Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

#Review of Island Life Sentence by Carrie Jo Howe w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @carriejohowe

Island Life Sentence

by Carrie Jo Howe


GENRE: Adult Fiction, Humorous, Romantic comedy



Peg Savage has contractually agreed to move to Key West, Florida. The smudged signatures on the damp cocktail napkin are irrefutable proof.

“An adventure…” her husband Clark says.

Peg can’t swim; she’s afraid of bridges (there are 42 of them); and she doesn’t want to leave her friends. However, after a bottle of Cabernet, a move from Chicago to the southernmost city in the United States seems like the best decision ever.

But now Clark has taken a long term job in Cuba and she’s on her own.

Neither her dog Nipper, nor the ghosts in the attic, offer up any good advice. But how hard can it be living in paradise?

Peg dives into island life but the more effort she makes, the wider her wake of catastrophes. She is tortured by a paddle board, a giant poisonous toad, the local Conservation group, and the patron saint of hurricanes. Not to mention the persistent sweat rash under her left breast.

A tropical depression descends on the island – one that can’t be cured with medication. Peg must gather her strength if she has any hope of surviving the storm.

Welcome Carrie Jo Howe! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  Hi and thank you for hosting me! I’m a Chicago transplant to Key West, Florida. The island is the southernmost part of the United States and closer to Havana than a Target store.  My husband took a job transfer five years ago. I thought it was going to be fairly temporary, yet we’re still in Paradise. We have three grown boys and a 13 year old Vizsla. The dog is the boss of us all.

Is Island Life Sentence a single title, or part of a series? The book, is the first part of a trilogy. I’m working on the second book now.  

What were your inspirations for the story? Well, Peg is a fictional Mid-western woman who moves from Chicago to Key West. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Peg’s (mis)adventures are based on true stories. Yes, my dog was nearly poisoned by a deadly Bufo Toad. Yes, my house is haunted by haints (Key West ghosts). Yes, I survived a category five Hurricane named Irma.  

Please share your setting for Island Life Sentence.  Key West is a lush tropical island at the bottom of the chain of the Florida Keys.  It is aptly named “the end of the road” for its location and for the fact that it attracts some lively characters.  There’s some funky evolution going on down here–Darwinism at its finest.

When did the writing bug first bite? I think of myself as more of a storyteller.  I like to write about funny or strange events. For example, my first book, Motherhood is Not for Babies, tells about my shock at the effort it takes to raise a family.  I was surprised at how uncooperative they all were. It is therapy to write about it–makes it seem less overwhelming.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
The Florida writer, Carl Hiaasen  is an an ex-journalist who writes about Florida and all of its anomalies. Before I moved to Florida, I thought he exaggerated his humorous tales…I’ve since learned that, in reality, he’s quite factual.  My favorites of his books are Tourist Season and  Razor Girl.  

I’m a fan-girl of Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. These two friends are strong and funny. In my dream world, I’m sitting at a table with them in a restaurant and not getting arrested for stalking.


Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?  I love my teachers at the Pilates Studio of Key West. They know their stuff and make the classes demanding but entertaining.  That’s saying a lot since the exercise program uses torture terms like, “reformer”, “straps” and “chair”. I also volunteer as a mentor for a high school student for the program Take Stock in Children.  TSIC provides college tuition for low-income, academically minded students. I’m proud to be part of such a well run and necessary organization.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?  Hmmm, let’s see…since it’s Key West, that’s tough to narrow down. Would you mind if I shared a photo of Happy Hour last Friday?  Words can’t do this justice.

Is it okay to say that while I read this book I almost peed my pants?  There are parts of this book that had me laughing out loud and often.  Other parts, I wanted to shake Peg and tell her to put on her big girl panties and suck it up.  Yes, at times, Peg came across as the Too Stupid to Live heroine but once she finally figured out stuff, her brilliance shined.

The situations that she finds herself in are at times funny and then, farfetched but they are meant to be.  She is a true “fish out of water” when it comes to living in Key West.  I’ve never been but I have been to Chicago many times, so her life back in Chicago resounded with me.  I couldn’t imagine moving from Chicago to Key West but it would be an adventure for sure.  I did like the fact that the author had the same experiences that Peg did, Clark not withstanding.

Her husband is a douche.  I could use a stronger word but I’ll keep it PG at best.  The ending of the book is definitely poetic justice but I really did want to know what Peg was going to do now.  I understand the sequel is being written and I can’t wait to read more about Peg and her dog, Nipper.

Randolph, Trudy, Bernie, Nipper, the ghosts and even the setting are perfect secondary characters.  Ms. Howe has written a great chick lit book with heart, humor, a bit of ridiculous but overall a great read.


Excerpt Two:

“Sunshine state… my soggy ass.”

It was dark. The power and the air conditioning had gone out hours ago. Peg hugged her dog under the makeshift bed-tent, clutching him to her sweaty pajama’d breasts.

An engraved locket pinned to Nipper’s blue life vest dangled under his pirate dog collar. Hurricane rain pummeled the bedroom window – the violent wind shook the glass panes. Peg wondered about the moaning sound until she realized it was coming from her own throat.

She shrieked at the sudden crash on the metal roof. Several days of binge drinking without proper oral hygiene, or any hygiene for that matter, produced noxious vapors in the tent. Nipper’s nostrils flared as he took in the odors and licked her fluorescent orange, cheesy, tear-stained fingers.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After raising three boys in the suburbs of Chicago, Carrie Jo Howe now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and her dog. Her latest novel, Island Life Sentence, is a fictional account of an American Midwestern woman who feels like an alien in the “one human family” of Key West. Carrie Jo’s first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies, received a rave review (thanks Mom), and works wonderfully as a form of contraception. Her blog Florida Keys Crime Report, tells of all the goings on in the Keys, where bank robbers get away on bicycles, and perps caught with undersized, pinched, out-of-season lobsters get more jail time than drug runners. She is currently working on the sequels to Island Life Sentence.


Website: www.carriejohowe.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carriejohowe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carriejohowe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carriejohoweauthor

Blog: https://carriejohowe.blogspot.com/

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Island-Life-Sentence-Carrie-Howe/dp/1911586521






Carrie Jo Howe will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Reviews, The Wild Rose Press

Review of Going Both Ways by Phil Fragasso @philfragasso

Going Both WaysAbout the Book:


Author: Phil Fragasso
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Pages: 276
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Satire/Humor/Mainstream Fiction

After a prolonged rant about how easy women have it, Patrick awakens as a woman (Trish). But rather than staying a woman, he’s male one day and female the next. The male and female characters share a single mindset – so Patrick is always in Trish’s head and vice versa.


As much as Patrick tries to keep his situation private, he eventually becomes a worldwide sensation sought after by luminaries as diverse as the Pope and Hugh Hefner. While attending a party, Patrick meets a rap superstar named Gi-Slam. Their connection is immediate and powerful.


Gi-Slam’s onstage biker-bitch character contrasts with her genuine girl-next-door persona (Gigi). Gigi is bi-sexual and she has a relationship with both Trish and Patrick. As the relationship with Gigi deepens, Trish takes her leave and Patrick experiences true love for the first time.


For More Information

Book Excerpt:

I had to pee. Now needing to pee when you first wake up is pretty normal for most people and I was no exception. But I was surprised by the urgency of the need and jumped out of bed.

I shuffled to the bathroom, lifted the toilet seat and began to pee. “What the hell?”

Instead of hearing the splash of urine hitting water, a warm stream ran down my legs. I had a momentary thought that my penis must have somehow gotten tucked behind my scrotum during the night. I reached down to reposition myself.

That’s when I screamed. A high-pitched girly sound.

In place of my cherished man gland was a soft void.

That’s when I fell backward into the bathtub, bringing down the shower curtain and rod with me. My head hit the tile wall and bounced forward so I was looking down onto a chest that was unmistakably female. I instinctively raised my hands and saw ten newly polished, French-manicured fingers. My butt was sitting on the base of the bathtub and my legs were draped over the edge. I say “my legs” but they really weren’t mine. Unlike the gnarled and hairy limbs that had served me reasonably well for twenty-seven years, these legs were unblemished and clean-shaven. I bent my knees upward and was greeted by painted toenails that nicely complemented their northern counterparts. As the final test, I slid my right hand down my torso and felt what could only be described in mixed company as lady parts. My lady parts.

That’s when I fainted.

I don’t know if I was out for a second or an hour, but when I came to I realized with unprecedented clarity that I had gone to sleep as a man and awakened as a woman. I had a flashback to reading Kafka’s story about the man who woke up to discover he’d been transformed overnight into a giant bug. At first he believed he was dreaming but gradually came to the conclusion that the situation was real and his life would never be the same. I’m certainly not comparing womanhood to the insect realm, but my metamorphosis was just as shocking and my life would be changed just as dramatically.

I sleep in the nude. I like having easy access to scratch, reposition, or otherwise handle my most cherished of possessions. So when I pushed myself up from the tub, I was able to see the upper half of my new naked self in the bathroom mirror. My mop of mousey brown hair had been replaced with shoulder-length tresses of strawberry blonde. My eyes were blue, but that was the only part of my face that remained unchanged. My scruffy beard, twice-broken nose, and bushy eyebrows were now represented by the kind of wholesomely plain, girl-next-door features that are the mainstay of stock photographers. My aforementioned breasts were pleasantly perky though, to my practiced eyes, a bit undersized. I moved my gaze downward and saw that my figure was more pear-shaped than hourglass. That disappointment, however, was offset by a respectably taut stomach and a perfectly formed innie navel that stood in for my incipient beer belly and a lint-collecting outie that looked like the result of a knot-tying contest between toeless sloths.

That was as much as I could see in the mirror even on tiptoes, but I needed to see more. I ran to the kitchen to retrieve a chair and carried it back to the bathroom. I stood on the chair and studied my newly acquired lower half in the mirror.

I placed my hands on hips that seemed wider than necessary to support a rather meager bosom and slight torso. From this perspective, looking down into the medicine cabinet mirror, it was clear that my pear-shaped figure was really more akin to a bowling pin. I was slim on top but decidedly “big-boned” on the bottom. I smiled to keep from crying. I hoped I at least had a good personality.

I continued my visual inspection of my feminine physique and, like any red-blooded American male (albeit one suddenly trapped in a woman’s body), I focused my attention on the nether regions. I was truly delighted to see that my female counterpart eschewed the indignity of landing strips or Brazilian waxes gone wild. Instead, my privates were graced with the simplicity of a traditional au naturel trim. From my point of view there’s enough weird shit going on down there that there’s no need for women to further complicate our search for that Holy Grail of sexual congress, the G-spot. I mean if the damn thing even exists—and it sure seems to change its hiding place from one woman to another—then I’d suggest women spend less time grooming their pubic hair and maybe invest in a groin-area tattoo with specific instructions and detailed directions. Just saying.

My legs, though unblemished and smooth, struck me as too short and a little chubby. Now, as a guy, I would have looked on the positive side and rationalized that this babe sported a powerful pair of legs that could tightly wrap themselves around my waist giving the missionary position some extra sizzle. As a woman, however, it felt like a flaw. Not a fatal flaw, but a flaw nonetheless.

That’s when I felt like my head was going to explode.

Despite possessing a woman’s body, I was still thinking like a guy. But not completely. I’m reluctant to say I was hearing voices in my head because that’s usually the first sign of severe psychosis; but there was something weird going on with my mind. I was actually assessing my new physical form from two disparate perspectives—as both male and female. And I wasn’t at all sure which perspective was winning.

I twisted myself to the right and looked over my shoulder at a rather bodacious ass. This was a booty that could go cheek-to-cheek with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. The first thing that popped into my head was that I now possessed a body designed for stiletto heels that would lengthen my legs, divert attention from my rather pedestrian chest, and tilt my butt for optimal viewing pleasure. I wondered how hard it would be to learn to walk in heels without wobbling.

All in all, if I’d been me, I would have tapped this girl right on the spot.

That’s when I got creeped out.

Self-gratification via masturbation is one thing, but thinking about screwing yourself, with your own penis in your own vagina, is a whole other level of depravity. I was actually giving myself a serious once-over and grading my new attributes. I’ve always had an unapologetically frat boy attitude toward women. Like video games, beer, and Doritos, women were put on Earth for my enjoyment. Sure it was great if they could hold a conversation and maybe pick up the occasional tab, but it was the superficial stuff that mattered most in my book. I remember someone suggesting that “they all look the same in the dark,” but I never bought into that line of reasoning. Sure, I’ve been known to chase the occasional ass attached to a just slightly better than coyote-ugly face, but that was only in the most dire of circumstances. I was convinced that allowing myself to routinely settle for anything less than a solid B would start me on that slippery slope from Sotheby’s to “Pawn Stars”—and eventually I’d get stuck with a piece of merchandise no one else wanted.

I stepped down from the chair and stared into the mirror, trying to determine if my insides had also changed overnight. I searched my memory and tried to recall specific moments from my childhood and recent past. It was all there. I might have been a babe on the outside, but my brain and thought processes still belonged to me, Patrick Morelli, the quintessential guy’s guy.

A guy’s guy with undersized boobs and chubby thighs.

That’s when I remembered last night’s conversation with Sarah.



Before I start my review, I need to give a huge shout out to the Wild Rose Press for publishing this brilliant book.  It’s different, funny, relevant and above all brave.  Yes, brave.  Who would thought that  someone would get both the male and female sides to the same story.  This is a story about a man that is a douchebag (his words) that becomes a woman, that is compassionate, nice and smart.

The story is written with both sides of the story being told.  In fact, each chapter is a different character;  either Trish or Patrick.  Its enlighten, fresh and OMG hilarious.  But I must warn you that this is NOT a straight romance novel.  Trish is Patrick and vice versa.  He/she has sex with both sexes.  It’s different and necessary for Patrick to grow as a character.  Oh yes, the author went there but trust me, you need to read it.  Some of the scenes are laugh out loud funny and not graphic at all.  And yes, I gave a spicy rating but that is all because of the gender roles.  They just give you something to think about when it comes to sex.  😉

Patrick was a dream to me.  He knew that he was douche and after having a discussion with his sister Sarah, he transforms into Trish the next day.  Hilarity, mistaken identity, and an awakening begin to unfold into a beautiful self-discovery of a man into finally adulthood and real love.  So yes, in the end, it is a romance book but in the way it starts out.  I really wish someone would read this book so that I can discuss it.

I can not say enough about the growth that Patrick has in the book.  I didn’t see some of it coming and the first scene at the Playboy mansion is rolling on the floor funny.  And yes, its a almost sex scene but it is one of the funniest scenes that I have read in a long time.

Mr. Fragasso has written a classic book for everyone needs to read.  He writes a beautiful narrative in the male’s perspective that is heartfelt, funny but above all REAL.

Do not miss out on this one folks.  You will regret it.

Wish I could give it more!
Wish I could give it more!

recommend-harlies- new


About the AuthorPhil Fragasso

Phil Fragasso sold his first article at the age of 16. Since then he has written and published a wide variety of books and articles, including the recent bittersweet love story, Still Counting. After many years as a corporate marketer, he left to pursue endeavors that were more fulfilling personally and more contributory on a societal level. Today he focuses his time on writing and teaching.

His latest book is Going Both Ways.

For More Information



Going Both Ways banner

Giveaways, Promo

Cake Love Boxed Set: All Things Payne (Cake Love #1-2) by Elizabeth Lynx w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @indiesagepromo @ELynxAuthor #Free #KindleUnlimited

Cake Love Blitz Banner

Cake Love Boxed Set: All Things Payne
by Elizabeth Lynx
Cake Love #1-2
Publication Date: November 19, 2015
Genres: Adult, Boxed Set, Contemporary, Humor, Romance

Cake Love Boxed Set All Things Payne Cover

Buy (#FREE for #KindleUnlimited subscribers!): AmazonAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AU

Synopsis: Now you can have your cake and eat it too!

All the hot and crazy antics of Morgana Drake and Henrik Payne in one sexy boxed set. Seriously, look at the cover, there is cake right on it. And it’s sitting on her butt, what is sexier than that!

This story! That’s what’s sexier. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ins and outs, ups and downs of all things Payne.

What do you get with this SUPER-FANTASTIC Cake Love Boxed Set: All Things Payne? I’ll tell you:

Sexy posing in lingerie

***WARNING – Steamy Sex Scenes – Cake addiction – Incorrect usage of the word Potatoes***

Morgana Drake has some problems in her life. She has a boss she hates but can’t stop fantasizing about him. As she puts her focus into getting into the company’s Executive Development Program she finds only one thing standing in her way, you guessed it – her boss, Henrik Payne.

Henrik Payne is very serious about his job. He has worked hard for over ten years to become VP of Sales and Marketing and make Mimir the third largest online retailer. He has rules he follows to make sure the company and his life run smoothly.
So, why does he keep breaking all his rules?

portrait of the elegant man on dark

RULES OF PAYNE 2: Electric Boogaloo –
***WARNING – More Steamy Sex Scenes – Mile High sex that can’t be unread and Dirty Condom Wrappers used as lucky charms***

Morgana Drake has had a taste of Payne and finds she likes it in more ways than one, but she still has a few problems.

Henrik Payne knows what he has to do. In the process he realizes he is too selfish for his own good, and the good of others. He’s also discovers his rules suck balls. He has made a new list.

Henrik and Morgana have gotten caught. Now what?
Do they get fired? Do they stay together? Where does cake fall in all of this? Read this and find out!

Payne in the Blog Cover 3

You have now read the Rules of Payne and Rules of Payne 2 and find an unusual craving for cake? It happens. But you also find out you want so much more. Things that were referenced in the Rules of Payne books, you have to know how it all went down. Well, you are in luck! Get the ‘behind the scenes’ so to speak with this collection of character blog posts. The very first post being the moment Morgana and Henrik first met!

The posts lead directly up to where the book begins. Here’s what Morgana has to say about it:

***WARNING – Real Blog Posts – Sex Scenes – Copious amounts of Cake***

I love cake. Wait, wait, let me start again…. My Boss is an a**hole but mind numbingly gorgeous. That didn’t sound right either. Scratch this (note to author – do not put this in the blurb).

My name is Morgana Drake, I write a blog. You may have heard of it, The Payne in the Blog (same as the title of this book, clever huh!). No? Oh well — you will trust me! I may just be Mr. Henrik Payne’s assistant now, but soon I will be running the company.

How do I know? I can feel it in my bones. There is only one problem, my boss. They don’t just call him the Payne for nothing. He’s a jerk and I hate him! Then why do I keep fantasizing about him? Seriously, I think I need help.

Add to Goodreads

About Elizabeth Lynx

Elizabeth Lynx

Elizabeth Lynx is not a robot, that’s for sure. At least she says she’s not. She is also not a space alien. How do I know this, because she was born in Baltimore Maryland in the 1970’s when no one wanted to be in Baltimore Maryland so why would her parents say that if it weren’t true. Of course she has had her suspicions growing up and is still in a continual search for evidence that backs up her space age theories.

To bide her time she writes about ‘normal’ people and their sexy romantic lives. Her husband chooses to put up with her theories and paranoid musings. Her two little boys help her see that perhaps she isn’t an alien but more of a climbing rock. This theory is new, so she needs more time to develop it further.

Cake Love Boxed Set Giveaway Graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway