Tag Archives: books

A snippet from my most recent interview. One of my favorites, and very special to me, as I get to share a bit about Like Shards of Glass, with one of the first reviewers I’ve ever contacted 🙂

Full Interview -> Rabid Reader’s Reviews Interview

RR: What about you would surprise fans of your work? shards promo heart surgery copy


R.H.R.:I think people would find it surprising that when I am out and about, and someone asks me what I do for a living, I never say I am an author. I don’t think I’ve ever said that. I may have said that I have written books and short stories, but I have never, for some reason, come out and said that I am an author. Why? I have no idea!!!! 


RR: You write incredibly dark characters in a broad range of impossible situations. What draws you to that theme?

R.H.R.: Great question. It’s true; I do tend to create dark characters. Sometimes, I try to figure it out, and a few times, I’ve said to myself, “Okay, this is going to be a happily ever after story.” But it just doesn’t happen. My books always take a dark turn. For some reason, I find it much more cathartic, and as if I am fulfilling my purpose, when I write about something that is real, raw, gritty and needs to be uncovered—things that are dark, and require illumination and awareness. When it comes to things to which we are blind, I like to create stories that are eye-opening—things that are familiar yet distant. I think that these past two years, I’ve realized that deep down, this is my purpose.


RR: We’ve talked before about how I find some of your characters very much based in the darker side of reality. Do you draw these people from your own experience?

R.H.R.: In a way, yes, they are art imitating life. Are the stories my life? No. But nearly all of us have felt such immense all-consuming pain that we’ve wondered how we were going to get up out of bed in the morning. I think that this shows that, when it comes to emotions, hurt, anger, rage, losing control—we are all more connected than we realize. 

Full Interview with Rabid Reader’s Reviews


Hello, all! Just a reminder, I have a free read for you over at Wattpad. And also, I forgot to mention, I’ve got more freebies for you bookworms on Microcerpt. Both of the stories and more are available on Amazon, and will be included in the upcoming Spring new release. (The cover reveal is Friday!)

Two Green Chairs

Left me there. Sitting in that old, green chair. You’re gone, I’m one with the cold breeze blowing through the hole – the void you left. You left me there. Sitting in that old, green chair. You left me for another .. I refuse to speak her name.

Together, we were an element. We were elements. We were the elements. I was air. You were water. We were earth. Our hearts were the flame. But what are we, now? No we, just me. Here. Sitting here. In this old, green chair.

We dreamed of this place. We believed in “one day.” We prayed over these walls. And soon, “one day” came, and we anointed these halls. We couldn’t wait to adorn these walls. Who knew the fruit of our labor, our devotion, our determination would taste so sweet? Who knew sweet could leave such bitterness upon my heart? As I sit here, alone, in this old, green chair.

I remember, we spotted these chairs from the top of the escalator. We pointed, we smiled, we chose … these old green chairs. We imagined side by side, his and hers, hand in hand, together, we would sit … sit in these old green chairs.

What a perfect view of the cherry blossom tree in our garden, from our chairs. Now they’re my chairs. Old, green, haunting chairs. I loathe these chairs. And beloved, for leaving me with promises, I loathe you, and I loathe her.

Read more:

Bookworm’s Nook

a reader’s perspective

Would you like to share a bit about yourself? LustyPenguinAHA1

My name is Lori Zalewski and my review blog is Lusty Penguin Reviews—

When did you fall in love with reading?

I come from a family of voracious readers although I did not find my love for reading until I stumbled upon Robin Cook’s Outbreak when I was a college junior. Discovering that there were books out there that could hold my attention was a game changer for me. Since that time, I joined my mom and sister as a voracious reader. For many years, I read mysteries almost exclusively. My family’s love of reading turned into a profession, and for over a decade, we owned and operated an independent bookstore, Alibi Books. During that time, I had the pleasure to discuss books with our wonderful customers. I not only got to learn about authors I hadn’t read yet, but I was also able to share with our customers the authors I really enjoyed reading. Each month our store sent out a newsletter filled with book reviews.

Do you remember your favorite places to read throughout the years?

My favorite place to read above all others is my bed. During my college years, I loved to read at the grill on campus or the Burger King down the street. Currently, my second favorite place to read is at the dining room table.

 Do you remember your first favorite paperback book? Do you remember the first e-book you purchased?

First paperback? No, I don’t remember a first paperback at all. I do clearly remember buying Robin Cook’s Outbreak, though. After I finished Outbreak, I called home to tell my mom about my reading experience. Needless to say, mom was super excited for me and bought me all kinds of mystery books for Christmas that year. First ebook? I honestly don’t remember.

 What book has most inspired you, brought you to tears, or changed your perspective?

Inspired – Outbreak by Robin Cook. As mentioned in my little bio, Outbreak is the book that changed everything for me. I was completely pulled into this book because of the graphic and violent death in the opening chapter. I was compelled to finish this book to figure out what it was that was killing everyone and finished it in a day. Since I have a very short attention span, I discovered, with this book, that books could hold my attention and keep me engaged. I guess it took finding the right kind of book. Although I still love mysteries very much, during the last few years, I’ve been reading more and more romances.

Changed Perspective – The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn. I had to read this book for my Freshman Studies class in college. Kuhn’s book has been the most influential book on my thought process about scientific progress. Kuhn argues that scientific progress is not linear in nature, but changes because of breakthrough moments that disrupt classical thinking, the paradigm shift, that usually occurs from someone in a different branch of science or from the outside completely.

Brought Me to Tears – Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull. Losing Julia was a book I read while at Alibi Books. I really loved this book because it was a beautifully written combination of love story and war journal, which had me in tears all the time.

 Have you ever found a book so disturbing, that you couldn’t finish it, or had to leave it and come back?

I’ve had a couple books that I’ve had to put down and come back to. 1. Nobody’s Perfect by Kallypso Masters – the BDSM scenes were intense and there were times I just needed to step away for a while to process what I was reading 2. Broken Heart by Laura Browning – the abuse perpetrated by the husband in this story was beyond the pale and I contemplated frequently about not finishing this book.

 When reading, what types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than others?

Sometimes it is really easy to relate to a character because you have experienced something similar or the characters activities mirror some of your own. Personally, I love characters that run because running is such a big part of my life. But, in general, I don’t think that you need to relate to a character to fully enjoy a story. I love to let the characters talk to me through their story and I do my best not to impose myself on to them. In other words, just because I personally would react in a certain way to a certain situation does not mean the character would or should react like I would. If the story is well written with three-dimensional characters, the characters will come to life and will draw you in whether you relate to them or not.

Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in your mind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again).

Characters do have a way a haunting me long after I have finished reading their story. Obviously, some characters sick around more than others do. I’m not really one to reread a book because I have so many books to read. But, when I’m in-between books and not sure what I want to read next, I will go back and reread scenes and sections from books that I’ve enjoyed.

What are ten words that describe the way reading makes you feel – where reading takes you, as you drift away with the characters and their stories?

  1. Happy
  2. Sad
  3. Selfish
  4. Complete
  5. Astute
  6. Enchanted
  7. Excited
  8. Free
  9. Reflective
  10. Love


Wonderful, Lori! So much fun. Absolutely loved chatting with you!! Find Lori online:





Just Beneath the Surface 2: Landon’s Story

He kissed her neck, put her hands on his chest and spoke tenderly. “Or do you tell yourself not to trust me? Your version of self-preservation? How come I’m controlling, but, if I control things, it’s because I want to preserve and bring out the best. Because I love you more than anybody ever could, better than anybody ever could.”

Landon watched her as she pondered his words. Seven looked into his eyes as he leaned in, placed his hands lovingly behind her neck and spoke into her ear:

I want us to be so much more than this,” he said pointing from himself to her. “You doubting me and waiting to see how bad I’ll mess up. I don’t want that. And I don’t wanna’ be the only one with his guard down. Let this guard down, Seven and trust me.”


Just Beneath the Surface I

My heart was racing as I leaned against the bathroom door. I could not stop playing it back in my mind. But in that bathroom, I finally quotAt-least-he-apologizedfelt safe. A loud bang on the other side of the door sent me sprinting to the opposite side of the bathroom. I only stood there staring at the door for a moment, waiting for whatever was next. But nothing happened. He did not yell at me, break the door down or hit me. I sat down on the bathroom rug and stared at the door shaking my head.

What did he expect from me? How was I going to turn into a house cleaning, laundry folding, cooking, jumpy woman waiting for the next time she would be shoved into a wall?

At least he did not actually punch me. He had not even slapped me. Maybe his anger stopped there, at grabbing and yanking. Although he had crossed the line and choked me, I had no choice but to examine myself as well. I was the idiot who was stupid enough to get drunk and stay out until one in the morning. Was it really fair of me, she who had no job and contributed nothing to her household to come walking in at this hour? Especially when he had had a horrible day and only wanted a home cooked meal and some clean socks in his drawer? Maybe I was over reacting.

I had been sitting there on the bathroom rug thinking, running what I said and what he said back in my mind over and over again. The alcohol had worn off, and the back of my head was tender from the blow to the wall. After taking a couple of over the counter pain pills, I convinced myself that I was ready to come out of the bathroom.

I opened the door just enough to see out and found Spencer lying across the bed with a pillow over his face. I crawled onto the bed and listened to him cry softly. He jolted and sat up straight as I placed my hand on his arm. My instincts told me to take cover as I was still a bit rattled from being flung into the wall and choked. But instead of running back to the bathroom, I sat still as he took my hand. We stared into each other’s eyes silently as though we could read one another’s thoughts. And for the longest, neither of us spoke.

Bookworm’s Nook

a writer’s perspective


Hello & Welcome, Author Marc Horn!

Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

I’m an ex-soldier with an overactive imagination! I’ve written three psychological thrillers. The Mortal Religion and Persona are available now on Amazon, and Cuffed should be out before summer.


When did you fall in love with reading?

I think it must have been Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five. I remember these books being read to me as a child and I loved the suspense and adventures.

When did you fall in love with writing?

I think it was when I first won a prize for writing. I was about twelve, and the whole year at school had to write a fictional short story. Somehow I just knew I was going to win. My story was about a witch who was burned to death, and then came back to life to terrorise everyone who crossed her. Sounds very ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, doesn’t it? Maybe I’d sneakily watched a bit of that… Anyway, I won a £5 book or record voucher. I chose a book voucher. I always remember that the


teacher who read my story didn’t particularly like me – I used to make fun of his accent; despite that, he was very fair and professional, and gave me a glowing review, mentioning that I should seriously consider creative writing as a career! I think the fact that I bugged him meant his review was more meaningful to me.

In which genre do you write? Do you enjoy writing in more than one genre, or do you prefer to stick to one?

It’s always psychological thrillers for me.  I love the darker side of fiction and the human mind, and this genre enables me to delve deeply into both.  I’ve worked in places where you need to have what’s described as a ‘sick sense of humour’, and I think this is evident in the black humour in my writing. I don’t like to be held back in describing what’s happening in my fiction, be it sex or violence, and I like to focus on topics people are aware of but generally don’t feel comfortable discussing.

If you could introduce two characters from two different books you have written, who would they be and why?

Well, this is easy for The Mortal Religion, as there are only two main characters – Chalk and Elizabeth! The kidnapper and the kidnapped. These characters will always be close to me. I really got into Chalk’s mind when I was writing, and it was a disturbing and desperately sad place. I really felt for him, although I know a lot of readers don’t sympathise with him. I did try hard to nurture sympathy, but I knew that kidnapping a girl would make it extremely difficult. I tried to sell it as a form of self-defence after all the abuse he’d taken.

Elizabeth’s part was kind of easy to write, because you only see things from Chalk’s point of view. The Mortal Religion has been compared to John Fowles’ The Collector, and I read that novel, afterwards, with interest. I certainly did not sympathise with his kidnapper, Clegg, but perhaps this was not least because Fowles does give us access to the girl’s thoughts, and you see her agonizing despair.

With Persona, I’d have to say Zen and Andre. Zen is the bad guy who wants to psychologically destroy an ex, and Andre is the hit man who’s hired to kill him. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the more complex, deeper emotions and just focus on a good old duel to the death! Both these killers are at the top of their games, so some convincing background was needed to set the scene, and up the stakes!

My favourite scene in the novel is when they both end up on the same commercial flight, and have no choice but to temporarily abandon their missions and talk civilly to each other. I remember when I watched the film Heat; the best scene for me was when DeNiro and Pacino were having coffee; two enemies having a controlled discussion – the calm before the storm. Really raises the tension! It’s the anticipation of a climax that is more satisfying to me than the climax itself.

Do you have any recurring themes in your novels/characters?

I’m sure people would laugh about this, due to the extreme nature of my books, but all my novels are love stories. Honestly! Twisted and disturbing, but love stories nonetheless. Often, one of my character will try to resist it, but will succumb in the end.

When do you feel that you are at your most creative?

I get most of my writing done in the mornings. In the afternoons, I tend to get distracted. But if I have a free day, I can usually knock out 2,500 – 3,000 words.

What song/songs do you have on repeat, lately?

I only ever listen to the radio, and I generally switch between 80s and 60s music. The sixties is my favourite decade for music by far. So much soul and imagination. I actually feel that I’m well behind with music technology. Programs like Spotify sound tailor-made for me – for instance, I love Springsteen’s music, but I’ve only heard what’s played on the radio i.e his singles. If I had Spotify, it would ‘learn’ my tastes and play me his album tracks too, which are probably brilliant. £10 a month seems too expensive to me, though, for the amount I’d use it. I’d do it if it was a fiver a month.

Do you have an excerpt you wouldn’t mind sharing? (From either a work in progress or a book that is currently available?)

I’ve sold my soul to Amazon, so I can’t share a thing! Although when my forthcoming novel Cuffed is ready, I can share a chapter or two then.


What is your biggest inspiration?

My mother. Strongest, most positive person I know.

What’s one of your favorite quotes? (Or, if you have written one, would you mind sharing?)

Well, someone was reading my Amazon bio the other day and learned that I was an airborne soldier. He muttered, ‘Airborne germ, more like…’ Really amused me that.

 Haha! Nice … Thanks so much, Marc for stopping by Bookworm’s Nook! Stop by, again, and bring that Cuffed excerpt!

 And where can we find you online?

My website:

Amazon Author page:

My YouTube: