Tag Archives: jennifer M. Eaton

When a book surprises the heck out of you… A review of The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine (Audiobook) This is a very loose Snow White Retelling, where not only is the evil queen a witch, but Snow white is also a kick-ass witch. The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)There are no dwarves in this book, but the huntsman is a dragon. Pretty cool stuff!

I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected. I sort of avoided it for a while because I hadn’t been in the mood for a retelling, but this was so different that it just barely fits into the retelling category. For me, the ending was slightly ruined because I knew it was a snow white retelling, and when I connected the dots to the handsome prince character, I kinda knew what would happen, and rather than being upset at the end, I just sat back and waited for the storybook ending.

HOWEVER this in no way muddied my enjoyment for this novel. I’m glad this was a standalone, because always having to get the next book is a little annoying, but also, I would love to read another book in this series. (sigh).

Anyway, I will definitely be looking to more CJ Redwine book in the future.

Life becomes books, and books become life! With Casey Griffin

Welcome back, Casey!

You write this great series about rescue dogs. What role do animals play in your life, and how does that roll over into your books?

26114194Roll over?! Pun intended? Haha.

I think instead of my life rolling over into my books, it was the other way around.

My books began to roll over into my life.

29875913I was at the tail end of writing Must Love Wieners when my partner came into my life, along with his three wonderful kids and, get this, two wiener dogs (they look weirdly similar to the two in the book).

I knew that I must love wieners because I loved his―dogs, that is.

To add to the coincidence, one of his dogs is named―you’re not going to believe this―Casey! You can’t write this stuff!

The series of coincidences proved to me that truth is stranger than fiction.

Awesome story! Thanks for stopping by again, Casey. And as a special treat, Casey has a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and all three adorable puppy books! Ya gotta love that!

Click the pic or link to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2281a69c0/?

 


31450623A wedding Tale, book three of A Rescue Dog Romance series is out now!

Shoot me to Goodreads to find out more!

Wedding planner Zoe Plum has brides from all walks of life vying for her services. The only problem is: happily-single Zoe doesn’t actually enjoy weddings―but that might change when she meets the singer of a local band playing at one of her weddings. His name is Levi Dolson and he’s too gorgeous for his own good. And now he’s gone ahead and charmed her new dachshund. . .

It’s no secret that Zoe doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to make sweet music with Levi. While she’s convinced she doesn’t need a man, when someone starts setting one trap after the next to make sure she never plans a wedding ever again, she might need Levi in more ways than she could have imagined. But just how far is Zoe’s hidden enemy willing to go? The only thing Levi knows for sure is that he will do everything in his power to protect the woman who brings music to his soul. Maybe that will prove to Zoe, once and for all, that he is a man worthy of her heart.


 

About Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada.

As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.


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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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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.

Why am I doing Pitch Wars?

I am a proud Pitch Wars contestant this year.

Yes, I am already an published author with an independent press, but believe it or not, I have been floundering around for the last several years, semi-lost in the publishing sea, AGENTLESS.

I love writing. If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you know that telling stories is near and dear to my heart. (And it’s my therapy, to some extent)

sadI’ve been through several independent publishers, two of which have closed their doors and reverted rights.

happy smileI am still happily with my two remaining publishers, but the other two houses closing made it plain to me that I should not put my eggs in one basket. (Or even two, as it were.)

I do a lot of research, and I’ve met enough people to ask questions and get honest answers. So I know that to get into one of the other publishing houses I am interested in, I will need an agent.

For those of you out there trying to find an agent, you know the slush pile isn’t much fun. The challenge is to get pages read at all, let alone gaining representation… and it’s so darn hard.

That is where Pitch Wars comes in.

If I’m selected, I get the help of a super-deep-dive beta read (Which I just LOOOOOVE) You guys know I usually have 5-12 beta readers. I love new ideas and fresh perspectives. I am a firm believer that a novel can always be improved, so I am TOTALLY for this.


Next, after the beta read, is the AGENT ROUND. Now this is where I am hoping to shine. Because Pitch Wars has earned a reputation. Agents know these manuscripts have not only been heavily culled, they’ve been deep-dive edited for two months in preparation for the Agent Round. So I’m hoping this will give my story that extra boost, because I know in my heart that Mollie will wiggle her way into their hearts once they start reading.

Lastly, even if I am not chosen, the Pitch Wars community totally rocks. This is a great place to make writerly friends.

“Hello, fellow pitch warriors!”

So, If you are entering this year, GOOD LUCK! I am totally rooting for you.

Have fun, make friends, and most importantly, keep writing. No matter what happens in the next few months, you still have a story to tell.

 

Everyone jump on the Thrill Ride! A review of Thrill Ride by Julieann Walker

Thrill Ride by Julianne Walker (Audiobook) Oddly enough, I really enjoyed the character of OZZIE in this book. He was so much more fun as a side character here than he was in his own book, Wild Ride.

33640890Anyway, this is a story about an ex Navy SEAL now top-secret operator with the Black Knights, who has gone rogue, accused of killing several men. One of his teammates risks her life to search the jungle for him, hoping to bring him back to clear his name. Unbeknownst to her, the CIA placed a tracker on her, and she has led the CIA straight to him.

This is another great action adventure romance from Walker. I love how she lets us get to know the side characters as well as the mains. This makes it all the more thrilling when we get to experience books revolving around the characters that were once sides. (If that makes sense)

I give this one two enthusiastic thumbs up. (And five stars to go along with it)

It was one of the best, Until… A review of Consolation by Corinne Michaels

Consolation by Corinne Michaels (Audiobook) I have extremely mixed emotions about this book. From the first page to the last page, I was about to

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place this book on the top of by “Best Contemporary Romances” list. But then I read the last few lines.

This book is about a pregnant woman whose Navy SEAL husband dies overseas. We feel her heartache through the first chapters, and then we begin on a very realistic journey of healing. Her husband’s best friend stays local after the funeral, and tries to help her get her life back together (While she raises a newborn). And yes, this is a romance, so a relationship develops between the two of them.

I loved pretty much everything about this story. I found it perfect, haunting, and believable.

HOWEVER my bubble burst in the last few lines of the book. There is the MOTHER of cliffhangers. There is absolutely no closure, and you have to get another book to fish the story. I should have been prepared, because I knew there was another book, but I expected SOME sort of closure. So, my suggestions would be to definitely read this book, but don’t read the last chapter. Give yourself the wonderful, happy ending that you are supposed to get in a romance novel by NOT reading all the way to the end. Take out that last chapter, and this is a five star book.

Ex Navy SEALs Turned Bike Repairmen? A Review of Wile Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Format: Audiobook **Adult Content Warning**

This is the second Julie Ann Walker book I’ve read, but the first in this Black Knights series. I really loved Devil and the Deep, and was expecting the same 30166725non-stop action in this new book.

Wild Ride was not as Wild as I expected. It was a little, no, it was a lot more general contemporary than I expected. I expected a little more excitement for an ex-navy SEAL novel, but the first 3/4 of this book was just really about bikers, which I found to be a bit of a turnoff. Walker’s writing and readability are just as awesome as ever, and I am wondering if the other books in this series have more action in them. The last, say 25% of this book was a heck of a lot of fun… exactly what I expected… it just took me a long time to get there. If you don’t mind bikers in your story, and a slower pace at the beginning of a novel, you’d probably rate this four or five stars. It’s a great book, just not quite what I was expecting.

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!

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


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When a book brings you on a grand adventure: A Review of Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake (Ebook) It’s kinda hard to explain what this book is about. Most large libraries hold magic books that are actually portals. 17669243There are people guarding these portals from things that go bump in the night that might try to use the portals to move into our world. Our heroine accidentally falls through one of these books because she is actually one of these wardens because her mother was one. – Okay, that is really oversimplifying it, but that’s the best I can do.

This book is really rich with world building, and the world created is pretty cool, with a life all its own. There is a whole lot of story going on here, and at times I felt a little overwhelmed. This book also seemed really long. But again, a lot was going on.

Our heroine is falling for another warden, and he is very interested in her, but they are forbidden from being together because of a curse. There is also another guy in the picture, creating a love triangle (To be honest, I kinda like the other guy better) This is definitely a book one, because most of the story is left open at the end. If you are into rich, fantastical worlds, are okay with a long (not boring, just long) read, and like a series, this it totally the book for you. Four Stars.


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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


Catch up with me on social media!

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