Book Review- ‘Remember’ By Patricia Smith (Psychological Thriller) 2 stars…oh man!

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Thank you to NetGallery for my free copy, in exchange for an honest review. This is such a hard review for me to do guys, I wanted to love this book the cover, blurb and genre have ‘Kim’s read’ all over it.  I removed myself totally as a writer and just read as I always do,  but  I found plot gaps, a slow pace, things not scientifically possible from first hand experience as a reader… Oh man! Let’s get into the review..

Blurb

A riveting debut psychological thriller about the power memory has over us.

Portia Willows was a senior in high school in Los Angeles when her world fell apart. While dealing with the aftermath of the accident that took the lives of her mother and sister, she finds herself forced to face her own memory―which may not be quite what it seems. But Portia suffers from severe social anxiety disorder that prevented her from having any sort of life, while her little sister, Piper, was her best, and only, friend.

Now, five years later, Portia is forced to recall the events of the past while being questioned about a horrific crime she doesn’t remember. During those years, Portia had created a toxic, agoraphobic, life with her father, cigarettes and alcohol her only companions, unable to cope with her loss. That is, until Ethan Torke moved in across the street and changed Portia’s perspective in ways she could not possibly comprehand. But the truth always catches up with you, and fantasies never last. An unforgettable tale of memory, love, and strength through the darkest of times, Remember announces a brave new voice in psychological suspense.

Kim’s Review 2 (ish) ‘mm-kay’ Stars

That blurb sucked me in, it sounds like an amazing read I read this book in two sittings, it’s like 300 pages plus. I really wanted to know how it ended as the blurb seems like this is a fantastic story. The idea of the story  and blurb IS FANTASTIC, for me as a reader the execution of it was a little weak because…

Character development– from the 300 pages I read I still have no idea what Portia looks like AT ALL. I don’t even know her race, if I had to guess I would say white. There was a lot of reference to how much her and her sister looked alike, but what do they look like? So physically there was no development. As a person for Portia there was also a lack of development from 300 pages. This book is written in first person (up close from the character’s POV) and other than ‘I screamed’ I never felt her emotions.  As a reader the author did not give a reasonably deep POV to really move me as a reader, and allow me to connect to her. Given the seriousness of the story line Portia could have been written a lot stronger. I felt like the author could have ‘put herself in Portia’s shoes’ a little stronger to do her justice.

 General character development- There was a description made of a character who had ‘medium toned skin’… I pulled the book back from me and said, ‘what’s that?’ The descriptions were a little weakly written.   It reminded me of when I read a book (in this same genre) and the author wrote ‘ she opened her African-American eyes’. (I was like what the f**k is that? Aint they brown, like a Chinese, white any other races’ eyes?) Overall I had a hard time with getting connected due to development.

Plot Gaps- there is a  scene where a character mentions that Portia had been brought to the hospital a number of times over the years, by her boyfriend…  I only saw him do that once when she was pregnant, I don’t recall that.

When she was pregnant  he found out the sex of the child via ultrasound at three month’s gone. This is not scientifically possible…as a mother I can confirm, it’s over twenty weeks you find out this info. The baby is too small at three months. *sighs* simple things requiring research spoiled the plot for me as a reader.

Pace – for a 300 page book not much happens in the first 75 percent. Portia’s sister and mother die and she has a three year relationship with a guy.  For me personally as a reader for a thriller genre book all this was too slow, no red herrings to throw readers off, or ‘pulse.’

Writing style- it’s written in first person ( I love this) but a little weakly. The story is also told back to front ( I love this style), but as a reader the time frames jumping back and forward I felt I did not spend enough time there ( underdeveloped story), in order for it to have an impact.  I felt like I was just jumping around for the sake of it, not to keep me thinking as a reader or to really develop anything or build up.

It’s a fact not every book you read you will love, but as a reader I  expected so much more and was so excited to discover the book. Overall to sum it up  and without being mean either, from my reading experience generally it’s an underdeveloped and slow novel to be a psychological thriller in the true sense.  The ending made  less impact or was believable (for me) due to this.  Without being mean again, when you find gaps,etc there are only so many stars you can award for your enjoyment , but I wish this author so much luck with her writing career. From me as a reader….two stars, I did not hate it, but as a reader I found  a few things that held me back from loving it.

 

35+ Female Romance Authors Of Colour-FREE ROMANCE BOOKS #freebooks #romance #blackgirlmagic #amreading

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I am so proud to join forces with more than thirty five female  romance authors of colour around the world, between November 2019 and January 2020 to show case our work to bring some #blackgirlmagic and #browngirlmagic to the world of fiction. Women in general have had it hard historically, and sometimes we still do have to fight hard for our voice to be heard.

In  the literary world the female voice of colour is underrepresented in books, as characters, and also as published authors by the big publishing houses. No one can dispute that. It’s a fact when it comes to finding agents and approaching publishers ninety percent of the time women of colour are pitching characters that reflect what we would would like to read more about, for example crafting leads with darker skin, and females reflecting what we see in the mirror, or  just our experience as people of colour to people who  many find it hard to  really understand or even try to understand a different point of view, as they are from a different background and it’s not ‘normal’ to have a lead hero or heroine with skin darker than their own.  So therefore the agent and publisher loves to feedback that they ‘can’t connect’ with the characters or stories. There is also a serious case of  a lack of  agents of colour to open the doors to diversity for us. Therefore what chance do women of colour stand when our work is rejected left, right and centre because  1. the ‘gatekeepers’ don’t reflect us 2. or wish to try and take a ‘risk’ by understanding something different 3. we are seen as just ‘urban/street lit writers’ like we can’t write different mainstream genres with no drug dealers, gangsters and baby momma drama. 

Many talented and bestselling female authors of colour have spoken out about the unfairness  with getting our voices heard by the bigger publishers. Such as New York Times Bestselling Author Ms. Alyssa Cole.  A  woman of colour herself who has managed to kick down the door to the big five publishers, as a romance and Sci-Fi author and make a real name for herself as a successful author with characters outside of the norm, and has vocalised her experiences loudly. 

Let’s not forget women of colour who are writers don’t just write about characters that reflect us, we can and do  include characters from ALL backgrounds if we want. We can  cross over. So in order to spread the word, love, diversity, and #blackgirlmagic and #browngirlmagic between November 2019 and January 2020  I am heavily  invested in supporting my fellow  female romance authors of colour around the world in this group. I urge you  to test drive a new author, a female author of colour she could be Black, Hispanic,  Latino, of mixed heritage, Indian,  Asian Chinese  or something else magical with free books up for grabs on the below link. You’ll be transported to StoryOrigin and see a wonderful array of books to grab. What are you waiting for? Take a peek…

Authors of Colour

CLICK HERE TO BE MAGICALLY TRANSPORTED TO BOOK HEAVEN AND DOWNLOAD YOUR FREEBIES

Book Review-‘An Affair In Las Vegas’ Book #1, By Rachell Nichole (Romance) 4 ‘Adorable’ Stars! #amreading #romance

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We have some rainy and stormy weather today, my son’s birthday party is called off as he is very ill and sleepy, what else is there to do but read? Recommended to me by Kindle Unlimited ‘An Affair in Las Vegas’ I stumbled across this romance series, and it was a good recommendation. I have never read this author’s work and to be honest it was very surprisingly different! Read in a few short hours also, I am for sure reading more. Let’s get into the review.

 

Blurb

Does what happens in Vegas truly stay in Vegas?

Dawn has only ever wanted one thing: to provide a life for her daughter in New York City, away from the small-town minds of her family and her upbringing. She has fought hard to become hotel manager, and one of her first duties is to attend a conference at the Marietta Las Vegas. But when she meets Barnaby, the man with the job she’s always wanted, there was one thing she didn’t count on. A sizzling attraction that won’t be denied.

Barnaby has always had one goal in life: to help people. He’s found his calling as manager of the Marietta Times Square, and since his past failed relationship, has focused all of his energy on being the best manager he can be. This year, that means helping to run the Marietta Hotels second annual Hoteliers’ Conference in Vegas. But as soon as he notices Dawn in the crowd, his focus instantly splits, his desires for her swift and fierce.

When he realizes the attraction is mutual, he doesn’t waste any time seducing her to his bed. But when he suspects she’s hiding something from him, he worries that maybe he’s just destined to attract two-timing women to his life.

Can what began as a fling in Vegas turn into something more once they’re home in New York? Or does what happen in Vegas truly stay in Vegas?

 

Kim’s Review 4 ‘so different and adorable’ stars

I really enjoyed and liked the first part of this series,  as a first time reader  I liked  how the story picked up quickly  it had good pacing for me. I also really enjoyed that the author decided to spin a rather different tale, featuring a single mother who goes on to find a man who is so good for her and her daughter.

Without giving too many spoilers both characters Dawn and Barnaby have their own ‘baggage’ from past relationships. However this does not come to surface until they need to depart the conference they meet at. The push and pull and tension was enjoyable and realistic to read.  Overall I feel that the issues both characters had from the past, and even relationships with their parents really helped to develop the story, and their reactions to events that happen in the story.

I also really enjoyed the character’s themselves, Barney is such an unassuming man…not to mention a bit of a freak in the sheets!! He is slightly older than Dawn and his sexual experience showed, I enjoyed the way the author played on this. He is also British so as a British reader I liked it!

Dawn is a like-able and very relate-able  younger female, her background, current place in life and attitude to survival felt realistic and enjoyable to read. 

The story also had a very good twist at the end to bring the two together, as they depart ‘leaving what happens in Vegas in Vegas’ , and they don’t part on good terms. But all ends up well with unexpected twists.

Overall, this was a very  steamy, different and adorable story line that ends well. It’s also rather steamy in places too which I did enjoy!  I will be reading the rest of the Las Vegas Series, but first ‘An Affair Across Times Square’s’ blurb at the back of this book looks good,  following a murder trial I’ll start here with this book.

Four really good, adorable and enjoyable stars from me.

Free on Kindle Unlimited too!

 

Throwback For All Writers! It’s 1979 ‘Aint No Stoppin’ Us Now!’ #amwriting #nanowrimo

Okay it’s not ‘Throwback Thursday’ it’s more like TGIF but…all National Novel Writing Month writers around the world, this song just came on the radio and it’s probably how many of us feel. I dedicate it to all of us. We are mid point (hopefully) with novel writing so let’s take it back to 1979 … “Aint No Stoppin’ Us Now’ we’re on a roll!…. with writing. Get your dancing shoes, get up from behind your laptop, celebrate reaching mid point of this great challenge to push our creativity for one full month.

Happy two weeks to go celebration!

 

NaNoWriMo Week #2 Progress- Just Hit 30k Words! Almost Finished #nanowrimo

Nano2019.jpgYes!!! I have met and exceeded my word count goal for this novella length  book twice now! And I still am not quite done yet. Week two’s check in this morning, I hit 30k words about thirty mins ago. I am pleased, and feeling very motivated.

Last week I mentioned that I have a plot idea that kind of moved things around a bit, so this is what I am crafting now, hence the increase in word count assumption for this story. I think it will be anywhere under 40k for sure for this novella. Then I can’t wait to knock out 10k on my other story.  I am  more than half way done in terms of the story telling, and at the ‘pulse of the story’ where things heat up, move quickly and tension builds!

It’s also a great day today as it’s my son’s sixth birthday, he lost another tooth this week which he did not swallow this time. But he has been a bit ill with fever this week. It’s that time of year. This somehow as not stopped writing progress, as when my son is ill he is a lot like me all he wants to do is sleep it off. So while he has been home from school snoozing, I’ve been attacking the keyboard as a sick baby means no ‘day job’ for me…so I may as well write my heart out.

The group of writers I am doing National Novel Writing Month with this year are doing well. We are all making progress in some shape of form, one of them also has a sick child too over the other side of the Atlantic. What’s funny is the same day her child got sick so did my boy. I said to her, her child’s cough flew across the Atlantic and got him LOL.

How is everyone doing so far, day fifteen into the challenge? I hope this week ends on a high note.

NaNoWriMo; Week 1 Progress- I’m Coming Up For Air! #nanowrimo

NanoWell I have to say guys, this year’s National  Novel Writing Month has probably been my most successful in all the years I’ve taken part! Wow. Maybe it’s helped as I am in a group with other authors around the world I know, love, and talk to everyday on messenger.

So, I have met and exceeded my original word count limit. I guessed that the plot for my third Romance Set In Paradise series novella would be about 25kish words, and hoped I could jump over to finish off my romantic crime thriller full novel, no such luck I’m already on 26K words in, and the plot thickens LOL. So I will increase it to 30-35k or anywhere under 40k and let that be that.

Some people may think, “well Kim  you know, you can’t really put a limit on a story before you’ve even written it.” Yeah, I kinda see where you’re coming from, but for me I kinda can…if that makes sense, don’t ask how I can roughly guess by how I wish to tell the story where the word count might be.

As I am over and not done,  I will keep writing. What’s also interesting is that this story, has turned a little from just pure steamy, romantic and yes suspenseful. Last night while I was talking to the other writers in my team about ‘what do you call a novella length story’ just before, an idea for a twist in the plot dawned on me. And it’s not that ‘pretty or romantic’ it’s rather sad for one particular character. But, really helps to develop my main characters… yeah, you probably guessed I’m about to kill someone off… not the most romantic thing to do either for a romance in Puerto Rico with all that sunshine and good vibes. But, they are going out with a BANG if I keep this idea.

So overall, I am loving NaNoWriMo this year 2019’s attempt will be a success I think. I may actually complete a project during the month, and not go over. My only drag is that I really wanted to complete two! One that’s still half done, but one is good enough for me.

I will self publish this one, and I aim for  January 2020 for book three of  the series. The name is still a mystery even to me, I keep going  back and forth.

I must also say I am not a fan of the new interface on the NaNoWriMo website itself, I don’t really like it that much.. meh. What do you think?

If you’re strapped to your keyboard too this month, I wish  you luck and success with your project. Let me know how you’re getting on? I Hope week two starts off well.

Just a quick “hello, what’s going on” from me, before I start dinner and then knuckle down to tackle another chapter, and touch base with authors as distant as the Caribbean I am working with this year to see what they have done today…or maybe have not done. I’ve found some days I am full of motivation and write sooooooooo much. Other times I can’t be bothered to open up the laptop and end up catching up so I don’t fall behind. Typical me!

Good luck all.

Book Review; A Lustful Love Triangle, by Nikalos (Urban Romance) 5+ Stars!!… Lawrd, That Was Good!

I have never read this author’s work before or heard of him, but after reading this novel I know he is super talented. The twists, turns and emotion he pulled from me a reader, I really hope he does not give up writing. I came across this urban romance on Facebook, the blurb pulled me in and the fact that it’s a male writer…writing in the romance genre?  After reading I just know  the world of urban romance is blessed to have his talent. I just loved the unexpected story twists, rawness and yes…there’s plenty of steamy parts too! let’s get into the review.

Blurb

Sasha is married to a wonderful man named Ryan, who will give her the world if she asked for it. She plays the role of the perfect wife and mother to their two beautiful kids, but Sasha still feels as if something is missing out of her life. When Sasha learns that her husband, Ryan, is possibly having an affair, Sasha finds her perfect world crashing down before her eyes. Sasha learns a fatal truth that Ryan isn’t the perfect man whom she thought she had married. Champ have just been released from prison and goes back home, hoping that him and his baby mama, Trina, can pick up where they have left off. When he learns that Trina may have moved on he decides not to pressure her to get back with him just yet. Instead of chasing behind Trina and trying to get her back, he decides to put all his energy into finding a job and getting back on his feet.

When Sasha runs into Champ one day, something inside of her is awakened and she begins to feel things she has never felt before. The lust and chemistry between them both are explosive and mind blowing. Hearts will be shattered, betrayal will run deeper than ever, and blood will be spilled. Everyone have secrets but how far are you willing to go to keep them? Once Sasha gets a taste of Champ, she paints him as a man who can give her everything that her husband cannot give. But Sasha will soon learn that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. How far is Sasha willing to go to be with the man who she claims can love her? Will she walk away from her family or will she stay and try to be the loving wife that she so desperately needs to be. Champ have turned his life around and is trying to be the best father that he can be to his little girl Faith, but once he learns that his babymama Trina is moving up north for a better job opportunity his heart is shattered into small little pieces. The only thing that keeps him going is the love that he is starting to feel for Sasha. Even though he knows deep down in his heart that Sasha will never be his, he still accepts her into his life and gives her the love and attention that she isn’t getting at home. Will the love that Sasha and Champ share with one another survive or will the odds be against them?

 

Kim’s Review 5 Plus… I Loved It All, Gimmie More Stars!

Okay, so as a first time reader I loved everything about this story, the plot, characters, writing style, and it was very steamy and sexy in the right places. I found it hard to put down. The author’s style of writing kept me turning pages as the chapters are pretty short, but always end on a cliff hanger so of course I had to keep reading. I’ll be honest I was up a few nights until about 2.00 a.m reading. Here’s what I loved.

Plot- This is not your typical ‘ he said she said’ ,’ baby daddy and mama drama’ ‘ or  love triangle’ story line. It’s raw, yes but it’s full of emotion and realness with an outstanding plot in my humble opinion. The way the characters come full circle and have a connection was not something I saw coming. I found it all very realistic based on the country it’s set in as a British reader. I also found the relationships between the characters realistic. In addition to this, without giving spoilers there were a few things I just did not see coming, which completely drove the plot to a peak, and I mean peak! That kept me turning pages. Overall, it is a well plotted out story. The pace is fast, things happen and draw you in.

Characters- There were some nice ones, typical ones , relate-able  ones and then there was  Champ.  *Smiles*  he was such a sweetheart, just thinking of his character really makes me smile. I have no idea where the author found the inspiration for him, but he is a swoon worthy  bad boy turned good man and ‘book boyfriend’,  for those of us who love these kind of leading males in romance. I found him to be a cool guy, based on how he grew so much from the moment he left prison, to the moment he ends up a married man.

Sasha…hmm, well you know as much as she was great to read, I did feel sorry for her. She is a classic example of a woman who really was scorned toward the end, love is so powerful and I felt her pain.

Heat level and emotion–  As I type this I am laughing a little as the heat level in this book is high, there’s a lot of sex which I don’t mind at all. It’s well written, and at times I did think “hmm, he has done a good job with that scene.” I was rather impressed as I have read sex scenes written by men, and find it all rather drab or in personal  and could not really connect with the writing style and story telling. I never had that problem.

This story line is also rather    very emotional in places. I few tears did prick up for me towards the end.

The ending– This is where my reading experience went from 5 stars, to 5 plus. The way it ended for me, you understand where the author is coming from when he says ‘love is a powerful drug, don’t misuse it.’  It was also a fast paced, and moving ending. Overall, for me as a reader I am giving this novel 5 plus stars as I felt every word, it was not typical of the urban romance genre, it was steamy, raw, realistic, enjoyable and I want more from him! Good job, 5 plus stars from me. Available on Amazon now!