Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review: Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers

Young up-and-coming author Liz McKinnen has no idea that her life is about to change forever when she comes home from her first book tour. When she's kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to kill her fantasy book's antagonist, she thinks that she's fallen into the hands of crazy, dangerous fans... until her antagonist sends a real, fire-breathing dragon after her. Liz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers, a group of authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it's brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field. As Liz meets authors such as William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, she has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her power-hungry villain takes over the world. Will she survive the ultimate battle against the dragon lord whom she created?


Immortal Writers isn't a book that I would normally go for. Actually, if I'm being completely honest ... I didn't mean to pick this one off of NetGalley. I received an email about this book and when I clicked the link to check the book out, it approved me on NG. So. I figured since I got it, I might as well give it a shot!

I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I didn't give it a second glance once it was put onto my Kindle after the whole NG Email Mis-Click of 2016. I was pretty pleasantly surprised. I'll try to keep any spoilers out of here ... nothing I say won't be found in the first chapter or so. This author chick gets kidnapped and told that the characters she has created within the pages of her book have come alive. Her characters came alive because she's an Immortal Writer. Immortal Writers are authors like Shakespeare, Poe, Austen and hundreds more. Basically, they are the authors that have made a massive impact on the literary world. Yeah, the premise of this book is nothing like I've ever read before and to say that it grabbed me almost immediately would be an understatement. I was totally intrigued by this whole idea. 

Unfortunately, I don't think that the main character (Liz) was stout enough to handle the kind of weight that the Immortal Writers author put on her. Liz was not a compelling character. I didn't really connect with her and the fact that she was this awe-inspiring author was not believable in the least. When you bring characters into a book and they are bigger than life people/fictional-characters then anything standing next to them is going to wither in their massive shadow. That is exactly what I think happened to Liz. Liz as a character didn't compare to Shakespeare. Even Shakespeare's part in the book seemed more fleshed out than Liz's. That's unfortunate. There are some books where the story-line will carry a reader to the end of the book and then there are books where the characters are what propel the book. This one should have been pulled off by the characters. But it fell short and for the first time, I was actually really irritated with a book. 

Most of the time, when I read a book and it doesn't go well, I just shrug it off. It happens and it's not that big of a deal and I just move on to the next one. But this time, I wanted it to succeed so very badly that I was pissed when it was over. It had so much potential and instead of becoming an amazing book, I was left unfulfilled and questioning my initial positive feelings. I wish that Liz had been a better character for me. I wish that she had been as amazing as her author counterparts. 

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review: Rule Breaker (Unbreakable #2) by Kat Bastion with Stone Bastion

Racial Tensions Flare as Hot as the Passion in RULE BREAKER,
a Modern-day Romeo and Juliet Story

Leilani Kealoha wants to be set free. Of family expectations. Of generations of prejudice.

Chafing at rules made by the proud Hawaiian men in her family, she yearns to discover herself and hungers to explore the world. Her adventuresome heart? Longs for something even greater, deeper.

The last thing she expects is an East Coast haole surfer to hold the key to everything.

Mason Price is done walking his parents’ path. Done with social acceptance—with cold politics.

On a surfing quest to reinvent himself, Mase finds an exotic beauty standing on his towel. But it’s her feisty bargaining that catches him off guard. When he challenges her with a “Truth or Shots” drinking game, she unwittingly reveals more than she’d intended about herself…and him.

The raw truth stuns him: She’s suffered like he has, is lost like he is—keeps secrets like he does.

But will young love and shared situations be enough to conquer racial and cultural divides?

Lines in the sand…were meant to be crossed. 


Rule Breaker is the second book in the Unbreakable series by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion. The first book is called Heartbreaker and I read it earlier this year. I enjoyed that one and when I was asked to read this one, I couldn't have been more excited. Unfortunately, it was just not my thing this time. 

I really wanted to just fall in love with this book and I almost did at first. When I got started, I enjoyed getting to know Leilani and Mason and I thought that the heat between these two was almost palpable. Leilani is a bit spunky and that made her a fun character to get to know. Mason is devastatingly handsome (how all leading men should be, of course) and he marches to the beat of his own drummer. That's also a great quality for a character to have because you really get to see what makes them tick and that just makes for an entertaining story. These two together was awesome. I liked the chemistry between them and it's what pushed me to continue reading. 

The story line should push readers to keep going but this storyline was just not one that I connected with at all. I don't know if it was because of all of the Hawaiian words and slang that made the book difficult to read for me or what. It's not like the authors didn't explain what these words meant, they did. But the words and explanations happened so often that it felt like the story was being put on hold each time there needed to be a definition. I won't even bring up all of the times that there were words that had previously been defined and I had completely forgotten what in the world that they meant and then I had to stop and either look it up or search for it in my book again. To top it off, I found myself trying to read things phonetically because I was subconsciously reading these character's words with a Hawaiian accent. Again, it just slowed the story down to the point where it felt like you're trudging through some Louisiana marsh and your shoes keep getting filled with mud and it's becoming increasingly difficult to take a step. That sounds super harsh but the marsh thing was exactly what I made a note of as I was reading. 

In the end, after taking all of that stuff into account, I just couldn't find it in me to enjoy the story. Eventually, the characters became stale because I felt like I couldn't just read about them and their situation and instead I was trying to decipher what they were even saying. Either I'm too old to read this one or too closed minded with my books. It's probably a little of both, I guess. Don't take my word for it, read some other reviews and check this one out yourself because I did enjoy the first book and I know that these writers know their stuff. We just didn't mesh this time. So on to the next one!

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Monday, November 28, 2016

Author Interview with Alison Bliss

Boy, do I have a treat for you today!! I started reading Alison Bliss books right before her first book hit the shelves and I've been a massive fan ever since. She has a way with characters that I've not experienced with other authors. Honestly, that is saying a lot because I've read I don't even know how many books at this point ... hundreds upon hundreds. Her characters just take hold of you and won't let go - they're hilarious and sweet and completely realistic. It also doesn't hurt that the leading men are ruggedly handsome and everything your dream guy wants to be. 

I was lucky enough to stumble upon Alison's release week blitz and I just couldn't miss an opportunity to ask her a few questions. It was difficult narrowing down what I thought inquiring minds would want to know and I ended up with a weirdly awesome combo of questions that Alison was gracious enough to answer.

Make sure you grab Size Matters and the books in the Tangled in Texas series (it's amazing, btw) then grab a cup of cocoa and sit down in your favorite reading spot because you're not going to want to put any of those books down any time soon!

Little Miss Bookmark: What inspired you to write Size Matters?

Alison Bliss: There were so many things that inspired the idea for this book, but two stand out above the rest. Not only did I love the idea of writing about a heroine with body issues—one who I feel many women can relate to—but I also wanted to show that women aren’t the only ones who worry about their “size.”

Little Miss Bookmark: You’ve got some steamy scenes in your books and your new book, Size Matters, is no exception … how do you feel about the people you know reading those naughty scenes?

Alison Bliss: I think it’s great! I wrote the words for people to read so it doesn’t matter to me whether the person reading it knows me or not. My mom and dad always read my work, including the sexy stuff, and if that doesn’t embarrass me, then I figure nothing ever will. But ask me this question again when my sons are old enough to read adult romance. My opinion might change by then.

Little Miss Bookmark: If Size Matters could have a theme song, what would it be?

Alison Bliss: Jana Kramer’s “Love” would be a perfect theme song for Size Matters. The lyrics talk about all the things a person might believe in, all of which has to do with love.

Little Miss Bookmark: As a reader, I can become very attached or connected to characters, does the same happen to you as you're creating them?

Alison Bliss: It’s so hard to say goodbye to characters that we all love so much, no matter which side of the book you’re on. My characters live and breathe inside of me. I’ve been in their heads. I’ve been in their hearts. They belong to me in a way that they will never belong to anyone else. I know things about them that no one else knows. And to say goodbye to them breaks my heart each time. It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. Luckily, there are always new characters around the corner waiting to console me.

Little Miss Bookmark: I saved the most important question for last: what would your perfect day of writing consist of? Get down to the nitty-gritty … are we talking bunny slippers, hot chocolate and some 80’s hair band music blaring in the background?

Alison Bliss: I wish I was one of those authors who are able to write while listening to music, but unfortunately, it’s too much of a distraction for me. I always end up singing off-key and dancing wildly in my chair. So I spend most of my writing days holed up in a quiet room, still in my pajamas or something equally comfortable, while sipping on a glass of ice cold sweet tea. On occasion, I may have a glass of wine while I’m writing, but I’m a lightweight so that usually ends up creating some interesting reading material.

 As the youngest of five girls, Alison Bliss has never turned down a challenge...or been called by the right name. Her writing career may have started out as a dare by one of her sisters, but Alison hasn't put her pen down since.

She grew up on a small island off the Texas Gulf Coast, where most of her childhood vacations consisted of camping or hunting trips to the deer lease. Although she'll always be a Texan at heart, Alison currently resides in the Midwest with her Iowa farm-boy husband and their two sons. With so much testosterone in her home, it's no wonder she writes "girl books."

She's an animal lover, a closet video game enthusiast, and believes the best way to know if someone is your soul mate is by canoeing with them because if you both make it back alive, it's obviously meant to be. Alison's an avid romance reader who enjoys penning the type of books she loves to read most: fun, steamy love stories with heart, heat, laughter, and usually a cowboy or two. As she calls it, "Romance...with a sense of humor."