Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon

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As someone currently writing a mermaid book, this was a perfect read. I seriously could not put this book down. It was beautifully written, stayed within the original minus minor tweaks here and there, and opened up a whole other world within the fairy tale – the world of the princess.

I’ve read a lot of re-tellings, and I absolutely love it when it gives us more insight into how things happened. A lot of reviewers are saying there was no point to this book, but I disagree. This was definitely a wonderful story, and while there were a couple out-of-nowhere sex scenes, it was beautiful and lyrical and made me feel inspired to write.

If you want a great Little Mermaid story with a slight twist that will leave you breathless, this is perfect. But if you’re looking for something original, well…. you probably shouldn’t be reading re-tellings haha.

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The Devil’s Advocate by Michaela Haze

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Oh. My. God. This book.

First off, I LOVE this cover. It’s sexy and dangerous and just wow.

Second off, I LOVED this book. It’s sexy and dangerous and…you see where I’m going with this.

Dahlia Clark is a Hell Broker. You want to sell your soul, she’s your girl.
The only problem? She’s not seen her boss, Luc, in over two centuries.
Not since he forced her out of hell. But the Devil wants Dahlia back, whatever the cost.

The best part, for me, about this book, was that it reminded me so much of the Lucifer DC comics. It’s dark and gritty with sex and violence, sometimes indiscernible from each other. There are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone is trying to survive, and maybe find some happiness in the process.

I also loved that it didn’t shy away from doing what had to be done. Sometimes I did feel like some of the characters should have realized some things earlier, but it all resolved itself eventually. The setting was really cool too. I enjoyed this book so much, in fact, that I not only bought it (I got this as an ARC) but I preordered the next one.

If you’re into paranormal romances with the Devil this is definitely a great book to check out. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure read, graphic and abusive, but also emotional and passionate. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Read Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind by Steve Michael Reedy for free on Kindle Unlimited!

Do you guys remember me raving about how cool these books are? How they literally change your perspective on life? Well, with this weekend’s launch of book two (which is awesome, by the way), both of the books are available to download for free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited! Don’t pass up this opportunity, especially if you haven’t used up your free trial yet. =D

Click here to see them on Amazon.

And the book website, along with a page long list of its awards:   http://monkeymindtales.com/

I wouldn’t be posting about this if I truly did not like them. Happy reading!

Quiet Shy by Brandon L. Summers

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Ok, so I know what you’re thinking, but let me explain. While this cover screams self-published-unedited-made-in-MS-Paint, I’m telling you – it’s not. It’s an ARC request I got in my email, and I won’t lie, I was going to turn it down immediately just by looking at the attached cover photo (which kind of creeped me out to be honest) but I read the description and I was like huh, that actually sounds pretty interesting. Maybe I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

And I’m kinda glad I didn’t.

Alexandria Fix hates her job as an archaeologist for a renowned institute as it keeps her away from her sensitive wife, Quiet Shy, who comes from the future of an alternate reality. The sentiment only intensifies when Alex’s life becomes entangled with the pursuits of an evil cult of robots.

First of all – an f/f couple always has my attention. We just don’t have enough of these kinds of books in the mainstream. Oh wait – we don’t have ANY of these kinds of book in the mainstream. Most authors rely on queer-specific small presses to publish f/f scifi/fantasy. There’s plenty of gay erotica out there, but just your normal, run of the mill f/f relationship with magic or spaceships? Nope.

Aaaaaaanyway, this book. I have to say, it was extremely unpredictable. When I thought one thing was going to happen, the complete opposite did. When I expected a certain event, something else took its place. The scifi is layered very strongly, a futuristic world with cool tech and robots and lasers. It left a lot on the reader to pull it all together, but I don’t mind using my imagination a bit. It makes the story partly mine, in a way.

The relationship between Alex and Shy was very sweet. Veeeerrryyyyyy sweet, bordering on cheesy. If you’re looking for a lot of ‘sweetie’ and ‘you’re so beautiful’ and ‘I love you so much’ in every conversation, then this is the book for you. There’s intimacy, though not super graphic, and plenty of talk about wanting to be intimate and how sexy their bodies are, to the point where it’s like we get it, she’s curvy and has ample breasts. I did like that their relationship was portrayed as strong and unapologetic, and they know exactly what they want. It was nice to see two women so utterly in love, without the guilt.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was different from anything I’ve ever read before, and I think there are plenty of people out there who would love to read about a wholesome f/f relationship with robots and aliens.

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

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A modern Russian fairy-tale retelling about Baba Yaga and Vassilissa? There was no way I wasn’t going to buy this. Everything about it screamed PLEASE READ ME and I started reading it immediately.

That was three weeks ago, and I just finished it today.

The thing is, it wasn’t too long or too boring. It was just so beautifully written, so abstract, that my brain got too tired from just trying to imagine all the things this book shows us.

If you’re a writer trying to improve your prose, this book should be considered a manual.

Let me tell you, Russians LOVE to be abstract. They love metaphors that don’t actually mean anything, that can’t really be seen but envisioned, things that sound beautiful just to sound beautiful. This book did an amazing job at conveying that, and I cannot begin to describe the talent I am so insanely jealous of that can write that way.

The story itself had a very interesting premise, and was executed…fairly well. I say it like that because there were many points that felt so out of place I couldn’t help but go ‘this doesn’t make any sense!’. Not at the bizarre magics of Baba Yaga’s ‘store’. Not at the explanations of Night and night and the pieces of it. Not even, at any of the characters’ motivations or actions. I got all that.

What I didn’t get was the point of half the characters’ existences, aside from being there to move the plot that didn’t actually have anything to do with the plot. They were just…there. The random kid, the lawyers, even her father. Just…why? They felt so out of place that the whole thing became too muddled, and it didn’t start out that way. Vassa and Erg were great together. I loved the relationship between Vassa and her sisters. Babs and her henchmen? Perfect. And it should have stayed that way.

Another thing that really bothered me were the unnecessary splashes of romance. Vassa was weirdly attracted to our equivalent of Frankenstein. She’s 16 and he’s literally a giant monster-doll-thing she can’t talk to or see the face of and somehow she’s thinking of how she maybe like-likes him? And then Erg calls him her boyfriend? Where does that line of thinking come from? This isn’t Beauty and the Beast. He’s not wooing her. It was disturbing to say the least. It’s like the author wanted it to be more YA than MG and thought what better way to up the age group than add some romance. Ick.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book, and I loved all the magic and description. If you’re looking for a lyrical but sassy tale of magical realism, this is the crème de la crème. Just be ready to ignore some weird stuff and not focus too much on the plot. Enjoy it for the beauty and the fun, and you won’t be disappointed.

More Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind by Steve Michael Reedy

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I may not consider myself a monkey, but these tales blew my mind.

After reading the first book, Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind, I did not think there were many concepts left to explore on such a deep level.

Boy was I wrong.

The new tales are every bit as magical and mesmerizing while also hiding that grain of truth that haunts us in today’s world. I truly think that not just parents and children but middle schools should read and discuss the meanings behind them. It’s a conversation worth having.

Imagination, time, anxiety, and belonging are just a few of the concepts explored in this book. Stories about purple hippos and pink bunnies might sound silly on the outside, but those resonated with me the most. That little voice in the back of my head, always putting me down, is a struggle I know well, and the correlated story put a lot in perspective.

So get this book and open your mind to a whole new way of thinking.

 

Thanks to Steve for sending me over a copy! You can find it on Amazon today.

UPDATE: Book Review Awards – Authors in the Running So Far

Wow! I’m so honored to be a part of this!

The PBS Blog

OK, looks like we are going through with this thing!!

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. Based upon which I’ve decided that yes, we are going to do this!

First thing’s first, I am getting a logo made. Something simple but nice which I’ll outsource from Fiverr. BUT, if any of you do logos for free, like, let me know. I am not trying to spend a whole bunch of money. I love you but I am not rich so, like, help a sista out.

For now, here are the authors who are currently automatically drafted into the contest due their 5-star ratings on this blog. More authors will be added to this list as I read and review their books. Remember, to be part of this contest means that you must receive a 5-star rating from me. Excellence is priority.

We are just in the preliminary stages so…

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