Sunday, November 26, 2017

November 26th post.

I have read the following   

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I’m not sure about leaving out some physical descriptions of the other family till the end.  While it would have been fine to provide it little by little waiting till the last two chapters for some significant details made the book seem less scary over all.  I was expecting a book considered to be horror to be a little scarier.  If became a little scarier if I did the extra work of imagining I was younger.  I can imagine it would be a lot scarier if I was a younger reader.  The author has an outstanding imagination.  This is definitely a book I want my future children to read.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

An exciting historical M/M romance.  A riveting story that contains politics and romance.  I was happy to follow the relationships and politics within the castle along with William’s platonic friendship with a fellow squire, Tom. I wished there had been more action and more into his training as a squire.  There was a lot more telling than showing in almost every area except the sex scenes.  I like that we watched William struggle with his feelings and the impact they would have on him in regards to the time period and the piety of his relationship. I did find the acceptance of their relationship was more accepted than would have been historically accurate. I would recommend this book to someone who likes M/M romance, likes politics in their romance, and doesn’t mind or enjoys explicit descriptions of sex.

Killer Decor: An Elle Wade Cozy Mystery

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story was riveting. There were a couple of typos one in particular left me scratching my head guessing what the author meant.  There were also some formatting issues which let me wondering if they were deliberate or not. The characters were well rounded. You really believed that this was a real community filled with real people.  The secrets of the people were interesting because it left readers guessing.  I did feel like our protagonist didn’t have enough of a flaw.  I can’t wait to read more in this series. I want to know more about the personal relationships of the characters.  A great way to start a series.

Hercules Finds His Courage (Taki & Toula Time Travelers, #1)

            I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

            A great early reader book. This is a fabulous way to introduce mythology to young readers. This would be a good bedtime story, a good classroom read-aloud, or a read alone book for young readers. I do wish pronunciation assistance was provided for the italicized words.  There is a good moral along with action that allows the children protagonists to be the hero.  The facts at the back are useful teaching points for parents and teachers to use.

Homefront by Trevor Wyatt

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A riveting tale with wonderful characters.  The characters are believable with flaws, misguided motives, and dynamic relationships. This book has a lot of action and wonderful interpersonal and political relationships.   The author does a great job showing us what characters are doing instead of just telling us a story. The author also paints beautiful pictures for the readers. I felt a shortcoming of the book was the protagonist despite being an alien was too human, a race that wasn’t non-existent from the book.  There was a lot of language which I’m not sure was necessary throughout the book.  I’m excited to see more from Trevor Wyatt.

The Crown of the Bandit King (The Compendium of Curious Collectibles Book 1)

I received a free copy of this book via Hidden Gems and am voluntarily leaving a review.

An outstanding middle grade read.  There were a couple of places where the text was overly repetitive or dialogue went on long otherwise this book was fantastic.  The characters were well rounded. The magi played a significant role and provided many surprises. The characters felt real and so did their relationships.  The author has created a dynamic world and unique characters that inhabit it.  I can’t wait to read more of the series.

A Girl Called Renee

I received a free copy of this book via Hidden Gems and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A well written memoir.  The interruptions and time jumps were jarring however they are typical of the genre, memoir.  They were well marked and were clear about when the jump went to and where it returned to.  This is well written and lets readers see what this woman went through and how she overcame the obstacles presented to her. I want to know more about her life and how these events changed her as a person in her day to day life.  I highly recommend this book as it shows what Jewish people who didn’t go to concentration camps had to endure. 

Her Secret - A Billionaire Romance

I received a free copy of this book via Instafreebie and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I enjoyed the characters having lives outside each other. It was refreshing to have their personalities really come into play when they were forced to interact with each other. This seemed more true of Erin than of Tyler however. There were a few editing errors which pulled me out of the prose.  I want to know more about the characters and how things progress after the events of this story end.

The Fatness

by  (Goodreads Author)

I received a free copy of this book via NetGallery and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I was excited by the premise of this book.  I had high hopes for this imaginative dystopian story.  I was disappointed however because the story seemed to go on excessively without the plot moving forward as much as it needed to.  If this book was shorter and had some of the fat trimmed, pun intended, readers wouldn’t hit a lull and find the middle of the book a never-ending slog.  I appreciated the quotes and facts intertwined. The romance was a nice addition however it didn’t play a significant role until later.  There are great ideas here, there just needs to be some refinement. I will happily read what Mark A Rayner does next.

by Jeff Lazarus

I received a free copy of this book via NetGallery and am voluntarily leaving a review.

 A fur-nominal collection of rules for Cat owners. Clever and punny a wonderful bible for life and a coffee table book for cat owners.  A detailed series of rules to live by to be as acceptable to our Cat gods.  I want to see more from this author.  The humor and relatable stories were wonderful for this cat lover. The images inserted in the text to remind us that even Jeff needs reminding of who the real one in control is are a wonderful addition.

Joshua and the Magical Forest (Portallas #1)
by Christopher D. Morgan (Goodreads Author)

I received a free copy of this book via HiddenGems and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I had high hopes for this book.  I was hoping for another wonderful epic fantasy however the adventure moved slow and felt as though things just kept happening instead of the characters really affecting their setting.  The characters were well rounded and had interesting characteristics which played roles in the story.  I want to see more from this author.  Some polish could turn this writer into another wonderful author in the epic fantasy world.

The Longest Ride

A touching story of love in its purest forms in different times.  The author paints beautiful pictures of well-rounded characters in two different time periods and three stories.  The stories all add to a culminating peak.  While you get a significant amount of character building the whole time you are learning about the past you read with rapt attention because the character building is full of action and emotion. Never a dull moment in this beautiful story.

I have worked on the following

            I started a NaNoWriMo project but haven’t found nearly as much success as I’d had in the past. I have really dedicated myself to reading as I tried to recover a gruesome 5 weeks that don’t seem quite over yet.  I am debating what my course of action should be. Should I stress about the failed NaNo project? Should I try and push on a different project. Should I focus on reading and just work to getting back into a free writing habit?  I am hoping to have a plan by the writing group holiday party this year.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oct 20 update

I have read the following   

I want to begin by saying everyone should read this book and reflect on the current state of affairs regardless of political leaning.  Challenging ones self to consider different viewpoints and critically reflect on history is a skill many have lost.  The author does lean too heavily on beaten horses and neglects to address many other examples within the twentieth century that aren’t just the Nazi party and recent Russian history.  He does however provide ample evidence to show correlation without just claiming A is B like many people do when discussing the current state of affairs.  He also provides a simple breakdown of what we can do as individuals and groups to prevent repeating history.  One major problem with this books formatting is by not giving the author’s credentials till the end readers are left wondering is this just a liberal rant or does he know his stuff.  I suggest reading the about the author before diving into the book so you’re confident in the narrator.

Insanity (Insanity #1)

This was a fun junk food read. The book is gripping once you accept it as a reading cheat meal. Once I got to chapter 41 I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down.  Most readers wont give a book that long however. The author created wonderful characters that you end up caring about.  The images vary in how well the are described. The section about the belgum cat festival is the most heart-wrenching scenes in the whole book.  I didn’t buy they were in an asylum considering the amount of freedom the patients really had.  The author fell into the trap of many self-published authors.  There wasn’t enough editing and not enough eyes to catch things like on the nose narration, telling instead of showing, or the problem with the omnipotent Carter Piller.  Carter Piller made it too easy for Alice because he spoon fed her everything and told readers everything instead of letting us go on a journey. That being said I was drawn to these characters the way I am candy corn, I want more. With some fine tuning this author has a bright future, you cant teach how to have a good imagination but you can teach how to efficiently revise and edit.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan
by Lisa See

A beautiful book that will take you through a series of emotions.  This fictional story reads like memoir and for that reason you’re not scared for the narrator when she’s put in dangerous situations but you get to feel the emotions as she is forced to deal with the mortality of others and relationships.  The author does a great job of giving readers enough context to know whats going on without coming across like a textbook.  The author does a fantastic job of really making you feel for the characters, even making you feel anger toward characters.  I’m excited to read more by Lisa See.

The Skystone (Camulod Chronicles #1)

            While I found the book slow to get into since it was outside my typical reading and requires google open for questions I got sucked in about a third of the way through.  The characters are wonderfully developed.  The interpersonal relationships are captivating.  They are people you want to care about, you want to succeed, and you’d like to see in the real world.  The characters embody a quality we have lost in modern culture, the ability to disagree and challenge each other to be better without taking offense to the disagreement.  There was action till the very last page in the form of battles and interpersonal tension.  The foreshadowing was obvious to those familiar with Arthurian legend.  This book was a great set up for what I expect to be a wonderful series.

I have worked on the following
             I have been working on vignettes for characters.  I have also been working on createing a character toolbox. I’m almost done creating my biography situation prompt sheet which I will se to create characters for the toolbox.

I’m working on the following
             I will be participating if fiction wars for the fall 2017 season. I am also preparing for this years NaNoWriMo

            What do you do to prepare for a competition? What about NaNoWriMo?