Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Reviews

Part of my 2014 goals are to read at least six books each month. I picked out my six for January and proceeded to finish five of them before January started, lol. I just have Son of Holmes by John Lescroart left to finish.

Here is a breakdown of the five that I have read:

How To Be A Morning Goddess, Leonie Dawson
Genre: self-help, inspirational

The description from the author’s site:  “20 goddess share their own morning rituals, to inspire you & give you ideas for creating, nurturing & loving your own morning goddess self!”

What I Liked:
I enjoyed seeing the wide variety of ways that the goddesses in the book started their day. Some were so very different from my personality and style that it was interesting to view.
I also liked being introduced to some new goddesses and will follow-up with the bio info at the end of each section so that I can learn more about these women.
This was a quick read (47 pages) but interesting enough that I will go back and re-read.

What I Didn’t Like:
There weren’t enough examples. I breezed through the book so quickly that I felt like I wanted more. 

Liked it? Definitely.
Recommend it? Definitely, to anyone who is looking to incorporate new ideas into their morning routine, looking for ways to start the day, or just for the voyeur aspect.
Where to find it? Morning Goddesses

Price? Free to download.

Unchained, by CJ Barry
Genre: sci-fi romance

The description from the author’s website:  

“Fugitive Kin-sha warrior Cidra Faulkner and honor-bound intergalactic treasure hunter Grey Stone are thrown together to uncover a betrayal of catastrophic proportions. The universe will never be the same.”

What I liked:
Strong female character who was also vulnerable and felt real.
Nice twists and turns.
Wraps up with some surprises.
Great dialogue and action.

What I didn’t like:
 Too much passion and sex for my liking. 
The male character was definitely an alpha male, a little over the top I thought (though I prefer a beta male lead).

Liked it? Pretty much
Recommend it? Maybe, if you like sci-fi romance.
Where to find it? Unchained  
Price? $2.89

Lazy to Amazing, Sage Grayson
Genre: self-help, inspirational

Sage Grayson has developed an ebook that promises to take you from sitting on your lazy butt to kicking ass,…all in 5 easy steps.  

She starts off by listing a bunch of ‘lazy’ behaviours. Mostly these are behaviours that are not fully active, not fully accountable and productive. I have to admit that I found myself in more than a few of them.

Next, she moves into her five action tips. The first is having the reader create a vision board. I think this is a great idea and helps to focus attention on the dreams and goals for the year (or quarter, or whatever timeframe you want to use). You can see my vision board on my Facebook page here.  This year, I want to spend time and attention on getting healthy which means all of the usual steps to be healthier physically (diet, exercise, water, etc.), but I also want to focus on my mind and spirit with meditation, connecting with friends and family, creating daily, and starting a gratitude journal. I printed out the vision board and glued it into my daybook so that I can reflect on it several times a day. Keeps me focused and feeling positive.

Sage has four other sound suggestions to help you get motivated to turn your dreams and goals into action and attainment, but I don't want to give them all away here. :)

What I Liked:
Her suggestions are easy to digest and easy to implement.
Her writing style is conversational and approachable.
She gives examples.
A fast read (16 pages).

What I Didn't Like:
If you're looking for something with real depth, this probably isn't it.

Liked it? Yes.
Recommend it? Yes, to people who want a little direction with their dream planning.
Where to find it? Lazy to Amazing 
Price? Free download.

Promise You Won’t Tell? John Locke
Genre: Detective

The description from the author’s website: 
“I think something might have happened to me Saturday night. Something bad.”
Private Investigator Dani Ripper’s client list is nuttier than the Looney Tunes conga line, but she diligently solves one crazy case after another, waiting for a game-changer.
Enter Riley Freeman, 17-year-old honor student.
Saturday afternoon Riley quietly placed a little strawberry sticker on her private area and pretended it was a tattoo. She didn’t tell anyone about it. That night she went to a slumber party that featured drinking and boys. Riley fell asleep, woke up the next day with no reason to think anything happened…
…Until Monday, at school, when a classmate called her Strawberry.
Coincidence or crime? Dani agrees to investigate. And the roller coaster ride begins.”

What I Liked:
I was completely fooled, did not anticipate the twists.
The dialogue was fast, funny, and edgy. 
I fell in love with the main character’s sass (she says a lot of the things we wish we would in certain situations) and compassion (despite her edge, she cares about other people).

What I Didn’t Like:
The very last paragraph revealed the plot twists in a conversation. It felt a little ham-handed, like it could have been done more subtly. 

Liked it? Yes.
Recommend it? Yes, if you like PI stories especially.
Where to find it? Promise You Won’t Tell
Price? Free (not sure for how long)

13, Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Description from the author's site: "A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.

Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.

Uniting Savannah with Adam, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other lost-but-notforgotten characters in one epic battle, for a grand series finale."

This is the last book in a series, "Women of the Otherworld". I am completely and utterly addicted to this series. The characters are amazing without being unbelievable. They are sympathetic without being weak, in fact, they are women who can take care of themselves but not in an over-the-top sort of way.

The suspense is exquisite and the action is fast. It is a book for people who love to be challenged mentally but also love a fast-paced action book. 

What I Liked:
Fabulous characterization.
Never sure what is coming next.
Fast-paced and action-filled.
The romance aspect is a smaller part of the story than typical romance genre stories.

What I Didn't Like:
This is the last book in the series.  :(

Liked it? Absolutely.
Recommend it? Definitely, even if you aren't normally a paranormal fan.
Where to find it? Check your library (that's where I found it) or here.
Price? Free at the library, $15.06 on Amazon.


Mindy said...

SIX books in a MONTH?!!!!??? Holy crap, woman. I do remember those days. I'm lucky to read two in a year at this stage of my life. I LOVE to read and I miss it. I am trying to get through the third 50 shades book. Shut up. I read a chapter in bed every night. Buwhahahahahah.

I got a new book for Christmas and I just read the foreword. It was written by the husband - the book is a compilation of garden columns from our newspaper written by a woman who died of cancer last year. SO sad. But I'm soooooo excited to revisit her words. She was amazing and hilarious, and her columns were looked forward to every week by thousands of people. A legend, for sure.

Tara @ Suburble said...

Oh, I love that you're going to do book reviews! I, too, am in awe that you read 6 books in a month! I haven't done that since I was in university and didn't have cable!

I am so intrigued by some of these books... Loving this post!

Kei said...

Neat goal! Good luck with growing your 6 a month readign habit :)
Think I'll check out that lazy to amazing book!

Magic Love Crow said...

Terry, you are crazy!! 6 a month! Wow! I am lucky to read 3 in a year! LOL! Good for you! I love the reviews you did! Very honest! I'm reading Sex Magic right now! I am laughing through the entire book! LOL! I'm not saying anything more ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

Tina Bradley said...

A worthy goal, Terry! I find I'm already reading more in 2014. :) I've read Leonie's book on Morning Goddesses. It's a short read--very good--and (what's super-great is) it's free (yay!). I've gotta download the "From Lazy to Amazing" book. I adore freebies and can always glean something. :) xo T.

Kara @ Petals to Picots Crochet said...

That Lazy to Amazing one sounds interesting. I am going to go check it out :)