I currently live in New Hartford, CT. Hard to say where I'm 'from' because we moved around a lot when I was a kid, but did time in both Connecticut and Washington state...I won't bore you trying to name all the towns we lived in.
I hold a full-time day job so writing is something I do just because I like it. I'm a fan of hiking, the outdoors, seriously good writing, and I never, ever start the day without chocolate.
Music inspires me, and I like to listen to groups such as Puddle of Mudd, Three Days Grace, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and Breaking Benjamin, to name a few.
If you were to visit my house, you'd meet my husband, 2 kids, our dog Lea (most people simply refer to her as The Beast...and for good reason), our kitten Luna (affectionately known as Loony Luna), a gaggle of ducks, and a flock of hens ruled by a tyrannical rooster we call The Stump, or Stumpy. How he got his name is a long story...maybe I'll tell you sometime!
Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)
by Dale Ibitz
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
The gods of nature are at war, and Earth is in chaos. When 17 year-old Haley tumbles to a parallel world, she discovers that Earth's global warming stems from a war between the gods of nature. As descendant of the God of Air, Haley's called upon to stop the war. But who should she trust, who should she fight, and who has fire in his blood, bent on betraying them all?
Down a Lost Road
on Dec. 14, 2012
What a world, what a world! J. Bralick portrays such a vivid, imaginative world that is easy to visualize. The characters are memorable, believable, lovable, hatable (is that a word?), and strong. The writing is very, very good, descriptive without being over-bearing.
The male characters are just so...male. The female character (really, there's only one to speak of through most of it), is both weak and strong. Strong politics, though maybe just a tad reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. Great, unexpected ending.
So as much as I loved this book, you may be wondering why only 3.5 stars. Let me tell you.
First, and this is really just my opinion, the names were hard to master. I spent much of the first part of the book struggling with names rather than paying attention to the story. It's me, not you, and I know some of you may be saying...yeah? so? Some people love that...I don't, personally. So this, really, is a little thing. Not worth down-grading a 1/2 star.
Merelin seemed to spend a lot of time passing out or crying. Total girl. Yuck.
I thought I was going to swoon over her brother...the first chapter set him as cool and languid, like a tall drink of water...but that magic didn't carry though the whole book. He ended up being pretty ordinary.
What bothered me the most is that I felt like I went through most of the book in a fog. I finished the book, and I still have no clue what Merelin's gift is. I mean, and here's the foggy part, she'd be doing something, end somewhere else after blacking out, not knowing what she did. I'm really, really not sure what she was doing, why she was so important, or what she contributed to the mission. Maybe it's just me being obtuse. Maybe I just didn't get it.
Despite this, I really am going to get the next book and continue the journey.
Finding My Escape
on Jan. 02, 2013
17-year-old Hannah has suffered, and survived, a horrific trauma; a home invasion in which her parents were murdered. All that's left to Hannah are menmories, some scrap books, and a mysterious box. Hannah goes to live with her aunt in Tennessee, while her best guy-friend is moving to North Carolina. Now Hannah is suffering from life-like dreams where a hot, angelic guy likes her...except that these dreams appear to be following her into the daylight. And her nightmare follows her to Tennessee.
There are some very clever twists to this story. Looking back, there are subtle clues right from the beginning that heralds the ending twist. I like twists. Twists are almost as good as pretzels. I would take a few savvy book twists over pretzels any day of the week.
But, while this pretzel of a book flexed and twisted its plot...the dough-making process prior to baking didn't quite rise.
I felt like I was being told a story. I wasn't immersed. There was no emotion to draw from, other than what we were told the characters were feeling. This made the story read slightly flat. There was romance, but I didn't feel any cockle-warming...there was nothing to generate heat or friction.
Some plot points were a litrle weak. For example, we never quite know what her parents did for a living that made them an open target for murder...what they actually *do* is never really explained. The reason we're given for the murder has been done, and I'm not sure how her parents came across the information in the first place. Or maybe this was all glossed over quickly enough that I just don't remember.
I would have liked to have gone a little deeper into the characters. While like-able, there's nothing that had me rooting for them. Well, except maybe her best guy-friend, Matt. For some reason I couldn't help rooting for him. And I'm not quite sure what motiviated Jessie, the first friend Hannah makes in Tennesee, especially when she first meets Hannah. I was expecting something...I don't know...sinister maybe? But nothing ever really happened there.
Some of the dialogue didn't quite ring true for me. The transitions had to be kneaded a little more to make 'em smooth; there were some rough spot that caused confusion as to where my place was in the story line. Overall the story had that 'first book' feel to it.
The premise is cool and has a lot of potential. There's a whole other world that needs to be explored...though I'm not sure if Hannah can get back there.
The Other Slipper
on Jan. 02, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Jo is a tall, klutzy girl living in a kingdom of dainty opposites. One night, after sitting on the sidelines watching ball-goers enter the castle, including a strange beauty in a funky carriage who appears to be wearing glass slippers, Jo finds a ginormous pumpkin (which her family eats) and a little glass slipper. But the slipper hums to her, and only her, and Jo and her seventeen-year-old brother Ron find themselves on a mission to return the magic slipper to its rightful owner.
This is an interesting take on the Cinderella story *after* the ball, and from someone else's point of view. This story takes the slant of where the magic came from, how it originated, and the price one pays when they want too much of it.
I like how the story takes you beyond the magic of the ball, beyond the fairy tale that we all know. The story keeps it real; magic doesn't come for free. There are consequences for our actions.
The characters in this novel are likeable enough, but not especially charismatic. Probably the biggest issue I had though, was with the run-on sentences because run-on sentences have a tendency to lose their train of thought and sometimes slows the plot down especially if you have to go back and re-read the sentence and break it down in your head just to get to the point.
Overall, a nice read, especially if you like twists to the old fairy tales.
The Athena Effect
on March 13, 2013
I loved this main character, Cali. The author did a smash-up job portraying a girl who has lived her whole life without electricity, heat, hot water (oh, the horror!), and friends. Living off the land, completely secluded, with just her parents and the occasional visitor. Imagine her confusion and insecurity when she's plopped into an urban setting. Cali is vulnerable and alone and naive...yet she can kick some serious ass! She is so real and life-like that if I was to meet someone in Cali's situation, Cali is exactly what I would imagine this person being like.
I didn't like Cal as much...at first. He's a player through-and-through. He can get the girls with a wink of an eye, and he knows how to use his assets (hee hee) to his advantage. Again, this character is so real in his portrayal that you have to give the author props. The games people play, what they're thinking, what they're after...all extremely well done.
It got to the point where even *I* started to believe Cal's feelings for Cali (I have to admit, I don't blame her for being wary). What the summary doesn't get in to is Cali's unnatural ability to see people's auras, so she knows what they're feeling...hard to slip a lie past this girl.
My favorite part of this story was when Cali was telling Cal how she killed a mountain lion with a jack knife. Shocked, Cal asked her what her parents did about it. Cali's response was hysterical: "They got me a bigger knife." What made it so funny is Cali has no idea how completely insane and out-of-the-park that concept is. She's so unassuming, she thinks all girls would have done the same thing. She didn't think twice about it. Loved it!
I think I would have preferred a little more focus on the supernatural aspect of the story and a little less on the 2 characters coming together...which is a good 75% of the story. The story really got exciting when the evil mastermind started to get involved, but by that time the story was almost over, and, for me, there wasn't enough time spent on building up a suspenseful ending. It just kind of happened quickly with a lot of unresolved issues in the end...which made the ending feel a little flat.
But the story continues in the next book, and I will keep reading this series.
on July 12, 2013
I struggled with the rating on this one, because while the story was very good, at times the writing wasn't. I finally decided on a 4- instead of a 3+, in order to give the plot its due credit.
This story started out with all the interesting facts about the imminent extinction of the human race, and the race to get into one of the shelters. It grabbed me from the first chapter, and the excitement continued (mostly) all the way through to the end.
I liked Willow and her friends. I also liked that who I thought was going to be the love interest, wasn't. You kind of know who the bad guys are from the start (though I was pleasantly surprised at one turn of events in the end), so there's no mystery there. You have betrayals, you have romance, you have a couple of twists and bam! It's a day of fun in the reading park.
The concept was interesting, and I enjoyed reading about patches on the ozone layer, and what ELE ultimately stands for. I thought these were creative aspects to the story.
What bothered me is that at times the level of writing seemed a little immature, and some of the dialogue bordered on kinda corny. Some times I was gripped, other times I was rolling my eyes. I also was bothered by numerous grammatical errors (such as using peak instead of peek, not once, but over and over), and there was a severe case of comma-itus especially towards the end where commas don't exist and the sentences were kind of running on do you see what I mean? There is a note from the authors that after reading reviews, that they've corrected all the errors they could find. Could be that I have an earlier version of the book (I *have* had it for awhile!) so these errors could be corrected. Not sure if maturity level of the writing has been aged or not.
With that being said, I read this book straight through on a Saturday, and really quite enjoyed it. Had a good cliff-hanger that has me wanting to continue reading the series to find out what those dastardly SOBs are up to!
Don't Fear the Reaper
on Aug. 21, 2013
This was a very well crafted, written, and executed story. I really, really, really liked it! Has got to be one of my faves this year so far.
You have characters that are real, three-dimensional, and distinctive. The book opens with Keely's death. Her response to her own death is so believable, you actually think it's real. Like maybe the author followed Keely into the afterlife and wrote down her reactions.
Loved the bounty-hunter reaper, his name is Banning. He has that mysterious touch, silent and strong and you're not quite sure what motivates him. I found myself having an internal debate on whether he wanted to help Keely or trap her somehow.
And the sardonic, possibly unscrupulous demon? Daniel? His voice is so strong and yeah, he's a *likeable* demon. Whether or not he's unscrupulous is up to the reader to find out. But hint: he's a *demon* kiddos.
I loved the tension and interaction between the characters. I thought the pacing was excellent. Keely's motivation throughout was clear, and she pretty much stuck to her guns. I'm a little disappointed that we didn't learn of Daniel's past...why he is what he is and what his motivations were. And was the ending a tad predictable? Perhaps a little. These 2 reasons are why this didn't earn a full 5 stars, but there one or 2 things that did catch me by surprise, and all the little trails wound around the story and tied together in the end.
A very enjoyable ride.
Rise of the Fallen
on Aug. 28, 2013
OK, so this for me was 3.5 stars.
First off, I love this cover. It's HOT, totally hot. And this book (and review) is for the 18+ crowd...so if you're a young 'un, you might want to skip this one. OK?
So, this story doesn't only cover Micah and Sam's stories, but a host of other folks. Some you like. Some you don't. Some you just don't care.
And there's all kinds of sex. Straight sex. Gay sex. Kinky sex. If this isn't your cup of tea, um, don't pick up this book. I personally found it interesting to read some of this stuff, never having been exposed to it before.
As for Micah, here's my problem. The guy's a dick. And you can't even blame the broken bond for his dick-i-ness. He was always a dick. Everyone knows he's a dick. Very few like him despite it. Most fear him or don't care. Some liked to see him broken. You can't like or emphasize with a dick. At least, I couldn't. And while I felt for his loss, I didn't care because, ya know, he's a dick!
But he is So. Good. Looking. Almost makes me want to try to save the dick myself. Ya know what I mean?
I have to admit, I liked him more towards the end, especially his treatment of Sam... but the dude's gotta shed that dick bag he carries around and be more like-able.
Loved Sam. Loved her strength and grit and determination. Hated her douche of an ex-husband. He deserved everything he got! It was quite comical, actually.
As for plot? It was ok, though there were some unanswered questions. There's a whole story line about a guardian that who or why or what he was all about is unexplained. At least, if it was explained I didn't get it. While I liked the guardian character quite a bit--one of my favorites, in fact--I didn't get what his purpose was.
So let's get to the meat and potatoes...the sex. The descriptions were good, if lacking a little viscerally. I thought adding the sound affects (like "Ungggh"), was kind of a turn off. Better to describe the actions and reactions viscerally than to put sound affects like that in dialogue. To me, it was off-putting and distracting.
on Oct. 16, 2013
I think the first half of this book moved slowly. I felt like a car with its tires spinning in the mud...it tries hard, but it's not going anywhere, and no matter how hard you hit the gas, you don't move forward.
There's a lot of mundane college life in the beginning, and there was a little too much internalization followed by repeating the character's thoughts in dialogue. So I felt like I kept reading the same thing twice. And waaaaaay too many exclamation points; it made it seem like everyone was so uber-excited that they're shouting all the time.
I wasn't drawn to the main character at all. She seemed a little harsh to me, very narrow-minded. You can blame it on her up-bringing, but her best friend had the same up-bringing and yet was more accepting of those with the disease. I kind of understand why the author set up Ria this way, in order to show her change and grow, but over-all, the girl is selfish and not that likeable.
As to her friends, Paula and Michael, they're pretty one-dimensional. They didn't seem to have many layers.
Adrian, however, was an interesting character. Adrian saves the story, so to speak. He's a bad boy--and yes, he's a *bad* boy to the point of being an utter dick--but there's still some intriguing about him. And as the story unfolds, you understand he's the product of his environment. Society made him into a dick. His character runs hot and cold...just when you start feeling sorry for him, he pulls out the dick card and you start hating him again (and honestly, many times he pulls out the dick card because Ria's does some asinine thing to hurt him...again).
Halfway through the book, I started getting more interested...and this is the result of Ria and Adrian clashing, and the story actually starting to unfold. I liked how some of the other minor characters were in the gray area...unable to tell whose side they're on. This made the story interesting. And I was curious enough to read it all the way through to see how it ended. You have to wonder how much Ria changed after all!
While I wasn't wowed by the first book, I'm intrigued enough by Adrian's story specifically to give the next book a chance.