Latest Reviews

Home/Latest Reviews

How Smoking Quit Me

Title: How Smoking Quit Me
Author: James J. McGill
Publisher: Venture Publishing LLC
ISBN: 978-1-946955-94-4
Pages: 52
Genre: Non-Fiction / Education
Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Hollywood Book Reviews

Breaking the addiction to smoking is never an easy task. There are so many excuses for not quitting while conversely, there are just as many justifications to quit. However, whereas some may quit successfully boasting of awe-inspiring feats of willpower others may find that they remain stuck in a continual fluctuation struggling to break the addiction with a self-imposed evil that seems almost inescapable.

Nonetheless, there is hope for those trapped in quitter’s perpetude and author James J. McGill

The Noble Rebellion

Title: The Noble Rebellion
Author: Joshua G. Fensterstock
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4327-7661-9
Pages: 432
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by: John Murray

Hollywood Book Reviews

As Shakespeare once wrote, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” For those that are born great or achieve greatness, their future is fairly clear. They’ve worked hard or have been prepared for that path. The most interesting one is the person whom greatness is thrust upon. What do they do with that newfound power and responsibility?

In “The Noble Rebellion” by Joshua G. Fensterstock, such a scenario plays out. After a botched assassination attempt, newly

The Other La Bohème

Title: The Other La Bohème
Author: Yorker Keith
Publisher: Bookbaby
ISBN: 9781483591995
Pages: 366
Genre: Literary Fiction

Reviewed by: Susan Brown

Hollywood Book Reviews

Awarded to books of excellent Merit

Sing on! That’s the rallying cry of four friends, all of whom are struggling opera singers trying to make a living in the competitive environment of New York City’s professional opera milieu, and are characters in Yorker Keith’s current novel, The Other La Bohème. Much like Alexander Dumas’ The Three

Nightmare in the Limbo of Halloween

Title: Nightmare in the Limbo of Halloween
Author: Behzad Almasi
Publisher: Authorhouse
ISBN: 978-1-50493-484-8
Pages: 246
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

Hollywood Book Review

Behzad Almasi’s fantastic book, Nightmare in the Limbo of Halloween, was said to have taken eight years to write. It certainly does have an epic feel to the book. It’s much like an Albert Camus philosophical story, in that our main character is thrown into a world where much does not make sense and little is fair. The absurdity of it all is an observation that our main man makes again and again. We never learn our protagonist’s

To Never Know

Title: To Never Know
Author: Thomas Duffy
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781536898385
Pages: 206
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott

Hollywood Book Reviews

To Never Know by author Thomas Duffy is the story of love lost, found and lost again, as a young man is trying to break free from his troubled past.

When we first encounter Steve Lewis, he is a senior in high school in New York City. He is a bit shy, lacking in confidence even though he achieves good grades. He’s just not like the other kids, and doesn’t have a date to the prom. This small fact is the hinge

Wall Street Kitchen

Title: Wall Street Kitchen: The Recipe Behind a Housewife’s 1000% Stock Return
Author: Victor Chiu
Publisher: TBA
ISBN: 9780994911506
Pages: 244
Genre: Business – Investing /Self Help

Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Hollywood Book Reviews

Awarded to books of excellent Merit

Ordinarily, success investing in the stock market, for the average person may seem to be well out of reach. Moreover, many people foster the belief that without a cache of disposable funds, a high level of education, extensive training or a God-sent stretch of good luck, a successful venture in investing is just not plausible.


Title: Heartbreaker
Author:  Thomas Duffy
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1517416539
Pages: 183
Genre: Fiction-Thriller

Reviewed by: CC Thomas

Hollywood Book Reviews

Amber Robertson is one red-hot mess, from beginning to end. Amber is a 19-year-old who has just moved to New York City in order to make more out of her life. Without much of a plan, she moves in with a friend and then scrambles wildly trying to make the rent money. The Big Apple is too much of a big temptation and Amber is soon arrested and behind bars for shoplifting. While in jail, she cozies up to a prostitute and discovers there are better

Deborah Rising

Title: Deborah Rising
Author: Avraham Azrieli
ISBN: 978-0062563552
Publisher: Harper Legend
Pages: 269
Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewed by: Michelle Robertson

  Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

Deborah, from the young age of 13, was no stranger to hardship and remorse. She was an orphan and witnessed a great injustice done to her own sister; by the very man who decided to betrothal her. The very same man who once married her own sister had her put to death by stoning. She cannot stay with an evil hearted man and comes up with an escape plan to run away from her husband. Many obstacles are thrown in

The Count of Monte Cristo as Retold by Sherlock Holmes

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo as Retold by Sherlock Holmes
Author: Holy Ghost Writer
Publisher: Illuminated Publications
ISBN: 1490927301
Pages: 564
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by: Russell D. James Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

The Count of Monte Cristo Retold by Sherlock Holmes is a long book that offers a good story in a new
voice with some clever dialogue interjected. As the title suggests, Sherlock Holmes re-tells a story
made famous by Alexander Dumas. The book hints at more than just this story being told, and given
its over 500 page book makes it a double-length book, a reader might think there would be three
different stories of

Bodybuilding for Weight Loss

Title: Bodybuilding for Weight Loss: Facts About Weight Loss Through Body Building That You Did Not Know About
Author: James Eaton
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages:  56
Genre: Health and Fitness
Reviewed by: Roger Kirk

Hollywood Book Reviews

James Eaton eliminated any “fat” in his book by just concentrating on the facts of diet and exercise. No descriptive fluff about counting reps or psychology about the Zen of exercise, nor theories about the addiction to junk food – like so many other books in this genre claim to profess. Bodybuilding for Weight Loss cuts right to the points you need to know in a terse,

Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off!

Title: Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off!
Author: Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD
Publisher: J. Murray Press
ISBN: 978-0996310208
Pages: 291
Genre: Health/Nutrition/Education

Reviewed by: Carol Davala Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

As a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutritional science and years of clinical and health education experience, Lisa Tillinger Johansen is all too familiar with diets, weight loss, and fads that fuel a multi-billion dollar industry. While the word “diet” often references losing weight, it also translates to what we eat and drink every day, including prescribed recommendations for certain health conditions. But for those who are looking to

Scuba Zak Meets Thaddeus the Barracuda

Title: Scuba Zak Meets Thaddeus the Barracuda
Author: Alice Cypress
Illustrator: Blueberry Illustrations
Publisher: The Peppertree Press
ISBN: 978-1614933465
Pages: 33
Genre: Children’s Books

Reviewed by: Gary Sorkin Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

Alice Cypress teaches a wonderful moral in her story Scuba Zak Meets Thaddeus the Barracuda, an illustrated children’s book catering to the 8 year old and younger genre.

Having successfully published previous children’s books, Alice has sharpened her messaging by having her galley text bounce around with a whimsical beat and rhyme, allowing for a lulling feeling of adventure and beauty – making bedtime reading a perfect time for this Scuba Zak story. In

The Company of Magic

Title: The Company of Magic
Author: P.J. Milton
Publisher: Victoria & Company Books
Pages: 88,000 words
Genre: YA Fantasy/Thriller

Reviewed by: Carol Davala

 Hollywood Book Reviews

In a creative blend of modern and ancient, magic and mystery, murder and mayhem, author P.J. Milton draws readers into a fantastical literary realm where adventures play out around the globe. At the heart of the tale we see a younger generation looking to the future of a more peaceable world.

The story behind “The Company of Magic” ignites from an ancient curse where Merlinus the Supreme Magus, with his long red tresses and white parchment skin, ensconced in

Bonds of Love and Blood

Title: Bonds of Love and Blood
Author: Marylee MacDonald
Publisher:  Summertime Publications
ISBN: 9781940333093
Pages: 250, Paperback
Genre: Short Stories Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

Bonds of Love and Blood is a stunning collection of MacDonald’s previously published and award-winning short stories. More than half her compilation have either received high recognition or won titles. Among a list of accolades, MacDonald’s awards include the Barry Hannah Prize, Jeanne Leiby Award, the Ron Rash Award, the Matt Clark Prize, and the American Literary Review Fiction Prize. Aptly titled, MacDonald’s latest literary work presents humanity in its visceral form—the depth of characters’ souls—within truly believable situations.


Rented Silence

Title: Rented Silence
Author: Lucia Mann
Publisher: Grassroots Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0-9794805-9-1
Pages: 360
Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott

  Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

The horrors of slavery are vividly laid bare in Rented Silence, a tale that spans more than fifty years of African and international history.The novel, by humanitarian and activist Lucia Mann, begins in South Africa in 1945, on a large, prosperous plantation. The owner, Lord Hallworthy, is an arrogant and utterly wicked “gentleman” who uses black indentured servants for his sadistic sexual pleasure. Nine-year-old Anele, who has fled her traditional Tswana village in a desperate search for paid

Vital Temptations

Title: Vital Temptations: A Heart’s Betrayal
Author: K.L. Lewis
Publisher: BookBaby
Pages: 216
Genre: Light Adult Romance

Reviewed by: Kathleen Logan-Taylor

Hollywood Book Reviews

Dr. Bethany McNeal is a Pediatric resident at one of the top children’s hospitals in Seattle. She is utterly focused on her career and is no longer interested in dating after the heartbreak of her previous relationship. On a rare night out with her best friend, Danielle, she meets a handsome frat boy named Brent. At work, she discovers that Brent is a newly transferred fellow resident, and over time Brent melts her icy resolve and the two begin dating.

On Top of the World

Title: On Top of the World (Until the Bell Chimes)
Author: David Lamb
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
ISBN: 978-0986445309
Pages: 246
Genre: Fiction/Romance

Reviewed by: Ella Vincent Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

It’s Good to Be King is a witty and charming romantic novel by David Lamb that readers will love. The unconventional story combines a modern urban take on A Christmas Carol with a romantic story about true love.

The novel centers on Scrooje Ebonyzer, a Kanye West-like rap mogul with a lot of talent and a lot of ego. He is named after the Dickens character and is miserly like Scrooge as well. Scrooje alienates

You and I: The Kate and Robert Chronicles

Title: You and I: The Kate and Robert Chronicles
Author: Suzanne Eglington
Publisher: 2016, Xlibris
ISBN: 9781514472767
Pages: 500, Paperback
Genre: Erotic Romance

Reviewed by: Anita Lock Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

In the second book of Suzanne Eglington’s steamy series, You and I: The Kate and Robert Chronicles, The Beckhams enter full throttle in nearly non-stop seductive episodes during their four-day honeymoon in San Diego. Settling into the novelty of married life on their return home, there are other new events that unfold, such as Kate meeting Robert’s amicable Irish mom and strikingly handsome British dad, as well as Robert’s pretentious mother-in-law; Kate’s matchmaking

Beckham 101

Title: Beckham 101: The Kate and Robert Chronicles
Author: Suzanne Eglington
Publisher: 2016, Xlibris
ISBN: 9781524302232
Pages: 280, Paperback
Genre: Erotic Romance

Reviewed by: Anita Lock Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

The Beckham saga continues with Beckham 101, the third book in The Kate and Robert Chronicles. In this sequel to the second book, You and I, Kate and Robert are two months into their marriage. Kate learns a bit more about Robert’s past, particularly his involvement with women. The story opens with a tense scene. Kate is cornered in her home when she unintentionally opens the door to Christine Foss, one of Robert’s previous

Inspired by Paris

Title: Inspired by Paris: Why Borrowing from the French Is Better Than Being French
Author: Jordan Phillips
ISBN: 978-0-692-69929-4
Publisher: Lure of Luxe LLC
Pages: 245
Genre: Travel / Memoir / Lifestyle

Reviewed by: John Murray Author’s Website

 Hollywood Book Reviews

Paris stands on a unique pedestal. Unlike the majority of other beloved travel destinations, the rest of world holds Paris to an unattainable, romantic, and artistic standard that is at odds with its true nature. So awesome is its mythology, that there’s even a psychological disorder that occurs when tourists arrive in Paris and find it drastically different than their expectations. Jordan Phillips’s Inspired

The Lilac Bush is Blooming

Title: The Lilac Bush is Blooming
Author: Jan Surasky
Publisher: Sandalwood Press
ISBN: 978-0-988-277212
Pages: 290
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by: Carol Davala Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

With all the downhome charm and appeal reminiscent of beloved Americana classics like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series, award-winning author Jan Surasky’s novel, “The Lilac Bush is Blooming,” reveals a beautiful coming-of-age story set in the 1950s amidst the pastoral countryside of central New York.

Through the first person narrative of young freckle-faced Annie May, readers are easily drawn into the life and history of the Parker family. Wedged between her older sister Carrie, the boy-crazy, beauty fashionista,

Epic Sloth

Title: Epic Sloth: Tales of the Long Crawl
Author: Philip Gaber
Publisher: Philip Gaber
ISBN: 0615726488
Pages: 169
Genre: Short Story, Psychological Fiction

Reviewed by: Kimberlee Hicks

Hollywood Book Reviews

Henry David Thoreau said, “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Author Philip Gaber seems to agree, and charts the evolution of our search for meaning in this life in his work, ‘Epic Sloth: Tales of the Long Crawl’. This collection of short stories and poems is a unique philosophical exploration, an avant-garde slouch in the direction of personal identity. Garber doesn’t try to uncover the method in the madness, but simply lays

One Love

Title:  One Love 
Author:  Thomas Duffy
Publisher:  CreateSpace
ISBN:  978-1502831927
Pages:  268
Genre:  Fiction

Reviewed by:  Allison Walker

Hollywood Book Reviews

Almost every adult can name and reminisce over “The one who got away.” Maybe it was a blind date that could have been more, or perhaps that “ex” who ended it without any reason, or even it could be a high school crush you had and never was brave enough to ask to dance. For Timothy Anderson, Melody is his one who got away.  In One Love, author Thomas Duffy tells the story how Timothy finds Melody in a newspaper personal ad and the two young lovers

Rude Boy USA

Title: Rude Boy USA
Author: Victoria Bolton
Publisher: Hairummat Books
ISBN: 1518754333
Pages: 261
Genre: Fiction/Crime

Reviewed by: Carol Davala Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Review

In “Rude Boy USA”, Victoria Bolton offers a compelling take on the popular crime dramas that draw readers into the harsh, enigmatic world of organized crime. While such works are often rooted in the traditions visited in the likes of the renowned Godfather saga or the more recent landmark HBO series, The Sopranos, here the focus is on a new criminal element known as The Chimera Group. While these debonair players may engage in unlawful activities, there are no Sunday

Quantum Heights

Title: Quantum Heights: Book One of the Dead Path Chronicles
Author: Richard A. Valicek
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 1517453488
Pages: 272
Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by: Gary Sorkin Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

Quantum Heights: Book One of the Dead Path Chronicles is a dark fiction novel containing quite an interesting mix of anachronistic themes which include elements of ancient concepts and futuristic ideas. This novel might be considered a part of the “vampire” genre but it is more of a trans-historical blending of fantasy and science fiction. As such, the book evokes the style of steampunk but given the large medieval themes, it might more