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review 2017-04-28 00:17
How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - Diana Rowland

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

Impossible is Nothing by Iggy Azalea  --not necessarily my type of music, but the chorus is got a good vibe…although, it definitely has the right feel for Angel.  She's really stepping up and kicking her life into high gear.  She's not letting anyone stand in her way.

♫Keep on living, keep on breathing

Even when you don't believe it

Keep on climbing, keep on reaching

Even when this world can't see it

No Impossible is nothing…♫

 

Book Title:  How The White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back

Author:  Diana Rowland

Narration:  Allison McLemore

Series:  White Trash Zombie #4

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Source:  Audible Audiobook

 

Add to Goodreads

 

OVERALL RATING:  4/5 STARS

GRADE = B+

 

My Thoughts

 

If you've heard that this edition in the series is on the slow side, that would be true…although an easy fix to this is to listen on Audio.  Allison McLemore was excellent  as the voice of Angel.  It was totally a good call using my audible credit for this one.  Despite the slow-ish pacing, I really found myself liking Angel even more than I already did.  Once the action kicks up a notch; this was a quick, entertaining listen.  I highly recommend this series, especially if you prefer a zombie with a functioning brain.

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  3.5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  4.5/5

The Feels:  4/5

Addictiveness:  3.5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  3/5  I complain about the covers for this series every time because they always show her smoking a cigarette.  To me, cigarettes are tacky, and icky.

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope, not really

 

Will I continue this series?  For sure…

 

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review 2017-04-27 21:09
Compelling...
Everyday History - Alice Archer

That's my one word for this story. Ok, now let me explain where I'm coming from with this. Many years ago I had a very dear friend, whom I loved like a sister. We played this game where we'd point something or someone out to each other and then we'd each have to describe or explain whatever had been selected with one word. My friend has since passed away but this game, this test of the mind if you will is part of my 'Everyday History' with her so it seemed really fitting to me that I start my review with a bit of my own everyday history by finding that one word that explained this story for me. 

 

I could have gone with fantastic, amazing, riveting, lovely...there were so many words that came to mind for me. But I finally settled on 'compelling' and if you chose to continue reading I'm going to try and explain why...hopefully without spoilers or boring you to tears.

 

I actually bought this in e-book format when it was first released last year but as sometimes happens I squirreled off to other things and while I kept intending to go back and read it...well, it just never quite seemed to happen. So I made grabby hands when asked if I wanted to review the audio book. Hell yeah, here we go another on off of Mt. TBR. I was all over this and then I started listening to the story and I couldn't stop. It was all I wanted to do...just sit and listen to Daan Stone tell me this beautiful, amazing story about 'Everyday History', about Ruben and Henry, about finding love at the wrong time in your life and realizing to late what you'd walked away from and could never forget, about fighting to get it back and make yourself complete. But more than this as I listened to this amazing story told by what I believe for this book was the  perfect narrator, I found myself looking around my room, my little haven where I often spend days surrounded by my own collection of 'Everyday History' with a whole new appreciation for the little things in my life and the meaning that they have for me.

 

I have to admit going into this my one real concern was the age gap. I've done bigger age gaps than this one and been ok with them, but for me this one was touchy because of Ruben's age at the beginning he was all of 18...well...almost, while Henry was in his thirties. Thankfully the author's handling of this particular challenge and the fact that the age gap was in fact only 14 years helped to ease my concern in this regard and if  you've read any of my other reviews for books where there's an age gap than you probably need to give your jaw a push up right about now because me saying the words 'only 14 years' in regards to this issue is probably a bit of a surprise. However I have in fact stated on previous occasions that my age gap comfort zone is 10 years and can stretch to 15 if things work for me and in this case things worked for me.

 

At the end of this wonderful journey that was created by a new to me author, Alice Archer and narrator, Daan Stone, I can truthfully say that my word for this is still 'compelling'. It was a beautifully combined effort that enchanted me from the very beginning and made me want to do nothing more than close my eyes and allow myself to be surrounded by the words that created this story.

 

I may read this in book format one day but truthfully I'll probably just go for the audiobook again and let the smooth richness of Daan Stone's voice take me on Ruben and Henry's journey again...after all if it's not broke...why fix it?

 

'Everyday History' may be Henry and Ruben's story but it's one that we all can tell.

 

********************

An audiobook of 'Everyday History' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-27 20:43
Hold Me (Cyclone) (Volume 2) - Courtney Milan 
Hold Me (Cyclone) (Volume 2) - Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan is a hell of an overachiever. She isn't content to write charming romances in which, as in Austen, the primary barriers to love are the uncontrolled aspects of multifaceted personalities. Milan also strives to remind the reader of how many different kinds of love there are, and that loving thy neighbor is hard, but worthwhile. She is Dickensian in her examination of class, but so much broader in scope. But also fun. They flirt with math. How adorably geeky and STEMy is that?

If they weren't so much fun, I might be tempted to call them uplifting. They are, often, deeply moving, because her characters have sometimes horrible, albeit too believable, backstories. Her happy endings are hard-earned.

personal copy.

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text 2017-04-27 08:16
Technology, giveaways, workshops - all in the name of book sales

Authors.me - publishing and writing technology that fails to deliver

Back in November I wrote a blog entitled, Authors.me "matches manuscripts to non-existent pages, vanity press when I discovered that the platform that claims to "...connects writers, agents and publishers to find manuscripts, manage submissions and get books published" had connected one of my uploaded books to publishing sites that, among other inconsistencies, didn't even exist or wanted me to pay them to publish my book. In fact, sixty percent of Author.me "matches" didn't actually match.

 

Further to that, today I received an email from one of the sites that actually did "match", Black Rose Writing, saying they "were going to pass on Loving the Terrorist (my novel) at present", however if I decided to self-publish to consider their imprint, Bookend Design "where (you) would work directly with the Black Rose Writing Design Team."

 

I'm wondering how much business Black Rose Writing gets from submissions by authors hoping for a traditional publishing contract and then redirecting them to their self-publishing imprint, Bookend Design?

 

Is there no end to the scams in this industry? And what about Authors.me vetting these so-called publishers for their site?

 

Technology to analyze manuscripts and provide actionable insights.

The latest product from Authors.me is Intelligent Editorial Analysis, "technology to analyze manuscripts and provide actionable insights."

 

They offered me the opportunity to test drive this product and so I uploaded the manuscript of my novel The Big Picture, A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic.

 

On a scale of 1 to 100, where a 100 most resembles a commercially viable book, my manuscript scored 85.48.

 

My strengths included "an elevated level of craft" because of my "measured use of adjectives like "very" " as well as "going easy on the exclamation marks". Weaknesses were inconsistent spelling (they don't say what), explicit language (curse words) and the use of clichés.

 

This last one I'd challenge but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and I don't plan to get bent out of shape over it since it's all grist for the mill.

If you want to try this out it will now cost you $49. Go to

https://app.authors.me/#partner/booklife-authors

 

InstaFreebie bolsters Advance Reading Team E-mail list

I just finished a trial offer on Instafreebie. For those of you who are not familiar with this giveaway platform here's how it's described on their site:

 

InstaFreebie was created in 2014 with a mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas. As the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways, we live our mission every day and give readers a chance to SEE IT FIRST™.InstaFreebie was created in 2014 with a mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas. As the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways.

 

Their basic program is free but I signed up for a thirty day free trial of the "Plus" program that allowed me to add subscribers to my email list. Fourteen people received an e-book edition of one of my novels and became a member of my Advance Reading Team by opting in with their email address.

 

A monthly subscription to this program is $20. That works out to $1.43 and e-mail. Nope.

 

Here's the site address:

https://www.instafreebie.com/plans

 

Deliver an hour long workshop - sell a few books

I delivered an hour long workshop on Introduction to Memoir Writing. This was in return for an opportunity to sell my books at the event. It worked, but if you factored in my time in preparation and the actual presentation I ended up subsidizing the sales.

 

There's got to be easier ways to sell books. Any ideas?

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

 

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

 

Video book reviews of books about how to write fiction as well as the work of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

 

View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

 

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-26 20:08
Sin With Me (Bad Habit #3) by J.T. Geissinger
Sin With Me (Bad Habit) - J.T. Geissinge... Sin With Me (Bad Habit) - J.T. Geissinger

J.T. Geissinger prevails with SIN WITH ME the third book in the Bad Habit series.  After losing her memory and family, Grace Stanton, is apprehensive of relationships.  Bad Habit’s lead guitarist, Brody Scott, hides a guilty secrete from his youth.  Their chemistry is undeniable.  Fate has interesting things in store for the couple.  This contemporary Rockstar romance is suitable for adult audiences.  It takes place in California.

 

Grace and Brody are a fun couple.  I love how they are always quoting movie lines to each other, and that they call each other out on the verbatim of the words.  I found it amusing, how they would playfully tell the other one things like they were ugly or had big uneven feet.  I like that they are both adrenalin junkies.  I love Brody’s church. 

 

I found it appropriate that they both had scars from their past that caused nightmares and phobias.  Fate played an interesting roll in this story.  They both had a lot to deal with in this story and came out the better for it. 

 

I savored that the characters from the previous books played an important part of this novel.  Starting with the birth of Chloe and A.J.’s baby (from book two MAKE ME SIN).  The characters in this novel are amazing friends who are like a family to each other. 

 

I loved this story!  It helped that I already liked the main characters from the previous books in the series, but we learn so much more about both Brody and Grace in SIN WITH ME.  J.T. Geissinger does an incredible job with her character development and plot.  She is a skilled writer who creates power stories.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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