Mila’s Flight (The Darkest Day, #0.5) By Danielle Forrest Review!



Mila’s Flight (The Darkest Day, #0.5) (2019) by Danielle Forrest is a wonderfully crafted book with pages which turn themselves.

The story follows the title character and protagonist 21-year-old Mila Dragomirov who wants to become a space pilot. We meet Mila after she has just received the news that she has passed the necessary qualifications to go about making her dream a reality. When she finds out her best friend May who is also like a twin to her has passed too, the pair go to a bar to have a good time and celebrate the news. But this is where things irrevocably change for Mila. She encounters some creepy, drunken men here who harass Mila and scare her to the degree that she shifts into a tiger in order to protect herself. Which naturally works and she gets rid of them but it leaves her in a state of panic as people who shape shift have a bleak future ahead with very little opportunity. She decides her military hopes are over and flees, leaving a letter open on the computer to May. She also leaves May an emergency phone number which she specifies clearly is only to be used in truly emergency circumstances.

After leaving home Mila finds herself homeless in Louisville. Out on the streets, she must find food and tackle the dangerous characters she encounters. She regularly goes to the volunteer food kitchen and she encounters some selfish people who stop the children from getting food. She also encounters some guy who attempts to shove her out of the line to get ahead but she deals with him. Soon though, she finds herself being followed by a man who is mysterious to her but who we know is Jackson who is a shape shifter too. He has recognized that she is from the strength she displayed in handling the twat who messed with her. He is trying to find her to protect her.

Meanwhile back home Mila’s mother Alyana is missing her daughter and holding out hope that she will return and that she is safe. May is missing her and it is affecting her love for her work. Alyana and May’s mother Sarah discuss how May is not holding up well and decide that neither are they so they agree together to meet with a therapist to discuss their inner feelings about Mila’s disappearance.

First of all, the writing style in this book is fantastic. It is very to the point which I like. There is a lot of important issues dealt with here. The book shows the harassment people face in both sexual and non-sexual ways. The author writes very well the fear which comes into a person when faced with the creeps and bullies of this world. Prejudice is also an important theme in the book. Mila realizes that she may not be able to keep her ‘difference’ under wraps and flees home where she finds herself homeless. This is sadly too common of a story for people deemed ‘different’ by society even in this day and age. Trust issues is also a hugely important issue in this book. Mila is very street-wise, very bright and she has also been through a lot so naturally she is going to find herself less trusting than maybe some other people. Her trust issues are both a fantastic protection mechanism when people are not to be trusted and a hindrance to her when she meets people like Jackson who understand her and are trying to help. But how would she know who to trust and who not to? I understood her apprehension to trust Jackson because we as readers knew his motives, Mila didn’t.

I liked all the main characters in this read but my favourite was Mila. She is a tough cookie who will not be walked on and is truly badass in the best possible sense of the word. She also has a massive heart filled with goodness displayed very much in her need to make sure May was alright and in her giving some of her food to the children who got none even though she hadn’t much for herself and as we later learn she needs more food as a shifter. She has a great balance of softness and strongness and I love that in a person so I thought she was great.

The plot is great. The characters are great And the story develops in an interesting and authentic way. I’m looking forward to reading what comes next in Mila’s story. There was a sneak peak at the end of the next book in the series Mila’s Shift (The Darkest Day, #1) which I look forward to reading.



For more about Mila’s Flight (The Darkest Day, #0.5) by Danielle Forrest go to:

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Friday Fictioneers: So Sensible


PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger 



So Sensible


It was one of those days. You are on holidays. You do a pub crawl and you end up doing that dance they do at weddings or New Year’s parties. Follow the leader? Everyone get in a line? Become a train carriage? Something like that. (Too drunk to know darlings!) And passers-by think you are a crazy but you are living your best life.

But come tomorrow, they will probably be the ones living it up.

Sometimes you just got to unwind and not be so sensible.


My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:


Free copies of After The Fishing Trip available. Contact me at


To get an idea about After The Fishing Trip go here:

For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

Friday Fictioneers: People Watching

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


People Watching


People watching was my pastime. It gave me ideas. I was here every day. Just people watching. Understanding their habits. Understanding their quirks. And I wrote it all down for my book. They say people watching enriches that kind of thing.

And one day when they least expect it this shark comes to life and eats them all up. Every little bit bringing their sad, repetitive lives to what I feel is a timely end. But this is just a snack and I’ve got other food establishments in my sights. My bestselling autobiography will be delicious.



My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:



Free copies of After The Fishing Trip available. Contact me at


To get an idea about After The Fishing Trip go here:


For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

My New Book After The Fishing Trip Is Now Available On Amazon!


My new book After The Fishing Trip is now available on Amazon.

After The Fishing Trip tells the story of four characters Nate, Mitch, Phil and Karl.

After Nate’s father Phil tells him that he is isn’t his biological father on a fishing trip, Nate begins to search for his birth father. In the midst of his search, he meets up again with his ex-girlfriend Rachel and begins an affair with her behind his pregnant boyfriend Mitch’s back. He also finds out more about his mother. Phil must put his own feelings to one side in order to support his son in his search as he knows it is important to Nate to find out who his birth father is and where he comes from.

Karl, Nate’s wingman from high school, also finds himself swimming with questions and emotions when he finds himself in love with Mitch. Mitch has his own problems as Nate begins being controlling of how he speaks in social situations. Caught between trying to be himself and holding onto the love they have, Mitch must decide what is best for himself.

Set between Manhattan and the fictional small town of White Rose Village, it is a story of identity, control and finding where you should be going in life. It is also a story of love, friendship and feeling comfortable in your own skin despite pressure from others.

I very much enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it. I love the characters especially Mitch. It was inspired by a Friday Fictioneers prompt which can be found here:

Part of it also was inspired by another Friday Fictioneers prompt called Writer’s Block which can be found here:

If you decide to give the book a read, thank you so, so much in advance! 🙂

After The Fishing Trip can be found on Amazon at:


Friday Fictioneers: Waste of Time





(My new book After The Fishing Trip is now available on Amazon. As it was inspired by a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt, if anyone would like a free copy who takes part in Friday Fictioneers, please do e-mail me at or alternatively if anyone would like a free copy to review feel free to contact at that e-mail too. :-))


Waste of Time


Walt’s Dad had built up the tent. He had worked for three days constructing it.

That pesky hurricane had came and wiped all his hard work away. Walt’s Mum couldn’t help but joke about it. His Dad pretended at least to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Secretly Walt knew he was distraught. The ten-year-old spent the next few days constructing the tent again with his Dad. Only for another pesky hurricane to come.

It wasn’t a complete waste of time. Twenty-five years later, it was one of the best memories Walt had about his late father.


My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:


To get an idea about After The Fishing Trip go here:


For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts By Charlie Hasler Review!


Image result for Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts


Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts (2018) by Charlie Hasler is the 38-page follow-up to the author’s first poetry collection Words From An Unlikely Poet.

The collection is another beautifully written set of poems. The poems have both a poetic and accessible quality to them and speak of mental health, the struggle to find inner happiness and serenity and what these inner feelings feel like when finally realized.

The poems are extremely heartfelt and each poem delves deep into raw emotions which the author describes perfectly and with truth at the core. The details are great and paint pictures of scenes and slices of life so well. There is a realness to the emotions, the outside world and the connection or disconnection these things have to each other.

The author writes of isolation, surviving, striving to get to a goal that seems so far away. It’s melancholy but it’s honest and beautiful due to that honesty. The topic is very close to my heart and I appreciate very much the true way the author portrays mental health.

It is a compelling book which is told from the heart. The writing is stunning.

A gorgeous write.


To purchase Words From An Unlikely Poet: Volume 2: Further Thoughts by Charlie Hasler go to:


To read my review of Words From An Unlikely Poet by Charlie Hasler go to:

And for more about Charlie Hasler and his work go to:

Culture Vulture Express Receives The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Image result for sunshine blogger award


I was recently reading a brilliant blog post at Den of Dreams

Everyone who read the post was invited to accept The Sunshine Blogger Award and I thought it would be fun to take part and accept it on behalf of Culture Vulture Express. Thank you to Den of Dreams

Do check out the amazing posts posted on their blog if you get the chance and thank you for the nomination. 🙂


My Answers


If you had a time machine and could go anywhere, where would you go?

The 60s because it had all the social issues revolution, the hippie fashion and culture, the excellent music. The 70s too with all the glam rock. On a more personal level, back to when my Dad and dog were alive because I miss them very much and I would love to see them again.

Three things for deserted island?

My family, my Mum and my sister. But that might unfair to them! So my laptop, book and face cream!

When is your birthday?

22nd of April.

What is your favourite chemical element? (for example, Fluorine, Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen)

Don’t know much about these but oxygen to live I guess.

What is your favourite landform? (like hills, valleys, oceans, coasts, delta)

I love lakes and beaches. There was a lovely lake in Virginia, Cavan that me and the family used to visit years ago. Now I live not far from a gorgeous beach area in Wicklow. I have also visited lovely beaches in Clogherhead Beach in Co. Louth and Dun Laoghaire Harbour. I love looking out of the train at all the beach areas from Dublin to Wicklow and I’ve never been but I love Brighton Beach from pictures I’ve seen and would love to see it in reality. I was in Wales a good few years back too and seen some beautiful beach areas on the train to Cardiff.

Something you wish more people would know about you?

I’m very opinionated and I think sometimes some people take it as harsh. I do mean what I say but sometimes I get the impression by some people it is took to extremes of ‘She hates them. She wishes them ill.’ which couldn’t be further from the truth. Certainly there is people I dislike, some I intensely dislike, but I think that’s normal. No one likes everybody but I certainly don’t hate anyone or wish badness on people. Everything I say comes a place of goodness and honesty, at least from my perception so I wish that was more obvious sometimes. Also as an introvert, I don’t always bring out my sense of humour which is nothing like really witty peoples’ but it does exist and I wish I didn’t second guess saying things more often. I tend to bring it more out in my writing than in everyday life and interactions.

Do you have a lucky charm?

I don’t. I should get one.

Where was your childhood home?

My childhood home was in a small town in Co. Meath, Ireland. It was called Oldcastle and I lived in the old part of a council estate.

Your favourite subject to study?

I loved English because I have always loved reading and writing. But I liked history and C.S.P.E too. The latter is Civic, Social, Political Education and I was sad it wasn’t offered after Junior Cert level.

What did you want to become as a kid?

I wanted to be a make-up artist and also a singer. The writing was in the mix too. But it became the main one later on.

Do you wish to go to school again?

No. Courses, yeah but a school atmosphere no. I do love learning but I prefer doing it at my own pace and not in a structured routine. Like through books and the internet is perfect for me!


My Questions

  1. What is your favourite book?
  2. If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be?
  3. Who is your favourite YouTuber?
  4. Where is the nicest place you’ve ever been?
  5. What is important to you?
  6. Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
  7. What is your favourite song?
  8. What is your favourite quality in someone else?
  9. Dogs or cats?
  10. Wealth or success? (If you could only have one)
  11. What’s next for your blog?


My Nominees

Anyone reading this. 🙂




Culture Vulture Express Turns 6!





Yesterday my blog Culture Vulture Express turned 6! 🙂

We have gotten old (ish, ok?! :-)) together and it has been amazing so far. I absolutely love updating this blog with a little bit of everything and it’s really not a chore to do so. I would like to thank every reader past and present who has given Culture Vulture Express a chance and much support throughout the years. It is more appreciated than I could properly put into words. I love what I do and to share what I love doing with you all is a dream come true.

So I hope everyone enjoys reading the future content or finds it a good read. Thank you to you all.

Belated Happy Birthday Culture Vulture Express! 🙂

Friday Fictioneers: Writer’s Block

PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie



(Currently I am writing a book called After The Fishing Trip which is based on a previous Friday Fictioneers story I wrote called Fishing Trip (I know highly original! :-)) After I’m finished it if anyone would like a free copy to review or just enjoy (or not! :-)), I’ll put up my e-mail so you request a copy if you’re part of Friday Fictioneers and you’d like to read it. It was what I wanted to do with Black Coat too but things went wrong (in short, I forgot to back up the copy on my computer. Silly thing to do, I know! :-)) So my head is kind of in that zone of After The Fishing Trip at the moment and this story is from the perspective of one of four main characters Karl who is a budding writer and is a small section from the book. Hope you like it. :-))


Fishing Trip:


Writer’s Block


It was the afternoon. I was hard at work with my book. Well if hard at work means three sentences. Sometimes you just don’t know what to write. I was seeing shady dealings going on in a boarded-up house in my dreams. Should I have a body in an old property of the rich family? How exactly does my protagonist find it? What would Mitch write? He would know what to write. Nate doesn’t give him enough credit. He should probably leave him but he won’t.

Anyways, I could have my protagonist knocked out in the place. I don’t know.


My book Black Coat based on a previous Friday Fictioneers prompt is available at:


For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:


The Lake House By James Patterson Review!

Image result for the lake house by james patterson


The Lake House (2003) by James Patterson is an interesting and heart-warming story that is different from many of Patterson’s output but still has his trademark writing all over it.


It follows on from When the Wind Blows which I haven’t read yet. But this is a standalone book in any case. It follows the story of a family going through the struggle of been separated from each other. Colorado veterinarian Frannie O’Neil and FBI agent Kit Harrison have adopted the six children who have the power to fly after genetic engineering combined their DNA with birds but they are thrown into disarray and pain when the children are took away from them and they can’t protect them against scientists who are out to murder them.

It is such a powerful story of family and love and trying to save and keep your family together. So much of the story would break your heart and you just wish that the family would be left alone in peace to continue their lives. This book mirrors life in many ways. There is much in the book about the prejudice which the children face because they are different in some way and Patterson writes an excellent metaphor on prejudice in this book. Through the scientists trying to kill the children he writes an authentic piece on what lengths some people go to through prejudice and lack of understanding of differences. All the characters are so well rounded and you feel the love the family has for each other on every page. Patterson beautifully tells the heartbreak that adoptive parents go through in courtrooms that often favour birth parents. And it pulls so much at the heart strings and you just want these kids to be back with their parents Frannie and Kit. Also in the Author’s Note of this book Patterson says,

“When I researched it I interviewed dozens of scientists. All of them said that things like those that happen in The Lake House will happen in our lifetimes. In fact, a scientist in New England claims that he can put wings on humans right now.”

I found that an interesting new fact and added certainly to my reading of the book!

There is of course with this being James Patterson a thriller element to this sci-fi drama as the children fight for their lives among threats to their existence. It is very fast-paced and drags the reader along on an epic emotional journey. It might not be for all James Patterson fans seeing as it has a lot more drama and sci-fi than his usual traditional mysteries but I personally loved it. This is a book full of heart.


Loved it. A must-read.


To purchase The Lake House by James Patterson go to:


And for more about James Patterson and his work go to: