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

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

 

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

 

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

I Go Off The Radar on Weekends

A few years back, I would admit that I was a slave to notifications, always checking my apps, always looking to see if my comment was liked or commented on by peers or family. I’ve never been a crazy picture poster as I have always valued my privacy, but I did post more than I do now. A thing happened, a misunderstanding or miscommunication with a best friend that I had since high school and it woke something inside of me.

I realized that I really don’t need social media to exist. In fact, I loathe opening Facebook or Instagram to stare at people’s lives, miseries. I no longer have a personal Instagram, it’s more of a Bookstagram nowadays and I don’t reach for my cell phone as frequently as I did throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love socializing, taking about interesting things, learning new things but I’m not that invested into people’s pictures & life stories. I appreciate bloggers who share, writers who write, readers who read, and yeah…that’s who I’ve become.

Is it a bad thing? A good thing? Perhaps it’s where i’m meant to be at this stage in my life. Bookish talks are my jam and i’ll make an effort for that, and bookstagram, but when I pick up my kid from school on Friday afternoon, I ditch the phone. It’s there for an emergency call but I don’t lug it around in my pocket. Even when I’m out it stays in my bag, not my hand.

What I’ve learned from detaching myself from the phone is that time is precious, and available when you’re not sucked into the vortex that’s Facebook.(i say FB because that’s the only personal social media I have). I’ve learned to utilize time by targeting my goals, really getting to know and develop a friendship with my children, and best of all, silence. Not everyone likes the sound of silence but I do, and I appreciate the few moments of it I get from the outside world. With each year, I also don’t find myself needing to say much on a phone call or on someone’s post. It’s often degrading to someone else, or poking fun out of someone’s appearance or shortcomings and to be frank, I never developed a taste for that.

Am I making any sense? Let me know in the comments how attached you are to your phone or if you choose to go radio silent like me in between. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading. You can find me on Twitter & Instagram by clicking the icons at the top of the page.

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

The Obsession by Nora Roberts| Book Review

Book Title: The Obsession

Author: Nora Roberts

Genre: Romance/Thriller/Suspense

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – At 12 yrs old, Naomi Bowes followed her father into the woods one night and stumbled upon a shocking & disturbing truth. From that moment, life would never be the same for Naomi, her mother, and her brother, Mason. Years later, Naomi’s past follows her wherever she goes, making her develop a nomad-like attitude for her job as a photographer, bumping around from place to place. In the present order of events, Naomi is in her late twenties and decides to root herself in a small town by purchasing a huge house in need of many repairs. She befriends the town folk and even finds love in Xander Keaton, the town mechanic. While Naomi busies herself with taking pictures and bartering them for odds and ends needed around her house, and sparks fly between her and Xander, her horrific past resurfaces and she can’t help but blame herself, and want to retreat into a space where she hasn’t opened her heart and life to others.

My Review – if you’re familiar with my blog, you’d know I love most of what Nora Roberts writes, how she writes, her manner of storytelling. It’s the way I love my own stories to be. A dash of romance tied in with mysteries, suspense and thriller.

I must admit I had an inkling of the climax in this book but not because of a weak plot. I’m just an alright detective(hehe). This book was very character driven. The characters were fully explored and examined, their growth and progress added to the story. Without all of this meaningful clutter, I don’t see how the main plot would work as a whole book. Overall, I would recommend it as it doesn’t narrow in on just a romantic story. That’s just a fraction of what this book is about. Without selling the story away, I’ll say it’s a tie in of murder, mayhem, healing, strength.

*Before heading into this book you should know that there are some dark moments, mentions of rape, torture and murder by a disturbed serial killer. *

Thanks for stopping by. 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

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