My Bookshelf: How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town

kill

Title: How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town

Author: eden Hudson

Series: Redneck Apocalypse Book 1

Genre: Fantasy/New Adult

Amazon Summary:
The holy champion chosen to save the world is enslaved to a sadistic fallen angel and losing the battle for his sanity.

The guy chosen to save the holy champion is his binge-drinking redneck brother.

So, basically, the world is screwed.

Meet the Whitney boys:
Colt—a mentally unstable holy soldier with a rapidly deteriorating hold on reality. His last plan to rid the world of evil either failed horribly or went off without a hitch. With the constant torture and brainwashing, it’s getting hard to be sure of anything but the sick attachment he’s developing to his beautiful tormentor.

Tough—a smart-mouthed honky-tonk hero trying to drown his problems in music, women, and good times. He hasn’t spoken to Colt in five years—not since their disagreement over a nymphomaniac vampire turned into a drunken slugfest—but they’re still brothers. Tough knows he can’t leave Colt fighting for his life and his sanity alone. The question is whether Tough can fight off his personal demons long enough to save Colt from the literal ones. ”

Cheers:

  • This is such a weird novel.
  • Tough might be my favorite character ever. I don’t know why, but I loved everything about him. Even when he made bad choices or fucked up, I still loved him, and that he couldn’t talk made everything better, I think.
  • The names were weird without everything being a big deal.
  • The whole fallen angels and vampires and sirens thing was done pretty casually. The author didn’t go to great lengths to info dump the whole situation in the first chapter, but instead revealed it all at a natural pace.
  • The plot and information is really deeply woven. There’s a lot going on.
  • I HATE religious themed things or anything that has anything to do with religion. I had to put down a book about fallen angels and stuff that had good reviews for that reason, because it was so heavy on the god stuff. This book somehow doesn’t come off that way to me. God was more of a plot device than someone shoving religion at you, which is how it should read when writing non-religious fiction.

Jeers:

  • It’s a cliff-hanger. *pouts* Not that I won’t be happy to buy it. I’d have bought the paperback version of this one if it was available (and if I had any money).
  • Like I said, the author doesn’t rush to explain everything. I think this might throw off a lot of readers, but in the end, the book was still fabulous.

Would I recommend it?:
If any of you happen to follow me on Facebook, you’ll see that I already did! The story is 18+ and it may offend some of you, but I suggest that everyone try it out. I don’t know if this is a permanent thing, but right now it’s free on Amazon!

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Yourself-Small-Redneck-Apocalypse-ebook/dp/B00IJJBHDI

Author’s blog:

http://whitetrashcappuccino.blogspot.com/

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My Bookshelf: When She Smiled

yeah

Title: When She Smiled

Author: Ritoban Chakrabarti

Genre: Young Adult/Romance

Amazon Summary:
“Mrityunjoy Roy is a fifteen year old Bengali who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla, India. While his family is completely academically oriented, he wants something more. Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind boggling smile. As fate would have it, she joins his tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self discovery. Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.”

Cheers:

  • Well, I thought it would be interesting to read a book set in India.

Jeers:

  • But it wasn’t.
  • The writing is what killed this story. It’s just not well-written. I forced myself father than I normally would to find something that would make me want to keep reading this book, but I couldn’t. The writing was just terrible. Not the grammar or typos or anything, just the writing style. It was juvenile and not engaging.

Would I recommend it?:
No. I really find the writing to be terrible. Over a span of days I forced myself to read eight chapters, but I finally just had to put it down. The other reviews talk about how great the plot was and all, but a book has to be well-rounded. Readers shouldn’t have to force themselves to finish a book.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/When-She-Smiled-Ritoban-Chakrabarti-ebook/dp/B00QFXTPL6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

My Bookshelf: Since You’ve Been Gone

fffff

This is the UK cover. US cover is different, but I read the UK version.

Title: Since You’ve Been Gone

Author: Anouska Night

Genre: Romance

Amazon Summary:
How do you learn to love again?

In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson’s life as she knew it changed forever. Now—to the external world, at least—she’s finally getting back on her feet, running her bakery, Cake. But inside, she’s still going through the motions befitting a twenty-seven-year-old widow.

Then she meets Ciaran Argyll. His privileged and charmed life feels a million miles from her own. However, there’s more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he, too, is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to live again—and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?”

Cheers:

  • It involved cake. I enjoy cake. I now want to try to make Butterbeer cupcakes, but I don’t know if they’re a thing. (Those aren’t in the book, I just want some Butterbeer cupcakes).
  • Fergal was awesome. He’s the MMC’s dad. And he’s crazy.

Jeers:

  • It was an “eh” book. I read to the end, but I’m not really sure why.
  • I didn’t feel anything towards Ciaran. Maybe it’s because I have no idea how to pronounce his name, but probably more because he has no personality. He’s just there, and he’s hot and rich. And damaged from his past. So what? There was just no draw to him. I felt more towards the dead husband.
  • The book opens with a sex scene… about the dead husband and the FMC. I was confused for a bit about if he was dead or not or if there were time jumps or what was happening.
  • Most of the characters came off as being rather flat.
  • Nothing in the book made me feel anything. The only time I felt some emotion was when I learned that the husband died young, just because I have a boyfriend who I don’t want to die. That’s it. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t frown, I didn’t smile. Nothing. It was just “eh.”

Would I recommend it?:
No. If this is the kind of romance women want, I want no part in it. It was so meh. I want to feel something when I read a book, whether I’m laughing or biting my nails at whether or not the MMC and the FMC will get together. The book just seemed to drag out and keep going for no reason. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone unless they were an avid baker, but even then I could find a better book.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Since-Youve-Been-Anouska-Knight-ebook/dp/B00I66BPV8/ref=la_B00JH220WS_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421468098&sr=1-1

My Bookshelf: Blur

la

Title: Blur

Author: Kristen Middleton

Genre: Urban Paranormal

Amazon Summary:
“Seventeen year old Nikki and her twin brother, Nathan, move to the small town of Shore Lake to start over after their mother is brutally attacked. When a missing teenager washes up on shore during their first night at the cabin and there are whispers of vampires in Shore Lake, Nikki begins to realize that there are things roaming in the darkness that are far more sinister than what they left behind in the city.”

My Summary:
Something happens that is entirely unrelated to the plot, then they move to VAMPIRE CITAYYYY and shit goes downhill from there.

Cheers:

  • I read it all the way through to the end. I don’t know why, but I did. It may have been one of those “it’s so bad it’s good” things. I was screaming to my boyfriend OH HE IS TOTALLY A VAMPIRE I KNOW IT and was proved right, so that was nice.
  • I liked that it was in Montana. Montana is nice. I want to live there one day, even though I hate snow.

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • Oh dear lord, this will be quite a list. First off, the book starts off with the mom being raped by her ex-husband, who is a cop. Three months later, they move to Montana to get a fresh start on life, and she immediately flirts with the first guy who talks to her… WHO IS ALSO A COP. Like, what. I could maybe see her going for him if her ex-husband HADN’T BEEN A COP AS WELL so that she could say, “Oh, he’s a cop, I feel comfortable with him” but no, it’s just terrible. Also, the whole raped and abused by her ex-husband thing doesn’t come up again. The author should have picked something different that made them move. Like literally anything.
  • Nathan (MC’s twin brother) has a girlfriend back home and complains about leaving her then immediately flirts with everything.
  • Everything SCREAMS vampires. Like they roll up into town and some pretty girl says “Oh, there’s plenty of things to do here after dark, DUN DUN DUN.” Foreshadowing? You’re doing it wrong.
  • Nikki (the MC) falls in love with Duncan in like two days. Which the author almost handled it well, but she ended up screwing it up. You can fall in love with someone in two days, but not like that. It was poorly written.
  • Nikki (still the MC) ends up falling in love with Ethan FOR NO REASON. OH MY FUCKING GOD I WANTED TO KILL THE AUTHOR. Like, at first, it as good. “I feel these things for him because he’s using vampire powers, but it’s against my will and I don’t want it.” Like, that’s good. Realistic vampire-ness. She recognizes that they’re predators. BUT THEN SHE JUST MAKES OUT WITH HIM WILLINGLY AND SUGGESTS THAT HE FEED FROM HER AND IT’S ALL JUST SO STUPID. It’s the worst love triangle since Twilight. Actually, Twilight was better. I repeat: TWILIGHT WAS BETTER.
  • The pointless cliffhanger.
  • “Miranda.”
  • How no one seemed upset at all the dead girls.
  • How pointless the plot was.

Would I recommend it?:
NO. It COULD have worked, but it didn’t. If the author hadn’t tried writing a series just to milk readers for their money, it could have been they moved, it’s a vampire town, Ethan and the Miranda thing was fully explained, the deaths were like actually explained and investigated, and the killer Dad thing was either cut or handled realistically and made relevant, then it could have worked out even with the bad writing, but this was just one problem after another.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Blur-Night-Roamers-Book-1-ebook/dp/B008S63B2M

 

My Bookshelf: Hooked on the Game

dsa

Title: Hooked on the Game

Author: C.M. Owens

Amazon description:
“Everyone has secrets that define them, a past that has shaped them, and a game they play – whether they know it or not.

Despite the fact they live next door to each other, Kade and Raya have never made an effort to speak, until a wild party, four frat boys, and… a bulldozer.

Sterling Shore was supposed to be a new start for eighteen-year-old Raya Capperton. Everything was working out perfectly until her two roommates were expelled for a prank, leaving Raya with the house she couldn’t afford on her own. Fate intervenes before she has the chance to find a new home, but she struggles to decide if it’s divine luck or the devil’s cruel sense of humor.

Twenty-one-year-old Kade Colton has his life planned out, and everything he does is an elaborate game to aid him with his future endeavors. Coming from money has made Kade’s life easy, but he wants to build his own name – his own future. The thing he doesn’t realize… when you only put forth superficial effort, you only acquire superficial friends.

Raya is torn between being amused or disturbed by Kade and his philosophy, but the drive behind his determination isn’t what Raya expected. Little by little, her hatred fades and is replaced by emotions she never would have believed she could have for the rich jerk she desperately doesn’t want to care about. Too bad you can’t force yourself not to care.

The problem is… Kade’s shiny name can’t be tarnished, and Raya has a jaded tie she can’t cut loose. Nothing about them can work, nothing about them makes sense, but nothing can seem to stop them from trying.”

My Description:
“Ember is almost forgotten as I stare into the endless pools of blue that suddenly carry such a meaningful depth instead of a guise of shallowness.”

With a line like that, you know it’s going to be a fabulous book.

Oh, wait, sorry, I was being sarcastic. That’s actually the line that made me put this book down.

Cheers:

  • I liked the part where the drunk frat boys bulldozed her house.

Jeers:

  • Literally everything else.
  • The main character is flat and shallow, making fun of all rich kids for being shallow pricks when she herself is shallow as hell for thinking that.
  • Her name is Raya. I’m sorry, but that’s a terrible name, especially for a white girl claiming to have come from Utah.
  • The entire plot set-up is preposterous. Her neighbor holds a party and random drunk guys bulldoze her house, so the neighbor’s dad forces his son to let his daughter live with him? And he owns that student house? And four cars? Rich people aren’t rich because they throw around money like idiots.
  • There are a lot of typos. I know my book wasn’t perfect, so I’m being lenient, but in the first few chapters I found multiple instances of missing quotation marks (lots of them), mixed up words, missing words…
  • Nothing that the characters did seemed genuine. Overall, it was written very poorly.

Would I recommend it?:
Even though I downloaded it when it was free, I would still say not to read it. It has a ton of good reviews on Amazon and I have no idea why. I’m thinking it’s because she has a ton of self-published eBooks available, all of which look to be of questionable quality. But hey, more power to her. She seriously needs a cover artist though (this book happens to be like her best cover).

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Hooked-Game-Sterling-Shore-Series-ebook/dp/B00KCE1K2Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

My Bookshelf: Beastly

fassTitle: Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy/Romance

Amazon summary:
“I am a beast. A beast! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll,stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.”

My summary:
Beauty and the Beast in New York.

Cheers:

  • It was realistic and well-written.
  • I enjoyed the beast’s thoughts. Sometimes a character’s thoughts are terrible and add nothing to the story, but this wasn’t the case.
  • It was an enjoyable story. Nothing deep that you haven’t seen with every single “Beauty and the Beast” story, but it was still enjoyable.

Jeers:

  • I hated the weird text chat thing. So weird and unnecessary.
  • Not related: This has absolutely everything to do with the movie and not the book, but I hate that the movie beast and the book beast looked different. I think the movie beast was a lot better at making a modern day beast, though obviously it failed in making Lindy unattractive because Hollywood can’t possibly make a movie about genuinely unattractive people.

Would I recommend it?:
Yeah. I’ve been meaning to read this for years, literally, because my friend gave it to me with a huge bag of books in high school, but I just never got around to it. I watched the movie and remember liking it enough, but I felt like I might be a little old for the book. Still, I enjoyed it, and it’s been out long enough that it shouldn’t be hard enough to find a really cheap paperback. It’s literally just the story of Beauty and the Beast though, nothing new, but since I love the Beauty and the Beast that was fine for me.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Beastly-Alex-Flinn/dp/0061963283

My Bookshelf: The Black Swan Inheritance

fTitle: The Black Swan Inheritance

Author: Marigold Deidre Dicer

Genre: New Adult/Urban Fantasy

Amazon Summary:

“The striking Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the seemingly pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to cultivated farms, peaceful bushland to violent coast.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.  ”

Cheers:

  • I enjoyed the magic element of it.
  • I also enjoyed the characters.

Jeers:

  • It’s a bit of a slow start.
  • There is a lot of telling verses showing. While the editing was good, it seemed like some areas were unpolished.
  • I’m not sure how accurate the descriptions of panic attacks are.
  • This is totally just me, but I HATE that it’s religious-based. It really taints the whole story for me.

Would I recommend it?:

I’m really tired right now so this review doesn’t really speak of glowing praise, but I say check it out. Personally I just didn’t connect with the story so I probably wouldn’t read the second book whenever it comes out, but it isn’t because I think it would be bad, just that I have other books that I would connect more with for whatever reason. You know how it is.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Inheritance-Marigold-Deidre-Dicer-ebook/dp/B00QAM87X4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418960458&sr=1-1&keywords=black+swan+inheritance

Author blog:

https://versusblurb.wordpress.com/

How to Keep Track of Reviews

Alright, so you’ve just published a book. You’re looking for reviews. You just go out and ask everyone you can to review it, right?

Wrong. Well, sort of.

I made the mistake of failing to be organized enough in my quest for reviews. I should have kept note of EVERYONE I contacted for a review, but I ended up losing track and someone was contacted twice… oops.

What you need to do is use some spreadsheet program to keep track of everyone you contact. It should look something like this:

excellThe important things to keep track of are name, where you found them, where/if they reviewed, how to contact them, and if they liked it.

When you’re ready to publish your second book, you can look at the list, copy it to another sheet, and just remove all the entries for people who never got around to reviewing your first book. With Genie out of the picture, you can now contact Aladin, Jasmine, and Dat Tiger for reviews. Only… Jasmine rated your book 2 stars, so she probably won’t be a fan of your second book, so you can take her off the list too.

Each time you see a new review and add it to the list, it’s important to note if the person liked it and mentioned wanting to read more (in which case they’ll probably be happy to get another free book) or if it wasn’t really their thing.

This might seem silly and an anal way of going about things, but I contacted a LOT of people about my book. I wish I would’ve made a list of them all so I don’t end up bugging someone who I already bothered about the first book.

When you publish your second book (or third or fourth) you’re still going to have to do some footwork to, but this will make it a lot easier. It will also give you an idea of how much work to expect. In reality, the example above would be three no responses to every one review.

Just remember, NEVER get into an argument with someone over their review of your book. If they post a racist rant calling you a cunt on Amazon, contact Amazon to have it taken down. If they say “I didn’t understand why the butler killed the maid. There was no motivation there!” don’t reply with the page numbers that spelled that out. Just let it go. No good can come from arguing with critics. Learning to accept bad reviews is part of being an author.

My Bookshelf: In Her Shoes

In-her-ShoesTitle: In Her Shoes

Author: Jennifer Weiner

Genre: Literary Fiction

Amazon summary:
“Meet Rose Feller, a thirty-year-old high-powered attorney with a secret passion for romance novels. She has an exercise regime she’s going to start next week, and she dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her she’s beautiful. She also dreams of getting her fantastically screwed-up, semi-employed little sister to straighten up and fly right.

Meet Rose’s sister, Maggie. Twenty-eight years old and drop-dead gorgeous. Although her big-screen stardom hasn’t progressed past her left hip’s appearance in a Will Smith video, Maggie dreams of fame and fortune — and of getting her big sister on a skin-care regimen.

These two women, who claim to have nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, DNA, and the same size feet, are about to learn that they’re more alike than they’d ever imagined. Along the way, they’ll encounter a diverse cast of characters — from a stepmother who’s into recreational Botox to a disdainful pug with no name. They’ll borrow shoes and clothes and boyfriends, and eventually make peace with their most intimate enemies — each other.”

My summary:
You know that roommate you never want to deal again? The one you were paired with freshman year who snooped through your stuff and puked on your bed? That’s Maggie. You know the girl who studied so hard in middle school that everyone knew she was going to an Ivy League college? That’s Rose. When Maggie gets kicked out and has to crash at Rose’s place, along with a slightly stolen pug and an impressive shoe collection, they’re both reminded of how much they truly loathe each other, and learn to get over it. Sorta. Eventually.

Cheers:

  • I enjoyed reading about a character with a learning disability. It was a good portrayal, I think.
  • I really enjoyed the romance aspect of it.
  • Overall, I enjoyed the book. There was an interesting plot, I enjoyed how the characters were portrayed, and I felt like everything was wrapped up well at the end.
  • I enjoyed their grandmother too.

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • The book moved a little slow. I guess that’s just part of the genre, but still.
  • Rose seemed a little shallow. There is more to a person than a history of being bullied and liking to read.
  • Not enough pug.
  • There was one POV of Jim that we didn’t need. At all. I didn’t want to know that he was fat and bullied and a bumbling virgin before he got attractive, that didn’t make me like him more, it made me like him less. Tons of people are bullied and they don’t turn out to be dickwads.

Would I recommend it?:
I bought it at Goodwill because it had a pug on the back, and I’d recommend you do the same. It’s on Amazon for $0.01, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting it cheap. It’s not the sort of book I’ve give raving reviews about, jumping in my seat to recommend it, but it was enjoyable and it kept me interested.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/In-Her-Shoes-A-Novel/dp/0743418204