Book Review…Succubus Bargain

In a world where demons live in hiding among humans, Adeline Pond finds herself in a bit of a bind. Locked out of dreamland, she’s looking for a way to feed without draining humans dry. With her love of baking, Adie may have found her solution. Open a bakery! The joy of sweet treats is the perfect recipe for a demon like her.

But a chance encounter may halt her plans before they start to rise. Somehow, Adie has drawn the attention of three sexy demons, and they offer her one hell of a bargain.

Join Adie on her (mis)adventures toward achieving a quasi-normal life among humans.

Reverse Harem Serial.
3 Stars

Adie Pond is a succubus, and not a great one. A succubus all the same. Her mentor hasn’t bothered to teach her how to feed off humans, only to skim. It never fills up her energy levels to full. Skimming gives her enough to get by. Then she is found by 3 demons, who are in need of a succus to drain them of their power. When she doesn’t jump at the chance, they scheme a new idea. They will set a trap for her. Only Adie outsmarts them and sets herself up. Not as well as she hoped, but still good.

Slowly Adie tries to learn about herself. Emil, Tobias, and Kellen tempt her to do more than skim off them. The library is packed full of knowledge and little by little Adie is learning about herself.

This is a good story, but I was hoping for more. More steaminess, more something. I wish the 3 demons could teach her more about being a succubus. Show her how things could be if she allowed certain things. It’s not that I don’t like Adie, I do. I like that she has morals. But some of her morals get in the way and she can’t move forward in what she needs/desires.

The writing is smooth and the characters are well written. It’s a good story. With lots of potential for book #2 and beyond. I’m not sure I will read the next book.

A Twist of Fortune

Author: Mike Martin
Narrator: Francis G. Kearney
Length: 8 hours 13 minutes
Publisher: Mike Martin⎮2021
Genre: Mystery; Modern Detective
Series: Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series, Book 4
Release date: July 7, 2021
Synopsis: A Twist of Fortune is the fourth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series, and it continues the adventures of Sgt. Windflower, as he tries to solve crime and experience the joy and the sadness of life in a small maritime community. Follow along as he feels the sometimes bitter taste of an east coast winter and the unique culinary delights of this part of the world.
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Pam of Babylon

Author: Suzanne Jenkins
Narrator: Marnye Young
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes
Publisher: Audio Sorceress⎮2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Women’s Fiction
Series: Pam of Babylon, Book 1
Release date: Jun. 28, 2021
Synopsis: When Jack has a heart attack on the train from Manhattan, his wife and two lovers discover secrets and lies, and each other.
For Long Islander Pam Smith, happily preparing for the return of her husband every Friday night is a way of life, until she receives a dreaded telephone call that will change everything, forever. Three very different women – a wife and two mistresses – gather at the deathbed of Jack Smith, the man that connects them all. As they grapple with their loss, they come to know one another, realizing that the man they all loved was not what he seemed to be. Can they discover the whole truth about Jack and make peace with it, or is their trust in him already too deeply shattered?
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A Cure For Deceit

Author: Margie Miklas
Narrator: Blair Seibert
Length: 7 hours 16 minutes
Publisher: Margie Miklas⎮2021
Genre: Medical Thriller
Release date: Apr. 28, 2021
Synopsis: What happens when a top surgeon begins to crack under the strain of his personal life and patients start to die? A sudden spike in patient deaths drives an impassioned ICU nurse to launch a clandestine investigation, targeting a powerful cardiac surgeon whose corrupt connections could destroy her career. 
Allison Jamison, an experienced intensive care nurse, becomes suspicious when a recent wave of major surgical complications results in unnecessary patient deaths. She enlists the professional expertise of her friend, Detective Mark Derning, whose interests include more than an investigative role. When her probe targets Dr. Gary Tamarino, the powerful, narcissistic chief of cardiothoracic surgery at San Francisco Bay Hospital, she encounters a staggering level of deceit and revenge while delving deep into his far-reaching web of corruption. 
Abuse of power, manipulation, callousness, and desperation drive the dark side of a man who also saves lives on a daily basis. Will he destroy her career before she can do anything to stop him?
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About the Author: Margie Miklas

An award-winning author, Margie Miklas writes medical thrillers and travel memoirs about Italy. Creator and owner of the travel blog, Margie in Italy, and a contributing writer for an Italian-American newspaper, she is a member of the Florida Writers Association and makes her home in Florida.

In her medical thrillers, Margie’s years of experience as a critical care nurse provide the foundation for the realistic storylines inside a hospital. Her characteristic conversational, storytelling approach in her travel memoirs makes readers feel as if they are traveling beside her.

Margie has won numerous awards, including two from the Florida Writers Association, Readers Favorite, and Book Excellence awards. A Cure for Deceit won the Silver Award in the thriller genre in the 2020 Royal Palm Literary Competition from the Florida Writers Association, along with the Bronze Award in the 2020 Reader’s Favorite Competition in the thriller category.


About the Narrator: Blair Seibert

Blair is a full-time voice actor living in Los Angeles, CA with 20+ previous years’ experience as a green building architect. That experience draws her to books that offer the listener new knowledge about things of interest to her: relationships, women’s issues, medicine, psychology, and environmental issues, while also being entertained.  

Blair recently completed a ten-hour non-fiction book for Penguin Random House called “New Women In The Old West”. Genres she narrates are: romance, Rom-Com, cozy mystery and non-fiction.

When Blair is not narrating, she’s gardening, cooking, recycling, biking or quilting (the skill she learned during the COVID shutdown). She’s passionate about books and is typically listening to one fiction and one non-fiction at a time while also reading a non-fiction book.  


Author Interview –

AUTHOR INTERVIEW  (My 10  Questions)

  1. Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook. I used the ACX platform because of its ease, and my previous experience with it when I produced my Italy travel memoir audiobooks, which I narrated myself.  Narrating these books myself is another entire process, which I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say that there is a learning curve, so by the third book, I found it to be much easier.
  2. How did you select your narrator? I knew I wanted to collaborate with a narrator other than myself for this book, since it’s a work of fiction, and most listeners of fiction prefer an experienced professional to narrate the book. I searched on ACX for narrators with experience that met my criteria for voice, age, etc, and after reading their bios, and listening to their samples, I auditioned three. Blair Seibert won out, and I couldn’t be happier. The final result is exactly what I had hoped it would be, and what she says is true: a narrator gives a performance, not simply a reading.
  3. How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? Blair and I worked well together. Communication is very important in creating an audiobook, and we had numerous emails, and a phone call or two during the process. Since this book is a medical thriller, there were quite a few words that needed pronunciation clarification, and kudos to Blair for getting them all right. In addition, our communications included context explanations, tone of voice, and accents. She’s very professional, and sent a packet to me once we confirmed the contract. In this packet was a ton of information which would make the process run smoothly, based on her experiences. I found it so helpful, especially since this was my first audiobook, that I didn’t narrate myself.
  4. Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing? 

Absolutely. As a career critical care nurse, I’ve experienced numerous life-and-death situations in hospital ICUs. All the medical situations in this book originated in reality and many of the characters’ traits, behaviors, and lifestyles were inspired by people I’ve worked with. Let me say, none of the characters are patterned after one particular person, but I drew from experiences I’ve had with several to create various characters’ personality quirks and mannerisms.

  1. What’s your favorite:
  1. Food Caprese salad
  2.  Song Con Te Partirò
  3.  Author John Grisham
  4. Television show The Resident
  5. Movie Moonstruck
  6.  Band Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  7.  Sports team Cleveland Indians
  8.  City Positano, Italy
  1. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? Don’t lose sight of your dream. Start writing about whatever moves you, and write every day, at least 20 or 30 minutes. Don’t worry about the grammar and word structure at first; that can come later in the editing process. When you get an idea, jot it down in a notebook or on your phone. Maybe even use a voice memo, so you don’t lose the thought. Keep your goal in mind and you can achieve amazing things.
  2. Where is your favorite place on earth? I always want to be at the beach and after that, anywhere in Italy, preferably the Amalfi Coast, where I’d have the best of both worlds.
  3. Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? Since I’m very active on social media, I hear quite often from readers, and I like engaging with them. I love it most when they tell me they feel like they are there with me, inside the character or the setting, and that it takes them back to a place they remember. 
  4. How do you handle negative reviews or criticism about your writing? When I was a new writer, I took any negative comment or review personally, but now I view it as a learning experience and realize not everyone is going to like what I write, and that’s okay. I appreciate that they took time to leave a comment.
  5. What’s next for you? I plan on a follow-up medial thriller next year with one or two of the same characters from A Cure for Deceit. I’m still formulating the setting and plot in my mind and am open to feedback from readers on what they’d like to see.

The Entropy Session

Author: Novo Dé

Narrator: Philip Church

Length: 8 hours 38 minutes

Publisher: Novo De Productions, LLC⎮2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release date: Feb. 27, 2021

Synopsis: Tybalt Nielson is lost – lost in his own mind. 

But how did he end up here? In this cold white room? God, he hates this room.  

He’s a prisoner now. 

A prisoner to court-ordered psychiatric care under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Cohen, a man who constantly questions.

His only escape from this world is by trying to start a normal life again at home with his wife Juliet. 

She, however, isn’t one to talk much anymore.

Thankfully, he still has Charlie, his very own artificial intelligence and perhaps his only remaining friend, one of the few things in Tybalt’s life that still brings him any joy.

But how did it come to this?

It was all because of that one moment. The moment that changed his life forever. It haunts him every day now, tortures him, a darkness in his very soul.

Luckily, he’s finally ready for change.

He’s ready to find closure to it all – freedom – but to do so, Tybalt must face a lot of truths and the one thing he’s denied for far too long: the reality of his past. 

He just has to talk about it first.

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About the Author: Novo Dé

Novo Dé is an ambivert of sorts.

There are sometimes that he wants to be among people, but most of the time, he finds peace in being alone. It’s the only place where he can truly create.

He dabbles in a variety of works, but only shows the world when he feels them worthy. If something isn’t ready, it’s locked away in his vault never to see the light of day.

Public anonymity is an important attribute to his being and craft, first and foremost to push his work into the spotlight, as he believes his art, and the ideas behind the art, is everything, while the man behind it all…is nothing.


Guest Post –

  1. Psychological driven-narratives and/or Psychological thrillers as they’re often called have a long pedigree of outstanding works. But, hands-down, Chuck Palahnuik’s “Fight Club” is a tour de force! Both the original novel and the screenplay for the film should be studied far and wide, and from young and old. In fact, I think it should be required reading in high school alongside “To kill a Mocking Bird” and “In Cold Blood.” It just perfectly encapsulates a smart, tightly written narrative, with biting social-commentary, and a twist that will leave an impression for years to come.

     The piece has staying power as well. When a piece changes your life, or makes you think of the world differently, or simply makes you think on the piece itself, over and over again, endlessly—that’s when you have something! And “Fight Club” does that very thing.

     Now, let’s dive into the nitty gritty. When people think of a perfectly constructed sentence or paragraph, they often think of Hemingway or Capote, but I would argue that of the last 30 years, none is better than the following from the screenplay of “Fight Club:”

     “Home was a condo on the fifteenth floor of a filing cabinet for widows and young professionals. The walls were solid concrete. A foot of concrete is important when your next-door neighbor lets her hearing aid go and has to watch game shows at full volume. Or, when a volcanic blast of debris that used to be your furniture and personal effects blows out your floor-to-ceiling windows and sails flaming into the night.”

     It’s that last sentence that’s truly perfect! The first three, merely primers, something to set it all up before that last sentence comes in and knocks it all down. Pure perfection indeed. A beta-reader once told me that “The Entropy Sessions” reminded them of “Fight Club,” and though I believe “Fight Club” to be a far superior work of fiction, even to have it mentioned in the same sentence, to have even a fraction of a similarity, is an incredible compliment.

     Hubert Selby Jr.’s “Requiem for a Dream” is another great source of inspiration – the other side to this coin if you will – whereas “The Entropy Sessions” is sometimes billed as ‘an ascent into madness,’ “Requiem” is very much a descent. But it’s a descent that is not only a strong narrative, but a series of life lessons, and that addiction has many faces, much like my story.

     Other honorable mentions include Bret Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho,” Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl,” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” (written by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on a story by Andres Heinz) – all incredible sources of inspiration and strong works in the genre.