'In advising the heads of state to learn from tragedy rather than perpetuate its existence Robert Kennedy excalimed, "Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live." We have a tendency to dwell on tragedy and use it as a justification for tragic occurrences that follow,rather than parse the tragedy, taking from it important lessons and using those lessons to avoid similar tragedies.'
I absolutely LOVED every second of this book!
Tales From My Hard Drive is a hilarious novel with a protagonist that every woman has related to at some point in their lives! Melissa is a 40 something year old woman who has settled into a comfortable life in LA with her successful job as an almost-editor at a big fashion & lifestyle magazine and her husband of 15 years,namely Brett. You would think that being married to a guy for 15 years meant that you knew everything there was to know about him and he'd never let you down. Well, wrong.
Melissa walks in on her husband doing a 20 year old bimbo on the diving board in HER house!
The shock being too much for her, she packs up, takes off to New York and moves in with Wendy, her long time friend, while she looks for a job. She finally gets one as a freelance writer at trendsetter.com which wasn't what she wanted but it had to do, at least until she found a full-time one. Now that Melissa had settled into New York (kind of), it was time to start dating again and thanks to Wendy's idea, she tries cyber-dating and that's when it gets hilarious! Each of her dates some how manage to be worse than the previous ones and Melissa starts writing about her adventures to 'The New York Beacon' and eventually, gets offered a column. Now she gets paid to go on crappy dates with guys she meets online!
On every date, she hopes that this guy would be the one that makes her believe in love again but it never happens. But when she least expects it, she does meet the right guy! Only problem is, we women have a habit of not recognizing or appreciating a good thing when we have it and Melissa makes the same mistake. Now she's caught in between her real life and her online life till the time when everything falls apart! Megan Karasch has written a novel which is makes you laugh with every page and at the same time makes you feel strong! Melissa is a wonderful character who, despite everything that happens to her, has stayed strong and has found love again.
Granted, I'm not 40. I'm barely 22 and I might not know how scary it is to lose something you thought was your whole life. But I did relate to Melissa's insecurities and lack of faith and trust. Her pessimism is something every girl/woman goes through after she's been bruised. Keeping the humor aside, Tales From My Hard Drive has also managed to touch the emotions of a person trying to pick up the pieces and put her life back together after an emotional blow. Just when she thinks the world couldn't hate her more, she meets someone so good and pure that little by little gets her faith back in love and life. This book reminds everyone that even at 40, you can make the same mistake you made in high school - overlook the good guys and wish for the bad/hot ones.
I loved reading every minute of this book, about Melissa's insane dates and as well as her good ones with Ted.
One of my favorite parts from this book “The other problem is that she hasn’t arrived.”
“Oh, yeah? And who is she?”
“Well, she is a remarkable, funny, classy woman who can say the word fuck without being trashy. She makes me laugh, is ambitious, loves me because I’m nice, not in spite of it, and is as nice in return. She is simply enchanting.”
“Shooting for the stars there, aren’t you, pal?”
“Shouldn’t we all?”
I didn’t know anymore, although I utterly envied his romanticism.
Guest Post : Common Mistakes writers make with Self-published Books by Sabine A. Reed, author of 'The Black Orb'.
Are you planning to self-publish your book? Wait! I’ve read a number of self-published books either bought or sent by friends who want me to review their books. Here are a few common mistakes that most self-published books have (and this is especially true for authors who have never had a traditional publishing contract before self-publishing. Authors who are self-publishing their out-of-print books or who have editing experience know enough not to make these mistakes.)
1) Self-publish the first ever manuscript you wrote (unless you don’t want to make writing a career. The first book is NEVER EVER good enough to be published. There are no born writers, but with practice a writer can become adept at the craft of writing. Write enough books and soon you’ll have a gem of a manuscript that’s worthy of being published. If, however, you doing it as an experiment or a hobby, then by all means don’t listen to me.)
2) Write about a coming of age story of a young protagonist who discovers he/she has special powers/position and belongs to a clique/group/kingdom. (This is a typical plot used by many first-time writers, and trust me I know because I WROTE NOT ONE BUT TWO SUCH BOOKS that were meant to be the first in two separate trilogies. The rejection letters hurt, but I learnt a lesson and got that particular plot out of my system for good.)
3) Start the book by showing the protagonist sitting and thinking sad/complicated/angry thoughts. Always start with action/drama.
4) Have a first chapter that contains the protagonist moving from house to college, back to house, to mall, all the while contemplating his life. That’s not action. That’s you trying to establish the character and believe me it’s going to turn your reader off the book faster than any grammar or spelling mistakes. Action implies some life changing event that has far reaching consequences for the main character. Think about Eragon: the prologue contained an elf who was ambushed and captured by a shade but she managed to send a stone to safety. The first official chapter showed Eragon finding the stone. (Something serious was happening and though the reader didn’t know the significance of it, it was interesting and intriguing. What was that stone? Why would an elf risk her life to save it? And what would the boy do with it?) Now, think about Harry Potter; the first chapter of the first book introduced an entire hidden world of witches and wizards. Harry was not even introduced as a character. (What a way to capture the reader. Who would not want to read the book that hinted that there could be a secret world within our own world?)
5) Self-publish without getting the manuscript editing by a reputable editor or a friend who has done such work before. Many self-published books don’t have punctuation and grammatical errors as much as having pacing or plotting issues.
6) Start the story in chapter 3. The drama should begin in chapter 1 or else the reader would not get to chapter 3. For example, don’t show a boy who is being forced to move against his will, by his parents, to an unknown town where he then meets strange people (but don’t know why they are strange) and then discovers his special powers in chapter three or four. If this boy is not interesting in chapter one, why would the reader continue to read till chapter three?
7) Show the protagonist having strange dreams without telling the readers the significance of those dreams. It might be interesting to you because you know already why your main character is having those dreams but really the reader is just going to put the book down.
Self-publishing is a real, solid and profitable option for many who are tired of submitting to agents and publishers or for those who don’t want to wait for six months to years while the publishers and agents read their proposals. But it’s not going to be profitable until authors ensure the quality of their books. Some authors are doing quite well, JA Konrath, Amanda Hocking, etc. Others are doing well, not great but good enough, for example Theresa Ragan sold over 128,000 e-books till Nov 2011. For each of these authors who are making a decent amount of money, there are thousands who are barely selling ten or less books in a month.
They have no one to blame but themselves. Give a reader a well-crafted, action-packed, well-edited self-published book and they will buy your next one. Give them a badly edited, slow paced and boring book and they will not only give you a bad review but also never ever buy another one of your books.
Sabine A. Reed is the author of fantasy e-novella The Black Orb. She has her own Writing and Publishing Blog where she gives tips to new writers. You can find her at twitter and read the First Chapter of her novella for free.
You can buy The Black Orb from Uncial Press here.
Buy it from Amazon Kindle US here.
21st November, 2011 - 25th November, 2011
Thief of Hope by Cindy Young Turner
Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.
After she's rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic-long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor-still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.
But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?
Thank you all so much for participating! I definitely did not expect so many of you to to enter in such a short time. I'm really really happy!
I still can't believe that I've reached 97 followers when I started with 2! It makes me almost want to have another giveaway! :)
I think I will soon!
Anyway, I had entered all your e-mail ids on random.org..and the winner is..
To the others, thank you once again for your participation and your help with spreading the word! Please keep checking out my blog, there's a ton of other giveaways coming up soon.
There's one starting on the 21st! Looking forward to your entries!
First of all, I'd like to thank the author, Cidney Swanson, for giving me the opportunity to read her utterly captivating book!
"The screaming was the first clue that I'd turned invisible again."
That had my attention and it was just the first line!
Samantha Ruiz is a carrier of a weird gene that makes her turn invisible. At first, she doesn't control it and most of the time it takes her a minute to realize she's even turned invisible but with the help of her friend Will and his sister Mickie.
I'm a huge fan of paranormal books and 'Rippler' has managed to stand out in a genre where the popular trend is vampires,werewolves,faeries and witches. From the first chapter, Cidney Swanson has managed to jump right into the action without having a slow beginning. Once you get started, it's hard to put the book down. I would know, considering I had to go a few days without reading what happens next. Reading this book was like trying to solve a puzzle, there's various pieces/dots scattered all over the book and you start to connect them one by one till the end where the book leaves you screaming because you just want to know what happens!
The writing is good and is written in a language that relates to teens/young adults. The chapters have a continuous flow to them. I loved the parts of the book with the riddles and journal entries! It takes pretty good creativity to come up with little things like that!
The author has captured the essence of a shy and confused teenage girl growing up perfectly! Throughout the novel, Sam tries to figure out and embrace her identity. When I read Sam's thoughts I understood what she was going through and connected with her. It was also lovely to see Will & Sam's friendship slowly turn into something more.
Will's sister did annoy me a bit at first but once I got to know more about her, I grew fond of her and the relationship she has with her brother! The characters have been developed really well, with close similarities to reality and each character is someone you'd be able to relate to in your life.
My only problem with this story was that, Sam's freak gene was cool but a little too much! I found it far-fetched that she could turn invisible, walk through things AND read minds (if she tried!)
That's the reason I can't give 'Ripper' 5 stars. But other than that, this book goes back into an interesting period of history - Nazi Rule & Scientific Experiments - and I LOVED it!
I will definitely read the sequel Chameleon: Book Two in the Ripple Series ! I recommend 'Rippler' to young teenagers, especially girls, who're fans of X-Men! Sam reminded me of Rogue (although she should've reminded me of Kitty) - one of my favorite characters!
"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."
Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.
Incase you haven't read Hollowland, let me start at the beginning.
This series is set sometime way in the future where America (and possibly the rest of the world) is basically a wasteland since the spread of a virus known as 'Lyssavirus' which has turned most of the human race into zombies. It follows Remy King, the female protagonist, who goes across America in search of her eight year old brother, Max.
She's formed herself a little group consisting of a Vegas show tiger, an ex-rockstar, a med student and a 13 year old girl who accompany her on this search.
Max, like Remy, is immune to the virus for some reason, meaning they can't get infected. When Remy finally finds Max, turns out he's been tortured and used as an experiment by the last surviving scientists/surgeons who're trying to find a cure to the virus. In order to save her brother, Remy volunteers to take his place since they share the same gene. That's where Hollowland ends.
I'm a huge fan of apocalyptic/dystopian/steampunk novels, especially ones that involve zombies because lets face it, they're AWESOME! I read Hollowland a few months ago and I loved it! So, obviously, I've had extremely high expectations for its sequel (having waited months for it to release).
Amanda Hocking has created an awesome protagonist in this series. Remy is strong,brave and tough as nails. In Hollowmen, while she continues to be all those things, she had lost a bit that unwavering determination to survive - which I guess is understandable. I suppose Remy has changed. After what she went through it's natural, but I put her on a pedestal where she kicks ass no matter what. That's my own fault. However I expected more from this one.
Hollowmen picks up 6 months after Hollowland. I had assumed that half of this book would be about the experiments but thank god it wasn't. The zombies have attacked the shelter Remy's at and almost everyone has evacuated or ended up dead. Remy leaves with the last group of people leaving the shelter and this book follows their adventures from there.
While I wasn't disappointed, I did want more. First of all, this was way too short, at least seemed much shorted than it's prequel. That sucked.
Also, Lazlo? He disappeared!!! I heard like 3 LINES from him! I don't blame Amanda Hocking for this though. I knew the minute I got to the part with Lazlo that Remy wouldn't end up with him. I understood why,although I'm not too happy about it. With Lazlo, Remy would always have to protect him, always be the stronger one. She's a survivor but he needs someone to take care of him. At least, that's what I think Amanda Hocking tried to create when she thought of his character.
Boden on the other hand, he's capable of taking care of Remy. Hell, he does it from the beginning! I do like him, but he's not cute or happy like Lazlo. Lazlo had some lightness to him that I missed in this book. Anyway I'm mentally prepared for Remy to end up with Boden now, so if the final book goes the other way I think I'd have to pull my hair out. To be honest though, if Boden didn't exist and I didn't know this would happen, I would not have liked this book.
There was no actual story to Hollowmen (except the part where they had to get to Canada).. it was way too short and too many pages were wasted on unnecessary stuff. The story's supposed to grow as the series progresses-get faster paced, more gripping, develop characters and such. While this book did grow in some aspects, it let me down in others. Also, I need longer books!
That being said, I'm a huge fan of Hocking so I can't not like her books. I do like Hollowmen but am just not completely satisfied with it and I feel that it's not one of her best work. Anyway, its still a good read and I would definitely finish this series. Hope the next book makes up for what this one lacked.
This book isn't my first adult paranormal book, however, it is my first Rachel Vincent book. I came across Blood Bound as it was a 'Book of the Month' read in one of my Goodreads' Groups and it seemed interesting so I decided to start with this.
Bound by Blood, Condemned by Fate.
Liv is a highly skilled bloodtracker - one of the best - and exists in a world where blood means everything. Blood is the way to power, money, control, loyalty and anything else you can think of. It controls a persons will and choice.
When Liv's childhood friend's husband is murdered, she didn't have a choice but to help her get revenge. However, this meant that she had to work with her ex-boyfriend Cam, another powerful tracker, who is the love of her life but also the one person she can't have.
While facing every kind of danger, they have to deal with their unsettled feelings for each other.
This book is unique and adventurous, with a lot of twists & turns! Liv is a strong woman who has stayed that way despite all the bad things that she had to deal with. When you read about her and Cam, you get the feeling that they're the real deal.
However, while I loved Liv's character, somethings about Cam annoyed me. He seemed a little lost without her, maybe that's because he loves her that much but it made him weak. Also, Cam seemed a little stupid to me, he never thought ahead, never fully understood anything and I found it ridiculous that he managed to survive in the world he lived in with that kind of naiveté. Also, he had way to many secrets from the 'love of his life' . Sure he was afraid he'd lose her but to me, he seemed to be a coward. The only thing that had him going for me was his feelings for Liv - they felt genuine.
I don't want to ruin the plot so, with that I'll say - if you like fast-paced paranormal novels and don't mind a little darkness in them, then 'Blood Bound' is definitely one of the really good books for adults out there! I found the ending awesome and the last chapter alone made me feel twice the excitement for the next book! I can't wait to see how it all plays out!
Charley Davidson is a twenty-something year old Grim Reaper. Yup, you read it right. However, she's not the typical dark,scary and hooded kind who holds a scythe. That would be someone else.
She's the kind who sends people to heaven, or wherever God sends you. She's brave,smart,witty, funny and extremely entertaining. She's awesome!
For me to like a book, I need to like the protagonist of the novel so I guess it's no surprise that I loved 'First Grave on the Right! She works as a P.I. and helps solve murders and other mysteries with the help of dead people. She also helps them move on to wherever they're supposed to after they die.
No one really knows her 'power' except her best friend Cookie (who also works as her receptionist and lives across her apartment) and a few others.
The real story of this book was between her and Reyes. I love him,btw. Really, he can appear in front of me anytime, I'd welcoming him with open arms and.. err.. other things. He's dark, mysterious, sexy and SO HOT!
Anyway, Reyes' Charley's mystery to solve and the chemistry between them is just..woah! This is one of the few rare paranormal books which manages to be funny. I love the sarcasm that Charley's got and I found so Darynda Jones' writing highly amusing and kept me laughing even when things were meant to be serious.
Charley's light, uhm, not literally. I mean, she's happy and cheerful and puts you in a good mood.
This is a series that I'd definitely finish! View all my reviews
I'm usually not a fan of short stories but Across the Veil left me wanting for more.
Lisa Kessler has managed to create characters that you can get attached to in a short period of time, which is definitely not easy. This book was a great short read and kept me involved and entertained from the beginning to the end.
I would've loved for it to be a novel/series as I know it's something I would read for sure! This is the kind of book that I'd re-read every time I'm looking for a short good story. The plot was good and it would've made an awesome full-fledged novel!
I'm really not a fan of books not written from a first person POV but 'Enchantment' is one of the rare exceptions! Charlotte Abel had a way of feeding my imagination with clear descriptions of the people and places!
Channie has had a not so normal upbringing..her family's definitely rough around the edges and so is she. While reading this book, I could actually understand Channie's emotions really well despite the book not being directly from her POV. I did not think I would get so involved with the characters but I did.. I HATE Channie's parents, really like Abby(for some reason, though I'm nothin like her!)..and love love LOVE Josh!!!
Although Channie's parents made me want to throw the book at them sometimes (actually almost all the time)..it just made the book better! The accent, the setting..oh, just the whole hillbilly thing just had me! For some reason that made the book all the more special!
Enchantment is unique and and kept me engrossed from the start to the end! I haven't come across a similar book yet and kudos to Ms.Abel for being able to create something exceptional and nothing like other paranormal books out there!
Thank God for Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fanatics' Read to Review! I get to read some awesome books from time to time thanks to them (and the authors of course) ! This book had an excellent plot.. It had a bit of everything and managed to mix different paranormal beings into one novel smoothly.
'Give me, a fairytale' kept me guessing the entire time..it had magic,love/lust, a bit of mythology, fae and an intriguing fantasy world set in England! The descriptions were really good and I enjoyed the characters. The contrast in the beginning between Elyse and Diantha's personalities was written really well and they actually had me feeling the emotions that they were going through. The different points of view and the frequent shifts between the past and the present was especially interesting. It was also nice to know parts from both Cade as well as Lillith's POV.
A unique and captivating novel and definitely an enjoyable read!
Christie Rich has a wonderful way with words. She's descriptive about everything in a way that made reading the book thoroughly enjoyable. While the story started out unclear, the book kept me curious and got better with every chapter! The plot was really good! Five's got a fresh take on Fae that got me sucked into Faeresia by the end of it. I TOTALLY loved the parts with Styx! (Funny,Funny, Funny!)
My only problem with this book was that the characters could've been developed better. Not much was said about Rayla's personality (I have to admit, she annoyed me at first but got tolerable as the book progressed). For someone who had a totally normal life, I found the fact that she believed her aunt about the Fae (after one phone call) a little unrealistic. Also, Cassie and Rayla were supposed to be best friends but from the beginning of the book, they kept fighting and their relationship was a little too hot and cold for them to be best friends. While the reasons were explained later, I still wasn't convinced that their friendship was genuine. There were just way too many secrets between them and the affection didn't seem real.
I just didn't get Zach & Rayla. I mean, she just met him, she didn't trust him, but he was all over her and she was okay with it. I totally loved Luke! At least, they had some real conversation. He was kind and sensitive (not to mention totally hot!) I liked that his ego was bruised because he couldn't bond with her..I hope she ends up with him! I really can't stand Zach.
I liked this book. It had a fast-paced and extremely interesting storyline. I would rate it 4 stars if it was edited better and more time was spent in developing the characters and their relationships. Maybe it's just me but I need more interaction to get attached to them. Everything just happened too fast and too much time was wasted on Cassie and Rayla. That being said, Christie Rich is extremely talented writer and has created a unique story with a new take on Fae.. I will definitely pick up the next part when it's out..!
You know why Vampire Academy was good? It was because of Rose.
Richelle Mead created a character that we all love. Sydney's okay, she might have a few good things in her, but honestly, when I read Bloodlines I didn't get attached to any of the characters.
I read the book for Adrian, and I felt like there wasn't enough of him. I mean COME ON. Couldn't they at least kiss? I'm not sure if Sydney's even a good match for him, but I can understand what Richelle Mead tried to say - that Sydney made him better, over time. Sydney's uptight attitude is in contrast to Adrian's and I can weirdly see them getting along.
However, she just didn't make me want to read the whole book line by line. If this book was written to appeal to Adrian's fans, it should've at least been written from his point of view. I don't care about the alchemists.
Everyone's been waiting for this book because of Adrian.
Also, for the record, I can't stand Jill. She's unnecessary to the plot. The whole book was written for the sake of it.
The reason I'm giving it 3 stars is because of Adrian. By the end of the book, I did like Sydney & Adrian together. I'd just like more of him though. It was an okay read.
Fairy Metal Thunder was just... Fun! There's no other way to describe it. I loved fairytales as a kid, it was the best part of being young! J.L.Bryan has pretty much created a YA fairytale, a world complete with faeries, goblins, elves, trolls, unicorns.. the works! This book was a light and happy read and made me feel like a little girl who believes in magic! Wonderful and highly entertaining!
There's something about college romance, it's so much different and better than high school.
I couldn't put this book down. I was up all night reading Beautiful Disaster. The dialogues aren't great, the plot wasn't amazing but it's the kind of book any girl would love to read.
This book isn't exceptional but its definitely an addictive contemporary romance novel which makes you feel all warm and gooey on the inside!
I loved the characters and I couldn't get enough of the chemistry between Abby and Travis!
A definite read for anyone who loves College Romance!
To be honest, I loved this book! The story was beautiful,however, I wasn't satisfied. I wanted more. That's the reason I've given it only 3 stars despite the story being much better than other chicklits.
In the end it all became too easy for them when they got together. My favorite part of the book was Lily's time in Australia when she first moved there, met Ben and all that. That being said, Pictures of Lily is one of the really really really good chicklits I've read lately!
There's a time when every girl doubts herself - whether she's special, unique, smart, attractive and everything her parents made her believe she was - and Lola goes through the same period and overcomes it. Stephanie Perkins has created an awesome and unique character whose personality stands out.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is much much better than Anna and the French Kiss! I cannot wait to read the next novel!