Journey to the Rainbow’s End – Book Review #RRBC

Where does all the time go? It doesn’t feel like we should be nearing the end of January already – and yet here we are. And here I am with my latest book review.

Today I am sharing with you my thoughts on Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey by Forrest Stepnowski


rainbowBlurb:  Forrest Robert Stepnowski captures the essence of “coming out” and coming of age as a gay male today, and over the past three decades. “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” captures the joys of love, the pain of heartbreak, surviving the darkness of suicide, and the self-discovery of finding one’s voice and place in society. Forrest Robert Stepnowski is a community advocate, a writer, a social worker, and a female impersonator, known as Victoria Eyesli, in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing poetic works and prose for many years, and focuses on empowering others who have dealt with similar pathways of self-hate, self-deprecation, and self-loathing, in the hopes they can find they are not alone, that they are not deviants, nor are they against “human nature.” We all have voices, and the world should hear them all.

Rating: 5/5

My thoughts:  This book feels, from the outset, incredibly personal. We are given a glimpse into so many, often devastating, painful moments in the life of a young gay man. Split between a collection of poems and a short story you really share in the anguish of finding yourself in a world that seems to be telling you that you’re somehow wrong. The thing I especially loved about this book is the lasting feeling of hope. Yes, the journey was long and painful but ultimately, as the saying goes, “it gets better”.

This is one of those books that lingers with you long after you turn the final page and I found myself thinking over what I had read for some time. I can imagine any young gay men (or women) finding comfort and hope in this writing. Well done 🙂


The Birth of a Wonder – The Short History of #RaveReviewsBookClub #RRBC

Watch Nonnie Write!


(Image from

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, I remember sitting at my dining room table and staring at my computer monitor…surfing thru my Twitter feed.

After having finished reading a book that had been tagged on Twitter as “#GreatRead!” and being sorely disappointed and wanting to then tag a more truthful review – “#WorstReadEver” (as it was poorly written, in need of a professional edit and proof and so much more), the wheels of my brain began to spin rapidly.

“I’m going to create a forum where I can post honest reviews of the books that I’ve read,”  I said, half out loud.

After creating the forum and giving more thought to how I could make an even greater contribution to the literary world by posting honest reviews of books, I decided that it would be a great idea to offer more under the umbrella of what I…

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Book Review – Saint John Lennon

Every August bank holiday I venture (with hundreds of others) to the fair city of Liverpool to celebrate the music of the wonderful Beatles at International Beatleweek. This year we met the charming and charismatic author Daniel Hartwell promoting his fictional book “Saint John Lennon”

Such was the charm of this author that we couldn’t resist purchasing a copy of his book and… a few months later… I finally got around to reading it. So what did I think? Read on and find out…

SJLBlurb: John Lennon is ALIVE in this controversial time-travel epic. Imagine THAT! A twist in time returns 40-year-old John to us on December 8, 2020 in front of the Dakota in New York City. He is fascinated by the world he finds, and shocked by the religious, environmental and political turmoil. Imagine the legendary John Lennon adjusting to astounding futuristic technology; organizing a Beatles reunion; witnessing the (possible) apocalypse; traveling into space with Branson’s Virgin Galactic; writing music with Paul again and finally appearing with him on Saturday Night Live; reacting to the destruction of the Twin Towers; and meeting with Trump! Our action-adventure melds history, fact, and fantasy to remind us that love is all we need. The issues John deals with are hot topics right now: political discord, climate change, nuclear threats, terrorism, violence, and poverty. John’s reappearance is fantastical, but Yoko and his grown sons recognize him immediately as the real deal. Follow him on his poignant, humorous and world-altering escapades as he continues his quest for peace. Saint John Lennon is a “can’t-put-it-down” page-turner and always thought-provoking.

Rating: 3.5/5

My thoughts: John Lennon is alive again – oh don’t we wish! If you are looking for a Beatles biography then this is not the book for you. This story is pure fantasy.  Set in a world where, 40 years after his death, John Lennon is inexplicably returned to the world. When he opens his eyes only moments have passed for John, for the rest of the world it’s been 40 years.

I found a certain degree of sadness in this book. Before his death John Lennon had been speaking out for peace. Forty years later, not only is the need as great as ever, if anything things have become worse.  Viewing the modern world through the eyes of someone who had been absent for so long highlights how far removed we are from any hope of a peaceful world at the moment.

This book carries a good message and does it through the name of John Lennon.

There are parts of the book that don’t quite work for me. The use of song lyrics in some dialogue feels unnecessary and a few attempts at “scouse” falls a little short, the characters aren’t as fleshed out or “real” as they could be, but the story in itself is an enjoyable ride as John finds himself travelling to different points in the future, giving us warnings of where the world could end up if we don’t do something about it now.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book and certainly wanted to keep turning the pages to see where it would go.




Book Review – Tequila Rose Virginity Blues by Wendy Jane (#RRBC)

And as I said in my last post I had two reviews to share with you – here is the second
Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story by Wendy Jane

TequilaRoseBlurb: 1st Place Runner Up in Rave Reviews Book Club’s Alpha-Omega Short Story Writing Contest 2018.
Tequila Rose may have met the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, she wakes up suffering from alcoholic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Tall, dark, and Jack may be the cure her jaded heart desperately needs, but Tequila’s wary as friends warn her that Jack hangs out with the local drug dealer. Thrust together at a Speed Dating event, their chemistry sizzles, but is Jack after a different kind of fix?

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts: A great short story which opens with the most agonising hangover imaginable – anyone who has ever over indulged will not be able to help but sympathise. And, as with all good hangovers, Tequila Rose not only has a bad head and churning stomach – she also has a total lack of recall when it comes to the evenings events.
This is a great little tale of love, alcohol and zany relatives. The character of Tequila Rose is very real and relatable – and the people in her life round her out completely. Enough twists in the tale to keep a reader interested to the last page. Some adorable illustrations dotted through the story and what a gorgeous book cover!

Review – Two Shorts and a Snort by Jan Sikes (#RRBC)

It feels like a while since I posted a review (where does the time go to?) but I have a couple to share now – and the first is…

Two Shorts and a Snort by Jan Sikes

ShortSnortBlurb: This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.
Is it possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.
Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends, instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts: A quick and enjoyable read made up of two short stories and a poem.
Obsessed – this story had a real feel of the location/people/era – the dialogue and descriptions perfectly illustrate a mans obsession with the woman he wants to marry, and the incredible lengths to which obsession can drive a person.
Maggie – this is a cute, gentle tale of a found baby and the couple who take her in. A good blend of happy and sad round this tale out perfectly.
Friends Instead of Lovers – this short poem sums up the potential peril of turning a friendship into something more, and losing the thing that made the friendship so special in the first place.

All in all this is well worth a read – short and satisfying.

A Character Interview From the Novel Vanished by Mark Bierman

The Indie Spot!

Greetings! Today I am sharing The Indie Spot with author Mark Bierman and a couple of characters from his novel Vanished. Take it away, Mark. . .

Character interviews from my novel, Vanished.

In this blog, I’m going to allow a peek inside the heads of two main characters from my novel, Vanished. Some of it may be disturbing, but these people speak from the heart. Step into their worlds for a brief time and discover a little about what makes them tick.

First, we have Tyler, our headstrong, yet compassionate, protagonist.

Me: “What led you to leave the comfort of home and journey to earthquake-ravaged Haiti?”

Tyler: “Pain. That and trying to appease my mother-in-law. She was in pain too. We all were. We all suffered a loss. It was her idea for her husband, John, and I, to go on this mission trip. Oh, she…

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#RRBC #RRBCTreatReads DAY 13 Authors Victoria Saccenti (@VictoriaSAuthor) & Michael Hicks Thompson (@mhthompsonsr)

Shirley Harris-Slaughter

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the titles listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”


 Author, Victoria Saccenti



Book Blurb: One empty bus seat. Two aching hearts. A future written by Fate…When Raquelita…

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