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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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

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

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

I Outlined Something and It’s Not Romance|Writing Fiction

Writing update: I have been working thoroughly on the same few stories for the past three or four years. Most of which fall into the women’s fiction/Romantic comedy plots. Although these stories come easily to me, as well as the dialogue, I have a hard time writing them. It’s the “in between dialogues” I have a hard time expressing. I think as a person I’ve grown to where I can’t articulate love and romance the way my sixteen year old brain would. Don’t get me wrong, I do adore my stories and I think there’s something special about the originality of my plots. Maybe not the writing so much. It needs some work hehe. But…lately I’ve been feeling like something is missing. I don’t feel proud of these stories in the way that I should. Writing them for myself is one thing, but I still don’t feel accomplished enough to show these stories to others.

When I started writing longer stories, my end goal was to get into fantasy/supernatural/horror fiction. Because these genres generally take longer to plot and write, I thought maybe I could dish out some quick love stories in the mean time. However, I have been struggling. And my mind won’t shut up. About the future. About where I want to take my writing.  To be frank, I won’t even consider traditional publishing with the romances I write. The plots may be good, but the writing is not. There is just something I can’t exactly pin point that I don’t find there. When I read work from years ago, my voice is actually there. I don’t know why I’ve been experimenting with my writing based on questions asked in social media. My previous blog post deals with losing my writer voice.

These days I can’t hear it and it frustrates me to no end. Not only do I want to be a good story teller, I want to be a writer. And there’s a difference.

So, earlier today and not for the first time a thought crossed my mind. An idea about Caribbean folklore. I’ve often been afraid of delving into my country of origin in fear of not doing the country and people justice. I fear not correctly portraying something or offending somebody. Every idea needs a good plot as well.

And by the time I took a shower tonight, the plot and the protagonist had written themselves in my head. Suffice to say, I’m feeling good about it. I feel comfortable. Maybe I’ll come back to my romances once I’m done or once some inspiration hits me, but in the meantime, I roll with the supernatural story. I hate wasting time so at least, I plan to work out the details and make a broader outline over the next week or so.

Fellow writers, do you make writing as complicated as I do? Sometimes I annoy myself. I exhaust myself. Truly.

Have a great weekend. Talk to you soon.

xo Kat