Authors are readers too…

            Hello, everyone!  Today’s blog post covers a few books I’ve recently read…

It’s pretty much impossible to be an author without being a reader, too.  I love to see what new genres and interesting plotlines my fellow authors are coming up with.  The indie author community is full of talented and hardworking artists that slave away over the keyboard to bring you tales of romance, wit, wisdom, and fantasy.

I’ve been extremely lucky enough to get two ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of books that I’ve enjoyed so much I’d like to share them with you.  Both books are currently available on Amazon.  Please keep in mind that while I received both books for FREE from the authors, I also went out and bought them when I was done reading them and they became available for purchase.  Amazon can be a bit difficult sometimes, and unverified purchase reviews have a habit of being pulled.  In order to try and avoid that scenario, I find it’s easier to buy the book and look legit.

Please also keep in mind that I would NEVER write a blog post reviewing a book that I haven’t read.  You’ve probably become accustomed to me sharing a monthly blog post as part of the Book Boast Newsletter Swap program where I feature author’s books in my newsletter and, in turn, they feature my books in their newsletter.  This is just my way of saying, “Hey…check out these books that you otherwise might not have heard of.”   However, in this case today, I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed both these books.

Why am bothering to explain all this ad nauseum?   Because I want you to understand that I’m an extremely picky bitch when it comes to books and I would NEVER pretend to like something and say, “this was awesome!” if I really didn’t enjoy the story.

I’ve found that my patience for certain books has greatly diminished since I’ve become a writer.  My writer brain notices a lot more grammar and punctuation issues.   There was one erotic book that I attempted to read last week and couldn’t even enjoy the sex scenes because there were NOT enough commas in the sentences.  I’m a bit paranoid about commas for some reason.

Anyway…back to my original purpose for this blog post… I read two very good books and I’d like to share my reviews with you today.

Book One: 

The Best is Yet to Come by J E Benoit….  $2.99 on Amazon, Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Blurb:   Adaline Reynolds has very little time or desire to worry over her non-existent love life, regardless of what her best friend thinks. Perky Jo’s, the café she inherited from her beloved aunt, has demanded all her time and energy since returning to Little Creek. But that all changes the day a damaged photograph mysteriously shows up at her feet.

When she’s suddenly swept away to find the man in the photo waiting to show her some fun, Adaline’s convinced that she’s finally lost her mind. With no logical explanation for these meetings, she soon finds herself giving in to this charming stranger and feeling more and more like her old, happier self.

As she draws closer to the truth about the man in the photo, will she find who she’s been looking for? Or will she discover that the best is yet to come?

*** The Best is Yet to Come is a STANDALONE contemporary romance with a twist. Due to mild language and sexual situations, this book is intended for readers 17 & up ***

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07322TML5

This is the debut book from J E Benoit.  With a debut author, there’s always a thrill of, “Is this going to be awesome or total crap?”  Let me tell you, it was awesome.  No grammar or punctuation issues in the entire book.  The plot was very original and had a small supernatural aspect.  Now please let me explain this…there are NO vampires or werewolves or ghosts or shifters.  It is a SMALL supernatural aspect of …hmm…I want to tell you but I don’t want to give spoilers.  Let’s just say there was a bit of an influence from the great beyond.  The main character, Adaline is very relatable.  The entire story is told in her Point of View, except for the epilogue.  Adaline’s love interest is very real in the way that he could be anyone off the street that you or I come into contact with.  He’s not your typical alpha male jackass.  What did I like about the book?  It was a very unique idea that was ORIGINAL.  I’m all about finding something NEW that hasn’t been done a million times before.  I liked the suspense aspect of the book and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.  I was pleased to see the characters using PROTECTION when they had sex.  I can honestly say it’s a giant pet peeve of mine when the characters don’t use a condom.  The instant I read a sex scene with no mention of birth control, I inwardly cringe and pretty much predict that there will be an accident in the next few chapters and the main lady will wind up pregnant.  When I read books that I intend on reviewing, I always take notes so I can write a good review.  My notes for this book literally say, “YAY!  SAFE SEX!”  This book was more about “all the feelings” and only had a few sex scenes.

There was also an unexpected twist in chapter 32 that had me tearing up.  Normally books do NOT make me cry, because I’m not a mushy person.  But when something does hit me, it hits me hard.  Obviously I’m not going to say what happens in chapter 32, but it was something I didn’t see coming at all.

While the story didn’t have very much in the way of humor (I’m a sucker for comedy…you know this if you’ve read any of my books), I enjoyed it anyway.  It was a very good, well thought out story.  This was a stand-alone novel and I felt like everything was wrapped up and the epilogue really pulled things together.  Highly recommended!  I can’t wait to see what the author writes next!

Book Two:

Unbent by Wysteria Wilde… $3.99 on Amazon

 Warning: For Mature Adult Audiences 18+.

BLURB: In book three the final installment of What Was Everything: Four years had passed since Annabel LaFrance last saw Nick Bignanni. Four long years of trying to get over him and moving on with her life – the same life he had saved – but the same life he had destroyed, too. She’d been certain that he was The One, and he’d told her he loved her and felt the same way. But he’d been lying to her from the beginning – about everything. He ended up leaving her, and then the unthinkable happened, and he’d been sent away, ultimately choosing to cut off all contact with her. He’d simply shut her out of his life completely. For four long years.

Now, he was back—watching her, waiting for her, wanting to apologize and tell her the truth about everything, promising that he had changed and asked for another chance. She knew trusting him again would not be easy, and there were more disturbing revelations and some additional mountainous obstacles to be overcome if their relationship was ever going to work. And the Universe always seemed to be working against them.

Ultimately, Annabel has to decide if she’s willing to risk giving Nick another chance, which would also mean giving him the power to destroy her once again. She wants nothing more than to put their past away and focus on a future with him. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially when they would be facing another uphill battle.

And sometimes, it’s just too late for true love…

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072MM33R9

This book is the THIRD and final installment in the “What was everything” series.  If you haven’t read the first book, you will probably not fully appreciate the third one because you won’t really be invested in the characters.  Full disclosure…I read the first book, BENT, in February, but I never read the second book in the series because I think it accidentally got deleted from my kindle.  I’m not good with technology.  Let me also say that I read BENT in February, but the characters stuck with me so much that I needed no refresher in preparation for this third book.  Blah Blah Blah…now let’s get to the good part.

Much like J E Benoit, Wysteria Wilde’s books are extremely well written with no grammar or punctuation issues.  This book had altering viewpoints, with different chapters told by different characters.  I really felt like this helped the book flow smoothly from one plot point to the next.  Basically the story is the conclusion of the epic love saga between Nick and Annabel.  But it doesn’t really end there.  Yes, Ms. Wilde does an amazing job of ending their story and the reader really gets the melancholy feel of, “oh no, this is the last I’ll read of these characters!” but I got totally hooked on the supporting characters.  Brooks, Annabel’s gay BFF, really stole the show with his humor and down-to-earth attitude.

In case you were unaware, I’m very much a “root for the hero” kind of girl.  But in this story, I found myself literally falling in love with one of the villains.  I can’t give away his name because I’m all about avoiding the spoilers.  But you’ll know who he is as soon as his character comes into play…because he’s a giant sex-a-holic.  I found myself looking forward to the chapters with his point of view, enjoying his thoughts (and they were STEAMY!), and being a bit disappointed when his time as the narrator was over.  Yes, I wanted MORE of the villain!  That’s how well he was written.

Being an erotic author, I’m ashamed to admit this, but sometimes I skim over sex scenes because they can get to a point where they all sound the name.  Not with my villain boyfriend in this story.  I wanted MORE of him.  If that makes me creepy, so be it!

I also have to mention the suspense aspect of this book.  There were several unanswered plot points in the beginning of the story in order to drawn the reader in and make them question, “Oh… what did the character mean when they said said?  Will it be explained later?”  Normally, I get bored easily and find myself skimming to find the answers to the unanswered questions.  I wanted to skim ahead SO BAD, but I couldn’t in this story.  Why?  Because there was NOTHING boring in it and I couldn’t skim ahead!  I thought, “I’ll skip this part…” but then I got sucked in.  “Okay, I’ll skip the next part…” but it was narrated by my favorite villain hottie so I had to read it.  By the time the story ended, I hadn’t skimmed a damn thing!

I honestly didn’t expect to fall for the characters as hard as I did.  I felt like their story wrapped up nicely and all my questions finally got answers.

Both of these stories were FIVE STAR READS in my opinion.

Thank you for reading my reviews today and please be on the lookout for my blog post next week around July 1st.  Why?  What’s coming next?  I’m taking part in a Science fiction/fantasy book promotion where all the authors involved are giving away FREE stories.  Yes, you read that correctly.  FREE!!!!!!   I have no idea what the other books are because I haven’t got all the details yet.  I promise to make it interesting and not just copy/paste links and blurbs.  What does that mean?  How am I making it interesting?  I have no idea yet, I have a week to figure it out!

Til then, thanks for joining me this week and have a great day!

Grace

Happy Anniversary to Me!

            No, this blog post has nothing to do with any authoring/bookish anniversary.  I’m talking about my 17th Wedding Anniversary.  So please prepare yourself for a mushy, gushing post about the immense love I have for my amazing husband.

            Just kidding.  I’m many things, but sappy really isn’t one of them.  That doesn’t mean I’m not going to pay tribute to the man I married seventeen years ago…it just means I’m doing it “Grace Style.”  (Funny and brutally honest).

Hence forth, my husband shall be referred to as RLR.  No, these are not his initials.  My first book is “My Dirty Detour” and the character of Violet is based off of me, while the character of Rocky is based off my husband.  Therefore, RLR stands for Real Life Rocky.  Yes, I suppose it was a bit narcissistic to base a character off myself, but I believe in the old adage, “Write what you know.”  Who do I know better than myself?  It’s simple logic, people.

Anyway…back to the topic.  Love and marriage.  This blog post will cover all the wonderful things I love about RLR.

—  After seventeen years, he’s realized that flowers are a waste of money and he gets more points if he brings home a donut.  Let me explain.  1) You can’t eat flowers, but you CAN appreciate the fine nuances of a crème filled chocolate long john.  2) It proves he’s LISTENING to me.  A few weeks ago it suddenly came to my attention that we hadn’t had any donuts in a while.  I casually remarked on this awful turn of events.

Me:  “We haven’t had any donuts in a while.”

Him:  “Yeah, we haven’t.”

Yes, he’s a man of few words.  Yes, we both like donuts.

So do you know what happened?  Not more than two days later, he brought home donuts.  If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

— He leaves me love notes.  While you may picture him sitting at a roll top desk with a quill fountain pen, pouring over just the right words to profess his love on paper…that’s not the type of letter I’m referring to.  Although I do applaud you for thinking such inspiring romantic notions.  He actually went fishing last week and he wasn’t home when I got back from work.  So he left a note.

“Gone fishin’      Be Back Later        Love ya    RLR”

Yes, you read that correctly.  He signed the note with RLR.  That is a HUGE deal.  It proves that he actually LISTENS when I talk about all the crazy shit I’m writing, and he paid attention long enough to know that he has a nickname.  Swoon!  Yes, I saved the note because I’m sentimental like that.

— He worries about my well-being.  Whenever we go anywhere and it just happens to be raining outside, he’ll ask if should drop me off at the door so I don’t get wet.  That is so sweet!  Never once in the past seventeen years have I taken him up on this offer.  Why?  Water won’t make me melt because I’m not the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz.

— He warns me of danger.  I tend to be a little klutzy and NOT street smart at all.  I’ve lived a sheltered life and would probably die within fifteen minutes of any real apocalypse scenario.  My husband KNOWS this.  We were driving home from the grocery store last week and I spotted a giant turtle walking down the sidewalk.  I shit you not, folks, this turtle was the size of a manhole cover!  Just walking down the sidewalk as if it had somewhere important to be.  I screamed, “STOP THE CAR, PULL OVER, TURTLE!” at the top of my lungs.  Let me also mention that I do not live in Florida, so I should not be seeing giant turtles walking down the sidewalk on a random Sunday morning like it’s an everyday occurrence.  Let me also explain that I love animals of any variety and I want to rescue each and every one of them, whether they need my help or not.  So RLR glances out the car window and thus began our exchange:

Him:  “That’s a snapping turtle.  If you try and touch it, you’ll get your finger bitten off.”

Me:  “But we have to SAVE it!  Go get it.”

Him:  “And do WHAT with it?”

Me:  “We’ll take it to a creek or a pond or somewhere safe.”

He says nothing in reply.

Me:  “So…go get it….we have to save it!”

Him:  “But where are you going to put it?”

Me:  “We’ll take it to a creek or a pond or somewhere safe.”

He says nothing in reply.

Me:  “GO GET IT!”

Him:  “But where are you going to put it?”

By now this is turning into some Three Stooges/ Laurel and Hardy  “who’s on first” skit and I’m losing my patience.  He ended up NOT getting the turtle and driving away.  I went home, googled it, and realized that you’re not supposed to remove turtles from their environment, just let them be.  So…I didn’t get my finger bit off, he’s quiet stubborn, and I appear to have forgot what caused me to tell this story in the first place.

—  He’s full of surprises.  For one of our anniversaries, he took me to a nice restaurant.  I must have been using the ladies’ room when the waitress came to take our salad order.  Upon my return, I found a lovely salad with Thousand Island dressing sitting at the table.  Here is the exact transcript of the conversation that followed:

Me:  “What is this?”

Him:  “Salad.  Why?  What’s wrong with it?”

Me:  “This is Thousand Island dressing.”

Him:  “Yeah, cuz that’s what you like.”

Me:  “Are you kidding me?  This is our TWELVE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!  You don’t know what salad dressing I like after TWELVE YEARS?  Are you even paying attention at all?”

He laughed.

Just for the record, I used to eat Ranch Dressing before I got married.  My husband likes French.  In order to save money on salad dressing (and to prevent it from expiring due to non-use) I switched over to French and it’s fine.  Yes, you understood that correctly.  I eat the same damn salad dressing as he does, yet he still didn’t know what to order me.

But it’s not all unicorns and sunshine.  Marriage is a lot of work.  In case you want a negative example, I shall be happy to oblige.

—  He won’t let me drink out of his beverage after seventeen years of marriage without throwing a major hissy fit.  If he gets a soda of any variety, he insists I get my own straw.  It’s pretty much a rarity that he’ll even agree to share one in the first place.  Evidently he’s under the false impression that I ‘backwash’ into the bottle.  I believe his exact argument is something to the effect of, “You wrap your whole mouth around the top of the bottle and half your food goes back into the soda.”  Clearly he’s delusional.

pepsi

So in conclusion…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my beloved husband and thank you for putting up with me for so long!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Grace…

P.S.   In case you were wondering if he’ll ever read this blog post….the chances are somewhere around 10% at best.  He’s also never read one single page of one single book I wrote.  I show him the covers and offer to let him read them.  His response?

“Is it all words or are there pictures?  I’m not big on words.”

OR

“I don’t need to read it, baby.  I’m RLR.  I LIVED IT!”

Hunting for Treasure…

            Hello, everyone!  It’s me again.  This blog post actually has TWO purposes.  The first part is to tell you an amusing story and, not gonna lie, the second half is going to be sort of spammy and tell you about books you could buy if you have the urge to buy a book.  I feel guilty pimping out books (even though one of them is my own!), so that’s why I’m giving you an amusing story FIRST.  It takes the pressure off and alleviates my guilty soul.  Ready?  Here we go!

Blog Post Part One: Amusing story:

So last Saturday we had a one day rummage sale.  I was debating whether or not it was a wise idea to have a garage sale over Memorial Day Weekend, but we ended up with a lot of customers and made some decent money.  Rummage sales are always a shit ton of work just to make a few bucks.  However, the crap in my house was piling up (we go to estate sales and buy stuff thinking we’re going to sell it on Ebay and make a fortune.  The stuff doesn’t sell, or sells for two dollars and we lose money after shipping, and then it starts to take over the house).

I spent SIX HOURS setting up the merchandise and pricing items.  Let me tell you, we had ROCK BOTTOM prices in order to sell, sell, SELL!  The universe smiled down upon us and the sun was shining that morning.  It also helped that my neighbor across the street also had a sale.  I think people are more apt to stop when they see two sales instead of one.  I actually had no idea the neighbor was having a sale.  We’re a bit anti-social and don’t talk to people unless we have to.

The sales traffic was good and the customers were amusing, as always.  One elderly gentleman bought two Hawaiian shirts for a dollar and decided to entertain us with a joke.  I have no clue what it is with old dudes and telling jokes.  I think there’s an unwritten law that if you’re a male over the age of seventy-five, you have to tell a witty joke to every single person you meet.  The joke of the day involved a woman running over a rabbit, a farmer sitting on a tractor and witnessing said bunny destruction, the woman sprayed the rabbit with a can of something, the rabbit miraculously came back to life, and the farmer went to see what was in the bottle and…….. any guesses???

I was one hundred percent sure the punch line was going to involve HAIR SPRAY, but it was HAIR RESTORER.  Get it?  Hair/Hare?  Yeah, I wasn’t impressed either.  Neither was my husband.  He’s actually the most unfriendly person you’d ever want to meet.  His usual response to people is a grunt instead of human conversation.  So it’s endlessly hilarious to watch him be a ‘salesman’ at our rummage sales.

“Yes, ma’am, that weedwacker works just like new!  Here plug it in and try it out!  Don’t like a price?  Make an offer!”

It’s like he’s a carnie at the fair trying to get rubes to his booth to throw a dart at a balloon.  Total transformation from his normal self.  I literally thought, “Who the hell ARE you?”

Along with the good, there also comes the BAD with any rummage sale.  I had an item priced at a dollar and some lady came up and told me that she’d be paying me a quarter for it.  Yeah, she TOLD me.  There was no, “Will you take any less for this?” but rather, “I’ll give you a quarter, here.”  Excuse me, ma’am?  Since when do you make the rules at my fine establishment of priceless merchandise?  I’m almost ashamed to admit this (almost, but not entirely), I refused her offer.  “No, I’ll take fifty cents,” I replied.  Yes, I’m an asshole.  I couldn’t help it.  I was nice ALL day and the façade just cracked.

What happened?  Are you on the edge of your seat?  She paid the fifty cents and walked away.  No confrontation.  Sorry to build that up for a giant let down, but my life isn’t that exciting.  That’s why I write books!

Speaking of books…. (ooh….so proud of myself for that seamless transition to our next topic….)

BLOG POST PART 2…shameless book spamming!

Here are some books that might interest you.  You are under no obligation to buy them.  You are under no obligation to click on them.  You are under no obligation for ANYTHING.  I’m just throwing them out there for your viewing pleasure.

Book #1….  “Unexpected Treasure.”  Yeah, this is MY book.  Okay…HALF my book.  I wrote this story with talented Miss Aidan Willows.  We threw our insane ideas on paper and came up with quite an interesting tale.  Here’s the blurb and buy link.  It’s currently on sale for the low, low price of 99 cents.  (It just came out on May 30 and this is our way of attracting BUZZ at a low, low price.)

Blurb:  Lars is a man of mystery with one focus in life; searching for hidden treasures. If his latest risky expedition actually pays off, he’d be wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, and might finally be on the road to real happiness.

Helena is witty, charming, and utterly fed up with her life. Her whole future has been carefully mapped out, yet all she wants is to escape her controlled existence and live life to the fullest with no one dictating her every move.

A chance encounter of these two lost souls leads them on an adventure neither could have predicted. Accompanied by a rag tag group of treasure hunters, will Lars and Helena find what they’re looking for?

Or will they finally realize that the most important treasure of all has been hiding in plain sight?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Please note, both authors are lunatics who don’t do “normal”. If you are expecting historically accurate facts or a romance that isn’t bat-sh*t crazy, this may not be the book for you. For mature/ immature readers aged 18+ only.
This book contains explicit sexual content (as one author is trying to live out her lesbian fantasies vicariously through her characters), and also contains unrealistic portrayals of treasure hunting (as the other author thinks she’s a history nerd… but really isn’t).

https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Treasure-Hunters-Book-ebook/dp/B0714QC67T

Lars Cover

Book #2….   Fires of Revenge by Laura Fletcher…  FREE!!!!  (I have not read this but the blurb sounds good and what’s cheaper than free??)

Blurb:  Mary, young and all alone has been living in poverty trying to make ends meet to look after her dying mother. Although she finds it impossible to put out a burning fire of revenge. After the passing of her mother, Mary must exact revenge on those who have wronged her and her mother.

She enlists the help of two unlikely sidekicks, Anna, her best friend and Elliot a poor, rough kid from the streets. Together, they join up to seek an adventure of life changing experiences. Where will they up together?  Don’t miss out on this historical romance fueled by the heated emotion of revenge and justice.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/1647/28256

 

Book #3….  Good Grief by Vera Ella Unita ($2.99 New Release)  (Please note….I DID read this and it was a very good story.  There was a dog on the cover and that hooked me right away.  This is a great read with ‘all the feels’ and a heartfelt ending.  Yes, I did get just a tiny bit teary reading the epilogue.  That usually doesn’t happen with me.)

Jasmine Frost had imagined the first day at her new job quite differently. How on earth could she have known the arrogant billionaire Cole Ward would insist on her leading the renovations of his mansion?
To oversee the renovations, Jasmine moves in with Cole. Turns out, the mansion needs more than a little makeover, and she is stuck with that growly bear of a man for weeks. He doesn’t even like her French bulldog—who the hell doesn’t like puppies?
Still, they can’t withstand the strong attraction between them. The dark look in his eyes is intriguing and Jasmine can’t keep herself from digging into his past. But what if she doesn’t like what she finds?

Standalone Romance │ No cheating but bad language, explicit scenes, and a happily ever after.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3148/32313

 

Book #4…… Icarus Rising by Robb Manary  (99 cents)  (I haven’t read this, but it sounds juicy.  For anyone who loves rockstar romances….why not?)

How does a Billionaire woo the Rock Star Goddess who has Everything?

LIMITED TIME INCLUDES ICARUS ASCENDANT AND STRANGERS ON A BUS! THREE STANDALONE ROMANCES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE – $0.99!

Brandon Fahr, international playboy and world-renowned artist, has set his sights on a new conquest. A conquest so bold that he’s decided to chronicle it in a diary. Further, he’s given himself a deadline — thirty days to capture the heart of Rachel St. Claire.

Rachel St. Claire, a Rock Goddess, has been at the top of the charts for years and has finally let go of her tumultuous relationship with her controlling manager/boyfriend. Now that he’s gone, it’s the perfect time for Brandon to strike.

Rachel feels the heat as soon as she meets Brandon, but what if she finds his diary and learns that it was just a game to him, a conquest? And what if Brandon finds that he might actually be falling in love… for the very first time?

This is a rock star erotic romance written by a man with a male point of view. It is a standalone with an HEA!

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2578/28699

Book #5….. Alix (Coven’s Grove Chronicles Book 1) by Virginia Howerter  FREE on Instafreebie!  I didn’t read this, but it’s FREE and the cover is beautiful and it’s about witches!  I should probably read it.  I like free and I like witches!)

Description

Building friendships isn’t easy…building a coven is even harder. Join Alix in a race for survival and her discovery that love and magic aren’t that far apart.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2201/31473

Book #6…. Lovin My boss by Miss Brandy K  (FREE!)  This is free…and I haven’t downloaded it…but I really should because it sounds HOT as HELL!

Description

I want you to get on your knees.

“I’m not sucking it,” I say. Defiant.

“I didn’t ask you to. I’m satisfied with this, for now. On your knees. Between my legs, like that.”

I get down, between his knees. His hand strokes the big c*ck in front of me, so close that I can almost taste it. I don’t realize that I’m staring until I hear his voice above me.

“See something you like?”

What if you told your friend that you’d love to get your hands on your boss’s meat?

Now what if you sent the text to the wrong number? The most wrong number you could possibly send it to?

And what if he told you to come into his office?

This hot novel is all about power plays, sexy billionaires, marriage contracts, and babies. There are NO CLIFFHANGERS and a guaranteed HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

What would you do?

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3166/27759

 

That is all we have for today, ladies and gentlemen.  As always, thanks for reading and have a GREAT day!!!!