first bought the place. She definitely wasn’t what was plastered all across the supermarket magazines.
The condo across from her had been empty for a few months. The previous owners moved due to the husband’s job transferring him to Phoenix, Arizona. She stopped outside her door, putting her ear to it to listen to see if someone was in her apartment.
“Get a grip Massey, there is no one in your condo!” She unlocked the door, and immediately noticed something was wrong. She pushed the door open and flipped the light switch in her entryway and immediately a scream tore from her throat.
“Oh my God!”
Her place had been ransacked. Everything was flipped over, her pictures slashed and thrown across the room. The pillows in her couches were slashed and the filling scattered across the floor. Even her television didn’t make it; it was cracked as if someone kicked it in.
“Snowball?” She called out for her little West Highland white terrier that her parents had given her for her birthday seven years ago.
She didn’t come running like she normally would when Anika came home. She frantically wiped her face as tears flowed down her cheeks. She knew she shouldn’t go into the apartment but she had to find her beloved dog.
“Baby, mommy is home,” her voice cracked ending on a whisper.
She pulled out her phone as she carefully entered into her apartment stepping over her broken coffee table and slowly making her way down the hallway. She stopped dead on her feet at her bedroom door, frozen, as she stared at Snowball’s tortured, bloody body hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom.
“No….” she moaned falling against the doorway, sobs racking her body.
She backed up, bumping into a solid mass. She quickly turned around and saw a hooded figure. A scream flew out of her mouth, quickly cut off as the figure grabbed her by the throat and lifted her off her feet, then slammed her into the wall.
“Where is she?” the figure growled.
She shook her head as she clawed at his hands. She fought to get a breath as he pulled back and slammed her again against the wall causing her world to go black.


*** My Review ***

5/5 Stars!

This Is How You DO It!

It was not my plan to read this book in one setting. I had edits to get through, errands to run, dinner to cook – all of which didn’t happen. Again. LOL!

Instead, I got lost in Toma and Anika’s story…as well as the rest of the Olaru family, Cooper, the Dark Shadows, necromancers and their versi, kidnappings, threats, a vampire ball, and, of course, Xalak. (Sucks to be you, Xalak!) Toma is in big time denial about his future…or lack of one…with Anika, as Xalak and his army pull out all the stops to get to Nadira.

Ariel Marie has done an amazing job with the continuing story of the Olaru family and the Dark Shadows. Tension is present from the beginning as the Dark Shadows are determined to hunt down the necromancers and keep Nadira safe. When Nadira’s best friend, Anika, is attacked by Xalak, Toma, already frustrated by not being able to claim his fated mate, is barely capable of controlling his rage. Plans to keep Anika safe go slightly awry when she and Toma grow closer. Too many secrets and words unspoken lead Anika to turn away from Toma…and become Xalak’s hostage. (Where is Idris?)

The author’s descriptive emotions are spot on! I felt Toma’s frustration and rage, Anika’s heartbreak, Nicu’s anger, and even Xalak’s malevolence. Queen Alin is still regal and elegant, but I found out she is definitely a force to be reckoned with. With each scene, the tension grows…as each act of disrespect and violence is more foul than the last. By the time the group reach the cemetery, I was on the edge of my seat! My heart was breaking for the wounded Anika, but when two Olarus go missing, I was ready to join the Dark Shadows! LOL! (Okay, I get a bit over-invested.) There’s some pretty cool supporting characters in this installment – Brian, Cassia, Selena…Idris. (Where is Idris?) Might there be a future pairing in that group?

While the Olarus prevail (where is Idris?), a new evil has been unleashed that just might hate their family more than Sodan Magnus.

I definitely love the pairing of Toma and Anika, and hope to see more of them as this family saga unfolds. The emotional and physical price they each paid, not to mention the sacrifice they were each willing to make, is the true heart of this story.

I highly recommend “Toma (The Dark Shadows Book 2)” – go ahead  – scroll down and 1-click!



About the Author


Ariel Marie fell in love with books at an early age. She can still remember her first favorite book from childhood. She read the book so many times that it fell apart and she was devastated! Fast-forward thirty years later, Ariel now writes books she hopes readers will fall in love with and read over and over. Paranormal romance is her favorite genre. Who doesn’t love Shifters, Witches, Faes and all the other paranormals? She just loves writing about couple’s first meeting, the magnetism of when their eyes first meet and the first kiss! Her favorite part of writing paranormals is creating the world that the characters live in.

Ariel Marie’s Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/the_ArielMarie

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00WB1SBFC

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/the_arielmarie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorarielmarie

Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ArielMarieauthor/

Purchase Links:


Toma (The Dark Shadows 2) Signed Paperback Giveaway
Giveaway opens 1/25/16 and ends 3/1/16 at 11:59 pm EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BookReview Assassin’s Kiss by @SharonKayNovels #PNR #Giveaway @MTWPromotions

Sexy Romance Novels

Title: Assassin’s Kiss

Series: Watcher’s Kiss #2

Author: Sharon Kay

Genre: Adult, PNR Romance

Published: January 12, 2016

Locking emotions away is how Scorpio survived years as a conscripted killer. Now, as a Lash Watcher, he uses the same lethal skills to help his fellow warrior demons maintain peace in the realms. When a mission goes awry, he finds himself a thousand miles from home with no weapons or comms. Injured and alone, he is taken in by a group of witches who know him well.

And want him dead.

Tessa’s affinity with metal makes her one of the most powerful witches in her coven. Her deepest wish is to stop the oppression of her people—a direct result of her former leader’s murder. She agrees to marry the chief of a rival coven, knowing it won’t be a love match. But she abandoned the idea of a soul-deep bond long…

View original post 1,350 more words