May 21 2018

Reviews #BoutOfBooks and #BlogTour #BookTour

I read three books during this read-a-thon.

King’s Cage
#WeNeedDiverseBooks #SpecFic 5 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

This book has important (though unnatural) weather, and therefore counts toward my goal for the “all about the trope challenge.”

I am really enjoying this series. Even though I found the book really good, I’m going to start out by virtually high-fiving the author for the end of the acknowledgments section. I truly enjoyed reading that.

Back to the story. It almost feels like she wrote it backward from the traditional story arc set up. The ending I somewhat saw coming, but it still made it a tough pill to swallow (in a good way, reader-wise). There were a lot of lines to love in this book. And it really does mirror society and holds a warning. I thought, at the end of Red Queen, that this might be more sci-fi than fantasy, that it might be a book with a future setting. The map at the start of this book, and a reference or two in the story, confirms that. So it is Speculative Fiction, a fantasy set in our possible future, dotted with horror, a splash of romance, and bits of science-fiction all rolled together. Like tossing the Lord of the Rings books and the X-Men graphic novels, and maybe one Star Trek book and a few pages of the CliffsNotes on Diary of Anne Frank, all in a blender together. That’s what it feels like to me. And I love it!

There are different heads to be in during different chapters. I’m generally not fond of that approach, but it was well-done and reasonable here. Afterall, the first half of the book has the main character separated from the supporting cast. Evangeline’s POV was especially interesting, as her thoughts are so different from the character she portrays herself as.

I love the diversity in the book. I imagine Mare as a teenage Michelle Rodriguez (actor). Universal has been talking about making this series into movies for years. (I wonder what the hold up could be, given that this is perfectly suited to slide in with the Marvel and DC films dominating the box office.)

V-Card 4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

I have not read anything by this author before, so this book counts on toward the “try something new’ challenge.

This was certainly more romance than erotica. As the title suggests, the main character is a virgin who is looking for the guy to change that before she’s 21. She’s good-looking but has comically bad luck. Everyone in the book but her knows that someone has a crush on her. (Including me, as I read it, because it seemed ridiculously obvious.) The story is totally predictable and ends with heartwarming, traditional feels. What makes it good is the humor weaved throughout. The make-out scenes have plenty of heat. But the scene you know is coming (again, look at the title) is all heart and very low on the heat scale. As I said, it’s romance, not erotica. That big climax scene is PG-13, not R, certainly not X. The book seems to draw a reader in with lust but ends by giving love. I don’t read enough of the genre to know if that’s a trend. It was well-written and the humor was right up my alley. Quite good if this is the sort of book you’re looking to read.

500 Low Glycemic Index Recipes 4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

I have not read anything by this author before, so this book counts on toward the “try something new’ challenge.

What do you do when your family member gets diagnosed with an overwhelming health issue? Run out and get a book that could help. What did Dick, the author, do when he was diagnosed? Wrote a bunch of books to help people like himself. The author is not a doctor, dietitian, nutritionist, or professional chef. He’s a guy in Maryland, near my neck of the woods. Some of the recipes are beginner level, and some are a little more advanced. (There’s one that includes sausage as an ingredient, for example, and the instructions just say, “cook the sausage,” but do not say how. Only a few are like this though.) Most are stovetop or oven, but some are grill or slow-cooker. (Though the person I bought this feels that the author doesn’t get the Crockpot concept of tossing everything in there with no other steps besides returning a few hours later.) I was impressed that there was an Amish dish included. And a different take on salmon soup that interests me. (It wasn’t something I grew up with, but something someone made for me a few times. Canned salmon. Such an unusual ingredient for a book like this.) Everything in the book is also low-sodium or sodium-free. There’s a great introduction in the book that details the reasons. The family member I got this for already has a dozen pages flagged with recipes to try– and this is not a person who cooks or enjoys being in the kitchen, so consider that a high praise by itself.

try something new square 2018 book reading challenge all about the trope 2018 book reading challenge= weather

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I had paid to do two virtual book blog book tours in the last few weeks. Here’s a quick review of each, in case my fellow indie authors are curious.

Silver Dagger Book Tours:

Excellent communication. Enjoyed working with the person who ran my tour. 48 successful stops on the tour. (Some bloggers signed up to take part but did not. That happens with anything like this, and I certainly don’t blame Silver Dagger Tours for it.)

Books Sold during tour dates: 3
Reviews given during tour dates: 0
Cost I paid/donated: $140


Chapter by Chapter:

There were 13 stops on this tour. Several places called me “J.” instead of “J” (something that happens as a result of Facebook, long ago, not letting me use my name without a period after it, and that linked to my Goodreads account). At least one site/ tour stop either changed my gender or thought the person from Chapter by Chapter was offering the prize that went with the giveaway. (I didn’t run it, but I will be the one paying for it once they pick a winner.) I really liked the tour banner.

Books Sold during tour dates: 0
Reviews given during tour dates: 1 (On Goodreads and a blog)
Cost I paid: $55


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