Book Reviews · Mystery · suspense · Thriller

Book Review | Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

HALF-PAST-small-200x300
Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

Published by Lake Union Publishing on September 19 2017

Genre: Mystery // Thriller // Suspense

Format: Ebook

Source: Netgalley

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Synopsis

At forty-five, Hannah Smith is at a crossroads. That’s her spin on it. The reality is she’s divorced, jobless, and moving back to her family home in Iowa to keep an eye on her mother, who’s slipping into dementia. Her return stirs up the same unnerving sense of disconnect Hannah has felt since childhood—always the odd girl out, the loner outshone by her two older sisters. Hannah knew the feelings of hurt would come back. But she never expected fear. Because when her mother looks into her eyes and whispers, “You’re not my daughter,” Hannah is beginning to believe it’s not just the rambling of a confused woman.

It’s the truth.

Now Hannah’s following the trail of a family mystery to the dark coast of Big Sur, where years ago a lie was born—and buried. As frightened as she is to unearth it, Hannah knows this is the last chance she has before her past—and all its terrible secrets—are lost forever

Review

When I finished Half Past I just knew that I had to write a review for it as soon as humanly possible. It was just that good.

Upon first going into the book I had deja vu moments of Miranda’s Warning by Heather Day Gilbert, (Which was fantastic and you can check out my review of it here.) which for me was awesome because it made me feel like I was going to love it. And I did. Also I just wanna say that I did not expect half of what happened in Half Past to actually happen! There were many times throughout the book that I was taken by surprise.

In Half Past, Hannah is the name of the female lead. She’s unsure of so much and is just looking for answers to who she really is. With father long dead and her mother, Dorothy, in an old folks home with dementia it really adds to her challenges. Overall Hannah was an amazingly developed character, and I found myself able to identify with her on a lot of her issues. Which is something that I really love in books. I feel like if I can’t make a connection with the characters on some level than I really am not able to immerse myself in the read.

As for the other characters throughout Half Past I found them amazing as well. Everyone had their own voice and style, so it didn’t feeling like I was reading from one general perspective.

Something else that I really enjoyed was how Half Past was broken down into sections based on where Hannah was. It’s really different from what I usually see in books and I quite liked it. Also I thought that it was really cool that the Hippie era was involved in the uncovering of Hannah’s past, because that’s so different and it’s just something you don’t see.

The whole mystery that gets uncovered threw me for a loop. I like not being able to predict what’s going to happen next, and that was the case here. It kept me hooked throughout with all the unexpected twists and turns.

But let me warn you, if you read this book have tissues available. The ending got me so good. I had just come out of Target, and I thought why not finish it now? I sat in my car in tears. TEARS!  There I have warned you. LOL.

But in all seriousness, this was an amazing book. I loved every minute of it, and when I wasn’t reading it I found myself thinking about it. Stone’s writing style is great and I am going to be checking out more of her work in the future.

So, on to the rating. I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It is hands down one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. I would really recommend this book to anyone, because I feel like its appeal isn’t too specific. I think that men and women of all ages would really enjoy this.

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On Blogging

On Blogging | Where To Promote Your Blog Posts


Hello everyone! I’m back at it yet again to deliver you a, hopefully, helpful post On Blogging. Today I’m going to share with you my favorite places to promote on and which sites I get results from, as well as what sites I tend not to target as much.

The sites I don’t really use:

Facebook

I don’t like Facebook very much, and I haven’t bothered with it to be honest. So, I really can’t give you any info on whether it’s worth your time.

However I do receive the occasional visitor from Facebook via posts of mine that other people have shared. It’s not a significant source of traffic for me.

Instagram 

I’ve tried it and to be honest it didn’t do much for me. Like at all.

I would say that if you are a DIY or beauty blogger it may be more beneficial to you.
The sites that I do use:

Twitter

Twitter is my main performer. Most of my monthly page views come from this platform.

I find that using blogger retweet accounts help loads, as well as using the appropriate hash tags.

Some of the retweet accounts I use are

@FemaleBloggerRT and @BloggersBlast

Those two have worked for me when it comes to getting my posts some traction on Twitter. There are loads of them though, so dig around and see which ones work the best for you.

I also schedule my tweets with an app called Buffer. It is amazing and definitely helps me keep my posts out there. I would highly recommend using it.
Bloglovin

This one works quite well, but it’s a steady climb. When I first signed up it was like crickets, but now I see maybe one or two views a week.

It’s a platform where you have to be quite active, and I think if I was it would bring more views than it currently does.

WordPress Reader

I know this is exclusive to WordPress based bloggers, but I think it often gets over looked. It also is something you have to work at in order to gain traction, but it is well worth doing so. Liking fellow blogger’s posts or commenting is another good way to get your name out there.

Pinterest

I know that bloggers rave about Pinterest bringing loads of traffic to their blogs, but I just don’t see it. I am diligently on Pinterest and I might get one view a day if I’m lucky.

I believe that if you have a auto pinning app then maybe it might be worth it, but other wise I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket.
There you go! I hope this help you in some way. Whether you’re new and just trying to figure things out or you’re trying to see what has worked for someone else, I hope you were able to find this helpful. I am someone who struggles at times to gain traffic and these sites have helped me considerably.

Newsletter

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Book Reviews · Erotica/Erotic Romance · Paranormal · romance · Werewolves

Book Review: Tempted By The Pack (Blue Moon Brides 1) by Anne Marsh

 

Tempted by the Pack by Anne Marsh

Self Published on October 17th 2013

Genre: Erotica Romance // Paranormal Romance

Source: Amazon

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Synopsis

Once in a blue moon…
For Rafer Breaux, life in the Louisiana Bayou is harsh, violent—and deeply sensual. The Cajun werewolf lives for his Pack and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his brothers safe. The longer a wolf lives without a mate, the harder it becomes for that wolf to shift back. To remember that he is a man—and not a monster. And those mates can only be found during a blue moon. When a blue moon finally rises, Rafer will need every weapon in his sensual arsenal to tempt one special woman into his arms and the heart of the Pack.

The Pack hunts for mates
Fighting to keep her family farm, Lark Andrews isn’t looking for love. Even if the very sexy Breaux brothers make her dream of hot bayou nights spent in their arms. When the blue moon leads Rafer to her door, however, Rafer has her rethinking her position on all work and no play. Now, the bayou nights are heating up as Rafer fights to convince her, one sensual touch at a time, to give love and passion a chance. But Rafer isn’t a one wolf deal. Is there room in Lark’s heart—and bed—for Rafer and his Pack?

Review

When I first began this book I honestly wasn’t really feeling it all that much. Now having had read it, I still don’t think I’m completely feeling it.

The whole blue moon thing is very different from most werewolf books I’ve read. As they normally center around the full moon or just no moon at all. So already Marsh has set Tempted By The Pack apart from similar books in her genre. Other than  the use of the blue moon, the dynamic that the story’s romance had was different too. Every male in the pack had to have a mate, whether it was a shared mate within the pack or not, or else they would eventually succumb to their wolves and lose all of their humanity.

I liked that it was different from what I was used to, but there were things throughout the book the didn’t make sense. I’m not going to say specifics, because spoilers are evil, but I will say the dynamic of the romance was so annoying. Plus it didn’t make a lot of sense towards the ending. The fight scene was just ok, and the way the author constructed the vampire element was strange to me. I was so for a werewolf book set in the bayou, but it just didn’t live up to what I was expecting.

The characters for me were eh. Like I liked them, but they weren’t the best in my opinion. That’s really how I felt about the whole book. I liked it, just not that much.

There were also inconsistencies in the book.

Now I also want to say that I’m not trying to bash this book or the author. I’m just saying it wasn’t for me, but you may like it in ways I didn’t.

I’m going to give this book 2 out of 5 stars. It hurts me to do that, because I feel like this book had a lot of potential.

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Book Reviews · Mystery

Book Review | Miranda Warning (A Murder In The Mountains #1) by Heather Day Gilbert

Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert

Published by WoodHaven Press in 2014

Genre: Mystery

Format: EBook

Source: Amazon

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Synopsis 

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her.

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself.

Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.
This novel is written from a Christian worldview.

Review

This is yet another book that I wish I had picked up a long time ago. It had been sitting on my kindle shelf for the longest time, and I have no idea why I hadn’t read it already. It was just that good.

Throughout this Miranda Warning you’re following Tess Spencer on her journey to uncover the mystery surrounding a strange note that her elderly friend Miranda had received. But that’s not even the half of it.

From the beginning the book is gripping. It grabs you and pulls you in for the ride ahead. There are unexpected twists and turns all the way til the end that will keep you guessing.

Yes there is a several romantic elements throughout, but it’s not over powering the mystery side of Miranda Warning.

I think that something I really enjoyed about this book was the characters. They weren’t flat. They felt like real people that I could relate to, and they make me want to pick up the next book just to see what happens next in their lives. Saying that, it wasn’t just the main characters that were of high quality, but the supporting ones as well.

This is one of this rare cases where I have nothing bad or negative to say regarding a book. The plot was great, the pacing was great, the characters were amazing, and the book made me feel. That’s how I always know it’s good, when the book evokes emotion from the reader.

If you enjoy a great mystery with amazing and relatable characters that always keep you on your toes, then you will most certainly love Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert. I just can’t help but give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
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Book Reviews · Erotica/Erotic Romance · romance

Book Review | Grey by E.L. James

Grey-by-E.L-James

 

Grey by E.L. James

Published by : Vintage (aka Penguin)  on June 18th 2015

Genre: Erotic Romance

Format: EBook

Source: Amazon

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Grey has been one of those books for me. You know, the type that you realize after reading it you should’ve picked it up long ago. It felt almost, dare I say, refreshing to dive back into the world of Fifty Shades of Grey once more after such a long time. Also, after having read this I cannot wait for James to release the next book from Christian’s point of view.

This book was “refreshing” for me not only because I was able to re-enter the world again, but because it’s the same story told from a different side. That was what had initially intrigued me to read it in the first place. As a reader I believe we get more insight into Christian, and I feel like it answered some questions that I had about him after reading the original series.

Overall I found it so interesting. Throughout Grey, Christian has dreams that relate back to his childhood. Those dreams that he had really show you why he’s so fucked up. I also think seeing how Anastasia effected him through his own eyes was quite good fun.

All that being said Grey is the exact same story as Fifty Shades of Grey. The only difference being is that you hear things from the other side. Which, as I stated previously, gives the reader more information. Thus, allowing readers to form new opinions with the new information at hand.

There were, as I’m sure you are well aware, plenty of steamy bits throughout the entirety of the book. I feel like I liked the romantic and sexual scenes in this book more so than the original. However, I did feel a touch awkward reading it from a male’s point of view.

I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. That’s simply because some parts were stale, and  I felt myself wanting to skip ahead to more exciting parts. I had the same issue with the original series. Would I recommend Grey? Yeah I would. If you are a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey I would urge you to check it out.

 

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Book Reviews · Erotica/Erotic Romance · LGBT · Paranormal · romance · Uncategorized · vampires

Book Review: The Vampire’s Pet (The Vampyr Book 1) by V.R. Cumming

Genre:

Adult Fiction // Erotica // Vampire // Paranormal Romance // LGBT // MM Romance

Series:

Yes this is the first book in The Vampyr Series.

Publication Date:

Published by Bone Diggers Press on September 19th 2014

Where To Find It:

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Goodreads // Apple

Synopsis:

Eric Logan is twenty-one, a physics major at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and a geek. All he wants is to make it through college in one piece. If he can find a woman to share his life with, well, all the better, but he doesn’t hold out much hope of that happening. He’s learned the hard way that women find shy, safe men too boring to keep around for long.

While attending a party with his friend Devin, Eric meets the vampire Elizabet, who offers him a spot in her stable of blood slaves. Not long after, the lovely Gianna Brady walks into his life. With her in his heart and a job as a vampire’s pet, Eric finally has the life and love he’s always wanted and is eager to begin his journey through the hidden society he’s now a part of, a society where blood and sex are used to cement alliances and control the violent nature of the beast within.

The world of the Vampyr isn’t as easy to navigate as it appears, however, and Eric is soon lost in a whirlwind of obstacles and complications. Devin isn’t content with the friendship Eric craves; Marco, Elizabet’s favorite, has plans for his mistress’ newest pet that Eric isn’t keen on fulfilling; and the vampire queen needs a strong ally. As he struggles to find his place in this new world, Eric is pushed to the limits of his humanity and wonders if he’ll ever find his way back to it again, or if the monster he’s becoming will consume him and everyone he loves in its thirst for power and blood.

Review:

Going into this book I had never read M/M Erotica book before. I wasn’t really sure what exactly to expect. Sure I’d read the fluffy LGBT YA and NA books but nothing quite like this.

Something else that I found interesting going in was that the story was told in episodes. I now know that The Vampire’s Pet had originally been released as a serial, and it has now been compiled into a series of books. I find that kind of cool. This also meant that it isn’t the typical length that most erotica has. Normally 50 pages is quite average with books within the erotica genre, but The Vampire’s Pet came in with over 300 pages. Which I really did like.

This book contained a mixture of different sexual partners. Sometimes it was three guys, sometimes it was two guys and a woman. Which is very different from what I’m used to reading. But I liked it. The sex scenes within were all very hot and edgy. If you weren’t one for Fifty Shades of Grey then you definitely aren’t going to like The Vampire’s Pet because they contain a lot of similar things. Only V.R. Cumming kicked it up a notch.

Not all of the sex was consensual so if that is a trigger for you I would advise against reading this book entirely. The same goes for if torture or punishment is also a trigger.

I really wasn’t a big fan of the characters themselves. I mean they were alright, but I feel like the development wasn’t completely on point. I feel like their development was rushed because the sex in the book was such a big part of the plot line.

Something that I can say is that I didn’t find any typos, spelling, or grammatical errors in The Vampire’s Pet. So props to Cumming for that one.

All in all I think it was good. It was really new and different for me, and I think I might dabble in reading more things similar. So I think that I’m going to give this book a 4/5 star rating.

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On Writing · Writing tips

On Writing | 6 Reasons Why Reading Is Essential For Writers


I’m sure you all have heard that in order to progress as a writer you must read. You might think that it isn’t as nessecary as everyone makes it out to be, but I can assure you that it one of the best things you can do to improve your craft. 

Why reading is such an important part of being a writer goes much further than you might think. Here are some key point to keep in mind of why it is so important. 

  • You are exposed to many different genres
  • You are exposed to many different styles of writing
  • Say you wanted to write a book but didn’t know exactly how, you can get ideas from the way other authors have written similar topics
  • Reading can inspire you
  • Reading can widen your vocabulary 
  • You can find popular tropes within your niche

Those are just six examples of why reading is important to us writers, but the list goes on and on. There are so many benefits to it. 

Speaking from experience I feel like reading has genuinely helped me better my writing skills. If you follow me on here quite regularly then you know I read a lot of different books. I think that’s another key factor. If you read “easy” books, or those within your comfort zone, it is harder for you to grow. 

I hope that some of you found that this post helped you in some way. If it has let me know! I love connecting with fellow writers. 

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On Blogging

On Blogging | 10 Blog Post Ideas

 

As some of you may know I have a series here on my blog called On Writing. If you aren’t familiar, On Writing is where I share tips and tricks to help other writers. I started it because I am a writer, and I wanted to help others to succeed. Since I’ve become sort of a regular blogger now I figured I’d start another series.

With this new series, On Blogging, I’m going to share my own personal insight in way that can help others. As well as tips to become more successful.

Today I am going to share with you 10 blog post ideas. These ideas are perfect for when you’re stuck and the words just aren’t flowing, when you’re in a time crunch, and when you just want to try something new.

  1. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me or Get To Know Me
  2. A Book Review
  3. How To Start a Blog
  4. A Travel Bucket List
  5. How To Grow Your Social Media
  6. A What’s In My Purse
  7. Favorite Beauty Products
  8. Things You Can’t Live Without
  9. A Recipe Post
  10. A Storytime Post

 

I hope that you guys found this post helpful! If you do decide to use any of these ideas feel free to link your blog post in the comments or tweet me. I would love to see what you guys create.

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Book Reviews · Erotica/Erotic Romance · romance · suspense

BOOK REVIEW: Bound By Honor (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles Book 1) by Cora Reilly

Where You Can Find It:

Amazon // Goodreads // Nook // Apple // Kobo

Genre:

Romance // Erotic Romance // Suspense // New Adult // Contemporary Romance

Series:

Yes this book is the first book of the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles. However, all books in this serious revolve around different characters within the same world. Therefore they can be read independently or as a series. It’s totally up to you.

Synopsis:

Born into one of the leading Mob families in Chicago, Aria Scuderi struggles to find her own path in a world where no choices are given. Aria was only fifteen when her parents betrothed her to Luca – The Vice – Vitiello, the oldest son of the head of the New York Cosa Nostra to ensure peace between the two families.
Now with eighteen, the day Aria has been dreading for years is looming dangerously: her wedding to Luca.
Aria is terrified of marrying a man she hardly knows, especially someone like Luca who got his nickname ‘the Vice’ for crushing a man’s throat with his bare hands. Luca might be one of the most sought after men in New York thanks to his good looks, wealth and predator-like charisma that radiates power, but the society girls throwing themselves at him don’t know what Aria does: that the bad boy aura isn’t just a game; blood and death lurk beneath Luca’s striking gray eyes and arrogant smile.
In her world a handsome exterior often hides the monster within; a monster who can just as easily kill as kiss you.
The only way to escape the marriage to Luca would be to run away and leave everything she’s ever known behind but Aria can’t bear the thought of never seeing her family again.
Despite her fear, she decides to go through with the marriage; Aria has grown up among predators like Luca and knows that even most cold-hearted bastards have a heart and she has every intention of working her way into Luca’s.

Review:

Guys I am so excited to be diving into another series. I feel like every time I begin a new book I’m entering in a totally different world and I’m obsessed.

When I first saw the cover of Bound by Honor I was intrigued. Most new adult and erotic romance books have half naked people all over the cover, but this one didn’t have that so I though I’d look further. After reading the blurb I knew this series was going to be my new thing.

Since Bound by Honor is mafia based I was a little concerned that, that particular element of the story might be over done. You all know that there are those books out there that are just too much. I’m happy to say, that in my opinion, it wasn’t. I think Reilly did a fabulous job of tying all of the story’s elements together.

Something else that I found that I loved about Bound by Honor was the characters. I know that it could be said that Aria was a “poorly” written female lead because she was submissive, but that is something that I don’t necessarily agree with. I feel like Aria fit into her role, and she was written in a way that felt so real. That’s something that I adore; when characters are written just that good.

Like I had said before this book, because of the mafia theme, could’ve become very extra at the hands of a different writer. That being said I feel like Luca was very well written as well. I do with that I had gotten to know him a little more. Yes you get to know him, but you get to know Aria a lot more. With both of them being our main characters I feel like we should get to know them equally. Even with that being said I still fell like the characters were written well.

This being a erotic romance book there is sex, but because of the situation the characters are placed in the sex is not something that has been rushed. It was done in a way that contributed to the story. Descriptions all across the board were amazing, and I was never left to wonder.

Overall the book was very good, and I do plan on continuing the series. I’m giving it a four out of five stars which is pretty average on my scale. It was a really good story, but it didn’t blow me away.

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Monthly Goals

My Five Goals For May


I just want to say that I’m sorry this post is like two weeks late. I just have a lot going on all at once.

It’s crazy how time just flies, isn’t it? I feel like it was just last week that I had started my senior year of high school, and here I am with less than a month until graduation.

This month has already been busy, and I know that it’s going to continue to be as such. Therefore, I am going to be quite conservative when it comes to my goals for the month of May.

Goals:

  • Post three book reviews this month
  • Read five new books
  • Stay active on social media
  • Finish course registrations (this may not be able to be done this month due to CollegeBoard)
  • Drink more water

 

These goals seem pretty attainable for me to accomplish, or so I’m thinking. I have a stack of finished books that I need to finish writing reviews for, and I have more books lined up that I have to read for review. I just really want to get caught back up on that front. As well as I want to stay active on social media. I find that when I become busy I tend to forget about Twitter and Pinterest among other social media platforms.

Apart from those things I would really like to finish registering for classes at my local community college. However, I may not be able to do the bulk of it until July so I will have to see how it goes. Also, I need to drink more water. I’ve cut out sodas completely over the last couple of months, but I still don’t find myself drinking enough water. So that’s another thing that I really want to improve upon.

What are your goals for the month of May?

 

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