Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I Will Never Post A One Star Review

The only reviews you will see on my blog are three star and up. What's the point in me telling you what not to buy? That's like going to a mechanic and her telling you what you don't need to fix.

My philosophy on one star reviews is pretty simple. I believe that one star reviews come from a reader who read the wrong book. The reviewer either listened to hype and didn't take the time to preview the book to see if it was their thing before they started, or they like negativity.

I don't like being negative. I've had my fair share in my life, and I don't have time for it anymore.  Life is for living, for loving, for enjoying...especially where reading is concerned. I want to know what will give me enjoyment, so when I look at reviews that start picking apart a story or the author, I usually move on. I want to know how a book made someone feel because I want to know if it will likely do the same for me. I generally stick with three star and above because at three stars there was something within a story that I connected with.

I also think ratings are relative. I might not enjoy a story about a fisherman stuck out in the middle of the ocean for thirty days that has to find ways to survive, but someone out there will. My life experiences and choices give me a limited point of view, and if I don't relate to a character or can't imagine being in that particular situation it will be hard for me to have an emotional experience...and that above everything else is what I am looking for when I pick up a book. Do the characters make me think about my own choices, my own life? Does the story give me insight into a life I wouldn't be brave enough to live? Does the story move me?

I just read an amazing post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch about perfection. I loved this article, and I think most of you, whether you are an author or a reader, or both, could benefit by reading it. My favorite line from the article is this: "I’m here to tell you this: If you want a career as a writer, ignore your critics."

My husband is a pretty smart man. He's refused to give me advice on writing from the beginning. He knows he can't give me great advice on romance because he doesn't read romance. My stories have thus far been first person POV Paranormal Romance from a female perspective. He likes Reality TV and reading about real people. He's not even into fantasy much anymore, so why would I want to know what he thinks other than he is my husband? He told me once that he didn't want to influence me one way or another.  He said, "What if I tell you to remove something that is what makes your stories amazing to your readers?"

Pretty wise, right? Well, I've seen the wisdom in his stand, and I agree. I don't bother him about reading my books anymore because he is not my preferred audience, and I don't bother with rating books I couldn't finish because I am not the right audience.

I think if you want to know what other people think about a book before you buy it, finding reviewers with the same taste in books as you do is essential for obtaining reading bliss. Thankfully I've found a few I can count on, and I hope you do to.

So my question to you is: do you like reading negative reviews? If so, what makes them important to you?

Happy reading everyone!



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award! How Fun is this? My good friend and up and coming blogger, Rosa Banjan was the one to award this to me.  A big thank you to Rosa!  Catch her here:

She is so sweet, and I love her reviews.

So what is this all about?

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have 200 followers or less.The word Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. 

Here's the Rules:
1. Each person must post 11 random facts about themselves
2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you tagged
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post
4. Tell them you've tagged them
5. Remember, no tag backs
My Random 11 Facts:
  1. My middle name is Lorraine 
  2. I love chocolate
  3. I've never gone skiing in my life even though I am surrounded by gorgeous mountains 
  4. I work with doctors every day
  5. Reading is my second favorite past time
  6. Writing is my favorite past time
  7. I'm going on a Bristish Isles cruise next year.  Whoop!!!  This is my dream vacation.
  8. I paint
  9. My husky's name is Snow 
  10. I have a birthmark in my hair.
  11. I would love to write full time 
Questions From Rosa
1) What is your favourite book?
Hmm. That's a hard one.  I'd have to say Twilight because it rekindled my love for reading.
2)Reader Writer or both?
Both.  I was a reader before I became a writer.  I think to be a writer you have to be a reader.
3)How often do you read?
4)Which season is your favourite?
5) Paranormal or Cotemporary?
Paranormal all the way!
6)Which Author would you like to spend time with?
Julie Reece or Karen Moning
7)If you were stuck on an island with which character would you like to be stuck?
Probably V'lane from Fever.  He could just blink us out of there. I'm not sure I would want to be stuck on an island with anyone. :)
8)Bad Boys or Good Guys?
In real life--Good Guys.  In books--Bad Boys
9) Favourite quote?
"If you would be loved, love and be lovable."  Benjamin Franklin
10)What will you read next?
I'm beta reading Treason by S.M. Boyce.  It is the second installment in the Grimoire trillogy, and I'm loving it.
11) Are you addicted to blogging?
Hmm.  I wouldn't say addicted just yet, but I'm getting there.  LOL.
Blogs I'm Tagging:

My questions for you:
1. Why do you blog?
2. Why do you read?
3. Book character who you thought should have ended up with someone else:
4. Book character who you thought should have a spin-off book:
5. Author that you are guaranteed to buy anything they write: 
6. Book series that you secretly google spoilers for hoping against hope to find out what happens in the next book: 7. Author, who you trust, but sometimes what to yell at for what they are putting your beloved “friends” through:
8. Three books that have made you cry:
9. Five swoon worthy characters
10. Three characters’ Team who you secretly are not a member of (such as Just say no to Team Seth)
11. Four book characters who you would love to meet
So there you have it folks.  Go get em. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Booya Book Review--Crux by Julie Reece

Have I got a treat for you today!!! I was lucky enough to read Crux as part of an ARC event and I couldn't be more pleased that I did.  Keep reading to find out why I am so stoked about this book and this amazing new author.

The cover is eye-catching with Birdie's flowing locks.  She's pretty, right, but can you see the sadness in her eyes?  What is that necklace about anyway, and why is it glowing?  Who is the stranger in the background, friend or foe?  Well these are some of the questions I had when I first saw this cover, which was what pulled me into the book...but what lies between is nothing short of a different world that sucked me in.

The blurb:

Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.

In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich, and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her.

Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.

Her heritage did.

Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

My review:

I'm still in bliss from reading Crux by Julie Reece. I have to say that Ms. Reece has to be one of the most talented authors on the planet. I know I'm gushing right now, but I loved this book that much.

Reading Birdie's story was like catching up with an old friend. Birdie rocks my socks, and Grey (the male lead) is sizzling hot. I loved his fierce loyalty to Birdie, especially because she was so real with insecurities most women have and some that broke my heart.

Birdie thought her life was hard before she met Jeff, this weird guy that gives her and a bunch of other random people money on a whim...or so it seems. But Birdie doesn't know that she is part of a cycle that's been going on for ages. She gets caught up into a world of magic and mayhem and she is one great heroine! I loved her snark, her ability to roll with her ever changing landscape, and to just allow herself to feel when most people would be closed off by the things this girl had to go and already went through.

This is one of those magical reads that takes you out of your world and plunks you right next to Birdie, Grey, Kate, and Scud along with a mongrel named Fenris. I loved the characters, and I loved this world where superheroes can come to life to save the day.

One heck of a read, Ms. Reece. I am honored to have been able to read the ARC of Crux, and I can't wait to read more from this amazing author! She really is one to watch.

If you couldn't already guess, Five Stars from me, but this one is really more like fireworks.  It was that good for me.  So when can you get in on the ride of a lifetime?  July 9th, so mark your calendars.  Now, off to eat some chocolate.

Crux's goodread page:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review--Meeting Destiny by Nancy Straight


Isn't this cover beautiful?  I love the romantic flair with the flowers and the snippets of red draws the eye.

So onto the blurb:

Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt. Lauren and the stranger experience chemistry like no other and now her doubt over her long time relationship with her high school sweetheart is not her only secret…someone else knows about her keen intuition and sixth sense.A mysterious clairvoyant seeks Lauren out and tells her not only of her life now but what the future may hold. Soon Lauren is in the middle of a murder investigation and a questionable friendship with the key suspect. Law enforcement, friends and family are concerned for Lauren but unfortunately they are unaware of the true danger…Sinister forces are at work and will stop at nothing to destroy Lauren’s abilities.
 My Review:
I've had Meeting Destiny on my to read shelf for a while now. I finally snagged a copy of the book, and I have to say I enjoyed this very much.  The best thing is that Ms. Straight offers this free to readers at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  I haven't checked Smashwords, but it might be there too.
Here's the B&N link: 

The funny thing is that until about 40% through the book, I kept thinking "Where is the paranormal?" It just seemed more like a contemporary romance where Lauren and Max have to overcome obstacles to be together.  There had been bursts of paranormal elements throughout, but they didn't come together until Lauren meets Rewsna who tells her more about her powers, but not enough to really be helpful. LOL.

I found myself wondering where the story was going, yet it didn't solidify in directions I saw coming most of the time, which is quite refreshing.  The premise of the Destiny series is compelling, and I want to know more about Lauren and her powers. How will things work out with Max?  The idea that we agree, before we are born, to have certain people in our life who fulfil predetermined roles is quite unique in my reading experience. Really great read that felt almost natural considering the subject matter.

Nancy Straight is a talented author, and I happen to love cliff-hanger endings, so this one was right up my alley. :)

Luckily the next in the series is already available.  I will be reading Destiny's Revenge (Destiny #2) very soon:
Destiny's Revenge (Destiny, #2)

Even though I would have liked to have seen more paranormal througout the book, I have a feeling we will get a healthy dose in the upcoming books.  My Rating:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review--A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King

Penelope King has fast become one of my favorite writers.  Her stories are filled with emotion that is easily relatable and so are her characters.  I had the oportunity to read this book for review, but that in no way alters my view of the book.  I'm not usually one for Demons, but I had heard such good things about this book that I finally gave it a try and I am glad I did.

Here is the blurb:

Some girls share clothes, a bathroom, or a bedroom. Seventeen-year-old Liora Greyson has to share, too. Only she shares her body--with a demon.

Liora just wants to survive her final year of high school unscathed, her dark secret intact. But the walls she’s carefully constructed to keep people away crack wide open once she meets the sexy and mysterious Kieron, and he lights her world on fire. She can’t let him know she transforms into a demon named "Lucky" at nightfall—a demon with an entirely separate personality who passes out Torment, Justice, and Revenge like Halloween candy.

Turns out Kieron is the one who should be afraid once Lucky discovers his true identity and motivations. Liora wants to love him, but Lucky thinks he’s public enemy number one. And having a demon with a vendetta show up during a romantic date puts a serious crimp in any relationship.

Fighting your demons is one thing. Having one that fights back, messes with your guy, and leaves you with nasty hangovers is quite another.

Being bad has never been so good...

My review:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The concept of Liora/Lucky as the MC was interesting. Even though we see the plot unfold through two distinct points of view, the connection between the alter-ego's is not missed. I found the idea of a split soul fascinating, and I look forward to seeing how Ms. King resolves this conflict. I liked Liora, but I loved Lucky. She was spunky yet Liora still had an effect on her that seemed to be positive. Liora on the other hand didn't seem too interested in letting Lucky influence her.

The plot was believable as much as angels and demons can be and felt real to the age of the characters. When Liora meets Kieron for the first time, sparks fly.  I loved the connection between the two, but I equally loved the easy banter between Lucky and Bones.  I'm not sure where I want the story to go at this point, but I'm sure I won't see it coming from a mile away.  That is one of the things I love about Ms. King's writing.  She mixes in plot twists that throw you for a loop.  I love that in a book, so it is not surprise that I enjoyed this book.  This is the second book I have read by Penelope King, and I loved them both.  I look forward to Fire with Fire.

My Rating

Great Book!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are you a writer and don't even know it?

I've been sitting on this post for a while now.  I'm not sure what has held me back from sharing my ideas, but it's been there, keeping me from publishing this.

I've shared a little bit about how I wrote my first book, but what I want to focus on today is the misconception I had that every writer knows from birth that that's what they will become.  I certainly didn't, and I've come across others lately with a similar experience.

Writing, to me, was the thing other people did.  Amazing people who could spin a captivating tale using skills I knew nothing about.  I HATED English in high school.  I hated diagrams and the confusing rules that still to this day confuse me, yet I did not know at that time what could be done with WORDS.

I'd read the words of others; marveled at worlds so foreign my head would spin from the visuals.  I had no idea I could do that too, until a few years ago.

Since I began my writing journey, I've read several books about writing, plotting, style, and so forth.  All of them have been helpful to an extent, but NONE of them will help me write the words it takes to create a world.  None of them can instill the creative spark it takes to go on instinct and let story flow.

I am not an organized person, so the idea of plotting is overwhelming to me.  I've tried to plot, but I've found in the three books I've written for publication that I prefer to 'pants' a novel.  For those of you unfamiliar with that term, it means you let the story come how it will.  Author Larry Brooks wrote a great book about writing called Story Engineering.

I tried to plot my second novel because of reading this book, but that is not why I really love it.  It's because he showed me what should go where in a successful novel.  His method's may not completely work for me, but I think I have become a better writer by understanding the points he makes in his book.

So my question to you is:  How do you know you are not a writer if you have never tried to write?

My first words were horrible, but along the way, something inside me clicked and I was able to use words to describe the story streaming through my head.

Stories are amazing things that can help us understand things we might not ever experience ourselves.  I'm grateful for my friend who told me to write my story myself.  I didn't think I was capable, but three books later, I've discovered just how wrong I was.  I've never been more happy to be wrong in my life.

The more I read, the more my mind conjures stories of my own.  If you question what has been done in a book and think it would have been better a different way, you might be a writer and not even know it.

Happy reading and hugs to you all.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lichgates (Grimoire) by S.M. Boyce is free on Amazon today

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know about a great opportunity to snag a book that I really enjoyed for free today on Amazon.  A while ago, I reviewed Lichgates.  It's one of the most imaginative books I've read lately, and I really enjoyed my read.

Boyce is saying this is the last time Lichgates will be free, so don't miss out.  Here is the link.  Please share this with friends you think might enjoy a fun YA fantasy.