Category Archives: Book Reviews

What I Won’t Do

I have to clear some things up here.  Starting with that this post is about my personal philosophy towards this subject.  If your’s differs, this is not an insult to you.

I received an email last week requesting that I host a review and giveaway for a certain company who I shall not be naming here.  I simply replied back, “I’m sorry, but I cannot offer reviews for anyone or anything I have no experience with.  That is not my policy.” 

You see, even with my absence on my blog, and in my blogging communities (okay so I might be a slackard loser in this department as of late), I still consider my readers, my followers, my FRIENDS.  I love hosting giveaways, and giving out my own twist on reviews… but to lie…

I figured the case was closed, until I got another email to the tune of, “Other bloggers have given us great reviews, and you should trust them.  Listing our name on your site will heap your views, and make your blog even better.  That should be a better offer than a free product.  Here’s the link and guidelines for your review and giveaway.  We need you to list this by *insert a specific date*”.  (Paraphrased)

Rightttttttt.

No.

Sure, the company might be honest and great and totally legit.  Is “might” worth enough to risk my friends’ trust?  Hell no. 

So I’m putting this out here now.  As this is the second company that has requested a blind review.  SHUD UP.  Stop wasting your time.  It’s not going to happen.  I don’t care about getting free stuff, I care about my readers, my friends.  I will NEVER do a blind review on ANYTHING.

I will however continue to offer reviews and giveaways to all of my friends.  My policy remains:  I will recommend any person I trust, with or without product samples, but I’ll let you know if I have not tried their product/service.  I will review and recommend products and services I have experienced, and my review will be my honest opinion.  And you’ll know if they paid me for it, or not, as required by my morals and the law.  No exceptionsIf I do not know you personally, and/or if you cannot offer a sample of your product or service I will not share you with my friends, period.

Any questions?

 

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And Hereeeeeeeeee’s D’Elen!

I had always been a huge fan of Johnny Carson, that’s what happens when you’re five years old and develop insomnia and your parents put a little black and white television in your room so they can get sleep.  Bad vision and a want to say Hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’s Johnny D’Elen McClain!

I’ve been a paranormal book fan for many years. So many in fact I read them before they were popular with the masses. P.N. Elrod’s Vampire Files is one of my oldies but goodies. I’ve thought for a long time about writing one of my own. My vamp/werewolf world has been a work in progress for more than a decade. I finally wrote part one Fang Chronicles: Amy’s Story last year and self-published it.

In my world of fangs, vampires and werewolves are bound to each other. A vampire gives the wolf pack immortality. There’s a tiny problem in that werewolves cannot breed to create children unless it’s with a human. They cannot be made another way. Before DNA, pregnancy blood work, and all the other scientific stuff we face today, the males got a female human pregnant and then stole the baby to be raised in the pack. Not such a good idea in the modern-day real world. What about artificial insemination? I go into it with a bit more detail in the second book Emily’s Story due out next month but the bottom line, it doesn’t work.

My vampires and wolves are sexy, dominant, and loving when they find the right partner. They are also dangerous, deadly, and like nothing more than to tear up a bad guy or gal. I don’t mind a bit of blood and guts mixed in with my romance. Oh, and did I mention sex? There must me some though I don’t think erotica plays a part. Some things can still be left to the reader’s imagination. Hmmm, Emily’s Story pushes those boundaries a little more than Amy’s.

Years ago I owned a bookstore and Jennifer Roberson came into autograph her books. I loved her Sword series and it remains one of my favorites. I asked her a question about killing off one of her beloved characters. I’ve taken her words of wisdom to heart in my writing.

Jennifer: “I kill off the occasional good guy because when I write a scene where someone could die I want you sitting on the edge of your seat knowing I’ll do it.”

Sorry readers, but I’m willing to kill off a great character or two just so you know I will. Thank you Jennifer.

What attracts me to the paranormal genre? In real life I am a police detective specializing in sex crimes. It doesn’t get more real than that. I love my job, I’m good at my job, and I need complete escapism when I read. I prefer strong women and the strong men that support them. I love the unbelievable worlds that I get lost in and take me away from work. I am a romantic at heart and I’ve been married to the same man for 33 years. He makes me a better person.

You can find more about my work on my blog http://fangchronicles.wordpress.com where I tell stories about my lifelong fascination with fangs. Spiders, scorpions and Rottweilers make for great stories and give you a glimpse into my weird life. Just ask me about Charlie my 150 pound lap dog and a female by the way, I won’t stop talking. I also write about my trials and tribulations as a police detective, a career I decided on during a major midlife crisis. Join me there for humor and some serious conversation at http://badluckdetective.com ummm, did I mention humor?

Amy’s Story was my first foray into fiction and I liked it but I’m quite proud of Emily’s Story. I’m editing away and have book III in my head and dying to be placed on paper. Every review (good or bad) is an author’s best friend. If you read my books, please try and find the time to write a review. The bad ones make me a better writer and the good ones give me a huge smile.

Thank you and may the fangs be with you.

 Just so we’re all clear here, Emily’s Story is sadly NOT about me.  (although it should be)

I can’t thank Miss McClain enough for taking her time out to join us for the past two days, sharing a bit of her crazy world with us.  You really need to check out her Bad Luck Detective site as well as her Fang Chronicles site, her humor is amazing despite the tough job she does to protect us from the scum of the earth! 

And don’t forget about our GIVEAWAY that’s going on RIGHT NOW!  D’Elen McClain is giving away two copies of her first paranormal romance novel, Fang Chronicles, Amy’s Story, that I reviewed yesterday!  (visit yesterday’s review for rules and details) 

Leave a question for D’Elen in the comment form below to get your first entry.

Tweet, Share on Facebook, or Blog about this for additional entries, and please leave a separate comment for each one!

And don’t forget you can also enter on Yesterday’s Post as well!

Once again Thank You D’Elen for your time and generosity!

When a Journalist Meets a Vampire You Get a FREE Book!

Soooo maybe it should say, “When a Detective meets a Dog Trainer You get a chance to win a FREE book.” 

Or it could say, “When an Urban fiction romance writer meets another urban fiction wanna be writer who usually doesn’t like romance novels, but loves it 100% anyway despite the romance *takes breath*, You can win a FREE book!”

Do you get the point yet?  Because I think I’m totally lost.

I do know that there’s going to be a giveaway at the bottom of this post, so you need to stick around! (Don’t make me beg, because I can get really annoying)

That’s what D’Elen McClain found out when she mentioned that not only does she write under two names, but she also writes Urban Fiction, with vampires and wolves, and the stuff half of my hard drives and thumb drives are made of.  Of course I was in heaven, with a writer who will talk to me, and hold my hand, and yell at me softly to get my arse in gear.  A writer who might be just as obsessed with dogs as I am, and also is in the whole Urban fiction world to boot!  My annoyance skills might have kicked into high gear.

And then I got my little, editing cramped hands on her first novel, Fang Chronicles, Amy’s Story… and I got scared.  I panicked.  As I did with reading my friend Cole Gibsen’s first novel, Katana.  I mean what if I hate the books?  What if it’s just as painful as reading 50 Shades of Grey?!  (not in the painful sexy way, but in the, “OhEmGee, what is the big friggen deal over this book because I see no reason to read one more page” way) 

So I dove in anyways, because reading books is the biggest risk this lady takes lately. 

 

Amy’s Story is the tale of a young, not so special reporter, who lives only for her work.  In desperation to finally nail that big story that would gain her the attention she has worked so hard for, she takes some big risk, disguising herself as the corner merchant in high heels if you know what I mean.  The problem is that the locals fall for it, and before she can save herself, she finds herself being saved by an extremely handsome, wealthy man… who isn’t exactly the tycoon portrayed on TV.  In the blink of an eye, Amy finds herself submerged in the world of Vampires and Werewolves, romance and war… and some very important life questions.

The beginning of the book soared by too quickly for my own personal tastes, you could tell that D’elen had an awesome plot she was about to rope you into and couldn’t wait to get you there.  But after she got me into that plot, I was stuck.  I could not put down my dang Kindle, ask my husband who threatened that if I drop the dang thing into the tub that he would not be replacing it.  For her first venture into Urban Fiction/Romance the writing was smooth, easy to read and easy to follow.  The characters were well-developed and left me very attached to all of them.  Maybe too attached.  😉  It’s a book I could see myself reading again even if I had the plot all wrong to the next in the series, Emily’s Story, which sadly is NOT about me… (as always, we can pretend).  And to boot, this anti-romance reader didn’t mind the romance aspect… which is always a plus.

You need this book.

Luckily for you I was able to con,  beg Miss D’Elen out of two electronic copies JUST FOR YOU!  Well, that’s a lie, you can’t just have them, because that’s no fun at all.  And because that would mean she’d have to fork over a hundred copies, and why the heck do you need two copies all to yourself!?!  Greedy, greedy people! 

You have to enter for your chance to win one of the two copies.  Just leave a comment and you’re in for one chance.  Come back tomorrow for D’Elen’s guest post, leave a comment and get a second entry.  Easy peasy.  Wanna suck up get extra chances?  Tweet about this post, share on Facebook, BlogHer and blog about it for extra entries!  Just leave a comment for each separate action pleaseeeeee.  Myspace or Cafemom about it and I’ll probably just make fun of you.  I’m potty training a toddler, it’s my right to be snarky!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a very special guest post from D’Elen herself (aka Suzie Ivy for my BlogHer peeps)!

And as always please go visit D’Elen McClain at her blogs: http://badluckdetective.wordpress.com/ and http://fangchronicles.wordpress.com/

*This contest will end on June 25, 2012, around 6 am central time, depending on when I have my first cup of coffee.  Winners will be chosen by some random number generator via google and will be announced that same day.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours or have no way to contact you I will choose another winner.  Books won will be in electronic format, and are incredibly easy to transfer to any device or read via your computer. 

**I have received this electronic book as a gift, and was not paid or asked to do this review… I just happen to like reviewing things in my own special ways.  In case you feds were wondering.  😉

Katana, a Book Review and Such

My young adult years were full of stupid things.  Fun things, yet very, very stupid.  Most of all it was in thanks to my closest friend, Cole Gibsen.  No, it was all her fault.  Of course if you ask her, she’ll probably deny it all, as she madly types away about our adventures in Alabama and in the “Devil Woods”.  I’m positive there’s a book there to be written.  Or maybe, just maybe, it shouldn’t be written.

Which is why I wasn’t too upset to find out that her debut novel, Katana, had nothing to do with our younger adventures.  Although it is totally based off of me… Fine, it’s not, but I do have long blonde hair, just like the main character.  It’s almost about me.  (We can pretend)

Katana, Cole Gibsen

Actually Katana is about a young girl, who is your average, run of the mill, just get me through highschool, and a date with the hunk, and gah mom do you have to do that, kind of girl.  Average until she’s attacked by a group of thugs at the mall, and she suddenly can fight like a samurai warrior… Yup.  Samurai.  You heard me right.   (sounds like me still, right?)  Faced with a warrior spirit from a past life, love, teenage dilemmas, and a butt load of people out to get her (still me) this isn’t your average young adult novel.

This was a great debut novel from Cole Gibsen.  (and I’m not just saying this because I’m waiting for her to buy me that coffee she owes me, or because the book is 100% about me)  The whole novel was excellently written, and well researched.  I’m actually not a big fan of the whole samurai, ninja, and such genera, but I never became bored with it, annoyed or turned off, even with the heavy weapon references throughout the book.  An easy to read page turner, that I thought was going to be predictable, but surprised me in the end. 

Go get it now, and also look for her other novel, Breathless, which is still on my have to get list.

And then go pester her about buying that coffee she owes me.  www.colegibsen.com

Stay tuned for a special Guest Post from Cole herself right here, coming very soon, even if I have to blackmail her with stories from our past.

And She Was, Book Review

I’m been staying up way too late at night, hearing way too many scary noises outside, just to read in peace and quiet.  Obviously with all the scary sounds outside (why am I hearing monkies?) the peace and quiet part isn’t quite happening yet, but I am getting books read.

I’ve been slacking on reviews, and have many to share, but today we’re starting with this…

 

The book is based mainly on a Private Investigator with a brain that can recall every single detail from her life.  Think photographic memory with added in touch, taste, smell, sounds… you get the point.  She gets called in to a case to find a missing wife, that gets wrapped into a case from a missing girl, which takes her (the PI) to the case of her very own missing sister.  (And you have to throw in the handsome Detective that’s running the show.)

The first few chapters gave me a headache.  The book is written all in third person, and flips back and forth from character to character… and while reading in between diapers, dishes and loads of laundry I kept getting lost.  But I refuse to ever not finish a book, and I’m glad I didn’t quit.  Eventually I caught on to who was who, and never saw it a problem after that.  And actually it was really well written.

The story was intense, but not too intense, never leaving me bored with the whole who done it theme.  There are murder scenes, but just graphic enough for you to get the point, and not graphic enough that your stomach turns.  Really it was just a good story, with a sequel coming out next year.  (Wait did I finally read a book before the whole series was out?)  I will be buying the sequel. 

What else can I say?  I really ended up liking the book, and was kinda ticked that I have to wait another year to finish the cliff hanger at the end.  So go get it, now.  Or wait until I remember how to log into my old Amazon account so you can give me some credit, lol.

 

*obviously I was not paid for this review and I bought the book on muh own, just cause.  😉

One Thousand Gifts ~ Book Review and CHALLENGE

I knew you were dying for yet ANOTHER book review by me.  Actually I knew you were dreading to have to wait another second after my last captivating review on The Birth House.  So just for you I wasted countless hours of precious sleep time so I could have another review ready immediately.

And since the last book was about abortions and liberal topics, this one is a wee bit more wholesome, as I’m all for balance and stuff.

And when I say a wee bit more wholesome I do indeed mean that this is a Christian book through and through.  BUT DON’T CLICK OFF, not yet.  As I do think it’s premise is awesome (yes I said AWESOME) for even those without faith in God or a god, or what have you.

The writer begins by telling her struggles with losing faith, losing God as she, at an extremely young age, watched her sister die, hit by a truck in front of their house.  Her family torn apart by this tragedy, her sent down a spiraling path of self-torture and hatred.  Tragedy after tragedy affects all those who she loves, and she’s left wondering WHY.  What is the purpose?  How can people thank God while he’s ripping away loved ones???

And then piece by piece, day by day she begins to unlock the key, the secret in being truly thankful.  Giving real thanks, having real thanks, passing on true thanksgiving.  All with a small challenge from a friend to simply write down One Thousands gifts, just one thousand things that she could find thanks for.

Ann is a writer of a different, uh… flavor.  Her words come out in more of a prose story telling form, and sometimes it causes you to read back, stop and reflect to get the whole point behind the words.  Which of course works well during the telling of her personal life. 

The book is, again, extremely Christian, with many accurate biblical references throughout the entire book.  So not everyone will enjoy it as I did.  But it’s still worth the read. 

As time allows I will be posting my One Thousand Gifts and as a challenge to you, I DARE you to do the same, even if you don’t read the book.  Everyday just stop for a few minutes and write down anything that comes to mind that you’re thankful for.  It’s amazing how it can change your outlook.  You don’t have to be Christian or of any faith to appreciate all the small things in life we overlook in our rush to get to the next day.  So DO IT!

And go read the book, I give it 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Dear feds, I bought this book over a year ago and had it sitting on my shelves.  I was not paid to review this, and receive absolutely nothing for this review.  Thanks.

A Challenge, a Review, and a Rant (We’re Talking Books)

A while back, several bloggers dished out challenges all related to reading.  And if my lovely, sweet, dear dino-dial-up was in a better mood this morning I’d link them all up for you.  But just booting my blog took a half hour, so my apologies to the challenge givers and such.

Reading in this house can be harder than pulling a tooth.  Kids and dogs and a husband… and dishes and laundry, and gardening… and and and….

Finding books around here is almost a suicide mission.  No library, no bookstore, unless you count Wal-Mart and its fifty copies of New Moon…

But I simply cannot turn down a challenge.

So my reading list is small, with a goal of only fifteen.  But the challenge is in the books themselves… *insert dramatic music*  They have to already be in my house, or free on kindle.   Dun DUN dunnnnnnnn.  Or even worse, available at the local wanna be dollar store.  *shivers*

And I am lying a wee bit.  The first three books I read this year were the Hunger Games, and I paid full price.  Butttttttt, sometimes you just have to.  And technically I bought them before January and they were lying around my house…

And here’s the rant of it all.  And why I might divorce WordPress.  I have a nifty program I’ve been using for a while, passed down to me from another friend.  It lets you search all the random searches I come up with during the day, and in turn gives me points that I can use to get gift cards to buy anything I want… like books!  And it just so happens that in turn I can pass it down to others, and earn points off of them… and earn more BOOKS!  But WordPress won’t let me share it with you.  It eats my links anytime I post them.  Um HELLO freedom of speech, this is my blog and if I want to spam it I should be able to… right?  Well not here, but my blogger blog lets me… so yeah.  And I’ll probably get another nasty note from WordPress about threats of suspension and such, but if you’re interested in joining, or want to know more, just email me (barefootcoffeegirl (at) gmail (dot) com).  Neener.

And because I’m famous for long-winded blogs here’s a quick book review for you… which I’ve never done before, so bear with me.

The Birth House by Ami McKay

This one I picked up at my local wanna-be-dollar-store.  I kind of, almost, just closed my eyes and picked one.  It was just one of those days where I needed a new book, and I really didn’t care what it was, as long as it wasn’t some sort of fluffy romance novel.

It was/is well written, and apparently by some famous Canadian journalist or something like that, but the verbage confused me, and I kept thinking it was from New Orleans instead of Nova Scotia.  But that’s my own blonde brain problem, lol.

The story is about a girl, in the time of World War I, and how women were facing issues on rights over their own bodies, healthcare and the like.  She soon becomes a live in apprentice to the town’s only midwife who is more like a gypsy/voodoo healer than she is the christian believer the writer tries to portray.  IMO.  Anywho, the book goes on through births, evil husbands, life in that era and the struggle when modern medicine moves into town.  And on how the main character, Dora Rare finds herself and her calling in life.

The book was interesting, interesting enough that it held my attention and I wanted to finish it.  But the ending was common, just the way you’d thought it would be, like the writer ran out of ideas and just closed it up as quick as she could.  Kind of like the end of Mocking Jay.  You’re drawn, reading, reading, wanting more, caught up in the whole ordeal, and then it just stops all wrapped up and fuzzy.  I hate that.  But that’s just me.

The other part I didn’t like was again the storyline that this was all christian, Jesus loving, Mary mother of God, but voodoo like medicine played a huge role, as did abortions.  Which to me does not mix, but it probably wouldn’t bother others who aren’t of my conviction. 

Keeping this short, I’d give it a 3 out of five.  My attention was held, but it’s not a re-reader.  I’m not running out to look for other works by the author, but I would pass the book on to friends.  So there ya go.

The world’s worst written book review.

Enjoy.  ;p