I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I was Here CA

This was a difficult book based on the content. I feel the author did a good job with telling the story about the effects of depression and suicide and how it affects the people left behind. It had many sad points and many that made me frustrated and angry at how the characters dealt with the situation handed them.

.4 stars

Power’s Out by Rachel Meehan

Power's Out Coverart

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read this free digital edition for an honest review!

Nairne and Paul are on the road and on their own, having survived the last two years after the worst day of their lives. They have met some kind, and some not so kind people, on their travels but nothing quite feels like home until they come across a new community that is willing to let them in for a short reprieve. But will their past come back to haunt them?

Full of intrigue, murder, prejudices, first loves, and the survival of the fittest, this novel will keep the reader coming back to see what Nairne will do for those she loves.

I can’t wait to see what Rachel Meehan has in store for them in the next installment of the Troubled Times series.
For more information on Rachel Meehan and how to grab a copy of this novel or any of the others she has written, head on over to http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Meehan/e/B00C3C8UZK/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Water’s Edge by Rachel Meehan

Water's Edge - Rachel Meehan.coverart

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read this free digital edition for an honest review! Your responses to my emails were encouraging! 

Nairne, a fourteen-year-old girl lives with her father and mentally challenged sixteen-year-old brother in an what I would classify a pre-apocalyptic period. She seems like the character that doesn’t trust easily yet she is the one that seems excited at the prospect of bringing strangers into her home and convinces her dad it is the right thing to do. She is displayed as an outcast, but I’m not sure exactly why except because she is poor and her dad is vocal about his ideas of the future disasters to come. She has to deal with life and death issues constantly over the period of a what I presume to be about a year. She learns not to trust anyone. She later realizes there is only herself and one other person she can count on. I really became interested in the story around chapter 25 when the plot began to come together and organize itself. This is when I see Nairne and Paul as true characters. I like how they developed a real backbone and made a plan and followed through. The fact that there was an excerpt of the next book made me feel optimistic about where this series is headed and that it may be in a positive direction. By the last quarter of the book, I saw the author’s writing emerge into something mature and thought provoking.

I originally had a difficult time with this book because it seemed disconnected and I couldn’t quite understand how the back story had much to do with what I later found to be the main idea. Some of this may be the difference in cultures between my way of thinking and that of the UK. There were also several grammatical errors. This again may be an issue in how writing is different between the two populations. I was intrigued by the differences in the spellings and words I was unfamiliar with. I feel that reading a book that was written in the UK and is set in the UK should be written in the native grammar and I began to enjoy the nuances after letting go of the American grammar education I was provided.

I would give this 4 stars based on the last 10 or so chapters and after having read book 2.

For more information on how to obtain a copy head to http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C0YRLJ2?ref_=cm_rdp_product

Violet Chain by J Kahele

Violet Chain coverart

Rating= ∗∗∗∗

My thanks to the author and to Booklover Catlady Publicity for furnishing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

Violet finds herself on the wrong end of an affair when she finds her fiance with his pants down during their engagement party. This leads to a total breakdown and rebuilding of a whole person. Violet realizes she lost herself to the relationship and didn’t even have a personality that didn’t involve being half of a couple. She picks herself up with the help of her brothers and goes out on the town. She finds herself in the arms of a notorious playboy, Chain.

Chain is the playboy that will never settle for one until he meets Violet, the one that wants to use and abuse him then let him go. It’s the cat and mouse chase in reverse. The entire novel is  the struggle to get her to understand what they could be.

There were plenty of come and get me hot steamy sexy scenes making you stop and pant and wish you were Violet, but the ending  was a complete turn-off! I was finally getting used to the idea of maybe having a little substance in the book when the dialogue becomes forced as if the author realizes there needs to be an ending soon. Then the ending comes with a complete drop-off. There is nothing to suggest there will be a sequel. It just ends on a very negative note. There are ways to end on a cliffhanger leaving the reader wanting more, but I have trouble with leaving us on a sour negative note.  

Discussion: Library vs. Bookstore

Brewing Up Books


In recent years, most readers have developed personal preferences regarding borrowing books from the library versus purchasing them from the bookstore or on an ereader.  Whether it’s the smell of old books or new books, there’s bound to be a favorite for every reader!

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The 10 Signs of an Inexperienced Author

Valerie Thomas, Author

When I was first starting out as an author, I was amazed at how quickly other authors could tell that I was new. It was almost as if my manuscripts all had a bright yellow sticky note attached to the front, with ‘INEXPERIENCED’ written across it in bold, red ink.

But the truth is, it wasn’t just other authors. Nearly all readers could tell I was inexperienced by the time they’d finished my first chapter. More importantly, nearly all readers can tell if any author is inexperienced by the time they’ve finished your first chapter; they’ve developed a sense of what constitutes good and bad writing over a lifetime of reading novels, and as a result they can form judgments just as quickly as a professional critic. They usually can’t (or won’t) tell you exactly what’s wrong, but they still notice something amiss.

Below are ten signs that can tip…

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7 Common Mistakes Authors Make

Valerie Thomas, Author

7 Common Mistakes Authors Make

Alternate title: why I stopped reading three books. I usually finish every novel I read, so this was surprising to me; to put a book down unfinished felt oddly satisfying, but also bothered me a little. The following list is my explanation/justification for my actions.

  1. Too much exposition. This happens a lot in fantasy novels. We get that the world is amazing, interesting, and unique—but readers would rather not spend the first twenty percent of a novel being spoon-fed every detail about it.
  2. Trying too hard to make a character likeable. This comes in one of two forms: explicitly attributing a character positive attributes (“she was the nicest girl ever to come out of Compton”) or crafting situations that have no purpose other than showing how nice the character is. I’m not sure which one’s more yak-worthy.
  3. Not worrying about likeability. The flipside of #2…

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9 More Tips on Writing Fiction

Valerie Thomas, Author

It’s been a while (a few months, in fact) since I first wrote about my personal rules for writing fiction. Since then I’ve added to the list, and I thought it might be a good idea to share with all of you. Without any further ado, here they are:

  1. There should be an easily discernable main plot. As a reader, it bothers me when I can’t figure out which of three different conflicts I’m supposed to care about. Especially when they hardly seem connected.
  2. Dialogue moves stories forward. The overwhelming majority of conflicts in fiction are interpersonal, so of course the main way they progress is through interactions between people.
  3. Focus on the story. If a story is good readers will forgive stylistic problems, but if it’s bad the best writing in the world won’t save you. In the end, readers read because they want a story to take them…

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My 5 Rules for Critiques

Valerie Thomas, Author

These past few months I’ve sought out a lot more critiques on my work, and as a result I’ve heard a lot of things I’d rather not. I’d rather believe my work is perfect from the moment I put it down on paper (or Microsoft Word, which is actually more likely), but unfortunately that never happens. With that in mind, I’ve developed a few rules that I try to stick to when I receive critiques, to help get the most out of them.

  1. Give yourself some time, especially if you have a strong reaction. There have been more than a few times when I’ve looked up from a critique, certain the person behind it is wrong, and I am right, or certain they were just saying something to annoy me. Except in the rarest cases, this isn’t true, and when I come back a day or a week later, I…

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Book Blogger Hop: Sept 18th-Sept 24th

The After Dark Reading Nook

Book Blogger Hop

Passwords have always been something I have never been able to keep up with. So instead of using an address book, or tattoing them to my forhead I have a different method that works for me. I try my very best to keep the password for each site close to being the same, but then I find a piece of thick paper. I’m talking about something like construction paper, cardstock, or something similar. Using a thin tipped, so I dont make a mess, black sharpie I write down the website url and then the information I need to know like the password. Next I take a quick hop, skip, and a jump into my kitchen to my laminator. It’s real purpose is to laminate packages, or seal up meat. No matter it works as long as I make sure that the heat isnt so high it burns my paper. Once…

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