Tag Archives: Reading

Get you Kick-Butt Action on! A Review of Forever Dusk by Jocelyn Adams

Dive into the thrilling third novel in the Mortal Machine series by Jocelyn Adams…

Woohoo! I really loved the first two books in the Mortal Machine series, Darkside Sun and Midnight Dawn. This is a kick-butt action series with one of the most incredible paranormal worlds I’ve ever read.
When I heard that the long-awaited final installment, Forever Dusk was finally releasing I jumped at the chance to get an ARC, and I’m so glad I did.
Now, first things first, I’m not sure what’s up with the cover for Forever Dusk, but don’t let it turn you off if you haven’t read the series. This IS NOT an erotic romance novel. This is about nasty demons trying to break into our world and eat everyone … and a group of kick-butt soldiers fighting and dying under the radar to keep us all safe. This is first and foremost paranormal action/adventure and maybe yes, a little romance thrown in for good measure.

My feelings for the final installment in the series were a little mixed. To be honest, I wish I could review just the second half of the book, because here is where I saw all the elements of the Mortal Machine that kept me screaming for more in books one and two. For some reason Addy was in a very different place in the beginning of the book than I expected her to be. To an action junkie like me, I felt like she was hanging around and “thinking” too much. I suppose there were two books of backstory in there that needed to be covered, but I didn’t see the Addy that I loved on those pages, and I missed her.

HOWEVER at about 40% into the story (I read on an E-reader) Baku lights a fire under our girl’s butt and she is off and running again. The second 60% of Forever Dusk is jam-packed full of all the awesome Mortal Machine goodness that made me fall in love with the series a few years ago. We also see one of the greatest races against time that I’ve read in a very long time. You know the kind I mean: Do something completely insane up against incredible odds, and be back before sundown or the world will come to an end. (Literally)

Woo-hoo! Love it!

Being as non-spoilery as I can, Forever Dusk tied up all the loose ends, pulling at all my heart strings and leaving me a very happy camper.

As a series, I’d give this a clean and easy five stars. If you are looking for something you haven’t seen before, THIS IS IT. Get ready for a great ride!


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Forever Dusk (Book Three)
Since their last battle, life for the Mortal Machine—the secret-society that protects Earth and its inhabitants from dark outside forces—has become almost…normal. For everyone but Addison. The evil she’s imprisoned in her soul has begun eating away at her sanity, and despite her soul mate Asher’s efforts to hold her together, it’s causing painful and terrifying delusions.
 
Consequently, nobody believes Addison’s warnings that Marcus, their old enemy, has returned. When Marcus threatens Asher and the Machine, she agrees to find what he seeks—a treasure that, in his hands, could be deadly.
 
If she relies too much on Asher, she knows he’ll likely imprison her, if only to preserve what’s left of her deteriorating mind. But if she fails this final test, Earth will fall. So Addison is forced to distance herself from her love, to prevent the life she wants with Asher from being over before it truly begins.
 
Find your copy of FOREVER DUSK:
 
 
 
 
Previous Books in the Mortal Machine Series:

 

Darkside Sun (Book One)
 
Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.
Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.
Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.

 

Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.
Normal was overrated, anyway.
 
Find your copy of DARKSIDE SUN:
Midnight Dawn (Book Two)
With only three days until the wraith king turns the earth into an all-you-can-eat buffet, Addison Beckett is forced to enlist brooding sentinel Asher Green’s help to unlock the Mortal Machine. According to the founder, all she has to do is find the sanctuary—the same sanctuary she can’t remember because Asher erased her memories.
Trying to save humanity while navigating Asher’s lies is a royal pain. But the more time she and Asher spend together, the harder her soul tries to remind her what else he’s made her forget—that he loves her, wants her, needs her.
When she’s trapped by the wraith king and forced to pick who will stand by her in the coming battle, Addison is faced with an impossible choice: the sentinel she loves who refuses to love her back, or a powerful stranger who insists they’re meant to be together. Her decision will determine the fate of humanity, and once decided, can’t be undone.
 
Find your copy of MIDNIGHT DAWN:

 

About the author: 
 
Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.

 

With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has eight published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.

 

When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

 

Connect with Jocelyn Adams
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The books I read in 2014: Listed from “Best” to “Not So Best”

Looking over this list at the end of the year, part of me wanted to start re-arranging. But I decided not to, because this is how I felt after reading each book. #1 and #2 were really neck and neck for best book, so I am going to give them both the number one slot.

It is funny– I read 21 books this year. That is exactly the same number of books that I read last year. I am half way through reading another J.L.Armentrout book right now, so maybe it is really 21.5 books this year.  Not too shabby since I don’t have all that much time to read.

So here it is, my list of Best to not so best books this year. Have you read any?

  1. Onyx , Jennifer L. Armentrout – Second (maybe third) in the Lux Series. Girl moves into a town and the twins next door are aliens. This story deepens the plotlines of book one. Slow to start, but once it got going I forgot about all that. What an amazing and unexpected last fifty or so pages!
  2. Rules of Survival, Jus Accardo – Great story about a bounty hunter that shackles himself to a fugitive girl and then finds out there are people trying to kill her. Great action and nice character development. Have to fault the author for an unrealistic sex scene, but loved the rest of it!
  3. Darkside Sun, Jocelyn Adams—Great Googly Moogly. I loved this book. Paranormal action and suspense at its best. The ending could have had some more action, but an awesome read overall.
  4. Rescue Me – This is writing of First Person Present at its best. The tone did not jar me, and despite being downright offensive at times, this author kept me turning pages. Granted, I started to roll my eyes after the fortieth sex scene, but this novel really moved.
  5. Opal, Jennifer L. Armentrout–Yeah, another Lux novel. I really enjoy these. The concepts and characters continue to pull me in. Unfortunately, I had read the blurb on the next book before reading this, so I knew how it would end. Kind of ruined it for me. Great excitement and really awesome writing. This author has not let me down yet.
  6. Cinder, Marissa Meyer–I liked this book a lot. I just didn’t love it. While everyone is telling me book 2 is even better, I didn’t find myself instantly reaching for the next book, and I’m not sure I ever will. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It was. I’m not sure why I’m not continuing with the series.
  7. Midnight Dawn, Jocelyn Adams–Adams is another one of my favorite authors. She rarely disappoints me. Great story and great world and kick butt characters with explosive endings. What’s there not to love?
  8. Branded, Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki — This was a great fast-paced Dystopian. I had to cringe a few times over the violent images (not my thing) But the authors did manage to surprise me at the end. After hearing mixed reviews, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this.
  9. Call Me Grimm, Elizabeth Holloway – Really neat story. Great world building, but she lost me in the last sentence. Didn’t spoil the overall enjoyment of the book though.
  10. Ghosts in the Mirror, Joyce Mangola — Oooo ghosts. This is a unique pass at a ghost story. Ghosts jump into this poor kid and put him in a coma. Lots to love here. I would consider picking up another book in this series if there was one.
  11. Divergent, Veronica Roth–Okay, I’ll admit this was a DNF for me. I really enjoyed the writing and the flow of it all. But I saw the movie when I still had half the book to go. I just kind of lost interest after that. I will probably read more some day though.  I think all the talk about the rest of the books not being good may have turned me off as well. I’ll probably get back to it some day.
  12. Fire of Stars and Dragons, Melissa Petreshock—Girl has to marry either a dragon, a god, or a vampire king. They all have to woo her to win her love. Interesting premise, but told in first person from each male lead’s POV and the protagonist’s POV. Not crazy about the switching first person, but after a very shaky beginning, this was an enjoyable story overall.
  13. Damaged, H.M. Ward – Great story. Odd that I enjoyed it because it was contemporary romance. Really had me hooked, but it Didn’t end AT ALL. You need to buy book 2 to find out what happens. I did not buy book two. I felt cheated, and didn’t like not knowing if I’d have to buy book three, four, or more before the story completes. If a book is a serial, it should have a stamp on the cover or something. Instead of loving the book (which I was doing) I ended up ticked off at the end. Not good.
  14. The Brown House, Christy Sloat — Interesting and very complicated ghost premise (in a good way) This is a ghost story that really is not scary at all. (Like not even a creepy feeling) I got this book because it was based loosely on a real house and the weird things that happened here. It was neat reading another book that took place in New Jersey.
  15. Sleeping with a Stranger—A crit partner asked me to read this, because this is a writer she wanted to emulate. I was not impressed, but it could be a bad match of reader to book. I can’t relate to gambling or immature, dangerous behavior. I also felt the conflict was forced. (Note – After reading it, my crit partner agreed. She wondered if this was one of the author’s earlier works)
  16. Tempting the Bodyguard, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J. Lynn — Okay, this is my favorite author. Why is this book down here? Yikes! This book was not written for me. I picked it up expecting the same valued writing style that I enjoyed with the Lux books, but with an adult story. Boy, was that NOT what this was. Shame on me for expecting what this was not. There is a reason she changed her names for these books. Not. For. Me.
  17. The Witches of Glass Castle – DNF. I was bummed, because I could not engage with this story. Stinky, because so many people seemed to like it.

Novellas:

Dragon Eye, Anna Simpson–This is a cute story, great for a short read at the beach or while waiting in a doctor’s office. Just some good clean fun.

Pixified, Sheryl Winters–More good fun. Lots of goofy characters written tongue in cheeck. Read this with a smile on your face.

Craft Books:

1. Riveting you Reader with Deep Point Of View – AWESOME

2. Writing Fight Scenes: Almost put it down because the beginning was talking down to a novice, but later parts of the book were helpful. I like how it is divided into different sections for different types of fights.

So there you have it. What was the best book you read in 2014, and why did you love it?

JenniFer_EatonF

15 second trailers. Don’t laugh. They are worse than a query.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Instagram. It’s been great talking books with readers.  Tons of fun.

But of course, I’m also there to mention my book once in a while. Mostly this is with pictures of my book, or with snappy memes.

But I’ve also started enjoying 15 second or less mini-trailers.

Hey, you thought querying was bad!

This has been a huge challenge, and I have to admit… a little bit of fun.

Think it over… how can you entice a reader to check out your book in 15 seconds or less. It’s flash fiction, with videos!

For the next few weeks I’ll be showing these videos here on Fridays. I hope you enjoy them!

Here’s number one. This was really an experiment to see how it was received. I took for granted most people have at least heard of my book (Because they followed me)

What do you think?

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JenniFer_EatonF

My resolution is bigger than your resolution

It’s that time of year where everyone is making resolutions. In most cases, I don’t so much make resolutions, as much as I make plans.  One of these “plans” though, smacked me in the face.

In 2013, I read 21 books. Read-hold up PKO_0016876Oddly enough, without even trying, I also read 21 books in 2014. So when Goodreads popped up and asked me how many books I wanted to read in 2015, I answered with “21”.

But great googly-moogley! Then it showed me what everyone else’s reading goals were. Holy cow!  100 book in a year? SERIOUSLY?

Scrolling through, I realized that my goal was the lowest of anyone’s on my friend’s lists. It left me feeling lacking… but only for a second.

I could have typed in 100 books, but that isn’t realistic. Not for me. I’m not one of those people who can find the time to sit down and finish an entire book on a Saturday afternoon. It’s just not in the cards for me. Reading a book in about ten days is realistic to me. So why didn’t I enter 35 books?

Well, I normally read about 10% of a book in a day, but I don’t always have time to read every day.

I don’t want reading to be a chore, or to end up one of those people grabbing for novellas just so I can add another “finished” to my list. I’d rather read slowly, relax, and enjoy. I don’t ever want reading to be a competition.

Education Concept. Read Books Sign.What I do want to do this year is read more top-selling, five-star young adult novels. I want to see what the trends are. I want to make sure that I am keeping up with the styles that are making people scream for more.

Here are 10 of the books I have already purchased to read this year. I’ll leave the other ten open for new releases or new books that get buzz going about them.

The 5th Wave

Origins

Doon

A thousand Pieces of You

Alienated

White Hot Kiss

Snow Like Ashes

Lifer (Not a best-seller yet, but I hear it’s good)

These Broken Stars

Gravity

What’s on your bucket list to read this year?

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JenniFer_EatonF

Today’s the day! Release day for FIRE IN THE WOODS!

Fire in the Woods Revised Cover

I’m super excited to announce that my debut young adult novel FIRE IN THE WOODS is officially available in ebook format. What a great feeling!

A little elf told me that the paperbacks will be available in about a month. Double excitement!

Here’s a few quotes from early reviews from the blog tour:

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“Hot alien, quirky heroine & exciting plot… what’s not to like?” HERBOOK THOUGHTSREADS

Teens will read it for the constant action, snappy dialogue and authentic characters. Adults will ponder the deeper thematic messages for days after closing the book on the final chapter.” Sharon Hughson

Def can’t put this down” Lainey’s Reviews

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It’s great to know that my story is now officially out in the world. I hope Jess and David can help make a few people smile.

Blurb:

Fire in the Woods Revised CoverWhen 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. But 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. Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part.

After all, she can’t really fall for a guy whose not exactly from here. 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 all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as 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.

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Barnes and Noble

_JenniFer____EatoN

Woohoo! Let’s Celebrate. Enjoy a Free Ebook on me!

There’s only one week left in the countdown to September 23 and release day for FIRE IN THE WOODS!

Fire in the Woods Revised CoverI am totally excited because this is my full length novel debut.

Yes, I’ve had three novellas published (two stand alone and one in an anthology.)

But there’s something really special about that first big project.

I’m all tingly just thinking about it!

Swish Match

Now Available from Jennifer M. EatonTo help celebrate the release of FIRE IN THE WOODS, MuseItUp publishing is offering my YA novella THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW at the rock bottom price of free for the next six days.

**CLICK HERE TO ZOOM TO MuseItUp TO GET YOUR FREE EBOOK**

So while you’re waiting for all the extraterrestrial adventure coming next week, snuggle up with a little paranormal teen romance.

Enjoy!

Blurb for THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW

Maya dreams of perfect skin, beautiful hair, good grades, and Eric Brighton—the boy she’s been crushing on since elementary school. But no matter how hard she tries, these things elude her.

Until Now.

In the space of a day, her acne clears, her hair thickens, and Eric finally takes notice. As everything she wishes comes true, happiness is finally in reach—until a man posing as a college recruiter informs her that her newfound abilities come with a price. She will be expected to use them to stop a catastrophe.

Frightened of playing superhero, but thrilled that everything she desires becomes reality, Maya tests the limits of her power—until someone gets hurt.

Now terrified of her own thoughts, Maya will need to choose between having everything she wants, or returning to normalcy. With Eric’s heart and the fate of her town resting on her decision, Maya makes the hardest choice of her life.

JenniFer_EatonF

If you are skimming a book, why even read it? What the ease of self-publishing has done to the “great” novel

I recently picked up a book that I was really excited about.  The premise was new to me, and the cover was stunning.  The five-star reviews on Amazon helped a bit too.  So I nestled down with my E-reader and delved into this wonderfully imagined tale.

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***My bubble soon popped***

The idea of this story was great… elves live among us.  They look just like us, only a little shorter, and they are all quite beautiful.  The story is about an elf girl who is predestined to marry a particular elf, but they cannot meet until her eighteenth birthday. (Of course that gets screwed up or there wouldn’t be a story.) There is also this great buildup of a huge battle between dark and light elves.

(In respect to the author, I am not going to reveal the title or author. No one likes a bad review. And everyone should form their own opinion.)

The story sounded so exciting, but as I read, I had to wonder where all these five-star reviews came from.  Has the influx of bad novels stilted people’s reading so much that they would consider an average novel to be extraordinary?

I found tons of things wrong with this novel.  Long, unnecessary conversations with friends that have nothing to do with the story, several typos in the first few pages. (missing words) Scenes that seemed placed into the text just for page count that had nothing to do with the story, and so on.

But I delved on.  I figured all these stars had to come from somewhere.  So I started to skim, and skim, and skim. Then all of the sudden, the hero (future husband) pops up and gets jealous of a drunk guy hitting on his future bride (who he has not even officially met yet)…

AND HE KILLS THE DUDE!!!!! 

Yeah… cold blooded murder. And then there is a conversation with his Dad about how it really didn’t even bother him to have killed someone.

Say_What

Whaaaat?

I sooooooo don’t like this guy anymore. And I should like him, because the main character loves him. Right? (Or am I an old fogey and it is okay these days to have a murderer for a fiancée?)

I was resolved to see how the author would write her way out of that one… but she never did.

At the end, when I reached the big battle, I stopped skimming, but continued to be dissatisfied.

When I was done I shook my head.  How was this possible?  Why did I dislike this book so much when the premise seemed so good?

I looked back and checked to see who published it.  Yes, there was a publisher listed, so I looked up their website.  Guess what? No website.

[[Smacks herself in the head]]

Yep, I was duped.  This appears to be a self-published book with a fake publisher name to hide behind.  And the author did a great job…  good marketing and a gorgeous cover. I think they paid more attention to the cover and marketing than writing and editing.

Now… I am in no way shape or form saying that there is anything wrong with self-publishing.  There are some great self-published books out there. I think I gave a four star review to Sweet Blood of Mine.  It deserved it.

I know that many self-published authors paid their dues, learned their craft, and produced great works of art.  The problem is, these people are getting swallowed by the influx of people producing skim-worthy… or just plain HORRIBLE books.

I don’t even know what my point is. I guess I would not have been so bothered if there weren’t something like 250 five-star reviews on this work.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you have never edited your manuscript, or had a beta reader other than your mother, or if you did have a few real beta-readers, and you ignored their shouts of “Show Verses Tell” or their requests to delete a scene, or NOT HAVE YOUR LOVE INTEREST KILL SOMEONE.  (Yeah, that part really bothered me)

Anyway… If any of the things above apply, but you went out to query anyway, and your received rejections, you may not want to take the easy way out and self-publish. Maybe you should really look at your writing, and try to figure out WHY you are getting rejections.

This book could have been AWESOME. The writer just needed a heavy line edit, and a proofreader. A good developmental editor could have made this sucker EPIC.  I mean seriously, this book could have been stupendous!

Was it that bad?

Well, no, but the work reads like little or no attention was given to make this story sparkle.

Yes, self-publishing may give you personal satisfaction.  Yes, most of your friends will not know the difference and they will be excited for you… but all these books out there make it really hard to find a good novel these days.  And with all those five-star reviews on this one particular book, I have to wonder if readers, in general, are losing their capacity to even notice a well crafted book when they read it.

It makes me sad.

Then again, maybe what a “good book” is has changed. Maybe I’m the one who needs to catch up with the times.

Jennifer___Eaton

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The books I read in 2013: Listed from “Best” to “Not So Best”

Wow. Totaling them all up, I read 21 books in 2013. That’s not too shabby. Ten of these are novellas, so I guess that would equate to the equal of 16 full-length novels.

Up until two years ago, I felt accomplished if I finished ONE book in a year.  I’ve found that reading GOOD books has improved my writing in leaps and bounds. If you are not reading, Why not?

These are the books I read last year, in order of how good I thought they were. Now remember, I can be easily swayed by an explosion, so some of these got pushed down the list simply because they were not as exciting as another book.  A few of them are down there because, well…. someone has to be at the bottom, right?

You also might see me saying that I don’t like a certain kind of novel. So why did I read it? As an author, I try to “round” myself out. If I only read explosions I won’t be opening myself up to different pacing and different types of tension. I look at every book I read as a learning experience. If I forget that I’m reading, and think “Ergh! I’ll have to read it again to study how they did (insert really great thing here)” Then those books ended up in the top 5. Okay… maybe the top six. 🙂

If you’d like to know my opinions on a book that I did not review feel free to drop me a line.

So, here’s my list from Best to “no so best” of 2013.

#1:  Obsidian, A Lux Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I got close to the end of the year before I found a book good enough to take over the number one position from “Slipping a Toe In”.  Obsidian is a great Sci-Fi love story.  I was on edge from page one.  Very well done. (Search this site for my full review)

#2: Dipping a Toe In by Linda Carroll-Bradd – A snoozer of a Sweet Romance that wowed me with the writing style. (Reviewed)

#3: Sweet Blood of Mine by John Corwin – YA paranormal from a boy’s perspective. Great YA first person voice. Just Loved it! Bring on book 2 (Reviewed)

#4: Crossing Hathaway by Jocelyn Adams – Awesome Hot Romance.  Great Fluidity of Writing. Big fan of Jocelyn Adams. (Reviewed)

#5: Caught Up In Us by Lauren Blakely – Picked this up while researching “Best Selling” Contemporary Romance.  It did not disappoint.  Great characters you could relate to.

#6: Shadows, A Lux novella by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I’m trying to decide if I would have rated this higher if I did not read book 2 first.  I think this is better as a book two than a book one.  I liked knowing what was going to happen. It made the whole experience more “tense”. Stupendous voice.

#7: Eye of the Soul – By Terri Rochenski – Great World building.  A classic-style fantasy tale.

#8: Romance Novel Book Club by Kastil Eavenshade – as naughty as this book was, it was just too darn much fun.  Very readable and hard to put down.  A romance writer poking fun at the romance genre – brilliant (Reviewed)

#9: Stone Chameleon – Jocelyn Adams New, interesting world from one of my favorite authors. I hemmed and hawed over this one. I ended up ranking it down because there is a heavy vampire theme, and apparently I’m not crazy about vampires. This book really grew on me as I read, but it took me a while to engage because of the bloodsuckers.

#10: A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom – Despite its faults, I really liked this. Consider it a “Guilty Pleasure” (Reviewed)

This Wicked Magic by Michele Hauf – The little Engine that could – Slow start, but great roller-coaster-ride ending. (Reviewed)

Whirlwind – Romantic/Erotic Short – Excellent writing, but it was really just a sexual fantasy with not much story involved.  I like a little more meat to chew on (ah-hem… sorry) The writing as good though.

Talbot’s Seduction – Kastil Eavenshade Great historical setting. I love this author’s ability to bring me back in time. I just wish I liked her main character in this series more.

Alone No More by Terri Rochenski– Great Historical Writing. Really felt like I was there. The middle of the story was a touch slow for my tastes

Resonance – JA Belfield – Great Premise. This is a “linker” novella that does not stand alone.  I loved the scenes in the “other world”.  Very Imaginative

Purely Relative by Claire Gillian– While this had a great ending, the beginning was a bit slow for me.  The writing was awesome, though.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Purchased to research the publisher. My review earlier in 2013 says it all.

18 Things by Jamie Ayres – I hate putting a novel this good below some things that were not written as well, but I really did not enjoy this book.  That is a reflection of a bad match of book to reader – not a reflection of the book, because it was awesome and thought-provoking. (Reviewed)

Capturing the Marshall’s Heart – Didn’t hold my attention, despite being by one of my favorite authors. Great Western setting though – which may have been part of the problem. Western is not my cup of tea.

#20 and #21: 

I decided not to post the titles to #20 and #21 in respect to the authors, because they were awful. Just awful.  (Oh, not the authors… their books)

Some books, like #3 “Sweet Blood of Mine” do wonders for the self-publishing industry.  Others, like #20 and #21, are the kind of books that give self-publishing a bad name.

Please, please, please don’t self-publish your book without professional opinions. It makes you look bad. It makes your reader mad, and it brings down the writing profession in general.

So, what were your favorites  of 2013? Any good suggestions for me to read this year? Anything I should avoid?

JenniFer_EatonF

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How to make Your Reader Care About Your Character #2

I am skimming over notes I took from a class about creating characters that your reader will care about.

Disclaimer:  I honestly don’t remember where this handout came from. I’m going to paraphrase the topic and think up my own ideas, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m stealing without giving credit.

It should be a given to an author that they need to create characters that their readers will care about. They do not necessarily have to like the character. Some really great characters are very unlikable. But we need to CARE about them, or we won’t keep reading. Right?

So how do we do this?

1.       Relationships.  (See previous post)

2.       Give them a goal

Ugh. Goals. We all have them, right? We all have something we need to do every day. Some goals we like, others we labor over.  The point is, we can all relate to having to do something.

If your character is wandering around in circles with no clear intent, the reader will not be able to engage.  Even before the inciting incident that is the real start to your story… your character has to have a reason for being… a goal of something that needs to be done (it can be simple, like making dinner)

But soon you should hit the “big goal” that will carry your reader along for the rest of the journey. We have to know what the goal is and have a vested interest in the character getting there.

By the way, the “big goal” needs to materialize in the first 25% of the book or earlier.  This may seem like a given to most of you, but I’ve read some works in progress lately where the author did not understand this. Think about your character’s goal, and make sure it is apparent to the reader.

Everyone wants something.

A reader can connect and care if they have the opportunity to root for your character to get what he/she wants.

So go ahead, give them a goal!

What was the character’s goal in your favorite novel? Do you think this is what made it your favorite?

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What makes you abandon a novel you are reading?

I recently finished a novel that was truly painful. In respect to the author, I’m not going to name it… but it was NOT an enjoyable read.

All the other novels I have lined up were screaming “Try me! I’ll be better, I promise.” And I was pretty sure that ANY of them I picked would have scaled higher on the enjoyment factor.

Was it written poorly?

I don’t think so.  You see, I purchased this book because it was by one of my favorite authors. In fact, this is someone I’ve reviewed and given five stars to, and if you hang here you know I don’t give away five stars all that freely.

I almost gave it up on this story five times, but I continued reading hoping that the author that I’d fallen in love with would shine through.

It didn’t happen.

What didn’t I like?

Well, I think it was a lot of things. This was a western. I detest westerns, but I’d read one last year that I really enjoyed, so I figured my favorite author could pull it off, too.

Ah, no.

The main character also had an annoying name. “Jazzy”.  Yeah, I’m serious. Don’t you want to smack her upside the head already?  I hoped my favorite author could overcome the annoying name.

Nope, didn’t happen.

In the end, I forced myself to finish. Probably because I purchased the book and wanted to get my money’s worth. Probably because I was waiting for some kind of a Sixth Sense ending that would make it all worth my time.

Didn’t happen.

In the end, though, something about the background came out that made me sympathize with Jazzy. Interestingly enough, I suddenly connected. Unfortunately, it was in the last couple of pages… thousands of words too late.

I’m wondering that if I had known this little tidbit of information in the beginning of the story, if the necessary connection between reader and character would have happened… that maybe, just maybe, I would have cared enough about her that I would have been worried when the stagecoach got overrun by bandits. I would have worried when the gun was pointed in her face. I would have cared if Mr. Perfect saved her scrawny butt…

The problem is that I suddenly cared to late, and it did not fix the rest of a very uninteresting read to me.

Have I given up on this favored author? I don’t think so, but I will be much more leery of picking up another title of hers. It’s a shame.

What did I learn?

I try to take away something from every novel I read. In this case, I will remember that if there is a secret or something in a character’s past that may help reader connection, I will push that little tidbit up front.  Late revelations are just that. Late. In this case, too late for me.

What about you? What makes you stop reading a book you have paid good money for?

Jennifer___Eaton