Tag Archives: Adult Fiction

book overview 2019: The Disappointments

Part two of the four part book overview of 2019. If you haven’t taken the chance the look at the first post, which I display my favorite books and honorable mentions of the 2019, check it out here.

In this post, I listed some of my disappointed read of 2019. Oddly enough there was a lot and that could be due to me following the hype because one of my personal goals was to read more newer releases to keep up with the trends and hot topics. This caused expectations to be through the roof, which sucked.

But here is my list. What did your year look like?

Book Review: A Jewel Bright Sea (Mage and Empire #1) by Claire O’Dell

Rebel Base Books
TBP: Sept 3rd, 2019

It was her talent for tracking magic that got Anna Zhdanov sent to catch a thief. A scholar’s daughter sold as a bond servant, she has no desire to recover the Emperor’s jewel for herself. But a chance to earn her freedom has driven her to the untamed Eddalyon province, awash with warm breezes, lapping waves, and more danger than she could possibly guess.
 
Within days her cover as an indolent noblewoman is in question, and it’s clear there’s more to Anna’s task than she knows. Soon she’s the captive of the unpredictable pirate captain Andreas Koszenmarc, hunted by the Emperor’s guard, besieged by a brigand queen, and at odds with her only friend. She must trust someone if she is to survive. But when all that’s certain is that everyone is hiding something, it’s no simple thing to choose …- Goodreads

This is one of those reads that I reluctantly enjoyed. Nothing really happens until you are about 70% into the book which is a lot of time. Why I pulled through for so long? Because I knew it was coming. The author gives you a (very) slow build not in regards to the romance of the novel but the whole pirate adventure theme. I actually really enjoyed it and wished the author added much more of that excitement and magic way more in the beginning of the book.

In regards to the romance, it was unexpected because nothing gives way for anything to happen. It made sense but it was forced. There wasn’t any form of lust or want from Andreas or Anna at any point before the big explosion happened. I understand that maybe the author was putting a lot on them as characters so when they had downtime they could see each other but that method didn’t really do anything for me.

However, I did like their romance once it started and I did like the book right after it hit the 70%.

Overall, its one of those books that isn’t exactly good but you get drawn into it and start feeling yourself enjoying it. There is a book two and I hope that the author chooses other characters to focus on that are part of Andreas and Anna’s story as opposed to talking about them. I plan on reading book two.

3 Pickles

Author Interview: Johanna Nield

Hey Guys!

I have had the most amazing pleasure to conduct an extended Quick Five interview with author Johanna Nield.

Author of the New Beginnings series, Ms. Nield is excited to share the re-release of her series, after self-publishing, with the UK publising company Cranthorpe Miller.

Y’all I cannot tell you how great this interview was. To be able to dig deep wth Ms. Nield about changing from self-publishing to sponsored publishing, to find out more about her as a writer and what she views as sucess was extremely exciting.

I hope you enjoy this very open interview.

You can find Johanna Nield on her website at http://www.johannanield.co.uk/ Facebook and Goodreads.

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Your book New Beginnings was originally published in 2010 but it looks like it is getting its own “new beginning” now. 😊 How do you feel about where your book is going, nine years later?

I’m delighted with its magnificent make-over! I self-published New Beginnings to please family and friends who wanted to read more than the extracts I’d been sharing, but I knew it needed a professional touch. The Cranthorpe Miller team have helped me improve and update my novel and I love the way it’s turned out.

Since the book was published nine years ago, how has the book and your writing changed since its original release?

The plot remains unchanged, but it has been updated to reflect current times, to clarify some events and references, and to shed some unnecessary passages. My writing has developed significantly over the years, particularly in terms of achieving more concise descriptions. The writing challenges presented by my university course helped me to cultivate my narrative voice and to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a writer but I view my development as a writer as an ongoing process because there’s always something new to learn.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a series?

For me, the most difficult thing is knowing when to stop! The second and third books in my series continue on from New Beginnings but I haven’t yet reached the end: books four and five are bubbling away on the mental backburner. It’s often difficult to remember who did what and when, so my character notes and plot timetable are extremely important for keeping me on track.

How do you balance being a reader and a writer when writing a book?

As a reader, I know what I like and dislike in a book and I bring that to my writing. If I don’t want to read something, then I’m less likely to write it. For example, a turn-off for me is stuttering dialogue, littered with “Um” and “Ah …” and long pauses. Yes, people do talk that way but for me it’s not an engaging way to present a conversation. Reading also lets me see how other tales are crafted, the best of which give me something to strive towards. I once put down a book and cried because the writing was so exquisite, and I almost gave up as a writer because I felt I couldn’t emulate that level of expertise. Thankfully, as many best-sellers have shown, writers are as different as the readers who enjoy their work.

Do you do any research for your books? If so, how does your research look like?

I needed to update my knowledge of NVQ modules for New Beginnings, and to ensure I used correct medical terms. Our local reference library is always my first option and I then supplement the information gained there with internet searches. I’m careful to only use reliable and certified sites to ensure the material I use is up-to-date and correct.

To change the subject slightly, what is it about literature or the overall the written word that drew you to becoming a writer?

Words have always fascinated me. I have loved reading from an early age and writing quickly became a joy. Words can be immeasurably powerful and the ability to express oneself with carefully chosen phrases is a gift of genius in some, in the same way as those who create beautiful artwork. I consider myself an eager apprentice, frequently enthralled by perfect prose.

How has the publishing world been for you? Is there any advice you would give a new author?

The publishing world has been instructive, challenging, supportive and developmental. Most of the rejections I’ve received over the years have been constructive and encouraging, and feedback from all quarters is always invaluable. I’m under no illusion that my life will change but I’m delighted that my life-long dream has come true. My advice to new authors is “Write. Don’t worry about how good it is, just write. Then read it, think about it, and write again. And never even think about giving up.”

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

Writing has always been a spare time activity as I work full-time and have family commitments. If writing didn’t captivate me, I think I’d be an artist because I love to paint and draw. Creativity is extremely important to me: it’s my way of relaxing and switching off from the demands of the day.

Is there anything that you dislike about the process of becoming either a published author or writing?

No! Writing is an exciting, exhilarating, wonderful experience! There is always something to learn and there will always be opportunities to improve, to try new genres and styles, to experiment with different subjects and eras – there are worlds waiting to be written about. The process of becoming a published author is also exciting, exhilarating, wonderful … and a very steep learning curve! If I could change anything about that process, I would make myself better at self-promotion as that is a skill I lack.

Finally, what is your definition of success as a writer?

For me, success as a writer comes when a reader enjoys what I’ve written and understands what I’m trying to say. It’s not about sales or best-seller lists; for me, hearing that someone likes my work is far more important and rewarding than knowing I’ve sold a certain number of books. The opportunity to engage with readers – to hear their feedback (good and bad) and to learn from them what works and what doesn’t – is far more valuable than potential fame for out-selling another author.

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Fall Cover Love

If you are a new follower, I do a cover love post throughout the year. Here I display different books that will be released between 1-3 months. You can check out January here and June here.

Which are your favorites? And what books coming out this year that I should be looking for?

Orbit
April 3rd 2018
465 Pages

The Anakim dwell in the desolate forests and mountains beyond the black river, the land under the Northern Sky.

Their ancient ways are forged in Unthank silver and carved in the grey stone of their heartland, their lives measured out in the turning of centuries, not years.
By contrast, the Sutherners live in the moment, their vitality much more immediate and ephemeral than their Anakim neighbors.

Fragile is the peace that has existed between these very different races – and that peace is shattered when the Suthern armies flood the lands to the north.
These two races revive their age-old hatred and fear of each other. Within the maelstrom of war, two leaders will rise to lead their people to victory.
Only one will succeed.Goodreads

I read this book with Nora over at Paper Tea and Books. And if I did not have her to read it with, then I would have DNF this book 20% in.

Throughout the entire book, it felt as the author is describing to you what the book is about as opposed to telling a story. It felt like the author was trying to convenience you that this is a book was depth, war, betrayal and some form of redemption. But the only thing this book had was a lot of world building, a lot of politics and a grown man being babied.

Roper gets into the leadership position because of his father’s death at battle. Although he is very intelligent when it comes to war, he is soft. He is one of those leaders that need other people to do the dirty work because it isn’t cut out for him. He comes off as a 12 year old and when people don’t do what he wants, how he wants he pouts and stomps his feet until they say Okay.

But that isn’t even the worst. In one case, he is to go hunting and he stuns the animal and keeps thrown across the other side of the forest. His father in law comes and praises him and is like well you didn’t kill it, I did but you did a good job -_- I was ready to throw my phone because Roper doesn’t do anything on his own and somehow every battle always wins.

Another issue with this book is there is no thrill. The author downplays the entire thing. Like no one is fearing for their life at the intensity it should. No one is stabbing people in the back. Everyone is being civil. Which is crazy to me because this is suppose to be war; a external and internal war.

Also regards the other characters, SO MUCH POTENTIAL! The author dropped the ball on developing the surrounding characters who play a huge role in the story. It felt like he was so focused on simply introducing the characters that he forgot to actually develop them into a well thought out story.

This book was a DNF for me but I enjoyed talking to Nora about it that I finished it. The plan was to give book two a try because there is potential in this book. But those last few chapters killed it for me.

Overall,

1 Pickle

The Minis

Doubleday Books
Published July 11th 2017
322 Pages

The Blyton Summer Detective Club aka teen detectives haven’t seen each other in years since their last traumatizing case.

Now 3 out of the four members, with their massive baggage, come together to figure out what really happened on that case and maybe finally they can actually close it.

This book had a good foundation but wasn’t executed right. Between what seemed like a force relationship, slow plot and lack of in depth world building, this Scobby Doo knock off (sorry couldn’t think of a better phrase) was a hard read.

1 Pickle

Growing your Own Tea Garden is much more than

CompanionHouse Books
TBP: May 14th 2019

giving you steps to well grow your tea garden. There is history behind each tea, each leaf and there is a care the author gives when explaining why this is something you should know/do.

As someone who wants to rely on my own means to take care of my household as opposed to running to the store for everything, this is a great resource to have.

5 Pickles

Madam’s Books
Published Nov. 8th 2018
123 Pages

I have read the first two books of this series. To Claim a King is by far the strongest book of this series. My issue with To Tame a Rogue is it felt like there was less story and more how can I make this book dripping in sex.is The author didn’t take as much care to build a plot as she did with the sex.

1 Pickle

I am just going to start out by saying that this comic

Berger Books
Published July 30th, 2018
128 Pages

is okay. There is creativity in the aliens and how Dr. Future interacts with them.

But it is an overall situation we see in real life. People fighting for the right and enter and live within this country.

The protests, the anger, the fear all of this is portrayed within this comic and although I feel the author did well putting a spin on current politics but there was nothing really grabbing me to continue reading other than Dr. Future’s relationship with Letme.

End of an Reading Era

it’s the end of an expensive and beautiful relationship.

Its truly a sad time for me.

And its completely you and just a slight bit of me.

So, I have decided to stop reading Sandra Brown books and to be honest it kind of hurts that I have made this decision because we have a long relationship. When I was, I would say 14 and reading Cosmopolitan magazines, behind my parents back, I came across my first Sandra Brown book.

It was called Crush.

If you have ever read anything book previews from Cosmopolitan magazine, you know It’s the juicy part. That was my first taste of Sandra Brown. From there, I read the following (not in particular order):

I was a die hard fan. Every time she came out with a new book, I was buying it hardcover during release week. I loved and (still do) her writing. Sandra Brown has a way of keeping your attention throughout the book and bringing you into the romance. But most importantly, she keeps you there. I loved it for years.

About 5 years ago, I hit a wall. Her books were starting to read the same. Successful woman or woman down on her luck gets caught up in something less favorable and meets the hard man with a rough pass, who is either some form of law enforcement, private eye, the ex military or the man who is just too good to be true and has no secrets.

I tried to push through because in my mind, you can’t keep writing the same book over and over right? I mean reading her past books, you see the differences and creativity in them but these recent books, can’t always be the same right? I was wrong. So very wrong.

So I took a break and with the recent novel Tailspin, I decided to take a stab at it. Finished the book but struggled from chapter three and on. I couldn’t get into it and I most certainly couldn’t love it. There were a lot of moments where I was cringing and just rolling my eyes and completely realized that nothing has changed from when the last time I read her books.

Her older titles such as The Rana Look, Slow Heat in Heaven and Mirror Image provide something different in the characters and the overall setting. They are some of my favorite reads that I enjoy going back to.

But as of late, I haven’t been able to get into her books and I think an era is over for me. For the past, 15 years, I have purchased hardcover copies, more than one to share, of Sandra Brown’s books and I think that was a good run. I read her books now knowing what is going to happen and in some form of way how it is going to happen and opposed to giving a crap rating over and over again, it is best if I just stop putting time into her books.

Will I always recommend someone to read Sandra Brown? Most definitely! She is a fantastic writer. However, I will always recommend her older books over the newer one. If you have never read a Sandra Brown book, like never even thought to pick up one, go ahead and read her latest works but you will find the passion for the story in the older titles.

Overall, I have to let this go. To save myself time and to save Ms. Brown from receiving low ratings on her books.

On to the next one!

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