Monday, November 18, 2013

Kissing Clarisse

Get on the stick and peel your ears!  Want a fun, quick read with a bit of 50's slang and the possibility of a kiss?  Kissing Clarisse, my young adult short story, is now available on Amazon.  Don't be a nosebleed, baby, buy it! 


Kissing Clarisse: a young adult short story

Friday, November 15, 2013

#COYER Clean Out Your E-Reader Review #3 : True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer

First things first. I have to say I'm so happy that I decided to participate in the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better than Real Life . True of Blood is book three of a stack of e-books that I probably would not have read for a while otherwise -- which would have been a shame.

Xandra lives with her, uh, ghost parents, her aunt and her little brother in a secluded place in the mountains.  She rarely sees other people and rarely goes down to the city.  But then a walk in the woods shows footprints in the snow and her parents freak.  Apparently, her mom had been keeping a rather large secret from Xandra.  Namely, that she's half-fairy half-witch and that some major people want her dead.

The premise was pretty awesome, but I found it took a while for the book to gain speed.  This is not unique in the first novel of a series where there is a lot of set up for the following books.  But Lamer manages to get the story going when the relationship between Xandra and the fairy Kallen takes over.  It's a love/hate thing that keeps the reader on her toes.

FYI: Young adult novels where the main love interest is insulting and manipulative are often on my black list.  And the prevalence in which this sort of relationship occurs in these books (and how popular they are) turns my stomach.  I feel girls have enough self-esteem issues nowadays, that they don't need that kind of relationship to seem like something good.  And Kallen was insulting and manipulative.  There's even an undercurrent of violence in some of his attempts to kiss Xandra that grates on me (see my post is what we're reading hurting women)...

And yet...

And yet Lamer kept me reading.  She ramped up the romantic tension to such a high, she got me to like Kallen enough that I was sitting there going, "Come on! Kiss her!" despite my regular standpoints and beliefs.  In short, she got me turning pages, wanting more.

There are some things I question -- the mother's motivation for many things, Xandra's attitude at times.  But overall, I found this book a fun read.  It's FREE on Amazon so I suggest you grab it and decide for yourself.  If you do like it, it's the first in a series, so you'll have more to look forward to.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bad-Ass Book Blogger Interview #3: Toni of My Book Addiction

Let me say it right off: I have a total girl-crush on Toni.  She was the first book blogger to give Untethered five stars along with a review that was more entertaining than the book.  She had me at the very first word.  But that's not the sole reason I like her. Toni is not only a bad ass book blogger she's also a cupcake making, zombie loving, coffee slurping, speed-reading mega mom with a generous heart and a hearty sense of humor.    Now here's your chance to fall in love with her, too!  Be sure to stop by her blog at My Book Addiction.


1.       What made you decide to get into book blogging and how long have you been doing it?

-         I’ve been blogging about all sorts of things -- from mommy blogging about breast feeding and cloth diapering to being a kitchen savvy mom -- for about twelve years, but last year I decided to give book blogging a go. I figured it would be the best thing for me since I love to read and write, and I’m extremely opinionated.

2.      One thing I’ve noticed about your reviews is that they are not just reviews.   A lot of times they are mini works-of-art themselves! What is your process for writing them?  Do you plan it out, take notes as you are reading? Or do you just let it all loose once you are done?
   
     That is so awesome of you to say! Thank you so much, Katie. I do occasionally take notes or highlight sections that I don’t want to overlook in my reviews, but mostly I let it all flow soon after I finish the book. When I first started writing reviews they were very stiff and boring, but after a while I found my voice. I’ve been having a blast with it ever since. I think reading a lot and writing reviews is great research and practice for writing a novel.

3.       What else do you write? 
 
       I used to write a lot of poetry in my teen years. I also wrote a paranormal graphic novel in my twenties, which I’ve never had the cajones to publish. I’m currently working on a novel, zombie fiction, which I hope to muster the courage to publish sooner than later.

4.       What is your favorite category or genre to read?  What won’t you touch?
     
      I don’t know that I have one favorite category or genre.  My top three are zombie fiction, paranormal, and contemporary. I love YA, but also enjoy NA. I will not touch erotic/erotica. It’s just not my thing. No, I’m not a prude. I just prefer my “hot and steamy” in person. Ha! I did read FSoG, but ended up skimming through those parts to read the actual story.

5.      You not only review books yourself, but you sometime get your girls involved in reviewing children’s books.  Whose idea was that?  How is it going?

-         Yes, I do a Kids Corner Storytime Vlog with my girls. We love to read together and I wanted them to be a part of something that is important to me and that keeps them interested in reading. It’s going pretty well so far. We don’t do it as often as I would like, but you know how life is… sometimes it’s just too busy to get all dolled up for the camera. :)  We have actually landed a standing relationship with Five Star Publications/Little Five Star. We love the books we’ve gotten from them and they seem to like our reviews, so it’s working out really well.

6.       What is the most fantastic part of being a book blogger?

      There are a lot of fantastic parts of being a book blogger, but the most fantastic part is all the people I’ve met, from authors to other book bloggers and readers. It’s wonderful to have an online community of people who are just as addicted to reading and books as I am.

7.       What is the most difficult?


     The most difficult part is writing a review for a book I didn’t enjoy. I hate to say anything negative, even if it’s just constructive criticism, about anyone’s work of art. Who am I to judge another persons hard work?  It’s easy to gush over the books I love, but not so easy to write a review for the books I don’t.

8.       Has anything about book blogging surprised you?
   
      Yes! How much time actually goes into it. It’s like a full time job that I don’t get paid for, but I do love it. I love promoting Indie authors and I am happy to share that adoration with my fellow readers via my blog and social media.
  
9.       Do you have any advice for authors?
 
      Advice? No. I don’t think I’m qualified to do that. Just keep writing! Follow your heart, put it on paper, and then send your books to me, of course. Hehe.

10.   Do you take review requests?  If so, how can an author get in touch with you?                               
    
I do take review requests. My review policy can be found on my website here: http://mybookaddiction.com/review-requests/

Thank you so much for having me, Katie! This has been a blast.  J

Thanks for stopping by, Toni!   

Friday, November 8, 2013

#COYER Clean Out Your E-Reder Review 2: Deer in Headlights by Staci Hart

What can I say about this book?  When I think about it.... Um. Yeah.  Let me just...

*goes away, come back*

Okay, had to get a cold shower in there before I could discuss anything.   Because this book is steamy.

I didn't read any of the reviews and I barely glanced at the blurb before picking this up.  I liked the cover and it was free.  No-brainer.

Thing is, had I read what it was like I probably wouldn't have gotten it. I don't usually read hot romance.  Books that refer to a certain part of male anatomy as a "man rod" or "pulsing shaft"are not my thing.  (Hey, I was brought up Catholic, you know.  Better to pretend that particular part of the body doesn't exist. Ahem.)  And this novel, minus the sex scenes would have been half as long.

However, I have to say, I really enjoyed this book.  It was a romp (and not only that kind!). Yes, there was a lot of sex.  But there was also some kick-ass creative use of the Greek gods.  Hart used the Greek mythology as a starting point to build up backstory for all of these characters, and then she ran with it. Hart's take on Aphrodite, Apollo, Persephone and others borders on genius. And the basis of the plot?  Nothing like a friendly competition between gods to create some fantastic tension and fun.

Hart managed to make me -- someone who doesn't like sexy romance -- read with gusto to the end.  If you like romance but are looking for something unusual, you'll devour this.

My call?  Four solid stars.  Get it on Amazon HERE.

(Part of the COYER challenge with Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better than Real Life.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

#COYER Clean Out Your E-Reader Review: Someone Different

I'm not a reviewer.  Reviewing is an art form I haven't mastered.  But I'm taking part in the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge and wanted to share my experience here.  So, this is my opinion of the first book I read for the challenge. 

Someone Different by Kate Hanney is a book I just downloaded for free a week or so ago.  I heard about it from Wendy Storer, who is a fantastic writer herself (Get Wendy's books here.  Do it. You won't be sorry). Huge thanks to Wendy for this find.

Kate Hanney is a writer of young adult realistic, gritty fiction.  I go more for the paranormal, but I'm finding more and more writers of realistic fiction I admire.  Kate Hanney is one of those writers.

There is nothing earth-shattering going on in this book: it's about two kids from opposite sides of the track who fall in love and all the difficulties they face trying to stay together.  So, yeah, the Romeo and Juliet storyline.  But Hanney makes it feel earth-shattering.  She got me right in there.  Anna is the little rich girl who can do nothing right and Jay is a pot-smoking petty criminal from a violent home.  After committing a crime, instead of prison, sixteen-year-old Jay and a friend are sentenced to a work program.  Jay is sent to help out in the stables on Anna's parents' estate.  Anna is young, extremely lonely and rather lost.  While her parents give her everything she could physically want, their emotional support borders on neglect. She falls for Jay practically from the minute she meets him because he is one person who seems to notice and care that she exists. And Jay, for once in his life, is told he is worth something.  Anna makes him feel it.

Hanney writes in the first-person point of view and leaves little out. I felt gut-wrenchingly close to these two.  Any plot coincidences or "contrivances" didn't matter to me because I just desperately wanted Jay and Anna to be together!  I cried at parts and stayed up late to finish it.

It gets five stars from me.  Buy it on Amazon.