Harry Ballsack And The Quid Witch Caper by Mike Cooley

Harry Ballsack And The Quid Witch CaperHarry Ballsack And The Quid Witch Caper by Mike Cooley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry Ballsack And The Quid Witch Caper is a clever, entertaining story. It’s one of the better Harry Potter parodies I’ve read so far. Mike Cooley paces this yarn perfectly.

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2015 Entertainment Review

So, in the sense that we have this review blog, I say that we’re going to review some of the things that I have put on the end-of-the-year report…

Best movies:

  1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
  2. The Martian
  3. Inside Out
  4. Jurassic World
  5. The Scorch Trials
  6. Kingsman: the Secret Service
  7. Furious 7
  8. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  9. Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation
  10. Ant-Man
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Worst Movies:

  1. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
  2. Home
  3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

* * * * *

Best books to read:

  1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  3. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
  5. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
  6. Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
  7. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  8. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  9. The Last Anniversary by Lianne Moriarty
  10. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

* * * * *

Pop Culture

Songs of the Year

  1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
  2. Take Me to Church – Hozier
  3. FourFiveSeconds – Rhianna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney
  4. Sugar – Maroon 5
  5. Fight Song – Rachael Platten


Big Events: And some big events for all of us to NEVER forget…

  1. Back to the Future Day 2015
  2. David Letterman’s final show
  3. Zayn Malik quits One Direction
  4. Leonard Nimoy dies
  5. Brian Williams gets in trouble for lying about a helicopter crash
  6. Justin Bieber gets roasted on Comedy Central


Yeah, we never saw this coming…

  1. Jon Snow “dies” on “Game of Thrones” (Still not over it!)
  2. Duran Duran’s new album
  3. John Stewart retires from “The Daily Show with John Stewart
  4. Charlie Sheen has AIDS (screw you, AIDS!!!)
  5. Sharknado 3 (Valar shark-goulis, George R. R. Martin!)


And yes, we have to say goodbye to some notable people who met the Stranger this year:

  1. Leonard Nimoy
  2. Christopher Lee
  3. Terry Prachett
  4. Bobbi Kristina Brown
  5. Cynthia Lennon (first wife of John Lennon)
  6. Ben E. King
  7. B. B. King
  8. Andrew Lesnie (worked on Peter Jackson’s movies)
  9. James Horner
  10. Diana Douglass (mother of Michael Douglass)
  11. Omar Sharif
  12. E. L. Doctorow
  13. Jackie Collins
  14. Maureen O’Hara
  15. Mario Cuomo
  16. Bob Simon of 60 Minutes
  17. Fred Thompson
  18. Beau Biden
  19. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
  20. The victims of needless terror attacks in San Bernandino, California; Paris, France; Charleston, South Carolina;
  21. And as always, the brave soldiers who died defending our country and everything it stood for.

Also, one of my uncles (Granny’s brother) shook hands with the Stranger in September. RIP, Uncle Smokey😦

* * * * *

2015 is over…bring on 2016! Now that the future is here, the possibilities are endless.

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Harmony Run Series by Sarah Elle Emm

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Excerpt from Nacreous, Harmony Run Series, Book four…

For the rest of the walk I tried not to let fear creep over me, but the more I thought about Nata coming, the harder it was. Still, Takara had said we’d be okay. Help was on the way. I just had to believe.

We were led down a series of hallways and through somewhat familiar doors until finally we were pushed into a fairly large interrogation room. I recognized the set-up from my last trip here. But this room was larger. There were chairs lined up in a long row, twice as many chairs as there were people and a bright solar light illuminated the chairs in an otherwise dark, concrete room. My eyes instinctively searched the ground, checking for holes or iron bars like the last room I’d been questioned in. Either there weren’t any holes to lock people in here or I couldn’t find them. Part of me knew they’d be located in the dark corners, away from the light and though it should have made me more afraid, the hole was beginning to concern me less as I thought about the impending arrival of Nata.

Hands pushed me forward, and I was shoved into a metal chair. Glancing in either direction, I noticed that Marcello was right next to me on one side, and the crazy man was right beside him on the other side. But there were still six more empty chairs to my right.

Before I could wonder about the empty chairs any longer, the door opened and tension filled me anew. Was it Nata? She was here

Surprise and relief replaced my tension as a tall man with light brown hair, Officer Eric Collins, our secret ally from the Elizabeth Guard, spared me a quick glance as he entered the room. Maybe Takara had sent him here. I closed my eyes. “Marcello, maybe Eric is our help. He’ll help us get out of here,” I said excitedly.

“I’m not sure about that,” Marcello replied.

I opened my eyes and glanced towards Marcello, noting his alarmed expression. I snapped my head back to the door, expecting to see Nata. Why else would Marcello’s eyes have seemed so fearful? 

But as my eyes settled on the doorway it wasn’t our evil dictator who was entering the room. It was a group of more prisoners, six to be exact, staggering into the room with another Droid Dog behind them. Their mouths weren’t covered with tape like our own, but their hands were cuffed.

The second prisoner in line stopped dead in her tracks as our eyes met. A drumming sound filled my ears. No. This couldn’t be happening. It wasn’t Nata, but it was worse.

The Authority had arrested my mom.

Excerpt compliments of Winter Goose Publishing

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog tour. If you read any of the books, I’d be flattered if you left a review and connected with my page on Facebook, where I’ll keep you updated on future books. ~Sarah

People occasionally ask me why I write dystopian fiction. I like writing dystopian because it is a release of all of the crazy things running through my mind. Dystopian allows you to explore questions like…What if the government became a dictatorship? What if people weren’t allowed to go to school? What if teenagers could save the world because their parents have lost hope? What if?

I admit I have an overactive imagination. (I’ve seen every episode of The Walking Dead, and even though I know zombies aren’t real, I still check my closets and look under the bed for zombies after each and every episode). Anyhow, I think my parents had a lot to do with how I write today. One of their favorite dinner table conversations growing up was deciding which of their children, (there are three of us), they’d pick to be stranded on the infamous deserted island with, if they had to be stuck there with only one.They usually chose my sister because of her internal GPS system and leadership skills. They often decided on my brother because he has MacGyver-like qualities, and they were sure he could build a hut out of sand or something. And they never chose me. Though they often laughed and said they’d take me if they were interested in being entertained.

Another usual at our dinner table was Dad asking if the “bad guys” were to enter our house at that exact moment, what item in the room around us could be turned into a weapon. My siblings were very talented at this. Surprise, surprise. Me, not so much. I usually panicked. (I’d think of a hiding place so they could do the fighting).

Another family favorite? Dad’s strategy talks about how when you enter a room, you should look around immediately, assessing the situation and room for possible exits, windows included, were any emergency to occur.

I think my parents came by it honestly. My mom’s dad was a WWII vet who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He’d rush his family to the basement when it thunder stormed, never having recovered from the war or the memories of bombs and explosions. My dad’s parents took us on a family vacation to the Caribbean every year, and they’d try to split up flights between my aunt and my dad’s side, just in case there was a crash. They wanted some of the family to survive to take care of the family business. That always freaked me out. I’d worry the entire flight. (About not only crashing, but trying to figure out what was wrong with my family).

My family always had movie night growing up. Every Sunday. We would either go see one at the theater or rent one and watch it in our basement. The genre of choice was always action, usually a thriller. I remember watching scenes where someone would go outside to investigate the “strange noise” in the night, and my family would be yelling at the screen. (If we were home. They were well behaved in theaters. Mostly). They’d yell for the character to go back inside. Of course, the character never would. My brother would always be the first to point out the girl character who was going to get killed by not reacting rationally. He’d yell at the screen as she tried to start her car but couldn’t even get the keys into the ignition because her hands couldn’t stop shaking from fear.

I was sitting in my driveway last week, trying to start my car. I couldn’t get the key in properly, and I started to panic. The more I panicked, the more my fingers fumbled and I couldn’t get my key in. I could hear my brother’s voice in my head saying, “Hurry up, Sarah. You’re gonna die. The bad guys are going to get you. Start the car!” After a moment, I started laughing at myself. Eventually, I pulled it together and managed to insert the key properly to start the car.

Anyhow…Why do I write dystopian? I think you get the point. I guess never getting chosen for Survival Island, never quite figuring out what to make a weapon out of, and just those what if conversations in general really stayed with me. I promise you right now, that if you were to go to either one of my parents’ houses or my siblings’, you’d find emergency supplies in their basements complete with water, food, and back up power supplies in case of an emergency. I barely have my fridge stocked right now by the way. My plan is to head to one of their houses when the world ends. I just hope I make it there in time…I guess it makes sense that I never was picked for that island.

I smile affectionately when I think of my childhood and when I think of my family. True, they may have scarred this introvert for life, ha, ha, ha, but they have to be credited for inspiring me to write some of the dystopian stories I write today. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog tour. If you’d like to risk getting inside of this head a little bit, all four books are on sale right now for only $1.99 each on Kindle. If you read any of the books, I’d be flattered if you left a review and connected with my page on Facebook, where I’ll keep you updated on future books. You just never know what this dystopian writer will come up with next. ~Sarah

– 1 Winner will get a $10 Amazon GC
– 1 Winner will get Signed Copies of all the 4 Books in the Harmony Run Series
– 3 Winners will get One Signed Copy of a book of their choice from the Harmony Run Series

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Alternately, you can grab the code from here:


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Milan (A Wedding Story) by Simi K. Rao

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About the Book:


Milan (A Wedding Story)
When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do? Easy–wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili’s father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would’ve probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say?

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‘Behind the scenes at an Indian Wedding’

Indians in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Our culture gives us our identity. Most of us (especially those living away from the homeland) cling to it, even though several aspects in these particularly modern times, make no sense at all. Why do we do so? Perhaps because it brings us together as a community and provides us comfort in a foreign environment. The same I think applies to immigrants from all over the globe.

Marriages in India, in particular Hindu marriages are long drawn intricate affairs fraught with age old tradition. Little has changed over the centuries except for certain embellishments due to modernization. To non-Indians these ceremonies appear just that—elaborate colorful rituals flavored with plenty of pomp and show.

In the following story I take my readers on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour at a traditional Indian wedding. I’ve tried to illustrate the proceedings from engagement to the wedding ceremony with “generalized” Indians—my characters, and have also made an attempt to expound on the emotional upheavals that occur in the background and often aren’t spoken out loud. Milan is more of a ‘short story’ concept where it shows the before/during and after of an event than it is a ‘long novel’ about characters with hopes and dreams and goals. And its purpose is exactly that, to show the emotions Indian couples go through during the process of a wedding. This story may help the reader get a better insight into the culture of marriage in India.

The Setting of MILAN:

Whenever I travel back to my homeland, I prepare for a culture shock. The crowds, the noise, the pollution have all increased several fold as the country races forward at breakneck speed to catch up with the rest of the world. There are very places left where it still seems like life goes on as it did a few decades ago, where people are laid back and nature is not at war with mankind.

MILAN is set in one such place; Coonoor— a hill town located in the Nilgiri Hills, about 56 kms from the Coimbatore Airport, in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is part way from its more well-known cousin Ooty. I spent some time there during my last trip and was so enchanted that I chose to use it as a setting for my story. Known for its tea plantations, Coonoor is a lovely, rustic little town. With its abundance of greenery and quaint architecture it is a throwback to India as it used to be. The temperate climate and serene environment help the restless soul to relax and take a few breaths of peace. When you are there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Nilgiris meter gauge train, as well as a personalized tour of the tea estates.

I want to thank Debdatta for giving me this opportunity to express myself and for hosting this blog tour. I also want to thank all the bloggers who are participating in this tour and have made space for my book on their blog. Your time and generosity is much appreciated.

Please visit my website http://simikrao.com/ for more info on me and my work. You can also connect with me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/simikrao and twitter https://twitter.com/simikrao

Happy Reading!


Simi K. Rao


About the Author:


Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction.
The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.
Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.
Much of Rao’s down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.
A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.

Contact the Author:
Website I Blog I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads

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Paper by Kell Inkston

PaperPaper by Kell Inkston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This spine-tingling story has every indication of becoming a classic…a new take on the words “the pen is mightier than the sword“.

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Toys by S.A. Meyer

ToysToys by S.A. Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story about an old man’s terrible secret toy collection was short, but it might keep me awake at night for a while.

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Fifty-one Shades: A Parody (First Three Chapters) by Andrew Shaffer

Fifty-one Shades: A Parody (First Three Chapters)Fifty-one Shades: A Parody by Andrew Shaffer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story, far from being entertaining, appeared to be dry and not all that better than the original. I would advise you to save your money and brain cells and not read this book

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