Book Review: Quest For Leviathan

Are sea monsters a real thing? What about fire-breathing dragons? According to the Bible, there is a fire-breathing sea creature who really existed: the leviathan. Amanda Tero brings this dragon to life in her newest short story, “Quest for Leviathan.” Join Anath and his crew of ninety-nine rowers as they face the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and the power of Leviathan.

About the Story

Leviathan took the life of his father.

Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.
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Plantsing: Guest Post by Kate Willis

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Today we have a new release announcement. No, not mine this time. It’s the new book by a friend. And she has a guest post and a giveaway! You can find out more about her book during the blog tour and find all the links here. Read on for more info.

“Plantsing”, Or How I Finally Wrote a Full-Length Novel

I’m a short writer. 5’ 4” tall, author of two middle-grade books under 15,000 words, and writer of numerous short stories.

I’d always hoped to someday write a full-length novel, but the dream far away and out of reach.

Me, a “Pantser”

I’ve long adhered to the writing method commonly known as “pantsing”, named for the expression “flying by the seat of your pants”. Basically, I would get an idea, let it develop into a few vague scenes, including a beginning and possibly an end. Then I would write to find the story, the theme, and the message. It’s quite fun, actually—-almost like reading someone else’s book. It also leaves a lot of room for the Holy Spirit to bring in life lessons, which is an amazing experience. Continue reading

Book Review: More than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Title: More than Meets the Eye
Written By: Karen Witemeyer
Genre: Christian Western Romance
Recommended Ages: 16 & up

Introduction:

The cover intrigued me a lot! But that’s not why I read the book. I read it because I like Karen Witemeyer’s books and wanted to find out if this one lived up to my expectations. It did and then some. Lately, I’ve had some problems with her books, but this one restored my faith in her abilities.

Characters: 1/1

Evie, Seth, Zach, and Logan. Wow. I loved each of them for different reasons. Seth because like Evie, I have a sister who had asthma and I have a brother named Seth. My sister’s asthma wasn’t as bad as Seth’s thankfully, but I loved how Karen handled this handicap. Zach was gruff and not terribly communicative, but from the moment he started to change, you could feel for him. Evie, well, she’s kind, cheerful, and loves everyone. What’s not to like there? As for Logan, at first it is hard to like him much, but that’s intentional. As you get to know him, though, he grows on you.

Dialogue: 1/1

Witty, sad, laugh-out-loud funny, tears welling up, thought-provoking. Those words describe the dialogue very well. Not once did I get pulled out of the story because of what they were saying.

More than... excerpt

Plot/Storyline: 1/1

Unique. I can’t think of a single book that is similar to this one regarding plot. Sure there are a lot of the same basic formulas as with most romances, but even that is slightly different. Very refreshing since what I’ve always found to be true in romances wasn’t as pronounced in this one. (Being slightly vague to avoid spoilers).

Overall Writing Quality: 1/1

Very good! I didn’t find a typo or a hard to understand sentence in the whole book. I loved it!

Un-put-down-ability: 1/1

Well, let’s see here. Despite a slightly busy schedule this week, I finished the book in less than 6 days. So yes, I did put it down, but most of the time it was only because I absolutely had to.

Conclusion: 5/5

If you are looking for a unique romance story, pick up a copy of this book. I think you’ll like it. Or if you just like reading about orphans overcoming their situation, then this book is for you, too. Go get your copy today!

Book Review: The Hunt for Red October

Title: The Hunt for Red October
Written By: Tom Clancy
Genre: Historical/Military Fiction
Recommended Ages: 21 & up

Introduction:

It is only very rarely that I will read a book like this one. This is the only book I own that has swear words in it. And the main reason I own it is because I can black out the swear words (see picture). I like this book because of the intricacy of the plot within the plot within the plot. It has so many nuances the movie cannot get into unless the movie were at least 6 hours long. However, due to the language and ethical conflicts, I recommend you be at least 18 before reading, if you read it at all. Continue reading

June 2018 (and a cover reveal!)

Is it just me or did May just completely fly by without hardly touching the ground? I cannot believe we are already into June. What’s even more unbelievable is that Bill and I will have been married 9 months tomorrow. How can time have gone by so fast?

Anyway, enough about that. This post is about goals, so I should probably get to those. I got almost all of the goals done. Here’s the complete list: Continue reading

Book Review: First Impressions by Debra Smith White

Title: First Impressions: A Contemporary Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
Written By: Debra Smith White
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Recommended Ages: 15 and up (due to mention of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and drug use)

Introduction:

One of my favorite Jane Austen books is Pride and Prejudice, so when I had the opportunity to read this book, I took it to see how the author managed a contemporary retelling of the book. The way she wove in Pride and Prejudice was interesting, but I honestly had a hard time reading the book. For more specifics, keep reading.

Characters: .75/1

For the most part, the characters were well-written, interesting, and developed. There were times when I had a hard time understanding the reactions the characters had, but they were few and far between.

Dialogue: .75/1

I thought the dialogue was good. It was realistic for both the parts that were quoted from Pride and Prejudice as well as for the parts set in contemporary times. On occasion, I felt like the dialogue could have been written better, but overall it was good.

Plot/Storyline: .5/1

Since this is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice there were parts that were changed from the original and that was fine as it made things more realistic for modern times. However, there were also parts that I had issues with. I won’t get into them too much since the issues I had were parts that would spoil the book, but the way she handled Wickham and Georgianna’s retold characters was a little disappointing to me, especially since Georgianna is one of my favorite characters.

Overall Writing Quality: .75/1

I thought that overall, the writing quality was good. I found Debra’s writing style a little hard to follow sometimes, but not all the time. I did find a couple typos, but they were minor ones. My main issue with the writing is that there were times I found myself skimming a page and realizing I missed an important detail and had no idea what was going on after half a page.

Un-put-down-ability: .5/1

I actually found the book easy to put down for the first half. After that it started to pick up more and actually be interesting to read. Luckily I had plenty of time to read at that point, so I could finish it.

Conclusion: 3.25/5

 

If you like Pride and Prejudice, you would probably enjoy this fresh look at the story. I found it a little hard to read at times mostly due to the writing style, but otherwise I did enjoy the book.

Note: I received this book from the publisher and all thoughts in this review are my own.

Writing a Mystery Without an Outline

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I used to be a panster. Then I started doing basic outlines, but often ended up not following them. Around the time I started writing my first mystery novel, I was a planster, with no big ties to either camp. Having never written a mystery before, I wasn’t sure how to do it. But I decided to try something kind of different. I knew the basics I wanted for the mystery itself, but not how it would all turn out in the end or who it would get solved. And I was okay with that. Continue reading