The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry|Book Review

Synopsis:

Christopher Bauer and his wife Hannah, both work at the hospital as an orthopedic surgeon and nurse respectively. One night, a small child is admitted, in bad condition nothing short of horrifying. The child, Janie, is around 6 years old, but looks more like a toddler in size. Janie suffers from multiple ailments, physical ones due to abuse, and mental ones, due to neglect. We learn that Janie’s mother was killed, and the police found Janie bound and tied up in a trailer with chains. Janie’s recuperation is a long road ahead, but the Bauers, who had formed a connection with Janie at the hospital, takes it upon themselves to foster Janie as they may be in the perfect profession to care for someone like Janie.

Genre: Thriller

My Review:

This was a horrifyingly gripping read. Each page made me impatient to get to the next, however disturbing the details grew. Told from the POVs of Christopher Bauer and Hannah Bauer(Janie’s adoptive parents) and Piper Goldstein(Janie’s case worker), enough story was given and enough story was held back to show a brilliant case of unreliable narration. The pacing was great, not too detail-y and boring, kept me invested for sure. Short and concise chapters, just the way I like it.

At times, the adoptive parents were naive and possible stupid but i can’t fault them for that. They were first time parents who took on a situation bigger than they can handle. Right off the bat, I knew that these characters and their story wouldn’t end wrapped in a pretty little bow. Again, something i like. I read elsewhere about the abrupt ending, but i honestly can’t complain about it. Some stories need to challenge readers to interpret their own understanding of what happens.

This book gave realistic insight into the repercussions of child abuse and neglect. As much as I was disgusted and heartbroken about what happened to Janie, the author also showed how truly sinister she could be.

Butterfly Trap by TL Fisher|Book Review

ButterflyTrap FINAL Ebook

 

Title: Butterfly Trap

Author: T.L. Fisher

Genre: Dark Romance, Romantic Thriller

Rating: 5 stars

Review

Nikki Kraemer wakes up in a basement and realizes she’s been kidnapped. She’s also tied to a filthy mattress and dealing with a drug withdrawals. The days are long, the nights even longer. But she develops a sort of friendship with her captor, Isaac Burns. She tells Isaac all about herself, although he doesn’t say much about himself. Slowly, she develops an attachment to this dark, mysterious man. She finds herself falling for him as he falls for her. But it’s not clean. They’re both messed up people with harrowing pasts.

Being inside these characters’ head was a treat for me. I love the broken, the hopeless, the irreparable. Life isn’t always sweet and happily ever after doesn’t always happen. The ending of this book left me with hard emotions. It was a beautiful experience that made me appreciate the book even more. So, if you’re looking for a dark, deranged story with a small light at the end of the tunnel this one is for you. I hate to spoil endings but I must indicate this isn’t a happily ever after, white picket fence ending. But it does have a beautiful, heartfelt ending that’ll leave you with a book hangover.

 

Award: The Unique Blogger Award

unique-blogger-award2

Hi Bookish Friends!

I have been nominated for The Unique Blogger Award by the awesome beachbookworm. My apologies for getting to this so late. Thank you for considering me for this. Go check out beachbookworm’s blog if you haven’t already.

The Rules:
1. Display the award!
2. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
3. Answer the questions they’ve written for you!
4. Nominate 8-13 bloggers and give them three questions in the spirit of sharing love and solidarity within our blogging family!

Beachbookworm’s questions:
1. When someone asks for just 1 book recommendation, what do you tell them?

Before anything, I ask the genre they’re looking for because sometimes a great book can disappoint when it’s not what a person is looking for. I recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak a lot because it has all of the feels, and I just love the way its told from Death’s point-of-view.

2. If you were to write about a different topic for your blog, what would it be?

When I first started blogging, I had the intention of covering more health based topics revolving around diabetes as I’m diabetic myself. I also wanted to talk about my struggles with depression and anxiety in hopes that it can help at least one person. Although my blogging is more reading and writing now, I still like to drop those inspirational posts from time to time.

3. What new book release, this year, has been the biggest disappointment?

Ah that’s a hard one. Hehe. This year I’ve been reading more indie authors than traditionally published. Unfortunately, I have to refrain from saying which and what was a disappointment as it might be taken wrongly. I will say this however…sometimes the tease of the book and its cover is better than the actual story.

I nominate:

My book blogger friend Diary of a Bookfiend

I know I’m supposed to nominate more people but I’m not sure who else has been nominated for this award yet. If you haven’t, please consider yourself nominated and here are my three questions for you.

  1. What genre do you not read and why?
  2. Which fictional world would you like to live in?
  3. How did blogging about books start for you?

Improve Your Craft| Writing Fiction

I think it’s safe to say that self-publishing and traditional publishing are two different ball games. As someone who’s leaning more towards the self-publishing side, there are many factors that need to be considered, and learned, before venturing into the indie scene. Hopefully I can leave you guys with some helpful tips on researching markets and target audiences for your books sometime next week, but today, I want to explore working on the craft itself.

Firstly, I have seen many mistakes by authors who not only are debuting but authors who have 3 and 4 books published. Mistake being, lack of working on the craft. Most readers of indie books are looking for quicker reads, with engaging pacing. And to be able to do that, you have to improve your craft in a way that’s different than just writing a story you feel like writing. You have to pay attention to what’s succeeding in the market you are going for, and then work on that.

Often I sugarcoat things, but I’ll just go ahead and say…bad writing is bad writing. Even I know when I’ve written something atrocious. Ever since I was proposed with the idea of entering the self publishing industry, I have done three things. I studied the craft(something that’s ongoing in my life), I have studied the market and I’ve been researching how to step into that entrepreneur shoes of being both an author and a publisher. I will be creating in a separate post on how to do the things you are told to pay for when self-publishing, for free. So stay tuned for that.

Back to improving your craft. I will give you some pointers here.

  • Storytelling vs Great Writing
  • Story Structure
  • Read, read, read.
  • Practice makes perfect.

Storytelling vs Great Writing

Many times I’ve come across books where the writing is almost painful to get through and in most cases I don’t continue reading. But then there are books that are not written so well, and I can’t get enough of the story. This my friends is strong storytelling skills. See, it’s not every time beautiful sentences can structure your story for you. Every story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. This is the basics of any form of composition. In between those phases, you need to learn tactics on how to hook your reader and leave them wanting more of the story so that they continue turning pages. On the indie scene, you have to learn all of the above and do it in the most effective way possible. These readers go through books quickly and it’s less likely they’ll want to invest two or more weeks on one book. Not only do you have to improve on your writing itself, you have to improve on your storytelling skills. I’ll go ahead and say right here, do not use filler content to make word count. Short stories and novellas are equally as successful in the indie scene, and even more so than full length novels. I’m mentioning this because I see it more often than not. A recent book I read and enjoyed with not so great writing or grammar was The Kissing Booth. I’m not of age to be reading YA anymore, it was a bit of a guilty pleasure. This book is testament of how important storytelling is versus wanting to write like some of the greats. I might sound stupid here, but on the indie scene, it’s what it is. If your plan is to self-publish, you have to learn who your readers are.

Story Structure

Every story has at least one main character. There is a plot surrounding that character in which he or she go through a series of conflicts to reach their main goal. This is as basic as it gets. One mistake I see some writers making is taking on much more than they are capable of and the feedback you might get if you do this is choppy writing. So you want to tell a story but you also want to refine that story and not stray from your main goals. And I say goals, because there are sub plots to a story depending on what the writer intends. When you’re starting out, one advice I can give you that’s worked for myself is writing from one character’s perspective. I’m referring to first person point-of-view as it seems to be the preferred method these days. Sure, readers want to get inside more than one character’s head but that’s not necessary to show what other characters are feeling or reacting to. Part of improving your craft, is training your eye to see every other character through your main character’s eyes. Dialogue is a very easy way to show what another character might be feeling.

Read, read, read. 

I can’t remember who said it, but the quote is, “Every writer is first a reader.” In most scenarios that’s true, but I’ve also come across very successful writers who say they were not really into reading before they started writing stories. And that’s really admirable. As an introvert, I learned more from books than anywhere else. Ok, well maybe Youtube. The point is, if you lack experience with writing or even life experiences to be able to stay consistent with your story idea, you can benefit quite a lot by reading. Whatever your genre is or interests are, read those type of stories. Pay attention to character development, sentence structure, narrative structure. Pay very close attention in creating conflict and resolving conflict…first chapters and last chapters. Subconsciously, your brain absorbs this knowledge but don’t just read for reading’s sake. Approach every book like a lesson to be learned.

Practice makes perfect.

While I can never see my work as satisfying enough to put out there, I have been trying to kick that attitude and just write without fears. Now, in the last two years, I haven’t published anything and I removed my two novellas from kindle because I wasn’t satisfied but it was a good learning process. To the world, I am not a writer because I don’t have anything published currently, but to myself, I know I write over 100K words per year on average. I say average because it could well be more than that. I write and I write and I scrap and I scrap. And I get frustrated because I’m not finishing things as fast as everyone else. But when I look back at the last two years, I have learned so much about the craft by just writing. So this writing, I consider it as good practice, as a learning curve. I have learned to write in different POVs and tenses and no matter what people say, that isn’t easy. I’ve learned to articulate and execute my stories better. I’ve learned how to work on my characters to give them definition and not be so flat and consumed by the plot itself. So that practice writing has served me as a teacher in the last two years.

You can write the story you want to write, you can write the story for a target audience. It doesn’t matter which way you decide to write your story, you should be improving your craft as you go along. Your second book should be an improvement to your first and so forth. So, if that first story is causing you frustration and you want to give up writing, always remember that your craft can and will be improved over time. I always stress on staying determined and persevering. Giving up isn’t an option if this is the road you wish to take. As always, thanks for stopping by. I hope this was helpful in some way. Leave me a comment if there’s anything concerning writing you think I should make a post about. Have a great weekend keep writing! xo Kat

 

 

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

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

Becoming Bloody Mary| Book Review

Becoming Bloody Mary by [Doyal, Stephanie]

Book Title: Blood Mary (A Short Story)

Author: Stephanie Doyal

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis & Review

Bloody Mary is set in the 1800 hundreds and starts with couple who has two daughters. One daughter (Mary) has black hair and gray eyes while the other has blonde hair and blue eyes like their parents. Her sister, Elizabeth is favored over Mary by their parents and the community. When Mary goes out, whispers follow her. People suspect that she is not her father’s child based on her appearance.

As they grow up, Mary has great relationship with Elizabeth. In fact, Elizabeth is the only one that sticks up for her. They’ve both reached an age of marrying but it’s only Elizabeth that attracts suitors. However when Mary sets her sights on one man, she falls in love.

This tale isn’t so clear cut as you can see from the title. Mary is betrayed, and her reaction to her family’s actions are worse than anyone can imagine. This is a tale of tragedy.

A quick engaging read. Kept me turning pages. If you’re into short stories then this one is a good read for you.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles Bk 3) |Book Review

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles Book 3) by [Meyer, Marissa]

Book Title: Cress

Book Series: The Lunar Chronicles

Number in series: #3

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-fi

My Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

This installment begins with Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf on the run. Their mission is to over Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Cress, the title character, is trapped on satellite in space. She has exceptional hacking skills and is ruled over my Sybil Mira. One of her tasks is to track down Cinder and turn her over to Queen Levana. She also wants to break free of her prison, and on contacting Cinder, the group decides to rescue her.

All hell breaks lose, when the group splits up.

My Review

A longer read than the first two books but definitely more captivating than book two. So it was a fresh outlook on the series. The writing and action was also better. In this book we see a lot of action, which is admirable since it’s so hard to capture a action with words. The book also takes some getting used to if you like less complicated reads. Meaning there is a bigger cast and the story follows most of them.

Highly recommend if you enjoyed The Mortal Instruments or Shatter Me. The premises may be different but it delivers when it comes to a wide range of characters, a lot of plot and action.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

Where the Shadow Lies by Cassie Sharp |Book Review

Where the Shadow Lies by [Sharp, Cassie]

Book Title: Where the Shadow Lies

Author: Cassie Sharp

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Synopsis

Jael Tindle, unlikable in her community because of her unapproachable nature. She receives a note that nearly sends her to the point of insanity. The note brings with it a blast from her dark and deadly past and Jael will do anything and everything to protect her son from this past. She hires Private Investigator, Zander Williams to follow her son for his safety. But Jael isn’t so safe herself. Danger begins to follow her everywhere she goes. Everywhere she turns, the plot thickens. Zander, who is drawn unknowingly to Jael, digs up her past and is determined to protect her through it all until the mystery is solved.

My review

For a debut novelist, Cassie Sharp is a brilliant writer. Not only does she weave this dangerous tale with complicated twists and turns, she delivers it in the manner of an established author. I always stress on the fact that I read for the writing, not only the story and this book did not disappoint. The vocabulary was used articulately to give the reader a proper assessment of feelings and actions. Cassie also hit the nail on the head with showing not telling.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the events of the story itself. No plot holes. With every chapter I was left wanting to know more and more. This…takes talent. Hats off to the author. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

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