*Leah Raeder’s Unteachable is a masterpiece. She literally makes each word, each sentence count. Each sentence is some kind of flavorful, colorful mix...more*Leah Raeder’s Unteachable is a masterpiece. She literally makes each word, each sentence count. Each sentence is some kind of flavorful, colorful mix and crisp as an autumn leaf. The pace is as fast as watching an indie film and its just as just as raw and real.
Maise O’Malley is at a carnival one night when she meets an incredibly handsome stranger. They hit it off with amazing chemistry that same night and ever since then, she dreams of him.
School year begins the next month and her film studies teacher is none other than the amazing man from the carnival last month. Evan Wilke. Eventually their attraction is very hard to deny and their passion burns the pages.
This story has many themes and I will say this- in my opinion, the teacher is NOT the bad guy. He is an older man, true. He should not be with his student. Also true. Yet Maise is eighteen and the way they met was innocent, if not full of mis-communication and enough secrets to fill a grave plot.
The only thing bad I can say about Evan is maybe he should stick to someone his own age at least once in his life. You'll understand why.
The antagonist is not simply those who were against Maise and Evan: the Persian chic with a crush on the teacher, or Wesley the very tall film studies student with a crush on Maise.
The antagonist wears many faces: It is culture and prejudice. Culture dictates that even though you are legal, dating your instructor is just plain wrong- ethically.
Prejudice is exemplified by those who believe age is more than a number.
Maise and Evan’s age does show up in their experiences and histories:
“As I sat there with his arm around me, his easy laugh in my ear, I thought, How different are we? We came from such different times, his era murky and analog and mine bright and digital…”(From Unteachable,115, 2014).
Unteachable is Raeder's debut book and I could not tell because everything was on point and I could not stop reading it all night, at work, in the morning, etc.
I must read more of her books!
*ARC received for my unbiased review from Netgalley
What ties us to another person are the connected events. Our attraction to them and the lingering echoes of what was...a pro...more*ARC provided by Netgalley
What ties us to another person are the connected events. Our attraction to them and the lingering echoes of what was...a promise of what could be.
This is what Lingering Echoes did for me. It pointed me in a direction of how interrelated all of our experiences really are. Have you read Rumors? If not, please do. It is a prelude to this book.
In Lingering Echoes, Allie is spending summer vacation with her father and she is struggling with several issues at once:
-Her annoying stepbrother. -She misses her cousin Maddie(who died in a river last summer) -Who is the mysterious, handsome stranger who watches from a distance?
Allie is still mourning the loss of her nine-year old cousin Maddie and her parents think it is a good idea to spend her summer where the incident happened. Allie does not think that is a good idea. However she does meet a good looking guy, Aaron, and has made fast friends with Brooke- a beauty queen.
But who is watching Allie? And why?
His name is Damien and his story is just as deep and depressing as Allie's.
This book has it all: a great plot, sibling rivalry, friendship, basketball, swimming, and sizzling summer romance.
I am sad to have waited so long to read this book as I had it in my TBR pile for quite some time. However, better late than never right? I fell in love with Damien and his character earned sympathy points from me when he finally opened up to Allie.
But the character who surprisingly stole the show for me- was Aaron; and for several reasons I can not give away here.
A watershed year means a period when everything changes and it can be a difficult change. Lucy, a Professor of Religion and student of anything dealin...moreA watershed year means a period when everything changes and it can be a difficult change. Lucy, a Professor of Religion and student of anything dealing with the saints- is about to lose her good friend Harlan to cancer. Eventually he passes away and his passing leaves her with questions about their relationship. Questions of why she's thirty-eight and never been married.
Questions about our own mortality.
Not long after Harlan's death, Lucy begins to receive his emails. Each one poignant, pertinent, sad, and each one leaving an impact on her soul.
First, let me talk about Shoenberger's writing. She has a beautiful way of traversing from the past to the present while keeping each end knotted(sorry, this is the best way I can explain it). I am not a fan of flashbacks within the story and this book does not have plenty; just small snippets that actually work.
Second, Lucy's watershed year reminded me of my own watershed year in 2012. However, when Harlan's emails hit Lucy's computer I was like: "Now this story is really different." Harlan thought so highly of Lucy he wanted to still communicate with her. This, in my opinion was unique. It was a very touching, "tear-jerking" moment along with Lucy adopting a little boy, Azamat from Russia.
A Watershed Year, is literary fiction at its finest: imagery, characters that read like real people, and enough touching and hair raising moments to make you as frustrated as Lucy.
Two characters which got on my last nerves were Yulia and Louis. I will not say why.
This book was a good read and I invite anyone to read it and the discussion questions in the back as well as visit Susan Shoenerger's website to learn more about this gifted author.(less)
More than a book of pillow talk. Zane’s latest fiction burns bright for our bleak reality; illuminating what could really be wrong in our relationship...moreMore than a book of pillow talk. Zane’s latest fiction burns bright for our bleak reality; illuminating what could really be wrong in our relationships.
What happens when a bitter, emotionally scarred woman finally meet Mr. Right? Will she treat him… right?
Jemistry Daniels has been abused, cheated on, lied to, and dismissed for twelve years by different men. So now she is through with relationships. She uses men for their bodies and nothing more. As she says, “So I wanted to be touched; I wanted to touch back”(67)- anything more is a lost cause for this Medgar Evers High School principal.
Then one night, at a poetry slam, she recites a poem called “BITTER” where she practically bashes every male and this is generally a turn off for the men in the room.
All, except for Vascular surgeon, Tevin Harris.
Tevin is described as tall(6’5 to be exact), dark chocolate and handsome. And he introduces himself and wants to talk to Jemistry. Jemistry thinks he is crazy to want anything to do with her after such a scathing rendition of her life on stage, but it is from this point where the book gets quite sexy, quite real.
Jemistry has every right to feel the way she does, but a series of events mainly from her end nearly pushes Tevin away. Tevin has his own difficult past to plod through as well.
I have been a fan of Zane’s since Nervous. Her writing style is so precise and you get the impression that she has witnessed these events herself but it is fiction. I enjoy the romance and erotic highlights in many of her books and her fans can attest to that.
However, I have not read Zane in a number of years. I switched gears, went for more light, whimsical stories or hard core sci/fi material. When I came across The Other Side of the Pillow and read the blurb online, I was swept in and knew I would be in for a delectable treat.
The Other Side of the Pillow is written in classic Zane style: to the point, urban/modern language, explicit, and deep. But something was different here. I felt I was reading a conversation, or commentary of something real. Shouldn’t it be okay for a man to cry? Why do women whine that there are no good men and when one finally approaches them- they scare the guy off? Why do we let our “friends” meddle in our life and ruin a good thing-are we dating our friends or are we dating him?
I highly, highly recommend this love story to everyone who believe that true love ends once you close the book. I definitely recommend this important work of fiction to women and men who are broken over past relationships and think their stories are forgotten.
You are not forgotten.
*ARC received for my unbiased review from Netgalley (less)
We've been taught that minor characters support the main cast. And when you fall for their story more than the protagonist, well, is something wrong?
D...moreWe've been taught that minor characters support the main cast. And when you fall for their story more than the protagonist, well, is something wrong?
Daniel Giordano is a player.
Billionaire, Danielle Giordano is handsome, charming and uses women for their looks and their bodies,and in turn they are happy to have him on their arms.
But in order to take over Giordano Seas, his father forces him to learn about life and earn a living on his own. By making Daniel change his name to John and movie to Prairie, Tennessee. Daniel does not like this change. He is used to sleeping with women and spending all kinds of money.
And then he meets Katherine O'Brien. The sultry singer at a bar with strawberry blond curls and green eyes and she makes him feel as if he can be the right man, do the right things.
Enter Rosie Montoose, Uncle Andy, and the horses.
So, somehow Daniel/John messes up things with Katherine(you'll have to read that part on your own) and finds himself back in New York.
The nice, older woman he lived on a farm with in Tennessee-Rosie, did not want to see him leave but his father offers to help her and he falls for Rosie and her precious horses.
"You are the light of my life, my sweetness. I'm allowed to spoil you as much as I want."
Eventually we meet Andy, Katherine's uncle and he needs his business rescued. Danielle's dad comes to the rescue.
If I can come up with a theme for this book. It would be that "family is not the people you share DNA with, but those who love you and show it to you."(p.175)
I wanted to get excited for Daniel and Katherine and Katherine really does have a sob story that could match our own. Yet it was Rosie and Daniel's dad who stole the show for me. The warmth and love they show each other.
Some problems I had with the book were redundant sentences and awkward ones throughout the story.Some plot lines I did not care for at all. However, the power of the book lies with the characters.(less)
Overqualified is a collection of job letters Joey Comeau has written and they are silly, sad, bitter and even though each job application letter is le...moreOverqualified is a collection of job letters Joey Comeau has written and they are silly, sad, bitter and even though each job application letter is letter, you get the feeling that amongst all the jumbled stories within each letter there is a thread of continuity- a major theme hidden in there and it is more terrifying than the fact that Joey is indeed overqualified.
Overqualified simply means having more experience or knowledge than necessary so when Joey writes to Paramount,
“I’ve thought about this a lot, Paramount. I want to write horror movies that scare you, but leave you with the feeling that your brother is right outside the door, waiting, flashlight in hand.”(13)
He is not only speaking about professional experience (does he really have it?) but he talks about his personal life in nearly every letter. In particular that one time he and his brother went somewhere in the dark and got scared.
His brother Adrian whom we can assume has passed away long before, is of particular interest- those letters are very somber. Then there is the mention of his girlfriend Susan and then there are the letters that crack on the horrors and confusion about sex.
There is one job letter he writes to an insurance company and to convince them he is the perfect candidate he goes:
“My pitch to your customers will be simple. The door will open and I will say. “You are going to die. Why are you wasting time haggling? Pick a (bleep!) plan and go climb a tree.”(39)
Even still the feeling that he misses his brother and loves Susan dearly is etched in many his letters. They get raunchy sometimes and truthfully no company would hire him based off of these in your face, sordid letters.
As I mentioned, the letters may all be to different companies, but a theme does reoccur often in this very short book and it is that he loves and misses his brother and that sex can be exciting...and weird at the same time.
Another thing I learned? : Be creative. Be honest. But not brutally honest on job apps. (less)
Princess Ayana must get married to forge an alliance with Syria. Her father, Pharoah Amonmose is adamant about that. Eventually, Ayana is kidnapped an...morePrincess Ayana must get married to forge an alliance with Syria. Her father, Pharoah Amonmose is adamant about that. Eventually, Ayana is kidnapped and enslaved in Kerma-an unfamiliar land. Thankfully she has her grandmother there but no one must know she is Pharoah's daughter or she may be harmed.
Prince Bakari has set his eyes on Ayana, but he has wicked plans for her. Yet, it is the handsome Prince Samir who stirs Ayana's desire. Prince Samir could not believe that a beauty such as Ayana was captured and mistreated.
Although the two of them belong together, there are some forces that will try to drive them apart: Prince Bakari and Samir's ex Ebele.
This is my first Chanta Rand book and I was pleased. The historicity could be felt throughout the work: the description of the herbal medicines, the defuffa(house/palace), the description of the people of that time- all of it placed me right there in 1600 B.C.
The other thing I love about this book is that Rand places the exact right mix of erotica and action in the storytelling-although personally, the erotica was very romantic because Samir and Ayana are meant for each other and any delectable scene was a stroke in the right direction within story.
It has been a while since I've read a good African-African American book and I recommend this for anyone wanting to travel in time to Africa to experience the love, the war and the joy of good storytelling. With Goddess, Rand proves she is an intellectual who can write. Kudos!
Starting with John Scalzi's Lock In. Fifteen years from now, a virus sweeps the globe and while it mak...moreThis Fall 2014 will be exciting for book lovers.
Starting with John Scalzi's Lock In. Fifteen years from now, a virus sweeps the globe and while it makes some sick and kill others, the rest are "locked in". Unable to move but aware of everything- very creepy.
The next book to leap to is The Book of Strange New Things- a pastor, missionary and devoted husband, accepts a trip to another planet, and while things seem to go well as they seem to accept the teachings, pastor Peter learns of earth's perilous future: it isn't so bright and his wife is still there.
What will happen?
Follow his faith or his heart?
Finally, I am looking forward to Lacy Eye. It appears to be a mystery of whodunit format. Dawn brings home her boyfriend Rud and the family is happy that she has "blossomed" however, her parents are bludgeoned with a mallet and the father dies and Rud is a suspect, but there may be a twist and Dawn is not who she appears to be.
What is the excitement in each of these books?
It will be great to review these books when they are released because medical thrillers I have laid down long before but I am interested in Locked In's potential. The Book of Strange New Things may be a Christian Fiction but at least it is taking place on another planet-very unique and appealing to me. And finally Lacy Eye involves courts, murder and mystery- a recipe for a killer novel.
Ellen Hopkins will be releasing Rumble this August 2014 and this time it is focusing on what the heck should we believe in when life throws craziness and hurt our way? Matthew Turner decides that since he can't believe in God or a god- he will live life in a big way and go out with a bang.
That is, until he hears a rumble that changes his life...
Why am I excited for this release? I am a fan of Ellen Hopkins' verse books and truthfully the summary reminds me a little of Smoke and Burn.
Yet I feel on the edge of my seat because what the heck will the rumble be? How will it change Matthew Turner's life? Will the book be a part of a series?
Next, is Julie Kagawa's Talon- it will grip its readers in this modern fantasy about dragons that walk in human and merge with human society. One teen dragon will cross paths with a soldier and then there's a rogue dragon prowling around...
Why am I excited about this?
I am excited because I am unfamiliar with Kagawa. I don't know a thing about this author's books besides seeing her name on the binding in the teen section of libraries.
Secondly, who can pass up the opportunity to read about dragons existing in human form and the possibility of romance and war?
What about other buzz worthy books 2014?
Other titles caught my interest too, just much as these two. For example, Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley looks good enough to dive into. It is about Sarah Dunbar, a black honors student who is the first black to attend Jefferson High School, and is placed in remedial courses and spat on.
There are so many books out there telling us the power of images, or of writing the "right" words- to get noticed, and now here is a book that not onl...moreThere are so many books out there telling us the power of images, or of writing the "right" words- to get noticed, and now here is a book that not only tells us about the power of YouTube(as I am sure we all can attest to)- but how to use it to create videos and reach a massive audience. Here are a few nuggets I stumbled upon while reading.
1. Master the three on screen formats: the weatherman, anchorperson, and the hand model. Jason Miles explains the importance of lighting, audio and stresses that just having your iPhone or built in webcam should be sufficient for most audiences.
2. Small guerrilla marketers may have a slight advantage over big time corporations. He uses American Girl's YouTube channel for comparison and you would not believe the results.
3. There is one social media outlet that people just have to learn to let go of a little...or use differently.
Miles makes a statement in an early chapter, he says:
You can post a video and check it regularly for comments, but generally speaking, they are not too overwhelming."(26)
This book is copyrighted 2014 so by now, YouTube has millions of comments pouring in and people have conversations right there underneath a video!
Perhaps Miles meant that most businesses with a video don't get loads of conversation and I will have to do my own research on that.
This book is great for understanding social media secrets of not only how to upload a video to YouTube- but to actually get brand recognition and have social media get you the earnings you deserve.
*This book was received for my unbiased review from Netgalley(less)
Faith and science are like Cain and Abel. You have faith and then you have a little skepticism-with sin crouching at the door.
Jesse Yow explores inter...moreFaith and science are like Cain and Abel. You have faith and then you have a little skepticism-with sin crouching at the door.
Jesse Yow explores interesting concepts and explains why each must be taken under the submission of Christ. As Christians, there are ideals and beliefs that we may want to delve into and still others which elude us- we don't know their origins and how to have a conversation with people who believe in other worldviews.
Topics tackled are:
-Faith, Science, and the Future -Extraterrestrial life -Neurotheology(this one made me think a little) -Magick -Necromancy -Demons, Angels, and Miracles And so on.
The book is actually really good. Here is where I got a little confused and perhaps I should pray about it:
"Scientific investigations of meditation and attempts to investigate spiritual matters can look into physical things such as brain activity... but can't really measure mental processes such as ideas, feelings, or consciousness..."(99)
Now I am left wondering. Is it wrong to study brain behavior? I am very fascinated by the brain God has given us and I enjoy finding new ways to expand my mind or "exercise it". However, I am familiar with the dangers of Christians doing yoga and other forms of Eastern Meditation techniques- how about meditation may be older than we think?
I think I am sounding contradictory here, and Yow does not make it seem totally wrong to study the brain, just applying it to theology.
The book alone is a nice guide for discussion in churches and in homes.
I definitely recommend it.
*Book received for my unbiased review from Netgalley. (less)
This is an intergalactic, erotic wave of euphoric writing....
The Start of Kyra's New Life.
Rogue is Book 3 in the Cat Star Chronicles(I have read two o...moreThis is an intergalactic, erotic wave of euphoric writing....
The Start of Kyra's New Life.
Rogue is Book 3 in the Cat Star Chronicles(I have read two out of order, I think its fine to a degree)- Kyra Aramis is a piano teacher from earth who has been summoned by a lizard queen to teach her lizard babies to play piano.
There is one condition.
She must be an unattached female.
So while reading this, I was like- huh? Yes, Kyra must be unattached because see, the lizard queen wants Kyra to meet her "cats". The cats are these humanoid looking men who are just potent and sexy and "ooze" appeal and lust.
Kyra was not prepared for this in any way. She reminds me of a shy school girl, but she does an exceptional job teaching the lizards piano. Her one problem is Tychar. The one Zetithian cat who admires her the most and throw devilish smiles her way.
If you have read Slave, then you know exactly where I am going with this review and I am keeping this review rated G!The things Tychar teaches her...is beyond her wildest dreams. The book is very sexy and yet somehow Cheryl Brooks is able to create a plausible fantasy world and include a war as well as have enough in there to have us ponder on what makes a place culturally relative?
For those who do not like the Cat Star Chronicles. I think I know why. I mean, I shouldn't like them either given that I mostly read Inspirational fiction-oops. But I love a good story.(less)
-More intense character backdrop. -More romance- but not too early. -Something I can...moreWhat did I think of John Dreamer...?
Let me tell you what I expected.
-More intense character backdrop. -More romance- but not too early. -Something I can understand, yet something very profound at the same time.
The basic story. Andy wakes up in a room with six strangers. The only one that caught her eyes though was the very handsome boy with green eyes-John Dreamer.
How did they land in a Great White Room? Were they dead? Alive? Either way, at each moment a guy called The Guardian would drop hints as to how they should behave and what they can and can not do. he would arrive in a cloud or just magically appear singing songs and prancing around...
Meanwhile each person tries to figure out a way to escape. Especially Roy- the resident bad guy.
The other side of my opinion.
I do like where Celine Elise "tried" to travel with her writing. Each person had to face their fears in order to get out and achieve their dreams-I applaud the moral of this story. We need more of it.
Characters' lives are revealed in tiny pieces and even then I still felt zero sympathy for either of them. Again the idea was awesome- the execution was something to be desired.
Secondly- John Dreamer or John D. Remur, the green eyed boy? I can not explain what I thought he was. It is too complicated. What he truly is, is someone from Andy's past. But I seriously thought he had some huge secret or was a part of a gigantic conspiracy.
Or maybe I missed the point?
Recap: Great idea, great descriptions but I was left wanting something more...something different.
*This book was received for my unbiased review from Netgalley.(less)
*Book received for my unbiased review from Netgalley
Picking up from Shredded book 1 in the Extreme Risk series, Ash loses his parents in a terrible ac...more*Book received for my unbiased review from Netgalley
Picking up from Shredded book 1 in the Extreme Risk series, Ash loses his parents in a terrible accident, which leaves his brother Logan paralyzed from the waist down. Ash is used to being the "planner" of everything but now he feels shattered, hopeless, and like Z used to, he tries losing himself in "snowbunnies" to try get rid of the pain, or to assuage it a little.
Tansy, a cancer survivor of seven weeks, works for the Make-A-Wish foundation- and one little boy's dream is to see Ash snowboard. But when she meets Ash to discuss the matter, she is brought face to face with someone so full of raw pain and- raw sex appeal.
The feeling is mutual as Ash can not forget the petite girl with short pink hair and husky voice. But why would he want to go boarding again after what happened to his parents? Who would be there for Logan if something happens to him?
While reading this book I focused on one thing. Character.
I liked the description of Tansy. I could picture a girl with a pixie haircut and large eyes(sort of like what one would see in a manga), yet she is witty and has been through so much. I sort of had the feeling Ash would have a hard case on his hands considering Tansy has cancer and the fact that she will not tell him...unless something happens to her...
It was kind of easy to feel sorry for Ash considering he is now thrown into this huge responsibility of taking care of his brother. To be quite honest, the arguments he has with his brother who is now in a wheelchair- were so heated and emotional, it is fairly difficult to keep reading.
Yet Wolff's writing and the pace she takes with the story forces you to read it, to look at the characters from all kinds of angles. You want to feel bad for Ash, you want to cry for Tansy, you even want to connect with Logan's anger- but each character is complex and deals with things very differently.
As I've mentioned in my review of "Shredded", these extreme risk novels are about more than taking a risk out on the snow- they are about taking a risk and falling in love, even while you hurt, even while you risk drowning in your own pain and have to lift your hand up for help.
FYI: Logan could have cut Ash a little slack....just sayin'.
More FYI: When is Cam gonna get her turn? I mean, really?!? I am sick and darn tired of her wanting Z, or Luc or whoever and just plain being in the way. Please Wolff, put this girl out of her misery by making her fall for Luc or some other dude.
Please read this book and be sure to read Shredded first to get a feel for what's going even though Shattered can be read alone. These books wring out emotions in you that you thought you have buried and make for great discussions such as: What does it mean to hurt? Does it matter to have a happy ending or to just be for the moment?
It is cold in Lost Canyon, Utah and snowboarding, resorts, and hot chocolate reigns. I am not truly a fan of snowboarding and definitely not a fan of...moreIt is cold in Lost Canyon, Utah and snowboarding, resorts, and hot chocolate reigns. I am not truly a fan of snowboarding and definitely not a fan of the cold, but with all of those elements including a hot male protag whose an adrenaline junkie, this book had me hooked.
Z loves nothing more than shredding his pain off by doing crazy death defying stunts on his snowboard and his friends love him for it. He can get any girl he wants and he drowns his pain in having sex with them.
Until he meets Ophelia. Yes, Ophelia, like the one from Hamlet? Except this Ophelia has his blood racing more than doing an "inverted triple cork" on the fluff. She is tall, blonde- and takes no junk from anyone.
This is Book 1, an extreme risk series and I have the feeling that the risk taken is more than physical because the romance in this book was hard to come by for both Z and Ophelia. They each take a risk with each other: Z, takes a risk of his own ego and pain and thinks of someone other than himself and Ophelia has to learn to put it all on the line for them and leave her past in the past.
In my opinion, this novel was absolutely appealing, mainly because of the situation presented, the pace of writing and definitely the characters rocked.
FYI: I did not particularly like Cam in this novel. I thought I would in the first two pages, yet I don't like her. Maybe because I am confused as to where she stands with Z.
*This book was received for my unbiased review from Random-Flirt through Netgalley.(less)
Ever wondered how to craft the perfect message with images and video? Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, experts in the fields of social media give...moreEver wondered how to craft the perfect message with images and video? Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, experts in the fields of social media give sage advice on not only the prominence of most platforms we use today, but offer colorful stats, pictures and current events to help empower and encourage you to use visuals to tell your story.
TPVS highlights stats and advice on how to use the following social media:
For instance, Pinterest is a site where you randomly "pin" pics. However, if you want to engage your followers, try using strong images that connect well with your audience while also holding true to your brand.
Same with SlideShare. "Users upload presentations, webinars, Word and PDF files, tag them and share them on SlideShare"(p.92). SlideShare is basically a visual LinkedIn, so your audience will more than likely be professionals in their field and you will need to keep slides simple and creative for them.
I truly recommend this important book because it thoroughly explains how you should market based on social media platform.
*Book received for my unbiased review from McGraw-Hill through Netgalley (less)