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review 2018-03-21 18:54
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
See What I Have Done - Sarah Schmidt,Jennifer Woodward,Erin Hunter,Garrick Hagon

This is a fictionalized retelling of the Lizzie Borden murders and though it gets many “meh”reviews, I surprisingly enjoyed it very much. These people are awful! They are selfish, resentful, devious and maddening in their “woe is me” entitled thoughts but I LOVED reading about their misery. And, boy, did they all live in a cesspool of misery, resentment and hate.


I do think you have to be in a certain grumpy headspace to appreciate this one and I was there. We’ve had a never-ending winter and I hurt my back so bad I had to quit a much loved workout routine probably forever. Reading this when I did was perfect timing. We were all miserable together for a short time. So moral of this sad story? Don’t read this if you’re happy or want to be happy.


The story is told from three different points of view. Lizzie, Bridget the maid and a shady male character whose name I can’t recall right now. I listened to the audio which is narrated by three different people. The women do a fine job as does the male narrator EXCEPT when he attempts to do a female voice in a painful fake falsetto. Fortunately he’s mostly narrating the man part so the cringe level is tolerable.


Many people have an issue with the grit and grue factor in this book and I can understand that. This book is an experience. You can feel the cloying sickness permeating these people and for me that’s the mark of good writing but it’s almost enough to make one queasy and I have a strong stomach. There is an exceptional amount of blood everywhere but almost worse is the vomit and rumbling stomachs. These gross people have been eating rotten mutton broth for what seems like weeks on end! The maid suspects it’s bad but keeps adding more salt to disguise the reek of rotten meat. I’m guessing this was because poppa Borden was too much of a cheapskate to let food go to waste.  But I wasn’t there so who knows.


Many people also have issues with the way the story was told and I get that too. It jumps around in time and can be quite confusing and the people telling the story seem quite confused themselves at times. The end of the book leaves a lot of questions unanswered but still I love reading about these people. I cannot explain exactly why. Their relationships are poisonous and mean but if you’re up for that maybe you’ll love it too!

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review 2018-03-21 13:15
The Dark Side of an Author
The Dark Half - Stephen King

Well I haven't read "The Dark Half" since I was a teen. I realize now why that was, probably because teen me was bored reading parts of this as adult me was now. I do think that parts of the book are fairly good (I loved the sparrows and the growing realization of who George Stark was)  but think that the book gets bogged down a ton with way too much talking that goes nowhere and an ending that kind of fizzles. You end up having to read the other Castle Rock books in order to find out what happens to the characters mentioned in this one which is okay, but does make it that "The Dark Half" is not a true standalone book. 


"The Dark Half" was written in response to when Stephen King was outed as writing as Richard Bachman. I have to say that "The Dark Half" really does read like a Bachman book (go read "The Long Walk," "The Running Man," and "The Regulators"). Most of those works seemed to have violence for violence sake. Not my favorite of King's works, but still interesting. "The Dark Half" is mostly brutal with parts broken up by characters talking to each other about things we as readers are already privy to. So most of the book you are just waiting for everyone to figure out things and for the ending to come. 


"The Dark Half" is about author Thad Beaumont who has recently come out and admitted that he has written under the name of  George Stark for years. Thad and his wife decide to declare George Stark dead after a man tries to shake them down for money to keep their secret hidden that he really is George Stark. Thad has started to find some success writing under his own pen name and thinks now is a good time to lay Stark to rest. Unfortunately, someone takes significant pains to go out and murder anyone connected with the "death of George Stark." When all signs point to Thad or someone close to him being responsible for these deaths, Thad starts wondering if someone is delusional enough to think that they are really George Stark.


The character of Thad intrigued me in this one. I do feel bad about what ends up happening to him (see "Needful Things" and "Insomnia"). Thad has a good life and when you realize his connection to "George Stark" I ended up being moved to mostly pity for the guy.

The other characters in this one come in and out and don't really sing to me. We have Thad's wife Liz that felt like an afterthought after the first couple of hundred pages. I wished for more from that character.

Sheriff Alan Pangborn I honestly didn't care for in this one. I liked him much better in "Needful Things" he is also referenced down the line in "Bag of Bones." I think the issue for me is that the sheriff blames Thad for what has occurred, but I didn't and thought it was weird how the book ended. 


We also get a plethora (not really but it felt like it) of characters who ended up being murdered by George Stark and reading all of their bad ends was gruesome after a while.

The writing was okay, but as I said, there was way too much talking going on. I found myself really bored after we get to Part II: Stark Takes Charge. Also since I had this in paperback format, it was hard to read some of the writing that was included in this book that was in cursive and showing what Thad and Stark's writing looked like. I honestly wish I had a magnifying glass.

The setting of this book is pretty familiar to Constant Readers. We are back with Castle Rock, Maine the site of some insanity that has gone on in many a King book. I always wonder why people never move away from that place. The first book in the Castle Rock series would be "Cujo". After "The Dark Half" you can read "Needful Things" where you can follow up with Sheriff Alan Pangborn and hear about Thad Beaumont again. 


The ending was a meh to me. I mean I liked how King dealt with the problem of George Stark. It sounded awesome and terrifying (I will never look at sparrows the same way again) but it just took way too long to get there. 

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text 2018-03-21 13:00
Reading progress update: I've read 592 out of 592 pages.
The Dark Half - Stephen King

Eh. This was okay. Not the best King or the worst, it was definitely a middle of the road book. I honestly think reading about what become of Thad in "Needful Things", "Insomnia", and I think he is even mentioned in "Bag of Bones" makes you wish that King had ended this story a bit stronger. 

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review 2018-03-21 12:34
A magical blend of hot burning passion, new beginnings, tender romance, humor, forgiveness & the true value of family.
Brett (Bad Billionaires After Dark #4) - Melissa Foster

The beauty of reading is when you are lucky enough to find a book that connects with your heart and soul, it has you there in the moment, and this is exactly what happened reading Brett and Sophie's magical story. I was left feeling elated from all the emotions, joy and excitement that had built up inside while reading this beautiful, hot and tender story.

Brett and Sophie's characters are equally lovable, they totally captured all my imagination and my heart with their their humor, passion and love that grew. I felt myself smiling at their chats and their inner thoughts. I loved Brett's inner turmoil as he tries to understand his new feelings and vulnerabilities towards Sophie, questioning himself if he was actually mentally prepared for his first real relationship, and learning to allow his softer true side out instead of the macho one he wore. It reminded me of all those worries and nagging doubts you have as you enter a new relationship. But Brett knew deep down what he wanted with Sophie and was strong enough to jump as many hurdles as he needed to. He was such a fun, impulsive character, he definitely carried Sophie off her feet. Sophie is also a strong character that knows her own worth, she dreams of forever love, she could see glimpses of the man hiding underneath all his muscular armour and hoped with all her might that her happy ever after dream would come true with him. There were treasured times within this story that actually took my breath away and not just bedroom scenes, pure emotions that actually tore through me as their true feelings were being shared.

In the story we also get to see old and upcoming characters within this wonderful story giving the sense of such a strong family bond and friendship between them all, it was great to see them all together. Sophie's family scenes in the story, how they welcomed Brett so readily into their lives and how Brett was with them, were a joy to read and I've got to say that Nana was a hoot! It also reminded Brett of how families can be with each other and stirred up deeply hidden emotions that potentially could ruin everything.

A magical blend of hot burning passion, new beginnings, tender romance, humor, forgiveness & the true value of family. This thoroughly touching story was a pure joy to read and for me it is easily the best Bad Boys read from the series, and that's saying something because I enjoyed them all. The feelings when reading this book will stay with you for quite some time!

Source: beckvalleybooks.blogspot.com
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text 2018-03-21 11:04
NEW ROMANCE RELEASE Bad Boys After Dark: Brett by Melissa Foster (Bad Billionaires After Dark)
Brett (Bad Billionaires After Dark #4) - Melissa Foster
Bad Boys After Dark: Brett by Melissa Foster
(Bad Billionaires After Dark)
He's looking for one night. She's looking for forever. Will she follow her heart or choose to protect it?
Indulge your inner vixen...
"Brett is a good man with a bad rep when it comes to women. He won't invest his heart long enough to explore the possibilities. Sophie is the one woman that can make him rethink that stance. If he can get this wary vixen to let down her guard and give him a chance. The After Dark series puts readers in touch with their naughty side with the sweetest of intentions. Brash dialogue, bold situations and emotion packed moments heat up the pages as Sophie and Brett dance their way into our hearts." Isha Coleman @ I Love Romance
"Brett and Sophie's characters are equally lovable, they totally captured all my imagination and my heart with their their humor, passion and love that grew. This was a magical blend of hot burning passion, new beginnings, tender romance, humor, forgiveness & the true value of family. This thoroughly touching story was a pure joy to read, the feelings when reading this book will stay with you for quite some time!" reviews Beck Valley Book Tours & Promotion
"Sophie wants it all and Brett wants right now... Or at least he thinks so...After getting together for the first time (since Sophie is only human... Who could refuse Brett for long, after all?), they begin kind of a relationship and now it is for you to discover this journey of love, romance and acceptance. Melissa Foster is an author who can successfully mix romance and real deep feelings and emotions that are human. There is a human factor in her books that it is undeniable." reviews Mom's Secret Book Blog
Available now at the following retailers....
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/BBB_Kindle
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/BBB_Kobo
iBOOKS: http://apple.co/2rlFdN1
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/BBB_Nook
GPLAY: http://bit.ly/2rAtpnk
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/BBB_Pb

Bad Billionaires After Dark are a series of stand-alone hot and sexy romances. 

Meet the Bad Boys... Four fiercely loyal, sinfully sexy, uber alpha brothers, about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies.

Everything's naughtier after dark...
Billionaire security expert Brett Bad has had his eye on his brother’s gorgeous legal assistant, Sophie Roberts, for years. He wants nothing more from her than a single night between the sheets to satisfy his desires. But Sophie is a white-picket-fence girl, and she’s turned him down more times than he cares to count. 

Sophie is all about forever kisses and happily ever afters. But she can’t deny her attraction to Brett, as enticed by his bad-boy behavior as she is by his devastating looks and his painful past, which she’d like to help heal. 

When Sophie’s friend urges her to throw caution to the wind, Sophie leaves the door to her heart ajar—and Brett charges in. But this Bad boy doesn’t know a thing about romance and has no interest in forever, forcing Sophie to make her toughest decision yet—follow her heart or protect it? 

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Read more on the #book, series and author here...
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