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The Nearer the Dawn

So, in an effort to get back into blogging and supporting other authors, I recently joined a new Facebook group for reviewers. I’m excited for the potential to meet new authors. I’m especially excited to read their stories.

Let me start off with the “cover blurb”, as I usually do –

We all wear masks of secrecy. Some are small and insignificant while others are dark and forbidden. We wear them to mislead and deceive. It is, after all, easier to live a lie than to expose ourselves to the world. Exposure would leave us vulnerable. Yet, the truth could set us free; we hope. The moment we truly abandon all forgeries and remove our veil is the only time we can fully accept our true identity.

For Nina Luther living a lie is life in its purest form. As a child, Nina knew she and her entire family were different. The mortals who surround her, fear the unknowingness of what they will become. Nina has no such fear. She is all too aware that her time here on Earth will be plagued by her heavenly gift to help others; she despises this. All Nina desires is to be an average high school senior, but cannot hide from her divine destiny.

While adapting to her family’s recent move to Savannah, Georgia, Nina falls hard for Chase James, a mysterious loner with a dark and demonic secret of his own. 

In this world there are saints and sinners. The difference between the two: every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Who will be the last one standing? Will the demonic uprising on Earth mean the end for the mortal angel Nina? Or will she live to die another day?

 

So how did I feel about my first offering?

The Good – I love origin stories – as in all the different versions of how the world was created and all the gods and demons. J.P. Berry has a great twist on the classic, and I really enjoyed that.

The Bad – The story is predictable. You have the obligatory loner, the alpha bitch, the mouse, the jock, and the “freak” (or so she sees herself as). Beyond that, the characters just feel so one-dimensional that it’s hard to really life any of them.

The Ugly – Well, to be honest – everything except the origin story. The writing isn’t that good, and the grammar is horrible. I’m no Grammar Girl, so please take my opinion for what it is – an opinion. There were commas where there shouldn’t have been. There was an oddly placed em-dash or two. And at least one instance of tense change in a three-sentence section. Past tense to present then back to past. And the point of view used just didn’t work for me. First person is hard – I know; I don’t use it personally for that very reason. But beyond that, it was all tell and no show.

But what about the story, you ask? Well, it has so much potential that I could just cry. Like, I wanted to get into it so badly, but all the problems above just took me out of it and I couldn’t get into it at all. I’m literally on the fence with this one. Will I recommend it to others? No. But would I consider picking up the next book to see if (a) the author’s writing has improved and (2) how the story concludes? It’s entirely possible.

I love getting mail

I have oily skin. Like, really gross oily skin. Wash in the morning, and it feels like oil is dropping down your face by noon. I’ve avoided makeup because of this. But truth is, I love some makeup. 

Well, I finally found a delightful face wash made specially for people like me. It’s the Biore charcoal face wash. Then, I invested in a decent moisturizer specially for people with oily skin, and I immediately noticed an improvement. 

Which prompted me to seek out primer. 

Can I just pause and admit, I haven’t warn makeup in so long this whole primer thing was a mystery. But, I did some research, and I found some good suggestions. And I promptly took myself to Sephora because I wanted samples before committing. 
The lovely girl offered a sample of Dr Brandt’s Pores No More. And she gave me sample of Murad moisturizer. 

Well, I recently joined Ipsy, and I got a Trust Fund Beauty primer, too. 

Which to use? 

I’m sold on the Murad and Dr Brandt’s combination. I don’t care if it’s more expensive. It’s worth it. 

I also bought some new mascara. That haul came in the mail today. I’m like a kid in a candy store! 


I’m not sure what to do with the salve, but I bought it anyway. 

Eventually, I will get up a better review, and maybe some pics. 

Still Writing

Ok, so it’s not #NaNoWriMo, but I accomplished a THING, you guys. 

You know, a thing. 

A goal. A writing goal, at that. 

In September, I set a goal to do the #writeastorychallenge. One word prompt, minimum two sentences. I told myself, everything had to be relevant to my current project. 

And I did it. 


I don’t know how to flip that, sorry. 

Yeah, that’s 30 scenes started. 

It doesn’t look like those same people are doing one for October, so I created my own. 


I can’t wait to start getting things in order! I’m going to be going through the plot in a few weeks – in that super brief period between class endings and beginnings. 

I’d love if you joined me! I’ll be on Twitter as @beautifulsadist and Instagram as @lauramichaela.author. 

Just. One. Book.

Throwing Chanclas

Just. One. Book.

I live in a town of 1200 people in the Northern Sierra Nevada –where it meets the Cascade Range near Mt. Lassen National Park and about two hours drive northwest of Reno, NV.  Two hundred of that population is students. Over the years as the population dwindled after mines closed, then mills–nothing except tourism and retirement have emerged as ‘industries.’ Many businesses have closed down and with it many things we take for granted—like libraries.

The local junior/senior high school has not been able to purchase new books since the 90s. Some of the “check outs” for old books are in the 1980s. There are no books by people of color in the library. Hardly any books by women are in the few book cases except your standard Austen and Lee. It’s an uninviting place. There hasn’t been a librarian for nearly a decade. And volunteers weren’t allowed. The…

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To Tame a Scoundrel’s Heart – a Review

I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

First, as is tradition, the official blurb:

Katrina Needham had her whole life planned: Marry her beloved Major Richard Domont and live happily-ever-after … until he’s seen with another woman. Distraught, and needing a distraction, she agrees to assist the rugged, and dangerously handsome privateer, The Saint of the Sea, find a wife.

Dominic St. Monté loves everything about his life as a sea captain, but when he unexpectedly inherits a dukedom and the care of his young sisters, he reluctantly decides he must marry. Afterward, he can return to the sea-faring life he craves, leaving his duchess to oversee his dukedom.

Nic, now The Duke of Pendergast, enlists a family friend’s help in finding an acceptable bride and soon realizes Katrina possesses every characteristic he seeks in a duchess. However, he cannot ask for her hand. Not only is she promised to another, a man still determined to make her his, she has absolutely no interest in becoming a privateer’s wife.

Can Nic and Katrina relinquish their carefully planned futures and trust love to guide them?

Next, my opinion –

Quite simply, I loved it. The characters were fully fleshed out, and they just seemed to leap right off the page. This is part of a larger series, but I have not read any of the others, and I did not feel as if I was missing any information. (Something I’m working on in my own writing!)

The romance built at a believable pace – and was helped along by the fact that Dominic and Katrina knew each other beforehand, which allowed them to express already existing interest.

Perhaps the only thing I didn’t like is that the Major, Katrina’s intended, was made out to be a bit of a… butthead. Considering he had not yet asked for her hand, I don’t feel that was necessary. For the record, I like stories with bad guys – I just don’t like to write them, so this is 100% a personal opinion, lol.

I highly recommend this book, though. It’s a short, fun read!