My creative writing mentor in high school passed this on to me to help make my stories more coherent. Various writing rules change all the time but th...moreMy creative writing mentor in high school passed this on to me to help make my stories more coherent. Various writing rules change all the time but the one thing is constant. A character's goals, the obstacles they face to get to said goal, and the character's decision to face them or turn away. This book is an excellent structure for both new writers looking to hone their structure and veterans who want to revisit and compare their story structure with this classic model. It follows the hero's journey (The Ordinary World, The Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, Meeting With the Mentor, Crossing the Threshold, Tests, Allies & Enemies, Approach, The Ordeal, The Reward, The Road back, The Resurrection, Return With the Elixir) which is usually identified with the high fantasy genre. This outline is mostly used in screenwriting but can be used to help structure a novel or short story.
Even if you are writing a different genre than the fantasy paradigm, this book an awesome jumping point for writers to add to their arsenal. Revisiting The Writer's Journey as a writer myself of about two decades and seeing how writing has changed over the course of the time puts this in a new light. I'm glad to look back at this time as I'm currently taking a blueprint workshop which makes use of beat sheets, also used in screenwriting. It's interesting to see how similar beat sheets are to the writer's journey. I highly recommend this to writers if only to learn the rules, apply it, write and rewrite until you're comfortable bending and stretching the rules a bit to tell a great story.(less)
I've had Ms. Smith's Spaces New Adult series on my TBR pile which I so need to move up after reading Found By You.
Roxie and Griffin were adorable and...moreI've had Ms. Smith's Spaces New Adult series on my TBR pile which I so need to move up after reading Found By You.
Roxie and Griffin were adorable and I wish their romance side kept up after the first love scene. I loved the scene where he came to watch her play roller derby and invited her to that evening's party. She thought he wasn't interested when he hopped off the bleachers to leave but then returned with a whole group of his friends to support Roxie and her team, complete with a sign re-inviting her to the party. What a guy!
I did like that Ms. Smith included the fact that sponsors essentially bribed players to sway them to play pro on their teams which happens in both basketball and also football from what I've been told by the players in my family. That hit a nice sense of realism that added a layer of tension between Roxie and Griffin when she found out about his past. I didn't blame Roxie for being apprehensive about entering a relationship with him considering how he got around. But his current actions and sweetness swayed me to like him just like Roxie. Missypoo also had some skeletons in her own closet. I was shocked to find out some things she did herself and it kept me reading as it didn't really go with her personality. I was curious to see how the author would mesh her earlier actions (or lack thereof?) with Griffin while exposing herself to strangers. I was glad to see it revisited later but I really wish that aspect of her life wasn't there so as to make her seem hypocritical when she brushes Griffin off for the prostitute incident.
Other than that, my other gripe was the language sprinkled throughout the book, particularly by Griffin. I usually stick with pretty clean reads and I'm glad that the spacing was easy enough to gloss over most of them.
Ms. Smith is a fantastic writer who knows how to pull you into the story with great characterization, a fast paced story and interesting characters. I appreciate her love scenes were more sensual than crude and really brought out the emotion rather than rely on autonomous body parts or x rated language. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work!
This book is for mature audiences only. 18 yrs and up due to language and sexual content.
***I was gifted an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review***
3.5 - This was a wonderful surprise read! Ms. Soule has a way with words and the thing that really popped out to me was her dialogue. Main character S...more3.5 - This was a wonderful surprise read! Ms. Soule has a way with words and the thing that really popped out to me was her dialogue. Main character Sloane Masterson was a nice mix of Veronica Mars and Sarah Bailey (from 1996s The Craft), a snarky teen but not annoying. Instead, I was intrigued by her world loved that she enjoyed many of the same things I did (with a nice shout out to Konrath's pen name) and that she seemed comfortable in her skin. Sometimes YA heroines are over the top YA but Sloane read genuine to me and I loved the way she spoke and presented herself. I love that she was attracted to Hayden but was turned off by his attitude. Often heroines are so swoony over heroes that they ignore the jerky personality so it was nice to see Sloane acknowledge that. I was eager to dive into Ms. Soule's world and as I read on find out revelations with who Hayden and his brother are and who are on their trail, I couldn't help but enjoy putting things together alongside with Sloane. The sci-fi romance aspect was very much welcome and proved why I love SFR in the YA genre. Being a world building info junkie, I'm dying to know more about the alien community.
This is the first in a series so there is a bit of a cliffhanger but the story and dialogue make this a worthwhile read and a very fun ride. By the end, I was eager to read more of Ms. Soule's works. I recommend this for mid to older teens due to some minor language, sexual content and situations.
***I was gifted an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review***(less)
I've had Type N on my shelf for some time and now I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner because this book was a gem to read! I had a hard time...moreI've had Type N on my shelf for some time and now I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner because this book was a gem to read! I had a hard time putting it down and was so disappointed every time I had to go do something. That's a great sign for a book making my keeper shelf and this one has earned it! The strength of Remember Me lies in the characters.
I love the way Ms. Onuorah gives each character their own personality which bounces off each other so smoothly. The Tyverson's were such an adorable family! The kids came across precocious yet respectful and never annoying. I enjoyed seeing them come together to help Kristen through her recovery. I also loved how awesome Mark was and how tender, patient and supportive he was of his wife. He reminded me of my own husband and I often found myself reading and stepping into Kristen's situation to empathize with her. Her journey back to her family was one that had me cheering and sometimes I even wondered if she'd get her full memory back. I loved that the story was inspirational and the subject of faith and God fit right into the healing process.
I hesitate to call this a mere romance because it was so much more than a romance story. It's a story about falling in love again, finding out what really matters in life and learning to trust. There were a couple of great side stories the author dealt with regarding Caleb reacting to his mother's return, how it affects his schooling and also another story about the death of Mark's mother and the rift between his father that were dealt with in an engaging manner. The characters all felt like living and breathing human beings and a family I wouldn't mind knowing in real life.
The one criticism I have is the narrative style which was slightly confusing due to the head hopping POV and omniscient perspective. The characters and writing were strong enough to suck me in each time and after a while, I embraced it as a style choice from the author.
I appreciated the fact that the author didn't spend too much time on Kristen's life before she went to Afghanistan. It gave this reader a chance to go on the Tyverson's journey back to what life was like before Kristen left. I was cheering for Kristen and many times wondered where the story may take me. Some readers may find the course of actions predictable but those wanting a comforting, inspiring and uplifting read will devour Rememer Me and find themselves revisiting the Tyverson's journey in the future once again. (less)
Love this book! I thought Moya's closed off personality was justifiable and I had a feeling she was protecting herself. I love that Brandon never gave...moreLove this book! I thought Moya's closed off personality was justifiable and I had a feeling she was protecting herself. I love that Brandon never gave up on her. The secret about his condition kept me reading as well as seeing how he'd break Moya's shell. I thought the tension kept me reading with interest right until the end.
I'm glad this and Victoria H. Smith's book were my first real forays into the New Adult genre. I like the cleaner and more subtle NA reads rather than the over the top ones and after reading this book my expectations are pretty high. Aside from a few language instances, this was a pretty clean read that the whole family can enjoy. Due to the heavy situations, I'd probably suggest this to readers about 15 and up.
This book stayed with me and I was so glad to see the next book continues with Moya and Brandon. I'm dying to read more about them and dive back into their world!(less)
Deceptive Innocence piqued my curiosity after I read the blurb. It kind of reminded me of the recently canceled Meagan Goode series Deception and I wa...moreDeceptive Innocence piqued my curiosity after I read the blurb. It kind of reminded me of the recently canceled Meagan Goode series Deception and I wanted to see how the author weaved a story of revenge with a developing romance. Well, it's not called an erotic thriller for nothing! The serial format that seems to be prevalent in 'edgier' sexy fiction these days makes it appearance here and although that didn't interest me much, I must say I do love the linked up covers for each installment.
Although I found the premise interesting, I couldn't really get into the book. The revenge aspect was interesting but the coldness of the main character Belle and her 'on the surface sexual chemistry' with revenge target Landers left me wanting more of an emotional connection to make me care for her journey. I felt bad for what happened to her mother and how she was treated but I would have loved to have more complexity to Belle's character rather than "turned on", "angry revenge mode" and "cool, calm cucumber mode" to showcase her character.
Deceptive Innocence may not be my cup of tea but readers looking for more edgier fiction with detailed sex scenes and dark characters will enjoy going on Belle's journey of revenge while battling her desire for her target.(less)
I'm a sucker for marriage romances and being a Hallmark fan, I love the fake marriage/engagement trope. Couple that with a winter themed sweet romance...moreI'm a sucker for marriage romances and being a Hallmark fan, I love the fake marriage/engagement trope. Couple that with a winter themed sweet romance and I'm hooked!
I liked the way Seth and Layla interacted. Although I felt that Layla was a bit dim at times in not seeing Seth's interest in her, it helped to keep the conflict going and to see them draw closer to each other. Not to mention it added fuel to their cute back and forth banter. I must say my favorite part was when Murphy swooped in to save Layla in the first chapter. The encounter happened at the wedding and Layla was in a tough spot seeing her ex get married (to her snooty, plastic and self centered cousin worthy of any slap-worthy Hallmark villainess), so in order to save face Murphy takes Layla as a fake fiancee to save face. Layla is quick to end the story as she must keep the facade up but when a chance to make a big impact for her career presents herself, she asks Murphy (much to his excitement) to keep the facade up until she can nail the job.
While on the subject of Murphy, I love this character! He was sweet, caring and he would do anything for Layla even if it meant putting his own reputation on the line. Although he's not a stereotypical alpha (thank goodness, we need more sweet betas in romance) he was drawn in such a way that I couldn't help cheering for him to get the girl. I also loved Ms. Hunters description of him being a strong, fit guy with a gentle heart. Swoon!
The inspirational aspects were low key but there. For Christian romance fans, it delivers everything they are looking for in a short fiction format. Don't let the novella length fool you, there's a sweet and satisfying romance story between these pages and if you're a reader like me with a short amount of time on her hands, this one is a perfect sweet story you can finish in between things on your to do list.
I'm looking forward to reading more of the stories in the series! (less)
Dust Girl wasn't really what I expected when I got it. It started out pretty awesome and it engaged me with its interwoven story and complex character...moreDust Girl wasn't really what I expected when I got it. It started out pretty awesome and it engaged me with its interwoven story and complex characters. Then it went downhill as I kept reading on. Sadly, it was a little more realism than fantasy and I had hoped to see more of the fae realm and world. I would have loved a bit more worldbuilding and less cardboardy type characters. There was a death towards the end of the book that felt forced and a Native American character that felt like he was just tacked on without any care for his character or culture. I did love the 1920s atmosphere, music and the fact that our heroine was bi-racial with her AA father as the King of Seelie Fae. It's a great twist with a diversity of characters we don't get much in this genre. Even though I didn't love Dust Girl, I still plan on continuing the series to see how the story arc and Callie LeRoux's fate turns out.
After reading and loving the Iron Fey series and coming from a fantasy reading background, I may be a bit biased in wanting more speculative elements but readers of historical fiction may enjoy reading Dust Girl.(less)
I've been meaning to read Shadows of the Past for some time and I'm glad I finally had a chance to read it. This was such a fresh read. Both Anne and...moreI've been meaning to read Shadows of the Past for some time and I'm glad I finally had a chance to read it. This was such a fresh read. Both Anne and Genevieve's stories are told in a parallel fashion. Genevieve's story leads the mystery as her tale unfolds in the 1400s as a nun in a monastery. Poor Genevieve lived such a hard life losing her loved ones to terrified townsfolk and Anne begins to pick up the pieces when she and her husband Neil (whom she wishes to reconcile with after a recent infidelity) are vacationing. The cover paints this as a more explicit and sexy read than what's between the covers and I was thankful to see that it wasn't. I loved the way the story started seemingly on opposite ends at first but slowly came together to tell a unified story. It was tragic yet engaging tale and I think historical fans will enjoy the medieval scenes that brought the time period to life. This was a nice story to read after a slew of fluffy romances and I'm thankful to read it when I did.
Thank you to Ms. Stefanescu for the read in exchange for an honest review!(less)