Love & Madness by Leah Parker| Book Review

Title: Love & Madness

Author: Leah Parker

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Synopsis:

After a one night stand with Ty, Luna finds herself pregnant. On the up side, Ty wants to raise this baby with Luna to make it work, but they’re both basically strangers. They both make an effort until their individual struggles get in the way.

My thoughts:

Let me begin by saying this is not a happily ever after read. And i’ll follow that and say I still recommend this book because the journey of it is worth reading. Luna and Ty’s story touch on a number of issues such as depression, substance abuse and toxic relationships. What I really liked is that the author didn’t tell her audience that Luna suffers from depression over and over. She showed that. It was realistically done and very relatable. Sadness is not depression. Depression hits even when everything seems okay and everyone around you loves you and supports you.

Ty has a past with alcoholism, and that too is a greyed area. It’s a misconception to think alcoholism is a choice. There are issues deeply rooted in Ty’s past that leads him to this.

Overall, I’d say this book touched on heavy subjects that’ll give the reader an intimate insight of mental health. Romance, love, family, humor are all part of the package if you decide to pick this up. Rated four stars!

Happy Reading

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

Choosing Character Names|Writing Fiction

Hello Bookish Folk!

Time and time again I’ve come across the following in writing groups:

  • How do you name characters?
  • Where do you find character names?
  • Character naming is hard.

I thought I’d put together a post with all of my tips in case someone asks again 😉

  1. Be mindful of genre – A fantasy story involving elves won’t have names similar to a romantic comedy.
  2. What era is your book set in? – I’ve seen current popular baby names in books, but these characters are between 18-30 years old. Some of these names weren’t even known back when these characters were babies. Similarly, if you’re writing something set in the Victorian Era, then your character names should coincide.
  3. Different Initials for Different Characters – It tends to get confusing when you name two main characters or even a supporting one with similar first name initials or similar sounding names. Eg. Jason & Jacob
  4. Ethnicity/Origin – If you wish to diversify your cast, you need to name them accordingly. Some research can help you decide on a suitable name. If you’re like me and write diverse characters but the book isn’t based on their diversity, a particular name can help the reader gain an idea of what your character looks like.
  5. Special Meanings – Sometimes you want to name your character according to the theme of your book. A perfect example is the cast from the Lunar Chronicles. Wolf. who is a werewolf is called Wolf. Some names can give meaning to your story as well. And not just in fantasy but in contemporary. Names like Hope, Faith, Harmony also have underlying meanings to the plot. Another example could be Holly or Eve for a Christmas themed novel.
  6. Name Check – Most names are more common than you think. If this in some way bothers you, do a name search in google. It’s recommended to avoid name association. However, with common names like John Smith you’re bound to come across in abundance.
  7. Names that are easy to pronounce – I have a different opinion here because I do like to write people of different ethnicities and cultures. My suggestion, or what I’d do is to include a pronunciation guide at the front or back of your book. Maybe even a little definition or origin information depending on the kind of book you’re writing. Again if you’re writing fantasy, names that are hard to pronounce are inevitable. So don’t let that deter you from naming your character.

Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by and if you have more tips on naming characters, please comment them down below.

xo Kat

In The Gray by A.D. McCammon| Book Review

Synopsis:

Writer Lori Stevens has a brief encounter with Officer Steven Duncan one morning. She buys him a cup of coffee and the gravitational pull between them was instant and electric. Steven wants to see Lori again, but Lori doesn’t do dates or relationships. Broken by an abusive past, Lori ditches Steven and pursues her writing even further, by telling the story of Ashland. Ashland was also abused in a way society doesn’t see it as being abused. Lori connects with Ashland on that level. They both self-blame and carry around feelings of shame and guilt for something that was done to them. Some time after Lori ditches Steven, she runs into him again, only this time he’s dating her best friend, Cat.

Despite the circumstances, Lori and Steven form a friendship which is neither good or bad. It’s In the Gray.

My Thoughts:

This book is a romance about two people coming together, but the priceless take away from this story is its message. Abuse isn’t black or white, and victims living in grayed areas can often feel isolated. They might believe their pain is meant to be overlooked because of the unclear picture that most of society has of abuse. I appreciate the author telling the stories of Lori, Ashland & Juliana in this series to bring to light the stigma that women face as victims of abuse. It’s an eye opener for all who live with this secret and guilt. I myself, am not free of this kind of abuse and I never speak about it. I try to uplift my fellow women and encourage them to speak out, but I NEVER EVER speak about my experiences with abuse. Before I say anything I’m uncomfortable with, I’ll say this one thing. This story is inspiring, and I feel like a small seed has been planted in my head to be open with my story. It’s still very difficult for me to mentally process what happened in the past and I doubt it very much I can write a tell-all about myself but I do work small fragments of myself into my stories.

My rating: 5 stars!

 

Follow author A.D. McCammon on Facebook and Instagram by simply searching her name. She also has a FB Reader Group called AD’s McReaders for her readers to connect with her and her writing.

Xo Kat

Red Lights, Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco| Book Review

Author: Fabiola Francisco

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Synopsis:

The story follows Sam, who works in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. In the beginning we learn that Sam has been running from her past and possibly herself by fleeing to Europe. She eventually meets Max, a traveling businessman from Germany who shows her that she can be loved, she can be healed. If only she would look deep within herself and want that for herself.

My Review:

The writing was beautiful…philosophical and poetic. Even with nothing going on, it was interesting to read. Red lights, Black Hearts is a testament of Sam’s healing. She explores the depths of her pain and suffering. She finds comfort in Max’s company and words, which lead her to love herself again, build herself up from the ground.

The book starts of kinda steamy but then it tapers off into therapeutic conversations between Sam and Max. Max serves as her support system throughout the book. She didn’t want him, she needed him. That was the vibe that I got. Overall, a neat story about redemption and healing.

My rating: 4 stars

Here’s the link to add the book to your TBR! Follow the author on Facebook, Instagram and join her FB reader group Fabiola’s Fab Reads to connect with other readers who loved the book.

Check out Red Lights, Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31142569

Xo Kat

The Dreams by Matthew R Fleming|Book Review

the dreams cover

 

Genre: Horror Fiction, Thriller

Synopsis

Five strangers wake up in an eerie forest with no memory of how they got there. As they try to catch their bearings, they realize that they are not alone and something sinister is watching them, baiting them, almost like a predator playing with its prey. They find themselves suspecting of each other especially when one of them goes missing and presumed to be dead…killed to be more specific.

My Thoughts

The Dreams is a horror novel that is written in true horror format in my opinion. A well-crafted plot that left me satisfied and wanting a movie out of it to be honest. My most favorite parts about this book is the building suspense and tension. I was so suspecting of each of the characters and found myself paying attention to every little detail about them. I also appreciate that the author wasn’t over-explanatory as to stray from the main story. Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely. Any true horror fan would enjoy this read. I must say although I did share a similar theory to the climax of this book, it did not disappoint at all.

Here’s the link to my newly created FB page if you want to keep up with my blog on there:

https://www.facebook.com/Bookish-Kat-582027968799821/

You can also see what I’m up to on Instagram and Twitter @bookishkat7

Happy Reading! 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

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

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

In Love with my new Kindle Paperwhite

Words cannot explain my excitement. I’ve used the Kindle App on my phone or tablet for years and I never thought to buy the actual thing. I figured I could do everything on the app and I’d see everything on a colored display.

But…recently I’ve been having distractions when reading. I feel disappointed in myself when I count how many books I’ve finished in 2017 so far and I’ve set a reading goal of fifty. Shame! Shame! Shame!

I’ve long stopped buying paper books unless I really feel the need to have it in my hand, or smell it. This Kindle Paperwhite is probably the best thing I’m going to purchase all year.

Here’s why I love this thing so darn much:

  • No messages/notifications popping up at wee hours of the night to disturb and distract my reading.
  • The size is definitely a plus for me. Reading on an eight inch tablet is uncomfortable for me…I’ve busted my lip and bruised my cheeks when it falls on my face so the size and weight is definitely ideal. (It’s a six inch screen btw.)
  • Comfortable feel. One thing I really love is the screen doesn’t start exactly at the bottom so there’s a little space to hold in one hand. Super comfy stuff!
  • Portability. It’s definitely lighter and smaller and can fit into my bag easier than a tablet.
  • Battery Life. Well I bought this on Saturday and I haven’t charged it yet…it’s still running. The thing with reading on a tablet or phone is it’s always almost dead but the kindle gives you a lengthier life.
  • And last but not least…it’s not a tablet so my kleptomaniac kids cannot watch that Daddy Finger song on it…Bliss!!!

Overall I do feel happier to be able to read without the social media distraction. I turn on my Kindle and completely lock of the world…well after I put the kids to bed of course 😉

XO