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Book Review: Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Book Review: Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Genre:

Teen/ YA LitRPG

Synopsis:

From James Dashner, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, comes the first book in the bestselling Mortality Doctrine series, an edge-of-your-seat cyber-adventure trilogy that includes The Rule of Thoughts and The Game of Lives

Includes a sneak peek of The Fever Code, the highly anticipated conclusion to the Maze Runner series—the novel that finally reveals how the Maze was built!

The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and the more hacking skills you have, the more fun it is. Why bother following the rules when it’s so easy to break them? But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And one gamer has been doing exactly that, with murderous results.
The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid, to the back alleys and corners of the system human eyes have never seen—and it’s possible that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Praise for the Mortality Doctrine Series:

“Dashner takes full advantage of the Matrix-esque potential for asking ‘what is real.’” —io9.com

“Set in a world taken over by virtual reality gaming, the series perfectly capture[s] Dashner’s hallmarks for inventiveness, teen dialogue and an ability to add twists and turns like no other author.” —MTV.com

“A brilliant, visceral, gamified mash-up of The Matrix and Inception, guaranteed to thrill even the non-gaming crowd.” —Christian Science Monitor

Heidi’s Hot Take:

I struggled to get into this story as the parallels to Ready Player One were so painfully obvious. From the hanging out in virtual worlds to the trio team of one girl and two boys, the big win goal that will “change” the MCs life , and the secret underlying plot that throws a wrenching the MCs goals. It was almost enough to make me put the book down.

But Dashner tells a tight story and is excellent at driving you forward even when you are pretty confident you’ve already figured the story out. I did enjoy some of the elements of worldbuilding that is why I enjoy a lot of LitRPG, the fantastical game worlds within worlds, the over-the-top quirky characters that you can only get away with in spec fick, But at the end of the day, the creative twist I was counting on did not quite play out the way I’d hoped and was left hanging that it *might* in later books, but probably not. I am honestly so divested from the trio dynamic that I don’t really care to find out.

This kind of content that follows such predictable story beats is a large part of why I generally don’t enjoy reading mainstream and trad published books.  While I think some formula is required to a certain extent, the more formulaic it is the less excitement I feel reading. That is why I was so excited when more and more authors began mixing genres because it gave a wider room for blending formulas and less predictability to the story.

If you like that (and a lot of people do, no judgment from me!) then be sure to check out Eye of Minds on Amazon and see if it’s for you.

But if you like LitRPG which isn’t so formulaic and lets you get lost in the story and the world-building, then I have some great review recommendations for you!

Check these out:

Conquest by RM Mulder

Realms Unreel by Audry Auden

Of for a cool Book about building those types of worlds, don’t miss The Man of Cloud 9 by Adam Dreece.

Until Next Time,

Keep Reading!

 

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Book Review: Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Book Review: Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Genre:

International Mystery and Crime Thriller

Synopsis:

The fourth investigation in the nationaly bestselling Swedish detective series

Irene Huss is a former jujitsu champion, a mother of twin teenage girls, the wife of a successful chef, and a Detective Inspector in the Violent Crimes Unit in Göteborg, Sweden. And now she’s back in the gripping follow-up to Detective Inspector Huss. One nurse lies dead and another vanishes after a local hospital is hit by a blackout. The only witness claims to have seen Nurse Tekla doing her rounds, but Nurse Tekla died sixty years ago. Irene Huss has the challenge of disentangling wandering ghosts and complex human relationships to get to the bottom of this intriguing case.

Heidi’s Hot Take:

I absolutely love international detective thrillers. They have a different flow than most USA based detective thrillers. There is a lot of fun details about the culture that bleed through. That is all the case for Night Rounds as well. I can’t say that I adore Irene Huss. I actually kind of struggled with liking most of the detectives in the book, TBH. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but it was interesting to see that women in Sweden seem to run into similar struggles of how their roles are being shifted in culture and that there is kickback there just as we experience here. I will say that Helene Tursten’s red herrings were really quite good. Right until the end, I wasn’t sure who the killer was and she clearly set it up to mislead the average reader into falling into the same trap that most of the male detectives in the book kept falling into, underestimating what women can and will do and why.

While I wasn’t super won over by the detectives, I absolutely loved Tursten’s writing. How she mixes the mundane struggles of balancing life with being a detective, how we get as much of a look into Huss’s family life as her policework, and the ever-relatable feeling of struggling to balance personal and self-care around all the responsibilities of being a woman in modern society. I also felt like one of the reasons the red herrings really stood out is that Tursten makes a very solid effort to show how real police work is not getting a suspect early on and then digging into all of it to prove that they were guilty, but looking at the whole of the evidence and following up a lot of potential leads that would never quite resolve enough evidence to completely dismiss them but also ran cold on being able to follow up further. Like life, the police work wasn’t as linear as we often get in US-based detective thrillers and I really enjoyed that aspect to it.

Want to learn more about Night Rounds? Check it out on Amazon.

Until next time,

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Icefall By Matthew J. Kirby

Book Review: Icefall Matthew J. Kirby

Genre:

Children’s Action and Adventure

Synopsis

Critically acclaimed author Matthew J. Kirby deftly weaves a stunning coming-of-age tale with chilling cleverness and subtle suspense that will leave readers racing breathlessly to the end.

Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig–along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors–anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. Solveig must also embark on a journey to find her own path. Yet, a malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, as a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.

Those charged with protecting the king’s children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father’s watchful eye? Can Solveig survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he manages to destroy a kingdom?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Heidi Angell Books (@heidiangellbooks)

Heidi’s Hot Take

Based on the cover, I thought there would be magic in the story. Though there isn’t, I still absolutely loved this historical fiction story. I really related to Solveig’s struggle as the middle child who felt out of place and not as important in her family dynamics. I loved watching her grow from just a shadow trying to fit in by helping where she could, to blossoming into a heroine who inspired others to be greater than they thought they could be.

The Nordic setting and the story were also fascinating and well-researched. The teases of mysticism and prophecy as well as the question of whether it was real or whether people’s belief was enough to make it seem like it could be real are pretty heavy concepts for a book aimed at pre-teens and teens. I’ve been on kinda a nordic kick with my entertainment lately and really appreciated the level of research the author did, given this was written 10 years before most of the stuff I’ve been enjoying.

An excellent coming-of-age tale with real depth for the right readers and a lot of interesting action and suspense for the average reader. Highly recommend.

 

Until Next Time, 

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Fool Moon Jim Butcher

Book Review: Fool Moon Jim Butcher

Genre

Mystery, thriller suspense

Synopsis

“One of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves,”(Cinescape) the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and nonstop fun. Fool Moon continues the adventures of Jim Butcher’s most famous—and infamous—reluctant hero…

You’d think there’d be a little more action for the only professional wizard listed in the Chicago phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work: magical, mundane, or menial.

Just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. There’s a brutally mutilated corpse, and monstrous animal markings at the scene. Not to mention that the killing took place on the night of a full moon. Harry knows exactly where this case is headed. Take three guesses—and the first two don’t count…

Heidi’s Hot Take

This is the second book in the Dresden files series by Jim Butcher and I absolutely loved it! I am a huge fan of werewolf mythology and I love how  they added a fun bit of extra world-building by pulling from several different mythos and treating them as separate entities. I also loved the continued tension being built between Dresden and Detective Murphy and how his assumptions of what is causing it keep running him afoul. While I love the flawed hero aspect, I did find it beyond frustrating that he had a lot of self-realizations (I know my being closed off and not sharing information is getting people I care about hurt. I’m gonna do better, I swear!) never actually turned into self-actualization. There were several times where he even acknowledged that Murphy would want to know this but then consciously chose to leave her out of it, to both their detriment.

If the author plays this angle right and we see Harry actually attempt to be better (not perfect, he is human after all, but at least BETTER) then I will be so very happy. But if he pulls a Gibbs and sticks to his bad habits, I might just have to drop him on his head.  I have high hopes it will be the former, and not the latter. If so, I will recommend this series to anyone struggling with personal self-development as a template on how to do it. First, we have to know what is broken and process how we can do better. But then we have to do better!

I also want so much more about werewolves. I loved the sneak peek into these three complex werewolf societies, but that was really all we got. It was totally needed to feed the main plot (IE keep the reader and Dresden guessing on who the big baddies are.) but it didn’t give me enough of a look into each type to be satisfied. I hope to see Dresden come up against different werewolf types in the future so we can see more into the different legends and lore.

All in all, a very fun and satisfying read that I highly recommend to anyone interested in urban fantasy mysteries and alternative lore. Looking forward to getting the next books in the series! Want to give it a try? Check it out on Amazon today! Fool Moon Dresden Files

Until next time,

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Book Review: Storm Front Jim Butcher

Genre

Mystery Thriller/ Suspense

Synopsis

My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I’m a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I’m the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I’m the only one there.

With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires, while he himself is under suspicion of the crimes.

Heidi’s Hot Take

I absolutely am loving The Dresden Files, but was surprised to see it was not included in paranormal mystery. My guess is because it created a new genre. It’s a genre I am a big fan of and even wrote my own series for the paranormal thriller/ suspense genre with Clear Angel Chronicles! But Harry Dresden is a trope maker, the self-aware curmudgeon, the sinner with a heart of gold. The guy who could have it all if he would just step on others to get it. Reading the first book in the series has been a delight. I have a hard time connecting him to the Harry Dresden of Legends of Tomorrow or even the Dresden Files TV series (both of which I experienced before reading the books.) I definitely love the author’s version so much more. We get a deeper look into this character who often comes of flippant and tortured, but getting to see his inner thought process is fascinating.

And that was far more interesting than the actual plot, with a magical serial killer on the loose. While that moved the story along, figuring out the killer was just not as interesting to me as trying to figure out our protagonist. That, to me, is so different from the TV series where the plot drove the story more for me. It could be the difference in age from the time I watched the series to the time I read, but honestly I suspect it is more to do with the format as I wrote Clear Angel Chronicles about the same time the TV series came out and yet my focus in the stories is much more on understanding the protagonists and solving the crimes is just a back story to guide the interactions of the MCs.

If you’ve not read the Dresden Files and you are a fan of paranormal thriller/ suspense and deep characters you really want to understand then I highly recommend you give this series a go. I am loving it and have already started on the next book in the series. Keep an eye out for that review coming soon!

You can get a sample read of Storm Front sent to your Kindle reader via Amazon.

 

 

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Book Review: The Devil’s Sea by Clive Cussler

Book Review: The Devil's Sea by Clive Cussler

Genre

Suspense Action Fiction

Synopsis

Fearless adventurer Dirk Pitt must unravel a historical mystery of epic importance in the latest novel in the beloved New York Times bestselling series created by the “grand master of adventure” Clive Cussler.

In 1959 Tibet, a Buddhist artifact of immense importance was seemingly lost to history in the turmoil of the Communist takeover. But when National Underwater and Marine Agency Director Dirk Pitt discovers a forgotten plane crash in the Philippine Sea over 60 years later, new clues emerge to its hidden existence.

But Pitt and his compatriot Al Giordino have larger worries when they are ordered to recover a failed hypersonic missile from Luzon Strait. Only someone else is after it, too…a rogue Chinese military team that makes their own earthshattering discovery, hijacking a ship capable of stirring the waters of the deep into a veritable Devil’s Sea.

From the cold dark depths of the Pacific Ocean to the dizzying heights of the Himalaya Mountains, only Dirk Pitt and his children, Summer and Dirk Jr., can unravel the mysteries that will preserve a religion, save a nation…and save the world from war.

Heidi’s Hot Take

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge Dirk Pitt Fan, which is why when my husband saw this new Dirk Pitt while he was shopping, he had to pick it up for me. Talk about true love! The Devil’s Sea is a fantastic addition to the Dirk Pitt series. But I am struggling with Dirk Giordino’s seeming lack of aging, lol. I think my age is just catching up to me and making me more self-conscious. Cussler’s books do a fantastic job weaving real-world politics into their tales and this one is very focused on China and the conflict with Tibet and the Dalai Llama as well as how China is very much in a tech war with the US and possibly an arms war as well.

It is a fun light read full of ocean and mountain adventures, which are my favorite adventures, and plenty of action. If you are a Dirk Pitt fan, you will absolutely love this addition to the series!

Take a sneak peek on Amazon by listening to an audio sample or having a  sample sent to your Kindle.

 

Until next time,

Keep Reading!

 

 

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August 2022 Update and IWSGQOTM

do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?
Hello Lovelies,
I am so sorry I missed last month’s check-in. Things have been a bit chaotic and last month was super stressful with a lot of things on hold. Fortunately, I am able to report that a lot of those things on hold have finally shifted and we are no longer stuck in a holding pattern!
My husband finally got and started a new job so the financial stress is slowly mediating itself. My son started his new job too so now we’re all working towards our goals!
I got my surgery approved the end of last month. It is scheduled for August 30th so this month is going to be very heavily focused on getting ready for that. I have to say, I’ve been very pleased with the last several months of progress. I’ve already lost 34 lbs so my liver should be nicely shrunk down and not impede surgery.
As a lot of my saved surgery money had to go to helping pay bills while my husband was unemployed, the next couple of checks will be focused on rebuilding that fund. Then we have to rebuild our general nest egg. But once that is done, back to focusing on re-releasing my books and courses. Still prepping everything so that once the money comes in I will be set to rapid re-release.
I expect the next couple of months to be very busy and very gratifying! Now, on to the IWSG question of the month!

IWSG Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

Honestly, none of my 1st drafts are focused on the reader. They are always focused on the story that needs to be told. When I am plotting, I will get the main points of the story I am inspired to share down. Then from those bones I will determine genre. If it isn’t one I have been reading a lot of lately, then I will do a quick bit of research on what are the most loved and hated tropes. (GoodReads forums are a great resource for this!) then determine which of them make sense for this story and figure out how to weave those in. Once I get the plotting done, I let my characters drive and direct them to the plot map when they start to veer off course.
It isn’t until the editing stage where my main focus becomes the readers. But even then, I am still staying true to the story I felt inspired to share. I am pulling quotes that I think will resonate with readers for advertising, tweaking sentences to make them more appealing to readers, and developing my reader personas for marketing purposes.
I believe there is an audience for every story. I don’t write my stories to that audience, I find the audience for the story.
I know this means a lot more work for me, but I don’t mind the extra work.
Thanks for stopping in.
Until next time,
Keep Writing!
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Book Nerd Meets YouTube by Toi Thomas

Book Nerd Meets YouTube by Toi Thomas

I love books. Really. I love to read books and enjoy the stories or information within them. Being the geek girl that I am, I have room in my heart for music, movies, and TV too, but books are my first love. In the year 2022, there is so much more to being a book nerd than carrying an armful of books everywhere you go. These days, we have options.

I read hardcover and paperback books, ebooks in many formats, comic books and graphic novels, and even listen to audiobooks when I’m in the mood. I never leave home without a library of books between my e-reader and cellphone. But no matter how I get my read on, reading doesn’t have to be a solitary activity anymore. You can join a book club, do a buddy read, or dive into social media with cool apps like Goodreads and The StoryGraph, as well as the book communities on Instagram and Tik Tok. But the ultimate book nerd kick for me lately is Youtube.

Aside from YouTube being the ultimate entertainment spot for niche content, communities form quickly and grow quickly, such as #booktube and #authortube. As a book nerd, I’m all for both of these communities.

Booktube is where readers read and share their experiences and invite others to be part of it. This is a great way to find out about new and or trending books, watch book reviews, and share comradery with other readers.

Authortube is where writers and authors share their experiences of being a writer, often giving details about their process and their works, while also providing tips and advice to others seeking to publish in some form or fashion.

 

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I knew I had to find a way to be part of these communities, so I launched my own channel and have never looked back. Every month, I look forward to updating viewers on how my reading challenges are going and then sharing my book reviews with them. Remember, I’m a geek girl, so I also throw TV and movie reviews in there from time to time and share Hauls of the geekish things I’ve acquired. I enjoy giving a monthly update on my writing. I also share an interview series where I have a conversation with authors from my local area as well as authors from around the world.

BothLogos

 

Like other authors out there, I also post book trailers and promotional content when it’s relevant. One of my favorite things to do, from time to time, is to share the blessings in my life. It helps keep me grounded. Maintaining my Toi Thomas YouTube channel is just another part of my bookish life. Perhaps, if you love books as much as I love books, you’ll stop by and check me out along with all the other amazing people in the #booktube and #authortube communities.

© Copyright 2013 CorbisCorporation
© Copyright 2013 CorbisCorporation

A self-proclaimed techie and foodie, Toi Thomas was born in Texas, U. S. A. but considers Virginia, U. S. A. to be home. She enjoys reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with her family. Currently working as a behavioral clinician, Toi and her husband, Eric, share their home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie.

Toi writes clean, adult multi-genre fiction ranging from science fiction to romance (as Glorie Townson), nonfiction, as well as writes and illustrates children’s picture books. Toi Thomas is also the founder of Lit Carnivale and the creator of Carnie the Bookworm.

Find Toi online here: https://linktr.ee/toithomas Visit her channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/1ooking4ha99iness Visit her blog: The ToiBox of Words – https://etoithomas.com/blog Find her on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/toithomas

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Book Review: 1st to Die by James Patterson

Book Review: 1st to Die by James Patterson

Hello Lovelies,

Been a minute since I got to post a book review. But I am getting back into a reading schedule and am excited to post a review for 1st to Die, a Women’s Murder Club novel by James Patterson. This has been on my bookshelf for FOREVER as a friend got it at  garage sale and knew I loved cop thrillers so gifted it to me when they couldn’t get into it. I know Patterson has a reputation for being… problematic so there was always something else I’d rather read. But I was in a mood towards the end of February so decided to give it a go.

Genre:

Serial Killer Thriller

Synopsis

Four crime-solving friends face off against a killer in San Francisco in the Women’s Murder Club novel that started James Patterson’s thrilling series.

Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the usual procedures aren’t bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women’s Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving each other a hand. The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered–before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong.
Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of the #1 New York Times bestselling series of crime thrillers.

My Take

Man…. I don’t know where to start. I actually finished this book 3 weeks ago. It took me a couple of weeks to choose which of those three to read and then another week to finally open the sucker up. But only a week to devour this 462-page book. There were some plot points that even when I was deep in the thick of it had me rolling my eyes, but despite that the story kept me moving in part because of the nonstop action and in part because of the team-up of women in male-dominated professions supporting one another.

This book was published in 2001. I was in the thick of college and experiencing sexism on a previously inexperienced scale in my life. This book is problematic, but it was addressing a real issue that happened to women back in the day. While there is still gender bias today, obviously; it was much more blatant and far less policed in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Despite there being tons of laws already in place to address it.) I remember dealing with the “casual sexism” the same way Lindsey did. A caustic teasing remark or brush-off and aggravation to rage depending on the number of times it happened that day.

I remember having to fight twice as hard to be acknowledged as my male counterparts.

I remember having a long conversation with my female manager who was going to promote a male colleague to trainer over me and having to spend far too long to convince her I was the better choice and why.

So yeah, that felt real. The camaraderie between women struggling in male-dominated professions also felt real. It wasn’t just about that, there was some real development of why they liked and connected beyond that they were all slighted by men.

But the eye roll moments are spoilers so here is your spoiler alert warning.

Why did she fall for Raleigh? It is obnoxious how they get caught up in a whirlwind relationship in the middle of the biggest case of her career. And then her response to how it ends? I mean…. so problematic. IDK, maybe it would ring true with other women, but for me it was such an eye roll. I get that romance in the workplace happens. My marriage is a product of it. But I was 21 not 34. It was a temp job, not my career job, and I hadn’t been diagnosed with my degenerative disease yet.

In my 30s when I was diagnosed I had no bandwidth for romance with my partner. Admittedly, mine didn’t have a high chance of death at a young age and I was in a very established relationship so perhaps that accounts for the differences, but IDK. it jut really rubbed me the wrong way because in so many ways I really connected with Lindsay so to have this be so different from how I think I would respond is just… it was weird for me. And the prologue also seemed so incongruent.

Also, it had the perfect Gotcha with the villain and then it proceeded to screw it up. What had the potential to be a very women empowerment story ended up falling flat for me.

Which is a shame because it really gripped me. I could not put it down. I caught myself reading during breaks and pretty much any chance I got.

If you like a good thriller that makes you think, and you can overlook these problems, then this might be worth checking out.

 

I still haven’t decided if I am going to get the next books in the series. Gonna give it time to settle while I read some other books and if I still long to know what happens to the women’s murder club then I will give the next book a try.

 

Have you read 1st to Die? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Keep Reading!

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February 2022 Update and #IWSG Question

#IWSG Feb 2022 update and Question

Hello Lovelies,

Happy February. So glad to say that. January was a disaster! I got Covid the first of the month and was down in bed for almost 2 whole weeks. I am still struggling with a nasty cough and getting winded during random activities. It has also put me behind on my goals. But I keep trucking. I finally got my 2022 resolutions sorted after a lot of soul-searching. I created an aggressive schedule to get me back on track and while I have yet to maintain the schedule, I am definitely seeing a lot more progress towards goals. I began seriously tackling my PMP certification requirements, am on schedule to re-release Elements of a Broken Mind this month and hopefully will have Angel’s Dance ready end of Feb, early March for a big promotional push for the series in March. *fingers crossed*.

 

#IWSG February Question of the Month

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

February 2 question – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?

After walking away in 2019, I lost touch with a lot of my network. I was hardly online, and did nothing with the book world for over a year. When I came back in 2020, I was focused on doing the work, not rebuilding relationships. And even with that, I struggled a lot. It wasn’t until late 2020 early 2021 that I started reaching out to rebuild relationships. I was shocked to find so many reviewers and authors who also hit burnout and walked away in a similar time frame.

And as I work to republish my books, I find more and more to miss. One of my earliest connections was a book reviewer named Justin. He seems to have walked away from his book blog and his GoodReads librarian work. I’m sad.

Amanda Baily, who founded OWS, seems not to be doing much with her writing and that is a shame. She still is passionately sharing memes about reading and creating, but is too focused on a day job to pursue re-publishing her works. Which is a shame as she was a very gifted writer.

Joshua Robertson and his wife Diane both walked away from writing as well, again a huge shame as both are extremely talented fantasy writers. Though, I see teasings of both maybe exploring coming back or at least promoting their current publications and this makes me so happy!

While Rebekah Jonesy and Isa McLaren, who were on the board with my at OWS, have started their own publishing house and are releasing books like crazy, I haven’t been able to really reconnect with them and I miss the good times working together via video chat.

Angela Chrysler and Timothy Bateson, who were amazing connections I made through B2B CyCon also seem to have left the book world.

There are so many more who’ve gone on to other things and it makes me sad. But at the same time, I am grateful for the good times we had. Grateful for the ways that they inspired me to keep going on my journey, and hopefully I was able to inspire them too.

The reality is that whether you are reviewing or publishing, the book world is very transitory. We are all seeking a connection and often looking for monetary goals as well (as anyone in business should do, nothing wrong with that.) but when we don’t hit those goals, many move on to other things.

This is why it is so important to support creatives- whether it be book reviewers, authors, or other creatives. Buy from those you can, but even just a comment on a video, or a blog post, lets us know you care. The internet gives us a great opportunity to reach so many but it also is a massive sea that we can easily feel adrift upon. For many, we are working full-time jobs and pursuing our passion, that life imbalance is a recipe for burnout!

So please, let us know you care with a like, a comment, a purchase. Help us keep providing for you by letting us know you appreciate us.

And don’t forget to check out the awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler,Jacqui Murray,Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

You can see the rest of the hop at IWSG Bloghop

Until next time,

Keep Writing!