FINDING ME: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford

michelle knightPUBLISHING INFO: Weinstein Books, 5/2014
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir/True Crime
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A

FROM PUBLISHER: Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.

Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.

In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.

MY THOUGHTS: What an ordeal Michelle went through. She suffered the most abuse of them all. Out of the three kidnapped girls, Ariel Castro hated her most, for some reason, and Amanda Berry was clearly his favorite and may not have suffered as much abuse as the other two. Michelle was raped, physically abused, and emotionally abused every day for eleven years and even had five babies beaten out of her. Hopes of seeing her son again one day seems to be the only thing that kept her alive.

She tells of her terrible childhood, her pieces of garbage parents, and her molester. She wasn't even allowed to bathe for the first eight months of her kidnapping, not once. Her hair was so filled with Ariel's semen that it was hard.

Her story is an honest one and for that, the book gets five stars from me. You can read about the kidnappings here.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


DIRTY ROCKER BOYS: Love and Lust on the Sunset Strip by Bobbie Brown With Caroline Ryder

bobbiePUBLISHING INFO: Gallery Books, 11/2013
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A-

FROM PUBLISHER: SHE'S MY CHERRY PIE. Tastes so good, make a grown man cry.

Who could forget the sexy "Cherry Pie" girl from hair metal band Warrant's infamous music video? Bobbie Brown became a bona fide vixen for her playful role as the object of lead singer Jani Lane's desires. With her windblown peroxide mane, seductive scarlet lips, and flirtatious curves, she epitomized every man's fantasy. But the wide-eyed Louisiana beauty queen's own dreams of making it big in Los Angeles were about to be derailed by her rock-and-roll lifestyle. . . .

After her tumultuous marriage to Jani imploded, and her engagement to fast-living Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee ended in a drug haze--followed by his marriage days later to Pamela Anderson--Bobbie decided it was time Hollywood's hottest bachelors got a taste of their own medicine. Step one: get high. Step two: get even.

In a captivating, completely uncensored confessional, Bobbie explicitly recounts her encounters with some of the most famous men in Hollywood: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Costner, Mark McGrath, Dave Navarro, Sebastian Bach, Ashley Hamilton, Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, Orgy's Jay Gordon, and many more. Whose bedroom did Bobbie (literally) set on fire? No man was off limits as the fun-loving bombshell spiraled into excess, anger, and addiction.

Bobbie survived the party--barely--and her riveting, cautionary comeback tale is filled with the wildest stories of sex, drugs, and rock and roll ever told.

MY THOUGHTS: Unfiltered doesn't even begin to describe Bobbie's mouth. She's blunt and doesn't hold back much and is hilarious. The memoir flowed nicely and I really didn't want to put it down. It was a quick read, 264 pages, but it's not for everyone because of her coarse language.

Bobbie came from an abusive home (her father Bobby, for whom she's named after, was a wife beater, as was his father) in Louisiana but wasn't abused herself. She went on to be in countless dysfunctional, sometimes abusive relationships (Tommy Lee, who grabbed her by the throat in front of people). She's been on drugs most of her adult life and I don't think she's ever been to rehab. She never mentioned wanting to go. She never mentioned how she felt seeing the abuse then or how she feels about it now and if she thinks it may have to contributed to her drug use.

She detailed some of her sexual exploits with many men. The most memorable one was with Leonardo DiCaprio in 1996. He had her perform oral sex on him while wearing a condom. It tasted bad so she took it off. She said his penis was huge, 'on steroids', bigger than Tommy Lee's, and she could hardly fit it in her mouth. She said Tommy's was 'as big as a baby's arm'. Tommy's very immature, a big kid, needy, extremely jealous, and a big whoremonger. I think he's the one she said always wanted to remove her tampons for her.

She barely mentioned having a nose job at around age 19/20 'to remove the bump' and getting breast implants and having them redone. Never once mentioned that they leaked and she got really sick and has lupus now because of it (according to her). A few years ago I watched a documentary that she narrated on VH1 called Do It For the Band: The Women of the Sunset Strip and she mentioned the leakage. She failed to mention being diagnosed with trichotillomania yet mentions it in interviews. I found out about it online when I should have just read about it in her own book. That developed during 2005 during what she says is the worst relationship she's ever been in but I don't recall reading about it and I don't know who's she's talking about. How on earth can you write your memoir and leave out the most important things of all?! You can't have surgeries and barely mention them. I want details. I want to know why you had the surgeries, what it was like recovering from them and all that. What lead to wanting them? Any regrets?

The most interesting story was when her ex-husband Jani (Warrant), a crying, drunken mess at the time, confided in her about something awful that happened to him years before he was famous. Page 250:

He was nineteen when it happened. It was after a show. And older man, a major rock star, had invited Jani to hang out with him and the big guys. Jani was young, and easily impressed. Later that night, along with an accomplice, that major rock star put Jani through an ordeal he had been too ashamed to talk about until this moment. It was violent. It was ugly. It was exploitative. Jani said he had been too scared to tell anybody and had been pushing the memory under the carpet, pretending it wasn't there. Jani was a proud man and hated to think of himself as a victim. Now, finally, I understood why he had been acting like one for so many years.'
 
Bobbie did a lot of acting/modeling when she was in her early twenties, and some things since, so this book should have had a filmography.

Some of the music videos she's been in aren't mentioned online so I'll list them all:

I'm On To You by Hurricane- 1988 (pre-implants and nose job)
Cecilia by Times Two- 1989
Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Great White- 1989
House of Broken Love by Great White- 1989
It Feels So Good To Love Someone Like You by Terence Trent D'Arby- 1989
Sittin' in the Lap of Luxury by Louie Louie- 1990
Cherry Pie by Warrant- 1990

She misspoke and said model Paulina Porizkova was Czech-American when she's actually Czech-Swedish.

Here's a great interview with Screamer Magazine and one with Fuse television she did to promote the book. Here's a link to the video for Cherry Pie.

I loved the book, thought it was highly entertaining and I do recommend it.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.








PRIVATE PARTS- A creepy gem from 1972 with Trailer

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069124/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Boy, this is strange and unique. I've never seen a clear water-filled blow-up doll nor have I seen the vaginal region of one get filled with the contents of a blood-filled syringe. Have you? Of course you haven't. That was truly a WTF?! moment.

There are some unexplained things that keep this from getting high a 4/5 stars from me. I'm rating this a low 4. We find out George (John Ventantonio) is really a woman but are we to assume George is Martha's daughter, which makes him Cheryl's cousin? That's what I'm believing. If she's Martha's daughter is she her biological daughter? Earlier Martha told her niece Cheryl (Ayn Ruymen) that her late husband wasn't the father, that he was too old, (I guess she's saying he was impotent) and that there were other ways of getting pregnant or getting a baby (something to that effect).

George told Martha once that she ruined his childhood. What's that about? That seems to be more evidence that Martha is George's mother.

I wish George had had more dialogue (I like his mildly creepy voice) and there'd been less comedy toward the end with the cops' dialogue. Ayn, as Cheryl, overacted a bit. I think Lucille Benson, as aunt Martha, is a fine actress.

Best line of the film is near the end at the hotel when the cops are going to George's room and the old lady says, 'Oh, I wouldn't disturb George at this hour. He's probably still jerkin' off'. I almost died at hearing an old woman say that.

You can see a photo of a topless scene with Cheryl here.

Watch it here like I did in in October 2013 before it gets taken down.


THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL: Searching for My Father and Finding the Zodiac Killer by Gary L. Stewart With Susan D. Mustafa with Book Trailer and Documentary

zodiacPUBLISHING INFO: Harper, 5/2014
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir/True Crime
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A

FROM PUBLISHER: Soon after his birthmother contacted him for the first time at the age of thirty-nine, adoptee Gary L. Stewart decided to search for his biological father. His quest would lead him to a horrifying truth and force him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and his world.

For decades, the Zodiac Killer has captivated America’s imagination. His ability to evade capture while taunting authorities made him infamous. The vicious specificity of his crimes terrified Californians before the Manson murders and after, and shocked a culture enamored with the ideals of the dawning Age of Aquarius. To this day, his ciphers have baffled detectives and amateur sleuths, and his identity remains one of the twentieth century’s great unsolved mysteries.

The Most Dangerous Animal of All reveals the name of the Zodiac for the very first time. Mustafa and Stewart construct a chilling psychological profile of Stewart’s father: as a boy with disturbing fixations, a frustrated intellectual with pretensions to high culture, and an inappropriate suitor and then jilted lover unable to process his rage. At last, all the questions that have surrounded the case for almost fifty years are answered in this riveting narrative. The result is a singular work of true crime at its finest—a compelling, unbelievable true story told with the pacing of a page-turning novel—as well as a sensational and powerful memoir.


 

MY THOUGHTS: This was a fascinating memoir/true crime book about an infamous unapprehended serial killer who began killing in 1969. Like the author said, he was searching for information about his birth father, Earl Van Best, Jr., after his birth mother Judy, who's a liar that I don't like, contacted him for the first time in 2002. He researched his father, who goes by Van, as best he could, for twelve years. He found old police reports, talked to an old close friend of his, found family members, and so on. I don't know what more he could have done in order to find more information on a man who's no longer alive. I think he researched Zodiac well.

Gary presents us with handwriting samples of his father's that match up pretty well with known samples of the Zodiac's that he sent to the newspaper in San Francisco during the time of the killings. We see how this unsolved cipher that Zodiac sent spells out Gary's father's name. Zodiac's fingerprints are compared to Gary's fathers and they both have an identical scar on the same finger.

The most disappointing part of this involves current detective John Hennessey and has to do with Zodiac and Gary's DNA and the mystery as to why Hennessey severed ties with Gary. Another mysterious detective is Harold Butler, who's clearly hiding information from both Hennessey and Gary. There's clearly some sort of cover-up going on and I have no doubt that one day it'll be exposed. Gary, don't give up on having that DNA tested.

I don't get into how screwed up Van is but I will say he has all the makings of a serial killer, complete with cold, unaffectionate, unloving, cheating mother. Even if he isn't the real killer, I enjoyed reading about him.

This hardcover book has the coolest cover. The book itself has Van's mugshot printed on the front and back cover. The dust jacket is translucent red on the front and back and has all the black writing on it. The spine and flaps are almost clear. Never seen one like that before.

Below is a composite drawing of the Zodiac Killer and the other is Gary's father, Earl Van Best, Jr., in 1962, seven years before the Zodiac killings. The documentary is an old A&E one.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Zodiac collage
 
 




SIMPLY SEXUAL by Kate Pearce (House of Pleasure # 1)

sexualPUBLISHING INFO: Aphrodisia, 4/2014
ORIGINAL PUB: Aprodisia, 2/2008
GENRE: Historical Erotic Romance
SETTING: England, 1815
SERIES: House of Pleasure, #1
AUTHOR SITE: link
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A-

FROM PUBLISHER: Sexual Satisfaction... Ten years as a sex slave in a Turkish brothel left Lord Valentin Sokorvsky with an insatiable appetite for sex. Now the time has come for him to marry, but finding a woman who can satisfy his lustful desires proves a challenge...until he meets Sara and all he can think about is having her lie under his rock-hard body, begging him to taste and touch her...

Sensual Seduction... Sara Harrison knows she should be shocked and scandalized by Lord Sokorvsky's bold advances, but instead she is secretly aroused by this sensual, seductive man. For beneath her calm and composed manner is a wanton woman who longs for a man's intimate caress. She is most willing to be educated in the art of sensuality, to receive and give pleasure and to succumb to the wild desire that knows no limits...

MY THOUGHTS: Damn, this is one explicit book. Right off the bat Sara caught Valentin in a compromising situation with a servant.

Valentin is about thirty, with dark hair and violet eyes. He was forced into sexual slavery as a child, until he was eighteen. He was forced to have sex then with both men and women and is mostly into women now. He's become wealthy due to owning a shipping company.

His future father-in-law, John Harrison, was at that brothel and bought Valentin's and his friend Peter Howard's freedom since they were English like him. Twelve years later John is low on funds and wants Valentin to marry his younger daughter, Charlotte, but Valentin is interested in his older daughter, twenty-six year old Sara. They marry very early on, within twenty-five pages. Details of the wedding are skipped and the story goes right into their wedding night.

Sara's got dark hair and blue eyes. She's a little too passive and easy going for my taste. There was only a little bit of friction between her and Valentin throughout the story, which spans at least six months. Caroline Ingham, Valentin's jealous ex-mistress, is at the center of some of the drama.

There are at least ten sex scenes between Sara and Valentin and two or three of them involve m/m interaction between Valentin and Peter and about two threesomes with them. Words can't really express how I enjoyed those descriptive sex scenes. It was like a porn film put into words. I think I've read all but two in this series and this is the most explicit and it's certainly not for everyone. It'll leave you longing for a penis.

I really like Peter. He's very close to Valentin and when they were first given their freedom, he was addicted to and was reliant on him, as well as to opium. Peter gets his own story in the second book in this series, Simply Sinful, and I cannot wait to read it.

I was turned off by Sara getting her nipples pierced and by a few of the things that went on sexually. I didn't like rushed kidnapping story right at the very end the mystery as to who's stealing money from the company wasn't very suspenseful.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Same review here.


house of pleasure blue