Reviews - April 2016

What They Say

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg


Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., MHt:

Cynthia Lee Clark

Former Miss Chicago (Miss USA), Cynthia Lea Clark continued school, graduating from Northwestern University (multiple degreed), attended nursing school, and became a Firefighter Paramedic. After working as an actress in Chicago, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on many television shows, such as DAYS OF OUR LIVES and STAT, while continuing her education with a Masters in Psychology and then a Doctorate of Psychology. While working on STAT, she was stalked which led her to work in Forensic Psychopathology. She has over 70 interviews with serial killers, mass murderers, etc. Today she mixes Forensics with writing and acting.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the American College of Forensic Examiners International.


Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers.



Barry Gill:

Barry Gill

I love a good mystery and always have. While other 9 year olds were playing in the yard I was spending my time plunked down in a plastic backed chair at our local library becoming, at least in my mind, Sherlock Holmes using Baritsu, the system of Japanese wrestling, to throw Moriarty to his death at the bottom of the Reichenbach Falls, or imagining myself to be Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin solving the diabolical double murders in the Rue Morgue.

Compared to the lives of my paperback and kindle hero's mine has been rather dull but very rewarding. Recently retired from a successful sales career I can fondly look back on forty-three years of marriage to a wonderful woman while raising three beautiful daughters. But throughout all of these years some of my most memorable experiences have been when I've had the opportunity to temporarily inhabit the colorful Florida climes of a John D. MacDonald, the working class Boston of Dennis Lehane or the quick witted PI world of Robert Crais.



THE FMAM MOSTLY MYSTERY REVIEW is the place to come to find out what to read next. Want to know what readers are saying (as opposed to critics) about the books you see around you? You’ve come to the right place! And, if you appreciate a critical review we’ll have those, too. Come in, sit down and see what’s write with the world! (Or, right in the world of write!)

New reviews will be posted on FMAM the 1st day of each month. Reviews will be kept on the FMAM website for 12 months.

New reviews this month from:

Dr. Cynthia Clark . Aaron Paul Lazar

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  • Just a Babydoll Dress
    Nikki Whitsett
    Amazon Kindle Short story
    2016, 19 pages


JUST A BABYDOLL DRESS is more than an erotic short story. Nikki, in the first person shares with us her insecurities, her thoughts, desires, fears, etc.  How many of you have not thought similar things - wrestling with them internally?  As we see Nikki struggle with sex or not we see it through the eyes of a character who wants to be strong, sexual, independent but like many of us has questions and fears things about herself.  Is she good enough?  Is she sexy?  Nikki does not completely break the fourth wall but in her self-musings there are times she is talking to herself and us.  Sharing.  And of course there is sex :).  Nikki has written a wonderful erotic tale that goes beyond erotica to a glimpse inside most of our minds.  This story is part psychology of a person and how one makes a decision and part pure sex!  Great on both counts.  Excellent!  Superb - short, quick, exciting read!

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • Conflict of Interest
    Nikki Whitsett
    Smashwords, Amazon
    2016, 19 pages


In CONFLICT OF INTEREST, the narrator is an ad agency assistant.  3 years on the job, over worked, and not overly appreciated.  The firm’s hottest client has bought a table ($10,000) and the narrator sees her opportunity to crash the club, drink some free booze and hobnob with this very, very hot man.  There is a game to get into clubs and at first she is not successful but when the client comes out for a smoke she and her friend’s (yes she brought a friend to enjoy the scene) luck changes and they get in.  Music drives the soul and in the case of the narrator, when she and the client dance like no one is watching and they are making mad passionate love.  This leads to the duo being invited to his home for the hot tub.  When the narrator’s friend falls asleep on the couch, she and the hot client go upstairs to watch a movie – yea watch a movie!  But that movie turns to red hot sex and in the morning fantasies come true.  Afterwards she must walk out with not only her friend waiting for her but his assistant.  Walk of shame?

Explicit sex.

Fun, quick, exciting read!  The narrator examines the possibilities through her thoughts and feelings (which is shared with us) before she engages in sex.  This is not a story of pure sex but rather a psychological insight and then sex!  Many of us constantly use an inner dialogue to make a decision.  It’s no different with sex, and Nikki Whitsett (as the author) conducts the inner monologue in a way that we can all relate to. 

Nikki Whitsett is a delightful young woman experiencing her sexuality and living some fantasies through her stories.  She writes in the first person allowing us to feel a comradmanship with her. She shares her thoughts, desires, insecurities.  She is many of us.  

If you enjoy erotica, you will enjoy Nikki Whitsett’s A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • What Lies Within
    Jamie Cortland
    World Castle Publishing LLC, 220 pages, November 24, 2014, $10.99
    ISBN: 978-1629891767


Evelyn Valentino, recently burned from a “cheating” and celebrity husband is shocked when she meets a sexy, charismatic man, James in the coffee shop.  Her daughter immediately gets a bad vibe and reminds her mother to watch out for “stranger danger.” Even Evelyn’s parents are dubious about this man.  What follow is a whirlwind courtship but Evelyn has no clue the many secrets James is hiding.  As she clearly does not listen to her parents or her daughter she is thrown into a tornado of both romance and terror.  Did Thomas cheat or were the tabloids having fun?  Who is James?  What is James? 

WHAT LIES WITHIN is a fast easy read.  There is an excitement in the whirlwind courtship which is fun, fantasy and a little envious.  Then we see more of his true colors and deeper.  Although the book is engaging, for me the end was a curiosity.  I want to say so much about it but it would spoil it and that I do not want to do!  Suffice to say I was disappointed there.  However, the read is fun and maybe you will love the ending!

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • Dying to Dance
    Jamie Cortland
    World Castle Publishing, LLC. 2015,
    ISBN: 9781629893358


Sisters Char and Diana lose their parents in an accident.  Like so many twenty somethings out there, Char and Diana are struggling to make ends meet.  They relocate to their aunt’s home in Florida to start again.

Their aunt is an accomplished and well respected ballroom dancer.  She brings Char and Diana an entire new world – dancing and that of professional competitive dancing.

A cruise brings not only excitement, romance, as well dance but also Roland.   Things are fun and then Diana meets Roland.  Of course Roland is not what he seems as he actively pursues Diana.  Roland seems to be handsome and charismatic and wants Diana at any cost.  When another cruise goer, Theresa dies, questions are raised.  And when it is determined that she was pregnant, even more questions.  As danger waltzes into Diana’s life the question of Diana’s safety increases.

Who is Roland?  Who was Theresa and why did she die?  And what does all of this have to do with Diana?

DYING TO DANCE is an exhilarating story of movement and suspense.  Jamie Cortland mixes the art of the dance with danger.  A fun, easy read.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.3.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • The Asset
    Anna del Mar
    Publisher: Carina Press
    Page count: 265
    Published date: February 2016
    Price: $3.99 Kindle
    ASIN: B01765RJI2

This is the first book I've read from Anna del Mar, and all I can say is it won't be my last.

Packed with powerful characters that will ensnare your heart by the end of the first chapter, this very suspenseful romance is full of heart, soul, and intelligence.

Protagonist Lia is a woman shattered by her past. Little by little, the author reveals the deep, dark secrets that haunt her. How she survived the ordeals she endured was beyond my understanding, but as I learned more about her I grew to respect her more with every revelation.

Ash-the brilliant, brave ex Seal-is the only one capable of helping Lia see herself for who she is, bringing her back to sanity, and healing her fully from the inside out. He's a devoted and brilliant partner to this brave, damaged woman.

Neil, Ash's German Shepherd, was another favorite. The dog had a beautiful soul and distinct personality, and I rooted for him all the way.

On top of the fast-paced suspense, the author paints the most erotic and beautiful love scenes out there. Fully fleshed out (no pun intended), these steamy, very moving scenes are top notch with skillful writing and authentic sensations woven throughout.

Kudos, Ms. Del Mar, for a wonderfully rendered, deeply satisfying tale.

Highly recommended by Aaron Paul Lazar.

 Aaron Paul Lazar