book reviews

Series Review: The Crescent City by Kristen Painter

Greetings fellow book lovers!

 

It’s the first of the month and that means it’s time for me to kick off a new segment: book reviews.  Each book will be rated using coffee cups because I am happily addicted to coffee.  A rating of 0 means that I could not finish the book if my life depended on it and a five means that the world could end and I wouldn’t have noticed.

DISCLAIMER: I am not paid for these reviews.  I do them for fun and because I love talking about books.  And there are simply too many out there to hear about them all.

Rating:  3 cups

Sometimes I come across a series and I gobble it up before I can review the first book.  And this series is one of those.  I stumbled across the first book while trolling around my local book store.  The cover grabbed my attention and I loved it so much that I bought it.  I am a serial judge of book covers.  Covers can be works of art in and of themselves.  I make my own covers so I really appreciate a good one.  Anyways, let’s get started.

General Overview: 

In this world, after some big ass war that changed the world; Fae, Vampires, and all other sort of supernatural creatures live out in the open.  Some cities are Havens for Fae and other creatures where they can live in peace because you know not every human is going to be happy that they’re out in the open.  The story starts off with Augustine coming home after being on the run for a while because of events from another series.  He ends up being offered the position of Guardian whose job is to protect all people living in New Orleans. Harlow is introduced not too long after that as she travels to New Orleans to ask her mother for help bailing her out of a really messed up situation. Now Harlow is fae like Augustine but she hates it and has spent her life suppressing her powers.  When she touches people she can read their emotions and she can read emotions off of objects as well.  She’s also a bad-ass hacker which is why she’s in trouble to begin with. The two meet on the Fae New Years but there is a Marid Gras flair to it because everyone is wearing masks.  They meeting and sparks fly and that’s all that I’m going to say about that.  I don’t really want to spoil anything for anyone but some shit goes down with Vampires and evil Fae and Harlow has to come to terms being Fae, while Augustine has to find the ones responsible for putting his city in danger, proving that he’s more than just a former felon.  There’s some mild plot twist but this story is more about the characters.

Re-readability:

This series does alright on the second or third reading.  Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I tend to skip the sections of characters I could care less about.  With this series while there is a main arching story there is also a secondary villain working in the background until the third book.  I really don’t like reading those sections because I can’t stand the villain.  It’s not that the villain (Giselle a witch) is a bitch with a capital B.  She gets everything that comes her way.  And speaking of villains, the main one for the first two books (Barnzino) seems a bit underdeveloped but serves his purpose.  The main reason why I keep coming back to this series is that I love the interactions between Harlow and Augustine.  Their relationship develops naturally (to me) and I love how Harlow finds confidence in herself and her abilities without fundamentally changing who she is as a person.  That rarely happens with these types of books.

 

My thoughts: 

I like this series.  It grabbed my attention from the get go and didn’t let go until I was done.  I love the main characters and the conversations between them feels real.  The conversations can sometimes come off as odd or disjointed but that’s truly how people talk, especially when there’s more than one person talking.  There’s not much initial world building but we learn more about through the heroine Harlow’s eyes, so it works. I used to love urban fantasy books, until they became too formulaic for me.  But this series blew all that out of the water.  It’s a fresh approach on a tired topic.  Fun fact, this series is a spin off of another series by the same author.  This series doesn’t have that feeling.  It’s a great stand alone series.

sseries review

 

Have you read this series?  What did you think?  Have any recommendations; send them!  I love discovering new books!  Until next time

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Greetings My Peeps!

Finding new tools: the good and the bad

Sometimes it’s challenging to be an indie author.  You have to handle all aspects of the book industry (marketing, covers, etc) and create a compelling story at the same time.  It can be daunting but to paraphrase Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, always have your tools.  A writer, no matter if they’re a NY times best seller or just starting out, has to have the right tool for them at their disposal.

When I started this journey, I didn’t have anything really at my disposal.  But now I’ve got some sites that really love and some that while I don’t particularly care for but can’t escape using.  I should note that none of these sites have paid me to say anything about their products or services.  This opinions are strictly my own and for fun informational purposes.

  1. Istock.  This site is great if you have to make your own covers like I do.  You can buy some credits for $20 but you can get three maybe four covers out of that.
  2. Notebook.ai  This is a new discovery for me and I’m in love.  It helps you organize and link up every character, world, culture or what not you have. You don’t even have to link anything until you have a place to put it.  So if you’re like me and flashes of cool ideas come all the time, this site helps to store and organize until you are ready to use them.
  3. Storiad.  Another new site.  This site offers a lot that I don’t really have the time to go into but the main keeper points for me are the marketing plan that they help you make, the pricing calculator, press release kits, and industry networking.  All of these things I needed help with so it’s great that it’s all in one spot.
  4. Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.  I have a love hate relationship with social media.  I’m the type of person who can easily become obsessed with something that continues to stimulate me.  That’s the main reason why I’m not on Tumblr.  No one would ever see me again if I got on that site.  But social media presence is crucial to building an author’s platform or at least getting your name out there.  I try to allot a certain amount of time on each site at any given time to make sure that I stay on track.

These are all that I’m going into today.  If you want, check these sites out or research them to see if they’re the best fit for you as a writer and serve your needs.  If you have something that you think I might like, let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for new resources and tools.

 

Until next time peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

The Hardest Month of My Life

Jesus, I’m so happy this month is finally over.  I have been running on fumes since Thanksgiving.  My novel had taken the back burner to my job, which feeds my feelings of inadequacy, family obligations and the anniversary of my grandmother’s death.  All a potent mixture that drags me down into my own personal tar pit.  But now that the holiday season is winding down, and I had a few days to myself, I can breath easy again.

Now, I’m not the type of person who makes new years resolutions.  I don’t really see the need in trying to commit to something new just because the year started over.  I try to work on myself throughout the year.  With that being said, the one goal that I made for myself this year (yes I know I just said I didn’t do these things) is to find more balance in my life.  I’m one of those people to always bites off more that they can chew.  I love trying new things and my house is often littered with half finished projects that often get pushed to the side when my life becomes crazy.  Unfortunately, my job (special education teacher) means that my life will always be crazy.  I need to find some semblance of balance with all the loves in my life.

On that note, I wish you all a Happy New Year!  Here’s hoping it will be better than the last.

 

Greetings My Peeps!

Take a Break

A last week, I finished the finally bits of writing for my latest novel Time of Prophecy.  Since completion, I’ve had to set up my classroom, prepare for open house, and been in one beginning of the year meeting after another.  With everything being as crazy as it is, my novel as sat gathering dust.  At first I was buried under crippling guilt until I realized that I finished writing ahead of schedule.  I can take a week off to get my life back in order and still be able to meet my dead lines.

*exhales*

But come September 4th, I have to carve out some time to do my final edit so I can send the manuscript off to the editor on time.  Wish me luck!

Greetings My Peeps!

A change

For whatever reason, I’m drawn to non-fiction books.  Normally I avoid those types of books like the plague.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love history…I just don’t like reading about it.  But apparently, that has changed.  I blame the musical Hamilton.  I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for months nearly non-stop.  I also love learning about Colonial America.  Well now I’m reading the biography that inspired the musical and because of that, the flood gates have opened.  I’m adding non-fiction books left and right.

 

But you know what?  I love reading and learning.  I think it’s high time that I branch out into the fascinating world of non-fiction.  Either way, I’ll be happy.

Greetings My Peeps!

Which Way Is Up?

Oh dear lord, what a crazy two weeks.  I haven’t accomplished anything and yet so much has happened to me.

I’m written up to the climax of my newest novel Time of Prophecy.  I decided to take a step back and visually story board it.  You see when I write it tends to play out like a movie in my head.  If I’m coming up on a complex or difficult scene, I just let it run in my head and gleam information that way.  It helps a little.  Any who, while I was taking time out for that, the shit hit the proverbial fan…but in a good way.

As many of you may remember, I work as a Teacher’s Assistant in special needs and was working on getting my teaching license.  At the end of the last school year I decided that I was going to stay in special needs.  I love those kids and I love what I do.  So I put out my resume.  When I didn’t hear anything back I started to feel discouraged, but then I got a call from my principal.  The teacher in the other classroom had left and he since he knew I was looking for a teaching position he offered me hers.  YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!  I didn’t want to leave the school because I love everyone there and I have an awesome Special needs team.  So I have all that craziness going on while I learn about the children I’m responsible for and setting my my classroom.

On top of that, I’m currently recovering from having some cysts removed from my ovaries to see if that will help me and my husband conceive.  The incisions still bleed a little when I move around a lot and I’m in the itching phase of healing.

Then, on top of everything else, my husband and I are looking to purchase our first home.  The market is tough and it’s proving difficult to find homes in the area we want.

It was only today that I realized that I haven’t even thought of my novel, writing, or anything else for a while now.  I have to finish writing before school starts and still go through the final editing stage.  I edit as I go.

Thank goodness for coffee is all I have to say.

Later folks!

Greetings My Peeps!

My Center

If you haven’t seen Rise of the Guardians, you should.  Not only is it a cute animated movie about childhood, it has some pretty good messages.  One of the themes revolves around Jack Frost as he tries to figure out what his center is, the reason why the moon choose him to become a Guardian.  Most people spend their entire lives looking for the one thing that makes them who they are.  There are a lot of things that make up a person but their center is what pulls all others towards it.

For me, I believe it’s writing.  When I’m in front of my computer or scrawling ideas down in my ratty notebook, I feel the surest in my skin.  Writing is creating.  Writing is teaching.  Writing is giving comfort to those who need it.  I can’t imagine not doing it and I can’t live without it.