Book Review: Where The Heart Is by L.S. Pullen + Q & A with Author

Where the Heart Is by [Pullen, L.S.]

 

Book Title: Where The Heart Is

Author: L.S. Pullen

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4/5

 

 

Synopsis:

The story begins with Felicity Jamison returning home for a funeral. We see her combating severe anxiety as a result of a horrific incident in her past. Amidst her struggles and dealing with the loss of a family friend who happens to be Nate Davenport’s grandfather, she’s cornered by her feelings about Nate, her estranged best friend. 

Nate on the other hand, is enthusiastic about reuniting and closing the gap between himself and Felicity. However, Nate has questions. Why did she leave? Why did she distance herself?

You’ll have to read the book to see both Felicity and Nate overcome their demons and grief. 

 

My Thoughts:

Where The Heart Is, is a second chance romance filled with everything you need in one. From heartache to laughter, angst to affection…it’s all there. I enjoyed the read. I found both main charaters to be likeable and very relatable. L.S. Pullen handled anxiety with a level of authenticity I hardly ever see. The story was easy to fall into and experience from the main characters’ point of views. As a debut novel, I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely looking forward to the other stories in this series.

L.S. Pullen was gracious enough to do a little Q & A for my blog. Keep reading to learn more about her exciting journey and what’s to come. 

1) Firstly, a big congratulations on your debut release. I enjoyed every second of it. How has the responses been so far?

-Thank you so much. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. So far, so good. A lot of the feedback has been positive and very much appreciated.

2) How did your writing journey begin?

-I always enjoyed writing stories growing up, kept a diary, and said I’d love to write a book some day. Somewhere along the way I lost myself, but I fell back in love with reading in 2012. All because of Tarryn Fisher. After I finished The Opportunist I had an epiphany and it’s when I said “I’m going to write my book now.” And I did. I had been writing on and off but it was the last two years everything came together.

3) What inspired Felicity’s and Nate’s story?

-It was inspired by what was meant to be my first book Heart of War, and the story of their grandparents. But after losing the whole draft, with the exception of three pages, I decided to write this story first. Heart of War will now be the prequel.

4) I really enjoyed the supporting characters in Where The Heart Is. Can you tell us a little bit about what’s next for the series?

-Dysfunctional Hearts will be next, Charlie and Sophie’s story, I wrote it along side WTHI. I have a finished draft ready for some TLC hopefully I will be able to share it early 2019.

5) Every writer is first a reader. What books got you into reading and who are some of your favourite authors to recommend?

-Wow! How long do you have?! Growing up, it was books by Hans Christian Andersen and Roald Dahl. J.R.R.Tolkien LOTR and The Hobbit. Stephen King. Classics, I love a classic. Okay, and I admit it, Mills and Boon and the occasional Sweet Valley High book. Always Tarryn Fisher, Stephen King, Colleen Hoover, Willow Aster, Amy Harmon, Claire Contreas…so many talented authors out there. Not to mention a tribe of new to me authors.

6) Would you ever consider writing outside of contemporary romance?

-Yes, absolutely. I have a few sitting in a WIP folder on my laptop, itching to be free.

7) Because we’re on the topic of romance…what’s your idea of a perfect date?

-My idea of a perfect date…no idea to be perfectly honest! (Insert introvert here* ) I do love my home comforts, maybe a nice meal at home with someone who makes me laugh and a good film.

8) Tell us a little more about yourself. Besides reading and writing, what else makes you happy?

-I love photography, films, art and music. Being a dog mum was the best, I miss my pooch very much, memories of her bring me joy. But anything I can do to lift others. It makes me happy seeing others happy.

You can keep up with the author via the following social media links. As usual, thanks for stopping by.

Xo, Kat.

Website: http://lspullen.co.uk

Facebook: http://facebook.com/lspullenauthor

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lspauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lspauthor

 

 

 

 

 

Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi|Book Review

I’ve got back to back book reviews 🙂 And I’m happy that I completed four books in January so far. My secret goal is to do four a month but I don’t want to do any bragging yet because I know myself. Life gets in the way.

Finally finished Shatter Me, and started Forget Me Not by Willow Winters. I finished that last night. It was that good. Without further ado, let’s get into the book review.

Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi

Initially I thought this book was fantasy YA. I honestly didn’t know much going into it other than people get hurt when the protagonist touches them.

Juliette Ferrar, a seventeen year old girl has been imprisoned in an asylum for three years. The asylum is not your usual asylum, as she suffers abuse and starvation during her time. She’s completely isolated and only gets shower liberties once a year.(I can’t remember if that’s right.) Her parents have forsaken her since she’s hurt people in the past by touching them. She feels like an abomination and loathes herself. The world has also fallen apart and a movement called The Reestablishment runs things in this dystopian novel.

She’s joined by another prisoner at the beginning of the story, who turns out to be her childhood friend, Adam Kent. Oddly, Adam is immune to her touch. As they figure this out, they both plan to escape the asylum and the brutal Warner who wants to use Juliette’s abilities for his own twisted aspirations.

My Thoughts:

This novel is very uniquely written and I can see where many readers can be put off. However, I liked it. I enjoyed it but I probably won’t read another series with this type of narration. I see it as Juliette’s personality, but I wouldn’t want to read another book character in the same tone. Juliette uses an abundance of metaphors and similes all throughout the book. One really has to acquire a taste for it. She also narrates by repeating phrases over and over and there’s lines in the book scratching out unnecessary narration.

I couldn’t believe this book was professionally edited judging by it’s lack of punctuation and cringe worthy numbers instead of spelling out the actual word. I finally accepted that it’s probably what they were going for.

I admit the writing is beautiful, capturing and over descriptive at times. There are many hook lines to tug at your heart and that’s what carried the story in my opinion. This novel was a lay up novel. No real plot and climax. And at the end, although I’m curious to know what happens next, I feel like I’m stepping into the world of X-men. The romance aspect weighs in more heavy than anything else in this story. But I can understand the audience that this caters to.

This is just my two cents. I don’t hate it and I hope the rumors about a TV Series are true. I’d watch it for sure. I always stress that I’m not a YA kind of reader so for me to really want to know more about this series, that says a lot.

Thanks for reading! Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’ve read this one before and what you think.

xo Kat

 

Captive Rebel by Erin McDermott|Book Review

Book title: Captive Rebel (The allegiance book 1)

Author: Erin McDermott

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: Destined to be enemies, bound by fate…

Prince Ariston rules over the Allegiant – an elite faction favored by the Greek Gods. Separated from his family at a young age, he became a prisoner to the rebellion.

Marylyn O’Conner is a rebel, forced to do the rebellion’s bidding until an unforgiving family debt is paid. A pawn in the war for rebels to gain their freedom, she is obligated to become a spy, or her family will suffer.

Driven by revenge after returning from captivity, Prince Ariston makes it his mission to hunt down rebel spies, capturing Marylyn O’Conner in the process.

Desperate, Marylyn knows she needs to escape her alluring captor, or risk the safety of her family.

My Review: For some unknown reason this book reminded me of Cinder(the Lunar Chronicles). The story is by no chance similar but my feelings towards both books were. Why? Because the characters were likeable, straightforward. There was no clutter in this book which I appreciated as a reader, and writer. Everything flowed, no loop holes, no mindless yammering. A romance, but not only a romance. And it ended well yet left avenues open for the sequels. Overall, I would recommend if you like YA Dystopian or Fantasy, Action & Adventure.

Happy reading!

Xo Kat

How to Write A Book Review

While most book bloggers and book reviewers out there write awesome and informative reviews, I’ve seen multiple discussions about how book reviews are done. In one of my writer groups, I’ve seen authors say they won’t read reviews because they put them off or make them feel a certain way. While I respect authors’ decisions not to read harsh reviews, I’ve also come across books being reviewed in a non-reviewing way.

Often, we don’t like stories or characters and feel it necessary to review how we think the book should end or what a character should’ve done. The majority of people looking at reviews are readers just like yourselves, hence, the review should be catered to that audience. I’d also like to note that there is nothing wrong with leaving negative reviews, but it shouldn’t be attacking in nature.

Here’s a few tips on how to cover a book review so that readers can get the best from it.

  1. Make sure you give it a star rating. You can give any book between one star and five stars. This is the first kind of review that readers are looking for. Not everyone actually reads an entire review.
  2. If you’re reviewing on your blog, make sure to include the title, author and genre of the book. Not everyone enjoys the same genre of books. Inserting this will help your review reach it’s relevant audience.
  3. If you’re reviewing on Amazon.com or Goodreads, a captivating title sounds more appropriate rather than “Okay” or “Good”.
  4. Write a brief spoiler free synopsis of the book, leaving out the climax. Your synopsis should end with something that leaves the reader wanting more. If you must leave a spoiler, Goodreads has a built in tool that allows reviewers to check. However, try to refrain from doing this on your blog without warning your reader.
  5. After you write the synopsis, then write your review, why you loved the book, why you hated it, how it made you feel, what it reminded you of etc.

As always thanks for checking out my post. If you have any more tips for book reviewers, I’d love to hear it. Happy Weekend!

xo Kat

Christmas On Thin Ice by Holly Blair | Book Review

Book Title: Christmas On Thin Ice (A Juniper Falls Holiday Romance)

Author: Holly Blair

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Lily Jordan has just found out that she is pregnant for a famous golfer who ditched her. With the recent demise of her parents and the debt they left behind, Lily and her two brothers has to come up with a plan to save their family business, a tree nursery and skating rink. In comes Noah to save the day by offering to buy a percentage of the Jordans’ business but Lily isn’t too keen on losing her family business, or heart so quickly. 

My Review: Rated 5 stars in Goodreads because this book was a warm and enjoyable read to kick start my holidays reads. A very short book, actually a novella that can be finished in just a few hours but it’s content is full of feeling and substance. Great writing too. I completely recommended this to any who enjoys clean Hallmark type Romance as much as I do. 

Happy Reading! Xo Kat

Thriller Recommendations| Halloween Reads

I haven’t been reading at my usual pace due to an influx in creative writing. That’s a good thing, right? Since I haven’t done much bookish posts recently, I thought I’d recommend some thriller reads. Halloween is near and I know everybody’s looking for a little scare. Now, these books are thrillers mostly in the psychological sense or mysteries if you will. They’re not haunting horrors and it won’t scare the skin off your bones but they do have twists and turns and I enjoyed them quite much.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The book starts with the death of Nel Abbott, allegedly drowned. We get the picture that Nel wasn’t liked very much by her community because she was dredging up all sorts of stories from the past, surrounding the deaths of the women who drowned at the drowning pool. It’s soon learned that a few weeks before, Katie Whittaker, a fifteen year old girl who was best friends with Nel’s daughter, Lena, had met a similar fate in the drowning pool.

Detectives Sean Townsend and Erin Morgan try to find out if there was any foul play in the deaths or if it was suicide, like the many who had died there before.

Past events are tied with current events and there’s themes of love, hate, jealously, abuse, all of the above. I finished this book very quickly and would recommend it to anyone who loves a murder mystery.

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

The Night Bird Starts with a girl Lucy riding in the car with her best friend. As traffic gets stuck on the bridge Lucy is somewhat getting paralyzed by her fear of bridges. Meanwhile her best friend freaks out for no reason and jumps of the bridge.

Once Frost Easton starts putting the pieces together, it’s revealed that Dr. Frankie Stein’s patients are being targeted by someone called the night bird. Dr. Stein is a psychiatrist that alters patients’ painful memories, for instance if they have a fear of something or a bad experience. The Night Bird is out for revenge and send them on a wild chase, with a lot of plot twists and turns.

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

Christine Lucas awakes every morning without any memory of who she is and who she is married to. Pictures tell her that she is married to a man named Ben. She believes herself to be in her twenties but in reality, she is actually in her forties. With the help of Dr. Nash Christine discovers the truth about herself and the disturbing things that accompany that truth.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

In This Moment by A.D. McCammon| Book Review

In This Moment by [McCammon, A.D.]Book Title: In This Moment

Author: A.D. McCammon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Elizabeth Shea is a widowed mother of two who’s having a hard time healing from the loss of her husband, Xander. She meets Brendon Scott, a school counselor with a disturbing past of his own. Brendon likes Lizzy(as she’s called throughout the book) from the get go, and although it takes her a while to offer her friendship, she eventually does.

My Review:

In This Moment is a sweet, cozy tale about second chances, healing and love. I’m a very character driven reader and I loved the way Brendon’s carefree attitude balanced Lizzy’s restricted one. The story revolves around their friendship which eventually blossoms into more. The author did a great job assessing the feelings of her characters, something I appreciate in the romance genre. It didn’t feel rushed at all, just progressive. Rated four stars on Goodreads, I think this is a great fast paced read for anyone looking for a fulfilling story about two broken people coming together.

Thanks for reading!

xo Kat

Thriller September Reads| TBR | Books

Halloween is already in my air. Two days of weather in the 60s and I’m already gearing up for my favorite season, the haunted season. Random Kat Facts: I didn’t grow up in the US so Halloween was just a TV thing to me but ohhh how I wished I could be part of that world. Growing up on movies like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus and a ton of horror movies which I wasn’t allowed to watch. Well…fast forward a few years and here I am. Both my kids and I are excited about it. Have any of you started picking out costumes as yet? We haven’t but my daughter is bouncing around ideas. I feel like she’s leaning towards Trolls.

Without further ado, let me explain my Thriller September theme for reading. I read most genres but I pick and choose what I’m reading based on what vibrations I’m getting, and recently I’ve been feeling a thriller/horror binge.

Here’s what I have in mind for my upcoming reads:

Current reads: IT by Stephen King – As with any movie based on a book, I read the book just before the movie comes out.

  • Great Tales of Terror by HP Lovecraft – I’ve always wanted to read Lovecraft because Stephen King, whom I absolutely adore has spoken about being influenced by Lovecraft. I love that it’s a huge volume with a lot to offer, can’t wait to get into it.
  • Penny Dreadfuls (Sensational Tales of Terror) – Compiled by Stefan Dziemianowicz
  • Kingdom Keepers II (Disney at Dawn) – Ridley Pearson
  • End of Innocence – Stephen King
  • Lives of the Mayfair Witches – Anne Rice

Most of these are what I’ve had on my TBR for the longest while. If you have any scary reading suggestions, leave them in a comment!

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

 

Crushed by A.D. McCammon|Book Review

I’ve been lucky this year to have found some well written romance novels. A lot of romances can get cliched and cringey, not any fault of the authors but I believe few of us writers really know how to capture the essence of true love, especially true first love. Well A.D. had no issues doing that. Love and heartache roll off every page in this book. It was beautifully written, and felt and what I loved the most or actually admire, is the author’s ability to keep love alive throughout the book without repeating herself. As a writer, I find this very difficult. I get very repetive once I’ve fleshed out my characters enough so I pretty much fell in love with the way this book was written. 

Here’s a brief synopsis…

Julianna has just returned to her hometown after being separated from her cheating husband. She has negative, and sometimes troubled feelings about returning to Tennessee. Soon after moving back, she meets up with Eric, her best friend in high school. As the book progresses we learn that Julianna and Eric both had a deep love for each other but never acted on it due to circumstances. They’d also broken contact for some time so it took them a few to rekindle their friendship, and admit their love for each other. 

There’s some suspense elements in this book and if you’ve read my blog before you’ll see that’s my favorite recipe for romances. 

Happy reading! Xo Kat

July Book Haul| TBR

Thrift store book hunting is becoming one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love finding such gems for super cheap. This month I had a small haul but I still thought I’d share since I’ve been so behind on blogging. Please excuse my lack of knowledge of these books as I’ve only read the back covers.

  1. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

jodi

I love the way this author writes and I’m disappointed that I haven’t gotten to a whole lot of her books yet. This book seems to be revolved around a school shooting and the witnessing of it. Sorry I can’t provide more details at this time as I myself am trying to avoid spoilers but I will provide a full review once I’ve read it.

2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

DaVinciCode.jpg

One of my favorites reads til date. I completely trust Dan Brown as an author to deliver a riveting and cinematic experience through his books. I’ve read this one but I couldn’t pass up the hard cover version at only $3 in pristine condition 🙂

3. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

kiera cass

I picked up books one and three, The Elite and The One respectively. I am not really huge on YA but the books were hard cover and in great condition for the price. The covers were also very pretty so I couldn’t just leave them there. It appears to incorporate fairy tales and romance with a nail biting plot but we’ll see.

Hope you liked my tiny mid month haul. Stay tuned for my August TBR.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat