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

 

 

 

 

 

Reading an old Manuscript

Hi Friends!

It would appear that my body does not recognize Saturday mornings. I was just up very early and no turning or twisting could put me back to sleep. So I hopped off the bed and made coffee. Something I love to do for my own sanity and everyone else’s safety, is sit down, drink my coffee and read emails or messages before the kids wake up. When they are up, my brain has to run on a different speed so it’s nice to have some time to prepare for that chaos.

For some reason, I woke up this morning with my very first completed manuscript on my mind. I’d written it way back in 2015, but it had been in the works for longer than that I believe. The writing is mediocre at best. Maybe even worse than that. The story, not so compelling if you ask me. But I am enjoying reading it…discovering those characters again. They are still alive in my head but I haven’t lived with them for a long time, since newer characters have taken up residence. It was nice to go back and get inside their heads.

Back to what I was saying about it being a horrible piece, and how I could ever think to publish such a mess for 99 cents. One thing that struck me, was the confidence rolling off the pages. I’ve never had a steady relationship with confidence but boy did I possess such drive and determination. I’ve always said back then, I wasn’t worrying too much about the audience or book covers or marketing. I just wanted to write stories and I wrote.

After learning about this indie author industry, I’m intimidated to say the least and I think that holds me back. I would love to step back into those shoes of confidence and just write. Whether it be good or bad, I just want to type “The End” on my stories. There’s so much swimming in my head, in notebooks all over my house. I just want to write. Nothing else.

I’m going to go back and finish read that manuscript and see if I connect with 2015 Kat at some point. Have a happy weekend folks! Yay for three day weekends!

xo Kat

All of You(Rebel Desire #3) by Fabiola Francisco |Book Review

All of You (A Rebel Desire Novel Book 3) by [Francisco, Fabiola]

Book Title: All of You

Book Series: Rebel Desire Book 3

Author: Fabiola Francisco

Genre: Romance/Country Music

Synopsis: Cassidy Rae works tirelessly at a diner to make ends meet. Her only focus in life is Rae, the daughter she’s raising alone. Rae’s father is out of the picture. That’s because Cassidy Rae never told him about her. She meets Jason Stone, a country music star who can’t take his eyes off of her. Soon after, Jason is not only inching his way into her heart and life but also Rae’s.

My review: After I read this book, there was a sweet aftertaste in my mouth. None of the characters were douche bags even the one’s that you think might have been. A very charming story with a handsome hero and a strong heroine. The lightness of this book is just what I need in between more complicated stories. That isn’t to say Cassidy Rae didn’t face her own trials and tribulations in this story. But I’ll leave that for you to read about when you buy the book. Completely recommend if your love heartwarming happily ever afters.

I rated this book 5 stars 🙂

Happy Reading Bookish Folk!

xo Kat

Book Release + Giveaway| Butterfly Trap by TL Fisher

ButterflyTrap FINAL Ebook

 

Title:  Butterfly Trap

Author:  TL Fisher

Cover Designer:  Regina Wamba of MAEIDESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC

Blurb:

Can two tortured souls find beauty in each other?

Party girl Nikki Kraemer is terrified when she wakes up tied to a dirty mattress in a basement that bleeds and breathes death.  Her reality grows more terrifying as she battles her addiction at the mercy of her deadly captor.

This is no ordinary day for Isaac Burns.  He has a dangerous secret that has eaten away his moral integrity for ten years.  Today is the day he will confront his inner demon . . . but Nikki is no ordinary woman.  She is certainly not what Isaac expected.

This romantic thriller treads in dark water and some of the subject matter is not for the faint-of-heart.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

***BUTTERFLY TRAP is a Romantic Thriller and does contain some content meant for mature audiences.

To enter a giveaway of this book: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/aa4016073/

Should Book Reviewers be Censored?

Before becoming a part of any online community of writers and readers like myself, I have never felt pressured about writing reviews. I don’t think I’ve left comments that bash an author or their work. I don’t believe in that but similar to having an opinion on a movie, us readers have opinions on books. The general public needs to understand that one person’s opinion does not affect the success or failure of a person’s book. Not every book will be loved or perceived as a great piece of writing by every reader. And we should have these discussions.

There are books that I loved and other readers didn’t, and I didn’t feel entitled to pressure them into liking it. I didn’t give them a long list of reasons why I liked the book and why I think they should like the book. Nothing in life works like that. Similarly, I’ve come across a lot of books that I couldn’t get past page one and these books have tons and tons of five star reviews. Bear in mind that readers come in all different age groups, cultures, preferences etc. What works for you won’t work for them.

Then why am I feeling so pressured when it’s time to leave a negative review? Not even negative but like a four star. I feel like if I’m not fangirling as hard as other people, they tend to get on your review and bash the crap out of you. Basically, you are bullied for not having the same opinion as the masses. Hmmm, why does that sound familiar? Look, Goodreads ain’t Facebook and it shouldn’t be a breeding ground of hatred. Writing is an art form, an expression of an author. It can be interpreted in many different ways by many different minds. A reviewer should not feel the need to censor themselves or falsify their reviews to please the majority. No. Instead, take these kinds of reviews as analytical feedback.

I don’t know about you but even if I read a few bad reviews and the book sounds interesting to me, I’ll still give it a chance.  As a writer and a book blogger, I feel like I often need to censor my opinion on a piece of writing in fear of being shunned or bullied in online groups. I think it’s unfair. Criticism should be taken in two forms: With a grain of salt, or for improvement. That’s just my two cents here.

Disclaimer: This post is in no way defending book reviewers who leave fake 1 star reviews or spread hatred towards any author. 

A reader should be free to express their thoughts and feelings about a book, whether it be in favor or not. One should not be attacked for having a different take on things. Like I said, one bad review doesn’t make or break a book. Good writing or bad writing does. And it will show eventually. JK Rowling was rejected by publishers. Until this day, there are people who don’t like the HP books. I recently heard someone say Chronicles of Narnia was boring, and that they almost walked out of the movie. There is no greater place for my  imagination as Narnia. So you get my drift?

I’ll leave the post off from here, because I do want to discuss good writing vs storytelling but that’ll need its own post. Also, in relation to this post, I will be discussing Goodreads as a platform for readers and writers alike.

Thanks for reading, and hope you guys an a fantastic Friday and awesome weekend ahead. For my fellow bloggers, how do you deal with leaving negative reviews? Have you ever been bullied?

xo Kat

 

Am I getting bored of reading romance?

Let me begin by saying this post is in no way meant to bash romance writers, readers or books. Till date, it remains one of my most read genres. However in the last few years, I’ve closed book after book, after reading only a few pages. There were a few of them that stuck, and were enjoyable to me personally. And I say personally because we all perceive stories in our own way.

I think what I’ve been coming across lately has also impacted my contemporary romance stories as well. In a more negative aspect.

I’m a different kind of  reader, as we all are. I particularly enjoy romances like the ones Nora Roberts writes. Why, you may ask? Aren’t they all the same? Boy meets girl, sparks fly, happily ever after. While I agree on the formulaic expression of a romance book, I like the deep plots, and also sub plots. I enjoy the characters, flawed or searching. Good overcoming evil. It sounds cheesy but most books have this concept. Let’s not stray. Coming back to why I’ve been having a hard time finishing romance books for the longest time. I think it’s in the writing, more than anything else. I appreciate flawed characters, damaged ones. So it isn’t the art of storytelling that’s putting me off. It’s the way the story is being executed.

One of the reasons why I feel it difficult to just publish my stories out into the world, is because I feel like they are not ready. As a reader, I want to aspire to be a writer like the ones I admire. And my work is not up to par. I believe most content in a book should be meaningful, every dialogue should be progressing the story. I have no problems with mundane dialogue here or there. Don’t get me wrong. I love descriptions and visualizing how an author builds their world, be it realistic or fantasy or dystopian etc.

The core problem I face with reading some of these books are the meaningless filler content. Over descriptions of one character’s actions. Over description of one’s thoughts and feelings. After a few chapters, it get’s redundant. I get that it’s easier for some to write in first person, and while it’s amazing to get inside of a character’s head. The entire book can’t be a monologue where only one character thinks or feels. There’s too much repetition using beautiful words and phrases to convey the same feeling or thought–the same personality–all throughout the book.

Every line of dialogue is followed by a physical reaction one character makes. While that’s not incorrect, it shouldn’t be overdone. A line of dialogue can tell the reader exactly what mood or kind of person the character is.

Have you ever heard the main character’s voice in a whiny tone in your head? It happens to me more often than not.

Recently I read Garden of Shadows by V.C. Andrews, and I thought it executed an entire story in first person POV very well. The story was able to progress, and relate events without being repetitive. In fact, there wasn’t an instance where a feeling or thought conveyed was mentioned twice. The main character was able to describe the reactions/expressions of the other characters in such a way that the reader knew them as well. I honestly think it’s a book we can all learn from in terms of pushing a story forward without stopping in every chapter to repeat things using beautiful words.

What do you think about romance nowadays? Do you read it? I’d like to find more that I can love, so if you have any suggestions, please drop them down below. My next post will discuss erotica in romance books, so stay tuned for that.

Happy Reading Bookish Folk!

xo Kat

In The Gray by A.D. McCammon| COVER REVEAL + Giveaway!

Good Day Bookish Folk!

Lately, I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with romance books which I’ll cover in my very next post. But somewhere in between all of those DNFs(Did not finish), I’ll come across ones written by A.D. McCammon. Her first two books, In This Moment and Crushed can be found on amazon.com for only .99 cents from 3/15 – 3/22.

Crushed made it to my best reads of 2017 simply because it was written beautifully. A.D. has a way with writing emotion that doesn’t sound whiny or pretentious. Her characters, and situations are very real, and her plots are of substance. I appreciate romance writers who can weave a tale without unnecessary filler content, and unconvincing conflict.

Without further ado, let me reveal to you the stunning cover of her newest novel, In The Gray.

in the gray cover.jpg

 

Cover Designer: Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae
Release Date: April 19th
“There isn’t always a clean beginning and ending to every story. Instead of something being black or white, it’s a mixture of both, forming a nice shade of gray.”

Writer Lori Stevens was eighteen when she was assaulted by her mentor, learning people aren’t always what they seem the hard way. She’s found solace living in the gray, keeping everyone at arm’s length with her secrets safely tucked away.

When the biggest story of her career hits too close to home, Lori is forced to face her demons and question everything—like her feelings for Steven Duncan.

Steven was meant to be nothing more than a failed one-night stand, but when a cruel twist of fate brings him back into her life, she begins falling for him.

There’s one slight problem: he’s dating her best friend.

Officer Steven Duncan is no stranger to tragedy, but that never stopped him from searching for his fairytale. Now, he’s dating the perfect girl, only it’s the wrong girl who feels right.

Steven is willing to fight for Lori—to step outside the boundaries of his black and white world—but can they find happiness living in the gray?

Here are the preorder links for In The Gray:
   
 
Click on the links below for a chance to win stuff!
$25 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY:https://www.facebook.com/admccammon/
 

As always, thanks for reading my friends. And good luck with your new book A.D. ❤

xo Kat

Am I obsessed with twins?|Writing Fiction

Like many other writers, I have this little book of ideas. It’s raw, undetermined. Most of the thoughts in there may not even reach full on story level. I have noticed, however, that there’s more than one plot involving a twin.

There’s a twin dynamic in my current work in progress so I’m getting a chance to explore into that relationship. I don’t have a twin, nor do I think I’m friends with twins so it got me to thinking…what is really my obsession with this twin thing.

Some of what I write comes from deep within. A place I find difficult to explore when I’m not writing. There’s a loner shadow that’s been following me all of my life. I have trouble connecting with people, mostly because of trust. And as I think about it now, I remember wishing for a twin so hard that my mind was a little confused for a while.

FYI, I don’t think this is weird. It’s similar to having an imaginary friend. Anyway, before I go off topic as usual, I believe that twin obsession starts with me wanting to connect with someone at such an internal level. Not just on the surface but to be able to touch each other’s souls. You see, I’ve never had that and subconsciously my stories write themselves with such emotional connections.

For instance, my main character references sharing a womb with his twin and how that affected him during his life. I can’t imagine a bond like that. My character also references things like a dislike of dressing the same or one twin seeming like the younger sibling. Of course as their lives progressed they developed different personalities but in the beginning there is such an intense closeness that can’t be explained or calculated by anything of this world.

Maybe my admiration for that makes me write twins into my stories every now and then. It’s definitely something to think about. I’m also inserting a small disclaimer that I may not have the most correct representation of twins but this segment is called writing “fiction”. So bear with me.

As always, Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to leave me your bookish thoughts.

xo Kat

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