Monday, January 21, 2019

Many Genres One Craft

I’ve read quite a few “how to write” books, especially in my earlier days as a novice writer.  This one is, by far, one of the best.  I enjoyed how it is laid out more as “lessons” than a rambling “how to.”  I read one “lesson” per day, and it felt like I was back in college. (I loved creative writing classes, by the way.  This wasn’t a chore at all!)

The lessons are written by well-known authors.  In particular, Maria V. Snyder jumped out at me.  Each lesson is well-written and thought-rpoviking.  It feels as if the writers are talking to you personally. 

My favorite section involved characters and dialogue.  It worked out well for an area I was struggling with while writing my current manuscript.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Nighttime of Forever by Matthew S. Cox

This is a vampire book that won’t make you sick of vampire books.  The main character, Sarah, has the perfect amount of attitude and innocence.  She never got on my nerves.  I rooted for her throughout.  I cringed for her.  I cheered for her.

The storyline is fresh.  The vampires fit with the usual vampire stereotype, but the original plotline makes up for that. 

I look forward to continuing the series and seeing what new ideas come along for this young vampire.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


I received a copy of SECOND-CHANCE DOGS: TRUE STORIES OF THE DOGS WE RESCUE AND THE DOGS WHO RESCUE US from Revell.  It is edited by Callie Smith Grant.

This is a heart-warming collection of short stories about dogs.  These are dogs who have lived troubled lives, but have been rescued by loving humans.  In turn, the dogs have rescued those humans by enriching their loves through never-ending love.  More times than I can count, I had tears in my eyes.  Many of the stories reminded me of my uncle.  He’s rescued multiple dogs and has cherished each one.  I’m passing this book along to him now that I’ve enjoyed it.

You won’t be able to stop after reading one of these stories.  Their raw honesty and beauty will suck you in.  This is a must for dog lovers.

As a side note, the stories are written by well-known authors.  It was a treat to see essays in here by some of my favorite Christian authors. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018


This is a post-apocalyptic book, but not the kind you would expect.  Wisp lives with her father in a world that is ruined, but healing.  I loved reading about things we take for granted that this couple thrives on for everyday life.  For example, they use license plates as protective shin guards.  (Something I liked was that the author describes the items and the reader gets to realize what they are.  Some books have the main character confused, but the author outright says what the item is.)

The adventure continues a bit mainstream – there’s plenty of adventure and characterizations to make you engaged, but its like a normal post-apocalyptic story.  Then, the ending comes, and what a twist that delivers! 

Don’t miss out on this book if you’re looking for an exciting read.

Sunday, September 2, 2018


This is the type of book I can see being my favorite in junior high and high school.  There’s a creepy, old mansion.  I’m still all about creepy, old mansions.  There’s a bit of a ghost story and that leads into some great magic and mythological creatures.  The book was altogether awesome, and the characters are spot-on. 

I love how versatile this author is.  He can write for middle grade, young adult, and adults, and he nails it every time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Crack Yourself Up

I received a copy of CRACK YOURSELF UP: JOKES FOR KIDS by Sandy Silverthorne from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  I was excited for this book because I know my son will love it.  He laughs at everything, and even though he’s still a little young for some of the jokes, he’ll be able to grow into them. 

I opened the package, got the book out, and my husband took it to “glance over.”  He spent the next hour reading through the entire book.  Most of them he read out loud to me while I was trying to get housework done.  It certainly made things move along faster!  Later on, I heard him sharing some of the jokes with his friends. 

Some are riddles, which adds a nice mix to the assortment of jokes.  They are all appropriate for kids.  I thought that was great.  In the past, I had joke books for kids that threw in a couple “adult” jokes.  They were probably for the parent, but that shouldn’t be in a book just for kids.

This makes an excellent coffee table book, or addition to the home library.  It would also be perfect as a gift.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Shift Your Thinking for Success

I received a copy of SHIFT YOUR THINKING FOR SUCCESS: 77 ways to win at work and in life BY Dean Del Sesto from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  I really looked forward to this book.  I’ve had some struggles recently – I lost my job, I’m unable to find another one in my field, I’m at a job that I don’t enjoy, my husband lost his job, we have a baby…  I’m a published author and struggling to get my books in the hands of readers.  I was hoping this book would change my life around.

The book just didn’t do it for me.  I do a lot of these things already – setting goals, sticking to one’s values.  While they do make me feel good, I am already doing them.  I was looking for something new, that I wasn’t aware of before.  Maybe I put too much hope in this book.

I didn’t hate it and there were a lot of topics that I’m sure will help others.  I will be trying to sleep more and make more time for family.  Currently I work 8-5/6 at the temp job and then come home to work on my writing.  I go to bed and that’s it for the day.  I’ll also work on not putting out a know-it-all vibe.  That can easily happen and it does put people off.

I’m giving the book 4 stars because it does contain a lot of wisdom.  It makes you think about your life.  It just wasn’t the ground-breaking solution I think I was expecting.