This is the second of Connie Sokol’s books that I’ve read. What I like about them, what draws me to them, is their simple method of just telling us liThis is the second of Connie Sokol’s books that I’ve read. What I like about them, what draws me to them, is their simple method of just telling us like it is, in a way that doesn’t demean, doesn’t point fingers and doesn’t say ‘you’re bad for doing things your way’ even if ‘your way’ hasn’t been working. At first, I didn’t think Life’s too Short would apply to me … until I finished reading page two. Ha! You see, the whole book applies to me.
Because I’m a woman. I’m a mom. I’m … human.
This isn’t a self-help, in your face kind of book though. My revelations that ‘this is like me’ and ‘this applies to me’ came through self-exploration. In fact, I intend to re-read this book to really feel and think about the contents more.
What Connie does is infuse her life into the lessons learned to show people how, yes, even a mom of seven can have fun and sometimes overdoes it.
One thing I will note is that while I agreed with much of the book, I think I’ve already found happiness and found a way beyond some of these issues. For example, on the notes of having fun and delegating, our family’s dinner table experience is a barrel of laughter almost every single night. I’ve delegating dinner to my 15 year old son who, yes, gets paid to cook, but only a small stipend. That savings from my time though is priceless and he earns from it.
You see, I think much of what Connie has written, is actual common sense, but like so many of us, we’re forgotten what it’s like to just be ourselves because we’re mired in the day to day of being who the world wants us to be. We aren’t all perfect. We aren’t always the June Cleaver’s of the world and some of us don’t want to. If we recognize that, we can actually help ourselves, help ourselves. That is what I think Connie’s book does. It empowers through experiential accomplishment.
If that’s something you need, I highly recommend this short book....more
A unique main character with her own set of flaws and kick-a$$ nature. Her pet is one of my favorite parts of this story but I won't spoil what 'he' iA unique main character with her own set of flaws and kick-a$$ nature. Her pet is one of my favorite parts of this story but I won't spoil what 'he' is so you can get the full effect. Super fast paced, awesome descriptions and a great start to the series....more
Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski 4.5/5 The quickest read of the group but a great opener. Totally hiOverall rating 4.5/5 (so wish GR did 1/2 stars!)
Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski 4.5/5 The quickest read of the group but a great opener. Totally hits the mark on that cover. Love that in the face of self-sacrifice, that the woman gets far more than she thinks she deserves.
The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford 4/5 Family connections are really strong in this one - to the point they make the story. Love the fantasy world setup in this and the mix of otherworldly creatures, too.
Birthright by Lynda R. Young 4.5/5 This one has a LOT more story that could be written. It's got romance novel written all through it with a powerful beginning, though the connection to complete the story as is is there, too. Very cryptic, I know! Love the mix of contemporary with paranormal and how Christa finds herself.
Petrified by Kelly Said 4.5/5 Magic. Mystery. Mayhem. This one IS the cover, to me. Oddly, here is the best depiction of it in all the stories - like this one wrote what is written in the cover. Another self-sacrifice story with a wonderful end and not exactly what you think, either.
Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton 4/5 Another self-sacrifice story, but one mixed in with selfishness (on some people's parts) and a totally different world in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic setting. I liked that this was totally different than the rest with its settings and purpose.
Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield 5/5 I love how J.A. Belfield writes, and I'm so connected with her Holloway Pack, I would have read this no matter what! She, however, breaks off a little, but not as 'little' as we think and brings into play a totally new set of critters—I mean people—to introduce us to. Wondering, wondering, wondering, if there will be more to this one.
A wonderful, wonderful anthology, perfect for a snuggle up by the fire. Each story is a quick read making it perfect for one sitting or six. ...more
::tears:: I didn't want it to end. Why oh why oh why must books have a last page? Rise of the Magi especially. I have grown to love Lila and Liam, Cas::tears:: I didn't want it to end. Why oh why oh why must books have a last page? Rise of the Magi especially. I have grown to love Lila and Liam, Cas and Brig, Andrew and Neve ... and Garrett ... and all the rest. And there they go, into the wild blue yonder or whatever the new fae city will create just for them, no longer there for me to see and interact with.
That is, of course, unless I go re-read the books ... for a third time.
Might just have to go do that.
Bravo, Ms. Adams, on a spectacular series. ...more
I have to admit, I picked up this book 1) because it was free 2) because I'd heard about its popularity, 3) despite being a self-published book, the wI have to admit, I picked up this book 1) because it was free 2) because I'd heard about its popularity, 3) despite being a self-published book, the writing was solid enough it didn't make my eye twitch in the first 10 pages, and 4) I was thoroughly intrigued by the premise.
Issues Yes, I have some serious issues with this book. Big ones. Serious ones.
- It was way too freaking long. Wow. All I can say is description could have been cut in half and it *still* would have been too long. I started skimming paragraphs (which means I read the first and last sentence and scan what's in between) around page 20. Now most who know me would say, then how in the world did you keep going? You'll see. ;) But geez louise, this one was an epic. I gauge how long a book is by seeing how many pages it takes my Kindle % record to update. Normal books are 1-3 clicks. This one had to be 8 clicks per % (or that's how it felt). I put the thing down 4-5 times because I was like, 'okay ... enough description already'. Yeah. It's that long.
- There are arcs (side stories) in the story that have no bearing on the overall premise. The story is about Mary and her life. 100%, the focus is Mary. But there is a Kyle-Claudia-Rowen-Leroy arc that at the end of the story has no closure. Everyone else has some 'link' to Mary at the end, but these four do not. It's like it's own story within the story but with no particular reason why these four had a story to be told at all. Could it have been cut to shorten? Actually, no. These guys made the story interesting. Really. Kyle was a very strong character and the rest were either conflict, issue or support. But ... it ended without them having more detail where it concerned Mary.
(view spoiler)[- The revelation at the end that Daisy was Mary's daughter was too covenant and obvious. (hide spoiler)]Throughout the story, Mary is keeping 'a secret' but the problem is ... she tells us ALL about everything else that happens (view spoiler)[and when we find out Daisy is Mary's daughter (hide spoiler)]in the last 2% of the book, there's no time for us to learn how that TRULY affected Mary. We know where her anxiety comes from and it's pre-Daisy. Despite the length of the story, this little blip would have been so nice to see ... to understand ... to FEEL. This entire book is so over-descriptive, but even if you skim you can FEEL these characters and this is SUCH A HUGE issues and we never got to feel it. I'm very disappointed in this mystery solved without letting us feel it like the rest of the story. This was just so underdeveloped, but such a CRITICAL piece of the story that it was just ... ::sigh::
- Leroy's conflict seemed inserted just to have a bad guy. He had nothing to do with Mary. That's probably my biggest issue with all story arcs that didn't show a direct relationship. If there was any sort of a relationship with Mary other than the one time they met when he was a teen, I would have understood it's inclusion, but without that, it's like this 2nd story just going along with the real one.
- So many perspectives makes it hard to really get into any one character's head. I will say Father and Mary though were by far the most defined as we were in their POV MOST of the time. However, we were in so many others that we never fully understood what made them them. Sure we got back story, but just to the point we'd move on to another character.
The good part! Moving on, I'm going to switch gears a little bit. Yes, I had issue, but if I have issues while reading, and those issues aren't negated by something awesome, I don't keep reading. Period. And I did read all the way through to the end on this.
- Mary's tragedy of a life is a perfect backdrop for this book. It's a conflict made for a book and it's a conflict we can all understand. There is absolutely NO paranormal in this book (surprise to my readers! LOL). But part of the story is set through the 1900s until 'today' and we get to experience a lifetime in one book. Ha! That's probably why this is so freakin' long. ;)
- Mill River is the perfect setting for this story. The house, the town, the people — all perfectly set and staged. We have the rich, the middle class and the poor. People act like people. They love, they fight, they hate. They are just one big group of people being ... people.
- Watching the town from above (which is what Mary does) and 'reading about the town' from the book made me think/feel *I* was Mary. We both had this outsider's view. Since we had a lot of time in her perspective, I wonder if this was deliberate. I mean she was a recluse who only watched and learned little bits and we did too. If so, bravo! That was genius and worked very very well! If not planned, then well, kudos! It still worked!
- Even though the side stories didn't tie together in a way I would have liked, they really added to the story. I'd start reading about Mary (in the past) and think I need a break only to change to Kyle or Claudia in 'real time'. This back and forth kept me always looking for what was coming next and what would be revealed and wanting to know more.
- I really liked Claudia with her issues that so many of us face. - Kyle is an awesome main male. I'd like to see a Kyle/Claudia romance book even! - Father is awesome. He was more fully fleshed out than anyone in the story. Perhaps that's because he's the simplest of them and it didn't take as much to make him 'him'. - Leroy was a good 'bad guy' but in a sense he was only the 'bad guy' because there needed to be one.
(view spoiler)[- Daisy was just cute. I will say I was lost about ages through much of the book. I thought she was young in part of the story. Then about 75% of the way through I learn she is in her 60s. Well, if Mary died at 85 (was it?) and she had Daisy at 16, that would mean Daisy was actually 69 when they 're-met' and saying Daisy was in her 60s was a little pushing it. Yes, true, but still. If Mary was 82, then Daisy would be 65 which is more reasonable, but calling her 'in her 60s' with the character development that was built really threw me, though I knew, somehow they were related right from the beginning and was just waiting for confirmation. (hide spoiler)]
- The rest of 'the town' helped define 'the town' which is a character in and of itself.
The verdict With all these issues and all these likes, what do I 'rate' this book? It gets a solid 3 stars which means it had issue enough it wasn't perfect (but I have to say most aren't) but it's also a book I could easily recommend to my literary fiction reading friends. Yes, it's a good book. It's a good, clean, solid, emotional, feel-good, feel-bad, love the characters, hate the characters book. I applaud Ms. Chan for her success (she self-published! You go girl!) and for taking the time to have/create a compelling cover, blurb and to have editing done on the book. As a writer, I had my issues, but none of them kept me from reading the book.
So yes, this one is recommended. Enjoy a good read. :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm a follower of Regan Summers' and her alter-ego on Twitter and Facebook and love the humor she infuses in her daily life spotlights. I expected/hopI'm a follower of Regan Summers' and her alter-ego on Twitter and Facebook and love the humor she infuses in her daily life spotlights. I expected/hoped I would see the same in Don't Bite the Messenger and there, I did!
The story follows one very unique character, "Mary" aka Sydney Kildaire, as she goes from manic vampire courier in Alaska to retiree in sunny Hawaii. Of course, her plans and what actually happens are 100% different than she expects them to be.
Sydney is a character in and of herself. She's sharp, confident, strong, mostly sensible and crazy. You'd have to be to be a vampire courier. This was the one point I got really lost with and I can only guess I hit the button on my Kindle too fast or something, but I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out WHY vampires needed couriers. Why the job would be dangerous, I got, but why they were needed in the first place remained a mystery to the end of the story.
However ... it's RIGHT THERE in the book's description. So if, like me, you go, huh? at the 'why' behind the job, read the description. It's 100% explained there. That being said, the whole story made sense — the conflict and plot that is — once I knew that.
I quite fell in love with Malcolm and quite liked Sydney. I realize a few people thought it ended too early, but I felt like I had all my questions were answered at the end. Sure, this was part one of 'x' but the reality is that this story was "THE" story. This was the backstory to whatever's coming. While I would have preferred continuing on with the story, I also saw where getting Sydney under Malcolm's control and in her relinquishing her control, confidences and life to him were the key to the story.
As independent as she was, she needed to have a body guard — a someone to care for her. That's where Malcolm comes in and that's what this book did for me. It built up their relationship, the why and how and the potential for problems while giving me enough to fall in love with them as a couple and then pushing me to want more but also having all the answers to THIS story.
Heart’s Desire by Julie Reece I have a thing for stories where the main characters have a history. Add in a history that comes in an underwater fantasyHeart’s Desire by Julie Reece I have a thing for stories where the main characters have a history. Add in a history that comes in an underwater fantasy world and you’ve just doubled my interest and intrigue. I wish we had more time to meet and learn about Cam, but that would have taken a whole novel. The snippet in this short makes me want to know more about him. The grief that comes through at the opening with Tessa is one I can’t exactly connect with because I haven’t been through it, but I could feel it and that to me is exactly what’s so important. I need to feel and I did.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian Claire Gillian has a humorous way of bringing two people with the most opposite characteristics together. I laughed out loud in quite a few places and imagined Circe’s frustration in several others. Otis was a cute as a button (for a guy). I fell in love with him like a sister to a brother. I wanted HIM to win. While I didn’t have that feel for Circe (for good reason), he I rooted for. Gotta love a guy like him. Seriously. Otis rocks.
Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said This one had, by far, the most amazing imagery. Told from both Miki and Harmon’s perspectives, we have both an independent girl and a guy who doesn’t believe in fate. Yet it’s the water that brings them together and what he can do for her is truly magical. I love that this isn’t an “I’ve fallen in love with you” story in such few words, but a story of just finding that relationship and getting through the beginning hurdles including the common torment that they share in a ruling family who’s bent on ruining them both. It takes them together to go to the next step.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams What a way to end an anthology. Pain of loss? You’ve felt nothing until you’ve gone through Wyatt and Nixie’s life. Separated by water and land, these two have only one spot they can be together and their relationship is nothing less than what I’ve felt throughout my own 24 years with my husband. The exception comes in the end. That’s where Jocelyn Adams paints a picture that I could never imagine and the torment Nixie feels makes me hope I never have to go through anything like she does. This one will make you cry. It will. So after you read it, hug the ones you love and know, with the end, the power to heal will be there.
Bravo to four amazing authors. For a summer read, this is fantastic. Shorter than a novel, longer than a novella and in four ‘bits’ that are easy and quick to read.
I love the Holloway Pack. I love Jem, Sean, Ethan, Nate, Connor, Kyle, Dan and Josh. Oh yes. Yes. Yes, I do.
So, let me tell you about Eternal.
This isI love the Holloway Pack. I love Jem, Sean, Ethan, Nate, Connor, Kyle, Dan and Josh. Oh yes. Yes. Yes, I do.
So, let me tell you about Eternal.
This is prequel #2 (which means story number .5) in the Holloway pack series. It comes after Instinct and before Darkness & Light, yet I read Darkness & Light ages ago. So what’s up with all these prequels? Well … all these awesome novels have stories within the history. And some authors, like J.A. Belfield have taken the time to write about what happened BEFORE the novel started.
So that’s where Eternal stands … before Darkness & Light.
It’s actually the continuation of Instinct, which brings Jem and Sean together.
Eternal, on the other hand, takes their story to the next level.
You see, Jem and Sean have a history. A long one and we learn about that in Darkness & Light. But in Instinct, we get to see it begin and in Eternal we get to see it bloom.
That’s the awesomeness of this. I get to fall in love with Jem and Sean and then learn more about them, their history, what brought them together, etc. in a short story.
And … as so many know … I love novellas because they are short and usually very fast reads. I can get hooked into a novel and have to put it down 10x due to ‘life’ but a novella is often a one-sitting read and Eternal is just that.
So … we have Jem and Sean. We’ve established that they are werewolves (or at least one of them is) and now, it’s time for them to stop going about a normal life that isn’t and get to the big ‘M’ word. See, Instinct and Eternal are set in the 1800s which means, culturally, Jem and Sean shouldn’t be living together. But they are (progressive?) and now it’s time for Sean to make that move … to ask Jem to marry him.
Of course, he can’t do that the ‘right’ way and in his failure all sorts of craziness ensues, including a few strangers who might want to take Jem up on her still-single-hood-nature. Is it possible to break up Jem and Sean?
Well … if might be if he doesn’t get his act together and get a little help from a few people for the long-term.
Love it. Love Jem and Sean. Love Eternal. The Holloway Pack is one of my favorite groups of people....more