At First Light (Mount Kiernon #1) by Suzanne Paschke

***This book does not stand alone***

Summary

Having escaped the clutches of her abusive and controlling husband Cheryl Prescott flees the city she grew up in to live a new life under a false name. Years later when her car breaks down in the small town of Mount Kiernon, Cheryl – who is now better known as Sarah Walker – is forced to spend the night waiting for it to be repaired.

Discovering a town that is hurting as much as she is, Sarah decides to settle down and call the town her new home, opening a cafe along with her heart to the people of Mount Kiernon. As relationships with her customers grow, so do the feelings she has for the local mechanic, Jamie.

Will Sarah open her heart to let Jamie in, or will the new life she has built on lies crumble when her past threatens to return?

Characters

Sarah is a super strong, but damaged character. She is very emotional but is completely understandable. The author does a great job bringing back her to her struggles over and over again. Her internal struggles make her previous life seem real – so when Jamie comes along it makes sense that she isn’t ready. Jamie is such a heart throb! Love him. There was a bit of an issue with POV switching between Jamie and Sarah – sometimes in the middle of a chapter with no clear break. It was very confusing sometimes.

The supporting characters very much feel like a small town. I’ve visited a few small towns and they aren’t always as friendly but they are very similar to what the author portrayed. I really liked Jamie’s friends but some of the dialogue was a little too similar between characters.

Plot

I felt like the plot just went on and on. After a while it was a little repetitive and I couldn’t always understand why some parts of the story were told, while others were just skimmed over. I don’t know if all of the chapters actually advanced the plot, which made it difficult to hold my attention the entire time. The worse part was I expected some sort of resolution at the end for how long the book was and how much redundancy was built in – all to build the character up – but there wasn’t. This book cannot stand alone.

Overall

The writing could be fleshed out a bit, particularly the POV switches mid-chapter, but overall was enjoyable. The author did an excellent job with the main characters, and some of the secondary characters, but the dialogue could use some tweaking.  The plot could use some condensing – particularly pieces that didn’t advance the plot or were repetitive. Honestly I don’t know why this was split into two books…if it was for the cliffhanger at the end that is absolutely not necessary and is one of the biggest reason this book is getting the below rating.

The author brought a high level of emotion to this book. I was choked up more than once! I really rooted for Jamie and Sarah to work. This is for sure an unpolished gem that would really shine with some clean up. It was very sweet. I’d hope the second book gets more into Sarah’s strength and not so much her broken side. I’ll admit that sometimes Sarah’s actions really pissed me off but the author did a great job of having Sarah correct it quickly enough that she was quickly redeemed in my eyes every time – which is not easy to do so I applaud the author!

Rating

3 stars

This book has so much potential and excellent character development but needs to clean up. I also don’t think this should be two books based on the excess content of this book. That being said I absolutely love Jamie and Sarah and hope they get their happily ever after!

I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

The Sixth Gate – Back of the Book

Good day, good day!

I’m very excited to announce that I’ve finalized the back of the book for The Sixth Gate, book 1 of the Gate Trilogy, which will release on July 7, 2017. I’ll be doing a cover reveal soon too! Yay!

The interplanetary gates have existed between the five planets and the Netherworld for as long as living memory.

Dr. Elisabeth Avery is a woman caught between two worlds. Little does she know that others like her, other half-breeds, are being hunted. When a creature drags a princess into the Netherworld, Elisabeth is determined to save her by any means necessary.

Meanwhile, on the planet of Hystera, a Keeper and his assistant investigate a grisly string of suicides and are in need of someone with Elisabeth’s skills. The Gate Guardians and Elisabeth are aware that something is coming and know that it has something to do with the Netherworld bleeding through to the planets, but not why. 

Will Elisabeth be able to come to terms with who she is in time to face the coming threat?

I’d love feedback! This isn’t 100% set in stone yet so any feedback would be much appreciated. 🙂 Just a reminder that this is a YA friendly Dark Fantasy.

Where the Waters Turn Black (Yarnsworld #2) by Benedict Patrick

Summary

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

Characters

Kaimana is a likable character but more importantly she feels real. Her decisions aren’t always perfect but there is something of a dreamer in her that is to be admired. Rakau is the tanwha and has a big personality. He reminds me of a big intelligent dog. The supporting characters are varied but most seems to be morally reprehensible characters. From her parents that can’t understand to her ‘mentor’ Eloni (who is a real twit).

Plot

This book was such an array of themes. At its core I felt this was about the power of love/friendship. That it doesn’t matter how different  you may be from another person/creature, sometimes there is a connection that only you and the other person/creature can understand. It was a beautifully refreshing novel. There wasn’t any romance, it was just the story of a girl and her monster.

There were Gods, and constant threats from all sides, and awesome scenes. The concept of the Knacks are back in this Yarnsworld novel, which was pleasant. The author took a completely different but enjoyable feel/plot without completely leaving the writing style or world that I loved in They Mostly Come out at Night. A fantastic adventure that not everyone will come out of the same or even survive.

Overall

The world building was breathtaking and the transitions clear. I was a little disappointed that the fairy tale like stories didn’t connect back into the story more, but it did well enough to be fantastic. The Gods were varied and complex in their own right. I cannot give this book enough praise. I don’t want to give anything away, you’ll just need to read it!

Rating

5 stars

If you love Folklore stories even a little this is a must read! I couldn’t put it down and once I started reading it I had to finish. A must read!

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

Writing Update and Mailing Lists

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I started off with a terrible head cold that laid me up for days. I sincerely hope most of you started off 2017 better. On that note here are all the updates for what I plan to do in the new year.

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.
  2. Finish Writing The Gate Trilogy (I expect this to happen within the next month)
    1. Get all 3 covers done for The Gate Trilogy, reveal the first one.
    2. Publish The Sixth Gate on July 7, 2017
    3. Finish editing all 3 books – get ready for Beta readers.
  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
  4. Start writing next book. Decide between 1001 Islands #2, Unfathomable Chance #2, or the new YA Fantasy novel – Temporum: The Four Seasons.
  5. Work on Seven Eves – Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel
  6. Edit and get to Beta Readers An Honest Misunderstanding and consider publishing (maybe just on Wattpad).
  7. Breathe new life into my Historical Mystery Novella. Finish writing ‘The Red Door’ – SO MUCH REWRITING/EDITING!
  8. Editing/rewrite Truthseer 
  9. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  10. Keep up momentum on writing events, speaking events, and conventions.
  11. Read 45 books.

Mailing Lists:

I have created two mailing lists. One for Romance readers and another for Fantasy/Sci-fi readers. I’m hoping to send out discounts, deals, giveaways, sample chapters, and cover reveals of all my books. Not to mention upcoming releases and my decision on which books will first go to audio (that’s right!). I’m preparing for a giveaway shortly, make sure you get on the list!

Sign up here: Mailing Lists

Writing Plans:

I am painfully close to finishing the last book in The Gate Trilogy. Book 1 releases on July 7, 2017. I had the artist who said they were going to do it bail so I need to find a new artist, I may have a line on one of them to do all 3 covers. I’ll get everything ready for publication over the next 5 years.

After completion of The Gate Trilogy I’ll be ready to start on my next project. There are three items that are at the forefront of that race. In no particular order these are my possible next writing projects:

  • 1001 Islands #2
  • Unfathomable Chance #2
  • Temporum: The Four Seasons A new project that I want to do for my good friend Nicky. It is a YA Fantasy that is contemporary and involves the main character ‘falling’ into another world.
  • Another project that I’m working on as well is Seven Eves. An Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel. This may move to the forefront of my attention until I can make a decision on what of the above projects to take on first.

I also have a few projects I’d like to revive. Namely Truthseer (a book I wrote for my sister but needs to be fixed/worked on before future publication) and The Red Door (a historical mystery novel set in New York City, 1899). I finished rewriting/editing An Honest Misunderstanding some time ago, but I’ve decided to look at publishing. Either to eBook or on Wattpad…or maybe both!

Audiobook:

I’ve decided that one of my published books is going to go to Audiobook. I have to decide on just one and I’m very torn. I’ll be sending out a poll to help decide so I’m hoping everyone will sign up to the mailing list and help me make a decision Fall 2017.

Local Events:

Happy to announce that I’ll have other writing events around town and in the Southcoast area in Alaska. I’m very excited about all these events. SenshiCon was amazing last year and I hope to meet as many amazing  people this year as I did last year! My first one is next weekend which is Yuki Fest – here is their Facebook Page.

Reading Goal:

It is my goal to read 45 books. Goodreads Reading Challenge is all set up and tracking me. Apparently I’m 1 book ahead of schedule – yay! I want at least 50% of these to be indie authors so make sure to check out my submission/review policy page if you’d like me to consider reading/reviewing your book.

 

Winter is coming…and NaNoWriMo is here!

Winter is coming…nope it is already here in the form of RAIN!

Reviews

Here is what is pending in order of my plan to read/review for my next few books:

  • The Faraway North by Ian Cumpstey – Finished ,need to write a review
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – Finished, need to write a review
  • The Golden Spider (The Elemental Web Chronicles, Book One) by Anne Renwick – Finished reading today, need to write a review
  • A Sense of Discovery by Martin Perks – Just started reading this
  • Confronting Destiny (Aetherheart Book 1) by A.L. Tesh – I’m reading this book on my iPad as I have time
  • Two Heirs (The Marmoros Trilogy: Book 1) by Peter Kenson – Being read by a guest reviewer
  • Above the Ether by Yemisi Aremu Otasanya – Next book up in my queue

I am really behind in writing reviews. I had a tough one that I was waffling on the star rating for and it put me behind. Tomorrow I hope to get back on track and get two posted over the weekend!

Writing

I’m over 40,000 words into the final book in my trilogy. I am still calling it ‘The Last Gate’ right now but it may change to ‘The Final Gate’ or something similar. The Sixth Gate now has a release date of July 7, 2017. Woot, woot!

I’ve also started a super secret project. Mwahahahaha. It is a Supernatural Crime Novel set in dun-dun-dun, Alaska. When I dad reads this he is going to freak out because he has been asking me to do something set in Alaska for YEARS. I only have 4,000 words written but I’m still forming the full outline and idea…and I’m finishing up my trilogy so I’m sure this will start rolling out!

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month has started! My goal is 30,000 words, same as last year…and I’m failing already. I was hoping to get half way by this point and I’m just not there. I breached 10,000 words today (yay!) but I’m still about 4,000 behind on where I wanted to be. I’m not too worried about it, but I really want to hit that 30,000 word goal because that will get me really close to finishing The Last Gate.

Movies: Dr. Strange and The Accountant

If you like movies, like I do, I have been very lucky this month. The Accountant is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year! Basically the Bourne series meets Usual Suspects. I was blown away, and I’ve decided best Ben Affleck movie ever. If you like action movies that make you think and have plot twists, this movie is a masterpiece!

I saw Dr. Strange last night and laughed…a lot. This movie was witty and dark, all at the same time. I absolutely loved it. Among the superhero movies as of late, this one really stands apart. It has a different feel to it and well worth the watch. I think it was because the main characters were so different, so flawed, but reaching for goodness…eventually.

 

 

 

7 and 1/2 hours

I am very excited to give all of my updates on my projects.

Blog 2.0: An Author’s Take

Hannibal. That was the theme leading up to the Hannibal TV show season 3 premiere. So I went back and watched all of the classics. I also watched a few more because there are only 3 Hannibal movies (I don’t count Hannibal Rising).

Fargo (1996)

Hannibal (2001)

Imitation Game, The (2014)

Interstellar 

Red Dragon

Silence of the Lambs

Check them all out here: An Authors Take

1001 Islands

One of my Beta readers informed me this morning that they finished my book and all of the notes. The other Beta reader is only has 10 pages to go. I expect to get a message from them tomorrow. I am thrilled to be getting my final edits together and shipping it off to my editor.

I got draft sketches for the cover. So far I am very excited. Especially for the epic ship she has added to it. I should get a inked draft on Saturday, just before I leave on my camping trip!

The only problem that is really left is the back of the book. I still can’t get it right. I’ve been struggling with what to do and am about to claw my eyes out. I seem to have two ways of doing the blurb for the back of the book; epic fail or epic win. There is no gap but I shall endeavor to keep trying.

Frost Burn

My coauthored book is well underway. You can get the first part for #free on Wattpad. That way you can get your toes wet and decide if the next 3 parts are worth it or not. If you don’t know what Wattpad is, please give it a chance. It is epic and wonderful and not I can’t stop reading other people’s stories on there! It is an app for your phone that allows you to read books that indie writers (an traditional writers) post for free.

Just click on this link: Frost Burn

I meet with my wonderful coauthor on Sunday. We were both very determined to hammer out the best book possible. We had a few changes, but the overall theme and plot remain the same. After 7 and 1/2 hours of typing back and forth we finally worked it out. We also didn’t waste anytime getting to work. We’re already 3 chapters into part 4. Perhaps we’ll finish up faster then we thought and get this baby out in the Fall of 2015!

Love’s Metamorphosis

First round of edits are done. I got it back from my friend who does all my editing (love her) and plan to do another round of edits. I’m just going to construct some sort of cover in the next month and get this baby rolled out on Wattpad. Stay tuned!

In Progress Book – The Gate Doulogy

Continued work in progress. I am 12,000 words in and making head way to getting this baby rolling out faster. Just fine tuning where I want the book to go.

I’ve also started initial editing for the first book in the series. Honestly I am not that motivated since I’m so focused on other books. Not to mention whenever I think about editing I want to curl up on the ground and cry. Grammar really is the bane of my existence.

Honest Hearts Collection

When I take a break from fantasy I like to write romances. My first book completed after I finished my bachelor degree is called ‘An Honest Misunderstanding.’ I have two other outlines for historical romances including the one from 2010. I was rereading over one of the outlines and realized how much I missed it. So despite the fact that I am knee deep in my dark fantasy I’ve started working on this one too.

All of the books will have ‘honest’ in the title. That way if I come up with other ideas I can get more out there. I’m going to work on getting ‘An Honest Misunderstanding’ ready for publication and plan to come out with next spring. That way I’ll be able to go from fantasy in the fall to historical romance in the spring.

‘An Honest Intent’ is my current book. Here is a little peak into that: Abigail Bradford is mistreated by her uncle, but she is still surprised when he decides to marry her off for money. While her uncle pockets the money, Abigail had to leave her sick mother and three very young siblings, to go live with a man she only met twice and only 2 weeks before they married. Mr. St. John needs a wife with an old, respectable name and none are as old as Bradford. Abigail has secrets, terrible secrets, that will either tear her and her new husband apart or bound them together forever.

If you’re interested in ‘An Honest Misunderstanding’ you can check it out here: An Honest Misunderstanding.

The 3rd book which I am right now titled ‘An Honest Persuasion’ will be my NaNoWriMo book.

Stay posted as I keep writing!

Winter break, a sore throat, and two awesome shows

Happy holidays for those of you who celebrate during this time of year. I get an entire four days, day one was all for my family but today I’ve come down with a nasty sore throat. The dry weather could be the culprit or just something else that my system has been fighting. Today, watching the snow fall and my cats watch as it came down I decided to try new TV shows. I am positively addicted to two of them that are on Netflix.

The first is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Phyne and Jack are both excellent characters, and their personalities on paper are brought to life by the actors playing them. I was positively excited to discover other characters were brought in that contributed to a wonderful series set in Melbourne. In addition to the chemistry between Jack and Phryne but also a sweeter romance between two young lovebirds. If the romance doesn’t pull you in the creative mysteries or 1920s era might. If you are a love of 1920s fashion you will be begging for her entire wardrobe by the 4th episode. Ordering hats and gloves by the end of the first season off of Amazon.

The second is The Artful Detective, also known as the Murdoch Mysteries. This one is a little more interesting because of the historical aspects. You’ll encounter historical figures like Nikola Tesla and Sir Conan Doyle. Interesting cases as well, and the unique investigating techniques. They also have clever turns of phrase that makes you chuckle because they are used in modern investigations. Also, there is a lady doctor that could lead to a potential romance in the future. He is clever, principled, and easy on the eyes.

Although I am enjoying them both I must admit that Miss Fisher’s show has me 3 times as enthralled as Murdoch. I can admit that I would much prefer to watch hours of Miss Fisher, than Murdoch, but there are little surprises. However, I do enjoy seeing the science behind earlier techniques and how Murdoch uses them while they are still considered unconventional. I am hoping that by the end of season 1 I shall be as captivated by Murdoch as I am by Miss Fisher.

As I doubt this sore throat will let up and I don’t feel inclined to write, I shall endeavor to watch more of these and make a sound determination.