Monday, October 22, 2018

The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence



I read the ebook edition of The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence, which is approximately 82 pages in length. I was able to download this steampunk/cyber thriller for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review of The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence.

I thought The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence wasn't as good as expected based on the summary I read of it on Amazon. Plus, this short story/novella had 30 reviews and a 4+ star rating on Amazon, but I felt that The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence simply didn't live up to the hype. Mediocre story, characters, and writing. Let's just say I'll be skipping on any of J. T. Lawrence's other works.

The following is a summary for The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence from Amazon:
Jasmine is arrested for performing a bootleg vampire facelift in her modded-out steampunk caravan.
She’s thrilled, because it's worked out exactly as she planned.

Jasmine has mastered moonlighting.

She's a steampunk inventor, a cosmetician, and a gene-hacking florist.
And then there’s her real job: exposing evil corps and dodgy clinics.

When Jasmine, the head of Alba—an underground biopunk organisation—is tipped off that something morally dubious is happening at the city’s most luxurious high-tech spa, she takes it upon herself to investigate, and discovers a whole lot more than she bargained for.

(Warning: Contains colorful language and sex.)

This short standalone spin-off novelette is set in the near-future When Tomorrow Calls world, and introduces Jasmine, Seth and Keke, just before we meet Kirsten, the kick-ass main character in Why You Were Taken.

I am giving The Stepford Florist by J. T. Lawrence a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Flash Fiction Mix-And-Match Writing Prompts by Corrine Kenner


I purchased the paperback edition of Flash Fiction Mix-And-Match Writing Prompts by Corrine Kenner from Amazon due to the great reviews.

I have mixed feelings about Flash Fiction Mix-And-Match Writing Prompts by Corrine Kenner. Yes, this book is as described in that it provides excellent mix and match writing prompts in order to help writers come up with a storyline. The directions are excellent on how to use the book... And there are even additional writing tips, tricks, and hints at the end of the book to help hone your writing skills. I also love how well this book is organized.

However, Flash Fiction Mix-And-Match Writing Prompts by Corrine Kenner is more of a booklet than a book at 28 pages in length. I felt like the price of this booklet was steep. Additionally, I feel like you could easily find writing prompts online for free to help you become more creative in writing a story. 

Below is a summary for Flash Fiction Mix-And-Match Writing Prompts by Corrine Kenner from Amazon:
Don’t waste time waiting for story ideas to come to you. Flip through this booklet, and you can create characters and plots in seconds. Simply choose a single word or phrase from each of the five sections, in order, and then turn those selections into a sentence. It's easy, because the sections are arranged like parts of speech. Here’s a sample prompt to show you how it works. 1. descriptions (adjectives): vengeful 2. characters (nouns): historian 3. actions (verbs): steals 4. plot twists (objects): movie script 5. settings (more nouns): coffee shop Add a few articles and prepositions, and you have a premise for a story: A vengeful historian steals a movie script in a coffee shop. Look for combinations that amuse and intrigue you. Feel free to make changes, substitutions, and additions. You might find a garbage man in the list — but you’ll soon discover that your garbage man is actually a garbage woman, or a trash-picking hobo, or an environmentally sensitive vampire who sleeps in a landfill. Let your characters drive the story. You can also play fast and loose with the grammar. You’re welcome to turn nouns into verbs, or objects into adjectives. Maybe your character isn’t a ghost. Maybe he’s just ghostly. You can change verb conjugations, too. If your hero isn’t inflicting wounds, for example, maybe he’s the one being wounded. Feel free to make the most of the suggestions in this booklet. Remember that they’re starting points, not final destinations — and let them take you into a story that practically writes itself.
I am giving Flash Fiction Mix-And-Match Writing Prompts by Corrine Kenner a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

The BuzzFeed Book Club!

I came across a new online book club a few days ago in an article titled, Welcome To The BuzzFeed Book Club! by Arianna Rebolini. In the article, Arianna Rebolini wrote the following:
Hello! Are you a person who loves to read but is often overwhelmed by the task of choosing a new book? Do you have a million open tabs of book recommendation lists? Do you wish you could hire someone to pick your books out for you — is a book concierge even a thing? Do you straight-up love books and want a place to chat about them with fellow discerning, thoughtful, and enthusiastic readers?

Each month, BuzzFeed Books will select one brand-new book for members to read together.

We’ll announce the selection before it comes out so you’ll have plenty of time to preorder or reserve it at your local library.
We’ll chat about these books in the BuzzFeed Book Club Facebook group — where we’ll ask discussion questions, share our opinions, gush and rant about our favorite and least favorite characters, make plot predictions, host Q&As with the authors, and generally drop in random thoughts as we read together.
You’ll get two newsletters a month, full of exclusive content from the authors, highlights from the Facebook group, blurbs from future selections, giveaways, and more.

And each month you’ll have an opportunity to weigh in so we can tailor the book club to what you want: What kind of books do you like to read? Did you love this one or hate it? What kind of book-related features do you want to see from us?

It’ll be a blast — and it’s free!
The first book chosen for Buzzfeed's Book Club is a novel titled, Family Trust by Kathy Wang. Discussion for Family Trust by Kathy Wang will begin on November 1, 2018.

It just so happens that I received a FREE copy of Family Trust by Kathy Wang through Goodreads Giveaways. I have yet to read Family Trust though. I have a busy schedule through the end of the month. Plus, I am already reading a book at the moment... So, I'll try to read this novel before November 1st as I'd like to join in the discussion group as soon as possible.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry



I listened to the unabridged audio version of Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry and narrated by Scott Brick. Listening time for Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry is 37 minutes.

As an Audible member, I was able to download Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry for FREE to my Kindle! Below is my honest, unbiased review of Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry.

I decided to listen to Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry because I was in the mood for a spooky, scary read in honor of the Halloween holiday... And a free, short story seemed to work best for me as I have not had a lot of time to devote to reading longer books this month.

Yes, Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry was a spooky ghost story, but not one I'd go out of my way to recommend to others in any way at all. The best part of Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry was Scott Brick's narration of it.

The following is a plot summary for Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry from Audible:
The fears and horrors of being a new parent take on a shocking dimension in in this heart-stopping original story, only from Audible. A young married couple, Matt and Gillian have just bought a gorgeous house located next to a lake in the Catskills. They want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city to raise their baby girl, Hope, in relative peace and quiet. When night falls, however, their dream home becomes a house of nightmares. Matt and Gillian soon learn that darkness takes many forms. And sometimes, darkness is hungry.
New York Times best-selling author and Bram Stoker Award winner Jonathan Maberry delivers a haunting Audible Original that will give listeners the Halloween creeps all year round. Scott Brick, the man with the golden voice, perfectly captures the experience of hearing a classic ghost story told around the campfire
I am giving Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Select Five Books And Buzzfeed Will Give You Some Inspirational Advice

Need some inspirational advice?

My Inspirational Quote from Buzzfeed is:


Never change for anyone but yourself!!

No one else's opinion besides your own should matter. If you want to change your hair, eat that extra slice of cake or wear that bodycon dress, then you should do it. Not everyone may agree with you and there'll be people who try to make these decisions on your behalf. But you should ignore them and just be your true self.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Paperback
I've read numerous Agatha Christie novels over the years, but The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie is one that I do recollect reading before... Until now!

I enjoyed reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, even though I felt that it was slow in parts. There were many twists and turns in this novel, so I was left guessing to the identity of the murderer throughout much of this novel. It wasn't until the remaining few pages that I guessed the identity of the murderer just before it was announced!

Below is the plot summary for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie from Amazon:
Voted by the British Crime Writers’ Association as the "Best Crime Novel of all Time"
Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement in one of Agatha Christie’s ten favorite novels, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with an apparent drug overdose.

However the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information, but before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death. Luckily one of Roger’s friends and the newest resident to retire to this normally quiet village takes over—none other than Monsieur Hercule Poirot.
I am giving The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Happy National Dictionary Day!!

National Dictionary Day falls each year on October 16th.

Watch the following video for National Dictionary Day.


I think I'll celebrate National Dictionary Day
by learning a new word or two!

As a side note, I loved reading, 
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester,
which is about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Top Ten Tuesday - Bookstores I've Visited & Loved!!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I decided to put a twist on this week's Top Ten Tuesday theme and share my favorite indie bookstores that I've visited over the years instead of sharing which ones I still wish to visit in the future.

My top ten favorite indie bookstores to date (in no particular order of importance) are as follows:

1. Alexander Book Company in the heart of downtown San Francisco, California, USA.  Alexander Book Company is easy walking distance from a BART Station. It contains three stories of books!! I love the layout of this bookstore, friendly staff, plenty of new releases to choose from and also a ton of deeply discounted remaindered books.

2. Book Passage in Corte Madera, California, USA. Book Passage has three different locations (San Francisco, Sausalito, and Corte Madera). The Corte Madera location is awesome! Book Passage in Corte Madera, California is large, offers a plethora of author signings and talks (as well author events at their other locations too), conferences, and classes. Friendly staff, great selection of books, and wonderful layout.

3. Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, California, USA is a beautiful bookstore. They have authors events,  and also sell pens and stationary. Vroman's Bookstore is also billed as SoCal's oldest and largest independent bookstore.

4. The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles, California, USA. This a very beautiful and unique bookstore. They sell used records too. Great layout. Events take place there like book clubs, author talks, and more.

5. Bart's Books in Ojai, California, USA. I love this very unique bookstore! It's partially outdoors and has meandering bookshelves and passageways. It's a fun book store to visit and sells used books. It's one of my favorite used bookstores.

6. The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. I love this small bookstore that specializes mainly in mysteries and thrillers. They have plenty of author signing events and book clubs events as well. Plus, they have a podcast and videos on YouTube!

7. Elaine's Book Mark - The Paperback Exchange in Escondido, California, USA. This bookstore sells used books and is large for a used bookstore. This is one of my favorite used bookstores.

8. Rakestraw Books in Danville, California, USA. My favorite local bookstore at the moment. It's small, but packs a punch! Friendly staff, plenty of free parking, many author signing events, book clubs, great layout and very cute interior space.

9. Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, California, USA. If you're a fan of genre fiction such as mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and horror, then this is the bookstore for you!

10. Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa, USA. I attended the University of Iowa in the mid-1990s and earned my BA in Russian in 1996. The University of Iowa is located in the heart of Iowa City... During my college days, my favorite bookstore was Prairie Lights!! This place was awesome for all my reading needs and had a cafe that served yummy pastries and espresso beverages. Even though I haven't been back to Iowa City in 22 years, I am thrilled to see this bookstore still thriving! Prairie Lights opened their doors in 1978. They still have a cafe and offer author events/readings.

Share your favorite indie bookstores with me in the comment section below!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pizza Hut + Little Free Library = Little Free Libraries That Look Like Mini Pizza Huts!

I love visiting Little Free Libraries as often as I can, especially new to me Little Free Libraries. I recently discovered an article online titled, Pizza Hut’s ‘Little Free Libraries’ Look Exactly Like Mini Pizza Huts by Anne Ewbank. In the article, Anne Ewbank wrote the following:
WHILE STOPPING FOR GAS IN Wyoming during a recent trip, I glanced at a Pizza Hut across the parking lot and saw something surprising. Pizza Huts tend to be topped with the geometric red roof that’s become the pizza chain’s logo—it’s plastered on restaurants from Riverton, Wyoming, to Rio de Janeiro. This Pizza Hut had the iconic roof. But so did another, tiny Pizza Hut placed in front of the restaurant. Set atop a wooden post, the crate-sized structure was actually a Little Free Library, filled with books that passersby could pick up and exchange.

While the Little Free Library website offers blueprints to create basic book-exchange boxes, many builders get creative. Volunteers make Little Free Libraries shaped like birdhouses, castles, and spaceships, or themed after Doctor Who and Harry Potter. Others are made with attached benches or added greenery, and reams of Pinterest boards depict interesting designs. Contests celebrate the most creative takes.

Still, a Pizza Hut-themed Little Free Library was new to me. A few days later, in Montana, I plotted a course for a random Pizza Hut. Sure enough, there was a Little Free Library out front. Topped with the signature red roof, it was filled with magazines and classic young adult books, such as Johnny Tremain and Catherine, Called Birdy.
When I called Pizza Hut, I was informed that this was a franchisee project, rather than a national endeavor. “We were looking at ways to become involved in our markets locally,” says Lynda Carrier-Metz, the chief marketing manager of Restaurant Management Company of Wichita. In 2016, Carrier-Metz won a $10,000 volunteer grant from Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands to construct 20 book-exchange boxes in front of restaurants. According to Carrier-Metz, it came down to combining community involvement with “what people were doing already”: that is, going to Pizza Hut. “In many towns, the libraries aren’t open after 5 or 6 p.m.,” she adds. “We wanted them to come to Pizza Hut and bring their books, and get other books.”
The article goes on to share much more information, so please be sure and click on the link above to read more about how Pizza Hut decided to created several Little Free Libraries. I found the article to be fascinating and am glad that Pizza Hut has a legacy of supporting literacy.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Unabridged Audio Version
I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and narrated by Bahni Turpin. Listening time for The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is 10 hours, 43 minutes.

The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017 and was also an Oprah Book Club Selection in 2016. For these two main reasons, I decided to read this novel despite the fact that I find Oprah Book Club Selections hit or miss for me personally.

I thought the first 20% of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead started off rather slowly. I almost decided to call it quits...  But I am glad I chose to push forward as things did begin to pick up after that.

As far as the entire novel goes, I liked The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, but didn't love it. I enjoyed how the plot unfolded, the various plot twists and turns, and the use of magical realism when describing the underground railroad itself as a literal railroad that people traveled on. I enjoyed reading about the various characters found within The Underground Railroad. I also enjoyed seeing each state Cora travels to through her eyes and how she comes to experience an entirely new world of possibility and wonderment during each leg of her journey to freedom.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a difficult novel to read. The brutality of slavery, the appalling living/working conditions of life on a plantation, the thought of being considered someone else's property, being separated from one's family when a slave owner sells off your husband, children, parents, siblings, etc. on a whim, or even being considered less than equal to white people are all points touched upon while reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Colson Whitehead does do a wonderful job of weaving in the various chapters together to make a solid, credible story.

Learning about what really happened to Mabel (Cora's mother) in a chapter near the end of the novel, the chapter about Ethel's background life, and the chapters on South Carolina and about life on the Valentine Farm were some of the most riveting chapters in the novel for me to hear.

The ending of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is the type of ending that leaves it up to the reader's imagination on  Cora's fate, which is fine...  The assumption for me is that she finds freedom with the people she meets up with in the end. But I was hoping for a bit more details for the ending of this particular novel.

One of the best features of this audiobook was the narrator, Bahni Turpin. She's a phenomenal narrator!!

The following is a plot summary for The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead from Audible:
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
Like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Below is the author Colson Whitehead discussing The Underground Railroad.


I am giving The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead a rating of 3.5 stars out 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Maryse Conde Wins the Alternate Nobel Prize In Literature!

I came across an article on the Wall Street Journal titled, Not-the-Nobel Prize in Literature Is Announced by Brenda Cronin. In the article, Brenda Cronin wrote the following:
Maryse Condé, a chronicler of the colonial experience and its aftermath, won the New Academy Prize in Literature Friday. 
Ms. Condé was praised as “a grand storyteller” whose “authorship belongs to world literature,” according to the New Academy. The Stockholm-based nonprofit stepped in to honor a writer this year after the Swedish Academy postponed the Nobel Prize in literature.

Ann Pålsson, a Swedish publishing veteran who headed the New Academy’s four-person jury, announced the decision in the rotunda of the Stockholm Public Library.
 
In an interview Friday, the 81-year-old Ms. Condé said she was delighted, proud—even astonished—to have won the award. She expressed hope that the New Academy might continue its work, particularly because the organization involved librarians in choosing nominees. 
In a video played during the announcement in Stockholm, Ms. Condé said she would share the honor with the people of her native Guadeloupe. The island in the Caribbean where she was born “is known for hurricanes and earthquakes,” she said, “and now we are so happy to have been recognized for something else, for this prize.”
Congratulations to Maryse Conde! I've never heard of Maryse Conde before, so I will have to check out her books.

Bookish Quote of the Day!!!


Friday, October 12, 2018

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Black Cover Design



50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This fun themed meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week a new topic will give bloggers the chance to showcase their answers.

This week's theme is your Favorite/Least Favorite Black Cover Design.

My Favorite Black Cover Design is:
Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
(This novel will be published in February 2019)
I love the fun & beautiful detail for this novel's cover.



My Least Favorite Black Cover Design is
My Conversations With Black by Bill Puett, Ph.D.
The cover for this book is plain and boring looking.




What is your Favorite/Least Favorite Black Cover Design?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax


Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax is a science fiction, erotica/romance short story 48 pages in length and is part of the 'Cyborg Sizzle Series'.

I was able to download Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review for Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax.

I liked Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax despite it being predictable and formulaic. The writing was decent and so were both the storyline and the characters. Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax has a happy ending and no major complications.

Below is the plot summary for Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax from Amazon:
He requires an Expert. She needs a hero. 
Barrel requires an Expert for the Tau Cetian orphans. He’s looking for a female who is willing to commit to a lifespan-long role, who is comfortable with moving off planet, and who, preferably, has the ability to speak the offsprings’ first language. 
Nola wants the role Barrel is offering so badly she bends a few truths. Yes, she was born off planet but she has lived almost all of her lifespan in sheltered Academies. Yes, she has learned Tau Cetian but she has never spoken with a local. Yes, she plans to follow the rules but his deep, sexy voice tempts her to rebel. 
When a fact-morphing human academic meets her battle-worn cyborg warrior, deceptions are revealed, passions flare, and circuits sizzle. Wrong seems right. Lies turn into truth. The candidate least qualified for the role becomes the one candidate Barrel can’t let go. 
Jumping Barrel is a short companion story in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is meant to be read after Releasing Rage, Breathing Vapor and Crash And Burn.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes violent universe.
I am giving Jumping Barrel by Cynthia Sax a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax


Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax is a science fiction, erotica/romance short story 45 pages in length and is part of the 'Cyborg Sizzle Series'.

I was able to download Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review for Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax.

I liked Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax despite it being predictable and formulaic. The writing was decent and so were the storyline and the characters. Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax has a happy ending and no major complications.

Below is the plot summary for Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax from Amazon:
Abducted by the warrior of her dreams.
Zip is the last of his friends to find his female, the one being meant for him. He isn’t certain she exists until he hears her voice over a transmission. A self-proclaimed systems deity, he researches his curvy little human and discovers she dreams of being abducted by a big, strong warrior. Zip plans to make his female’s fantasies come true.
Ryssa wants one gift for her birthing planet rotation—to be captured by a warrior, preferably a tall, muscular cyborg with black hair, gray skin, and brilliant blue eyes. When Zip arrives on her planet, claiming to be her male, Ryssa assumes one of her friends has ordered the experience for her, and throws herself into the encounter, losing herself in Zip’s hot kisses, sensual touch, dominant embrace.
When the fantasy fades, will their love survive?
Knowing Zip is a short companion story in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is meant to be read after Seeking Vector. 
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes violent universe.
I am giving Knowing Zip by Cynthia Sax a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post, happy reading!

Being Green by Cynthia Sax



Being Green by Cynthia Sax is a science fiction, erotica/romance short story 49 pages in length and is part of the 'Cyborg Sizzle Series'.

I was able to download Being Green by Cynthia Sax for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review for Being Green by Cynthia Sax.

I liked Being Green by Cynthia Sax despite it being predictable and formulaic. The writing was decent and so were the storyline and the characters. Being Green by Cynthia Sax has a happy ending and no major complications.

Below is the plot summary for Being Green by Cynthia Sax from Amazon:
Can a stubborn scientist and a sexy cyborg make love grow?
Green, a cyborg warrior, cares for one being—his plant Windy. When Windy becomes sick, he’ll do anything to heal her, even venture across the universe to visit a worlds-renowned plant doctor.
He doesn’t expect to find love.
Doctor Shelby Cooper is the sole resident of a tiny planet. She prefers to be alone rather than risk caring for another being and then losing him. The curvaceous scientist is determined to resist Green’s patient caresses, his thought-burning kisses, his slow seduction.
She has underestimated the power of a cyborg’s passion.
Being Green is a short companion story in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is meant to be read after Releasing Rage.

It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.
I am giving Being Green by Cynthia Sax a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Little Free Library @ the Lafayette Community Garden in Lafayette, California

Little Free Library outside the Lafayette Community Garden.

Last weekend, my husband and I visited the Lafayette Community Garden in Lafayette, California, which we learned was established in Spring of 2012. The Lafayette Community Garden is a cooperative vegetable garden. 

Garden hours are as follows:

Tuesday: 4pm - 7pm
Thursday: 9am - 12pm 
Saturday: 9am - 1pm

I also discovered that the Lafayette Community Garden has a Little Free Library outside its entrance, which is how I learned about the Lafayette Community Garden in the first place.

Below are some photos of the Lafayette Community Garden.
Entrance to the Lafayette Community Garden.
Squash
Various Vegetable Beds

Oak Tree

Chickens

What a great place/space to grow your own vegetables!! It makes my heart smile knowing that communities offer spaces where people can grow their own produce. 

Additionally, having a Little Free Library onsite is also a perk too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Longest Books I’ve Ever Read


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below is a list of lengthy novels I've read over the years and enjoyed reading at the time. The funny part is that I don't really read many lengthy novels now. 

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (850 pages)
2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (691 pages) ~ This is one of my all time favorite novels ever written!
3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (576 pages) ~ This is another one of my all time favorite novels ever written!
4. Queenie by Michael Korda (626 pages) ~ I read this novel in high school over 30 years ago. I loved this novel.
5. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (608 pages)
6. The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum (646 pages)
7. The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum (752 pages)
8. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (976 pages)
9. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (1104 pages)
10. The Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (1070 pages)

Share with me some of your favorite lengthy books in the comment section below!

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Alternate Nobel Prize in Literature

If you've been following the news the past few months, you've likely learned that the Nobel Prize in Literature has been cancelled for 2018. 

Oddly, however, an Alternate Nobel Prize in Literature has been created and is going to be awarded on October 12, 2018.

Here's the thing, ever since I read about the 'sex scandal' surrounding the Nobel committee earlier this year, I thought the Nobel Prize for Literature was going to be cancelled for this year and (possibly) next year until things were straightened out.


In lieu of this information, I've been having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the entire idea of an 'Alternate Nobel Prize for Literature' being awarded on October 12th. 


If a Nobel Prize in Literature isn't going to be awarded this year, due to a scandal, that's fine. Just don't come up with an alternate prize for the Nobel Prize in Literature and then refer to it as the 'Alternate Nobel Prize for Literature' as that sounds lame. 

Either it is the real Nobel Prize in Literature or it is not... Coming up with some woo woo term/alternate name for the Nobel Prize in Literature feels/sounds disrespectful to the idea of winning/awarding a Nobel Prize. Simply don't award a prize this year and move the heck on.

Does anyone else feel the same way?? Or are you fine with the idea of an 'Alternate Nobel Prize for Literature' being awarded??

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Heat by Jade C. Jamison


Heat by Jade C. Jamison is a very hot and steamy erotica short story approximately 35 pages in length. I was able to download this short story for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review of Heat by Jade C. Jamison.

I thought Jade C. Jamison's writing was good and engaging. I liked the storyline, plot development, and characters in this short story. The only downsides for me were the predictable ending of the story and also the dreaded cliffhanger ending... Heat is the start of a series... You must read the rest of the series (four stories total in the 'Heat' series) to see where Spike and Rachel's relationship leads. 

I liked this first short story well enough, but I doubt I'll continue with the rest of the 'Heat' series by Jade C. Jamison.

Below is the plot summary for Heat by Jade C. Jamison from Amazon:
Rachel Donahue’s dream job as a financial advisor makes her all work and no play. In fact, her only luxury is her weekly visit to the spa. But her regular masseuse is on leave due to a skiing accident and his stand in, a guy who goes by the moniker “Spike,” is off-the-charts hot, exuding the most irresistibly sexy vibes Rachel’s ever been drawn to—reminding her that she’s a woman with needs. How the hell can she relax like she’s supposed to when he’ll be touching her bare flesh?
She can’t…and he knows it.
One thing leads to another and she experiences her first “happy ending” massage. She’s horrified and embarrassed, and her only salvation is that he’s not her usual masseuse. She decides she won’t go back to the spa until her regular guy returns. Except the next day at work, Rachel’s last appointment of the morning is a new client, Sergio Romano…a guy whose career name happens to be Spike Steel.

And the temperature has only just begun to rise…
I am giving Heat by Jade C. Jamison a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

A Little Big Rock by Lauren Blakely


A Little Big Rock by Lauren Blakely is a romance short story approximately 32 pages in length. I was able to download this short story for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review for A Little Big Rock by Lauren Blakely.

This isn't my first experience reading anything written by Lauren Blakely. I read and reviewed another one of her short stories in June 2015 titled, First Night, which I loved at the time! So with that in mind, I decided to give another one of her short stories, A Little Big Rock, a go last month.

Well, let's just say that I wasn't wowed with A Little Big Rock!! The writing is decent and engaging enough for a short story, but I felt like the story was rushed, the characters weren't as developed as I would have liked, and the ending was not the best... I am already forgetting the plot details and it has been a week since I've read A Little Big Rock. I say pass on this short story!

The following is a plot summary for A Little Big Rock by Lauren Blakely from Amazon:
My best friend is freaking awesome.But don't just take my word for it. Consider all his attributes.First, let's start with the obvious one.Size.He has this one fantastic bone in his body. It's bigger than other guys'. It's thicker, longer, more powerful.C'mon. I'm talking about his funny bone.Spencer Holiday makes me laugh like no one ever has. Sarcastic, self-deprecating, and always at attention with a joke--that's him.Except, it's no joke when he asks me to be his fake fianceé for a week.The trouble is I'm already falling for him before we even start.Oops.
**A Big Rock short story told from Charlotte's POV...this is an optional prequel to Big Rock!**
I am giving A Little Big Rock by Lauren Blakely a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars. 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, October 5, 2018

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Book Read in September 2018



50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This fun themed meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week a new topic will give bloggers the chance to showcase their answers.

This week's theme is your Best/Worst Book Read in September 2018.


Best Reads in September 2018


Drama by Raina Telgemeier
(Click on above link to read my review.)



Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
(Click on above link to read my review.)

Worst Read in September 2018



The Mating Chase by Bonnie Vanak
(Click on above link to read my review.)


Which books were your best/worst reads
during the month of September 2018?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Cold Backed by Candace Carrabus



Cold Backed by Candace Carrabus is a mystery short story with a horse theme and is approximately 38 pages in length.

I was able to download this novel for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased review.

If you love horses, then maybe this is the short story for you... I love mysteries and animals in general, but I found Cold Backed by Candace Carrabus didn't do it for me. It wasn't a horrible read... Just meh. The plot details and characters will soon be forgotten.

The following is a plot summary for Cold Backed by Candace Carrabus from Amazon:
Viola Parker can’t land a job since the famous jumper, Wastrel, crashed to his death with her aboard. She can barely afford her whipped-cream-in-a-can addiction.
When she finds her mentor unconscious, she suspects foul play and wonders if her old friend, Harry, has answers. But Harry disappears with the truth, leaving behind a mysterious delivery and cryptic confession.
A short story prequel/prologue to the Dream Horse Mysteries with a preview of On the Buckle: Dream Horse Mystery #1.
I am giving Cold Backed by Candace Carrabus a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Ghost Coach by Amanda Linehan


Ghost Coach by Amanda Linehan is a paranormal short story and is 15 pages in length. I was able to download this short story for free from Amazon to my Kindle. 

Below is my honest, unbiased opinion of Ghost Coach by Amanda Linehan.

I read this short story last month. It sounded like a cute, fast, fun read... Plus, it had four, 5-star reviews on Amazon, so I decided to give it a go.

Well, I was disappointed by the end of Ghost Coach and was left wondering why it had four, 5-star reviews on Amazon. I loved the concept of this short story, but I thought it had been poorly executed. I found myself wanting to rewrite this short story and either make it more of a horror short story or a paranormal romance short story. 

Essentially, this story is about a ghost who isn't very scary. He's trying to scare Sarah, but isn't successful in scaring her at all. So why does this ghost want to scare someone so badly?? By scaring someone, the ghost will finally become visible, which he wants to have happen very badly. The ghost finally solicits Sarah for help. He wants her to teach him how to scare someone. She tries to help him out repeatedly without success. However, they do become friends over time. The ghost finally gives up and says he's going to cross over to the other side, but doesn't end up doing so... He returns to see Sarah and accidentally scares her in the process, which leads him into becoming visible. How Sarah ends up getting scared was odd. Plus, I thought once the ghost became visible, Sarah and the ghost would start a romance, but that didn't happen. Ghost Coach simply had a flat ending.

I am giving Ghost Coach by Amanda Linehan a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ~ The Movie on Netflix


Last weekend, my husband and I watched the Netflix Original movie based on the best-selling novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrow and Mary Ann Shaffer.

Starting solely with the movie (for those of you that have not yet read the novel), I found the movie to be very charming overall. The acting was well done and the cinematography was lush. I loved the scenes of Guernsey's countryside itself, which leaves me wondering if the movie was really filmed on Guernsey??? Something to look into I suppose! Anyway, I highly recommend watching the movie version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Yes, I realize I've just given a glowing recommendation to watch The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix and I stand behind my recommendation. However, as someone who has read the novel twice already, there were somethings in the movie version that were really different from the novel. For instance, Sophie, Sidney Stark's sister is not in the movie version at all! Nor is Remy, the woman that befriends Elizabeth in the labor camp, present in the movie version. Also, Juliet Ashton's character just shows up on Guernsey with no one to meet her when she arrives on Guernsey and the members of the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society have no idea she's coming until after she arrives. Plus, other plot details as well have been changed up a bit.

I know that movies can't always closely follow/replicate the books they are based on. I also fully understand that plot details will be omitted or changed to make the movie more appealing for broader audiences and to also keep a movie from being super long in length. But as an avid reader though, I often find it difficult to fully love a movie based on a novel. Especially, if I've already read the book before watching the movie. I try to keep in mind that movies and books are two different art forms and that does help to keep things in perspective.

As a side note, there have only been two exceptions that I can recall where the movie version is better than the book, in my opinion. I actually loved the movie version of Eat, Pray, Love much more than the book. I also enjoyed the movie version of Red Dragon as much as the novel itself and felt that the movie version was pretty faithful to the novel's plot.

Have you read and/or seen the movie version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? How to you feel about movie adaptations of the books you've read?

Now for something a bit fun. I discovered a recipe online for Potato Peel Pie!! I don't think I'll be making it, but thought sharing a recipe for potato peel pie would be fitting for this post, don't you?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Authors I’d Love to Meet


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This topic has been done before on Top Ten Tuesday, but I'd love to do it again. I've had the opportunity to meet many authors at book signings and book festivals, especially since moving to the San Francisco Bay area. Below is an updated list of the top 10 authors I'd love to met in person!

1. Jerry Spinelli - I've read many of his novels. Most of them I've loved. So, he's be an author I'd love to met in real life.

2. Diana Gabaldon - I love her Outlander series and first began reading her novels back in 1997 when my maternal grandmother (of all people) introduced me to her novels.

3. Margaret Atwood - I became acquainted with Margaret Atwood's writing back in college for a Women In Literature course. I've loved reading her novels, short stories, and poems ever since then.

4. Geraldine Brooks - I've read four of her novels to date! People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is one of my favorite novels of all time.

5. Robin LaFevers - I loved reading her 'His Fair Assassin' trilogy. I'd love to see this trilogy made in a television series or three separate movies.

6. Tamar Myers - I've read her entire 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series. Although, I didn't love every cozy mystery novel in the series, I am glad I read the entire 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series. I think it would be fun to meet Tamar Myers in person since I've read so many of her novels.

7. Gloria Steinem - I'd love to meet Gloria Steinem!! She is such a feminist icon and all around interesting person. I read her memoir, My Life on the Road, which was very enjoyable.

8. Marjane Satrapi - I've enjoyed reading her graphic novels, 
Persepolis & Persepolis 2, plus Embroideries

9. John Green - I've enjoyed reading both of his young adult novels, The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down. So, would enjoy meeting him in person too.

10. Susan Rivers - I read her novel, The Second Mrs. Hockaday, last year and loved it!! I was really blown away with how fabulous this historical novel is. I look forward to seeing what else Susan Rivers publishes in the years to come.

Which authors would you love to meet in real life?