Who’s Your Favorite Author?

Happy Thursday! I’ve come to my followers looking for advice.

So, I tend to stay in a small section of authors, and I am pretty set in my ways about what I read. I like to stick with mysteries, detective stories, and classic novels, and I shy away from stepping out of that comfort zone.

If you were to suggest one author that does not write mysteries or crime or thrillers to me, who would it be and why? What books of theirs are your favorites? It’s not that I haven’t read other genres, but I’m curious about new authors to check out. I’m sure that I’m missing out on a lot of good books, and I want to check out some new things.

Thanks guys!

 

Help Me Write This Book

For most of my life, I have had it in my head that I am going to be a published author. Generally, if I get something in my head I am going to dwell on it until it gets finished. The problem with writing this first book has never been my lack of desire to write it, but  that I have never been able to nail down a genre. I have a lot of different interests, and I hate the thought of being tied to one type of book. Some days I want to write a mystery, and others I’m more drawn to a fantasy, magic type book.

Your first book is going to set the precedent for your audience and for the people interested in publishing it, and I want to make absolutely certain I’ve got it right before I do it. So far, what I have is an idea for a book. I have an outline and I have the names of characters. The theme ties in my love of mystery and what I experience (to an extent) as a lawyer. John Grisham is an author whose ideas have shaped me, and being that he is an attorney also I think molding my career as an author after him makes sense.

I have always envisioned writing Nancy Drew type novels, so I’m thinking of this more as if Nancy Drew grew up and became a lawyer, what would her life be like?

I’d gladly accept any advice you might have for writing your first book. I imagine it won’t be nearly as easy or go as smoothly as I have pictured in my head. The big ideas are easy to come up with, it’s the details I struggle with sometimes. Any helpful tips or things you wish you had known when you started your first book would be a huge help!

I have to start somewhere, so I may as well start now. Maybe I’ll be able to cross this off of my bucket list before I turn 30 in a few years!

Mr. Confidence- A Book Review

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About a month ago I was contacted by Laura from Prodigy Gold Books, and I was asked to write a review for a new book they have coming out, Mr. Confidence by Rahiem Brooks. Of course I said yes, so I was sent the book (which is only available by download since it has not come out yet). I finished it last night, and I immediately wanted to sit down and write out my thoughts on it.

It is not the genre of books I reach for when in a library or a bookstore, but I enjoyed reading something a little different. It still had an air of mystery, as well as the crime aspect that I enjoy, but it does not fall under a mystery category. So for me, it was a good change of pace.

I don’t want to give too much away, and being that this is the first real book review I have been asked to do, I don’t know what or if there is a correct way to do this, so forgive me if I give too few or too many details. I don’t want to ruin the book’s plot for any potential readers out there!

Don Juan is the main character, he’s just gotten out of jail, and he has a lot of drama. Drama is the best word to describe the book, as well as the character. He is thrown back into the middle of the world that landed him in jail in the first place: the mother of his child, a mistress, and a world full of drugs and lust.

Don Juan is determined to not end up back in jail, and he will do (and does do) anything to keep that from happening. His main priority is his daughter, and the picture of the relationship Mr. Brooks draws for us between Don Juan and his daughter, Trinity, is one of a gentle dad who always goes the extra mile for her. He is also a thief, a con artist, and a ladies’ man that has no regard for the feelings of other people, except for his daughter. Mr. Brooks takes us on a short journey where a lot of life altering events occur for Don Juan. Just when we think our main character is at the end of his road, Mr. Brooks throws in another curve and changes everything.

The only complaint I have of the book, and it’s a small one, are the different view points the book goes through. Most of the book is told from the point of view of either Don Juan or his friend/business partner Lex. Several other instances in the book though, the story felt like it was being switched to the viewpoint of several background characters. The story still made sense, but a couple different times I had to look back and see why we were being told the story from that character’s point of view. Other people may enjoy the different view points of each character, no matter the significance, but it just didn’t feel as natural to me. Again, a very small detail in the scheme of things and likely just personal preference.

Mr. Brooks does a good job of capturing the dialog and the mannerisms of the area and the culture. It was an easy read, and one I enjoyed each night after work. It had it all: betrayal, love, crime, and greed. I would not recommend this book to young adults, as there is some explicit content, but it is a great read for a more mature audience.

I will be reading another book by Mr. Brooks, A Butler Christmas, that is already available to the public. I will make sure to update on that one as well!

 

Thunder Rolls

Molly normally liked when the weather was bad. She preferred the rain to other types of weather; she always got her best writing done when there was thunder and lightning in the background. She just didn’t have it in her tonight.

After a couple of hours trying to get through the piece she was writing for work about her recent trip to Syria, she called it a night. She had about a page and a half to show for her efforts, but it would just have to wait.

She went downstairs to feed her cat and pour herself a glass of wine. Molly palmed her glass of Cabernet as she leaned against the counter. Her sleep schedule was still off from her trip and she knew she wouldn’t sleep for hours. She grabbed her cell phone and pulled open one of her dating apps. She had a message from a guy named Preston.

“How is your night going?” he wrote.

He was cute and she was bored so she responded with “It’s good. Just drinking some wine and relaxing.”

They chatted for a few minutes, and Molly went and plugged her phone into the charger in the hallway. Molly took a long, warm bath and when she went to check her phone, her heart fell into her stomach.

“That pink robe looks good on you” the message read.

Molly ran to the front door and made sure it was locked, and then she sprinted to the back door and latched it. She had a lump in her throat and her hands were shaking as she typed out “how did you know I’m in a pink robe?”

But no one messaged back.

Molly went up to her room and locked the bedroom door behind her. She checked under her bed and in her closet and when she was sure no one was in the room with her, she grabbed her pistol out of the nightstand by her bed and loaded it. She didn’t want to call the police over what was probably just a prank anyway.

She sat on her bed clutching the gun, trying to calm herself down.

Her phone beeped. “Why do you look so nervous Molly? I’m not going to hurt you; you can put your gun down.”

Molly let out a cry, and quickly muffled her mouth with her hand. She thought about calling her ex-boyfriend Danny, but after she had broken up with him before her trip he made it clear he didn’t want to speak to her.

Just as Molly was about to call the police, her phone beeped again. Another message from “Preston.”

“Call the cops and I will kill you. I can see you.”

She could feel the warm, salty tears streaming down her face. The sound of glass breaking downstairs pierced her thoughts. She grabbed her phone, ran to her closet, and barricaded herself in it. She didn’t have anything to lose, so she called the police.

“911- what’s your emergency?”

She kept it short. “There’s a man breaking into my house, I’m at 473 Cherry Lane, please hurry I’m in my bedroom closet with a gun.”

“Okay ma’am, there’s an officer not far from you. He will be there as quick as he can. Stay on the phone with me. Do you know how to use your gun?”

“Yes, I think so. I have it loaded.”

“Okay, just don’t panic. You’re going to be fine.”

“Oh Molly, where are you?” teased the intruder. “I thought I told you not to call the police?”

She could hear him opening doors and getting closer. The voice sounded familiar, but through the closet walls everything was muffled. She heard her bedroom door shake. Whoever the man was couldn’t get it open. He threw himself into the door a few times until it broke open. Molly held her breath, not knowing what to expect. She was thankful she had a dresser in her closet that she had been able to push in front of the door…maybe it would delay him more until the officer could get there.

Her hands were shaking as she backed herself into the wall of her closet and braced the gun in front of her. She had only shot it a couple of times, but she figured at such a close range, she wouldn’t miss. She didn’t know if he was armed or not, but she wasn’t going to wait and find out.

“Oh Molly, this wasn’t very smart. I’ve got you cornered now. Those cops you called won’t get here in time.” he said.

She saw a knife plunge through the door. He stabbed it until he had made a whole big enough to see through, and as soon as she saw his eyes and the knife, she shot.

Her ears were ringing and tears were streaming down her face but she was alive and no one was trying to get through the door anymore. Before she could stand up she heard a voice coming up her stairs asking if she was okay.

“Yes, yes I’m okay. I’m the one who shot,” she screamed out.

She stood up, knees shaking and pushed the dresser away from the door so she could get out. When she opened the door and saw the officer she knew she was okay.

Then she looked down, and saw Danny on the floor. She hit her knees and cried out, finally realizing why she recognized the voice.

Over the next couple of hours, after several officers combed through her house, she learned about Danny’s plan. While she was in Syria, he had used his key to her house to set up cameras and microphones, so he could watch every move she made. He knew where she was and what she had been doing for the days since she had been back from her trip. They didn’t know the point of the dating profile, other than to make her feel even more vulnerable, and make her think it was someone else torturing her until he revealed himself. They found his car a block away with ropes and tape in the trunk.

The only thing he didn’t think through was that she could have a gun, because she had never told him.

Outside, the thunder rolled.

Book Reviews for Book Day!

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I keep seeing posts that March 1st is National Book Day! I was not sure if it is actually today or a different day entirely. When I did a Google search it gave me conflicting dates, but a wonderful follower, PerfectlyTolerable, clued me in. I’m editing this post to clarify that World Book Day is being celebrated today in the UK and in Ireland. On April 23rd, other countries celebrate it since that is William Shakespeare’s birthday. I am game for two days of celebration!

I am in the middle of moving, so I can’t show you my book collection, but I can recommend some great books I’ve read recently. I also want to encourage you to visit your public library if you don’t already. The library has always been my safe spot, where I go when I’m feeling down or just want to relax. Don’t forget about them, just because it’s easy to order off of Amazon or you have a tablet. Nothing replaces the way a book feels in your hands.

The first book I want to recommend is by Judy Blume. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, she is the same author who wrote the books we read as kids. However, her relatively new book In the Unlikely Event is amazing. There is a lot of love, a lot of drama, and a lot of plane crashes. It is wonderful.

 

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I recently read, The Witness by Nora Roberts. It is a crime themed book. I wouldn’t call it a mystery, but it is a thriller that is well written. I was panicked during certain times of the book, because of the suspense she creates. There’s a reason she’s a New York Times Best Selling Author.

I realize how silly this next recommendation will seem. I had never read Pride and Prejudice until this summer. (I know, I know.) However, since I finally did I can recommend it to anyone and everyone. Jane Austen’s writing is definitely not everyone’s taste. With some of the language it can feel like more of a chore than an enjoyable evening of reading. However, it is so worth it. She writes a brilliant, humorous love story that challenges you.

My favorite recommendation to make is Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke. This book is from the Hannah Swensen series, and every book in this series has a yummy sounding name. I have been reading these books since I was around ten years old, and reading her newer ones makes me feel like I’m right back at that age: incredibly hungry to get my hands on any book I could.

One of the books I am currently reading is Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles. I’m only a few chapters into it, but so far it is the same Agatha Christie we know and love. She is the Queen of Murder Mystery in my opinion. I finished her book 4:50 from Paddington a few months ago, and as usual the Miss Marple books are wonderful. This quirky older lady that solves crimes is my favorite book character.

Growing up and still to this day, my favorite Disney Princess has been Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”. Her reaction to being gifted a library by Beast is exactly how I would feel. She’s always got her nose stuck in a book, and I can relate to this on many levels.

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Happy reading and make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already!

 

 

Just Another Maniac Monday

If you ask my family and friends, they will be the first to tell you that if my television is on, it is likely on the I.D. Channel (Investigation Discovery). I have always loved watching any show dealing with crime, murder, mystery, etc. When I was younger, my mom introduced me to mystery books, and as I got older, Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew turned into Agatha Christie and Lois Duncan.

I am fascinated by serial killers, and I am keenly aware of how odd it is to write that. In another life I would be a profiler for the FBI on serial killers. The closest I ever came to that was taking a “Psychiatry and the Law” class in law school. My paper for the class included several different serial killers and the legalities of their cases- from the things that were missed throughout their lives to their actual trials and sentences.

Honestly, they are all terrifying. You don’t get lumped into the category of serial killers without being scary. In terms of which serial killer scares me the most though, I would without hesitation say John Wayne Gacy. The man dressed like a clown for parties and charity events, and ended up killing around thirty-three young men. Have you ever seen anything more terrifying?

“The Killer Clown”

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No, you have not. He is the real life version of Pennywise, and just from writing this post I will likely have a nightmare about him tonight.

For me the scariest part about serial killers is their otherwise normal existence. Most of them lead normal lives with families and jobs. No one is ever the wiser about their real personalities, until they are. Often, the scariest monsters are the ones who look just like us.

Hopefully your Monday is less horrific than “The Killer Clown”!

 

 

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Books — Bookidote | Book Reviews

After a few days off, I’m back with a little post! 😀 I will also be back to blog hopping today to send you all a little love, thank you all of you for being so sweet and understanding !! ❤ I was reading a book and a friend came up to me and ask […]

via 10 Signs You’re Addicted to Books — Bookidote | Book Reviews

Writer’s Block

It feels strange to call it writer’s block, because there are a lot of things I want to write about. Writing about not being able to figure out what to write about is obviously ironic. I feel like my mind is being pulled in many different places. I want to write murder mystery. I want to write about my trips to Disney. I want to write about every political thought that goes through my head. I want to write about this new Keto diet. I want to write about all of these different ideas, but I don’t know where to start and I don’t know whether anyone even wants to read them. I don’t want to be someone who just writes things for other people to read and then forget about. I have always wanted to write things that leave an impact and help other people.

I think the harshest critic any writer faces is himself. How do I make myself vulnerable enough to share parts of my brain with total strangers on the internet, when half of the time I don’t even like what I have in front of me?

Write what you know. Easy enough right? It’s not, because what I actually know and what I think I know are two completely separate things. I know my opinions and I know my perceptions. I think many people confuse knowing things and thinking they know things, and I strive not to be the person that shares things just because I think I know them as being correct. If law school taught me anything, it was to keep my mouth closed about things I only think I know. Just because it’s my opinion and just because it’s a strong one at that, does not mean that it’s right. Just because a bunch of other people on my Facebook all seem to coincidentally have the same views I do, does not mean it is the right view. It also does not mean it’s the wrong view.

I have been asked by several different people why I don’t talk politics as much anymore. Frankly, I’ve disengaged myself because I enjoy my friends and family not hating me. You cannot say anything in this particular political climate without making someone angry. I choose not to feed the beast. Every time I see a political debate on Facebook it makes me ill, because there are a bunch of people who know half-truths arguing like they are experts in the particular field, and if anyone has the audacity to express a different view they act like the person has committed a crime against humanity. To reiterate, just because you have a different opinion than someone else, does not make you right. There is very rarely a time in life when there is no middle ground on something. If you are unwilling to compromise in your views regarding politics, or anything in life, you will never grow as a person. Our government was not set up for one set of people to always be 100% right. We were set up to compromise and to find solutions.

So it’s tough to write what I know, because although I am not necessarily concerned that anyone reading it would be offended, I do have enough respect for other people to know that not everything I say on a topic will be right. Understand, I still have every strong opinion I have ever had on a subject in any field I have ever discussed before. I am just a little more selective in what I share and who I share it with now. I want to write things that people enjoy, and I am struggling to find my voice about what topic that needs to be in.

I will not set out to lecture anyone on any topic as a twenty-six year old. I do not have the life experience, nor do I have the desire; except maybe about Disney World, I’m pretty good at that.

 

 

The Greatest of All Things

Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s favorite holiday. It certainly has not always been one I have enjoyed, and I will not be one of these bloggers who pretends like I have not had some bitter feelings towards it before. I know it can be tough to celebrate it single, when it feels like everyone around you has someone and you don’t. My favorite memories of Valentine’s Day are the sweet gifts my Mom and Dad have always made sure I get each year, even now as an adult, and the orange roses my brother would send me each year for Valentine’s Day. Those sweet gestures have always been a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster holiday.

I know most of the bad feelings I’ve ever felt for Valentine’s Day were fueled by jealousy. If I had known how lucky I would feel a few years later, I wouldn’t have been jealous at all. Back then, I didn’t know the person God had in store for me. I didn’t know that the minute I realized I loved Johnny, would be the same moment I stopped caring about superficial things like flowers and gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I love when Johnny does sweet things like that for me, but the only thing I have ever desired from him, is the one thing he has never failed to do: give me his time. I have never once felt like I wasn’t a priority for him. I realize how cliché it is to say that his love is the only gift I need for Valentine’s Day, but to become a cliché, something must be or happen frequently, and I don’t know anyone who would trade quality time and feeling loved every single day and opt to just get flowers once a year instead.

I have felt love every day of my life, and I know how special and rare that can be. I pray I never take for granted the fact that I am luck enough to be loved by so many people. I never want to be ungrateful for it, and I want to spend my life making sure no one ever feels like they aren’t loved or worthy of love; because they are- everyone is.

In a world full of hate and mean people on the internet, choose to be someone who people feel good around.

After all, love is the greatest of all things.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8