Adult Book Reviews

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Burton Blake by Robert Tucker (Review)

Burton Blake is a family saga that spans three generations, from the 1940s to the present day. Robert Tucker is a master storyteller and I enjoyed this book as much as his first one.

Book Details:

Book Title: Burton Blake by Robert Tucker
Category: Adult Fiction, 518 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group LLC / Wise Words Publishing
Release date: 1/06/2019
Content Rating: PG-13 +M (A few sexual scenes, F-words, and religious expletives)

Book Description:

In this sequel to the well-received The Revolutionist, the American journey of three generations locks the neophyte company president, Burton Blake, in a vicious struggle with corporate intrigue, financial greed, and social corruption. Born to a taxi dancer at the beginning of the Second World War, Burton’s father, Elias Blake, never knows his natural father, who is killed in the South Pacific. He is raised by his mother and stepfather from her second marriage who makes his fortune during the post-war real estate boom of the ’50s. Their untimely death by his business partner leaves the boy Elias in the guardianship of his mother’s best friend and her marine vet husband who introduces him to the macho culture of guns and hunting.

Elias’s youth is influenced by the adult world’s drive for personal material gain. Over the next decades, he expands his parents’ original real estate empire into the diversified multi-divisional, multi-national corporation that he leaves to his son, Burton. Upon his forced return from traveling and working with oppressed third world people, Burton learns increasingly more about the true nature of his deceased father as he undertakes the challenges of leading the company in a new direction.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Burton Blake is a family saga that spans three generations, from the 1940s to the present day. Robert Tucker is a master storyteller and I enjoyed this book as much as his first one. I read The Revolutionist, where I was introduced to Julie Josephson. This book begins with her daughter Kristina, who gives birth to Elias who is the father of Burton Blake, the main character whose story begins about halfway through the book.

As with The Revolutionist, the author displays the talent of being able to write about any era with ease and to bring it alive for the reader. We begin with WWII and then move on to the post–World War II economic expansion manifested in suburban development and urban sprawl. Kristina remarries and her new husband is a visionary who begins a real estate expansion and founds a company that becomes the multi-billionaire conglomerate that ultimately Burton inherits. There is corruption among the top managers, and suddenly Burton must learn to navigate the dangerous waters of men who will stop at nothing for greed.

Once again, I enjoyed Tucker's storytelling immensely. Burton was my favorite character and I wished his story had begun earlier. It's also great how Tucker brings forth the secondary characters in connection to one another throughout the story. There were times when, because of flashbacks, I became confused as to the timeline. Because this is a book that spans three generations, it would be helpful to have the dates not just at the beginning of a section, but at the beginning of the chapters. This is a minor point, however, and did not detract from my enjoyment of the story. The last part of the book read like a suspenseful thriller and had me flipping the pages quickly to see how it would all pan out.

If you love family sagas with strong female and male characters, a realistic storyline with a variety of unique characters, along with some good writing, then I recommend you pick up Burton Blake.

​Buy the Book:
Add to Goodreads

Watch the book trailer: 

Meet the Author: 

​Robert is published by Tell-Tale Publishing Group LLC / Wise Words Publishing under a multi-book contract. The author of four previous earlier novels, Robert infuses his books with unique dynamic stories and characters that portray social and cultural conflicts of their time. His career encompasses many years as a business consultant that has given him access to a wide range of organizations and an appreciation for people in all areas of society. His life experience is reflected in the literary quality of his work. Born and raised in the Middle-West, he has traveled throughout the United States and abroad.

Now retired, he resides with his wife in Southern California where he devotes full-time to writing. Robert is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Communications at the University of California, Los Angeles where he received the Samuel Goldwyn and Donald Davis Literary Awards.

An affinity for family and the astute observation of generational interaction pervade his novels. His works are literary and genre upmarket fiction that addresses the nature and importance of personal integrity.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Oct 7 Edition

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

First week of October. Now there's definitely a chill in the air. We had to turn the heater on this week in the early mornings. The leaves are turning and it's so beautiful against the crisp blue sky. Got a lot of reading done this weekend. Looking forward to digging into some new books this week. I'm rewatching Timeless on Netflix:

Mailbox Monday Edition

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

What I reviewed and/or featured last week:

 Currently Reading:

I don't know how she does it, but Lauren has released another Chris Matheson mystery book!

Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Springback (Ring of Time: Book 1) by Jana Miller (Review and Giveaway!)

I have always been attracted to books about time travel, so when I came across Springback about a teen who had the ability to rewind time, I knew I wanted to read it.

Book Details:

Title: Springback (Ring of Time: Book 1) by Jana Miller
Category: YA Fiction, 323 pages
Genre: Speculative fiction
Release Date: July 5th, 2019
Publisher: Independently published
Content rating: G

Book Description:

Ever since discovering her ability to rewind time seven years ago, Chloe has been reaching—reaching for a worthy use of her ability, reaching for redemption from her past, and reaching for the kind of validation she’ll never find as long as she has to keep this secret.

By the time she’s sixteen, Chloe has decided that rewinding is not a gift at all, but punishment for her part in the tragedy that has shaped her life. And when she discovers that Jake, a careless senior in one of her classes, possesses the same ability, she has no idea what to do about it or whether she can even trust him. But then other rewinders reveal themselves, and Chloe finds that there’s much more to her own story than she’s ever imagined.

Secrets of the past combine with rivalries of the present to set off a series of painful events and impossible discoveries, and soon Jake and Chloe find themselves in a race to piece together a puzzle of ancient relics, family feuds, and strands of time as they seek to defuse the threat not only to their powers but to her family and the fabric of time itself.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I have always been attracted to books about time travel, so when I came across Springback about a teen who had the ability to rewind time, I knew I wanted to read it. Springback was fun and the concept of rewinding time was truly cool.

Chloe discovers her ability to rewind time but keeps it a secret. Something traumatic happened to her as a child and she wants to go back in time to rectify it, but no matter how much she tries she cannot rewind that far back. Then she discovers others who can rewind too and this leads to discovering the history of her family. Along with this, there is an enemy who wants to control time. Chloe along with her newfound friends need to stop this person before her actions become fatal.

I enjoyed this book with its fun concept and plot. The author deftly brought to life the concept of rewinding time and it was mind-boggling to see how this affected the characters' lives. Imagine you forgot to do something important so you rewind time to two days ago to get it done but doing this will erase all that actually happened during those two days, even the great stuff? How do you keep track of what happened and what you erased? Loved this!

Chloe and Jake were well-developed characters in the story. I would have liked for the villain to have been less one-dimensional and better developed. I wanted to know why she was so bent on controlling time, what motivated her to the point of being so evil, even going against her own daughter. I also wanted to know more about the ring of time and why some people had this ability to rewind time. What was the purpose?

Despite this, I found Springback refreshing, a clean fun read that would appeal to the younger teen. The themes are not dark or too heavy. They deal with friendship, sibling attachment and letting go of guilt. Although this is book one of the Ring of Time series, the novel has a satisfying ending. 


I asked Jake all the unanswerable questions I’d been asking myself. I wished I had pumped Leah for more information, but then she may have gotten suspicious and beaten me to the rewind.

“Well,” Jake said after I’d dumped all my questions on him, “only one way to find out.” He pulled out of the parking space and I stared at him until he explained, “You have to talk to her. Ask her.”

I swallowed. “But—but what if she’s not…on our side?”

He glanced at me before turning out of the parking lot. “Our side? Are there sides I should know about?”

“I don’t know,” I muttered. I’d started imagining evil time manipulators and crazy cults, and I was regretting never digging deeper into research about time manipulation. I had no idea if there were sides; I just knew this was weird. Maybe there was no way to prove it, but I was sure Leah had rewound me before. What could we have said in previous conversations that she didn’t want me to remember?

“Well, either way, you need to talk to her,” he said.

I sighed. “I know. But if something goes wrong, or it seems like she’s going to…do something, you’ll have to rewind.”

“Why me? I can’t go back as far as you can. And I won’t even be part of the conversation.”

“I can’t do it because I’m still in my repeat, so unless it’s later than the point where I went back from, I can’t rewind again.”

“Wait, what?”

I realized I’d rewound over the first time I’d explained this to him. “I won’t be able to access the cords again until—”

Suddenly, I was hit with a wave of vertigo as Jake let go of the steering wheel and then grabbed it again, swerving as he pulled over abruptly. He braked so hard I lurched forward and was snapped back by my seatbelt.

“Sorry!” he exclaimed wildly. “Sorry, that was really bad.”

I pressed my hand to the side of my head, a dizzy headache pounding against my temples. Too many rewinds today. “What happened? You rewound? What—?”

He pressed his forehead against the steering wheel, obviously far dizzier than I was. “I panicked. She said you’re not supposed to be able to do it.”

“Supposed to do what? Who—Leah said that?” This was trippy to say the least. It was like he’d gone forward in time without me, even though I knew he’d just done the same thing I had done today; I just didn’t remember it.

He lifted his head, eyes closed, cradling it with his hands. “Yeah. She said nobody but her family is supposed to be able to manipulate time—”

“Her family?” There was a whole family of rewinders I’d never known about?

“Actually, she said something about two families, and how only her family is supposed to do it because they were chosen.” He squeezed his eyes tighter. “Man, those cords really have a kick now. This is way worse than usual.”

“Wait, Leah said something about being chosen?”

He squinted at me. “Yeah. For the gift.”

“Like, the gift to rewind?”

“She called it pulling time, but yeah. Her family was chosen to rewind.”

I closed my eyes, thinking. “How can anyone be chosen? Wouldn’t just having the ability make us chosen?”

Jake just laid his head back against the headrest and raised his hands and shoulders in a slow-motion kind of shrug.

 “Okay. Well, what else did she say?”

He looked over at me. “That she needs your help.”

About The Author:

My six siblings and I were raised by artistic parents in mountain towns, and after surviving thirteen years in the Valley of the Sun, I now live in Colorado (my dream come true!) with my fun-loving husband and our five weird kids! I’m a work-from-home mom, editor, and now author. Until this year, writing a novel has always been in my top three “pie in the sky” dreams—along with running a marathon and being in a Broadway musical, which I don’t actually expect to ever happen.

I love art, decorating, chocolate, theater, words, trees, photography, and the ocean. Occasionally I make music videos with my sisters or my kids, but most of the time I can be found cleaning my house (or avoiding cleaning it), driving kids around, or watching The Great British Baking Show and then baking brownies.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends 10/31/19

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Giveaway Details:
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Annette K. Larsen and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Review)

There's been a lot of hype about this trilogy and I wanted to read something different. It was different for sure, but it did not impress me as much as I thought it would.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
Category: YA Fiction,  370  pages
Genre: Fantasy, Faerie
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: January 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 for violence

Book Description:

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I had a copy of this book in my library that I acquired at BookExpo a few years back. There's been a lot of hype about this trilogy and I wanted to read something different, so I decided to read it. Let me begin by saying that although I enjoy YA fiction I had not read any faerie fiction, so I was looking forward to doing so. Holly Black sure opened up this fantasy world to me and I must say that it was a fascinating world. The world-building was excellent.

Although I enjoyed the novelty of this genre, I cannot say I loved this book. Jude is a complex character and her transformation from a scared mortal to one who learns to manipulate and wield power was well executed. But I could not connect to her relationship with Prince Cardan, who I disliked throughout the novel.  And there were times when I seriously questioned her judgment.

There is brutal violence in this novel, and most of it done without the exploration of what it does to those affected by it. At times the lines between good and bad were blurred, and although I agree that life is never black and white, it's hard to remain ambivalent, which is how this book seemed to want to make me feel. 

In the end, although I was pulled into this fae world, I'm not compelled to continue the series. I don't care enough about the characters to want to know how it all pans out. However, I think that die-hard fans of faeries will enjoy this trilogy with its royal faerie intrigue and touch of romance.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.

Connect with the author: Website

Monday, September 30, 2019

Blog Ahead October Challenge 2019

Ever since I started working full-time I haven't been as organized as I'd like in preparing my blog posts ahead of time. So when I saw this challenge, I thought it was perfect for me. Thanks to Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup for hosting this annual challenge. Want to get ahead in preparing your blog posts? Check out this challenge and join me!

Here's more info:

The Gist: Blog blog blog and up those scheduled completed posts by 31 during the month of October.

Calculate your Goal: On Oct 1 look at your number of "scheduled" posts (posts that you could publish right then and there) and add 31 to that number. That is your goal to reach by November 1st.

Who Can Join? Anyone with a blog! New blog, old blog, any subject blog, author blog, etc.

What Now? Sign up here! Create a post about the event or add it to your weekly meme post. Join the FB group. Spread the word. Then just wait for October to kick off and then blog your heart out!

I'd love to have 31 ready-made posts done during this challenge, but it may not be realistic with my schedule so my goal is going to be to have at least 15 posts ready ahead of time. They may just need to have the review added to it, but at least I'll be prepared. Yep, I'll be prepared!

Do you folks prepare your posts ahead of time?

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Sept 30 Edition

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Last day of September! It's starting to feel like fall. I'm making the most of the sunny days to walk and enjoy the sunshine. Still cooking a lot from all the produce my dad gives me from the harvest. I made squash soup and kale chips today. Love it! 

Last week we had a family wedding. Here's a fun family pic we took together at the "photo booth" set up at the wedding reception. Hope you all have a great reading week. 

Mailbox Monday Edition

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

What I reviewed and/or featured last week:

Another winner by Carr. This one is book 4 is the Lovera in Crime series.

 Currently Reading:

I read the first book by the author and I'm really enjoying this one.

Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Root of Murder by Lauren Carr (Review & Giveaway!)

I have so far read the first three books in this series, and I was eager to revisit the characters in this fourth installment of the Lovers in Crime Mystery Series. This one is another winner by Lauren Carr! Check out my thoughts and then enter to win a $50 Amazon GC.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Root of Murder (A Lovers in Crime Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult Fiction, 332 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: March 20, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

Book Description:

​Homicide Detective Cameron Gates learned long ago that there is no such thing as a typical murder case. Each mystery is special in its own right—especially for the family of the victim.The homicide of a successful executive, husband, and father seems open and shut when the murder weapon is found in his estranged son-in-law’s possession. The circumstantial evidence is so damning that when her step-son, J.J. Thornton, agrees to act as the defendant’s public defender, he assumes his first murder case will be a loss. Only the report of a missing husband proves that this case is not as open and shut as it seems. Strap on your seat belts for a wild ride in this mystery rooted in decades of deception that sprouts into murder.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I have so far read the first three books in this series, and I was eager to revisit the characters in this fourth installment of the Lovers in Crime Mystery Series. I believe this one is my favorite in the series, with its clever plot and the twists and turns that are Carr's trademark. It's never what you think it is!

Joshua and Cameron are back to solving a murder mystery that quickly spirals into a complicated case that keeps readers on their toes. The narrative is punctuated with humourous scenes of furry characters that sometimes steal the show, like Charley, the rooster who terrorizes anyone with bad motives. And why not throw in the preparations to a wedding to remind us that these characters don't just solve mysteries; they are part of a loving family that act like a family with all that that implies. Izzy, the adopted daughter is as adorable as ever.

Lauren Carr certainly shows just how creative she is with coming up with interesting and complex plots that she ties together so well by the end of the book. Really, everything comes full circle. There are always several plots and backstories happening simultaneously and the reader can't help but try to find the connection between everything. And of course, characters from other books make appearances, so for readers like me who have read several books from all of Carr's series, this is always fun.

The Root of Murder is another winner from Lauren Carr. If you are a fan, you will get all that you expect from Lauren Carr's books. If you are new to her books, this one is a stand-alone. I would encourage you read the first book in the series, or Killer in the Band which is the book previous to this one that will introduce you to the couple J.J and Poppy. Warning though: once you start reading Lauren Carr's books they are addictive!

Also, check out my reviews of the previous books:

Dead on Ice (Book #1)
Real Murder (Book #2)
Killer in the Band (Book #3)

To read more reviews, please visit Lauren Carr's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny Rose, Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Nov 1, 2019

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators by Steven J. Wolhandler (Book Spotlight, Author Interview, and Giveaway)

We've all dealt with one in our lives: emotional predators. How do we protect ourselves from their emotional abuse and break free from an abusive relationship? This book has the answer. Check out my insightful interview with author Steven J. Wolhandler. Then scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book or a $25 Amazon GC.

Book Details:

​Book Title: Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators: Neutralize the Users, Abusers and Manipulators Hidden Among Us by Steven J. Wolhandler
Category: Adult Non-Fiction
Genre: psychology, self-help, relationships, divorce
Publisher: Amare Press
Release date: January, 2019
Tour dates: Sept 9 to Sept 27, 2019
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Steven Wolhandler, JD, MA, LPC knows how abusive and manipulative people prey on the emotions of good people - and how good people can protect themselves. He offers a radically different view of these Emotional Predators and provides practical effective solutions. For Emotional Predators, life is a strategy game to dominate and control, and you are either a player to be defeated or a game piece to be used. Without empathy or remorse, they’ll ruin your life, and traditional approaches will make things worse. You’ll learn 5 essential steps for protecting yourself, valuable guidance for safe relationships and over 30 specific defensive tactics for:
  • Distinguishing romance from intimacy
  • Restoring your self-esteem
  • Removing your emotional triggers
  • Using gratitude and humor
  • Playing their games better than they do - without becoming like them
  • Screening professionals to be sure they can help
  • Regaining control in family court
  • Breaking an addiction to an Emotional Predator
  • Re-balancing power in your favor
  • Adjusting beliefs that keep you trapped
  • Responding strategically, instead of reacting emotionally


Add to Goodreads

Watch the trailer:

An insightful interview with Steven Wolhandler:

Steven J. Wolhandler

LCR: Thank you very much for taking the time to do an interview with me. Now, let's talk about your new book. What made you write this book?

SJW: Through decades of working with abusive and manipulative people (Emotional Predators) - and with the good-hearted, decent people they target, I’ve learned important things about protecting yourself from abuse and manipulation that I couldn’t find in one comprehensive book. I found good information in a few books that I’d refer client’s to. I also found a lot of naïve, incomplete, even dangerous, books about Narcissists, Sociopaths and other predators, most of which are founded on an outdated understanding of human nature. But I could not find one book that provided a comprehensive, no-nonsense and radically new approach to understanding and dealing with the abusive and manipulative people who fly under our radar and wreak havoc with our lives, and who are epidemic in our world today. Clients urged me to fill this gap.

I wrote Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators: Neutralize the Users, Abusers and Manipulators Hidden Among Us to present in clear language both a new paradigm for understanding the true nature of these problem people and practical effective steps and tactics for protecting yourself and your loved ones – all one easy-to-read book. It’s an eye-opening and lifesaving practical resource. Its message is hope based in realism.

LCR: What are two distinguishing traits of emotional predators?

SJW: First - their lack of functioning empathy, which prevents them from having a conscience and compassion (although they can be very good at faking both while they relentlessly pursue control, dominance and winning). For Emotional Predators, life is a strategy game to dominate and control, and other people are either players to be defeated or pawns to be used.

Second - their charming, seductive and winning façade that lets them fly under the radar of their targets, keeping them hidden until it’s too late. The subtitle of my book is “Neutralize the Users, Abusers and Manipulators Hidden Among Us” to highlight the stealth nature of Emotional Predators.

LCR: How can a person help a family member who is in a long-time relationship with an emotional predator?

SJW: First read my book so you are fully educated about the nature of the beast your family member is dealing with. Other steps may depend on how aware your family member is: do they know they’re in relationship with a disturbed person? Are they in denial? Have they asked for help?

After you read my book, if you are confident your family member can resist any urge or pressure to share what they learn from the book with their Emotional Predator, then get your family member their own copy (you’ll need to make notes in and refer back to your copy, so don’t give them yours). Be sure to instruct them to resist all urges to share what they learn from it with the Emotional Predator. They may want to keep it at their office or other location where their Emotional Predator will not find it.

Each Emotional Predator is its own mix of malignant features and each situation is unique, so every tactic in the book may not be useful in every situation. General guidelines you can introduce to your family member include (these are summarized in the Review chapter for easy reference):

1 - Be realistic about human nature – drop your naïve belief that because you are generally decent and good everyone else is basically similar. In fundamental ways, Emotional Predators are nothing at all like decent people. Be realistic about the ruthless, unconscionable and selfish manipulation and abuse these people are capable of.

2 - Accurately assess others – see through Emotional Predators’ seductive, charming facades.

3 - Recognize Emotional Predator traits and behaviors – these are described in detail in Chapter 3 of the book. Commit them to memory. To name a few, they claim to be the victim (usually of the person they’re victimizing); fake sincerity and emotional displays; pretend to be innocent and ignorant; trap others in “no-win” binds where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t; provoke others to emotional reactions; isolate and “gaslight” their targets; create unnecessary havoc, confusion and chaos, and disrupt your natural rhythms; ignore rules; say and do anything to get what they want; relentlessly manage their public image; lie by omission (leaving out the facts that would reverse the meaning of their story); lie with affirmative statements; misdirect attention away from their bad behaviors; and avoid giving direct answers to direct questions.

4 - Know yourself better than the Emotional Predator knows you.

5 - Adjust your core stories about who you “must” be in order to be a “good” person.

6 – Respond strategically, don’t react emotionally.

7 - Play Emotional Predator games better than they do. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. The book explains why this does not make you one of them.

8 - Control information.

9 - Practice deception.

10 - Cultivate allies.

11 - Conserve resources and avoid losing battles – don’t be provoked. The book explains the 3 levels of remaining unprovoked.

12 - Practice gratitude and humor. 

LCR: How can a person help the children of a parent who is an emotional predator?

SJW: That depends on their age and how intimidated and bullied they are by their Emotional Predator parent, and also whether they have another parent or other relatives or adults in their lives who are not Emotional Predators.

Anyone who wants to help someone else (child or adult) who’s dealing with an Emotional Predator should start by reading my book. It explains how many of our natural reactions and responses make things worse. It also gives guidance for screening professionals like therapists for children to help you weed out therapists and other professionals who will not understand the true nature of the toxic person the child is dealing with, or worse who may be as disturbed as that toxic person.

You can help a child of any age who’s dealing with an Emotional Predator parent by teaching the child (in age-appropriate language) about different kinds of people, including people who are bullies and selfish and put themselves first and whose words don’t really tell the whole story. You can describe the traits and behaviors of these toxic people, without ever mentioning the Emotional Predator parent, and ask the child if they know anyone at school or elsewhere in their lives who are like that. Let the child provide you with their own examples of toxic people. Again, you can teach children about Emotional Predators without ever mentioning the child’s Emotional Predator parent. Over time, unless they’ve been severely damaged by the Emotional Predator parent, the child will figure it out for themselves. Children are generally smarter and more resilient than we believe.

Most importantly, adjust your own false story that being the child of an Emotional Predator is a horrible curse. Children of Emotional Predators have the opportunity to grow up much more aware of how abusive and manipulative people operate and can have a much better chance of avoiding entanglements with them as adults. Having an Emotional Predator parent can be a blessing in disguise.

LCR: What is your first line of advice to protect ourselves from emotional predators?

SJW: Understand the true nature of the problem (and how current popular theories about human nature and mental health are outdated and inadequate) and then follow the 5 steps laid out in the book (a chapter for each step). Step 1: Identify Emotional Predators behind their facades. Step 2: Know yourself better than an Emotional Predator knows you. Step 3: Be flexible about the ways you define yourself. Step 4: Whenever possible, disengage. Step 5: When you must (or choose to) remain engaged, be strategic.

Perhaps the single most important thing to remember is to know it, don’t show it. Keep your thoughts and emotions to yourself and do not let an Emotional Predator know them. 

LCR: Steven, thank you once again for this insightful interview. I have bought a copy of your book and will share it too. 
To my readers:
Please freely copy and distribute this post, but be sure to include that it was written by Steven Wolhandler, author of Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators. (It’s copyright, Steven Wolhandler, 2019) Thanks!

Meet the Author: 

Steven Wolhandler, JD, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist, mediator, arbitrator, custody evaluator, national consultant and retired attorney. He has decades of experience dealing with, and learning from, difficult and manipulative people, and helping their victims with penetrating insight, effective solutions, warmth and humor. He lives in Colorado, consults with people internationally through

Connect with the author: Website​  ~  Facebook

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Ends October 4, 2019

Win one of 3 ebooks (mobi) of Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators, or one $25 Amazon Gift Card, or GRAND PRIZE of 30 min FREE Consultation with Author (phone or video) (Open Internationally) (five winners).

Note: The GRAND PRIZE is transferable. This means if the winner knows someone who could use the free consultation, then they may transfer the prize to him/her.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Dying Made Easy(er) by Myra Bennett (Book Spotlight, Author Interview and Giveaway)

Although not an easy topic, we are seeing more books about how to deal with death and dying. Myra Bennet has written an important book. Check out my interview with her and enter to win a copy or a $25 Amazon GC.

Book Details:

Book Title: Dying Made Easy(er): Creating Your Happy Ending by Myra Bennett
Category: Adult non-fiction (18 +), 270 pages
Genre: Self help
Publisher: Balboa Press
Release date: June 2019
Tour dates: Sept 16 to Sept 27, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (book discusses death and dying)

Book Description:

In Dying Made Easy(er) by Myra Bennett, we are guided through the diverse phases and considerations of the end of life by an experienced traveler who’s spent many hours “as a guest in the sacred place of the dying.” Bennett, a hospice nurse and end-of-life guide, who has also grappled with death in her personal life, invites us to contemplate dying from many different angles: legal, social, physical, psychological, and spiritual. Her Dying Made Easy(er) is both a handbook of pertinent information and a medley of informed suggestions for us to consider when experiencing or sharing the phenomenon that is the end of life. Bennett believes it is imperative that we—as a community—are aware of how to find help when faced with death and dying. In Dying Made Easy(er), she provides the resource to address this pressing need.

To read reviews, please visit Myra Bennett's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

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Interview with Myra Bennet:

LCR: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. I work as a Special Care Counsellor helping families manage symptoms and behaviors of seniors with dementia. I deal with family members who are watching a parent, brother or sister die a slow death from the heartbreaking disorder of dementia. In view of this, do you address this particular disorder in your book, especially since this is on the rise in an alarming way?

MB: Honestly Laura, dementia is one of the most difficult terminal conditions for the family and loved ones, for the reason you state. The loss occurs in painful bits and pieces, sometimes over a long drawn out period. In a real sense, the person who is known and loved by the family dies long before the last breath is taken. Having said that, the subject of Dying Made Easy(er) is death and dying, and while the medical condition which will likely cause the death is very important indeed, there are simply too many terminal conditions to cover in a book such as this. And doing so would vear from the intention of the book, which is to learn how to see death and dying as a natural life event.

LCR: How did you go about writing your book? Did you interview professionals in the field, whether medical, legal or spiritual? Talk to family members? Studied the latest statistics of end of life care? etc.

MB: Thank you for this question Laura! I interviewed a few local professionals which are named in the book. But other than relying on my own personal and professional experiences, most of the information was obtained by doing research on the web.

LCR: You are a certified end of life doula. Can you tell us more about that?

MB: Yes, I am always happy to talk about this field, as it is a relatively new service and not well understood. There are several trainers nationally as well as internationally who offer certification programs for those who wish to serve as an end of life doula. There are in-person programs, as well as many that are online. Most trainers require that the student have experience working with the dying person, or is willing to serve as a hospice volunteer in order to gain experience. And many of the trainers require mentorships as well, based on the student’s past experiences. I am certified by the organization Doulagivers, which is based in New York. I am also a member of the end of life doula organization, National End of Life Doula Alliance (NEDA).

LCR: In your book, do you take into account different cultures and their views on deaths or is it more centered on the North American culture?

MB: This is a very important issue Laura, and I appreciate the question! As a hospice nurse for many years and now as an end of life doula, I understand the importance of the dying person’s spiritual and religious convictions, as well as their cultural traditions to bring comfort during this time. So yes, the book makes mention of these differences without going into great detail, as spiritual, religious and cultural differences are so extensive in humanity. The important point I make in the book is that--by staying open minded about our differences--we can be the comforting support needed by the dying person and those who are present.

LCR: What is your best advice as someone with your experience in end of life care?

This question gives me an opportunity to pause and do a little contemplating, as there is so much advice I can give that will make a huge difference in the dying experience for my reader. But honestly Laura, the “best” advice would be to just bring the subject of death into everyday life. Exposure to the topic is the first step in taming our fear, which can then open us up to becoming proactive in planning an intentional dying experience. I strongly believe that the ending of our life is still life, and deserves our honoring it.

And I have never heard anyone say that preparing for a meaningful dying experience was a mistake!

LCR: Thank you for doing this interview with me!

MB: Thank you so much for this interview Laura! It was a pleasure answering these thought provoking questions!

About the Author:

Myra has been a student of death and dying since she experienced the loss of her husband in 2001. The years that would follow saw the loss of many friends and family as well, which gave her life experiences she would later use to care for patients as a hospice nurse at a large national hospice agency.

Today Myra is a certified end of life doula at Compassionate Crossings in Sacramento where she not only guides and supports terminally ill persons and their families, she also speaks and educates on all subjects related to death and dying.

Connect with the author: Website ~ YouTube ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Ends Oct 5, 2019

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