Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rapunzel with a modern day twist. A Review of The Distance Between Stars by Nicole Conway

The Distance Between Stars by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This was a nice, sweet read reminiscent of Rapunzel.

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In this story, a dancer suffering from a severe allergy to the sun is locked away in the top floor of a large home (complete with a tower to be saved from) in order to keep her safe.

The new groundskeeper is an ex-soldier suffering from a form of PTSD that leaves him unable to talk. He can only communicate through gestures and writing on a pad that he keeps with him.

I really enjoyed how the relationship develops between these two characters. The dancer sneaks downstairs and steals his notebook, writes a note to him, and then he responds the next day. They become good friends without even seeing each other, and eventually, once they meet, they become something more.

Again, this is a nice sweet romantic tale with a HFN ending. My only quibble is I wish there were one or two more chapters.

[Extremely minor spoiler ahead] The whole vibe of the story is how these two characters will save each other. While we see one saved, I think we could have spent a little more time seeing the HEA for the other character as well.

But other than that, this left me feeling all warm, cuddly and gooey inside.

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here (For a Good Reason) A Book Review

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Audiobook) If you like to read, you’d have to be under a rock for the past few years if you have not heard the praises of Patrick Ness.

I keep looking at his books, but knew from the descriptions that I would not like them. 23830990So, when this book about super-hero kids came out, I was excited to finally read what everyone was talking about.

The premise of this book is awesome… that while some people are out there, saving the world, there are other people all around them living their everyday lives.

This book tells the story about those “other people”. But this is the thing… there is a reason that the story is about those special “indie kids” and not “the rest of us.”

The reason is simple.

The story about “the rest of us” is just plain boring. I tried. Really I did. Every once in a while, one of the cool things the “indie kids” were doing happened close to one of the “rest of us” kids, and the story would get interesting for a couple of paragraphs… but then we are thrown back into these other kids dull, boring lives.

After a while, I was so bored that I was doing pretty much anything other than listening to this book. I mean seriously… one time I listened to sports radio, which was infinitely more exciting.

Now, this is not to say that Ness is not a talented writer. He totally is. The writing it totally readable. But I was just totally bored. I know a lot of people like to read contemporary stories about every day, mundane things. That is not me. I like to be entertained, and I really could not find any entertainment value in this. I’m a little bummed about this, because I really wanted to understand what all the fuss was about.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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in a great while, A Movie is Actually Better Than The Book – THE IRON MAN vs. THE IRON GIANT

The Iron Man / The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes (Paperback) 

Now, This is just an opinion, please don’t start freaking out because this is a classic book… Hear me out!

The well-known USA animated movie, THE IRON GIANT was based off of a 1968 kids book called THE IRON MAN. It was renamed for the movie because “Iron Man” was already a superhero franchise in the USA. I saw the movie first, and it was one of those stories that stuck with me, and probably helped spur my love of contemporary science fiction today.

The original book by Ted Hughes was a cute story about a big robot that shows up and starts eating tractors. 119502The townspeople, sick of losing their tractors trap him in a big hole. After he escapes, they lead him to a junkyard where the Iron Man is more than happy to sit around eating cars and other metal junk all day, every day. Then a space dragon the size of Australia shows up and the Iron Man needs to save earth (with an odd contest, not a fight). (Note: the book is only about 70 pages long with REALLY BIG type and pictures. I finished it in under half an hour)

While I do applaud Ted Hughes’s vision of a simple, non-violent story for kids, I have to admit that the adaption for film was a lot more fun. The introduction of the psycho FBI Agent and the government wanting to find and destroy the Iron Man added what I consider a much more realistic element. And while the relationship between Hogarth and the Iron Man is hinted at in the book, their friendship really comes alive in the movie. And that ending… wow, sooooo much more satisfying that a non-aggressive “who is stronger that who” contest at the end.

119502Hughes’s original book was about peaceful existence and tolerance for all. The move delved deeper. While still having a profound theme of tolerance for those who are not like you, it also really pushed friendship, and believing that you can overcome all odds to be who you want to be, rather than who everyone thinks you are.

For me, the movie touched on what I deal with as a person every day, where the original book seemed more of a political statement. Again, yes, I applaud the original author’s intent for peaceful existence for all; but in the end, I’d rather show a little realistic violence and learn a message that people of all ages can apply to everyday life.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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Straight from an Agent: Why Did I Get a No?

Great article for querying writers…

Today we are lucky enough to have Mark Gottlieb, Literary Agent for Trident Media, guest posting on PsychWriter. Before we start I wanted to say how much I appreciate Mark sharing his time and knowledge with us. Seeing as rejection is very much part of the publishing journey for most writers, I thought it would be valuable to have an understanding of the factors that influence the ‘no thank you’s’ we receive – particularly when publishers and agents frequently don’t have the capacity to explain why (like all of us in this ever-changing industry, there’s only so many hours in the day and we all need to focus our time on the parts of our business that makes it sustainable and viable).

So, lets find out what some of the factors influencing the question – ‘Why Did I Get a No?’

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Slap on your virtual reality suit! A review of Arena by Holly Jennings

Wow. I really loved this book so much more than I expected to! This book takes place in the future, where virtual reality games have become a sport. 30687917It’s kinda disturbing, but these people have to get in really good shape, because they are their avatars in the virtual world, and they play a game similar to catch the flag, but they kill each other to get to the flags… but if they die, they just wake up and get to play again another day. The overall arc of the story is the protagonist’s team gets beaten pretty badly, and has to win every game after that to make it to the championship. While they are playing, they deal with real-world issues outside the virtual arena, like video game addiction, drugs, relationships, and dealing with the death of someone you care about (all in front of news cameras). I am not really into sports, and the idea of gladiator-like combat, even in the virtual world does not appeal to me, but this story really drew me in. I am looking forward to seeing where the next book takes us, because this first book did end very much like a stand alone. I would definitely look for another Holly Jennings book.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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When you just don’t know who you are anymore… A review of Lost Girls by Merrie Distephano

29939399This book was not what I expected. I thought it was a paranormal from the cover. I kept waiting for the paranormal to happen, and as our main character walked towards “the door” I was biting my nails waiting for “it”.

Well, the “it” was a big disappointment paranormally, but by the time I realized it was a real-life contemporary, I was far too invested to put it down.

Despite the lack of paranormal elements, this is a really great book. This girl wakes up in a ditch with no memory of the past year of her life, but she’s only been missing for two weeks. It’s an awesome concept, and I enjoyed as the character had to re-learn who she was.

I ended up really liking this book a lot, and total kudos to the author for placing a public service message for troubled teens at the back of the book.

I must admit, I am a hard sell for contemporary, but this one won me over anyway.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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FREE on eBook today only! FIRE IN THE WOODS reads like a contemporary, but packs the punch of an action movie!”

FREE on eBook today only! FIRE IN THE WOODS reads like a contemporary, but packs the punch of an action movie!”  For the first time ever, book one in my FIRE IN THE WOODS series is FREE on ebook!

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Tell your friends there’s never been a better time to start their race through the woods!

Blurb below if you want to check it out.

Get your copy now at:

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Aliens, Armageddon, and Romance

Fire in the Woods is FREE on Ebook

Today only

 

 


Discover the high-action alien adventure that started it all!

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When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally.

But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.

Her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught.

As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs and alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe.

Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

Fire in the Woods is the first book in a high-action contemporary science fiction series great for fans of Starcrossed, The Lux Series and Alienated.

Discover Fire in the Woods and start your race through the woods FREE today!

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Gallery

Interview with Jennifer M. Eaton

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on Bookish Mom Abroad:
It’s been a very exciting past couple of months! My heart is overjoyed for so many of my author friends who are celebrating the release of their new books. I’ve gotten to know Jennifer…

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The best of the 52 books I read this year

Book Twist

Wowzers! I am blown away that I actually read 52 books this year!

That is a new record for me, that I admittedly owe to listening to audiobooks in the car. There were 18 ebooks, 28 audiobooks, and five paperbacks in the mix (plus a four that I didn’t finish)

I actually read more books than I was able to review, so I’m only going to show 41 in this year’s ranking… especially because one of the books I just finished (Illuminae by Amy Kauffman) might be the best book I’ve ever read, but since it is fresh in my mind, and I frequently think a book is the best ever after reading it, I’m going to judge that one with next year’s books.

So here we are… of the 41 books I’ve reviewed this year, my ranking from most enjoyable to “not the best for me”. Click on any book cover to read the review.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? 


If you have any questions about a book, please feel free to ask!


 2016 most enjoyed at the top. Not for me at the bottom of the list

(Note: Being at the bottom does not mean it’s bad. It just means that I didn’t enjoy it as much as something else. Sometimes it is a bad match of reader to book.) Looking over this list, There weren’t too many I didn’t like. (Those would be the last four) Ranking was really hard this year.

Seven books in contention for number one

(I kept changing these around for one reason or another. I couldn’t name one of them the best, so these are the cream of the crop)

         

And some more awesome reads this year. Most enjoyed at the top:

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Have you read any of these? What did you think? 


Books I read, but have not reviewed yet:

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Get your dragon on! A review of Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Fledgeling by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This is a fantasy adventure about a hybrid boy elf/human who kinda-accidentally binds himself to a wild dragon that no one else can tame.

While this book is middle grade, it did not suffer from all the juvenile mannerisms that would annoy the adult reader. Nope, no whining and sticking out their tongues in this one (thank goodness)

Our Half-Elf is in an interesting situation. As a dragonrider, he must train to be a flying soldier in an army bent on destroying the elves. That’s kind of a pickle, but this conflict isn’t touched on in book one. I hope they delve into it further in future books.

Anyway, this book deals with the prejudice that this boy faces in the world of men for being half elf, and you also see a hint that the elves don’t care for half breeds, either. Poor kid! The only ones who seem to like him are his roommate, his trainer, and his trainer’s daughter. (Yep, dangerous ground there, and the beginnings of what might be a love interest when these characters age-up a bit)

This book deals with the struggle of a middle grade boy who just wants to fit in, while he sets off on a pretty impressive (and almost believable) adventure to save one of the few people who’d ever shown him kindness. Throw in a couple of dragons, and this reader is totally sold. I wish I’d picked this book up sooner!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


Catch up with me on social media!

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