Monday Funnies…

Time for a few Monday Funnies over at Chris’s place >>>

Source: Monday Funnies…

Harmony Kent – Guest Blog

My latest non-fiction book gets some love today over at Robert Fear’s place >>>

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Source: Harmony Kent – Guest Blog

Something to think about

Check out Craig Boyack’s post on blogging and etiquette over at Story Empire >>>

 

Hi gang, Craig here once again with an odd topic this time, etiquette. It may seem like an strange topic for a writing blog, but I promise you it’s applicable. If you read enough about writing you’…

Source: Something to think about

Monday Funnies…

A few giggles to start your Monday >>>

Source: Monday Funnies…

WordPress Reader Lists

A work-around for making lists on your WordPress reader.  A must if your email inbox gets flooded with notifications >>>

 

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you on this final day of September. In August, I began a more robust blogging schedule. For much of the past year, I pretty much neglected my blog – posting only on…

Source: WordPress Reader Lists

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Mike Biles, Harmony Kent, Jean Lee #Offer from Andrew Joyce

A great list of books over at Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore today, including an awesome-sauce review of FALLOUT! 🙂 >>>

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update with reviews for authors on the shelves and an offer today from Andrew Joyce for his book Mahoney. The first author with a recent revi…

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Mike Biles, Harmony Kent, Jean Lee #Offer from Andrew Joyce

The Audience Resource You’re Avoiding – Goodreads

Check out another post on marketing by PH Solomon over on Story Empire today >>>

 

 

Happy Friday, SE readers! PH here and looking forward to the weekend as I’m sure you are. My last post addressed your biggest resource for marketing and what you need to do to make it work fo…

Source: The Audience Resource You’re Avoiding – Goodreads

Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer – New Release Blitz

 

My latest non-fic book gets some love over at BookReviewDirectory ….

  Author: Harmony Kent Book title: Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer Genre: Non-fiction / Creative writing / Inspiration Published date: October 9th, 2019   Blurb: Creative Solutio…

Source: Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer – New Release Blitz

How Do You Write What You Can’t Know?

Hello SErs. Harmony here. Today, I have a question for you >>> How do you write what you can’t know? Or, more to the point, how do you write it convincingly? My current WIP is set ab…

Source: How Do You Write What You Can’t Know?

Series work… Me?

Check out this post on writing a series by Craig Boyack over on Story Empire today >> How would you keep your ducks in a row? >>>

 

Hi gang, Craig here today. I’m the only person here who has not dabbled in book series. I love a good stand-alone story, and that will never change. However, my colleagues at Story Empire con…

Source: Series work… Me?

Week In Review

 

A lovely photo and some great writing-related links over at Joan Hall’s place today >>>

Hey, everyone. Wow! September is moving right along. Can you believe the autumn equinox is in three days? I pulled this picture from my September 2008 archives. I was out for an evening walk when I…

Source: Week In Review

FALLOUT

My latest fiction novel gets lots of love with this great review from Kevin Cooper >>>

 

WHEN EVERYTHING FALLS APART, WHAT CAN YOU DO? The year is 3040. The location is Exxon 1, part of a six-planet system in settled space. Determined to avoid the mistakes of old Earth, the surviving h…

Source: FALLOUT

The One Marketing Tip Staring You in the Face

Check out some tips on marketing by P H Solomon over on Story Empire today >>>

 

Hello, Story Empire readers! PH in the house today and wishing you an enjoyable, productive day. First, let me ask this: have you ever looked for something and never found it and when you do, it wa…

Source: The One Marketing Tip Staring You in the Face

Glen and Bessie Hyde #MysteryMonday

Looking for inspiration? … Check out this week’s Mystery Monday tale over at Joan Hall’s place >>>

 

  Hey, everyone. I first heard this week’s Mystery Monday years ago on the television show Unsolved Mysteries. You may or may not have heard of this story, but it is an intriguing mystery. Gle…

Source: Glen and Bessie Hyde #MysteryMonday

#BookReview: The City of Mirrors

by Justin Cronin

About the book:

In life I was a scientist called Fanning.

Then, in a jungle in Bolivia, I died.

I died, and then I was brought back to life… 

Prompted by a voice that lives in her blood, the fearsome warrior known as Alicia of Blades is drawn towards to one of the great cities of The Time Before. The ruined city of New York. Ruined but not empty. For this is the final refuge of Zero, the first and last of The Twelve. The one who must be destroyed if mankind is to have a future.

What she finds is not what she’s expecting. 

A journey into the past.

To find out how it all began.

And an opponent at once deadlier and more human than she could ever have imagined.

My Review:

The City of Mirrors is the final book in the trilogy The Passage.

In the second book, the twelve were felled, and this changed the outcome for mankind. Or so they thought. Zero was still out there somewhere. He is the one who must be destroyed if mankind is to have a future.

All I can say is that this third and final book in the series didn’t disappoint, and the finale is not what I expected. Even though each book stands at around 700 to 800 pages, the author outdoes himself with fresh material at every turn. While these three tales make for epic reading, I cannot recommend this trilogy or the author highly enough. I rate The City of Mirrors a solid five stars. Go out and buy this series. I’ll be looking out for more books by Justin Cronin.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS:  I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!  — Highly Recommended.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.

3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read.  Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 

2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.

1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

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When You Can’t Find Your Past Participle

Check out my post about finding the right past participle (not as painful as it sounds!) over on Story Empire >>>

 

Hello SErs. Happy Wednesday. Harmony here 🙂 While writing my current book, Exodus, I ran into a little difficulty … well, it felt more like a brick wall, lol. What tripped me up well and tru…

Source: When You Can’t Find Your Past Participle

Book Review: Red Eyes in The Darkness by D L Finn #TuesdayBookShare

A great book review for Red Eyes in the Darkness by D L Finn over at Joan Hall’s place … I just bought my copy >>>

 

Hey everyone. A couple of weeks ago on Story Empire, Craig posted about the length of stories and our short attention spans. (If you haven’t read that post, click here.) While I still love to…

Source: Book Review: Red Eyes in The Darkness by D L Finn #TuesdayBookShare

September Book Reviews @WendyJayneScott @Sandra_Cox @BalroopShado @bakeandwrite @StephenBentley8 @MrAlldredge @SpotInMyHeart @WAKENOVELLA @kay_castaneda @BauerJ1138 @bookishaly @llkane2152 @harmony_kent

Some great book reviews here, including one for my latest …Fallout! Check them out over at Denise’s place >>>

 

 

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  FALLOUT by Harmony Kent “Fallout” is a post-apocalyptic story that left me thinking and then rethinking again. Set in space where humans settle after the earth becomes uninhabitable, a virus…

Source: September Book Reviews @WendyJayneScott @Sandra_Cox @BalroopShado @bakeandwrite @StephenBentley8 @MrAlldredge @SpotInMyHeart @WAKENOVELLA @kay_castaneda @BauerJ1138 @bookishaly @llkane2152 @harmony_kent

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – The Red Dress by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

An inspiring author over at Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore >>>

A welcome to Abbie Johnson Taylor to the Cafe and Bookstore. Abbie has featured here on the blog for Sunday Interview, and it is a pleasure to add her books to the Cafe. Her latest release in July …

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – The Red Dress by Abbie Johnson Taylor

#BookReview: Swamp Ghosts

by Marcia Meara

About the book:

Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs. 
On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s prepared to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them. 

My Review:

4.5 Stars

I loved this book and read it in one sitting. The author obviously knows and loves Florida and its wildlife, and she portrays all of that wonderfully in Swamp Ghosts, the first book in the Riverbend series.

The main character is Maggie Devlin, who is one tough cookie. After a violent and abusive marraige, she vows off men, but then–8 years later–a ‘big, dumb Viking’ shows up, and everything’s up for grabs. All of the cast play a role and all are three-dimensional and well developed. 

While I sussed out who the killer was fairly early on, it didn’t spoil the read for me. If anything, it enhanced it, as I could see how much danger the other characters were in around this monster in their midst.

The only thing that let this read down for me was the end. The main denouement came far too early, and I felt that the final chapters were drawn out, and I grew impatient with it. Even though the book is listed as Romance/Suspense, I felt that the gripping resolution could have been closer to the close of the tale. Hence the loss of the half a star. Otherwise, this book is a great read that I couldn’t put down.

The book is well formatted, and the narrative pretty clean of errors. All in all, I would highly recommend this author, and I look forward to reading the next two books in the Riverbend Series. So, a solid 4.5 stars from me.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines. 
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jane Risdon, D.G. Kaye and Balroop Singh

Three books with three great reviews. Check them out over at …

Welcome to the second of this week’s Cafe and Bookstore updates with recent reviews for some of the authors on the shelves. The first review is for Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts her …

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jane Risdon, D.G. Kaye and Balroop Singh

Week In Review

A Ghost Tour and Writing Links over at Joan Hall’s place today >>>

 

Hey y’all. Time for another Week in Review. This week’s photo is one I took a few years ago. In November 2015, my husband and I visited Vicksburg, Mississippi. We both like history, par…

Source: Week In Review

#BookReview: The Lying Room

by Nikki French

About the book:

*** THE BRAND NEW STANDALONE NOVEL FROM THE MASTER OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE ***
The Lying Room reasserts Nicci French as the master of duplicity, suspense and sleight of hand’ Sam Baker

Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.
She doesn’t call the police. 

‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’
A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.
She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all.
But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger.
She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared  to go to protect those she loves?
And who does she really know? And who can she trust?
A liar. A cheat. A threat. Neve Connolly is all these things.
Could she be a murderer? 

The Author Tried

My Review:

Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster UK for this ARC of The Lying Room.

I so looked forward to reading this author. Until I read the first few lines. That was enough to let me know this would be an arduous read. While some sentences begin with a capital letter, the majority do not. The same with proper nouns-most of the names are all lower case. For a trad pub, I’m shocked. This is basic writing and should be taken care of well before it gets put out for review.

So, pushing on and forcefully ignoring all of that, I soon grew bored, and then almost comatose. I’m sorry, but I don’t need a book full of what food folks eat, nor do I need all the other minutae of life. Along with the vast amount of over description, the character ruminates a lot. Not much of it seems that relevant to the plot. Also, new information is dropped in, seemingly apropos of nothing, and this feels like I’ve missed half the story or something.

All in all, if I hadn’t committed to reading and reviewing this free advanced review copy, it would now be sitting on my DNF shelf. I can’t express how disappointed I feel. It gets one star, because, you know, I have to give it something. I usually try and finish any review on a positive note, so here goes … I love the cover and the title!

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines. 
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

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The Gate

A great review for a great book … Staci Troilo’s sci-fi The Gate is getting some love over on Kevin Cooper’s blog >>>

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously. Until an alien arma…

Source: The Gate

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Order No.227. From Stalin With Love by Marina Osipova

This short read looks so awesome, I just bought my copy! Check it out now >>>

 

Delighted to add another book to her shelf in the bookstore. A novella – Order No.227. From Stalin With Love by Marina Osipova About the book “It is necessary to defend each position, each me…

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Order No.227. From Stalin With Love by Marina Osipova

#BookReview: Olive Again

by Elizabeth Strout

About the book:

Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.

My Review:

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books (UK) for this ARC of Olive Again.

This is a collection of short stories based around an old lady known as Olive Kitterage, some more loosely connected than others. I haven’t read the first volume, Olive Kitterage, and I don’t feel this is a pre-requisite for reading this second volume as the two stand alone well.

The first 25% of the book seemed to jump around at random and cover unrelated characters. Only after the first quarter did it start to gel more for me. Most of the stories after that had an obvious link to Olive, but a couple still felt tenuous at best.

Some of the narrative suffers from head hopping, and at times, I had to go back and read a section again to try and grasp which character’s POV we had jumped into.

A few of the stories seemed disconnected and more like vignette slice-of-life type tales with no real beginning, middle, or end.

Some of my favourites were: Heart–well rounded and shows personal growth for Olive.

The End of the Civil Ward Days–all about reconciliation.

The Poet–Soul searching for old-aged Olive.

All in all, a poignant collection of tales ideal for those times when you don’t have a lot of leisure to sit and read a novel. Easy reading and some of the stories will touch your heart.

Olive Again gets a firm 3 stars from me.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS:  I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!  — Highly Recommended.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.

3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read.  Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 

2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.

1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

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Keeping Up to Date

It’s often the simple ideas which are the best … check out Joan Hall’s great post on how to keep yourself straight while writing a novel over on Story Empire >>>

Hi, SE Readers. Joan with you today. In recent weeks, Staci has shared some of the tools she uses when plotting a new novel. I’m more of a panster rather than a plotter, but there is one tool I’ve …

Source: Keeping Up to Date

#BookReview: The Twelve

by Justin Cronin

About the Book:

In his internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed novel The Passage, Justin Cronin constructed an unforgettable world transformed by a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Now the scope widens and the intensity deepens as the epic story surges forward with The Twelve.

In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation…unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.

My Review:

I loved The Passage, book one in this epic trilogy, but I adored book two, The Twelve.
Though the story covers various timelines and many characters, the whole thing is woven together skilfully and seemlessly.
The narrative is superbly executed and is a work of art. I especially loved the narrative tension between Lila and Grey. The way the author portrayed their interactions is fantastic. By this point in the story, Lila has lost her mind (little wonder!), and Grey tries to navigate the morass and minefield of her confusion and delusion. So many times while I read, I found myself exclaiming, ‘wow’. And then there are the one-liners such as this: ‘The song didn’t end so much as turn a corner an fall down.’ I love the imagery and descriptive writing that fills the pages.
As soon as I finished The Twelve, I got up and grabbed the final book in the series, City of Mirrors, and I’m loving every page of it so far. I cannot recommened Justin Cronin and his The Passage trilogy highly enough, and The Twelve gets a solid five stars from me.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines. 
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

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Book Review ~ Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara #TuesdayBookBlog

A great book review for Marcia Meara’s Swamp Ghosts over on Joan Hall’s blog. I have three of the Riverben books waiting for me to get around to reading them, and now I’m even keener to get started >>>

Hey y’all. It’s time for another Tuesday Book Share. I’ve been able to wheedle down my TBR list in the past few weeks. One of the books I read was Marcia Meara’s Swamp Ghosts, the first of her Rive…

Source: Book Review ~ Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara #TuesdayBookBlog

Keep a Lid on It with #Scrivener

A useful post on managing projects in Scrivener over on Story Empire >>>

Keep track of a project at any time can be difficult. If your not able to do so things can become a monstrous mess that can consume the good intentions behind your goals. The same is true of managi…

Source: Keep a Lid on It with #Scrivener

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