Tag Archive: Sophia DeLuna



That's What Friends Are ForThat’s What Friends Are For by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short review on a short book. It was sweet and I wish there was more. I read this a couple weeks ago but life got in the way of reviews. I hope you’ll give it a try. I have a glow as I am writing this so even though it was a long time ago, it left its bittersweet mark on me. Enjoy!

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Hidden SecretsHidden Secrets by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At the end of summer, I got an e-mail from the author, Sophia DeLuna, requesting I read and review Hidden Secrets for her. I was delighted to. And I read it but it was just as the big move was happening in my life so I felt I hadn’t given the story enough of my attention and wanted to be fair. I had read it on my Fire with the text-to-speech set on “Amy” the British English setting I love. It always sounds like Julie Andrews is reading to me. But I had it set on 2x which is a little too fast to catch some things. It’s okay when you want to read a book quickly. But for this task I either needed to slow it up or read it with just my eyes. So I wrote back to Ms. DeLuna explaining all of this and told her I wanted to read it again to be fair to all of us. Not that I thought the story bad, I just wanted to immerse in it a little deeper.

I loved other books by Ms. DeLuna on Smashwords. They often have an LGBT (lesbian) central character or two but they are not erotica which is refreshing. This story is the same, it is a sci-fi/space adventure that happens to include women who love women. I love the sci-fi aspect because there aren’t that many sci-fis with women main characters, much less, lesbians.

The characters are interesting and I liked them. I liked that she had pictures of the characters. That helped somewhat. Though I found that I forgot who was who after a while. I kept the captain in my head. But it seemed that the deeper part of the story didn’t include her so much. What tragedies that do unfold are about other characters. I don’t know how I would have fixed that. It wasn’t bad. I had grown to like those people, too. It just felt like we could have gotten to know them better before it got bad.

What I found interesting was that Hidden Secrets contains elements of the sci-fi series I am still editing from my NaNoWriMos long ago. Spaceship crashes on a planet that has healing elements. I think the name, Haven (my sentient planet’s name), was part of the name of the planet Sophia’s characters were heading toward. So it was almost like reading about my own imaginary friends. 😉

The style of writing was my biggest problem. It is a style I fight in my own writing. Passive voice. For all the flying and meeting aliens and learning about them all… I think it would be better to have a more active voice. Now can I explain how that works? Not so much. Here, let Grammar Girl explain it:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educ…
I will have to review all that as I get away from the writing of my NaNo to the editing.

But honestly, it was still a good story and I found that even with the long period of time between reads, I still remembered quite a bit about it. AND I felt that it may have a sequel in the wings. I would like that!

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Desert Wind Desert Wind by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a delightfully different kind of story. Beyond this, I plead ignorance. I haven’t heard of the deities mentioned in the story. I assume this was a world and goddess that emerge from the author’s imagination, yet I think I could bow to the higher being who shows miracles of kindness.

As the title suggests the story takes place in a desert land. Other than that I can’t say I know where in our world or when it may have happened. Still this couple is pregnant. It’s wanted but if both parties are lesbian, how and with whom had the mother conceived?

Now, I admit to loving this story more than other short stories by Sophia DeLuna. Still I beg, plead! Please tell more! This could not only be a book. It could be a series! I loved it!

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Fire and IceFire and Ice by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh, how I wish this were a book rather than a very short story. A writer writes at the coffee shop. Truth being better than fiction? We will never know. Please, Ms. DeLuna, tell us more!

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A Matter of Faith A Matter of Faith by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sorry it has taken me so long to review this. I picked this up so long ago that I can’t even remember when or why. But since I was feeling my addiction to Sophia De Luna’s writing, I thought now was the time.

Okay, this was a short story. Not my favorite kind. It was long enough to care about the characters and for a storyline to develop. But, as is my customary response: I wanted more. This could make a marvelous epic fantasy with LBGTQ flavors. Tell me more about the world, the kingdom, the characters and their families. Why doesn’t the secondary character have faith in herself or life itself? How were the talents of healing discovered and are their other talents?

What happens next?

I loved it so far. I want more!

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Taxi - Tactics (Book 7)Taxi – Tactics by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ulrike, you did WHAT!! Well, what did you have in mind, Carmen? Yeah, that’s what I thought!

There. I’ve summed it up. Would I have done what Ulrike did? Nope. Wouldn’t have had the nerve or the idea. I’m stuck with whatever Carmen would have come up with. Stuttering my way through to absolutely nothing.

What’s this all about? Gosh, I can’t tell you. You have to read it for yourself. I am curious as to how others would handle this situation. What tactics would you use? Remember jobs and reputations are on the line. But it is a situation that comes up on a daily basis. Like I’ve said before, Sophia DeLuna uses realistic problems and handles them through the characters of Ulrike and Carmen. I have to say I was quite surprised with what was done and I have to admit to what I wouldn’t have known what to do. Real life like this scares me. As advanced as we think we all are on LGBTQ issues, this situation still exists.

As I have said before, I love these episodes by Ms. DeLuna. They challenge my mind. They warm my heart. It is a little like watching a soap opera. And at this point I can’t wait until Sophia finishes the next Taxi event! By the way, thank you, Ms. DeLuna for letting me read these last few for free. When I can, I will buy these stories for friends, thereby passing on the kindness.

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Taxi - Tuxedo (Book 6)Taxi – Tuxedo by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love visiting with my friends, Carmen and Ulrike. In this episode, Carmen has tickets to the opera and as the title suggests a tuxedo is involved. Some of us just can’t do dresses!

Do you want to know why I love these little book events? The writing is so flawless. The dialogue and situations are quite realistic. The troubles this couple encounter are also lifelike. And the way the author handles these situations are sometimes mature and responsible, sometimes not so much, but, real. What couple handle things beautifully every time? Most of us just muddle through our problems. We learn to talk it out, but some of us are better at that communication thing than others.

Most often I relate to Carmen in her ways of dealing with things. But in this chapter I related more to Ulrike. For me that is a grand feeling as I wish I was more like Ulrike and the ways she deals with the world.

Anyway, I highly recommend this series to those who want to read of lesbian relationships. The erotica is minimal, so if that offends, don’t worry. Some of us would like more, but that kind of book is a dime a dozen. These gems are about how this couple navigate being in a relationship. I was fortunate to have received the last few from the author but, when I get a few dollars ahead, I will buy them for others. After all, you can tell the work Sophia DeLuna puts into each and every story. By the way, you can find them on Smashwords. Most are $.99 or less. Check ’em out!

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Taxi - Talk (Book 5)Taxi – Talk by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Remember when I read the first four episodes of Taxi? Well, I got a welcome surprise after the review of the fourth one. Ms. Sophia DeLuna, the author of these great stories, sent me a sweet email that included coupons for the next three books in the series. Yay! Thank you so much. With my tight budget, it is often hard to decide if the next dollar is for food or reading. I hate to admit that I don’t look like I would if I chose books more often. Or maybe it is the fact that one can do both eating and reading comfortably at the same time?

At any rate, I got to the reading as soon as I could. And I think that Taxi 5, Talk, is one of my favorites. It is so real and honest. It touched deep emotional threads for me. This book deepens the relationship of Carmen and Ulrike. You see Carmen, still dealing with her bit of PTSD, or maybe there is a deeper issue going on, like social anxiety, depression, or other mental problems. I found I related to Carmen very much, phone phobia, isolation, etc. And Ulrike is fleshed out in how she and Carmen’s cat bond over yogurt, sharing a spoon. Carmen cringed and so did I. But as different as Carmen and Ulrike are, you see them working hard to communicate and deepen their love for each other.

By the way, I just did a review of New Hire: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…, where my complaint was that the characters weren’t deep at all. In comparison, this Taxi series has what I think give fictional characters real life. In this series, I was surprised at how well I had pictured the two characters. It had to be how the author described them. I went to the author’s website: http://www.sophiadeluna.com/ and under the Taxi category I found the author’s rendition of her characters. I would have known who they were had I met them on the street. That is how good Ms. DeLuna is creating her characters. She’s quite the artist, as well! I can’t wait to read #6!

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Taxi - Timing (Book 4)Taxi – Timing by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The trauma that started in book/section three continues. It is so bad that it could be the end of the relationship between Carmen and her lover and even plays a part in her relationships with family and friends. But is time on her side? Is there a point where your trauma can isolate you to a point of starvation. Can she find her inner strength before everyone gives up on her?

This may be the most personal of all. If you haven’t lived with trauma that is that debilitating you might not understand what Carmen is going through. But I felt the author, Sophia Deluna, did a marvelous job getting inside the heads of characters of this section. And something I haven’t written about in my reviews of the previous Taxi installments is her writing. I love it! Her descriptions and ability to tell a story, reeling in this reader, hook, line and sinker. All the relationships seem real. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this story.

As with the other few bits of this story, I am most upset by the price per bit. I am now at the end of my budget for the month so I won’t be able to read part five for a month. It is this that is causing the less than five stars for me. At least with Kindle Unlimited I can still read a book when the money runs out. Oh well. I still have a few of Ms. DeLuna’s other stories downloaded to peruse over the next few weeks.

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Taxi - Trauma (Book 3)Taxi – Trauma by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Except for the $.99 a section, I am loving the story between Ulrike and Carmen. They are two very different women, each with their own set of insecurities and powers. There are even distinct language and culture differences. But that makes for a better story, I think.

This is for section three. It’s call book three, but I don’t think any of these sections can be called a book. Long chapters, maybe.

Trauma is the title and trauma is what it is about. I found this section to be quite truthful in that poor Carmen does have some problems with PTSD/anxiety and depression going on. I think the author did a great job pulling the reader into how that feels from the inside of the person experiencing the mental anguish and what it looks like to those who love her. I don’t think I have seen it all so well done!

So far, what I really like in this series of episodes is how well defined each of the main individuals relationships with others is and how the whole group of people grow through their experiences. Great job, Sophia DeLuna!

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