Category Archives: Reviews

An Oh-My-Bookness 4-star review

4 star review

It’s nice to know that even after being published for over three years, Painted Black is still getting excellent reviews.  Here’s a little bit of what Brittany Perez from Oh My Bookness has to say about it.  If you want to read her whole review, she’s posted it several places, including here at at book review blog.

Here is the thing about Painted Black author Debra R. Borys, she treats her characters as if they were there standing right in front of you hearing their story for the first time. … Fiction does not mean we have to lose the realistic qualities, show them as one dimensional beings … Debra R. Borys makes us remember even if it’s fiction or another story on streets, we’re reading a story about people, and real issues.

Painted Black Featured on Commas and Quotations

Thank you to Commas and Quotations for posting the first two chapters of Painted Black on their website yesterday.  This is the second time they have called attention to the Street Stories series since they did the same for Bend Me, Shape Me also recently.

Now Jo understood. Despite Keisha’s often hectic schedule, she found time to volunteer at the Night Moves Center for homeless youth. She identified with them because she almost ended up one of them. Raised on the South Side, struggling financially, only her mother’s love and strong will had saved her.

 Jo studied Lexie in the dim light. She looked half child, half whore. Skin as dark as freshly-turned top soil, hair drawn back, finely curved cheek bones. Her jaw jutted out defiantly. A large man’s hand could have wrapped around her throat with fingers nearly touching thumb.

“Often chilling, always entertaining”

5 star review Timing is everything.  During October, reviewer Angie Mangino is giving away her print reviewer’s copy of Painted Black in a contest on Facebook.  Then today, I received notice that Gary Stout posted a review of Painted Black on Amazon.  A five-star review, no less!  So after you read HIS five-star review, go to Angie’s Facebook page to read HER -five star review, and then comment in her post to possibly win your very own print version of the book.

Here’s What Gary had to say:

5.0 out of 5 starsOften Chilling, Always Entertaining, October 5, 2013
This review is from: Painted Black (Kindle Edition)

Borys has written a story from the streets of Chicago. She has developed consistent characters, used excellent imagery, and captured a glimpse of youth viewpoint of life on the streets and lost innocence. It’s easy to get behind the plot and want to follow along as the characters find themselves caught up in the struggle to survive amidst the horror of greed-at-any-cost entrepreneurs that see the street youth only as pawns in their diabolical schemes. The thrilling climax will leave you breathless. Three cheers Ms. Borys.

And here’s Angie’s explanation of her contest rules:




Win a Copy of Painted Black

Angie was one of the reviewers of Painted Black when it first came out. She even gave it five-stars.

She is giving away her copy of the PRINT version, so if you want a hard copy in your hot little hand, go to her FACEBOOK page, Like it, then comment about why you think the book sounds FANTASTIC!  Contest runs for the whole of October.  and Yes, I will be mentioning it again, and again, so get ready for a bit of spam for the next four weeks.

What do you see when you think of teens living on the streets of a city?  Do you get angry, compassionate, or think it’s a shame, but not your problem?  Be ready to see these teens in a different way.
In this novel, Borys introduces readers to Jo Sullivan, a reporter who started out just looking for a story, but who finds so much more.  Most especially, she finds Chris Young, a young graffiti artist living on the streets, surviving however he can.  Together they look for the truth, not only about a funeral home, but also about themselves.
“Midnight interviews at funeral parlors – not exactly the way they mapped thing out in Journalism 405: Strategic Communication Research.  But then nothing about Jo’s situation now related to what life had been back then.”
Jo comes to care about Chris, as do readers, with Borys painting a picture of life on the streets of Chicago that will absorb and involve readers as the reality shocks and captures them.

4-star Review

4 star review

I got a nice 4-star review on and Goodreads.  Judith compares the book to Willard Motley’s Knock On Any Door.  Pretty cool!

Jo Sullivan helps a homeless boy, Chris, look for his missing girlfriend, carrying us deep into the Chicago’s underbelly where street kids struggle to survive. Their quest carries them deep into the macabre, where the homeless are fed into the sick ambitions of the rich. The stories of neglect and abuse that people her world are as real as the mystery of Lexie’s disappearance, and in the end, Borys creates not only a page turning mystery, but an authentic and moving picture of a bitter, harsh and cruel world, reminiscent, for me, of Willard Motley’s 1947 Chicago epic, Knock On Any Door, a story that moved me greatly back in the Fifties.

–Judith Kirsch, author of  The Inheritors