Roads and Circuses By Tom Mazzone


“If what you want and what you get meet half way, consider yourself a lucky person.” So advises Bernard O’Malley, of the West Dubliner O’Malleys, in this free-ranging, hilarious commentary on life in general, Irish politics in particular, and the goings-on of the O’Malley clan in passing.

Well, really, it’s mainly about eldest son Marcus O’Malley, who slogs his way through boarding school, then law school, with single-minded adherence to another motto of the family: “Inaction will lead to being run over, so keep moving.”

Marcus becomes a celebrated barrister with many calls upon his time and attention. Unlikely events and a colorful cast of supporting characters keep him well occupied. When he’s not roundly defending his bald head against unwarranted attacks by boorish ex-classmates, he’s complimenting his future wife Ciara: “You look nice with clothes on,” he tells her one drunken night at a party.

Eventually, he’s talked into running for political office by a kindly, white-haired gentleman who paradoxically has the pull to make an axe murderer — a persistent would-be client of Marcus — mysteriously go away in handcuffs. For Marcus, life is good in his new role as defender of the downtrodden. He fills every pothole in West Dublin, then sets his sights on higher aspirations.

“The fastest way to a destination in Ireland (is) via a crooked and wide line,” he pontificates, and, after spending years in his first term being a do-gooder, he sets about to drastically change tacks. One whisky-soaked evening he’s watching a documentary on Adolph Hitler and decides the man had the right idea — at least in the beginning. Visions of national pride engendered by fiery rhetoric and an iron fist begin to resonate in Marcus’s befogged brain cells.

But how to go about it and still be adored? He partners with a wide variety of businessmen and real estate developers to substantially remake West Dublin, but his ambitions now include becoming the youngest P.M. in the nation’s history. He can’t do that with nickel-and-dime resolutions and revolutionary land developments. He’s got to have a Cabinet position.

This he achieves smoothly by becoming Minister for Justice and Equality. One of his first actions is to get his sister, Therese, a job in the Passport Office. “This didn’t raise any eyebrows, since nepotism in Ireland was as common as moaning at the rain.”

On and on it goes, as the political intrigue becomes ever more outrageous, and Marcus moves ahead with his plans to assume dictatorial rule by the time he reaches his mid-forties. Among the many new measures he plans to put in place: a Passing Wind / Excessive Gas Tax — twelve cents a fart, levied when outside one’s residence.

The author shows a masterful hand at painting the tomfoolery that oftentimes accompanies political maneuvering not just in Ireland but around the world. His characters are finely drawn and the story never lags — right up to the unexpected conclusion.

Five stars to Roads and Circuses, and to its talented author, Tom Mazzone. I look forward to the next installment of this series.


Wind Down By Mark Ewig


Aaron has a big problem — and it all started with the night he was stabbed in the back by one of his roommates. You’ll be drawn into this outstanding and dynamic story from the very start, and carried forward on a wave of mystery and paranormal suspense.

Was it Drew, on meds because of an abusive situation at home? Or Ryan, who fought with Drew the night of the incident? Finally, there’s Jason, who disavows any involvement outright.

Aaron goes to the hospital and stays four days while the police try to figure out who plunged the knife into his back. His girlfriend Jessica just wants to be there for him as the four friends break up and go their separate ways with the mystery of Aaron’s assault unsolved.

Fast forward fifteen years. Jessica and Aaron are married with three wonderful children. His life is idyllic — a nice home, good job, and a family who loves him. But suddenly, things start going wrong.

He blacks out, sometimes while driving, sometimes for days on end. And that’s not all. He begins seeing things: an elderly couple that appear and disappear in the blink of an eye; an apparition that oozes from his television, known to him only as the shadow man; and odd, tingly sensations and a crushing weight that descends on him just prior to each blackout.

A shaman that he meets offers a startling explanation, and it’s one that he initially rejects.

“The power to control the world is in your hands,” intones the shaman, who encourages Aaron to link back up with his old roommates in an effort to see who might have set this strange series of life events in motion.

He gets no real answers from Jason, who now works as a policeman in a small town in Indiana. He continues to claim innocence, but does use his police connections to get the current addresses for Ryan and Drew.

On the way to see Ryan he again blacks out and comes to in a hotel room. Disoriented, he wanders the halls until he encounters Amanda — another friend from college, but looking like she hasn’t aged a day. She, too, encourages him to continue on his “journey.”

Will Aaron find the answers that he seeks? What is the significance of the wind-up monkey? And what’s the deal with the two bluebirds on the inner thigh of a stripper in central Illinois?

Follow Aaron on his quest for the truth. You, like he, may get more than you bargained for.

I give Wind Down five stars for inventive plot, intriguing and complex characters and a genuinely good story.

Amazon Link

How Best Sellers Do It

Ever wonder how the Best Selling authors on Amazon and USA Today get those wonderful, glowing reviews?

They have professional marketing copywriters do up a glittering review, and then use those passages in the Editorial Reviews section of their Amazon page. Or, they put them on the back cover of their book, or use them in press releases that really drive readership.

Now, you, too, can take advantage of that kind of expertise — and get a promotional summary and professional, positive review of your work in as little as ten days — for much less than you ever thought possible.

This month we launch Publishers Daily Reviews, a new Promotional Book Review service dedicated to finding the “money quote” every author needs to effectively promote his or her work — at a very affordable cost.

“Think of us as a kind of in-house marketing department for Indie authors,” said Don Sloan, President of Publishers Daily Reviews, and himself the author of two books and more than 75 professional book reviews. “We are just like those organizations found at Simon and Schuster or Doubleday, in which professional writers produce the positive book summaries found on book flyleaves and back covers of traditionally published works.

“Our aim is to give each author a carefully crafted 250- to 300-word marketing and editorial platform — a complete review that can be used effectively on Amazon and elsewhere to help them sell their books — and add instant, prestigious credibility to their work. Plus, they’ll receive a compelling, brief summary of their book, suitable for query letters to agents and potential reviewers.

“It’s a unique marketing strategy, available for the first time at a very reasonable cost to Independent, self-published authors, and to those traditionally published writers who feel their publishers aren’t giving them the kind of editorial support they need to effectively promote their work in the highly competitive digital booksellers marketplace.

“Every writer who is serious about promoting their books should have a professional, promotional summary from Publishers Daily Reviews,” Sloan said. “It should be among the first marketing strategies employed by successful authors.”

In addition,these summaries can be available to authors generally within 10 days of a book’s receipt by writers at Publishers Daily Reviews, Sloan added. “This can be especially critical to authors launching their books for the first time. It’s important to provide some pre-publication “buzz” that can be posted on the book’s Amazon web page, or fashioned into a press release.”

For more information, visit the website at

New Book Sales and A Jump in Rankings

A recent free promotion of my book The Sisters has resulted in a flurry of new book sales and a jump in Amazon rankings into the Top 100 best sellers! This was achieved by posting the book on the 25 websites (free postings) over a two-day period, resulting in 749 downloads and then dramatically increased sales after going off “Free” status. You can do the same by clicking here and posting to the same sites I did on your next KDP Free days. Good luck!

Five-Star Review About The Sisters

Don Sloan is a master! This wonderful and suspenseful book, filled with historical information that builds the tale, is a must read. Mr. Sloan ‘s ability to weave the suspense from the past to the present (and the future!) and help the reader draw magnificant pictures of exactly what is happening…well, it’s a fine work that deserves to be read. Having been raised in a beach community, such as Cape May, certainly helped me to “feel” what it was like with the old homes and mystery surrounding them. I look forward to the next edition in the series!!!

The Reviews Are Overwhelmingly Positive!

It’s gratifying to know that ten people have now reviewed my book The Sisters and I have  a solid four-star rating!  This next month I will be continuing to market it in many ways.  My thanks to the many who have bought the book so far and found it entertaining.  If you haven’t done so yet, go to Amazon books and search “horror sloan”.  There you will find both The Sisters and it’s sequel, The Horror Hunters.  Enjoy!

The Horror Hunters – A New Release

I published a new book this week. It’s called The Horror Hunters: A Novella of Mystery and Adventure. It’s the second book in the Dark Forces series.  Here’s the synopsis:

Four friends battle vicious monsters that are ravaging the country. Their search leads them out West, then to the Southeast, and finally to the nation’s capitol, where they must work quickly to avert a disaster with international implications. Fast-paced and exciting, this book examines what can happen when supernatural forces collide with a quartet of determined young people.

Go to the book’s Amazon page by clicking here.  I hope you enjoy it.  Hint: it’s a sequel to my first book, The Sisters, so I’d suggest you read that first. It can be found by clicking here.  Thanks!