Nose in a Book Reviews: Ghostwriter by Lissa Bryan

GhostwriterGhostwriter by Lissa Bryan

My rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance

First let me thank NetGalley and The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing for giving me an ARC of Lissa Bryan’s first book.

The story revolves around Sara, a woman who just recently dumped her cheating boyfriend and due to budget cuts is laid-off from her current job as a writer for a local newspaper. All in all, her life beings to crumble around her when she is given the chance to ghostwrite a novel for a local politician. Unable to afford her apartment without her boyfriend’s help, she begins to look for other places to live.

Fate stumbles in and Sara meets a Realtor who has a lovely house on a remote island just off the coast that she’s willing to rent to Sara for a very good price. With just one look, Sara falls in love with the place and rents it. The story takes off from here and moves towards the paranormal when a ghost on the island really wants Sara to leave his island.

The beginning of this story was a bit slow for me. The author dumped so much irrelevant information into the beginning that it took me a while to get through the minutiae. (I don’t need to know every single detail about how a character takes a shower.) I also found the main character’s inner thoughts to be a bit annoying, rambly and immature sounding. There were times the author was pointing out obvious things that perhaps she didn’t think the reader would conclude on our own. It felt like she didn’t trust her own storytelling enough to let us readers put two and two together.

Once Seth comes into the picture, the story picks up a lot. I enjoyed how well the author wove in old letters into the story, especially how different the voice of the letters and Seth were from Sara’s. I appreciated the author’s differentiation between these characters tone, speech and values.

There was a continuity error that probably should have been caught during the editing process, along with some tightening up of the story that could have been done, but overall I enjoyed this book. I did get a little bit confused during the main climax of the story, but I understand where the author was trying to take the reader.

If you’re looking for an interesting take on a paranormal romance story, I would suggest Ghostwriter.

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September Writing Challenge – Windows to the Soul

Here’s my flash for today – Windows to the Soul.

Her eyes had seen too much devastation for what limited time she’d been alive.  Eleven was too young to be subjected to a lifetime of war, famine and strife.  She’d never known peace.  Never known youth and had never known innocence.

Through the course of her very short life, she aspired to bring about the change to her country that would allow those of the next generation to know all the things that she did not.

She died trying to better her world, not for herself, but for all the others living in oppression.

Nose in a Book Reviews: A Thin, Dark Line by Emma Elliot

A Thin, Dark LineA Thin, Dark Line by Emma Elliot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense

 

 

I was extremely fortunate to receive this as an ARC from NetGalley and The Writer’s Coffee Shop.

When does the search for justice become mere revenge? What’s the difference between the two?”

He was silent for several moments. “A thin dark line,” he said.

When I picked this book up, I had forgotten what the back cover blurb said about it.  Going into the book without any knowledge about the plot, I was amazed to be sucked into the story from the very first chapter.

The story revolves around Eloise Carmichael, the town’s librarian who has eschewed her family’s wealth to follow her own path.   When ex-con Cormac O’Malley arrives at the library’s doorstep looking for a job, Eloise decides to give the man a break he so desperately needs.   Unfortunately, the town’s people aren’t nearly as forgiving and are trying to run Cormac out on a rail.  When people suddenly show up dead, Cormac is the first person people look to as the culprit.

Despite the reactions of her family and friends, Eloise won’t back down and continues to allow Cormac to work at the library.

He handled the books with surprising care. And something inside me stuttered as I noticed how he cradled the tattered books in his large, calloused hands…

My God, you would be an easy man to love, Cormac O’Malley.  The thought shocked me. And terrified me.

Elliot’s descriptions and phrasing are all done so simply. So eloquently that nothing feels overdone.  I appreciated the way the mystery wove itself around the growing attraction between the two main characters.  I enjoyed the twist at the end and it was one that surprised me, not an easy feat.  I usually pick out the villain right away.

I loved the buildup of the romantic story and how it wasn’t easy or perfect, because neither main character was perfect.  Their relationship pulsed through the story, the push and pull of the various people, events and emotions in the story all had a factor into their budding love.

Before I could formulate a thought or question, his lips covered mine again. And while the first had been explosive, this kiss was shattering in its tenderness.

A really unexpected and lovely book.  Well done and I can’t wait to read the next story Elliot comes up with.

September Writing Challenge – Solace

Here’s today’s flash based on the below image. Enjoy!

Solace

Hoodie drawn over her face, she tried to be as inconspicuous as possible.  She wanted to be a wallflower, but her six foot frame seemed to scream her approach to everyone on the street.  People always asked if she played basketball or some other sport relegated to the height-advantaged, but Kayla only wanted to blend into the background and drift off into a world of her own making.

Finally reaching her destination, she shrugged off her sweatshirt, allowing her face and body to be seen by the only things she truly cared about.  Her local library was a solace against the teasing she endured every day at school for being gangly, clumsy and extremely shy.  Here the books didn’t judge her; instead they catapulted her into far off places where she could be the heroine or the damsel in distress.

To Kayla, it didn’t really matter as long as it wasn’t here.

152 words

September Writing Challenge – Second Chances

Here is today’s little bit of flash.

Prompt:

Second Chances

Growing up, I always imagined I could be whatever I wanted.  I could leap tall buildings with a single bound or sing on my favorite variety show or even be the first woman to go to the moon.

I thought I could save the world.

Then I grew up.

Some dreams changed, developed or were dropped because they were simply flights of fancy.  As time marched on, with every passing year, it seemed to take a small chip out of every dream I ever had.  Some years were only fragments, while others were huge chunks that dropped from my soul like soaking wet clothes falling to the ground.

Cynicism reigned supreme after a while, leaving me empty and lost and unsure of if I even had a dream to begin with.

Then the sun rose over my life, giving me a second chance on those dreams.

My children are now the creators of crayon masterpieces and recorder symphonies, but they remind me to dream big every single day.  If not for myself, then for them.  Their wonderfully magical optimism is an infectious disease that I have no desire to remedy.

 

190 words

Nose in a Book Reviews: More by T.M. Franklin

MORE MORE by T.M. Franklin

My rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars

Genre: Paranormal / New Adult

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of More from Net Galley and The Writers Coffee Shop.

The story tells the tale about Ava Michaels, a girl who has always thought of herself as just a little different than everyone else. When she goes to college, she finds herself in the rare predicament of failing Physics. Needing to pass the class to keep her scholarship, her professor has suggested she try tutoring with the handsome, geeky genius, Caleb Foster. Upon meeting Caleb, she suddenly gets the overwhelming feeling that someone is watching her. Not only that, but unexplained things begin happening to her. With the help of Caleb, they begin a journey into figuring out what makes Ava so special.

I enjoyed this story very much. The beginning of the book seemed to drag a bit for me, but when I realized the story would be part of a trilogy, it made a little more sense. I find myself not loving the initial book of many series I’ve read because of all the required backstory the author needs to fill the pages with in order to give the reader the pertinent information they will need for not only this book, but the subsequent ones as well.

Once the book passed the halfway point, the plot picked up and I found myself completely engaged in the story. I enjoyed Ava’s character and her insane, but selfless act in going to the Council to avoid having others involved with the drama going on in her life. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, so please excuse my vague remarks.) Caleb is an interesting and complex character. At his character’s introduction, he’s immediately likable and you are rooting for him. Although at times you will also want to scream at him to just come clean with Ava. When you finally discover his past, his motivations, and his family – you can understand his reticence with exposing Ava to the facts.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the other two books in the series. A nice start to what I hope will be fantastic trilogy.

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