Isabelle Joshua

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: Forever Checking

Forever Checking Forever Checking by Jennifer Jamelli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One Two Three and she did it; I love this series! I love this final book. The music was exceptional again. The character growth and development of the relationship with Callie and Aiden was satisfying. I am so glad to have found this series and experience even through Callie a small bit of what life is like for someone with OCD. It was eye opening, frustrating, and interesting at the same time. I was with her through the heartbreak and success she experienced. It was a great conclusion and I reread the whole series and this book, because I just loved catching all the little things I may have missed the first time in their relationship. Great story and great writing!

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Review: Checked Again

Checked Again Checked Again by Jennifer Jamelli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Again, she did it again. I love this book. I love Callie, and although Dr. Aiden Blake doesn't show up for a while, I still loved it. Jennifer Jamelli does a fabulous job of building anticipation and tension and passion between her characters. And if I forget to say in the first book, it is funny. She is so funny at times, and I enjoyed this book as it leads me through Callie's journey. Now don't expect that her journey in the 2nd book is going to get better as far as OCD or much of anything. She's in the trenches for sure, but she does have success and rekindling of some love interest that we all want even if the Dr/Patient thing is a no-no in real life, who cares it's fiction.

The dialog, writing, characters are very relatable and authentic. Enjoyed this book immediately after finishing the first and then rushed to buy the 3rd book and find out what else would be happening with Callie. For those that hated the ending to the last book, will like this one much more.

Oh and I forgot to mention how much I loved the music and I found some songs that I never knew and now love and some that I already loved. My only irritation was that Callie would freeze up and not say a thing for a long time, so there were many pages where she didn't talk but he only spoke, and we just heard her internal dialog. I understand the reasons, but I wanted her to be able to voice her thoughts to him more.

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Review: Checked

Checked Checked by Jennifer Jamelli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got this book for free back in October, and I'm trying to make my way through the books I've downloaded for free and give new authors a chance to surprise me. Boy, did Jennifer Jamelli surprise me.

The main character has OCD. Not just "oh, I'm OCD about my kitchen gadgets." Serious, clinic OCD. So to be in her head and go on the journey of her daily routines and interactions was fascinating to me and I was never bored no matter how many times she had to count one two three onetwothree to open an email or text that I wanted to know about. She was endearing, and I love Callie.

Then there is Dr. Aiden Blake, I loved the writing and his character and his slow slipping past the proper boundaries of a doctor/patient relationship (which I know is bad in real life, but this is fiction!!), and I loved every text, email, everything about him and their relationship.

Jennifer Jamelli had me hooked, and I stayed up hours to read this unexpectedly great book. I don't normally pay for books but check them out from the library unless I love it and I have to read it right away. Well, Jennifer got my money immediately. I read this Checked series back to back. And then went back and read the interactions with Aiden and Callie.

The side characters and story line was great, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Catch my next review of the 2nd book Checked Again. I will tell you that the ending is NOT a cliffhanger but things are definitely not resolved and you are left wanting to read the 2nd book immediately. Which I did!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: All I Want is You

All I Want is You All I Want is You by E.L. Todd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book and read it through the night. I held my interest to find out what would happen between Cayson and Skye. Skye irritated me at times with her previous boyfriend that was a jerk. Then when Cayson couldn't understand why Skye was acting the way she was at the end, it seemed he could have guessed at the reason.

The reason I gave it three stars and not more was due to the over-emphasis on the main character's parent's sex life and their marriage. The author used large sections of dialog and internal thought to devote to giving advice about marriage and relationships. The parental model for marriage and love was drilled in over and over, and then the inappropriate TMI comments by the parent were not funny but rather obnoxious. I got the impression that the characters no matter how wealthy and famous they were couldn't escape their trashy ways.

The friendship and sibling relationships were weird and the threats to tell on one another to the parents, which always caused fear because of the controlling and overbearing nature of the fathers, was weird and took away from the story. The characters didn't seem realistic at times, and the dialog seemed to pull from a self-help book.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Review: Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures Desperate Measures by Elle Casey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a good book. I liked the characters, and I understand their instant bond because they didn't have anyone else and it was a great connection between them. I liked the romance between Ammie and Joe and the others, but it was expected. What I didn't like is the last chapter or two fast forwarded all of the romance between the love interests to very committed and serious. This was unrealistic and rushed. Even between Joe and Ammie, they've been on maybe two dates, and they're in love and whatever, I won't spoil it. I just think that it was as if the author needed to wrap the book up in a chapter. So it was tied in a nice bow by the end. Which was startling considering what happened between Ammie and her soon to be ex-husband at the end. This wasn't mentioned again or anything. It left a bad taste in my mouth at the end, because I thought the book started out strong and had some cute and funny moments but it wasn't seen through to it's natural conclusion. I didn't realize I've read one of Ms. Casey's books before and I don't remember loving that book either, so not sure if I'll try her again.

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story *No Spoilers*

If you are unfamiliar, you might want to stop reading.  Because you must not exist. Or as Marshall explains to Ted:

So for the rest of us that didn't live the Star Wars, but have watched all of the Star Wars movies, I wanted to talk about Rogue One. I watched it tonight. And as I'm writing this, I am listening to the Imperial March to stay in the mood.

When I first saw the teaser trailer for Rogue One, I flipped out and loved it.  Had chills and everything.  Jyn Erso!!! A rebel I can get behind. I loved the line "This is a rebellion, isn't it?  I rebel."

For those that don't know yet, Rogue One takes place between Episode 3 "Revenge of the Sith"(or Movie #3 from 2005) and Episode 4 "A New Hope."  Now if I have to explain that the Return of the Jedi is not #3 even though it was the 3rd movie from the 1980s then, again, you probably are lost and have to go watch all of the movies because I don't know how you manage life without seeing these movies. I'm kidding, well a little. 

Now, I won't give away any spoilers, but I highly suggest watching Episode 4 before watching Rogue One, yes I know that is backward, but there are little things and characters that you will recognize easily if you've recently watched A New Hope.  But if you are like me, I didn't watch Episode 4 and had to rely on my unreliable memory.  I did catch a lot because I've seen A New Hope about a gazillion times, but I want to watch A New Hope and go back and watch Rogue One. So that is why I'm suggesting it for you.

I have some friends say that Rogue One was better than The Force Awakens.  I don't agree. The Force Awakens was unbelievable in its awesomeness.  Rogue One was very good, and I think what was cool is seeing all the stuff that ties into A New Hope.

Now, my children are all out of school as of today, so that means that one our family traditions will begin soon, which is to watch all of the Star Wars movies in order.  My youngest at age 4 was telling an older little girl in line at Walmart about Star Wars today, who has never seen it, I wondered if she really existed.

So as crazy as it sounds, we spend Christmas break entertained by the Alliance and Imperial forces battling it out. So maybe next year, we'll have all 8 movies to watch.  My husband said they have Star Wars Episode 8 and 9 planned as well as two more Star Wars Stories like Rogue One. It's looks like our Star Wars library will continue to grow.

I've always loved Star Wars, but I am so glad to have more female characters that aren't the traditional princess (Leia and Padme), who my daughters can grow up to love for their untraditional role and strength. Don't get me wrong, Princess Leia and Padme kicked ass when they wanted to and were very strong women, but I like to show my daughters there are female characters that don't always look so put together and beautiful but are equally as awesome.

Anyways, it's a great movie and there are definitely some favorite scenes, which would be spoilers so I will only say:

I love it when Darth ***** came in and used the ***** and kicked some ***.

May the Force Be With You!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: Royal

Royal Royal by Winter Renshaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a good book. The characters were interesting and complex. It held my interest, and I finished it in hours. The sex was hot. I thought that Remi was a strong character and she didn't do much to annoy me. My only real reason I didn't love it, was the sleazy Pandora and Royale was somewhat trashy. I totally get that he had a great heart and was a sweet guy. I just never felt a connection to Remi when she was getting turned on by the metallic and greasy smell. I felt like maybe he didn't shower after he got off of work, which YUCK! So it is so much more about my preference for the love interest. I got why he had that job and respected him for his hard work, but that is pretty sleazy what he evidently did with Pandora. So it isn't that he worked at an auto repair, but that it seemed that he didn't shower and clean up when he got off. I don't like dirt. LOL.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Caged Beauty Series UPDATE

Since The Swallow was my first book ever to write and then self-publish, I am experiencing some ADHD and growing pains with the subsequent books.  I say ADHD because I write when I am inspired, which thankfully happens to be often, but sometimes it isn't about the book that everyone that read The Swallow is waiting for. Don't worry, I have my mother, who is among you, prodding me on.  

This image represent how I feel
about writing these next books,
it is a hard climb, and I love the view
 so I get distracted by all the beauty.
But I wanted to do something different to capitalize on my ADHD* (see below for my explanation) brain, by writing not only The Bluebird but also a book from Alex's POV, which was supposed to be a novella but has turned into a novel, and maybe a novella from Evan's POV.  To get a sneak peak at what the covers may look like, follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

So I currently have three books in various stages of the Caged Beauty Series.  So YAY! to all of you who will look forward to more books, but that also means BOO! it may take me a little longer to put The Bluebird out.  

*no offense to anyone that actually has ADHD, I am hijacking that word to mean that I can't stay on one task and get distracted by other stories in my head--although maybe me being a little offense will get some comments below. One can only dream. 

I am still shooting for late Spring/early Summer for The Bluebird, but I may put out Alex's book first, it depends.  This actually is the curse and beauty of self-publishing; I don't have grand wizards of publishing telling me when to do each of the books and setting a deadline, so I have the freedom to do what I feel is best for the stories, but I could be totally wrong because again I don't have any grand wizards of publishing telling me what to do.

Alex's book, creatively named Alex, will be set during the same time as the first part of The Bluebird.  You'll pick up from him almost exactly where The Swallow left him, unless through editing this changes, and takes him through about mid-way into The Bluebird. I've been grappling with just adding his POV to The Bluebird by alternating between Alex's POV and Kathryn's POV and extending the series into three, but I don't want the series to be a trilogy.  It is two books with a few additional books that add to the story.  Again, the publishing wizards aren't here to tell me it's a bad idea.

And Evan's book, titled Evan because the creativity genius struck again, will either be published with the Prequel or kept separate.  I'm not sure yet, but it is a prequel of sorts because it takes place during Kathryn's initial training and years before The Swallow when their relationship was in turmoil, but they had to work together. Spoiler alert:  Sparks fly! 

But I am contemplating a little happily ever after for Evan, why you ask, because well, I still love his character, but I'm not sure if that will happen within The Bluebird or within the Evan book. 

And while I'm spilling secrets, I might as well tell you there's a smoking hot man (besides Alex and Evan) in The Bluebird that needs to have his story told and to find someone to love. So I'm not naming any names, but I have plans for him to cross over into another book that I started writing in October.

Oh, yeah, sorry, I'm not only writing The Bluebird, Alex, and Evan (so diligently) but I've also started three other works in progress (hence the ADHD reference).  More details will come about those later (check out Upcoming Books on, but I am doing my best to focus on Caged Beauty Series, promise!

So there's my convoluted update about the Caged Beauty Series.  I do intend on self-publishing the rest of the series, so please run and tell all your friends about The Swallow. Because after this series, I'm trying my luck in the Big World of Publishing, so anything else from me may be a while in the making, until I can get some love from an agent and publisher.

Enjoy your Winter and Christmas (or whatever Holiday you do or don't celebrate) and most importantly keep reading!

Isabelle Joshua

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Ms. Communications

Ms. Communications Ms. Communications by Myra Kendrix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have never read Ms. Kendrix before, and I can't wait to read more of her books. It was the perfect mix of funny, and adorable characters and the romance that ensues. I really liked the main character and the love interest. I thought that the story maintained my attention so that I finished it in a just a few hours and didn't want to put it down. At first, the company's vision and purpose for green energy and consumption was I thought goofy and hoped it wouldn't be the main focus of the book and it wasn't. I have read some okay books lately by new authors, and this was such a breath of fresh air. The subplot kept the story interesting without being distracting; the character grew, and there was a satisfying ending. The only drawback was not having more of those lunches between the main character and the love interest, to see their relationship become romantic unfolding more on the page. I did love the epilogue from Jake's POV and would have loved more of it! So if you are looking for a fun, easy and thoroughly delightful romantic chic-lit, then please pick this one up!

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Review: Fight Club

Fight Club Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The movie Fight Club is one of my favorites. I do not like all the blood and stuff, and it was painful to watch at times but the story, the characters, the plot twist was mind blowing! So when I found out that this awesome movie was originally a book, I had to read it. I finished it very quickly and loved reading the beautiful and complex lines that I loved from the movie! Even though I knew what to expect it was still a thrilling ride and the book has so much more delicious subplots that were so awesome! If you love this movie, then I highly encourage you to read this thought provoking, gripping and gritty novel that shook up our thinking in the late nineties and is still so relevant today!

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