Archive for June, 2016

Dead in the Water (Gemini, #1)Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m four books behind! It is summer. Therefore I have more good days than bad. Therefore I’m outside a lot more. But therefore I’m overdoing it and having to stay inside recuperating. I claim those as my excuses for not being caught up on my reading. Oh, and I’m still knitting and crocheting quite a few hats for the Hugger Hats group. But wait a minute! I listen to books while I knit and crochet. How would that slow me down? Oh, yeah, and then a couple binge watchings. Anyone finish with the Orange is the New Black new season? Seems like there was one more but I can’t remember what it was. Those are my excuses and I’m sticking to them!

Add to that the last book I read was a courtroom (detective/spy) drama kind of book, I wasn’t ready for this one. Even though it’s a fantasy, it’s still more of a crime novel as the main character is doing investigations. The only differences: they’re using the Fae instead of humans. I never really connected with the main character. Even halfway and I couldn’t decide what her name was or even if she was male or female. I’m seeing a lot of good reviews for this book so I’m going to stick with my excuses above and ask you to read the book yourself and see how you feel about it. As for me, this wasn’t even near a Sara Reine fantasy even though she is the one who recommended it. I don’t see myself looking into book 2 of the series or even the rest of this author’s books. Yet, who knows? Maybe in the dead of winter Dead in the Water might come back to me and I’ll fall deeply in love with it. Oh, did I mention: Cliff-hanger? 😦

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Just Dreams (The Brooks Sisters Dreams Series Book 1)Just Dreams by L.J. Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book as a gift for an honest review. Thank you.

That said, I feel bad as I should have declined. I’m not much of a fan of romance or court drama. This was both. Now if that is your thing this is a well-written story and you may actually love this. In fact, I recommended it to my husband who loves these kinds of stories. I guess the good thing I could say is that it kept my interest until the end. I wanted to know what would happen to the characters.

I hope others find this book and enjoy it.

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Children's book: I Voice my Choice - I Choose My-self: (good values, Help kids learn assertiveness skills, short stories for children)Children’s book: I Voice my Choice – I Choose My-self: by Ilana Even

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, this book has promise. I was given this book for an honest review. So here goes…

The pictures in this book are adorable. The colors are eye-catching. The idea behind the book is way overdue. But the execution of where the writing appears and its redundancy loses all the good points.

First of all, a book like this should be set up so that text-to-speech is a given. But it didn’t work. So after the initial reading it to your child, I don’t think the child will want to come back to the book. There are places where the text is repeated on two pages and I don’t know how to fix that. I just know that the parent reading it to the children and the children will find that very boring.

I did like the idea that an organized house and organized closets smile at the person who has finished doing those chores. I think given those kinds of ideas the child would be more inclined to want to clean up and stay organized. But I think it could all be said with fewer words. Since this is a book that supposed to be empowering the children I think the children could discover this themselves. Sure the mom could initiate what’s going to happen but the children need to take over. When my children were children they discovered to stay organized meant their favorite things were where they left them and were clean and the things they didn’t like just needed to leave. It was a lot less what they learn from me that what they learn from their own experiences.

Also, I feel this was written by someone who’s not a native English speaker. And some of the ideas don’t flesh out quite right. Still I think this book is full of good ideas and wonderful pictures I think it has a chance of being a very good book.

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King Neptune's DeliteKing Neptune’s Delite by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever noticed how the most popular children’s books have children who have no parents? Hopefully, that is because parents keep children safe. But without that safety what kind of trouble could children get into on their own? King Neptune’s Delite is my proof in point. Orphaned children raised by the community were still orphaned children. And when it came to adventure, they chose adventure over the older sister’s cautions.

I would hope. Parents would read this book with their children. There are so many educational opportunities in this book that parents and teachers could implement. And maybe mature children who already have a good sense of caution could read it and not get caught up in the adventure they might have if they followed the younger siblings leanings. But should the adventurous child read this book it does become a cautionary tale. I suppose much worse could happen no no no no no no do need to do that than happens to the children of the story, but it was pretty bad as it was.

Thank you, Gita V. Reddy, for letting me read this book. It was quite the thriller from beginning to end. I found myself caught up in the story to the point of forgetting to eat or go to sleep. I just wanted to see that the kids would be okay, and if so how?

Gita is quite the storyteller! Her stories take place in her country, in India. So it gives us an education of culture and histories other than our own. I like that her stories lead us to see what we have in common with others. Example: boys who went to go fight the pirates. In this day and age, since Disney has given us Pirates of the Caribbean, even we adults might like to go on that kind of adventure. No wonder a child would!

I worked very hard not giving spoilers in this review. So instead, I say read this book; it’s a lot of fun! And grab a kid to read it to, while you’re at it! Wait, the didn’t sound quite right. But you know what I mean, I hope. 😉

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We rounded up the best series by some the best and most prolific writers of the past century.

Source: 8 Great Sci-Fi Series Written By Women, From Ursula K. Le Guin To Margaret Atwood | Inverse

30 Day Novel (How to write a book in a month)30 Day Novel by Tara Maya

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book I’m going to have to read again and again. It is chock-full of ideas both light and serious in the art of writing.

As some of you might know I’m attempting to do JuNoWriMo. I hadn’t planned on doing this but it been a while since I put out the effort for NaNoWriMo and I missed writing like that. Like what? You may ask. Like a crazy idiot who’d just vomits words. When ideas fly around your head and make you crazy. When plot-bunnies plot to kill you. Yeah, I’m not sure why I’m doing it either. And with two days of thunderstorms where the electricity goes out, I’m two days behind now. But I think I could make up two days.

I did one novel where I outlined the socks out of it long before I started writing in November. That book turned out to be the very best book I’ve written so far. So as much as I enjoy the creativity of seat-of-your-pants writing I like to have a bit of a plan as I go into it. Then if some crazy ideas take hold of me I know how to find my way back to the plan.

Tara Maya’s 30 Day Novel works using outlines and storyboards and other great ideas. Some of these ideas I have tried before and they didn’t work quite so well as I would’ve wanted. But she spells out the process in a way that I can understand and I may institute some of these ideas in my plans, maybe for November’s novel. It’s kind of too late for this one. Although if I get too far behind for JuNoWriMo, I may institute some of these ideas for Camp Nano in July.

This is a quick read and the author keeps it moving along. I highly recommend it to all writers to glean what they can from it.

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Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy HookerStitch ‘n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a library book that one of the Hat Huggers members was just returning when I was at the library. It looked like a lot of fun. I didn’t read every page because, well, it’s patterns. But I copied the pages that I wanted to try for later and I’m returning it back to the library.

What I liked about the book was there was a lot of pictures with a lot of colors which was helpful to my eyes. Each row of a pattern had enough space in between that I knew my eyes wouldn’t get lost in the process. And there are some really cute things in this book that I can’t wait to try.

I’ve looked at other reviews and many people find that the patterns didn’t work for them for some reason. I’ll let you know later if that’s the case here when I try a few of these. The hat featured on the front of the book look like a lot of fun, a kind of lacy cowboy hat which would be perfect out here I have to make some for the Hat Huggers and then one for me, with my own yarn, of course! 😉

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Catherine Dickens: Outside the Magic CircleCatherine Dickens: Outside the Magic Circle by Heera Datta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes a person needs to read something they don’t entirely enjoy. And it is for the fact that I didn’t really enjoy reading this book, that I only gave it three stars. The writing was absolutely grand. And it was good to learn about the information this book has. And it was wonderful that the author gave voice to someone who didn’t have much of a voice in our history. But it was a tough read for me.

In another life, well, that’s what it seems to me to be, at this point in my life, I got to be in the musical ‘Oliver’. I got to play Old Sally. It was a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends. But that opening scene where the workhouse Meister is asked by poor little Oliver for ‘more’, kept coming to my mind as I was reading this. That puny little voice probably was any one of his children, the Dickens you say!

‘It was the best of times it was the worst of times’ compares Mr. Dickens to Mrs. Dickens. He getting all the glory and she having a Baker’s dozen of children and then tossed aside when she wasn’t what he wanted anymore. A good thing to keep in mind when we watch all the versions of a Christmas Carol every year at that time. Now I rather hope that he is the one in chains and she is the one haunting him!

My goal in life is to read as many books by women about women or strong female characters. I don’t like reading about women from codependent pasts. I don’t much like reading about women who are put into the role of barefoot and pregnant and woefully in love. But I’m glad I read the book. It gave voice to the woman who had no voice. I hope a lot of people read this book and that we as a society can start growing when we see how bad it is for women still and not that far back in our own history English/American. Our whole language needs to change. And not just English but many languages. I’ve been taking Duolingo language classes, Spanish and German lately. Everything has a gender but human females get the lesser names. Try to do a history of your own female ancestors and you will find how hard that is to do. Females do not hold history. It is time to change that.

AND books like this one hopefully will do that.

Okay, I have talked myself out of the three-star rating. If I want others to read this I have to give it its due, rather than how enjoyable a read it was. Take that! It now has five stars! (Though I hope never to read it again. Nor will I seek out Chuck Dickens work ever again. What a TOAD!)

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Meantime GirlMeantime Girl by Sindhu S.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I picked up this book on, I saw an interesting concept of a female Indian journalist. In the world of men here was a woman who could stand up for herself. That piqued my interest.

Instead, I got a woeful romance. I didn’t much like any of the characters. And I hate to admit it but this codependent romancy thing is so boring to me. It’s bad enough when the pursuit is for a single person, but when it’s for a married man, there has got to be a lot you can do with your time instead. And yes, I know smart women get themselves hooked in such situations, but I don’t really want to read about it. Not even on a higher-speed text-to-speech.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer about this. It’s not my kind of book.

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Tangled LiesTangled Lies by Connie Mann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a couple hours since I finished reading Tangled Lies by Connie Mann (which I picked up free for review from At first, I was very satisfied with the ending. Now I’m left with the curious feeling that there could be more. I always feel that about happy-ever-afters. But I’m left wanting more from the characters. I wonder how mom will be, I wonder about the rebellious teen. I’m trying really hard not to give spoilers here. Needless to say, I want more.

In the tags, this book is described as a Christian fiction. And that element was there but it didn’t feel like the author was proselytizing and it didn’t seem preachy. What I came away with was that these felt like real characters who just happen to have a certain belief system. But they used their heads to figure out problems, they were flawed and tried to be better people. By the way, we never get to see the reasons the bad guys are the bad guys. But it felt okay not knowing as we viewed the world through the main character, Sasha and her male counterpart, Jesse. Information the reader gets is from their eyes.

Oh, the other thing in the tags, romance. Yeah, it was there but it was adult and independent rather than the codependent garbage usually out there. I not only didn’t mind it, I was happy with the process of watching two people navigate love’s waters. See what I did there? A book about sea captains?

Which brings me to the next element. The water, boats and captains. YAY! I was very impressed with the female, Captain Sasha, and her skills (the author is a captain so knows a thing or two about that life).

My favorite parts of the book were who rescues whom, when and how each of the main characters deal with their lives, and how they struggle to survive what life throws at them.

Throw in a sassy teen sister, and a loving mother who has cancer and you have a story with depth. The author kept me interested, sometimes wishing I could read faster to see what happens next.

I highly recommend this book if you like mystery and suspense. Great job, Captain!

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