Sarah R. Yoffa
Sarah R. Yoffa is a Mechanical Engineer and has been an actual Rocket Scientist but her first love is writing fiction. She abandoned a career in IT Management to pursue her passion for writing. And because she now writes in the romantic suspense genre, let’s just say she enjoys long walks on the beach at sunset and hiking the woods at sunrise, but don’t turn your back on her out there—not if you plan to come back out again!
Sarah was raised in a traditional Jewish home, attending two of the nation’s best Orthodox Hebrew Day Schools (Miamonides and Solomon Schecter, both in Brookline, Massachusetts) while simultaneously attending a Reform Temple her parents helped to found in a suburb west of Boston, Massachusetts. The conflicting instructions of ultra-right-wing Orthodox by day and progressive left-wing Reform by night left Sarah shunning all organized religion for most of her adult life.
She made Aliyah (emigrated to Israel) in 1999, but due to the financial collapse, post 9/11, she returned to the U.S. in the winter of 2002/2003 and immediately began plans for her return to Israel.
Sarah’s dream is to retire to Arad, Israel, where she can get up to watch G*d paint a sunrise over a cup of coffee in the Wadi. There’s no better inspiration for a writer than that Holy Desert and those magical sunrises. Except, of course, the Holy Desert and those magical sunsets.
To find out more or speak directly with Sarah, "like" her Facebook Webbiegrrl Writer Page, follow her on Twitter (@webbiegrrl) or on Google+ (http://gplus.to/webbiegrrl)
Look for her Romantic Suspsense books in the "Banbha Series" coming soon!
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Smashwords book reviews by Sarah R. Yoffa
- Impressive Bravado
on May 21, 2011
This short story offers a peek into a culture that exists here in America the way it does nowhere else in the world. The horse breeders of Ireland, for instance, are world-famous, but lack that je ne c'est quoi which makes American horse breeding culture so special. That is, "special." Yes, I'm talking about the Horse Whisperer. LOL! Thank you, Kat! You hit the "pet psychic" phenomenon which has swept into American minds square on the head knocking sense into the reader in a humorous way.
Kat also manages to educate readers in the care and upkeep of horses. She just so happened upon my personal favorite breed of horse--the Palamino--but she discusses all sorts of horse breeds and the humans who love them, sometimes to the extreme and always in hilarious ways. The only thing funnier would have been adding a circus pony to the act.
The story is short, sweet and to the point. I can't give it more than a 3-star rating due to some pacing issues and typographical errors, but the ending is a slice of Americana that will leave readers satisified. When she starts to charge for it, it'll be well-worth the 99-cent price!
- Double Dog Dare
on Aug. 23, 2011
Awwww, this story was kind of basic, kind of simple, and even kind of predictable but it was told well enough, sweetly enough and succinctly enough to make me go "awww!" at the end. Thanks!
- Meeting on Mars (Gay Sci-Fi Erotica)
on Sep. 14, 2013
I got this book when it was priced at FREE. I would have felt it was worth paying 99 cents for it (given it's a short story) but not much more, which is hard for me to say, given I'm an indie author myself. Still I know nothing about this author or the series and only noticed that there's a serialization going on according to the notes at the end. The novel, if all the pieces end up turning into a novel, would definitely be worth a solid "novel sized" price.
I took one star off for the sex, which given this is classified as "gay erotica" is kind of bad. The actual sex scene was longish and involved--both of which would have been fine--but it was nowhere near as "hawt" as the flirtation before hand--during the character development phase.
That said, I looooved the characters, the world-building and the storytelling. This author can entertain, just not sure sex scene writing is really their thing. I might be biased by my own work. I write extremely erotic sex in even my least-romantic stories and get people more aroused off a first kiss than anything else (though I definitely get readers "uncomfortable" by the end of a full-on everyone comes sex scene. I didn't even feel a twinge while reading this scene. I should've felt something. I don't need to be a gay male to enjoy being the "subject" of a sexy man's kiss. I didn't feel like either of these guys was particularly sexy. The young ripped guy was entirely unimaginative and unattentive as lovers go and the older guy was...well, older (and given his age is half of mine in real life, I should've felt he was younger!) They were a pretty boring couple in bed. OUT of bed however, wowza, sparks flying and dynamic chemistry going on with everyone. Also really enjoyed the MC's (probably not gay) best bud "Pan" (whose gender was never actually made clear and should have been as it was distracting me that I wasn't sure all the time...nothing should ever distract the reader from reading)
Despite all my nay-saying, TOTALLY recommend this story and this author. I think it would be really interesting to see the full serialization as a novel.
- Deliberately Unbound
on Sep. 14, 2013
I've never read anything by this author before so this was my first exposure to her style/voice and to these characters. I did feel I got a good feel for the characters so there was no loss due to it being a sort of "cut out" from an existing series. I didn't "need" the series to get into this story.
What I did need was a little less "mystery" and a little more "to the point" during the lead in to the big sex scene. Part of my annoyance might be that I am in no way a fan of Regency romance or period pieces. That doesn't stop me from reading them and evaluating them as storytelling; it just has to be taken into account as a factor in my diminishing enjoyment. Some period writers can actually get the worldbuilding across without being quite so stuffed shirt in my face about it...though TBH a shirt stuffed into my face sounds okay :)
And that brings me to the sex scene. Awesome job. I got the book specifically to read the sex scene as I am totally new to m/m romance and gay erotica. I write m/f romance and het sex in non-romance genres but I have gay characters so eventually, I need to have a gay sex scene, right? So I was here for an education and THANK YOU AVA MARCH, good job on showing me how it's done. I'm not entirely against BDSM-y activities though I'm a het female not into anal so I didn't personally find the scene very arousing, but it was tension-filled in an erotic-tension kind of way if that makes sense. I got the sense that if I weren't personally adverse to the activities being described, I would've been sufficiently aroused by The End to give this 5 stars.
I was DEFINITELY able to envision exactly what was going on, what the characters were feeling about it at the moment and I loved the chemistry between the Dom and his sub. The D/s roles were PERFECTLY done which is actually a rare thing these days with all the comers trying to fake it.
So I was at 3 stars for not liking the sex and not liking the period-ness of it but had to raise it to 4 because the D/s dynamic was soooo spot on. Thank you for showing how it should be done!
I also got Deliberately Bound while I was collecting samples to read here on Smashwords and I look forward to reading more about Vincent and Oliver, though I'm not sure I'll enjoy the anal sex or time period aspects any better than I did here (haha) Again, won't stop me from reading, just from liking every bit of it but I appreciate GOOD WRITING and Ava March has got it.
- Deliberately Bound
on Sep. 15, 2013
Again, this is my first foray into Ava March's Bound series and as I said yesterday in my review of "Deliberately Unbound," Regency is one of my least favorite genres because I dislike period pieces, generally. All that said, once more I got a good feel for the characters right away and had no sense of loss from not having any pre-existing knowledge of the series. I didn't "need" the series to get into this story but I did feel I "knew" the characters well enough after one story (yesterday) that I should recognize them. I did...sort of.
In this story, the D/s roles are reversed and while Oliver finds it easy to be a switch, Vincent struggles with the role reversal. This fit with the men's personalities as I knew them from "Deliberately Unbound" but I didn't feel like the lead-in to the sex scene adquately addressed the emotional states of the Dom-turned-sub. I've been a switch myself more D than s and it's quite the mental trick, more than "flipping a mental switch" to change roles. I wanted Vincent to struggle with it more before he became a happy go lucky sub. He didn't need to "talk about it", just have mental doubts, fears, trepidation. That wasn't there. Took one star off for the lack of credibility there but then added it back in once I finished the sex scene because Oliver as a sub turned Dom was amazing. Plus THIS time, unlike when I read "Deliberately Unbound," I definitely got a good arousal going from the sex scene so it worked for me despite still being focused primarily on anal penetration (not my personal interest).
I felt the characters in this story had a better-developed chemistry here than in "Deliberately Unbound" but couldn't really say why. I felt the sex was better but again, couldn't say why. I felt the writing was top-notch except for that lack of character development mentioned above. All in all, I would read more by this author but probably won't. I really dislike Regency. If I "had to" read Regency, I would probably not mind reading Ava March's tales of Oliver and Vincent (whereas other Regency romance annoys me all to hell).
Despite not being interested in period pieces, I did particularly like the fact Ava March makes a specific point to try to describe sex toys of the time as they might really have been. Accurate or entirely fictionalized, the author's effort to lend authenticity in the details to the period she's depicting was admirable. Highly recommended for anyone who likes period pieces.
- The Stranger (Jem & Carlton #1)
on Sep. 16, 2013
I got a copy of this story while it was priced at FREE but I definitely would have paid 99 cents for this story. I have no clue if it's part of a serialized novel or meant to be a standalone in a series of standalone stories.
I notice the last page of the ebook file has a listing of 7 different "Jem and Carlton" stories so I had to wonder. If it's a serialization, then the abrupt "ending" to this section is all right--like a chapter ending abruptly while the book goes on. If, however, this was intended to be one of seven related stories in a series, each a story unto itself, then there's an issue here that is hopefully not propagated to the other 6 stories. Any story, unless a chapter in a larger book, should always have a beginning, middle and end. There needs to be an arc. I felt this story had a fantastic lead in, a good and solid middle but then lacked an ending.
Other than that structural issue, it had a few grammar problems (see below for more) but I'd say this story is 110% entertainment. The characters are vibrant and charming. Jem is adorable and I liked him right away. The chemistry between them is good and I have no clue who Carlton is or how/why he's shown up in Jem's life but I am immediately intrigued and want to know more about these guys. I had a little issue with credibility about Jem's dysfunction (see my statuses on Goodreads for more on that - http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/721234570) but really, it was such a trivial issue to me that I don't feel it's worth detracting anything from the star rating. It was enough to jerk me out of the story--never good--but the story was already so engaging that I found it easy to move on and get back to reading. I simply couldn't wait to see where the characters were going next!
Carlton has a simply delicious edge to him without coming off as a buffoon or abusively rough around the edges. The mystery that is Carlton, hopefully, gets explained in later installments of this presumed serialization. If not, then I guess that's another gripe about this but only because I soooo enjoyed Carlton I definitely wanted to get to know him better! Who wouldn't? Roowwwrrrrrr
All in all, it's a fantastic little vignette by an author I have never read before. Now the issues. I had a few issues right from the first screen with the grammar and sentence structure. It wasn't a matter of British versus American English; it was a straightforward grammatical issue--verb tense and such. I've read a lot worse so I'm mentioning this but would only say it loses 1/2 a star for that and then, only because it was a pervasive issue throughout the entire story. Not all the time, but an outside editorial editor (i.e., "fresh eyes") could have caught these issues and fixed them. If this is a serialization that will ultimately become a novel, I'd suggest the author get all of the piece-parts to an editorial reader (could just be a free group of beta readers on Goodreads!) and have those grammatical glitches corrected before piecing the story together into a collection for sale as a novel.
I've taken another 1/2 star off because the story ends so abruptly. In fact, the story ends with the big sex scene and that is abruptly cut short (if one can actually still be abrupt after coming 3 times in short succession! LOL). It was a hawt enough sex scene and did go on for a bit but then it just felt as though I were reading and *bam* the author decided to make that the end of the book. Not quite in the middle of a sentence but it nearly felt that way. I had no sense of closure at "The End." Even if this is a serialization, I should have a sense of closure--just of the scene if not the book!
Despite the glitches, I thought Alex Jace did a great job here! I would definitely read more by this Author and I am interested in these characters enough (without qualifications) to read future stories about them. I highly recommend this story to anyone who can download and read :) It's fun, lighthearted and engaging. Get it and decide for yourself. It reads so quickly and entertains so easily, you won't regret it!