Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bent, Not Broken Reviewed on Amazon

In Bent, Not Broken, Dwayne is a brilliant man who struggles with a severe case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and much of it involves counting and numbers and fear of germs. He has what some people would call the most boring job in the world...he sits in a cubicle and takes telephone surveys all day; but he likes his job, and he's good at it. His co-workers (The Gang of Three) disrupt his perfect cubicle and play other disgusting juvenile tricks. Dwayne doesn't seek revenge; he simply puts everything back in its precise order and resumes his work. Personal relationships are nearly impossible; physical contact is extremely uncomfortable, and a kiss means exchanging saliva with another person, something that's appalling to him. Then Dee Dee, a unique and compassionate woman who "gets him," enters his life, and turns everything upside down with surprising and positive results. Now he has a reason to consult his doctor, resume his meds, and practice his strategies of "calming and coping skills" to reduce anxiety attacks.

I found this book fascinating. The writing is clear and
the characters are well-developed. I was hooked from the first line. We see how excruciating life can be for people with OCD. I found myself cheering for Dwayne to get back on track with meds and treatment to control his OCD so he can enjoy more personal freedom, less anxiety, and have a relationship with a wonderful and understanding woman. This book is informative as well as enjoyable to read.

Reviewed by Janet J for


BENT, NOT BROKEN is story of two people who, for different reasons, have trouble finding someone to love. Dwayne has a debilitating mental/emotional handicap and Dee-Dee struggles with a painful experience in her past. Despite those obstacles, they do find a way to connect. This is a fascinating and gentle romantic novella, beautifully told and full of quiet wisdom. by Christa Polkinhorn (Santa Monica, CA, USA)


We all know the "Rain Man" version of OCD, and we know real people who struggle with compulsions, phobias and "quirks." I wasn't sure what to expect with "Bent, Not Broken," but surely not this sweet, lovely story. It takes a deft touch to create a complicated character like Dwayne and make us root for him--not out of pity, but because we see ourselves in him. This was a fast read, and it ended too soon. I can't remember the last book that left me feeling this hopeful.

By ARLockwood (Orlando, FL United States)

Available in Kindle at

Available in Multiple ebook formats at B&N NOOK Apple/iBook Store

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reader's Favorite Reviews: Surviving the Fall

Had me on the edge of my seat rooting for the protagonists--Reviewed by Donna M. for

James Goodal is living a life of isolation, solitude, and regrets. He sees his life as a failure and lives in a home that feels like a castle, a house that he dreamed would be filled with children and family. However, his wife and childhood sweetheart decides that she no longer wants the marriage, or the family they aspired for, and leaves Goodal with unfulfilled dreams and memories of better days.

Goodal's life takes a sudden turn when he rescues Ashley who was thrown from a speeding car. As an 11-year-old virgin, Ashley was alienated and isolated from society in the worst way possible. She was exploited in the sex trade market, sold for sex through the internet, so that her mother could purchase drugs and pay off her debt to the drug dealer she is in hock to. Now as a 14-year-old, Ashley's only goal is to save her own life. She makes a brazen attempt to escape this life by using the only thing she knows how to use, her sexuality. While Goodal is greatly tempted by Ashley's wiles, he tries to gather his wits and show Ashley that what was done to her was wrong; he manages with great difficulty to resist her temptations. Ashley's mother and step-father are in deep debt to their drug suppliers because they use more products than they sell; therefore, their lives are in danger. Their only hope of survival is to find Ashley (and a broach that is in her possession) to pay off their drug supplier and save their own lives.

This story has you on the edge of your seat as you root for Ashley to live a normal life and escape the wiles of her mother and for Goodal to hold true to his values and show Ashley that she really can live a normal life. This author has a healthy knowledge of human behavior and a natural talent with dialogue. This story had me on the edge of my seat rooting for the protagonists. It also brought tears to my eyes as I traveled with Goodal and Ashley who were both hurting and struggling to overcome their own personal life tragedies and bring normalcy to their lives. 5 Stars

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Name Pay-for-Publishing VS True Self-Publishing

A special post as part of the Blog Party for the Four Hundred Days release.

Both Lor Mandela Destruction From Twins and Lor Mandela 400 Days were self published by author L. Carroll. Many writers are working to publish in the YA fantasy genre so I offer this article to help authors make a more informed decision about publishing.

I wish I had known more about the Self Publishing-Print On Demand Industry before I chose to self publish my first book with a big name vanity publisher back in 2008. Many authors are now choosing to publish with do-it-yourself publishers like CreateSpace and Lulu. I went for a full service POD publisher for my first book. This was a mistake and here is why.

The big pay-for-publishing companies (iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse etc.) don't make their money selling their author's books. Their income stems from selling expensive publishing packages and marketing/publicity campaigns to their authors.

The suggested retail price for many books published by these companies is preset by the publisher with no author control. It is often way above market standards. Imagine $19.99-$24.99 for a 250 page trade paperback book and $9.99 for a Kindle ebook. Compare this to the 10 bucks for best sellers by world famous authors. A 250 page book POD published should retail for $15.00 or less and the ebook for no more than half the print retail.

On average, these overpriced books sell 5 copies or less (not including to family or friends) One big name admits to many titles not selling a single copy at on-line stores like (In some rare instances some authors have sold hundreds even thousands of copies from these companies) Learn as much about self promotion as you can online and be prepared to work hard to build your reputation.

Books from these companies often have a terrible reputation. The books themselves are believed to be of poor quality and the writing is thought to be weak and in need of professional editing. (Printing quality has improved greatly over the years but the stigma remains) Hire a professional editor to make sure your manuscript is at its best. Also, don’t cheap out on cover design as readers do judge books by their covers.

Some interested readers might shy away from your book when they realize it is published by one of these companies because of the industry reputation. My recommendation: Mail a print copy of your book to reviewers and run contest giveaways at your website or blog to get your book out to the reading public.

by William R. Potter

October 18, 2012 is Now Available


Is October 18, 2012 the end of the World?

Trevor Woodward is an auto-mechanic who is struggling with a father who has Alzheimer’s, in a relationship with a woman he loves and loves to fight with, and he must somehow survive the end of the world as caused by Ivan.

Ivan is a comet on its way to Earth. Scientists predict that it will either collide with Earth or with the Moon. Either way, the impact will bring with it long term ecological changes in the environment, possibly even the extinction of human race.

All Trevor wants to do is finish his work and get home to be with his girl, Kelly-Anne. For some reason it isn't the comet that worries Trevor, but something else. He feels that he's already lived through this disaster many times before. Can he change the future?

"Look!" Kelly-Anne said aloud. "Meteors."

Trevor turned toward the city and watched the rocks streak across the sky and disappear on the horizon. Something was coming. The question on his mind was probably the same as for most people on the mountain. The sober ones, at least. Would this be it? A memorable night with a few shooting stars or was this the precursor of a much more serious event?

A review:
In the novella October 18, 2012, author William R. Potter attempts and succeeds in putting a fresh spin on the end of the world comet about to smack into the `ol earth scenario.

We meet Trevor Woodward and his buddies finishing up the work day as Ivan the comet zeroes in on our beloved planet. The banter between Woodward and his auto repair colleagues may seem over-the-top to some but I assure you (as the nephew of the owner of a sheet metal fabrication shop) this is how working guys talk to each other. Fabulous dialogue here!

As pandemonium over the advancing comet begins, Woodward just wants to get home to his girlfriend, Kelly-Anne. Again the exchanges between Trevor and his girlfriend are realistic as stress and fear can cause the closest couples to lash out at each other.

There was a tender moment where Trevor manages to spend time with his ailing father who suffers from dementia. You may need the tissues here.

Overall, this is a well-written, quick read that will be a welcome addition to your Kindle or other ebook reader.

Recommended by Glenn Cruickshank.

I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Now available at

Amazon Kindle

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

L.Carroll: The Author Interview

L. Carroll is the author of the Lor Mandela Series (Book #2 "Four Hundred Days" coming July 15, 2011). Her first book, "Destruction from Twins" maintains a 5 star rating on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.

Currently, she lives in Eagle Mountain, UT with her husband, Chuck, and four of their five children. Her favorite place is the portal in her garage (a.k.a. the office) that takes her to the mystical world of Lor Mandela!

WP. Please tell us about Lor Mandela 400 Days:

LC. Four Hundred Days follows Audril, the heiress to the Lor Mandelan throne, as she sneaks away to Earth to save one of her dearest friends, and finds that a power hungry tyrant from her own world has begun systematically obliterating towns and cities to get her to turn herself over to him.

On Earth, Audril meets a wildly eccentric old lady named Teedee Venilworth whose imaginary butler/fiancé supposedly holds the key to her success. But how can someone help if he doesn't exist? Could it be that creatures who dwell in shadow are not exclusive to Lor Mandela?

Book number two in the Lor Mandela Series, Lor Mandela – Four Hundred Days, is an action-packed whirlwind of intrigue and fantasy. Join the extraordinary characters from the first book, (both the good and the evil), as they traverse the haunted corridors of Alcatraz Penitentiary, travel via portal to an ancient castle on the cliff shores of Ireland, and meet a foreboding race of mystic warriors known as the Solom.

Soar on the back of a large horse-like creature to the Northern High Forests and discover that on the picturesque world of Lor Mandela, your friends can become foes, your enemies your allies, and just because someone dies, it doesn’t always mean that they’re dead.

WP. How long did it take to write the book?

LC. "Four Hundred Days" took about fourteen months to write. It took five times that to write my first book "Destruction from Twins", so I guess I'm getting better!

WP. Why did you decide to write a sequel instead of going in another direction with a stand alone?

LC. Originally, "Destruction from Twins" was going to be a stand alone book. I started writing it without any sort of outline, but about half way through, I sat down and roughed out the rest of the story. With everything that still needed to happen, I realized that this was going to have to be a trilogy.

WP. Do you have part three in the Lor Mandela series written or outlined?

LC. I've written the first few chapters of the third book, and have a basic outline. Knowing me, though, that outline is bound to see a few revisions before it's all said and done.

WP. You ran a contest for readers to name a catch phrase for the Lor Mandela series. How did that turn out?

LC. That contest was such a blast! I think I had about sixty entries or so. The idea was to have people send in their favorite phrase for a chance to have it featured as the "catch phrase" for a new character in book #3. I had some of the funniest, most clever, and highly inspirational phrases pass through my inbox! In the end, the winner was a gal from Georgia, with her phrase, "Speaking of toasters…" That's gonna be a fun one to work in, for sure!

WP. Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

LC. My process was kind of a secret before I started this blog tour, only because it's embarrassing! I usually start out by going on an, "I'm going to write so y'all need to keep it quiet", rampage. After that, I lock myself in my office and read the last chapter I wrote. Then, I actually act out the next scene I want to write, (for the sake of continuity and believability). Once I'm happy with the flow of the next segment, I start plunking away at the keyboard.

There is a ton of research that goes into my books, even though, and perhaps especially because, they are fantasy. Again, in the name of believability, there have to be hard facts mixed in with the fantastic. In "Four Hundred Days" for example, I had to research Alcatraz Penitentiary…its layout, stories of famous inmates, etc. and I even had to study up on the United States Secret Service. (Let's hope they never confiscate my computer; questions would undoubtedly arise….)

WP. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading 400 Days?

LC. A desire to read the third book and a healthy despise of cliffhangers!

Actually, I love the prevalent underlying theme in fantasy stories in general -- that ordinary people can, and do become extraordinary. I hope that "Four Hundred Days" inspires readers to find their own inner greatness!

WP. Where can we go to buy your book?

LC. Right now, "Destruction from Twins" is available in paperback at or

Or in ebook formats at or

WP. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

LC. Sure! You can learn more about the Lor Mandela Series at or on my Independent Author Network page at

And, if you're interested in joining the "Four Hundred Hours to Four Hundred Days" blog tour and countdown party, visit or

Excerpt from book:

Here's the first page…

The only visible thing outside of the cement, one-windowed room was a hazy blanket of black — a thick, inky gloom so dense that neither moon nor stars penetrated it. Inside, the small room was similarly shrouded in stale blackness, except for a tiny sliver of one wall weakly illuminated by three shining, green buttons. In their faint glow, the sharp edge of a metal door glinted on the otherwise barren slab of concrete. A musty odor — similar to that of a dust field stirred by the wind prior to a thunderstorm — hung heavily between the cold, damp walls and seemed a fitting aroma for a mill which was left dead and decaying by its former owners.

On a simple, grey, utilitarian bench — sterile and hard, and haphazardly jutting out from a corner — sat a tiny creature, curled in a dismal, rocking ball, quietly sobbing and shivering. The faint chirping of crickets in the distance no longer appealed to her. In fact, the sound that would have normally held an irresistible fascination now created a sickening knot in the pit of Tabbit the Shadow Squanki's bulgy, brown tummy.

“Squankis don’t tells,” she blubbered, “lady comes backs . . . lady comes backs . . . return the powers . . . four hundred days . . . four hundred days.”

Dead of Knight-A Jack Staal Mystery

Dead of Knight-A Jack Staal Mystery
Now Available