Book of the Week 9/30/13


I can’t begin to comprehend why it would occur to someone to send family members graphic death photos of loved ones following an accident. Why would someone also put copies in the school locker belonging to a sibling of the victim or texting them to the siblings’ phones? Why would someone do something so horrible?

18-year-old Nicole “Nikki” Catsouras was killed October 31, 2006 in Orange County, California, after taking her father’s Porsche and speeding 100 miles per hour before clipping another car and crashing into a toll booth. After a California Highway Patrol officer released photos of the collision, the gruesome death images went viral, appearing on at least 35 web sites soon as three weeks after the fatal accident. The number of web sites displaying Nikki’s death photos multiplied to thousands by early 2007. Some still remain online to this day.

The family filed a lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol, eventually receiving a $2.3 million settlement, but by then, many Web surfers had seen and commented on the shocking pictures.

Nikki’s mother, Lesli Catsouras, recounts the horror and subsequent turmoil her family experienced following the leak of Nikki’s accident pictures in Forever Exposed: The Nikki Catsouras Story (Dog Ear Publishing, 2012).

Excerpt from the Book:

The second I hear the dispatcher’s voice I lose all control of my words. “My daughter has just taken my car without my permission…” I squeeze my eyes and feel the chain of trust that I have spent eighteen years building unlink. To make sure I get the dispatcher’s attention, I add: “I think she’s been drinking alcohol…”

Forever Exposed is not only a touching memoir in the aftermath of Nikki’s death, but also explores the fine lines of freedom of speech in addition to topics that should be openly addressed more often: cyberbullying and trolling. The Catsouras family was subjected to comments on blogs and web sites stating things as “It’s her own fault she’s dead”, “She got what she deserved” and “So a spoiled little bitch stole her daddy’s Porsche.” “I was so happy! I raped her corpse.”

There were also anonymous (and appalling) messages from some blog readers masturbating to the gruesome photos.

Forever Exposed shows readers how a family coped with circumstances no one would ever imagine could happen to them. Lesli Catsouras’ remarkable courage shines throughout the book, and because of Lesli telling her side of the story, readers will find a whole new perspective of what actually led up to the loss of her beautiful daughter Nikki.

SEEN This Week 9/30/13


This week’s book, author, and event news:

Jen Lancaster is considering doing an online book club/discussion on her Facebook page if there is sufficient interest. Would you want to log on and discuss a new book once or twice a month? Leave her a note!

Critically acclaimed novelist Robert Boswell joined Tattered Cover Book Store in conversation with novelist David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle September 23. They discussed Boswell’s new novel Tumbledown.

Danielle Zwissler’s holiday romance Yuletide Bride was picked up by publisher Books To Go Now. She also has a short story in the Thirteen anthology to be released on October 13.

Gary Ponzo’s Nick Bracco box set was just released for $2.99. The set includes A Touch of Deceit, A Touch of Revenge and A Touch of Greed.

Read Cheryl Carpinello’s guest post on What I Learned About Wales when doing her research for Young Knights of the Round Table.

Terry Thompson wants to share with you valuable life and leadership skills he have gained throughout his career that will guide you to personal and professional success. Connect with those lessons though Terry’s books at this link. Each book has a little something for everyone that will motivate, inspire, live and lead better.

1883, 1944, and 2012 are important dates in a novel of music, jewelery, history, secrets, symbols, danger and love. Read all about those important dates in The Hidden Auditorium by Rosanne Dingli.

A young wannabe lawyer finds himself on the wrong side of the law in Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham. Read a review by Clay Stafford here.

Wendy Jones recently posted a review of Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence, another cracking book by Roz Morris that can help writers bring out the best in their novels.

Journeys with the Caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores and Sumba, Indonesia by Shivaji Das is a humble and humorous attempt to capture the dramatic simplicity of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Indonesia, covering the islands of Flores, Komodo, Rinca and Sumba. Here, islands greet the sky with over a dozen volcanoes rising hurriedly from the seas, nestling within . Read more at eTLC.

Since we’re approaching October and Halloween, should writers fear the bogeyman? Here are some tips from Creative Writing with the Crimson League on how to effectively write a stereotypical villain.

My News For the Week:

Special thanks to Night Owl Reviews for hosting my September 24 guest blog about The Marilyn Diaries, the upcoming final book in The Cruiserweight Series.

A short note that due to upcoming commitments the next two weeks, there will be neither new SEEN This Week columns nor Book of the Week features for October 7 and 14. Both will resume Monday, October 21.

Do you have news you’d like to see in a future column? Either post it on a related site or email before the following week. Also follow me on Twitter @lacarrington1.

SEEN This Week 9/23/13


This week’s book, author, and event news:

Famed poet and author Maya Angelou will be this year’s recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community. The awards dinner will take place on November 20. Read more in The Washington Post.

Amazon Kindle debuted their new TV commercial for Kindle Paperwhite. They invited real book lovers to New York City to try the new Kindle Paperwhite for themselves and then filmed responses on hidden cameras.

If you write for children/MG/YA, you should check out the amazing Teaching Supplement made for The Young Knights by Carolyn Wilhelm at Wise Owl Factory.

Alan Jankowski’s first ever public reading of his 9/11 poem is now available on YouTube.

Nell Dixon’s September Song, a Cornish set short and sweet story, can be purchased from e-tailors including Amazon. This book is ideal reading for those cooler evenings and crisp Autumn days. Other books available are Making Waves, A Cornish Christmas, Easter Holiday and New Bay Wedding, either as individual purchases or bargain box sets. All books are also in print media.

The Dedalus Press anthology If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song was chosen as the Dublin: One City One Book title for 2014. If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song is a collection of poems, ballads and songs from a range of literary luminaries connected with Dublin. The book is arranged street by street so the reader is continually making new connections and discoveries on a virtual tour of the City of Words. A full program of associated events throughout the month of April will intrigue and engage Dubliners and visitors to the city. The program will be launched in March 2014.

Shadows of a Dream by Ea Jensen is set for release in early November 2013.

Recessional is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, which he composed on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The poem is a prayer. It describes two fates that befall even the most powerful people, armies and nations, and that threatened England at the time: passing out of existence, and lapsing from Christian faith into profanity. Go here to view it on YouTube.

Introducing Kindle MatchBook: Customers will be able to purchase Kindle editions of past, present, and future releases Amazon print books for $2.99 or less Click here to read additional details.

Waking Up His Wife, the newest collaboration by Kristal McKerrington and Joe E. Legend, is now on sale at Amazon.

Do you have news you’d like to see in an upcoming column? Either post it on a related site or email before the following week. Also follow me on Twitter @lacarrington1.

Book of the Week 9/23/13


I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a fan of cowboy-themed novels on a normal basis, but I am willing to make the occasional exception with Danielle Lee Zwissler’s latest release The Cowboy Takes A Slave (Cowboys & Cowgirls) (Firefly & Wisp Books and Midnight Books, 2013)

Book Description (courtesy of Amazon):

Jake Tavers didn’t know how much he needed a break until he saw the ad in the paper about the Kids Kare Slave Auction. When he goes down to Kids Kare to place his bid, he meets Lorna…and instantly feels a connection.

The Cowboy Takes a Slave is hot and well-paced, with a strong plot and sublime writing. Character development is practically flawless, and the story very easy to get into from the beginning. It’s a fine little novella at an estimate of only 18,690, but it pack much as a punch as a full-blown novel.

Be warned, however; The Cowboy Takes a Slave contains adult content and may not be everyone’s type of reading. This is a book best read in the bedroom (preferably with a partner nearby *wink*) or in the vicinity of a cold shower…readers will need the latter once they finish this page-turning, steamy, but yet enjoyable work.

Book of the Week 9/16/13


The Death of WCW: WrestleCrap and Figure Four Weekly Present . . . by R. D. Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez (ECW Press, 2004) takes an inside look at World Championship Wrestling (WCW), an American wrestling promotion that ran from 1990 to 2001.

This book delves into how the promotion plummeted from being the top-rated show in the late 1990‘s to becoming an industry joke by its final demise in 2001. Clashes of egos, poor business decisions, in-depth interviews, and never before seen photographs make The Death of WCW one of the most fascinating reads on the subject of both WCW’s heyday and what went wrong in the end.

Aside from some details that may have sprung from rumors and speculation, The Death of WCW is an easy read, as this book is written with outstanding wit, a sharp eye for detail, and remarkable clarity.

The hard fall of what was once a top wrestling company stands as an example of what can – and usually does – happen when decisions are made to change formulas that are already working and proven successful. To quote an old saying, “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” Unfortunately for WCW, they didn’t heed the latter warning.

A new, tenth anniversary edition of The Death of WCW is expected to be released in mid-2014. A limited hardcover version will also be available for sale.

SEEN This Week 9/16/13


This week’s book, author, and event news:

Musetracks hosted Joe E Hitchen and Kristal McKerrington on their blog September 9.

Danielle Zwissler’s new release, The Cowboy Takes a Slave, is available for sale on Amazon, Smashwords, and Nook.

Pubslush Press is a crowdpublishing platform where authors raise funds and gauge the initial market for new book ideas, trend setting readers, and pledge support to bring such books to fruition. Pubslush also supports children’s literacy worldwide. The new site offers many opportunities, and you can also follow Pubslush on Twitter and like their page on Facebook.

Heikki Hietala signed a book contract with a Finnish publisher forTulagi Hotel. An official press release including additional details will be posted from the the publisher soon.

Winchester Web designs great web sites and eye-catching book covers, among other services. Their staff listens to authors’ needs and their prices are reasonable. For additional information, email

Je Haldeman posted an excellent blog September 8 on bad reviews versus a bad attitude.

Make a Wish and Blow is a beautiful children’s tale about the circle of life written and illustrated by bestselling author Amanda Gatton. Buy a copy on Amazon to enjoy with your kids over and over.

Sex Matters: Erotic Excerpts from Five Novels is now Randy Attwood’s most read blog post. Don’t underestimate the power of the word “sex” in anything. Second most read post is Note from Walker Percy About the 41st Sermon Check out excerpt from latter in former.

For those looking for quality book reviews, visit the new Bottles & Books blog.

My News For the Week:

In case you missed the September 14 broadcast of The L. Anne Carrington Show from Tampa, FL, you can listen and download the show either at this link or listen on YouTube.

Do you have news you’d like to see in an upcoming column? Either post it on a related site or email before the following week. Also follow me on Twitter @lacarrington1.