Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review: Young Love Lost by Doug Burris

Title: Young Love Lost

Author: Doug Burris


File Size: 356 KB

Print Length: 249 Pages

Purchase: Amazon. Barnes and Noble.

About the Book (From Amazon):

Where does innocence go?
While vacationing on the beach at Emerald Isle, North Carolina, high school student David Jennings meets an intriguing girl. Mary Roberts ignites feelings that stay with him even after they both return to their homes. Summer after summer, they reunite, building on the love that started to bloom from the first day.
Not only does David discover romance, but he also learns what “family” can mean. The loving Roberts family is in stark contrast to the Jennings. David is the only child of Roy, an ex-Marine and rigid cop, and secretive Sarah. As the young couple explores their future, the family secrets unravel—until tragic events manage to both bring together and divide the two families. 

My Thoughts:

About halfway through this book, I was about to put it down. I was right at 56% and for me to remember that is a big deal. So what changed my mind? It finally got GOOD.

This book has a slow start, for me at least, I won't lie. It's about two families who vacation in the same spot, year after year, only this time, the two kids finally meet. David learns what families are really like, as he has grown up with his military/trooper father who likes things done a certain way. He likes order and stability. And his mother, the one who wants more out of life, but isn't allowed to get it and wouldn't know where to start if she tried.

Mary seems to have the perfect family, but David learns about her brother's shady past and problems, so he gets that not all families are perfect.

The two of them hit it off right from the start. It's a very sweet story and I liked it a lot, but by the 56% mark, I was ready to put it down.

When I say it finally got GOOD, I mean, the story finally picked up the pace and we were thrown into some action. I don't know if the author dragged out the beginning intentionally or not, but by the time we got down to what the story was really all about, it moved along quickly. It was very well written, the characters were well developed, almost too well developed at times. The flow was, after the 56% mark, quick and smooth.

What I mean by 'too well developed' was the redundancy of some of the inner dialogue of the characters. I would say about half of that could have been cut out and people would still love this story and feel they got their money's worth.

My Rating:

3 and 1/2 Skull and Crossbones.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Faves, Fantasy Art & Funnies...

It's Friday! Yay, another jobless week. ::Sighs:: That's all right. I'm going to keep looking for work, no matter what.

I do have some jewelry for sale. I'm trying to open up an Etsy store, but am waiting to get a little more inventory before I do. And by inventory, I mean variety. I have lots of those paracord/survival bracelets. I have better pictures somewhere. And I am doing chainmail jewelry again.

Here is a bracelet I did. Byzantine links with silver and gunmetal aluminum links. Price is $18.00 + S&H.

But this is the Friday post, so let's move on!

My favorite thing this week has nothing to do with books, or movies, or games! *Gasp!* I've discovered the wonderfulness that is DQ's banana split blizzard. OMGoodness! It's yummy, especially since I feel like a piglet when I want a real banana split.

I'm also enjoying a new game. It's been getting me out of the house and meeting people. Which is always a good thing, right? Hubby and I have been walking a lot since we started this game. We can walk for long distances and not even realize how far we went. It's awesome!

Okay so let's see what I have for you this week in the way of Fantasy art:

Art by Marcela Bolvar
And now for the funnies!

And pardon the language in this one...

Okay! That's it! Have a great weekend and see you Monday! What are you plans for the weekend?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review: The Ghost and The Graveyard by Genevieve Jack

Title: The Ghost and The Graveyard

Author: Genevieve Jack


File Size: 2690 KB

Print Length: 308 Pages

Purchase: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Smashwords.

About the Book (From Amazon):

Grateful Knight isn't looking for love when she moves into a rent-free house on the edge of a graveyard. At twenty-two, all she wants is to recover financially so she can move back to the city where she belongs.

But sparks fly when the gorgeous cemetery caretaker, Rick, introduces himself and mentions his suspicion that her new house might be haunted. Her attraction to him seems supernatural, and despite her resolve to not get involved, she literally can't keep her hands off him.

My Thoughts:

This was a good, fast read. Grateful Knight didn't come across as a 22 year old buxom blonde, to me, though. She seemed a little older for her years. I would have guessed closer to 30 if the author hadn't kept reminding me. I also am not a huge fan of romance and so some of the sex scenes came on a little hard and fast. No pun intended.

Rick is a decent character, pretty well developed. Logan is my favorite, though. I don't know why I always go for the underdog. But it seems to me, the character Grateful really had a good thing with him, ghost or not! The story itself is very good, but I am on the fence about reading the rest of the series. We'll see.

Lots of good writing, lots of well developed characters. It had humor, it had angst, it was a good story. So I would highly recommend it!

My Rating:

4 and 1/2 Skull and Crossbones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workin' It...

So I grabbed a handful of Betas last week to go over book two in my fantasy series. They're currently looking over 'Veritas' to see what needs work, what doesn't, etc. You know what Betas do.

I'm not through with writing book two, however, but I feel like I got way off track somewhere and need to be redirected. So once I get the feedback I need, I can make the changes and continue on. I have a specific scene set in my mind for the end of book two and also another set for book three.

Is it a cliffhanger? Ha! I won't tell. But you should know my style by now.

Once I get the rest of it written, I will pass it all off again and see if my readers like the rest of it. I am about 10 - 15,000 words away from being finished with book two. Then it is on to book three!

In the meantime, I have several other stories in the works. Here is a brief list of what's going on in my brain:

I have individual stories planned out for some of the characters like, Sorcha, Nightshadow and Black Rose. So that's three.

I have a story about two twin sisters. This will be set in the world I created.

I have another about a group of friends and a princess. This will be set in my world, as well.

I have a fairytale-like story going on right now, but it isn't set in my world.

I have a romance in the works. (Yes. I KNOW the irony of this, trust me.)

I also have a paranormal serial I'm planning and working on off and on when I get the urge. This one may take awhile, because even though it is a serial, I'm going to try to get one 'Season' of it written before offering up the first story.

So, that's a lot of writing on my plate. But that's okay. I'm enjoying it, even if it does drive me crazy when I get a new idea. Oh, speaking of, I still have that zombie one sitting on the back burner.


I know.

We'll see about that one.

So what all do you have waiting in the wings? Anything new? Anything you want to share? I'll gladly help spread the word when you need me to, you know that! And I hope to see you all in April for the Challenge!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: Hushabye by Celina Grace

Title: Hushabye

Author: Celina Grace


File Size: 1374 KB

Print Length: 206 Pages

Purchase: Amazon. Barnes and Noble

About the Book (From Amazon):

A missing baby. A murdered girl. A case where everyone has something to hide...

On the first day of her new job in the West Country, Detective Sergeant Kate Redman finds herself investigating the kidnapping of Charlie Fullman, the newborn son of a wealthy entrepreneur and his trophy wife. It seems a straightforward case... but as Kate and her fellow officer Mark Olbeck delve deeper, they uncover murky secrets and multiple motives for the crime.

Kate finds the case bringing up painful memories of her own past secrets. As she confronts the truth about herself, her increasing emotional instability threatens both her hard-won career success and the possibility that they will ever find Charlie Fullman alive...

My Thoughts:

This was a pretty decent mystery. I got it off of my Book Bub mailer when it was free.  Kate Redman is a brand new detective with a past. You get to learn about her history, a little later than I cared for, but I did learn it. So I was happy with that. It is a well written story. But I found the flow to be a little off. It wasn't as quick a read for me as I had initially hoped. There are some errors that threw me off a bit.

All in all, the characters are developed. Kate Redman and a few of the others are the most well developed, a few of the others sort of fall flat. When I can't place who is talking in the dialogue, that tends to throw me off. But it is a good read, it is a very compelling story and I would recommend it.

My Rating:

3 and 1/2 Skull and Crossbones.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Faves, Fantasy Art & Funnies...

Woohoo! It's Friday again!

Sort of a busy week for me. I had to get our kitties to the vet. They got fleas. They've never had fleas before in their furry little lives, so had to go get things taken care of. They were just miserable, itchy fur-babies.

Well, I don't have much in the way of 'faves' today. Hopefully I will have something for you next week.

In the meantime, here are two pieces of fantasy art for you to enjoy!

art by Grzegorz Rutkowski

Steampunk Wallpaper collection by
Now, on to the funnies!

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Doing The April A To Z...

I'm considering doing the April A to Z Challenge. Simply because I've been out of the loop for a bit and need to get back into things. I also need some exposure and need to find some new people to follow.

With that being said, I need to think of a theme.

Any suggestions?

I'm going to have to think about it.

I've missed blogging. I've missed the community. I feel a bit isolated and I know it will take some time to get back into the swing of things.

I'm also still trying to get back into my writing. I have several stories going at once. Which, is highly unusual for me. There are times, though, when something will strike me and I start writing on one or the other. I've been mulling over plots, tossing what is lame and what works.

It's a process. And to be doing it several times over? Very, very new to me and, admittedly, a bit overwhelming, as well as confusing. I know everything will fall into place.

I also have some other things going on. I'm very excited about some of my new prospects. One of these days, I'll have to share! Until then, have a great rest of the week!

What, if any, themes will you be doing? Are you going to participate in the Challenge? Leave me some theme ideas in the comments.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Do You Do When...

I have a bit of a dilemma.

I have an awesome idea for a story, but I just don't want to write it.

It's basically a zombie story. Now, while I am all for paranormal, dark fantasy, urban fantasy genres, I feel like zombies have been overdone as much as other paranormal/horror creatures.

Also, at the risk of losing friends, I've never been much of a zombie fan. I did get into watching "The Walking Dead" while I was down in Arizona. It's not a bad show. I just never really liked zombies. I will watch "Shaun of the Dead" repeatedly. Mainly because it is freakin' hilarious and I love Simon Pegg.

So what do you do when you have, what you think is, a good story idea, but you don't want to write it? I could pawn it off on someone, but I don't know. All you writers out there have your own ideas for stuff.

It just seems to me that (and this is JUST my opinion, please don't take offense), horror creatures are becoming more "soft and cuddly", rather than the vicious, bloodthirsty monsters they were meant to be.

Let's take Vampires, for instance. Some of the "trying to get their soul back/obtain absolution" Vamps just aren't scary. Like the TV series, "Angel". Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that show. Along with "Buffy". Yes, Angel could be scary at times. But Spike, in the beginning, was more menacing. But even Spike got soft. In the show, "The Vampire Diaries", the Originals were the cold-blooded killers I remember. And so was Damon Salvatore. Stefan Salvatore is not what I would call cold-blooded. Sadly.

Werewolves are the same. They're a thing to be concerned about, but not feared. I know we've had this conversation several times over. It is my opinion that horror monsters have been brought down a peg or two on the Scary Scale, mainly to mollify people who don't like to be scared. And let's face it, our world is scary enough. Why add to it? Yet people flock to see the "Saw" movies. So why can't our good old, marauding, murderous horror monsters go back to the way they were?

If you have any book suggestions for me on vamps, werewolves, etc., I'll gladly check them out. And please don't get offended. Again, this is just my opinion. I've seen some good books where the paranormal creatures weren't as violent as back in my day. I just think they are few and far between. Personally, I am about to embark down the paranormal, dark fantasy, urban fantasy road myself. So what would you like to see? More old school horror? Or today's horror?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Faves and Funnies...

Hooray! I'm back! And so is FF&F!

I know, you missed it horribly, didn't you?

Couple of new faves. Some old ones.

Finally finished the "Hunger Games" series. Holy cow! I read the last two books in two and a half days. I wanted to read "Catching Fire" before I saw the movie with my husband.

I'm weird that way.

I read "Dying to Forget" by Trish Marie Dawson. Excellent book! I'll be posting a review on it soon.

Very good book. If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it.

I also read, and reviewed, "Child of the Ghosts" by Jonathan Moeller. You can read the review here. Love, love, love this book! Totally. I can't wait to read the rest in the series. But I have a huge TBR list, thanks to Bookbub.

Speaking of, I have been posting the free book links I get in Bookbub on my Facebook author page. If you are on FB, like the page and they'll show up in your newsfeed. I'll be starting it up again on Monday.

I also have some new faves in artwork. And this time, I actually have the names of the artists! Woot! So here is your fantasy artwork for today by Flavio Bolla:

Okay, so on to the thing I know you've been waiting for! The funnies!

That's it folks! Have an awesome Friday and a fabulous weekend. What are your plans?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm Back...

I'm back for the most part. Meaning, I am back from dealing with the debacle that is life.

I'm going to attempt to get back on a regular schedule of blogging. Might take me several false starts, but I will get back to it, once again.

Again, thank you for sticking around during my hiatuses. It is never fun to have to drop off the face of the earth completely to deal with life.

I've been perusing the web while away, but haven't been able to contribute much due to the fact that my laptop... well, it sucks, to be honest. But it gets most of the job done! But I have sorely missed my computer!! I'm so happy to be home.

I've got some post ideas for next week. I'll try to get up my usual Friday post. I've collected new funnies for you all. I know, you're just thrilled about that, aren't you? Ha!

Happy Wednesday to you all! I'll see you Friday.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: Child of the Ghosts by Jonathan Moeller

Title: Child of the Ghosts

Author: Jonathan Moeller

Published by: Azure Flame Media, LLC

Size: 513 KB Pages: 288

ASIN: B0052Q9WFQ (Amazon)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

About the book (Amazon):

When her life is torn apart by sorcery and murder, young Caina Amalas joins the mysterious Ghosts, the legendary spies and assassins of the Emperor of Nighmar. She learns the secrets of disguise and stealth, of assassination and infiltration.

But even that might not be enough to save her.

For the evil that destroyed her family seeks to devour the entire world...

My thoughts:

This was an AWESOME fantasy book. Young Caina Amalas reminds me a lot of my assassin, Nightshadow. Sorry, couldn't help that little shout out... but it's true. Caina's mother had expected her to be great in magic, but when she shows absolutely no interest in it, she shuns her, getting in her verbal digs as much as she can. Caina finds comfort and solace with her father, but when he's brutally murdered over an ancient scroll, Caina is kidnapped.

This book uses sorcerors abundantly, and their blatant use of power to control the kingdoms is evident. Reminds me of some epic, arrogant mages from my days of role-playing!

So if you like fantasy, I think you will love this series. Very well written, characters are well developed, and you feel a connection to Caina instantly.

My rating:

Five out of five skull and cross bones.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Use the plagiarism checker at because originality is a terrible thing to waste.

 *Please note: This book review is of the entire trilogy. While I don't usually like spoilers in reviews, I may not be able to help myself! On that note, this review will be done a little differently.

Title: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

Author: Suzanne Collins

About (From Wikipedia):

The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in an unspecified future time in the totalitarian nation of Panem. The country consists of the wealthy Capitol located in the Rocky Mountains and twelve (formerly thirteen) poorer districts ruled by the Capitol. The Capitol is lavishly rich and technologically advanced but the twelve districts are in varying states of poverty – the trilogy's narrator and protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, lives in District 12, the poorest region of Panem, formerly known as Appalachia, where people regularly die of starvation. As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol wherein twelve of the districts were defeated and the thirteenth supposedly destroyed, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, are selected by lottery to participate in the "Hunger Games" on an annual basis. The Games are a televised event with the participants, called "tributes", being forced to fight to the death in a dangerous public arena. The winning tribute and his/her home district is then rewarded with food, and supplies and riches. The purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide entertainment for the Capitol and to serve as a reminder to the Districts of the Capitol's power and lack of remorse.

My thoughts:

Where to begin? Well, probably with book one of the series, The Hunger Games. When Katniss hears her little sister's name called to participate in the Hunger Games, she does what any protective, big sister would. She takes her place. This moment is what changes Katniss Everdeen forever. There is no turning back, and survival is crucial. One boy and one girl are chosen from each district to fight in the Games. A fight to the death. There can be only one Victor, and while Katniss is determined it will be her, Peeta changes her mind.

Peeta announces his love for Katniss to the rest of the world. And the two become allies during the Games. So when it comes down to who will live or die, Katniss doesn't think she has it in her to kill Peeta.

I'll try not to spoil it, but if we're moving on to book two, Catching Fire, then you will know Peeta and Katniss both survive the Hunger Games. But this is viewed as an act of defiance by the Capitol. President Snow feels an example must be made of the two of them, to quell any sort of rebellion that Katniss's actions ignite. But everything Snow does, Katniss counters, fanning the flames of rebellion even more. But now Katniss wonders, is she doing this for the right reasons, or is she just a pawn of the Games, still.

Where Katniss is the face of the rebellion, Peeta is the voice. He can turn on the charm and speak in a way that Katniss cannot. So the two of them become an unstoppable force, one worth protecting, if this rebellion is to succeed. Katniss is still torn between Gale, her best friend, and Peeta, but the more she spends time with Peeta, the stronger the bond they share. Until Peeta is captured by Snow and the Capitol.

Book three of the trilogy, Mockingjay, brings us to the climatic conclusion. War is raged, and there are some things that you will never see coming. But, if you get to know Katniss intimately, it really won't be such a surprise. Alliances are made, lines are drawn, and crucial mistakes are made. But in the end... Well, you will just have to read the books.

I loved this trilogy. These books are very well written, very captivating, and, for me, a super quick read because I could. Not. Put. Them. Down. Two nights in a row, I had a "book hangover", but I don't mind. It was well worth it! Suzanne Collins spins an awesome, dystopian, young adult tale. If you don't walk away from these books with a love for the characters, then there's something wrong.

My rating:

Absolutely five out of five skull and crossbones! I'd give six, if I could.