I am not lost…

June 14, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: BLACKBIRDS by Chuck Wendig

I did it! I finally read the damn thing! Everyone should be very proud of me.

It’s an interesting departure for me, given that my only experience before this with Wendig’s writing (that isn’t a tweet or blog post) was the Heartland trilogy. And Miriam Black and her world aren’t even remotely close to that kind of world.

And…I don’t know. Sometimes it worked, and other times it didn’t. I’m a little torn.

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June 7, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: WELCOME TO PARADISE by Rosalind James

I’m fairly certain I picked this up from a BookBub promotion probably a couple years ago now (okay, I just checked and I exaggerate, it’s only been almost a year) but it’s another that I have no clue why I picked it up. It’s continuing on in my apparent interest in reality TV show style books, but this is a little more rustic.

This was one hell of a ride.

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May 31, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate

I was provided an ARC of this book free of charge by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I’m always fascinated by books that include real-life history and stories in them. The “Dear America” diaries were some of my favorites growing up, and it’s always been one of my favorite ways to learn history. It helps solidify that these were real people going through real things. And as time moves forward, the history starts getting closer and closer. It’s easy to keep things distant when you’re reading about the Titanic.

It’s a lot harder when the story takes place less than a hundred years in the past. Times that family of mine could have lived through.

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May 24, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: CROSSING THE STREET by Molly D. Campbell

I was provided a copy of this by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to Story Plant for giving me this opportunity.

I have a very tenuous relationship with women’s fiction. This stretches into most contemporary fiction in general, but I’ve noticed it specifically with women’s fiction the most. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my own personal relationship with feminine culture and whatnot, maybe it’s just the topics they tend to talk about, I don’t know. But I remember one of the first books I read for Story Plant, and I remember how much rubbed me in all kinds of uncomfortable directions. (That was predominantly because the topic hit very close to home, but that’s neither here nor there.) So every time I get one, I’m just a little nervous that I’m going to be biased against the book just because of my own brain ideas about what the genre should be/is.

But the first few sentences of Campbell’s blurb on the back of this book, and I was sold–and I wasn’t led astray.

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May 17, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: THE BLUEBELL INFORMANT by Nick R B Tingley

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the author in exchange for my honest review.

I like killers with calling cards. I like the concept of calling cards in general. (One of the video games I’m playing at present uses the concept, and it pleases me immensely.) So in reading the description of BLUEBELL INFORMANT, and seeing the flowers used as such, I was instantly intrigued. (I blame all the Criminal Minds I’ve watched over the years. My brain wants to profile everything, and the calling card just adds a new level of interest.)

As with so many thrillers I’ve read as of late, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I always get a little nervous about body counts (I blame Ethan Cross for that one) but if I wanted to make a judgment on stereotypes alone, given that the main detective is female, I didn’t expect a very high body count.

How amusing, I find out later, that I base that on assumptions.

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May 13, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: THE PERFECT STRANGER by Megan Miranda

Hey, surprise! A review on a Saturday! This was slated for Wednesday’s post, but when Laura asked me to help with the book cover reveal, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. And for once, my month is pretty packed with books, so I needed to get this out before next Wednesday! Besides, I’m excited to write this one.

Because it’s one that’s going to need a little explaining.

I was provided a copy of this book free of charge by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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May 10, 2017

BOOK COVER REVEAL: FRIEND ZONE by Laura Brown

So this is an author you’ve heard me talk about before, because she’s a friend of mine and I love her work! SO… when I got word that she needed some help spreading the news about her brand new book cover, I jumped at the chance! I’ll put the picture below the cut, and leave you with a fun factoid from the author herself:

Before you check out the amazing cover, there are two details I absolutely love; be on the lookout for them. One, the model’s hands appear to be in motion, almost as if he’s signing. Two, my amazing graphic artist managed to add a hearing aid, as Devon himself normally wears two.

I LOVE HER STUFF OKAY

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May 3, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: BLACK IRIS by Elliot Wake (writing as Leah Raeder)

I know all of you are probably familiar with my love of this author, particularly his book CAM GIRL, especially if you watch any of my YouTube videos. When BAD BOY came out in December, I was all set to by it instantly, but was told it might help to read BLACK IRIS first, as some of the characters overlapped, and it might spoil the book a bit.

Of course, I was more than willing to pick up another of Wake’s books, and dove in enthusiastically.

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April 26, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: THE DEAD ROOM by Stephanie Erickson

Hey! Been a while since we visited Stephanie Erickson and her writing, right? Man. Well, I wanted to have this and the next in the series (THE DEAD WORLD) read before the third book (ALIVE) came out, buuuuut I’m bad at time management or something and so it’s late. SORRY STEPHANIE.

In any event, I read this book…and I’m not sure what I was expecting from it, but I didn’t get it. And that’s TOTALLY okay.

THE DEAD ROOM starts out very post-apocalyptic. 322 years in the future. Everyone living on an island in the Northern Pacific, run by elders, all saved by some mystical dude named Bennett Ashby, back to more hunter-gatherer-meets-Hunger-Games style world. The islanders are told that this is all that is left of the world. They are the remaining vestiges of humanity, and all they need is here.

Needless to say, not everyone is convinced of this. What happened to everyone? Are you sure nothing is left? Ashley Wortham is Not Convinced that this is true, and that the elders are hiding something from them. She and her best friend Mason go off in search of answers, generally to the elders’ dismay, and what they find…they couldn’t have been prepared for. And as the blurb says, “What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?”

Erickson has proven to be a fantastic writer in the past, so I had absolutely no concerns about the quality of the writing going in. The blurb is just vague enough that I have no clue what’s really going on, but much like Ashley, I’m positive that I need answers. And that feeling kept up through the entire book, particularly after what Ashley and Mason find out in the rest of the world.

This is a totally new take on the apocalypse, and one that I haven’t really seen before. (Pieces of it, amusingly, remind me of one of my own projects, but they’re different enough that it’s not concerning.) And given the tone of the entire novel up until the big reveal, the reveal totally came as a surprise to me. It felt utterly out of left field–but not in a bad way. Just in a “…oh right, this is…yeah.” kind of way. I love it. I’m utterly fascinated, and the book sets itself up very nicely for the next installment.

There are definitely some things I’m sad about. As with all things, we lose a few beloved characters (or at least, they’re beloved to me) as the plot goes on. None of the deaths felt unnecessary…though I’m not entirely sure why one of them happened, because it doesn’t make…a ton of sense, given everything that led up to it. (But spoilers, sweetie.) BUT! Really nicely told, a pretty quick read, and I’m definitely putting DEAD WORLD and ALIVE higher up on the TBR. I need to know what happens next.

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April 19, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: THE BEAST OF LONDON by L.D. Goffigan

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

I’m a sucker for a vampire story. (A good vampire story.) I’m fascinated about the good and evil component, I love seeing how everyone interprets it. We all come from a common point in the past, but it’s gone in so many different directions. It’s not often that I see someone going all the way back to the original to start peeking at the story again. A few years back, a friend from college wrote a musical rendition of Dracula called THE DEAD ENGLISH, and I loved it. It rekindled my fascination with Dracula and all things about it. There was so much more to the story–to the true, proper story of Dracula–that I’d forgotten, or hadn’t read. (I’m still not sure how much of the original book I’ve read.)

So when this book wandered into my life, how could I possibly pass up an opportunity to see one more imagining?

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