Michele L. Mathews

Author. Writer. Proofreader.

Thriller mixed with humor and suspense

ThrillerThrillers attract my attention for the most part. I enjoy books that keep me on the edge of my seat. Thrillers with good twists usually get my attention as well. You know one of those books that you can’t put down because the author keeps it suspenseful.

Dyal Bailey has one of those kind of thrillers right now. The Artisan: An Artistic Assassin Thriller is the first book of the series and one it doesn’t sound like will disappoint.


Bailey’s writing career began way back when she was only three years old. She loved to read picture books – even when she got into trouble for reading a book she shouldn’t have.

As a teen, Bailey read two to three large bags of books every week. She was so interested in books that she sometimes missed dinner. She even had books pried out of her hands.

Bailey attended the University of Florida and signed up for her first writing class. However, her grandmother died causing Bailey to miss the first two classes. This resulted in her being kicked out of the class.

Bailey never gave up on writing, though. She sent query letters to three magazines about being a bartender since she and her husband owned a restaurant. All three magazines accepted her offer.

From there, her professional experience grew. She edited a newspaper, wrote two novels and a humorous column, published a humorous book, and began screenwriting. She wrote three screenplays in a year and a half.

With help from producer and screenwriter Paul J. Salamoff, one of these screenplays became the novel, The Artisan.

Bailey lives on Thurmond Lake in Augusta, Georgia, with her husband Craig and five of their seven children. She loves to travel and continues reading anything and everything she can on her Kindle.

Thriller and humor

The Artisan is a thriller like no other. It’s a thriller mixed with humor. The novel pokes fun at those things we don’t normally laugh about but take seriously.

The story is about Dr. Rafaela Ramos, a beautiful biochemical assassin for the CIA. She makes these untraceable hits for the CIA by infecting the victims with a “virus.” This “virus” makes it look as though the victim died a natural death.

Rafaela is burned out with her CIA work. She takes a few days off and helps out a fellow scientist. Together they do some biochemistry that Rafaela hopes to do one day.

However, Rafaela doesn’t realize her coworker is being used as bait. He lures her into a deadly web.

According to the book’s description, “And although she thinks she’s impervious to being made vulnerable in any way, she arrives on her seemingly innocuous vacation and soon falls in love! By the time she realizes this strike of Cupid’s arrow is part two in the evil design of her sadistic nemesis—it’s already too late.”

This novel has more than humor and suspense to me. Perhaps even some romance, too? That makes this debut thriller sound even more appealing to me. What do you think?

Creativity a necessary part of business

CreativityAs I embark on my freelance writing career, I am learning a few business things that are a must. I don’t normally pay much attention to anything related to business. It’s not one of my favorite topics.

However, as our world goes through financial crisis, understanding how business works is important. Jo McDonald and Ben Marton have written The Creative Imperative:The Secret of Success for Organisations in the 21st Century to give people a simple understanding. They help us understand why creativity and innovation are important for business.


Jo McDonald

The founder of The Dragonfly Solution, McDonald earned her Bachelor of Science, an Honors degree in psychology, and her graduate degree in creative industries. She holds certificates in small business management and workplace assessment and training.

She has worked as a choreographer and songwriter and is the president of Ausdance SA. After ten years of working in the arts sector, McDonald decided to begin her own business.

The Dragonfly Solution is based in Adelaide, South Australia. It is a creative consultancy that “works with individuals, organisations and communities to help them be more creative, and better equipped to thrive and prosper in an economic climate characterised by high complexity and rapid change.”

Ben Marton

At the end of his teaching contract, Marton met McDonald. She invited him to join The Dragonfly Solution. Marton now works as a creative consultant for McDonald.

Why did Marton leave the teaching world after 10 years, five of which he was head of English at a private school? Marton says he was “well aware of the how any ‘system’ has the potential to leach out creativity.”

In addition to being a teacher, Marton is also a writer, visual artist, comic book aficionado, and connoisseur of popular culture.


The Creative Imperative is a short book geared to be reader friendly, clear, and concise. This book shows the importance of having creativity included in business. According to the book’s description, these items are what to expect:

• “gives the reader a clear and unambiguous understanding of creativity’s central role in the sustainability of modern organisations

• offers the reader certainty that creativity and innovation are essential for achieving ongoing profitability, productivity, growth etc

• arms the reader with a persuasive argument, supported by research and statistics, to convince others of the necessity of creativity and innovation for organisations to not just survive, but to thrive & prosper

• sharpens the reader’s professional edge in their quest for success and career advancement”

With my business, creativity is built in. I’m producing blog posts or articles. I might even write a few short stories or continue writing fiction. I can certainly see how creativity might not be easy to see in other kinds of businesses, though.

If you are a large or small business owner, then this book will be of interest to you. Buy the book on Amazon, Smashwords (free download with code BF38C until May 18), or Barnes and Noble.

Memoir tells gut-wrenching story

Writing a memoir of my marching band days was the first book I ever wrote. Naturally, I enjoy reading a memoir as well. To me, writing in this genre is sometimes tough. The author puts herself out there for the whole world to see. That takes guts.

One of those gut-wrenching authors is Sarah Tauber. Her book is called For Dear Life.


Residing in San Diego County, Calif., Tauber shares a home with her husband of nine years. She has two sons and five grandsons. She retired from the corporate world so she could enjoy her passion – horseback riding.

Tauber has traveled and lived all over the world. She has many stories to share with her friends and family that she hasn’t shared before.


For Dear Life is Tauber’s story of the two years she lived in Tehran, Iran. She was a new bride with a workaholic husband, who gave little attention to her. She soon discovered a handsome Iranian man. This man crossed her path right after she arrived in Tehran.

The love story grew. However, it turned into a horrible nightmare. She was threatened with criminal court and an attempt of her son’s kidnapping.


Here’s a little peek into what the memoir is like:

“The story you are about to read happened to me nearly forty years ago. The fact that I kept a journal for most of that time helped me tremendously in jogging my memory. I included several of the journal entries so you could ‘be there’ and experience, along with me, the torment, frustration, and agonizing confusion I felt. You’re welcome.”

Again, I can’t begin to say how much I enjoy books like this. Reading through the excerpt above makes me want to read this. What about you? If you wish to connect with Tauber and/or learn more about her book, go to her website.


Christian book brings relief from other fiction

Christian bookA Christian book is not something I have read very much. However, I have read a few books and have enjoyed them. Sometimes this genre of fiction is a nice change of pace — no sex or violence — with a bit of reality to it.

At least that’s what the Christian books have been like for me. Now I have found this book called My Beauty for Your Ashes by Traci Wooden-Carlisle and wonder if it is similar to the other Christian novels I have read.


Born in Los Angeles, Wooden-Carlisle wanted to be a novelist and poet from the time she turned 11 years old. At age 24, she had a hard time going from college student to working in the real world. She joined a Bible study, who inspired her to begin writing poetry.

She now lives in San Diego with her husband of six years. She works as an office manager for a church, teaches fitness classes, and continues to praise God through dance. She is preparing to release the second Christian book in this series called My Joy of Oil For Your Mourning in June.

Christian book

My Beauty for Your Ashes is the first book of the Promises to Zion series. In this Christian book, the story revolves around four main characters:

  • Paige
  • Mason
  • Victoria
  • Brandon

Each character deals with either a struggle or a tragedy. Mason and Victoria have lost a family member due to tragedy. Paige has had a tough battle learning to forgive others and love herself as God does. Brandon struggles with maintaining a relationship with a woman while serving as an elder.

This Christian novel sounds like it is geared for younger readers. However, I don’t see why someone my age couldn’t read it. After all I enjoy reading books for younger readers. What about you?

If you are interested in this novel either for yourself or someone else, please go to Wooden-Carlisle’s website.

Golf and romance mix in this novel

Golf has never been my thing. In fact, the closest I get to golfing is miniature golf. I must admit I am not too bad at that game, but maybe because mini golf is more self-contained. How about mixing golf and romance? That would be okay. I can always enjoy a good romantic novel, such as the one by John Westley called 69 Shades of Green, even if it does involve golf.


Originally from Portland, Ore., Westley now lives a very private life in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a former golf professional and still finds the time while writing to play a game of golf. Westley has been writing in different formats for many years. His novel, 69 Shades of Green, is his latest, and he is currently working on the sequel.

Golf and romance

Dan Green is an American golfer and the central character in 69 Shades of Green. He is on a journey to Heaven, a town in British Columbia, for the Husky Open. Before he reaches Heaven, though, Dan stops for a month in Tolfino, a surf town in western Canada, in search of a golf pro who will help Dan with his golf swing.

At the Husky Open, Dan is introduced to his caddy, Melissa. She invites him into her home since Dan has no place to stay. According to the book’s description, “Behind closed doors the two develop an exciting relationship not generally known between golfer and caddy, and it appears to do no harm to Dan’s golf game or spirit. At least, not at first. But there are some skeletons in Melissa’s closet that come out to threaten more than Dan’s chances at winning a golf tournament.”

Again, I’m not a huge golf fan, but for the romance, I would give this novel a chance. If you would like to do the same, go to this website and discover a special deal right now.

Spiritual tweets help inspire others

spiritual tweetsDo you tweet or know what a tweet is? If you’re on Twitter, you know exactly what that question means, but if not, a tweet is the 140 characters of whatever you wish to share on Twitter. From time to time when I’m tweeting about my books or another author’s book, I find tweets that inspire me or motivate my own writing. I’m always looking for inspirational quotes or something to keep me positive. In his book, Rise! 365 spiritual tweets by Frederic G. Martin, he gives us daily inspiration.


Born in Paris, France, Martin says his childhood memories led him to the poetry world. He was learning so many words each day at school that he thought he would never learn to write poetry. With determination, he now writes poetry as an adult. He shares his poetry on his website. Even though French is his native language, Martin chooses to write in English, too, and he sees poetry as a part of spirituality.

Spiritual tweets

Rise! 365 spiritual tweets is a book full of inspirational thoughts that you can read in one sitting or read one per day. From the sample of the book on Amazon, most of the tweets are only one sentence or maybe even two sentences at most. That is just enough for Twitter. According to the author, “They are poetical proverbs I have invented: short and helpful sayings for the heart, mind and soul. Everywhere in the world and since time immemorial, proverbs of wisdom have taught simple but essential truths.”

With my Twitter knowledge, I think this book is a great idea. Of course, if you really tweet the quotes from the book, give credit where it is due and add Martin’s name. If you’re interested in learning more, go to the author’s website.

Pet care book full of information

Pet Care bookAs I watch my furry kiddos, my nickname for them, I wonder if I am doing everything possible to keep them healthy and give them the best pet care. It’s not like they can tell me that they don’t feel well or that they feel great. Calling the vet isn’t an option either unless I know one of my pets is sick. As a way of being more educated about pet care, I found this book,  The Feel Better Book for Cats & Dogs – Nursing Care for All Life Stages, by Randi E. Golub.


For over 35 years, Golub has been a certified veterinary technician in Eugene, Ore. She specializes in elderly pets, those that are terminally ill, and those with diabetes. She has worked in zoos, humane societies, veterinarian offices, and veterinarian emergency clinics. She runs an in home nursing service for cats and dogs called the CatNurse on Call. In addition to this book, Golub has also published a book called Sugarbabies – A Holistic Guide to Caring for Your Diabetic Pet.

Pet Care

The Feel Better Book for Cats & Dogs – Nursing Care for All Life Stages is a guide for all those people who work with animals – pet owners, veterinarians, pet sitters, people who board animals, vet techs, and pet shelter workers. The book covers everything about pet care – from feeding to grooming to medicating. It teaches you about first aid for pregnant animals, puppies, and kittens. One chapter is dedicated to the pet care of senior animals and knowing when it’s time to let go.

Looking over Golub’s website, this book inspires me to learn more about my own furry kiddos. I do take good care of them, but like I said, I wonder if I’m doing enough. If you are interested in learning more as I am, visit the website.

Blackout releases in June

BlackoutHave you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a blackout? When I think about a blackout, Revolution comes to mind. I started watching that show when it first appeared on television. Similar to that show, Madeleine Henry has written her first novel called Blackout she will release in June.


Born and raised in New York, Henry graduates from Yale University this spring and will begin her life in New York City. While attending college, she ran a marathon, was a comedienne, majored in psychology, and wrote her senior essay about the popular Twilight series. In Utah she took a survival skills course and learned how to forage for food and water. She uses these skills as a basis for Blackout.


Blackout is the story of Phoenix, a 16-year-old who lives in the Dark Zone. The United States suffers a blackout, and a concrete wall, named The Frontier, divides the country in half. Phoenix lives in a part with no electricity, much like those in Revolution, or perhaps even in The Hunger Games. On the other side of the wall, or America, people live with electricity and the way things used to be.

When he and his girlfriend Star get an opportunity to move to America, they take a big risk. However, things aren’t what they thought it would be, and, according to the book’s description, “they are thrown into a shocking and deeply personal contest that threatens to destroy their love. When the chance comes to escape back into the Dark Zone, it may already be too late.”

Just my thoughts, of course, but this novel sounds great. Blackout is the first book of the trilogy so we can look forward to more adventure from this author. Learn more about Henry and her debut novel at her website.

Live your life with purpose

live out loudThe older I get the more I want to live the best life with purpose that I possibly can. Why you ask? I never know what will happen tomorrow. Life is way too short to spend your time worrying about what other people think, working at a job you don’t like, or spending little time with family. How do you find that purpose? I would start with this book called Live Out Loud: 52 Weeks to Reawaken Your Spirit and to Live a Life of Purpose by Melisa Alaba.

A graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Alaba earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology. She is a life coach and speaker who helps people learn to control their destiny. She has been a counselor and coach for 12 years and has helped many people discover and regain their vision and purpose in life. Live Out Loud is Alaba’s first book. Inside you will find 11 keys that will help you live a full life. She presents “exercises that are easy to follow that will move you from being stuck to embracing your power and overcoming disappointments or setbacks. The exercises can be done individually, with a partner, or in a group. The 52 mindful exercises are short and extremely powerful. Many are based on the author’s firsthand experiences and biblical principles. They will move you to take action and get the life you were created to live.”

I don’t know about you, but I do want to live my life to the fullest. I want to find my purpose in life. This book sounds like one that could be helpful. Do you agree? If so, visit Alaba’s website and learn more about her.

Author presents view on Jesus’s Teachings

TheTruth_Cover2I don’t like to get into discussions about religion. In fact, I avoid those discussions like the plague. I do believe in God and in the power of prayer as I’m a big prayer if you ever have a request. Anyway, I’m going out on a limb here and asking if I told you that 90 percent of Jesus’s teachings have been kept secret, would you believe me? A book called The Truth which was Kept from Us: Mysteries of the Past by Klaus E. Berger states this intriguing question.

With a near perfect five stars on Amazon, Berger presents some interesting statements. According to the book’s description, “The one and only truth, which is the doctrine of love, will be conveyed in a down-to-earth, non-religious style. You will be able to read many hidden writings containing Jesus’ teachings, including the ancient gospel. The ancient gospel is the principal gospel, the complete and original gospel, containing far more than the four gospels of the Bible. The whole of the so-called Christian world is founded on a bigoted and distorted version of all that was originally wondrous and genuine. It is shocking that this could have happened. What do people today know of the laws of love? The teachings of reincarnation? Genuine and profound wisdom? This is no small and trivial matter that the churches are withholding – but the most essential and major part of the original teachings!”

The Truth which was Kept from Us: Mysteries of the Past sounds like it will give us some serious thinking to do. I enjoy books that leave me thinking for days after finishing it. If you enjoy this type of book, then head to Amazon.


Pistol Pete’s memoir from the Old West

Pistol PeteWestern movies or books have really not been a huge genre I have enjoyed as a child or even much as an adult. Sometimes it depends upon who is in the movie before I would even think about watching it. For instance, one of my favorite rock stars, Jon Bon Jovi, was in Young Guns 2 briefly and even did the soundtrack for the movie. I am familiar with some of the great gunfighters like Billy the Kid, but Jim Huebner is familiar with another one named Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton. In fact, Huebner even edited a book about him called The True Story of Kill or Be Killed in the Real Old West.

Residing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Huebner considers himself a cowboy at heart even though is really a city slicker. Huebner is an adventurer and has climbed to the top of Mt. McKinley after trying three times to accomplish this feat. He has even written a guest blog post sharing this experience and his thoughts on life. One summer Huebner was working on a cattle ranch in Florida and was going to help tear down an old barn. He discovered an old stagecoach trunk as he cooled off in the barn. Inside that trunk is where Huebner found the memoir of Pistol Pete. He began reading the memoir and was fascinated with the story. Pistol Pete’s friend, Eva Gillhouse, wrote the memoir, as he told it to her.

The True Story of Kill or Be Killed in the Real Old West is the story of Pistol Pete’s journey to kill those responsible for his father’s death. He traveled from Missouri to New Mexico and gives details of every step of that journey. He stopped at nothing to make sure the killers paid for his father’s death. Huebner tells of Pistol Pete’s Indian fight with Cheyenne Indians. Huebner also tells of Pistol Pete’s days as a deputy United States marshal at Fort Smith, Ark. Pistol Pete was only 17 years old when he became a marshal, and over 100 men had already died as marshal before that.

I have to admit that this book does sound interesting. I think I may have mentioned that I’m a history buff so this also plays into the history of the American West at a time when many of us didn’t even have ancestors in the United States yet. You can learn more about this book by visiting Huebner’s website, watching a video of a book review on YouTube, and going to Amazon.

Colorful children’s books about solving problems

wishingstonecoverWith my kids being teens now, I don’t usually pay much attention to children’s books. Obviously, I don’t have a use for children’s books. However, I do have younger nieces and nephew, and I have a friend with a younger child. Once in a while a children’s book will catch my eye, like the one by Ian R. Kaye called The Wishing Stone.

As the second book in the series, The Wishing Stone is a colorful children’s book about the Shellies. Who are the Shellies? They are a group of friends who live in a cave on the beach. Each book has a theme, and this book’s theme is about water, which is a problem around some parts of the world. Without electricity, Crabby, Rainbow, and the rest of the Shellies set out to solve this water problem.

From the looks of the book on Amazon and Kaye’s website, the book is a colorful one, which is certain to catch the eyes of young children. If you have or know young children, it will be worth your time to check this book out further.


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