Monday, September 29, 2014

The Enemy's Table

4 out of 5 stars

Beryl Wesley moves to the frigid north to live with her aunt and finish high school when her dad gets a job in Hong Kong. As if a new school, church, group of friends, and environment don't present enough of a challenge there is something sinister going on Beryl's new town. Teenage girls are committing suicide and Beryl keeps sensing an evil presence behind the scenes. She soon finds herself in a fight for her life and her soul with some surprising backup.

The Enemy's Table is very well written with strong characters and great tension. There were two personal pet peeves that kept me from rating this as five stars - 'baby' as a term of endearment for an equal partner in a relationship and forever love at eighteen after two months of knowing each other when one person wasn't even honest about who they were. This is just my personal taste.

In all I would recommend The Enemy's Table for lovers of YA with a supernatural twist.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Four to Score Review

4 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite of the Stephanie Plum books so far, although still quite enjoyable. I think the Sugar storyline was just a little too much for me. Otherwise it was laugh out loud funny. Grandma Mazur continues to be a favorite. I look forward to catching up with this series.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Self-Publishing Crash Course

Three months ago I self-published my first novel, Run. I will freely admit I really did not know what to expect. Within the first month I learned about editing, covers, blurbs, bios, social media, book trailers, and marketing. I learned a lot about marketing. I'll admit it I ended up with some mud on face a time or two. I learned some good lessons though, both in my writing and in marketing my book.

Some of those lessons I have been able to put in place right away, I think Run now is better than it was three months ago. It has a better cover, blurb, trailer, and editing. Even more though I think Stand will be a better book. I finished the first draft, which I really like. I have been looking at cover options and I have some really good choices. I think it will look awesome. I will post it once I can.

As for social media. I am learning. I guess I am a little social media awkward. I am figuring it out though. One day at time. That's what I keep telling myself. Everyday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Poisoned Waters Review

3 out of 5 Stars

Poisoned Waters is takes place on a cruise ship in the 1950s. The story follows several characters after the murder of a passenger. Their stories intersect, intertwine, and overlap as the mystery unfolds.

The story is well laid out with some great twists and turns and several plots that twist together in the end. I think my least favorite and most favorite part of this book were the very same thing. The characters are often both good and bad with motives that are understandable if morally gray to say the least. While this may be realistic I really wanted at least one good, moral character. I guess I am old fashioned that way!

In all I would recommend Poisoned Waters for fans of mystery with lots of characters and twists.

206 Bones Review

4 out of 5 stars

This was one of my favorite Kathy Reichs books in recent years. I had gotten away from reading her for a while, and I only recently have jumped back into the Temperance Brennan series.

I always liked Brennan as a narrator. Her snarky and sarcastic tone speaks to me. I guess I relate to it. I think my internal monologue is a lot like that!

What I liked about 206 Bones in particular is that the book opens with Brennan hurt, tied, and in the dark - both literally and figuratively - she has no idea what happened or how she ended up there. I love books that have that tension from the very beginning, where you know it is going to get bad, but the book makes the reader try to figure out what happened. That is one of my favorite things in a mystery. (I mean I put it in my own novel so I must love it, right? small plug, sorry)

Plus, I learned how many bones are in the human body, 206.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Descent Review

5 out of 5 stars

One of the first Indie books I read and reviewed was Bloodline, the first book in the Forgotten Origins Trilogy by Tara Ellis. I loved it and posted my review of it here as well as on this blog a few months ago. I was honored when Tara asked me to be Beta reader for the last book in the trilogy, Descent.

In Descent, Alex, her friends, and family face a war for the planet's survival. Alex must find a way to accept her role in the war and as a leader.

What I loved about Descent is the growth shown by the characters and by the author. Alex learns to face the darkness within herself and rise above it. Some characters grow stronger under the pressure while others allow the tension to get to them. The division and connection between characters is part of what makes this such a compelling read.

There were lots of twists and turns, and I was honestly surprised by the ending. Ms. Ellis has crafted a well-thought, detailed, exciting world that engages reader. A recommended read for those who enjoy YA, sci-fi, or dystopian.

Descent will be released September 30. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Deeply Odd Review

5 out of 5 stars

Odd Thomas is one of my favorite characters. He seems both incredibly wise and also somehow innocent despite everything he has done. His books are both comic and terrifying in turn.
I have loved every Odd Thomas book, but the first one, Odd Thomas, has always been my favorite. I think Deeply Odd now challenges that. Deeply Odd is Dean Koontz at his best, with Odd Thomas at his best. Touching, comic, terrifying, and deep.
I could not put Deeply Odd down.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Heritage Review

4 out of 5 stars

Heritage by Tara Ellis is a fast-moving, interesting, and different YA series. This is not a remake of another trilogy out there. Ms. Ellis has created a world and characters that engage the reader. I found myself unable to put the book down because I just had to know what was going to happen next.
Ms. Ellis does a great job of building a world while telling the story so the reader is not dumped with a bunch of information all at once. The story had lots of twists and turns, some truly unexpected and was very enjoyable.
I enjoyed Heritage and I look forward to reading the third book in the trilogy. I highly recommend Heritage for YA readers who are looking for something a little different!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Three to Get Deadly Review

5 out of 5

I just love this series. It is so fun. Stephanie Plum is such a great character, and the situations she gets herself into are just hysterical. (the body in the trunk!) I laughed at loud more than once reading this book. I would highly recommend this series. Fun, great mystery, lots of twists, and characters that feel like friends.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Butterfly Crest Review

5 out of 5 stars

Eva Vanrell's The Butterfly Crest is a journey. One that takes the reader around the world, through life and death, and on an unexpected adventure. Ms. Vanrell's world-building is exquisite and her descriptions take the reader to another place. I never had a particular desire to visit Japan, but Ms. Vanrell's descriptions have made it an addition to my bucket list.

The Butterfly Crest starts in New Orleans with main character Elena stuck in a frustrating job.  A letter from Japan regarding a safety deposit box left to her by her deceased mother changes Elena's life, and plunges her into the middle of a supernatural war.

With beautiful descriptions, amazing settings, and unforgettable characters The Butterfly Crest is a superb first novel. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys fantasy or adventure.

In case you can't tell - I loved this book. This is one of those Indie books that I really hope makes it. It deserves it.