Friday, January 9, 2015

"Thorns" by Kate Avery Ellison

Thorns (The Frost Chronicles, #2)Thorns by Kate Avery Ellison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I dove into "Thorns" quickly after finishing "Frost", first installment in Kate Avery Ellison's "Frost Chronicles". And after, quite unceremoniously, it was lost in my to-read list. I'm very happy that I picked it up again earlier this evening. I was quickly drawn back in by Lia Weaver and her extraordinary family. I am a huge fan of Ellison's gift for world building and strong female characters. She isn't an author afraid to go deeper, to portray various kinds of strength and courage. Questions from the previous story are explained further in this installment, as well as revelations that will have your head spinning at the possibilities. You might have already guessed that I just opened the next in this fantastic dystopian series, "Weaver" and look forward to unwinding the tapestry the author has woven for us.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

"Finding Cinderella" by Colleen Hoover

Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5)Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the same vein as "Hopeless", Colleen Hoover takes us once again along the road to redemption and offers us hope. "Finding Cinderella" is a novella in the same world as the aforementioned novel, and while it is shorter, it possesses the same quality and natural, gritty beauty you can expect from this phenomenal author. Hoover has a true gift for young and new adult romances, and each of her stories are markedly different in the best of ways. "Finding Cinderella" is told from the refreshing, crass and irreverent point of view of Daniel, a teen with a penchant for nicknames. His quest is to find his long lost Cinderella and, of course, he has to give up before he can truly find her. While I had a clear picture of where this novella was headed, I was pleasantly and shockingly surprised by the turn of events. Furthermore, it solidified my opinion of Colleen Hoover having the freshest voice of her genre.

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"Flukes" by Nichole Chase

Flukes (Flukes, #1)Flukes by Nichole Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn't my first introduction to Nichole Chase's fabulously fun writing. "Suddenly Royal" won me over with a dreamy landslide of imaginatively fulfilled girlhood fantasies, and "Flukes" was no different. Every little girl dreams of being a mermaid at some point and "Flukes" painted a fantastical picture of what happens when you grow up a sea monster with human parents. The additional island setting with its marine center offered a slightly more exotic but imaginable fantasy. While in my opinion there wasn't enough time devoted to understanding the whole mermaid mythos, along with its rules and such, the author provides enough to leave you wanting to know more. I enjoyed the romance, which wasn't too cheesy or over-the-top, while being just wonderful enough to add warmth and heat to the story. The characters are all interesting and enjoyable and I look forward to the next story penned by this author.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Book Blogging

So I've been thinking about books, those musty, wonderfully bound things (& the scentless digital ones) and trying to decide what to do with them.

For those of you who follow Goodreads, we make up a challenge each year about how many books we will read in one year. One year I read over 80. Yep, that's right, 80 novels of varying lengths, but 80 nonetheless. Most of them were digital. It was the year I published Silver Hollow and I was in love with the independent novel movement, not just because of the fabulous prices. I loved the originality of the stories I read, and had the urge to want to help the authors as much as I hoped to help myself one day.

But after that, the number of books I've read per year has dwindled. I had a somewhat decent excuse in 2013, because I self-published three novels that year. And I felt like writing was more important than reading. The proof showed its ugly head when I barely read 30 this last year, and barely published one short story. It's made me reassess my value of books and literature in general. Writing had for a time taken precedence over reading, but what excuse do I have when I have little work ethic to show for it?

That was such a stupid assumption! Because novels feed into writing, they give you fresh life. All the various voices help to teach you different methods and styles. Kind of like the old saying, "you are who you hang out with," the same applies to the books you read. You write what you read. Every time I read classic literature, I tend to write with more of an Austen flair. If I'm stuck on some contemporary Indie romances, dialogue centric it is. The proof really is in the text. 

This new year, I want to change my tune to the way it was. I want to read as many books as I can get my hands on so I can find the inspiration to write. I may not start off with 80 books in my Goodreads challenge, but I'll give it my best shot. And who knows, maybe this year, we can make it to the bit 9-0!

Happy Reading!