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71 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anita Elam
    Aug 08, 2017 @ 19:11:55

    Hi there! My name is Anita Elam and I leaving a reply to request a book review of my self-published (Amazon) book “The Bugle Called You Home” a NON-fiction short book (64 pages) about the passing of my father from colon cancer when I was 17 and how I emotionally dealt with that (both then and now). I also contains embedded poetry by me (which is mainly what I write)


    • Mandi M. Lynch, author
      Jan 18, 2018 @ 02:37:27

      Anita, forgive me for the delayed response. If you would like to send a copy, I would be willing to review the book.


  2. Daniel Milton Taylor
    Sep 01, 2017 @ 05:37:44

    I was an atheist until the age of 31. I’m 59, an ordained Bishop and have published two books in 2003 and 2017 in regards to my faith and belief in God. The 1st, “Is God Real”, 208 pages, is more autobiographical about my path from atheism to Salvation. The 2nd, “Denomination”, 49 pages, is about the Denominations in the Church and how they show division in the Body of Christ. I’d like you to give me your honest review of both. If not both, the 2nd one is the most important. Here’s a link to my “Books” page on my website. If you’re interested let me know and I’ll send you a copy.


  3. Natalie Coe
    Sep 12, 2017 @ 14:56:37

    I am contacting you on behalf of Paul Stretton-Stephens (, regarding his two-part Teen/Young Adult contemporary fantasy. It is entitled Enemies Rising.

    We would like to submit Enemies Rising Part 1 for review, if possible. We can supply the book in various formats.

    To give you a feel for the book, please find below the blurb for Enemies Rising Part 1:
    “Fifteen-year-old Tacrem becomes acutely aware that all the hours of play fighting, language lessons, physical training, and strategy games during his undersea upbringing were designed to prepare him to carry out dangerous missions for the sake of Cetardia, also known as the Downside. His exceptional abilities: he can run, swim, and jump faster and higher than any Upsider (the Cetardian name for people living on the land) are required to confront threats from two fronts. 
    Firstly, some Upsiders are intent on discovering and exploiting Cetardia for their gain, and secondly, the ocean’s rising tides threaten to distance Cetardia farther from the mainland. 
    To survive Tacrem undertakes a rare and daring mission to make contact with a discredited Upside climatologist, Professor Jack Berry to gain and deliver vital information. During the process, Tacrem befriends Jack and his daughter Jess who becomes the focus of an enemy of Cetardia, The Fligers.
    The question is: Will Tacrem be able to obtain and deliver the information needed to save his world and can he protect his new friends Jack and Jess?
    Discover how Tacrem tackles his mission in this action packed adventure.”

    We would be most grateful if any of your team would be willing to review Enemies Rising Part 1.

    If you need any further help or information, please do let me know.
    Kind regards
    Natalie Coe
    P.A. to Writer, Paul Stretton-Stephens


  4. Derek Hunter
    Sep 15, 2017 @ 19:17:49

    Dear the Folks at Book in the Bag,

    Hope this message finds you well. I am an author of robust, riveting, edge of your seat “experimental” science-fiction (experimental in the same vein as James Joyce, Arthur Rimbaud, William S. Burroughs, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, August Strindberg, and others). It is a different kind of science-fiction in that it treats modern times similar to how most works in the genre treat the future, that of a bizarre “other” world.

    Recently Kirkus Reviews reviewed one of my novels, E.I.E. –

    I also have an author profile on Goodreads –

    A Facebook Group called Love Chaos with over 750 members to explore my work –

    A Facebook Page with over 4,400 likes –

    Along with Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media sites.

    Last but not least I have my website, which has my entire body of work –

    I would love to get the opportunity for you to review one of my books, especially my novel E.I.E., which had a favorable review in Kirkus Reviews and I recommend checking out.

    Thank you for your time,
    Derek Hunter


  5. Dee Dee Prince
    Oct 08, 2017 @ 17:27:42

    My name is Dee Dee Prince. I’m requesting a review of my memoir “Unmarked Escape Routes,” a story of bold renewal, released on Amazon July 25, 2017.

    The memoir is seen through the eyes of Deborah, the eldest of three children born to an unlikely couple: an Oakey sailor and an English nurse, both reeling from the horrors of war and broken hearts over lost loves. They meet by chance and marry quickly. Momma is looking for a better life in America while Daddy is looking for his next bottle of beer.

    It chronicles a child’s struggle between remaining loyal to her family of origin and the desire to flee the pandemonium. As the family unravels, Deborah learns that friendship mitigates the chaos of being shuffled from town to town, house-to-house, with and without parents. The pain of pleasing her family outweighs the fear of disapproval – she makes courageous choices that empower her, and then is faced with more upheaval. But the truths held in her spirit continue to awaken until she turns eighteen, and no longer needs to be legally parented.

    Unmarked Escape Routes is a soul-searching portrayal of a young girl who grows up, climbs the wall of her past, and becomes a woman who can look back on it with compassion, gratitude and freedom.

    Thank you for your consideration.


  6. jrousso
    Nov 26, 2017 @ 19:58:46


    I came across your website and was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing a children’s book that I wrote this year on coping with fear and other negative feelings by looking at inner strengths and the beauty in the world around us. I have attached a press release and a pdf file of the book if you have any interest.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    All the best,

    June Rousso


  7. Karsten Bech Nielsen
    Nov 28, 2017 @ 22:27:14

    I would love you to review my new book; Mind your Money. It is the only universal / 360 degree view on your personal finances, and how you can improve it.

    Its an easy 200 page read: 3-4 hours according to Kobo (Maybe a bit optimistic).

    I can send you a giftcode to iBooks or an ePub/mobi file. Unfortunately no paperback (yet).

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Br. Karsten

    Want to challenge your basic assumptions about personal finance and arrive at better financial choices?

    Mind Your Money offer clear guidance for navigating the treacherous financial landscape by providing the practical tools needed to understand and improve financial choices, save and spend smarter, and ultimately improve the chances of realizing your dreams.

    Learn the magic of compounding returns rather than compounding costs and learn how to utilize the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term. Topics also include guidance on asset allocation, risk management, and retirement investing.

    With budgeting as the offset we move on with ideas for improving income and “Don’t work harder – spend your money smarter” ideas that might reduce your expenses by 30% or more.

    The book covers all major financial decisions in life from choosing the smartest study, nesting, marrying, maintaining financial autonomy, raising economically responsible children, to planning and choosing the smartest pension options. In addition, it will help you identify how to surf the waves of the economy when making life changing decisions or investments.

    Read the book from start to end, use it for inspiration for specific financial situations or use the extensive examples with suggesting for how to calculate the smartest options for life’s financial decisions.

    Recommended minimum level of education: junior high school / ISCED level 2 (10 years).

    Not suitable for black and white eBook viewers, text-to-speech, or small screens.


  8. mathias freese
    Nov 30, 2017 @ 16:32:43

    I am seeking a review.and Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau
    And Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau tells the Story of a New York City
    man who becomes an Alabama man. Despite his radical migration to simpler
    living and a late-life marriage to a saint of sorts, his persistent pet anxieties and
    unanswerable questions follow him. Mathias Freese wants his retreat from the
    societal “it” to be a brave safari for the self rather than cowardly avoidance, so
    who better to guide him but Henry David Thoreau, the self-aware philosopher
    who retreated to Walden Pond “to live deliberately” and cease “the hurry and
    waste of life”? In this memoir, Freese wishes to share how and why he came to
    Harvest, Alabama (both literally and figuratively), to impart his existential
    impressions and concerns, and to leave his mark before he is gone.
    Book Awards:
    • The i Tetralogy: Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Award 2007
    • Down to a Sunless Sea: National Indie Excellence finalist Book Awards 2007 &
    • Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award 2007.
    • This Mobius Strip of Ifs: National Indie (Winner) Book Awards, 2012 & Global
    Ebook Award finalist, 2012.
    • I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust: Finalist in the 2012 Leapfrog Press
    Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions, Beverly Hills Book Awards, Winner;
    • Readers’ Favorites, Five Stars; Indie Excellence Book Awards, Finalist; Readers’
    • Favorite, Book Award Winner – Bronze medal
    • Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers: 2016 Los Angeles Book Festival Honorable
    Mention, Great Northwest Book Festival Winner in Biography/Autobiography
    • Category, Runner-up in General Non-Fiction Category in the San Francisco Book
    Festival, Winner for General Non-Fiction in The Beach Book Festival & Runner-Up
    in General Non-Fiction in the Paris Book Festival
    is a multi-published,
    award-winning author,
    writer, teacher and
    Title: And Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau
    Author: Mathias B. Freese
    Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
    Formats: Paperback & eBook
    Published by: Wheatmark
    ISBN: 978-1627875387
    Pub. Date: September 22, 2017
    Number of pages: 117 pages
    And Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau by Mathias B. Freese


  9. Bonnie Davis
    Dec 19, 2017 @ 03:08:55

    Hi, Marilyn Sherman has a new book available for review. Our Amazon listing is at and the Goodreads listing is at Marilyn would be happy to send you a print version if you choose to review it! Thank you for your consideration.


  10. Shawn Phillips
    Jan 07, 2018 @ 05:30:12

    I’m hoping that you will pull my novel out of the bag for review. Darkened Demigod: Weapon of War is a fantasy novel, or rather the story of a demigod imprisoned miles below the surface of the post-apocalyptic Earth he crafted. He is the first modern-day demigod, and must come to terms with his failings that led to global annihilation. From the charcoaled ashes of remorse and uncontrollable anger must rise the embodiment of what he was meant to be—a savior for all humankind. However, who he is saving them from and why propels this demigod on a pained journey beyond his home planet, where he must face much more than just an advanced offshoot of humanity. He and the diminutive Bookworm will fight for Earth, but at a cost even a demigod will not be able to rectify.

    Thank you for reading my request. The novel is currently on Goodreads as a giveaway and will be released on Amazon (paperback/eBook) on Jan 31st.


  11. roberteggleton
    Jan 18, 2018 @ 13:16:17

    Hi Charles,

    Please consider reviewing Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton, an adult literary novel with a social science fiction backdrop that was published by a traditional small press on November 3, 2016: The eBook was released on December 5, 2016. Detailed info is below, including about the nonprofit agency to which author proceeds are donated for the prevention of child maltreatment. Sensitizing readers to victimization, early tragedy in this story feeds and amplifies subsequent comedy and satire.




    Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

    Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

    “The abuse in the book is graphic, but the story arc is hopeful: a family recovering and becoming better together.” Publishers Weekly

    “A fun, sometimes cleverly-gonzo, and even inspiring tale about an undaunted girl’s close encounter of the weird kind.” — David Brin, Award Winning SciFi Author

    “Amusing at times, shocking at others, a touching and somehow wonderful SFF read.” Amazing Stories Magazine

    “The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.” — Temple Emmet Williams, Retired Editor, Reader’s Digest

    “Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.” — Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

    “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

    “…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” — Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

    “Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” — Piers Anthony, NY Times Bestselling Author

    “…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review

    Culture: This novel was written in colloquial Appalachian voice.

    Political Allegory: This novel was the first, perhaps the only, science fiction adventure to specifically predict the rise of Donald Trump to political power — parody with no political advocacy one side or any other. Readers find out how Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, convinced Mr. Rump (Bernie Sanders) to help talk Mr. Prump (Donald Trump) into saving the universe. The allegory includes pressing issues that are being debated today, including illegal immigration and the refuge crisis, an issue that several European commentators have compared to cockroach infestation; extreme capitalism / consumerism vs. domestic spending for social supports; sexual harassment…. Mr. Prump in my story was a projection of Donald Trump based on the TV show, The Apprentice. The counterpart, Mr. Rump, was based on my understanding of positions held by Bernie Sanders as I wrote the story. Part of the negotiations in the story occur in the only high rise on planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance, now more easily identifiable as Trump Tower. The allegory was not addressed by ARC reviewers of the novel because so few people worldwide considered Donald Trump to be a serious political contender until the primary elections in the U.S. The political allegory in the novel is obvious now that Donald Trump has become a household name. Please see:

    Formats: An image of the book cover is attached. Review copies are available in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub formats. With some exceptions, paperbacks for review are limited to the U.K. and the U.S. so as to avoid international shipping costs. If interested, please specify the format and I’ll send you a copy.

    Sample Reviews of Final Edition: Requests for reviews of the new edition of Rarity from the Hollow are now being considered. On 1-6-17, the first was published, five stars. To facilitate your consideration of reviewing this novel, the closing lines were: “…Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list.” On 2-17-17, Dan’l Danehy-Oakes, a critic whose book reviews often appear in the New York Review of Science Fiction, published his review of the final edition, five stars: “…I know this all sounds pretty whack, and it is, but it’s also quite moving. Lacy Dawn and her supporting cast – even Brownie, the dog – are some of the most engaging characters I’ve run across in a novel in some time….” “…It feels timeless, classic and mature in way that would ensure its longevity if more people knew about it… a distinctive approach to the adult-fairytale/modern-retelling sub-genre…I would even say it could be read in a college setting both for the craft itself and its unique brand of storytelling. The premise is brilliant.” On May 21, 2017, a very detailed review closed with, “… The author gives us much pause for thought as we read this uniquely crafted story about some real life situations handled in very unorthodox ways filled with humor, sarcasm, heartfelt situations and fun.” — Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine On 10-13-17, Amazing Stories Magazine closed its review: “Amusing at times, shocking at others, a touching and somehow wonderful SFF read.” On 10-20-17, this reviewer hit the political parody on the head: On 11-10-17, Turning the Page found: “…This author does a superb job with character development, but the reader must be open-minded to keep pace with the outlandish scenes….” On 12-8-17, Emerald Book Reviews found that my novel was “an unusual tale of sci-fi fantasy with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the adult reader’s attention from the beginning…a quirky and adventurous story in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and integrity.”

    Sample Positive Reviews of Original Edition: The original edition of this novel had a formatting error that has been corrected. The final edition reads much smoother. This problem likely affected some reviewers of the original. A few book bloggers have upgraded their reviews based on a review of the final edition and others may do the same. Despite the formatting problem, the original was awarded two Gold Medals by major book review organizations, was named one of the best releases of 2015 by a Bulgaria book critic, and received twenty-six five star reviews and forty-three four star reviews by independent book review bloggers.

    An early reviewer of the original edition found that the writing style was one-quarter turn beyond that of Kurt Vonnegut. The ARC was found by the editor of Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine, to be “laugh-out-loud funny” in some scenes. Long-time book critic, Barry Hunter, closed his review, “…good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” Vonnegut, Douglas Adams (i.e., Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), or Tom Robbins (i.e., Another Roadside Attraction) are also close examples by subgenre. A former Editor of Reader’s Digest found that, “Rarity from the Hollow is the most enjoyable science fiction that I’ve read in several years….” My novel was referred to as a Hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and awarded a gold medal by Awesome Indies: “…Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate….” With respect to the story’s treatment of tough social issues, this reviewer said: “…I was hesitant to accept. I usually do not read or review books that discuss child abuse or domestic violence; however, I was intrigued by the excerpt and decided to give it a shot. I am glad that I took a risk; otherwise, I would have missed out on a fantastic story with a bright, resourceful, and strong protagonist that grabbed my heart and did not let go A book reviewer from Bulgaria named Rarity from the Hollow as one of the best five books that he had read in 2015, along with Revival by Stephen King and The Martian by Andy Weir. On December 31, 2016, the ARC of Rarity from the Hollow was named a Top Pick for 2016: On January 20, 2016, it was awarded a second Gold Medal by a popular book review site: Additional praise of the ARC has been posted by book bloggers on Amazon.

    Social Commentary: My work utilizes SF/F cross-genre as a backdrop. It is not hard science fiction and includes elements of fantasy, everyday horror, a ghost — so it’s a little paranormal, true-love type romance, mystery, and adventure. The content addresses social issues: poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health concerns – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and the medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Capitalism, and touches on the role of Jesus: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.”

    Writing Style: This novel is written in third person omniscient narrator. “…The author has created a new narrative format, something I’ve never seen before, with a standard third-person narration, interspersed, lightly, with first-person asides. This makes me think of Eugene O’Neill’s play Strange Interlude where internal and external dialogue are blended…partaking a little of the whimsical and nonsensical humor of Roger Zelazny or even Ron Goulart….” Jefferson Swycaffer, Affiliate, Fantasy Fan Federation. Some of the inner thoughts of characters are in italics following the speaker’s voice. For some busy book reviewers, this style could feel like it slows down the read and could result in head hopping if an attempt is made to read this novel too quickly, but for leisurely readers with time to contemplate it is a good fit. “…If it does not make you think, you are not really reading it….”

    Comfort Zones: There is a mention of a child having been murdered in this novel, by the meanest daddy on Earth. There are no scenes of child victimization and this character plays a comical and annoying ghost most of the story. Here’s a finding by Awesome Indies about the Advance Review Copy (ARC) of this novel to help you decide if it is too far outside of your comfort zone: “a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.”

    Please also note that the character mentioned above (Faith) is a victim of sexual abuse. Sexual content in the novel:

    While the protagonist occupies the body of an eleven year old, she is the product of genetic manipulation by Universal Management for millennia;
    Lacy Dawn began her trainings via direct download into her brain five years before the beginning of this story, so she has been fed information about every known human subject, including biology, reproduction, economics…for years before readers are introduced to her (ET involvement is an opening chapter reveal);
    Her best friend, Faith, as a sexual abuse victim, has a sad and unhealthy awareness of sexuality, but plays an annoying comical ghost most of the story;
    The android has no private parts, “not even a little bump,” and is much less mature emotionally than Lacy Dawn throughout the story;
    There are no sex scenes in the novel and only references, including the disclosure about Faith’s victimization by a flashback reference only;
    As the android pursues humanity and starts going through an accelerated human development stage, he never develops any actual sexual interests but does try to kiss Lacy Dawn on the cheek once;
    Lacy Dawn vows not to have sex for the first time until after she is married — a traditional and now unusual family value;
    She is fourteen years old when the novel ends and has typical teenage interests but remains untouched, not even a first real kiss;
    There are normalized sexual references and innuendos between Lacy Dawn parents after their romance was rekindled — the father was cured of PTSD and the mother’s self-esteem improved, in part, because she got new teeth as part of the deal to save the universe;
    But, the sexual references are presented as puns, nothing on screen, and are milder than most romance novels that I’ve read, such as by Nora Roberts.

    Piers Anthony, best selling fantasy author during the ’80s and ’90s, found that my novel was “…not for the prudish.” Kevin Patrick Mahoney, editor of the once noteworthy site, Authortrek, found that my story was, “…not for the faint hearted or easily offended….” An early voice in the first chapter speaks about things that no child should know. It is that of a traumatized child – a voice most of us never listen to, or want to hear, but in real life is screaming. I’m a retired children’s psychotherapist. The language and concepts in this story are mild in comparison to some of the stuff that kids have said during actual group therapy sessions that I have facilitated over the years. By child developmental stage, it is similar to the infamous early adolescent insult in E.T.: “penis breath.” It is tame in comparison to the content of the popular television series, South Park, which has been devoured by millions of teens. My story does include marijuana smoking, but that subject has been frequently broadcast in the news as states move toward legalization, when legislation is introduced or debates emerge. Except for a scene involving domestic violence in the third chapter, there is no violence or horror — no blood, guts, gore, vampires, or werewolves. The “F word” is used twice, but all other profanity is mild colloquialism. Rarity from the Hollow is a children’s story for adults with a HEA ending like a romance novel.

    Time Frame: If you are too busy to review this novel, please consider posting a spotlight, an author interview, or a guest post. I could provide all the info needed, including the answers to any questions that you might have for such a post. For example, your readers would likely have an interest in the how and why a science fiction novel helps to prevent child abuse. There is no timeline for a review. Since author proceeds are donated to child abuse prevention and there will always be kids in need, whenever a review fits into your schedule would be fine. Or, if you TBR list is huge, please consider posting a spotlight pending a review.

    About the Author: I recently retired after 52 years of contributions into the U.S. Social Security fund so that I could write and promote my fiction. I’m a former mental health psychotherapist in West Virginia. After coming home drained from working with child abuse victims, I didn’t have the energy left to begin self-promotion of this project. Most of the successes listed above have been achieved in the last fifteen months following my retirement. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program in my home state. A listing of services that are supported can be found here:

    The Press: Dog Horn Publishing is a traditional small press located in Leeds. Adam Lowe is the owner. The press also showcases other semi avant garde titles and publishes a popular magazine for the GLBTQ community (Vada).

    Supporting Information

    Purchase links:

    Public Author Contacts:

    Excerpt from Chapter 13, Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé:

    …..…Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn’s name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.

    I hear her voice. Why won’t she answer me?

    “Sounds like she’s talking to someone,” Jenny said to the Woods.

    Nobody responded. The trees weren’t supposed to since Jenny was no longer a child. Her former best friends had made no long-term commitment beyond childhood victimization. They had not agreed to help her deal with domestic violence in adulthood. She hugged the closest tree.

    I will always love you guys.

    Jenny quickened her pace, stopped, and listened for human voices. A few yards later, she stopped again.

    Now it sounds like she’s behind me instead of in front.

    Jenny looked to the left of the path.

    There ain’t no cave Roundabend, but there it is.

    She walked toward the entrance. The voices grew louder and she looked inside. Lacy Dawn sat on a bright orange recliner. Tears streamed down her face. Jenny ran to her daughter through a cave that didn’t exit and into a blue light that did.

    “All right, you mother f**ker!”

    “Mom!” Lacy Dawn yelled. “You didn’t say, ‘It’s me’ like you’re supposed to (a traditional announcement mentioned earlier in the story).”

    DotCom (the android) sat naked in a lotus position on the floor in front of the recliner. Jenny covered Lacy Dawn with her body and glared at him.

    “Grrrrr,” emanated from Jenny. It was a sound similar to the one that Brownie (Lacy Dawn’s dog) made the entire time the food stamp woman was at their house. It was a sound that filled the atmosphere with hate. No one moved. The spaceship’s door slid shut.

    “Mommmmmy, I can’t breathe. Get up.”

    “You make one move you sonofabitch and I’ll tear your heart out,” Jenny repositioned to take her weight off Lacy Dawn.

    Stay between them.

    “Mommy, he’s my friend. More than my friend, we’re going to get married when I’m old enough — like when I turn fourteen. He’s my boyfriend — what you call it — my fiancé.”

    “You been messin’ with my little girl you pervert!” Jenny readied to pounce.

    “MOM! Take a chill pill! He ain’t been messing with me. He’s a good person, or whatever. Anyway, he’s not a pervert. You need to just calm down and get off me.”

    Jenny stood up. DotCom stood up. Jenny’s jaw dropped.

    He ain’t got no private parts, not even a little bump.

    “DotCom, I’d like to introduce you to my mommy, Mrs. Jenny Hickman. Mommy, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, DotCom.”

    Jenny sat down on the recliner. Her face was less than a foot from DotCom’s crotch and she stared straight at it. It was smooth, hairless, and odor free.

    “Mrs. Hickman, I apologize for any inconvenience that this misunderstanding has caused. It is very nice to meet you after having heard so much. You arrived earlier than expected. I did not have time to properly prepare and receive. Again, I apologize.”

    I will need much more training if I’m ever assigned to a more formal setting than a cave, such as to the United Nations.

    “Come on, Mommy. Give him a hug or something.”

    Jenny’s left eye twitched.

    DotCom put on clothing that Lacy Dawn had bought him at Goodwill. It hung a little loose until he modified his body. Lacy Dawn hugged her mother…

    …(scene of Dwayne, the father, overheard by those in the spaceship while talking to himself)… “Besides, the transmitter was part of Daddy’s treatment. There’re a lot of other things that he did to help fix Daddy. DotCom is like a doctor. You can see that Daddy has gotten better every day. And no, there ain’t no transmitter in you. DotCom figured you out like a good doctor and the only things wrong are a lack of opportunity and rotten teeth that poison your body. You don’t need no transmitter. He just gave you a few shots of ego boost. I don’t know what medicine that is, but I trust him. You ain’t complained since the shots started — not even with an upset stomach.”

    “He’s a doctor?” Jenny asked.

    “What’s your problem anyway?” Lacy Dawn asked. “I know. You’re prejudiced. You told me that people have much more in common than they do that’s different — even if someone is a different color or religion, or from a different state than us. You told me to try to become friends because sometimes that person may need a good friend. Now, here you are acting like a butt hole about my boyfriend. You’re prejudiced because he’s different than us.”

    “Honey, he’s not even a person – that’s about as different as a boyfriend can get,” Jenny said.


    Mommy’s right. Maybe I need a different argument.

    A fast clicking sound, a blur of motion, and a familiar smell assaulted them.

    “What’s that?” Jenny asked.

    She moved to protect her daughter from whatever threat loomed. Brownie, who had been granted 27 / 7 access to the ship, bounded over the orange recliner, knocked DotCom to the floor, licked DotCom’s face, and rubbed his head on Jenny’s leg. He then jumped onto the recliner and lay down. His tail wagged throughout. Jenny sat down on the recliner beside Brownie and looked at Lacy Dawn.

    “But, you were crying when I first came in. That thing was hurting you.” Jenny shook her finger at DotCom to emphasize a different argument against him.

    “Mommy, I’m so happy that I couldn’t help but cry. My man just came home from an out-of-state job. I didn’t talk to him for a whole year. Before he left, he told me that he wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to come home. I still don’t know what happened while he was gone. We ain’t had no chance to talk. All I know is that he’s home and I’m sooooo happy.”

    “Your man came home from an out-of-state job?” Jenny patted Brownie on his head, some more and some more….

    It’s unusual for a man to promise to come back home and ever be seen again. Brownie likes him and that’s a good sign. Maybe she’s right about him helping Dwayne. Something sure did and it wasn’t me. It is a nice living room. They’ve been together for a while and I ain’t seen a mark on her. That’s unusual too. He ain’t got no private parts and that’s another good thing. Hell, if I get in the middle, she’d just run off with him anyway. I’d better play it smart. I don’t want to lose my baby.

    “What about his stupid name?” Jenny asked.

    “I’ve got a stupid name, too. All the kids at school call me hick because my last name is Hickman.”

    “My name was given to me by my manager a very long time ago. It represents a respected tradition — the persistent marketing of that which is not necessarily the most needed. I spam…,” DotCom said.

    They both glared at him.

    “Dwayne is sure to be home. I don’t want him to worry. Let’s go,” Jenny said.

    “Okay, Mommy.”

    “I love you, DotCom,” Lacy Dawn stepped out the ship’s door, which had slid open. Brownie and Jenny were right behind her.

    “I love you too,” DotCom said.

    Lacy Dawn and Jenny held hands and walked down the path toward home. The trees didn’t smile — at least not so Jenny would notice. On the other hand, no living thing obstructed, intruded, or interfered with the rite.

    Jenny sang to the Woods, “My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up. My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up….”


  12. Michael Stephenson
    Apr 07, 2018 @ 05:03:23

    Hello Book in the Bag,

    My name is Michael Stephenson and I am the author of the upcoming psychological mystery-thriller The Man On The Roof. I am looking for reviewers of dark mysteries with twisted characters. Below, I have included a synopsis.

    Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.

    “There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and two adulterers—secrets worth killing for.

    Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.

    A 138,000-word (approximately 487 pages) domestic mystery-suspense thriller, The Man On The Roof propels the reader through a tangled, volatile and suspenseful thicket of deception, murder and friends. Similar in tone to novelist Gillian Flynn, The Girl on the Train, Big Little Lies and The Woman In The Window, The Man On The Roof invites the reader to discover the murderer and who hides which lie. I must warn that it does deal with very dark subject matter. It currently is available for review in digital formats only, and will be an Amazon Kindle release June 22, 2018. You can currently find it as a pre-order on Amazon and it is listed on Goodreads (the places to post a review; a review copy will be emailed to you as soon as you respond to this email).

    I would like to respect your time, work and energy, so I have reached out to you for a review three months before I am set to release the book. I am open to blog tours between the dates of June 13th to July 6th, guest posts, author interviews/Q&As, and book excerpts. We can discuss guest posts topics in our next email, if you decide to review the book. If you do review the book, I would love it if you cross-posted your review on Goodreads, Amazon and your blog no earlier than June 13th.
    Regardless of if you review this book or not, I thank you for taking the time to read this email.

    Michael Stephenson


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