Tag Archives: romance

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Book Reviews: Finding Jack and The Messenger

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Book Reviews: Week 2!

We had a busy week, and I barely finished the second of these books a few minutes ago. Still, I finished! Yay!

Both of these came from my Kindle collection of books I’ve downloaded and haven’t read.

The first is a sweet romance called Finding Jack. I believe author Sarah Boucher recommended this one to me.

The second is a science fiction novel called The Messenger that I picked up because it has a giant mech in it, and the sci-fi book I’m writing has mechs in it. Sort of. It turns out they are very different than this one.

Finding Jack

I’ve met this author, but I’ve never read any of her work before this.

Honestly, I started this one about six months ago, got less than 20% in, and never finished. The beginning felt both rushed and manic. The dialogue and the story were being thrown in my face at a very fast rate. Plus, I didn’t love the main character.

This might be Melanie’s style, I’m not sure, but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t love the reason they couldn’t be together near the end. (Not a spoiler, we all know it’s coming in a romance book.) The idea was sound, but could have been set up better.

However, I must admit that after that 20% mark I was hooked. The character grew on me, I started liking Jack more, and reading to the end felt effortless. There is plenty of humor in this one, and the end is satisfying. The only bump was as I said above, their reason for breaking up was weak.

I did like this book, and would give it a solid four stars.

Can their online flirtation become something real?

When smart, practical Emily finds herself in the crosshairs of an Internet prankster, her orderly world goes topsy-turvy. Instead of getting mad at the handsome stranger behind the joke, she finds herself drawn to him. But Jack Dobson, though hilarious and thoughtful, has a lot of secrets. Despite her growing feelings for her new and unexpected long-distance friend, his biggest secret of all might be the one that breaks the spell they’ve been weaving around each other.

The Messenger

This book looks like a young adult book, which is why I picked it up, but it’s not. It’s fine for YA readers, if they’re okay with a little bit of swearing and gore. Oh, and space battles.

One of the authors is J.N. Chaney. I tried to read his Renegade Star series and barely made it through the first book. The main character was a whiner and a jerk, two things I hate, so I only picked this one up because there is a co-author.

Unfortunately, my author brain had an easy time picking this story apart. The beginning is so cliché I literally rolled my eyes. Picture this: A down-and-out courier, in debt, had to dump their last shipment, in desperate need of a job, and then finds the job that will take him from being a bit of a scoundrel to a man willing to sacrifice his life for the galaxy.

Sound familiar? The authors set this up quickly, then went on to the rest of the story.

Which felt like a cross between a leveling up video game and Voltron.

I didn’t hate the main character, but he was kind of bland. A little snarky, a little brave, but nothing really interesting. Until he stumbles onto a giant mech suit and becomes, the Messenger. The champion for good against the Golden…things.

Don’t get me wrong, I like chosen one stories, but didn’t love this one. This first book felt like 100% set up, not an actual story, and I skimmed the last quarter of it. I never meshed with the characters or the premise of the story, and considering it didn’t grab my attention, I probably won’t read any more in the series.

Three stars.

Dash never asked to be a mech pilot, but fate has other plans.

On the run and out of chances, he guides his ship and crew into the heart of a relic older than the galaxy itself—and find himself on the edge of an eternal war he never knew existed.

The relic is a mech, lost to history and forgotten by all who remain. Built by an ancient race to be the ultimate weapon, the machine is capable of unspeakable destruction, and its discovery could unhinge the balance of power throughout known space.

Worse still, the A.I. inside the machine speaks of an ancient evil that will soon arrive–a race whose power far exceeds anything humanity has ever witnessed.

Only the Messenger can stand against them, the A.I. tells its new pilot. Only you can do what must be done.

There you go. Book Reviews Week 2!

Tune in next week for two more reviews.


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Two Years as a Full-Time Author!

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The journey has been different than I imagined.

Two years ago I quit my day job so I could go full-time with my writing. I wasn’t making great money at the time, but my husband is super supportive and brings home the bacon, so to speak, so I found myself in the unique situation of being able to follow my dream while not having to stress about money.

The first year was hard. I didn’t break even with my expenses, and frankly I was a bit disappointing.

Year two has been a roller coaster of writing and emotions and almost breaking even. This is what happened.

First

I rapidly released eight fairy tale retellings with my Fairy Tale Academy series. While the stories are solid, and people who read them love them, I missed the market a bit, and the series didn’t do as well as I would have liked.

Second

I released five sweet and clean romance books under my pen name, Karly Stratford, and those did really well. I enjoy writing them, but don’t want to go full-time romance. It’s not where my passion lies, although I do love getting emails from fans who say how my book made their day!

Third

I had my very first story come out in Audible. It’s part of a collection of horror stories. I love it SO MUCH! The narrator nailed it, and I now understand a little more about the power of audio books.

Forth

I was part of a collaboration of authors who decided to use our talents to raise awareness about child sex trafficking. I’ve made my initial investment in covers and editing back, and from now on all profits go straight to organizations that actively help fight sex trafficking.

I’m not going to lie, this project sort of consumed the middle section of my year. The topic is difficult to write about, and we faced a lot of opposition when trying to get these books published. But we did it! And I’m pretty sure the journey for this project has just begun.

Fifth

One of my writing groups put together a Fairy Tale and First Dates anthology! We had such a good time doing this, and I loved how excited everyone got when they were able to hold a book of their own in their hands. Totally worth the stress!

Those are some of the highlights for 2019

Some days it’s hard to look past the drudgery and the stupid marketing and the fact that I’d rather make cookies than write and see all the good that I’ve done, the books I’ve produced and the wonderful emails from fans that I’ve gotten.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this endeavor . Cheers to 2019, and I look forward to 2020!

Do any of you have big goals for 2020? I’ve got some, but I’m not sharing yet.


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His Movie Star Second Chance Bachelorette

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The holidays are creeping ever closer.

Do you find yourself humming Christmas songs?

Are you ready for a season of Hallmark-Style Romances?

If so, I have something for you!

The last of my Holiday Romances (released under my pen name Karly Stratford) is out today!

Each story is a small town, second chance romance set during the holidays.

This is the story of Preston and Anna. It was love at first sight, but Anna knew he was too good for her, and she ran away.

A stuntman with a heart of gold.

The movie star who let him get away.

99 CENTS THIS WEEK ONLY!

(Always FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

Preston Decker blacked two weeks out of his filming schedule to spend Christmas with his family. His older brothers have recently found love, and they’re pressuring him to get a girlfriend. No thanks, the last one broke his heart. Unfortunately said ex-girlfriend shows up at his house begging him to be a stuntman in her latest film. She’s willing to pay him whatever he wants.

Anna Jordan, or Berry as the world calls her, is producing a film that’s cursed. First everyone got the flu, and now the lead stuntman broke his leg. The only stuntman available who can pull it off is Preston. They’d dated. He was the perfect guy, and she knew she’d never be good enough for him. She also knew he would probably help her.

When Berry laments that the cast and crew are going to be away from their families for Christmas, Preston comes up with a brilliant idea. When things begin to fall apart, they each must decide what they value most. Can they make a Christmas miracle for themselves? Or will they spend New Year’s alone again?

 


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His First Love Second Chance Bachelorette

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Looking forward to the holidays already?

Do you find yourself humming Christmas songs?

Are you ready for a season of Hallmark-Style Romances?

If so, I have something for you!

The second of three Holiday Romances (released under my pen name Karly Stratford) is out today!

They are all small town, second chance romances set during the holidays.

This is the story of Brad and Morgan, high school sweethearts who never quite fell out of love, but who each fled their little town to get away from painful memories.

He left to be a hero.

She left to forget her past.

99 CENTS THIS WEEK ONLY!

(Always free on Kindle Unlimited)

 

 

Nightstalker pilot, Bradley Decker, is home for Christmas against his will. A little shrapnel to the shoulder won’t keep him out of combat for long. When his first love, Morgan, shows up at his door claiming to be his new physical therapist, Brad is sure he can keep things professional. Only Morgan is somehow even funnier and more amazing than he remembers. Maybe it’s the pain meds.

Morgan Adams is in Bluestone to buy property for her recovery center for veterans. She takes the request for a house call, and is torn between horror and relief when she sees it’s Brad, her high school sweetheart. Unfortunately, Brad is still easy to talk to, easy on the eyes, and easy to laugh with. Time flies because they’re always having fun.

Old feelings rise to the surface, but is a second chance at love possible for them? Morgan won’t marry a soldier, and that’s all Brad has ever wanted to be. Fate combines to give them a choice. The question is, will they make the right call?


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