Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Killer In The Coop by Jamie C. Pritchard

Hello, Dear Bloggites!¬† Happy March, Ya’ll! ūüėĬ† I am once again honored to have been asked to review a book by an author.¬† Jamie C. Pritchard emailed me with the offer of gifting his book, Killer in the Coop, if I was willing to write a book review for him.¬† As you all know, Peggy NEVER SAYS NO to providing book reviews or reading new authors she had not heard of. ūüôā

killer-in-the-coop-by-jamie-c-pritchardI was intrigued by the story plot in this book.  The plot was about a man, Eli, who writes a 51,000 word essay of his planned shooting and why and sends it to the news media.  The fascination is how the author wrote the story.  Jamie C. Pritchard wrote the story telling the ending first then working backward to the beginning.  I am an ID TV junkie and one of my favorite series works from the end back to the beginning so this format immediately piqued my interest.

The story was written in the 3rd person which I love (as you know) and each character had multiple dimensions to them.  The only complex character was the lead character and that worked in this story line.  I was immediately pulled in by the first few lines of a woman who was calling 911 to report a shooting in her building until the killer, Eli, found her under her desk.

The only thing I did not like about the story was it ended too soon.¬† I was expecting a long novel and was surprised that it was more of a novella and as I was totally engrossed in the “making” of the man named Eli, I was stopped short with the shocked knowledge that I was at the end.¬† That being said, I really enjoyed this story and I hope the author continues with other stories about Eli’s life before his final decision to murder a bunch of random people with a strange sense of purpose.¬† Thank you, Jamie, for sharing your book with me and I look forward to reading more of your written work.

I give Killer In The Coop by Jamie C. Pritchard 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† Go grab a copy and enjoy a quick read, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: It’ll Be Fine, A True Story by Rebecca Rose

Hello, Dear Bloggites. ūüôā¬† Two reviews in one day…I am on a roll.¬† This book review was at the request of the Author, Rebecca Rose, via an email from Amazon.com.¬† As you all know, I love to read and I love to support new, up-and-coming¬†authors.¬† I gladly accepted this request and it took me a bit longer than planned before I could read this book.¬† Life, that ol’ bugger, demanded my focus and I am power reading all the books I have on my list now.

itll-be-fine-a-true-story-by-rebecca-roseThis review is on the non-fiction book, It’ll Be Fine, A True Story.¬† This book is similar to an autobiography/memoir, but is so much more.¬† This book was about an AMAZING Love Story of two hearts, recognizing¬†their counter-point, yearning to unite as one.¬† Not only is this a wonderful love story, it is a wonderful story of a woman working on reaching the next level of her.

The story is about a girl, trudging through life, living the materialistic world of “being the best” and “making the most” at her job yet failing at finding the balance of life and work.¬† Throughout the book, the reader is taken on the journey that the author herself lived.¬† Unlike most autobiographies/memoirs, this book read like a fictional love story that has all the elements of a wonderful book: love, challenges, disappointments, loss, and hope.

It is a factual story about finding inner peace and the struggle that happens to some before inner peace is found.¬† The¬†people in the novel are¬†relatable for any reader and the story itself gives the reader hope and encouragement¬†for their life and the situations they are facing.¬† The format of the story was a timeline format so you¬†do¬†not have the bouncing back and forth of¬†times like so many books are written today.¬† The author did not sugar-coat anything about herself or the other people involved in the story.¬† She literally has¬†held her arms out,¬†hands open,¬†saying, “This is me, all my ugly and beauty, here for you to witness.¬† Be gentle.”

Every¬†writer¬†puts¬†something of themselves in every story they share with the world; this makes them very¬†vulnerable.¬† Writing about a real life event in her life, Rebecca Rose,¬†willingly exposed more of herself than that of a fiction writer.¬†¬†The author is a very brave person to write about something so raw and life changing and I applaud her for it.¬† Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your life with me and the rest of the world. ūüôā

If you want to read a true, life inspiring story, visit Rebecca at her website and learn more about the author and¬†order your copy¬†of It’ll Be Fine today. ūüôā

I give It’ll Be Fine, A True Story¬†by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† Get ready to have your life changed for the better, Dear Bloggites, once you start reading.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

the-monster-in-the-closet-and-other-stories-by-k-kris-loomisHello, Dear Bloggites.  As you know, I have been working on honing my writing craft this year and one of those goals is to take at least one writing class each month.  One of the best things, aside from learning some new techniques on honing the craft, is getting to meet other writers and authors.  Every person is at a different point in their writing life and this makes for some great connecting and friend building.

In the class I took back in January, I met a wonderful lady who sweetly offered two of her books she has already published to whomever wanted them.  I, of course read the title of one of them and immediately wanted to get that one.  This book review is on that book.

The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories is the title of the book I received from K. Kris Loomis.  This book is different from my normal reviews because it is a book of short stories.  Normally, I do not review short story books but I wanted to provide some feedback to Kris as well as promote a dear writer I had the privilege of getting to know and learning from her in the process.

There were a couple unique characteristics to this short story collection that you normally do not find in other similar works.¬† These two characteristics are: 1. The stories are broken down into five different categories that have three¬†stories each¬†& 2. The stories were written specifically for busy people on the go.¬† You also find that each story has a moral purpose behind it that anyone can learn from.¬† I am going to break this book review up into the different categories in the collection.¬† Here we go, Dear Bloggites. ūüôā

The Park Stories Group: This group of stories all take place in a park of some type.¬† The three stories are titled Lovely Horns, Friday Afternoon, & The King Stomper.¬† In this collection you meet a variety of people who either never met but impacted each other’s lives, had a rocky relationship where communication never went past the surface level,¬†& two people who met online but once the first meeting in person happened a shock was found between the two.¬† I like this set of stories because it reminded me that we should never take people for granted that we have in our lives or who we may share a brief moment in life.¬† Too many times people are so busy moving to the next thing that they forget to stop and appreciate and SEE what is actually right in front of them.¬† You know the old adage, “Stop and smell the rose,”¬†well this set of stories reminds us that not only do the roses smell good, but they also contain a new mystery to be found.

The Café Stories Group: This group of stories all take place in some café.  The three stories are titled Self Improvement, The Gossip Grind, & Backgammon Buddies.  I really was entertained by this group of stories.  In these stories you meet the standard people in the 21st Century who are just sharing space instead of spending quality time due to an obsessive attachment to technology, people sitting around judging others with their gossip while believing they were actually spending some quality time together, and good friends who has one trying to make amends for past wrongs while the other is distracted by the game on the table.  These stories reminds the reader that, no matter how grand technology is, you still have to take the time to cultivate your personal relationships with communication of the lip speaking kind.

The Funeral Home Stories Group: This group of stories take place in funeral homes.¬† The three stories are titled Now at Peace, The Makeup Artist, & Granny Gertrude.¬† This set of stories cover the loss of a parent where the children have to make arrangements, a person that has to prepare a body of a classmate while coming to terms with the past, & a person who learns more about someone after they are dead just by the memories friends share.¬† This set of stories hit near to my heart because I read the book on the six month anniversary of my Dad’s death.¬† The take away you get on this set of stories is to never take life for granted and always live in the now because you never know when someone won’t be there anymore.

The Bus Stories Group: This group of stories take place on a bus.  The three stories are titled Glue It to Your Butt, The Orange Scarf, & Say Something.  This group was a thought provoking read.  When you read this group you meet an unlikely friend who helps someone remember the answers to a test, a unique look in the life of a mother and child from the eyes of an observer, & a life lost too soon.  These stories gave moments to pause and consider situations I came across in my life and I dealt with them.  This set reminds you to be present in the life of others because your presence make be the defining factor on an outcome for someone else.

The Bedroom Stories Group: This group of stories take place in a bedroom (not in a sexual way).¬† The three stories are The Monster In the Closet, Marks on the Ceiling, & The Santa Debacle.¬† This group of stories cover¬†fear of the unknown, feelings of worthlessness, & the extreme measure new parents’ make.¬† This set will definitely give¬†me pause to really assess¬†my life and how¬†I handle situations.¬† It reminds you that nothing is so bad that you cannot find a way to overcome.

Now that I have covered a very brief summary of the tales you will read in this book, I am going to give you my view on how the stories were written.  The author did a wonderful job at creating a realness to each character in such a short block of time.  This is usually hard for writers when dealing with a short piece of work but K. Kris Loomis did a wonderful job and creating well rounded believable characters that the reader can relate to in their life.  The only negative I could find was that I felt the story Say Something did not quite fit with the feel of the other two stories in the group.  I think it would have fit better in a different category even though it did take place on a bus.  Overall, I loved this short story novel and I am grateful that Kris offered it to us to read.  Go visit her website & see other works she has written, as well as, get your copy of this book.

I give The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Go read this book, you will be entertained and enlightened.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Dave! The First Trilogy by Marc Richard

Smarmy, snarky, and silly makes for a great read Every. Single. Time.¬†¬† These words describe my latest¬†book review read, Dear Bloggites.¬† I had the pleasure of receiving a request from Marc Richard to read his Dave! The First Trilogy novel.¬† Marc was a doll and gifted this fun story for free with the most intriguing description.¬† Marc said that the story was described as, “Douglas Adams meets South Park” or “If Christopher Moore had a job at Cartoon Network writing for Adult Swim.”

dave-the-first-trilogy-by-marc-richardI giggled at this story from the get go.¬† The storyline is about some unexpected heroes planning on saving the world in 2030 from the new President “Uncle Mel” Gibson.¬† You have the typical dumb butts that everyone loves even though they are annoying as all get out.¬† You have your lovers who found, lost, and found love with each other in a time of crisis.¬† You have the typical serious type and all the mix in between. ūüôā

Marc Richard does an amazing job at writing each of the main characters with such realness and blunt opinions.¬† Throughout the book, you meet the minds of various people who shamelessly promote Marc Richard’s books and he even does a cameo appearance interacting with those he created.

This novel had some unique points of view from the characters and the author does a great job with helping us feel how they feel with the different situations going on.  The entire story was as if The Three Stooges had a baby with Laurel & Hardy and birthed Dave!  The ridiculousness made this story the most fun reading I have had in a long, long time.  The only negative I could say about the book was how it started out with the email chain mail.  That was funny on its own, but I did not see an easy transformation from the email chats to the real-time world that was going on once we started following the different characters on their quest.

Thank You So Much, Marc, for this fun book.  I LOVED this silly story and I am so sorry it took me so long to finish it due to life getting in the way.  I plan on reading more of your works and will recommend your writing to anyone looking for good, mindless fun in a book.

I give Dave! The First Trilogy by Marc Richard 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† If you love a good laugh and entertaining storyline, this book is for you, Dear Bloggites! ūüôā

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

“Loss, once it’s become a certainty, is like a rock you hold in your hand.¬† It has weight and dimension and texture.” ~Frank Drum (in William Kent Krueger’s novel Ordinary Grace)

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. ~Aeschylus

Hello, Dear Bloggites! ūüôā¬†¬†January’s Books & Broads Book Club book was Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (yes, I am caught up with the readings, FINALLY).¬† I was hesitant to read this book because of the horrendous pick from November that took me over a month to read (not to mention a month before I even picked it up to read).¬† I am so glad that I did read this book.

ordinary-grace-by-william-kent-kruegerOrdinary Grace is¬†a novel that tells the story of a young boy, Frank Drum, who is coming-of-age in 1961.¬† During the summer of ’61, Frank and his younger brother, Jake, learned the hard truths about death in various forms: accidental, natural, suicide, and murder.¬† Frank was 13 years old during this time and the story is told from his point of view.¬† Yes, the book is written in first person (you all know how I feel about that) and it worked.¬† The way the author, William Kent Krueger, wrote the story made you feel as if you were sitting in your living room having a conversation with Frank about his summer.

The author wrote with wonderful imagery throughout the novel and the reader felt as if he was right there feeling the breeze on their face or smelling the river.¬† The story keeps the reader engaged with Frank and Jake’s antics that wound up placing them in precarious positions and involving them knee deep in the active investigations.¬† Frank’s father, Nathan, is a preacher, and throughout the novel the reader learns about what ordinary grace is from the way the¬†he handles every situation, no matter how bad, in life to how he drew strength from his faith in God.

The characters in the story are well developed and have unique personalities that are relatable.  From past loves to current loves to love lost, each person in the book handle each situation differently.  Some shut down, others got angry, and some just crumbled under the loss and fear.  From cover to cover, the reader will want to keep on this journey no matter how heart-wrenching it may be.  William Kent Krueger wrote the novel so that no one can really figure out the mystery of who-dun-it until the very end.

I read this book in three sittings only because I was super busy with work but I am so glad that I read it! ūüôā¬† I love falling in love with characters that are so personable you think you truly know them and this book provided that.¬† I also love reading a good mystery that keeps me guess and this book provided that.¬† I also love reading about internal strength derived from one’s faith when faced with life’s troubles, and this book provided that.

I give Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† Go out and get a copy, Dear Bloggites, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Writing Day In And Day Out by Andi Cumbo-Floyd

writing-day-in-and-day-out-by-andi-cumbo-floydHello, Dear Bloggites. ūüôā¬† My book review is on a topic near and dear to my heart – Writing.¬† Doubly so, the author, Andi Cumbo-Floyd, is also near and dear to my heart.¬† I have followed her newsletters, website, and books for a while now because she has an amazing ability to break down the most difficult aspects of writing into understandable explanations while uplifting your whole soul. ūüôā

In the book, Writing Day In And Day Out, Andi talks about making sure to be true to yourself while writing.  So many people who are writers tend to get so focused on getting to the end of that novel, short story, poem, etc. that they being to neglect themselves in the process.  In order for a writer to produce their best work, they need to be sure to take care of themselves.  Andi Cumbo-Floyd breaks down different techniques that will help a writer refocus their energies while caring for their needs.

The book is written in a format the focuses on a specific topic per chapter.  Within each chapter, the author gives examples of how a writer may refresh their minds with certain simple to follow suggestions.  Also, in each chapter, the author shares her own journey and challenges along the writing path of life.  The reader can tell that the author truly experienced the challenges shared and how the techniques helped her overcome said challenges.

The writing style was not only a learning style but it also felt that you were just having an everyday conversation with a close friend.  For the writers who not only like to read books on writing techniques, but also would like suggestions on other books to read on the trade, Andi provides a list of her favorite reference books as well as other books and sites that are specifically on the topic of writing.

I give Writing Day In And Day Out by Andi Cumbo-Floyd 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† It is a must read for all writers, from novice to experienced.¬† Go get a copy, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Eight by WW Mortensen

eight-by-ww-mortensenI found my new author love affair!¬† As all of you know, my favorite author love affair is with Stephen King.¬† No one every moved me like his work, until now.¬† A few weeks ago I received an email from an author requesting a book review and he was willing to provide a free copy for my Kindle if I would accept his request.¬† I love helping new and up & coming authors being an aspiring writer, so of course, I said yes. ūüôā¬† Little did I know this book review would change me by helping find a new author love affair, Dear Bloggites (Disclaimer: it is a love affair with the written word and not the author himself, no hanky panky here…LOL).¬† Thank you, WW Mortensen for reigniting my thrill over reading a book and for the free copy. ūüôā

I received the Kindle version from author WW Mortensen of his debut novel, Eight.¬† I started this novel with only knowing it was a suspenseful thriller about how “terror has a new species.”¬† The novel, Eight, is about a new power source that was found deep in the Amazon jungle.¬† After the main character, Rebecca Riley, views a few photos emailed to her by her ex, Ed Reardon, she immediately flew to the Amazon jungle to join him.¬† Once in the jungle, Rebecca and Ed along with their group face a terrifying new predator hell-bent on destroying them for invading¬†its territory.

Oh my goodness, this book was a RIDE!¬† I read it in two sittings only because I forced myself to put the book down to get some sleep for work.¬† It has been a long time since I felt such anticipation while reading a book.¬† It brought back memories of how I felt when I read my first Stephen King novel, IT.¬† I did not want to stop reading, yet, the tingling fear in my body being tweaked, made me hesitant to change the page.¬† I LOVE IT!!!!¬† I love being scared and feeling out of control and reading this book, I became so engrossed in the storyline and characters that I felt their fear, hope, amazement, and love, yes, love (c’mon, an email from an ex, feelings will rise back up after not seeing each other in a long time).

WW Mortensen wrote the book in the third person which I love, Thank You, Sir!  All of you know I do not enjoy first person books and so I was so excited to see it was a third person format.  The chapters are broken up into sections so the reader knows where they are in the storyline.  There is no going back and forth from past to present like so many books are written today, it is a smooth transition in a unified way.  For being a debut novel, the author wrote like a skilled wordsmith with no mistakes noticed in the writing format.

The characters were multi-dimensional and real to the reader which allows the reader to become emotionally invested in them and their plight they are facing.¬† Throughout the novel, I felt the wonderful tingling anticipation for what was coming next.¬† WW Mortensen brought the old school childhood fears people have to the forefront with a mega-twist (that’s a hint for ya, Dear Bloggites ;-D).

I give Eight by WW Mortensen 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!¬† If you love the thrill of fear or suspense, be sure to go out and get this book, I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P