BookBlogWriMo – All the Rest

Better late than never, right? ;P

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My favorite male character? This is an easy one: Ponyboy from The Outsidersby S.E. Hinton. He’s a noble and loving character who doesn’t match the rest of his group. Every time I read this book, I feel the same pull toward him that I have since my very first read in 5th grade.

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Favorite pairs are as follows:

  • Xander and Skye in Never Let You Fall/Never Let You Go by Michele G Miller (the third book is an upcoming edit! I’m so excited.)
  • Hunter and Morgan in the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan (this is only the first set of books in one book that I’ve linked. The whole series is a great one to check out!)

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I’ve committed very few book sins, most notable being dog-earing pages and skimming pages to finish a book I wasn’t terribly into. Continue reading

BookBlogWriMo Day 17, 18, 19, and 20

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The answer to this prompt is definitely one that keeps cropping up throughout this month’s posts: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I was moved beyond anything as a fifth grader reading this book. I wanted nothing more than to become a writer at that point in my life, but I didn’t know if I could do it. My mother passed this book on to me, knowing I needed something beyond the lower reading level books I was getting in school at the time. I needed something to make me think, to inspire me. S.E. Hinton was not much older than I was when she wrote The Outsiders. Not only that, but the book put me into a book coma for a long time after, I’m still not sure I have woken up from it.

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To be honest, my book event goal is to finally get to a book event. I’ve been a book blogger for three years now, and I still haven’t been to a book event. Unless you count the Facebook ones, but I’ve even hosted those, so they’re nothing new.

Other than simply getting to one, I really want to go to Utopia. One of the books I edited for Michele was actually nominated for Best Editing at this particular book event (Into The Fire – a great read! I highly suggest it.)

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Some of my favorite adaptations from book to movie are:

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I tend to have some pretty significant emotional reactions to books. Some of the books that have made me cry are:

This year’s BookBlogWriMo is hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl. If you want to sign up at any point, jump right in!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 17, 18, 19, and 20

I am thankful for our toddler footy pajamas, chocolate cream pie, pictures, and love.

BookBlogWriMo Day 10

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Here are my top ten blog posts!

  1. Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
  2. Book Review: Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
  3. An Interview With Lindy Zart
  4. (B) Books! Duh.
  5. Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  6. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  7. (O) Book Review: Omen Operation by Taylor Brooke
  8. New Release: West by Michele G. Miller
  9. (A) A-to-Z Challenge
  10. (I) Book Review: Into Your Dreams

This year’s BookBlogWriMo is hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl. If you want to sign up at any point, jump right in!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 10

I am thankful for the people in my life who love me.

The Charmed Life of Taryn by Lindy Zart

CLOTaryn Cover.jpgThe Charmed Life of Taryn
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 2016

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

I received an ARC from Lindy Zart in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

On the day Taryn Smith turns eighteen, her life changes-and not just because she can now legally vote. A black-eyed man with a chilly aura accosts her, and a stilted breath later, she’s abducted by a man who claims he’s a Manang; a half-man, half-angel being who lives in a world called Urian. Side note: he may or may not be sane.

Sent to a mansion in the middle of a grassy field surrounded by forest, and partnered with a black-haired, blue-eyed man with a surly nature who makes her heart spin, Taryn trains. For what, she doesn’t know. She’s told she’s someone special; a Charmed, and the key to winning in a battle of worlds about to collide. Only problem is, she can be a weapon of good, or a weapon of bad.

 

*~*
My Thoughts

Another one on here from Lindy Zart! I was very excited to read The Charmed Life of Taryn, and Lindy did not disappoint! Between Taryn’s feisty personality, Creed’s cockiness, Luke’s mysterious manner, and the hodgepodge of other characters, this whole story plays out like a great television show. I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this novel the most, as it’s been a while since I’ve read something in this realm by Lindy. There are well-thought out twists and turns in this story, some romance and flirting, strong females, and an intriguing storyline. 

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4 Stars

Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eXdTMo
Amazon CA: amzn.to/2eZ0qCQ
Amazon UK: amzn.to/2dTbalh
Amazon AU: amzn.to/2eXf1j5
Kobo: bit.ly/2eD3Xd1
BN: bit.ly/2eiud9r
iBooks: apple.co/2eXcXYE

 

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An Interview With Lindy Zart

lindy zart(Z) Frequent followers of this blog may see Lindy Zart’s books on here every few months. Well, she’s fabulous. I jump on her blog tours and reveals in a heartbeat. If I had asthma, I’d probably need an inhaler each time she announces a new release; that’s how excited I get. Her intricately developed characters, clever dialogue, various plot decisions, and great personality are like a magnetic pull to my Kindle shelf. I’ve had the joy of stalking following her on Facebook for a little while now and love how down to earth she is. Anywho, I’ve asked her a few fun questions about her writing process and life so you can get to know her just as well as I have!
Continue reading

(S) Steady as the Snow Falls by Lindy Zart

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Steady as the Snow Falls
By:
 Lindy Zart

Publication Date: April 14, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Hired by a stranger to write his life story, Beth Lambert arrives at a seemingly abandoned house in the hills near her hometown. She knows the rumors, she knows it is dangerous and unwise. But she needs the money. And she needs to prove that it isn’t a mistake to think she can make a career out of a dream.
Inside the house of emptiness and coldness, she finds a man with curt words and haunted eyes. He is eccentric, odd. Brutish, even. He scares her, and he intrigues her. When she learns who he is, she wants to run. But there is the money, and there is the dream, and eventually, there is simply Harrison Caldwell. The haunted man with the black, ugly truth.

*~*

“My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication.” -Me

Steady as the Snow Falls was an incredible read for me. It was everything Zart, of course. It was beautifully written, poetic with a hypnotic rhythm. I melted into the words, surrounded by the snow, cold, and weariness. I stopped reading to get work done (what?!) and couldn’t stop thinking about this book until I picked it up again. At night I’d fall asleep and be pulled into my own world, reminiscent of some of what the main character, Beth Lambert experienced with her past.

One character in this story made me uncomfortable, but not the one most would expect. More specifically, Ozzy’s made me uncomfortable. He was odd and twisty, with a sense of entitlement. He was so well-written, I felt like I knew him. Maybe I have known an Ozzy at one point in my life.

I love Harrison Caldwell’s character. Loved him in the beginning, loved him after his “black, ugly truth” was revealed. I love their relationship and the build between them. Between Beth’s persistence and Harrison’s stubbornness, I was sucked right in.

If nothing else, I can always count on Lindy to make me feel something. She pushes the boundaries of regular literature and creates something memorable with this book. This is a wonderful read that you should get right now! 

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 5/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.5 Stars

Links
Amazon Buy Link
Amazon.ca Buy Link
Amazon.uk Buy Link
Amazon.au Buy Link
BN Buy Link
Kobo Buy Link
iBooks Buy Link
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter S!

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(J) Book Review: Jessie’s Girl by Lindy Zart

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Jessie’s Girl
By:
 Lindy Zart

Publication Date: February 26, 2016
Genre: New Adult

Synopsis:

The road trip from Minnesota to Pennsylvania and back is meant to be the final adventure before four friends go their separate ways in the fall.

Except nothing goes as intended, beginning with the unexpected addition of Catherine Tate, Jessie Keller’s new girlfriend. Sam Kent denies his attraction to her while simultaneously deflecting unusual interest from his pal Hannah Lopez. Dickie Dean is the socially inept book lover who surprises them all.

Amidst a malfunctioning vehicle, being caught in the middle of a robbery, beer drinking, mosquito attacks, and other teenage drama, the five experience courage, broken hearts, fear, and laughter. Most importantly, they make memories.

*~*

“My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication.” I started out my most recent Zartian review with this statement, and I think I should just make it my opener for all Zart posts.

Anywho, onto the review. I enjoyed Jessie’s Girl. This is a fun, 80’s-set novella filled with fun adventure and great use of era dialogue. Zart doesn’t waste any space with this one, as it is far shorter than her other books at around 30,000 words. All of the characters in the book are so exceptionally diverse in personality and looks, but somehow have a dynamic friendship with one another. The inclusion of Jessie’s new girl, Catherine Tate, throws a wrench in the core group’s plans for a road trip. 

The only thing I would have liked more of  was visual imagery; I got an idea of what everything looked like, but I wanted more. 

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.1 Stars

Links
Amazon Buy Link
Smashwords Buy Link
Goodreads Book Page
YouTube Book Trailer

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter J! J

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Review: Within This Frame by Lindy Zart

WTF LZ

Within This Frame
By:
 Lindy Zart
Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:
It comes in the mail—a beautiful invitation that promises humiliation and horror. Unless Maggie Smiley, former child celebrity and now overweight recluse, gets her courage and motivation in check, along with her health.

The phone call offering fitness expert Lance Denton a chance to work with Maggie Smiley promises retribution. He messed up a lot as a punk kid on the too-fast road to stardom, and how he treated his co-star never left him. It is that—and a long list of secrets she doesn’t need to know—that has him show up at Maggie’s doorstep.

*~*

My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication. I always become very excited when she lets loose another new release. Probably more excited than a normal human being should… but it’s that dedication thing.

Here I am – reviewing the latest. Within This Frame did not disappoint. This novel goes between past and present alternatively each chapter, sharing the stories of Maggie Smiley and Lance Denton. I was a little nervous at first because there are few stories that successfully utilize this time flip-flopping technique. I’m happy to report that Zart does it without issue and quite a bit of success. I found myself wondering what the next chapter would bring, in a way a regularly-timed story does not. What would be the next piece in the puzzle? Each chapter became another story as I was reading, building on the previous.

The characters in this book were amazingly well-developed. Maggie and Lance each have their demons and secrets run rampant. There is something to be said about the structure of this story as it plays into the development of the characters within.

The plot is a challenging one, as we have all battled something internal or external. We all have something that makes us second guess ourselves, feel self-conscious, or be fearful of a new day. Our inner demons don’t just affect us, they trickle down to those around us. This story was personal and relatable. Maggie and Lance let us in to their struggles, even when they closed off.

Perhaps this is the editor in me, but I love Zart’s writing style. The sentence structure is varied and there are no overused phrases. I often find myself picking out the repetitive sentences and cliched statements in contemporary lit. Not in this story. This was a welcome relief from those books I’ve read lately.

Another winner for Lindy Zart. And yet another one I need to have on my physical shelf. Maybe I should make my way down to one of those book fests this coming year?

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Ending 5/5 Stars

Total: 4.6 Stars

Links
Amazon Within This Frame
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

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#BookBlogWriMo Days 14-17

Day 14

In case you haven’t figured out by now, I love books. Beyond love books. I breathe them in, eat them up, and bathe in their goodness. I clothe myself with their pages and dance to these page-turning rhythms.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit wordy and dramatic, but it sort of covers how much I love books.

Day 15

I’ve been pretty lucky along the way to be able to get to know some really talented authors. Obviously, I’m really close with Michele. Editing her books has been a dream and she’s incredible to work with. I’ve also been able to get to know Mindy Hayes, author of the Faylinn novels and the Willowhaven series. Lastly, I don’t think there has been a release of Lindy Zart‘s that I haven’t jumped on. It’s always exciting to see her new teasers for works in progress and I enjoy being one of the first to read and review her books.

There are definitely others, but those are the three who stand out right now. Hopefully over the next year I will be able to create some new friendships and partnerships with other incredible authors. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out each of the authors linked here. Their styles are diverse, with many genres and unique stories to choose from.

Day 16

I tend to do better with a schedule, though I have been known to review books at leisure. I enjoy hopping on a blog tour to review books, as this introduces me to books and authors I may not have read before. I like the structure of a tour, but I also enjoy the freedom of a self-driven review. I have a few self-driven reviews coming up the pipeline, but then again there are some great tours coming up too!

Day 17

I’ve altered my review system over the past year, but my review process has remained pretty much the same. You can view last year’s post here.

As for my system – If you don’t remember, I had a pretty hefty undertaking with each review I was writing. I’d write at least a five section review, elaborating deeply on characterization, dialogue, visuals, plot, and the ending, all leading into a score. I’d add up the points out of five for each, with the highest being 25. This was simply a bit much for me. I recently changed my process to be an overhead review, touching on each part easily, but not separating each subject, and averaging each of the scores in a breakdown at the bottom. Check out my review for Mindy Hayes’ Kaleidoscope for quick reference.

I like this system far more and it gives readers a much more one-stop shop.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Days 14-17

I am thankful for warm and soft chocolate chip cookies, photographs, winter clothing, and Netflix.