book covers

MONTH OF THE BOMBER DAY THREE writing the bomber

The Bomber, my debut novel which will be released on June 24th, took me the best part of year to complete. It is about a soldier, returning home and struggling to fit in to society. He is driven to acts of revenge by a murderer and once revenge is achieved he has to live with the terrible reality of his crime. Loneliness, anger and fear are central to the main characters motivation.

The idea of The Bomber came to me one day as I drove down a highway through the centre of a small city. Next to the road, a billboard sign read,  -“Welcome home our brave soldier, returned from war in Iraq. We are proud.” There was a name on the sign and it was a person I knew. I went to see him and we discussed things and he told me about life in the army, about life in the middle east as he found it and about some of the things he faced. I asked him questions which, while they did not annoy him, I could see he found them naive, I could see that because I had not experienced the things he had, I could never understand. So I stayed quiet and listened. That was the best way to allow him to described what he had experienced. It came out slowly, it came out vividly. He was living in a small apartment at the time, across from a Pizza Hut and we went and grabbed a pizza and played video games. He went to a party that night which I did not go to and when I came to see him the next day I saw that he had consumed a lot of alcohol and hew was unwell, regardless of how he felt, we went swimming in the river across town and then walked back.

We had been friends in high school and there was something different about him, something that would mean we would forever be distant from each other. I haven’t seen my friend for a few years now but it was that feeling, that he was not the same and the war had changed him that I wanted my main character to reflect. So The Bomber has been in my mind for a long time and I am glad to finally see it appear in book form.


Writing The Bomber and meeting Joseph Starling

When I decided I wanted to write a book about a soldier returning to civilian life I began to research the army and issues related to service men and women such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat injuries.

Through friends I heard about a man named Joseph Starling. He had served in Iraq with the Army and he had been having a hard time readjusting to civilian life. He was withdrawn, quick to anger, prone to daydreaming and wandering off topic and felt that people could never understand what it is like to fight in a war if they had not been involved. He also made it clear that no one owed him anything, it was not a matter of blaming people or feeling ashamed of himself. I could tell it was a very difficult issue for him to struggle with internally.

He made a great subject for my debut novel, The Bomber. When he opened up about his life and story, it made my job very easy. Below I have shared the photos Joseph gave me or I took on my day with him. I have put a few of the points he made when I showed him the photos.

My novel, The Bomber, is set to be released on June 24th this year. Right now there is an opportunity for people to receive the book early if they would like to provide an honest review. If you would like to review this novel please go to and fill out the form.


Released by Col. Olivier R. USMC

Here is a photo Joseph took while on patrol overseas. There was a lot of enemy activity in the buildings to both the left and right of the street.


This is the view I took from an office I had the use of while I spoke to Joseph about his life and the things he encountered overseas and back home.


This is the alley where I first met Joseph in the early hours of a November morning. He was slouched up against the wall to the left waiting for me.


This is the alleyway where Joseph took me. He showed me the room off this alleyway where he found his friend Jessica when she was sick. He took her to the hospital when no one else would.


The first complete building from the left is where Joseph lives in a small apartment, his floor is the second row of windows from the top. This is the last time I saw him, I waited on this side of the road as he left. I came back the next day to take this photo before I left town, I waited for a while hoping to see him, but he never came down.


The novel as it will appear in store. Joseph Starling is the name of the main character.

(This post is a work of fiction based on my debut novel.)


Ladies and Gentleman

I would like to announce that my new novel THE BOMBER will be having it’s cover revealed on February the 2nd. (East coast U.S. time).

I am excited and I hope you will come back here then to see my new cover. I have discovered that I hate helping to pick book covers because I have trouble deciding between options. I would gladly welcome opinions on the days following the release. Please let me know what you think.

THE BOMBER is a story about a soldier, Joseph Starling, who returns to civilian life and finds that he does not feel accepted or comfortable in the world. When his best friend is murdered he uses a backpack bomb to gain revenge on the killer.

His life begins to spiral out of control until he meets a woman who also battles personal issues and together they try to make a future together.

It will be released on June 24th 2015 through Pen Name Publishing.


Leigh Raines ‘We’re All Mad Here’ release and interview.

Today is the big day, Leigh Raines novel ‘We’re All Mad Here’ is released and I am excitedly awaiting my copy to arrive. Leigh is a good friend of mine, a nice person and an exceptional writer. Her debut novel released through French Press Bookworks ( is a novel that will allow the reader to enter the world of a young woman in a mad world;

Jade Thompson had the kind of adolescence you would find in a Norman Rockwell painting. But at 19-years-old when her seemingly normal life is flipped on its head, she’s forced to take a closer look at the relationships in her life and the decisions she has made.

It feels as if she has fallen down a rabbit hole. As she returns to college and stumbles through her new reality, she finds herself more than a little lost. With the help of her three closest friends, we spend the year with Jade through her ups and downs where she discovers everyone is a little bit mad in the world. 

Here is an excerpt:


Please have a look at to explore this author’s ideas and works.

She was kind enough to answer a set of my questions and to coincide with the books release, I found out a little more about Leigh.

Author Photo 1
1. Please tell me about yourself.
L: I’m just a girl, who wrote a book years ago not knowing what I’d eventually do with it….and now it releases this week and I’m altogether excited and terrified. A little about me? Born and raised just outside of Manhattan, big family, went to Lehigh University, studied Journalism. Love all things pop culture, work for a TV critique website, I love the way people use creative mediums to tell stories. Favorite shows in the world are Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill. My French bulldog is named Minka for FNL. Favorite books, is a much hard question!
2. What do you like to read?
L: I read a lot of indie authors, mostly New Adult, young romance. I do read the popular best-seller stuff and I like some historical fiction and memoirs. I love a good love story.
3. What are you reading right now and what do you think you will read next?
L: I tend to read more than one book at once, especially because I have the nasty habit of staying up all night to finish a book I’m really into. So before bed you’ll find me reading “The Andy Cohen Diaries” because it’s funny, but I’m not addicted to finding out the ending. Last few: “The World According to Rachel” by Layne Harper, “The Before Now and After Then” by Peter Monn, “All I want (Alabama Summer)” by J. Daniels, “Captivated by You” by Sylvia Day. Next: “Maybe Not” spinoff of an awesome Colleen Hoover book called “Maybe Someday” and the “Real” series by Katy Evans, because I keep hearing about it.
4. Why do you like to write?
L: It’s therapeutic. I love telling a story. This book I wrote started as a cathartic thing for me and then I wanted to have a little fun with it. I also do weekly TV reviews. I like to just break down a story and discuss it.
5. Tell us about where you come from and where you live now.
L: I’m from Rockland County, New York and now I live on the Upper East Side in Manhattan with my boyfriend and dog. My family has a house on coastal Georgia that is a second home and I love. The only other place I’ve ever really lived was Eastern Pennsylvania for college.
6. If you could invite any person, alive today or from history, to a dinner party who would you invite and why?
L: Such a hard question, especially narrowing it down! Author wise: Jacqueline Susann because “Valley of the Dolls” was such a scandal and it also made me want to spice up my own book. I feel like she’d have a lot of juicy tales. I’m such a huge TV nerd so I’d want to meet Connie Britton and Sophia Bush, two of my favorite actresses who are also really philanthropic and inspiring woman. From a personal standpoint, I never met my grandfather whom I was named for and my boyfriend’s mother passed away 9 years ago and I want to meet the woman who raised this man I love so much.
7. What advice can you give to people trying to achieve their dreams?
L: Don’t settle and get comfortable. Rejection is normal. If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
8. Can you tell us about the new book you have coming out and about your inspiration?
L: Some personal experiences inspired my book, but there was also a motto of “All that glitters is not gold.” Someone can have a normal great life and meltdown anyway because that is just life! I think mental health is a really important conversation to be having, especially with today’s youth. Also when I started writing this probably a decade ago, there was such a gap in the publishing industry without the New Adult category. College age is such a formative time. I wanted to delve into that.
9. Can you give us a quote from your favorite book?
L: Considering I probably can’t even narrow down a favorite book….I seriously should just link you to my Kindle Highlights page! You know I have hundreds of quotes saved on both my phone and laptop. Here are a few favorites (serious quotes):

“There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune. But omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves. Or lose the ventures before us.” – Julius Caesar
“Blessed are the hearts that can bend, they shall never be broken.”- Albert Camus
And of course “Clear Eyes, Full hearts, Can’t Lose”- Friday Night Lights


Thank you Leigh.


Leigh Raines ‘We’re All Mad Here’ French Press Bookworks.

Released December 10th 2014 available electronically, online or through any good bookstore. 

Book covers

I love good book covers. I adore good record album covers. I love great art.

The Beatles were geniuses in creating great music but they also created great album art, advertisers know that great images sells products, If I see an advertisement featuring a beautiful woman or another desirable image, I will look at that advert more than a plain simple one.

I have been thinking about book covers recently. Soon it will be time for my debut novel, THE BOMBER to have a cover designed for it and I am anxious to ensure that the cover is something a person would happily look at for at least thirty seconds before they begin to read it.

It is something I love to do. If I buy a new book I like to sit on the train heading home and spend a few moments looking at the cover and if it is interesting enough it will engage me for the small amount of time I spend looking at it before I dive into the words within.

A book cover has never influenced me to buy a book alone- but it has made me feel better for buying a book. I buy books because I am interested in what is between the covers, but if the cover is spectacular I feel much better about the money spent. What I mean by saying that is, if I am looking for a book and I find two of the same novel BUT with two different covers, I will go for the novel  with the cover I prefer, even if it is about two or three dollars more expensive. (Any more expensive than that and I will buy the cheaper copy.)

A beautiful cover on a book makes me feel happier to own the book. However if I do not like the story within no cover could ever be good enough.

So look at these beauties….


Oh yes beautiful design, is it a novel of terror? Is there love and sex? Who is that beautiful woman and why is she being watched?


I know all about Moby Dick, but this cover transcends beauty and gives me the direct truth. The lonely sea, the hunting vessel, the giant god-like white leviathan… yes I would pay extra for this book and it’s cover (although I own three copies of The Whale already)


Light of my life, fire of my loins… These covers are beautiful and shocking, perfect for one of the greatest novels of the century…

I much prefer the first on the left however.


And then suddenly No. Horrible. Misplaced covers. Nothing to do with the work, reflecting nothing of the literature within. Who are these grown women and why are they naked on the cover? Lolita is the examination of a man- a monster- and the tragic and abused butterfly/child that is Lolita. These covers would have made Humbert put down the book and leave the store. Wrong.

Books covers of course are as open to opinion as anything else. What I like may not be what you like. Perhaps publishers like penguin have it correct with their simple paperback design with no picture, perhaps all books should be plain to give the reader no images at all. If you have any views on book covers or on what I have written above please let me know in the comments.