Sunday, March 18, 2018

Looking Glass Friends

Neve, E.L. (2017). Looking Glass Friends. 

Adult / Literary Fiction / Romance


About the Book: CAN OUR SOULS FALL IN LOVE...BEFORE OUR BODIES MEET? They fell in love over email, discussing Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged. Neither remembered the other’s face clearly. Both were married already. And she had a five-year-old son. But in the span of a few letters each discovered his soul's mirror image. So how could they live apart? Woven with poetry and philosophy this is a story about the nature of love, its enchantment or curse, and the heartbreaking question: Can a mother secure her child’s happiness by sacrificing hers?

HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio Book Review. Listening to Looking Glass Friends by E.L. Neve was a dreamy experience. The narration, performed by the author was delightful; her voice is ethereal and makes the reader feel transported into the romance and escape of main character Faye’s newly found relationship.  The voicing of characters doesn’t dramatically change from character to character, though as the story progresses, listeners may notice some subtle changes: Jake gets smarmier, Johnny sounds young. Annabella, one of my favorite characters, is the exception and has a definitive southern accent that is well-done.

“She had known that she was glazing a lie with a tint of half-truth.”

It is interesting that readers can hear/see what each of characters Neil and Ellie are thinking on opposite sides of the computer while they are emailing each other. (Yes, emailing! Not texting, not IMing, not SnapChatting. It is 1997, folks, and I love it there.) Listening to the story had me remembering when I met my husband, and the excitement of seeing an email from him in my inbox, the constant thinking and re-thinking of our last exchanges, and how I printed the emails so I could re-visit them without using the dial-up modem. (Ha! I am old!) Ellie speaks of the “soul-lifting emails” from another person who was so much like her. I could relate. Perhaps it is also my own experience of a different time, in my life before I met my husband, that makes me struggle a little. Even though I was pulling for Neil and Ellie, to me, their emotional involvement counts as infidelity because each is giving something to the other that isn’t being given to their respective spouses. It is complicated, and they each feel pangs of guilt and know they are wrong, but they convince themselves that keeping their relationship to email is okay; one even says, “Their effect on each other's spirit was too great to allow their bodies to meet.” They know they are playing with fire – which makes it all the more delicious.

“The winds of change were steering the heavy branch.

Author E.L. Neve’s writing is philosophical, lovely, and descriptive and perfectly sets the moods – at times melancholy and other times joyful.  Her characters are complex and fleshed-out so that readers get a sense of knowing them.  As I said earlier, my favorite character was the colorful character of Annabella, who is someone I think I would seek out on a regular basis. I must share a few of her fabulous sayings:
… as confused as a fart in a fan factory 
… cold enough to freeze the balls off a pool table
It sticks in my throat like a hair in a biscuit.
Annabella provides some much-needed perspectives to our main character and some equally much-needed comic relief when the story feels heavy and hopeless.

I still would like to re-visit this story in print so that I can better absorb and ponder the bigger questions it poses about the very essence of love and happiness and the costs of finding and keeping it.

I highly recommend the audio book, which clocks-in at just under six hours (and for once, I listened at regular speed). Thank you to the author for providing me a free download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tal Boldo is a self-published award-winning novelist and audio book reader and producer. She likes to write under pseudonyms that relate to her stories. Her love story, Looking Glass Friends, was published under E. L. Neve, an anagrammatic tribute to the real letters which inspired the novel. Her middle grade fantasy, The Sound and the Echoes, was published under Dew Pellucid (Tal being the Hebrew word for Dew). The novel was a 2013 Juvenile Fiction Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards, and an Honorable Mention recipient in the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival. Her production of Looking Glass Friends is her first foray into the world of audio books.


eBook, paperback, and audio book!

Click for Author Interview


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Condition, Book Two ~ ~ Audio Book Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway!

Length: 6 hours 39 minutes
Publisher: Essential Music Limited2018
Genre: Science Fiction / Dystopian / Speculative
Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 2
Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

The second in a dystopian trilogy based on the author's command of a top secret government unit.

Discovering an infamous Nazi doctor conducted abortions in Argentina after the Second World War may not come as a surprise, but why was the twisted eugenicist not only allowed to continue his evil experiments but encouraged to do so? And what has that got to do with a respected neurologist in 2027? Surely, the invention of a cure for nearly all the world's ailments can't possibly have its roots buried in the horrors of Auschwitz?

The unacceptable is about to become the disturbingly bizarre. What has the treatment's "correction" of pedophiles got to do with the president of the United States, the pope, and even the UK's Green Party?

As if the Condition trilogy wasn't unsettling enough....


Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.


Narrator Bio

If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.


HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio book review.   WOW...there's A LOT going on in Condition: The Curing Begins, the second book in The Condition series. I didn't want to miss a thing, so I listened to it straight through in a day. As it was with book one, it served me well not to read the description because the surprise element was next-level. Though I had a little trouble getting oriented to this book, the premise(s) kept me glued to the story.

There is a slow but engrossing main build in The Curing Begins, but there are also several other sub-plots that wind their way throughout the book and give readers much to ponder. There are considerable religious implications, which I wish had been further explored and characters’ rationales better explained, particularly with the Argentinian Padre. I wondered how such a devout man could be led so far astray – but people being led astray is part of the very essence of this book.

"As long as people think struggling through life as an obedient slave will eventually be rewarded, one person can control millions."

If you look at the cover and read the book jacket, it’s no surprise that the Nazis rear their ugly head in the story.  There are some interesting discussions between characters about the higher purpose of Nazi experimentation and politics. At times, this felt more like an opportunity for platforming than genuine discourse. There are some holes and some character thoughts and actions that don’t add up, but again, the subject matter is fascinating.  The only thing I really didn’t like in part one was the insta-love/romance. The connection between these characters is necessary but could have been handled better and differently to be more feasible.   

About three and a half hours into the book, readers are taken back to just a few months after where book one left off, and those characters are reintroduced. In part two, we leap from the 1970s to 2027 and must reacquaint ourselves with that setting. Scenes are sometimes confusing because it’s difficult to tell whether character experiences are real or virtual…or, are their virtual experiences the new reality? Author Alec Birri is intentional here, I think, to keep readers in the same mindset as the characters -- where lines between reality and virtual reality are blurred. There continue to be some plot holes and situations where the level of suspension of disbelief is pushing the limits.

Jonathan Keeble returns to narrate book two, and again, is exceptional in his performances. He deftly handles all the voices, male and female, and all the accents. He brings life to the characters by projecting the nuances of the characters’ personalities. It is apparent he spent time studying the character profiles. I caught a few small oddities in pronunciations this time around, and the initial narration of the American president is cringe-worthy --even for a cringe-worthy character. Thankfully, that accent mellowed a bit and ended up working better. Overall, outstanding narration. I am a solid fan.

The difference between good and evil is often in the eye of the beholder.

By the end of The Curing Begins, almost all the early questions are answered/resolved, and the reader feels uncomfortable and unsettled by the implications and applications of medical and technological advances. The “revelation” at the end is jaw-dropping – I was downloading book three, The Final Correction, within minutes of finishing book two. This series has utterly consumed me.

Thank you to Audiobookworm Productions and the author for providing me a free audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 


Giveaway: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Runs March 6th-27th⎮Open internationally

The Condition Trilogy Giveaway: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Book Two

Mar. 13th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 14th:


Mar. 15th:

The Writing Train


Mar. 16th:


Mar. 17th:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 18th:

Bound 4 Escape

Jazzy Book Reviews

Mar. 19th:

The Book Addict's Reviews

Buried Under Books

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

eBook Addicts

Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

➜Sign up as a host here

Click for Hall Ways Review

Hall Ways Review Coming 3/22/18!

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Target on My Back ~ ~ Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway!

A Prosecutor's Terrifying Tale of Life on a Hit List
Erleigh Wiley
Genre: True Crime
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Facebook     Twitter    Instagram  
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 176 with b&w photos

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Murders don’t happen in Kaufman County, Texas, a sleepy community where people raise their kids quietly and drive into Dallas for work and entertainment. In 2013, murder came to town when two professional prosecutors were slain in cold blood, simply for doing their jobs: one in broad daylight in plain view of the courthouse, and one in his home, along with his wife. Eric Williams is responsible for all the bloodshed—and he has a list of who to kill next.

A Target on My Back is the first-person true story of Erleigh Wiley, an accomplished lawyer who accepted the job as the new district attorney—after the death of her predecessors—which turned her into the next target on the killer's hit list. This is her story of how she and her family endured the storm of the press, the array of Homeland Security agents assigned to protect them 24/7, and the weight of knowing she was someone’s prey. Though fearing for her life, she served as the prosecution's final witness against the murderer, sealing his fate on death row. This chilling account of how she survived the hit list is a terrifying cat and mouse tale.


“A legal thriller with a twist: a crazed lawyer and his wife, believing they have been wronged, become a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde and go on a terrifying murder spree. Next on their kill list is the new DA, and her courage in confronting the killers makes this a fascinating read.”
Dennis L. Breo, coauthor of The Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked a Nation 

“John Grisham and Scott Turow had better start looking over their shoulders. . . Wiley’s engaging, nimble style immediately draws you into the action and proves that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. It’s a good thing for us all that she lived to tell about it!”
David Dean, Dallas attorney, former Texas secretary of state and chair of the North Texas Crime Commission
“When murder comes to her town, Erleigh Wiley steps into the shoes of the slain district attorney and finds herself on the killer’s hit list. In A Target on My Back, Wiley tells her personal story of overcoming fear in order to carry out her duty to hold Kaufman County, Texas, together while the killer is brought to justice. Don’t miss it!”
Mike Farris, author of A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow
A Target on my Back is a unique first-person look into the world of crime-fighting in which the tables have been turned. The author takes the reader on an all-too-real journey into what it means to stand for justice when your very life is in danger. A must-read.
Robert Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association

┃  Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble  ┃ IndieBound

Erleigh Norville Wiley was born and raised in Kaufman County. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business; where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a degree in Finance. She attended law school at Texas Law at The University of Texas in Austin receiving her Doctorate of Jurisprudence.
In 1990, Judge Wiley joined the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Her goal was to prosecute the criminals and protect innocent children and victims who have no voice. She was promoted to supervising attorney-training other new attorneys and managing fourteen different courts.

Wiley takes an active role in her community by volunteering. Some of her board work includes Chairman of the Kaufman County Juvenile Board, Trustee of Texas Health Resources- Kaufman, Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center and Kaufman County Children’s Shelter Board member.

Wiley has been lauded by various organizations for her work in the legal community as a Judge and as the Criminal District Attorney in Kaufman County. Some of the most notable were in 2013, from the State Bar of Texas, Outstanding Leadership-Profiles of Courage Award and Texas District & County Attorney’s Association, Lone Star Prosecutor Award; as well as the Dallas Black Police Officer’s Association with the Paved the Way Award in 2015.

Bonus Post
Author Interview
Author on Video
Author on Video
Author on Audio
Author Interview

   blog tour services provided by