Book Review: The Skeleton Code by Alla Campanella & Ken Massey


Skeletons. We all have them hidden away, usually in an overcrowded and unsecure closet where they are likely to rattle loose. As prisoners, their prime directive is to break their shackles and haunt our happiness.

Alla Campanella and Ken Massey have discovered and interviewed many of these free and feral skeletons and the people who didn’t guard them well. Their true stories and raw realities are found in these pages. You will laugh at many, cringe at some, be in awe of others, disbelieve a few, and be challenged by all.

The Skeleton Code is a satirical and humorous look at the many ways we protect our public personas by closeting our personal secrets. The satire helps us wade into the dark and difficult waters of that famous river called Denial.

You can use the facetious strategies of The Code to maximize a self-deluding way of life, but Alla and Ken hope you will look into this mirror and discover The Skeleton Cure, which is a life of deeper self-honesty and transparency.

Buy the Book:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble



My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Skeleton Code is a different kind of self-help book. It is full of satire and humorous stories intended to explain how the skeletons in our closets can affect us and how many of us will do anything to keep those skeletons hidden.

The last two chapters take a serious turn. Chapter 10 explains how toxic keeping secrets can be, causing both physical and psychological problems. Chapter 11 is about the Skeleton Cure and explains how to face your fears and how you can eventually become your truest self. Not having skeletons in the closet is the best way to live. With no skeletons, you can’t fear that someone will open that closet door and find out your secrets.

The authors came up with a fun way to address a serious topic. By using satire and humor, their book isn’t just another boring self-help book, but one that is more enjoyable to read while hopefully learning something about yourself.





Author Bios


ken-masseyKen Massey is a public speaker, author, humorist and minister enjoying the second and truer half of life. He holds two graduate theological degrees and is trained as a life coach, conflict manager and transition specialist. He enjoys golf, and traveling, but finds his greatest fulfillment helping other people discover their true worth as human beings. Ken, a native Texan, loves the beauty and the people of North Carolina, where he and Alla reside.





alla-campanellaAlla Campanella, after traveling throughout the world, has lived in the US since 1992. A longtime student of the arts and humanities, she enjoys her work as an artist and photographer. Alla was inspired to write this book because she heard so many personal and painful secrets from her clients about their failures and foibles and wanted them to face these realities rather than hide from them.



Connect with them: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook





Novelette Review: The Cabal of Thotash by J. Zachary Pike

22039648Title: The Cabal of Thotash

Author: J. Zachary Pike

Genre: Urban Satire

Publication Date: May 4, 2014


About the Book

The Cabal of Thotash is a wickedly funny novelette that peers beneath the hood of an evil cult. The aforementioned cabal has languished for years within their poorly-ventilated Manhattan lair. All of their rituals to summon an ancient malice and help it unmake reality have accomplished little beyond annoying the upstairs neighbor. When a charismatic sacrifice talks her way off the dark altar and into a leadership position, the Cabal’s fortunes turn around, as do their ideas about what it means to serve the greater evil. 

Available on Amazon.


My Review

I received a free ecopy of this novelette from the author for an honest review.

I’ve had this on my TBR list for a while and I decided to just sit down and take a few minutes to read it since it’s only 26 pages. I didn’t look at the summary, I just started reading. What a pleasant (I’m not sure that’s quite the right word) surprise. 

The Cabal of Thotash is satire at its best. I was laughing from the beginning. These people do their best to be evil. They even sacrifice a human every month; however, this month’s sacrifice eventually ends up being the leader of the Cabal and what she turns it into is hilarious. The ending was perfect.

I definitely recommend this novelette to anyone who enjoys satire.


About the Author

4459639J. Zachary Pike was once a basement-dwelling fantasy gamer, but over time he metamorphosed into a basement-dwelling fantasy writer. By day Zack is a web professional and creative-for-hire, but at night he returns to his lair to create books, films, and illustrations that meld fantasy elements with offbeat humor. A New Englander by birth and by temperament, Zack writes strangely funny fiction on the seacoast of New Hampshire.

Book Review: Lie by Rathan Krueger

18240927Title: Lie

Author: Rathan Krueger

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publication Date: July 8, 2013

About the Book

On the surface, “Lie” is about a group of four women who go on a getaway to a cottage to help one of their own through a life-changing problem.
Underneath the bridge, “Lie” is an attack on bland female characters in modern fiction.

Wherever you look, it’ll be a lot of fun.

In alphabetical order…

Quinevere Ainsworth is the one with the problem. Under normal circumstances, she’s quiet but with the right accident, this white-haired comic book geek can be quite the companion.
Fantine Karoly is quiet under pretty much all circumstances. In her defense, she’s a rather shy teen. She’d much prefer to watch films or let her mind drift to faerie folk. Her aunt, however, wants her out of her shell and feels that this getaway will do her a world of great.
Veronique Karoly is a middle-aged woman with no regrets. Save for how her niece acts sometimes. She’s done it all in life, and sometimes twice. The only thing she loves more than Fantine is being a woman.
Idette Rudelle has known Quinevere for most of her almost-30 years being alive. Although she’s younger, she’s the protector of the two. A bit like those tiny dogs that are cuddly with the ones they like, and insanely… chompy around everyone else. Except she’s obviously not a dog and I’ve never seen a ginger pooch.

My Review

Lie is about four women who go out of town for the weekend. There really wasn’t a lot to this story other than the four women getting to know each other or reconnecting.

The beginning of Lie was pretty confusing and difficult to follow but once they got to the cottage that they were staying at for the weekend, Rathan Krueger’s writing was much easier to follow. I also like the author’s wit. 

Because the characters were getting to know each other, I was able to learn quite a bit about them. Idette is friends with Veronique and Quinivere and she invited them for the weekend, as well as Veronique’s niece, Fantine.

Near the end, it gets interesting when Quinivere announces, sadly, that she is pregnant and doesn’t know if she’ll keep it. There was an interesting fight between Idette and Quinivere, but I kept expecting more to happen.

And then I read the synopsis that says “Underneath the bridge, Lie is an attack on bland female characters in modern fiction.” So now I say, touché.