Thursday, April 16, 2015

Books, Books, & More Books for April: My Reviews


My Review of HIT by Delilah S. Dawson:

Hit (Hit, #1)


OMG. Found this on PulseIt and devoured this in one sitting while I was supposed to be working. Fast paced and full of perfect details and so amazing. Love Patsy and Wyatt and the dog, OMG the dog. All the feels. I loved this book. I need the next one now. All the stars. All the stars. I can't recommend this book enough.

Find it on Amazon or for more link go to Goodreads for more links.




My Review of RODIN'S LOVER by Heather Webb:

Rodin's Lover

Last year, Ms. Webb made her debut with BECOMING JOSPHINE and I didn't even know I liked historicals until I picked it up. It was one of my favorite books last year. RODIN'S LOVER is just as brilliantly written. She picks the most fascinating subjects and writes a perfect story. Yes, I gush. Ms. Webb weaves a compelling narrative. It shoved me into Camille Claudel's life and forced me to turn the pages. I highly recommend to reader of historical fiction, historical romance, and anyone who loves a well-told story. This one gets all the stars. *****

Find it on Amazon or go to Goodreads for more links.

As always, I hope my reviews helps books find happy grabby hands so let me know if you pick it up and what you think about it. Also, I'm always looking for recommendations. Leave me a comment if you'd like to share.

Happy reading,
Chelly

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Writer's Voice:

A Writer's Voice - What is it and how do you find yours?

First, let me state the obvious: I'm not an expert on anything. Well, some things like how to change a diaper at two a.m. without turning the lights on, how to make grown men afraid to bother me in my office, how to outsmart a three-year-old, which should be way easier, but I digress. I'm not a published author, but I am a writer, because I write, because I can't not write, and one of the best and most frequent comments I get on my work is that people love my voice.

So, while my MSs may be a horrible mess of overworked tropes and ridiculous drivel, my voice, apparently, shines. Yay me. I have voice.

Do you have voice? How can you tell?

Read your work aloud. Seriously, out loud. All the words.

Pick a page. Point your finger and start reading wherever it lands. Does what you read sound like how a person, specifically you, would talk to another person? If not, rethink those words. When people talk aloud, they tend to have their own unique style of stringing words together.

Listen to people talk. Eavesdrop. Conversations have a cadence, a back and forth. Written words should have the same thing, and I'm not talking about dialog here.

The best way to discover voice, I think, is to pare down your words first. Edit the crap out of it. Toss all the telling words: saw, heard, felt... scrap the adverbs and the crazy dialog tags. Wrangle your passive, convoluted sentences. Make the content shine, and then read it out loud and see if it sounds like you. Extra words are not your friends. Period. And finding your voice doesn't happen overnight. There's no magic formula aside from hard work and pushing past that awkward in-between stage. After the rosy glow of slapping words on paper and thinking every syllable is brilliant wears off comes the attack of self-awareness where you know you're writing crap but don't know how to fix it.

Start a new book. Write more words. Beta read. Find a CP group. Write even more words and you will find your voice.

Please feel free to share any and all pearls of writerly wisdom in the comments and find me on twitter @chelleswrite.

Happy writing,
Chelly


First To Read

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My review of HOW TO PUNISH YOUR PLAYBOY by Mina Vaughn:



My review of HOW TO PUNISH YOUR PLAYBOY by Mina Vaughn:

How to Punish Your Playboy (DommeNation, #3)

HOW TO PUNISH YOU PLAYBOY is book 3 in Mina Vaughn's DommeNation series. Mistress of 'Kink with a Wink', Mina's books never disappoint. This is a fun, fast read with lots of feels and plenty of hot, hot, hot moments. Veronika is a pinup. Aston is a chef. There's bondage and did I mention the smokin' hot sex? Add a road trip to Vegas, a jealous ex, and sexy cars and you've got a recipe for a delicious read. ****

Find it here: Amazon or for more links, head over to Goodreads for more links. I was provided a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As always, I hope my reviews helps books find happy grabby hands so let me know if you pick it up and what you think about it. :)

Happy reading,
Chelly

P.S. Drop me a comment with recommendations.

My Review of DYING FOR HER by Kory M. Shrum:

My Review of DYING FOR HER by Kory M. Shrum:

Dying for Her

DYING FOR HER is the third book in the Jesse Sullivan series. I fell in love with the premise from book one. Jesse is a necronite, meaning she has NRD, a condition that allows her to die and wake up again. Without giving too much away, Jesse is part of a government program where people with NRD are paired with remote viewers--people who can see the future. The remote viewers--AMPs--foretell when people will die, and Jesse takes their place, dying so they don't have to.

It's hard to define books one and two without spurting a bunch of spoilery spoilers, so I won't. Just read them.

This book takes a step back, throws us into the head of Brinkley, Jesse's handler. Gloria, an AMP, foretells Brinkley's death, and we get to see his take on the journey that placed Jesse on her current path.

Books one and two, I read for premise alone. Yes, the characters were fun and Jesse is just the right amount of snarky, but they relied a little too heavily on telling, and I found it hard to connect. The premise, the action, forced me to pound through to the end. This one, sigh. I love Brinkley's voice. Everything is there on the page. All the squishy, messy feels. I tore through this book in two days. Let it perk for a few days, and read it again. Again. It's fleshed out in the best possible way. Brinkley. Gloria. The camaraderie between them is perfect. I would say more but I detest spoilery in reviews, so just read it. *****

The first book: DYING BY THE HOUR is free right now at Amazon. If you're already caught up on the series then you need DYING FOR HER because it's the best in the series so far, in my opinion and I give it all the stars. I was provided a free copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. And here are more links:




Happy reading,
Chelly

P.S. I'm one of those people who will thank you if you point out typos. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Books Books Books for March

Here are some of my reads for March:

The Strangler Vine

THE STRANGLER VINE by M.J. Carter:

This is my favorite read this month. I picked this up because of the cover. Something about it spoke to me, and good thing since it isn't the type of book I'd normally give a second glance. Exotic location. Check. Lush description. Check. Action. Check. Mystery. Check. This one checks off all the boxes. The voice is compelling. The writing is so well done that I didn't care that there were foreign words because I could grasp from context what the narrator was describing. And the characters. Wow. So clearly drawn. Fully-fleshed and alive on the page. I got to the last page and wanted to keep reading. This one is going on the keeper shelf and gets all the stars. *****

Find it at Goodreads or Amazon. It might still be on NetGalley, which provided a free copy in exchange for this honest review.

Easy Toys to Crochet: Dolls, animals and gifts for children
EASY TO CROCHET TOYS by Claire Garland:

This book is adorable. The crafts are super-cute and, I've only worked up one of the patterns so far, but it worked up fast and my 3yo loves it. Next to make some clothes. The only downside, and seriously, it's not a downside, is that my girls want everything in the book. I'm helping my 11yo with the basics so she can make a few things on her own. I will definitely recommend this for crafters. The toys are perfect for keeping little ones busy and also, if I can hide them from my own kids, will make great gifts. ****

Find it here:  Amazon    or    Goodreads    or   NetGalley, which provided a free copy in exchange for this honest review.

Tainted Blood (Hell's Belle, #2)
TAINTED BLOOD by Karen Greco:

Sorry to say I didn't love this book. The premise had all the things I love. Urban Fantasy. Kick-ass chick with attitude. A different take on a genre trope. But. But. But. I make it to about 40%, hoping it would get better, and couldn't finish it. I couldn't connect with the voice and the craft just isn't there yet. This is the second book in the series, and--full disclosure--I haven't read the first, however, there is so much backstory pumped into this novel that I don't need to. There's backstory about backstory. It seems the author wants to make sure every detail is clearly stated and thus feels the need to repeat herself often. It became very tedious to slog through it. There is action, but it's mostly telling and peppered with adverbs. The premise holds a lot of promise, but I can't recommend this book. *

If you want to give it a try, you can find it at Amazon or check NetGalley, which is where I received a free copy in exchange for this honest review.

I read a lot of books and try to review as many as I can, but some books don't seem to warrant their own post, and sometimes I receive free books in exchange for an honest review and I don't love them, so I lump them together with other reviews because I don't, as a habit, like to shine a spotlight on books I didn't like. As easy as it is to write up a scathing review, someone put a lot of hard work into crafting those pages and I don't see the point in stomping all over it to get a laugh. Period.

Do you leave reviews for books you don't like? How do you handle it when you read a book authored by someone you know and you don't love it, or worse, you hate it?

On a happier note, what are your favorite reads for March? I'm always looking for recommendations. Leave me a comment if you'd like to share.

Happy reading,
Chelly