Book: The CB Social Club (The Chocolate Brown Social Club)

Review: “A.R. Alan’s “The CB Social Club” is a hilarious standalone read. It’s not really a romance, it’s more of a risque comedy. There are some great laugh out loud moments. Similar in feel to the funny parts of Tara Sivec’s books. I love the idea of turning the bordello concept on its head and having the men service the women! I could just see this as a movie. I hope someone picks up the screenplay.”

Danielle’s Domain

Book: The Mad House on Sutton Place

Review: “This satisfying book has followed her first in the series entitled The Mad House on Sutton Place. In a time of separation and later divorce Meredith “Merrie” Dixon will find herself in the Sutton Place apartment rooming with Lulu and eventually assimilating Lulu’s eccentric friends into her life. The book begins with Merrie’s engagement to Myron Schwartz who is a blind wealthy lawyer. Tagging too close for comfort will be detective McDougal who loves her and seizes opportunity to be with her.

Lulu, an ex black hooker that stands for 4’10” in contrast to redheaded Merrie at 5’10”, will find yet another lover Howard “Snookems” vanish only this fifth one not from divorce but from murder. Discover how Merrie and “the gang” find themselves in near death situations trying to solve this case. Lulu’s discoveries following a letter postmarked to her from Snookems before his death will place her with possessions in which mobsters and drug dealers will stalk her and Merrie.

Merrie’s pregnancy with Myron’s baby will elate him and he will choose the risky operation in hopes of a better future. Vacillating throughout this book will be the murder case and who all comes into play as suspects along with the planned out future for Merrie, her baby and Myron. In dramatic hilarious fashion discover how “loss” could actually turn into “millions”.

Having read both books, in this work her characters felt like family friends. Great character development makes each of them stand out in their unique “eccentric “identity that the reader will grow to love. Author Barbara Bixon that writes under the name A.R. Alan, has a humorous flair to her writing and each of her novels will entertain you from start to finish. With 11 novels to her credit, the experiences through career and travel have enabled her to imaginatively expand on characters. A storyteller at heart, this talented author, I hope will attract increasing followers as her books are definitely five-star entertaining quality.”

Valerie Caraotta

Book: Manhattan Madness

Review: “Matilda comes from a poor family in Arkansas. Her dream was to just get away from the family. She ended up on a bus to New York City. She was excited but also a little scared. Lucky for her she met Olivia. Olivia’s story was similar to Mat’s but she has an older sister already living in the city. Matilda hadn’t planned too much. She knew she wanted to paint portraits and study in Paris. Olivia didn’t have that much worked out. As the bus pulls into the terminal, both girls leave the bus and start on their next journey. The next journey? Finding Olivia’s older sister’s apartment. From there anything is possible.

This book is one you’ll get lost in quickly. In a good way. I enjoyed the well written story and the characters who were well defined. I can imagine two girls going through these situations. It brought back my first time in leaving the nest. The story is unique in many ways but I won’t give too much away. I know I can’t wait to read more by this author. She hooked me from the first paragraph and I know you’ll enjoy it also. It’s a light read that will really make you think.

I found no issues with this one.”

Have You Heard My Book Review

Book: Manhattan Madness

Review: “Matilda Carvel an artist is on her way to New York to become a artist. Meeting Olivia on the bus they soon strike up a friendship. Moving in with Olivia and her sister Trudy only until she can get on her feet. Sometimes life has other plans for us. Between drawing portraits of customers at Tony’s in exchange for free food, painting apartments, working in a used furniture store and investing in friends business. Matilda finds herself busy beyond belief and starts to wonder if she will ever have time to herself and find someone to love.

Matilda was a caregiver, she always wanted to do for others and make their life easier. Even if it made her life harder. What a great cast of characters along the way. You just never knew who was going to be living in the apartment. Between cross-dressing gay lovers, which sets off Trudy’s business to design clothes for cross dressers, to Olivia doing hair and makeup. A homeless lady whom to there was more then meets the eye. Matilda trying to fit in time to paint portraits. Her friend Jacob. Matilda was determined to lose her virginity and find the man to spend her happy ever after with. When was a girl going to find time amid all this mayhem. Sometimes love is staring you in the eye you just have to take a moment to see it. You find yourself laughing at loud quiet often during the book.”

Lynn Smith

Book: Confessions of a Slut

Review: “A.R. Alan’s “Confessions of a Slut” is a hysterical read. Similar in feel to Tara Sivec’s “Seductions and Snacks” and “The Virgin Romance Novelist” by Meghan Quinn. I laughed out loud several times while reading it and the people in the doctor’s office waiting room probably thought I was crazy! Thank goodness Jon Stewart has brought us all of to speed on Jewish culture, so I could understand just how funny the mom is in this book! And the sexy bits with the leading man (won’t give away who that is!) are yummy!”

Danielle’s Domain

Book: Confessions of a Slut

Review: “Selma Brazinsky is a 34 year old, unmarried, double D gal whose Mama is always trying to set her up. Every Friday night at Shabbos dinner there is a new dud for Selma to endure. Finally, she has enough of the nonsense and joins the Love Connection, an online dating service. The men she meets are as bad, if not worse than the schmucks her Mama throws at her. After a hair mishap with Bubba, she gets a new hairdo courtesy of gay Frankie. She adopts a dog who chews up her sex toys and decides to investigate a sex toy shop whose owner is an acquaintance of Frankie. What happens next is completely outrageous. If you want to laugh good and hard, this is the book to read. A. R. Alan this is your best yet! 5 Stars.”

Richard Lang, of Richie’s Pen and Tips

Book: Confessions of a Slut

Review: “Selma Brazinksy is thirty- four and unmarried. It doesn’t matter that she lives on her own, has a decent job. Her mother wants her married. So every Friday night Selma goes to her mama’s for Shabbos dinner and to meet the newest single man her mother has found. Deciding to join a online dating service. Selma now spends her mornings and evening choosing men from there. With some pretty hilarious results.

What a wonderful book. You spend most of the time laughing at the antics Selma and even her mother get up to. Throw in a cast of some pretty fantastic characters. Frankie the gay hairdresser, that becomes part of the family. The Arab fruit seller that Selma takes home to Mama. The adult toy store owner, that is not only sexy as hell but wonderful in bed. The misconceptions you find out about a parent. I don’t think a page goes by that doesn’t have you laughing.”

Lynn Smith

Book: Kisses to Die For

Review: “Sultry tale of twenty-four year old virgin Angelica (Angel) Collins who buys a dilapidated, haunted Victorian mansion and carriage house which she plans to turn into a cafe. On a cold winter’s night she meets a handsome local cop, Tom McLean who insists she spend the night with him. Since the mansion has no heat or door locks and the Chocolate Kiss killer is on the prowl, Angel reluctantly agrees. With a single passionate kiss, McLean enkindles Angel’s cravings. The stage is now set for Alan to introduce the characters that both help and challenge Angel with her plans. Romance and murder build the novel’s intensity to it’s ultimate climax. The smooth, rhythmic prose will not let you set this book aside.”

Richard Lang

Book: The Mad House on Sutton Place

Review: “Having read now two books of Barbara Bixon’s, writing under the name of A.R.Alan, I can attest that she has lived up to her image as a storyteller. A vivid imagination and lap slapping humor will make this book, a unique humorous addition that readers will not want to put down. Meredith “Merrie” Dixon’s venture to Manhattan to begin a life while her divorce to Howard “Howie” gets finalized, will find herself not in the supposed rich and famous Sutton Place apartments, but in a place initially only a nightmare could conjure up.

Discover how a 5’10” redhead and a former black prostitute under 5 feet named Luella “Lulu “Pearson are able to live together as roommates. “Lulu certainly was a lollapalooza but somehow I had a good feeling that I would get used to her weirdness in no time “. Ah, good ol’ Lulu – four divorces in the last six years( her ex’s living on different floors) and the distinction as a “decorator “would have the entire apartment painted in black. Meet her friends Cissy and Philip – male gay midgets, her almost deaf dog Coco-Bill, and Myron the blind gorgeous lawyer, and you will come to understand why Sutton Place can never survive a “normal “rating.

It was in the laundry room that Merrie discovers a dead woman stuffed in the dryer resembling her features. Could Howie, her soon to be ex-husband that harasses her to come back to him, have been the murder thinking dead “bubbles” was Meredith? Just who, out of a list of suspects, was the murderer on Sutton Place? Audrey “bubbles “a prostitute, slept with nearly the entire apartment complex making so many likely suspects.

In this hilarious madhouse will be a real awakening of love for Merrie as she becomes attracted to Detective Pete McDougal and blind lawyer Myron and needs to make a decision. Because you never stop laughing, check out Merrie and “the gang “as they discover Howie butt naked making love in Merrie’s bedroom. With pictures for the lawyers portfolio, Merrie reflects: “The stunned blind froze with her legs tightly wrapped around Howie’s back, her lily-white ass still raised off the mattress”.

Though you might never hire Merrie and Lulu to decorate your house they will have managed to – yes – go in business partnership together as decorators.
With plenty of suspects the startling discovery of the murderer will both shock you and terrify you. This nonstop action will culminate in divorce court where again “the gang “will be present with “feathered friends” to rally Merrie on in an episode you won’t forget. Barbara Bixon’s imagination has no bounds and this five-star book will entertain you relieving stress from the real world. A book I highly recommend!”

Valerie Caraotta

Book: The Index Killer

Review: “Sandy and his son Bryce were combing the beach with a metal detector when they discovered a gold ring, it was on a dead woman’s finger. During the investigation, the Boca Raton police determined a serial killer was terrorizing the residents of the affluent Florida town. Petite blondes were raped, choked to death and had an index finger severed. The police chief’s niece, Detective Catherine Delaney was assigned to the case, however she had to work with Detective Cody O’Dell whom she despised, and who seemed as interested in her as he was the murders. As the body count rose, the unlikely duo appeared to trip over themselves trying to find something that would break open the case. Simultaneously they uncovered the clue that led to the improbable suspect.”

Richard Lang

Book: The Index Killer

Review: “I love serial killer thrillers, so when given the opportunity to read and review “The Index Killer” I jumped on it.

Firstly, let me say how much I loved the actual crime story. I love a who-done-it mystery and police procedural mysteries so of course I enjoyed getting into all the ‘suspects’ heads to see who was the real killer. There were several characters that seemed to have insane killer written all over them and I couldn’t wait to find out the culprit’s identity. I did guess it correctly from the beginning, but I’m always good at figuring out who did it. I think the average reader will have a hard time figuring it out.

Secondly, I loved the characters. Catherine took on a life of her own, and reading about her felt like reading about a real person. She wasn’t perfect, lacking a sense of humor and being a bit odd at times (especially when Cody was around), but that made her realistic and relatable. I loved getting into her head and seeing how she thinks.

Cody, the hero, had great chemistry with Cathy and I loved their banter. I was so happy when I learned that the author is working on book two and that I’ll get to read more of Cathy and Cody’s banter. While I loved them, I also wish to see some of the other characters make it into the second book in this series. More specifically, I want to see the two other characters I suspected to be the killer but turned out they weren’t. I felt like they had more of a story to tell.

My one and only complaint about this book was the editing, but even that didn’t make me put down this book. If anything, I stayed up until four AM reading it because I just couldn’t put it down. It was great! And I can’t wait to read what’s next in store for Cathy, Cody, and the rest of the cast.”

Angelina Rain

Book: Love Pies for Sale

Review: “A. R. Alan gives you a lift at the end of a bad week. Lucy tries to run a 20 acres apple orchard and to make peace out of an other wise chaotic life. Her whole world is turned up side down when an unmarked graves is found on her land followed by one of her trucks brings bombed. All kinds of strange things are happening around her that bring the FBI into the picture. In walks Davis looking like a juicy candy apple, but is he there for her or her money? This one is filled with mystery, romance, but it will keep you laughing long after you are done reading it!!!”


Book: Do I Flaunt My Fat, or Jump Off a Bridge?

Review: “There are not too many people these days that are not watching their weight, to a lesser or greater degree. So, if you have found yourself in that situation and have to struggle, then this is the book for you! Really, anybody who enjoys laughing at great humor will find satisfaction reading this novel by A. R. Alan… Highly recommended!

I was once a guest on a cruise provided by a company that went out of business when the owner died. But during the times I had met many of the employees, I did notice something–many, and even most of them, were overweight. I discovered that the company president knew what I did also–overweight people are, generally, very good employees! So I wasn’t surprised Mr, Diddles, head of the Diddles, Diddles and Maloney Modeling Agency had noticed Sabina’s work ethic as bookkeeper.

While he awarded her with a raise, a new office and new furniture–was that enough for her to have to take on the problem that both Diddles Junior and Maloney were padding their expense accounts? Diddles Senior wanted to retire soon, but he knew that would not be possible unless he had somebody to take on management of his shares of the company. Sabina Sunday had the background and had proven her dedication…now it was up to her to see if she could deal with the financial management issues…

Sabina could handled those responsibilities alright, but having overheard Maloney call her a fat sausage had not only hurt her, it had made her mad–mad enough to finally take control of her own life. And the biggest obstacle was her mother… her provider of delicious fattening food…

Sabina, whose original name was Shirley, lived with her mother in a rent-controlled apartment. When she decided to start losing weight, bringing home Jenny Craig supplies, her mother immediately reacted…

“Mama laughed. “We’ll see. I’ll bet you anything that you won’t be able to keep your hands off my apple strudel tonight, or the potato kugel that’s baking in the oven. I wanted to cry. I wanted to shout out the insult I was given in the office…”

At the same time both Junior and Maloney were also fuming and yelling about the new approval procedures for gaining authorization for the many social expenses that went along with modeling interviews. But both of the partners had also been using the expense account to wine and dine potential lovers…and everybody knew it…

Sabina realized that she needed help. She joined Weight Watchers. There she met Thomas who admitted to her that he had also joined Overeaters Anonymous…his father was chef of a fabulous Italian restaurant and Thomas’ weight was the result of never-ending leftovers… Thomas was a psychiatrist.

Sabina and Thomas agreed to help provide support to each other and soon became friends. Things were going along well for the most part, until one of Thomas’ patients was stabbed…

..”That’s what I saw on the news before I came to play cards. The reporter said the woman was a midget… “A Chinese midget? Are you saying that a Chines midget woman was stabbed thirty-seven times? …”Lee was a nymphomaniac. She had lots of boyfriends. Thomas shook his head. “I shouldn’t have said that…”

Everybody got involved in trying to find clues, including Sabina’s mother and her friends! So, between Sabina’s new job, attending weight loss support meetings and trying to keep her mother and friends out of trouble, Sabina was somewhat overwhelmed when Junior came to her one day, in a panic because he had not done his job, and needed Sabina to fill in as a plus-sized model… She was immediately a success–but what did that mean related to her efforts to continue to lose weight?

Plan to cry a little, empathize, sympathize…but most of all laugh with Sabina as she faced a struggle common to many women and men… I loved this one!

I have read two other novels by A. R. Alan, due out soon! I can guarantee you are going to hear more from her before the end of the year, including Kisses to Die For and Fireflies, two uniquely different novels that surely must be considered for your TBR list!”

GA Bixler

Book: Do I Flaunt My Fat, or Jump Off a Bridge?

Review: “She had overheard Maloney call her “a fat sausage” when he heard about her promotion. Now, he was snapping the photos for her first modeling gig…hating every minute of it! I’ve Found A New Role Model! Loved Sabina Sunday!”

Fran Lewis

Book: Do I Flaunt My Fat, or Jump Off a Bridge?

Review: “Sabina is overweight, living at home with her mother and constantly nudged and annoyed when threatening to move out and live on her own at the young age of 30. Her mother calls her Shirley and every time she decides to assert a little independence her mother does what any good, smart and crafty Jewish mother does best, if lay on the guilt, pretend to have a heart attack and force Sabina to pick out on chocolate to console herself. After all, how would she live if she did not have this great two bedroom rent controlled apartment that could be hers any day. Weighing in at 247 pounds, single and no prospects in sight she learnt that her last friend is getting married, asked her to be a bridesmaid and hopes that she does not look like a beached whale in her lemon yellow dress.
Sabina why didn’t you call me? I could have saved you the money and wear and tear of going to Jenny and Weight Watchers. After all I just lost and have kept off over 80 pounds the natural and healthy way. But, since you did not I have to say you gave it the old college try but what were you thinking when you ate the snacks and desserts in between each meal? No wonder you gained weight. Keep the faith and don’t give up and never let anyone put you down. After all you are Sabrina Sunday the new Accounts Monitor who can lord her power over your bosses son and his partner. No more false expenditures and no more getting paid back without your approval. What more could you ask for? Power, the possibility of more promotions and the ultimate: Losing weight and fight back!

Jewish mothers have a way of manipulating their children into doing what they want. Sabrina’s mother is no different. Letting her know that at 30 she’s not married, no prospects and so lucky to be able to inherit the rent controlled apartment they live in should make her life complete and totally happy. But, then things change for her at work. She is promoted and given more responsibility and the staff views her differently. The bosses son and his partner want revenge as Sabina now has control over office expenditures and everyone has to go through her before getting reimbursed. Threatening her does not work it just motivates her to do a better job which does not go unnoticed by Mr. Diddles her boss who readily gives her a bigger office, new furniture and more responsibility. Guess what he even wants her to have his power of attorney and shares in the company if anything happens to him. So, Sabina is pumped to lose weight and definitely going to take the CPA exam being paid for by her boss. But, even more she meets Thomas, and together they join Weight Watchers on a two for one promotion sale, he joins Jenny with her, two diets are better than one and go to Overeaters meetings and what happens so hilarious you won’t want miss anything as you read this make you smile novel. Just the familiar Jewish expressions my grandmother and mother used brought back memories of growing up in the Bronx and the fun times we had.

With a mother whose driving her to eat and sends guilt waves down her spine, poor Sabina needs to find a release for her tension a new outlet to keep her from pigging out and hopefully losing the name “Sausage.” But, even more she needs someone in her life? Will it be Thomas? Does it matter that he’s not Jewish? He’s a doctor RIGHT!

The transformation occurs and Sabina is offered a modeling job at her firm and gets a total makeover and the results are startling even to her. As she begins to assess herself, her mother’s commentaries and criticisms still continue, the support she needs from her she never gets but her canasta group of women or the we need to put your 2 cents in group let’s Bessie know she needs to back off. Thomas shows up. The women are all gathered in Bessie’s apartment for some good food, and canasta when he blurts out that one of his patients was murdered and he needed a lawyer. This starts a string of hilarious events that those of us with Jewish mothers and grandmothers would understand, have endured and know better than to argue with. Creating a humorous dialogue among the girls – typical Yentas- each mixing in and weighing in with what they think happened, who they think the murderer might be and what they do next will definitely cause you to double over laughing and well: You just have to love them!

So, not wanting his patient files subpoenaed by the police Bessie comes to the rescue and enlists the help of her friend’s son Melvin the lawyer to help Thomas. But, she’s not done yet. Without telling anyone she and her canasta group decide to investigate the murder on their own posing as cleaning woman for the Jewish Mama’s Cleaning Service. Imagine the police capturing these notorious older women armed with mops, brooms and pails to fight off any killers or murderers. Poor Thomas never had a chance and poor Sabina can try to disown Bessie but can she really?

So, could anything made it worse? Wait and See! Driving to her first modeling job, which made her nervous and skeptical enough. Reading her diary you hear her inner thoughts and her voice comes through loud and clear as she tries to figure out how she is going to get Bessie and girls out of jail when they get caught breaking and entering to find the killer. Why they did it and the reason behind it you will have to find out for yourself or miss the fun.

Picture in your mind these 80 year old women breaking into a crime scene getting arrested, making friends with the prostitutes, inviting one home to help care for her kids and pay for her schooling: What happens you won’t believe? What is Sabina’s reaction when she finds this girl in her house with her kids? Well, don’t worry things will work out somehow as her next step is Weight Watchers and finding out if she lost anything.

Overhearing her bosses she finds out that she is now the permanent model for Bella Mia and the only thing is they do not want her to be thin she needs to be full figured and now she has to make a decision. Tons of money to model or being thinner and healthy? Which would you choose?

But, there is so much more as one more patient is murdered and total mayhem ensures and everyone including the canasta girls turn up at the jail. This is one scene that is right out of Laugh In or the Nanny. Bessie makes Sylvia Fine not such a yenta. But, as you read her diary and get to understand Sabina more empathize with her and hope that she finally moves out of her mother’s apartment and stands on her own. But, will she do it before our Bessie lays more guilt on her? What will the solution be? Wait and see just how smart our Sabina is and I might add crafty.

As the police think they have the killer and Thomas is called to the station to identify him, things heat up even more but not before Sabina does another shoot in Palm Beach. To the chagrin of her photographer, who spends most of his time hitting on all of the models, Sabina brings Bessie along for protection and much more. Returning home her whole world changes as more offers come in. Another job is in the works and a murderer just might be caught. But, how and who gets him you have to find out for yourself because you don’t want to miss the action or the fun. From an overweight girl about to give up on life, Sabina Sunday turned model, on the cover of magazines and what else? Find out when you read it. Will she wind up with Thomas or will she look elsewhere? Does she ever take the CPA exam or does she become a super model? Will her mother ever like Thomas and how will you know that? With a hairdresser that has a sex change and a photographer that hits on all the models and a mother that is totally meshuge, tsemisht , farkocktah, fershimmeled, poor Sabina has her work cut out and what happens well: Don’t Jump off A Bridge: In the words of Mary Tyler Moore: You just might make it after all?

Author A.R. Alan presents real life situations that many girls face when they have an overpowering mother who does not want to be left out in the cold and wants to feel wanted. Will she lose the weight or give in the Bessie’s latkes? Will she turn back to chocolate for comfort or Thomas? Find out for yourself in this hilarious, fun filled novel filled with twists, turns, surprises and most importantly laughs. Outspoken, sassy and takes no cuff from anyone watch and see what happens when Sabina takes life by the horns.

Thank you for making me smile.

This book gets Five Bessies: I think she is great!”

Fran Lewis

Book: Fireflies

Review: “We all have our secrets. But what will drive three women, women many of us can identify with, to commit murder? And what would make us side with them when they do? With sensitivity, compassion, and understanding, and a bit of humor too, A. R. Alan’s novel “Fireflies” brings us into their worlds. The plights of these women will stay with you long after you’ve read it.”

Carren Strock,
author of “Married Women Who Love Women.”

Book: Fireflies

Review: “Fireflies is a riveting novel filled with lust, murder and black humor. Over a wilderness camp fire, three women tell the truth about their marriages. None had divorced their husbands, and none of their husbands died of natural causes. Sleep? No way is that possible when you’re reading A.R. Alan’s book.”

Fran Smith,
author of Rebecca’s Quilt

Review: “As a psychotherapist I have worked with many couples dealing with issues of anger, betrayal, unrequited love, abandonment, abuse, and even sexual compulsions. I found A. R. Alan’s characters to be believable, delightful and somewhat scary. In my mind I kept wondering, “What led these three seemingly normal women to commit such horrific crimes and solidify their intimate friendships in the process?” That intriguing question along with the natural, easy to read, flowing dialogue kept me reading to discover the elusive answers. I temporarily abandoned my professional journals and newsletters to finish this simple and compelling story.”

Erica Goodstone,

Book: Fireflies Two

Review: “A laugh at a dark subject!!!

There are some things in life that make you go hmmm…. And this hilarious tale is one them!

Come inside the dark work of Mary, Carla and Emily and find out what will drive three women to commit awful crime. I am going to take my hat off to Ms. Alan for being able to make me laugh and cry at the same time. If your husband is a butt this book will give you humor at a dark subject that many women keep in the closet.

Dreamers we are looking at what I think need to be put out front in a make for TV movies or on the big screen!!

This one earned my five stars*

Jaquelin Smith,
at Dreamer Talks Books