Skip to content

Book Review of "The Chairs Are Jealous", by J. Denise Kulick


J. Denise Kulick, author of The Chairs Are Jealous, pulls the reader's leg and tickles his funny bone in this fun fantasy. Set in 1958, near New York City, the novel's plot follows the adventures of Marian Fennell.  Marian is an introverted textile conservator in a large university. She and her extroverted sister were orphaned when young and were reared by Aunt Ruthie who plays a pivotal part in the plot.

After leaving a terrifying phone call to Marian, Ruthie vanishes. Despite warnings, Marian rushes to Ruthie's home to look for clues.  What she discovers is a hilarious and unimaginable scene that resembles a Disney cartoon movie. Confronted with mind-boggling destruction, she finds that animated furniture has taken over Ruth's house. On the ceiling, "strands of cooked spaghetti hung like yellowish fringe from a tomato sauced circle overhead."

Continue reading "Book Review of "The Chairs Are Jealous", by J. Denise Kulick"

What Passes For Love: On the Marriage of Leonard and Virginia Woolf

Article posted on 

What Passes For Love: On the Marriage of Leonard and Virginia Woolf

Beth Kephart: Most Writers Could Use an In-House Editor, Business Partner, and Legacy Builder


There are so many takes on the Virginia-Leonard Woolf story that they could consume “Modern Love” for a year. Leonard was androgynous and Virginia preferred women, and yet they married. Leonard was a caretaker and Virginia was fragile, and so they stayed together, she stayed, for the longest time, alive. Leonard was controlling and Virginia felt caged, and yet Leonard allowed Virginia her love affair with Vita and Virginia never doubted that her marriage would go on. Virginia set type, and Leonard machined the pages, and the one of them plus the one of them equaled their famous Hogarth Press. They quarreled and they made up; they fretted and survived; they needed space from each other and missed each other; and when we see them in the pages of Virginia’s diaries, they are sitting together, walking together, reading together, printing together, enduring another war together, heading out for tea after a storm.

What passes for love, what happens between lovers—isn’t it all dandelion seeds brushed loose by a breeze and smoking a trail to the sun?

Continue reading "What Passes For Love: On the Marriage of Leonard and Virginia Woolf "

Book Review of "As Seen in a Mirror", by Caleb Rocke


 As Seen in a Mirror, by Caleb Rocke, is a political/mystery thriller that begins with an introductory teaser from the conclusion which sets the stage, hints at the plot, and introduces major characters. Josh Cunningham is employed as a truth-seeker and field agent for a mega-industry firm called SEH. He is faced with searching for the truth behind a conundrum of mysterious worldwide happenings. His challenge is to discover how the present has morphed from the past.

Rocke's novel, written prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, actually deals with the unexpected ways that a pandemic can influence not just the public health but culture and politics and economies as real life has taught us. The plot makes parallel and oblique references to history-making events in the year 2020. The novel is set in the United States in a technologically advanced future.  Global warming has caused humans to have allergic reactions to the sun.  A raging pandemic disease seems to induce madness in the afflicted. The later stages of the disease appear to cause the infected to become a physical threat to others and self-destructive. They kill those around them and mutilate themselves. Bodily deterioration makes the infected human display rabies-like symptoms and appear zombish. Cosmic activity causes talk of alien intervention. Terrorist attacks and cyberattacks reported by the mainstream media, as well as social media alarmists, complicate Josh's job to find the truth. Only by discovering the truth behind the terrifying morphing chaos can the scientists Josh works for, develop a cure and a preventative vaccine for the pandemic.

Continue reading "Book Review of "As Seen in a Mirror", by Caleb Rocke"

Hilary Mantel on How Writers Learn to Trust Themselves -- Via Harpercollins

Hilary Mantel on How Writers Learn to Trust Themselves

“Just write as well as you can.”


Interviews seldom offer the chance to say anything worth hearing, no matter how well-prepared the interviewer. You are invited to rehash your material, saying it again in worse words. “What did you mean when you said….?” etc. Or “Why did you write this book?” It isn’t enough to say that you wrote it because it’s your job and you thought readers would like it.

I once heard Salman Rushdie in discussion on stage in St Louis, and he said that there’s only one question to ask an author. You point to a sentence, and say, “How did that get there?” Then a tale unfolds, the book’s hinterland. You get to see the shadows moving behind the substance.

Discussions with an audience are often more enlightening than interviews. You have witnesses, and parity, and might discover something even as you speak. In press interviews the author feels guarded and wary. And for my part, I don’t feel I am providing value. I just want to get through without being quoted out of context. When you read an interview back, you seldom recognize it as a true account of what passed. It may have been transcribed exactly, but it still misses the bit where you rolled your eyes. Unless it’s on screen, if course—but then there is usually a strict time limit, and constraint and self-consciousness.


What I’d always like to hear about, from other writers, is their beginnings—including the part of their lives before they consciously stated, “I am going to write a book.” I am especially curious about those who, like myself, come from an unliterary background—where a book was the last thing anyone expected from you.

Book Review of "Catamaran Crossing", by Douglas Carl Fricke


Landlubbers, as well as boating enthusiasts, will be intrigued by Catamaran Crossing, by Douglas Carl Fricke. More than an adventure story or a travel log, this memoir reveals dreams that come true. The author had verbally retold his 1986 sailing adventure numerous times and now he preserves it in writing.

His “opportunity of a lifetime” came about when sailing friends asked him to help crew a new 42-foot catamaran sailboat, the Toucan, from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic to Antigua in the West Indies.  A forty-year-old weekend sailor with extensive experience on smaller boats, Fricke was so excited by the opportunity that he was willing to quit his job if his boss would not grant him vacation time. His dedication to preparation and pre-trip planning is empowering for readers who desire adventure and the thrill of a challenge.

Continue reading "Book Review of "Catamaran Crossing", by Douglas Carl Fricke"

Book Review of "Bloodlaw", by Blaise Ramsay


Bloodlaw by Blaise Ramsay is a novel about an unfortunate man named Alastair Maddox, who is transformed into a vampire by a strange woman named Alexandra Delane. The story takes place in the windy city of Chicago during the roaring twenties.  If you love books about the mafia, vampires, alpha males, beautiful women, and stories told from multiple perspectives? Blaise Ramsay’s Bloodlaw has got you covered!  The book has sort of a horror feel to it as Ramsay describes Alastair digging himself out of his grave and learning to exist by avoiding sunlight and chowing down on fat Chicago rats.  Alastair has a mission; he wants to find the criminals who were responsible for his death. Adapting to his new persona is hard because he can hear the blood pumping in the living, and just the site of a human makes him salivate – but he controls himself. Low lives had also murdered his parents - is there a connection between these murders? What are the who’s and whys of the murders?  How will he deal with his girlfriend, Charlaine Ware, better known as Charlie? Will she accept him as a vampire?

Continue reading "Book Review of "Bloodlaw", by Blaise Ramsay"

Book Review of "Hill House Manor – 13 Ghost Stories", by Linda Anthony Hill

Hill House Manor – 13 Ghost Stories by Linda Anthony Hill is a book of ominous tales of the paranormal that'll have you looking over your shoulder to make sure you're actually alone. These are Ghost Stories written by the owner of an actual haunted house in Texas that bears the same name as her book. Her hair-raising ghost stories are meant to thrill and ensnare you. Hill's narratives of hauntings were written for spooky-story connoisseurs who want eloquent, elegantly written tales that ring true.

Step into Hill's world of cursed homes, creepy clowns, friendly spirits, angry ghosts, and other ghoulish things. Just beware, the characters lurking within the book's pages are often nightmarish and might just give you…a fright in the night. Although this is a book of short ghost stories, none of them become gory to the extreme – they instead create a sense of eeriness, existential dread, and surprise as you become aware of the pervasive supernatural entities haunting the unwelcomed humans.

Hill House Manor – 13 Ghost Stories is an awesome collection of stories from a very talented author! You will find her offerings of scary stories much different from others you have read.  Her writing is engaging and thoughtful. While some of her tales are, of course, better than others, they are all held to a certain standard and won't fail to entertain you.

Continue reading "Book Review of "Hill House Manor – 13 Ghost Stories", by Linda Anthony Hill"

Book Review of "Retire not Expire", by J. L. Edwards

Retire not Expire by J. L. Edwards is a true guidebook for anyone who anticipates being around to retire sometime in the future.  It is a well-written book with great insight into today's often complicated world of investments.  This short but insightful book is a friendly/casual read, not dry at all—like many similar books. There are real experience examples—many of which seem quite familiar—that will help you focus on a map to help navigate to your retirement.  The book offers a very balanced, simplistic no-frills approach to reaching your retirement objectives. The book's goal is not just helping you have the cash to live on in retirement, but the planning to have the life that you have dreamed and imagined. It is a book filled with wisdom on making the choices that are best to optimize your future retirement. Continue reading "Book Review of "Retire not Expire", by J. L. Edwards"

Book Review of "The Green House", by Dan Lawton

The Green House by Dan Lawton is a novella that chronicles the life of Girard Remington, an elderly Mathematics professor struggling with his guilt from his feeling of responsibility for an accident that took the life of someone dear to him. The story, told in the third person, recounts a transformative event that happened to Girard, which shattered his everyday regimen and became the catalyst that brought clarity and reconciliation to his life.

Girard Remington had built a fabulous Greenhouse and became a dedicated gardener. The greenhouse and its beautiful flowers provided him solace from the mental issues he struggled with.  It became his refuge whenever he felt overwrought from the deadly event that made him feel emotionally empty. It was a place of beauty and quiet that soothe the everlasting guilt that ate at him for what he had allowed to happen many years before. An event that led to a death and also the alienation of his daughter, Stacey. It was his love of alcohol that precipitated the deadly event. 

Continue reading "Book Review of "The Green House", by Dan Lawton"

Penncraft Awards Anounce the 2020 Winners

Congratulations to our 2020 Pencraft Award Winners!

Book of The Year Winner for 2020

The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover, Published by QW Publishers

Non-Fiction and Fiction Book of the Year winners

NonFiction - No More Dodging Bullets: A Memoir about Faith, Love, Lessons, and Growth by Amy Herrig, Published by Inspired Forever Books
Fiction - Woman in Red: Magdalene Speaks by Krishna Rose, Published by Black Rose Writing

First Place Winners

Fiction - Young Adult Fantasy Myths & Legends: Inviting the Moon to Supper by CJ Clark
Fiction - Young Adult - Fantasy/Sci-Fi: Some Laneys Died by Brooke Skipstone
Fiction - Romance - Contemporary: The OCD Games: A Christmas Romance Novella by Kayla Krantz
Nonfiction - Travel Adventure: Catamaran Crossing: A Sailing Adventure from La Coruna to Antigua by Douglas Carl Fricke
Nonfiction - Self Help: Anxious for Answers. by Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D.
Nonfiction - Retirement: Retire Not Expire . . . Plan Your Transition by J. L. Edwards
Nonfiction - Music/Ent.: Counting Down Elvis by Mark Duffett
Nonfiction - Health: Fine, Thanks: Stories from the Cancerland Jungle by Mary Dunnewold
Nonfiction - Environment: The Secret of Plants in the Environment by Rishikesh Upadhyay
Nonfiction - Business-Venture Capital: Space Is Open For Business by Robert Jacobson
Nonfiction - Electronic Publishing: Amazon Keywords for Books by Dale L. Roberts
Nonfiction - Autobiography: Fallible: A Memoir of a Young Physician`s Struggle with Mental Illness by Kyle Bradford Jones
Fiction - Friendship: Little Tea by Claire Fullerton
Fiction - Womens: Sweet Jane by Joanne Kukanza Easley
Fiction - Thriller - Psychological: Give It Back by Danielle Esplin
Fiction - Suspense: The Enigma Source: Book 10 from The Enigma Series (Audiobook) by Charles V. Breakfield & Roxanne E. Burkey
Fiction - Short Stories - Anthologies: Snapshots by Eliot Parker
Fiction - Science Fiction: >No Way Home by Christy Cooper-Burnett
Fiction - Realistic:Girl with a Future by Parker Ames
Fiction - Mystery - Romance: A Coward`s Guide to Oil Painting by MM Kent
Fiction - Medical Thriller: A Surgeon`s Knot by William Lynes
Fiction - LGBT Family Life: On Chocorua: Book 1 of the Trailblazer series by Robin Reardon
Fiction - Humor: Unplugged by Joe Barrett
Fiction - Historical War: When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis
Fiction - Fantasy Myth & Legend: Negotiations with God by R.W. Sowrider
Fiction - Fantasy: Amulet`s Rapture (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3) by Linnea Tanner
Fiction - Crime Action Thriller: The Medina Device by T J Champitto
Fiction - Asian American Thriller: The Dance Towards Death (The Brotherhood Chronicle, Volume 3) by Tejas Desai
Fiction - Cultural: As the Daisies Bloom by T P Graf
Fiction - Adventure: Tali Nohkati, The Great Crossing by Koza Belleli
Fiction Christian - Historical: King`s Blood by Daniel J. Geisel
Children - K-3rd - General: The Girl from Glocken`s Glen by Andy Wolf
Children - 4th-6th: Honing A Champion by Haon Campbell

Second Place Winners

Young Adult - Fantasy/Sci-Fi: Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen
Nonfiction - Self Help: Finding UP by Linda Anthony Hill
Nonfiction - Memoir: J.D. to J.D.: My Journey from Juvenile Delinquent to Doctor of Jurisprudence by Brian D. Caplan, Esq
Nonfiction - Business/Finance: Your Team Loves Mondays (...RIGHT?) by Kristin A. Sherry
Fiction - Short Stories/Anthologies: Strangers to Temptation by Scott Gould
Fiction - Historical War: A Letter from Munich by Meg Lelvis
Fiction - Fantasy: The Century`s Scribe by Brendan Walsh
Fiction - Adventure: Three Degrees and Gone by J. Stewart Willis
Christian - Fiction: The Melody of the Mulberries by Tonya Jewel Blessing

Runner-Up Winners

Nonfiction - Memoir: Farm Boy, City Girl by John Dawson
Non Fiction - Business/Finance: Book Title Generator By Scott Lorenz

New Album of Pictures from the 2019 PenCraft Awards Ceremony Held at the Golden Nugget Casino.

Last year the PenCraft Awards ceremony was held in the beautiful Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. All of the major winners were able to attend and participate in the event. Our guest of honor was World War II veteran & POW, Gene Metcalfe. He was the subject of author, Marcus A. Nannini's book, Left For Dead at Nijmegen, a fascinating true story about Gene Metcalfe's life and his experience as a prisoner of the Nazis.

The generosity of Mike Fuljenz, The Golden Nugget Casino, Book Nook Inn and the Chamber of Commerce of Lumberton, TX insured that the Metcalfes were taken care of gratuitously in appreciation of Gene's sacrifices as a POW. With the help of these gracious patrons, free transportation, lodging and a royal welcome were provided.  We included a couple pictures of Gene being welcomed at the Book Nook Inn and by Mike Fuljenz and his room at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.

Won Best book in Non-Fiction


Accepting Award

Lumberton, TX American Legion
honoring Gene Metcalf for his service.

  Mike Fuljenz congratulating Gene.

Gene and his wife at the Golden Nugget
enjoying some wine and sandwiches.


See more pictures from the 2019 Pencraft Awards Ceremony. 

Without Reviews Your Book Is Like A Grain of Sand in the Desert.


Without Reviews Your Book Is Like A Grain of Sand in the Desert.

The number one reason is that reviews help you and your book get discovered.

Over 85% of all readers rely heavily on book reviews to help in their buying decisions.

For most authors, reviews are the primary way of marketing their book.

For potential buyers of your book, your reviews help readers decide if they want to spend their money and time to read your book or not.

If a person searches for your book online, you'll want them to quickly be able to find numerous reviews or articles about you and your book. It’s comforting to a reader to see your book is important enough to be indexed by Google and Bing.

For many readers, a lack of reviews online would be a major factor in their buying decisions.

Zero book reviews indicate a book not being seriously promoted or promoted to the wrong audience,

More internet listings on the web about your book and you as an author helps in the discovery of your work and shows potential readers that your book is serious enough to appear under numerous sites

Our reviews often articulate aspects of your book that your marketing blurbs didn't address.

Internet positive reviews play into the bookselling algorithm. More reviews, bring about higher ranking and exposure to more book buyers.

Book reviews are big influencers to new readers.

Our reviews can be used on Amazon's editorial review section. (If you don't know how to take advantage of this, contact us.)

Bottom line: Reviews equate to more informed readers and usually more sales for authors.

Here’s a handful of books AuthorsReading reviewed that now appear on the 1st page of Google results when a potential buyer searches for the book title. (Results as of 9/1/2018)

  • Chaos at the Concours: A Thomas Ballard Mystery
  • Zyklon: A Francine Vega Investigative Thriller
  • His Garden: Conversations with a Serial Killer
  • The Stone House Legacy
  • Evermark Carwyn
  • The Pakistani Connection by Stuart Craigie
  • Lusty little women
  • The Chinese Shadow Game
  • Goodbye Rudy Kazoody
If you're in the book business visit our site at and get a quality review at a reasonable price. 

Book Review of "The Secret of Plants in the Environment", by Rishikesh Upadhyay

The Secret of Plants in the Environment, by Rishikesh Upadhyay, is a scientific nonfiction read. The author has compiled a great deal of research concerning various stressors that impact plants in the environment. Upadhyay's work is of particular interest to environmentalists, outdoor and nature enthusiasts, and botanists; the book includes extensive references.

The author's study of plants is a scientific look at the various effects and impact of environmental stressors on crops, individual plant species, and the natural environment. He states that "the quality of our life depends on the quality of the surrounding environment."  Plants develop specific adaptations to deal with stressors that affect the plants' ability to process photosynthesis, grow, and produce fruit. The author explains different studies and gives examples of the effects of pollution from the automobile industry, as well as plant responses to electric stimuli, heavy metals, and other chemical agents.

Upadhyay points out that chemical fungicides to control plant disease may have severe effects on the health of both humans and animals. Sunlight, "the most important resource for plant photosynthesis and growth" to sustain life on earth, may have detrimental as well as beneficial effects. In a discussion of drought, the author quotes Christopher Lloyd, "One of the nice things about water plants is that they never need watering."


Continue reading "Book Review of "The Secret of Plants in the Environment", by Rishikesh Upadhyay"

Authors Reading Interviews Tonya Jewel Blessing

Tonya Jewel Blessing talks with Authors Reading about her interesting life and latest book "Melody in the Mulberries". The book is set in the 1920's - This Appalachian Big Creek sequel is set in West Virginia, during the 1920s, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart. Emerald Ashby's younger sister, Coral, determines to visit the family's nemesis, Charlie, now stewing in prison.


AR interview with Breakfield & Burkey

Breakfield & Burkey talk about their new book "The Enigma Beyond: The Enigma Series, Book 11". They give an overview of their book and a glimpse into what makes this team, work. About their lives and what inspired them to write this series of Tecno-thrillers and how close to reality it has become. See more about Breakfield & Burkey and their books over at Their Authors Page.