I am a literary enthusiast with a love for contemporary fiction. I have a specific passion for proofreading and editing, but most of all I love writing reviews and beta reading for both new and established authors. My goal is to help new and up coming authors find their following and promote their work(s).
A book that can elicit this type of reaction cannot be ignored! It would be like ignoring the last gallon ever to be made of your favorite ice cream, just because your diabetic. You know it’s good because you’ve tasted it, but you also know it will probably hurt in the end…but it’s SO GOOD the pain is worth it!
Following a series of dramatic and gut wrenching novels, I was starting to feel like my blog was becoming work. I decided to read Austenland to give myself a small break from the death, self-destruction, broken hearts, drug addictions and violence I so typically find myself reading. Reemerging a few days later, I felt like anyone taking a vacation – I didn’t want to leave. My blog review of Shannon Hale's Austenland.
“The Poe Consequence” is a paranormal thriller set in present day Los Angeles, California. The story centers around an 11 year old boy named Seth Palmer, his father, Warren Palmer, and his uncle, Kevin Palmer.
We begin in New Orleans where Warren, a college poetry professor in L.A. who is obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe’s work, seeks a psychic to tell him if he has gotten a position he applied for at USC. After some searching and divine intervention, he finds Madame Sibilia. During his tarot reading we find out that part of his past is filled with pain. Warren explains that Seth’s mother, Michelle, has died only months ago from cancer. She continues and foretells Warren’s death and explains that after his he will become a restless spirit seeking revenge, and in the process of revenge will become evil. Not wanting to hear anymore, he runs out of her shop before learning the last card of his fortune and jumps on a plane back to L.A.
Days later, Warren and Kevin take Seth to a Dodger’s game and before going home, Warren has to stop at a local market to get aspirin for a building migraine. In the parking lot, on their way out of the store a gang, the North Rampart Lobos, takes Warren’s wallet and threatens them both. While the Lobos are terrorizing them a rival gang, Alvarado Street Diablos, conduct a drive by shooting to exact revenge for the Lobos murdering one of their own. Through the scrambling of bodies and bullets flying, Warren is shot and killed. Now alone, Seth goes to live with his Uncle Kevin who drinks all day and then works nights as a news reporter for the L.A. Times and Daily News.
While we continue to follow Seth and Kevin as they struggle to adjust, young and healthy Lobo’s and Diabol’s are dying of heart attacks. We follow members of each gang as they experience a series of nightmarish symptoms right out of the work’s of Edgar Allen Poe before each heart stops at 4:00 AM. The L.A. police investigate and discover a pattern; a gang related murder has taken place prior to every heart attack. Curious, it’s almost like…revenge.
Keith Steinbaum does an excellent job holding the readers attention as he weaves an emotional tale of a young boy struggling to trust the adults in his life as he tries to make sense of life’s tragedies. I’ve cheered for characters as they overcome their obstacle’s, but the empathy I felt for Seth was more intense than I’ve felt before. I contribute my strong reaction to Seth’s character to the author’s ability to portray the hurt and anger felt by a young boy forced to learn some early lessons in adulthood. As I read, I’m appreciative of the time and thought the author poured into developing his characters. Veronica and Alex are two supporting character’s who come into the lives of the Palmer’s when Seth falls behind in school and begins fighting with some of the Latino students. The story then transforms further and we see a heart warming group of people develop and grow individually as they provide support and encouragement for one another.
The book does fall short in its attempt at involving the paranormal. The concept that a victim of a shooting extends beyond the grave to exact his revenge by using various theatrical themes from the works of Edgar Allen Poe is very ambitious. Unfortunately, the author is unsuccessful at his attempt to develop this concept. It seemed Mr. Steinbaum was content with leaving abstract description of after-life events and trusting the reader to make sense of his concept of revenge turning a spirit evil. To me, it felt incomplete, disjointed and placed too much responsibility on the audience to be a successful part of the book. It would have been more advantageous to leave this concept out of the book all together.
Overall, I enjoyed the story our author was able to tell, but felt the paranormal and spiritual part of the book was neglected and unsuccessful.
For my first post this week, I will be breaking the rules. I’m posting a review of my first non-fiction book and truthfully, I hope it is the first of many non-fiction books that will inspire me to do so. When I first approached the subject of reviewing non-fiction, I thought “only if it is entertaining.” There are many great people out there that proof and beta read text books and that just isn’t my style, so I wanted to keep it light. After reading the description for The Professional Woman’s Guide to Managing Men, I thought “what harm could it do to know how to manage men? After all I am married to one.”
While reading the first few pages, I began to see this book was more than just a guide to managing men, it was a guide to good management from a woman’s perspective. Anna Runyan demonstrates how to encourage and develop the different work styles of men and women while utilizing your individual strengths and addressing your weaknesses. The author provides realistic and specific ways to implement management techniques while improving your confidence and relationships with employees and staff. My finale thought – this book gives women the tools to take an active role in their success and eliminating the “boys’ club” as an excuse.
It's rare for me to stay awake all night reading, but I couldn't stop reading this book! Lexi Ryan's characters grabbed my attention from page one and kept me guessing until the very end.
The book begins by introducing its characters through the eyes of Hanna, our heroine and main character. Hanna wakes up in the hospital with a case of amnesia causing her to forget the last 11 months of her life. I know what you’re thinking, “how cliché,” but wait, there’s more. Not only does she not remember almost a year of her life, but she’s has lost a lot of weight, and is wearing an engagement ring and her lifelong crush, Maximilian Hallowell, is now claiming to be her fiancé.
Dunt dunt duuuuuhh!
This is where our story line presents itself, getting Hanna’s memory back. Now, I know, I know – "But our writer broke the rules, how could this book not be another corny romance?" The writer, Ms. Ryan, openly admits this writing faux pas, but this creative choice has no negative effect on the story. On the contrary, it excels the story into a fast paced suspense/mystery/romance that had me grabbing my e-reader until 3:00 AM.
I won’t go much into the plot and twists of the story, but just want to give you an idea of how complicated it gets trying to piece Hanna’s memory back together.
**WARNING SPOILER ALERT OF THE FIRST 4 CHAPTERS**
Upon being released from the hospital, Hanna is told her memory may or may not come back over time. Her wonderful, loving, and gorgeous husband to-be takes her back to her apartment where still nothing is familiar. Hanna then decides to create some new memories and fools around with Max. However, her straight laced, controlling, no-sex-before-marriage mother walks in on them.
After her mother fusses at them for being reckless, after all her daughter was just released from the hospital. Her mother then leaves ushering her fiancé out at the same time.
Hanna decides to call it a night and makes her way through the unfamiliar surroundings to her bed and falls asleep. But that's not all ladies and gents! Hanna wakes suddenly in the night to what she believes is her fiancé coming back to stay with her.
In her haze of sleep, if finally registers that this person doesn't smell like her fiancé, nor is his dirty mouth sound anything like him! She jolts from her bed, thinking the person in her bed is an attacker. Before things completely lose control, the guys eyes travel to the engagement ring on her hand and then he gets angry, “You could have told me.”
Why would an attacker care if she was engaged, or know so much about her???
***END OF SPOILER***
I’m not going to ruin any more for you, but I swear this all happens within the first 4 chapters and it doesn’t slow down from there. So when you read this book strap in and hang on; it goes about hundred miles a second!
I was thrown by the amount of emphasis the characters, and Hanna, put on her weight. The story made it seem that she lost almost 100 pounds. I get it. I'm a woman, we all have our body issues. I believe that this book was trying to demonstrate the struggle we all have learning no matter how hard we work we will never have the supermodel body, but the point is finding what makes us healthy and happy. I just didn't expect it to be brought up throughout the entire book.
I really enjoyed reading Lexi’s first book of her new series. It was entertaining and sexy. I will say I was disappointed by the lack of actual sex in this book, but this was a character personality choice that I could live with. I also ran into a few places in this book when I was reading and everything seemed a little over the top. It seemed as though everything that could go terribly and horribly wrong, went terribly and horribly wrong and towards the end it became a little redundant. Hanna, however, is the best heroine I've read in a very long time. She's strong, independent, and determined to make it on her own and on her own terms.
I can’t wait for Lexi’s next book in the series, "Fall to You." I, for one, will definitely be reading!
*Reader Beware* If you are a person who does not like cliff hanger ending, this book is not for you.
I had the pleasure of beta reading for Angie Martin and was entranced by Angie’s ability to weave the delicate and suspenseful story of False Security.
Our story begins in Wichita, Kansas where we meet Rachel, her roommate Danielle, and Mark, the love interest. Rachel lives a simple life teaching self defense at the women’s shelter and visiting the local bookstore where she meets Mark. Like all romances, love is complicated and Rachel declines Mark at first. Eventually, as all good roommates and friends do, Danielle talks Rachel into opening up to the possibility of Mark. It is here we get our first hint that Rachel isn’t as plain as she seems. It is through her relationship with Danielle and her eventual romantic interest in Mark, that we are painfully introduced to the idea that Rachel has been through something horrific and is hiding from something or someone.
While the first 100 pages of her 359 page novel are slow and leave you asking more questions and almost painfully begging for answers, the author mercifully delivers all that and more in Part 2 of the book. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers here, but the story of Rachel leaves the reader experiencing an enlightenment of horror and sadness.
Yes. This novel has a romantic element, but it a suspenseful thriller above all else!
First and foremost, I really liked this book! It is the beginning of a very addictive series and I will be highly anticipating the release of the second book in the series, “The Boy.”
My take from this book is a bit different from everyone else. Yes, I love the main story and line and the characters, while flawed are likeable, but by the end of the book I was still very troubled. I felt there was still something not quite right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Days passed and then a week and I was starting to feel frustrated. I liked the story and the characters had depth – why do I feel dissatisfied? Then, it hit me…the romantic relationships. It probably fits into the series, but it doesn’t fit in this book.
Allow me explain. We meet Wyatt and Dev and within two or three encounters they are in love and in a relationship. They can’t explain it and neither can the reader, and we don’t know enough about the two to understand what makes them want to be together. The relationship defiantly provides motivation for the characters, but beyond that it’s as if the two just have this feeling and are together because they feel sorry for one another. It’s strange. Next is Jools Clayworth, Wyatt’s younger annoying sister, and Ryker. The characters have one interaction, one, and then fall into a relationship. Don’t misunderstand me, I realize they have known each other for a very long time, but as a reader the relationship feels disjointed in the story.
However, the author does such an amazing job developing and creating this alternate reality. It is a great story about 10 Founding Families running academies all over the world to train warriors to serve The Sanctum. It’s imaginative, thought provoking, and extremely entertaining. The characters are well developed and funny. I could not get enough. I love the relationship Ryker and Wyatt have, it’s a true bromance and hilarious to read. Another character I haven’t mentioned is Darcy. Darcy is a vampire and nothing happens in New York City without Darcy knowing. She’s feisty and blunt and I love it! As you can tell, even through the strange romantic relationships, I loved this book! It’s a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves low fantasy.
I was provided a ARC copy of “The Girl” the first book of The Sanctum series by Madhuri Blaylock in return for my fair review.