author of books for discerning readers  

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Here are some reviews for my books. In the near future, the reviews will be transferred to each title's page to avoid so much scrolling on this one.

12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes
Investigating Paranormal State
The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting
Love Me, Need Me: A Narcissist's Tale
Monoi de Tahiti: Spa in a Bottle
North of Sunset
Notes from Nadir
Nuts About Shea Butter
Paranormal State Exposed
Satan's Casting Call
South of Sunset

12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes

"I have always enjoyed doing arts and crafts from the time I was fairly small on. I think I got some of that from my mom who always has a few projects she's working on. There's just something about actually creating something with your own two hands. I've often wondered about making soap for myself. It seemed like it wasn't too complicated, but I never really got around to trying it. That being said, I was happy to review Lisa Maliga's new eBook "12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes", and curious about how easy or difficult crafting soap might be.

The book is meant to be a companion follow up to her previous work "The Joy of Melt and Pour Soapcrafting", but all the necessary instructions to make 12 different kinds of soap are included in this one as well. I like that this book is short, sweet, and to the point. It is very easy to read through with a short introduction including important things to keep in mind, easy to follow instructions, and quite a few photos. (I like a lot of photos in crafting books!) There is also a list of reputable online stores you can order soap making supplies from at the end of the book.

The recipes in this book should take about an hour each to make which is great in my book since I don't have a lot of free time these days. There are recipes for both soaps that are made to be pretty and ones that are made to be more nourishing for your skin. I'm excited to try out the MAXIMUM Cocoa Butter Soap (chocolate in soap- how can you go wrong with that?!). The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, and you know Lisa knows what she is talking about since she ran her very own soap making business for over 5 years. She also has a video up on her blog showing you how to make Seaweed Soap." Janelle,
Mother Necessity blog

Investigating Paranormal State

If you're a fan of paranormal shows on television, any of them, or a fan of critical thinking, you too will enjoy the expert critical analysis the authors bring to bear on the show Paranormal State. This book will blow you away.

I very much enjoyed reading this book, did so in one sitting in fact, and enjoyed it enough to take the time to review it, something I don't typically do.

The authors do a masterful job of breaking the television show Paranormal State down show by show, segment by segment, scene by scene, revealing that which almost everybody misses consciously. Amazing.

From start to finish the authors kept me engaged and focused, not an easy task, and they leave no stone unturned, all without getting into the personal lives of the team members themselves.

One recommendation which is also noted in the book: Do have either the episodes of Paranormal State on DVD or access to the episodes online (or possess a photographic memory) so you can see EXACTLY what the authors are talking about, scene by scene, for yourself.

It's a great book, and a recommended read. Author Kirby Robinson was even kind enough to come onto my radio show and talk about the book, a visit which was both memorable and informative. That's how much I enjoyed this book!

Steve H., Claranormal

The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting

"Learning a new craft for the first time can be a daunting task sometimes filled with a lot of trial and error - especially if it's a craft you are teaching yourself. Making handmade soap, especially, can be confusing and sometimes unsuccessful your first try if you don't have the proper knowledge or someone knowledgeable in the field to lend a hand. When I first started making soaps, I made melt and pour soaps. While chemically simpler than making cold process soaps, they can still provide a unique challenge as far as the ingredients you may wish to include in your soaps and the coloring, design and even the unmolding of your creations. Fortunately, if you're giving melt and pour soapmaking a first time try there are many valuable resources available to you. One of my favorite resources is the book, The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting by Lisa Maliga. Had this book existed the first time I melted cubes of soap, color and fragrance in my microwave, I definitely would have had more successful trials and less error. But now that it's been written, it's one book you're sure to want to add to your collection for future reference and research into this exciting craft.

What I like best about this book is how comprehensive it is overall. It starts small with many of the basics some instructional guides tend to skip over or breeze through, and expands on the information as you progress. It includes instructions on not only the best way to make your soaps, but what equipment to use for the greatest product results. This helpful how to soapmaking book covers everything from choosing your soap base and molds to adding fragrances, herbs, and color. There's also information for labeling and packaging your soaps for those wanting to give their end product as gifts or those considering starting their own business.

I was extra excited that Lisa shares her soap secrets in this book. There are a few tips in this book that I learned the hard way on my own which resulted in a disappointing soap. While still usable, it wasn't pretty. Had I known that lavender buds in melt and pour soaps will discolor the entire bar of soap brown before I made my first lavender scented melt and pour soap, I would have not ended up with some very ugly soap bars. Luckily, Lisa shares her tips on what not to add to melt and pour soaps due to the unflattering results as well as what additives you can use and the results you can expect. Additionally Lisa provides very thorough information on buying fragrance and essential oils, the differences between various methods used to obtain essential oils, and blending tips for creating your own unique scents. There's also an explanation of the benefits of the various oils, herbs and other additives you may choose to use in your melt and pour soap and a how to on colorants. As if that wasn't enough, you'll also find 40 melt and pour soap recipes you can try out for yourself - from a simple one color-one fragrance recipe to more advanced soap recipes with multiple colors, soap embeds and additional, creative ingredients.

Lisa's book definitely makes melt and pour soapmaking a rewarding experience for the novice soapmaker. So if you're just getting started in melt and pour soapmaking or just need a little extra help getting to where you need to be, definitely invest in the book The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting by Lisa Maliga - a hundred and thirty-four pages chock full of information you'll reference time and again and even includes a list of melt and pour soap suppliers. Buy it and you'll be making Lisa's Lentil Bliss Shampoo Bars and Vanilla Bean Speckles Soaps in no time. And not long after, you're sure to have your own unique recipes under your belt!" Rebecca Dillon, Soap Deli News Blog

"A lot of great information in this book if you've ever had an interest in melt and pour soapmaking. If you go to the author's blog (linked above), she has some free projects, recipes and articles there to read."
Book review by Shala Kerrigan [Amazon Top 100 Reviewer] FULL REVIEW

"The book is really well written and very detailed. I love the heartwarming dedication to the author's mother and the forward that gives a history of soap making and why you should make your own. The book has many sections and a particularly interesting one for me was the one on herbs and other additives. Did you know that the addition of certain oils, such as coconut, can increase lather and harden your soap for a few extra washings? Or that cocoa, mango and shea butters will make your soap more beneficial for dry skin? Adding tapioca pearls will not only give your soap a distinctive look and pearly touch, but it will also help massage the skin or scalp. Fragrant herbs such as rosemary and patchouli can even be used in place of fragrance or essential oils. Isn't that the coolest? I love this book and I can't wait to get started making soap for my family!" Karen Mead, Verging On blog FULL REVIEW

"The more recipes in this eBook I looked at the more excited I became. I absolutely love pictures and having them on each recipe is a wonderful addition. When I see the pictures it gives me an idea of how the soap will look and if I want to try it or something else. They also give me an idea of how the soap will look with the different molds. This is just an all around must have eBook for the crafter who wants to learn something new. What’s so great about this eBook is it has easy projects for kids of all ages so not only will I be making soap but I’ll definitely let the kido’s give it a try this summer when they are [driving me nuts] out of school for summer break." Terri, Terri's Little Haven blog FULL REVIEW

"The Joy of Melt & Pour Soap Crafting says it’s for beginners to the everyday crafter. At first I was a bit overwhelmed with the book, it used a lot of terms I had never heard of and talked like I knew something about soap making. But I decided to not give up on the book right away and I’m glad I didn’t. By the end of the book I couldn’t wait to head to the craft store and get everything I needed to make my own soap. I felt ready and knew I’d make some great soap. Maybe not perfect soap but at least better then I would have if I didn’t have this book." Erika K., Bass Giraffe blog FULL REVIEW

"What I love most about this book is how detailed it is.  Even a complete soap newbie, like me, will have no problem following her thorough instructions.  Lisa’s passion for soap crafting is evident throughout the book.  After finishing it, I am so excited to give soap crafting a try.  I especially want to try her recipe for Rosemary Lavender Shampoo Bars since I have dried rosemary from last year’s garden." Jen at A Heart Full of Love blog FULL REVIEW

"Lisa's 'The Joy of Melt and Pour Soaps' is AWESOME!!!  Now that I've done a practice batch I'm ready to try some soap for the kids.  Who knew making soap could be addictive?!?!

Lisa's book is easy to use. Lots of detailed instructions. Lots of pictures.  A great list of places to look to for your supplies.  Lisa even has a chapter on helping you to sell your soaps!! WOW!! 
I give Lisa's book an whole hearted A++++++++++!!!" Connie of Peanut Butter and Whine FULL REVIEW

Also reviewed at: Your Organic Child, I Love My Kids, The Soap Seduction, Blueberry Craft and Hobby Time, Adventures of the Domesticated Mama, The Go To Mommy, Daily Mothering,, Coffee Matters, Deal Finder Chick, Grandma's Guide to Life, Between the Lines, Random-Dealz, Planet of the Apels, Outnumbered 3 to 1, Bear Rabbit Bear, The Anti-June Cleaver, My Devotional Thoughts, Parlez Moi Blog

Love Me, Need Me: A Narcissist's Tale

"Helen Hoffman is a wannabe writer who stumbles across established author Arlen J Stevenson in an online writer's forum. At first their online meeting is based on shared distrust of a vanity publishing scam but their friendship soon turns into something more sordid. As months of chatting over the internet turn more intense Helen is soon running very dubious websites for Arlen without realising (initially) that Arlen is using these to meet women to satiate his insatiable sexual appetites.

For me the main pull of the story is Arlen J Stevenson. Lisa Malaga has conjured up a most colossal character in this man. He is completely without a moral compass and is most detestable and yet I found him extremely fascinating. I was totally mesmerised by his exploits. It was like watching someone crash and burn and being unable to look away for fear of missing anything salacious! He totally brought out the voyeur in me! I think the other characters paled in his presence and were like shadows at the edges of this man's adventures. He overwhelmed and drowned all and sunder.

For me the story only stalled with the deluge of online chatting. I guess I was much too impatient to move onto Mr Stevenson next exploit!

A truly mesmerising read." J. Domingo

"Lisa Maliga does a super job showing the seductive faces of Arlen.  He sure seemed to have the right bait for all the different women he was wooing.  But it seems to all head in the same direction.  Arlen wanting to get what Arlen wants, regardless of the disappointments, trampled hearts and damaged lives he leaves behind.  This is a very good display of the tactics of the emotional predator.  

Love Me, Need Me: A Narcissist's Tale is an amazing story!  Wonderfully written! With each new communication and instant message or email that Helena and Arlen share, the reader hopes that his neglect of her and his utter self absorption was just a 'bad day', and it'll be her turn (for sure) today.  So the book is riveting, in my opinion.  It's a very important work, also, I believe.  There are so many of these types of men out there and they sure do leave havoc and carnage in their wake." S. Rae

Monoi de Tahiti: Spa in a Bottle

"Would you love for your hair to look and smell like you’ve been on a vacation to Tahiti? Then coconut-based Monoi de Tahiti oil is for you. It can be added to shampoos and conditioners, or used as a conditioner. It can also be used as skin care because it is like a spa in a bottle filled with skin-soothing benefits and is highly versatile. Other ways this oil is used is in lip gloss, perfume, as bath oil, as a makeup remover, and is used in tanning to help skin from being dry and peeling. And the great thing about this oil is that it’s not greasy or sticky. It comes in a variety of scents, and it also comes unscented.

Monoi comes from Tahitian coconuts, obtained from naturally-dried coconuts and has a long shelf life. The book tells more about where the coconuts are grown how it is extracted. The base for Monoi de Tahiti, which is Tiare flowers, is a wonderful version of gardenia and it also contains soothing, purifying, and skin helping properties. To find out more about the Tiare flowers and their roll in this wonderful oil, you will need to read the book! Oh and there are some cool recipes in here, too.

Having always liked oils, lotions and soaps, I wanted to check this book out and see what this oil was about. I was very impressed with the pureness of it. This is the real stuff. It was also interesting reading about how the oils were extracted, how the flowers were added to the oils as the base, and all of the wonderful uses of it. This is a very informative little book telling you all you need to know about this Monoi de Tahiti oil, and where to buy the real stuff. But please be careful in purchasing Monoi de Tahiti: Spa in a Bottle because it is becoming increasingly popular, bringing many online and offline imitators. If it doesn’t say Appellation d' Origin, don’t buy it, it’s fake." Joy, Manic Readers

I've heard of Monoi De Tahiti but after reading this book I learned that you can get it in many different flavors like vanilla and sandalwood! If you like all things natural like I do then you should learn more about monoi and how its good for your skin and hair and even lips. Ebook has good information and is worth the price." Dee

North of Sunset

"North of Sunset by Lisa Maliga. She's the one listed in my Survey as I'm a Published Novelist Ha Ha! Ha!, a pertinent warning for starry-eyed aspiring writers. Her web site is worth checking similarly; she tells it as it is. If you took a few decades off my age and changed my gender, the result might resemble Lisa. North of Sunset is fun, about a Hollywood producer and his temporary secretary, showing a good deal of what I presume is reality. It is written with the omniscient viewpoint, which I dislike, but it held my interest regardless." Piers Anthony

"What an excellent story! Lisa Maliga really knows how to write a story! From beginning to end, you'll want to learn more about Sherman Lee, the producer, and his life of partying, drinking, doing drugs and having various women. Then there is Emily Karelin. A straight laced woman who didn't know anything about Hollywood life as an agent, actress or producer. When their lives entwine, they will see how it tests their friendship." Book Review Cafe

"Found this novel to be an enjoyable, quick read. A fascinating peek into the Hollywood system. Lisa Maliga is an excellent writer who deserves to be taken seriously. I look forward to reading other titles by her." Book Guy

Notes from Nadir

"What started off as a blog series, ended up as a book. One I have thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Notes from Nadir are quite literally just that--notes. A journey home from Hollywood to Nadir has its adventures.

Jobless, financially bereft the author drives across country to live rent free with her mother, until she is financially stable again. Arriving home brings about the mundane pressures of living with an elderly mother, while searching for work. Each day thoughts and happenings of the author Lisa Maliga are recorded in a light-hearted banter. Amusing anecdotes of jobs she applied for and those she was successful in obtaining.

The author created an interesting story with her notes, the flow is not broken with the short snippets. We see the changes in the relationship between a romantic crush on a boss, and new affection between mother and daughter.

If you enjoy memoir style books you will enjoy this one. If you enjoy something different, you will enjoy Notes From Nadir." Glynis Smy, Author of "Ripper, My Love"

"This book reads like a memoir and I think it's because it is. Honestly, I wasn't sure I could get through it because it started at an odd point in the character's life. However, after I started, I couldn't put it down. Seriously.

Why? It boils down to one thing: The writer is an amazing story teller. The way she describes even the most mundane events drew me in. I had to know what was going to happen next. I can't compare this book to any other books I've read because it isn't. If this isn't a true story, you'll believe it is.

The ending really surprised me and it left such a impact, I'm sure I'm not going to forget this novel in a long time. This is part one in the series. The second book is a must read for me." Clarissa Draper, Author of "The Sholes Key"

"I first started reading this memoir through the author's blog, and I was quickly hooked by her conversational, down-to-earth style. The book - with lots of new content not featured on the blog - follows the author as she leaves behind her LA life and returns to her roots, with lots of vignettes and familial snapshots along the way. A very enjoyable read about trying to fit back into a mould you no longer fit." Talli Roland, Author of "Build A Man" and several other books.

Nuts About Shea Butter

"I chose to buy and read this book because I have a background in soap and toiletries making, and consider myself knowledgeable enough on the subject to make an informed review of books about it. Some of my first Amazon book reviews over 10 years ago were on soapmaking books.
***** ***** ***** *****
The information in this book is researched well and presented in understandable everyday terms. Each type of unique Shea butter is covered with detailed information that was presented in an interesting way, not just a bulleted list of facts. The tips about shelf life, storage and shipping would be helpful for anyone wanting to stock large quantities of Shea butter. There is a recipe for a melt & pour soap using Shea butter, no cold process recipe though. The supplier's links at the back of the book will be of use to anyone wanting to find quality Shea butters and oils.

I am taking away half a star, because I believe some of the chapters should be rearranged, and combined under broader chapter headings. Many of the chapters are less than a page each and I think belonged together. The other half star was lost because this book is a case for photos. I know color will not come through on a Kindle, but texture will. I love looking at pictures of butters, and seeing the different consistencies and uses would have been a bonus to this book.

There are no major inconsistencies or errors in the book, and I found it a nice reminder about all things Shea." B. Tackitt, Red Adept Reviews [Review of 1st edition which had no photos]

"I thought this book was informative and well written." Deb

Paranormal State Exposed

"I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy of Kirby Robinson's new book Paranormal State EXPOSED as I read through the introduction I knew this was no ordinary expose' and the first paragraphs had me. I thought to myself OMG this is going to make heads spin, I was hooked. The further I read the better I liked it. Kirby does the one thing I really respect; he states there are no personal attacks, no rumors and effectively no "dirt" so to say about an individual's personal life and there isn't!

Kirby promises the information delivered is logical and clear and it certainly is. Each episode is broken down and Kirby even suggests you have your episodes ready so you can follow his account play by play; he gives the reader a chance to decide for themselves if this was a real reality show or a staged one.

Kirby Robinson gives one of the best unbiased accounts of paranormal television chicanery ever written, he keeps it on topic and interesting from start to finish. If you're a Paranormal State fan get ready for some thinking because if you had questions before, you're really going to have them after reading Paranormal State EXPOSED...

There are some very delightful open letters to Kirby that surprised me as I read thru them. I will say this Kirby, you are genuine and not afraid to laugh and share what most egos could never do, by including your criticisms and hate mail you have crossed boundaries and right into ingenious and just downright entertaining." Reviewed by "M"

Satan's Casting Call

"I loved this short story and in fact, I didn't want it to end. I had an idea of where it might be going but that didn't take a thing away from how much I enjoyed it. It was unique and I hope to read more from the author." Shauna Klein, Author of Peaceable Kingdom and Make a Wish

"Satan's Casting Call is a quick read at just over 9000 words. While the story is entertaining, it does lack the depth that keeps you emotionally attached to any characters.

Duncan is an out-of-work actor and he'll do anything to get in the limelight. He arrives at an open casting call, and is astonished to find out he is the only person there for the audition. After discussing the project with the producer, Duncan decides that this role is far too important, and high-paying to let it slip from his fingers. The only problem is the people involved want the actor to resemble the main character... to the point of disfiguration.

Desperate and broke, Duncan seeks whatever it will take to land this role. How far would you be willing to go, and for how much money?

This was tasty tidbit of horror that reminded me of The Twilight Zone." C.V. Hunt, Author of Legacy and several other books.

"a microcosm of hollywood as a swift kick to..... your right kidney... really fun short as i'm a fan of la and sf stories. i see it as a washed out color short... 17 minutes tops... lol... seriously, fun read...." P.D. Durie

South of Sunset

"Some of the stories in this collection will break your heart, but you'll read some very good prose at the same time. Recommended." EGF

"More often than not, most of today's literature about life in Tinseltown tends to focus on glitz and glamour and the excesses of those few that are lucky enough to live in the limelight. Lisa Maliga bucks this trend and focuses on the life of nobodies, has-beens and wannabes. The author does it with all the stories in this collection in a very surprising fashion. You'll feel the heartache and the despair that these individuals face, and the consequences of both the good and the bad choices that they must make. Also, there is a rather unique horror story "Urban Legend - Hollywood Style," that somebody in Hollywood should pay attention to because it would make a very intriguing low budget film." Judy Brooks

"I was impressed with almost every story, and will probably sit down and read this book again. My favorite story was the psychological study of two absolutely contrasting characters in "Flipping Over Grigori". Really an impressive short story collection that shows what life is like for those who exist in the shadows of the City of Angels. Each story packs a wallop that the reader won't soon forget." S. Rae

Copyright 2001-2016 by Lisa Maliga - this includes all images and text on