Category: Amazon KDP books

Review: Destroy Student Debt: A Combat Guide to Freedom by KDP Author Joe Mihalic

After I read “No More Harvard Debt” by KDP author, Joe Mihalic, I posted a review and had no idea he’d be releasing a second book so fast. I still think in terms of old publishing in this regard…wait two years for another book to come out.

But the new book was released in August and I found out about it by reading his blog. I recently finished the second book and left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, which I’m posting below.

I clearly liked the book and was not disappointed by anything I read. And from a publishing POV, I think this is a perfect example of someone who is taking control of his own publishing experience and executing it on his own as good as any trad pubbed book out there.

I’d also like to add that as far as I know, Joe does NOT have a literary agent publishing his book on Amazon through their publishing services. This is truly an indie book and he’s doing all the footwork on his own, just like other authors have been doing recently. I’m starting to think this is an important distinction to be made now. Not because I have anything against books pubbed by lit agent services, but because I know how hard it is to pub an indie book and I don’t think that’s fair to indie authors who are doing all the work on their own.

Joe writes with an honest voice and a clear message. I agree with all the other four and five star reviews here and it’s hard to add more than what’s already been said so far. But I’d like to mention that the book is as professionally executed as any book published by one of the big publishers out there. I also like it when non-fiction authors add personal stories. It makes the content more visual and keeps my attention. I would also like to add that a book like this has the possibility of setting a new trend, where learning to manage money and learning to deal with debt takes us to another level where debt becomes a thing of the past for most people. We’re living in interesting times now and the information in this book is a good example of how important it is to face our finances head on.

This is one line that seemed to sum the book up for me:

“As Long as you continue to consume, you won’t be able to pay down your student debt quickly.”

There are many other lines just as profound. But this one can be used toward all kinds of debt. If you have credit card debt, it can be applied. You can even apply it to your mortgage debt. He also explains the difference between being cheap and frugal, which I thought was an important distinction to make. He also gets into self-esteem issues and personal experiences that I thought most of us could relate to on certain levels. And it’s done in such an honest way I found myself surprised more than once.

If you’re looking for a book to help you figure out how to pay down student debt, you’ll be glad you read this. And if you’re looking for a nice book that will help you look at money differently, you’ll be just as glad you read it.

You can purchase the book here.

Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street, Light BDSM, and a Mom and Dad Dealing with Grief

Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street isn’t like anything I’ve written in the past. First, because the erotic subplot gets into light BDSM. I’ve talked about how I’ve never written BDSM before on this blog, and I’ve also talked about the fact that I’m curious about how it’s written. For a long time, I always thought of BDSM books as having highly erotic covers, with dark images clad in leather and chains. I also thought of the storylines as being more intense, in the sense that everything revolved about the sexual nature of the story.

In this case, that’s not what JSoDS is about. The BDSM is erotic, but I get into more about role-playing than any of the hardcore BDSM. According to wiki, this is how BDSM is defined. Jonah is a virgin when he meets David, so I didn’t want to get into anything that might be too deep for him. I also talked to a few people I know who are into BDSM in order to get first hand interpretations of what they consider BDSM. Two guys I know have a secret “playroom” in their basement that was designed and fitted by a well known construction company in my area who does these things, on the downlow, for people who are willing to pay enough to have them installed. In any event, I discovered a whole new world that left stunned more than once.

So while there is light BDSM in this book, and the main plot revolves around the love and the often complicated relationship between the two main characters, Jonah Sweet and David Abernathy, I wanted to add something more emotional. Something that most readers could relate to…a subplot that would humanize David and make people like him. He’s not an easy man. He’s a self-made billionaire who tends to treat people like dirt. He’s not only a master in his world of BDSM, but also in the business world and every other aspect of his life. In fact he welcomes confrontation so much he looks forward to firing people. There’s a reason for his behavior, which I can’t mention because it would spoil the book.

There’s also a secret about David’s past that not many people know about. It’s something that happened to him a few years before we meet him in the book. It takes a while for Jonah Sweet to actually find out what this is. But when he discovers this secret involves a little boy in a wheel chair and a mom and dad who can’t stop grieving, he sees David Abernathy in a different light. And this moves their relationship forward in a way Jonah never expected.

Here’s a version of the blurb, below. I wanted the book to have the BDSM elements, but I also wanted it to be a lighter book that isn’t the run of the mill BDSM story. And I wanted the two main characters who get into BDSM to be equals when they aren’t having sex, where no one is dominant or submissive. In other words, Jonah may be willing to get tied up and spanked in David’s state of the art “playroom” on Delancey Street in New York City. But he’s not willing to be tied up, so to speak, when he’s out in the real world with David. And it takes David a long time to realize that if he wants Jonah to stick around, he has to learn how to stop controlling everyone and everything.

The book will be available through the Amazon KDP program sometime in June. As soon as I know the release date, I’ll post about it. It’s a full length novel, and will be offered for .99, as I did with “Chase of a Lifetime.” And it’s still a very humble venture and I’m still learning more about self-publishing as I go. I’d also like to add, just for the record, I had many reasons for self-publishing my fiction this past year. The least of which had to do with being bitter about traditional publishing. I still love working with publishers and I have nothing negative to say about them. I think agents are invaluable, if you can find the right one. I just like having the control sometimes, and that’s as simple as I can explain it.

The photo above is just a stock photo I found and will not be the cover for the book. But the one thing I’m telling the cover artist is that I don’t want the typical BDSM book cover with dark images and people in leather and chains. And the LAST thing I want is a cover with a naked male torso.

Jonah Sweet has a secret need to be dominated and punished, with whips and chains and leather cuffs. He also has a graduate degree in puppetry from a good university, but can’t find a job and is still with his mom and dad in Queens. So he signs up for cooking school, hoping to learn a trade. But it’s nothing like he thought it would be and he winds up flunking everything from cutlery to hard-boiled eggs. The only other skill Jonah has is the ability to read other people’s thoughts, which he knows isn’t going to get him very far.

On the day of an important cooking exam, Jonah meets David Abernathy, the owner of the cooking school and a billionaire who owns restaurant chains, casinos, and real estate. The harder Jonah tries to impress David the worse it gets. But handsome David Abernathy sees something in Jonah. With no explanation at all, David sets Jonah up in an office, buys him a brand new wardrobe, and brings him into his unusual home on Delancey Street.

Though Jonah is stunned by all this, he’s even more stunned by the fact that he can’t read David Abernathy’s thoughts. But Jonah is in no position to turn any offers down. He takes the job in spite of David’s rude, nasty disposition and his erratic rants. From there they enter into an unusual relationship filled with light bondage and discipline and more love than either one of them could ever have imagined.

When David introduces Jonah to a little boy in a wheel chair and explains his past, Jonah only falls deeper in love with David. He discovers a gentle side of David no one knows about. But will intense love and exotic sex be enough to compensate for David’s complicated personality and his vicious need to control everything? And will Jonah ever be able to put up with David’s public outbursts and his violent moods?