5 Stars Review – You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor

17888912There is nothing more that I love to do than sit, or lay down and read a good romance. This book certainly didn’t disappoint.

I love a book that encourages the reader to envision another place, forgetting reality altogether. This book delivers!

Set in a world where male Warlocks thrive and female Warlocks are used and abused; Serena is our main character and through her POV, the unique story is told. At first, we see her as some helpless seventeen year old girl, who is forced into an engagement with Thomas, a really influential Warlock sleezeball. Then, throughout the story, we begin to see Serena as a fearless young woman, who does not want to accept her unfair fate.

Thankfully, Thomas does not stay on the page for long and we are immediately introduced to a misunderstood and caring Warlock named Zade, who Serena is forced into betrothal with. Although their relationship is slow to develop, that fact does not take away from the story, but encourages the reader to continue.

There were times during this story, where I tried to predict what was to come next, but I soon found that most of the time, the author did not take the obvious route with the stories development. For that I am thankful because otherwise, I wouldn’t need to purchase the book to know what was going to happen.

This story combines romance, mystery and fantasy perfectly. It is tasteful with romance (no PG-13 or R scenes), which is a nice change from the type of books that I typically read. All-in-all, I am extremely pleased with this read and I feel that it is worth a chance for you to try it out!

My Only Problem

I think my only problem with this book would be the cover. I would have liked for the cover to show maybe half of Serena’s face painted in the customary tattoo and the other half as-is. This would have given me a better idea of what the tattoo looked like, since it was a pretty important part of the beginning of the story.

Otherwise, great job Janeal!

5 Stars Review – Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachern

17312777Imagine not being able to feel the sun upon your face, or the wind caressing your skin. After World War Three in 2024, Nuclear Warfare forces 567 people underground – bringing a halt to a Democratic Government and forcing people to adopt a Dictatorial Government. Almost 283 years later, Seventeen year old Sunset O’Donnell has never been above ground and she’s never been free. She will never be free, unless she rises up for what she believes in. But, she can’t do it alone. One man, Jack Kenner, who has always lived freely, will take an extraordinary and unanticipated journey with her. They will, against all odds, fight for the freedom of an entire community of peoples, uniting them against an unjust and abusive Government.

I’ve always been a big fan of dystopian novels and have read a few interesting ones, but Sunset Rising is one of the best ones I have read. What makes it so remarkable is the realism illustrated in this story. It’s not incredibly far-fetched to anticipate Nuclear War and what that would mean for desperate people seeking shelter, fighting to stay alive. As a reader, I was hooked early on in the story because I kept on asking myself, “What would I do?” It’s almost too scary to think of in great detail because it isn’t an unfamiliar fear.

One of my favorite themes in this story is the possible love developing between the two main characters because, throughout the entire book, even as they are fighting to stay alive, the possibility of love overcoming all obstacles is always beautiful. I liked how the author, S. M. McEachern, didn’t allow the main character’s feelings for each other dominate the storyline. She tastefully and realistically evolved their relationship throughout the story, which not all authors have the ability to do. I’ve read too many books, where the main characters fall in love way too easily and have an unrealistic relationship, seeming forced and unnatural.

I am honestly glad that I gave this book a chance and look forward to reading more of what S. M. McEachern has to offer, including the next installation of this promising series.

4 Stars Review – Silver Wolf Clan (Silver Wolf Clan #1) by Tera Shanley

21963509So, I am a sucker for romance and an even bigger sucker for supernatural romance. There is just something about a book that can transport you to another plane of existence that appeals to me. This book did deliver on my expectations and I have to say that I was pretty much hooked from page one. The synopsis is pretty telling of what this short book is about, so I don’t think I really have to get into that.

I enjoy the way that Tera writes, and although I did find a few typos, it didn’t really take away from the story as much as it usually does. I have read a few different werewolf stories – most memorably the series by Quinn Loftis, and I can’t help but prefer Tera’s take on this topic of story. Her writing is less juvenile, which is refreshing.

I suggest keeping an open mind when reading, as it does seem rushed at times. Since this is such a short book (about half the amount of pages of a full-length book) the character development and overall story is lacking in some depth. Completely understandable, considering its length.

If you are not happy with this book, I do suggest trying Tera’s other books, Love in the Time of the Dead (Zombies) and An Unwilling Husband (Wild West). Both quite different from each other, which is refreshing because it shows the depth of writing that she is capable of.

Happy reading.

5 Stars Review – Unraveling You (Unraveling You #1) by Jessica Sorensen

20876898So, let me start by saying that I have read a few books by Ms. Jessica Sorensen and I didn’t give them the best ratings, maybe two’s and three’s. I can be picky when it comes to the type of books I like to read, so why did I give this one a five?

I enjoyed the writing. It flowed really nicely. I wasn’t confused at any point in the book. The characters didn’t annoy me, not one bit. I really liked Lyric, who was just a wonderfully sweet person, even though she didn’t seem like the typical teen, I would love to know her and I am sure she must exist out there somewhere. Even Ayden was pretty awesome and it was easy to connect with him, even though he was someone who suffered greatly in his life.

I like the small element of mystery, where we don’t know quite what happened in Ayden’s past, but through lyrics, we are given a little hint of what he has suffered through. As the book progresses, we are given little pieces of information, which was done in a tasteful way.

The only thing I am tossed on is the age of the main characters in the book. From sixteen to seventeen. I completely understand why they needed to be this age and I know kids are having sexual contact at much younger ages, but it was awkward for me to read about it, I guess. I mean, I am no stranger to sexual situations in books, but I feel dirty reading about adolescents participating in anything involving sexuality. Although this book did not involve sex per say, there was clothes-on action and some talk of sexual things.

I am looking forward to reading more of this series…and I am definitely proof that you shouldn’t give up on an author just because you were unsatisfied with a few of their works. All stories are different no matter who their author is.

4 Stars Review – Magic Unbound (Fae Unbound #1) by Jill Nojack

18880684This story is a fairly quick and wholesome read, which is a really nice change from the books I typically spend my time reading.

I enjoyed the Fae aspect, which is something I really like to read about and it even had a smidgen of love mixed in, which is something I really, really like to read about.

The imagery was really beautiful and it was easy to get lost in the words, especially when the Fae realm and the landscapes were described. A clear picture was painted, which is very important because that is all readers can use to help their imagination flourish.

It was really nicely written and I really believe I would have given this book five stars if:

1) There was a little more of the love aspect involved (there was some, but it seemed somewhat rushed, which is fine because that wasn’t the entire point of the story).

2) It wasn’t so YA (obviously, this can’t be avoided because this book is YA, but because YA isn’t my absolute favorite genre, I found fault with that aspect of the book).

I would definitely recommend this book to YA’s 13 to 17, but if you’re young at heart, this book is likely just what you’re looking for.

*I will definitely be adding the next two books in the series to my TBR list.

5 Stars Review – Bright Side (Bright Side #1) by Kim Holden

22669832I sort of picked this book out not knowing what to expect. It starts out slow-ish but funny and slowly picks up speed, and the main character is really laid back and cool. Subtle hints are dropped about the direction of the story, so I started to deduce what the hints meant. let’s just say I cried a little…you would kind of have to have a black heart not to. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, you will probably like this more. It just seemed realistic to me somehow and the main character’s strength was just phenomenal. Some characters really upset me, but Kate just brushed them off for the most part, where I wouldn’t have been so forgiving. I just really want to have the strength and outlook Kate had, actually. Gus and Keller were pretty great too. Miss Holden really did a great job and the familiarity you establish with the characters is superb.

Awesome work, Kim. Realistic, heartbreaking work.

5 Stars Review – Sparrow Man (Sparrow Man #1) by M.R. Pritchard

22755378When I originally picked this book from a list of FREE books from some mailing list, I thought I was going to be reading another book about the “Zombie Apocalypse” and I was perfectly okay with that – because Zombies are kickass. I didn’t expect this book to blow me away, nor did I expect it to keep me up until 5:30 AM because I just had to finish it
But it did.

I can’t tell you much about what happens in the book, really, because that would be giving too much away, which would be a disservice to you because, trust me, you want to be in the dark about this book.

I loved the characters of Meg and Sparrow and was really surprised by who each of the characters really was. I loved the world and character-building just as much as the surprises that came with reading more of the book.

If you don’t like reading about rape, you may not like this book – but if you do read this book, you’ll realize that M.R.’s description of it isn’t really graphic at all; it’s just heartbreaking. The inclusion of rape just makes us feel more involved in Meg’s story, where we feel more connected to her because of her pain and loss.

If you don’t like swearing, just be aware that there is a fare share of that in this book; Meg has a very filthy mouth.

If you aren’t too thrilled about sex-scenes, this book doesn’t really delve into a lot of details where that is concerned. M.R. Pritchard kind of leaves that part up to the reader (for the most part).

I don’t really have anything negative to say about this book, especially because the main things I felt while reading this book were: loss, love, surprise, anger, happiness, sympathy, and this list just kind of goes on.

My thought is that: any book that can deliver such a wide range of emotions within such a short time is well worth the time spent on reading it. The whole point of living is to experience emotions and embrace them.

Well done M.R. Pritchard.

5 Stars Review – New World Order (Sunset Rising #3) by S.M. McEachern

23463467New World Order begins where World’s Collide leaves off:

(**If you haven’t read World’s Collide yet, don’t read this review**)

At the end of World’s Collide, Jack and Sunny have just been attacked by an unknown group of people, Jack is taken and Sunny has learned she is expecting a child. In the midst of this joyous news, she also must combat with her heartache over losing Jack – but we all know Sunny isn’t a quitter.

Throughout this book you’ll see the journey Sunny takes to find Jack; you’ll see the group Jack has found himself kidnapped by; you’ll also discover things about other supporting characters that may surprise you.

There were many times my heart beat faster because the action and description of events was phenomenal. I found myself engrossed in the story and the unraveling of events often surprised me (which is an excellent quality to have in a story).

Overall, Susan did a great job with this story and I could tell that she spend a lot of time developing and nurturing the storyline. If you’ve already read Sunset Rising 1 & 2, adding this to your reading list is absolutely recommended!

Learning New Things – GIF Creation & Book Cover Creation

I’ve been trying to expand my horizons by trying new things. Namely, new things involving graphic design. I decided I would try to make a GIF and an e-book cover – just to see some of the many things I am capable of doing using Photoshop CS6.
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Janeal & Sarah, Author Services

I recently approached a young adult author, Janeal Falor, about a new business she began called, “JetFASt”. I originally asked her if she had any need for an employee because I was looking for a job at the time, but she said that she was actually looking for a partner. I said I could be that for her. The past few days have been quite busy, trying to get organized and creating some marketing materials, like logos and banners for our website. It has been so much fun and it feels good to have something to work towards! Here are some of the designs I came up with for our new business venture! Of course, we went through a lot of designs before we decided on a “keeper”, but that is the best way to go.

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Psychology Club Logo

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I created this for the Psychology Club at Farmingdale State College. Done with Photoshop CS6.

Today We Buried My Grandfather – 12/11/13

He is now part of the Earth.
Forever in my families hearts.
He awaits rebirth.
I imagine his soul mate,
Intertwined with his heart,
Living another life together,
Never again to part.

He emerges from the womb,
In California or somewhere near,
Making his way in life,
As an engineer.
He meets a woman at the age of twenty-four,
With dark hair and a beautiful smile,
Who steals his breath from across the room,
And they stare at each other for a while.

His heart beating wildly in his chest,
He asks her to dance,
And she says, “yes.”

He leads her to the dance floor,
As the music plays.
And they sway.
His cheek pressed to hers,
He holds her closely.

As the music moves them,
No one else exists.
He doesn’t even know her name.
He wants to remedy this.

He asks her name,
As the band serinades them.
He is nervous,
As butterflies flutter in his abdomen.

She opens her mouth,
To tell him her name,
Her heart beats wildly,
Just the same.

She looks in his eyes,
To tell him the truth,
She opens her mouth,
And whispers, “Ruth.”

I love you, Grandpa.