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Smashwords book reviews by Sue Owen
The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to have Happened Somewhere)
on May 26, 2011
This was kind of a fun read. I liked the book and enjoyed the personality of the main character but I found some of his actions to be a bit unbelievable. I’m not sure, however, that wasn’t the intention of the author. The book seems to be written tongue in cheek with some of the concepts it portrays. However, I’ve never know a boss to be quite that out of touch nor inaccessible. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. If this were my life and that happened to me, I wouldn’t have survived the first two chapters!
I found it all rather amusing, though. Sometimes I wanted to just smack the dude to get him to wake up and several times I wanted him to take action where he just stood there. I never thought of myself as violent but this book brought that out in me!
The book was well written, easy to follow and understand and just a fun read. I’m looking forward to enjoying other books by this author.
on July 14, 2011
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had all the things I love in a book except maybe a decisive happy ending but that’s not really giving anything away so don’t get mad! It has romance, a completely hot guy that’s technically available, spooks, romance, cliff hangers, really bad guys, romance, and lots of mysterious goings on. I liked reading it from beginning to end.
For me, I’d have left the relationship stuff out. I get why it was necessary but I really wanted to just read the great story without having to think about what was like back when I was a teen going through that crap.
A definite read list book. A lot of fun and a couple of really cool twists kept me on my toes and interested through the whole thing. Can’t wait to read more.
7th Inning Death
on July 31, 2011
I found this book a little hard to follow. It felt disjointed to me. There are a lot of main characters and I couldn’t figure out at times which one I was following. Maybe there was just too much going on for me to focus on any one thing. I recommend trying to consolidate some of those break out portions a little more so we aren’t weaving in and out of several stories at once.
I loved the plot, though and found the ending a great surprise which is always my favorite ending. Once I accepted the character changes and got kind of into the weave of chasing the characters I was more able to follow the storyline.
I’d like to see a rewrite before I highly recommend this book. I just feel that it is too much messing around and not enough story telling. One thing I'd like to mention that I don't normally is the book cover. It is truly one of the greatest covers representing a story I've seen in a while.
on Aug. 01, 2011
Brilliant! This book has been by far the easiest read and best written book I have read in a long time. I found myself wondering if this story that the author came up with was a true story. The way the book flowed made me feel like it was a real life account of someone. I have to say I laughed and I cried and I lost myself in the life of the main character, feeling things that she was going through.
This author made it a point to make you feel included by informing you of what you need to know about the artistic world so that you don’t feel left out of any part of a conversation the characters might have.
I can’t say that I have lost myself in a book like this in a long time and to the author I say Thank You. Wonderful read for someone that needs a romantic story. I highly recommend it. I for sure Plan on reading it again.
on Aug. 09, 2011
I could not put this book down. I was warned before reading it that it dealt with a sensitive subject matter particularly for a woman. So I started reading this with some trepidation. Maureen handled the subject straight forward, head on and without apology or embarrassment. Without a doubt I will be doing research and helping to raise awareness of this serious and unacceptable practice.
The story itself is a bit like Maureen. Straight forward, head on and without embarrassment. It was hard to read in places when dealing with the lowest scum of the earth and I’m sure it had to of been hard to write. I felt pain in some places and tears flowed a few times which is not normal for me.
The characters were more than believable and I was right there with them catching their backs as they confronted opposition. I was pushing and encouraging when they needed it. I reached for the phone a few times to give someone a call that I felt might benefit from a cheerful voice just to realize it was just a book. Not that I would describe this as just a book. It is far more than that.
The many sides of this book are obvious when you start reading it. Relationships are not one-sided and Maureen certainly doesn’t paint a rosy picture of life here. But what she does do is give you champions, heroes and villains and she guides you through the rough times and into the light. I treasured every page and will re-read this book.
I’m not sure if she adds the Trooper, Shadow and Wolf piece onto every version but when I read that I cried all over again. What a beautiful memory she has chosen to share with her readers and a great insight into her personal life and this just makes me adore Maureen all the more.
This is a must read and one of very few books that I will read again and again. I kept having to check the cover to makes sure I wasn’t reading a Dick Frances book. It’s a great thriller and perfect study of human-kind at its lowest and best.
on Aug. 27, 2011
I did enjoy reading this book, in fact had a hard time putting it down but I think that’s more because of the ‘train wreck’ syndrome feeling for the main character. Julia is a mess. Makes me feel so much better about my life. I think her attitude towards her life and sometime outright whining kind of got to me after a while. I would have like to of seen more dimensions to her other than her massive effort, failed, at the end to bring things together.
I don’t like her disregard for motherhood and just had a hard time believing her attitude generally. Granted I’ve never grown up with money so I don’t know how someone already spoiled and used to getting their way would react when put in this situation but some stuff in the story I just couldn’t conceive happening.
I was happy for the ending and the way the author made it all come together.
As a note to the author, the formatting towards the end of my copy was really bad. There were words left out, major pieces of text missing, words missing and some places paragraphs repeated. I don’t know if that is a result of the text/formatting of the book when you published it or if it just didn’t get edited properly … my guess is it’s a formatting issue. Might check it out before many more copies are sold.
Overall, I think the concepts behind Seeing Julia are great and the author does a good job conveying the idea.
Yetzirah: The Pocket Worlds - The Butterfly
on Sep. 03, 2011
It is well written, the characters are likable (when they should be) and the story is easy to follow. Its kind of like Wizard of Oz meets Cinderella. I loved reading this. The world the author creates is amazing. I would not be ashamed to admit that I may have laid down and tried to find the door. The world completely grabs the imagination and draws you in. I love the idea of different pockets that can be made as we wanted.
The characters in this book are so varied it could have easily gotten out of control but the author kept them together and added their little character quirks as she went along making them more of the plot then some big, long analysis of who that person was. I liked the vivid descriptions of each pocket and the variety.
The ending was great. Although I kind of saw it coming it was wonderful watching it all unfold and I’m very happy that when I learn how to focus that maybe Yetzirah will be waiting for me. I give this a hearty must read. It was fun and very enjoyable to travel through.
An Epitaph for Coyote: A Novel
on Sep. 24, 2011
I had a hard time getting into this story. I think my take away from this is that some people have an even lamer life than I do. The story seemed slow to me but for a characterization piece it was pretty good. Dennis gave a good in-depth look at Henry and the type of person he was and how he interacted with others.
However, I found it rather a slow read. Although well written and edited, the plot seemed to go slowly for me and I had a rough time keeping pace. I wanted more action and more interactions, I guess. But I think that was the intent behind this story. Take the slow, meandering wanderer and he eventually becomes everything he should be and thus becomes a whole person.
Insightful and great characterizations saved this book for me. The story was slow but I think the rest made up for it. You have to be ‘in the mood’ for a book like this but worth discovering along the way.
on Oct. 01, 2011
A fun middle-grade book. This is the story of a girl’s attempt to find her mother and discover who she truly is. This is always a terrific theme for this age group, but Cresswell takes it one step further and put it into a wonderful world where, in an alternate universe connected to ours, live fairies, elves and all sorts of magical creatures, both wonderful and nasty. Characters are almost always more than they appear to be and relationships are intricate with a twist that makes the whole story interesting.
Although the pacing is a little slow, I kept coming back to read more, wanting to know what happens to the heroine, Lily. The story of her mother, Eleanor, which Lily reads about in a books she finds, is even more compelling than Lily’s own story. Cresswell has a few problems with point of view (giving odd points of view here and there for a paragraph at a time), it wasn’t a big enough problem to jolt me out of the story completely. Less savvy readers may not even notice.
This is definitely a book into which any kid, and many adults, would be happy to disappear.
By guest reviewer Meredith Bond
Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles
on Oct. 04, 2011
The story was a quick fun read that dives into the elfin society. It is less than 160 pages and kept the suspense up throughout the whole book. I do wish that I could have experienced some parts of the book rather than being told about it...maybe more dialogue between characters or even internal dialogue. I loved the fact that the main character wasn't a misunderstood teen, but a teen with friends and boys and was loving her life. There were some minor characters that we didn't really learn too much about and not sure if that was intentional because this is a series or if they just weren't developed enough. However, I still loved reading about the elfin society and trying to figure out if any of my friends and family are maybe not all human! Julia Crane knows how to weave a story and keep it going til the end...well...okay...she keeps it going through the end as we are left with an unpredictable twist that leaves a reader needing the next book! It is a very fun clean read that I would recommend for all ages, it was clean enough for middle grades to read.
Review by (Guest Reviewer) Jacque Stengel
Gerald and the Wee People
on Oct. 20, 2011
I really enjoyed reading this book. The author took a few plot twists that I probably wouldn’t have taken and when I read them I wondered how in the world that was ever going to work out but I have to say she surprised me every single time. I fell in love with the wee people and especially the far-seers. As far as I’m concerned they were the heroes here.
The world created by Burroughs was fantastic. I got lost a couple times with where the boundaries were but the story didn’t really need them. As the group traveled the world just seemed to go with them. Still a bit unclear on that but I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything.
The plot was fun, the story believable, the outcome wonderful and the entire book was entertaining. I wouldn’t mind coming back to visit the wee people once in a while and probably will!
Watering the Tree, Thoughts on Liberty and Tyranny
on Oct. 30, 2011
This is a collection of poems, short stories, and thoughts surrounding the author’s view of our liberties and the danger we are facing by staying complacent on fighting for our rights as humans and Americans. This is not a book for the liberal minded but it is one they should read but probably won’t.
Although I’m not as right-winged as the author I did find myself agreeing with some of the thoughts provoked in this book. Sometimes it was just hard to read not because of the content or the style but because of the reality of the words. Which I’m pretty sure was the intention of the author.
I don’t normally read nor review these types of books because I don’t really like them. I can’t say, unfortunately, that this was an exception to that. I am glad, however, that the author talked me into looking at it and I have to say, too, that I wasn’t going to review it but I promised the author I would.
So my review is here for you-all to read. I found the book disturbing, as it was intended to be, and hard to read, again as intended. Not for the style of short story type but because I don’t want to be told that I’m complacent in my pursuit of my own liberties and that I’m standing by while someone else makes the decisions that endangers those liberties and that I’m still, after being told, not going to do anything to change it. Sad but true.
Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells
on Nov. 05, 2011
By itself, this is a well written book. The story is a good one, easy to follow and has some great characters, like the grandmother. She’s pretty special. I liked how the author let us into the private world of witchcraft and showed us, along with the heroine. Realizing it is a work of fiction, I learned a lot about why witchcraft is the way it is and its association with the Earth. I liked being taught.
I have to say, however, other than the way the author opened up the witchcraft world, the story was pretty typical of a witches and warlock story. I think there was too much emphasis placed on the couple’s ‘link’ and way too many times where they ‘didn’t do it.’ It felt like the author struggled between making this a romance and a witch story. I kind of felt torn as I was reading it. Am I reading a romance where I can expect it to get hot and steamy or am I reading a witch book where it’s going to get weird and exciting.
I did enjoy the book, however and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a younger audience. I’m not sure that an adult would find it as enjoyable as I did since I’m basically a YA type of gal. Worth a pickup, though.
In Leah's Wake
on Nov. 17, 2011
There were a lot of truths in this book and at times it was hard for me to read. Not because of the writing, but because the story hit close to home as it probably does for a lot of people. Troubled families are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Either that or we are just being made aware of them more often. This book was very well written and great care was taken to not label the rebellious, insensitive and scared teen as “the bad guy” because truly she isn’t.
I’ve read many books like this that try to portray the effects peer pressure and bad choices make on ourselves and the loved ones around us but few books have hit the mark. This one has. I recommend this book to anyone with a troubled teen to have your teen read this story. She/he will associate with Leah and what she’s going through and maybe penetrate their rebellious ways.
For the story itself, it was very touching and endearing but hard to read because of the truths. I highly recommend this book. I wish it had been around when I was growing up and when my kids needed it.
The Story of Plan B
on Nov. 22, 2011
This is a zippy little tale that is full of indecision and heartbreak. Over all it is pretty upbeat but has some moments where you want to tear your hair out based on character’s actions. Sometimes the narrative gets a bit slow but overall it is enjoyable to read. I like the main character, Zoe and empathize with her lack of being able to control her own life.
Other than Zoe, there isn’t a lot of unnecessary character analysis and you are allowed to get to know them individually just as you would any real life friend. The author doesn’t push character flaws, weakness or advantages at you and allows you to make up your own mind.
The plot is slow at times but mostly it moves along. Even in the dark times, Zoe is as upbeat as she can be and seems to maintain a positive attitude about things and the people around her. I thought she was a very likable persona and I think we could be friends.
I recommend this book for its story line and possibilities.
Fall into Winter
on Nov. 26, 2011
This book was a bit out of my realm of review criteria and I hesitated accepting it but I’m glad I did. It is erotica and it is a collection of short stories; just to let you know that right up front.
That being said, I enjoyed reading this book. The four stories were well written and, yes, full of sexual scenes but they, too, were well written. There were story lines for each of the four stories so it wasn’t just a matter of boy jumping into bed with girl, getting it on, and end of story.
Baylee made an attempt at creating believable characters and I think she did a pretty good job considering they are short stories. I’d like to see more by this author and an attempt to put together a full length book. I believe she definitely has to potential to create a good, ground shaking erotica book that will fly off the shelves.
on Dec. 05, 2011
I’m afraid I had trouble following this book. I enjoyed the concept the author was trying to present and for the most part the story followed a logical path. However, especially at the beginning, I had trouble associating with the characters.
There didn’t seem to be a connect there. I thought I was reading about one character but as I moved along it appeared there were more than one and then I read back and found I still couldn’t tell. I guess it wasn’t obvious enough for me as a casual reader.
I do give points for originality of idea and there were a lot of good plot points that I enjoyed. I would like to see more stress placed on some of the more obtuse points in the novel. Unless that was done on purpose because the author intended this to be a book that had to be studied and not just read.
King Of Paine
on Dec. 10, 2011
This novel held a few surprises for me. I, of course, was aware of the practice of BDSM but never put much thought to the role discretion played. Absolute trust even beyond that called for in normal sexual relationships is paramount. If that trust were broken it very well could mean a life. I never know what I’m going to get into when I start a new book. The author moved me to a new expectation for suspense.
He builds his case from many directions and it just seemed that around each corner was a new surprise. But it wasn’t over whelming like it can be in some books. The lead character Frank Paine is likeable despite himself. I very much enjoyed finding that out.
Paine’s motives for discovering the truth are obvious throughout and he uses a dogged determination to pursue the end of the trail, which was suspenseful and surprising. The author used every trick in the book to hide, deceive and suspend each turn and angle. It was a wonderful trail of discover I was lead on and I am very happy to recommend this book.
The Impenetrable Spy
on Dec. 22, 2011
This story was easy to follow most of the time and had a good definition of characters. The author takes the reader by the hand and leads us through the storyline. There is a lot of imagination in this book and the character development shows good promise.
This book was written at a lower level then this reviewer normally likes to read so I had trouble following it sometimes. It also has some issues with continuity; for example in one place he was sitting on a chair in a room but he didn’t enter the room until a few paragraphs after that. It was written for a 3rd or 4th grade reading level so the sentences seemed choppy to me but would probably be great for that age group.
Generally, I think this book shows great promise for a new author. I encourage him to continue with his endeavors in writing and I hope to be able to read things of his in the future. I would, however, also encourage him to go back through this book and fix his continuity issues. This is a good book for that age level and worth a read.
My Novel Affair
on Dec. 31, 2011
This is one of the more entertaining books that I have come across. I loved reading this from beginning to end. The story was great and the way the author handled the transition from real life to fantasy was perfect. I laughed out loud in several places and just found the whole concept of writing about writing so intriguing that I just couldn’t put it down. (Why didn’t I think of this!!)
I don’t think it was quite fair of Ellis to publish this as a romance. It could just as easily been an autobiography but it was so well written that I’m glad she did it this way because I wouldn’t have read it had it been a bio and I’m very glad I did read it.
I highly recommend this book because of the unique writing style and excellent story line. It’s almost like reading two books at once. I cried and empathized with the main character or should I say characters many times and had a great time doing it.
on Dec. 31, 2011
For a short story, this was a very intense read. I literally could not put this down. It still kind of stays with me as I remember parts of it here and there throughout the day. There certainly wasn’t anything missing considering how short the novella was.
I don’t read many true thrillers but this was one that could become a classic. It takes a normal thrill scenario and adds a few unexpected twists. I saw the end coming but didn’t want to acknowledge it and pretended to myself to be surprised. I talked it over with myself several times and decided it couldn’t have been any other way.
I really enjoyed reading this story even though it kept me up that night. It was intense, and the storyline was well played out and kept me rooting for the main character throughout. This is a definite must read if you enjoy suspense at all.
on Jan. 18, 2012
I think this is going to be a nice series. But this fell under the spell of so many first novels in series and had way too much character development, front end story and (sorry!) boring plot lines. I realize what the author was trying to do and I applaud the effort but I just didn’t get a whole lot out of this book until well into the middle.
However, I think this has the potential to be a majorly awesome series. I loved the main characters and can’t wait to find out how she learns to kick tail in future books. The plot was well thought out and the characters well developed.
I recommend this as a means to an end. Without this novel the rest of the series would be harder to understand. You need to wade through this one to get to the good stuff. Not to say this doesn’t have good stuff, because it does and I enjoyed the ending very much. But as a standalone book there is way too much time spend on character and plot development.
Reel Life Crime
on March 03, 2012
I want more of these types of stories. It’s what I call a curl up in front of the fire with a bag of popcorn and some hot chocolate and sit down to a really good book. I love the detective in this story and the fact that he just can’t seem to come to terms with who he is. Can’t we all associate with that??
This is a great story, full of suspense and wonderfully real characters. I had no trouble following the plot and the clues leading to the end. I was able to guess what happened but that’s not the author’s fault…I read entirely too many books! Regardless I loved it. I hope he creates many more novels with these characters.
From what I’ve been reading, this book included, the old genre they used to call ‘spaghetti western’ where there are a ton of short stories surrounding a central theme or character are coming back. Even as little as 10 years ago no one was writing those anymore. Now, with new authors and the advent of e-books, these types of serial books are making a comeback and I have to say, this is an awesome first round. Keep it up and keep them coming.
on Nov. 04, 2012
This is a very strong collection of short stories. All 10 stories are well written and have some kind of twist or surprise in store for readers. I normally don’t read short stories but I’ve had the privilege of reading some of Bainbridge-Cowan’s pre-released work and have very much enjoyed her writing style. She never disappoints.
This book is no exception. From the very first story I was hooked. I never knew what was going to be lurking around the next page. A couple of the stories I had to re-read because I was so involved in the story that the ending took me completely by surprise and I had to read back to make sure I got the entire plot correct. It was like reading 20 stories instead of 10 there was so much going on.
I completely loved this book. It was fast paced and held so much to keep my attention I just couldn’t put it down. Bainbridge-Cowan is an excellent writer and I encourage anyone to get this book or any other that she has put out. You will be surprised, awed and fall in love with her characters just as I did.
A Fistful of Fire
on Oct. 17, 2013
This is a great love story and pretty untypical at the same time. I had fun reading this book and realized quickly I’d have to pay attention to make sure I didn’t miss any queues. The characters were believable even though from different races and I like the intertwining of races versus environment illustrating that we can all get along. The story itself was pretty standard boy meets girl, someone falls in love, someone doesn’t and someone has a great surprise at the end.
What made this unique were definitely the characters and the setting. It gave my imagination a place to go with the authors descriptions of the scenery as well as the players themselves. I liked traveling this journey with the two main characters and have to say that I was pretty sure of the ending but still had to read on to make sure I was sure!
Before True Light: The Awakening 2nd Edition
on March 08, 2014
This is a delightful coming of age story in a time when you truly had to know who you were. It has a nice setting and the story moves along pretty quickly. I like the author’s use of description to paint a picture of what this world is like and how there is no doubt who the heroine is but some doubt as to how she’s going to fulfill her destiny.
The writing is good and the story is a classic one but well worth reading. I like the use of magic and how it’s explained as well as the interaction between the characters. The main character is strong and just gets stronger toward the end of the book. You definitely want to root for her in her hour of need and cry when she tries to give up. Well worth reading.