I love to read all kinds of books but most of my reads are found in the genres of
Paranormal, Supernatural, Magic, Modern Mythic stories, Dark Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, P.I. Detective Cop Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Adventure, Combat Action, Young-adult fiction, Science fiction, Dystopian, apocalypse, post apocalypse, LGBT Fiction.
Where to find Tammy online
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Smashwords book reviews by Tammy
- Ghosts: A Quelondain Short
on Feb. 24, 2012
I enjoy shapeshifter novels especially when they are not always wolf or centered around a wolf pack.
This short story is one that I would recommend to those who enjoy the supernatural shapeshifter genre.
It speaks of family bonds; loyalty, unconditional support and a families love that moves beyond traditions and outer appearances.
I hope this story is continued in later books.
- A Marked Past
on March 24, 2012
First things first, I received a free copy of this book by the author (via goodreads.com group Shutup and Read) for a fair and honest review.
Now what to give this book in rating. This book, to me, was a better then average read.
So I am giving it four stars.
There are some great parts to this book, and some not so great parts. I will try to share what I felt were the best and the not-so-best.
I loved the way the writer unraveled the story. The detailed descriptions, and the fullness of the characters.
It was easy to imagine myself inside the town of Salem, sitting in the classrooms, listening to the teachers.
I could hear the crunch of the gravel at the church, smelling the pines, and the feel the cool spring air.
It takes a true talent to transport the reader into another world using only words. Kudos to Leslie Deaton for the use of her talent.
The characters (be they good or evil) were relatable. You could see the good and bad in just about everyone in the town.
The details added to the characters helps make the town come alive. Who didn't have at least one teacher like Madame Dorsey with ...'had a helmet of light brown hair that curled in around her face, and she wore way too many floral prints.'
I enjoy books with a good vs bad battle, and is a book has that covered with good villains, good heroines/heroes and combat battle scenes that were page-turning-exciting
Now for the maybe not so good part. The emotional ups and downs, mostly downs of this book.
The first four chapters were spent with the passing of Lylas' father. This was almost a deal breaker to me, but I had agreed to read it, so I pressed forward and
I am glad that I did. Once Lyla and her mother (finally) move to Salem, the story starts to unfold.
I am, however, disappointed in that the book ends in an emotional down note. Having struggled to get into the book (because it was so emotionally draining) I found the ending off putting. I think the title of chapter 27 captures the books emotional tone perfectly.. Coming full circle.
This is a good book, the writing is wonderful, the characters are endearing, I just wish it had something of a happier note to end on.
So do I recommend it?
Let me ask you this, Why do you read fantasy fiction?
Is it for an emotional ride with 'good vs bad' battle and tear jerking experience?
Is it for romance, lighthearted story line with a feel good ending?
If the first, then 'yes' this is a book you will want to read.
If the second, then maybe you should skip this one.
on March 29, 2012
First things first, I received a copy of this book free from the author via goodreads.com group Shut up and Read for a fair and honest review.
I give this book three stars.
I found this book to be a combination of Nancy Drew meets The Ghost Whisperer meets Eckhart Tolle.
Hillary goes to visit her sister and her niece in Hawaii for her high school graduation present from her parents. Hillarys sister, Molly, and niece Heidi are grieving the recent loss of Molly's husband (Heidi's father) Steve. While dealing with her own issues (the strain of being bullied in high school), Hillary meets Moa, an ancient spirit who manifests as a seven year old child. Moa has been watching and waiting for Hillary because it has been fated that Hillary would help Moa defend an ancient portal (gateway to the other side of death). During the adventure Moa teaches Hillary about many New Age (metaphysical) practices.
It was hard for me to warm up to this book. The style of writing, stream of consciousness, third person narrative mode was not one that I am used too.
As Moa narrates she jumps from Hillarys history to her own with little separation. I found myself having to re-read sections, locate the separations of the narrative.
As the book progressed and I trained myself to watch for the jumps, this was less of a problem.
In my view, this book was a new age metaphysics fiction book first and a mystery second. I do not mind reading metaphysics books. However I found that the Wiccan Practices and explanation of the metaphysical belief structure took over as the theme of the book, weakening the mystery side of the book.
I never felt pulled into the book. I tried to think of why and the only reasoning I came up with is there is too much narrative. I like to 'feel' a part of the book and to me the way that happens is to read what the characters are feeling, thinking, reasoning. Having Moa do all the explaining of Hillarys' feelings seemed distant and failed to capture my attention. The end result, for me was that I was unable to relate to the main characters.
Those who I think might find an interest in this book are readers who like metaphysics, and mystery.
- Dimension Shifter
on April 01, 2012
I got this because it was a free book and I liked the summary.
I give this book three stars. Really I want to give it less, because I am so frustrated with the second half of the book which spiraled down pretty badly, leaving me annoyed with the book and struggling to finish, and dissatisfied when I did. But I will give it a three for the plot and first half.
Kyrin is able to shift between dimensions and is on the run from men who are hunting her for her ability to use magic and other 'crimes' that she has committed.
While on the run, she shifts into the dimension of Paragoy, a land of plenty ruled by a peaceful god, Sithias.
Because when she first entered into Paragoy she had been fatally injured, and then was healed by the priests and the king of the land, she becomes an indentured servant for one year to repay the king for saving her life.
She finds the people there are kind, and offer her friendship, but because her own god Daemionis (a cruel and petty god) is ever watching her and has installed in her a complete distrust of all people she is too fearful to trust the people of Paragoy. She feels unworthy of normal human feelings such as compassion, tenderness and love.
In the dimension that Kyrin comes from men oppress and beat the women, often forcing them into marriage, then losing interest in them when they become pregnant and casting them out.
Kyrin has vowed never to marry or have children.
Things get complicated when she begins developing romantic feelings towards the king and he towards her.
She begins to feel even more conflict because the demands of her god Daemionis for human sacrifices bumps up against the peace loving god Sithias rules for his followers.
She must fulfill a year of service to the king of paragoy to be able to leave the kingdom, but can not help but be changed by the ways of the paragoy people.
Ok what I liked, I think the first half of this book was good. I liked the idea of a multidimensional universe, and shifters between the worlds gave us (the readers as well as the author) a chance to play out the differences of morals, values, and worship practices.
But I quickly got tired of the caustic views of Kyrin regarding the issues of marriage, love and children in spite of what she sees and learns from the people of paragoy.
The book covers two and a half years of time. It seemed to go on and on after the original concept of the book ran out.
Nearly the entire second half of the book was one long and painfully (to the reader) drawn out internal struggle of kyrin.
SPOILER ALERT THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH PLEASE SKIP IT IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW
***In the end the author failed to have kyrin grow into maturity and learn her choices were wrong (in short allow 'good to win') rather she (the author) forced kryin into everything that she claimed that was wrong in the dimension that kyrin was from. The practice of Human sacrifices, forcing women into marriage, forced sex upon women, forced pregnancy.. oh wait that last one is the next book ****
*** END OF SPOILER
I believe she did that so that the series could easily continue, but it was a bad choice if you ask me.
I was so frustrated that I spent soooooooooooooo much time on a book that in the end went horribly wrong. Ugh!
I was uncomfortable with the ending or really lack of ending so I went back to smashwords to look at the sample of the next book. Judging from the sample, the series continues with more of the same. Kyrin playing ignorant, helpless, and child-like in her maturity.
Do I recommend this book? ... No, not really it was more frustrating read then it was fruitful one.
- Surviving the Fog
on April 13, 2012
I have mixed feelings about this book. I feel that the idea of the book was a good one (what would survival after a catastrophic event look like).
However I felt the characters were not appropriate for the adversity and the challenging experiences that the author wanted to explore.
Let me say that I felt there was a fair amount of thought put into the steps needed to have the characters survive. This was a strong plus towards making the in the book creditable, if not for the characters ages.
I liked that the book took place over two and a half year time frame, giving opportunities for us (the reader) to see how the characters lives might unfold and what other issues would come up.
What I did not like about the book can be narrowed down to two things.
One (and this was the biggest) was that the age of the characters was simply too young to cover the issues that the author was trying to tackle, making it all seem less believable.
For example our main character 'Chief' Mike. At age 13 and a half, he takes on the role of leader of the surviving teenagers. The concerns and decisions that he comes up with are far greater then what a 13 year old would come up with. Even given that he might be more 'mature' emotionally then others his age, there is no explanation as to why he would be more mature. So his 'judgements' and 'rules' do not sit right with reality. I am left to say, "That's pretty wise for an early teenager, and where is his teen emotions?"
I could do this same break down with the remaining characters, but you can get the idea with this one and I shouldn't go on and on about that.
The next issue that I have with the book is that often the mini-crises in the story do not flow with the over all story. They seem to be cut and pasted into the storyline. It would have been more realistic to have less events play out then to have the extra mini-crises.
For example the whole lodge situation, it was announced, then left until the last part of the book to be hastily played out. I felt it was poorly played out leaving me feeling flat about its resolution.
So what do I think of the story and do I recommend it?
I think it is worth the read, but one should have low expectations, just as you would for a 'made for T.V.' movie as opposed to a 'made for the theater' movie. If you lower your expectations you probably will enjoy this book. Because I actually did enjoy it once I finally decided just to let the 'issues' be and imagine the characters say five years older (each).
Due to some of the content (rape, murder and violence) within the book, I would recommend it to readers above the age of 16.
I would like to see other works by this author, as I enjoyed the storyline, and feel that maybe in time the author will improve his craft.
- Howl (Kane Wolves, 1)
on May 11, 2012
First things first, I got a free copy of this book from the author via Goodreads group Shut up and Read, for a fair and honest review. I do not know the author personally.
I am giving this book 4 stars. And I am advising readers to hold off judging this book until you finish chapter 3.
When I seen the synopsis of this book, I thought that it would be right up my alley. However I had serious doubts once I started reading.
In fact I had placed this book down for a couple days wondering why/how I signed up for another teen romance novel.
I finally picked it back up last night with the goal to push through to the end.
Folks this book get so much better as it progresses.
Characters, well the characters started off annoying. The protagonist was weak, and easily dominated but then she found her backbone and that was awesome!
The family, I admit the layout of the family was confusing to me, Who was alpha, who was step dad again? sort of thing, but by the end it made sense.
The romance: now that is something very important to the storyline, as it provides the crisis for the character to finally speak out. But it was a weak and annoying romance. I kept thinking the protagonist was wishy washy, hot then cold. It started off way too early in the book. In fact it was why I put the book down to begin with, instalove just isn't my thing. When you consider the importance that this relationship has on the character, I felt it was both underplayed and overplayed. We should have had more access to why she felt love, less about the sexual attraction more about the bond. After all it is this bond, this connection, that makes the protagonist change. Yet she never says she loves him until the very last part. She only says she wants him (sexually) and the two are not the same.
Action combat, yes this book has it. I thought the author did quite well in writing the battle scenes.
Love triangle, OK yes this book has it. Anyone who has read my reviews before know that I am not into the whole 'this boy this chapter' and 'this boy next chapter' now swap and repeat thing. However, the love triangle in this book was not a dramatic torn between to lovers nonsense, it was simply a 'this option' or 'that option' and because that was the way that it was wrote, I did not mind the love triangle.
So do I recommend this book? Yes, paranormal fantasy romance readers will likely find this book a joy to read.
- The Campsite
on June 18, 2012
This short is only 6 pages long, but it was an enjoyable spooky little tale.
I can not say much about the story without giving it all away so I'll refer you back to the synopsis, and say it reads like a campfire story.
I think anyone who likes to listen to a scary campfire story would enjoy this.
I would tag this as spooky, short, aliens, science fiction.
- Jungle Law
on June 18, 2012
I have to say that this books adult-content rating is appropriate, it reads: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.
I had not paid much attention to that warning when I started reading it, a shape shifter, LGBT romance genre sounded like a good read.
This actually is a good read.
I liked many parts of the storyline: the guardian leopard shape-shifter protecting the jungle, the rescuing of the 'innocent' young man, them falling for each other and well I can't say more without giving the ending away.
However there are two things that take away from this book for me, they might not be bothersome to others though.
The first was that the author says 'the boy' is a year into his manhood. I would hope that the author is implying that manhood is 18 and hence 'the boy' is 19 years old, if not than this is disturbing.
Throughout the whole story references are made to the 'youthfulness' of the boy, but I decided to take them in comparison to Kannans age, whom is stated have been old enough to have produced cubs more then once.
This story follows a tread that I have noticed a lot lately in the gay romance genre, of having a large age differences between the lovers, like twenty plus years and having one of the partners being just barely out of their teens.
I do not care if we are talking m-m or f-m relationships, that does not sit right with me. It smacks too much like ... well, let's just say that it creeps me out (again, just my thoughts on that).
The next issue that I had with the book, was the fact this is listed as erotic when it should be listed as X-rated. I can not stress this enough, there are way too many graphic details to be anything less then an X-rating.
Again I will say not everyone will agree with my review, but excluding the two issues that I have with the story it is a good read.
If you over look the age thing, skip over (or exclude) the overly detailed sex, then you would have a perfect five star gay shape-shifter short story.
- Occupy LOL Street Volume 1
on June 22, 2012
I really did not like the cheesy photos in this version of a comic strip. It was hard to read the print, the whole presentation (style) was weak and did not work for me.
This book is clearly written 'for' a certain audience.
Now that I have finished it, I find myself thinking of a quote by Cass Sunstein “To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with.”
- The Island - Part 1
on June 25, 2012
Please note that these are just my thoughts on this story, and I am more less typing out what I would say to this author about this particular book. Others may have a different reading experience/ expectation then my own.
I struggled with how I would review this book. In the end I decided there was no way that I could write a review of this book without using spoilers so be advised
***this review has SPOILERS.****
I had thought the book would be more like its' description of an action adventure zombie apocalyptic storyline that somehow included dragons, after all that is what the synopsis promises it would be, however the book that I just read was not that.
While I was puzzling what to write in the review, the quote "As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." came to my mind, so with that I am writing this review off the story that is, not the story that should be, might be, or could be.
I give this novella 2.5 out of 5 stars, but since that isn't an option I am pushing this up to three stars.
There are some typos/grammar issues with this story but not so much as to be too distracting.
The characters: As they currently stand, Most all of the characters are standard 'stock' characters of the genre (the sheriff, the shy mysterious youth, the grandmother who seems to be hiding things). The only exception being the protagonist, William whose back-story is painfully detailed.
The pace (flow) of the plot is slow and steady.
The promised plot (end of times, surviving the apocalypse) never takes place inside this novella.
When I realized this story was likely not going in the same place as the synopsis and I started to think of 'the plot' as being one of a man describing a fishing exposition, I was able to push through to the ending.
Other then preparing for the character to be emotionally wounded, generally isolated from society as a whole, and on an island with everything he'd ever need and then some (including a band of misfits) this book had no point to it. It could have been easily chopped down by 1/3 its current length with no noticeable difference.
Plot resolution: none.
I once had a conversation with a young author of a popular episodic series available on another e book site, about what episodic novellas were and how to review them. He told me that they are to be thought of similar to television episodes in a larger series. My trouble with his series, and with this book being a part one of a book is this:
Each episode of a TV series as 'mini' plots that are introduced in that episode and while the episode runs these mini plots have all the steps that any normal movie (or in this case, book) would have [Plot exposition, character crisis, plot twists, and (plot) resolutions] without these steps they are is no 'hook' to keep the reviewer (reader) interested and coming back for more each week.
In addition to the 'mini' plot each television episode adds to the over all series plot (character developments, twists in storyline and so on) again to keep us interested in finding out where the series is going.
This novella fails to provide a 'mini' plot, resulting in the feeling that it is little more then a very long plot exposition.
If the future episodes are to be judged based on this novella, then the book as a whole does not look promising. The pace is too slow, the action in non-existence, the details are way more then needed, the characters are both too shallow and too detailed.
This is only the second time that I have said this to an author, but this story is a case of 'too much talking and not enough action' and way too much information.
Where is the apocalypse? Where are the Zombies? Where is the struggle of the fight? You have your guy way too prepared, with his only problem being that he might run out of ice? Seriously?
You have your character an expert on boats and navigation, but he has been camping/boating once with his father?
The trouble with over thinking your characters and their crisis is the same as over parenting, you have to let them fail for them to grow. You have to let them be inexperienced and make really stupid mistakes for the to be an emotional/physical crisis for your character to experience and grow. After all it is through the characters failures that we (the reader) bond to the characters.
If the ugly duckling did not experience his embarrassment and shame of not looking like a duck, then the fable would have taught nothing and it would be just a story of a swan, who looks like other swans his age, and grows up to be like every other swan.
Personal faults, moral failures, and character crisis are the glue of the storyline, without them (or without enough of them) the story becomes trivial and pointless.
Ok I have probably over hammered those points.
This story is flawed, but there is a story in here somewhere.
One last recommendation to the author (and I have already hit on that once but here it is again) unless something directly affects the plot execution there is no need to go into a lengthy description of it. Allow your readers to fill in the details on the nonessential elements, otherwise your story is too wordy.
- See Right Through
on July 28, 2012
Is there such a thing as Six stars?
This novella surely has won its place in my favorite book shelf.
Simply put this novella is an amazing romantic love story.
Following Devins revelation of his feelings for his long time friend Sam was a thrilling and emotionally moving read.
Although the story is fairly short, I found the plot to be well developed. The dialogue between the characters being the most believable and endearing that I have read in a long time.
I was so able to connect to this cast of characters, that I long to read more about them.
This is the first book that I have read from Sara Winters. I found this novella so enjoyable that I plan to read everything this author puts out.
I got this book when it was free, however I would happily have paid for this one.
The adult contents warnings are appropriate for this novella as it contains a m-m erotic scene.
- Desert Foxes Live in Concert
on July 28, 2012
I have been on a band kick lately so this book appealed to me when I seen it.
I found the idea of a nomadic band roaming the desert giving holographic performances original.
While there is no satisfying explanation of how said performance would work or how they started in the first place the live performances seemed to ‘work’ for me.
The real direction of this novella was of course to get the main character, Hrjac, together with his romantic interest Andy, for the purposes of ..well let’s be honest sex.
I wish the story had been longer, with more time spent outside of the main purpose of this novella. It would have been interesting to see the characters lives outside their performances, to see how Andy finds his place inside the new life that he has chosen for himself. There are so many places this little story could have gone beside (in addition too) the sex, and maybe the author will consider adding to this series in the future with some of the other things?
Anyway I give this novella 4 stars because its originality, vivid description and likable characters.
- Me, Myself and I (Dark Reflections Series Book 1)
on Sep. 18, 2012
I read this book earlier this summer but never got around to writing a review so here it is.
I liked this book a lot, yet this is one that has me begging to have it expanded.
The characters are fresh. The plot original. The single sex scene extremely erotic. The story leaves one wanting more.
- Elysium Part One. Another Chance
on Feb. 18, 2013
From what I understand, this is the first segment of a 3 part work. As such, a large portion of this segment was spent introducing the characters and building up a mystery about the 'actual' events that led to the apocalypse.
The characters are well developed by the time the segment is finished.
The plot however is still unclear. We can tell by the characters conversations that things are not as they seem, but the author is holding the mystery back from us.
The ending of this segment is mid-scene which does not work well for me.
I feel that readers of episodic post apocalyptic stories may find this to be an enjoyable read.