Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: SAVANNAH SLEUTH by Alan Chaput


 
 
Though born to heirloom pearls, designer dresses and lush garden parties, Savannah social icon Patricia Falcon and three of her closest friends spend their days in Savannah's dark side rescuing abused women. Patricia's darling mother, a prominent philanthropist, drops dead, and the police are baffled by her untimely death. Patricia recruits her three friends to help her investigate what she believes is murder. "Savannah Sleuth" is a page-turning journey from Savannah's Southern wealth and grace into the hidden corners of Savannah and across two continents in a deadly pursuit of justice.  


My review: Justice calls…but will she answer?

Being a volunteer for a women’s abuse center, Patricia Falcon must be wary and vigilant, which is why she has to carry a gun. The thing is that she’s never really used it and tends to wonder if she ever will if the time comes.
 

Story had a steady, leisurely pace, which I’m sure is synonymous with the lifestyle of Savannah. And just like Savannah, it also had that murky, historical train of mystery in every corner. It would seem that the story had several unanswered questions. Who was that vagrant that’s been following Patricia and how does he know so much about her? What conspiracy lies behind Trey’s (Patricia’s husband) work at the Savannah Coalition? And, most importantly, who killed Patricia’s mother and why?

 
This was a pretty good book, but I kind of wished it would’ve had a faster pace. But the author definitely created a quaint, tight-knit story set against the comforting opulence of Savannah.  
 

Will this Savannah sleuth figure it all out?

 

My rating: 3 stars

Monday, May 21, 2018

Custom Graphics for Authors

I like to help out authors in many ways. Not only do I review books, but I also provide custom graphics to help authors market their books. Here are some examples of my work.


Social Media Graphics:








Flyers:



Submit your request here

Review: A FOREST FULL OF ROSES by Jennifer Russon

Money strapped Teresa Rose and her three-year-old twins are starting over…in enchanted Blue Jordan Forest, home to country hicks, magic and immortal beings. Drawn back to Florida after her husband dies, Teresa seeks help as a single, working Mom. She turns to her odd parents for childcare, only to find that her mother, "Queen Claudia", is more interested in selling real estate and cheating on her husband than being the grandma, Crystal and Ruby Rose deserve. It's a lonely recluse in the woods who offers to be the nanny – a woman named Sirene, who practices voodoo, talks to ghosts, and thinks she's the mythical figure, Mami Wata. Half woman, half something else, Mami Wata falls hard for Teresa, and spends her time concocting ways to get Teresa's lover, John Runningwolf, out of this bizarre love triangle. A FOREST FULL OF ROSES spoofs on some of the world's most cherished fairytales in ways that are both poignant and funny – telling a suspenseful love story that haunts its characters' happily ever after.



My review: Teresa Rose is newly widowed and moving to the sunshine state with her 3-year old twin daughters. The new family would now reside in Blue Jordan Forest, which, evidently, is an actual forest. We come to learn that Teresa is actually an empath, and I just love stories with mediums, psychics, fortune-tellers, and all other similar kinds.

 

The air of supernatural mystery was what allured me to this story, but I felt like I was guessing a lot of the time. Story had a lovely prose albeit a tad cryptic. The author clearly has a poetic and mystical style in her writing, but I'm not sure if it all made sense to me. For instance, "Sister Cecile cleaned her Windsor eyeglasses; they were so big, all seeing." I get that her eyes were big, but what was "all seeing?" Yes, the purpose of eyes was to see. Unless there was an insinuation to "psychicness" perhaps? Then we meet Sirene, who’s a voodoo priestess and a schizophrenic believing she's Mami Wata. Apparently, she also falls in love with Teresa. The story was mostly narrated by Teresa and Sirene. There were actually several POV's in the story, which I'm not sure if that served any function. Was it necessary to hear from John, Claudia, and the twins? Was this story more fantasy or drama? Was this just a bizarre love triangle?

 

Teresa and Sirene evidently had some connection veiled behind troubled woes, mystical senses, and complex history; but I'm not sure if I understood it. Perhaps it was too convoluted for my taste; I would've preferred a simpler story. 

 

My rating: 2.5 stars

Review: A HIGHER EDUCATION: A MODERN RETELLING OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Rosalie Stanton

It is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions are a bitch.

In a sea of college freshmen, Elizabeth Bennet feels more like a den mother than a returning student. She’d rather be playing Exploding Kittens than dodge-the-gropers at a frat party, but no way was she letting her innocent, doe-eyed roommate go alone.

Everything about Meryton College screams old money—something she and Jane definitely are not—but Elizabeth resolves to enjoy herself. That resolve is tested—and so is her temper—when she meets Will Darcy, a pompous blowhole with no sense of fun, and his relentlessly charming wingman, Charlie.

Back at school after prolonged break, Will Darcy is far too old and weary for coeds. Yet even he can see why Charlie spontaneously decides the captivating Jane is “the one.” What throws Will is his own reaction to Jane’s roommate.

Elizabeth’s moonlight skin and shining laugh hit him like a sucker punch. And he doesn’t like it. Elizabeth Bennet is dangerous, not only because she has a gift for making him make an ass of himself, but because she and her razor-sharp wit could too easily throw his life off course, and he can’t afford for that to happen again.

Yet he also can’t seem to stay away.





My review: Elizabeth meets Will at a college frat party. "It was, he conceded, a pleasant smirk and a pleasant set of lips. But then he'd known that across the room. What he hadn't known? She was a pain in the a#s."

 
Right away the story grabs your attention with its simple premise and frank dialogue. He thinks she's crude and she thinks he's a rich snob. The two have a love/hate thing, prompting a series of verbal sparring filled with fun, snappy quips.
 

Overall, this was well-written and I enjoyed how this whole thing started, but it kept a consistent lag. The beginning focused mostly on the two dancing around their attraction, even though they kept bad-mouthing each other. Then things progress with that same biting wit between them, but the pace remained the same.  I felt a sense of redundancy, that this lengthy story kept repeating the same plot/dialogue over and over, making it longer than it should have been. Basically, it didn't feel like it was moving forward. 

 

My rating: 2.5 stars

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review: LIVING LIKE BROOKLYN by Malynda Schlegel

Jake was finally going to be free after high school and ready to start anew with his long-time friend, Samantha, once he left his small town. One night, he meets a girl named Brooklyn in a barn.
 

Brooklyn was different. She would say that “ashes turned into a diamond,” which was why she wanted to be cremated so that people could wear her on their finger. Grosse! But the girl had scars. Weed, alcohol, heroine. “Who wants to love a girl with scars?” (7)
 

The story is called Living like Brooklyn, because Jake falls in the allure of this odd-girl-out by participating in acts such as sex, drinking, and drugs.
 

I really didn’t get that into the story. It was sort of mild and unimpressive. Didn’t feel much for it.

 

My rating: 3 stars

Review: UNHAUNTED: A WHITE CROW MYSTERY by Trisha Slay

Asha is the daughter of a psychic fraud. Who would've thought that Asha would be the real psychic instead? Well, she certainly has her "exorcist" moment, when she couldn't keep quiet about a victim whom the police were searching for. That part was a little confusing to read.
 

So Asha spends the bulk of the story chained to the spirit of a murder victim. It was kind of weird every time she re-lived certain moments in the victim's life. You kind of didn't know where you were. This led to a lot of open holes and faceless names.

 
The story was simple and had an interesting angle. I enjoyed the mystery part, but I wish things could've been clearer so I wouldn't have to be guessing all the time. Of course, leaving the reader guessing can be good, but you shouldn't leave them guessing so much that it causes confusion and backtracks. That's kind of what happened to me in this case.
Story had potential, but it just lacked structure and focus.


 

My rating: 2 stars

Review: PARIS EVER AFTER by K.S.R. Burns

After endless arguments and animosity with her estranged husband, Amy Brodie sets off to Paris for a second time. "All [she] wanted was a break―from [her] life, from [her] past, present, and future." (10)
 

But it would seem that her husband, William, has come for her again. How would she tell him about the baby?

Story is well-written and well-read, but it had a few too many characters for my liking. I prefer plots to be simpler and this one certainly had its complications. I mean, there's an American woman living in Paris, she's pregnant, she's separated from the baby daddy, and she's wondering how in the heck she's supposed to cope with everything. It's women's fiction in its international finesse. My main issue was that it just droned on and on and on.
 

This story certainly had an interesting angle, but it just fell flat for me.  

 

My rating: 2 stars