Book Review Spotlight: Author David McCauley of Oak Valley Foundation and His Book: Addiction to Recovery: Unlocking Your Potential.

“Every so often an outstanding book about and for recovery that is amazing to guide and teach others how to have a well-balanced recovery.  Author, David McCauley’s new book is that kind of read. He has written this book with the knowing that in recovery we need to do all the inner work inside ourselves, process old hurt, pain, and nasty habits and behaviors we learn within addiction. We need to clean the inside “SOUL & SPIRIT” besides the mind and body. This book helps you do that and so more!”



About The Book:

This book, Addiction to Recovery: Unlocking Your Potential, is an accumulation of existential realization, many resources, years of recovery, education, insights, and years working in the field of addiction, with all adepts in the goal of personal transformation from addiction to recovery. This is an integrative approach to living in wellness in recovery. I vacated my own mind through a very deep personal process, my own form of meditation and this book came about. My hope is this book unlocks the potential that advances new insight into the recovery process for each individual by reframing the process in such a way that the right interpretation by the reader will help recovery click in place.

What we need to celebrate in recovery is the self-discovery of the individual. I offer my carefully considered overviews and assessments on the best-known treatments (theories) connected to recovery. I have provided a new outlook as a guide for the unwary who had failed at recovery in the past and those just coming into recovery for the first time. I count myself among the autodidacts, the self-taught perpetual student fueled by a passion for new answers and a sense of mission.


About The Author:
President and Chairman of the Board

Over 27 years of working with Addiction and Recovery. Author and Educator of dealing with addiction in today’s world. This book and others to follow were written also for the purpose and goal as a portion of books sales go back to Oak Tree Foundation to soon help those who suffer from the effects of addiction in our communities, where I live in New Jersey, and our nation to provide help in finding treatment and resources for those unable to financially afford the necessary help needed to live a life free from addiction.

Our vision at Oak Valley is to be a place where we cultivate people’s lives through awareness, education, prevention and the necessary support needed to help individuals renew their life. Our goal at Oak Valley is to improve and renew the quality of life in each individual by renewed mind, body, soul and self. In a new positive way of thinking and living that is surrounded by a renewed self.

MY REVIEW of  Addiction To Recovery: Unlocking Your Potential                                        AN Amazing Book, Guide, and Resource for All In Recovery & Their Families!
I was given a signed copy by the Author, David McCauley.

Addiction To Recovery: Unlocking Your Potential should be a required book to read for all who come into recovery by any means. The book, part guide, part resource, and part personal experiences, strength, and shares hope of the Author, David McCauley. It explains in words and teaches others the skills to apply in their recovery on how to interrupt the cycle of addiction, and the tools needed every day to attain long-term recovery.
Even though it is a book and guide, it reads like a memoir; the chapters and titles are laid out and easy to read. David’s writing style is unique. The goal I was looking for in this book was to learn more wellness and live a more authentic recovery life of the mind, body, and spirit. There are many paths to tapping into your spirituality, and I am not talking a 12-step higher power spiritual journey. It is not the choice as David feels and I do as well. This book is a testament to this fact. But? Whatever works for you. And it truly is a new age form of recovery by learning David’s inner self-work method that works!

I am talking the inner sense of self-spiritual power. As David shares in his book, that seed and spiritual power we all have in each of us with the ability to turn our lives around and from the depths of despair and destruction to happy, productive being. No Spoilers, but my favorite chapters I got so much out of where; “Self and Soul Chapter 6, The Resilient Self and Spiritual Path Chapter 9, and Chapter 12.” You can learn from a major relapse with more awareness before and after a binge as David did and is part of his experience.

The Prolog/Dedication is”touching,” and it is important to mention this book is also a great read for family, loved ones and friends to get an understanding of addiction and the process of recovery that their loved one needs to go through to gain longevity in recovery. “Hate the addiction, not The Addict.” Family needs insights of what an addict goes through starting the recovery process. This book covers those goals and a great family reference.

The book for me was a soul-searching journey to see the inner work that needs to be done in processing any old haunting pain and hurt in life as I feel is missing in many 12-step programs and forms of recovery.

A must read and highly suggest this book! Go Get this book people 🙂


*Presented By Cat Lyon’s Reading den and Recovery Starts Here * 

Honored To Welcome Author, Ronald E. Yates and His “Billy Battles Trilogy” To Lyon Book Promotions

“Lyon Book Promotions Welcomes Author, Ron Yates and his “Billy Battles Trilogy,” Book One and Book Two just Released” . . . .





“I am a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Dean Emeritus
of the College of Media at the University of Illinois where I was also a Professor of Journalism.

My “Finding Billy Battles Trilogy,” Book One is the first in a trilogy of novels. Book Two has now been released. As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots—and his improbable journeys are just beginning. He is aboard an ocean liner sailing to the Mysterious East (Hong Kong, French Indochina, and the Philippines), among other places.

I am also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. Other books include Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan,
a collection of columns translated into Japanese,
as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook,
International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.”



Author Ronald E. YatesPresents(1) (1)


“The Billy Battles Saga Begins Here”

“When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.”

For much of his 100-year-long life, Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America, and Europe.

As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals penned by his great-grandfather, he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long-lost and astonishing link to the past  . . . .

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“Even though the trilogy is fiction, there are many historical facts within the pages of Ron’s action-packed adventures of Billy Battles. As we begin book two, it seems that Billy finds mystery and more adventures unfold as Billy starts to travel the world.”


“The Billy Battles Book Two Begins”

Cover higher res


“Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore.”

As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots—and his improbable journeys are just beginning. He is aboard an ocean liner sailing to the Mysterious East (Hong Kong, French Indochina, and the Philippines), among other places.

The year is 1894 and aboard the SS China Billy meets a mysterious, dazzling, and possibly dangerous German Baroness, locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government, and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea. Later, he is inadvertently embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam.

Later, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are just beginning. As the 19th-century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries and an assortment of malevolent and dubious characters of both sexes. How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they face?


Another one of Ron’s earlier book release’s sounds so interesting.
I know I have used Kikkoman products most of my life as many of us have.
But I had no idea of the history behind the products. But Ron does and
wrote about it in “The Kikkoman Chronicles.”

About The Book:

The Compelling Saga of One of the World’s Oldest Companies.Combining ancient craftsmanship with modern technology and marketing innovations, Japan’s Kikkoman Corporation has quietly become a $2 billion market leader.

The KikkomanChronicles is the fascinating story of how Kikkoman changed the course of international marketing, shrewdly adapting to 20th-century realities while never turning their backs on centuries of tradition; how one man envisioned the future of the global enterprise, spearheading the first Japanese manufacturing plant of any kind on U.S. soil; and how generations of Mogi family leadership have produced one of today’s most formidable global competitors.

More than an authoritative how-to international business, The Kikkoman Chronicles is the spellbinding story of Shige Maki, the tough and resourceful woman who narrowly escaped the 17th-century siege of Osaka Castle to sow the seeds to today’s Kikkoman Corporation. Kikkoman’s survival and adaptation across more than 300 years of social and political upheaval in Japan.

Innovative strategies Kikkoman has followed to become the world leader in the production and marketing of soy sauce – an Asian staple.The Kikkoman Chronicles is a one-of-a-kind corporate biography. By combining anecdotes and stories about Japan’s amazing history wth hands-on tips and recommendations for proven international business success.

Ronald E. Yates has produced an entertaining book that should become required reading for business persons and students throughout the world.



I am very pleased and honored to introduce Author, Ron Yates to all my readers and book blog friends. Ron and I met over on LinkedIn. He sent me an invitation to join him on another social media site, one I hadn’t explored before. But, soon after he sent me a nice email asking about my book promo services. Now, after I took a gander at his bio, I said to myself, “I could I ever promote such a seasoned and professional journalist?” Yes, ok, I will admit and own the fact that I was crazy nervous! Then I thought? I can never make one mistake! LOL. LOL.

The fact of the matter is, Ron is a fabulous down to earth guy. And here I am book promoting for my new buddy. LOL. Let me share more about this fantastic writer and see if we can find out more about him and his new trilogy series. Book one and now book two has just released. Here is an interview with Ron via Smashwords.  .  .  .


Product Details Product Details Product Details


“An Intimate Author Interview via SmashWords” . . .


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Probably when I was in the sixth grade. I loved writing stories and I had a teacher (Mrs. Gooch) who encouraged me. My mother also bought me books and took me often to the library–a place that I found mystical and magnetic. She often read to me and I could “see” the story unfolding before me. When I could, I began to read everything I could get my hands on. As I used to tell my journalism students at the University of Illinois, if you want to be a good writer, be an avid reader.

What was your inspiration to write the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy?

I grew up in Kansas and was always fascinated by what life was like there in the 19th Century when the state was still pretty wild. At the same time, I spent a lot of time in the Far East as a foreign correspondent and I was equally intrigued by what life must have been like in the 19th Century colonial period in places like French Indochina, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Then one day I got the idea to blend the two using a character from 19th Century Kansas who goes to the Far East in search of himself.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Try to write as much as you can from your own experiences. They are real and uncontrived and if you incorporate those experiences in your fiction your work will have a truthful ring to it. Beyond that, KEEP AT IT! Don’t let anybody (editors, agents, etc) discourage you. At the same time, be willing to accept constructive criticism from those who have experience as authors, editors, agents, etc. Notice I said CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Some people criticize just to be criticizing–or to be malicious. You must believe in yourself, your work, your vision and your story. If you don’t, who will?

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story needs a strong plot and even stronger characters. Otherwise, it falls flat. The writer needs to be first and foremost, a good storyteller. If you build a good story, THEY WILL COME, to paraphrase Field of Dreams. Make readers care about your protagonist. Make readers empathize, cry and laugh with them. At the same time, keep them off-balance. Don’t be predictable and don’t be afraid to do terrible things to your favorite characters. Have you ever known anybody who has sailed through life without some turmoil, some pain, some suffering? I haven’t.


Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

I am currently starting Book Three, with Book Two just released of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy. It will be ready for publication in February 2016. Then I will start on Book Three. After that, who knows. I may finally get around to writing about my own life as a war correspondent.

If your book became a movie, who would be your first choice to play the lead roles?

Clint Eastwood as the elderly Billy Battles; Clive Owen as the middle-aged Billy Battles and Ashton Kutcher as the young Billy Battles. I would pick Saffron Burrows for Billy’s first love, Mallie McNab and Famke Janssen for the widow Katharina Schreiber who Billy meets on the boat to the Far East. (Why these choices? They are all tall. Billy is 6’3″ and Mallie is about 5’10,” as is the statuesque widow Schreiber).


Tell us about your new release.

Book #2 in the Finding Billy Battles trilogy begins this chapter in Billy Battles’ life takes him to the Far East of the 1890s and places like French Indochina, The Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. This phase of Billy’s life finds him mixed up with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries and an assortment of malevolent and dubious characters of both sexes. In short, Book #2 in the trilogy takes Billy far away from his Kansas roots and out of his comfort zone. How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they present? It’s a question that you will have to read Book #2 to find the answer to.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Yes. I listen to Mozart, Haydn, Telemann, and Boyce when I am in a classical mood. When not, I listen to good “cool” jazz by people like Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, George Shearing, Bill Evans, etc.


How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I write from the seat of my pants. I don’t outline my books and I don’t write down plot scenarios. I just start writing and see where the story and my characters lead me. It’s a lot like life itself. We may have a goal in mind, but the route to it is often strewn with obstacles, surprises, and sometimes tragedy. I usually write 3,000 or 4,000 words a day and I edit as I go. In other words, I may write a few paragraphs and then rewrite them within a few minutes of creating them. I don’t write a ‘First Draft.’ For me, that seems like a waste of time.

When I finish writing a book it is finished. I may make a few tweaks with the plot here and there, or alter a little dialogue, or some action by a character, but there is no second or third draft. I know some authors write a draft and put it away for weeks or months and then go back and look at it with fresh eyes–OR they send it out to be critiqued by professional “readers” or “critiquer’s.” Those strategies may work for some people. They don’t work for me. I guess it’s my journalistic training: see it, report it, organize it, write it and then move on to the next story.


Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Back to Vietnam, Cambodia, and The Philippines–three countries I worked in as correspondent in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and three countries where Billy Battles is going to wind up living during the 1890s. While I know a lot of those places, having lived and worked in them, I would love to dig deeper into their colonial periods and learn more about life during that era.


If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Winston Churchill. He was absolutely brilliant and I would hope by the end of dinner some of that brilliance would have rubbed off on me, though I seriously doubt it. ONE food you will never eat? Monkey Brain Sushi (yes, it is a real dish in China and I won’t tell you how it’s prepared). It is considered a cure for impotence (what isn’t?).

Another dish I will continue to eschew is Balut, which is a delicacy in The Philippines. It is fertilized chicken or duck eggs in which the developed embryo is boiled and eaten from the shell. Yum!

Which brings me to some advice an old Chicago Tribune copy editor named Spokely gave me when I was getting ready to leave Chicago for my first posting as a foreign correspondent. “You are going to places that serve strange food and you will be tempted to say ‘no thank you,’ when it is offered. Don’t do that. It will be an insult to your host. When somebody offers you something to eat that looks or smells horrible, just remember Spokely’s law: Everything tastes more or less like chicken.”

What was the scariest moment of your life?

There have been several. One was during the evacuation of Saigon in 1975. The last day was chaos incarnate. Russian made 122mm rockets were slamming into buildings, 130mm mortars were hitting Tan Son Nhut airport, and the U.S. Embassy was surrounded by frantic South Vietnamese desperate to get out of the country because they had worked for the American military or some U.S. agency. The city was all in full-panic mode. Several of us made our way to the sprawling Defense Attache Office building at Tan Son Nhut and we were finally evacuated by a U.S. Marine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter. It was a relief until the door gunner told me later aboard the U.S.S. Okinawa that the pilot apparently had to drop a flare to misdirect an SAM-7 (surface to air missile).

Another was during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre when I and several Chinese students were pinned down near the square for 30 minutes or so by Chinese soldiers shooting in our direction. Several students near me were wounded and we were helping them get to a doctor’s house nearby so he could treat them. I was convinced I was going to wind up dead in the square. Then suddenly the shooting stopped and I was able to get my Red and White Sprick bicycle that I had chained to a lamp-post and peddle like crazy for the Jinghau Hotel where I was staying and from where I was filing my stories to the Tribune.

Yet another memorable moment was during the revolution in El Salvador when I and two German correspondents were stopped in our car near the town of Suchitoto by Communist guerillas. They put cloth bags put over our heads and forced us to kneel alongside the road. We were sure we were going to be executed. But suddenly the “jefe” (leader) showed up and we were set free. “Don’t kill journalists–unless they are armed,” he yelled at his troops. I was greatly relieved that I had left the 1911 Colt Pistol I had purchased a few days earlier back in the hotel in San Salvador. I believe it is still there.

Ahhh yes, the life of a foreign correspondent…never a dull moment. But I still believe I had the best job in the world and I wouldn’t trade my career for anything.

What books have most influenced your life?

Scoop, by Evelyn Waugh; The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck; The Quiet American, Graham Greene; The Jewel in the Crown, Paul Scott; Kim, Rudyard Kipling; Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain); A Passage to India, E.M. Forster; Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser; The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

Yes, I have both. My website is Ronald E Yates Books and I am constantly updating it. My blog is I try to post to it at least once or twice a week.

I also have an Amazon Author  page and a Facebook Author Like Page called Ronald E. Yates Books. I am also on Twitter @jhawker69 … Readers can also follow and connect with me over on GoodReads as well.

Do you have any advice for inspiring authors?

Don’t let anybody discourage you from pursuing this work if it is really what you want to do. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. You must believe in yourself, your ideas, your stories. If you don’t, who will? Certainly not that dense editor or literary agent who couldn’t see your potential or grasp your book’s storyline.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

It is a wonderful gift if you allow the process to come to you and don’t force it. However, don’t let anybody tell you it is not damned hard work. It is. The joy of writing for me is telling a good story. I don’t care about imparting a “message.” Nor do I care about creating any hidden “meanings” that some literature professor will hold forth about in a writing class when I am no longer around to rebut him/her. I just want to tell a good story. That, to me, is the ultimate gift of writing.

The curse is that writing can take over your life, isolate you from family and friends and turn you into a kind of sophistic recluse if you are not careful. Writers need to take breaks from working. If they don’t I believe they run the risk of becoming stale, self-absorbed, and misanthropic.

Where do you like to write?

I have taken over the upstairs bonus room in our house. It is about 500 square feet. In it, I have my rather prodigious library, a good sound system for playing classical music, a large screen TV for watching sports, the Discovery, History, and National Geographic channels when I need a break from writing. My window looks out onto a plant and boulder-strewn foothill that rises in front of my house. Another window looks down onto the Temecula valley some 2,000 feet below. It is quiet and soothing. Couldn’t have a better place to write.

What do you typically drink while writing?

Very cold iced tea.

What has been the toughest criticism so far?

None, so far. Though it is still early in the process. Someone did say they didn’t like the fact that the book is part of a trilogy because now they have to wait for Book #2. I like THAT kind of criticism.

And lastly, what has been the best compliment?

There have been several, but I will list just four here. You can find these and other reviews on the book’s Amazon page: “The is easily the best work of fiction I have read in some time.”

“There is something about this book that is almost impossible to explain, but it takes it from being a *good* book to a GREAT one.”
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Books can be purchased on Amazon and Amazon Kindle Store.
Finding Billy Battles – Book One
The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles – Book 2                                              

The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with a Japanese Soul

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More about Ronald Yates on a more personal level . . .

Ron was born in N.E. Kansas, USA and is married to his lovely wife. They have raised two daughter’s who are both married with children of their own, which makes him a Grand Pop!
When Ron isn’t writing, he enjoys  hiking, biking, reading, swimming, history, writing (of course).

In his career as a journalist, Ron has won several awards which include, Three Pulitzer nominations; Society of Professional Journalists Peter Lisagor Award; Inter-American Press Association Tom Wallace Award for reporting on Latin America. His favorite color is blue and his favorite foods?  “Just about anything from Thailand, Szechuan China, and Italy. ”


Author Spotlight Is Presented To You By “Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions” and Interview Courtesy of Smashwords ….

An Intimate Book Review For Author, J.A.Wright~Guest Share By New Zealand Booklovers.

Hello, and Welcome Readers and Friends,


“I have a  you treat for readers today! My dear friend and fellow Author, J. A. Wright has a featured intimate book review by New Zealand Booklovers  on their Fabulous website. Yes, after living many years in the Pacific Northwest, Jodi had moved abroad to New Zealand. She enjoys living there with her family. And why not? It seems to fit with her being a unique author and writer.”   *Cat*




This month, I have been addicted to books about addiction. Like a book junky, even if I didn’t want to read more, I just had to. Any book that has come my way with its focus being on self-destruction, self-hatred, or self-analysis, and the attempt to tame the beast of self with proscribed substances, I have devoured. That’s my bag, you see – having personal experiences with addiction, I’m always morbidly attracted to the stories of people with similar crosses to bear.

Over the past few weeks I have plowed through Keith Richards’s memoir,Life, following it up with Anthony Kiedis’s Scar Tissue, and then moved swiftly on to Marilyn Manson’s ode to oddity, Long Hard Road out of Hell.

Enough, I thought, as I read the last tales of scoring eight balls and snorting cocaine off of prostitutes. I stacked the books up on my bookshelf, regained the will to live and thought perhaps of moving on to some kind of lighter material, picking up a copy of Woman’s Weekly; a publication so light, it practically floats if it is not weighed down. But it wasn’t to be, How to Grow an Addict, debut novel from New Zealand author J. A Wright, popped through my letterbox and after reading only half the blurb, I felt compelled to read on.

Having not inspected the front cover properly, until about half way through the book I had it in my mind that this novel was an autobiography. I had assumed that Randall Grange, the young, troubled addict protagonist of the piece was not a fictional character. Randall was written so realistically, so vividly and insightfully, that How to Grow an Addict read like one of the better autobiographical tales of addiction and redemption. To its credit,How to Grow an Addict is a wonderfully straightforward read, and not at all trite or contrived; there really isn’t any glorification in this story of a young girl trying to navigate growing up in the midst of a turbulent home life, often the sufferer of benign neglect at the hands of her equally troubled parents.



It is hard to pinpoint in this novel exactly where things start to go so wrong for Randall because it is seemingly nothing and everything that leads to her demise. The severity of her problems with substances and addiction are not over-sauced, so it is both shocking and a complete non-surprise when Randall crashes and burns one last time, and is tricked into entering a rehabilitation center. It takes a particular type of writer to capture all at once the banality and torture of addiction without being hackneyed or over-sentimental – J. A Wright excels at this. Her approach to the topic in this debut novel brought to mind passages from The Bell Jar; how one can be so entrenched in behavior that it seems completely normal in its absolute dysfunctionality.

The cynic in me usually wants this type of fiction to end in horrific tragedy, because that just seems more realistic; surely it’s only natural for some heroin addicts to take it too far and die in a public toilet of an overdose, or for a man to lose everything due to drink and never get his shot at redemption, but I genuinely found myself hoping for Randall’s recovery inHow to Grow an Addict, that’s how invested I was in her as a character. Now, perhaps I’m mellowing, or perhaps exceptional writing negated my inherent nihilism and all-around jaded attitude where “happy “endings are concerned. Perhaps .  .  .

How to Grow an Addict, by J.A. Wright, is published by She Writes Press, and is available now on Amazon Books and now Amazon Kindle Store …

About The Author:

How to Grow an Addict is J.A. Wright’s debut novel. Named best book of 2015 by Redbook/Good Housekeeping magazine and a finalist in both the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and 2015 Foreward Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award and Bronze winner in the 2016 IPPY Awards for Literary Fiction.
J.A. Wright has been in recovery from addiction since 1985. Raised in the Pacific NW, she moved to New Zealand with her young family in 1990. Visit her website for more about Author, J. A. Wright:  Jodi A Wright Website .


Editorial Review:

Portland Book Review – Feb 2016

The review for How to Grow an Addict received 5 stars.

“J.A. Wright’s How to Grow an Addict is a novelization about Randall, a young girl who is trying to navigate the testy waters of her family life and come out unscathed despite growing up in a house full of addicts and abusers. It reads like a memoir, a sort of “come clean” string of consciousness that chronicles her rise (or rather, fall) from a young girl to a young woman.

The novel is literally what the title implies, a sort of explanation of a series of factors both genetic and environmental that lead to the rise of a small, precocious, and anxious child becoming a full-blown addict. Randall has an abusive father and a mother who has a hard time defending her as it is clear that she’s terrified of losing him (going so far as to get breast implants in a failed attempt to stop him from sleeping around). He behaves like he hates Randall, and she chews her fingernails to nubs as a result – and has a hard time functioning in a normal world without fidgeting.

Randall is immensely likable, and though the reader begins to see her make a series of missteps as she gets older in an attempt to seek love in “all the wrong places,” the novel never takes on a judgmental tone.

Randall is just a girl who’s trying to navigate a very difficult situation that gets increasingly more difficult as life takes away some of her fiercest protectors and supporters. She is selfish, but only in a way that an addict is – someone who cannot see past their impulsive decisions into what the consequences may mean. It doesn’t matter to her as she’s just trying to get by in the only way she knows how. Her family resembles a million families, and some readers might even see some parallels between her family and their own in an alcoholic, abusive father who prioritizes a son above a daughter and creates another monster in the process; her brother who comes to hate her and lack empathy as much as her father does; her mother who is not perfect, but sad and unable to manage an angry and abusive husband, and who turns to anti-anxiety pills and alcohol as a way to cope.

The novel ends with Randall beginning to accept help from those who have to foist it onto her and ends with an uplifting message: people can make a choice to recover and do the right thing. There may be mistakes and trip-ups in the process, but it’s a process worth doing. This is a great book, and even if readers don’t have first-hand experience with addicts or dysfunctional families, Randall feels real-life enough to turn to when it comes to trying to deal with real-life addiction. Readers should definitely give this one a shot.”- Portland Book Review

Guest Author Spotlight~Meet Author, Ellie Pulikonda & her book, Split Second.

Hello Readers and New Friends,


I’m very happy to introduce a new author to all my readers and blog friends. I’m pleased to share ‘Author Ellie Pulikonda’ and her fantastic book titled, Split Second, now available online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ellie found me and was needing to have a wee bit of help with promoting her new book, so she can stay busy writing, and I can tell she is a delightful woman. And she is very serious about her craft as a writer, and the few months her book has been out, she has over 25 Amazon Fabulous Reviews already! I have added her book to my Goodreads book list and surely can not wait to read it myself.


Product Details

Split Second ~ by Ellie Pulikonda

About The Book:

We all know of families that seem to be golden.  Life touches them lightly and success is the norm.  But when such a family is faced with a potential tragedy, the seemingly perfect relationships break open to reveal flaws and shortcomings.

Liz Reynolds is the only daughter in such a family. Her attempted suicide forces her parents to examine how they have contributed to her desperate act. Old secrets they have kept from each other and from their daughter threaten every facet of their seemingly perfect lives. Do they have the courage to admit their own shortcomings in order to save Liz?

“Richard heaved a sigh of relief. Liz would get help, and he wouldn’t have to witness any more scenes like the one he had walked in on this afternoon. Maybe it was going to work out all right”.

When do a family’s secrets become too dangerous to keep? Find out in Ellie Pulikonda’s shocking debut novel, Split Second.

About The Author:
A prolific writer right out of the literary gate, Author Ellie Pulikonda’s first book is destined to be an Amazon Best Seller! With more than 20 Amazon Reviews already, Ellie has shown her literary strength with her very first book release of ~ Split Second. . .

Born in the Pacific Northwest of  Kennewick, Washington and graduated from Kennewick High School, Ellie went on to several colleges earning her degrees:
Knox College, Galesburg, IL BA, education ~University of Illinois, MA,Library Science University of Illinois, MS, Adult Education. She has been writing for work and pleasure for sometime now.

“I write for the pure joy of writing. At first, it was diaries, journals, and musings; then I graduated to short newspaper articles, some unpublished but staged mystery/comedy plays, scripts for amateur musical productions and now books”.

My life has encompassed many quite varied activities. I have worked in an attorney’s office, a travel agency, a welfare office, a newspaper office, as a teacher, a librarian, and finally as the director of a public library in Tipton, IN.  I am or have been a mother, daughter, single parent, wife, widow, partner, a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. Writing has been the one constant through all of these roles. So what are her literary goals as a writer for her books?

“My hope is that my readers will enjoy my books, and also be prodded to think about the actions and motives of my characters, to question their choices and why they made them, and to see the characters with greater insight”. . .

Soon Ellie will be blogging again, so keep your eyes out for that. I’ll be showcasing her blog/website very soon. You can however connect with her on her Goodreads Author profile here:
And now on here new Facebook Author Like Page too!
Here Is What Amazon Reviewers Are Saying:

“Ellie has written an engrossing psychological mystery. The characters are very realistic and well-developed. I was involved in the story and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The plot was well paced so there were surprises throughout the novel. I hope Ellie writes many more novels”.
“A must-read mystery with great depth of characters”!

“I love mysteries and this one has every element, making it a great read! Keeping you guessing until the end, it gives you just enough little clues along the way for the weary reader. But in addition to being a mystery, it also explores the psyche of the characters and their relationships, giving the novel a richness and depth to it. Yes, this is definitely a “page-turner”, but it also is a book that gets you thinking”!
“Great, suspenseful read”!

So don’t wait, go grab your copy of this excellent new read before there all gone! It should be what your reading today. I hope you all enjoyed meeting and learning more about Author, Ellie Pulikonda, and I thank her for letting me share all about her here on my book blog.