Wandering Storm

Summary:

Loud banging resounded throughout the house. The housekeeper pushed a servant aside and wrenched the door open angrily. A man stood on the threshold, dripping rain and mud and blood. A stormy night brings Wandering sailors to a sleepy farming town in the High Kingdoms. (Short Story in the Tales from the Circle Series)

Overall

This had a very interesting setting, on the high seas, but some of the imagery of the setting was lost on me. After the rocky beginning some of it cleared up and I was able to connect more with this fantasy based novel. This seems like it was a short story meant to go to a bigger story and without knowing the bigger story, this was not as clear or enjoyable.

I enjoyed the second half of the story more, even though I was still a little lost, I was captivated! This is where the author’s ability really shined. The settings, the plot coming together, and the characters taking on more life. It was an interesting narration. I wouldn’t say this is a young adult, but it is clean enough that young adults could easily enjoy.

Rating

3 stars

It was okay. A little unformed, but vividly fascinating! I think if I had read the main book and then this one, I would enjoyed this more.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Perfect Timing by Jeffery J. Smith

Summary

Accidentally transported to the future, caterer Crik escapes house-arrest with Tepper, his possible distant descendant. While pursued by volunteer vigilante Voltak, goofball Crik explores Geotopia-where buildings grow, people incorporate animal powers, smart phones know it all, and vehicles defy gravity-seeking clues. If he can discover, understand, and articulate the future’s public policy that works right for everybody, he can prove he was their founder, the lone agent of change who put society on its path toward universal prosperity and harmony with nature. If he fails to convince the Futurite Authorities, they wouldn’t return their unexpected visitor to the exact second he left-something their law requires-to the moment when a hail of gunfire was bearing down on the luckless caterer and college dropout…would they?

Characters

There are two main characters – Crik and Tepper. I didn’t like Crik, which made the book really difficult to get through. I think he was supposed to be a funny character but for me he was just annoying. Tepper was alright, but she felt two-dimensional, almost like she existed as an interaction for Crik’s antics and nothing more. In the end I didn’t connect with the characters. However, if you like plucky characters then maybe you’ll enjoy his silliness. There is also a plethora of support characters.

Plot

I’m going to start off by saying that I’m not a fan of time travel books. I did like the premise of this one at first but that quickly faded because of the future we visit. It was very bizarre and lacked any seriousness. Made the entire premise seem like a gag story. Actually reminded me of Idiocracy at parts, which is why it felt more like a commentary of society then a sci-fi. I’d say there were for sure science fiction parts, but that seemed like a sub-plot at best.

Overall

I couldn’t connect with the characters or the plot. Although imaginative, the entire book was just too weird for me. Perhaps because it just felt randomly weird. Furthermore I felt like a ping pong ball, being thrown all over the place but not all of it felt plot relevant. I had to take frequent breaks because it felt illogical and disorganized. There were rabbit hole that just seemed to go nowhere. I’ll admit part of it could have been the syntax of the ‘future’ humans. Which was not always followed up by enough clarification.

The ending was interesting – although somewhat predictable, it wasn’t super cut and dry and I liked that. It was a redeeming piece after the rest of it. I think it could have been fun, but for me it was trying too hard and just didn’t hit me in the funny spot. However, if you love silly humor— this will likely leave you in stitches!

Rating

2.5 stars (rounded down)

In the end the combination of bizarre and time travel, mixed in with the plot left me bored. If you like time travel, gag stories with plucky main characters, this is for you, it just wasn’t for me.

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

Third Quarter Writing Updates

I’m nearly on time this quarter and it is time to see where I am on my goals.

Goals for my writing/the year:

  1. Building Mailing List – I’d like to get a mailing list so when I have giveaways and such, I can let everyone who is interested know.
    1. Mailing lists can be found HERE.
  2. Finish Writing The Gate Trilogy (I expect this to happen within the next month). (I’m done writing, now on to the editing)
    1. Get all 3 covers done for The Gate Trilogy, reveal the first one.
      1. Book cover 1 is done (Reveal completed!).
      2. Book 2 is done.
      3. Prequel was done – pushed off completion of book 3.
      4. Book 3 is in draft but in the last stages.
    2. Publish The Sixth Gate on July 7, 2017
      1. Published on July 7th! On Amazon.
    3. Finish editing all 3 books – get ready for Beta readers.
      1. Working on editing book 2 – finished but need to transcribe.
      2. Consider publishing in 2018.
  3. Choose which book to have done for Audio Book
    1. Find a ‘voice’ for the audio book and pick a date for release next spring (2018).
    2. Send a poll in the fall for which book through Mailing List.
    3. Consider putting off another year.
  4. Start writing next book. Decide between 1001 Islands #2, Unfathomable Chance #2, or the new YA Fantasy novel – Temporum: The Four Seasons.
    1. I’ve started writing Temporum: The Four Seasons
      1. Found a major plot hole. Working to resolve it and get writing again.
    2. I’m planning to write Unfathomable Chance #2 for NaNoWriMo and am working on the Outline
      1. Came up with a tentative name: Unfathomable Plan
      2. I’ve tentatively started writing. About 9,000 words in as of today!
    3. I’m also working on the Outline for 1001 Islands #2 which will be a backup for NaNoWriMo if I haven’t completed the outline for Unfathomable Chance #2
      1. Finished outline for Book 2 just today!
  5. Work on Seven Eves – Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel
    1. I’ve written three more chapters and hit 10,000 words!
  6. Edit and Get to Beta Readers An Honest Misunderstanding and consider publishing (maybe just on Wattpad).
    1. One Beta Reader is editing
  7. Breathe new life into my Historical Mystery Novella. Finish writing ‘The Red Door’ – SO MUCH REWRITING/EDITING!
    1. Edited and started jotting down notes to finish writing.
  8. Editing/rewrite Truthseer 
    1. I finally re-read this. It is going to take some work but I sure love this story!
  9. Participate in NaNoWriMo
    1. I’ll be working on Unfathomable Plan for NaNoWriMo!
  10. Keep up momentum on writing events, speaking events, and conventions.
    1. Attended YukiCon.
    2. Attended Steamposium and TaikaiCon
    3. Scheduled/booked SenshiCon and Colony Christmas.
    4. Attend SensiCon
    5. Attend Colony Christmas
  11. Read 45 30 0 books before December 31st. Done! Now I’m just gaining books!

Writing updates:

I’ve published The Sixth Gate and already have 11 reviews on Amazon! Make sure to check it out.

Temporum: The Four Seasons is a YA Fantasy. Eva is a 17 year old heroine who falls through a mirror and ends up where the word is divided into four courts based on the seasons. I finalized the outline and just hit 10,000 words! Until I realized there is a major plot hole. Next to fix/rewrite before I continue.

To complicate matters, Unfathomable Chance 2 – tentatively named Unfathomable Plan – has been harassing me, so I started writing it just to make it leave me alone…now I’m over 9,000 words in…oops! Not to mention I’ve been pulled back into Seven Eves. So many stories wanting my attention.

Audiobook:

The votes are in and the winner is Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand by one (1) vote! It was so close, I was worried it would be a tie!

Reading Goal:

It is my goal to read 45 books. It is October and I’ve already read 46! I’m already one book over with a good pile to keep me busy!

Happy reading!

Loved by the First (Book 2) by C.F. Rabbiosi

Summary

Raina’s Sire has released her to be with her human love. Finally.
If only her hunger for blood wasn’t getting out of control and endangering him.
If only the first vampire and most dangerous being on earth wasn’t pursuing her for his torturous pleasure.

If only she could stay.

She travels across the world to escape him, leaving everything she loves behind. In Tombstone, “The Silver City Strangler” has been making his own living dead girls- using and abusing them before leaving their naked bodies to the desert sun. Finding him, and killing him most terribly will ease the beast inside the beautiful new vampire, while protecting her human soul. But The First has found her.

He plans to use her to hurt his enemy but never thought his stone heart would come alive again.

In her.

Characters

Raina’s still a bit of a mess but she isn’t taking this book laying down…mostly. She doesn’t always make the best choices but at least she is making choices and being her own woman. The biggest choice being that she must sever contact with those she knows to and to hunt killers to make up for what she is. Marcus is in this book but much less. There are a few chapters from Varo’s point of view and one from The Silver City Strangler’s point of view. Overall these dark characters are back with a few new characters in addition to Varo – such as new friends Kyle and Phoenix.

Plot

This book also has a few plots, but this time the author did a better job of making them all relevant in one capacity or another. The most dominating plots is Varo and the second is Raina hunting The Silver City Strangler. I figured out who the strangler was pretty quickly but I won’t tell you how I figured it out so early on. Instead I’ll say if it wasn’t for me reading between the lines early on, I would have been ping-ponging my suspicions between a few characters. If you like a little mystery in your books – this one was well done!

The pacing is pretty fast, almost too fast, to the point that it was jarring in a few areas. I was a little lost a few times because I would think they were in one person’s room but then suddenly they are in another place entirely and I missed the transition. The scenes that I could connect with were great! Dark to be sure, but I could almost see Raina fighting or dancing or…another ‘f’ work. The ending is what had me scratching my head the most because so much happened in a very short period. In the end it felt rushed, as though the author wanted to finish it and make sure it was set up for a third book. I did like the ending but it could have been spread out a little to expand on what was happening.

Overall

I’m still trying to process everything that happened in this book. Part of the reason I devoured the last 20% in one sitting and then needed to take a few days to decide how I felt about it. I’ll start off by saying that this book is much darker and more deprived then the first book. Not only are you twisting with the mystery but this book is just straight up twisted! There was one part was I was like “No, the author isn’t going to let that happen – it is too messed up.” Boy was I wrong! Positively shocking!

That being said, I did have a few things I didn’t like. There were a lot of historical inaccuracies and more then a few items a questioned. For example “slumber parties” and knowing was a microscope slide is before the 1900s. They had microscopes but they called them “sliders” in that era and were much different then what we know today. Plus I questioned Raina knowing what they were at all. Another issue was the types of drinks and how they ordered them. I know at least one of them was for a specific scene but ordering a drink “on the rocks” is a little too modern, plus ordering a rum and coke or long island iced tea. Rum and coke is possible but I questioned it because Coca Cola wasn’t invented until 3 years prior to the book’s time period and it was used as a medicine since it contained cocaine.

As a side note: this book needs a new cover. This cover just doesn’t do the book justice!

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down on Goodreads and up on Amazon)

In the end this book was better then the first in many respects! Raina was a fantastic character and I felt like the book followed her dark turn. There was an introspective effect to what was happening to Raina that made me really connect with her. Not  be able to relate to her but for sure ask that question – what would I do if this was me? I’d read the next book! If you like dark (and I mean DARK) vampire books – pick this up!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

 

Mindful Mornings: Daily Reflections and Meditations to Start Your Day Off Right by Rachael L. Thompson

Summary:

Mornings are said to be the most powerful part of any day. They represent a fresh start, a new beginning. Devoting just five minutes each morning to reflection and meditation will transform your days and eventually lead to a more blissful life. Carry these reflections and meditations with you through your days and watch your daily experiences transform. Stress will seem far less daunting, you will be able to enjoy each moment and appreciate those around you as your heart is filled with love and gratitude. You owe this time to yourself. Transcend any limitations brought about by negative thinking and experience true peace and deep joy. Love and light as you continue on your journey.

Overall:

There are 25 reflections covered here plus some meditation information. There are even some mantras. Some of the reflections are overlapping while others stand very much alone. I was impressed by the information under them. I thought the order was a little strange but I did like that happiness came last. There was also the idea of selflessness and positive regard for others. As a very logical person the section that I felt was woefully lacking was ‘life purpose.’ I thought this was far more important than some of the other sections and was on the shorter side. Perhaps that was because there was a chapter on goals that this seemed so short. For sure a quick read in the morning with some tea (or coffee) before leaving in the morning.

Rating

4 stars.

25 reflections that may help you become a mindful person.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Mindfulness: 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge: Step-By-Step Guide to Living a Stress-Free & Happy Life (Mindfulness for Beginners) by Rachael Thompson

Summary

Who Will Benefit from this Book?

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge can be used alone or as a companion to the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness in a World of Chaos. If you have heard of mindfulness, perhaps read a bit about it, or even tried one of the popular coloring books, but have not experienced a significant change in stress level or happiness this book will help. It provides the perfect beginner’s guide to implement mindfulness every day.

What You Can Expect

The challenge is broken into four, weekly sections, with one bonus day to begin the challenge and another to end the challenge. Each week has a different focus to facilitate optimal learning at each stage of mindful skill development.

Overall

An interesting concept for sure. I went ahead and did the first week of mindfulness. It starts you out slow and lets you build throughout the weeks. I liked the introspective look it made you take. As a person who prides myself on knowing my strengths and weaknesses, I could see the benefit to those that feel their locus of control is constantly threatened by chaos. What I struggled with was the cookie cutter ideas that didn’t give alternatives to accommodate different personalities. I believe it was a little short sighted in that regard. That being said it was a great introduction to managing stress and I’d recommend this short read to those who would like a quick step by step approach.

Rating

4 Stars

A short read that doesn’t overwhelm the reader and could instill helpful stress reducing habits. If you don’t have something that helps reduce stress – this might be for you.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.