Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Fast Women

Fast Women Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a fun and fast read. I did get a little confused by all the characters and the back story and the mystery plot. But it was a good book and held my interest.

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Review: Maybe This Time

Maybe This Time Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story was funny and kookie. Good fun read.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Blood Song

Blood Song Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is fantastic. Not what I typically read, but the narrator's voice was excellent. There were some part that were confusing because I was listening to it and maybe not paying as much attention to names, in which there are many. This author is rather fond of a huge cast of characters. But I will go back and read. I love Vaelin Al Sorna, he is an extraordinary and beautiful character. I understand why the princess and the sister love him.

This book is almost entirely comprised of male characters and lots of violence, but it is so worth it!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review: Queen of Fire

Queen of Fire Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was good and I liked different voices. It was expansive and had so much going on. The depth of the history of this world was amazing. The ending was okay, it was just an ending and I didn't want it to end. I didn't feel like Vaelin had a great emotional depth and his grief wasn't as profound or touching as I thought it would be but possibly he is just so closed off. He is the ultimate mans-man. Again, I love Richard Brand's voice and he IS Vaelin Al Sorna.

And it didn't end on a very high note or even a note of good things to come for these people, they were so battered and bruised from the war, so I didn't see a lot of hope even at the end.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: Tower Lord

Tower Lord Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Again, I listened to the audio of this book and I LOVE Richard Brand's voice. And I really enjoyed the varied POV and expansion of the world. My heart hurt for Vaelin after he left Sharon and basically gave up himself. Then he meets someone else, it was very action packed and the characters were awesome. The world that Anthony Ryan builds is so intricate and deep that it seems so real. My only complaint is the amount of characters and the names, while I like them, it make it very hard to keep them straight. I had to just let it go. I will most likely read this series again and possibly reading it rather than listening to it would help, but Richard Brand's voice will be in my head.

Love Vaelin and Frentis!

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was really a cautionary tale and the naivety of Phillip was hard to identify with. Despite Rachel's sweet nature there was enough inconsistency of emotion that I always suspected her guilt. I was furious with Phillip for most of the book at how stupid he was even with all the red flags. But I was very satisfied with the ending. It is typical of her other work and very good.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect for this. Fantasy books aren't ones that I typically read, but I have in the past and I have liked them. So I started this one off and although there were some awkward sentences, I loved the book. For instance, a few too many exclamation points for Celaena character. But as the story grew and expanded, I loved every minute of it. I loved Dorian and Choal. The dialog was very good, the witty comeback and everything. It wrapped it's warm assassin cloak around me and wouldn't let go.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: The Winner's Kiss

The Winner's Kiss The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book redeemed the series after the Winner's Crime. I was so disgusted with Kestral in the last book. And so heartbroken for Arin. I loved the character of Roshar, the Eastern prince, and his wit and lines brought such levity to the book. Arin is still wonderful and fierce and romantic. And I was pleased with the storyline for Kestral and felt the rebuilding of her was so necessary. A great book and finale to end this series. The war and fighting scenes were heart pounding and very detailed!

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Review: The Winner's Crime

The Winner's Crime The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was infuriating simple because of Kestral's character. I hated all the lies and the tremendous hurt she inflicted on Arin. Time and Time again. I just couldn't understand it. She was so smart but yet just like Arin when her feelings got mixed up in her decision she made horrible ones. The story was good and progressed well but it was so hard and heartbreaking to read, I didn't want to continue. But I did. I had to find out if Arin got his happiness and if Kestral stopped all the lying. So I do recommend it but beware of the hard parts are many.

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Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was again swept up in the YA book that took a different turn as well because it was set more in the past but with different players. The author says she took much from the Roman Empire's expansion for this and the slaves and the research and storytelling was amazing. I really enjoyed it and the characters. I liked Kestrals character immensely and also Arin and how their growing friendship became so important to her. It was a great story. I can't wait to read the next.

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Review: A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great 2nd book. Sabaa Tahir introduced some new voices and it added to the story so we could know what was transpiring on the other side. I should have known that the story wasn't over since no one writes only 2 books now. But I was saddened by the fate of a character hoping that the character won't be gone. I can't wait to see where she takes it! Very exciting.

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Review: An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a good book. I really loved the characters and the story. It was very different and compelling read. I liked the intriguing story of the subjected people and the growing rebellion. The point of views of both main characters was very good and held my attention. I want to read the next book!

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Review: Red Queen Collection: Red Queen, Glass Sword, Queen Song, Steel Scars

Red Queen Collection: Red Queen, Glass Sword, Queen Song, Steel Scars Red Queen Collection: Red Queen, Glass Sword, Queen Song, Steel Scars by Victoria Aveyard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading the two novellas: Queen Song and Steel Scars at first. Queen Song drug me in this world of Red and Silver blood. I couldn't stop reading and finished the whole five books in less than a week. The characters are enthralling, and the story is so good. I know there are other books out there that give the characters powers, but that takes nothing away from this book. It is wholly alone in its gripping story and development. My only irritation is that there is another book that has yet to be published. So I have to wait for the finale! I can't wait. But I'll have to. It was an amazing adventure and the I loved all the characters. It was equally sweet, adventure, and heartbreaking. I highly recommend.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It started with a memory....

of a book, well, actually a scene of a noble girl in a garden bumping into a prince or some other royalty. I remember reading it, and I didn't recall more than that and what the story was.  Which isn't common for me, as I can recall so many of the books I've read.

So I scoured mGoodreadsds, Amazon, and Kindle for clues and history about a book I may have read.  After much searching, I found Queen Song by Victoria Aveyard. I'd read it back in September of 2016, and I don't know why I didn't continue, but I began again. And I recalled the story of Lady Corianne and the Prince of Calore.  And the meeting in the garden after she escapes from Elara.

That began the sweeping obsession I had while reading The Red Queen after finishing the other novella, Steel Scars.  (Cruel Crown has both novellas in one book.)

This started Friday, and I have not slept a whole night or ate properly since because just like Mavin is consumed with Mare, I was consumed with this series.

I highly recommend all 5 books, but be prepared that the last book, which I just finished King's Cage isn't the end.  It was crushing, and I will have to wait. Because obviously, I can't.

This isn't my official review, but run out and read these books.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: The Other Einstein

The Other Einstein The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting story that I wasn't sure that I would like at first. It is a novel about the first wife of Albert Einstein. I listened to the audiobook and I love the narrator as she is a favorite character of mine off of The Blacklist. So she did a fabulous job bringing the story to life. It was a interesting story about a women who overcame so much but was thwarted by the man that she loved in a time when that was very common.

There were heartbreaking moments and I felt the story gave a picture of the woman and man that I knew little about except for the E=mc2. The characters were well developed and it was easy to follow. I recommend it as a great women's fiction book or a historical fiction book.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review: The Castaways

The Castaways The Castaways by Jessika Fleck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great story

This is such a good story for teens about the horrible realities of bullying and the power of family and facing your fears. The characters grew and developed well. Very exciting story with action, love, hope, and fantasy.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob Defending Jacob by William Landay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this for a new book club I am in and it isn't one that I would normally pick up for myself. It is dealing somewhat with criminal law which I am very interested in and it held my attention throughout. I listened to the audiobook of it and I thought the narrator did a good job.

The father, Andy, was a very frustrating character to me but only because he is so entirely different and handled himself and the situation so opposite of the way I would have. I was astounded by the length he went and the delusion he maintained. I figured out what might happened towards the end but not all of it and it was still very intriguing. I have lots to say in my book club and I would consider reading more from William Landay.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Great Coffee!

Up until a few days ago, I would brew up some Folgers or Maxwell House in my Keurig (my fav Christmas present) and then dump almost 4 tsp of sugar, and a healthy pour of Hazelnut flavored non-dairy creamer. And it was delicious, but all that sugar isn't helping my waistline, and neither is my love of food for that matter, but I thought there might be a better way.  I considered learning to like the taste of bitter coffee just like I learned to enjoy the taste of drip coffee over 4 years ago when I stopped working and knew I couldn't afford Starbucks regularly anymore.

Then I was invited to a local coffee shop, Gather to talk with a group of great women, and it was there that I ordered the house coffee.  The service was eh, but it was a relatively new place, and I suffered the wait, but then when my coffee came, we were moving tables, and so I scrambled to pour in the half and half provided and only grabbed 2 packets of sugar.  I figured I could get up and get more in a few minutes.  I doctored it up and took a drink and was shocked at how much I loved it, just like that.  And it was a lot more than my normal 10 oz for a cup of coffee, it had to have been almost 15 oz because of the large cup size.  But that would normally mean I would have to add even more than 4 tsp of sugar to get the right taste.  But not this time.

I left there that night thinking maybe there was an alternative to drinking bitter coffee for the rest of my days or shoveling sugar into my java.

So I made a call to the coffee shop a few days later and then made a trip to buy a small package of freshly ground coffee that had no preservatives (oil) for about $15 (yikes).  But I thought if it meant I would have better tasting coffee without all the extra sugar, then it would be worth it.

And now I am on my fourth day of drinking this heavenly sent coffee that I barely need 1 tsp sugar and a dash of creamer.  I just even tried it with just the creamer and it tasted wonderful. I am a changed woman (hopefully my waistline will change as well, but miracles don't happen everyday!).

For those coffee lovers in the area (Ft. Worth), it is locally roasted.  And you can buy online as well, I am drinking La Pastoria, and the link to buy:   http://www.avocacoffee.com/shop/la-pastoria/

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Sale of The Swallow!

Not sure if you have sunny weather and spring blooms where you are, but here in Texas the Bluebonnets are out.  I wanted to showcase those gorgeous spring flowers while promoting the Spring Sale of The Swallow.

2017 Reader Views Literary Award Winner in the Romance category


Monday, March 20, 2017

2nd Place Winner and Sale of The Swallow

So this morning, I got the email about what place The Swallow received in the Reader Views 2016-2017 Literary Awards.

Below is what I saw and if it had been after 10 a.m. and my first cup of coffee I would have squealed in delight.

But it occurred at 7:25 a.m. so the delight and squealing sounded off inside my head and I said to my three children getting ready for school, "Mommy's book won 2nd place."  Which I got "Oh, good.  Can we go now?" in response.

Now I am more awake, and the smile hasn't left my face.

So I'm running a sale on The Swallow starting March 22nd (Wed) for $.99 for the Kindle ebook.
Then March 25th it raises to $1.99.
Then on March 29th goes back to $3.99.

Purchase it here.

I hope you love it as much as they did!

Thanks!

Isabelle

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Reader Views Literature Award Finalist: The Swallow

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Back in July 2016, I entered The Swallow into its first contest ever. Actually, I've never entered a contest for my writing before this because The Swallow is my debut novel.
Then yesterday, I opened my email and saw that Reader Views had picked all the finalists for each category. I clicked and scrolled wishing to see my book but figuring that I would get to the bottom and not see it.
Until I got to ROMANCE:

Words cannot express my shock and excitement!  My family kept asking me why I was freaking out!  I'm so delighted by this news, and despite all the positive reviews and encouragement from my readers, this is another step towards feeling like a legit author!
So now I have to wait two weeks to know if I've won 1st, 2nd, or Honorable mention.  And I will gladly say, "it was just an honor to be nominated" as they do at the Oscars, despite totally wanting to win, but I will still be happy with any place!
Check out the review that made it all possible: http://readerviews.com/reviewjoshuatheswallow
Want to read the book for yourself, buy it here: http://ow.ly/YWqiN
Read a sample: http://ow.ly/uNu8309OjfC

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world Veronica Roth built in Carve the Mark is very different but she does a great job of explaining the world and letting us understand it easily. My real issue is with the character names, that I found it confusing at time and I would be lost in the action to have to relisten and catch the characters names and who they were. Possibly a complete character list would have been helpful because the names are so different and some sound very similar even though they are spelled differently. But this could have been because I listened to the audiobook and not read it. I will probably have to go back and reread it. Although I did love the voice of Austin Butler, so smooth and sexy for Akos.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Review: My Not So Perfect Life

My Not So Perfect Life My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read all of Sophie Kinsella's books, and the resounding theme is the laughter her storyline and characters evoke from me. This is another exceptionally funny and sweet chick-lit book. She is the queen, and I love all of her words she deems fit for the page. I loved Katie and Alex. What Katie does to her former boss had me in stitches. I love that she watched an episode of Friends during it all as well. I can't recommend Sophie Kinsella's book more than I already do. I eat up her words. I thought that Katie was a strong character and although she was timid at first, her true personality showed through quickly. It was original and quirky. Well done, again!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My favorite fictional couple....for the moment

Goodreads asked Isabelle Joshua:

Who is your favorite fictional couple, and why?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Obnoxious

My childhood best friend's mother called me "obnoxious" too many times to recall. I came to believe it was just who I was. 

adjective 1.highly objectionable or offensive; odious:
obnoxious behavior.2.annoying or objectionable due to being a showoff or attracting undue attention to oneself

this is all the directions my brain is going at one time
As an adult, I recognized my behaviors of talking loud, talking a lot, and not being quiet were different from what she thought a child should act like and gave it a hurtful name.  My friend's parents were quiet and came from Portugal, and to them, I was the opposite of all that they thought a good girl was. I remember telling my friend that I couldn't imagine getting in trouble for "talking back" like she did.  I would never not have been in trouble if that was a big deal in my house.



Now, I am faced with children that are very intelligent but yet have struggles. I love my daughter to death, but my husband and I agree that she was born to irritate.  She is very hyperactive and completely rebellious, and she is 6.  I get it, I hated and still do to an extent to be told what to do.  But she does great in class and is a model student.  But when I ask her if she has trouble concentrating or sitting still, she tells me that she can't sit in the seat because she moves too much and has to sit on the floor. 

And I have a son that might have dyslexia (waiting for results), and we also might need to test him for "attentiveness, executive functioning, impulsivity" his teacher said to me.  I looked that up and realized, "Oh, so we need to test him for ADD or ADHD."  And being the very impatient mother that I am, I started looking into it myself because I can't wait for the results, I need to know now and start doing things to help him.   (Yeah, I gave him a dyslexia assessment the night I found out that was a concern and he is highly likely to have it).

So I start going through the questions, and they are asking stuff like:

Do you make small mistakes in your work? Do you skim read? Rush things?

Do you mess up dates or get numbers wrong? Fail to notice typos?  Often overlook details in filling out forms, or forget to add attachments to emails?

Do you make simple errors because you weren’t paying attention?

this is my brain trying to focus...
And my son was confused because he doesn't know what a typo is or filling out forms or attachments to emails are, but I do.  

And I started running through my head about all the questions I get wrong during the practice multiple choice tests because I completely forget that two seconds ago I read that I am looking for the wrong answer, not the right answer, or I missed that one word that made the answer completely wrong.

Or how embarrassed I was when I was helping my son with his 3rd-grade math, and I didn't have the answer key, so I did all 10 problems myself first before talking with him about what he got wrong.  Then I realized I had done the first 4 problems wrong because of one minor detail I didn't read carefully or forgot that 6 x 25 doesn't equal 125 but 150. I mean it was so simple but yet I got them wrong because of simple mistakes.

I have a college degree from the best public university in our state, and I finished in 3.5 years!  And I finished my J.D. in 3 years even though I was on the 4-year plan.  And I finished well.  I'm fairly intelligent.   But I fricking can't answer 3rd-grade math problems right....I know why "Are you smarter than a 3rd grader" was so popular now.

By this time I had lost my son's interest (yeah, he probably does have attention problems) and I started taking the test for myself.  I answer yes to 9 out of 9 on inattentiveness. Then on the hyperactivity and impulsivity, I answered 6 out of 9.  Anything over 5 on each indicates that there is a high probability that the test taker has a problem in these areas.
If you want to take this same test, here is the link:  http://totallyadd.com/adhd-quiz-start/

But I needed more proof because although answering those questions made complete sense to me, I had to be sure.  So I took an Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale which means once complete I take it my doctor for a diagnosis.  There are 18 questions, and it says answering 4 or more in the dark shaded area indicates the patient has symptoms highly consistent with ADHD in adults.  I have 10 in the shaded areas.  Here is the link to that too: http://www.addadult.com/getting-help/for-you/online-screening-test/


So needless to say, I started crying.  Buckets.  Then I called my mom who said "who cares" look what I've done and been able to cope with and got so much accomplished.  I felt a little better, but I still needed to process these feelings.  Obviously, this is not a diagnosis, and of course, I am calling my doctor first thing on Monday to schedule an appointment because I'm that impatient for results.  But it explains so much.  So many things in my past make sense, it is like finding a puzzle piece that you never knew you were looking for but now the picture is complete, and it looks great (yeah, right).

All those times that I've felt bad about my forgetfulness, my rude interrupting, my habit of not finishing things I start, my need to have an alarm on my phone to do daily tasks like picking my children up from school, and a host of other faults I have, I feel a little vindicated that I'm not just lazy and selfish and a daydreamer.  I do really well considering how scattered my brain is.

So that was my afternoon. Now I need to focus on the 15 tasks I have to do.  Thanks for letting me share! And I'd love to hear if you can relate or have some other disorder that I can google and learn more about ;-).

Isabelle

Friday, January 27, 2017

Why Am I EXCITED about a 2 star review of my book, The Swallow?

The Swallow just got a 2 out of 5 stars by an ARC reader I sent it to back in March 2016. Why am I sharing it and excited? Because even though she only thought it was okay, I felt it was an honest review of my book, and it is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to write a very realistic book even and make it believable. See for yourself...
 
 
GOODREADS REVIEW:
After reading The Swallow, an advanced copy given to me, I can say that this was an ok story. It took me awhile to read it because in my opinion it was a bit to realistic for my taste. Nevertheless, I did like reading about Kathryn`s story. There were a few moments where I was wondering if the author thought of taking another angle then the one she took. I love the emotional experience that is written in The Swallow. I didn't like the she loss her memory, but I loved how aware to brain injuries is used here. I would recommend The Swallow to those looking for realistic stories.
 
Years ago, I learned to take constructive criticism, and it has served me well.  I love it when a reader connects with the book I wrote and adores every part of it.  But I am grateful for the reader that didn't like it or thought it was okay and shared why.  That helps me improve as a writer and also opens my eyes to what I really like in the books I read and write.

How are you at criticism? 

Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I have been hesitant about writing a review of this book. On many levels, I liked the book. The characters and storyline were interesting, and it was easy to continue because I listened to the audiobook version rather than read it.

My problems with the book were the Nick character waxing poetic about everything and being morose and sappy. The narrator for his part really amped up the whininess of his voice, but then there were times that he sounded normal and I liked the character.

The whole punk band scene was very different, and I couldn't relate to them. The teenagers out all night on this crazy experience together was so cliche, but it worked at times. I just thought the book was trying too hard to be cool and it's characters were too.

It had elements that I really liked, but on the whole, it was just okay. I wouldn't pick up another one of their books, and I definitely won't see the movie.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review: The Offering

The Offering The Offering by Jessika Fleck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love the characters. The inner conflict about her love for Nico and the struggle with her place in their society and the forbidden nature of the friendship. Then the introduction of Dorian and The Night. The Offering and depiction of the brutality and merciless nature of the society were thrilling and heartwrenching. I can't wait to read book two. I loved it, and I want to know what happens next. I didn't want it to end!!!

For readers that love Fantasy, this is a great YA Fantasy book, for those that aren't big fantasy fans (like me) it is such a great story and gripped me from the beginning. Similar Stories: It isn't exactly like Shatter Me series, but it definitely had moments when it reminded me of it. Exceptional!

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TV Review: Homeland Season 6 Episode 2: The Man in the Basement


WHY???
That is the question I wanted Carrie to answer!  She did in her emotions and nonverbal communications, but I wanted more. I've loved Quinn from the first time he stabbed Brody in the hand.  Actually before then, but you get it.  
My heart has broken watching Quinn struggle, struggle, and struggle because he doesn't want to live. But yet just like Carrie I want him to, I want him to work and make progress so he can find happiness with her. And take a bath, please. Because you look too damn good to be smelly.
Remember him?  I do, and I want a little of him back, I know he won't go back to the badass MF that always protects Carrie but yet quietly takes all the risks with his body and heart.
I was very glad to see Max back, but I am wondering if his anger or hard feelings since Season 3 when Fara was killed towards Carrie will resurface.
And the rest of the show was good.  At first, I never suspected Carrie was advising Madam President-Elect and was thrown when Saul asked her.  Evidently, I'm not CIA material.  I still believed her but thought that was too suspicious to be ignored after watching five seasons of Homeland.
I'm not sure what's going on with the terrorist suspect Carrie and the lawyer are assisting.  Though it is interesting because he wants to fall on the cloak of Free Speech, but long before whatever law that FBI guy is using against him, speech that incites others to violence is NOT protected under the First Amendment.  So even if he was just telling other people on his video to go rob stores or kill their neighbor, or whatever it is not protected speech.  There is other non-protected speech as well but just wanted to give a little insight that I have with my legal education.
I am having a hard time with watching it this season for the mere fact that I have to watch each week for the new episode.  The other seasons I binged watched and couldn't get enough.  I can't wait to see what happens and my heart is holding out for Quinn to get out of his deep depression.  Maybe some meds for that??

Review: Forever

Forever Forever by Judy Blume
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first book by Judy Blume that I've read that wasn't one of the Super Fudge books from my childhood. This was a sweet and honest story about young love. I found it very eye opening about how open the teenagers were with their parents. This was written at the time of my birth, and I found it very interesting to understand the 1970s and their ideas about sexuality and drugs. I liked it a lot for a young adult book. I wish I had read this when I was a young girl.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Sunrise Kisses

Sunrise Kisses Sunrise Kisses by Krista Lakes
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I bought "Yours Completely" when it was free, and after reading it and liking it (3 stars), I kept reading for Sunset Kisses.

First off, the prologue was confusing, and I don't believe added to the story at all. I think it was the blurb from the Amazon page stuck in front of the first chapter, so it was very confusing.

Once I started reading it, I was interested to read more. I read it quickly, and there were parts that I liked and the premise was good, but if Ava mentioned that he was a billionaire one more time I think I'll vomit. Seriously, get over it. Stop obsessing. It didn't add to the characters insecurities. Ava whole I'm not good enough for him was sickening. I understand that she was just cheated on, but Ava had some serious flaws. She was so insipid with no friends, no life, and no self-esteem. It was all wrapped up in the ex-boyfriend. The whole "you're a billionaire" was used as a teasing element in the book for her, but it was awful, and I didn't like her much. I cannot relate to someone that thinks they are pond-scum because they don't have a billion dollar net worth. It's one thing to feel awkward in fancy or formal settings; I completely get that. I live in yoga pants. But she needed counseling more than a new boyfriend. But instead like so many other typical romance novels, she has a small conversation with her dad and miraculously he knows everything just by the look on her face and that she's depressed that she was in love with Bastian (which is a hilarious name, because I kept wanted to say "bastard" in my head). This book could have been so much better. And the whole darkness and not going into his study was not really addresses except for possibly her seeing his body. So ridiculous. Anyway, I get tired of the same old plot line of romance novels and wish for something more. There are plenty of authors that do it well, and I will read them instead. Even though I did like Your Truly, I didn't love it, and I can't forsee me reading anything else of hers.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review Requests

So I read a lot, and since I post so many reviews, I have started to get requests to my email.  The problem is that I have over a hundred emails a day to sift through and many times I don't have time to read them, so I thought I'd create a better way for writers to submit their books for my review.

Here is a graphic of the page.  I hope it helps because I want to read the books, but the system I have currently isn't working.

Insatiable Reader

Monday, January 16, 2017

Twenty

One
Twenty missed calls. He was just going to keep calling.
I pressed talk, “Why are you calling me?”
“I’m so sorry. Please listen to me.” Desperation filled his words.
“I don’t want to.” The numb feeling set in thirty hours ago and hadn’t dissipated. I was wrung dry of emotions. Hopelessness hung around my neck. 
“Please let me explain,” Mark asked quietly.
I exhaled loudly; wanting him to know I was over him. This whole thing was a nuisance I’ve moved past; he wasn’t someone worth my broken heart. It was a lie, but I wanted him to believe it.
“Please.”
“Fine.”
If only my ears could disconnect from my head, so he couldn’t confirm what his ex-wife told me when she answered his phone.
“I just, you know, fucked it up.” His smooth, confident voice shook as he spoke. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I wouldn’t have gone, but Tessa said that Lee’s old girlfriend, Hailey, would be there. I hadn’t seen her since his funeral.”
Is that supposed to make me feel better? Rage reared up, but I didn’t spew all the expletives that swirled around in my head. Because we’re done. It doesn’t matter what he said.
“I’m sorry."
"Please, say something.”
Why won’t he let me be? I made it easy; I begged my sister the morning after to go to my place, get all his shit out of there, and change the locks.
As soon as his drunk ass called me, I told him it was over, and he should get his stuff before I trashed it.
So why was he on the phone pleading with me?
He couldn't explain why hours after I left, he met with Tessa and Hailey. Then slept with Hailey. Nothing would change what he did.
How could I put myself in this position again? Why does this keep happening? Is there something wrong with me?
I closed my eyes pressing out the destructive thoughts.

Two
It was different last time. I’d been with Will for three years when he moved back home. Promising it had nothing to do with us, just that he needed to be close to his family after his brother died. It didn’t take long before my suspicions began. He lied about why he wasn’t home when I called. He lied when I ask why Melanie kept coming up in our conversations. He lied when I asked him directly if he was living with her. I got physically sick thinking about her there while I was on the phone with him.
I vowed it wouldn’t happen again. I won't go through the agony of doubt and worry ever again. I let Will lie for too long.
I won’t let another year of my life be sucked away in lies.
I smothered the flood of emotion raging inside. “I have to go; we’re about to eat lunch,” I lied.
“Oh, okay. Can I call you again?”
Another sigh. “I don’t know.”
I sat down motionless, screaming inside, why didn’t I just say no. I wanted it over. He cheated. I ended it. Why does he keep calling?
The distance between us would be gone when I fly home. My trip was only four days, and it took him one to throw it all away.

Three
My best friend listened and let me cry, helped me mold the hard shell around my heart. When I’d cried all the tears I thought possible, he called again. I ignored it and tried to enjoy my vacation despite the sadness that swallowed me. She answered his calls, giving me the buffer I needed.
He wasn’t making it easy. Why wouldn’t he just leave me alone?
Finally, I took his call. Then the next call. I hung up on him countless times when my anger boiled over at his confessions. But my heart wouldn’t let it end. I kept answering his calls.

Two months earlier, I tagged along with my friends to the next town when they suggested another bar had cheaper drinks.  I saw him at the end of the bar right after we walked in, drinking and talking with some guy; I had to meet him.
When Mark sat down with us at our table, I couldn’t take my eyes off his handsome face and deep brown eyes. He asked me to dance and then kissed me. After talking and flirting, we decided to walk back to his truck together.  More talking and laughing through the quiet neighborhood.
When he asked me to drive, I didn’t think anything of it. I spent the night with him and woke up a few hours later to be ushered out of his apartment because he said he had plans that morning. He drove me back to my car; the thirty-minute drive filled with our conversation. We connected so seamlessly. Then I realized I forgot my lipstick and we had to go back. Almost to my car again, I bit my lip and admitted I forgot my keys. He teased that I was leaving stuff behind on purpose, which made me laugh nervously because the truth is that I just forget stuff a lot when I’m rushed. Almost two hours later, we made it to my car with all my belongings. I kissed him goodbye, and I knew I wouldn’t be calling him. Despite our connection, a one nightstand leads to nothing good.
And then as I was starting my car, he rolled down the window and asked me what I was doing for the day. I didn’t have plans. So when he asked if he could come over, I agreed with a smile.

Four
When I got back from my trip, Mark asked if he could come over to see me. I was hesitant. On the phone, I had some control; I could hang up as soon as I was overwhelmed. Seeing him. I didn’t know if I could hold up my wall of protection with him so near.
But I wasn’t strong enough to say no yet. So I agreed.
The dark circles under his eyes and hurt when I pulled away from him was hard to ignore. I sat as far away from him as possible avoiding his eye contact. He talked while I listened.
Then he said something that made sense. “It wasn’t about you. I slept with Hailey to rub it in Tessa’s face that I didn’t want her. She cheated on me and threw our marriage away. I wanted to show her she’d never have me again.”
It didn’t make me feel better about what he did to me. But I understood that better than all his apologies. Tessa broke him when she left. I naively thought it wouldn’t matter. I’d never dating anyone that was divorced. I didn’t understand the ramifications that went into the loss of a marriage.
Unable to disregard the anguish he felt or the deep remorse, my ice encrusted shell cracked. And that’s when he cried for the first time with me. I couldn’t deny that I felt the same torture at being without him; I wanted him and his promises to change to be genuine. But I still didn’t trust him.

Five
He called every day. And little by little he asked for more. Asked to see me again. Then asked me to look at him. All his efforts were like the tide coming in closer and closer to my sandcastle fortress, inch by inch eroding my walls. Then when I looked at him, his red-rimmed eyes drove home his regret; he asked if I would sit closer to him. We progressed slowly, but all this did was cement how much I loved him and how angry I was at what he did to us. Sorrow and fury would boil up, and I couldn’t move past the ache. He asked for another chance. He told me he’d do anything.
So I told him if he was serious that he made the biggest mistake of his life by cheating on me, and he wanted me back, then there were no more chances. I made him promise to leave me alone if he screwed it up again. I knew I still wasn't strong enough to do it.
But if I asked for too much then he would fail, and it would end. So I laid out all my demands. He said he wouldn't fail me.
I didn't believe him, but I agreed.

Six

Looking back twenty years later, I’m so glad I agreed.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: The Woodlands

The Woodlands The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good book. I was hooked immediately. I don't like Rosa because she is angry and immature so often and hurtful to nearly everyone, but the story is so compelling and grips you that I suffered through her bad attitude. She does grow a little, and I hope she gets better as the series progresses. I really liked Joseph and other side characters, but the relationships that Rosa forms with them is so threadbare because she is so caustic and angry all the time. I'm not sure her anger seems entirely justified. But otherwise, I really enjoyed the book and can't wait to read the next one.

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Review: The Wall

The Wall The Wall by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a hard time with Rosa in this book but I grew to like her more, and her struggles with Joseph and the baby were heartbreaking. The part that aggravated me the most was her defiance to learn any combat or self-defense skills, I thought it was selfish and put her and the others at risk. Her so-called philosophy of not harming anyone wasn't clear from the beginning, and it just seemed juvenile. And her anger at various characters, actually almost all the characters, was too much at times. She just was always angry. But the story and the other characters were very good. She's growing on me, but on the whole, she is my most disliked protagonist for a book series that I actually do like.

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Review: The Wounded

The Wounded The Wounded by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I felt like Rosa grew in this book more. I liked her character in this one and enjoyed her relationship with the side characters as well as Joseph. Her bond with Orry grows and it showed her maturity. At times the writing and pronouns made me have to go back and re-read to understand the passage and this happened throughout all of her books that I read. The story is very interesting and fast moving.

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Review: The Wanted

The Wanted The Wanted by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I connected with this book the most because of the inclusion of Joseph's POV. I grew to like Rosa so much more in this book and also in the previous Wounded book. But this one made me cry buckets. In The Wounded, the tragic events that happened didn't evoke as much response from me because it was from Rosa's POV and this book's event was through Joseph's eyes which I connect more. It was a great finale to this very good series. I spent all night reading it. I couldn't put it down, and Lauren Nicolle Taylor's writing got better and better as the series progressed.

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